Reflection on psychology

The report reflection mainly centers on the educational experience in my psychology
program journey, utilizing the Program Goals as the organizational paradigm. Continuing
education is not merely perceived as a gateway to career, but learning experiences that
should, essentially enrich the individuals’ lives and teach them facts and lessons that are
applicable in the people’s social and personal lives. My experience in psychology program at
the university have not merely brought me closer to the attainment of my degree, but also it
has enabled me acquire certain applicable knowledge and I have been completely
transformed by my learning. Further, the knowledge regarding the study and history of
psychology, research methodology, statistics and ethics will essentially benefit my future
graduate education and psychological career. Besides, the numerous studies of the human
behavior and diversity will positively influence my interactions with others either within the
workplace or personal level. The program also necessitated creative and critical thinking that
is considered advantageous to the psychological career. Overall, the coursework and content
completed in the Psychology Program enabled me to meet the set program goals, besides
acquiring information and skills that would be essential in my future career, education, and
personal life.
Goal 1: Apply major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and
historical trends in psychology to prepare for graduate study or careers in which
psychological training is relevant.
In the theories of personality senior seminar in Psychology class, I learned about the
complex attributes that impact people’s personalities and subsequent behaviors. The major
concepts we discussed encompassed of measuring personality traits, genetic and
environmental factors, which might influence people’s traits and common behaviors linked to
various traits. Besides, the extensive learning from this class needed background knowledge
of the major concepts and historical trends within the field of personality study and
psychology generally, and the capability of comprehending major theoretical views and
findings in the field. All of these aspects of psychology will contribute to my future graduate
study in psychology and career. For instance, in the course, we discussed history and theories
from Freud to Rogers to biological perspectives, and all of the takeaways helped in
understanding that none of these perspectives is as complex and all-encompassing as it
requires to be. Also, the course informed my understanding on how complex people are, and
the several attributes that impact the personality of people and how they behave. Being able
to comprehend that any number of attributes can shape how individual thinks and behaves is
significant to being able to work efficiently with the people in the future. The learning from
this course would aid me in interacting with people in the future career, and offer the
foundation for the future graduate study in psychology. Therefore, realizing the complexity of
personality would not only be significant for the future career and studies, but also in my
personal interactions. Due to this course, I have greater appreciation for the complexity of
personality and better comprehension of why individuals behave in a particular manner.
Additionally, in the clinical psychology, I learned regarding the history of psychology
in-depth before delving to the clinical practice education. It is significant to be aware of
where the present thinking within the field is at, though it is equally crucial to comprehend
the roots of psychology. The era that held the most interest, in my perception in the
psychological history, was from the World War II to the present. During the second world
war, posttraumatic stress disorder was first recognized, hence forming the beginning of the
diagnosis and treatment of the disorder (Connell, 2016). Various councils were developed in
the course of the war to assist different families and soldiers to effectively cope up with the
war-period stress, which later transformed the course of psychology within the US and
influenced the field in other nations. Both the perspectives and knowledge I acquired through
UMUC’s clinical psychology course enlightened me and effectively prepared me for the
future studies and my career within the psychology field.
On the other hand, the abnormal psychology, which is a course concerned with mental
disorders that helped me with the comprehension of psychological disorders, which is
considered as the main part of psychological study. The knowledge I acquired in this course
has prepared me for my future studies and career. I am expecting to begin my masters of
social work program, in which I will mainly focus on the clinical social work with a
concentration in the mental health. The knowledge I acquired concerning mental disorders
would adequately prepare me for the needed coursework in graduate school, like the course
that focus particularly on psychopathology and trauma. Additionally, I will have a part-time
internship for my years of my master’s program, which will be centered on the mental health.
Hence, prior knowledge on mental disorders and psychology generally would aid me in
achieving the objectives of my responsibilities in the mental health setting.
The main study that influenced me greatly was by Greene (2017) offers the therapeutic
perspective. In the article, he describes Rogers’ perspective on the person-centered approach,
which illustrate the approach to facilitate development in others. An individual using this
approach must be genuine to promote constructive development in the client. Also, he
describes the requirement for the therapist transparency. The article also illustrates that the
people using the person-centered approach as showing unconditional positive regard and
empathic understanding. The description of Rogers of the therapist-client relationships
inspired me to learn more regarding humanism and the schools of psychology as a whole.
Form Rogers’ perspective, I developed a genuine interest in the theories of psychology,
which had not been experienced before. This article, that I discovered in the course my doing
my coursework on clinical psychology made an impact on me and will assist me in preparing
for my future career as a therapist.
Goal 2: Apply basic knowledge of research methodology, statistics, measurement,
guidelines, ethical standards, laws, and regulations to design, participate in, and
evaluate research in a variety of contexts.
The PSY300, research methods in psychology, was an instrumental in offering the
detailed information concerning research methodology, statistics, and ethical standards,
among others. We began the class by learning about the basics of scientific research in
psychology, like the difference between experimental and no-experimental research. From
the class, I learned that the experimental research designs determine if the casual relationship
between two variables, in which one variable might or might not cause changes to another.
