I have always been interested in finding out why people behave the way they do. As a student of psychology, I was able to understand why people behave the way that they do courtesy of self-exploration projects. There are three topics that had a profound effect on me, in my understanding of human behavior. The three topics are social psychology, memory and, self and personalities. Courtesy of the three topics I can assess a person and decipher why he or she behaves in a certain manner.
The first topic that I found interesting human behavior is social psychology. I have come to understand that there are several factors that make people behave differently in different social situations. Human beings are prone to having their thoughts, behaviors, and feelings influenced by social forces. We as human beings are influenced by both human and non-human factors when it comes to our behavior. Not only are social influences present when human beings are present, but social influences are also present when we watch television, watch films and listen to music. Human beings tend to behave in a certain way in the presence of other human beings. The presence of other human beings can facilitate certain types of human behaviors. I came to understand why people behave differently when they are alone and when they are in a group of people. People are more likely to display well-learned tasks but at the same time have a decrease in performance when it comes to tasks that are newly learned or not well learned. Psychological factors have a role to play in determining how human beings interact with one another. I have discovered that when human beings hold attitudes, cognitions and beliefs that are different from the majority of human beings they tend to suffer from dissonance which brings about out discomfort. As a result, most human beings tend to hold confirmatory attitudes and beliefs to avoid discomfort. I now understand why many human beings are afraid of staying true to themselves; they are afraid of being treated unfairly by their fellow human beings. Courtesy of self-exploration, I now understand that cultural factors play a major role in determining how a person behaves, thinks and feels. In the social world, behavior can be modeled. Children are likely to exhibit behaviors that are displayed by adults in their lives, more so if the children realize that the behaviors displayed by the adults are rewarded. I now understand that stereotypes and prejudice are fuelled by a desire of human beings to be superior to other human beings. Prejudice in society is fuelled by the fact that most individuals believe that maintaining a positive sense of social and personal identity can only be achieved by being emphatic in ones social group and dismissing other groups as lesser or inferior groups.
The second topic that I found interesting in my understanding of human behavior is the human memory. It is amazing how human beings can retrieve information from past experiences and apply the information to current situations. I now understand that information retrieval is the most important function of a human beings memory. It is impossible for a human being to go about essential life activities without the use of human memory. Memory plays a major role when it comes to learning. Courtesy of memory, vast amounts of information are often processed. Working memory plays an important role of holding information briefly while a human being is working on a certain issue. I now understand that the way memory is stored plays a major role in determining how the information is retrieved. There have been concerns on how memory is stored and how it is retrieved. There have been concerns on how much memory can be stored and how long memory lasts. Human beings need both short term memory and long term memory. Short term memory helps individuals to store and retrieve information sequentially. Long term memory on the other side ensures that information is stored and retrieved when a need arises. The manner in which information is organized plays a major role when it comes to facilitating information retrieval. I now understand that information has to be organized sequentially so that it may be retrieved properly.
The third topic that I found interesting in my understanding of human behavior is self and personalities. It is better for an individual to have a perception of himself or herself so that he or she may behave in a certain manner. Self-plays a major role in determining how an individual conducts himself or herself. I now understand that self-involves a unique combination of a persons inner characteristics. Human beings achieve self-consistency by engaging in behaviors that they perceive to be similar as their self-concept. A persons idea of self-relates to his or her self-esteem. I now understand that a person has a high self-esteem when his idea of self is greatly different from his actual self. The greater the difference between a persons actual self and a persons idea self, the lower an individuals self-esteem. I now know that personality is about a persons inner psychological characteristics that determine how he or she responds to the environment. Personality is often a reflection of individual characteristics. There are no two individuals who are the same. People have different personalities. However, there are people who have personalities that are similar or almost similar. Characteristics that are consistent and enduring make up a persons personality. Personalities have different properties and can be changed. Life events may alter a persons personality. For instance, the death of a loved one may make a person start viewing life from a different perspective. Personal tragedies such as accident and health problems are likely to alter a persons personality. Career promotion and divorce are also likely to change a persons personality. Changes in personality can also be part of an individuals maturing process. I now understand why people change all over sudden after going through traumatic, hurtful and painful events.
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