Categories
Psychology

Reading Report

Source: Rutter, M., & O’Connor, T.G. (2004). Are there biological programming effects for psychological development? Findings from a study of Romanian adoptees. Developmental Psychology. 40.1, 81-94.

Problem: “The key question is whether, given the high quality of the later environment,

there were any persisting sequelae (among Romanian orphans who were later adopted into British homes) and, if there were, to what they might be due.” (p.81)

Procedure: The researchers began this study with an examination of a selection of children who lived in the difficult and challenging conditions presented in a number of Romanian orphanages from birth to ages four and five. The basic premise of their study was that these children, who were adopted out of these orphanages and into middle-class British homes, made an appropriate group of test subjects for research into what, if any,  effect(s) the difficult conditions in which they lived for their first few years of life would have on their development and behavior in adolescence and adulthood after they were adopted. The researchers considered three possible mediators for persisting psychosocial adversity (i.e.- developmental and/or behavioral issues) among the Romanian adoptees. The first was that ongoing psychosocial adversity, if it was demonstrated,  was a result of current conditions in their new environments; the second was that early-age cognitive processing either would or would not allow children to process and adapt to their early environments in positive ways; the third was that early adversity would bring about lasting physiological, psychological, and developmental changes that would make it impossible (or at least less likely) for these adoptees to avoid psychosocial adversity later in life. The researchers posited several hypotheses based on these three factors, with the aim of determining whether any of the three appeared to provide an adequate explanation for the presence or lack of post-adoption psychosocial adversity

In order to test their premises, the researchers drew from the “324 children adopted into UK families (from other countries) between February 1990 and September 1992” (p.84). Of this pool, 144 children were selected who had lived “in very depriving institutions and who were adopted into UK families at various ages up to 42 months” (p.84). The comparison sample consisted of 54 UK-born children who had been adopted at or near birth into UK families. The study considered a number of developmental measures, including physical measurements of height and weight at birth and at the time of the study, as well as information available about each child’s height and weight at various points in between. A number of psychological tests were administered as well, primarily intended to assess the existence of attachment disorders and psychological development disorders.

Findings: the study concluded that there was a strong association between early deprivation and poor physical, cognitive, and psychological development after adoption. The researchers found that most of the children demonstrated a “catch-up” (p.89) period in the first few years of life in their new homes where they tended to make notable improvements both physically and psychologically. This catch-up period seemed to last an average of 2-2.5 years, with any subsequently-remaining physical, psychological, or cognitive deficits appearing to become permanent.

The researchers concluded that early deprivation was an accurate determinant of lasting physiological and psychological adversity, and that subsequent environmental improvements were not adequate for completely reversing the damage of such early deprivation. Reaction: This study seems to demonstrate in very clear terms how important the first few years of life are in terms of physical and psychological development. When adverse conditions exist in this period of life, the damage can be severe, and regardless of whether later conditions are less adverse, much of the damage done in early childhood cannot be overcome or reversed.

Categories
Psychology

Week 3 Psych – Classmate Responses

  1. Question: Explain the three stages of memory. How might understanding how your memory works help you learn? What type of things can negatively impact your memory abilities?

Classmate Response: The sensory memory is the first part of the memory process. The sensory memory stores all stimuli that register on the senses, holding literal copies for a brief moment. The initial, momentary storage of information is typically forgotten within 1 second. Short-term is the second stage in the memory process. It can hold up to 7 items of information for about 30 seconds. In this stage of memory information is being encoded into long-term memory. Long-term memory is the third part of the memory process. This stage of memory is capable of storing unlimited amounts of information indefinitely. Information that is stored in this stage of the memory can later be retrieved for use. Some information can be lost with the passage of time. Understanding how my memory works is important for my learning process. By understanding how my memory works I will know what I need to do in order to probably store the information that I am learning in my academics. I will also be able to fix any issues in my memory so it does not affect my learning. Dramatic situations can affect the ability of my memory because they happen so fast and because I tend to block them. Trying to memorize too many things at the same time can affect my memory negatively. DQ1WK3 Lopez

