General Psychology Course Reflection

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Introduction

The module helped me gather all the pieces of knowledge I had of the discipline’s history into a complete picture. Learning about more scientists than Freud made me aware of other approaches in psychology, and I may find them useful in analyzing people’s behavior in most situations. After reading the contemporary section, I realized that any job uses psychology to some extent and potentially simplifies one’s interaction with people. As someone who does not plan to pursue an academic career, the paragraph about various options is also enlightening, allowing me to plan long before graduation. However, it was surprising to see healthcare so low, meaning that it is not the best option on the market.

Out of the module material, I am likely to remember Psyche’s story, as it is vivid and illustrious, fueling my interest despite not directly explaining the subject. Another memorable moment is Skinner’s research, which is both interesting and frightening. Rogers’ ideas also resonated with me, and I will bear his approach in mind while interacting with people in general. The way psychologists influenced history is also fascinating, and it is a story I would like to keep reminding other people. Lastly, I will keep the career options in mind and possibly suggest the best alternatives to other people.

Biology of Thinking and Behavior

While I cannot say that the module is among my favorites, it does provide an important background for the rest of the topics. It explains the origins of the fight-or-flight response, which plays a role in releasing stress, although its value seems to be the same. The module has much emphasis on genetics, which explains the causes of various disorders through mutations and heritability. I believe the former has a significant impact, as healthy parents might have a child with autism. The topic also clarifies the source of various hormones mentioned throughout the course, making it easier to identify what causes problems. Overall, the module information allows one to make more weighted judgments about disorders and the body’s reactions to them.

The sentiment that genetics considerably affect whether a child may have psychological problems made me paranoid about becoming a parent. I feel that parent planning should probably involve many tests and procedures, but they do not guarantee anything. Therefore, I have to face the inevitable reality that my child could be born with issues, and my duty is to alleviate them through upbringing if possible and accept them. It does not sound difficult, but I am unsure if the circumstances will allow me to do everything properly. The genetic implications do make one doubt if becoming a parent is worth it.

Sensation and Perception

The module does an excellent job of summarizing the information I previously knew from the Science subjects but could not relate to real life. I learned how to control certain aspects of vision and hearing, which will help me concentrate. Being aware of the types of pain is also important, as I now know how to behave depending on the situation. Throughout the module, I grew sympathetic towards people who have disorder problems, and it will positively impact my communication with them, having realized that their perception is different as a result. However, I was disappointed at the cursory passage regarding human pheromones. I researched the topic and discovered that their existence remains debatable, and the substances responsible for them do not perform the mate-attracting function (Hare et al., 2017). Still, I am grateful that the module provides much food for thought.

Moving forward, I will remember plenty of the ideas mentioned in the module. First, the difference between the titular phenomena is solidified in my mind. Then, the color theories are also memorable, as it is something one experiences daily. I am also likely to remember the Gestalt principles, as they are clear and perceivable once one realizes how they work. The sad implications that racism and other forms of prejudice are associated with those phenomena are also worth remembering to be more open-minded. While those are the moments, I wish to remember the most, I believe that most of the information is valuable, as it provides a nuanced understanding of how people interact with the outside world.

Consciousness

The major revelation the module offers for my life is about sleep disruption and insufficiency. Looking at the chart, I realized that my sleeping hours are inadequate, which may lead to problems in the future, and I can already feel the repercussions. I do not compensate for the lost hours, so my tiredness just accumulates, making me less fit for demanding tasks. I was also surprised to learn that meditation may lead to another state of consciousness, so I am eager to try it. On the other hand, the substance use section dissuaded me from giving most of those groups a chance, although it is difficult to stop consuming coffee.

I believe that the information provided in the module is rather practical, so I would like to remember most of it. The sleep chart will be useful for my parents and children, as I wish to maintain their health. If someone I know suffers from sleep disorders, it will be great to identify them and offer advice. Everyone is aware of what substance use entails but remembering what each category does to your body will be instrumental for my close circle and me, as they may require help. Once I start working, I will ensure that the schedule does not bring much harm to my body, and it will be one of the decisive factors. I want to avoid situations in which the theoretical material I once studied predicted, but I forgot about it and let the worst happen.

Learning

For someone who wishes to be a parent and, perhaps, a teacher, the module material was particularly valuable. The most important idea for me is that punishment absolutely should not be used for reinforcement, as it has many negative consequences. I have always feared rebukes or time-outs Throughout my life, so I tend to do everything required of me to avoid being punished. However, it has affected my mental health and understanding of why I want to do a particular task. As a result, I would like to spare my children or students such a fate and apply positive reinforcement exclusively, especially for the very young.

The material expanded my understanding of the differences between humans and other species, a recurring topic in the textbook, for example, the sensation and perception dichotomy. Surprisingly, while non-human animals lose in most departments, their learning potential is staggering, reaching the observational learning level for monkeys (Spielman et al., 2014). It further proves that we should treat them properly, considering the experiments they had to suffer for us to understand certain psychological processes better. The Little Albert experiment also demonstrated that some scientists might treat humans in the same way (Spielman et al., 2014). Thus, while I understand that humans are superior to animals because of consciousness and other factors, their multifaceted abilities to learn to warrant some sympathy.

