Week 10- Learning

Free will is the ability of one to act without restraint or freely. Having free will would mean we can choose our paths and have a sense of self control.  Believing that free will isn’t true conflicts with how we have molded society and our morals. Skinner’s view is that we believe in free will because we know about a certain behavior but not what causes it. He thinks environmental stimuli control our behaviors and that our behaviors are modified by either an award or punishment. Whatever stimuli present in this award/punishment system then controls how we behave. Free will is said to be an illusion that hides the real cause of human behavior : environmental circumstances and a previous history.

I believe in free will and that we aren’t fated for something particular. We have the ability to mold our lives and shape our futures knowingly and willingly. In fact our ability to act freely is what separates us from other species.  Other people can influence us and the environment can too, but we have the will to choose differently we are capable of changing a path we were heading down. Everyone is responsible for their own behavior not  believing in free will would suggest otherwise. Free will is not a mirage, we can actively respond to situations around us its not a passive process that happens automatically.

Week 10 First impression

I believe that children are more violent when exposed to violence in media. I feel as if there is some knowledge that is innate and some is learned. I feel as if innate abilities are sleeping, emotions, eating. Social activities are not so innate. When I go to a new place for example central Pennsylvania 300 miles away from where I live I most definitely observed to see if there were blatant differences. Social interactions are learned. Nuances are specific to places but overall social interactions are learned. Bandura developed the social learning theory supported the claims that children learned through observation. The theory explains that children find models such as their parents, media, friends, or classmates. The social learning theory only works if the child is attentive, retains the information, can reproduce the behavior, and is motivated.

To  the best of my memory Bandura developed this theory from his experiment on the bobo doll. A bobo doll is a inflatable doll comparable to a punching bag.  First the child watched a model either express aggression by punching the bobo doll or by playing with other toys in the room. Another group had no model I do not recall their outcome.  After watching the model of their selected group (Aggression or playing with other toys) The child was left in the room. Children were aggressive towards the bobo after watching a model abuse a bobo doll. Therefore forming the social learning theory. I believe that child do learn from observation therefore increased influence of violence in any form will increase aggressive behavior. I think for the early early of my children’s childhood I would minimize video games with very graphic violence. I understand that children at a certain age understand it is a video game. I think the extent of violence could be minimized  to achieve the same climax  of the game.

First Impression Post Week 10 Prompt 2

The idea that violent video games and violence in the media causes children to become violent is ridiculous, I think. To begin with a bit of anecdotal evidence, I am someone who has played video games since I was five years old. Obviously as time went on and I got older I started moving into video games that featured a lot of violence and graphic images, but despite that, I have never been in or had the urge to be involved in any sort of violent actions against another person or animal. In fact I consider myself a huge advocate for pacifism and in fact I would almost say I’m radically opposed to anything that involves ending another life, as long as that life is real. Of course there are reasons outside of my personal experience. First of all, the violence people commit in games is often a stress reliever, it distracts people from their problems that might make them go out and hurt someone. It’s a similar concept to punching a pillow when your angry, it provides a healthy outlet for negative emotions. Second, to claim that people learn to use a gun from playing video games is completely false. A lot of anti-violent video game activists will claim that children are taught how to use weapons from the games they play, but many weapons take more in depth training than playing a game with a controller or keyboard and mouse to become proficient with. Many violent criminals are using weapons that are mostly intuitive like guns which really don’t take much work to figure out how to use. To claim they’re being taught by games is giving the games way too much credit than they really deserve. I think that overall, most violent criminals are people who are born with an inherent violent nature. They are people who already have the capacity to do harm and all it really takes is a motive, not an inspiration.

Week 10 First Impression Prompts – Learning

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Learning.” The first impression posts will be due by the beginning of class on Monday, 10/30. The refinement posts will be due at noon on Sunday, 11/5.

Option 1:

BF Skinner passionately believed in the power of operant conditioning. He thought it was such a powerful influence that it proved free will is an illusion. See Skinner make this claim here. Respond to Skinner’s assertion that there is no such thing as free will. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Option 2:

Violence in the media has been controversial for decades, but over the last 20 years there has been increasing attention to the amount of violence in video games. The rise of first-person shooters and games with graphic displays of blood and gore has led to criticisms of the video game industry and claims that children are becoming more violent as a result. What is your perspective on violent video games? What do you think about calls to have them permanently banned?

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator


Stress is something that everyone experiences from work, school and family. Since in college I have been more stressed because of papers and studying for that big exam coming up. One way that I cope for that is to take a deep breath and take a break from what I am doing and watch TV. Usually after 15 minutes you are more calm and can proceed back to work. Another way is, I take a break and play a couple video games for a hour. This helps me to relax and realize everything is going to be okay. Overall I mostly get away from what is stressing me out and then go back to it with a different mindset. I am not sure if these really work well but hopefully I can find more ways to cope with stress in my psychology class.

Stress? What Do I Look Like, a College Student?

Stress is something that I have been dealing with for a long portion of my life. As both a procrastinator and a perfectionist, I find myself stressing about multiple things throughout my day that other people would not find very stressful. In order to cope with this stress, I have adapted three different tactics to use in order to try to calm myself down.

The first tactic I use, which I probably use the most often, is watching videos. It is a common action for me to take a break from doing multiple assignments or writing a paper in order to watch one or two videos on YouTube from some of my favorite content creators. The videos that I usually watch will make me laugh and smile a lot, distracting me from the stress that I was feeling earlier.

Although watching videos does successfully help me feel less stressed for a certain amount of time, the stress ultimately comes back when I begin that task I took a break from again. In fact, my stress level may rise by the time I am done watching videos, as one to two videos can turn into multiple, causing me to procrastinate on the work that I need to be getting done.

