munk0016: December 2011 Archives

Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality is a very important theory because it differs from all other personality theories. The psychoanalytic theory is based on three main assumptions: psychic determination, symbolic meaning, and unconscious motivation. Psychic determination is the assumption that all psychological events have a cause. I am a strong believer in that everything happens for a reason, so I think this is a very important part of the concept. There really is a cause for everything that happens even if we don't know it at the time of the event. The second assumption, symbolic meaning, is that no action, no matter how seemingly trivial, is meaningless. This also supports the idea that everything happens for a reason. There really is a connection and deeper meaning to every action or event that happens in a person's life. A lot of people don't take the time to analyze these events, so they don't realize it. The third assumption, unconscious motivation, is that most of the things that we do is done by the unconscious part of our personality. We do not have explanations for a lot of the things that we do and that is because of our unconscious. Freud argued that the unconscious is of a lot greater importance in the causes of our personality than the conscious. I think that everyone can use Freud's psychoanalytic theory in everyday life by using the three assumptions to analyze people's behavior that they don't understand. If someone thinks that some event or action is meaningless, taking the time to analyze the situation could result in a deeper meaning for the reason and better help someone understand. I do wonder how every single action can be a symbol for something, such as brushing one's hair, because there are things that we do that I feel have no deeper meaning, but I will trust Freud on that.

Positive psychology is a field that helps to change people's feelings of being neglected by focusing on their strengths, such as resilience, coping, life satisfaction, love, and happiness. Positive psychology is new to this century and changes the views of contemporary psychology, which doesn't encourage people to accomplish things at their fullest potential. It also helps people to find ways of enhancing positive emotions, like happiness and fulfillment, and building psychologically healthy communities. I think that a lot of positive psychology is a very important concept because everyone has a different potential and by setting one goal for everyone, it puts people on different levels, which can lead to people feeling stressed and discouraged. By encouraging everyone to do their very own best, it causes people to feel more satisfied with themselves and makes people happier. As a competitive cheerleader, every person on my team has different capabilities and at different levels of achievement. When I compare myself to someone who has higher skills than I do, it makes me feel lower about myself. When I set goals for just me to accomplish that are to the best of my ability, I get a great satisfaction when I can accomplish them. By realizing that everyone is at different levels, I can strive to achieve my full potential and get a satisfaction from doing so. I do wonder why some critics believe that this is an unrealistic concept. Their argument is that it robs defensive pessimists of their pessimism and doesn't fully prepare people for negative outcomes. Why wouldn't people want everyone to feel satisfaction about themselves?

Speed-reading consists of a number of reading strategies that attempt to make people read faster, while still being able to interpret and retain the information they are reading. Many people cannot grasp the concept that they are reading unless they read it slow and allow their brain to process it. Who wouldn't want to be able to read at a fast pace and save time, while gaining just as much knowledge as if a person were to read slowly? There are a number of advertisements that promote courses designed to teach people how to speed up their reading rate. Is it possible that a course can really speed up people's reading rates and allow them to fully comprehend what they are reading? It has been proven that reading is subject to a speed-accuracy trade-off: the faster we read, the more we miss. There have been numerous amounts of people who claim they are able to read between 15,000 and 30,000 words per minute when the average rate ranges between 250 and 300 words per minute. These extraordinary claims are yet to be proven. This is an important theory because speed-reading classes are very expensive and make promises that don't come true a lot of the time. In the article attached below, Gordon Legge, a vision researcher at the University of Minnesota said, "Although you might have the illusion that you see the whole page, you can actually only see small groups of letters at the point where your eyes are focused. Only eight or 10 letters fit in this tiny window, called the visual span. The rest of the letters are just a blur." Legge is saying that even the actual idea of being able to speed-read is bogus and that it is impossible for our eyes to really see enough words to be able to read them at such a fast rate. If this is true, there is no way that a course would be able to help people learn how to speed-read because it is physically impossible. But what about the people who claim that they can speed-read and that the courses are effective? When tested, most of the people who have made these claims fail to prove their extremely fast reading rate, while still comprehending the material.

Freud's Defense Mechanisms

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Five years from now, the concept that I have learned in psychology that I think I will remember is Freud's defense mechanisms. I believe that his theory of the ten major defense mechanisms can describe a person's actions any time anxiety is present. When someone is acting in some sort of manner because of anxiety, I believe that their actions can be defined into at least one of Freud's defense mechanisms. This will come in handy because when someone is acting in a way that I don't understand, I will be able to categorize their actions into one of the major defense mechanisms and be able to better understand what is causing the person to act in that way. The more knowledge one has about the defense mechanisms, the easier it is to be able to understand and help people that are struggling with anxiety. I think that people portray these defense mechanisms a lot more than people really realize and by having the knowledge of them, it will help to better understand people. I know that even I will continue to use these defense mechanisms because they are unconscious maneuvers that the ego engages in, and having the knowledge of them will help me to rationalize why I and others make the decisions that we make when anxiety is present.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by munk0016 in December 2011.

munk0016: October 2011 is the previous archive.

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