First Impression Post Week 6

For this week’s post, I decided to talk about option 1, which relates to study habits.  This is because I think many college students including myself have trouble learning new study habits when they make the switch from high school to college.  I in particular had trouble switching the way I studied because in high school I did not have to study for my classes as much as I do now.  I was used to studying a few days before a test, but once I got to college, I realized that that would no longer work as that is not enough time to study.

A study habit that I do well is that I usually start studying for a test one week in advance.  If it’s a math class, I will try to complete as many homework problems as I can to make sure that I understand key concepts, but for other classes I will keep rereading my notes.  Depending on the class, I will make flashcards and try to find an online activity such as a matching game to test myself to make sure I understand the material.  A few things that I need to improve on is after every class I need to immediately review my notes and hopefully more information will stick in my brain.  Also, I need to make use of flashcards more frequently as a way to actually test myself on information, rather than just saying yes I know this, or no I need to study this a bit more.

For the first exam, the way I studied was that I looked over my notes every day for a week leading up to the day of the exam.  I also reread the book the night before and made flashcards.  A change that I will make for next time is that I will read my notes more frequently, maybe twice a day.  I will also make flashcards sooner rather than later so that I have more time to test myself on this information.

First Impression Post Week 5

Over the past few years there has been quite an increase in the amount of violence in a video game.  Due to an increase in today’s technology, it helps to advance these games to make them seem more realistic and make you feel like you are actually in the game.  I remember when I was younger I used to watch my older brother play video games and he would sometimes switch the game when I came in the room because he did not want me to see the violence happening in his game.  From when I was younger compared to now, these games have gotten better, graphics- wise, but increasingly more violent.

Even though some video games are a bit violent, I would say that it is extreme to ban them.  I think that the amount of time playing these games that are viewed as violent should be monitored and not be played as often.  I think that it is important for kids to play other games so that they are well rounded and not so used to games where there is always blood, guns, and violence.  I think that banning these games is not the answer because sometimes kids want to play a game more action filled than a racing game or another game they often play.  It is also a way for kids to get their anger out, but it can also show a different, more violent and aggressive side of kids that people may not be used to.  If kids do decide to play a violent game that does not mean that they are violent and bad people.  The game may have an influence on them to act out of violence, but most likely these games will not cause children to act aggressively or violently outside of playing the game.  Overall, video games are becoming increasingly violent, but if they are monitored carefully, then they should not have to be banned.

First Impression Post Week 4

The talk that I decided to watch was by Rebecca Saxe, which was titled ,”How we read each other’s minds.”  I decided to watch this video because as soon as I read the title, I immediately thought of how sometimes when my sister and I just look at each other, we automatically know what we’re thinking.    Other times, it is almost as if we are having a whole conversation between ourselves without saying any words, because we think we understand what one another is thinking.

Throughout the talk she mentioned how RTPJ, which is right temporoparietal junction, and how this is being used.  To start, she talked about an experiment she conducted with a three year old, a five year old, and a seven year old.  The purpose of this experiment was to show different stages of development in how people can have multiple beliefs, and what consequences are for their actions.  The experiment was about a pirate putting his sandwich down, it falling off of a chest, and then another pirate putting his sandwich on the chest and then the pirates end up taking the wrong sandwiches.  The five year old is able to predict what happens, but the three year old predicts the wrong thing, and then gives a different explanation.  The seven year old gives a more “adult like” response.  She then talks about what goes on in brain development that helps children think about what others are thinking.  She tells us that RTPJ is being used in kids while they think about other people, but this is not used the same way that an adults brain uses it because an adults brain is specialized in the way it thinks about others thoughts.  This statement was then supported by a chart that showed roughly 26% specialized in kids age 5-8, and about 90% specialized in adults.

The part that I found the most interesting was that they were able to show us the inside of the brain when people make decisions.  Another part that I found interesting was how they used the machine to put a magnetic pulse in the brain to change people’s moral judgement.  I thought that this was very interesting because you do not usually hear of something that will cause people to change thoughts.

I thought that this presenter was very trustworthy because she told the audience that she is an actual scientist.  I also thought that the information she presented was credible because she was able to include specific facts and examples in her talk.  She also used pictures and figures to support the claims that were being made and this was very important to include because these visuals helped us as the audience to get a better understanding of what she was trying to communicate to us.  A final contributing factor was that she gave actual video footage of her conducting the experiment with the two children and this was helpful when she was explaining her results to the audience because we could actually visualize what the experiment was.

A research idea that I have would be to test RTBJ with elderly people.  I think this would be an interesting study because it would be studied to see if elderly people use RTBJ as much as young adults.  This would be able to test if perception of moral judgement changes as you get older.  To test this, the test would be similar to the one Rebecca Saxe conducted in her experiment.  The change is that instead of using pirates and cheese sandwiches, they could use a moral dilemma and have the participants choose which option they think is the best to solve the issue.


First Impression Post Week 3

When you look at children in today’s society, you can be sure that kids are not being parented the same as older generations.  Parenting styles have changed due to the way people now view the world, and also due to the new technological advances in today’s society.  As this could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing as well.  It seems that parents today are not as strict as parents were in the past.  I believe my mother raised my sister and I well because we were taught to always use manners, and if we did something bad, we were corrected and punished.

Most parents today will give their very young child an ipad or phone so that they are satisfied, but parents should not do this.  They should not heavily rely on T.V. shows, movies, and electronics to make their child feel happy.  These things can occupy a child for a long period of time, and this is not a healthy situation for a child; they need to be outside in the fresh air at the park, playing with friends, or their parent taking them for a walk.  Instead of the electronics, kids should have lots of toys to play with while they are young, because it could aid in development.  When my sister and I were little we had tons of toys to play with.  We would play pretend with our kitchen set and our dolls, draw outside with chalk, play with our stuffed animals, and many other things.  My mom always made sure that we were not bored, and she also made sure that we were busy and not sitting around all day doing nothing.  Parents should do more of these interactive activities because it will cause their children to think creatively and it will make their imagination grow.

