The latest episode is all about motivation, reward challenge was based around motivation. The reward challenge this episode rewarded the winning team with a charitable donation as well as a break from the games. It gave players motivation to win to do good a good thing for other people as well as for themselves. They showed not only personal motivation for victory but motivation driven by the knowledge that their efforts would have great meaning to bring joy to other people. However it seems kinda pointless to me when I think about it, that donation was going to happen either way regardless if anyone wins so the players were not really motivated by the thought of others receiving the gift but by the thought of the pleasure it would bring for them to be the ones to give it them. So their motivation was really personal and self serving and not as selfless as it seemed at first.
Secondly the immunity challenge was a huge play on personal motivation, by pitting players against each other as well as their own desires they revealed who was truly motivated to win the game and who was motivated by self satisfaction. Many players gave in to temptation of food, their motivation for the immediate reward of sweets, food and drinks winning out over their motivation to win be closer to winning the game. On the other hand some player knew they stood no chance or their need for food was so great that their motivation for immunity was no where near enough to overcome the challenge coupled with stress of the challenge. Motivation for winning once again shines through as all group members band together in groups to deceive one another for voting a member off of the island.
During this late stage of the game leadership becomes a big deal, leading alliances is key to making progress to the end of the game and ultimately accomplishing their goal of victory. In the latest episode two members of the winning team of the reward challenge gave up their positions on a yacht with food and drinks to two members of the losing team. They played this off as a caring gift when in actuality they used it as a strategic maneuver. By gifting their reward to two members that were not yet in their alliance they gained favor with them and solidified their support in the upcoming votes. It also gave them the ability to vote one of their own members onto exile island to try and find the hidden immunity Idol to benefit their allegiance. Not only was this a bold play in the game it was a strong showing of leadership by the two members that sacrificed their reward for the betterment of their alliance.
Many other aspects of this game show a laissez-faire style of leadership in the groups, even with the formation of alliances the dissolution of the two groups into one single group makes the group more of a free for all. Although they all strive for one goal it is mutually exclusive, only one of them may win, and so no one is obligated to work together for objectives. Therefore when it comes to meeting needs of the group on the island decisions are often left to the individual and the group no longer seems to be concerned about reaching a consensus on what actions to take for the group. The only agreements the groups try to make at this point in the game is who they will vote to remove from the islands and even this is ultimately left up to each individual survivor.
This first episode shows the introduction of the competitors and their first nights in Nicaragua. The groups of couples are quickly assembled and divided into two different groups splitting up the couples between the two separate tribes. They are immediately thrown into a challenge that will result in the losing member being banned to Exile Island. The producers are immediately playing on a key concept of social group dynamics, the formation, by sending a member to the island on the first night they are isolating them from the first real social interaction between the group members. This will prevent them from being able to establish themselves in the groups as well as help with the all-important facet of alliance formation, without being able to meet her group mates and make friends she runs the risk of being ostracized from her entire team which will give her a severe disadvantage in the games to come.
After the conclusion of the first challenge groups are sent back to their camps and begin to establish themselves both as a team and as survivalist. Coyopa (Orange) group was immediately separated by age, they immediately began their storming phase attempting to create fire for their tribe, however their age separation left them divided unintentionally, however it provided them two different routes to fire generation that lead to their early success in fire generation. Their oldest member AKA Dad, was successful at starting a fire and earned his way back into the main fold of the group, he was motivated intrinsic to start fire, so much so that he broke his glasses in half to help attain his group’s goal. He was motivated intrinsically by his need for group acceptance in order to succeed in the game which leads to his extrinsic motivation to win the prize money.