my interest in psychology

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my interest in psychology

I have always been intrigued by the mental processes of humans and animals. As a young child and into adolescence, as a student and teacher and as a caregiver, I have always been interested in psychology in one form or another. This essay will reflect not only the development of my interest in psychology, but the development of myself as a person.

I was born into a family with Native American heritage that practiced a strict protestant religion. As a child, I would often wonder why people's attitudes, behaviors and beliefs could be so different from one another. I wondered why some people believed in things with great zeal, yet other people believed the contrary just as vehemently.

As an adolescent, I was enrolled in an accelerated high school program from which I graduated at age 14. I was then faced with the decision at a very young age of what direction my adult life would take. During this time, I also began researching my Native American heritage and began to form my own outlook on individuality, life, spirituality and relationships. My beliefs eventually evolved, and became very contrary to the belief system which was prevalent in my childhood environment.

It was also during this time that I first learned about the field of psychology. I felt it was very natural for me to gravitate towards a field that investigated the affect, behavior, and cognition of humans and animals, since I had always shown an interest in this area.

During my initial years as an undergraduate student, I found myself very interested in the psychological issues that I was learning about. I also found how difficult attending college and working full time could be. Duri...

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... expression of cognitive abilities and disabilities. Within this thesis, I investigated common research paradigms, such as twin and adoption studies. Additionally, I examined assumptions used within the methodologies, common data analyses (i.e. concordance rates and heritability measures) and methodological strengths and flaws of different experimental designs. In addition to assisting in research and performing a literature review (first author) in the area of behavioral genetics, I am a member of several behavioral genetic societies in order to remain updated on the research in the field of genetic inheritance and behavior.

Currently I am in the process of furthering my research in these areas by completing my pre-dissertation on interaction of GABA genes in occurrence of Autistic Disorder and an independent project on depression and mental retardation.

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