Re: [xmca] Emotion at Work

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Fri Aug 10 2007 - 17:54:02 PDT

I thought the strongest thing about your paper were the observations about
people 'buying into' collective 'emotion' (states of readiness?) and the
emotional hit tied up with collective achievement. I also find it
intuitively compelling to believe that emotional experience plays a big
role in *learning*, particularly the weakening and strengthening of social
bonds, but ...
What I do not accept is the idea of emotional pay-offs being the root
explanation for the formation of motives, goals and aims.
I am not very familiar with Holzkamp; I have only read one of his very
early books, though I think I generally approve of the critique that German
Critical Psychology has made of Leontyev, but ...
It seems to me in the quote below that Holzkamp is taking the role of
emotion in one part of the process of determining an individual's
goal-formation to implicate it in the whole. I think this is wrong. It is a
bit like the old conundrum which proves that there can never be an
altruist, because if a person likes doing good for others, then ipso facto
they are doing for their own pleasure.
What would be response to that thought, Michael?
At 08:25 AM 10/08/2007 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi Andy,
>when people engage in activities (deyatel'nost', Tätigkeit), they
>contribute to the collective control of life conditions and expand
>their individual control over life conditions, even if they don't
>farm, hunt, gather.... It is part of securing life. Holzkamp (1983)
>writes something like: "THe achievement of goals in collectivity with
>others have a certain associated levels of satisfaction (social
>control needs), so that the anticipation of the collective success
>also motivates individual engagement. Only by making such an
>assumption can the evolution of the emotional readiness for action
>to the depicted collective activities made possibly understandable on
>logico- historical grounds, and thereby also the evolutionary coming
>about of the collective activities themselves" (p. 171).
>You see how he constructs a tight link between engagement in activity
>for securing control over life conditions and emotion.
>On 10-Aug-07, at 6:35 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>Michael, perhaps you could clear this up for me. I had the feeling
>>from your paper that you thought that people acted so as to
>>maximise emotional valence. Could you clear that up for me. That
>>would be wrong, wouldn't it?
>>At 05:44 AM 10/08/2007 -0700, you wrote:
>>>This categorical analysis was done by Klaus Holzkamp (Grundlegung der
>>>Psychologie [Foundations of Psychology], 1983), I use his results to
>>>interpret the data at hand. Also, look into Jonathan Turner's work, I
>>>think he says pretty well the same thing. Holzkamp, if some have
>>>forgotten, rigorously takes Leont'ev's work a step further, really
>>>using the method outlined by Marx, the evolutionary / cultural-
>>>historical, much more so than probably Yrjö has done--I am thinking
>>>of the latter's presentation of the evolution of activity (Expansive
>>>learning, 1987) and the earlier work by Klaus Holzkamp.
>>>On 10-Aug-07, at 12:24 AM, Steve Gabosch wrote:
>>>Continuing the discussion on Michael's R's paper Emotion at Work ...
>>>I have a problem with the claims the paper makes about the
>>>relationship between emotional payoffs and valences, on one hand, and
>>>motives, on the other. It seems to me that it is vital to
>>>differentiate between the needs and motives generated objectively by
>>>an activity, and the needs and motives that are generated
>>>subjectively by a person engaged in an activity. Are the categories
>>>and relationships suggested in this paper (emotions, payoffs,
>>>valences, motivations, identity) helpful for distinguishing between
>>>objective and subjective motives? Is it indeed vital to make this
>>>kind of distinction?
>>>- Steve
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Received on Fri Aug 10 17:55 PDT 2007

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