Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review of "Reinforcement"

I have to admit that I laughed as I watched this video until I got to the end and then I was supremely irritated. Skinner's idea that we are all creatures who act simply out of reinforced behavior is simply not relevant when we observe people's behavior around us.

There would certainly be instances when a person reacts out of reinforced behavior or emotional reflexivity; however, we can choose to override those responses simply because we are not animals and do have an ability to reason. Jealousy in regards to our lovers is an ingrained emotional response that is set into our mind by observation of people and their responses and reactions, by popular media, and partially by possessiveness that is innate in human nature. The response to jealousy can be overridden when a partner is trustworthy and secure in a relationship as we witness in polyamorist relationships. When a happy wife in a polygnous relationship is asked about jealousy in regards to other women, she responds "Why should she be jealous? If her husband is interested in another woman then he would simply bring her home and she would become an asset to the family." There is no jealousy because she has replaced that emotion with trust.

Review of "Why is Psychology Good"

Martin Seligman makes an excellent point in his lecture! His idea that there are different levels to happiness hit home to me. His point of people feeling happy because they are living the good life, or a pleasant life, or a meaningful life is very insightful and categorical. I enjoyed how he broke the types of happiness down into types of contentment that we can attain throughout our lives. He also mentioned that a mixture of these three can also lead to a sense of happiness. I feel that most of us have a mixture of each in our lives and that keeps us all going.

I have always known that there is happiness as in giddiness and laughter, happiness as in contentment, and also happiness as in pure joy. I have always striven to be content in life. The type of joy that comes along when we first hold our newborn baby and the giddiness that we sometimes get when we are playing are not going to be permanent states in life. I think that some people feel that they are short changed when their life is not filled with giddiness and pure joy. I feel that giddiness and joy are extra special times that need to be appreciated simply because they are not as common. Contentment, filled with a good dose of gratitude, seem to keep may "happiness" tank full.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 22nd Lecture

Addictions and drugs are a vicious cycle that is very easily entered into. Wether it be by peer pressure of need of escape drugs and the ease of accessibility makes it an easy choice. Drug use and can easily be followed by the addition and will not only destroy the user but also the family of the individual. It will effect all aspects of ones life from family, social, and work not to mention ones health. Many people seek drugs as an escape from their reality. Once taken the high that it gives us by altering our brain takes the reality of life away. Once a person comes down from that high the only way to escape it to use the drug again therefor starting the addition process.

People then may say “just quite”, but it isn’t that easy. Our body and mind have become addicted to the escape we feel when we are using. It is a freedom from reality, form the things that depress us or make us unhappy. We must want to quite to succeed and recover from this addition. However I do believe we are truly never recovered, we will always be in a recovery mode which can make falling back into the habit of using very easy. One must not only change himself but must change our surrounding and recover emotionally if we are to succeed at recovery.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 20th lecture

The guided imagery exercise was very interesting. I personally have a hard time relaxing and letting go of the day so this was a great way to experience relaxation. I found the idea of owning your space was very unique in the aspect that at that time it was mine. I could design it any way I wanted not just the landscape but the features in the landscape, the weather, along with the amount of trees, flowers, butterflies and dragonflies. I could hear the sounds of children playing in the distance, their laughter and happiness increased my relaxation.

I do not care for lemons so the taste for me was very bitter and unpleasant. However, I love the smell of the lemons so I found that even upon coming out of the exercise I could smell the lemons. During the exercise I felt the breeze blowing which increased the smell of the lemons. The bright yellow color against the dark green leaves were a beautiful mixture to the senses. I heard the birds and watched as they flew through the sky against the clouds. I must say that after this exercise I am ready to try it again on my own.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 22 - Lecture

I think from reading this chapter on addictions and drugs and what they can do to a person, I have become more compassionate. I didn't understand the physical and psychological hold that drugs could have on someone. I confess, in the past I have felt if a person really had the desire and commitment to quit, they could. But from what I am reading and listening to, that is not always the case. Drugs can alter your brain and thinking pattern. They can destroy your memory cells. And in some cases, cause depression. If you are depressed, living in it day in and day out, how can you find the desire and strength to stop. What a vicious circle.
Not all people fall into that category though, where there is brain damage. I still think there is a high percentage of people that get high continually because they are not happy with life. They have difficulty dealing with the reality of living and that drugs have become their escape. Escape is not the answer, it just covers the issues. I still believe that some people (maybe not all) can quit, if they really want to, but the key I think is seeking help and gaining the tools to heal, and moving forward.

