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Psychological Processes: Motivation and Emotion

Code: 102576 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502443 Psychology FB 1 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Antoni Sanz Ruíz

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

All the documentation of the course is in Catalan, except for the 2 exams and the PowerPoints linked to them, which will be in Spanish. Some complementary articles for the elaboration of the reports are in Spanish or English.


Antoni Font Guiteras
Joaquín T. Limonero García
Maria Álvarez Moleiro
Mayte Serrat López
Corel Mateo Canedo
Albert Feliu Soler


There is no established prerequisite specifically for this course, but it is highly recommendable to be simultaneously studying the rest of the scheduled courses in the second semester of the first year of the Degree in Psychology: Foundations of Psychobiology II, Methods, Designs and Techniques of Research, the Social Dimension of the Person.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This course is part of the subject "Psychology" which is included in the first year of the Degree. It also forms part of a set of courses aimed at acquiring skills related to the basic psychological processes that form the basis of human behaviour:


- Psychological Processes: attention and perception (first year, first semester)

- Psychological Processes: learning and conditioning (second year, first semester)

- Psychological Processes: memory (second year, second semester)

- Psychological Processes: thought and language (third year, second semester)


The general aim of this course is for the student to be able to identify and delimit motivational and affective processes, acquiring conceptual analysis tools that will help him/her to make an interpretation of human behaviour evidence-based. Special emphasis will be placed on the usefulness of the concepts, phenomena, models and theories discussed in the course as transversal analysis tools for any of the areas of intervention of psychology.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator


  • Analyse scientific texts written in English.
  • Apply knowledge, skills and acquired values critically, reflexively and creatively.
  • Distinguish and relate the different focuses and theoretical traditions that have contributed to the historical development of psychology as well as its influence on the production of knowledge and professional practice.
  • Distinguish between the design of research, procedures and techniques to evaluate hypotheses, contrast them and interpret the results.
  • Evaluate, contrast and take decision on the choice of adequate methods and instruments for each situation and evaluation context.
  • Identify, describe and relate the structures and processes involved in basic psychological functions.
  • Prepare and write technical reports on the results of the evaluation, research or services requested.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse scientific texts written in English.
  2. Apply knowledge of motivational / emotional processes and relate them to theoretical models.
  3. Apply knowledge, skills and acquired values critically, reflexively and creatively.
  4. Distinguish the mechanisms of emotional processing.
  5. Identify evaluation methods for motivation and emotion processes.
  6. Identify the different theoretical focuses of the scientific study of motivation and emotion processes.
  7. Identify the main motivational and emotional variables involved in human behaviour.
  8. Prepare and write reports based on the results of experiments on the processes of motivation and emotion.
  9. Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.


Block A: Psychology of Motivation

Theme 1: Conceptual bases for the analysis of motivational processes. Definition of motivation, evaluation, historical perspective

Theme 2: Motivational Concepts I: instinct, drive, arousal, incentives

Theme 3: Motivational systems: primary (homeostatic and non-homeostatic) and social

Theme 4: Motivational concepts II: expectancies, attributions, goals, cognitive theories of motivation

Theme 5: Intrinsic Motivation: Definition, Assessment, Theories, Intervention Procedures


Block B: Psychology of Emotion and Affective Processes

Theme 6: Conceptual bases for the analysis of affective processes: definition, components, type of affective phenomena, classification of affective processes.

Theme 7: Expression and function of emotions: basic emotions and rules of expression, social-communicative function, adaptive function.

Theme 8: Theories of emotions: from James and Lange to LeDoux and Damasio

Theme 9: Behaviour, learning and emotion: conditioned fear, learned helplessness, vicarious emotional activation, vicarious emotional learning

Theme 10: Cognition and Emotion: Affective processing, affective modulation of cognitive processes (attention, perception, memory, reasoning, language).

Theme 11: Latest contributions: emotional intelligence, empathy, positive psychology, resilience.



