Feeling motivated vs Feeling refreshed

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    • Published: 08-02-2015 12:49 pm
    • In regards to the recent changes were we started measuring the relationship between evaluative behavior and motivation, I looked over old studies on working memory, proactive and reactive control.

      An older article in this forum writes this about proactive and reactive control.

      "A proactive control strategy would require the goal information to be actively sustained from the time the intention is formed until the goal is satisfied (e.g., the end of the day). The usefulness of such a proactive strategy is that plans and behaviors can be continually adjusted to facilitate optimal completion of the goal (e.g., not scheduling a late meeting). In contrast, with a reactive control strategy the goal would only be transiently activated at the time of intention, and then need to be re- activated again by an appropriate trigger event (e.g., opening the car door). Because of this need for repeated re-activation, there is greater dependence on the trigger events themselves, since if these are insufficiently salient or discriminative they will not drive re-activation (e.g., the dry cleaning errand might only be remembered because of cleaning ticket left on the car seat)."

      This paints the picture reactive control strategies and proactive control strategies pursue rewards differently. There's the stimuli-driven (reactive) approach where rewards are found in the environment, in responding to changes, in spotting things of interest, in seeing others smile., and focused, goal-oriented (proactive) approaches were rewards are given upon completion of goals and plans. When rewarded, it's likely we will respond by feeling motivated. We will feel like 'yes', I've done a good job. We'll feel self-appreciation or satisfaction. Failure ofcourse, can be punishable by shame or anxious responses, feeling bad or unworthy. So gauging which activity produces the strongest reaction in a person should produce the best answer as to whether a person favours reactive or proactive control. A proactive type will not go outside of their goals, plans or decisions to claim unanticipated rewards. In theory, we should gauge it towards 'I tend to feel excited' 'I tend to feel good'. 'I tend to feel rewarded' 'pleased' 'satisfied' or 'I tend to feel bad.' 'displeased' 'unrewarded' 'unsatisfied' but motivated has done a decent job so far.

      Evaluative and Explorative strategies however, are not employed to pursue goals, so the reward/motivation won't be experienced as strongly when we employ these strategies. However, an evaluative type will be less responsive and aware of changes. They'll react slower. Which suggests that in part bottom-up processing is unconscious to them. It makes them less awake. Evaluative types in an evaluative state feel refreshed when they can reflect on an experience, prepare in advance, etc, etc. I think people make associations of refreshed to reinvigorated, awake, aware, experiencing energy. I think more negatively, our opposing strategy will make us feel passive, asleep, unaware, drowsy, depressed, low.

      Proactive and reactive control therefore influences emotional rewards and punishments. Evaluative and Explorative strategies influence energy and awareness, and that might explain why the recent test update does a better job at gauing execution vs processing, while the accuracy of V and X has dropped somewhat.
    • Christian likes this post.
    • Published: 08-03-2015 06:41 am
    • This is great, I agree.

      I think the best thing to base the Control-dichotomy on is the COMT Val158Met genotypes, the current questions exploit the fact that studies find COMT Val158Met Val/Val genotypes have harder time sustaining focus on a goal / target for long periods of time and Met/Met genotypes have hard time changing task on short notice.

      Proactive and reactive cognitive control is of course very explanatory for describing the different states of Execution and Processing. I agree about external attention and evaluation, bottom-up or salient-driven attention is driven by phasic dopamine releases from striatum which "alerts" attention so having higher quantity of d2 receptors there which can "evaluate" the stimuli before "acting / rewarding" it should be a definite cause of differences in attention. Haven't thought about that before so great idea. :clap-smiley
    • ErikThor likes this post.
    • Published: 08-03-2015 07:08 am
    • Maybe one could say Explorative types are more responsive to stimuli and Evaluative types are less responsive?
    • ErikThor likes this post.
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