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Psychology 0f Personal Effectiveness All You Need To Know About How To Live Happily & Effectively Timothy W. Starkey, Ph.D., ABAP. Miami Dade College Psyc CLP 1006 Hialeah Campus Room 1217 M/W 4:00-5:30 PM Oct. 1- Dec. 19 (2007) 305-279-0758 (Home) or 305-338-1615 (Cell)
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Psychology 0f Personal EffectivenessAll You Need To Know About How To Live Happily & EffectivelyTimothy W. Starkey, Ph.D., ABAP • Miami Dade College • Psyc CLP 1006 • Hialeah Campus • Room 1217 • M/W 4:00-5:30 PM • Oct. 1- Dec. 19 (2007) • 305-279-0758 (Home) or 305-338-1615 (Cell) Hours 3:00 to 4:00 PM On M/W
Email is Your Friend! firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com This course will be email intensive. Please check your email at least once a day. Important stuff will put on our website, and you are responsible for downloading it. And PLEASE read your syllabus at least once!
Organization of Course Material and Examinations • The course material will be presented in lecture and PowerPoint slide format. Due to time constraints, there may be some worthwhile information not discussed in class, but for which you will still be responsible on exams. So be sure to read the textbook as well as study the PowerPoint slides. • You would be wise to first study the PowerPoint slides in preparing for exams, and then to read over the assigned material. Other important information and notices will also be emailed to you during the course, so be sure to check your email daily. • Exam questions will mainly come from the PowerPoint slides, and will be about 70% T/F or multiple guess and 30% “short answer questions” (aka SAQs; questions that require about a paragraph to answer). The SAQs will be given to you the week before the exam to prepare for. Some questions (maybe 15%) will come from the material in the textbook that was assigned, but which we didn’t have time to cover. So be sure to read the assigned textbook chapters as well as study the PowerPoints & the material discussed in class. • Papers are expected to be turned in on time, and points will be taken off for lateness. Don’t try to get away with just “cut-and-paste” papers ~ they stand out like a sore thumb! Write them yourselves. Papers that are questionable will elicit more in-depth scrutiny from the Professor. • Any questions thus far?
Chapter 1.Recognize That Reality Is All In Your Head This chapter deals with • Concept of Frames • Objectivism vs. Constructivism • Paradigm Shifts • Global Perspective • Reframing • Positive Psychology Tenets
Recognize That reality Is In Your Head What do you think you just read? How come you screwed up such a simple phrase? Come on, admit it… you read what you thought was there, not what was there!
Sensation and Perception Sensation involves the physical process of receiving stimuli which connect with our sensory organs and receptors, and then converting that into the electrochemical impulses or signals within our nervous system ~ which are then relayed to the appropriate area of the brain for processing. Perception occurs when our brain interprets these signals and ascribes meaning to them. Perception is how the brain decides what to make of the constant, almost overwhelming variety of sensory information that pours into it constantly… even while we’re asleep.
The Concept of Frames • A frame (or paradigm) is your ready-made (learned) view of any events or situations in your life. Paradigms are greatly influenced by your pre-conceived notions, beliefs, and learned expectations. • We all develop “frames of reference” (aka paradigms) to enable us to organize and understand our world, our perceptions, and our experiences. • Frames are generally helpful in living in the real world, since they’re a short-cut for deep thinking and consideration of all variables etc. • Frames can be disastrous when “reality” itself has changed and we haven’t noticed it yet (e.g. Ice Age). If we make decisions on the basis of frames that no longer correspond to reality, our very survival can be threatened. • What “realities” do you feel are changing today that might require a shift in our paradigms for survival?
Objectivism Vs. Constructivism • Models of “reality” ~ objectivism and constructivism ~ each is based on a different paradigm of reality • Objectivism holds that there is a separate reality independent of the observer who’s doing the observing. For example, your Jaguar out in the parking lot is still going to be bright red whether you’re looking at it or not. • Constructivism holds that there is no separate reality apart from the observer. Your red Jaguar is not only no longer red when you’re not looking at it, but it doesn’t even continue to exist. Before you decided this is pure lunacy, let’s think a little about this frame (paradigm). Much research, from behavioral science to theoretical physics, has suggested that “observing” changes in some significant way that which is “observed”. A tomato is not really red, you know. And what about the unreliability of “eye witnesses”? • Isaac Newton would be an objectivist; Albert Einstein would be a constructivist. Why? • Einstein’s general theory of relativity (time and space exist only in relation to each other and are relative to closeness to the speed of light) • If you traveled for what you consider a year at close to the speed of light, when you returned many more years would have passed for your friends. Your body would be 1 year older, but most of your friends would be dead.
Paradigm Shifts & The History of Science • Some theorists believe that all major scientific discoveries are preceded by a paradigm shift (a monumental change in theory or knowledge that forces change in a scientific discipline) • Almost every significant breakthrough in science is preceded by a break with tradition (e.g. the old or previous paradigm) • Throughout history, scientific breakthroughs have been ridiculed at the time and the scientists who made them have been persecuted and sometimes even threatened with execution (e.g. being burned at the stake during the Inquisition) • For example, after 1500 years of geocentric paradigm, a scientist named Copernicus (early 1500s) dared to say that the earth revolved around the sun (heliocentric paradigm). This was considered heresy and Copernicus was threatened with death unless he recanted (which he did) because it contradicted the Bible’s teaching that the earth is the center of the universe.
It wasn’t until the mid 1600s when Galileo made the same claims that the universe was heliocentric that this paradigm was accepted. As you can imagine, Galileo was denounced an imprisoned as a dangerous heretic by the then present-day religious and secular rulers. • An example of a gradual paradigm shift has taken place in the field of psychology. Freud’s original theories about human personality in the early 1900s have been largely supplanted or augmented by newer learning models which have gradually had to incorporate the newer findings of neuroscience and behavioral genetics. Today we are still very much in a process of discovery about why we do what we do, and the final answers aren’t even in sight. • What do you think about “why we do what we do”? How much “free will” or “choice” do we really have? Which behaviors are largely or totally determined by genes, prenatal biological events, and early (traumatic?) learning?
Paradigm Shifts In Everyday Life • You might be wondering why, when science is finding so many better ways of doing things, we don’t just go ahead and do them. Old paradigms die hard… they (we) resist changing the way we see things… we tend to prefer the older, more comfortable ways of looking at our world. We prefer to focus on the picture “within the frame” and not the frame itself. There is always an “old guard” that will fight against change and if necessary persecute the agents of change in order to hold on to the familiar (or to the personal advantages they derive from the existing frame). • Selective perception is often used by the “old guard” to justify their beliefs. It refers to the human tendency to perceive only what we want and expect to perceive. • Can you give some current examples of “selective perception”?
End of Chapter 1 (for Microsoft users only)