The three stages of the memory process, namely, the sensory, the short-term and the long-term memory process, seem to be based upon a priority conferred to the initial sensory stage. For this schema implies that the sensory can thereafter become short-term or long-term; however, without the initial short-term phase, then the subsequent stages become impossible. Nevertheless, the question remains open: how does a sensory memory, for example, become a long-term memory? The answer of my classmate accurately addresses the importance of memory for learning: this can lead to academic success. However, arguably, what remains open is the following question: if we want to make a memory a long-term memory, what are the processes that allow this to happen? As my colleague writes, negative traumatic incidents may block “useful” memories – yet the question remains open, why do such traumatic sensory incidents become long-term memories, instead of something more useful to the organism? Here, it seems theories of memory must interact with theories of psychology and perhaps psychoanalysis.

Question: Explain the three stages of memory. How might understanding how your memory works help you learn? What type of things can negatively impact your memory abilities?

Classmate Response: The three stages of memory is first the sensory store which is the first part of the memory process. This section stores all stimuli that register on the senses and holds it for brief moments. The second stage is short term memory. This area has a limited capacity on what it can hold and will store up to 7 different items of information for about 30 seconds. Last is long term memory. Here is an unlimited memory store that holds information indefinitely.
I think that better understanding our memory and how it works will better help us learn by allowing us to explore what types of ways we learn best. Once we know this then we can stick to the best learning style we know. I also think that fully understanding and knowing a subject will better help us to understand all of it.
One of the main things that can negatively impact my memory abilities is when I am doing too many things at once. When this happens I tend to forget little things that I have done along the way and these things can end up being important areas that I need to remember. I can not overwhelm myself and add too much to my plate that I am forgetting important details. DQ1WK3 Burling

There seems to be, as my classmate points out, an undeniable connection between learning and memory. Basically, it comes down to an epistemological question: what does it mean for us to know something? As my colleage writes, “fully understanding and knowing a subject will better help us to understand all of it”; but what does fully understanding mean? For example, let us say I know all the processes by memory of how to drive a car with a gear-shift as opposed to an automatic car. I know in my memory from experience how this is done. However, if I cannot actualize this in practice, this memory is for naught. Therefore, understanding or knowing would seem to contain an element of being able to put this into practice: what negatively impacts our memory abilities can only be judged in this regard of our failures to practically actualize these same memories.

Question: Determine your memory style and explain how you might apply this information at work and at school.

Classmate Response: According to the questionnaire, my main memory style is visual. It states that my preference is to remember things in terms of the way they appear. In a past course I did a similar questionnaire. The questionnaire was to determent what kind of learner I am. That questionnaire stated that I am a visual learner. Both coincided that my preference is visual. I have always known that I am a visual person. If I see something or visualize something a couple of time it will go into my long-term memory. At school I can apply my memory style by taking notes to remember what I hear and to remember main things in my reading. For example, I can print transcript on video or audio in order to memorize the information. Most of my career is going to be based on paper work. Because of this paper work I will be able to memorize things. Social work has a lot of visualization, so it fits me good. For example, when I am at a meeting I will take notes to remember what happened during the meeting. DQ2WK3 Lopez

The memory style of my client is visual, and this means that an emphasis on, for example, visual stimulants is crucial to the learning process. However, what are the limits of visualization? For example, when we read a textbook, this information is presented to us in a visualized form according to the words given. However, the mere visual sensory perception does not mean that we understand what the words themselves mean. An element of speculative, critical and rational thinking seems to be part of understanding: it is not merely that we “photocopy” the visual elements before us in our memory, we must also critically and rationally think about them in order to grasp them and truly state that we have learned.

Question: Determine your memory style and explain how you might apply this information at work and at school.