June 20 Lecture

What fun! It was quiet at work and I could easily visualize walking through a meadow surrounded by birch trees! I love Alaskan wildflowers and so my field was covered in Lupine and fireweed and forget-me-nots. My lemon tree was out of place in my field but I got over that and continued on with the vision! My mind kept telling me that lemons don't grow in Alaska and so I added a green house and a small lemon tree in a beautiful ornate pot! When I sliced open the lemon to taste it my mouth did not water but I could easily taste the lemon in my mind. As my mind wandered, I glanced out the door of my greenhouse and I could see a beautiful deep blue lake at the edge of the meadow. I wanted to walk out to the lake but I was told that I had to come back to work in my office! Darn it anyhow! I am a day dreamer too!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22 lecture

June 22, 2011 Lecture

Well addiction is a plague I believe, it is an illness, it is a disease, and though I have no actual statistics to back up what I am writing on this blog entry, it has been an ongoing battle in many individuals lives. There are many signs and symptoms to substance abuse disorders (SUD’s) that if not treated can result in serious health complications up to and including death, imprisonment behind bars, or imprisoned by the addiction being suffered. I believe that the human body, like we have been reading and learning about with the brain and the central nervous system created for us to experience pleasures such as feelings (emotional, and physical), smells, sounds, tastes. Some people use to enhance already pleasurable experiences. As well as how much stress and how many worries the majority of the world’s population has to endure, so some people use to escape reality or for the numbing effect.  When you add a substance in the mix with our natural pleasure craving personalities, a mind altering euphoric break from reality, while enhancing our senses.  We as people are prone to seek stimulation, and we are creatures of habit, and addiction. I believe this to be why SUD’s are so notorious among the human population, from all walks of life, and cultures, and religions, mind altering chemicals have been used and they have been abused by many.  

June 22 lecture

June 22, 2011 Lecture

Well addiction is a plague I believe, it is an illness, it is a disease, and though I have no actual statistics to back up what I am writing on this blog entry, it has been an ongoing battle in many individuals lives. There are many signs and symptoms to substance abuse disorders (SUD’s) that if not treated can result in serious health complications up to and including death, imprisonment behind bars, or imprisoned by the addiction being suffered. I believe that the human body, like we have been reading and learning about with the brain and the central nervous system created for us to experience pleasures such as feelings (emotional, and physical), smells, sounds, tastes. Some people use to enhance already pleasurable experiences. As well as how much stress and how many worries the majority of the world’s population has to endure, so some people use to escape reality or for the numbing effect.  When you add a substance in the mix with our natural pleasure craving personalities, a mind altering euphoric break from reality, while enhancing our senses.  We as people are prone to seek stimulation, and we are creatures of habit, and addiction. I believe this to be why SUD’s are so notorious among the human population, from all walks of life, and cultures, and religions, mind altering chemicals have been used and they have been abused by many.  

June 20th lecture Mini Assignment

Such a peaceful experience I had during this exercise. I was imagining warm sunshine on my skin. How nice to be able to go to a warm sunny place even when in actuality, the clouds are covering the sun and rain has the air chilled. When you were leading us to through the field to the large tree. I was picturing in my head a unique tree with a huge trunk that was twisted and gnarled looking to be very old. It was unexpected for this tree that my mind saw as an ancient marker for a mystical meadow, to in a matter of seconds, transform into a fruit tree yielding an abundance of huge, ripe, yellow lemons. I could see plain as day the giant yellow fruit that filled a tree that stands all alone. I could imagine the soft breeze and actually envisioned tall blades of grass and wild flowers that gently waved from side to side as the bumbling bee's were hard at work gathering there pollen. I have always been such a daydreamer. Often my mind wanders to distant places, and this verbal journey sucked me right in. When the experiment was over I found it difficult to bring my head back out of the clouds, or in this case get my head out of the tree. Over all, very pleasant assignment that I enjoyed doing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mini Assignment 3

What a cool thing to experiment on. My son, my daughter, and I were blown away on how easily our eyes can be tricked. First we looked at the playing cards on page 85. I had to take a double look and recount a number of time to find all the A's of spades. Now my son was tricked but only for a moment, before my daughter got to look at the perceptual set he had already given away the illusion. It was difficult to make my eyes see all 5 of the A's of spades even after I read and knew the were there. That is very tricky to the eye and brain. We moved on to figure 3.14 the color blindness test. We three looked at the test and my daughter see the number 16, and 8 in the two circles. My son states he can not see either number. I'm thinking I am loosing his interest in this experiment. Figure 3.15 was by far my favorite. My son again saw nothing, but at first neither did I. My daughter instantly saw the colors on the gray square next to the color wheel. Honestly It took a few different time of looking at it that I did see this happen. I noticed that When I looked from the dot in the color wheel then moved my eyes to the black dot in the gray box the colors didn't appear instantly but after a moment the colors did appear. My daughter saw the colors instantly. In figure 3.17 I saw the faces and the goblet. This is not the first time I had seen this illusion. My daughter only saw the faces, only after I read the caption did she notice the goblet as well. My son, long gone. Figure 3.22 my daughter thought the doors where boring. I did have her look at the way the doors seem to take on a different shape as the changes its position. Now I did get a positive response from the illusions in figure 3.23. The blinking effect with the black boxes trick our eyes into believing that the white circles are blinking. The blinking effect, rotational, ponzo, and pattern recognition illusions did trick both our eyes.

