We deal with psychology every day as we are using some knowledge in psychology, but we just dont notice it. For example, why you feel stressful in your exam? Why you get phobia of particular stuff? How you manage to overcome your problem? How did you remember your childhood memory as it was ten or fifteen years ago? It was all about psychology. But how well we know about psychology?
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According to Karen Huffman, psychology is a study that requires scientific study that related to human behavior and also our mind or brain processes. Many people think that psychology are a study of mental illness and deal a lot with a psychological disorder and serial killer that are mad, but it was not true as psychology appears in our daily life. There are some theories that we will be discussing in the discussion that will be related to our daily life, for example, sensory adaptation, perceptual set, episodic memory, Decay theory and night terrors in Parasomnias.
Sensory adaptation is a theory which we can generally find in the psychology books and journal and psychologist always discuss the importance and the experimental by applying this theory into our daily life. I will be discussing olfactory adaptation of this theory that will be applying in my daily life and giving some examples. While in the theory of perceptual set, I will be focus on how the theory works in daily life and how it changes our perception towards things that we see through our eyes. Moreover, the episodic memory that had been mention in the chapter of memory will also be discuss, and some personal experiences will be mention as it was related to the example of episodic memory. Other than that, I will also relate my own experience in the decay theory in forgetting while night terrors that usually happen to children while also to be discuss further in Parasomnias.
All human had five senses that included touch, smell, taste, vision and hearing. We use all of our five senses in our daily life in eating, cooking, listening to music doing homework and even playing games. Did you ever think of why did you feel that you smell nothing in the air as you had been staying in room that full with a strong smell for more than 5 minutes? The first theory that I will discuss is the theory of the sensory adaptation. The olfactory adaptation will be part of the sensory adaptation that I will be discussing.
The definition of the sensory adaptation is the response of our receptor cells are being slow down as the receptors had been constantly stimulus (James. V. Mc Connell, 1982).I will be discussing the olfactory adaptation in the other hand means the smell adaptation in the sensory adaptation. We never think of why we will smell the smell of odor in our room or the bad smell of air condition when it does not be use in a long period, but after we stay in that particular room for ten to fifteen minutes we didn’t smell that smell again? It is because of our stimulus in the nose had receive the smell and send to our brain but we had already adapted the smell and our brain didn’t send out the message of bad smell. According to Pamela Dalton, olfactory adaptation happens because of the change that occur in the receptors characteristic and the signal of the receptors had turn weak due to the weakening of sensitivity of the receptors toward particular smell after a period.
Besides from the example above, I also face a problem in my daily life. When I passed by the shop which sell perfume or spreading some sort of sweet perfume in the shop, I will be very sensitive of this kind of smell because I don’t like that smell. Moreover, if a person had used some strong perfume especially the kind that had a sweet smell I will hardly stay near them.
An incident happened when I was attending my Expository Class in the CG08 of the Block C in UCSI. One Malay classmate came in, and complaint about the smell of sweat in the class room and all of us also smell it but it was not very strong as we already sit in the class for about six minutes, then she suddenly take out a bottle of perfume, I think and spread a lot of it in the class. “Shit! What smell is that?” some of the classmate are now all smelling the smell of perfume, and it was terrible as it was a kind of cheap and sweet perfume with high concentration in the class. I heard many classmates asking about who spread that perfume and some even open the window to gasp for air including me. But after we started our class for one and a half hour, their complaint are getting lower and smaller until they didn’t smell anything odd in the class except for me because I had allergy to the perfume smell and my nose feel itchy and I sneeze all the time in the class. I can see how my classmates adapt the smell using the olfactory adaptation but each of them had different time in adapting that smell and some of them are just like me will be sneezing, but the condition turns lower and lower after I stay in the class for more than 10 minutes.
“You see what you’re set to see.”(Zimbardo. P., Johnson. R., McCann. V., 2009. P.322)
Other than the definition from above, Nevid (2009) had mention that a case study was done by Bruner and Minturn in year 1955 found out that people will always base on their perception towards image they saw through their eyes. As for my opinion, perceptual set is a kind of perception which will always base on own person’s point of view that build up according to their expectation and own experience in their daily life.
