First Impression Post #5 (Week 6):

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to discuss the first option, which dealt my own personal study habits. Since I was in elementary school, my parents had taught me the importance of studying and using different techniques. When I was really young, my mom would create practice tests for me, read through the material, and verbally quiz me. My dad would quiz me each night on spelling, and practice complicated problems. My parents encouraged me to make flashcards with words and definitions. I grew older, and I had learned to combine the study skills my parents had taught me with my own style. In high school and college, I had incorporated these study techniques into my daily routine. There were strengths to my habits, but there was also room for improvement.

I had some strong study habits throughout my life. I created notecards and took time throughout the week to prepare for a test. On the notecards, I wrote important information in lists or bullet points. Some notecards were for definitions, while others had practice problems on them. I studied these by myself and with my family. Also, my study habits included reading the information, taking descriptive notes, and rereading the notes and textbook. I tested my knowledge by verbally saying answers and taking written practice exams. I highlighted information that needed to be revisited. I studied in silence with no distractions, and in groups only after I thought I knew the material on my own. Little distractions and staying focused were important features to my study habits. Lastly, I studied for a specific time and would not “reward” myself or take a break until I completed the information.

I needed to improve on my study habits as well. I was taught at a young age through school some answers were black and white; no gray areas. This led me to struggle on application and inferring questions on exams. I had to improve on looking at the big picture, and relating learned information to other examples. In the past, I did not designate enough time to certain subjects, and too much time on others. Management of time and stress would create a more successful outcome for me as a well-rounded person.

For the first psychology exam, I used many of my personal study habits. Since the first class, I knew this course was going to be heavy and required many hours of work. I created vocabulary index cards to study a couple times a week, and multiple times right before the test. I read the chapters numerous times, took the practice exam twice, and took each chapter quiz at least ten times. This allowed me to encounter multiple questions, and reassess what I knew and what needed to be improved. Lastly, I took very detailed notes on the first chapter, but did not have enough time to spend on the fourth chapter. Even though I did well on the exam, there were changes and improvements that would need to be made for the second exam. I would look at the study guide more closely and take notes based on the central themes. I would specifically refer to the text, and study the people, important events, and main structures of the chapters. I would focus on dividing my time equally among the given chapters. Lastly, I would ask my professor questions I was uncertain about to better understand the larger concepts I was least confident in comprehending or retelling in my own words.

Overall, I believed my study habits were successful due to my upbringing; however, new techniques would strengthen my ability to adapt to different circumstances.

First Impression Post #4 (Week 5):

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to discuss the second option, which dealt with violence in the media. Over the last twenty years, people believed the increase of violence in children was caused by violent video games being produced by large industries. The graphics were becoming realistic, including violent scenes of blood, gore, and shootings. Many thought the violence within the video games was effecting the attitudes of the children in society.

From my perspective, I believed on average violent video games did not cause children to become more violent; however, I believed violence increased. In a few extreme cases, I believed some children, with a psychotic disorder or background, would take the actions from the video game and would apply them to real life situations. Many people knew video games were just a game, and the violence portrayed within them did not give a reason to reenact or display those behaviors. Also, I believed there was a positive correlation between the violence in video games and children’s violent attitudes. This did not mean that one variable, the violent video games, caused the violent attitudes. There was no significant cause and effect relationship. Temperament and other variables explained the rise of violence as well. Lastly, I believed the children who had an increase in violent attitudes and played these video games were not mature enough to handle the information and graphic scenes. The difference in the development of younger children and older teenagers or adults was significant in the way one would react after playing a video game.

I disagreed with calls to have violent video games permanently banned from society. Children who were not mature enough, or knew the difference between real and pretend, should not be able to purchase or play these specific video games. Parents would either make the decision to allow their children to play these games, or to restrict them from such games. The parents would make the final call, not the industry. Also, restrictions were placed on games for mature adults or older people. This implication described violence was prominent in the games, which meant younger children were not recommended to buy these video games.

