1st Impression Post – Week 6: Memory

For this weeks first impression post, I chose to write about why I believe that there are certain memories that remain in our minds clear as day, no matter how much time has passed. From my own personal experience, I have found that my memories are linked to my emotions. By this I mean that however strongly I was feeling a certain emotion at a given time correlates with how strong my memories of those times are.

The examples that were given in the prompt, the assassination of President Kennedy and the terror attacks on 9/11, are two very traumatic events where the citizens of our country were feeling all kinds very strong emotions. Obviously, and fortunately, events like these do not happen everyday.  Therefore people don’t feel these types of emotions so strongly everyday, which is why we do not remember every little event as clearly as we do events such as these ones. I would be willing to bet that if you asked a group of random people about their strongest, most vivid memories, they would mostly be memories of times where these people were feeling extremely sad, scared, happy, and so on. Sure, there are some people who have extraordinary memories and can often remember small, unimportant events, but most people don’t remember every detail about their weekly trip to the grocery store. They do however seem to remember just about every detail of their wedding, the death of a loved one, the birth of their child, and other events like so where their emotions were stronger than they ever have been before. Examples such as these ones are why I believe that our memories are linked with our emotions.

To test this theory, I would simply propose to conduct a survey where we asked people to share with us their most vivid memory, and then to connect them with the emotion level of that individual at that time. Obviously, it is unethical to inflict emotions of pure fear on people, nor can we really control someone’s happiness, let alone mimic the happiness they felt on the day their child was born. Therefore, I believe that taking a survey of people who have experienced events of great impact would be the best option.

First Impression Post Week 5 – Violence in Video Games

Throughout the past several years, violence in video games has grown to be more and more graphic and intense. There has been much controversy regarding these games and the effects that they may be having on the minds’ of the people, young and matured, who are spending their time playing them.

From my perspective, the criticism that the video game industry is receiving is unfair. Although I do agree that some of the violence in video games is unthinkable and unnecessary, I do not think that it is the reason behind people being outrageously violent in real life. Practically every teenage boy I know, and some girls too, have played extremely violent video games and did not turn out to be serial killers. In fact, many of them happen to be kindest, least violent people I know.

For some people, it may be so that the violence in video games does spark something from within them that gives them the motive to act violently in real life, but this is not the case for the majority of the people who are playing these games. If this is true, then the fault still cannot be placed on the video game industry because it likely that the person who is acting violently would have done so with or without the video game. Another argument that some people make is that some of the video gaming children are not  mature enough to handle the violence that they see on the screen in front of them, and I agree with that. However, the blame for this can once again not be placed upon the video game industry, but on the adults who are giving these young children access to these games that they are not yet ready to be exposed to.

With all of this being said, I do not think a permanent ban on all violent video games would make a difference on the violence that has been occurring.

1st Impression Post – Neuroscience (Week 4)

Out of the given TED video options, I chose to watch Jim Fallon’s “Exploring the Mind of A Killer”. The reason I chose to watch this video was because of the intriguing title. I have been a huge fan of TV shows such as Criminal Minds and CSI for many years, and I have always been curious as to what it is that makes killers think they way that they do.

In the video, Fallon explained that he found that the serial killers he examined all had similar brain damage which contributed to their homicidal thought processes. Not only did they have brain damage, but they also carried the sex liked gene MAOA. The fact that the gene is sex linked is why serial killers are most often male. Fallon’s research has also shown that when a child has experienced a traumatic event, they are more inclined to think like a killer, or to be a killer. When you have someone who has the MAOA  gene and has also experienced trauma at a young age, the outcome typically is not good. While I found all of this new information to be interesting, I found it the most interesting that Fallon himself has a family history or several murderers.

I do believe that Fallon and the information he presented was trustworthy. Not only has he studied neuroscience for 35 years, but he is also a professor at the University of California which leads me to believe that he is a credible guy who presents credible information.

Based on the information I have learned, I would conduct an experiment to determine why the MAOA gene effects some people, but not others. Fallon mentioned that many normal, non-homicidal people carry the MAOA gene, and I am curious as to why it effects some people in such a severe way. In order to do this, I would compare the lives and family histories of ten normal people with the MAOA gene, and then do the same thing with ten homicidal people with the MAOA gene.

1st Impression Post (Week 3)

For quite a long time, and surely for many more years to come, the different ways parents choose to raise their children has been, and will continue to be a major controversial subject. Many people argue that the best way to raise a child is by laying out all of the rules in a very strict manor, while others have determined a more laid back method to be the best approach, and some who prefer a combonation of both. There are some parents who spoil their children with every item they could possibly desire, some who make their children work for all of their own luxuries, and some parents who fall inbetween. These examples hardly even begin to scratch the surface of the topic, but it clearly serves to show that there are varrying ways to raise a child. So, which way is the “best” way?

Truthfully, I believe that when comparing these differnt parenting methods to one another, there is no “best” way to raise a child. Every child is different. This means that they respond to discipline and praise in different ways, excell under different circumstances, take criticisim differently, and so on.  However, there are certain ideas and values that all parents should desire to imbed into the hearts and minds of their children.

I believe that the ideal way to raise a child should not be based upon whether they grow up with strict rules versus leniant policies, many material items versus few, and so on. It should mainly be based upon a parent teaching their child that respect is imperative, and that they should do to others as they would wish for others to do upon them.

Introduction Post

Hello everyone! My name is Kim and I look forward learning more about psychology as the semester progresses.

I plan to approach this course with an open-minded attitude, and with a driven mindset. I took this class because it interests me, but mainly because it is required for my major. I have no background in psychology, so I look forward to discovering it this semester. When I hear the word “psychology” I think of the human mind and the way it works.

The three topics that initially interest me the most include How to Make Memories, Why do We Forget, and Personality Theory. These topics interest me be I am curious as to how these things influence me personally.

The three topics that seem to interest me the least Scientific Method, Why Research Design Matters, and Power of Experiements. These topics interest me the least mainly just because they don’t seem as exciting as the others.

By the end of the semester, I would like to bw able to answer the question “What is psychology?”