A few weeks ago, I read a blog entry on REM rebound, like we had learned in class. I found it very interesting to read about another person's experience with that, since I have had that happen to me many times before. However, this past weekend I experienced an extremely vivid REM rebound dream - even more vivid than normal. I fell asleep almost immediately when I laid down, and after a while, I woke up and thought I had been sleeping for hours. Once I checked my phone, I realized that I had only slept for a little while. I laid in bed and recalled an intense dream I had about different situations and friends in my life. I still can clearly remember that dream. It was interesting to really take the time to think about what had happened and why in that dream, especially considering it was easy for me to remember. People should definitely take the time to look into deeper aspects of their life, like what dreams are, how they work, and more importantly, the meaning.
If you were put in a situation in which you had complete control over several other people, how would you behave? According to Philip Zimbardo's findings, you probably wouldn't act in a way that a mother typical mother would approve of. In his study, he randomly assigned 24 males to be either prisoners or guards. After some time, the people who were guards acted quite sadistically and prisoners showed varying signs of emotional disturbance. Even though this study was not carefully controlled, there have been many other times where similar results have been found. For example, the Robber's Cave Study caused two groups of youngsters, sorted by simple eye color, to very clearly become the groups that they were assigned into. I think that these studies show that behavior is definitely not based solely on the genetics of a person, or even their past behavior. Behavior is very reliant on the situation that the person is placed into.
This is definitely one of the principle ideas that I will remember from this class. I think that this serves as a very good reminder that children should be encouraged for personal and education growth from a very early age. It also shows that children should not be pitted against each other at early ages, rather they should be encouraged to work together on projects. This will increase productivity and decrease prejudice among their peers.
I am willing to bet that most of you, before taking this class, have heard of Freud, even if it was just in passing and you did not understand what it meant. I always thought it was strange how people thought that every detail in a dream had a specific meaning that could be identified with enough study into it. A part of the Freudian school of thought that I did believe was possible was the idea that a person's actions are partly based on unconscious thoughts. I think that an idea that can be associated with this is that most people have a sort of 'type' of guy or girl that they always seem to go after, even if they don't realize it. I definitely agree with Freud's thinking that things like this can be based off of unconscious impulses that may be based on some event that occurred in their childhood. I do think that he went to far in saying that most desires are based in something that is just simply primal, like sexual desire. Most actions probably have other basis, like the need to feel connected to a society. Altogether, I really enjoyed studying Freud and his writings, and I think that his insights are definitely something that I will read more into.
When I was younger Alzheimer's was a disease that made you forget things, maybe you forget to do your homework, or you forget to do the dishes, but my innocent view of the disease was way off the mark. Alzheimer's is a very scary yet very prevalent disease in our world today. The cause of it is unknown except a small amount of cases that have been linked to genetics.
By 2050 it is said that 1 in 85 people will have this disease. This disease seems to have no mercy, which to me is the scariest part. This disease does not discriminate except that it mainly affects people late in life. And you don't recover from it, it only gets worse. Currently the only line of action is prevention... and there is no definitive evidence to support any method of prevention. This disease is coupled with the burden you would place on the people around you and the fact that slowly but surely your brain is giving up. Optimism and hope may be our only weapon against this monster, for now but extensive research is being done to find a cure. For example some researchers believe the answer may lie in a person's diet, in that certain vitamins may help to fight against the onset of this disease. This article mentions a possible cure for the disease that seems to have had "a remarkable affect on mice afflicted with a condition similar to Alzheimer's in humans". Hopefully the cure is found soon.
Ethics, morality, most people find themselves trying to do the right thing; people might ask themselves "What would Jesus do?" Whatever your style is in trying to do the right thing you may frequently find yourself in a moral gray area. Hypothetical Situations like: If you could go back in time and kill Hitler when he was a baby, would you do it, and would that be ethical? Maybe that example is too hypothetical for you.
What about if there was a gene found for "criminality"? This is a great example of a moral gray area. The ethical issues stem from the fact that this gene would be identifiable in anyone, newborns and adults alike. In the case of an adult, they could potentially be jailed before committing a crime because of the presence of this gene. The motto of innocent until proven guilty would no longer apply. This could even cause a reemergence of the eugenics movement, and those with this gene would be sterilized. In the case of an infant, we might see them being arrested at birth if they were unlucky enough to inherit that gene. The ethical issues with this situation are endless. As a whole, based on history I believe that society WOULD respond as I explained. We SHOULD respond in a more optimistic manner. As a society we should give extra attention to those individuals who are found to have this "criminality" gene, in hopes of overriding nature with nurture and avoiding the thought of a babies going to jail.
If this situation still seems too crazy then click here to read an article about a study that seems to have found a link to violence in delinquents. We may be closer to baby prison than you think...
