Journal 1 The Gestaltists

Jake Murphy
Chapter 10 Journal
This chapter focuses on Gestalt psychology. Gestalt psychology explains human thinking and perception.Gestalt psychology began with the idea of illusions and how the human mind can easily be tricked into thinking something incorrect. The purpose of Gestalt psychology was to understand the reason why the mind could not recognize and process illusions such as the face and the lamp. That picture shows how the mind processes the foreground and the background as separate thoughts. The interpretation of perspectives shows how our minds organize objects by their size to determine how far away they are from the point of view. The mind also groups objects according to their distance away from another object; as well as the color or shape of the object. The brain categorizes groups when the objects are clustered together. Direction of patterns can lead the brain into releasing certain shapes. The mind uses known information to make conclusions on the illusion it is confronted with. One question that I had in regards to the work Koffka did on memory would be about how the individual determines what memories are deemed meaningful enough to make a connection in the brain. Would it be based off of previous experiences and how the new memory relates to it or how traumatic, emotional or important it is to the individual? 

Chapter 11 Journal
       Chapter 11 discusses personality psychologists. Studying personality began with the connection of astrology and personality traits. It was believed that the position of the sun, moon and planets determined a person's personality. Christian Thomasius created a layout to measure personality traits based on a numerical score for various traits. Behavior associated with personality can either be viewed as "situational" or 'environmental." This is determined by the individual and how they interpret the scenario. In order to professionally measure personality a psychologist must define what they are measuring and the variables involved. This is one problem when looking at the study of personality. Personality is a complex feature and can change with one added variable and a specific score linked to a trait does not paint the whole picture of the person's personality. Covariance can be found in some traits in most people. this is because certain traits are all influenced by an underlying tendency. Cattell created a personality table with bipolar traits on each side to measure personality that is used as a baseline for many current personality questionnaires. One concept of personality is the idea of nature versus nurture. Whether environmental or genetic influences make more of an impression on a person's personality. Personality is developed using both of these factors. An implication of measuring personality is that it is measured with a bias of the psychologist. Not every psychologist will have the same requirements or standards that go with specific traits. One psychologist may view a subject differently than another. during an interview it is likely that a person would act different than they would as if they were in a social setting where they believed they were not being observed.

Chapter 12

         The Developmentalists focused on how the early years in life impacted your cognitive development, personality and social development. The objective of developmental psychologists is to explain what makes people who they are and what events influence them to make them that way. Piaget brought the idea that the mind goes through "metamorphoses" as a child gets older. He learned that the brain will change due to experiences and will create new ways of thinking. A child is supposed to develop sensorimotor skills during the ages 1.5-2 years old, preoperational skills from 1.5-7 years, concrete operations from ages 7-12 and formal operations during ages 12 and above. Personality observe the growth of personality from birth. As infants the relationship with their mother can vastly influence the development of an individual's personality. It is important for the infant to have a form an attachment to their mother in order to have strong social-emotional functions. Social behavior is learned from a young age. When an infant can recognize turn-talking social skills begin to develop. After that a child learns how to play and role play with other children. Social competence and the recognition of social groups form is developed later, around 8 years old. Sexual development is shaped when hormones are released around age seven. Empathy and altruism are learned as morals are developed. One question I was left with after reading the part on aging was, what would make a person chose to "disengage" from their roles later in life?