Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Which Self Mechanisim are you? :))

We've all experienced tense situations where we felt great anxiety feelings such as fear and apprehension. Anxiety is a warning of impending real or imagined dangers as well as a painful experience and it forces an individual to take corrective action.

Often, the ego can cope with objective anxiety through rational measures. However, neurotic and moral anxiety, because they are unconscious usually cannot be dealt with through rational measures.

In these cases the ego resorts to irrational protective measures that are referred to as ego-defense mechanisms.

The function of ego-defense mechanisms is to discharge or sooth anxiety, but they do so by helping a person push painful ideas out of consciousness instead of dealing directly with the  problem. Eventually, these mechanisms result in a distorted view of reality.

The Mechanisms:

Displacement: discharging pent-up feelings often of hostility on objects less dangerous than those arousing the feelings.
Example: A husband having a bad day at work comes home takes his anger out on his wife, then the wife takes it out on the the children, which result in a vicious cycle. Communication is key in this type of situation to prevent a cycle of violence in the home.

Projection:  Attributing one's unacceptable motives or characteristics to others.
Example: A single mother telling her daughter that she doesn't need a man in her life to make her happy, and she is willing to live independently without a male figure in her life.  Now, that is a bit extreme in my opinion because evidently the mother is projecting her personalized negative experience with men onto her daughter.

Rationalization: using continued "explanations" to conceal or disguise unworthy motives for one's behavior.
 Attributing one's achievement to their own qualities and skills while failures are blamed on other people or outside forces. 
Example: A student who gets a poor score on an exam might blame it on the instructor rather than on his or her lack of preparation.

Reaction Formation: Preventing the awareness or expression of unacceptable desires by an exaggerated adoption of seemingly opposite behavior.
 Example1: Like "some" married women who love to brag about their married life how their husbands can't stand to be distant from them or the many times their husbands have expressed their love for them. Sadly,  it is overdone, extravagant, showy, and affected. Which tells you these ladies are full of crap! :-)) But its sad at the same time because their life is empty and full of anxiety. The fear of possible infidelity on part of the husband my lead to this type of behavior.
Example 2: Treating someone you strongly dislike in an excessively friendly manner.

Regression: retreating to an earlier development level involving less mature behavior and responsibilities.
Example:  Lol.....lets all be honest now i think we've all been  through this phase.
If you don't get your way, you throw a big fit! :-)) Do you remember the many times you stamped your foot on the floor or throwing your self on the bed.  Been there done that ;-) Lol

Repression: preventing painful or dangerous thoughts from entering consciousness.
Example: Like someone who was sexually assaulted.

Sublimation: channeling frustration or anger or sexual energy into substitutive activities.
Example: A man that exhibits high levels of anger/frustration can involve himself in activities such as sports. In Islam it is advised of single men and women to fast in order to control their sexual desires. This way their focus is reverted to the spiritual aspect.

Foremost, understanding our behavior is key to understanding our selves as human beings. Therefore, being aware of our actions reflect our personality.

Be observant of others behavior and instead of judging you'll  have a better understanding instead.

Shrink say's: "Talking is the best medicine." Find someone you trust and feel comfortable with and pour out your thoughts and feeling to. Trust me you will feel better after wards. We all need a shoulder to lean on :-))

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Is Psychology?

Wilhelm Wundt
One of the most common questions asked by students new to the study of psychology is "What is psychology?" Misperceptions created by popular media as well as the diverse careers paths of those holding psychology degrees have contributed this confusion.

Psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the human mind and behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain thought, emotion, and behavior. Applications of psychology include mental health treatment, performance enhancement, self-help, ergonomics, and many other areas affecting health and daily life.

Early Psychology

Psychology evolved out of both philosophy and biology. Such discussions of the two subjects date as far back as the early Greek thinkers such as Aristotle and Socrates. The word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche, meaning 'soul' or 'mind.'

A Separate Science

The field and study of psychology was truly born when Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany. Wundt's research utilized a school of thought known as structuralism, which involved describing the structures that compose the mind. This perspective relied heavily on the analysis of sensations and feelings through the use of introspection, a highly subjective process. Wundt believed that properly trained individuals would be able to accurately identify the mental processes that accompanied feelings, sensations, and thoughts.

Schools of Thought

Throughout psychology's history, a number of different schools of thought have thought have formed to explain human thought and behavior. These schools of thought often rise to dominance for a period of time. While these schools of thought are sometimes perceived as competing forces, each perspective has contributed to our understanding of psychology. The following are some of the major schools of thought in psychology.

Psychology Today

Today, psychologists prefer to use more objective scientific methods to understand, explain, and predict human behavior. Psychological studies are highly structured, beginning with a hypothesis that is then empirically tested. Psychology has two major areas of focus: academic psychology and applied psychology. Academic psychology focuses on the study of different sub-topics within psychology including personality psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology.

These psychologists conduct basic research that seeks to expand our theoretical knowledge, while other researchers conduct applied research that seeks to solve everyday problems. Applied psychology focuses on the use of different psychological principles to solve real world problems. Examples of applied areas of psychology include forensic psychology, ergonomics, and industrial-organizational psychology. Many other psychologists work as therapists, helping people overcome mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders.

Psychology Research Methods

As psychology moved away from its philosophical roots, psychologists began to employ more and more scientific methods to study human behavior. Today, researchers employ a variety of scientific methods, including experiments, correlational studies, longitudinal studies, and others to test, explain, and predict behavior.

Areas of Psychology

Psychology is a broad and diverse field. A number of different subfields and specialty areas have emerged. The following are some of the major areas of research and application within psychology:

  • Abnormal Psychology is the study of abnormal behavior and psychopathology. This specialty area is focused on research and treatment of a variety of mental disorders and is linked to psychotherapy and clinical psychology. Mental health professional typically utilize the Diagnosistic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) to diagnose mental disorders.
  • Biological Psychology, also known as biopsychology, studies how biological processes influence the mind and behavior. This area is closely linked to neuroscience and utilizes tools such as MRI and PET scans to look at brain injury or brain abnormalities.
  • Clinical Psychology is focused on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders.
  • Cognitive Psychology is the study of human thought processes and cognitions. Cognitive psychologists study topics such as attention, memory, perception, decision-making, problem solving, and language acquisition.
  • Comparative Psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the study of animal behavior. The study of animal behavior can lead to a deeper and broader understanding of human psychology.
  • Developmental Psychology is the branch of psychology that looks at human growth and development over the lifespan. Theories often focus on the development of cognitive abilities, morality, social functioning, identity, and other life areas.
  • Forensic Psychology is an applied field focused on using psychological research and principles in the legal and criminal justice system.
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology is the area of psychology that uses psychological research to enhance work performance, select employee, improve product design, and enhance usability.
  • Personality Psychology looks at the various elements that make up individual personalities. Well-known personality theories include Freud’s structural model of personality and the "Big Five" theory of personality.
  • School Psychology is the branch of psychology that works within the educational system to help children with emotional, social, and academic issues.
  • Social Psychology is a discipline that uses scientific methods to study social influence, social perception, and social interaction. Social psychology studies diverse subjects including group behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression, and prejudice.