Week 6 First Impression Post

First this first impression post, I choose to respond to option 1, the one about my study habits. I have different means of studying for exams. It really depends on what kind of exam I am taking. As a math major, I have exams in which I must be practicing the material in order to be prepared for the exam. I also have exams in which I need to read over and review the material to be prepared for the exam. This is how I primarily prepared for the first exam of this psychology course. I read over the chapters from the textbook and reviewed the notes I took in class. I feel that I do a good job of taking notes in class and reviewing them in order to prepare for an exam. Looking over the textbook readings also allows me to recall important information for the exam. In preparation for our first psychology exam, I also took the practice exam provided by the professor. This allowed me to get a feel for what the exam would be like.

I feel that I do a good job studying for exams, but there are some areas that I feel could improve. For instance, I do not usually mark up my textbooks when I read them. I never really viewed this to be proper, but I now see how underlining important information helps me to remain focused if I read the chapter again. I might also try taking notes in the margins of the textbook. This could help me remember the meaning of what I have read. I also have not joined a full study group when I first came to college. For the first semester, I found that I did not need to do this, but for this psychology class, this might be a smart study strategy. This could help me gain more important information for the exam that I alone could not find. If else is interested in this, I am happy to do this. I have also been taking the chapter practice quizzes more often on a regular basis. This might help me be more familiarized with the textbook reading by keeping the material in my head until the next exam. I will always try my best. I just hope my best will allow me to pass this class.

Week 5 First Impression Post

For this week’s first Impression Post, I decided to comment on Option 2, the prompt about violence in video games. This prompt addresses first person shooter video games and that they lead to violence among people who play them. This is a topic that has always been on my mind, since I play games like these on my leisure. I have talked about this with my parents as well. My dad tells me that video games were not as graphic as they are today during the time period he grew up in. The games he grew up with as a child were games such as Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Missile Command, Space Invaders, etc. These game did not have three dimensional objects and people like you see in video games today and could not be as graphic. I have also talked about this with my mother. She told me that the original purpose of first person shooter video games was for desensitizing real solders so that they are not hesitant to actually shoot someone when they head out on a battlefield. Studies have shown that this is what such video games do. However, I feel that violent video games do not have to be desensitizing if the player does not allow it. If the player can be careful and aware of what he or she is seeing, and make every attempt to not let it encourage him or her that the violence is not as bad as it really is. I do this every time I play such video games and my dad told me that I do not appear to be very easily desensitized by the violence in these games.

I understand that their is a positive correlation between violent video games and violence among children, but I feel that their are some facts that are not being taken into consideration. First of all, did I just say that violent video games cause violence among children? Does this mean that children of age 5 or less are being allowed to play M rated first person shooter video games? This is probably a confounding variable that leads to conclusions of increased violence resulting from first person shooter video games. I know that there are children who play such video games because I have talked to kids of age 8 and 10 who talk about playing these video games. From my understanding, their are 4 basic video game ratings; E for Everyone, E 10+ or Everyone ages 10 and up, T for Teen, and M for Mature. When I was a child, I grew up playing only video games rated E and few games rated E 10+. It was not until I was a teenager before I began playing video games rated T and I never owned a rated M video game until I was 18. Maybe their is more violence resulting from video games because parents do not talk video games ratings into consideration and let their children play whatever they want at whatever age.

Another confounding variable I see in video games leading to violence is the amount of time people spend playing such video games. I have talked about this with my dad. He told me that their are people to play first person shooter video games 6 hours a day and are not annoyed when they hear about a mass shooting talking place somewhere in the world. I can see how this happens. I never play any video game for 6 hours. I usually only try to fit in 1 hour in my work days. Also, some people constantly play first person shooter video games every time they play a video game. I do not do this. When I play video games, I play one game an hour a day and when I finish that game, I start playing another game. I usually try to avoid playing two first person shooter video games in a row. Maybe video games lead to violence because, people always play a first person shooter video game for a very long length of time every day. Maybe if more people could at least cut the amount of time they play such video games, their would not be as much violence from violent video games.

There are becoming more and more calls to have violent video game permanently banned because they lead to violence among people who play them. I disagree with these calls. All video games are rated. I feel that this is all that is needed. If people would take these ratings into consideration while they are playing the video games, there would not be as much violence resulting from violent video games. I feel this way because I do this all the time. If violent video games must be taken away from those who cannot handle them, the solution is not to take them away from everyone, even those to can handle them. One solution might be to put juveniles on probation from playing violent video games if they commit a violent crime. This might work as the majority of people who play violent video games are juveniles. Whatever action is taken, violent video games should not be banned from those to are cautious to what they see in these games.

Week 4 Impression post

For this week’s impression post, I choose to comment on a Ted Talk given by Jim Fallon about exploring the mind of a killer. Jim Fallon grew up in a family tree in which there were murderers on his father’s side of the family. He is a neoroscientist at the University of California who had been asked to look into the brains of psychopathic killers. He found out what is in the brain of a psychopathic killer and why this is more common in men than women. The initial trigger of a psychopathic killer is two much serotonin built up in the frontal cortex of the brain before birth. Jim found this confusing at first since serotonin usually helps people stay calm. He later found out that to much serotonin causes the brain to become unresponsive to it and therefore it does not work. This effect is more common in boys than girls because this trait is only inherited through the mother who has a XX chromosome. It is not as likely for a girl to catch this trait because the trait in the X of the father’s XY chromosome would cancel out with an X in the mother’s XX chromosome. After explaining this, Jim went on to explain that people with this trait become psychopathic killers if they are victims of or witness strong violence before puberty. These occurrences or more common in the middle east, so there are more psychopathic killers there.