Hello everyone

Hello everyone, Well lets just say it has been very difficult, but I didn't give up, I finally made it on the Psyched Blog. I was beginning to feel so out of the loop. Technical difficulties, wait a minute, I am not the best on a computer so I'm quite used to technical difficulties. Well on to just a little about me, besides being technically challenged, I actually do have some things I do well. I LOVE people. I love children, (even teenagers) and the elderly, I love people who are ill, and people that are not always doing the right things in there lives, I love well adjusted healthy people, (if there is such a person) I love to be there for the sad hurting, and I have a way of calming people when they are upset. I just have a way with people, not because I have been educated (YET) or because I think I know the answers. I have been blessed with a fairly non-judge mental, very forgiving open minded heart. In the past I have had that used against me. I really almost let this gift get away from me. I refuse to lose and be held back any longer. This class is just the beginning of my new journey and I will one day be a blessing to people just the way that I have been blessed by the ones that have been there when they were needed. Even when I didn't deserve it, or want it. I feel that is when help is needed most. People that didn't gain anything to help, or guide, or care about me.  Human relations is the field I choose to learn and live.
I have 2 totally awesome kids, I have a 9 year old daughter, and I have a 14 year old son. They are the greatest. Everything I do I do it for them. I am recently a single mother, new student as well. Let me tell you, its never boring in my world. Soccer mom, so a lot of my reading gets done in the car during soccer practice. Wouldn't trade it for the world. Okay I will quit typing, just really wanted to say I'm very excited to be able to join in on the blog get to know you guys in class.

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20th Lecture

I found the guided imagery to be a pleasant experience. It took some concentration to relax and focus on the opened field, but once I did, I was able to shut everything else out. I liked when you said the spot was our own, that we owned it because we created it. I can seeing going to it in the future when I just want to relax and quite my thoughts down, after a busy day. I found myself repeating your words and visualizing what you were describing. Somehow, that transported me to the area in my mind.

I think my favorite part came after we had tasted the lemon. In my case, the lemon was extremely sour and I did not want any more. But I did decide to take a basket full with me to make some wonderful lemon-aide when I left. The part I really seem to like was when you said to visualize the area and let your mind wander. I could see and hear birds, just singing and being free. In fact, I even had a nest in the lemon tree. Towards the end, I felt there could be friendly animals in the woods watching.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mini Assignment 3

While sitting with my son working on this assignment it was very interesting how for most of the exercises we saw the same thing but on some we saw thing very differently. Once of our favorites was figure 3.17, Reversible Figure-Ground Pattern. We could not agree on the goblets that the author states. I recognized the faces as a profile, while he saw the goblet and the faces. I still can’t see the goblet no matter how many times I have viewed this photo. It was interesting how two different people saw different things in the same photo.

The next exercise we discussed was Figure 3.19, Use of the Monocular Cue of Linear Perspective. We decided to pull down a painting that my mother-in-law did of a large ship sailing through many sail boats. Even though they were on the same plank just by using different colors, size and shading she was able to add depth to this photo. While looking at the photo in the illustration we noticed by blurring the colors together and painting the train smaller and darker it appeared to be in the background of the photo instead of the front of the photo. We enjoyed our time reviewing the exercising and discussing our findings.

June 13, 2011 Lecture

After reading this chapter I discussed the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System with my husband. As a person who has a severe fear of flying we discussed our last trip we took together. While flying back from Atlanta our plane hit some very turbulent air. We were rocked back and forth, would drop what seemed like 1000 feet and told to remain seated. The attendants were also told to remain seated at that time, which increased my fear. I remember not being able to breath, crying uncontrollable and just wanting to run at that point. All this while knowing their was no place to go. My husband being an ex army aviator was very calm, cool and collective at that point. He reached over held my hand and talked very calmly to me. Pulled photo’s of our children out and discussed our grandson. After we climbed high enough to escape the turbulence he said “see you can breath now” . My senses calmed down, I stopped crying, relaxed and didn’t have the flight feel any longer. My breathing returned to normal and we continued our flight. It amazed me how quick my body reacted to my fear and once over how quickly it returned to normal.

