The Impact of Motivation and Affect on Judgement
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“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves” (O’Brien, 1956/1991). In order to accomplish the purpose of this paper and show how it is that motivation and affect impacts judgement there are some key terms which need to be defined. The first is judgement, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (n.d.) this is defined as the ability of an individual to make a decision or come to a conclusion after careful thought. The second term is motivation and that is “an inner state that energizes, directs and sustains behaviour” (Ellis-Omrod, 2012). The final term, affect, is defined as “any feelings, emotions and moods that a learner brings to bear on a task” (Ellis-Omrod, 2012). Motivation and affect can be said to be intertwined in forming Hot Cognition. Hot cognition focuses on the mental processes that are driven by an individual’s desires (goals) and feelings (affect) (Kunda, 1999). The two (motivation and affect) are important because of how they may influence our thought processes that are used to arrive at judgements and influence which concepts or beliefs are applied to judgement. In addition to this hot cognition influences our judgements in terms of how we process information. Take for example a scenario of two women, Sally and Jane. Jane has just moved into Sally’s apartment building and no one knows anything about her except that she is always seen going out at nights and coming in early mornings. If Sally uses the little information available to her and comes to the conclusion that Jane is a stripper though using inferential shortcuts. However if Sally and Jane’s sons attend the e same school and Sally goes to visit her mother at a nursing home and sees Jane then she will come to a judgement about Jane through elaborate systematic reasoning. Motivation can be seen as a very important factor in our lives. It is the most basic drive for all our actions and can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Our basic behaviours and feelings are affected by our inner drive to succeed over life's challenges while we set goals for ourselves. Even our ability to carry out our everyday functions such as eating or working is affected by motivation. The Cognitive perspective of motivation focuses on how it is that our mental processes affect motivation (Ellis-Omrod, Saklofske, Schwean, Andrews, & Shore, 2010). Simply put this is saying that an individual’s motivation is based mainly on how it is that the person tries to understand all that is happening around them. If one has no understanding of the world around them then it is highly unlikely that they will be motivated to get involved in anything and will feel as an outcast among others. Ellis-Omrod et al. (2010) further stated that the Social Cognitive Perspective placed an emphasis on how a person’s motivation is very dependent on their future expectations. The Goal Orientation Theory of Motivation outlines how it is that our cognitive representations determine the type of goal we pursue. It brings out two main tenets that an individual is motivated by either performance goals or mastery goals. Performance goals are those which arise from a person’s desire to outdo someone while mastery goals are those emerging from having strong interests in a task to the point where it is important that you do extremely well at it or aim to do better than before (Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, 2010). Three girls are a part of a football team, girl A, girl B and girl C. Girls A and C have been best friends for most of their lives and so they have a genuine love for the sport. This then allows them to be on top of their game and is ranked as the top scorers for the team. For each match they aim to score more goals than the last match, this would be seen as a mastery goal. Girl B on the other hand holds the view that she is...
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