Chapter 12 First Impression–Social

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Cognitive dissonance amazes me as one can follow such a strict set of morals and beliefs and then, for a certain reward, completely forget their beliefs ever existed. The video does a great job at explaining dissonance with the one-dollar reward or twenty dollar reward for explaining a very boring test as exciting and fun. My experience with dissonance is quite different than this.

I am a very nice person, in my eyes. I try to treat every person with the respect they deserve, no matter how they treat me in return. I tend to avoid conflict and remain friendly in most, if not all situations by following the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. When I play soccer, however, almost everything changes in this perspective. When the other team “loses their cool” their focus drops tremendously and it is much easier to break them down. The easiest way to get into the opponent’s head is by playing dirty and trash talking. Instead of showing respect, I do everything I can to frustrate, anger, or upset the players, forcing them to lose focus. Besides saying some vulgar things that prove inappropriate for class, acts like stepping on toes with my studs, cheap shots outside of the referee’s vision, and many more. I do all of this for the reward of making the opponents easier to beat, but completely ignoring my morals outside of soccer. I believe cognitive dissonance should not be avoided because certain situations require different sets of morals. In my case, if it were not for my play style in soccer, I would not play at the collegiate level. This style has exceedingly aided me, no matter how against my off-the-field morals it is.

Spotlight Post 2 — Stress

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As we have learned in class, many different ways exist to cope with and handle stress. Stress is so individualized that many times it proves extremely difficult to classify one coping method as the perfect one, however, certain groups experience the same kinds of stressors which allows people to identify coping methods best related to those stressors. For example, student athletes all at a certain point encounter a time where both an important game and tons of homework engulf their mind. This post will evaluate the success of such coping strategies for student athletes, new parents, and teachers.

Just like normal students who participate in extracurricular activities, student athletes deal with many stressors all at once. The idea that someone could have a twelve page paper due the same night that their team plays one of the top ranked teams in the country stresses me out just thinking about it. lays out five important coping strategies for student athletes: Get plenty of rest, time management, maintain a positive attitude, plan recreational activities that de-stress you, and cultivate a support system. All of these strategies present emotion-focused coping because they are aimed at aiding the person on the feelings resulting from the stressor, without interacting with the stressor itself. These strategies seem like the most logical way to cope with student athlete related stress because using problem focused coping would result in quitting the sport or dropping out of school. The emotion-focused coping allows the person to manage stress while still enjoying the sport they love and school.

New parents experience so much stress after their child is born. Not only will hey lose a lot of sleep, they will lose a lot of free time they previously possessed. offers twenty-five tips that can aid in the stress created by a new baby. I will not list all twenty-five, rather I will pick out the one that sticks out the most: Postpone energy draining projects. Unlike the strategies above, this list exposes many problem-focused coping. In this coping form the stressor is directly changed or interacted with instead of the emotions resulting from the stressor. When postponing these energy draining projects it clears the schedule up, preventing stress from lack of time to arise. Although a night out with friends might work great, dealing with the stressors themselves I this situation proves much more effective for coping with stress.

From grading hundreds of tests or essays to dealing with rowdy and disrespectful students, teaching stands as a very stressful job. Again, a pretty extensive list of thirteen different strategies is provided by The one that stuck out the most to me was “Don’t bottle up anger and frustrations.” It then goes on to explain this strategy as talking out the stress with the person causing it, something we learned in class as self-disclosure. When this is not possible, the article mentions physical activity to relieve stress rather than allowing it to build up. Once more we see an emotionally-focused strategy overpower a problem-focused strategy because interacting with the stressor itself as a teacher would in many cases take away from being a teacher, as stress is natural for the occupation.



Chapter 9 First Impression- Intelligence

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The evidence behind the environment leaving a huge mark on a person’s intelligence continues to this day. One of the biggest pieces of evidence we possess is schools or the education system as a whole. Children sit through classes in an attempt to retain information to, in turn, use in their real lives and successfully complete assessments.