Mini Assignment 3

My husband and I sat down and went over each figure/illustration that you had posted. It was surprising that our answers differed on some, although we agreed on most. When we attempted the "Perceptual Set" where we count the number of spades and we reviewed the correct answer, my husband got loud and kept saying, "they deceived me, they deceived me - spades are never in red". I think he took it personal. We discussed how expectations can influence our perceptions. It was pretty interesting, especially his reaction.

The funniest one though, that we both disagreed on was figure 3.23, the "Pattern Recognition". That is the one where the diagram contains no actual triangles, but your brain sees them. My husband still swears that the lines are there, they are just while lines. There was no meeting of the minds on this one, even after I read what the author shared about the brain filling in the "missing" lines. He still maintained the lines were there! Now, on the "Blinking Effect Illusion", he never could see the black dots and I saw them immediately. That is a good example of how different two people can be. He recognised the goblet in figure 3.17 and it took me a few minutes to figure it out. I found it fun to share and just appreciate the difference in each of us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lecture ~ June 13th

The topic I chose to share with my husband was on the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System. We first looked at the definition of both words and talked about examples of each one. I reminded my husband of a hike we had taken last year, up Mt Riley. Half way up, we thought we heard a bear. Most of the symptoms that the book listed, we thought we had experienced. We weren't sure about the dilation of the pupils or the digestive activity being effects. When we thought the bear had departed and we were safe, our heartbeat slowed back down, our breathing returned to normal, and we stopped perspiring. All of our sense's calmed down.
I found it interesting to review each step. It brought about a discussion on how we take our body and its functions for granted. I enjoyed talking about what I was learning in class.

Meditation Mini Assignment 2

My favorite spot in Fairbanks is taking the highway out of North Pole towards Denali. There is an overlook spot right off the road at the top of the hill. When I am stressed from the day or have just had a bad day I enjoy going up there just to sit, watch the amazing scenery and listen to the wind or birds that may be out. Of course for this exercise that is exactly where I went this evening. Once there I got out of my vehicle and sit on the large rock there. I then closed my eyes, did some relaxation breathing and listened to the wind. Even with the cars that came by now and then I was able to tune that out and continued to focus on my breathing the breeze. The sound was calming, relaxing and inviting. I again felt the stress of the day melt away as I relaxed. For the hour I sat there I felt fully relaxed and calm and was ready to continue my evening.

Mini Assignment 2

I do believe that you can train your brain to be happy. If the brain is the essential tool we use staring as a child to learn, develop our behaviors, or our mental development why wouldn’t it be possible. We have to ability through using our brain to take any situation and decide how we are going to process it. Will we develop it into negative situation or a positive situation? Can we find the joy in any situation or as my grandmother says says “ you can find the bright-side of everything if you only try”. I believe that we can if we only set our minds to it. If we start trying to find good in everything and in the beauty that surrounds us we can train our brain to be happy. I believe their experiment took very simple concept and proved that the possibility lies to continue to train our brains at all times within our lives.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mini Assignment 2 ( meditation)

I chose to watch the video of the waterfall for relaxation. I followed the directions at the beginning, which help prepare me to calm, peaceful and receptive. I breathed deeply, closed my eyes and prayed for relaxation. At the very start of the video, it had my attention. The waterfall was magnificent! The sounds that echoed from it as it flowed down the mountain drew me in. As the water flowed into the river and than over rocks, I felt like all stress and problems of the day were carried out with the current. I found it to be very relaxing.

Mini Assignment 2

I believe there is a possibility that you can train your brain to be happy. I found a lot of logic in the experiments that they performed, such as watching clips of funny movies or animals playing. The reaction to watching the clips brought a smile or laughter to a person. I thing the laughter can remove stress. Smiling can be a positive movement that tells your brain that it is happy, there is joy and to relax. Let's take an example of a person having a really stressful day. That person is capable of training themselves to take their thoughts off what there day consisted of and stop and focus on something else, such as a beautiful sunset. Or maybe parking at the beach and watch the soothing waves of the water and listening to the sounds of the ocean. By knowingly changing what you are giving your attention to and placing it on something that brings joy and happiness, that could be considered training your brain to be happy.