Parents should be able to parent their kid however they choose.  I think that kids should be taught manners at a young age so that they grow up to be respectful to one another.  Helicopter parents may be a bit extreme, but for all types of parents, I believe that it is important to know where your kid is going and who they are going with.  It is up to the child to make the decisions, but if they happen to make a bad one, the parent can quickly correct their child.  Being able to correct your child when they have done something wrong is a good part of parenting, but also being able to talk to your child and establish a good relationship is another important part of parenting.

Theoretical Lenses in Psychology

“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.”

From a psychodynamic perspective, Freud would describe his behaviors as being based on his unconscious desires, which are drives that cause him to have his needs met.  This could be explained because he is a perfectionist, so he wants to get everything correct.  With this being said, it relates to him being tired because he is probably making sure each home work assignment is completed to the best it can be.

From the behavioral perspective, it is believed that the focus should be only on observable behavior.  This is because behavior can be monitored and thoughts/feelings can not be measured directly.  From this, a behavioral psychologist could focus on how he has trouble falling asleep at night, is irritable during the day, and picks fights with his roommate.  All of these behaviors could be observed and possibly corrected because people can see that this is how he acts daily, and maybe they could help him find the cause of his problems.

The humanistic perspective is focused around personal growth and what each individual perceives.  In Miguel’s situation, he is feeling tired and is finding it difficult to focus on school.  Since he is a perfectionist, he should be willing to set goals for himself in order to succeed.

From the cognitive perspective, this area is focused on how people solve problems, think, and process information.  Miguel is starting to doubt his ability to do anything correctly.  He should be focused on his conscious thoughts and tell himself that he can do anything he sets his mind to .

The neuroscience perspective focuses on behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology.  Since this talks about the genetic impacts on mental illness, maybe he is depressed about a certain situation.  This can be explained because he is always irritable during the day and he doubts his abilities.

The cultural perspective could be explained by how metal processes and behaviors vary across cultures.  Maybe Miguel is from a culture where he thinks he has to do everything perfectly, but in a different culture it is acceptable if you do not get something correct.

First Impression Post #1

The Mythbuster video that I decided to watch was “Does Weaving Through Traffic Actually Get You To Your Destination Faster?”  My initial thought was that this could be possibly true, depending on the situation.  When on a highway it can work to pass a slow driver, but sometimes in very heavy traffic it will not work because chances are, everyone is trying to get to the same place (straight until they find their exit), and everyone will be sitting in the same traffic for the same amount of time.  On a regular street, I do not think it works because everyone is already in a rush as it is, and when I drive, I feel like people naturally drive faster than slower.

In this video, the myth that is being tested is is it better to stay in one lane while in heavy traffic, or does lane weaving work?  To test this, Tory will be in a car and he is going to pick one lane to stay in the whole time.  Kari and Grant will be driving in another car, but they will be weaving throughout traffic.  The goal was to see who would get to the destination first.

One strength from this video was that both cars were travelling from San Francisco to San Jose which is 46 miles.  This is a good distance to test because it is not too close but not too far away.  With this distance, their experiment will run properly and they will get proper results because this is probably an average amount of time that people spend on the highway.  Also, it is a fair distance for both people in the experiment to travel.  Another strength was the time they chose and the highway they chose.  They chose to perform the experiment at 7:30 a.m. which is a great time to use because there will be lots of traffic due to everyone going to work.  The use of the same highway was a strength because it can be seen as a control in this experiment because using the same road will help to have more accurate results since both cars will be driving and sitting through the same amount of traffic.

One weakness from the video was that they only performed one test.  This is a problem because it could have been lighter traffic than expected or a different factor could have swayed the outcome.  They should have replicated the experiment to ensure what they were thinking was correct.  Also, they could have tested this in the evening to see if these results differed in night time rush hour; there could be more or less traffic than at 7:30 a.m.  A second weakness that I observed was that both drivers knew each other, they knew what they were testing, so they viewed it as a race against one another.  This could be a problem because maybe they were not driving how they normally do, so they were speeding or changing the way they were driving in order to win the race.  This could be fixed by having two random people drive to the same place, making sure it is equal in distance and traffic, and see who gets there first.  This will fix the problem because the people will not know that they are racing against one another and therefore, will drive how they normally do on a given day.  For the two people asked to do this, one will stay in one lane of traffic and the other will weave through traffic.  If they do not have someone to drive with them, they could set a timer and see how long it takes them to get to their destination.

Introduction Blog

Hi, my name is Rachel DiDomenicis and I am a chemistry major.  I chose to take this class because this field of study is very interesting to me, and I would like to learn more about how the mind works and why we act as we do.  The background of psychology consists of a class that I took in high school as an elective.  When I hear the word psychology, I think about different parts of the human mind, and how that relates to how we function.  I also think of different emotions people can experience, how people can obtain memories, and lastly I think of psychological disorders that can occur.  One final thing that I think of is Sigmund Freud.  Three topics that look the most interesting to me are how to make and improve memories, stress and how to cope with it, and the brain.  These topics seem the most interesting to me because I feel like all three of these topics can relate to one another.  Also, the topic is about stress is essential to all of us since we are college students experiencing that every day.  I would like to learn more about how people are able to have memories and how the brain does this, which is why I think these three topics are interesting.  The three topics that are the least interesting to me are attachment theory, personality theory, and psychotherapy.  These are less interesting to me because I am not really too familiar with these topics and have never heard of these theories before.  A question about psychology that I have is how do some people remember their dreams at night, while others do not?