Johari Window-Bonus Post

Doing the Johari Window was a great way to see what others thought of you. Frankly, I was shocked by the characteristics people picked for me. The most shocking trait that multiple people picked was extroversion. To me, I am a total introvert. I would definitely rather be by myself than surrounded by people looking at me. I feel most calm when I am by myself. I guess some people didn’t know that about me. The highest trait that was picked for me was intelligence. I wouldn’t say that I am not intelligent, but that was not one of the traits I picked for myself. The second highest trait people picked for me was caring. I would say that I am caring as well but there were only so many traits you could pick for this exercise. It was interesting to see what traits individuals picked based on their relationship with me. My sister and my mom said that I was an introvert because those are the people that know me best. They know I’d rather be by myself than have all eyes on me. But from a person who doesn’t know me very well, they might assume I feed off of other people’s energy. I think the Johari Window is a pretty good measurement of personality. It’s good to see what others think of you because you might posses traits that you never thought about having before someone brought it to your attention. I think it gets you thinking about who you are and how people perceive you. Its a great way to find out what others think of you, I would recommend it to everyone.

First Impression: Social Psychology

Leon Festinger developed theories on Cognitive dissonance. This is when there are conflicting attitudes or beliefs, which causes discomfort, there is alteration of an attitude or belief to reduce the discomfort. Festinger discovered this theory from doing a research that involves students doing a boring task. Then students were then asked to tell the next person that the tasks/study was not boring at all. For lying, the students were given either one dollar or twenty dollars. The student who was paid twenty dollars to lie didn’t make the study seem as fun as the person who was only paid a dollar. Why is that you ask? The person who was paid twenty dollars knows the task was dull but also knows that he had sufficient justification for lying, hence there is no cognitive dissonance. The person who was paid a dollar, on the other hand, knows that he did not have sufficient justification to lie. This makes the person who was only paid a dollar uncomfortable. To reduce discomfort, the person alters his or her opinion of the task so that they are not lying to anyone. Festinger believes anytime there is an insufficient reward, there will be dissonance.

I don’t think cognitive dissonance is a bad thing that we should avoid, but I think everyone should know about. In elementary school, my parents used to reward me for every five points I made in a basketball, I would receive money for it. It actually put more pressure on me to make more points and it didn’t work in my favor. I would become really nervous and it would affect my shot selection and my performance. When they didn’t give me a reward for how many points I made, I enjoyed playing more, I had fun and I wasn’t stressing. I think it is good to know about cognitive dissonance just to see if you can try and catch yourself altering your opinion of something when you are put in an uncomfortable situation.



Spotlight Blog 2

Stress is inevitable in life, so it is important that people find the right stress management mechanisms for them to prevent any health problems caused by stress.  The first stress management website I looked at was targeted for college students. The website’s first tip was to get enough sleep. I agree with this tip; sleep is a very big part of staying healthy. Lack of sleep can cause a weaker immune system. The website states that lack of sleep can put someone at risk of serious illnesses like diabetes, obesity or depression. Lack of sleep on top of being exposed to stress could make people more susceptible to depression. Another tip the website had was to eat well. It states that unhealthy eating habits can lead to a higher susceptibility to stress. They also suggest exercising when you’re stressed. They say that physical activity can reduce stress levels. Exercise was discussed in lecture when we were learning about stress. I think the most important tip that this website gave their readers was to have emotional support. Having someone to vent to about your problems and stressors can be really helpful, at least from my perspective. Eating healthy and getting sleep is great but having someone to talk to was the best tip from this website. In class, we also talked about how support groups could help with stress which lead to religion being a great stress reliever.

