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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?



ditto. "but" traded for "and"...
As to the question about transforming our relations, I'm not so sure that a
changed understanding of motivation is going to do all that.

What I do think it could do is:

1. Serve as a push-back against the "I built that" mentality of the
American bourgeoisie (this was a Republican cry in the last election) in
which it is assumed that those who have "made it" have done it because of
their "intrinsic motivation" or their ability to "delay gratification". In
contrast, poor people are seen as people who want it and they want it now!
This was my reference to the famous marshmallow study where a kid is given
a marshmallow and told if they can wait, they will get two marshmallows -
and this was supposed to predict later success in life! Seems like a
troubling road to go down. Seems like this is bourgeois psychology at its
best.

2. But perhaps the more useful point is caught up in Luria's notion of the
importance of contexts for changing behavior. If we are working with kids
and want them to change their behavior then this suggests that we shouldn't
sit there and preach to them about how they should try harder in school or
"apply themselves" more or have more "intrinsic motivation" or whatever.
Rather, it seems like the task is to look to create contexts in which they
can realize themselves in ways that look like our much desired "socially
justified intrinsic motivation". The point is that motivation has
everything to do with the context, and I think that there is a real key
here.

Everyone has examples of kids who appear in school to be lacking any
motivations other than "extrinsic" ones and yet these same students will
apply themselves in remarkably "intrinsic" ways in areas other than
schooling. As a quick example, I have a colleague, Jonathan Rosa (Umass
Amherst) who worked with some Mexican American high school kids in Chicago
when he was doing his dissertation research. He became particularly close
with one student who wasn't doing particularly well in school but who loved
Bolly-wood movies. He loved them so much that he kept notebooks of the
translations of the Urdu words that were provided on the screen so that he
basically had started making his English-Urdu dictionary.

The point here is that we tend to think of individuals as the sole locus of
intervention. Much greater attention needs to be paid to the making of
contexts.

This is already too long of a post, but just to be clear, I'm thinking
primarily of contexts in terms of the close-in contexts of learning and
living. Larger contexts (e.g., structures of socioeconomic systems and even
the larger economic system in which one lives) need changing too, but these
larger structures are much more intractable to change. In order to maximize
effects of intervention, it seems that this meso-genetic level is the place
to work - i.e. to the making of contexts.

