Memory

One of the topics we will discuss related to memory is study habits. For this post, critique your current study habits. Discuss what do you do well and what do you need to improve. In particular, I want you to discuss how you studied for the first exam in this class and share any changes you might make for the second exam to improve your preparation. We will see how closely your ideas reflect what the research says about improving your memory for learned information:

To prepare for exams I use many different study methods. My studying tends to vary depending on the curriculum and class that I am studying for. I tend to study with flash cards, practice problems, recopying notes in different colors, and rereading certain parts of the chapter that I didn’t fully understand. For example, when preparing for my first psychology exam I started studying about a week before the test day. I started by making flash cards of important vocabulary words of each chapter covered. Then, I reread my notes from class and made color coordinated mind maps of important concepts. I proceeded to quiz myself daily on the terms and important information in the mind maps by covering up one part of the map and trying to remember what went there. Lastly, I tested myself by completing the practice test and sets of practice problems. Whatever questions I got wrong on the practice test I would go over and try to find a way to better recall that information.

To improve my studying habits for the next exam I would probably start my whole process earlier. I would make the flash cards and mind maps earlier. This way I could potentially have more time to take the practice exam and probably do more chapter practice problems. Along with better time management I would probably try to adjust my ways of studying. Perhaps research suggests that studying is more effective at a certain time of day. I am interested to see which study methods the research project as most effective.

Learning

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?

Recently, there has been an increase in violent media. Violent television shows, movies, and documentaries have been around for a while. However, in the last 20 years video games have become more prevalent among households. Violent video games in particular have become a problem in household across the country. Originally these games were made with a mature intended audience in mind, but somehow these graphic games have fallen into the hands of immature teenagers and sometimes even children. There are various opposing views on this topic. Some believe that violent video games should have a purchasing age limit, some believe these games should stop be produced, and others believe that they are not a problem at all.

Personally, I believe that violent video games should have restrictions placed on them. By this I mean that children should not be able to access them as easily as they are in today’s society. Maybe placing an age in order to be able to purchase them, like how you need to be 18 years old to purchase nicotine products. Psychologically a child’s mind is not developed enough to compartmentalize fiction from reality. So, if they are exposed to this kind of violence at a young age it is possible that they could perceive it as reality. It is virtually impossible to ban these types of games permanently because people will most likely still play them illegally which is why I believe the best option is to place restrictions on the purchasing age of violent video games.

Neuroscience

I chose to watch the TED talk entitled “Exploring the mind of a killer”. I chose this talk because it seemed interesting to me. After watching crime shows like criminal minds and NCIS I often wonder what posses people to commit these unfathomable acts of violence.  I was curious to see if  psychopathic killers had similar brain structures or chemical imbalances which contributed to their illogical thinking.

Jim Fallon, a professor of neuroscience, focuses on murder’s brain patterns and presents possible theories that could explain why murders do not think like an average person. He describes a defect in the orbital cortex that is common among killers. In addition to oddities in the cerebral cortex Fallon suggests that the sex-linked MAO-A gene is more prevalent among killers. This would explain why males tend to be killers since the MAO-A gene is sex linked they are more likely to receive it from their mothers. This gene causes heightened levels of serotonin in the brain at birth, which ultimately causes your brain to become insensitive to serotonin. All these biological issues are common among serial killers and Fallon suggests that these defects are contributing factors for why killers feel the need to kill.

I thought it was interesting that being a killer is a genetic linked trait. Before watching this TED talk I never knew about the MAO-A gene, but now it makes sense that the gene could be sex-linked and only passed down from the mother. This also helps explain why killers tend to be mostly mail because they are more susceptible to getting the x-linked gene passed down to them.

Jim Fallon is a very trustworthy presenter. He has over 35 years of experience studying the brain and is currently a neuroscience professor at the University of California. Throughout his presentation he made convincing claims that were supported by facts and brain images. The evidence that was presented logically made sense. He talked about performing CAT scans on his own family members, which suggests that he knows how to read and interpret these scans. Therefore, Jim Fallon most likely provided credible claims and evidence.

Fallon suggests that males are more susceptible to becoming serial killers and he says that traumatic experience in childhood can also contribute killer qualities. For my research study, I would randomly select groups of male and female children from various socio-economic classes. Using a longitudinal study, I would carefully monitor their brain imaging as they mature into adulthood. This research study would allow me to see if a child experience trauma later developed brain abnormalities in adulthood.

Development

Tiger moms, jellyfish dads, and helicopter parents. These terms all refer to various parenting styles and each has been both promoted as an ideal and criticized as “the problem with kids these days.” We will discuss parenting this week, but I’m curious what you think is the “best” way to parent. By “best” I mean most likely to produce children who grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society. Write your post about the ideal way parents should raise their kids.

Throughout the years parenting styles have varied. In my opinion, today there is a multitude of parenting styles which have proven to be effective, but some also have  down falls. I imagine as a parent it is difficult to decide which method of parenting to us with their child. Personally, I think every child has different needs and one type of parenting style may be successful on one child but not on the other. For example, if a child is timid and quiet they would not respond to the discipline of yelling and discipline enforcement well. Instead their parent could try to talk to them and explain what they did that was wrong and then enforce their punishment.

As a parent you want the best for your children and I believe that an authoritative method of parenting will help parents achieve this goal. An authoritative parent values a positive relationship with their children. They believe in setting rules and enforcing them, but always take their children’s thoughts and feelings into consideration. Another reason I believe authoritative parents are the most successful is because they explain the reasoning behind rules that are set. This allows the child to learn from their mistakes and ultimately results in the formation of their morals. Authoritative parenting maintains the perfect balance between friend and parent, which allows the child to live happy and healthy leading them to live a successful life in the future.

