Write a 4-page assessment in which you compare and contrast the research methodologies and results of at least two different studies on motivation and performance associated with a specific emotion.

Positive emotions (happiness, optimism, hope) can improve goal-directed motivation while negative emotions (fear, anxiety, pessimism, depression, learned helplessness, guilt, shame) can interfere with goal-directed motivation.

e Drawer


Motivation and emotion are inextricably intertwined such that it is difficult to discuss one independently from the other. There is a distinction between emotions that can facilitate the attainment of personal goals (goal-congruent emotions) and emotions that can thwart the attainment of personal goals (goal-incongruent emotions). Goal-incongruent emotions—negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, and shame—often work against the attainment of personal goals. These goal-incongruent emotions evolved to serve an adaptive purpose, and each of them possesses distinctive features. What they have in common, however, is negative affect, and negative affect is thought to have emerged to provide organisms with feedback that something in the environment is a potential threat to their survival. Negative affect causes people to stop what they are currently doing and focus their attention on the environment in search of potential threats. If for some reason or the other these negative emotions are unjustifiably chronic and intense, they can produce a state of hyper vigilance for threats and pervasive negative expectations and thoughts that interfere with the attainment of other personal goals.


Franken, R. E. (2007). Human motivation (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.



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 University Library are linked directly in this course:

  • Whiteley, P. (2002). Motivation. Oxford, UK: Capstone Publishing.

Course Library Guide

The University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the PSYC-FP3770 – Psychology of Human Motivation and Performance Library Guide to help direct your research.

Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required.

Franken, R. E. (2007). Human motivation (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

  • Assessment Instructions

Write a paper comparing and contrasting the research methodologies and results of at least two different studies on motivation and performance associated with a specific emotion.


This assessment requires you to identify a topic to research and then to examine the results and methods of two studies on the selected topic. The topic must be an emotion and its effect on goal-directed motivation.

An important skill in conducting research is to narrow the focus of your topic to keep the content manageable and to facilitate finding supportive evidence. To identify a topic:

  • Select a positive or negative emotion that has an effect on goal-directed motivation, and then begin to narrow the focus of the topic.
  • Continue to narrow the focus of your topic with consideration for other relevant factors, such as age of the research subjects (adults versus children), their gender, their educational level, or other demographic or topical factors. Your goal is to identify a research topic that is appropriately narrow and can be sharply defined, and for which research is available.
  • Do some preliminary research to ensure that you have sufficient sources for your topic. You must locate at least two peer-reviewed research journal articles on your chosen topic from the library. To find sources, select key words and enter them into the Summon search engine in the University Library. If you do not find sufficient resources, revise the focus of your topic and try again.
  • Finally, develop a working title for your paper (for example, “The Benefits of Hope in Peak Work Performance” or “Effects of Depression on Adolescent Academic Performance”) that addresses the narrowed and manageable research topic.

After you identify a topic, select two studies to use as the focus for your paper.


For this assessment, write a paper in which you complete the following:

  • Describe, based upon current research, the effect of a selected negative or positive emotion on goal-directed motivation.
  • Describe how the negative or positive emotion addressed by current research affects the biological, learned, and cognitive components of goal-directed motivation.
  • Compare and contrast the research methods used in the two selected studies. What is the purpose of these studies? What are the research questions to be answered by these studies? Do the research results address the research questions?
  • Identify the tools (interviews, surveys, questionnaires) and technologies (telephone, audio/videotapes, Internet) that were used in the selected studies.
  • Conclude with what you learned from this research and how it may inform or describe your personal or professional behavior in similar circumstances.

Additional Requirements

Your paper should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA sixth edition style and formatting.
  • Number of resources: At least 3 scholarly academic resources are included.
  • Length of paper: The length is a minimum of 4 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page and reference list.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point font is used.