Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that have the ability to alter mood and behavior. There are many different psychoactive drugs and the most widely used one is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and is found in soda, coffee and chocolate as well as some other things. This substance is considered a psychoactive drug because of its effects on our bodies. I think that caffeine is the most accepted drug there is in our country and I believe there needs to be more care with handling it. Like any drug I think that in high concentrations or amounts it should be restricted from the developing population because the increased likelihood of harmful effects. This is definitely the case for younger children and energy drinks. I have seen many young people unable to function without caffeine and this is one of the reasons it should be used more sparingly. I think not a lot of people realize that it is a psychoactive drug and I think more education should be based around it.
Hunger motivation affects all of us daily. We all think that it is time to eat at various times of the day and this drive is known as hunger motivation. The feeling of hunger comes from the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This is supposed to let us know when our bodies need food, and when we may have had too much. People eat because of internal feelings, as well as external feelings. When our brain is sending internal messages from the hypothalamus, this is an internal factor. Things that we eat when we do not feel hungry may be because of boredom, stress, or something that looks delicious is placed in front of us. These are external factors that allow our body to use hunger motivation. I think that hunger is the most out of control motivator for people in America today. I know I myself struggle with hunger motivation daily and try and optimize my intake for health purposes.
This is a video illustrating hunger motivation at an extreme instance.
Sensation seeking is a personality trait defined by the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences. The four components of sensation seeking are; thrill and adventure seeking, experience seeking, dis-inhibition, and boredom susceptibility. People may take various risks to fulfill these sensations, and this can sometimes be dangerous. People who seek more sensations may be more susceptible to drug abuse. Also, there have been studies that might show that this is in genetics. Some people do not have as many triggers for sensation as others do, and you can see that these people stay to the safe side. People take all different kinds of risks that range from something as simple as balancing on a beam, to substance use and these things can drastically affect someone’s life. Sensation seeking is a type of motivation that is rewarded by usually risky activity.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Our response costs : number of credits required to graduate
Our time costs: how many years it takes us to complete these courses
Physical energy costs: number of days we dragged ourselves to class when sick
Our psychological energery costs: staying on task, not giving up..
Our oppurtunity costs: we all gave up events and some even jobs and relationships in the name of getting it done.
This was the perfect course to select as my final psychology course. I love learning about what drives us in our behavior, this class inspired me to constantly apply the material in the text, slides and website to my own life, and think about it through a personal lens rendering a fuller understanding. Reading posts written by my classmates gave me alternate perspectives to think about, and whether I responded or not, I always digested what you all wrote and enjoyed all of what I read. This class had very little oppurtunity cost because while there was a lot of reading, and we did a lot in a short amount of time.. its only June and in one short month we earned four credits! Thanks for a great semester and have a great summer!
The winter blues is a milder form of bigger issue called Seasonal Affective Disorder. According to Mental Health America,Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD is a mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light. SAD affects half a million people every winter between September and April, peaking in December, January, and February and the winter blues affects even more people.
Symptoms of winter-onset seasonal affective disorder include:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of energy
- Social withdrawal
- Oversleeping (feeling like you want to hibernate)
- Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates such as pastas, rice, bread and cereal
- Weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating and processing information
My favorite part of the course was probably the chapter on, Addictions and Addictive Behavior.Having a few friends and family memebers who struggle with addiction and having addictive behaviors I really enjoyed getting an in depth look into why they act the way they do. While it all interested me, I was particularly intrigued by the small section on positive addiction. Addictions are usually seen as negative, so I was very surprised to find this because I’ve never heard of an addiction that is positive, like exercise. Exercise addiction, although positive, can have many of the same symptoms and effects as drug addictions. Tolerance can be built up and many experience withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to work out. Strenuous exercise can create what’s called runner's high, which give feelings of euphoria, positive mood, and relaxation. This is because of the endorphins that are released. You are considered addicted when you crave this runner's high, as well as when you organize your life around exercising and push to yourself to extremes although there are consequences. It was funny to read this during this course because I believed it has happened to me. During my time at school I became very health conscious and began going to the gym. However I became so addicted to working out everyday that I began to skip a class or two just so I would have time to make it to the gym. It was like I needed to be there to feel better.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
There are so many things in life that can motivate you. It can be words from a song or quote from a movie. It can be your goal of having a career or helping your family. And it even could be someone else's words that move you and remind you not to give up no matter how hard the road ahead of you is. This class not only taught me about motivation, but it also made me understand more about myself and what motivates me. It also has taught about what things motivate other people to behave the way they do.