Topics for paper

The three topics I have chosen to possible write about are as follows

1. Dreams and Theories
2. Objectum Sexuality
3. Absentee fathers and teen pregnancy

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mini Assignment 2

I do believe that a healthy brain can be "trained" to be happy; although, I believe content is a more precise word. If a person ran around "happy" all of the time we may give people the impression that we are drunks or high on something other than life!

I find that I can be content in most activities. I derive contentment from completing a task, working in my yard, reading an excellent book or watching a good movie. I find that the greatest joy in life comes from spending time with my kids in whatever activity we happen to be participating in.

Training your mind to be content may come from meditation, but more often contentment and joy comes from understanding that life is not always easy or exciting... contentment comes from understanding that we have to take time to enjoy life and all of it's ups and downs. We have to battle monotony and keep our minds and bodies active and be thankful for life and every experience that is given to us.

Lecture June 8th

Experimentation is paramount to science; however, I sometimes wonder if it should be something that is allowed in certain instances. The text does a great job of pointing out how much bias exists when experimentation takes place. We all form our own biases throughout life and many of them we are not necessarily aware of. All conclusions begin with their foundations just as drastically as all buildings begin with their foundations. You could build a house built atop hay stacks rather than concrete and although the houses may be built out of primarily the same materials and function for the same purpose, one will undoubtedly fall after a few years while the others will remain standing. We see this happen with science time and time again. Theories come and theories go. Unfortunately some theories, such as the theory of evolution, bias science to the point that no other theory is acceptable if based upon other foundations.

When it comes to social science, such as psychology and sociology, I feel that experimentation can be extremely harmful when it is based on faulty and biased assumptions. A few examples are gender biased research where women are assumed to be inferior to men or men inferior to women, ethnically biased research where one race is assumed less evolved or intelligent, among many others that are too plentiful to be named in a few short paragraphs.

I am not sure that I will be interested in experimentation since the social work field is too open to bias. I am constantly having to reevaluate certain biases and preconceived notions that form my opinions and even my moral foundation. We are all products of our surroundings, upbringing, and our consistently fluid image of self and the images of others who cross our paths each day. I believe that observation and historical and cultural research will be more relevant to my field of interest.

June 8,2011 Lecture question

The question for today was, “Do you think it is valuable to conduct research”? I have always been a strong believer and supporter of research. I attribute my belief in this from the work experience I have had in the past. Working for years in a nursing home as a CNA and seeing the disabilitating effects that age can have on a person, Dementia and Alzheimer's top the list for much needed research. Science can only grow stronger and more breakthroughs can only happen through research. We as a society have to accept the fact that that not only through science can we open the doors for cures and treatment but science and research go hand in hand.

This also includes animal research, I know this is a very controversial subject so this is only my opinions and I respect everyone's opinion on this subject. During the time I worked as a veterinary technician I was lucky to work with many wonderful doctors that had many different opinions on this subject. One of the doctors that would substitute for us worked in animal research. We had countless hours of conversations about this subject and I learned much from him. As such an avocet for the use on non animals in research I learned not only does this field benefit human research but also lead to benefits for the animals we study. For example heart worm medication for pets was accomplished through research and has saved may of our pets. Yes, I believe in humane treatment of these animals but I now see the benefit scientist and doctors learn from this type of research. This experience changed my views on this study only by learning facts and not hearing one side of the story as is said.

One area I would like to have more knowledge is on why do people feel the to protect themselves through lies and deceit. We start lying at a young age, was it a learned process of a protective process that our brain reacts to? Why as a society has the truth become so hidden but lies have become the accepted policy for many? For example, politics, there is no bigger arena for liars than politics and that is for whatever party we belong to. Do we need lies to make the world seem like a better place to live or to make our family happy with our decisions? Why don’t or can’t we accept things for the way thy are than trying to coat them in lies? This is a question I have had form many years and would like to know more about. I am not sure if research can give us this answer but it would make an interesting study.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 6, 2011 Lecture Question

Why do children form the same family who grow up in the same home seem to react and see things so differently.

If funny that just the other day at work a group of us moms were sitting there asking the same question and comparing answers. Although many of our comparisons were alike many were different as well.