I have watched my fair share of movies that incorporate characters who suffer from memory loss such as Memento, Bourne Identity, 50 First Dates, and even The Notebook. I would easily say that the Bourne series is the best series I have ever seen but I will focus on the memory loss associated with the main character Leonard Shelby from Memento. Lenny suffers from a memory loss condition after his head was injured from trying to save his wife from being murdered in his own home. The thing is, the police are not trying to track down this guy so he feels he needs to get vengeance for his wife's death. His memory loss is short-term. He has to write notes on photos and tattoo important information to enhance his memory of past recent events. He explains that if someone talks too long or he takes a nap or is not doing something for a while that he will become preoccupied and not remember recent events. This seems to be characteristic of dementia. However, even though this disease can occur before geriatric stages of age, I do not feel he was really completely disoriented or suffering physically as well. He was simply disoriented most often with his mission of finding the killer of his wife. That makes sense because most crime investigations are quite complex and take a lot of notes and time to go through information even for police who do not suffer from memory loss.
The concept I think will stick with me the most in the next five years is the view of the human mind as a cognitive miser. I find it interesting how the mind functions in a way such that it has to put forth as little effort as possible in order to accomplish everyday tasks. This is incredibly applicable in many facets of daily life because it makes you reconsider how accurate your memories or observations really are. It has been shown in numerous studies how our memories can be altered over short and long periods of time without our knowledge and that our observations can be altered by a host of external influences. These concepts are good to keep in mind the next time you're in an argument with someone over something that you "know" to be true. Even if you are entirely adamant about what you may have seen or experienced, it is still very possible that you could be mistaken. The mind's use of heuristics, schemas, and other mental shortcuts can be very useful the majority of the time, but can still cause problems we should at least be aware of. Simply being aware of these concepts can prevent embarrassing future mishaps for all of us.
The reason I missed the discussion section on April 25th was because I was helping with a very important event on campus: Mental Health Awareness Day (MHAD)! The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicide on campus. During the morning of the event, we set up 1,100 chairs to represent the 1,100 college students in the US that die by suicide each year! Just looking at that many chairs really makes you think about why mental health is so important! We also had a speech from Mark Meier (the founder of the organization called Face It), performances from spoken word, free t-shirts, and the opportunity for people to dedicate a chair for someone they know who deals with a mental health disorder or who has committed suicide.
The reason I joined MHAD is because I have personally dealt with depression and anxiety myself. Right before college started, I had a lot of things going on in my life that caused a lot of stress. At one point the stress just became too much for me to handle and that is when depression and anxiety entered my life. I knew little about these mental disorders before college, so when I was first starting to experience them I was very confused, frustrated, and scared. Eventually I figured out what was going on and went to see my local doctor. Ever since then I have been taking medication and seeing a therapist to help me manage my depression and anxiety. Even though I have gotten a lot better, they are still something I deal with to this day.
Depression and anxiety are hard to describe to people unless they experience it for themselves, yet that is nothing I would wish on anybody. Unfortunately, along with mental disorders, there are many stigmas that are attached to these diseases. If you tell someone that you have a mental disorder some people might think you are crazy or are just making it up. Well, as one who has dealt with mental disorders first-hand, I would be the first to say that those are just plain not true. Mental disorders are real diseases and should be treated very seriously. MHAD gave me the opportunity to take a stand for mental health because it is something that I find to be very important and worth talking about. In the end, raising awareness and talking about mental health will hopefully decrease the number of students that die by suicide because I believe that every person in this world is special and has a reason to be here!
The topic that will stick with me the most after this semester of Psychology is personality. Many topics that were covered over the last few months were very interesting to me, but understanding personalities definitely stood out the most. Because personality is made up of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique, I was interested from the very beginning. I find it fascinating to observe different individuals behaviors based on their personality. Once we got more in depth with understanding the factors behind what make up an individual's personality, I was loving it! Especially the discussion activity that we did when we were put into specific groups based on our personality types, that was so interesting to me. Learning about the five core personality traits - extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness - helped me understand how and why people act based on their personality. Personality is a huge factor in everyone's life. It determines the type of friends that they will make, what kind of a job they will hold, how they will ultimately carry out their life. Because I was so fascinated with personality, I decided to take the Psychology of Personality next semester. I cannot wait!
One of the subjects we discussed in Psychology that I believe will stick with me for a long amount of time will be the section about moral reasoning. People often develop strong feelings, values and beliefs around this time in their life because now we have to start making a lot of important decisions and are experiencing a lot of new things. Entering your late teens and your early twenties can be when many people start experiencing moral dilemmas. This is the age when some decisions aren't clear about what's right and wrong. We're also better able to understand consequences of not just our parents but all of society, whether it be our peers, teachers, bosses, co-workers, etc. This will especially stay with me through out college, being that I'm only a freshman. There's many more decision I'll have to make. What major should I choose? Where will I live? Should I go to graduate school? Is this person right for me? How can I build up my resume? And in the end did I make all the right choices for me? I have some important things to think about within the next couple years and I will definitely be exercising my moral reasoning.