Drives -- Cause and Effect Relationships with Intelligence
(16) The presence of drives is a property of intelligence at all levels, but is best appreciated in higher life forms.
An instinctual drive or motive has been defined as an appetitive internal or intrapsychic force that is (a) peremptory, (b) cyclic, (c) selective, (d) displaceable. An instinctual drive is also characterized by its ability to exert pressure or force resulting in physical work performed. The aim of any drive is the discharging of energy and the achievement of satisfaction.1
The drive system is activated by tissue changes and deficits that create signals and provide information about bodily needs. The most common drives are hunger, thirst, fatigue, sex, pain-avoidance and pleasure-seeking. Drives are important to assure survival of the individual and the species.2
Pleasure-seeking and pain-avoidance have been identified as two of our several drives. Both have also been referred to as "physical feelings.".3...They are seen to have the function of promoting survival-oriented behavior.4...Emotions, like pleasure and pain, likewise provide a source of guidance for our actions by affecting behavior in the same ways as do the physical feelings.5
All animals and plants possess drives that largely determine their behavior. Most if not all animals also possess emotions. In simple organisms it is impossible for us to distinguish drives from emotions. Whether a bacterium seeks nourishment because it is compelled to do so based on an inherent drive or because it desires to do so can only be speculated upon.
Two of the drives that animals possess are pleasure-seeking and pain-avoidance. We as humans are motivated (driven) to move about in space on the basis of the seeking of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. This is a neurochemically controlled phenomenon. Certain cells in the brain release endorphins which result in our experiencing pleasure. This is so desirable that it compels or drives us to continuously and actively pursue pleasure. People can become addicted to certain chemicals (alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, valium, etc.) because the effect of the substance can be so pleasurable, at least initially, that we are driven to use it many times beyond our control. Rats will voluntarily kill themselves seeking a continued infusion of cocaine. The pleasure they derive is so intense that they will push themselves uncontrollably past death to achieve the euphoric feeling.
Emotions differ from drives in several respects. The emotions system has certain freedoms not characteristic of the drive system. Emotions display freedom from time--there is no essential rhythm or cycle as with the drives. Emotions have freedom from progressively increasing intensity, whereas drives characteristically increase in intensity until they are satisfied. The intensity curve of an emotion may vary substantially in time. Emotion has considerable freedom in the density with which it is invested. The density of emotion is the product of intensity and duration.6...There is considerable freedom in the way that emotions may be instigated and reduced. Most people strive to maximize positive emotions and minimize negative ones.7
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