Give an Itch, Scratch a Back

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Why do some messages resonate (per Nancy Duarte) and some messages fall flat? This is what I wondered as I watched a recent movement on Facebook go viral. The concept was simple, you changed your profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and then copied and pasted a statement in your status requesting all your friends do the same. The statement said this movement was to raise awareness of child abuse. And the response was phenomenal.After two months of research on the psychology of motivation and persuasion I have the answer to my questions.i wanted to share what I’ve learned with you so I’ve taken this research, selected the theories that I felt were most useful to presenters and made a fully interactive tutorial. Through this tutorial you’ll learn what moves us and how to make your message more persuasive.

Text of Give an Itch, Scratch a Back

  • 1.The Psychology of Motivation and PersuasionA Tutorial for Presenters and Slide DesignersBy Glenna Shaw

2. Recently there was a campaign on facebookwhere friends were asked to change their profilepicture to a cartoon so there would be no humanfaces on facebook for XX number of days.Additionally the campaign was supposed topromote the awareness of child abuse.Within a short period of time the campaign wentviral and it got me thinking, Why did all thosepeople participate in this? What is it thatmotivates people to action?A lot of research later I now have my answer andIve put together this tutorial to assist you withcreating your own persuasive messages.This tutorial contains the theories on motivationand persuasion that I believe are most relevantfor presenters and slide designers. In mostcases, I elected to quote my sources and includethe reference. I follow each section with my ownsummary explaining how you, as a presenter, canuse the information in the section.The final chapter diagrams several processes andhas five practice scenarios to test yourcomprehension of the material.I hope you enjoy learning what motivates us asmuch as I did. 3. This tutorial is organizedinto sections.Each section contains anintroductory page andmultiple instructional pages.Instructional pages areorganized into text andimages.Use the navigation buttons Click on the menu items to jump to different sectionsshown below to movethrough the pages.Click this button to Click this button Click these buttons to go toreturn to this page to go to the menuthe next/previous pages 4. The idea that organisms are motivated topursue pleasure and avoid pain wasproposed by the Greek philosopherEpicurus, who called this hedonism. [1]The English philosopher, JeremyBentham, developed his ideas based onhedonism in the early years of theIndustrial Revolution, around 1800.Benthams view was that all people areself-interested and are motivated by thedesire to avoid pain and find pleasure.Any worker will work only if the reward isbig enough, or the punishmentsufficiently unpleasant.This view - the carrot and stick approach- was built into the philosophies of theage and is still to be found, especially inthe older, more traditional sectors ofindustry. [4] 5. Clark Hull conceived of all motivation as comingoriginally from biological imbalances or needs.The organism was thrown into movement (wasmotivated) when it needed something that wasnot present at its current location. A need, inHulls system, was a biological requirement of theorganism. Hunger was the need for more energy.Thirst was the need for more water.Motivation, to Hull, was aimed at making up orerasing a deficiency or lack of something in theorganism.Hull used the word drive to describe the state ofbehavioral arousal resulting from a biologicalneed. In Hulls system, drive was the energy thatpowered behavior. But drive was not pleasant.Drive was an uncomfortable state resulting froma biological need, so drive was something theanimal tried to eliminate. The animal searchedfor food in order to reduce the hunger drive. Hullbelieved the animal would repeat any behaviorthat reduced a drive, if the same need occurredagain. Therefore Hulls theory was called a drive-reduction theory of motivation.The abandonment of Hulls theory occurredabout 30 years after he proposed it, but notbefore it had a big impact on the field. [1] 6. In present day theories, the pursuit of pleasureand avoidance of pain are conceived ascomponents of a control system. When a systemmust be delicately controlled, this is bestaccomplished with two forces that act in oppositedirections.Pleasure and pain are powerful but opposedparts of a hedonic (pleasure/pain) control systemthat regulates motivation. Richard Solomon ofthe University of Pennsylvania suggested theyshould be regarded as opponent processessimilar to an accelerator and brake.Hedonic contrast is one of the phenomenaSolomon explains with the opponent processtheory. This is the tendency of the pleasure/paincontrol system to rebound in the oppositedirection after an intense experience of eitherpleasure or pain. [1]Too much of a good thing and the runnershigh are examples of opponent process theory.Too much pleasure becomes pain and too muchpain becomes pleasure. 