Classmate Response: The test showed that my memory style is a tie between visual and kinesthetic. This means that my memory style is best used through remembering things in terms of the way in which they appear and also remembering things using my sense of touch. This will best apply to the information I utilize during work and school by reminding me to take extra good notes. I can refer back to my notes and easily remember the lesson that was taught. I also can utilize tools such as videos or hands on experience that I received. I have always considered myself a hands on learner, in order to learn something best I need to try it myself and do it over and over. I also at first need to watch a person and I take notes either on paper or in my head which help me remember important steps so when I get to doing the hands on part I am somewhat prepared. DQ2WK3 Burling

The test that showed my classmate’s memory style is a cross between visual and kinesthetic perhaps more captures what is at stake in memory: we cannot merely remember things to say that we understand them, in order to how to apply this information for school. As mentioned above, there is a question of knowledge, as opposed to merely a question of recollection which is at stake in this learning process. In this sense, the emphasis on what kind of a learner one is perhaps overlooks the question of what it means to learn and truly master a subject matter: can memory styles tell us this? They certainly can tell us what kind of learning is better suited for the individual. But how to translate this is a question I think that cannot be reduced to the memory style model for the above reasons.

Question: Based on the Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiment, in the social cognitive approach to earning, observation learning occurs by watching the behavior of others. What have you learned just by observation alone? Share your example.

Classmate Response: I observed a man giving an other man instructions on what to do with the doll when the child was present. The man hit the doll three different ways and each way had a different sound. The man punched the doll and kicked the doll. He also hits the doll with a wooden hammerer. He did all this while the child observed him. The child sat on the chair and keep his eyes on the doll and the man. The child kept close attention to what the man was doing. After the man stopped hitting the doll, the child got up and hit the doll. He copied every hit and sound the man made while he was hitting the doll. This video was very interesting, but the behavior of the child was noting new for me. As a foster parent I take a lot of  classes on the was children behave. Plus, the experience as a parent has taught me a lot. For example, my husband always makes a distinctive sound with is throat when he is upset. Well, now my daughter does the same thing and it makes me laugh. Children are very easily influenced and they will copy anything they see or hear. DQ3WK3 Lopez My classmate gives an example of the social cognitive approach that emphasizes learning from the behavior of others, whereby certain practices and reactions to phenomena dictate how the one learning reacts. In other words, we see behavior performed, and then perform in a similar fashion. However, how does this model understand diversity and originality in terms of our existences? The behavioral model, in other words, seems to be reductionist, reducing human existence to a human behavior that is always a copy of another previously viewed behavior. In this regard, we have to qualify what we learn from behavior, and distinguish it from instances of creativity that, to the extent that they produce something new, cannot be reduced to behaviorist model.

Categories
Psychology

Chapter 8, Memory

According to our textbook, memory is defined as “the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information”. I found our lesson in memory to be highly interesting because we rely on our ability to remember and recall information for a variety of important things. The most relevant topic in this situation, I believe, is our ability to learn and recall the information that we’ve learned in school. I find it interesting that we are still able to remember many of the things that we’ve learned in our elementary education programs and that we are still able to collect new information as we earn our higher education.

Through the chapter reading, I’ve been able to gain a better understanding of this phenomenon. Long-term memory allows us to store information for a long period of time as long as we occasionally refresh these memories. This explains why we still know how to do basic math and tie our shoes, but we may not remember obscure history facts that were mentioned in our youth and have not been brought up since. Now I know that I should rehearse the information that I wish to retain. This fact is also highly applicable to my own performance as a student. Now that I understand short-term and long-term memory, I have a greater understanding of how my own brain works when I attempt to study for exams. Since short-term memory allows us to recall information after several seconds of knowing it, it is useful to take advantage of psychological methods to convert our short-term memories to long-term ones that will be useful for tests and assignments. If I break down information into 7 plus or minus two items or attempt to “chunk” it, I think I will be able to remember essential test information more easily. I’ll be sure to try this for the next one and report back!