Things that motivate me are getting good grades, my family, and my work. I work hard to get good grades because I want to have a great career. I want to be able to provide for my family and for myself. My family always motivates me. There support and love for me has always made me work harder for things I want in life and be grateful for everything I have. And the last thing that motivates me is my work. Even though I am just a waitress; it isn't my career, but I still work hard and always try to take pride in my work and do the best job that I can.
My favorite parts of the course were talking about facial expressions and emotions. It is really fascinating how the two are so tied together. You can really make a persons day with the right expression, and you can tell how there feeling through their body language. Our facial expressions allow us to communicate without words. I think that motivation is all push and pull. We push for things that we want to achieve for the incentive that is given. But the pull is for things that we physically need in life. I think that this method is used throughout life and it will continue to be used.
I posted a video of a speech that I love. It is really moving and motivating. The man giving the speech shows that no matter how hard the battle is, even if its the battle for your life, you should never give up. You should always believe in yourself, and smile and laugh often. I think these are great words to live by.
"Don't give up, don't ever give up"
Research done by Brittany Gentile, a psychology at the University of Georgia, found that between 1988 and 2006, the average junior high student's score on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (a questionnaire that asks whether respondents agree with such statements as "On the whole, I am satisfied with myself") jumped nearly four points on a 40-point scale. The average score for a high school student went up almost two points during a similar span. I firmly belive this is due to the fact that many teens feel entitled to the things they want and the things their parents have provided for them. More and more I come to find that teens, I have interaction with, believe that they are on top of the world and nothing can hurt or touch them. It's not to say that having a high self esteem can necessarily mean that the teen is spoiled, yet it seems to be the case most of the time.
One of my favorite topics that the book touched on was the concept of positive psychology. The main idea of positive psychology isn't to have people walking around with a big grin on their face all the time, but it wants to help people reach whatever their optimum potential may be. One of these optimum experiences is flow "Flows refers to the desirable subjective state of a person experiences when completely involved in some challenging activity that matches the individual's skills. The activity has a clear and provides immediate feedback regarding the caliber of one's performance"(Deckers 256). A good example of this is when you feel like you've been doing an activity you are totally concentrated on for only a few minutes, but you look at your watch to see hours have passed by. I've certainly experienced this state before, but maybe not enough. The flow state is certainly a powerful incentive that I will strive for. Obviously it is a difficult state of mind to activate, which is why people choose the easier option like watch television all day. The video below is a good example of why flow is important especially in younger people.
Throughout this course I have gained a broader understanding of what motivation really is and how it can be found in everything. Motivation is what drives us to live. It’s the first thing that we do unconsciously every day of our lives. If we didn’t have motivation, then why even get up each morning; brush our teeth, get ready for the day, eat, live? All of these things are driven by our internal disposition known as motivation. Our actions or behavior does not occur spontaneously but is induced by either internal motives or environmental incentives. Our motives are linked to incentives. The incentive is the anticipated reward or aversive event available in the environment. A motive is linked to an incentive because it attains an incentive as the goal of a person’s motive.
