Correlation Between Motivation And Other Behavioral Processes

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One can define motivation in terms that make a clear distinction between other concepts or processes, and it is important not to simply subsume motivation into other constructs such as emotion. Nevertheless, it also is useful to consider the relation between motivation and other behavioral processes. The neural representation of behavioral functions is highly complex, and it is problematic to try and neatly place core psychological functions into distinct neural systems that do not overlap (Salamone 2010; Salamone et al., 2007). Thus, when discussing motivation it is important to consider the relation between motivational processes and other important processes such as emotion and reinforcement, because in several ways, motivational…show more content…
The modern study of instrumental conditioning, and thus the conceptualization of reinforcement, was established by the seminal work of Thorndike and Skinner. Thorndike (1911) formulated the "Law of Effect" to describe the processes involved in instrumental conditioning. Several years later, Skinner (1938) composed what he termed “The Empirical Law of Effect”, which focused on the relation between response output and the stimulus events that followed these responses. As described by Skinner, positive reinforcement occurs when a response is followed by a stimulus, and response probability increases. The stimulus that leads to such an outcome is known as a positive reinforcer. Clearly there is an associative learning component to the reinforcement process. There is a complex associative structure involving S-S and S-R associations (Colwill & Rescorla 1986), with the core being the action-outcome association based upon the contingency between the response and the reinforcer. As described by Timberlake & Allison (1974) and Allison (1993), for instrumental learning to occur, an organism must learn “what leads to what”. Nevertheless, there also is a key motivational component to instrumental behavior (Dickenson & Balleine 1994; Salamone & Correa 2002). Cofer (1972) stated that "motivation provides the conditions for reinforcing behavior or weakening it". As stated by Salamone & Correa (2002) “The reinforcer can be described as a goal, a
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