Psychology – Motivation & Emotion

Essential Terms for Identification: There are 39 essential terms from the unit listed below. Pick 12 terms to identify, give an example to demonstrate its meaning and explain “why” historical significance for the 12 of your choice. (30 minutes)

M&E Vocabulary Image

Essays: Six free response questions are listed below. Choose two (1 from Motivation & 1 from Emotion) to answer. (60 minutes)


  • Ansel Key’s, “Minnesota Hunger Experiment” not only highlighted the physiological effects on hunger and starvation on the human body but also the psychological effects on motivation. Examine the role hunger plays on our motivation. Explore three (3) instances where individuals/groups are deprived of one or more items (either by choice or through force/mandate) and how that deprivation impacts their motivation in day-to-day life. Connect hunger issues with other perceived “needs” in society and how being deprived impacts people.
  • High school is a microcosm of everyday life with regard to how humans are motivated. Using your own high school years as an example, examine how the three (3) basic human motivational drives (hunger, sex and sense of belonging) play-out in the high school environment. In your analysis, incorporate some of the following issue: social media use, advertising geared toward teens, after-school socializing/hang-outs, peer pressure and television/movies/video games. Make a prediction for how these things will have long-term effects on teenagers over the next ten-twenty years and why you believe this. 
  • What motivates human behavior is complicated and multi-faceted. Compare and contrast the four (4) perspectives on human motivation (instinct/evolution, drive-reduction, optimal arousal, and Maslow’s hierarchy). Utilize examples from your project, real world events and/or personal experiences to clarify “how” and “when” one or more perspectives becomes prevalent. Explore issues such as one’s culture, financial resources and personality.


  • Being that our emotions are both subjective (i.e., based on the individual) and dynamic (i.e., always changing), compare and contrast the three (3) theories of emotion (James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Schachter-Singer Two-Factor) by talking about a personal issue you or a friend has been dealing with and tie in that person’s emotional behaviors. Discuss which emotions you/your friend experienced, how you/they determined the emotional response and explain the consequences of both the situation and the emotional experience.
  • What are cultural display rules? How do they affect emotional behavior? Give examples from group projects that highlighted different cultural information. List some cultural display rules from you own culture and compare/contrast them with those from other cultures.
  • Theories of emotion tie in both the physiological and cognitive processes: some, such as fear, are biologically inherent or innate, and these basic emotions are the ones we share with other animals. Others arise in us in response to thoughts or are shaped by our culture. Using examples from your life, explain: 1) what is the purpose of emotions? 2) how have they helped us survive and thrive? Incorporate psychological concepts about emotion to help support your claims.