Thus, the researchers must manipulate the independent variable, control others, and randomly
assign participants to conditions. On the other hand, the non-experimental research does not
have either independent variable manipulation, or random assignments of participants.
Hence, this form of research methods includes correlational, quasi-experimental, and
qualitative research (Elkis‐Abuhoff, 2015). Other concepts we learned that we learned that
would be essential significant for my future career includes the statistics methods and tests,
research designs, and ethics.
Further, the knowledge I gained in the text by Paul Price that we used in our final
project. The first stage of the project was to design research questions, given a set of class
data on reactions that involved the question of if one variable affects reaction time. We, as a
class created a poster and paper detailing this hypothetical research experiment. I opted to
complete my final project on the subject, ‘The Effects of Psychological Stress on Reaction
Time.’ It was essential to start the paper by discussion the available literature on the subject,
describing the significance of the study, and the detailed suggestions for the future research
(Vega, 2013). The paper was written like a journal article and included an attachment of an
IRM form for the study. This needed extensive knowledge of the research proposal process.
The poster communicated the most essential aspects of the research process for the topic I
selected. Besides the research, methods and ethics knowledge, we also required to learn
statistical computations and how to make suitable graphics for the research presentation.
Goal 3: Apply knowledge of human behavior to inform personal growth, communicate
effectively, solve problems, make decisions, and interact with individuals, communities,
and organizations.
The course that aided me to meet this goal was the social psychology. In the social
psychology, I learned about human behavior in a variety of context by assessing the popular
case studies and discussing the complexity of attributes that impact human behavior,
particularly in groups. One of the studies we discussed in this course, which had utmost
influence on me was carried out by social psychologists Philip Zimbardo, that was conducted
in 1971 within the Stanford Prison (Le Texier, 2019). In the experiment, the psychology and
physical healthy, and ‘average’ male participants were randomly assigned to one of thee two
groups, either prisoners or guards. The research showed that the participants adapted to their
new responsibilities in the ‘prison’ within the Stanford University’s basement quickly that
Zimbardo and colleagues opted to shut down the experiment earlier. The findings of the
experiment clearly depicted the effect of roles on human behavior and aided in explaining
how atrocities can happen in the systems, particularly when one group has power than the
other. The experiment lent insight into human behavior, particularly the significance of roles.
Additionally, the extensive discussion we did in the social psychology about the prison study
was educationally and individually valuable. This study helped me to learn more concerning
the criminal justice system, and the experiment inspired me to venture on providing mental
health treatment within prison environments.
Another course that aided me in applying the knowledge of human behavior to
perform different tasks was clinical psychology. The final project for the class needed a case
study and DSM-V diagnosis with adequate supporting evidence. However, compared to other
projects, this needed more extensive research and knowledge of human behavior, since the
subject of the project was not fictional. I wrote my psychological case study on Dylan
Klebold, one of the shooters in the Columbine tragedy. To adequately prepare for the project,
I read several official documents and reliable accounts of the incident and Dylan’s life
leading up to the incident. After reading all of this and critically thinking about it regarding
prior knowledge of human behavior, I realized that Dylan exhibited signs of schizotypal
personality disorder since he showed enough symptoms for a diagnosis (Kirchner et al., 2018).
For instance, Dylan had patterns of odd speech characteristics associated to those with SPD,
like making up words such as ‘unexistable’ in his writings. I considered this project as an
issue to be resolved, deliberately selecting Dylan since I am particularly concerned with the
comprehension of the psychology of mass shooters and averting future tragedy. Overall, I
would not have resolved this ‘issue’ of diagnosing Dylan without my existing knowledge of
human behavior or psychology coursework at UMUC.
Goal 4: Use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and (where possible)
appropriate technology and the scientific approach to solve problems related to current
and emerging trends within the domains of psychology.
In the abnormal psychology, critical thinking was required to complete various
assignments. Most essentially, the final project was a case study in which we were to
diagnose a fictional character with a mental disorder. I chose to write the paper regarding a
character from the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The character I picked was a
ten-year old boy named Oskar Schell who exhibited a sign of posttraumatic stress disorder
following his father’s death in the world trade center. To come to this diagnosis, I read the
novel several times, taking details notes of Oskar’s behavior before and after the traumatizing
incident. I then organized the notes and compared them to DSM-V diagnosis before coming
to the diagnosis of the PTSD. I then had to explain how I came to the diagnosis and support it
with facts from the novel. For instance, one of the primary criteria for a PTSD diagnosis is
for the individual to persistently avoid stimuli that are in some way associated with the
traumatic events. Oskar persistently avoided tall buildings, the locations that he considered as
potential future terrorists targets, among others. Completing thus assessment case study and
diagnosis needed critical thinking and knowledge of treatment modalities to effectively
determine which treatment could be optimal for the fictional character. Additionally, my
learning from abnormal psychology and application of research articles on PTSD led me to
comprehend that perhaps cognitive behavior therapy would be the best treatment approach
for Oskar. This class provided the opportunity to learn to critically think and analyze
behavior, particularly that relating to present psychological disorders.
