Refelction Journal Summary

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Psyc 221 Psychology Learning Reflection Journal


The Learning Reflection Journal summary compilation will be submitted, compiling the weekly experiences into a single document.

The summary document should conclude with and additional two substantive summary paragraphs (500 hundred words in length) combined.

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Refelction Journal Summary
Psyc 221 Psychology Learning Reflection Journal INSTRUCTIONS: The Learning Reflection Journal summary compilation will be submitted, compiling the weekly experiences into a single document.  The summary document should conclude with and additional two substantive summary paragraphs (500 hundred words in length) combined. Use the below weekly entries and complete the summary. WEEK 2 The topic I chose to talk about this week was Freud himself. Specifically, this week’s topic will focus on his major contributions and limitations. Freud was the first to truly examine individual personality. “Before the work of Sigmund Freud, there was no personality psychology” (Friedman & Schustack, 2012 p. 88). If he was the first, how did he learn? It’s not like medicine where you can cut open a body and study the inside. How do you postulate without a foundational learning that has occurred? This is one of the things that made this topic so interesting to me was how Freud basically started a new concept and it turned into a widely accepted idea. Freud worked diligently as a frontrunner with his theories in personality development and thus, was received as a great and successful scientist and theorist. Freud was instrumental in the change of perception of mental conditions from that of a curse to an actual illness that could be treated, yet some of his theories were disproven. This goes to show that while some of his theories were disproven, he is still considered the father of psychiatry and has contributed vastly to the fields of psychology and psychiatry. Based on the topic of an original thought or idea taking hold and becoming an ideal, I believe the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement demonstrates that. BLM was formed after the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman primarily by three women; Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza. The BLM website states #BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. Nowhere else in the free world are ideas and ideals so greatly expressed. “More than any other nation, the United States’ founding represents concerted action in the name of ideas.” (Harris & Tichenor, 2010). When BLM was created, it was created for a very substantial reason, which was to demand an open dialogue about racial inequality in America. There are many prongs to the debate, but the basis is one of racism. Thus, the social movement of BLM begun in an attempt to gain equality. For the movement to begin, there had to be a common interest or need amongst the people. That commonality was the fight against what they perceived as police brutality and racism by police. Unfortunately, as in the case in the riots, the social movement often become radical and thus identifies with a Collective behavior or “voluntary, goal-oriented action that occurs in relatively disorganized situations in which society’s predominant social norms and values cease to govern individual behavior.” (Chambliss & Eglitis, 2016). The Charlotte Protests are just a singular incident involving the BLM Movement. There have been many others that included violence, damage to property and disruption of society such as forming human chains and shutting down interstates and highways. In most of these examples of civil unrest, it is all started when either an individual or group take what they know about the situation, place the spin of racism on it and induce deviant behavior. Then, like some of Freud’s theories, large masses of people begin to be into the narrative and become supportive without first validating its accuracy. This exact thing happened here in my town. A suspected armed robber (meaning he was believed to have carried out a felony with a firearm) was chased and cornered by officers. Shots were fired and the suspect was dead. Within minutes, social media was exploding locally about how another black male was killed by a white cop. They were insistent that the subject had no gun on him. The investigation showed that he did in fact have a gun and shot himself in the head, the officers rounds (2) missed him. References: Chambliss, W. J., & Eglitis, D. S. (2016). Discover sociology (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications. Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research, 5th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson: Allyn & Bacon. Harris, R. A. & Tichenor D. J. (2010). A History of the U.S. Political System; Ideas, Interest and Institutions. Santa Barbara, CA. ABC-CLIO WEEK 3 The biological aspect of personality is an emphasis on the internal physiological and genetic factors as the main influences of personality on an individual. This segment of personality approach focuses on why and how personality traits are established through biology. It also examines the relationship between personality, DNA and the brain processes. The research in the biological personality field can involve the investigation of anatomical, genetic and chemical and their influence on human beings personality as well as correlate personality traits with scientific data from experimental methods like molecular genetics and brain imaging. There are three subsections of biological aspect of personality, temperament, genetics and personality and the brain and personality. Temperament is a personality tendency shown at birth, meaning it is biologically determined. Thomas and Chess suggested that babies’ temperaments could be divided into easy, difficult and slow to warm up (Thomas & Chess, 1977). Research studies have concluded that two parts of temperament are critical to personality self-regulation and reactivity. Self-regulation is the ability to control our response or reactivity to a new or challenging environment. A person may respond to a new stimulus with anxiety while another would barely notice it (Rothbart & Derryberry, 1981). Genetics and personality research has encompassed twins’ studies, whereby identical twins whether raised together or apart were found to have similar personalities. This suggests that some personality traits are hereditary and largely controlled by our genetics. The traits are determined by an activation and expression of genes, and the small changes in DNA determine an individual’s uniqueness and work for a cohesive personality. The biological approach to personality has also determined the areas and pathways in an individual’s brain which relate to personality development. The Phineas Gage case study is a classic link of the brain and personality, where Gage underwent a brain accident when working. The injury involved his frontal lobe and Gage experienced many changes in personality. The frontal lobe was then concluded to be associated with personality functions. Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were born as identical twins. They were unfortunately separated at the age of four, and each was raised apart from the other. The twins finally reunited in 1979, 39 years later and an interesting pattern was observed between the two. The first one was that both twins suffered from tension headaches and were also prone to nail-biting. Lewis and Springer were also found to like smoking Salem cigarettes, drive the same model and type of car and even vacation at the same Florida beach (Wong A.H., 2005). But what was the reason for these similarities? Genes. Psychologists have shown that genes can provide an important explanation of why a person is gay or straight, religious or not, or even intelligent. Another twin study that was conducted on identical and fraternal twins from 1979 to 1999 also discovered that identical twins who were raised apart showed genetic influence on personality such as their religious and societal attitudes. Writing in the Journal of Personality, researchers have found that identical twins are twice as likely to share the same personality traits compared to fraternal twins. Adoption studies have also shown that the adopted child is likely to possess more similar personalities to the biological parents than the adopting parents. Regarding temperament, children show huge variations in their temperament such as their attention, persistence, sociability, emotionality and their reactivity. Some children cry easily and more intensely while others are more easy going. Other children are highly active and always jumpy while other are sedentary; some children attend to tasks persistently while others tend to lose their attention on tasks very quickly (Saudino, 2005). A personality like intelligence is hereditary. Yes, it’s true that the environment affects intelligence but the development of this trait is usually limited. References Rothbart, M., & Derryberry, D. (1981). Development of individual differences in temperament. Advances in developmental psychology (Vol. 1, 37–86. Saudino, K. J. (2005). Behavioral Genetics and Child Temperament. Journal of Development and behavioral pediatrics, 214-223. Thomas, A., & Chess, S. (1977). Temperament and development. New York: Bruner/Mazel. Wong A.H., G. I. (2005). Phenotypic differences in genetically identical organisms: the epigenetic perspective. Human Molecular Genetics, 14: Review Issue 1,, 11-18. WEEK 5 The person-situation debate relates to the controversy that concerns whether the person or situation is more influential in determining an individual’s behavior. This discussion puts personality trait and situation psychologists against each other when it comes to the cause of a person’s behavior. Personality trait psychologists argue that people develop consistent characters over time that guide their behavior in different situations while the latter believe that people are inconsistent from one situation to another thus suppressing their characterization based on broad personality traits. According to Friedman and Schustack, there are two reasonable explanations for behavior or why people react to any given situation. These explanations include behavior as a product of personality trait or situational forces create a challenge to the consistency of traits (Friedman & Schustack, (2012). The first challenge is whether a person’s behavior is best explained by the present situation or by their personality which can guide one’s behavior regardless of the current circumstance. The second challenge focuses on whether an individual’s personality can transcend the immediate situation thus providing a reliable guide to his or her actions or are their actions entirely dependent on the situation they are facing. Interactionism gives us an in-depth perspective on this debate by highlighting that traits and situations interact to influence a person’s behavior. This point of view believes that the interaction between personality traits and situation is similar to that of the environment and genetics; one cannot function or exist without the other. Furthermore, interactionists such as Lewin and Murray appreciate that there exists a range of differences within the relationship between the personality and the situation. Their belief argues that high self-monitors indicate less consistency in a person’s behavior across different situations since they tend to adapt more to the moment. On the other hand, the low self-monitors indicate enhanced consistency in an individual’s behavior within a given situation since they tend to resist adapting to the situation. As a recent theoretical approach, interactionism tends to shift between the personality trait and situational positions. This ideology focuses on the feedback loop that exists between a person’s behavior and the immediate situation indicating that situations often reflect peoples’ personalities. The fundamental argument of this approach is that traits interact with situations to produce behavior. A real life scenario is where a person knows that he or she is friendly and talkative and when in a familiar environment, the individual remains calm and comfortable and with a carefree attitude. However, the same person becomes withdrawn when in an unfamiliar territory or a new environment. In most cases, the individual becomes uncomfortable while avoiding social interactions which appear to be rude to other people. This scenario is a classic example of how interactionism exists. The person has an established trait of being friendly and talkative, can maintain calmness within a familiar environment but becomes withdrawn and uncomfortable when in an unfamiliar territory. The situation is the familiar and unfamiliar territories that tend to influence the subject’s personality. When in the company of family and friends, the person can meet her need on the hierarchy while ascending higher and interacting with the immediate world in a confident and composed manner (Friedman & Schustack, (2012). This situation also enables the person to exhibit his or her talkative personality. On the other hand, the new environment which includes people he or she may not know leaves most of his or her needs unmet thus compelling the person to interact negatively with the surrounding people. This case provides us with a vivid explanation of how traits and situations interact to produce a person’s behavior such that unfamiliar situations may suppress some of our traits thus resulting in unwanted social interactions and behaviors. However, ordinary circumstances tend to amplify one’s trait thus aligning it with the resulting behavioral outcome. References Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). “Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research”, 5th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson: Allyn & Bacon. WEEK 6 The topic that I found interesting was the gender-differences in personality chapter 11. It has always been said that men and women are different and this is true. Books such as Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus have sold millions and people (including me) have always been curious to know why there are personality differences between sexes. Gender differences in personality and psychology is caused by a complex association of biological, development and cultural factors. The differences between the gender’s psychologies has been found in fields such as personality, their cognitive ability, and mental health and aggression tendencies. These variations as explained in the chapter, are innate and or learned. Behavior and personality