7. Sometimes the urge to do something worthy or good orpleasurable is directly opposed by the fact that itinvolves pain or inconvenience or hard work. Then theperson is in conflict between two opposite motives. Thatis one form of motivational conflict called anapproach/avoidance conflict. One may also feel tornbetween two different pleasures. Or one may be forcedto choose between two pains. Each of these is a classicmotivational conflict.Approach/avoidance conflicts. The person is attractedand repulsed by the same stimulus or situation.Approach/approach conflicts. The person is forced tochoose between two different desirable stimuli.Avoidance/avoidance conflicts. The person is forced tochoose between two different undesirable alternatives.Avoidance tendencies tend to grow stronger as an eventapproaches. This has implications you can observe inyour own life. A distant event such as a dentistappointment might seem desirable, and you make plansfor it. But as the day approaches, the event seems lessdesirable, or you are more inclined to avoid it. This canhappen with desirable goals as well as things you wouldrather avoid: it is called "getting cold feet."Vacillation (going back and forth) is common in situationsof motivational conflict. If you are attracted to a person(an approach tendency) but feel shy and inhibited (anavoidance tendency) you may "go back and forth" alot, in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. First youlean one way, then the other. [1] 8. You can choose to meet or deny youraudiences biological needs, i.e.hunger, thirst, waste elimination.While it may seem counter-productive, having your audience ina state of distress is moremotivational. The trick is to have themotivation geared to your goals asopposed to distracting from them.For example, its preferable thatyour slightly hungry audience paycloser attention to you than to havea ravenous audience wishing youdhurry up and finish so they can get tolunch.A deft presenter can weave theanticipation of satiating that hungerto their own ends. 9. We have experiences, and as a result, our autonomic nervous system creates physiological events such as muscular tension, heart rate increases, perspiration, dryness of the mouth, etc. This theory proposes that emotions happen as a result ofEventthese, rather than being the cause of them. The sequence thus is as follows: Event ==> arousal ==> interpretation ==> emotion The bodily sensation prepares us for action, as in the Fight-or-Flight reaction. Emotions grab our attention and at least attenuate slower cognitive processing.ArousalThis is not a new theory and was proposed in 1884. It combined the ideas of William James and Danish physiologist Carl Lange, who largely independently arrived at the same conclusion. [3] The James-Lange theory of emotion argues that an event causes physiological arousal first and then we interpretInterpretation this arousal. Only after our interpretation of the arousal can we experience emotion. If the arousal is not noticed or is not given any thought, then we will not experience any emotion based on this event. [2] It was largely supplanted by the Cannon-Bard theory, but of late, it has made something of a come-back, although the notion of causality is not as strong and there isEmotionongoing uncertainty as to the chicken-and-egg question of which comes first, physiological and emotional feelings. [3] 10. When a stimulating eventhappens, we feel emotions andphysiological changes (such asmuscular tension, sweating, etc.) atthe same time.The sequence thus is as follows:Event ==> Simultaneous arousal andemotion [3]EventThe Cannon-Bard theory argues thatwe experience physiological arousaland emotional at the same time, butgives no attention to the role ofArousalthoughts or outward behavior. [2]EmotionThis was a refutation of the James-Lange theory (which proposed thatemotions followed arousal) byCannon and Bard in the late 1920s. [3] 11. In the absence of physiological arousal, we decidewhat to feel after interpreting or explaining whathas just happened. Two things are important inthis: whether we interpret the event as good orbad for us, and what we believe is the cause ofthe event.Event The sequence thus is as follows:Event ==> thinking ==> Simultaneous arousal andemotionThis challenges the two-factor separation ofarousal and emotion, supporting the Cannon andBard theory albeit with the addition of theThought thinking step.In primary appraisal, we consider how thesituation affects our personal well-being. Insecondary appraisal we consider how we mightcope with the situation.This is also called Cognitive Appraisal Theories ofArousal Emotion. [3] EmotionLazarus Theory states that a thought must comebefore any emotion or physiological arousal. Inother words, you must first think about yoursituation before you can experience anemotion.[2] 12. Darwin commented on the inborn emotionalexpressiveness of babies. Carroll Izard andcolleagues at the University of Delawareidentified 10 distinct facial expressions commonin babyhood:interest, distress, disgust, joy, anger, surprise, shame, fear, contempt, and guilt.Paul Ekman is a leading investigator of facialexpression. Ekman investigated Darwins beliefthat all humans interpret facial expressions thesame way. He showed pictures of humansexpressing the emotions ofhappiness, fear, surprise, anger, disgust, andsadness to people from cultures all over theworld. People in different cultures all interpretedthese expressions the same way.Ekman is famous for a coding system thatidentifies 80 distinct muscles in the face. Thissystem provides a precise way to define facialexpressions. That makes it a very useful tool forrese