Writing 6: November 2011 Archives

Psychology and my life

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Five years from now, I hope to be just recently graduated from the University of Minnesota and starting my career as a journalist. When asked how I think psychology will affect me at that point, I had to stop and think for a moment. Even though I may not be majoring in psychology, I can see how it will shape the way I think about the world. First, I would be more conscientious on how to get people to do what I want them to. The first type of skill I could use would be the foot-in-the-door process, which would involve me starting at a lower demand and slowly increasing until I receive my desired sum. The second type would be door-in-the-face, which would involve me starting at a higher demand that seems completely unreasonable, and moving downward until I reach the desired sum. Also, I would be more conscientious on parenting styles. I would be aware on whether I wanted to be an authoritative parent (treats their child with equal scold and praise), an authoritarian parent (treats their child with only scold), or a permissive parent (treats their child with only praise). Hopefully, with the knowledge I gained in psychology this first semester of my freshmen year, I can make wise decisions on the way I live my life.

Psychology and my life

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Five years from now, I hope to be just recently graduated from the University of Minnesota and starting my career as a journalist. When asked how I think psychology will affect me at that point, I had to stop and think for a moment. Even though I may not be majoring in psychology, I can see how it will shape the way I think about the world. First, I would be more conscientious on how to get people to do what I want them to. The first type of skill I could use would be the foot-in-the-door process, which would involve me starting at a lower demand and slowly increasing until I receive my desired sum. The second type would be door-in-the-face, which would involve me starting at a higher demand that seems completely unreasonable, and moving downward until I reach the desired sum. Also, I would be more conscientious on parenting styles. I would be aware on whether I wanted to be an authoritative parent (treats their child with equal scold and praise), an authoritarian parent (treats their child with only scold), or a permissive parent (treats their child with only praise). Hopefully, with the knowledge I gained in psychology this first semester of my freshmen year, I can make wise decisions on the way I live my life.

009055-Speech-therapy-stroke.jpgIn five years, I predict that the psychology I've learned in this introductory course will be something I encounter daily. Currently, my major is speech language hearing sciences. My goal is to take the major into career that will allow me to work with both stroke patients and traumatic brain injury patients in an effort to reestablish their communication abilities. Most of the topics in the Psychology textbook will be useful at one time or another for this occupation, but the there are a couple of concepts that seem to be more relevant to speech pathology than others.
The most obvious concept studied in this course that will most likely be incorporated into my daily life is the concept of language and language acquisition. Similar to a child learning a new language, a majority of the patients I encounter will also be working to learn a language; the difference lies in the fact that both stroke patients and TBI patients are relearners of a language that they've known their whole life.
In addition to the language topic, the biological properties of the brain will also be resourceful in my future aspirations. The plasticity of the brain will be illustrated in the most miraculous ways throughout my career. As patients regain the ability to use language and communicate with loved ones in ways that were once possible only before the impairment, I will be witnessing the phenomenon of the brain's plasticity in a completely natural circumstance. I have a feeling it will be encouraging to see the exchanging of responsibilities among the brain regions in action.

Obedience

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Obedience
After a semester full of psychology concepts, I would consider myself luck if I remember half of them a year from now. The ones that will stick with me the most are the ones that were so crazy I could not believe them to be true. In chapter 13 of our textbooks, we read about the concept of obedience. It basically is when someone will go along with something simply because someone with authority is urging them to do so. An example we looked at in class was the Stanley Milgram Experiment. Participants were told to ask another participant a question. If the second participant answered the question incorrectly, they were shocked by the first participant. What was so crazy to me was the fact that the first participant went along with this, even when the one being shocked stopped responding. They could have been dead and that is terrifying to me. I will always remember this because I found it absolutely crazy that people would put that kind of pain on someone else just so they would not disobey authority. It also makes me think would I have gone along with that? It is scary what we will do in certain situations.

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In everyday life, people often make snap judgments about others. They say, "That girl is so dumb because she failed a test" or "that boy is so mean all of the time" without ever getting to know the true facts. Regardless of whether it is true, people automatically assume dispositional influences on others' behaviors: that their behavior is due to who they are as a person (their personality traits, their intelligence, etc.). This idea of the fundamental attribution error, overestimating the role of dispositional influences on others' behavior, will be a psychological concept that I will remember for years to come.

These judgments about dispositional influences are harmful as they cause us to think poorly of a person's character based solely on one instance in which external influences aren't taken into account. Situational influences also need to be considered before making an assumption about the person's traits. Perhaps the girl failed her test because she was awake all night working on her homework. Maybe the boy seems mean because he just went through a break-up and is having a hard time dealing with it emotionally. Sometimes, situations make people act in ways contrary to their character, making others assume negative characteristics about them that simply aren't true.

Consequently, this concept of the fundamental attribution error will stick with me for years due to its important yet practical applications to everyday life. Although it may be argued that dispositional influences aren't always bad, they can still lead to faulty conclusions. As the age old proverb goes, "don't judge a book by its cover." There may be more to a person than meets the eye, and there may be more influences behind a person's behavior that can't be understood by general assumptions.

The concept in psychology that I will recall five years from now are the three major parenting styles studied by Diana Baumrind. Permissive parents are those that don't seem to give a rat's hole about what a child does and rarely uses discipline. Authoritarian parents are those who believe in being strict with many rules and rarely allowing children to explore. Authoritative parents are those who have the best parenting styles; they support their children but also set rules.
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I found that these three parenting styles associate with how my parents have raised me. I feel as though they have been authoritarian; when I was young I was never able to do anything that allowed me to explore or meet new people, I was never in any outside of school activities, I was never able to go to sleepovers or invite friends over. My parents were very strict and I was always afraid of doing something wrong that would disappoint them.
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Then there became a point in which they were Authoritarian, and this happened as I got older and I was able to make good decisions and I wanted to explore and be able to experience new things. Being the only daughter my parents had the permissive style of parenting with my brothers and more authoritarian with me. I believe that these styles affect my life, being that my parents nurtured me to be who I am today.
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I believe that five years from the concept in psychology that I will remember was everything on child rearing. One thing in my life that I am very excited for is becoming a mother. In psychology we learned that there our certain ways to raise a child that work the best. However this environment does not need to be perfect. I know that if I try my best and give my child its essential needs my child will succeed. I simply just need to use my common sense. Also if I use a authoritative style of parenting which establishes rules but also includes listening to child I will be a good parent. I'll remember that it is important to use positive, attachment, unconditional, spiritual, and slow parenting. I also will remember that it is important for my children to develop on their own terms. I believe that I will remember everything I have learned abut child rearing in psychology because being a parent will be an important part of my life several years from now. Child-rearing.jpg

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This page is an archive of entries in the Writing 6 category from November 2011.

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