The teaching methodology of the course is aimed at fostering autonomy and critical attitude. The aim is for the student to formulate relevant reflections on motivational and affective processes, and to propose strategies aimed at responding to these reflections (carrying out empirical guided activities - Laboratory Experiments). It is convenient for the student to be proactive searching for information related to the current state of research in psychology of motivation and affective processes, and to share this information, contributing to a collaborative learning space. Those contents that by their nature allow it, are approached from a gender perspective. Likewise, egalitarian participation will be promoted throughout the course.

The guided teaching of this subject is structured in a cycle of conferences supported by multimedia materials, which are done in large groups, and in seminars and laboratory practices, which are done in small groups. In the laboratory practices, the student carries out a series of experiments, in which he obtains data that he must interpret in relation to the concepts and theories that have been dealt with in the conferences and seminars. On the other hand, the seminars will be orientated basically to the following formative activities:

  • Analysis, clarification and discussion of the concepts and theories presented by the conference speakers.
  • Preparation for the exams of the course.
  • Analysis of cases.

Some of the directed and autonomous activities will incorporate gamification activities.

N.B. The proposed teaching and assessment methodologies may experience some modifications as a result of the restrictions on face-to-face learning imposed by the health authorities. The teaching staff will use the Moodle classroom or the usual communication channel to specify whether the different directed and assessment activities are to be carried out on site or online, as instructed by the Faculty


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Laboratory practices 8 0.32 2, 7, 9
Masterclasses with ITCs support 36 1.44 7
Seminars 8 0.32 1, 3, 7
Type: Supervised      
Tutorial 7.5 0.3 2, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Documents' search in reviews, books and Internet 15 0.6 3, 7
Studying 31.5 1.26 7
Texts' reading 20 0.8 1, 3, 7
Virtual practices 2 0.08 4, 6, 7, 9
Writing of collective learning evidences 20 0.8 3, 2


The evaluation of the subject contains evidence of individual learning, and is done according to the evaluation guidelines of the Faculty of Psychology.


There will be two exams, one for each of the thematic blocks A (motivation) and B (emotion), with a value of 30% of the grade, respectively. These tests will be aimed at demonstrating the student's ability to apply the concepts and theories worked on in the analysis of human behavior in terms of psychological processes object of study of the subject.

Practices and cases reports:

  • Practices reports and motivation cases: They consist of the interpretation of results and the discussion of the two practices about motivation, as well as the analysis of motivation cases. Together they will have a value of 20% of the grade.
    Practices reports and emotion cases: They consist of the interpretation of results and the discussion of the two practices about emotion, as well as the analysis of emotion cases. Together they will have a value of 20% of the grade.

Definition of assessed student: It is considered assessed when the student has delivered 2 or more of the 4 learning evidences.

Definition of subject passed: A student has passed the course when he/she has obtained an overall grade of 5 points and an average grade of the individual evidences (exams) of 4. In case of not reaching these requirements the maximum grade that can be obtained in the continuous evaluation will be 4.9 points (in a sclae 0-10).

Recovery: A final recovery is established which the student can access if he/she has not reached the criteria for passing the course and has been evaluated in 3 or more of the 4 learning evidences. Only one of the two exams (EV1 or EV3) can be recovered. For the purposes of calculating the finalfinal grade,the highest grade obtained by the student will be taken into consideration, between the evidenceand their respective make-up test.

Synthesis test: No unique final synthesis test for students who enrole for the second time or more is anticipated.


