The mental processes and human behavior were always subjects of interest. Psychology emerged as a separate discipline in the 19th century, its roots went back to ancient philosophy to the time of the early Greeks where philosophers analyzed such a phenomenon as pleasure, pain, motivation, and mental illnesses. (Cherry, 2007). According to Kendra Cherry, a psychology educational consultant, the scope of psychology today is different from its origins and is a fascinating field with several aspects to participate. That is why no matter what a person is interested in, learning psychology will always change and positively benefit a person’s life. Communication and problem-solving skills, people’s behavior, success strategies, personal therapies (Lancaster, 2019) are among that valuable knowledge to strive through our everyday life and apply for future events.
In this paper, I would like to discuss how the information I learned in this class will play a significant role in my future life. It is a good opportunity to apply my knowledge to my future life as I am a parent who is the role model for my kids. The first concept I would like to emphasize is the psychodynamic approach to psychology. According to Cynthia Vinney, a research fellow at Fielding Graduate University's Institute for Social Innovation, a psychodynamic theory is an approach that considers the childhood experience is the basis for adult personality and relationships (2019). I truly believe this approach is valuable as personality starts to form at the early childhood and influenced by childhood experience till adulthood (2019). That is why for me as a parent it is very important to make sure that my interaction with my kids during dealing with situations and everyday life will not harm their adults’ lives. I know some people who had difficult relationships with their relatives, and they brought back their childhood trauma to their adult life.
Another concept I would like to consider in my future life as a parent is operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is the method of learning through rewards and punishments for behavior (McLeod, 2007). Operant conditioning is based on positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment. Parents may get the desired children's behavior using operant conditioning (Kim, 2019). To make the operant conditioning for my family I may want to consider the following steps:
- The value of the reward is becoming less desirable within time.
- The goal of the reward is performing the desired behavior without needing a reward.
- The value of praise exceeds the reward (2019).
This concept is also vital not only because it helps parents to make a more thoughtful journey toward parenthood but also corrected the current children's behavior to get the behavior you want. The last concept I would like to use as a parent is health psychology/behavioral medicine and the biopsychosocial model. According to Laura King, a psychology professor at the University of Missouri, our mind and body are deeply connected (2015). Our psychological states influence our health, and health and illness may affect our psychological experience (2015). Knowing that it is important to work on creating a peaceful atmosphere at home, especially when raising kids. Health promotion is the first step to achieve this goal. Making sure children and parents maintain their lifestyle and having balance in physical, emotional, social and intellectual health are the top priority. Positive changes to promote health may be challenging (2015). Motivation, social relationships, religious faith, and personality characteristics are the great help for families and children to change to a healthier life (2015). Being a parent, I like the idea of promoting a healthier lifestyle. To involve all the family members in a healthier lifestyle I must start with myself. Eating healthier, giving up on bad habits, doing physical exercising, find a sense of emotional peace, and being supportive are examples of what can I do to change the lifestyle of my family.
The information that I learn in this class changed me a lot not only that I know more now about different methods, approaches, mental diseases, and their treatments but also it helps me to understand myself better and develop some strategies in bringing up my children. First, I finally figured out that my recurring feelings of worry and fear came from my childhood due to the traumatic experience. I always thought that I am not strong enough to cope with it. However, the unresolved trauma will not go away by itself, and there are necessary skills to cope with the devastating effects of trauma. The psychodynamic approach also helps me to understand how important childhood memories, and how they relate to an adult’s behavior. I should always keep it in mind when rising my kids.
Memory Discussion board where we had to watch Elizabeth Loftus’ video changed my viewpoint on memory process. I always thought that memory is something you can 100 percent rely on. That it is something true and cannot be wrong. I thought that whatever in a person’s memory is real events. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Elizabeth Loftus in her speech proved that human memory is sometimes not accurate and reliable, and it is not working as a recording device. Our memories are reconstructive. They can be changed not only by yourself but also by somebody else on purpose. The most shocking information was that ¾ of 300 prisoners were convicted based on somebody’s false memory spending 10,20, 30 years in prison. This all made me think that if a person is so sure about something, he or she saw in the past it may be not necessarily true. He or she may be having a false memory.
This class helped me to make my mind on one interesting and controversial topic. It was a spanking discussion board. Spanking was always something that I feel parents should use to correct children's behavior. Unfortunately, I cannot explain why it is the right thing to do. When I started thinking about it, I always thought it is an act of aggression and violence to a kid. However, after I watched all the videos, read the article, and did my research, I know how to define spanking from violence. First, spanking should be used when other warnings are not working. Then spanking should not be used for every child’s mistake. Spanking is a slight smack, a disciplinary measure with the end goal of correction a child's behavior.
The chapter about psychological disorders was very beneficial to me. I was born in a foreign country where some diseases like panic, anxiety, OCD, depressive and bipolar disorder are not considered to be a decease or something serious. People do not go to doctors and get treatments if they are experiencing something like depression or anxiety. It is considered to be a person’s emotion or behavior feature. That is why it was interesting for me how those disorders are described, diagnosed, and treated in America. I like how the author of our textbook emphasized how to important to diagnose abnormal behavior at early stages, to treat and cope with the effects of abnormal behavior. I also like the positive attitude of American health psychology. I agree that it is crucial to have a healthy mental and behavioral states as well as understand how mind and body are deeply connected. It is also very essential to make positive changes in your life if a person wants to cope with stress in our everyday life.
In conclusion, I would like to add that among all my prerequisite classes psychology was a must take. This is one of the classes that gives you not only theoretical knowledge but also helps you to understand yourself and people around you. The knowledge that you get in this class will not only help you to pass the test but also help you to build your social skills, analyze human emotions and behavior, cope with difficulties and stress in the working and personal life. I am happy that I took this class and I will try to read more physiologic articles as they help me to be a better person and create a peaceful atmosphere for my family.