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Applying Psychology To Your Life

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Erica Johnston

on 3 June 2014

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Transcript of Applying Psychology To Your Life

Applying Psychology To Your Life
By: Erica Johnston
Biological Bases of Behavior (Chapter 3)
"Whether there is an initial trigger (death in the family, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job) or biochemical changes in the brain. These changes are largely what separates clinical depression from the blues we all feel occasionally. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood. Normally when your brain cells release serotonin, they call it back. Selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, block that process, allowing more serotonin to be available. This process relieves the symptoms associated with depression." (47).
I found this to be interesting because my sister takes Prozac. She seems very hyper, although she always has been, but she sings and is more cheery in the morning. The biochemical can play a big part of depression. My grandma, mom, sister, and me all have been prescribed medication for anxiety.
"Our sensory organs- eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin- contain receptors that allow us to physically process the information we are constantly receiving from the world around us." (52) "In a process known as perception, the brain organizes the sensory information to make it meaningful." (52).
For me I can tell I sense things when asleep or think I am sensing something that I am not. Since my bedroom is on the second level of the house, my parents yell instead of walking up the stairs to talk to me. They often are awake before I am. I remember a few mornings when I thought I heard my dad yelling telling me to wake up. I yelled back okay and then realized he was not home.

Sensation and Perception (Chapter 4)
Research Methods (Chapter 2)
"Recently, there have been many claims that the increased violence on television, in movies, and in video games is responsible for increased aggression in young people."(28)
"Bias is generally defined as any condition or set of conditions that distorts data from what pure chance would have produced."(20)