I believe the genes, family and society have much to do with the way our children develop emotionally. We see this when our children smile, laugh or react in a certain situation. I notice that my oldest son has the same mentality on family as my ex-husband. That no matter what you do they will always be there for you and he is correct within our family structure. His laugh and smile remind me so much of his farther. However his temperament is much like mine where as things just roll off and to really become mad it takes stress to trigger that emotion. He also has the amazing ability of adaptation within the workplace, he doesn't do well with an immediate supervisor but thrives in jobs where he is left more on his own. My middle son who has the same biological father however was raised by my now husband and has adopted may of his traits. He is in the military and thrives on structure as my husband did. School was just a forefront to life and he had to excel or he was not working hard enough. He has my temperament as well so we three share that. The difference in the two my eldest son spent 5 years with his father and his brother only 6 months. So, with these two I wonder was it more genes, family or society that helped him develop. My youngest son, well everyone tells me he is my mini me as a male. We do look very much alike, the same smile and laugh. However he inherited his dads temper which is very emotionally driven. When he is upset, angry or mad everyone knows about it and as I tell him he one day will learn to pick his battles as everything doesn’t have to be so over the top He also inherited both our our love of sports. He is a wonderful hockey, football and baseball player. It is something we all three enjoy doing as my other two would rather not play sports at all. I am happy though that all my boys share the emotional tie to family which is a very endearing trait to have.

I find that society and the acquaintances our children have much more to do with their development than genes. I believe our genes shape who they are, what their core values are but society and life experiences change them to the person they will become. They must choose to take the positive and negative experiences in life and proceed to grow and develop with each one.

Topics for paper

Here is a list of my three possible topics that I will write my paper on:

1) Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) - formally called multi personality disorder
2) Depression
3) Schizophrenia

Topics for Paper

Cultural Influences of Sexuality~ The cultural influence of sexuality can be dramatic once pointed out. For example, our text, states that monogamous marriage is "ordinary" and that those who are monogamous are sexually "faithful". Here is a quote from the text. "One of the most powerful messages to emerge from the 1994 survey was that Americans' sexual lives are more ordinary than previously believed." (pg. 313) The entire gist of the paragraph from which that statement is taken refers to heterosexual, monogamous marriage as the norm while polygamous and homosexual relationships would be assumed to be abnormal.

Perceptions~ Perceptual bias and the acceptability of polygynous culture in the United States.

Classical Conditioning~ Classical conditioning effects physical responses but it also effects emotional responses. How much of our bias toward monogamy is a result of classical conditioning resulting from cultural influences such as popular media and our institutional educational and religious institutions?

June 8th, Lecture Question

In class you had asked the question, "Do you think it is valuable to conduct research"? Prior to taking this course, I had not thought much about that question. Now my answer would be a definite yes! Just from the reading of chapter one, I see the necessity of always searching and not just accepting what science says is a fact, as facts can change. That is an amazing thought to me, as I have always accepted what the scientist states as factual. Now I am beginning to understand that there are many facets to the truth, and it needs to be examined from all sides.
One area I would like to have a lot more knowledge on is what the brain does to protect a person when they encounter trauma. An example of trauma would be of a young child that was molested. I know of a case where the incident was never spoken of and buried for many, many years. When this person reached 60, the memory came to life within her and she shared her experience. It had been buried all of those years. What triggered her memory, what allowed her finally the bravery to express it out loud and give life to this awful experience? What courage it took! She claimed it had been buried and she had not been aware of it all throughout her life, until now. Why now? I am curios how the brain works, how it protects us. This is one area I would like there to be more studies and research on.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lecture Question 06-06-11

Why do children from the same family who grow up in the same home seem to react and see things from a different perspective?

I have always wondered about that fact myself! I have five children. Two are from a first marriage and three are from a second marriage. My children all are as unique as snowflakes! They react differently under stress, have differing leadership abilities, are more out going or less outgoing, and even vary in food likes and dislikes!

The old nature vs. nurture debate comes to mind as I ponder that fact. There are times when my children do things and respond to things just like their biological fathers even though they have never spent a great deal of time with their fathers. I see that their nature (genes from their father) has an influence on their temperament and things such as the inflection is their voices and facial expression. They also act and respond to things exactly as I would! Ironically though, of my two oldest children, my son seems to have gotten more of my genes, while my daughter seems to take after her biological father!

I find it amazing that the aggression that is in my first husband's nature was passed onto my children, but rather than using it negatively, my kids have thrived. David is a wonderful leader and Amanda is self driven and outspoken! My other three inherited my second husband's athletic ability and are absolutley magnificent little hockey players! The fact that they are great hockey players gives them self confidence.

When you combine nurture with the cards that children are dealt in nature, you get a completely unique and wonderful individual. I am thankful that nurture seems to override nature in most instances; so in response to the above question, nature (rolling the genetic dice by mixing parental personality attributes) plays a huge role in why our children can all turn out differently. However, in my brief and humble experience, nurture can replace or override most instances of a child's nature.

I have so many hypotheses why children turn out completely unique that it would be impossible to list them all here!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mini Assignment 1

What is Psychology?

"The study of crazy people."