Memory

Most of the points were new to me, but I find the section about memory-enhancing techniques to be the most practical. To my disappointment, I discovered that I do not do enough to study effectively; for example, I do not get enough sleep, which I already mentioned while discussing consciousness, and exercising. I hope to amend the situation by using mnemonic devices, which will also help me remember names. While I can easily recall events that happened years ago, I appear to have minor issues with the encoding and the storing stages. By fixing them, I may be more successful in my studies, life, and career, which will probably require me to remember the material I have learned and memorize much new information.

After learning about people who remember most of their lives in detail, I was curious about their feelings regarding that condition. Apparently, some do not consider it a positive phenomenon and would prefer to be able to forget (Burkell, 2016). I think it implies that forgetting something is not necessarily an error or a problem but a necessity (Spielman et al., 2014). Not everything deserves to be remembered, but those people probably do not have a choice or transience, and painful memories stay with them forever (Burkell, 2016). Thus, autobiographical memory is both impressive and frightening, and I would not want to have such a condition.

Thinking, Intelligence, and Language

The language category might have been instrumental in confirming that two of my beliefs are true: the timeline of a child’s communication and the inability to perfect sounds unless one absorbs a language early in life. The former is useful for tracking a child’s progress and identifying possible problems to consult a specialist on time. I believe I will not be competent enough to resolve them myself but recognizing that an issue exists will be enough. As someone who likes learning new languages, pronunciation is always a difficult part, especially if sounds are not similar to one’s native language. Not being able to imitate them properly has been a significant stressor for me, but it appears that it is not uncommon for late learners (Spielman et al., 2014). While I still have hope to master those sounds someday, the issue stopped bothering me. Altogether, the language part was enlightening, potentially improving my present and future experience.

Another section that piqued my curiosity was about learning disabilities, but the information was not able to fully satisfy it. I was aware of how they manifest, but I wanted to learn more about the ways teachers overcome those barriers and make students succeed. It appears that going digital might make a difference, as multimedia devices or applications includes various prompts to facilitate learning (Perelmutter et al., 2017). However, maintaining the individual approach is still necessary, as the means are not universal even for the same disability (Perelmutter et al., 2017). The findings inspire hope that learning will be available to everyone and ensure success regardless of the cognitive sphere’s state.

Human Development

The module has value to me as a potential parent or teacher, similar to the learning topic. Being aware of what developments should occur at a specific stage will help me understand if a child may require assistance. On the other hand, it is eye-opening that sociocultural factors also impact human development, so I will not have to compare a child to their peers from high-income families. Moreover, the topic will be relevant for me, and I will be able to reflect on my developments going further into adulthood. I do wonder if being more spiritual, such as trying meditation for the reason underlined in the consciousness section, will help me handle my relatives’ death better. Unfortunately, development is finite, so while I will be glad to accompany my child’s journey, I may also be sad to see people on the other side of the timeline leave this world.

An interesting point is a theory based on moral reasoning, which explains why I have been scared of punishment for most of my life. It appears that I might have been on level 1 for more than necessary, and I did not perceive the transition into the next tier, believing that my fear still retained its roots (Spielman et al., 2014). The theory may not be widely accepted, but it offers a justification for why instilling fear of punishment is not the best way (Spielman et al., 2014). It probably exists in subtler forms, such as law, and one has more freedom in choosing what dictates their behavior. Contrary to the claim that only select people reach the third level, I feel that I could be there already, as my moral pillar is the main source of my behavior.

Motivation, Hunger, Sex, and Emotion

I find the material regarding sexual orientation and gender identity useful for my future exploits, although it is by no means new to me. I do appreciate the reminder that they have a complex nature and a genetic basis. Many homophobic and transphobic people, including parents, still exist, and my job as a teacher or a psychologist will be to convince them that there is nothing wrong with their child. It is not an easy task, as some notions are based on religious dogmas or cultural norms, but saving children from discrimination should be worthwhile. As for my children, I will accept them for who they are, without an irrational fear that I might do something wrong during their upbringing.

Two points on which I will ruminate for a long time drew my attention. The first one concerns motivation while performing a job one likes and how rewards may ruin it (Spielman et al., 2014). It genuinely makes me consider choosing a neutral field, but I suppose I will try a more enjoyable occupation to see if the theory works for me. Another point is regarding the set-point theory, which could lack empirical evidence, but it potentially explains why my attempts to lose or gain weight are unsuccessful (Spielman et al., 2014). Thus, I will bear those points in mind while doing job-hunting and deciding to follow a stricter diet.

Personality

Out of all the theories, Horney’s resonated with me the most. I reflected on it based on my experience and discovered that it was true, at least for me. Therefore, I would like to make my children free of those anxieties that may lead to them becoming miserable adults (Spielman et al., 2014). For my career, knowing various types of personality tests will probably be crucial. Before that, I could only name the Inkblot Test, while the rest was familiar in execution, but I did not know the proper terms (Spielman et al., 2014). Now I feel more equipped to handle children and use tests suitable to determine particular personality traits.