For example, when I was watching a horror movie I will always perceive that how will the ghost in the movie will appear such as at a scene where only the character was alone and walking in the old and empty house I will always assume that the ghost will just appear from that the ghost will come out soon but I was disappointed once as the ghost didn’t came out, and it was just a trick to make the audience like me to feel tense only. The same situation will also happen when I watch an action movie especially the 1990s Hong Kong movie where I will just know that the next assassin or the enemy will come out, or they won’t die that easily as most of the movie I watch in that timeline will always using that style of filming after watching similar action movie after few times as my brain will just tell me like enemy will come and he won’t die so easily. After I approach with this theory, I found out that unconsciously I will always use my perceptual set to expect what will be happen the next or guessing what is their next move.
Episodic memory is a member of the long term memory in our brain. Long term memory can be described as an ultimate cupboard which had a lot of space that use to store our memory in our brain. In the long term memory divided to 2 types, explicit memory and implicit memory. Explicit memory is a type which we learn it consciously while implicit memory is the memory we store or we learn it unconsciously (Huffman, 2006). Inside explicit memory also divided into two types semantic and episodic. Semantic memory is used to store our general knowledge like the name of the object. Other than that, implicit memory had three groups, procedural memory, classical conditioned memory and priming.
Did you ever wonder why are we still remembering on what had happened since we were six or seven? We usually call it as childhood memory, but it actual name is Episodic memory. According to Coon and Mitterer, episodic memory is an auto biological record of personal experience. In other words, it works like a recorder of our memory just as same as the video cam we used to record our memory where we think that the event is important for us.
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There is one scenario that related to episodic memory, I remember as my gang and I was sitting in Block A while waiting for another class, someone just pop up with her past funny experience in prank. We all started to talk about the experience and my memory just like a switch and all of the image flow out like a river. I still remember that I was telling them when I was in standard six, my friend, and I was planning to prank on a teacher that we give her a nickname “Ajax Fabuloso”. That day I was on duty as prefect for guarding the car park, and I let four of my buddies sneak into the car park and just put off all the tire air pressure. I remember the situation was so tense like an action movie because we all worried that other people will found out, and our plan ends well. Our teacher going home with four flat tire and she was lucky not to met with an accident in her way home, but three of my buddies was get caught and being punished by the headmaster and I was lucky that I doesn’t get caught and able to keep my perfect badge.
It was weird that it already happened seven years ago, but I still can remember the whole incident and the expression of every person, the tension face, the sneaky happy face when seeing the teacher going to find out her car with four flat tires.
Next theory that I will be discussing is the decay theory in forgetting. We always will be forgetting something every day for example, forgot to bring the purse to school forgot to textbook or forgot to do our homework. We do used to forget something small everyday but do we really know about the factors of why we are forgetting some information so easily? Forgetting usually occur in the short term memory and it has five theories of forgetting, decay theory, interference, motivated forgetting, encoding failure and decoding failure. I will be explaining in more detail about the part of decay theory.
According to John Wixted, decay theory can be explain as the natural process which will occur because of the natural metabolic processes that had been carried out in our brain mostly in the short term memory. It just similar situation that I will face in my daily life, sometimes my friend are talking with me about something or about our project and usually we will be discuss in very detail and we will separate the works, but one of us will always ask after few days or the night before death line “what actually I need to do har??” I am pretty sure that everyone must have been through this situation at least once in a day. Another example will be my skill of playing volleyball; I had been stop playing volleyball about a semester due to my busy schedule of study and assignments. After that semester, I return to the court, and I found out that I was very nervous and scared when we practice in the form of competition I found out that I was unable to set a ball nicely in a position to my team player as it was the most unharmed ball style. I also found out my skill are become rusty and was my stamina was not as good as the time before. Later, I realize that it was a form of decay theory as my skill become rusty because I had stop practicing for a long time.