"Psychology is the study and use of a human’s personal emotions, feelings, perceptions, and preconceived ideas for the betterment of that person and society as a whole."

"Looking into the psyche of people and deciding how they tick."

"A subject that is studied in college that has no true purpose other than to regurgitate gibberish from so called intellectuals who do no work and add nothing to society."

Psychology is performed by psychiatrists who help diagnose and treat mental disorders."

There were an interesting array of answers given when I asked the question, "What is psychology?" My favorite answer was the most straight forward answer. "
Looking into the psyche of people and deciding how they tick." The most interesting aspect of asking people this question was that many of the people who I asked responded with a furrowed brow. Nobody had a straight forward answer and all had to take a moment to answer!

Mini Assignment 6-7-11


Mini Assignment 1

After asking 5 random customers to tell me in their own words the definition for psychology I came up with the following.
     1) Psychology- A study of people and what their beliefs are wrong with the world.
     2) Psychology- A way of understanding the human mind and the way humans think and act and interact  
         in the world.          
     3) Psychology- A doctor that can diagnose mental problems and help with mental issues.
     4) Psychology- The study of peoples emotions.
     5) Psychology- Psychotic people, I don't know really.

Wow how interesting some of the definitions were. I really noticed how most people compare psychology with mental illness. Psychology is definitely a study of mental illnesses, but also of so many things more. In my opinion mental illness is a huge psychological topic, as well is emotions and character. The human mind is a well of science, behavior, and mental processes. Psychology is describing, predicting, and coming up with explanations for different human behaviors.

Sarrah Graham

Posting Lecture Questions:

Hi everyone!
Please post your Lecture Entries for the date of the recorded lecture, not on the day you listen to it. For example there is a newly recorded lecture I completed today. So the title of your entry should say, "June 8th, Lecture Question".

It's been interesting reading your postings! Keep up the great writing!!
Knitting Girl

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mini Assignment ~ Chapter 1

You have asked us to speak to five different people and ask the the question, "What is psychology?" Here are the answers I received, in there words:
  1. Oh, an interesting one. Not sure, somebody who is suppose to be a natural person to help someone, individuals, or families.
  2. Study of the mind. Psych is mind.
  3. Crazy people. Dealing with the mind. Why else would you want to get into someone else's mind, trying to help see if they are crazy or coherent.
  4. We'll, a study of human behavior. When someone needs help to carry on they see a psychologist. Your mind is just as important as your body.
  5. Study of other people. I don't really know what the meaning is.

I enjoyed doing the questionnaire and seeing how people responded. Each one was so different. Three of them asked if there answer was correct. I told them there was no right or wrong answer, I just wanted to know what the word meant to them. The question seemed to open up the door for some of them to share personal experiences, good and bad about the mind, mental illness and different members of there families. Each one was very supportive of my schooling and seemed pleased to be able to help with the question. I found it to be a fun experience.

Chapter 1 ~ Lecture Assignment 6/7/2011

You had asked the question in class, "Why do you think people who are raised in the same family turn out differently?" It is funny, but I have asked myself that question may times in relationship to my own family. I grew up with four siblings and we are all so very different. We vary from our looks, hair and eye color, height, weight, personality, clothing style and interest. It is amazing how little we physically resemble each other.

I think some of it may come from our genes, what we inherit, and who we associate with. Another possible influence would be our teachers, whom we spend so much of our formative years with. Our friends influence our personalities. I think all of these factors contribute to our different personalities, and the uniqueness of each person. I don't think there is just one pat answer.

In my family their was a wide range in age difference, from the youngest to the oldest. I think as my parents raised us, there views and opinion changes as they matured. That change in them effected how they taught and instructed us. We use to say that they mellowed with age. They seemed more relaxed and not as stern with the youngest as they had been with the first born.

Monday, June 6, 2011

mini assignment

The five answers below were to the question asked of five of my friends, "What is Phychology?". It was a very positive experience as people were very eager to help once learning I had enrolled in classes. Most were very excited that I had finally enrolled and stopped talking about it. Emotionally I felt somewhat nervous in letting people know that this was my field on interest. My expectation was a response of "why?". I was pleasantly surprised at the positive responses and the information I acquired.

1. Isn't it the study of human behavior? I was going to put the study of Tony's behavior
The scientific study of people's actions and of the human mind
Psychology, the study of the human mind and spirit, They would have a field day studying me
The study of the human mind and human behavior
5. The study of the mind and how and why people behavior the way they do, right?