Just my thoughts.
-greg









On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 9:26 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> Sure, I'll trade my but for your and, Larry.
> mike
>
>
> On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 7:03 PM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >  Greg, Mike
> > The phrase
> >
> >  *justified* intrinsic motivation, a form of motivation that is
> > socio-culturally mediated BUT attributed to the person’s long term
> > characterological story of an intrinsically motivated person?
> >
> > I was wondering if we  change BUT to AND
> >
> > *justified* intrinsic motivation, a form of motivation that is
> > socio-culturally mediated AND attributed to the person’s long term
> > characterological story of an intrinsically motivated person?
> >
> > speaks to a particular *horizonal perspective* of a taken for granted
> > story of *character* formation through *bildung*?
> >
> >  Greg’s *generally acceptable* motivations the nature of which is
> > contingent on local culture and history.
> >
> > Greg brings in the value question of *more better* horizonal
> perspectives.
> > If we become  more explicitly conscious that our horizons are
> > socio-culturally generated then hopefully  this awareness will be
> > transformative.  The question I ask is
> >
> > *If we are successful in  making explicit the socio-cultural horizonal
> > nature of our understanding of being human, will this awakening awareness
> > transform our socio-cultural relations with each other?
> >
> > Our *justifications* may always emerge within particular horizonal
> > interpretive formations.
> > Larry
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Sent from Windows Mail
> >
> > *From:* Gregory Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> > *Sent:* ‎Sunday‎, ‎August‎ ‎3‎, ‎2014 ‎6‎:‎49‎ ‎PM
> > *To:* Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>, eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > *Cc:* xmca-l@ucsd.edu
> >
> > Yes, Mike, I was thinking something like "socially justified and
> generally
> > acceptable" motivations, the nature of which is very much contingent on
> > local culture and history. Seems like all of it has extrinsic/intrinsic
> > aspects to it but some are just considered "more better" than others.
> >
> > And yes Cathrene, I agree. I think you caught that the object of my
> concern
> > was not John-Steiner and Hersh - they were just using a concept that I
> > myself frequently use. Your characterization of subcultures that
> cultivate
> > "inherent" (scare quotes are required, I think) worth of certain
> > accomplishments is right on. But it must be more than just subcultures to
> > have such a powerful effect.
> >
> > Very importantly, I wonder, without fetishizing people who engage in work
> > that is highly intrinsically rewarding, how are, for example, highly
> > trained athletes socialized into the catharsis (take note Andy!) of the
> > cognitive and affective variety that you mention?
> >
> > (and returning to Mike's question we might even wonder if some of these
> > endeavors, e.g. the Olympic athlete, are really socially justified and
> > generally acceptable? Isn't there a certain vanity and self-centeredness
> > (socially "bad" traits!) here too?).
> >
> > Happy grading Cathrene! Hope you are feeling intrinsically motivated (in
> > the proper, socially justified manner...).
> >
> > -greg
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Maybe you could call it "justified" intrinsic motivation, a form of
> > > motivation that is socio-culturally mediated but attributed to the
> > > individual's long term characterological story of an intrinsically
> > > motivated person?
> > > mike
> > >
> > >
> > > On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Cathrene Connery <cconnery@ithaca.edu
> >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hi Greg:
> > > > I think you are onto something here, in light  of the fact that many
> > > > dichotomies are false, especially when contextualized within the
> > > > sociocultural, historical-political complexity of human society.
> While
> > > > John-Steiner and Hersh were specifically talking about recognition
> and
> > > > motivation in this case, is also possible that the
> > > > scientist/artist/athelete or other thinkers-performers experience a
> > > > completely different and discipline-specific form of fulfillment when
> > > > accomplishing that which has not be achieved before and /or
> witnessing
> > > such
> > > > big "C" (vs. little "c" creative events). The sense of fulfillment,
> in
> > > > these instances, is derived from a specialized subculture that knows
> > the
> > > > inherent worth of the accomplishment (such as Olympic or world-class
> > > > athletes). I suspect that these individuals experience a type of
> > > catharsis
> > > > that involves both cognitive and affective aspects as well as
> > > > aesthetic-functional dimensions. But, I have 60 papers to grade for
> > > summer
> > > > school, so it is time to get back to work.
> > > > Cathrene
> > > >
> > > > Dr. Cathrene Connery
> > > > Associate Professor of Education
> > > > Ithaca College
> > > > Department of Education
> > > > 194B Phillips Hall Annex
> > > > 953 Danby Road
> > > > Ithaca, New York 14850
> > > > Cconnery@ithaca.edu
> > > >
> > > > On Aug 3, 2014, at 12:25 PM, "Greg Thompson" <
> > greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > While reading David Kirshner's review of Hersh and John-Steiner's
> > > Loving
> > > > > and Hating Math book, I cam across the following characterization
> of
> > > > > Gregory Perelman's decision to refuse to accept the Fields Medal in
> > > light
> > > > > of the apparent fact that his work had been plagiarized by a
> Chinese
> > > > > scholar who had previously received the medal:
> > > > >
> > > > > "“Everybody understood that if the proof is correct then no other
> > > > > recognition is needed” (p. 72), which Hersh and John-Steiner
> > interpret
> > > as
> > > > > “a beautiful example of intrinsic scientific motivation” (p. 73)."
> > > > >
> > > > > Although this makes perfect sense to me and my understanding of
> > > > "intrinsic
> > > > > motivation" from an intuitive sense, I was nonetheless struck by
> the
> > > fact
> > > > > that in this case, it was an EXTERNAL recognition that is taken to
> be
> > > > > "intrinsic".
> > > > >
> > > > > On the one hand, in my intuitive sense of this psychological terme
> > > d'arte
> > > > > (as well as my emic everyday sense of it - psychological termes
> d'art
> > > are
> > > > > part of everyday language about things like parenting and
> teaching!),
> > > it
> > > > > seems that the Hersh and John-Steiner quote IS pointing to
> intrinsic
> > > > > motivation.
> > > > >
> > > > > But, on the other hand, it also seems that the motivation in this
> > case
> > > is
> > > > > EXTRINSIC - the mathematician is seeking recognition of others (or
> > > > perhaps
> > > > > even recognition by the "field of mathematics" - which some might
> to
> > > > > imagine to be a truth-conditional field that exists outside of any
> > > > > community of mathematicians). Isn't this type of motivation
> "outside"
> > > of
> > > > > the individual?
> > > > >
> > > > > Conversely, isn't it also the case that the desire for medals and
> > > awards
> > > > > (e.g. the Fields Medal) or even other rewards (even marshmallows!)
> > > could
> > > > be
> > > > > thought of as INTRINSIC as well? Don't these desires have to be
> > INSIDE
> > > > the
> > > > > person in order for the person to be motivated by them?
> > > > >
> > > > > Seems like all motivation is both extrinsic and intrinsic, no?
> > > > >
> > > > > And I wonder if this may be connected to the quote that Mike
> > mentioned
> > > > from
> > > > > Luria that a person cannot control their behaviors any more than a
> > > shadow
> > > > > can carry stones?
> > > > >
> > > > > Both seem to point to an ideology (myth) of individualism that is
> > > > prevalent
> > > > > among psychologists?
> > > > >
> > > > > For those interested, here is a description of intrinsic and
> > extrinsic
> > > > > motivation:
> > > > > "Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal
> > > > > rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior
> > arises
> > > > from
> > > > > within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding. This
> > > > contrasts
> > > > > with extrinsic motivation, which involves engaging in a behavior in
> > > order
> > > > > to earn external rewards or avoid punishments."
> > > > >
> > > > > -greg
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > --
> > > > > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > > > > Assistant Professor
> > > > > Department of Anthropology
> > > > > 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > > > > Brigham Young University
> > > > > Provo, UT 84602
> > > > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > Assistant Professor
> > Department of Anthropology
> > 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > Brigham Young University
> > Provo, UT 84602
> > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >
>



-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson