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PSYC FPX 3770 Assessment 4 Depression and Goal-Directed Motivation


Capella University

PSYC FPX 3770 Psychology of Human Motivation and Performance

Prof. Name


Emotions and Motivation

Motivation, which serves as a precursor to action, can be influenced both positively and negatively by various factors. Experiences, whether favorable or adverse, can significantly impact motivation, prompting individuals either to pursue desired outcomes or avoid negative stimuli. For instance, substances like drugs and experiences such as sex trigger the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure and euphoria. These pleasurable outcomes condition individuals to seek further exposure to stimuli associated with positive feelings. Furthermore, perceived outcomes, even if not yet realized, can greatly influence motivation. The interplay between emotions and motivation complicates this relationship, making it difficult to pinpoint the precise influence of a specific emotion on motivation (Deckers, 2018).

Emotions arise from perceived or experienced outcomes and often coexist or contrast with one another. Positive emotions, such as feelings of ease and security, can enhance motivation to undertake challenging tasks in pursuit of rewards or relaxation. Conversely, the impact of negative emotions on motivation is complex. While threat stimuli can positively affect motivation by alerting individuals to potential dangers, emotions like worry and panic can dampen motivation and reduce overall quality of life. Prolonged experiences of worry and fear have been linked to adverse health effects and diminished positive social interactions (Deckers, 2018).

Depression and Motivation

Depression, characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and disinterest in life events, manifests uniquely in each individual but invariably affects motivation (Hysenbegasi, Hass, & Rowland, 2005). Sadness, a common emotion associated with depression, can signal a need for help but often results in decreased motivation and engagement with life. Individuals experiencing depression may struggle with daily tasks such as personal hygiene, household chores, and financial management. In academic settings, depression can have profound effects on performance due to its impact on cognitive function and task prioritization (Deckers, 2018).

Research indicates that depression can distort individuals’ perceptions of themselves and their experiences, leading to biases such as the “self-positivity bias” (Takano et al., 2016). This bias involves attributing positive events to external factors while internalizing negative events. Studies have shown that individuals with depression exhibit a reduced preference for positive self-relevant information, highlighting the cognitive distortions associated with the condition (Takano et al., 2016).

Current Research Findings

A study conducted in 2016 explored the self-positivity bias among individuals with depression, revealing a diminished preference for positive self-relevant information in these individuals (Takano et al., 2016). Another study conducted in 2005 investigated the impact of depression on academic productivity, finding a negative correlation between depression and GPA among university students (Hysenbegasi, Hass, & Rowland, 2005). Treatment for depressive symptoms was associated with mitigated academic decline, emphasizing the importance of mental health interventions in academic success (Hysenbegasi, Hass, & Rowland, 2005).

PSYC FPX 3770 Assessment 4 Depression and Goal-Directed Motivation


Depression poses significant challenges, particularly in academic settings, where motivation and drive are essential for success. Understanding the interplay between depression, motivation, and academic performance is crucial for developing effective intervention strategies. Providing accessible mental health support and counseling services on campuses can help mitigate the impact of depression on student success (Deckers, 2018; Hysenbegasi, Hass, & Rowland, 2005; Takano et al., 2016).


Deckers, L. (2018). Motivation: Biological, psychological, and environmental. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Hysenbegasi, A., Hass, S. L., & Rowland, C. R. (2005). The impact of depression on the academic productivity of university students. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, 8(3), 145.

PSYC FPX 3770 Assessment 4 Depression and Goal-Directed Motivation

Takano, K., Iijima, Y., Sakamoto, S., Raes, F., & Tanno, Y. (2016). Is self-positive information more appealing than money? Individual differences in positivity bias according to depressive symptoms. Cognition and Emotion, 30(8), 1402-1414.

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