Although everyone know what the answer was their answers were all based off of their life experiences. I believe to be the most interesting was finding out that the people I spoke with themselves felt they could use some type of counseling or had had some in the past. Although they joked about it, I found they were very open and honest about their thoughts on phycology and my interest in this field . How amazing I found it that one question could open the doorway to so much communication and information.

My favorite answer was from a very good friend who I listed as answer number one. How interesting it was to listen to her thoughts on my husband. Although it was all good, it was interesting to see her perspective on my relationship. It made me wonder how much people think they know about someone if they haven't every asked them a question.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

About me!

I have lived in Tok Alaska all of my life. I live in a small log cabin on five acres with a gorgeous view of the mountains! I have five children ranging in ages 7 to 21. Three children are still at home with me. My oldest son is currently a US Marine and my oldest daughter is a psychology major on campus in Fairbanks. My three youngest are hockey players and so we spend a lot of time at the rink in the winter and during the summer we like to camp and fish. The first week in July we will be floating the Yukon River from Eagle to Circle. We are excited about that upcoming adventure!

I am currently a senior perusing a BA in Social Work. My college career has spanned ten years! I spent a lot of years taking courses that I was interested in, but which did not apply to any specific degree. I finally set my sights on social work and hope to eventually work with women who have been mistreated and abused within closed polygynous communities as well advocate for the decriminalization of polygyny or polygamy in general. I feel that federal and state government has no place regulating consenting adult relationships. Special privilege and protection has been given to heterosexual, monogamous relationships for far too long in our country.

In the meantime, I enjoy raising my children within the peace and serenity of a small town, studying for a change in career, and working in my little office with students like me who are reaching to fulfill their educational goals!

I am looking forward to reading more from all of you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A small glimps into my life

Hi, my name for blogging is kayak gal, I live in a small town called Haines, in the Southeast part of Alaska. I came up here in 1993 and fell in love with the incredible beauty of this area.

I have never lived in a small town before, so this was quite an adjustment the first year. I am originally from Las Vegas, Nevada (all desert, tumbleweeds and casino's). Life is 24/7 there. Moving here was like hitting a wall - very slow paced.... But now I just love it and could never think of leaving. Haines is nestled in tall mountains that I enjoy hiking in during the summer months. My husband and I also kayak. Now that summer is here, we hope to kayak often.

One of my hobbies is drawing portraits of children and adults. I find it to be very relaxing. I do water coloring, beading, and gardening. I enjoy spending time in my yard, growing flowers and swinging in my hammock. Our back yard opens up into the forest, so you never know who might show up each day. It's peaceful, with the squirrels and birds singing. It's my quite spot to relax in after work.

Let see, my current position is working as an administrative assistant for an organization that provide counseling services for substance abuse and mental health clients. I have worked there the past 4 years. Other jobs throughout my life have included being a 21 dealer in Vegas, an office manager in one of the hotel on the strip. I have also worked for seven years with the homeless population in Vegas.

I recently completed 2 years of schooling with RHS (rural human services) in Fairbanks. I am not sure where my schooling will take me, but I know I am on the right path.

My life is very full and rich, I have a wonderful husband and two small dogs (a Yorkie and Maltese). Hopefully that gives you a insight into who I am.
Thank you for letting me share,
Kayak Gal

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A little about me

My name is Kim Duncan and I live in North Pole with my youngest son, well he is 18 and will be a senior this year. We also house two of his teammates who are also 18. My middle son has just joined the Air Force and is in Tech school now. My oldest son is here in Alaska, he is married to a wonderful young lady and I have an amazing one year old grandson. My husband lives in Alabama and we will join him there after my son graduates next May.

We arrived in Alaska 11 years ago while my husband was in the military. We knew we wanted to live in Alaska with our three boys after I visited my father here during one of my husbands deployments. We moved originally from Louisiana and have lived in Kansas, Germany, Cyprus, back to Louisiana and finally Alaska. We have gotten to experience a lot of different cultures and am very lucky to have done so.

I have worked in many fields throughout my life. I was a hairdresser for many years and enjoyed that very much especially the people interaction. While we were in Germany I was the manager for Saab Car Sales for almost six years. Lastly, moving here I worked as a veterinary receptionist, then moved to a vet technician and lastly the office manager. I worked in that field for eight years. After deciding to return to the business field I worked as a contractor for the Air Force as an administrator and now I am employed with the Army as a contractor also in administration.

We enjoy outdoors and camp, fish, and are enjoy outdoor sports. My summer is usually taken up with high school football. My son and his friends who live with us all play and I volunteer for the board. I am not good at gardening but love to do it and have succeeded only at tomatoes.

Well, that is a brief summary of who I am and what I enjoy. I look forward to reading about everyone.