Categories
Psychology

Week 3 Homework Assignment

Question 1:

The three stages of memory are encoding, storage, and retrieval.  Encoding is the process by which the memory is actually taken into the consciousness; storage refers to the maintenance of the memory, or the means by which the memory is retained for future use; and retrieval goes to summoning the memory to suit a circumstance oir purpose.  These stages go to a temporal aspect inevitably linked to memory, in that they follow a trajectory based upon sequence.  This gives a kind of form to memory, and this is valuable in better employing it as an instrument in learning.  For example, once the process of encoding is recognized as such, there is a quality of selection present; the individual understands that memories are taken in somewhat deliberately, so there is a greater ability to determine what is of greater value for learning.  Similarly, storage is seen as a part of an actual process and not an involuntary action, so being selective as to what is retained becomes more possible.  As learning is largely a matter of taking in valuable information, this understanding empowers the learner.  This being the case, a lack of attention to the three stages may impair learning and lessen abilities.  More exactly, without any conscious efforts made to influence it, memory itself becomes randomized and less reliable.  Then, as with anything, a lack of attention is likely to dull the processes themselves. Put another way, when anything is allowed to be encoded and stored, retrieval loses value because there is no sense of differing importance to the memories.

Categories
Psychology

Correct Sources

Lindo, Jason M. (2011) “Parental Job Loss and Infant Health.” ScienceDirect.com. Journal of Health Economics. Retrieved from the Web 11 June 2013, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629611000798

Categories
Psychology

Human Memory

When the brain, an overall fragile organ, is subjected to a certain amount of trauma, many long-term effects can be seen with regards to cognition, and specifically long-term memory. Though all humans have very individual brains, and thus brain chemistries, it is the nature of the processes the brain follows that is effected, and can subsequently be significantly damaged.

Categories
Psychology

Understanding Communication: Interactions between Men and Women

The contrast between individuals communicating to each other is often considered to be strongly affected by the gender of the person. Being a man or a woman apparently has some effect on how one communicates his or her feelings towards other people. Not only that, the process of interpreting the words of others also creates a distinct way by which on is able to understand what is being conveyed by the other. It is understood that somehow, conflict often arise when such differences become evident in line with a particular conversation that individuals engage in. Through this research, several references regarding communication and gender differences shall be explored to be able to seek the right cause behind the conflict thus hoping to create possible resolutions to form better and more effective approach to communication. Presented herein are some of the primary references that shall be used for this research.

Categories
Psychology

I am by Tom Shadyac

Abstract

The discussion that follows aims to define the psychological value behind the presentation of the message in the film I am by Tom Shadyac. This presentation aims to put an analytical value on how the movie in itself creates a correlative connection between the ideals of satisfaction, contentment and happiness in relation to human living and individual achievements.

Categories
Psychology

Conflict Management and Negotiations

Abstract: Mediation is a means of resolving disputes which has much to recommend it. What follows is firstly, a literature review of mediation, highlighting the importance of procedural justice in resolving workplace disputes and child custody cases. In part II, a model of mediation is presented, including an emphasis on procedural justice, and a constructive engagement with emotions that avoids their more negative manifestations and ramifications for the negotiation process.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction (p. 3)

Part I: The Nature and Functions of Mediation (p. 3)

I-A). Models and Characteristics of Mediation (p. 3)

I-B). Uses of Mediation: Cases from the Literature (p. 4)

Part II: A Proposed Model of Mediation (p. 7)

II-A). The Importance of Procedural Justice (p. 7).

II-B). The Helpful, Perceptive Outsider: The Mediator’s Approach (p. 8). 

II-C). The Strategic Importance of Common Ground and Relationships (p. 10).

II-D). The Impact of Emotion (p. 11).

