The expectancy value theory of motivation is perhaps one of the simplest, but most useful, formulations of the psychology of motivation. Why do do we do things? According to expectancy approaches, because we think that they will probably generate an outcome we value. But is there more to it than that? What is it that makes some goals seem attainable? And is it better to ‘shoot the moon’ for a high value outcome which is likely to be unattainable, or are we better going for something smaller,but more likely..?
Lets explore expectancy value theory in more depth….
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Humour and stress reduction
We have all heard that laughter is the best medicine, but how does humour help with stress reduction? Is all humour equal? How do we use it? Read on to find out more…
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Self-integrity and the power of self-affirmation
We’ve all heard of self-affirmation – but what is it, and how does it work? Sometimes, it can can be stressful to receive negative feedback, or we can worry about how well we are performing in a particular task. Acting defensively in response to this can limit our opportunities to learn and grow. Research around self-affirmation suggests that reflecting on other aspects of ourselves can stop us becoming defensive. But why? And how do we actually go about ‘self-affirming’?
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Dog eats dog? Or a fellowship of mutual endeavour?
Academia is a funny old game – you need to work collaboratively with other people to get on, but you are also competing with them for a fairly small pool of resources (such as grant funds and journal space). But the academy isn’t unique in this respect, and I suspect it is similar to many occupations in this way. This has got me thinking a lot about what these ‘professional friendships’ mean, and what they look like…
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Psychology has loads of findings which can potentially allow us to lead happier – or at least more content – lives! Here are 10 which can improve yours. Or at least make you smile and think…
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Thaler wins Nobel prize in
In October 2017 one of the authors of the modern classic ‘Nudge’, economist Richard Thaler, won the Nobel Prize in Economics. But is Thaler really a social psychologist in disguise? And should the discipline get a ‘Nobel-esque’ prize of it’s own? Where is the Nobel prize in Psychology?
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Books to change the way you look at the world. Part 1.
In this post I am going to sum up why you should read a books which will change the way you interact with the world psychologically. That’s right – PsychologyItBetter is having a go at “sort-of” book reviewing! If I enjoy writing it, and you all read it, there are a bunch more to follow! We start with the classic ‘7 Habits Of High;y Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.
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Work long hours? Entrepreneur? ‘Sleep is an inconvenience?’ type attitude? Maybe the number of hours you are putting in are holding you back. Hard work is important, but what is the psychology of long hours and what is the psychological effect of a 24/7 lifestyle?
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The Psychology of Deadlines
This last couple of weeks has been rather busy. I have a few deadlines and a lot of psychology research and teaching tasks coming up – some for things I really enjoy, others I have found really hard to settle down to. Many of these jobs have deadlines looming – what is the psychology underpinning this, and how can we make them work for us? Are they intrinsically helpful or not?
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Do we think better in groups? Groupthink and group polarisation psychology in action.
Way back in my first post on cognitive biases I mentioned that a couple of the projects I am working on are quite high pressured, and involve a small, tight knit team. I love working in a small group, and currently our little band is on a roll, producing lots of good research and making some great contacts. For these particular projects, the team is made up of four people, each bringing their own strengths and differing areas of expertise. This sounds like a dream come true right? I’m very lucky, but also quite aware that our small, slightly insulated group brings its own risks, Indeed, the combination of a high pressure environment, a small team and high (in academic terms anyway!) stakes are all characteristics of situations which a psychologist named Janis1 suggest can encourage a phenomena called Groupthink.
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