Posts Tagged ‘high school’

What Do We Know About Personality?

Friday, February 14th, 2020

what-do-we-know-about-personality

What do we know about personality? Your personality is the combination of unique behaviors and attitudes that make you who you are. It’s more than just whether you are introverted or extroverted. Yes, personality is your temperament, but it’s shaped by experiences and interests. In order to feel completely alive as a person, you should ask yourself what your strengths are so that you can become the best person that you were created to be.

Theories of Personality: Useful or Not?

In this psychology episode, Rachel and I will summarize various theories of personality that we have studied so far, and then we will ask ourselves if those theories are useful. Finally, we will describe various personality traits that make Rachel who she is:

Freud, for example, believed that your personality results from what is in your subconscious. Skinner declared that personality is based on what you learn. Maslow said that personality had everything to do with fulfilling one’s needs.

Let’s see if any of these theories is useful or helpful. In the video Rachel just gave a general yes or no, as to whether these theories help us to understand what makes up our personality. Now I would like to ponder in a deeper way, what we can learn about ourselves through these famous personality theories.

Random thoughts about Freud’s theory of personality

If you subconsciously want the approval of other people, you might act in a way that will cause those people to think positively of you, instead of being yourself. If this is the case, you will probably be miserable because you will be saying yes to everyone to not disappoint them, and you will end up burned out and not living the life God wants you to live. You will be living other people’s lives (and enduring their criticism), not having time or energy to do what God has called you to do.

In this case, maybe you have a subconscious fear of never being loved. Maybe it was shaped through past experiences of being abandoned or hurt by what someone said about you. So now you hide who you truly are, not understanding that revealing your authentic self is what causes people to truly connect with you.

personality-psychology

Random thoughts about Skinner’s theory of personality

If personality is based on what you learn, my ability to teach is due not to my inborn capacity to explain things in an understandable way to people. Instead, studying to be a teacher, along with learning through trial and error what works and what doesn’t work in the classroom, has caused me to hone my skill as a teacher. Because hands-on learning worked the best, that’s how I ended up homeschooling my kids, which led to this unit studies website.

The more you learn about something, the more knowledgeable you are about it, and the more passionate you are about the topic. You become better and better at something, which makes you more valuable in helping others with that topic. This is why we should continue learning throughout our lives, and not stop learning when we graduate from school.

Random thoughts about Maslow’s theory of personality

To become fulfilled as a person, you really need to figure out before God why He put you on this earth… what you are good at. What is your contribution to others? What are your interests and strengths? You can take several online personality tests to find out many of these things. My daughter Rachel and I took several personality tests, including a spiritual gifts inventory. All of these are listed in the teacher’s guide of our {affiliate link} psychology course by 7 Sisters Homeschool.

If you don’t want to miss a single episode in our psychology series, sign up for our once-a-month newsletter below.

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

Friday, January 17th, 2020

nonverbal-communication-facial-expressions

Having lived in different cultures (Guatemala, England, and the USA), I have come to realize that nonverbal communication is vital to understand. Sometimes what a person is saying with words is not the same as what they are saying with their body language. I wrote a short poem about nonverbal communication with Guatemalans, since the British and Americans have a more reasonable sense of personal space:

Teen Girl Facing Nonverbal Conflicting Cues
Guatemalan teen boy
standing too close for comfort
diving in for a kiss on the cheek at church
a complete stranger
she holds back a slap
telling herself this is only cultural
or is it?

Yes, this actually happened to me! Not just once, but nearly every week, since I lived in a different culture. Now that I am in the United States, I am surprised at how far away people stand from each other, even when they are married. It seems cold…

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

Today my daughter and I will show you the basic types of nonverbal communication.

Communication: The World of Expression
by Rachel Evans

Often we forget just how complicated communication is. Simply put, there’s always a balance of expressions and positions in conversation, and when the balance is off, we notice. This is the same even without talking. Mainly, there are three non-verbal cues that balance into a normal chat.

1. Distance: If you have ever been in a conversation and suddenly feel the need to take a step back, the person you were talking to was probably too close while chatting. Perhaps they have a different-sized personal bubble than you.

distance-personal-space

2. Gesture: You can tell a lot about someone’s mood by the movements they make. The easiest to read are facial expressions. Most facial expressions stay the same around the world, with some cultures being more expressive than others.

Body position is equally important. Leaning forward shows interest, while crossing arms usually shows disinterest in talking or the desire to have an argument.

body-position

3. Eye Contact: This is different depending on where you look in the world. Americans find long eye contact awkward and uncomfortable. Native Americans prefer a person to look at the ground while speaking, especially if the person is of a lower rank or status.

nonverbal-communication-eye-contact

Paralanguage is equally important. This consists of variations of speech, like stresses on certain words, loudness, pitch, and rhythm. A sentence can have many different meanings depending on how the speaker says it.

Overall, communication is a complicated thing that most of us have expertise in identifying without even knowing it.


Now that my daughter’s portion is done, I challenged myself to write a poem about nonverbal communication in marriage. Here it is:

A Marriage Healed

A turned back
Shutting me out of your life
No more open heart
Gone away inwardly

When will things change
Get back the sparkle in your eyes
To connect and be together
Unified as one

Heartbreak persists
Arms hanging limp
Drooped shoulders
Trudging through the day

Until healing comes
Breaking forth as the morning rays
Warming not your back, but your face
At last we are one

———————————————————————————————————–

This episode was all about identifying the basic types of nonverbal communication.

To apply what we have learned, describe in the comments: What are some ways that you may have misread nonverbal communication in your interaction with others, especially those of different cultures?