From personal experience, my cousins and friends all played violent video games. These games included hunting, wars, and battling until the opponent was dead. These video games were fake, not real situations in life. My relatives had not become violent or aggressive due to these video games. Even if some people became more violent due to specific video games, it did not mean all children would have the same problem. This situation reminded me of another similar case. If one person used a gun to murder people, did that mean all guns had to be banned from society? One person’s actions did not mean the piece of equipment had to be forbidden by everyone.

After I reviewed this scenario, I believed violence had increased over the decades; however, the violence through video games was not the only or major factor.

First Impression Post #3 (Week 4):

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to discuss the TED talk with Jim Fallon. “Exploring the mind of a killer” was the title of this particular episode. I was drawn to this topic because I watched numerous television shows involving psychopathic killers in the past. I was interested in knowing some background information on why these murderers commit severe crimes.

“Exploring the mind of a killer” was given by Jim Fallon, who was a neuroscientist and professor of the University of California. Fallon was given the opportunity to discover how one became a psychopathic killer by looking at their brains. He examined many brains, normal and those of previous killers, to conclude his findings. From his data, he searched for reasons in the brain that caused the human to become a murderer. He saw how the damaged brain and the environment together impacted the human. He concluded all killers had damage to the orbital cortex; however, the specific timing of the damage resulted in a unique and distinct psychopathic killer. Fallon also talked about the major violence gene, and how it was sex linked on the X chromosome. This meant more males were expected to be killers than women. Lastly, Jim Fallon talked about his previous history. His family, on his father’s side, had numerous psychopathic killers including Lizzie Borden. He described how he viewed the brains of his family members, and they were now waiting to see who the next psychopathic killer would be in their family line.

The most interesting thing I learned from the talk was the major violence gene (MAO-A gene) explained why the people became psychopathic killers. I was further intrigued the MAO-A gene was sex linked and only appeared on the X chromosome. This meant the mothers carried the gene, so men were more likely to become murderers compared to women. I had previously wondered why television shows usually depicted men as psychopathic killers, but I had learned the reason for this after watching the TED talk.

Jim Fallon was an overall reliable presenter on the information he presented in the TED talk. I believed he was trustworthy because he was a neuroscientist and professor at the University of California. He had over thirty five years of background, studying the behavior of genes and circuit analysis in the brain. Since he was a presenter on the TED talk, this also showed the importance and high standard of knowledge he needed to have prior to the show. Even though he was on TED talk, there were some things that stuck out to make him seem unreliable. He did not explain all the aspects and details of the experiment, which would lead to questioning whether it was a true experiment or not. I was not able to see whether or not the experiment included random assignment, the age differences between the brains, or whether the data was generalized to the entire population. Jim Fallon, however, described the experiment was blinded, and he did not know which brains were from the psychopathic killers.

Based on the information presented, I would conduct a research experiment to see if the damaged brain in the orbital cortex could be reversed. Can a method of research be implemented in a child who has damage to the orbital cortex to prevent him or her from becoming a psychopathic killer? The independent variable would be the use of the research methods to reverse the orbital damage. The control group would not receive the treatment, while the experimental group would receive it. The dependent variable would see if the damage to the orbital cortex was corrected by the ones who received the treatment. The random selection of the population would include all genders, age groups, and different cultures. Random assignment would allow the participants to belong to certain groups of the experiment. Also, the ones who received the placebo and the treatment would be randomly assigned. This experiment would allow for casual claims because it was a true experiment. Lastly, it would be generalizable to the entire population because it included all cultures and had random selection. This experiment would be trustworthy because it answered the five critical questions of research. There would be some problems with the experiment because it would be potential for it to be unethical by the Institutional Review Board. Some children would not receive a method to prevent them from becoming a psychopathic killer, which would be considered harmful and inhumane.

Overall, “Explaining the mind of a killer” was extremely interesting and gave me an insight on how damage, a severe event, and the X chromosome all had a part in creating a psychopathic killer.

First Impression Post #2 (Week 3):

Can there be any one specific or best way to parent? There are many different parenting styles in the world today. Some people are considered tiger moms, jellyfish dads, or helicopter parents. Each parenting style is unique with strengths and weaknesses.