The course Biological Basis of Behavior allowed me to acquire considerable
knowledge regarding the current and emerging trends in the psychology field. The study that
influenced me the most regarding the emerging the trends was conducted by the researcher at
the university of Parma in Italy (Mara, 2017). The team discovered that primates have mirror
neurons, which are the brain cells that fire not only when the animal performs an action, but
also when the animal observes another animal performing a similar action. The research
following the speculations from the researchers caught my attention, whereby most of the
researchers speculated that mirror neurons exist within human too. Hence, perhaps the faulty
functioning of, or even lack of, the mirror neurons is the cause of disorders like autism.
Although, none of such speculations have been proven, but the possibilities are exciting.
Goal 5: Value diversity and different perspectives, tolerate ambiguity, and act ethically
to communicate appropriately with various sociocultural and international populations.
In the theories of personality, we learned that is it not only significant to comprehend
the major constructs, concepts, and how to measure personality traits within different culture,
it is also essential to assess how the measurements and ideas do or do not translate into, or
apply to other cultures. In this class, I reflected upon how much our personality is connected
to the cultures in which the individuals are raised. Also, we discussed variations in cultural
norms that might be interpreted as variations in personality. The factors and things that are
considered acceptable within one culture are not definitely acceptable to others, hence it is
perceived significant to one to be tolerant and aware of difference in cultures. Thus, in the
class, we learned various strategies for being tolerant and sensitive of cultural diversity within
the workplace. Further, it accomplishes this, it is essential to respect beliefs of others and
improve communication mainly through respecting and acknowledging differences in culture.
In the final program for theories of personality, we were expected to select about five
chapters that we perceived to be more interesting from the Funder’s textbook and offer indepth description, offering novel information concerning the topics discussed from scholarly
sources. Thus, one chapter I selected to describe mainly dealt with the cross-cultural
psychology, which mainly focuses on the viewing people in non-judgmental and accepting
manner. The cross-cultural strategy also highlights the significance of realizing that the
reality is often not the ‘proper’ one rather than, we should attempt to get the idea of what
others perceive as reality. Hence, people should avert most of the misunderstandings, which
could happen between people of various cultures. Therefore, the class allowed me to
effectively apply the learning in enhancing my capability to effectively communicate with
people with diversify cultures.
The values linked to this objective that I have learned in other classes at the UMUC
have enables me to work better with people of varying cultures within the workplace.
Moreover, whereas working to the attainment of my degree, I have been working as a special
education co-instructor and equally at a separate job. In these jobs, I work together with a
vast variety of people in several settings. Further, at the high school, I interacted with both
the students who have autism and other people, and with at-risk learners, which are the
people with emotional difficulties instead of developmental or cognitive challenges, and other
people with unique populace. Also, I took into consideration the numerous attributes that
shape the people’s personalities and reserve judgement. Overall, the learning through
psychology program journey would essentially benefit my interactions with clients in the
My experience and wide knowledge and skills attained from the psychology program
will help me in both my future studies and careers. Most significantly, I am also leaving with
a solid ambition to continue psychological learning and training as much concerning the
psychological field to enable my interaction with others. Hence, the experience I have had
within this program has been worthwhile, and it has positively transformed me with all the
courses and coursework I have completed. Therefore, I am looking forward to the life of
effectively taking care of both myself and others. Helping others needs a comprehension of
the complexities surrounding human behavior, hence the psychological program has enabled
me to take thee significant step in my future career. Hence, my experience with the program
have been extremely valuable and would essentially influence my future career and studies in
psychology field.
Connell, C. L. (2016). PTSD in the 20th century American military: Its diagnosis, effects, treatment,
and management, with a focus on the Vietnam War. Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of
History, 1(2), 7.
Greene, R. R. (2017). Carl Rogers and the person-centered approach. In Human Behavior Theory&
Social Work Practice (pp. 113-132). Routledge.
Elkis‐Abuhoff, D. (2015). Quantitative investigations: Alternative choices. The Wiley Handbook of Art
Therapy, 636-643.
Vega, J. (2013). The Effects of Psychological Stress on Reaction Time.
retrieved from:
Le Texier, T. (2019). Debunking the Stanford Prison Experiment. American Psychologist, 74(7), 823.
Kirchner, S. K., Roeh, A., Nolden, J., & Hasan, A. (2018). Diagnosis and treatment of schizotypal
personality disorder: evidence from a systematic review. NPJ schizophrenia, 4(1), 1-18.
Mara, D. (2017). The function of mirror neurons in the learning process. In MATEC Web of
Conferences (Vol. 121, p. 12012). EDP Sciences.

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