Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Psychology Reflective Journal free essay sample

What I have done What I have learnt How I found the lesson Introduction to psychology Perspectives of psychology What we can learn In the first unit, we’ll explore the goals of psychology, the major approaches that are used to understand behavior and answer questions, the historical roots of psychology, current research areas, and possible careers in the broad field of psychology. We want to know, how is human behaviour â€Å"working†, how we can remember and on turn why we forget? My position as a student studying social studies makes this an important issue for me. There is very close connection and co-operate to other subjects as sociology, politics and our work in care sector. I would say, that psychology is somewhere in the middle. As a care worker, study of psychology can help me better understand and empathize to client’s behaviour with different levels of dementia. What do psychologists study? First lesson has been presented idea of psychology; basic views and definitions. What does psychology mean? How can we explain the psychology as subject or science? First think is the study of people’s mind, knowledge of behaviour. According to British Psychological Society, usually definition is ‘the scientific study of behaviour’. Psychology is the systematic, scientific study of behaviours and mental processes. There are some views in psychology. We can speak about several ‘perspectives’; points of view, stances for academically arguing and theoretical approach: * Biological – e. g. doctor, nurse * Cognitive – e. g. teacher, early years practitioner * Evolutionary – â€Å"where we come from†, our evolution from ‘caveman’. This difference forced me to reflect on the aims of this course—how communication skills are not generic, but differ according to time and place. Date: 24/09/2012 Tuesday Aims:Nature vs. Nurture Nature- nature view of humans and their behaviour, knowledge of instincts essentially biological Nurture- we learn our behaviour from others collective impact of all environmental factors that affect growth and behaviour (Penguin Dictionary of Psychology) Naturist research. The balance of nature and nurture in influencing how a child grows up varies depending on where they live New scientists’ study found how strong environmental factors are in determining each characteristic, compared with the influence of DNA, differs significantly across the country. (research on King’s College London) A dichotomy is a splitting into two. Thus a false dichotomy is a process of creating an artificial splitting of something that should not be separated, e. g. nature and nurture. The argument is that certain cultural differences may have originated in biological differences but that social factors have overridden this. A common theme in Psychology, and indeed in many other disciplines, is the question of whether certain human characteristics are due primarily to nature (adaptations occurring through the evolutionary process) or nurture (the influence of learning). Ultimately it is foolish to attempt to separate the two factors because they are both linked together we learn to adapt to the environment and therefore this is passed on through biological inheritance to future generations who are then endowed with certain characteristics. To attempt to separate the two is to create a false dichotomy. However Biologists, Geneticists, Psychologists, Sociologists and Philosophers still argue about the degree to which nature or nurture influences a phenomena and how they each play their own part. A new series of nature-nurture maps produced by the team revealed that some areas are environmental hotspots for particular traits, but in other places the same attribute is mainly governed by genetics. For example, across most of the country 60 per cent of the variation in childrens behaviour at school whether they were unruly or not was down to their genes. But in London environment played a greater role possibly because wealth varies so dramatically within communities, meaning twins growing up on the same street are more likely to fall in with different groups of friends who could influence their behaviour. Dr Oliver Davis, who led the Wellcome Trust-funded study, published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal, said: There are any number of environments that vary geographically in the UK, from social environments like health care or education provision to physical environments like altitude, the weather or pollution. The message that these maps really drive home is that your genes aren’t your destiny. There are plenty of things that can affect how your particular human genome expresses itself, and one of those things is where you grow up. * The debate about heredity and environment (or the nature nurture debate) is concerned with some of the most fundamental questions that human beings ask about themselves. * In its broadest sense, the debate is both about the human species as a whole (compared with other species) and about individual differences between people. Plomin believes that it is at the level of individual differences that the nature—nurture debate takes place. * Nativists (such as Descartes) believe that heredity determines certain abilities and capacities, whereas empiricists (such as Locke) believe that the mind, at birth, is a tabula rasa, which is gradually `filled in by learning and experience. * Examples of nativism in psychology include the Gestalt * psychologists, Gesells concept of maturation, and Chomskys LAD. Behaviourism represents a very influential and extreme form of empiricist theory within psychology. * To ask, `is it nature or nurture? is to ask an oversimplified question about a very complex issue. `How much? is a more complex question, concerned with the relative importance of heredity and environment; it presupposes that both are involved, consistent with an interactionist position. * The `How much? question is linked to the `individual differences form of the debate, and it is still concerned with trying to quantify their relative contributions. This is the main focus of behavioural genetics, which uses methods such as twin studies, adoption studies, and other studies of family resemblance. * `How do they interact? is a third question, which is concerned with qualitative issues, i. e. the ways in which heredity and environment influence each other. * Within genetics, `nature refers to `inheritance: differences in chromosomes and genes transmitted from parents to offspring. * While genetic variability is the raw material of evolution, evolution does not imply genetic variation within a species, and vice versa. The basic units of hereditary transmission are genes, large molecules of DNA. They occur in pairs and are situated on the chromosomes. * Genes have two major functions: self-duplication and protein synthesis. The bodys non-reproductive cells duplicate through mitosis, while the reproductive/germ cells duplicate through meiosis. * Genes come in two forms, structural and regulator. Structural genes code for proteins and enzymes and form the basis of classical genetics. Regulator genes (the majority) communicate closely with the environment and change in response to it. In a psychological context, `environment usually implies external, post-natal influences impinging on a passive individual. This is a very inaccurate view. * The environment of individual cells is the cluster of cells to which it belongs, and the cytoplasm of the cell is the environment for the cell nucleus. Everything that happens after fertilization is environmental. * Instead of seeing the environment as separate from the individual, people may be seen as making their own environments. This can happen by (i) eliciting a certain response from other people, due to behaviour or biological characteristics (gene—environment correlations); (ii) non-shared psychosocial experiences; (iii) attaching their own meaning to events or experiences; (iv) an interaction between the facilitativeness of the environment and the individuals vulnerabilities (gene—environment interaction). * The thirty-year longitudinal study by Werner et al. of nearly seven hundred children in Hawaii supports the hypothesis of interaction between individual vulnerability and environmental facilitativeness very well. A distinction is made between macro-and micro-environments; children cannot choose the former but can choose or create the latter, through niche picking and niche-building. Even genetically very simple characteristics, such as the disease PKU, involve an interaction with the environment, such that the effects of the gene (the phenotype) can be prevented by environmental intervention: the link between the genotype and phenotype is not direct and straightforward. Pharmacogenetics studies interactions between individuals and drugs, and cancer genetics studies the interactions between genes and environment as they affect the risks of developing cancers. * Biologists have recently made claims to have identified the genes for criminality, manic-depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, high intelligence, and homosexuality. These are interpreted as ending the nature—nurture debate — in favour of nature. * These claims appeal to supporters of eugenics. * LeVay and Hamer cite a linkage study, showing the same marker in thirty-three out of forty pairs of gay brothers. They conclude that a region of the. X chromosome probably contains a gene that influences male sexual orientation, although the gene itself has not been identified. * But genes specify proteins, not behavioural / psychological phenomena. * This kind of research raises fundamental questions: why is the research seen as so important, what are its social and political implications, will society become more or less tolerant of homosexuality if it is found that `gays cant help it? 02/10/12 Tuesday Sigmund FREUD Most known psychoanalyst on the world is Sigmund Freud; former of modern Psychology science.

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