I consider my parents to be helicopter parents. My parents want to know all aspects of my life as I grow into an adult. They want to support, protect, and strengthen my abilities to make me the best person they know I can become. As I grow older, I see the reason my parents want to know all about my life. They direct me in the right and successful path.

I believe the best way to produce children who grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society is to combine multiple parenting techniques. Parents need to imply positive reinforcement; however, strict parenting techniques are important as well. When a child is misbehaving, it is important for the parents to correct this behavior by punishment or having the child face consequences. This allows the child to grow from their mistakes and become a better member of society.

I believe parents do not need to be best friends with their children. This creates problems because parents do not want their children to hate them, or the children take advantage of their parents. I see this with my friends’ parents all the time. They do not want to disappoint their children, so they give them everything and anything they want. This is a problem in life because not everything will be handed to you. You have to work hard and prove yourself in this society to become successful.

Lastly, I believe parents need to push their children in different activities. This allows the child to become a well-rounded adult in the future. Parents should encourage their children to play sports, join clubs or societies, make friends, and challenge themselves. When children engage in these activities, they are learning key life lessons they will need in the future. The obstacles children face in these activities will strengthen their values and make them learn from their mistakes.

There are multiple parenting techniques, but I think the few I stated here are most important for a child to become a happy, healthy, and productive member of society.

Theoretical Lenses in Psychology:

Lately, Miguel is facing many difficulties with his focus, coursework, friends, sleeping habits, and alertness throughout the day. Different lenses and modern perspectives of psychology can give an explanation to why Miguel is struggling.

From a psychodynamic perspective, Miguel is facing difficulties dealing with his unconscious thoughts and feelings. Miguel is unaware that his mind is having thoughts about previous experiences where not being perfect causes his family to be disappointed. His mind is hoping for no mistakes to be made. He is not aware of these high expectations being so important, but his brain and body remembers from the past.

From a behavioral perspective, Miguel’s struggles are viewed by a psychologist who see his observable behaviors. Miguel’s thoughts are not focused upon, but the measurable and countable aspects are viewed. He has a low temperament level, which allows him to become irritated quickly and pick unnecessary fights with his friends. He usually is a well-rounded student, answering questions correctly. Having difficulties may lower his self-esteem and cause him to act out.

From a humanistic perspective, a psychologist wants to understand how his school environment is affecting Miguel’s growth and self-worth. They view his learned behaviors in the past, and see how they are preventing him from achieving freedom. Psychologists see the school environment is causing Miguel to stress, having little self-worth and growth in academics. They want Miguel to pick a few strengths, and create goals he can achieve to feel important again.

From a cognitive perspective, Miguel’s mental processes will be viewed including his ability to process information, solve problems, and think. At this point in time, Miguel is struggling to solve and answer problems correctly due to his lack of sleep, focus, and alertness. He is not able to think in the same way he previously once did. Psychologists may offer new ways to improve his thought process for the future.

From a neuroscience perspective, behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology will be used to view Miguel’s problems. Also, looking at the brain activity of Miguel can show why he is having difficulties. His personality comes from specific genes in his body, causing him to act out. Also, Miguel is stressing over problems due to his lack of perfection. The idea of nature-nurture and natural selection are also viewed in this category. In previous decades, being the best or fighting may have been traits passed down through reproduction.

Lastly from a cultural perspective, Miguel’s morals and beliefs, which have been passed down through his culture and society, will reveal where his struggles are originating. Miguel may have come from a culture where men are supposed to be the best, and there is no excuse for anything less than perfection. His culture influences his decision to pick fights with friends, instead of pleasantly working out any little problems.

All of these psychology perspectives can give insight on why Miguel is having a difficult time.

First Impression Post #1:

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to look at option two because I have seen the popular TV show Mythbusters several times. I chose “Do Men Really Find Blonds More Attractive?” as the short clip to critique. In this clip, the two men used the scientific method to test their question. They used speed dating as the environment for their experiment. They conducted three different tests with nine different men in each. There were the same nine women in each of the three tests; however, the women changed their hair color for each test. This allowed a conclusion to be drawn on whether or not men preferred blonds, or were men attracted to someone’s personality instead. Watching this short clip, I was able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the experiment.

