Posted by: Mike
We humans are driven or motivated by a number of internal drives. For most of us in comfortable middle-class America, we are not aware of needs for shelter and coverings, but of course we are aware of our need for food or nourishment. We also have needs for recognition by others, needs for affection and sex, and we have an internal drive to create, or to act on our environments in ways to control, manipulate, produce, or change aspects of our world. These drives or motivations are innate or learned. It is likely that the drives described are primarily innate, having been ingrained in our DNA through thousands of generations of coping with life on our planet, through the survival of those individuals who were most adaptive, not only with the skills to survive, but with the motivations necessary to utilize those skills.
In looking at specific emotions, it can be seen that some of our emotions are themselves motivators. For example, fear. Fear is an emotion that is generally reactive to a specific situation (although in neurosis, generalized fear or anxiety is often nonspecific and generalized to any situation or to a general condition or state). Fear, in its most useful aspect is also a motivator; if I am afraid of a something that is present and my fear is reality-based and not neurotic, that something is legitimately worthy of fear and concern, and after experiencing the emotion of fear, I am likely to do my best to find a way to absent myself from the presenting stimulus, or to control it in some way. So fear can be a motivator, just as other emotions can serve the same function. Anger, love, sexual arousal, all of the emotions that tend to be reactive to external stimuli can all serve as motivators of action.
What is the situation regarding our topic of the day, “uncertainty.” It sounds like it is a thought, reactive to, primarily some thing or things in the environment around us (and also our internal reactions). Uncertainty appears to be a condition of thought. There is a stasis implicit in the idea. But in addition, there will be emotions that are experienced concurrently with the perception of uncertainty. It seems to me that the most likely emotion coupled with uncertainty would be fear. However, for some, it is possible that anger, terror, rage, perplexity could also be a part of the reaction. Including perplexity leads me to reflect that though we have reached a high level of technical sophistication in our society, we are still at the beginning stage regarding our understanding of our own thinking and emotional processes. Our language and verbal expressive abilities are stretched to the limit at times when we try to tease out the thinking/feeling aspects of our internal perceptual processes. And we often have difficulty distinguishing what came first, the thought or the feeling. This has been a major point of conflict in the past among those who study psychologist processes; many of the labels we use to express emotional conditions that we experience seem to be a combination of thoughts and feelings, like perplexity.
[to be continued]