The next stress management website I found was for athletes. It says that a certain amount of stress is good for an athlete. Which is true but the stress that you have can affect you positively or negatively depending on the person. It says not to train too hard at the sport that you are playing, the website suggests to have another hobby that isn’t your sport. Sometimes the sport that one plays becomes a stressor because they’re so serious about it, which is my problem. So having another hobby that is fun can help relieve stress. Athletic competitions such as a swim meet or a basketball game could be very stressful. A really good tip they had for athletes was to set reachable goals for yourself. Once you start to succeed and reach those goals, you will feel more confident and become less stressed. A not very helpful tip they suggested was to cut out other stressors in other parts of your life. Most of the time people aren’t searching around for stressors. Stress is inevitable and most stressors can’t just be cut out of your life, even though that would be great if all stressors could just disappear.

The last website I found was directed towards young adults. This was the most helpful stress management website out of the three websites I found. It says to identify all the stressors you have in your life and where it is coming from. It’s impossible to try to fix a problem if one doesn’t know where it is coming from. Once the stressors are identified, try to adapt or make changes. It suggests to keep a journal to write the date, time, location and activity you were doing when you became stressed. It then proceeds to say to try to avoid the stressor, if that isn’t possible, try to alter it. For example, maybe a particular class in your stressor, try to plan better and have better time management so you can take your time doing the assignment. Stress comes when you’re trying to finish a paper last minute, so try to manage your time wisely. My favorite tip from this website was to just accept what your stressor is. Life happens, stress is inevitable, just try to stay positive and do the best you can do with whatever you are doing. This tip reminded me of mindfulness based stress reduction where you just focus on being in the moment, not in the past or future. I will definitely be using tips that were directed toward young adults, I thought it was the most helpful and realistic coping mechanisms for stress.


First Impression: Intelligence

According to Wikipedia, intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and skills. We live in a world where knowledge is power. That being said, we start education at a young age. Some start even sooner than average based on who their parents are and if the caregiver has the correct resources to give their child an educational head start. If some children are getting a head start in education, then we they get to school they have already been exposed to the information that everyone else is learning for the first time. The teacher might think that this child with a head start is more intelligent than the other students in the class. But really that child has just been exposed to the material before. I believe intelligence can also be effected by the resources you have. If all the students were exposed to the same amount of educational resources, I believe there would be a decrease in the intelligence gap between students. Of course there will always some students that are more privileged than others, but teachers should keep that in mind when teaching younger ages such as elementary school students.

In elementary school, I noticed that students were being segregated into either “very smart” or normal students. They based the categorization on test scores. They had this program for “very smart” students called spectrum. Once a week they would leave the school and go on a “field trip”, at least that’s what all the other normal students thought they were going. We never really knew where they went but it definitely effected the way we thought about ourselves. Were we not smart because we were not picked for this special program? I don’t think intelligence should be based on student’s test scores. Not everyone is good at test taking and there are students with different learning disabilities that might affect their average test scores. I like the way Professor MacFarlane doesn’t base our grade solely on tests and quizzes. It gives students a chance to get a good grade even if they didn’t do how they wanted on the exams. It also gives the students a chance to apply what they learned in class to assignments other than exams, which ultimately helps the students learn more efficiently.

Week 10 First Impression: Learning

Operant conditioning is a type of learning where behavior is controlled by consequences or rewards. Skinner believes that free will is not a thing because of operant conditioning. I disagree with Skinner, no matter if you are effected by the power of operant conditioning, you still have free will. Free will is the ability to make your own decisions. As I read more and more about operant conditioning, it sounds very similar to the way I was raised by my parents. I am rewarded for doing good things and punished for doing bad. But if I didn’t have free will why did I sometimes make bad choices that resulted in me getting punished? If we did not have free will, why do people make bad choices all the time? Frequently, people get into trouble with the law knowing there is a possibility of them suffering the consequences. If Skinner was right, then there would never be any crime in the world. Everyone would always make the right decision. Life is full of operant conditioning, if we do something right such as work hard at our job we might get a promotion. If we are slacking off at work, we might get fired. If we study hard we’ll ace the exam, if we don’t we might fail. We receive consequences and rewards for our actions on a daily basis. Whether or not it was a good choice, we still have the ability to make our own decisions no matter what the outcome may be.