Every teacher approaches the classroom a different way, which affects how students learn. Among my experiences with teachers, two major styles stick out more than others. The types of teachers that act as a friend to students usually provided a productive workspace. This friendly teaching style expresses a respect that the teacher has for the students, and allows the students to form respect back towards the teacher. This mutual appreciation proved for my classmates and me to always work. Better than the opposite style. When teachers approach the class as a dictator rather than an equal, there is a major disconnection between students and teacher. The students struggled to form respect for the teacher because he/she showed no respect to the students. It proves very difficult to learn in an environment where a single person that does not adapt to students controls everything.

A major improvement to the school system would be the installation of a democratic classroom into every class. Students will learn more effectively if every student contains equal opportunity to contribute to class. Also, as mentioned above, when teachers approach a class with respect for the students, the students enjoy learning instead of looking at it as a chore.


Chapter 3 First Impression (sleep)

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It seems that as age increases, time of sleep at night decreases. I remember in middle school and elementary school going to sleep between nine and ten with no stress about homework, tests, or school in general. Also, the lack of a job or a phone removed any reason for not staying at home, especially on school nights. The only reason at that age to stay up late came from a late soccer or basketball practice. In high school, however, many late nights manifested from sports, friends, jobs, and schoolwork. Falling asleep by ten progressively became midnight or one at the earliest.

My parents, over the summer, repeatedly said, “Make sure you get your sleep in now, you won’t once you get to college,” knowing that in the short future I would experience my first semester of college matched with a fall sport. Although my experience only expresses half of a semester, I can surprisingly say my sleep habits have improved from high school to college. With less class time during the day I have much more time to get work and studying finished much earlier in the day. My schedule also allows for sleeping in where my high school schedule forced waking up at six every morning. So far this semester I average six to eight hours of sleep each night, with subsequent naps throughout the day, if time allows.

A realistic goal for a college student without a job would be what I am acquiring right now. When waking up after a night with that amount of sleep I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Some improvements I would make pertain more to sleep schedule than habits. With the ability to sleep later in the morning, I tend to stay up later at night. If I persistently go to bed earlier, the few days that require me to wake up early would prove to be tremendously easier.

Spotlight Post #1– Learning

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For all of high school and now even into college, many students use a similar excuse when receiving a poor grade. They say, “This teacher just doesn’t cater to my style of learning!” A large amount of students and teachers stress this idea that students possess specific learning styles, which allow for a greater understanding as well as further retention. They feel that if the teacher fails to gratify the needs of the student, then the student will not succeed. Others, however, do not believe in the idea of specific learning styles. They believe that narrowing learning to one specific style potentially harms and damages the learner.

Shannon Ellington and David S. Benders published a literature review that discusses the importance of learning styles. The review proceeds to address the many advantages that flow from teachers addressing specific styles. The point they discuss the most focuses attention to studies showing the importance of matching teaching styles to learning styles. Each study expressed an increase in class enjoyment and involvement when learning styles paired with the teaching style. Along with that, the studies showed higher achievement and willingness to learn in these congruent situations between student and teacher.

How You Learn presented by the University of Minnesota leans its focus towards the importance of learning styles in a college setting. In college, classrooms are much more student-oriented than teacher-oriented. With that, students possess the ability to approach each class with their specific style of learning to fulfill their potential to succeed. For example, a visual and reading/writing learner will take in depth notes from individual reading as well as graphs and charts shown in class. This article continues on and gives tips to students when experiencing an assignment or lecture that contradicts their specific style, such as an auditory learner being asked to do a hands-on experiment.

Many people tend to believe that these specific learning styles fail to maximize retention and memory. The Atlantic published an article titled “The myths of ‘learning styles’” that denies the idea that learning styles actually aid in memory. The article discusses a study published in the British Journal of Psychology that finds no correlation between learning style and information retention. The subjects in the study suggest that auditory learners remember words better whereas visual learners remember pictures better. After reviewing the study the author writes, “Essentially, all the ‘learning style’ meant, in this case, was that the subjects liked words or pictures better, not that words or pictures worked better for their memories.”(khazan, 10)

“The Concept of Different ‘Learning Styles’ is one of the Greatest Neuroscience Myths” by Olivia Goldhill of Quartz critiques the myth of learning styles in education. In the article, Goldhill quotes Harold Pashler, a psychology professor at UC San Diego, who says, “Although the literature on learning styles in enormous, very few studies have even used an experimental methodology capable of testing learning styles applied to education. Moreover, of those who did use an appropriate method, several found results that flatly contradict the popular meshing hypothesis.” This quote fully exposes the idea as a myth. Lack of evidence makes learning styles in educational practice useless.

