What needs to be fixed in the following psychology ERA introduction? The Influence Of Motivation On Learning Motivation has a certain impact on one's learning capabilities. It is an internal...

What needs to be fixed in the following psychology ERA introduction?

The Influence Of Motivation On Learning

Motivation has a certain impact on one's learning capabilities. It is an internal process that makes a person move toward a goal. Motivation may be intrinsic or extrinsic depending on whether it comes from inside the individual, or outside. Ways to improve one’s motivation include Goal Setting and Rewards. Goals are aimed or desired results, a good goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Rewards are things given in recognition of service, effort or achievement. Motivation is something you can influence, but not create. Learning is a relatively permanent change in behaviour that occurs as a result of experience. Learning based on motivation is a form of Operant Conditioning which was proposed by psychologist B.F Skinner. Operant Conditioning is when a behaviour is impacted by its consequences. Operant Conditioning is made up of 3 phases, these being Antecedent (stimulus), Behaviour and Consequence. B.F Skinner believed that it was not really necessary to look at internal thoughts and motivations in order to explain behaviour. Instead, he suggested, we should look only at the external observable causes of human behaviour. Operant is the term Skinner used to refer to any “active behaviour that operates upon the environment to generate consequences”. Skinner developed the Skinner box using reinforcement and punishment in order to train a rat so that it can pull a lever when visually instructed, to dispense food. This is an example of operant conditioning where the stimulus is the visual instruction (light), the behaviour is the rat pulling the lever when instructed and the consequence being the food dropping to the box which the rat eats. The experiment being conducted is to investigate the influence of motivation and learning. I believe that year ten and eleven students from BMG will complete a maze faster than when they are motivated by setting goals and are rewarded than if they do not set goals or aren't rewarded.

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You most definitely have some excellent content explained in your introductory paragraph. All of your background information excellently serves to set up your thesis, or in this case, your hypothesis. Great job!

However, one small issue may possibly be with respect to length. Presently your intro is nearly a page long double spaced in size 12 font. One thing to keep in mind is that the length of an intro will be relative to the length of the paper. So, nearly one full page is absolutely perfect for about a 9- to 10-page paper; a 20-page paper can require nearly 2 pages for the introduction. So, if your paper is long, then the present length of your intro is just perfect. But if the paper to follow is much shorter than 10 pages--5 pages, for example--then you only want your intro to be between a quarter of a page long to half a page long; you also want to get it closer to a quarter of a page long if the paper should be even shorter than 5 pages.

So, if you do indeed need to shorten your introductory paragraph to better fit the length of your essay, then you'll want to consider taking out some of the facts and saving them for the body of your paper to set up the arguments for each paragraph or section of your paper. The following are some suggestions:

(1) It's not fully necessary to define motivation as being either intrinsic or extrinsic in order to set up your hypothesis. So, if those points become important to the experiment, you can actually define them later on in your body at the moment the terms do become important. Therefore, one suggestion is, if you do indeed need to shorten your intro, you might take out this third sentence of yours:

Motivation may be intrinsic or extrinsic depending on whether it comes from inside the individual, or outside.

(2) It's also not fully necessary to define the three phases of Operant Conditioning in order to introduce your hypothesis, so you might also consider saving the following sentence for the body of your paper if the point becomes important later on:

Operant Conditioning is made up of 3 phases, these being Antecedent (stimulus), Behaviour and Consequence.

(3) If you need to shorten your introductory paragraph further--again, based on length of your paper--then it's also not necessary to explain in detail Skinner's beliefs that led to his development of Operant Conditioning and his development of the Skinner box in order to introduce your hypothesis. All that's really needed to be able to logically work in and introduce your hypothesis are definitions of motivation, goal setting and rewards, and Operant Conditioning with respect to B.F. Skinner. So, if your introductory paragraph is still too long relative to the length of your whole paper, you might also consider cutting out this section  of your intro:

B.F Skinner believed that it was not really necessary to look at internal thoughts and motivations in order to explain behaviour. Instead, he suggested, we should look only at the external observable causes of human behaviour. Operant is the term Skinner used to refer to any “active behaviour that operates upon the environment to generate consequences”. Skinner developed the Skinner box using reinforcement and punishment in order to train a rat so that it can pull a lever when visually instructed, to dispense food. This is an example of operant conditioning where the stimulus is the visual instruction (light), the behaviour is the rat pulling the lever when instructed and the consequence being the food dropping to the box which the rat eats.

Also, in general, keep in mind that quotes are rarely needed and will rarely be used in an introductory paragraph; they're usually used best as evidence in the body of the paper.

Other than that, all your introduction needs next is some proofreading. Be sure and pay attention to such things as comma rules, capitalization rules, how many periods are needed in an abbreviation (For example, would we say U.S? Or U.S.?), and rules concerning where periods and commas go with respect to quotation marks. You'll be able to review most of those in the rules listed in the general grammar guide called Grammar Book, created by Jane Straus. More comma rules can also be found in the article titled "Extended Rules for Using Commas" found on Purdue University's Online Writing Lab; especially take a look at comma rules #1 and 7

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