First Impression: Emotion

Many people have told me that they can read my facial expressions like a book. You do not have to be an expert to read my facial expressions. Once it was brought to my attention, I have been trying harder not to wear my feelings on my face but it is hard to do. Although people can easily tell my emotional expressions, I on the other hand, struggle on that topic. According to the test that I took I am in the average range of being able to tell people’s emotional expression. My score was 12/20, going into the test I honestly thought I knew a lot about reading emotional expressions but I realized that is something that I need to work on. A question that crossed while taking the test was: Do people express their emotions in different ways? If so, how can we really tell what emotion is what? I could not tell the difference between being polite and being happy. If someone walks past you and smiles couldn’t they be showing happiness and politeness? I was good at telling when someone was being flirtatious because of the way she tilted her head when she smiled and the way she made eye contact. Another easy emotional expression I could detect was interest, because the person’s eyebrows were raised and their eyes were big. I decided to take the test again and got 16/20, which is above average. With practice, anyone can improve on their ability to read emotional expressions.

Week 7 First Impression: Sleep

Sleep is a very important, getting enough of it is a key part of living a healthy life. Most college students definitely struggle with getting a healthy amount of sleep. Some might sleep too much, but most sleep too little. Not getting enough sleep and sleeping too much are both unhealthy for the human body. The amount of sleep that is considered healthy depends on your age. Teenagers and young adults should be getting about seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I always feel my best when I get exactly eight hours of sleep. When I get too much sleep I wake up tired and feel out of it all day. Sometimes it is hard to get eight hours of sleep when you have three papers due in one week and test at the end of the week and quiz the next day. There is a lot you have to keep up with in college and sometimes that might result in sleep deprivation. Being a collegiate student athlete makes it even harder to get sleep. Keeping up with school work and being fully committed to the sport you play might also effect the amount of sleep one is getting. I always try to get eight hours of sleep or close to it. This semester, I was lucky enough to not have an eight AM class. I have a 9:30 class two days out of the week. I could go to sleep at 1:00 and still get eight hours of sleep. I believe eight hours of sleep is a realistic goal for college students. Most of the time, the reason why college students are not getting the correct amount of sleep is procrastination. Procrastination is the main cause of sleep deprivation in college. Some of us might not have this problem but most of us do. We let all of our work pile up until we have to do it all that night. So we’re frantically studying and doing homework at two o’clock in the morning instead of getting a proper amount of sleep. I try not to procrastinate, but when I do it usually results in sleep deprivation. College students can improve their sleeping habits by staying on top of their school work to prevent procrastination. Your body tells you when it is tired. Don’t fight that fact that you’re tired, go to sleep at a reasonable time so you can be ready for whatever comes your way the next day.

Spotlight Blog: Memory

Having good study habits is effective in all levels of education. It’s the most sufficient when students learn what study habits work for them sooner rather than later. The best study habits are the mechanisms that help the student memorize the material long enough to recall it during a test. If your study habits aren’t helping you memorize the material efficiently, then you could be studying all day with no positive results. If you find yourself studying day and night and still doing poorly on exams, you need to change your study habits. If the study habits are not effectively helping you memorize the information, you’re wasting your time. It doesn’t matter how long you study, it matters how smart you study. So finding the right study habits can save you time and improve you test score average.

I wish I found the right study habits at a young age. I found a website that provides advice to parents on helping their child learn how to study correctly. This website states that the parent should make sure there are no distractions when studying. An interesting point that the website made was to relate what is being learned to something that the child is familiar with. In the mini lecture on memory and studying, Professor MacFarlane stated that personal connections to the information being learned can help us memorize the material better. The website also mentioned mnemonics, which was another studying tip that was mentioned in the mini lecture. I personally use mnemonics all the time to help me recall information for exams.