With all of the violence that has been happening in America lately, such as school shootings, stabbings,etc. I wonder about if video games and television do have an impact on these people. I see that I have somewhat a bias aspect on these violent acts. Part of me thinks that yes seeing murder and violence on a screen can increase someone committing these acts. But then I think of how I and many other high school students watch violent movies and play violent video games and this has not poccessed us to commit the same crimes.
States of Consciousness (Chapter 6)
"Consciousness as the awareness of one's self and one's environment." (80) Drug-Induced State "The result of chemicals that alter the mental state, often through physiological changes and various effects on neurotransmitters in the brain." (84).
I like that this chapter discusses the different states of consciousness and how people in the drug induced state are not in a normal state of mind. My dad was an alcoholic and he would always swear he would stop drinking. The only thing that got him to stop was going to jail for a drunk driving accident.
"In operant conditioning, a behavior is learned in connection with reward or punishment. Whenever you do something because you expect to receive some type of reward for the behavior (or avoid something to avoid punishment), you are demonstrating operant conditioning." (102).
The operant conditioning reminds me of my dog. Every time he goes outside to go potty he gets a treat when he comes back in the house. But he likes getting treats so much that he expects he can go outside and not go potty and then return to the house and still get a treat. When he chews up things he isn't supposed to he puts his ears down when he sees someone knowing he has been caught for doing something bad.
Learning (Chapter 7)
Memory (Chapter 8)
State Dependence "If you studied when you were in a particularly good mood, you may be unable to recall what you memorized if you're feeling sad or angry when you take the test. Your mood or state is stored as part of the memory trace. Without being in the same state, you may have a more difficult time 'linking' to the information in memory."(126).
I find this to be very true. When I am in class and we review things sometimes I have a really hard time remembering any of it. Especially when I am distracted about something that has upset me.
Cognition/Language (Chapter 9)
"People use the word think to describe a wide variety of mental processes." "I think I was four when that happened." (Memory) "Think!" (Attention) "I think UFOs exist." Belief) "I think that's a verb." (Statement of fact) "Thinking is used to describe metal actions..mental processes are referred to as cognition. Let's define thinking as a set of mental activities that results in the solution of a problem or the attainment of a goal." (134). "We use concepts to communicate, to predict, to reason- in short, to think." (135).
For me a lot of times I word statement of facts as questions. I say "I think" when I actually know something. Others do this to. They don't want to sound as if they are stating something and then end up being wrong so we say "I think" even with beliefs it is often I say "I think" instead of "I believe or I know". The concept of this would be to communicate, I predict I am right of the statement, I reason to think I am not and say "I think" instead of stating what I am actually thinking.
Motivation/Emotion (Chapter 11)
"Motive= a stimulus that moves a person toward a behavior designed to achieve a specific goal. Need- a lack of something that one requires or desires. Drive- a force that pushes a person to act. Incentive- a force that pulls a person toward a particular behavior. Emotions- the states of the body and mind associated with feelings." (172).
Motivation is something I find super important. After reading this paragraph I have put some thought into what motivates me. Motive- Wanting to accomplish goals of the career I want. Need- Wanting to prove to my dad the career choice I chose is a great choice since he thinks it is not. Drive- My parents. Incentive- Me skipping class because I feel like they expect to much of me. Emotions- Trying but struggling with feeling to much is expected of me.
Life Span (Chapter 12)
Cognitive Development "The changes in the way we think, reason, learn, acquire language, and us knowledge."
Social Development "The changes in how we relate to other people and develop our own sense of self."
Emotional Development "Changes in feelings and emotions and the development of personality."
(190).
The way I think is to try and understand everyone. Why they act the way they do, what they say, how they feel about something. But when I feel ignored or less important I shut people out of my life. Sometimes I want more friends, but do not want to keep up with the relationship. For me it is more important to have only a few close people to socialize with than it is to have many friends with a distant friendship or relationship.
Personality (Chapter 16)
"Personality is assumed to be a relatively permanent set of traits and behaviors that is unlikely to change to any great extent over the life of an individual. Yet, the purpose of therapy is to create changes within a person. Does this make sense... Even if a person appears to change in radical ways, it may be because that person was open to change." (272).
I agree to somewhat of an extent with this. However I think people can change for major life changing reasons, or reasons such as observing other peoples behavior. I have always been quiet, only being friends with a few people and more hyper or social towards others. When I was younger though I remember always being mean to my sister and cousins. Yelling at them or hitting. Now I do not hit or yell instead I cry when I am mad even if it is over small unimportant things that anger me. This change has happened since now I don't want to hurt other peoples feelings. For the being quiet part though that has not changed. It is hard for me to stick up for myself or say what I am feeling. I believe this to be because whenever my mom would try saying her side in a disagreement with my dad, he would always say how she is wrong. After being told this she stops arguing. That is why when I disagree with someone I never say completely what I want to.
Social Psychology (Chapter 18)
"Social Psychology is the study of how people influence and are influenced by others."
"The self is what we perceive ourselves to be." (297).
"Self-schemas are cognitive structures that allow people to differentiate themselves from others."
"Those people or groups of people whose opinions we care about are called reference groups." (299).
For many it is hard for them to describe themselves. When asked the questions, "Who are you? What do you like?" It is hard to describe or answer those questions. For me I think of how others would describe me. But many of my peers I know I am different around. I do not act 'myself' around. So they cannot describe me. Those who know me would describe me as funny, hyper, weird, caring, sensitive. Those at school would describe me as quiet.
Abnormal Behavior (Chapter 20)
"Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension that danger or misfortune is looming, and that feeling is accompanied by physical symptoms, such as rapid heart rate, increased perspiration, nausea, or dizziness. Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychological disorders, affecting about 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population in any year." (338).
Freshman year I only attended public school for about nine days. I then switched to home school and did not return to public school until half way through sophomore year. I have always felt uncomfortable being around so many people. I feel not good enough and that no one will like me. Walking through school I feel like I cannot breathe as well. Before returning to school I went to the doctor to receive medication to help me deal with the anxiety around others. Over a year later I got off the medication as I felt it would be bad staying on it for a long time. Now I try to avoid feelings but am still paranoid at school. With all of the school shootings that have happened it has made me paranoid walking anywhere. Even when I am not at school. I have the fear in my mind that anyone can drive down the street and shoot me or my friends on the sidewalk.
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