Psychologyis a fascinating field because it explores various things that affecthuman behavior. Psychology provides explanations as to whyindividuals react violently and or politely to different occasions. Acrucial area in psychology relates to cognitive development andprocesses where activities of the human brain are investigated todetermine how their affect human behavior and interactions amongothers. This essay highlights my thoughts and misconceptions aboutpsychology before taking the class and how these preconceptionschanged and ideas enhanced after gaining more insight.
BeforeI joined the psychology class, I thought psychology was only abouthow people think. When I heard of the word, I often related it tocriminal investigations and how detectives and law enforcementagencies usually ask crime suspects’ tough questions find answersto their concerns. These beliefs affected me to the extent that Ideveloped fears for individuals who had studied the course. AlthoughI was right to a certain degree, never did I know that there areother important and very relevant concepts covered in psychology.After attending the class, I have gained more insight and have had abroader understanding of the subject. For example, I now understandthat apart from environmental factors such as negative peerinfluence, genetics also affect human behavior, interactions and howconformity arises. I can now link theories and concepts learned inclass to real-life applications. The linking between theories andapplication indicates that my cognitive development skills aregetting better.
Anotherimportant insight that I have gained is on memory and its causes. Iwas able to learn that memory loss can be due to the inability ofindividuals to encode, retrieve and store information correctly.Additionally, several factors can increase or decrease memory losssuch as some types of food and age and early childhood activities(Renninger, Hidi & Krapp, 2014). The information has allowed meto know how to deal with the older adults like my grandparents andeasily notice signs of memory loss. Another important insight that Igained in the class was in regards to parenting and parents play acritical role in children’s development. I understood that childrenbrought up by authoritarian parents tend to be more aggressive andlack social skills. I have also begun to realize how concepts likeoperant conditioning and positive reinforcement can be used toinfluence a child`s behavior positively. Children who have beenbrought up by parents exercising the concepts are well mannered andobedient. They also turn up to be responsible adults.
Asa mother of two, I have had several experiences that relate to theclass. Currently, I have two children, a daughter and a son who arefive and two years old respectively. My role as a parent has beengreatly influenced by parenting concepts learned in class. Forexample, I have tried to maintain a close relationship with mychildren by being gentle with them so as to win their trust. Theseactions have been influenced by Harlow monkey`s test which statesthat responsive caregiving is a backbone of any secure attachment(Harlow, 2013). The concept outlines the importance of caregiving andcompanionship in the development of cognitive and social skills thatis vital for children.
Ialso work at a nursing home where I interact with people withdifferent personalities and those suffering from memory loss. On topof this, my grandparents are also suffering from memory loss and areblind and deaf. Taking this psychology class has enabled me tounderstand my clients better. The particular concept that I learnedrelating to this profession is mental disorders. I have learned howto handle and interact with older adults who might be suffering frommental disorders. I have also been able to address some of theirconcerns such as medication needs. Although there are challengeshandling people with mental problems, they too desire to be treatedaccordingly for them to recover quickly.
Ihave also experienced psychological concepts by observing how youngmen and women interact within and outside the school compound. Forexample, it has become evident that individual behaviors aresignificantly affected by the presence of others. In psychology, thisis called social facilitation, whereby most men show improvedperformance on specific tasks such as courtship when they areaccompanied by others whom they find close to them. To an extent, thesame situation applies to some ladies, whereby they prefer to beaccompanied by their fellow women when they are visiting their malefriends.
Lastly,if you ask any girl around the school about their ideal man, someuniversal qualities that they are looking for include manlycharacters like bravery, pretty face, and financial stability. Thebelief is that some of qualities that the man poses such asattractive body will be passed to their offspring (Feil& Fraga, 2012).This behavior conforms to psychological concepts which emphasize onthe impacts of the environment and genes on growth and development.It is true that some characters or attributes can be passed down fromparents to siblings (based on genes). Environmentally acquiredcharacters are however not passed down to subsequent generations.
Inconclusion, it is evident that the psychology class was interestingand informative. The class equipped us with knowledge about howcognitive processes relate to human behavior. Most of the conceptslearned in the psychology class are relevant and relate to our normallives and experiences. For example, I have learned how to be a betterparent for my two children. At work, I also know how to relate to myclients.
Feil,R., & Fraga, M. F. (2012). Epigenetics and the environment:emerging patterns and implications. NatureReviews Genetics, 13(2),97-109.
Harlow,H. F. (2013). The nature of love. In TheMacaque Connection (pp.19-31). Springer New York.
Renninger,A., Hidi, S., & Krapp, A. (2014). Therole of interest in learning and development.Psychology Press.