What I would like to remember for the future to test whether it is true is the birth order hypothesis and personality clusters in the US. The former is something I assumed was logical due to the circumstances, so it was sad to see the insufficient evidence (Spielman et al., 2014). Thus, I would like to see if my or my friends’ children will follow that pattern. As for the regional clusters, the discovery was astonishing, and it will be worth testing its validity during the period of professional mobility. However, I do not undermine those findings; on the contrary, they have a practical value: during conversations with Texans and New Englanders, I might accidentally remember that they are supposed to have similar personalities.

Social Psychology

Social psychology is a fascinating topic that made me understand my actions more than the others, and the most relevant ideas for me currently are groupthink and other phenomena manifesting during teamwork. Their significance is since my courses require group assignments, and I would like to avoid groupthink and social loafing because of their destructive potential (Spielman et al., 2014). Meanwhile, the circumstances did not allow facilitation to bear its fruits, but I could see the positive effects it brings during high school. For the most part, my teamwork experience was negative, which I attribute to my teammates’ absence of motivation, although it could be a self-serving bias (Spielman et al., 2014). Moving forward, I wish to minimize groupthink by consulting the third party and loafers by distributing the tasks in a way that would engage everyone.

I also found the sections about the just world and two forms of bullying important. I believe the former is a toxic idea which only further oppresses those in need, and as an educator or a therapist, it will be my duty to dispel it (Spielman et al., 2014). As far as bullying is concerned, I was either a victim or a bystander, so I would like to prevent it while doing my job. Unfortunately, I do not see an ultimate solution for cyberbullying, having seen many examples of it just this year alone, but individual cases might be solvable. Altogether, it is depressing that most phenomena have negative consequences, but it is the group members’ task to prevent those.

Psychological Disorders and Treatment

All the information related to the topics present a practical interest for two of my potential career choices, but my attention was mostly on contrasts between similar disorders, autism, and the types of therapy. I understand the differences between major groups, but I need to improve at distinguishing personality disorders to be successful in my career. The essential point about autism is its unresolved causes and myths, which I will have to disprove for parents to prevent any harm to their child. As for therapies, I find the cognitive-behavioral one the most patient-oriented, so I will probably apply it in practice, although sometimes it might be essential to focus on external factors (Spielman et al., 2014). In conclusion, knowing disorders and appropriate treatments is a psychologist’s crux, but I wanted to emphasize my weak or personal points.

The section about phobia development made me realize that learning is not necessarily a positive process. As someone who has many of those (fear of the dark, snakes, heights, and so on), I did not think of them as a result of learning. Upon revisiting that module, it becomes clear that the process can take either way. However, I would only attribute my minor fear of dogs, which does not extend to smaller types, to classical conditioning, having been beaten by one (Spielman et al., 2014). The rest remains a mystery to me, although I can speculate that my family might have told me some stories when I was a child, which instilled those phobias in me. It is probably another case to remember when raising my children.

Stress and Health

Out of all the information provided in the module, I would highlight the positive effect of stress and the ways to reduce it as highly relevant to my life now. Admittedly, on some level, I was aware that stress did help me with select college tasks, but only when it resulted in a good grade. Otherwise, my mental and physical condition only worsened, and I reached the point of being unable to combat stress. As for the regulation techniques, I favor emotion-focused coping, as it helps me more as far as studies are concerned. I do not tend to use my close social circle as a means to reduce stress, but it might be helpful in this desperate situation. As underlined previously, I also want to try meditation, but I am only beginning to realize its full benefits. Overall, I hope the information will help me fight the stress now and later.

The fact that teachers have many stressors is an unfortunate finding. While it is evident that the job is not easy, it was shocking to discover the threat of violence and vandalism (Spielman et al., 2014). While it prepares me for the reality that teaching entails, I am starting to have doubts about how long I can last in the profession. Teachers might be sufficiently equipped for most situations, but those stressors seem beyond their control. Thus, the list had a dissuading effect on one of my potential career choices, although it also made me more prepared for those instances in case I choose to pursue it.

References

Burkell, J. A. (2016). Remembering me: Big data, individual identity, and the psychological necessity of forgetting. Ethics and Information Technology, 18(1), 17–23. Web.

Hare, R. M., Schlatter, S., Rhodes, G., & Simmons, L. W. (2017). Putative sex-specific human pheromones do not affect gender perception, attractiveness ratings, or unfaithfulness judgements of opposite sex faces. Royal Society Open Science, 4(3), 160831. Web.

Perelmutter, B., McGregor, K. K., & Gordon, K. R. (2017). Assistive technology interventions for adolescents and adults with learning disabilities: An evidence-based systematic review and meta-analysis. Computers & Education, 114, 139-163. Web.

Spielman, R. M., Dumper, K., Jenkins, W., Lacombe, A., Lovett, M., & Perlmutter, M. (2014). Psychology [eBook edition]. OpenStax. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. 2022. "General Psychology Course Reflection." February 12, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/general-psychology-course-reflection/.

1. ChalkyPapers. "General Psychology Course Reflection." February 12, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/general-psychology-course-reflection/.


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ChalkyPapers. "General Psychology Course Reflection." February 12, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/general-psychology-course-reflection/.