Chapter 2 First Impression: Neuroscience

--Original published at Manami PSY105blog

The ted talk I chose for this week’s post titled “The real reason for brains” by Daniel Wolpert. The reason why I chose this ted talk is that the basic information of a brain such as how the brain work is necessary for me to learn neuroscience in psychology class and the title caught my attention and interests.

The speaker talks about that brain evolved to control movements with some examples and own study results. Firstly, he asked us the basic question that “why do we and all animals have brains?”. He also gave an audience the answer that the only reason to have a brain is not to feel something and think, but “to produce adaptable and complex movement”. Robots cannot act like human dexterously although technology is developed because of human control movement by the brain. He suggests that the signal which makes movements from the brain is corrupted by noise. What is difficult for robots is to minimize negative consequences by this noise. The real reason of brain is to control movements which looks simple but so complex as conclusions.

His examples are really helpful to understand his theory easily. For example, he proved this idea that the role of the brain is to move with the example of the humble sea squirt which digest its own brain when it attached the rock and does not need to move. The chess’s example to support his belief that movement is the most important use of brain is also interesting. Robot can beat human when they play chess. However, the robot cannot win five years-old kid in terms of movements of dexterous.

His presentation is trustworthy because he is professional with enough experiences of experiments. There are some steps to support his theory. He clarifies that the brain works for movements at first. Next, the method of combination between several information as belief is explained with Bayes’ rule. He also focuses that people improved movements. These facts which is also trustworthy make his suggestions strong.

The research idea based on the information presented is that how the movements will work better by developments of the brain in the future, and how will it help medical technology developments. We would research how to minimize noise and assume the situations which technology has the skill like a human.


Chapter 4 First Impression Prompts – Developments

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Why is parenting so important? Because children are influenced by parents. For example, their religion, characteristic, a value of thinking, cultural background and so on is based on what parents teach and what they want their children to be.


I chose option 1 which is about several styles of parenting such as Tiger mom, Jellyfish Dad, and Helicopter mom. Tiger mom is known as Chinese parenting style. Tiger mom tells a child to be always at the top in terms of everything such as academic stuff and sports. Therefore, their children have to follow the strict instructions of their mom and make the best results by working so hard. Compared with this, Helicopter’s mom always pays close attention to children, when they try to experience new things, face a problem, study and so on.


I will focus on Tiger mom and Helicopter mom with my own experience today.

My mom has both Tiger mom and Helicopter parenting styles. I’m from Japan. Japan is influenced by Asian country like China easily. Therefore, it is understandable that Japanese parenting style has also some features of Tiger mom. My mom was a little strict about my academic stuff when I was in an elementary school. I could not have leisure time until my homework and extra study book which my mom prepared for me are done. I often compared with friends who do not have pressure from their moms. My mom also forced me to come back until it gets dark outside and arrowed me to go the only place where she can go immediately when I get in trouble. This thing is categorized as Helicopter mom. From my experiences, there are positive and negative aspects to have Tiger and Helicopter mom. Positive aspects are that children can be protected and can be close to their parents. Moms also can understand their children well. However, children must be depressed when they could not achieve mom’s expectation and cannot be independent. They will rely on their mom forever. There is no best way to grow up children. However, it would be the best if moms picked good aspects from several styles of parenting.


Extra homework​: a ​Case study

--Original published at Manami PSY105blog

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.
Come up with an explanation for Miguel’s problems from each of
the modern perspectives (beginning with psychodynamic) we
discussed today
・Behaviorist Psychology
He is irritable during and fights with his roommates. These cases are considered Behaviorist psychology. Because people such as his friends and especially his roommates can see that he act differently from usual.
People tend to be aggressive when they are irritated because of stress.
In his case, he loses to control his behavior.
・Humanitic Psychology
He wants to be perfect. He wants to improve himself in terms of studying. Therefore, I guess he would be satisfied and happy if he got a good grade. In this case, his life goes in a bad way because he is struggling with his studying.
・Cognitive Psychology
He is always feeling tired. This feeling also influenced on his behavior. He cannot afford to care for the others because of tiredness. He is mentally tired.
・Biological Perspective
I am not sure if it’s biological cause or not. But, I think insomnia is categorized in Biological Perspective. It is obvious that his stress makes him not to sleep well. Therefore, He is always tired and cannot focus on studying. That is a bad cycle.
There is no content for cultural Psychology because there is no information about his cultural background.

First Impression Post: Cultural Background

--Original published at Manami PSY105blog

People’s behaviors are influenced on their background or how they were raised. In other words, we can see the cultural differences easily from people’s behavior in daily life. I chose option 1 to create a research study. My topic would be cultural differences between Asian people and Western people. The reason I have picked this topic is that I know how Asian people act because I am Japanese and have spent time with Asian students here a lot. Beside this, it is easy to find differences between Asian students and American students through my study abroad experiences. 

My research question is, “How do Asian people and American people behave differently in society such as school?”

My hypothesis is that Asian people tend to gather together by finding similarities visually and make a comfortable group that stays together. Compared to them, American people tend to care for personalities and respect differences, and also, tend to act individually. 

I would gather a number of participants who are Asian students and American students. I would ask some of my international friends from Asian countries such as Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam. I also would be able to ask some American friends at this college. In addition, I would need to prepare one room and a lunch box. I will ask them to take a seat and choose what they would want to eat for lunch normally. In my opinion, Asian tends to sit next to Asian and eat together, or they will make their own world with their cellphone even though they sit together. On the other hand, American do not care where they sit and they will talk and introduce themselves to people who are sitting closely.  They will try to find similarities based on their personality and background by communicating. After that, I will suggest them to make a group and give them a mission, such as cleaning the lunch box and dishes. Asian people will work together, while American people may do only their own dishes. Asian people also will try to watch how the other act first.

All my ideas are based on my observation in the US. Therefore, I still need to know more American perspective.  


--Original published at Manami PSY105blog


My name is Manami Tanaka. I’m an international student from Japan by using one-year exchange program. I came here in January and going back in December. I’m junior now, and my major is international relations in the Japanese university and Business in this college. But I can take any classes except practical classes such as the class of drawing and playing instruments. I chose Introduction to psychology because I’m interested in how people think in society and how people are influenced by the other people or things. I think learning how people’s thought changes are useful in business. Besides this, it is one of the other reasons that my previous roommate who is in the psychology major recommended me to take it.  What I came up with about “psychology” is reading people’s mind from their behavior and gesture. Also, a psychologist is working importantly to help people who are suffering from depression or stress and kids who cannot join society well. Blogging is going to be interesting and hard for me. Because I do not know about psychology really. However, it is good to achieve my English skill by practicing how to express what I thought through psychological contents. I’m also interested in Psychology Research in the Media Project because media is related to several genres of studies, especially business. I have never tried to study psychology before. Now, I am trying to learn new things in my second language. That would build my knowledge and background. I do not have any specific questions which I want to be answered by the end of this class yet. I would like to cover briefly the concept of psychology.