In my opinion, learning styles are a myth that can potentially damage the learner. The second paragraph in this post mentions studies in support of learning styles. The fifth paragraph then addresses these studies and research shows that these studies lack validity and the ability to make causal claims. On the topic of damaging the learner, if a person is prevented from the learning styles in education because they are being catered to their preferred style, the person lacks the ability to learn in the other styles. This can cause major problems outside of education when a person must learn something new for a job or as a parent.


Ellington, Shannon & Benders, David. (2012). Learning Style and it’s importance in Education.’s_importance_in_Education.


[Authors removed at request of original publisher]. “College Success.” University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing Edition, 2016. This Edition Adapted from a Work Originally Produced in 2010 by a Publisher Who Has Requested That It Not Receive Attribution., 4 Dec. 2015,


Khazan, Olga. “The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 Apr. 2018,


Goldhill, Olivia. “The Concept of Different ‘Learning Styles’ Is One of the Greatest Neuroscience Myths.” Quartz, Quartz, 4 Jan. 2016,









Ch. 3 First Impression–Drugs

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The idea of treating an addiction always sounds easier than it proves. Letting go of something that provides relief from stress, happiness, or just an escape grows in difficulty each day of the addiction. For years people have tried to pinpoint approaches to treat and, in some cases, eventually overcome addiction. In todays age two approaches reign, the abstinence model and the harm reduction model. The abstinence model aims to, over time, completely eliminate the addiction from the person’s life. The harm reduction model, however, aims to reduce or erase as a whole the negative side effects of what the person is addicted to; such as drug replacement therapy.

In an ideal world, the abstinence model takes precedence. Although the idea that everyone with an addiction has the strength to begin letting go proves extremely hopeful. In my opinion, the harm reduction model is much more realistic and assists more in the long run. This model focuses much more on the safety of the person. It keeps the person safe until they as an individual are ready to overcome and defeat the addiction. The only way an addiction can be overcome develops from the individual’s promptness to the goal. Many times an individual is forced into an abstinence model, which can lead to a relapse back into the unsafe addiction. With the harm reduction model, the person is offered a safe alternative or a safer means of satisfying their addiction until they feel ready to enter into the abstinence model. Another advantage of the harm reduction model is if a relapse occurs, the safe alternative or safer means remains engrained in the addiction itself, keeping the individual safe through the time of the relapse.

I would definitely suggest the harm reduction model to a loved one suffering from addiction. I know that no matter what I say or do, the decision to overcome addiction has to come from them and not me. With this model I know that the loved one is safe until they decide for themselves the time to defeat their addiction.

Ch. 8 First Impression — Memory

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The idea of great or poor study habits differs from person to person as well as from high school to college. What someone views as good, such as taking long breaks between short increments of studying completely contradicts another’s view of long, focused studying sessions. Also what a student could get away with in high school, like not studying at all, would easily prove a poor decision in college. I personally have adapted a very laid-back style towards studying in an attempt to avoid major stress before even receiving the exam. Although I surround myself with a quiet environment, I lack intense studying habits. My preference leans towards short reviews of material with multiple breaks after a feeling of efficient understanding. The in-depth studying lies in the textbook sections not covered in class.

I feel my approach to studying suits me the best because of how I react to stress. The laid-back style allows for all the unnecessary stress nights or even weeks in advance to be avoided. However, this approach also allows for distractions to really become prevalent. I allow myself to keep my phone by me that, although I do not receive many notifications, acts as a major distraction when I lack interest in the subject at hand. Along with the distractions, I fail to prevent the small breaks from transforming into large breaks on occasion. As for the first exam in this class I did allow distractions into my study environment. After a respectable score on the practice exam I found myself more relaxed than normal, which in turn prevented me from in-depth review. For the next exam I plan to remove many, if not all distractions from my study environment as well as direct more attention to the text sections not covered in class.