This experiment had multiple strengths because the team was able to use the scientific method as a guideline to tell whether or not men actually prefer blonds. They were able to start with a question that would lead their experiment. Then, they found some research about why men may prefer blond haired women. They saw that there was a cliche from a Monroe movie, where men preferred blonds. Also, they saw during an ice age, there was a mutation and blond hair became a recessive gene. With this research, they stayed with the main hypothesis from the past that men prefer blonds. Research allows a respectable hypothesis to form. Now, the team was able to conduct an experiment. Their experiment was very well constructed because they included variables, had a time limit, and conducted multiple tests. The independent variable was the women’s hair color (wig): blond, brown, and red. Each man only had a specific amount of time allotted to meet and make connections with the women. This is important because all the men need to have the same time with each women for accurate results. They allowed three different sets of nine guys to speed date with nine women. For each set of guys, the women had a different color wig on. This was a crucial aspect for the experiment because it determined if the men preferred a specific hair color of a woman, or if their personality was more important. Conducting three tests was extremely important because multiple tests lead to multiple answers, creating a more accurate result. This allowed the experiment to have a reliable conclusion. The team took the data from the three tests and created tables. Collecting the data in tables, allowed the team to conclude the hypothesis was incorrect: men do not prefer blonds. This conclusion allows people to see hair color is not what men prefer, but a personality does. Many strong techniques were used for their experiment.

Even though there were many strengths in this experiment, there were a few weaknesses that could be improved upon. During the end of the experiment, the team did not include a discussion about ways to improve the test or talk about variables or factors that could have led to different results. This was a problem because in the scientific method discussing the results and explaining them is critical. The team could have saved a few more minutes at the end of the clip to complete this. Another weakness I saw was they chose twenty-seven different men; however, they did not say the ages of these men. This could be a problem because if all the men were younger, than the older population is not depicted. To fix this, the team could conduct an experiment testing older versus younger generations of men. Then, they could combine the results from each age group and make an overall conclusion. Lastly, the independent variable, the hair color, is a problem in the experiment. Only three colors of hair were chosen for the experiment, which left out many other types of women in the world. Even though it is a TV show and there is limited time, more hair colors and different lengths of hair should be included in the tests to find more accurate results.

Overall, Mythbusters created a well-constructed experiment, included many details, and created an interesting test for their audience.


Hello my name is Sierra, and I am a freshman studying occupational therapy here at Elizabethtown! I also played field hockey during the fall, and I loved it! My hobbies include: hanging out with friends, going on vacations, playing with my dog, and watching scary movies.

I chose to take psychology because it is required for my major. I wanted to take it earlier rather than later in my college career. I honestly have no background in psychology and have never taken a course like it before in high school. However, I love watching Criminal Minds. They talk about how the mind works and why people do certain things or commit crimes by viewing their backgrounds. When I think of the word “psychology,” I think about how the mind works, and what causes people to make certain actions. Not only do I think that everyone makes their own choices for a specific reason, but I also believe outside factors contribute to these choices.

The three most interesting topics in the syllabus are Why do We Forget, What is “Addiction”?, and How to Get Good Sleep. The first topic interests me because I have always wondered why I can remember things from my past, but forget short-term events. I hope the second topic can tell me the difference between bad habits people have and addictions. The third topic I love because sleeping is essential for college students. The least interesting topics are How to Choose a Therapist, Assessing Intelligence, and Power of the Situation. How to Choose a Therapist is not interesting to me because I do not know much about it. The second topic does not get me excited because it is about assessing, and not about theories. The last topic is not interesting to me because there are an infinite number of possible situations that could occur, and I do not understand what we would be talking about.

By the end of this class, I would like to answer: How can you tell if some suffers from insanity?

After hearing the first couple of minutes of the first lecture, I am excited for what this class has to offer!