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Reflective Journal

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Reflective Journal



        Although I have learned few units upon now, there still is a big question for me. What is psychology? Yes, it could be separated into a set of branches like biological, emotional, or sensational means of psychology. However, I was only an amateur until I connected psychology with myself.

        When I first encountered psychology in my junior year using Myers Psychology textbook, as usual, it started with the history of psychology. From Wilhelm Wundt’s introspection, Titchener and James’ structuralism and functionalism, Watson’s and Skinner’s behaviorism to Piaget and Chromsky’s cognitive psychology. Honestly, all the development of psychology approached me as if I was taking a history course.

        Then it goes like Statistics. First, set a thesis statement, observe the situation, collect the data, find the correlation, and come up with a conclusion. I still remember how Zimbardo explains that research methods are the core of psychology. I do not really like to go through those case studies, surveys, and psychological tests, but it was always fun to read the conclusion.

        House of psychology seems so far from us, but it is repeatedly occurring in our daily life. For example, the biological it is great how the Nervous System, Neuron, Central Neural System, and Peripheral System are all functioning simultaneously even when I am typing this reflective journal. Occipital Lobe provides the vision while Parietal Lobe allows me to move my arm and type with my fingertips. Psychology seems so far from me, but after I understand all about the Nervous System, I feel like I understand more about my body. Studying brains requires lots of memorization, but as I repeat myself what happens to my brain when I make such movement, it becomes much easier. My hippocampus is providing me with the memory of the knowledge.

        Learning sensation and perception chapter often left me with doubts, but it was always fun to see. Especially the perceptual illusions caught my attention in the textbook. For example, the figure below depicts two points, a and b. Two points are obviously different, right? Point A is darker than Point B. However, these two points are in same color.

[pic 1]

Another famous example is this image below. Is it a duck or a rabbit?

[pic 2]

        Learning was among the best chapter I have learned. From classical conditioning to operant conditioning. Pavlov’s classical conditioning seemed so simple and logical. But in retrospect, what a great discovery! The transformation from an unconditioned response to a conditioned one is way too powerful. It is vital in educating pets, infants, or even kindergarteners. For Skinner’s Box case, an operant conditioning, it provides the importance of reinforcement and punishment. I strongly believe this experiment serve as a microcosm of this real world. All humans are striving for the reward, but due to the difference in social status, some may receive punishment for better performance while others receive rewards. It is only an irony for me to see how this is directly reflected in social life. Not to encourage people to find a way to receive positive rewards, but to visualize the reality.



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