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.


Bonus Post



First Impression Week 2

Research design is very important. Without research design, the process could be unorganized, which could ultimately result in confusion. I think what makes a successful experiment is organization. Someone should be able duplicate the researchers steps and get a similar outcome. To have a successful research design for an experiment, it should be well thought out, if not, there could be too many variables.  If I were to do a research experiment it would involve human behavior when people are hungry. I have noticed (from personal experiences) that when people go to the grocery store hungry, their eyes get bigger than their stomachs. They seem to buy more food than they actually need. In my opinion, food looks so much more appealing when I haven’t eaten in a while. I believe that hunger has any effect on how much money people spend at the grocery store. If one goes to the grocery store on an empty stomach, then they are more likely to buy more items than a shopper that has just eaten. To test this hypothesis, I would have two groups of people, one would be fed before they go to the grocery store and the other would be deprived of food several hours prior to them going to the grocery store. The subjects are free to buy whatever they want. Once they are done shopping I will analyze their receipts. I will compare the receipts of the group that just ate to the receipts of the group that has been deprived of food. I will conduct this experiment three times to make sure my data is more accurate than just conducting the experiment once. I will be analyzing two things, how much money they spend, and how many items they have purchased.


Blog Creation

Hi! My name is Lauryn. I am a sophomore/ transfer from Northern Virginia. My first year of college I studied Biochemistry but realized that wasn’t my passion and changed my major to psychology with a minor in cognitive science.

I always thought psychology was fascinating but never had the chance to look into it. When I hear the word “psychology,” I think of human behavior. I don’t know if this is just me but, when someone tells me, they are a psychology major I automatically believe that they know everything about me just from one conversation. I am very excited to look at human behavior more closely and use the concepts I learn from this course in the real world. In my opinion, psychology is one of the most important topics to learn. Studying human behavior can help in all aspects of life. No matter what career path you choose, you will always deal with other people. I’m most excited about learning how we make memories because if I know how it works, I can create enhanced study habits to help me retain the information better. I also am very interested in learning why we forget things because if they were memories, why do they just disappear, and in some cases, reappear if you think hard enough? Lastly, I want to know where personality comes from. I am very excited to learn why people behave the way they do in general.

Honestly,  all the topics we will cover in this course are interesting. With the knowledge I obtain from this class, I want to be able to gather information about a person not by what they are saying but by their mannerisms. The biggest question I have is why people act the way they do? Not one person has been able to give me an answer yet, so I hope the class will help me out with that. I look forward to exploring all aspects of psychology.