Saturday, June 9, 2012

Final Project Post

This course was crucial to my studies as a Psychology major for not only the subject matter covered, but the way it served as a uniting element between many other Psychology courses I have taken so far. I learned a lot about how and why our minds worked, helping me to understand phenomenons ranging in scale from understanding how we view colors to how our mind stays (or doesn't stay) attentive to how all our senses interact with our brain to create our unique perceptive experience. The course successfully covered the entire scope of perceptive thought and interpretation, and kept me guessing throughout, whether it was understanding the various uses of the fovea or the different cues we use for sound location.

Not only did the course provide plenty of insight on perception, but also served to bridge the gap between many past Psychology courses. I had gained an understanding of action potentials and the overall biology of the body as it pertains to Psychology through taking Physiological Psychology, however this course took it a step further to discuss the how and why of what biological impact our body has on our brain. Abnormal Psychology covered many different psychological conditions and illnesses, yet through this course I was able to gain a better understanding of how these conditions (such as Broca's Aphasia) truly differ from the norm and what causes the issues biologically. Many of the earlier introductory elements and mental processes covered in the course were reminiscent of Motivation as well, which helped as both a refresher to what I had learned in Motivation as well as a means of quickly familiarizing myself with the subject matter Perception offers.

My favorite parts of the course concerned memory and how we recreate past events in our minds. I have always been fascinated with the concept of Perception in its simplest form - the idea that you can take three different people, expose them to the same exact stimulus and they will all have entirely different experiences and perspectives, and I was happy to explore that with this course. Simple concepts such as Selective Attention, recreating memories based on expectations, and understanding how our brain functions to make such occurrences possible were particularly enlightening. I now have a much better understanding of the diversity of human thought and the power our minds have over our memory, which is essentially all we have left over from all our life experiences. Gaining this better understanding of interpretation and memory establishment will give me unique tools outside of the Psychology field to apply to my everyday personal life and look at things in a whole new, better educated light.

In closing, I would like to challenge everyone taking this course to apply the information they have learned in regards to Perception towards a venture of self exploration, enjoyment, and inner peace. Mindfulness - complete self immersion into the present experience - is a quality frequently attributed to Meditation due to its consideration as a necessary quality in order to achieve inner peace. However, the basics of Mindfulness are actually much more rooted in Perception and how we view and experience the world rather than heavy Meditation or mental conditioning. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce pain as well as balance and interpret deviant behaviors through perception. The video below is a great introduction to Mindfulness; as it explains how it pertains to Perception, how to be mindful in everyday life, and how it can positively enhance our experiences. I would love to hear some reactions from everyone in the comments. Enjoy !

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