Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fundamentals in Psychology

When one thinks of psychology the mind first goes to Sigmund Freud.  Some consider Ivan Pavlov and his study on condition reflex.  Chapter one gives the reader an introductory look at how women developed the psychology field.  Mary Calkins was born in 1863 back then, psychologists were men, and thus Mary was refused to be able to finish her degree strictly because she was a woman (Bumb).  A fellow psychologist named William James allowed her to continue her desire to become a psychologist by administering tests and take some of his graduate classes so she was better able to understand her chosen field.  One of her most outstanding achievements, Mary was honored as the first woman president of the American Psychological Association.  In 1906 she was listed as the twelfth leading psychologist in the United States (APA , 2001).  While psychology has seemed to come to the forefront in recent years, truth is, attempts to understand the human mind and its actions have been around since the early 1800’s.  Since then, there have been major advances in the field of psychology. 
            Brain and behavior connections became clearer during the nineteenth century.  Physicians chose to notice their patient’s actions who suffered bad head injuries.  Many showed lowered language and memory retention as well as having traumatic changes in personality.  Phineas Gage was a foreman in a rail yard.  He was accidentally injured during an exposition.  A tamping iron went straight though his head.  Observing his actions and creating experiments, teach researchers and scientists (Westen, 2005).
            Marc Dax reported in 1836, he diagnosed patients with speech problems or loss of speech. When he examined their brains after their deaths, he saw that all of these patients have damage to the left side of their brain (Okrzesik, 2001).  Based on all of the recent research, it is a fact that the left side of the brain does in fact deal with speech.  Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict were two theorists who were inquisitive when it came to the relation between culture and personality.  Their expertise was not in psychology but in anthropology (Flatherty).  Their argument was that psychology was molded by values, ideals and ways of thinking.  As children grow and learn in ways that conform to cultural standards.  Freud was very instramental in understanding this through his works.  During the 1950’s a new push begain in behaviorism and psychoanalytic theories.  This type of movement took its name from humanism.  People’s emotions and own free will are the key to this type research.
 Mental processes begain in the 1970’s.  It is called the cognitive throery.  The key to this movement is humans soak up information from their environment and process the information mentally.  Patients begain wanting to understand what dreams meant why they would remember some and not all, what the brain was doing during sleep.  Chapter three deals with the biological factors that interfear with the brain. 
When a patient suffers a taumatic brain injury such as Larry Flynt, or James Brady effect how they think and act. Larry Flynt was shot after an assaination attempt, and James Brady was the Press Secretary of President Regan and took a bullet and to this day is partially paralized and is left imoble for the duration of his life (Neurobehavioral Health, 2001).  Stress is another factor that will affect how one feels and thinks.  A person suffering from stress can have a nervous breakdown because of a trauma from their past.  It is key to our success as long as we watch our stress levels, focus on the things that need to be addressed.  Stress can lead to heart attacks and break ups in relationships if one does not seek medical attention via family physician, or even beginning some kind of conseling.
In summary, from the beginning of the study of psychology where women were not allowed to preform, to today where psychology is wildly growing into the most needed medical profession; the big picture is we as students will always be learning and growing.  The study of psychology is an ever growing educational profession.  The career playmakers such as Ivan Pavlov, Mary Calkins, and Sigmund Freud will forever shape our profession and allow us to grow and be more educated.


APA . (2001). Monitor. Honored for their vision, 80.
Bumb, J. (n.d.). Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of the Mind and Society. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from Mary Whiton Calkins:
Flatherty, T. (n.d.). Webster Edu. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society:
Neurobehavioral Health. (2001). 10 Famous People with Brain Impairments. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from Center for Neurobehavioral Health, Ltd.:
Okrzesik, E. H. (2001). How does the human brain create language? . Retrieved December 13, 2010, from The Brain An Owner's Manual:
Westen, R. M. (2005). PSYCHOLOGY: THE STUDY OF MENTAL PROCESSES AND BEHAVIOR. Hobken: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

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