Evidence Code Name Weigth Format Authorship Via Week
EV1 Motivation's exam 30% Written Individual Face-to-face First assessment period
EV2 Practices and cases reports (motivation) 20% Written Individual Online 9
EV3 Emotion's exam 30% Written Individual Face-to-face Second assessment period
EV4 Practices and cases reports (emotion) 20% Written Individual Online 19


COPY OR PLAGIARISM: According to Art 116, point 10 UAB Regulations, in the event that the student makes any irregularity (copy, plagiarism, ...) that may lead to a significant variation in the grade of an act of evaluation, this act of evaluation will be qualified with 0. In the event of several irregularities in the learning evidence, the final grade will be 0. In the case of written evidence (EV2 and EV4), use will be made of the Urkund program, implemented in the virtual classroom, to verify possible plagiarism.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Evidence EV1: Motivation's exam 30% 1 0.04 2, 8, 5
Evidence EV2: Practices and case reports (motivation) 20% 0 0 1, 3, 7, 9
Evidence EV3: Emotion's exam 30% 1 0.04 6, 7
Evidence EV4: Practices and cases reports (emotion) 20% 0 0 1, 3, 4, 9


Academic manuals and other documentary sources (in bold the two fonamental manuals):

  • Anna Forés & Jordi Grané (2008). La Resiliencia. Crecer desde la Adversidad. Barcelona: Plataforma Editorial.
  • Antoine Bechara, Antonio Damasio, Hanna Damasio & Steven Anderson SW (1994). Insensitivity to future consequences following damage to human prefrontal cortex. Cognition, 50: 7-15.
  • Antonio Damasio. (2005). En Busca de Spinoza. Neurobiología de la Emoción y los Sentimientos. Barcelona: Crítica.
  • Autores diversos (2006). Psicología positiva, optimismo, creatividad, humor, adaptabilidad al estrés. Papeles del Psicólogo: revista del Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos, 27 (1)
  • Barbara L. Fredrickson (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218
  • Bernard Weiner (1986). Human Motivation.  Nueva York: Holt Reinehart & Winston.
  • Daniel Goleman (1996). La inteligencia Emocional. Barcelona: Kairós.
  • Donald McClelland (1989). Estudio de la Motivación Humana. Madrid: Narcea.
  • Elisabeth Duffy (1957). The psychological significance of the concept of "arousal" or "activation." Psychological Review, 64(5), 265-275. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0048837
  • Ellen Skinner (1996). A guide to constructs of control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71(3):549-70. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.71.3.549
  • Enrique Gª Fernández-Abascal (1997). Psicología General: Motivación y Emoción. Madrid: Editorial Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces.
  • Enrique Gª Fernández-Abascal (2009)(Ed.). Emociones Positivas. Madrid:Pirámide.
  • Herbert L. Petri & John M. Govern (2006). Motivación: Teoría, Investigación y Aplicaciones. Madrid: Thomson-Paraninfo.
  • Javier Moltó (1995). Psicologia de las Emociones. Entre la Biologia y la Cultura. València. Albatros.
  • Joaquín T. Limonero (2003)(Ed.). Motivació i Emoció. Barcelona: EdiUOC.
  • JohnMarshall Reeve, J. (2010). Motivación y emoción, 5ª edición. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.
  • José Miguel Mestre & Pablo Fernández-Berrocal (2007) (Eds.). Manual de Inteligencia Emocional. Madrid: Pirámide
  • Joseph Le Doux (1999). El Cerebro Emocional. Barcelona: Ariel.
  • Luis Aguado (2005). Motivación, Afecto y Conducta. Madrid: Alianza.
  • Luis Mayor y Francsco Tortosa  (1990). Ambitos de Aplicación de la Psicología Motivacional. Bilbao: Desclée de Brower.
  • Margaret Bradley & Peter Lang ((1994). Measuring emotion: The Self-Assessment Manikin and the semantic differential. Journal of Behavioral Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry 25(1) 49-59.
  • Margaret Bradley, Maurizio Codiposti, Dean Sabatellini i Peter Lang (2001). Emotion and motivation (II): Sex differences in pisture processing. Emotion, 1(3), 300-319
  • Margaret Bradley & Peter Lang (2007). The International Affective Picture System (IAPS) in the study of emotion and attention. En J.A. Coan and J.J.B. Allen (Eds,) Handbook of Emotion Elicitation and Assessment (pp29-46). Oxford University Press
  • Paul R. Pintrich & Dale Schunk (2002). Motivación en Contextos Educativos. Madrid: Prentice-Hall.