Arousal, emotion and motivation

Essay by tvento13University, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

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Arousal Motivation and Emotion

Arousal refers to the activation of the body. In better words it refers to the level of activation or energy that a person needs to mobilize for performing any behavior. There are two types of arousal, physiological and psychological arousal. Physiological arousal refers to those bodily changes that correspond to our feeling of being activated. Increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscular tension and sweating are all examples of this. The autonomic nervous system is what controls this. This is also broken up into 2 groups, Sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for arousing the body. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for calming down the body. The psychological aspect of arousal refers to an individual's subjective feeling of activation or arousal. This is to broken up into 2 groups. The energetic arousal dimension is characterized into low and high ends.

Low consists of tiredness and sleepiness. High on the other hand is referring to vigor and liveliness. The second dimension is called tense arousal. Tense arousal is broken into low and high, low being calmness and stillness and high being tension and anxiety.

There are 4 sources of arousal. The first being stimuli or intensity of a stimulus. The characteristics of a stimulus can be classified as novelty and complexity. The second being incentives, which can either be a positive approach or a negative avoid approach. The third is tasks. Tasks depend on two factors, importance of arousal levels, and different levels of arousal levels which increase depending on the level of the task. The last source is the individual's source of arousal, which varies with each individual.

Arousal and behavior are related. It is known that an increase in arousal is usually accompanied by both...