My review on Chapter 1 of Psychology

First, the biological perspective caught my eye because it explained that mental emotions could be caused and treated by chemical imbalances. These could include many emotions like anxiety and depression. These mental illnesses can be self inflicted, but chemical imbalances in your neural transmitters can affect the way you perceive these feelings and emotions and how you act on them. Different moods are processed through different areas of your brain, and if one area isn't working properly biological psychologists can help figure out which area needs to be medicated. For example, depression has been seen to improve over a span of a few weeks only after taking Zoloft or Prozac, which are common antidepressants according to the text.

The second perspective was based off of problem solving and reasoning, called cognitive processing. As humans, we have learned from past experiences to organize information categorically, based on what's easiest to memorize or what sticks out to us the most. When you can relate something unique to what you're trying to remember, it sticks in our brains better. I liked the text's examples of, "What do you think of when you hear the word fruit?', and someone shouts out apple or banana because they are the most common. Information that you study and know, yet when it comes time to be tested on it and your brain goes blank, are all areas of your cognitive processing and I didn't think there was an explanation for why our brain does this, this was one of my favorites to read about.

It is only natural that we react based on our environment, and I learned there was a name for this; behavioral perspective. This taught me that the reasons we do this are categorized into two branches, classical and operant. Classical behavioral perspective explains why our fear, emotional responses, tastes and behaviors are linked together. This was proven that we respond to different situations based on benefits. We are more likely to return to somewhere that was favored in our best interest, where as if we had a negative experience chances are we are going to avoid returning. This was all new information for me, although the text states that the operant branch is much more important. The perfect example from chapter one was how when a student asks a question in class and receives positive feedback they are more likely to ask more questions, where as if they are ridiculed or made felt stupid or annoying they will be discouraged to asking questions in the future. This is an example that I feel people experience on a daily basis because it is only natural that humans want to feel accepted and praised, so when we don't get that feeling we tend to stray away from the situation in most cases.

The last topic that I learned was sociocultural perspective. I really enjoyed this one because it explained why humans are attached and affected by their surroundings and people around them. We react and base our emotions off of feelings and cultures that we are surrounded by. This means that we care about what people think of us, and we usually feel and do things based off of other people and their reactions to a situation or you.

I think the most useful in the future for me will be cognitive processing. This includes understanding what it is, how I can benefit from it and how I can improve different aspects of my life by this. Memory, thinking, and intelligence all fall under this category for me, especially with school work. I am not only an anxious person by nature, but I am a horrible test taker. I can study for a month straight, have every detail memorized and recite it orally for an exam but when it comes to an empty room with a pencil, paper, and scantron my brain goes blank on me. This can be quite frustrating, especially trying to get into a nursing program that focuses on test taking skills and problem solving. When I first started to notice it was a reoccurring issue for me I shut down and I couldn't pass a single test, although my assignments were all receiving A's. I was starting to feel like maybe college wasn't for me. After reading and learning about neural receptors and areas of your brain that cause this, it makes me feel like I can learn to train myself out of these bad habits with help. I'm confident that the more I work on it, the easier anxiety will get for me, making it easier for me to access areas of my brain that need to be accessed according to the time. I would definitely use this information to help me in the future finishing my degree.

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