Besides that, I also saw a funny scene where my friend, Dickson came and ask whether he can join the practice of volleyball with Joey, Crystal, Chi Ting and Jing Ru. Since he was a beginner, so I teach them the basic technique in volleyball like the position when you are digging the ball, the right body gesture and how to service in the sense of let the ball pass over the net to the opponent. They all seen to be remember of the move and technique, but after a week they came again but when I ask them to show me all the thing I teach them but some of them did it totally wrong or came out with some new technique and gesture. It was quite funny as I was laugh at them, but I also think of the decay theory when I see that scene as they only come for practice one a week sometimes once a month, so they had forgot due to the time had been passed so long and they didn’t repeat practicing the move for some time.
Follow by, did u ever notice that your cousin or siblings whom are still very small they will always like crying in the middle of the night or sometimes wake up in the living room but when you ask about that they always show that they don’t know what happen whether they are sleep walking because they will only answer you with the answer of “I just sleep in my room, but I wake up at hereâ€¦” that situation can be call as night terrors. Night terrors are a type of sleeping disorder which in the categories of parasomnias. Parasomnias can be explained as some unusual movement or behavior occurs in the sleeping period (Cramer Bornemann, Mahowald, Schenck. 2006). In parasomnias, there are nightmares and night terrors, two of it was quite similar, but nightmares are the person wake up or can be say as a shock in the dream and consciously, they do remember the content of what had they happen until they had been shocked and wake up. But it was another talk in night terrors as night terrors are the person was in sleep, but they body will react with the movement in their dream for example they will be talking or crying but they are still in sleep. It can easily show by a baby as they will move their legs or hand although they are sleeping and sometimes they will laugh also.
I had seen my little brother having night terrors in a night where he goes to sleep very early, and my brother and I was watching the movie in the living room. At the halfway of the movie we suddenly heard about my little brother is scolding my sister. Both of us feel curious so we decided to go and see what happen. When we opened my little brother’s bedroom door we saw him was lying in his bed and looks asleep, but he kept on talking something like “you had broken my fishing rod! You need to buy a new one for me.” My brother and I start laughing as he was talking with himself in the dream. But it was not only one time, another time when he was asleep, and my brother and I was sitting in the living room waiting our parents to come home because they were attending a wedding dinner and we are ask to wait for them. So we are bored and think of why not go and see whether my little brother got do something crazy while sleeping or not cause since we know that he will did something or talk while asleep we always alert with what he will do. But he went out of bedroom this time before we got the chance to peek at what he is doing. He was walking and we call him to wake up, but he just said “I want to go to the toilet” and went into our housemaid’s room and pee in her room. Our housemaid was like getting crazy because of my little brother move, but he just went back to his bedroom. As what we know we just laugh at him and told him the next day, but he was like confused that he said “I don’t remember alsoâ€¦” When I know about night terrors after the lecture I notice that my brother had night terrors as we all think that he was having sleep walking or something else, by the way, he also always wet his pants in the night and told us that he actually was dreaming about going toilet but end up pee on his bed.
In conclusion, there are many small little things happen in our daily life that we just didn’t notice it like the perceptual set that I had been discuss in above that we did it unconsciously, and we know how strong is our brain that control our perception using the perceptual set. While in episodic memory had told us about how did our brain can store so many information that we had since we are children and how we can remember the detail if something or someone trigger about the memory of it. Follow by the sensory adaptation, we always do it in cinema, cafe, or even your own house but we didn’t ask why that happened and what cause it until someone came and tell you the cause then you will like “Oh…so is like that.” Decay theory that talks in above are the process of how we forgot something due to the time and the night terrors are sometimes we treat it just like “probably he/she play too much today so they also did it when he/she sleeps.” That what my mum told me, but it actually can become a serious matter if we just ignore it.
They are psychology in all of our daily life; no matter it were a big or small issue. We should be practicing more in psychology so that we will be able to understand what is happening to yourself and others. As for me, I think psychology theories are quite useful sometimes as I will applied it in some situation or when I want to make something clear.
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