Biological Psychology

Motivational Theories/Memory Acquisition


Write a 2-part assessment in which you apply motivational theory and memory acquisition theory to behaviors. This assessment should be a minimum of 4 pages long.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

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•    Competency 1: Use information technology and tools to identify information in the domain of biological psychology. 
▪ Describe potential changes from human design to consider if building a learning and memory system for a robot.

•    Competency 2: Employ critical and creative thinking to evaluate problems, conflicts, and unresolved issues in the study of biological psychology. 
▪ Describe memory acquisition.

•    Competency 4: Assess the important theories, paradigms, research findings, and conclusions in biological psychology.

▪  Identify two common behaviors and hypothesize what might have prompted the behaviors from the perspective of each motivational theory.

▪  Discuss how people apply these different theories to influence behavior.

•    Competency 6: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.

▪  Write coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a 
psychology professional.

▪  Use APA style and format.


Motivational Theories 
Motivation refers to the set of factors that initiate, sustain, and direct behaviors. Several motivation theories, including instinct theory, drive theory, incentive theory, and arousal theory have been widely applied in psychological practice where they are linked to other theories. For example, recent attachment theory studies examined the circumstances surrounding motivation and behavior in adolescents. In medical practice, drive theory is combined with neuroendocrine theory to understand the relationship between homeostasis and hunger. Understanding the neurobiology of hunger and appetite may ultimately lead to treatments for obesity and eating disorders. 
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Emotion is an increase or decrease in physiological activity that is accompanied by feelings that are characteristic of the emotion and often accompanied by a characteristic behavior or facial expression. According to the James-Lange theory, emotional experience results from the physiological arousal that precedes it, and different emotions are the result of different patterns of arousal. According to Schachter and Singer’s cognitive theory, physiological arousal contributes only


to the emotion’s intensity, while the identity of the emotion is based on the cognitive assessment of the situation.

Memory Acquisition

Anterograde amnesia refers to impairment in forming new memories, while retrograde amnesia is the inability to remember events prior to impairment. Anterograde and retrograde amnesia are common learning and memory disorders. They have been linked to damage in certain brain structures, and the severity of amnesia has been linked to the amount of structural damage within the brain. The brain tissues hypothetically responsible for memory and learning include the hippocampus and the amygdala. All memories are not stored in a single area, nor is each memory distributed throughout the brain. Rather, different memories are located in different cortical areas where the information they are based on was processed.

Questions To Consider

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

•    What are your thoughts on the connection between motivation and self-esteem? Is motivation affected by a self- schema? Is motivation affected by self-efficacy?

•    What are your thoughts on the accuracy of found repressed memories from years ago? Are they accurate? Why or why not?


Suggested Resources 
The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom. 
Library Resources 
The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

West, R., & Brown, J. (2013). Theory of addiction (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Tappatà, L. (2013). Beyond well-being: The fascination of risk and of the new psychological addictions . 
Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Price, H. O. (Ed.). (2011). Internet addiction . Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. 
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Course Library Guide 
A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the PSYC-FP4310 – Biological Psychology Library Guide to help direct your research. 
Internet Resources 
Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

•    Demand Media. (2011). What is aggression: Aggressive behavior? Retrieved from aggression-aggressive-behavior-36000.html

•    Rocho do Amaral, J., & Martins de Oliveira, J. (n.d.). Limbic system: The center of emotions . Retrieved from 
▪ This site provides an illustrated overview of the neural circuitry and brain areas contained in the limbic system.


• Myers, C. E. (2006). Confabulation . Memory Loss & the Brain . Retrieved from glossary/confabulation.html

▪ This Web site describes confabulation and its causes. It also provides useful information on memory related injuries and diseases including Alzheimer’s. This site is maintained by Rutgers University as part of its Memory Disorders Project.

Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore . When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

• Garrett, B. (2015). Brain & behavior: An introduction to biological psychology (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

•                        ▪  Chapter 12, “Learning and Memory,” explores how and where memories are stored in the brain.

•                        ▪  Chapter 6, “Motivation and the Regulation of Internal States,” covers how homeostasis and drive theory are 
key to understanding physiological motivation.

•                        ▪  Chapter 8, “Emotion and Health,” examines how the brain and the rest of the body participate in emotion. 
Assessment Instructions 
This assessment has two parts: Part A and Part B. Please complete this assessment in one document. The assessment should be a minimum of 4 pages, excluding the title page and reference page. Use the Capella library to research the material and support your responses. 
Part A 
It is sometimes difficult to conceptualize how the different motivational theories are distinct, such as drive theory, incentive theory, arousal theory, and brain state theory. Also, neuroscientists across the country are using a wide range of approaches to define the nature of consciousness when philosophers have been debating the nature of consciousness for millennia. This part of the assessment will help you approach issues from each of the theoretical approaches. 
For this part of the assessment, complete the following:

•    Identify two common behaviors.

•    Hypothesize what might have prompted the behaviors from the perspective of each motivational theory (drive, 
incentive, arousal, brain state).

•    Discuss how others, such as advertisers, parents, managers, and so on, apply these different theories to influence 

For each behavior, include the following headings in your paper. Write a 150–300-word response for each theory under each heading:

Behavior 1:

• How Drive Theory Prompted This Behavior.
• How Incentive Theory Prompted This Behavior.
• How Arousal Theory Prompted This Behavior.
• How Brain State Theory Prompted This Behavior.

Behavior 2:

• How Drive Theory Prompted This Behavior.
• How Incentive Theory Prompted This Behavior.
• How Arousal Theory Prompted This Behavior.
• How Brain State Theory Prompted This Behavior.

Part B

Memory acquisition involves different areas of the cortex depending on the type of information presented. Our ability to remember events and how to perform tasks affects our ability to work, interact with others, and understand the world around us. For this part of the assessment, assess the memory’s contribution to how we perceive the world by addressing the following:


1. Outline memory acquisition.

TEMPLATE_PSYC-FP4310_00003: 2015-07-10 15:13:02.656454

2. Consider you are building an electronic learning and memory system for a robot. Is there anything that you would change from the human design? Why or why not?

Additional Requirements

•    Written Communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.

•    APA Formatting: Resources and citations should be formatted according to APA (6th edition) style and formatting.

•    Font and Font Size: Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double spaced. Use Microsoft Word to complete the 

•   Length: Write a minimum of 4 pages, excluding the title page and…