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Psychological Processes: Motivation and Emotion

Code: 102576 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502443 Psychology FB 1 2


Antonio Sanz Ruíz

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Antonio Font Guiteras
Joaquín Timoteo Limonero García
Maria Alvarez Moleiro
Corel Mateo Canedo


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


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • 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.
  • Take sex- or gender-based inequalities into consideration when operating within one's own area of knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse scientific texts written in English.
  2. Analyse the sex- or gender-based inequalities and the gender biases present in one's own area of knowledge.
  3. Apply knowledge of motivational / emotional processes and relate them to theoretical models.
  4. Apply knowledge, skills and acquired values critically, reflexively and creatively.
  5. Assess the impact of the difficulties, prejudices and discriminations that actions or projects may involve, in the short or long term, in relation to certain persons or groups.
  6. Communicate in an inclusive manner avoiding the use of sexist or discriminatory language.
  7. Distinguish the mechanisms of emotional processing.
  8. Identify evaluation methods for motivation and emotion processes.
  9. Identify the different theoretical focuses of the scientific study of motivation and emotion processes.
  10. Identify the main motivational and emotional variables involved in human behaviour.
  11. Prepare and write reports based on the results of experiments on the processes of motivation and emotion.
  12. Propose projects and actions that incorporate the gender perspective.
  13. 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: Psychological processes and emotion: conditioned fear, learned helplessness, vicarious emotional activation, vicarious emotional learning. Affective processing, affective modulation of cognitive processes (attention, perception, memory, reasoning, language).

Theme 10: 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

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Laboratory practices 8 0.32 3, 10, 13
Masterclasses with ITCs support 36 1.44 10
Seminars 8 0.32 1, 4, 10
Type: Supervised      
Tutorial 7.5 0.3 3, 10
Type: Autonomous      
Documents' search in reviews, books and Internet 15 0.6 4, 10
Studying 31.5 1.26 10
Texts' reading 20 0.8 1, 4, 10
Virtual practices 2 0.08 7, 9, 10, 13
Writing of collective learning evidences 20 0.8 4, 3


The assessment of the subject contains evidence of individual learning, and is done in accordance with the assessment guidelines of the Faculty of Psychology.

Practices and cases reports:

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

Partial synthesis tests:

  • At the end of each of the thematic blocks of the subject (motivation and emotion), a synthesis test will be carried out, coinciding with the weeks of evaluation. These tests will be aimed at highlighting the student’s ability to apply the concepts and theories worked on in the analysis of human behavior with respect to the psychological processes studied in the subject.

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

Definition of subject surpassed: A student has surpassed the subject when he / she has obtained an overall grade of 5 points.

Recovery: A final recovery of all the evidences is planned, which the student can access if he has not met the criteria for passing the subject and has been evaluated in 2 or more of the 4 learning evidences. In this final recovery, the tests necessary to pass the subject can be carried out. In the event that the student passes the subject as a result of participation in the recovery, the final grade will be 5 points.

Synthesis test for second-year students: It is not expected that students from 2nd or later years will be assessed by means of a single, non-retrievable synthesis test.


Evidence Code Name Weigth Format Authorship Via Week
EV1 Practices and case reports (motivation) 20% Written Individual Virtual asynchronous 7
EV2 Syntesis test (psychology of motivation) 30% Written Individual Virtual synchronous (First assessment period)
EV3 Practices and case reports (emotion) 20% Written Individual Virtual asynchronous 17
EV4 Synthesis test (psychology of emotion) 30% Written Individual Virtual synchronous (Second assessment period)

Unique assessment:

  • Description: It will consist of the same evidence that constitutes the general model of continuous assessment of the subject.
  • Timing: All the evidence can be submitted in a single event coinciding with the date of the synthesis partial test of the second evaluation period planned for the subject according to the Faculty of Psychology's calendar.
  • Duration: 3h (corresponding to partial synthesis tests EV2 and EV4)
  • Recovery: The same recovery system as for the continuous assessment will be applied.
  • Review: The review of the final grade follows the same procedure as for the continuous assessment.


Copy or plagiarism: According to Art 266, point10 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.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Evidence EV1: Practices and case reports (motivation) 20% 0 0 1, 4, 10, 13
Evidence EV2: Synthesis test (psychology of motivation) 30% 1 0.04 2, 3, 6, 11, 8, 12, 5
Evidence EV3: Practices and cases reports (emotion) 20% 0 0 1, 4, 7, 13
Evidence EV4: Synthesis test (psychology of emotion) 30% 1 0.04 2, 6, 7, 9, 8, 10, 12, 5


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.



Access to the software required to perform the laboratory practices will be provided in the teaching laboratory.

Access to the software required by the seminars and the evidence of learning will be provided through the virtual classroom, during the planned implementation period.