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Survival Instinct (Motivational Theories) | Psyched with Setmire

Survival Instinct (Motivational Theories) | Psyched with Setmire


>>Hi everyone, and
thanks for joining me today on Psyched with Setmire. We’re going to look in
this little presentation at the survival instinct. Kind of as part of our
unit on motivation, we’ll talk about what is
an instinct, a little bit of the history of instinct
theories of motivation, along with some of the big
names who have contributed, and then talk specifically and
spend most of our time looking at survival instincts. Kind of that drive that
we have within us to live, to survive, to stay
alive, right. And I’ll give you a few
pop culture examples, we’ll look at The Walking Dead, kind of as our image
here implies. We’ll also look at The
Hunger Games and a little bit at the different Saw movies, which definitely feature the
theme of survival, as well. But starting really
simply what are instincts, and if I give you
a definition here: an instinct is an inborn
complex pattern of behavior. Another way of putting
that would be that it’s an inherent tendency
to spontaneously engage in a specific pattern
of behavior. And really any behavior
can be deemed instinctive if it’s performed without
being based upon any kind of prior experience. So if it’s unlearned, that
is an absence of learning, therefore it’s an
expression of something innate or inborn some kind of
biological factor, and animals and humans possess an
incredible number of instincts. Animals, couple of examples, dogs know to shake
when they’re wet. You don’t have to teach them
that it’s just something that they do automatically. Sea turtles that
are newly hatched on the beach will automatically
move toward an ocean, again without any
learning what so ever. Birds instinctively
know to build nests. In people we see a lot of
things like crying, right, newborns crying when they need
something, sucking, swallowing, and rooting which are all
refluxes, technically, but do kind of connect here
very directly to instincts. We also have maternal instincts,
instincts toward procreation, sex, affiliation
with other people, and then obviously survival, which is where we’re
focus really today. So in the instinct
theory of motivation says that all creatures are
born with some kind of specific innate knowledge
about how to survive, and this is a theory that’s been
along around a long time, right. It purposes that we
engage in certain behaviors because they lead to some kind
of success in terms of survival, in terms of natural selection, and then essentially this is
all very biologically based. The term instinct has
been around a long time, and Wihelm Wundt used it
back in the 1870’s to talk about different instincts or at the time repetitive
behaviors that we possess. Phycologist William James
also used this term saying that they were very
essential for survival. He talked about things like fear
and anger and love and shame and cleanliness, things that
we know now to have more of a learning component to
them, but he also talked about his version of instincts. And then Sigmund Freud had a
very broad view of motivation and talked about life and death
instincts that we all possess as people, which he
called Eros and Thanatos. So looking specifically
at survival instincts, we’re talking about
the innate tendency to maintain one owns physical
existence or the promise that organisms strive to
remain intact, strive to live, strive to survive in some way. And I’m sure you’ve all
heard, like, cases in the news or on newspapers, on the internet amazing
stories of survival. Regular people kind of
doing extra ordinary things to stay alive. It happens all of the time, and
there have been quite a few, like, philosophers and
psychologist and naturalist who have talked about
this survival instinct that we all possess. Philosopher Benedict Spinoza
described something he called the conatus sese
conservandi, the striving for self-preservation. As something that constitutes
the very essence of all beings. That every single one of
us possess this drive, this instinct, for self-preservation
and to survive. Psychologist Sigmund Freud, that
we mentioned on the last image that we were looking
at, the last slide, was also really famously
recognized for talking about things like Eros, which
he deemed his life instinct, or instinct toward
life, toward please, and also in this case
toward surviving, for perpetuating
our own existence. Naturalist Charles Darwin, again
a very well recognized name, purposed a theory of natural
selection: the preservation of live as the ultimate basis
for differential reproduction and evolutionary progress. And we’ve talked a lot about
natural selection and survival of the fitness, that
only the strong survive. Since out Earth can’t support
unlimited population growth from all species, weaker
species get weeded out overtime and the stronger ones live on. And kind of off shoots of this,
we’ve even talked about things like reproductive patterns
and mate selection, from kind of a theory
of evolution. That we choose mates
with survival in mind, or at least on some level, that
we pick reproductive partners that have sets of genes that are
going to be different from ours and create very strong
offspring, that are going to survive and then
in turn perpetuate and reproduce themselves. Another example, physiologist
Walter Cannon was the first to describe the fight or
flight response, right. Kind of an example of
hard wired human instincts that help keep us alive, right. And so here we’re
looking at something where when we have
any kind of danger or stress an actual biological
response or biological trigger that helps us decided whether
to fight or run away, right. It this hard wire
biological instinct that helps to keep us survive whenever
we’re faced with any kind of threat or even
any kind of danger. So this survival
instinct, again, has been around for a
very, very, long time, a lot of people have kind
of contributed their ideas to this tendency that we
have that’s inborn, right, to survive, to fight,
to live at all costs. And there are some really
wonderful examples in the media, of course you hear stores
about people surviving, right, of natural disasters, and any
kind of extraordinary act, but there are also some great
examples in pop culture media, that I would just like
to share with you for fun and because they are such
great cases of people surviving at all costs or in the
face of great adversity. The first pop culture I’d
like to share with you comes from The Hunger Games,
the books and the movies, both of them obviously
highlighting this topic of survival. The main character in these
books and movies, right Katniss, Katniss Everdeen, right, is thrust into The
Hunger Games, right. A situation where she
has to kill or be killed or survive at any cost. And these games, you know,
really bring out this element of her, this survival
instinct, what will she do in order to live through them. And again these behaviors
might be very, very different from what you might expect
someone to do on kind of a normal day to day basis. So great examples of people
surviving at all costs, doing whatever they can to
live though these games. Another example kind of
coming from cover photo here, The Walking Dead, one of
my personal favorite shows. A show that is all
about survival. Rick and Daryl and
Michonne and all of their group right are really
just doing whatever they can to survive in this very kind
of post-apocalyptic scenario, where there are walkers
or zombies everywhere, people out to get them, and
they’re starving from lack of food, lack of water,
lack of resources. So this whole show, right, we
see instance after instance of fighting to survive, people
doing things that they would, again, never do in kind of
a normal civilized world, but you take away
that civilization, have this constant threat
of danger, constant threat of not making it and
people are pushed, again, to survive at any cost. And finally the Saw
movies, right, all seven of them I think
there were in the end, right. With each of these movies
characters are constantly presented with scenarios
where Jigsaw says live or dive, make your choice. And you see an incredible
survival instinct playing out. Where people are pushed to
harm themselves or harm others, you know, in this case in
the form of entertainment for Hollywood, but
pushed to harm themselves or others to make it, right. What are you willing to
do in order to survive? Your life means something to
you, prove it, right, live. And so we see that play out
over and over again in each of these different
seven movies, you know, where characters are given
that kind of scenario. So, again, just a way to kind
of, you know finish this up. I have some of the images
that we’ve looked at today, but we all possess these
very innate, right, inborn instincts these things
that we don’t need to be taught that help us to survive. Things are that basic like
sucking and swallowing and rooting to more
complicated instincts like maternal instincts
and survival and procreation and so on. So thank you so much
for joining me today, I hope you found it interesting
and I don’t know about you, but I definitely am ready to go watch the next
episode of The Walking Dead. But up next we’ll look at
different theories of emotion, and how we can explain
our emotional responses to stimuli in our lives. So thanks for joining
me and I hope to see you again in the future.

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