Psychology presents an opportunity for everyone to understand their thought processes and emotions better. This knowledge provides a foundation for more accurate decisions in many aspects of one’s life. Many topics that were discussed in this course have a major significance for me. I chose to discuss learning, memory, and problem-solving skills as the most impactful subjects. In this essay, three core psychology concepts examined during the course will be explained alongside my personal experiences and thoughts regarding their significance.
Learning provides people with a fundamental way to acquire new information and the most optimal path for this task. This notion is a basic human function that serves as knowledge transfer and acquisition (Kirschner & Hendrick, 2020). Every person processes information through a complex, subconscious set of paths that depend on such factors as sensory input, contents, and the personal value of a piece of information for a learner (Kirschner & Hendrick, 2020). It is also critical to understand that each person has a different learning style. It is impossible to rate them as either good or bad, as they are all efficient in a specific way for a specific setting (Tennant, 2019). Overall, this process is a key factor in humanity’s progress.
In my knowledge, the learning process is a unique experience that depends on a setting, a teacher, a subject being studied, and a resource containing knowledge regarding it. This course gave me the mental tools necessary for separating and analyzing each factor separately, which allowed me to improve my studying techniques and apply appropriate learning methods at different times. I understood how to change one’s belief towards knowledge acquisition, and I think that it will help me in my studies and career through a proper growth mindset.
Memory is one of the most complex subjects that affect one’s personality. Humans generate and store memories – recollections of their experiences – spontaneously and through a lens that is entirely unique for everyone (Østby et al., 2019). This knowledge is subjective and is affected by time, as a person subconsciously modifies their memories over their life (Østby et al., 2019). The formation of memory is a peculiar process influenced by external and internal factors. One’s culture plays a crucial role in this process, as memories are encoded within a subtext of a setting in which they took place (Wang, 2021). The complexity of memories comes from their physical and abstract representation, as their formation represents both neuron connections and highly individualistic experiences (Østby et al., 2019). Memories define people just as people determine the formation of their memories.
In my experience, the layers of perception that modify one’s memories differ so greatly it might be impossible to comprehend the full spectrum of their influence. Understanding the basics of how each person perceives themselves, their surroundings, and others gives me an opportunity to become more empathetic and tactful in my interactions with them. Memory formation occurs under circumstances largely independent of those who experience events (Tennant, 2019). However, people are able to analyze their outcomes and affect more variables the next time a similar event occurs.
Another area of knowledge in psychology that gives significant insight into one’s cognitive functions discusses analytical abilities. These skills include reasoning, analyzing, testing, and decision-making (Sternberg & Halpern, 2020). Depending on one’s individual characteristics, a person can evaluate complex, sometimes incalculable equations and draw pros and cons to understand consequences beyond basic reasoning (Sternberg & Halpern, 2020). Memory is one of the greatest tools in solving problems, as each individual possesses previously acquired information that could be utilized in creating a framework for future solutions to similar situations (Murray et al., 2019). The crucial factor is how one utilizes said skills at times when they are truly needed.
I believe that critical thinking is an essential topic for every person to master. Human brains allow complex logical structures to be formed, allowing people to comprehend even the most advanced topics given time and effort. This course allowed me to revisit my past decisions that were critical for my future and new perceptions that come from this introspection. The development of problem-solving skills is linked with the maturity of one’s character and openness to new ideas and concepts.
In conclusion, psychology can shed light on many subjects that people may accept as given and provides a unique, in-depth view of how people operate internally and externally. The understanding of these processes is critical in modern society, as the complexity of human selves and their relationships cannot be underestimated. In conjunction with each other, the selected topics give a clear look at the mind and attitudes of an individual. Learning, memory, and critical thinking are the basis for one’s growth, both personal and professional. For me, these subjects represent the potential in each person that can be brought to light through effort and with the help of knowledgeable people.
Kirschner, P. A., & Hendrick, C. (2020). How learning happens: Seminal works in educational psychology and what they mean in practice. Routledge.
Murray, E. A., Wise, S. P., Baldwin, M. K., & Graham, K. S. (2019). The evolutionary road to human memory. Oxford University Press.
Sternberg, R. J., & Halpern, D. F. (2020). Critical thinking in psychology (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Tennant, M. (2019). Psychology and adult learning: The role of theory in informing practice (4th ed.). Routledge.
Wang, Q. (2021). The cultural foundation of human memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 72(1), 151-179. Web.
Østby, H. Ã., Østby, Y., & Kean, S. (2019). Diving for seahorses: The science and secrets of memory. Greystone Books.