are a result of interaction between nature and nurture, which is the environment and biological aspects. The chapter dissected how these two aspects interact to contribute to produce the differences in gender-based personality. Several biological functions usually combine to influence the personality differences between male and female individuals. These factors include epigenetics, the brain functions and structure differences and hormones. Psychological traits such as sexuality, emotions, cognition and motivation as well as the socialization of females and males in the society also play a huge part in creating personality differences between the sexes. The evolutionary theory and social structural theory are the theories which explain the differences in gender personality. In the evolutionary perspective, sexual differences have been explained as based on the different parental investment. Since women are more invested in reproduction of offspring, they have developed traits which will increase the survival of their offspring. On the other hand, men are less concerned with reproduction and the choice of mates. The social structural theory states the cause of sex differences in psychology is the social structure and social roles assigned to each gender. Psychological adjustment occurs based on the social roles. In real life, the differences between the psychology of men and women is quite stark. Research has facilitated the understanding the differences and their etiology. One of the difference is their communication skills and body language. Women are generally more apt in words processing and using language to communicate. They are able to communicate more effectively than men since they can read body language better and expressions. In their approach to solving problems, men are generally more independent than women. Men prefer to deal with their own problems without dealing with them. Communication and the method of solving problems have been a source of conflict between men and women. For instance, a woman may share with her man about her problems and then become surprised by the man’s single line answer. This is one of the reasons girls go to bathrooms in groups where they can share their day, stories and issues. Another difference between the sexes is in attraction and sex. Men typically think more about sex than women, men care about looks more than women and they get attached to a woman romantically based on her looks. Men have the tendency of idolizing physical appearance more than women. Men are also more aggressive than women whereby women tend to avoid conflict unless psychological factors come in and affect their identity. Finally, one of the most cited differences between men and women is their logical and emotional thinking. Generally, men can take decisions without being affected emotionally. Women on the other hand are generally inclined to take into consideration factors related to emotions when making a decision. As explained in chapter 11, the reasons logical and emotional reasoning is due to a different wiring of the brain and social learning. One of the stereotypical idea relating to this difference is that women can cry and sympathize openly in public without appearing vulnerable when compared to men. References Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). “Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research”, 5th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson: Allyn & Bacon. WEEK 7 During this week’s reading, I found the topic of love and hate quite amusing. The main reason as to why it turns out to be interesting is the fact that there is a sudden change of mood; from the illustration of serial killing and hate to a love and attraction tale. It has taken a clear definition and elaboration to bring out the work that goes on when dealing with the different kind of ideologies on personality. This makes the topic very innovative. Another factor that makes it interesting is the fact that it stipulates clearly that there is no existence of personalities that have hate and personalities that love; it is simply put and has clear evidence of the non-existence of even a single explanation. Despite Friedman, H.S and Schustack ( 2012 ) putting it in black and white that there exists no personalities that have hate and personalities that have love, I agree that we do know a lot concerning the same. Unlike the many other chapters in the book, this topic brings knowledge to any reader the importance of studying personality and it also gives exemplified situations in which it can relate to real life cases that happen in our day to day lives. With it being able to be associated with the real time happenings, it captures every attention of the reader and keeps one flipping the pages. The suspense also makes it even more interesting. Finally, the approach used to elaborate personality integrates the classical insights of the authors with the contemporary research in a way that is fascinating and encourages a deeper thought of the topic. An array of unique and provocative teaching methods has been used in the topic hence making it more motivational to the reader. As much as it triggers intellectual insight, it also respects the human kind. Personality is found within the people we live with and when you one does some things in a certain way it brings out who they really are. Each and every person has their personality. We find that some people will yell at others when they experience frustrations or rather their voices are just loud even under normal situation. Calm people are the direct opposite of those that tend to yell at others. We also find that there are people who are self-driven in that they don’t have to be told to do something but instead they initiate it themselves. Such people are sharp and swift, the opposite are just insolent and non-starters, there has to be somebody who monitor their activities and give them instructions on what to do. Some people are overly sensitive and they tend to express themselves by crying when in joy or in pain while the direct opposite are not emotional even the slightest, nothing astonishes them so they barely react to situations. The too cautious personality kind of a person will always worry whether they turned off the oven and they got to confirm for themselves while some who don’t really care will forget about the oven being switched off immediately they got what they wanted. If there was a pill or therapist for every psycho problem then the world would be a very boring place to be in. The sound of homogeneity in peoples’ personality does not sound appealing at all, however, in the contemporary world with the technology is increasingly providing options in which personality can be changed (Friedman et al 2012). This is evident in the existence of education on how to react in an ethical way to situations for example how you react in a formal environment say an interview is not the same as how you’d be expected to react in a non-formal environment. Failure to adhere to the believed way of ethically reacting to situations the society poses a harsh judgment. References Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). “Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research”, 5th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson: Allyn & Bacon. SUMMARY 7

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