Conclusion (p. 13)

Bibliography (p. 14)

Categories
Psychology

Classmate Responses

  1. This response is very detailed and full of specific information about the functions of the brain. I took a different approach in how I answered the questions, and discussed the two sections of the brain in more general terms, and noted the difference between humans and the development of the cerebral cortex and how that differentiates them from the majority of vertebrates that only have the basic structure of the central core. It is the cerebral cortex that handles process related to cognition, higher emotional functions, and other processes that are not common among all vertebrates. This response does not specifically address those same issues, but that does not mean it is an ineffective response. This student chose to discuss in greater detail the specific sub-components of the brain and what functions and processes are handled by each of them. Where I only mentioned the basic divisions of the hemispheres and the lobes, this response offers details about what each lobe does in terms of processing information, while also making it clear that the central core and the cerebral cortex are both important structure of the brain, as they work together to handle and control all the different functions of the body.
Categories
Psychology

Cognitive Development and its Effect on Delinquency

Cognitive development is a crucial aspect of a person’s life. This development helps us learn problem solving skills, advanced reasoning skills, abstract thinking skills, and the ability to think in concrete ways. All adolescents go through this stage at some time during these crucial years. Cognitive development, in general, refers to being able to think and reason. (University of Rochester, 2013). As children, individuals learn to think of things in concrete ways such as by combining, separating, ordering and transforming specific details. However, when adolescence begins, these children learn to think more abstractly, they tend to learn how to form their own ideas and questions, and they also tend to consider specific points of view according to varying criteria (University of Rochester, 2013). According to the article by the University of Rochester (2013), during early adolescence, more complex thinking is used in order to make decisions in the adolescent’s current surroundings such as school and home. Some examples of this include questioning authority and social standards and verbalizing their own thoughts and opinions. This can also be considered advanced reasoning skills (Huebner, 2012). Just as any other process, as a person gets older or more experienced, the process begins to change and develop. During middle adolescence, the individual learns to expand to include deeper thinking skills such as questioning and analyzing situations more extensively, gaining an idea of what they believe, and developing as individuals into their own identity (University of Rochester, 2013). Finally, during late adolescence, these individuals tend to focus more on things that are less self-centered such as how they feel about politics, history, justice, equality, and other forms of global concepts, career decisions, and the role that they will play in society (University of Rochester, 2013). This can also be considered abstract thinking skills (Huebner, 2012). Per the definition, adolescents learn reasoning and abstract thinking skills. Therefore, adolescents reason either for or against delinquency and delinquent behavior by their maturity levels and the amount of cognitive development that has taken place up until the point of delinquency.

Categories
Psychology

Brain Work

  1. Central Core and Cerebral Cortex

The central core of the brain is a structure that is common to all vertebrates. The central core controls many of the primary and essential functions of life. These processes include breathing, the regulation of the pulse, arousal, movement, motor control, sleep, and some basic components of sensory function. In a sense, the central core is the animal brain that humans share withal other vertebrates, while other more complex brain structures are not found in all vertebrates.

Categories
Psychology

Psychobiological Roots of Early Attachment

Genetic predisposition of behavior can reveal possible behavioral, physiological, and neural traits based purely on the biobehavioral systems of the body.  However, attachment bonding seems to also provide a significant involvement towards experimental learning and association.  Pertaining to Sullivan’s experiment on the aversive and positive effects of the pups’ reactions to the neutral odor of their own mother, shows an important point-in-case with children in abusive families (Sullivan, Hofer, & Brake, 1986, p. 87).  The classic argument of nature versus nurture also plays a part in the factors of the bond between mother and child. For example, the warmth of the mother as well as her milk plays a huge role in determining the pup’s heart rate and behavior.  If the mother was unhealthy to begin with and didn’t provide the necessary warmth and nutrients in the milk, the offspring is less likely to show an active interaction or hyper-reactivity.  The change and differences in temperature and milk supply also affects the pup’s rapid eye movement sleep cycle which can bring about possible averse affects in the pup’s reactions towards their environment and attachment with their mother (Parent et al., 2005, p. 87).

Categories
Psychology

Ethical Issues in Supervision

Introduction

As history shows, there are a number of legal and ethical issues that have arisen in counselling, particularly in the area of clinical supervision. These have led to problems and challenges with patients, but also causes counselors to assess whether the work they do is beneficial, and what can be done to overcome such issues. In particular, these include the main ethical issues of transference, countertransference, multicultural malpractice, and also confidentiality. These issues, and how they are handled by counselors, as well as recommendations for future approaches are discussed herein.