First Impression Week 6

While studying, I set apart time to study throughout the day. I take breaks and come back to the material so that retain it better and can see what I know and what I still have to look at. I also make flashcards a lot which helps me to study easier and more efficient. It is also helpful that I have all of my notes together and organized so it is easy to find what I am looking for if I need to refer back to my notes from class or my notes from readings.

I need to improve on starting to studying sooner. For the first exam, I did not start studying until the weekend before (exam was on Monday and I started studying on Saturday) and I got stressed out because I felt like I did not know a lot of the material and felt like I did not have enough time to study everything that we had to know. At the end of my studying, I also started just going through the flash cards and doing the motions and not fully retaining the information.

For the first exam, I read each chapter and made flash cards from the bold words in the text. I then re-read my notes from class, highlighting key information and also made more flashcards from my notes. I then made a “cheat sheet” with all of the psychologists names and what they are known for. I then expanded that cheat sheet to all the types of psychology based on who founded them and put down the key information about each type. For the next exam, I am going to continue to make flash cards and diagrams/ cheat sheets to connect the dots on the material. I am also going to start studying sooner so I do not get stressed over how much time I have left to study.



First Impression Week 5

For this weeks first impression post, I chose option 2 about violence in media and video games. Many children grow up playing video games and over the past years there has been an abundance of growth and expansion in the technology behind video games. New systems are created with new games that have higher graphic details. For me personally, growing up with 2 older brothers, they would always want the newest x-box with the newest games. So some of the games they would play would have violence in them. However, they were also attracted to games that were not violent and revolved around sports like football and basketball.

I do not believe that violent video games are the caused source of children becoming more violent. I think that there are many factors that contribute to children being violent. There can be external factors like their environment and the way they grow up that influence them to have more violent behavior. There can also be internal factors such as biological or cognitive elements that can also influence the child. However, with the advances in technology and the graphic content, I do not think that young children should be growing up playing violent video games until they understand that video games are not reality and there are actual serious consequences to harming or killing another person or multiple people.

I think that calls to have violent video games permanently banned would not be beneficial. Gun violence and the use of guns are a reality and hot topic in our world today. Video games are played world wide and even though many teenagers play violent video games, there are also games that revolve around sports, which is another hot topic wherever you are in the world. Video games connect people world wide, so eliminating violent video games would just put a hole in the companies that produce those games and children would still play the violent video games that they already have. I also think that parents need to monitor the games their child is playing based on how old they are and the way they are acting as a result of playing.


First Impression Week 4

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to watch “Exploring the mind of a killer” with Jim Fallon. I chose to watch this talk because I watch shows that solve crime and murder cases. Seeing the behind the scenes of how the brain works in psychopaths and killers made it interesting to watch.

In this talk given by Jim Fallon, a neurologist and professor at University of California, he discusses the genetic analysis and brain scans that can show the brain structure of murderers. He performed blind experiments with normal brains  and brains of psychopaths. He looked at the interaction of genes, brain damage, and the persons interaction with the environment at a certain timing in the persons life. The precise timing that the damage happens causes different psychopaths. All of the psychopaths that he looked at had damage in their orbital cortex and their interior part of their temporal lobe. He also found that the MAO-A gene plays a role in psychopathic killers. The major violence gene, MAO-A, is a sex-linked gene on the X chromosome. This also explains why more men are known to be psychopathic killers and aggressive because they only have one X chromosome while females have two. Another factor he discusses is having too much brain serotonin during development because of the MAO-A gene. Serotonin is supposed to make you calm, but during development if the brain has too much serotonin, it becomes insensitive to it and so it does not work later in life. In order to express this gene in a violent way, the person must have experienced a traumatic event early in life, before puberty. He then talks about his own family tree. on his fathers side, he discovered matricide and seven more men that were murderers. He started to do PET scans, EEG’s, and genetic analysis of everybody in his family. He found that siblings, a son and daughter, did not get along and they had the same scans, and now they are very close.

What I found to be interesting in this talk was the influence of the MAO-A gene. It was intriguing to see how the effects of this gene can cause someone to become violent or aggressive. It also connected the dots of why more psychopathic killers tend to be males because it is a sex linked gene on the X chromosome.

I found the presenter, Jim Fallon, to be trustworthy. He was a neurologist and a professor at the University of California. He had an extensive background of knowledge in behavior and the way the brain works and performed many experiments with reliable conclusions with evidence to back up his findings.

For my research, I would perform a longitudinal research experiment. I would randomly assign an equal amount of boys and girls from a third world country that is battling socioeconomic distress. I would follow the same group of individuals over time from in their mother womb to after puberty. I would see if during development the brain received too much serotonin than the normal rates. I would then follow them through their childhood and see if their MAO-A gene would be influenced by their traumatic childhood experience that would cause the gene to be expressed in a violent way. To draw conclusions, I would have to see if the child is influenced by both of these factors of serotonin and their MAO-A gene and follow them through after puberty to see if their behavior and brain scans have the patterns of a psychopathic killer.