Growing up my parents combined various parenting methods, with authoritative being the main style. As a child I was a rule follower and hardly caused trouble, but when I did get in trouble a punishment would follow along with an explanation as to why I received the punishment I received. In school I always worked hard and wanted so badly to receive good grades. My brother however lacked the motivation I had. My parents would use positive reinforcement with him, to entice him to get better grades. They would offer him ice cream or something he liked if he got a good grade on his test. Since they used positive reinforcement with him they would do they same for me, so I didn’t feel excluded and I believe they also used me to set an example for him. Now that I am older I appreciate my childhood, everyday was fun and I have a great relationship with both of my parents.

Miguel Bonus Post

“Miguel has been struggling with his coursework lately. He has felt very tired in recent weeks and has found it difficult to focus on his studies. Even though he is always tired, he has trouble falling asleep at night, is irritable during the day, and picks fights with his roommates. He is a bit of a perfectionist and gets mad at himself when he makes even tiny mistakes. It’s gotten to the point where he doubts his ability to do anything right.”

Psychodynamics: Through the psychodynamic method of study psychologists would study Miguel’s upbringing and early childhood to see how that affects him now. Miguel could be classified as an anal person because he has tendencies to be a perfectionist. His unconscious mind is causing him to obsess over his study causing him to not get an antiquate amount of sleep and lashing out at his friends.

Behavioral: A behaviorist would focus on Miguel’s actions. They attribute to his irritable attitude to his lack of sleep and his lack of sleep to his perfectionist attitude. Miguel has been conditioned to be perfect causing him anxiety and a sense of fear if he fails perfection. His recent lack of sleep is causing him to lose focus and resulting in an inner conflict in Miguel

Humanistic: Psychologists would study Miguel’s school environment and his interaction with others. Miguel’s doubts could be considered a condition of worth and the common denominator to all of his problems. The stress of school and the threat of failure is causing Miguel to question his self-worth. A humanist would tell Miguel to focus on one thing at a time and not to worry about tiny mistakes. they would tell him to take advantage of tutoring and helpful services his school has to offer.

Cognitive: From a cognitive perspective a psychologist would study Miguel’s conscious thought. Meaning they would evaluate the way he studied, solved problems, and critically thought. Since Miguel is not getting an adequate amount of sleep he is unable to critically think and solve problems correctly because he is not focused or alert. When interacting with friends Miguel is not making rational decisions and treats them with disrespect.

Neurological: Miguel is predisposed to certain parts of his personality simply because of his genes. For example, perfectionism could be a trend in his family causing him to always complete every assignment perfect. Along with Miguel’s predisposed neurological thinking patterns, he could also feel the pressure of perfectionism due to an evolutionary factor. Human evolution has caused a movement of hard work and higher level of “critical thinking” to be successful.

Cultural: Miguel’s culture refers to his morals and beliefs that have been learned through his family and from his environment. The way he values school could differ than an average due to the morals instilled by his parents and upbringing. This also may be why he places a tremendous amount of stress on himself to succeed.

Research Methods

For this first impression blog post I chose to watch the myth busters video that studied if women were more successful at reading emotions than men. To test this theory the myth busters took photos of the team members making different facial expressions. They then showed these photos to men and women and asked them to decipher the emotion of the facial expression by just looking at their eyes. Not surprisingly, women were better than men when it came to reading facial expressions, but they were only superior by 1%. To explain the results of this study the myth busters referred to previous theories involving the emotional and memory centers of women’s brains. This part of the brain is proportionally larger in women which allows women to recognize and respond to emotion faster than men.

The myth busters planned and executed their experiment almost flawlessly. However, I do believe that the myth busters could have used the additional data they collected to better explain this phenomenon. I thought the idea of just showing pictures of the team member’s eyes was effective because it was more relatable to a real-life scenario. When engaging in a conversation with someone eye contact is key. To read someone’s facial expression you are most likely to look at their eyes first. I know the myth busters timed how quick the men and women responded, but at the end of the video they did not discuss these results. If they would have discussed the varying time results they could have talked more about the brain and explained the real reasoning behind why men are not as accurate at reading emotions.  Nevertheless, I believe that overall the study was performed with proper research methods and the myth busters received the results they were ultimately searching for.

 

Introduction

Hello, my name is Emily Garvin. I am a first year Occupational Therapy major from Bel Air , Maryland. I chose to take this psychology course because it is a requirement for my major, but also because I find psychology fascinating. I have some prior knowledge about psychology because I was enrolled in an AP psychology class in my high school. When I hear the word psychology I think of the mind and how an individual think and perceives their environments. The topics that look the most interesting to me are “how to make memories”, “personality assessment” and “coping with stress”. I find the process of making memories very interesting and I am curious as to how memories are stored and why some aren’t, and some are. Personality assessments are always remarkable you may learn something about yourself that you never knew after completing the assessment. I think that these assessments can really say a lot about a person. Lastly, I would like to learn how to cope with stress in a more efficient manner. I am a student athlete playing sports in both the fall and spring seasons as well as trying to manage my course load. The topics that looked the least interesting to me included “scientific method”, “Chemicals and consciousness”, and “stereotypes and discrimination”. Throughout my years of schooling the scientific method has been taught repetitively multiple different ways. I am not looking forward to learning a new interpretation of it. Chemicals and consciousness could potentially be a tiresome topic because it may require a lot of memorization of chemicals and their effect on consciousness. Finally, I feel as though stereotypes and discrimination may a dull subject because it has been taught in multiple classes that I have taken before. In this case I believe that everyone already has formed opinions on this subject matter making it difficult to learn about stereotypes and discrimination in a different context. One question that I would like answered by the end of the semester is “How is nature different from nurture and which is more important?”.