It is suggested that you learn the right study habits before you get to college. I’ve heard countless of times where people never studied in high school, then got to college and really struggled at test taking. This could have been prevented if they learned good study habits in high school. The study tips website I found for high schoolers had a little more complex tips than the site for younger children. The first study tip was to be engaged, take notes and listen. I think this is a very good tip, you should be paying attention in class. In lecture, I remember it being said that attention is the key cause of memorization. It also talked about having no distractions when studying. This made me recall when it was said that multitasking is not good because you’re splitting your attention to multiple things.

There are college students that still struggle with finding the right study skills, including myself. I found a website that gives study tips for college students. I thought this website was very helpful for my personal study habits. It talks about alternating study spaces so that you’re not used to just one place to retain information. You’re not going to be able to complete your test in your designated study place so it would make more sense to alternate study places. This will get your brain used to retaining information in different places. The website also said to take practice test. The mini lecture on memory and studying talked about test assimilations and how they can help you recall better when it comes to the actual test. Students should practice recalling information as they would when taking a test.

Week Five First Impression- Memory

I am on an ongoing search to find the right study habits that are the most efficient for me. There is an amplitude of different study habits, but only a few are efficient for each individual. A majority of my studying consists of reading the chapter and writing notes on it. Once the exam gets closer, I make flashcards of important terms and people that I think will be on the exam. For exam one I believe I did the right study habits, but I think I started studying too late. I got a lot of the concepts but not enough when it came to the test. Most of the free response questions I knew the concept and information but couldn’t remember some things that I studied previously. If I took more time to study I believe I would have done much better on the exam. I should start rewriting the notes right after class to grasp the concepts better, then I will already have a study guide for the exam. I should have made flashcards for major concepts after each lecture so that I am not doing it before the exam. Trying to learn all the concepts closer to the exam tends to be overwhelming, which might affect my trying to memorize the content. I need to study the concepts from lecture after each lecture to make sure I really understand the concepts. I really am interested in psychology and I don’t want to just memorize content to get an A on an exam. I would like to have study habits that will help me really grasp and memorize the concepts beyond the exam. I am very interested to learn different studying techniques that will help me memorize concepts better.

Toward a New Understanding of Mental Health

I have always been very interested in mental illnesses and the cause of them. Given that mental illness is starting to be a more popular topic of discussion, I thought it would be a good idea to learn more about it. The Ted Talk that I chose to watch discussed the knowledge we have about different diseases is the reason why fewer and fewer people are dying from the diseases. For instance, from the research and studies done on heart attacks fewer people are dying from them. The speaker from this Ted Talk is saying if we can have as much knowledge about mental illness as we do with other diseases, we can save more lives. Ninety percent of suicides are due to a form of mental illness. One in five people suffer from a mental disorder. The brains of people that suffer from mental illnesses differ from people who do not have a mental illness. The behavior of someone with mental illness is the last thing to change. The speaker was talking about early detection of the mental illness to prevent the behavior or self-harm that may be a result from the illness, such as suicide. If one waits until the person with a mental illness starts to show behavior of that mental illness it might be too late.

The thing that I found most interesting is that the brain is so complex. He says it is the most complex organ in our body. Humans are so intelligent because of our complex brains, but are we intelligent enough to fully understand the complexity of our brain? That question is literally mind boggling to me. I found the presenter trustworthy, he didn’t really have any new findings. It was more of a public service announcement about mental illnesses and scientist will have more information about it in the near future. People’s lack of knowledge of the brain causes difficulty to detect a mental illness prior to someone showing behavior of that mental illness. At this point, we can’t detect mental illness without someone having the behavioral signs of mental illness. If I were to do research on mental illness, I would have to know where mental illnesses come from. The reason why there isn’t a lot of information on mental illnesses and the cause of it is because it’s a hard topic to study. I would get people who suffer from mental illness and ask them different questions that would stimulate different parts of the brain. I would compare their MRI scans to MRI scans of a group without mental illness to see what the causation of the mental illness is. How does the brain with mental illness differ from the brain that doesn’t have mental illness?Having more knowledge about the brain and mental illness can help us detect if someone has mental illness before they start showing behavioral signs. If we can detect the problem sooner, we could save more lives from suicide.