Psychology

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Tyler Browne
Psychology 1
Tues. Thurs. 9:30 – 1:45
Psychology Reflection Paper
The top ten things that I learned this semester in psychology were as follows; The importance of sleep, the negative effects that stress has on your body and brain, the process of neurogenesis, the knowledge I gained about psychological disorders and their symptoms, effective and healthy ways to cope with stress, the treatment of psychological disorders, variations in consciousness, motivation, psychological experiment guidelines and laws regarding experimentation, and social behavior.

Learning about the importance of sleep and the negative effects of sleep deprivation, I found the knowledge I gained most applicable to my life. Just because as a college student, I know the stereotype of staying up late studying or goofing around is very accurate. At least for me I certainly found the information regarding sleep debt and the studies done about it to be very interesting. The video we watched about the study of people who were sleep deprived and how much it negatively affected their motor skills and cognitive abilities was the most interesting. After learning about sleep deprivation and the negative ways it affects the brain and body, I made conscious efforts to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Since then, if I get less then that, I can definitely notice the difference and its negative affect.

The second most important thing I feel I learned from psychology was the negative affect that stress has on your body and brain. This year my most common types of stress were conflict, change, and pressure. I ran into some conflicts with friends and other social interactions, which stressed me out. The change I faced was the transfer from high school to my first semester of college at Las Positas. While it wasn't a bad change, Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe have explored the idea that even good changes can represent a type of stress. As defined by our textbook, life changes are any noticeable alterations in one’s living circumstances that require readjustments. Pressure was a big part of my semester academically, because I didn't do all that well in high school, I felt the pressure to do better in college. Through reading I was able to label myself as a type A personality. I was able to deal with stress by seeking help from my parents when I felt overwhelmed about anything.

Another very interesting thing I learned this semester was about the process of Neurogenesis. Or the ability of the brain to actually produce more neurons. It was previously thought that this was impossible because the brain was thought to be created with all its neurons. We watched a very detailed video about the process and I found it very interesting and motivating. New brain cells are made in the hippocampus, this aids in learning in adults. Also, in the video, it was said that exercise is proven to increase brain cell production. Hormones such as testosterone also boost brain cell count. After learning about neurogenesis I was more motivated to exercise every day, especially when I found it helps with learning because I need all the help I can get. I plan to continue to ride my bike every day as a form of exercise to help my brain grow to its full potential.

Not as applicable to my life, but very interesting to me as to most people, psychological disorders such as bi polar, schizophrenia, somatoform disorders, and anxiety disorders such as phobic disorder. We also covered a lot of information and had a guest speaker about obsessive-compulsive disorder. This chapter was very helpful because it helped eliminate some misconceptions that I had about certain disorders. One of my best friend’s dads is schizophrenic so what we learned about that disorder and its causes helped me understand what he goes through. I liked the depths that we went to while learning about OCD because I think it may be one of the more misunderstood and misinterpreted psychological...
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