A Week In My Learning: September 23 – September 29

Hello all! Welcome to yet another blog of all my weekly insights into educational psychology!

1. Behaviorism

This week we have begun discussing the beginnings of psychology. There have been many theorists that have explored how the brain works but I want to touch on unethical some of those experiments were. “Little Albert” was the study that stood out to me the most because of how absurd it was. However, while it may have been unethical, Watson did discover new information about the brain. His experiment was to understand how fears can be taught. And so, Watson presented Little Albert a white fuzzy rat. And Little Albert showed no fear of the rat. However, when Watson startled Little Albert numerous times, Albert became scared of the rat and all fuzzy things. Watson concluded that fears are taught and not inherited. And in an article I read about this human study, the experiment affected Little Albert’s adult life as well. The researchers behind that case are not entirely sure if that had found the original baby that was featured in Watson’s case. However, there is strong evidence that they have.

2. Making Friends

During my time at the Village Project, I am reminded of much fun children can be and how easily they make friends! I was making my around the lunch tables trying to talk to some children that I haven’t been able to talk to yet. So, I sat down a table where the fifth graders are supposed to be. So I began asking the girls that sat there for their names. And I was just making light conversation with them and then decided to walk away and find another table. But when I stood up, the girls asked why I was leaving. They asked to stay with them! And then they started asking me questions about college and what’s it like. And at the end of the day, they were giving me hugs and asking me to sit with them. This is something that I love about children! They make friends so easily and are so accepting. And this situation reminded me of how impactful the Village Project is and how my actions can make a positive impact even when they are as simple as sitting around a table.

3. Generalization

A topic that we talked about in depth this week was generalization. I was really confused at first and didn’t understand what it was at all. However, I’ve learned that generalization is taking an already learned concept and applying to a new context. And this related back to Little Albert. He was taught that white rats were scary. And so, he generalized his fear and was scared of all fuzzy white things. He applied his fear of rats to all things that were similar in color and texture. This topic is a lot clearer to me after our discussion in class.

4. Our Love Affair With Technology

On Thursday, I attended a presentation by Carol Bruess in which she explained our love affair with technology. She explains how technology can be good, however, we have become too dependant on technology and especially social media. She explained how active the Nucleus Accumbens is when we get “likes” on social media. This “buzz” we feel is what we become addicted to. She explains how we should change our relationship with technology, and to not get rid of technology. We need to realize that human connections are more important than social media.

5. Microaggression

Growing up as a Native American woman, I have experienced most of what we talked about in class. Microaggression is the undermining through comments of a marginalized group. And a personal example of this is something that my sister experienced. One day, she was talking to some friends and told them that she was Native American. And then they began flooding her with questions about our parents and if they were alcoholics and divorced. My older sister felt so confused and explained to them that our parents are happily married and don’t keep alcohol in the house at all. I never realized that non-Natives see Native American people in a certain lens. And this is another part of why it is so difficult to attend a predominately white school. There really are no other people that have similar backgrounds to me and that’s hard to deal with. I will say though that I have never been discriminated against. No one has directly told me that I couldn’t do this or that because I’m Native American.

Thanks for reading!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Reid Riggle

    I really appreciate the depth and breadth of your connections, Ruthie. The fact that you are using your domain as a platform for your blogging will not only help you articulate who you are, and the value of your SNC experience, but you can serve as a role model for what students who embrace the domain of one’s own concept can do. Thus, it is a win for you and for the college’s Full Spectrum Learning efforts. Thanks.