Chapter 2 First Impression- Neuroscience

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After scrolling through and reading the descriptions of the possible TED Talks available, one stood out above the rest. The description of “Miguel Nicolelis: Brain to Brain Communication Has Arrived” mentioned a “brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup.” My initial reaction was, “How did I miss this? I watched every minute of every game in that World Cup.” After thinking for a few seconds, however, I took a second glance at the statement to assure I read it correctly. A man, paralyzed from the middle of his chest to his toes, was able to kick a soccer ball in a man-made exoskeleton being controlled entirely by his brain.

Thirty years of imagining and fifteen years of planning led up to the unbelievable event that took place on June 12th, 2014. The Brain Machine Interface is what made this dream a reality. This machine uses sensors to read and analyze electrical brainstorms, which then create motor commands. Nicolelis and his partner then transformed the motor commands into digital demands in order for electrical devices to act out.

The most interesting part of this TED Talk emerged from the monkey experiment. In this experiment, a monkey controlled a virtual arm, moving it into designated circles on the screen simply by imagining. I always imagined this type of technology so far in the future I had no idea it already existed and had been used on such a stage as the FIFA World Cup.

Miguel Nicolelis proves himself very trustworthy because of his passion for the subject. He goes through thirty years of peers calling him crazy and years of trial and error. Along with his passion, he utilizes evidence from the World Cup as well as the monkey experiment.

A research idea that came to mind from this experiment was using these same sensors to achieve control over video game characters just through imagining. I would conduct this through creating an entirely new console gaming system. Similar sensors used in the Brain Machine Interface would connect to the console replacing the controller entirely. Instead of these sensors controlling the console as a whole, they will control aspects inside the game, such as characters and decisions.

First Impression Post #1

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The Mythbusters experiment “Do Beer Goggles Really Exist” asks three people to rate groups of individuals on physical attractiveness; once sober, once buzzed, and once drunk. The groups of individuals changed after each rating for each contestant. Outside participation allowed for each group as a whole to be judged and considered equally attractive. Two out of the three contestants discovered that they find people less attractive at the buzzed state of drinking. However, all the contestants rated higher in the drunken state compared to the sober state.

This experiment as a whole contains little strengths. One is that Mythbusters gathers results from both the male and female genders. From this they could discover whether “beer goggles” can occur for both genders, and based off of their results, they can. Another strength is the rating system. Each contestant only receives 5 seconds to rate every individual photo, which means every choice is instinctual. On the other hand, this experiment contains many weaknesses. Physical attractiveness differs from person to person. This means that one group judged by one person as equally attractive could be seen as more or less attractive by the contestant. Another weakness comes about in the drinking act. The contestants drank to their own knowledge and each person is a different weight with a different tolerance level. What one contestant considers a buzzed state another may consider their drunken state, and vice versa. The biggest weakness, however, was the use of deductive reasoning. Three contestants receiving positive results to beer goggles in an experiment containing many holes such as this one is not enough to deem the myth plausible.

Introduction Post

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My name is Garrett Winchilla and I do not have a very strong background in psychology. I took a psych class in high school but it provided an overview of the field rather than detailed analysis of certain experiments and research. I chose to take this class and become a psychology major because I loved the field and wanted to learn more after every class of the high school level course.

What I am looking forward to most in this class after reviewing the syllabus is Moral development, Chemicals & Consciousness, and Coping with stress. Two of these topics were lightly touched in high school but interested me and the third I never learned about before. It is difficult to choose three topics I am least interested in because a vast part of the field fascinates me. However, if I had to choose three topics from the course schedule I would choose Classifying mental illness, psychiatric medication, and How to choose a therapist.

By the end of this class I want to know the most effective way of communication including tone, facial expression, body language, etc. In this generation so much communication happens digitally that some have completely forgot how to communicate, and some never learned at all. By learning this I can help my overall communicative skills and pass that on to others.