This video changed the way I think about psychopathic killers. I originally thought psychopathic killers were mentally insane or have been abused as children. I now see that there is more to these facts in which psychopathic killers develop. A biological occurrence is at play as well. A trait for being unable to keep calm is the initiator for psychopathic killers. This leads me to conclude that the ability to keep calm in a setting of emergency goes a long way into growing into a mature adult. Knowledge like this will help parents raise their children if they have a disability for being unable to keep calm. Children with such a disability should be kept away from anyplace or anything which could cause them to see a violent event, so they don’t become psychopathic killers in the future.

Miguel’s issues

Based on this scenario, Miguel has a lot of problems. Through the different lenses of psychology, we can come up with multiple explanations for Miguel’s issues. From a psychoanalysis perspective, we can say that Miguel has an unconscious desire to be perfect and therefore gets upset at himself, and maybe even his roommates, when they are not perfect. From a behaviorist perspective, we can say that Miguel’s irritable behavior cause him to do poorly in his coursework and keep his body so fired up in order to sleep. From a humanistic perspective, we can say that Miguel might have been disciplined to do work perfectly in the past, and struggles to deal with being unable to do things perfectly in his present time. From a cognitive perspective, we can say that Miguel’s mind is always feeling stressed as he cannot do what he feel he should be able to do. As a result, Miguel gets so irritable that he cannot sleep or function properly. From a biological perspective, we can say that Miguel has relatives who shared and passed down his perfectionist views and Miguel feels stressed because he is not living up to what his relatives expect him to live up to. Finally, from a cultural perspective, we can say that the culture Miguel grew up in gives him self expectations to be perfect. Since Miguel is not doing things perfectly, he gets so stressed out that he looses his ability to function as a proper student.

First Impression Post #1

For this weeks first impression post, I choose to comment on the Mythbusters experiment to answer the question, “Does weaving through traffic actually get you to your destination faster?” To test this myth, the scientists split up into two cars and raced on a set highway route during a rush hour. One car would constantly change lanes to get around slow moving traffic while the other car would stay in one lane the whole drive. At first, the car that changed lanes was in the lead, but by the half way point, the car that stayed in the same lane was in the lead. The video did not explain what happened beyond this. I was disappointed that it did not show which car won.

Many aspects of this experiment was well thought out. The fact that the cars were both traveling on the same highway during the same rush hour kept things constant. Having the cars travel during the same rush hour made conditions for both cars the same besides the fact that one of them would change lanes and the other would not. Having the cars travel on the same highway made them travel the same distance, so one car does not have any other advantage over the other.

I did feel that there were a couple of weaknesses in this experiment. One weakness was that the drivers knew they were racing one another and they raced competitively. This might create several uneven factors that could affect the outcome of the experiment. If the drivers knew they were racing against one another, one car might move faster than the speed limit to gain advantage. Also, this experiment did not appear to account for slower moving traffic such as trucks, buses, or trailers. If the car that was not allowed to change lanes got stuck behind a slower moving vehicle, car that was allowed to change lanes would have the advantage, as it could pass these slower moving vehicles. They should also consider using more cars to have certain cars stay in different lanes as some lanes contain faster moving traffic than others.

Introduction for my psychology course

Hi, my name is Maxwell Billante. I prefer to be called Max. I am looking forward to this psychology course. I have never taken a psychology course before. I chose to take this course here at Elizabethtown College because it fulfills the social studies core requirement. I never really had an interest in any social studies course I had taken in my high school career and wanted to try something different. I have heard some things about psychology which I think is interesting, so I decided to take this psychology course. I had never taken psychology before, but I have heard that it is the study of individual behavior. I have taken a sociology course in my high school career which it the study of group behavior. The teacher I had for this course told me about how how sociology is different from psychology in these terms, so when I think of psychology, I think of looking at reasons why individuals do what they do. Of the topics listed on the course syllabus, the three topics that sound most interesting to me are Why do We Forget, Copping with Stress, and Mechanics of Sleep. The topic, Why do We Forget, sounds interesting to me because I usually do not forget things, although it happens from time to time. I am interested in finding out what psychically happens in the brain when I forget something. I am also interested in the topic, Copping with Stress, because I know that I will have to do this many times throughout college and later in life as well. I am always open to learn about how stress occurs and how to cop with it. Finally, I am interested in learning about mechanics of sleep as this is also something I should know for college. I understand that a lack of sleep decreases a person’s academic performance, but I look forward to looking even deeper in how this works. The topics, Psychology Then & Now, Why Research Design Matters, and Power of Experiments sound least interesting to me. The topic, Psychology Then & Now, probably implies looking into the history of psychology. As I mentioned earlier, I have never had an interest in any social studies course I had taken. The majority of these courses dealt with history, which is not what I am interested in. The topic, Why Research Design matters, probably implies talking about research papers. I am able to write a research paper well, but it is not something I normally enjoy the most. The topic, Power of Experiments, sounds like it talks about why psychologist use experiments. I have taken science courses before and have heard over and over why scientists use experiments. So the material in this topic probably will not be new to me. One question about psychology that I have right now, that I hoped to be answered by the end of the course is; What exactly do psychologists look at when they study behavior? Do they look at past reasons for behaviors or do they look at exactly what happens in the brain as people process why they do what they do?