First Impression Post #6

For this week’s First Impression Post, I am going to discuss my study habits and how I studied for our first exam. I am not the best with study habits, but I have made progress between my high school years and this first semester working on study habits that are beneficial to me. I take notes on the readings from our textbook along with the notes from the lectures in class. For the first exam I tried reading through my notes from both the lectures and the readings, and I took the practice quizzes from the chapters a few times. I did not do as well as I would have liked to on the first exam, but I now know for the next exam that I want to try and make flash cards and start studying a little earlier than I did for the last exam. Another thing I would like to do for the next exam is to fill out the study guide in its entirety.  I followed along with it while I read through my notes for the last exam, but I would like to try and fill it out so all my information is in one location. The practice quizzes and the example exam were very beneficial in seeing how the questions would be worded, so I would definitely use those again in preparation for the next exam. I am anticipating that using the resources and new study tricks that I have learned will help me improve my grade on the next exam.

First Impression Post Week 4

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to watch Thomas Insel’s TEDTalk titled “Toward a New Understanding of Mental Illness”. I am very interested in learning about mental illnesses and how they have an effect on people differently. In this video Insel talked about how the rates of mortality in physical diseases have lowered drastically within a span of about 30 years, but suicide is still a major leading cause of death. He labels suicide as a condition or situation that leads to mortality, but most people do not realize how common it is. Some statistics that Insel talked about was how “there are 38,000 suicides a year in the United States”, which equates to about one every 15 minutes. That fact alone stunned me, as I never realized how big of a number it was. He also stated that “90% of suicides are related to a mental illness”, which was also an interesting fact to hear. Thomas Insel talks about how mental disorders are being considered “behavior” disorders, but he believes that we should rethink them as brain disorders. He is working towards making progress on scanning the brain to be able to detect brain disorders early on. Insel explains how patterns in our brain can be a factor in mental illnesses.

Insel explained this topic in a simple sense, which helped greatly to understand the topic. He has put in a lot of work into this study and seems to be very trustworthy in his information. I favor that he is working on this and I believe that this will be helpful in the future to try and see where mental illnesses begin. I would like to continue to follow this research and see how it progresses as time goes on.

First Impression Post #1

I watched a clip from the TV show Mythbusters titled “Does Weaving Through Traffic Actually Get You to Your Destination Faster?” They tested to see if staying in one lane was the fastest way to get to your destination, as opposed to weaving through all the lanes of traffic. When I first read the title, I believed that staying in one lane is a safer and overall faster option. In the video, Grant believed weaving through traffic was the faster option, but Tory believed that staying in one lane is quicker. To test their opposing hypotheses, the group of them split up into two cars: one weaved through traffic and the other car stayed in one lane. They evaluated this by driving along a highway to the San Jose Tech Museum, which was 46 miles from where their shop is located. The test was conducted during the morning rush hour at around 7:30am. At the end of the clip, they were only through half of the test and the car that stayed in one lane was in the lead. The clip only showed half of the test, which was disappointing as I wanted to see which car won.

This experiment was very simple, and overall it gave an idea as to which one was faster. They used a long enough route to examine which way getting through traffic was faster. They also had both cars drive in the same rush hour, which made sure they had basically the same drive besides the weaving/not weaving factor. Also, the team made sure to document the thoughts and feelings that both Keri and Tory were having while driving in this test. Some weaknesses this experiment had was that they only tested it once. Tory, Keri and Grant should have tested it during both the morning and the night rush hours, as they could have different characteristics. Another weakness was that I believe they should have tested more than one driver. Doing this could have shown different results than just the one test.

Overall, this clip showed the experiment and it did show which way was faster to get through rush hour traffic. I wish they showed the last part of the experiment, so we could see which one was faster at the end.


Introduction Post

Hello! My name is Sarah Peppe, and I am a first year Music BA student. I am taking this psychology class to fulfill the Social Sciences core, but also because I have always been interested in psychology and did not get to take the class in high school. I do not have much background in psychology, but I have always wanted to take this class since the beginning of high school. When I hear the word “psychology”, I think of the mind and how it works. I relate the term “psychology” mainly with mental health and how they affect the body and mind. Three topics that look the most interesting to me are Stress, Motivation, and Mood Disorder and Anxiety. I believe that these are related to my life the most, and I am hoping to be able to take what I learn in those topic discussions and relate them back to my own life to be more present and aware  Three topics that look the least interesting to me are What is “Addiction”?, Scientific Method, and Mechanics of Sleep. I have learned the Scientific Method for many years, so I believe that I already have the knowledge of that topic. I have also learned about addiction and sleep in prior health classes, so I also feel that I know a lot about those topics. I am very excited to learn all of the information this class has to offer, but one question I would like to answer by the end of the class is: How does mental illness affect the brain specifically, and how does someone get diagnosed with a mental illness (is it hereditary, etc.)?