First Impression Week 3

Children across the globe are raised very differently based on factors like their culture, technology, and parenting styles. Some parents are criticized for being too controlling while others are criticized for being too laid back. Parents have the ability to either have a positive or negative impact on their children’s emotions, health, and overall success in life.

I think the best way to parent is to follow the “authoritative” parenting style. They set high, but reachable, goals for their children and also enforce realistic standards that their children need to follow. Their children will grow up having goals for themselves, whether that be for academics, athletics, art, music, or any other interests the child has. They will learn to start setting goals for themselves based off of their own interests and will then be happy living their life because they are doing activities that gives them joy.  By having realistic standards for your child, they learn to follow rules and contribute to things around the house like chores, taking care of siblings or pets, or cleaning their bedroom. From there they will learn to being to contribute to things outside of the house at school, sports or band practice, and even when they start working later in life.

A parent should also encourage open communication with their child. Talking to your child and asking them about their day, how school is, or just checking in with them teaches them to communicate with their parents and that they can trust each other. Mutual trust between a parent and child is extremely important because it creates respect for both sides of the relationship and it makes the child feel wanted and noticed by their parents. Children will then be more comfortable opening up to their parents and asking them for advice and guidance later on in life.

Independence is also important for a child to grow up to be happy and healthy. When a child is growing up, parents should not guard their every move, they should let children start to do things on their own. This teaches the child to take initiative in their own life and how to take care of themselves. The parent should not completely back out of the child’s life, but gradually let the child to do things by themselves and praise them for doing it.

I grew up with authoritative parents. They set rules that my brothers and I had to follow. We had to take care of pets, keep our rooms clean, and as we started growing up more we had more responsibilities around the house. This contributed to us being successful outside of the house too, by following the rules during school and being respectful to adults and teachers. My parents also encouraged us to try new sports and instruments when we were growing up to find what we liked to do so that we would be happy with what we were doing in our daily lives. My parents gave us independence as we grew up, letting us do our own things around the house, the sports we wanted to do, and even in our social life. We would pick our own clothes, do our homework without help, make our own breakfast, and hang out with friends on the weekends.

Open communication has been very helpful with me being in college. Staying in contact with my parents has been very important to me. Growing up and seeing them everyday at home and being able to talk to them whenever is a dramatic change to now when I can only call or text them since they are 2 hours away, not in another room of my house. Calling or texting them a couple times a week to talk about how things are going is very helpful for me. Being able to openly talk to them about school, my friends, and lacrosse calms me down and relieves some of my stress.

Overall, parents should not be dictators of their child’s life. However, they should also not be permissive and make very few rules or not be involved in the child’s life at all. Finding the middle of those two extremes is the ideal parenting style for a child to grow up and be happy, healthy, and contribute to society.

Bonus Post #1

“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.”

Psychodynamic: In psychodynamics, Miguel’s issues would be look at the reasons for his behavior and emotions and how they could be related to an earlier experience he had in his life. They would explore his childhood and look at his conscious and unconscious thoughts. He could be having negative reactions to his environment and life in general due to his early life experiences.

Behavioral: In a behavioral psychologist viewpoint, they would focus on Miguel’s observable behavior patterns. They would try changing Miguel’s environment or daily routines to avoid his wrongful behaviors like picking fights with his roommates and him being irritable during the day.

Humanistic: In a humanistic psychological viewpoint, Miguel has high potential to be successful in life but he his holding himself back from achieving his goals. Him doubting his ability to do anything right is is preventing him to reach his self fulfillment. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Miguel needs to find his strengths and reassess himself focusing on his basic needs (like hunger and thirst) so he can reach his goals and self actualization.

Cognitive: In a cognitive psychologists perspective,  Miguel’s thought processes are hindering him in his outward behavior. He is overwhelming himself thinking he cannot do anything right, stressing himself out, and challenging his brain. As a result, he started responding with negative reactions to himself and to others.

Neuroscience: In a psychobiological perspective, Miguel could be responding to his environment due to his genetic makeup. He could be behaving in the way he is because of his biological and genetic components. He could also be responding with evolutionary psychology, which would create adaptive behaviors according to certain environments that Miguel is put in.

Cultural: In cultural psychology, Miguel’s customs would be taken into account. The way the brain processes is different in different cultures. Miguel’s actions and behaviors may be a result of how he was raised culturally and geographically where he was raised.


Hello! I am Kate Ziegler. I am a first year student and my intended major is occupational therapy. I chose to take this psychology course because it is a requirement for my major, but also because I took general psychology in high school and overall psychology is very interesting to me. When I hear the word “psychology” I think of the mind and the way humans think and perceive things. One topic that is interesting to me is “how to make memories” because I love to cherish and make new memories with my friends and family. Another topic that is interesting to me is “personality theory” because I am interested by how different people have different personalities and how they interact with each other. The last topic I am most interested in learning about is “coping with stress” because I get stressed out easily and I think it will be interesting to see how to deal with it by using psychology to understand stress. Three topics that are less interesting to me are the scientific method, why research design matters, and the power of experiments because I have already gone over these topics in previous classes like biology. By the end of this class, I would want to know how dreams work and how our mind and body responds to nature vs. nurture.