So how are motives seen? Hunger is a motive for eating. Music provides the impulse to dance. An interest charge is the incentive for timely bill paying. Motives and incentives are seen in every day life whether we realize it or not. I enjoyed taking this course because it gave me the realization and understanding of how motivation is put into action internally within ourselves and how we can view it in the world around us. I found a video that I found not only inspirational but motivational. It depicts a man who does not have arms or legs, yet it still motivated to live life to the fullest.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Chapter 7 Stress
Before I realize that stress could weaken your immune system, I used to put my body and mind through multiple stressors. I was enrolled in school full time, dancing six days a week, and putting more stress on myself then I even realize. I eventually learned that the 'open window hypothesis' is very true. (p. 169) I was over exercising, not eating enough, and starting to miss school, assignments, and dance lessons. I would be so exhausted that I would come home, pass out, and eventually become ill. I suffered from many colds, sinus infections, etc. I finally decided that since dancing wasn't a career choice I was about to make I would have to quit. As soon as I quit dancing and putting my body though tremendous physical stress I got sick less. I had more energy, was able to focus more on school assignments, and even had a sharper attention span. As sad as I was to quit it was probably one of the best choices I made. Before I quit, I went to see a neurologist who referred me to an athletic specialist. The specialist told me I had hypotension. Hypotension is one of the conditions listed in our book for psychosomatic disorders. (p. 169) I strongly believe that the hypotension I had was caused from all the stress I was putting myself through from my life's demands at the time.
If you are a person who is a 'workaholic', has too much on your plate, or just overall is taking on more responsibilities than you can handle, then I highly suggest slowing down. You will get more achieved by working slowly and efficiently than stressing your body and mind out and risking falling ill. I have been sick enough times to realize that taking things slow and easy is the best way to heal your body. Never try to push yourself through anything because your body and mind can only handle so much stress until it gives out. This was very hard for me to learn and extremely hard to put into practice.
Chapter 9 Personalities and Traits
I often wonder why I have the personality I do and where my traits come from. Questions like these are especially interesting to me because I am adopted. If I was raised by my birth parents, would I behave differently? Would I still be motivated to make the same actions I do now?
Many of the traits that I have don't seem to be shared with my parents. That makes it clear to me that i must have been born with my traits making them innate. However, my personality seems to have been influenced by my environment. I react to most things the same way my parents would and I associate it with the nurturing I received from them. I can tell that my motivation stems mostly from my innate traits, but some of it also comes from the personality I have that was formed by my enviornment. The parents of children with a lack of self- motivation probably also have or had a lack of self-motivation. If they gained self-motivation and were able to impose motivational incentives for their children, then the children will have a chance of being more motivated than their natural traits had previously allowed them to be. If there is a strong lack of motivation found innately in a child though, it could be unlikely that any environmental influences could override innate instincts the child naturally has. If the parents of a child have always had low self-motivation and continue to raise their children that way, then I expect the child would never obtain a high level of self-motivation unless socially influenced by another person such as a teacher or a mentor.
I would like to know whether or not my birth parents were self-motivated. If they were, then I would attribute my good self-motivation to my genetics. If they weren't then I would attribute my self-motivation to my adoptive parents' upbringing. My motivation could come from a mix of both innate and aquired traits and personality, but I think in my situation I would lean towards one side or the other.The study of the seperated and adopted twin sets leads me to believe that most motivation comes from innate traits. I believe that this is the same for me. So make sure if you ever decide to adopt kids that their biological parents have traits that you would like to see in your child, because changing those traits with experience could be very difficult. You probably wouldn't want to end up with a psychopath for a child, which is what this study finds:
"Analyses revealed that having a biological criminal father was related to psychopathic personality traits for male adoptees, but not for female adoptees. For males, having a criminal biological father increased the odds of scoring in the extreme of the psychopathic personality trait scale by a factor ranging between 4.3 and 8.5. However, there was no association between having a biological criminal mother and psychopathic personality traits for adoptees." (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235211000845)
Here is a direct URL link to my video just in case if this doesn't work.
the list consisted of:
keeping a higher GPA level
finishing school to prove to certain people that i could finish schooling
staying active in the community
getting into a better school
getting into teaching
having my assiciates before i turned 21
and my bachelors before i turned 22
being out of the house by 23
and so on...
this list was made up from one of my former teachers to be placed on my fridge as a constant reminder that there were things i had to do in school and not just be distracted my a partying college life which yes is highly fun but as a distracted person this list constantly reminded me that i had small milestones that in the future lead to a bigger goal of a degree and also adulthood. the smaller the goal and more of them kept it easier to accomplish a big goal or will help achieve the goal of a bachelors in December. another factor which has made it easier was because the tasks are things i highly desire making accomplishing them more important. as i accomplish the tasks i cross them off one by one till my list is complete.
Friday, June 8, 2012