Motivation, Mood, and Mental Events

Patterns and Implications for Adaptive Processes
  • Eric Klinger
  • Steven G. Barta
  • Thomas W. Mahoney


Psychological adaptation is a continuous, time-bound process. People take in information, process it in relation to their goals, build mental schemes for acting on the world around them, act, generate new information, and so on. How well people succeed in coming to terms with their situations depends to an important extent on the ways in which they execute these moment-to-moment steps: which information they choose to process, how they combine it, how accessible they keep it, what other materials and skills they bring to bear on it, and what decisions they arrive at and act upon on the basis of it. These activities will be adaptive insofar as the goals themselves correspond to the requirements of survival. If people notice, store, and think about matters that affect their major interests they can be expected to deal with their environments more effectively than if they do not. Therefore, understanding human adaptation would seem to require among other things understanding the interface between motivational states and cognitive operations. The research described here focuses on this crucial linkage between cognition and motivation, and it probes the disordering of this motivational guidance system during depressed moods.


Mental Event Thematic Content Current Concern Toggle Switch Thought Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Klinger
    • 1
  • Steven G. Barta
    • 1
  • Thomas W. Mahoney
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMorrisUSA

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