The second tactic I use to cope with stress is listening to music. Similar to watching videos, when I listen to music I am able to get distracted by the lyrics and beats, allowing me to forget about the stress I was feeling earlier. However, just as ignoring the problem and watching videos can sometimes lead to more stress later on, listening to music can sometimes carry on too long, causing me to complete my work at later times than I should be.

The last tactic I use to cope with stress is writing. I keep a specific journal that I write in every day, which has a positive quote on one page, a few blank lines on the other page, and four check boxes that have different emotions for what I may be feeling that day. Writing in this journal helps me cope a lot as I can get the multiple thoughts that swirl around in my head when I am stressed out and onto paper. By doing this, I seem to somewhat clear my head of all my overwhelming thoughts, making me feel less stressed and more level-headed. This is probably my most successful tactic in dealing with stress, as I also tend to do this writing right before I go to sleep, meaning that it would not cause me to procrastinate on any assignments I need to get done.

As for other stress management activities that I should be doing, realistically, I should be trying to fit more sleep and exercise into my daily routines. If I got more sleep and exercise, I would likely be more alert and release more endorphins, which would help me feel more productive and efficient in doing school assignments, rather than tired and stressed.

Option 1

Stress is a regular part of my life. Over time, I have learned to manage and handle stress. I am consistently improving my strategies for this. To de-stress, I often take a break from homework and spend time with my friends. Watching movies and taking walks are helpful ways to relieve stress. I also draw, knit, and watch TV to decompress. Knitting is particularly relaxing for me. I walk around campus multiple times a day. I am able to clear my mind during walks and other types of exercise. These methods of de-stressing have greatly improved my mentality. I become stressed very easily. Until I discovered the aforementioned methods, I was unable to properly de-stress, relax, and clear my mind. I believe I am currently able to manage my stress effectively. I do not need to add other stress management activities to my routine. My methods of decompressing are successful and regularly allow me to de-stress.

How I Manage Stress

I manage stress a little differently than most I believe, but I do believe my methods are successful for me in the long run. Some simple things I consciously choose to do every day are get a solid hour of exercise every day, eat healthy foods, and religiously clean my dorm to keep my mind and body healthy. I believe doing these simple things are the beginning to maintaining a stress free life. Health is number one, and without a good health, stress can take over your life. To distress after a hard exam or a day where things just didn’t go my way I typically drink tea and watch a movie to unwind. Unwinding helps me reflect on my day and improve my skills for facing a challenge the next time one comes around. These strategies work for me in particular, along with weekly yoga classes and talks with my dad. These things keep the stress at bay for me quite well; as long as I keep up with them. If I don’t keep up with them, things such as anxiety and depression can take over life very quickly due to the excess of stress that college brings. Some things I could incorporate into my distressing routine would be to get more sleep, write in a journal, or listen to music. These are common things that some of my friends do to cope with stress in their lives that could work for me as well.

First Impression Week 9 Prompt 1

I have always been a pretty laid back person, I think. I’ve never really worried too much about anything, I tend to figure “Eh, I’ll get around to it” or “It’ll work itself out in the end”, and usually that has worked in the past. As such it has never been necessary for me to figure out proper ways to manage my stress. This year has really tested my resilience to stress. I took on a lot more responsibilities than I ever have before, my boss consistently schedules me more than I would really like, given the amount of work I have to do outside of my job that I can barely find time to do because of it. Taking on this class was a big jump for me, I’d never really challenged myself too much in school, preferring to play it safe with easy on level classes. So like I said until now I’ve never had a lot of stress but even when I have had to deal with it, I just didn’t let things bother me. This still seems like it works pretty well, when most people talk to me about all the assignments we have coming up, or when I talk to people about the upcoming exams, they always seem way more worried than I think I’m even capable of being. If it’s fair to consider this a stress management strategy, I’d say it works pretty well for me. When things do start to boil over, however, I tend to just get in my car, put on some chill music and drive for an hour or two to calm down. But I think I could take some steps to help out more. I’m very unorganized, and always have been, my teachers in elementary school used to joke about how my desk was like a black hole, where my papers would get lost and never be found again. The same issue continues to today and I think if I could just get myself more organized it would help me stay calm. The few times I have tried to organize myself I did feel a lot better while it lasted. The one issue I think a lot of people struggle with, to which I am no exception, is procrastination. I am sitting here writing this at 9 P.M. the night before it’s due (probably a lot sooner than some people) because I just didn’t feel like getting myself in the mindset to do it until now, and now I have to worry about making sure I do every single first impression post. If I hadn’t kept putting them off like I did I wouldn’t have to worry about this as much, so while I’m not sure if it’s realistic, making myself do my work at a more reasonable time is an obvious good step to managing my stress.

First Impression Post: Stress

My current stress management game plan relies entirely on having free time to exercise. The night before a big exam, presentation, or project, I typically like to go for a long run in a new place or lift very heavily before studying and going to bed. Exercising works well for me as stress relief because it helps to remind myself that there are other things to channel my mental energy into when one class seems to be draining my mind. Rather than continue to cram or stress out about a test or assignment, I take a break from that information and give my attention to whatever exercise I’m doing. Since directing your body’s movement is not mentally draining like schoolwork can be, I can typically come back to the important information later with more energy.

Since I exercise daily, I don’t really depend on any other stress management activity. I do however like the idea of writing in a journal each day; I think that’s a great way to organize and clarify your thoughts and feelings when they seem overwhelming. Having a regular schedule and routine would also be a good way to help manage my stress since I don’t stay on campus for the entire day and am often driving to different engagements. Eating healthily with less sugar intake would help reduce my stress significantly as well.