Monday, April 2, 2012

Psychology Assignment 7

It appears to be working! My idea of how to transfer my studied knowledge from short term to long term memory was to have a study partner quiz me, and since I don't want to appear dumb it'll spur me on.

I've noticed that I've been able to retain more information than before. I've also been able to retain it longer, and put it to practical use in real life. Which is another way of retaining knowledge that I didn't think of trying (at least consciously).

My friend is also a wonderful teacher, knows how to explain the things that I don't understand, and make it so that they make sense. Which I wasn't able to do on my own. I feel that understanding what I need to be studying also helps with the ability to retain the information. I'm still under a lot of stress (I'm a single mom I work and I'm a student so it's a given), so I know that I may not be able to recall as much as I would be able to under perfect conditions, but it's a start.

I've found that through doing these blogs I've developed a better understanding of the topics I chose, and I hope that you readers have also learned a thing or two (or at least that you've stuck around until the good stuff comes back).

This is my last post about the psychology assignment, next week I'll be posting all about our Jamaican vacation we took back in Feb-March. I've got a million pictures to share too! And some stories about ~very~ cute Jamaican boys you don't want to miss!

Psychology Assignment 6

One of the biggest problems I've been having this year as a nursing student is with my memory. Especially in anatomy and physiology. I can study all I want, but I do not retain the information that I need. My brain refuses to hold it in.

During class we talked about the stages of memory. Sensory memory, just needs to retain enough information to remember not to bump into walls, trip over our own feet, touch a hot pan simple things like that. Short term memory helps us remember if we locked the door, where we set that book we were just reading, the names of celebrities latest flings ect. Long term memory is what enables us to keep and retain information for use at some point in the future. It can be lost, but not as easily as short term memory.

Where I'm having the most difficulty is transfering the information that I study from short term to long term memory. There are different ways to do that, but what I've been trying so far is repetition and recall. It's not working though.

I study, study, study and then test myself, but it's just not sticking around enough. I try to give myself enough time to get it all together but with all the different amounts of information I need to know, for school, work and life it's hard finding room in my poor overworked brain.

I need a better way to transfer things from short term to long term, and I don't think I'm going to be able to do it on my own.

My idea is to get a friend, who is already a nurse, to help me study. The challenge of not wanting to appear stupid in front of him should give me that extra push I need to retain the knowledge. And I hope that it will help come exam time. We have our first study session planned for later this week, so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Psychology Assignment 5

So it's been two weeks since I've started the official operant conditioning of D-Man's hitting habit. It's still a work in progress but it's slowing improving.

I know that my parenting technique involves a lot of psychology (no matter how much I claim to not like or pay attention to it). I use operant conditioning all the time to teach my kids, the same as my parents did with me. It's just way more official when I'm giving details out instead of just doing it instinctively.

So we're all almost healthy again, the boys are over their colds, and I'm getting better slowly. D-Man has improved over the last two weeks. He'll still swing out when he's mad, but he's stopped smacking his brother all the time. He's changed to yelling at everyone, but since I yell too, I know where he gets it from. Yelling I don't mind as much (I'll still try to stop it, but to me hitting is way worse).

Fortunatly I've only had to resort to time outs twice. Both times were after a long day of daycare/babysitter while I was busy with school/work. To make matters more difficult, we're weaning from nursing during the day too. So his main method of comfort and soothing isn't there anymore. So not only does he need to learn how to act when he's mad, he has to find a different way of making himself feel better.

This process isn't going to take two weeks and be finished. I have a feeling that it will take a while, and be a life long learning experience.

Psychology Assignement 4

Slow and steady wins the race right?

The operant conditioning process is quite a bit slower than the classical conditioning. I do know that I'm working with a toddler compared to a cat, but still.

D-Man still takes his anger out on his brother, maybe not all of the time now but still most of the time. The time ins work, but they're time consuming, and I'm pretty busy right now, with packing to move, getting back from vacation, school and everyone being sick.

That's another big issue, the conditions of the experiment have changed. When I first started this, everyone was healthy, but now both boys have got really bad colds, and I've got pneumonia. So it's making everyone's fuses a lot shorter, and making it so that learning just gives headaches instead of inspiration.

We're still working on it all though. I can see D-Man starting to think before he hits, where as before he would just swing out. Now he's making a deliberate choice to be mean, and he knows that there will be consequences.

It's only been a week, so we'll see how it goes next week. Hopefully everyone will be healthy again to make the process easier.

Psychology Assignment 3

The next topic I'm going to cover is Operant Conditioning. Operant conditioning is a form of learning during which an individual modifies the occurrence and form of its own behavior due to the consequences of the behavior. Basically, you change how you do something because of the reaction you get.

D-Man has a violent streak in him, he's very alpha in personality and I don't think that helps with aggression. Lately he has been hitting his brother when he gets mad at something. It doesn't even have to be something his brother has done, just if Mister M is close, D-Man takes his anger out on him.

The reasons behind that could be a study all their own, but for the purposes of this assignment, and my own understanding. He takes his anger out because he knows it's safe, his brother will still love him and play with him after, and he's closer to his brothers size which makes it less scary.

What I'm going to be doing to help break this habit is using a mixture of Time Ins, time outs and verbal cues. Time Ins are when the person in charge takes the miscreant away from the scene of the crime and spends solo time. Calming him down, talking to him and basically making him pay attention to what I have to say by removing all distractions. Time outs are solitary, 1 minute alone in his room to think about what he's done. For my own parenting, I prefer Time Ins, I only use time outs when I'm beyond mad and just need a minute to myself. (Children are born knowing how to push their parents buttons). The verbal cues will be simple like, hitting hurts your brother, not nice to hit things like that.

I'll be starting this all today, and update with how it goes!

Psychology Assignment 2

So it has been one week since we've started training the cat to give her some more exercise. It's been going well! I started with blowing a whistle, shaking a treat bag and rewarding her when she gets to the top with two kitty treats (not sure if I mentioned the amount before).

After one week, we've cut the bag shaking out. Now we blow the whistle, and reward her with only one treat when she gets to the top. She seemed to be a little confused at first, with the missing sound of the bag, but when we blow the whistle she'll react as planned.

I'm a little amazed at how easy it has been to teach this old cat new tricks. She's got a bit more spring in her step too, and doesn't spend as much time napping under the bed. Hopefully when we keep this up, she'll feel young again (and not look so much like a pudgy raccoon).

Psychology Assignment 1

For the next 7 posts I will be completing an assignment for school. It has to do with psychology in my life and how I perceive it. So please, have patience with me. I will get back to our regular scheduled blogging about random things shortly! Thanks guys!

Classical Conditioning

A quick definition of classical conditioning is: two stimuli are presented together over and over, until the response given to one becomes associated with the other.

We have two cats, Goblin and Tootsie, both are pretty good cats, but Gobber's has become a little lazy in her old age (14 years old now). So our task for the next week or two is to see if we can train her to run up and down her kitty climber when we blow a whistle.

She usually runs up and down it a couple times a day, but I want her to get up it 4-5 times a day for some exercise. I'm starting slow, by rewarding her with a treat each time she does it.

The way the sequence will work, she'll be at the climber of her own choice, I'll blow the whistle and shake the treat bag, when she gets to the top she'll get a treat. We'll repeat this for a week and then try it without shaking the treat bag.

I'll update next week!