Interpreting the World:
A Reflection on Psychology
Nazareth College of Rochester
Interpreting the World: A Reflection on Psychology
Van Voorst stated “Every understanding of our new experiences is made in light of an understanding that we already had going into the new experiences,” (2015). Therefore one’s reality is dictated by how an individual has been affected by the world and how they then interpret it. It is our internal cognitive evaluations which determine how we express our relationship to a stimuli through our behavior. Studying learning and conditioning, behavior in society, and emotion allows one to evaluate how different individuals determine beneficial or unbeneficial behavior, become affected by society, and react to external and internal stimuli.
Learning and Conditioning
Children are constantly growing and interpreting information. How we learn and are conditioned influences what we determine to be useful behavior or worthless behavior . One type is classic conditioning which is the association of a stimuli and a specific response (Wade, Tavris, & Garry, 2014). For example a dog will salivate if presented with food. This stimuli and response is considered to be unconditioned since it is a natural association (2014). As seen in Pavlov’s experiment, if the dogs associate another stimuli with the food, such as a bell ringing, they will elicit the same response of salivation when hearing the bell even in the absence of food (2014). This is called a conditioned response, as the stimuli was initially neutral but became linked with the unconditioned stimuli (2014). The way classical conditioning can affect an individual may be mundane or extreme. One common example is when an in...
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... emotion they do not feel, this is called emotion work (2014). In order to abide by social norms many people perform emotion work daily. Mirror neurons, which fire when we observe someone performing an action also allow for individual to exist and prosper in society as this allows for empathy and reading emotions (2014).
In conclusion, while our reality may be what one interprets, the world around them dictates the behaviors presented, social understanding, and response to an event. The interconnectedness between humans does not allow for any one man to remain unaffected by society. Whether it is our beliefs, our interactions, or our decisions, society affects everyone.
Van Voorst, R. E. (2015). RELG: World 2. (2nd ed.). 3-28.
Wade, C., Tavris, C., & Garry, M. (2014). Psychology. (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
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