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

Coming up next… What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how can we get these needs met to be fulfilled as human beings? (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

Famous Psychologists: Freud, Adler, & Jung

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

freud-adler-jung

We are continuing our series of psychology videos by introducing three of the most famous psychologists of all time: Freud, Adler, and Jung. My daughter Rachel did a great job summarizing the fascinating ideas from each of these famous men, so we dramatized the concepts in this video:

Sigmund Freud
by Rachel Evans

Freud invented an interesting map of the mind consisting of your conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind: conscious being your thoughts and immediate wants, subconscious being your memories, and the unconscious being someplace difficult to get to which contains hidden desires you know nothing of.

The best idea Freud came up with was the one about the couch. There was a comfy couch, and he put his patients on the couch so they could talk to him about life.

He also invented the iceberg theory: that is, far less than one third of your mind is your conscious thought. Your decision-making is affected by the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is like your instinctual wants for immediate gratification. The superego is like your conscience, mixed with social norms. The ego is the mediator between the id and the superego, trying to make a compromise between them.

id-ego-superego

Alfred Adler
by Rachel Evans

Alfred Adler! I like this guy, mostly because he was adventurous enough to get together a bunch of people and form his own little Psychology Society. He believed that everyone had a life goal they were striving for, and that translated into their lifestyle and short-term goals.

He also theorized that everyone naturally strives toward getting better at their skills, gaining positions of power, and so on, and that when a person feels that they can’t accomplish those things, they go into what Adler called an Inferiority Complex. He proposed that the feeling of inferiority depends on what the person defines as important. For example, a homeless man might feel hopeless and inferior because there’s not much he can do about his situation. If money is important to him, this may cause a feeling of inferiority. But if the man doesn’t care much for money, he could be homeless on the street and not feel inferior.

inferiority-complex

But what if a person isn’t homeless and inferior? Their lifestyle is categorized four ways:

~ Ruling Type: someone who is busy but shows no social interest (the desire to help people), someone who is more likely bossy and could end up homicidal. Watch your back.

~ Getting Type: neither busy nor showing social interest, someone who would be more interested in buying and getting a good deal.

~ Avoiding Type: neither busy nor showing social interest, but someone who is so afraid of being a failure that he avoids life to the best of his ability.

~ Socially Useful Type: both busy and socially interested, this person likes getting out into the world and solving problems. Sounds like Adler would be put under this type!

adler-life-goals

Alfred Adler was a man of many more ingenious ideas. One last one I’ll discuss is his theory that birth order may determine a person’s lifestyle. He determined that first children experience power, superiority, stress and pressure. The middle children usually learn to get along with lots of people, challenging the superiority of the older children. And finally, the younger children are often the ones who, by the time their parents get to them, get special attention and fewer strict rules. They also might have the most difficulty gaining independence from the household.

And so, Alfred Adler, who might just become my favorite psychologist, made many breakthroughs in awesomeness, although he was largely overshadowed by other more famous people. And guess what? He had four kids, and half of them became psychiatrists! I like that.

carl-jung-unconscious

Carl Jung
by Rachel Evans

Carl Jung’s grandfather was creepy and his parents argued a lot, some of which translated into this theory of introversion and extroversion: everyone has a personality that is inward thinking and external socializing. Also, each person has the following qualities:

Thinking: Most extroverts are objective and have concrete thoughts, and introverts are more subjective and are better at creating ideas.

Feeling: Extroverts are more socially aware and better at winning popularity, and introverts are better at roles that require careful thinking.

Sensation: The perception a person has on reality.

Intuition: Hunches that people have.

Perceiving: People who like to be spontaneous.

Judging: People who like to have a plan.

So… Jung sure did have lots to say about personality.

Other psychologists we studied from the 6th chapter of our psychology book are Victor Frankl and Joseph Breuer. Rachel summarized some of their views on the test she took for this chapter:

freud-test

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

Coming up next… Have you ever stood too close to somebody, and they backed up from you? Learn more about non-verbal communication in our next episode. (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

The Insane History of Psychology: Goofy Skits

Friday, November 15th, 2019

history-of-psychology-goofy-skits

If you are looking for some goofy skits depicting the history of psychology from ancient to pre-modern times, you have come to the right place. Today we will be taking you on a whirlwind tour of the history of psychology, including the thoughts of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and onward to the 1800’s. We stop abruptly before Freud was born, which we will pick up in the next episode.

This is the fourth episode (fifth chapter) of our psychology course from 7 Sisters (link at the bottom of this post, if you are dying to see what it is…)

The History of Psychology: Goofy Skits

Ancient History

Since ancient times, people have been trying to understand the psyche, wanting to figure out the mind and how it functions, and why some people have mental illness. It used to be that people would cast out demons, and in New Testament times, this actually worked, curing the person… especially if Jesus was the one that ministered to them. Of course, Jesus healed physical ailments as well as mental ones because He is God. His disciples also had this power to heal physical and mental sickness.

But before the time of Christ, some people who blamed strange behavior on demons thought it would be a good idea to drill a small hole in the patient’s skull to let the demon out. It seems that the people trying to “help” were more insane than the so-called crazy person. Seriously…

Ancient Egyptians

Besides exorcism, the ancient Egyptians tried to make “medicines” made out of sheep dung and wine to cure the ailments of the mentally ill.

history-of-psychology

Ancient Greece, Hippocrates, Plato, & Aristotle

Along with exorcisms, the ancient Greeks would treat their patients kindly and gave them theater to entertain them. Hippocrates felt that mental illness had more to do with what was wrong with the brain. He divided brain disorders into mania, melancholia, brain fever, and hysteria. (The malady of hysteria was a woman-only disease.)

Plato and Aristotle believed that the mentally ill should be kept out of the public eye and be treated gently. If they committed a crime, Plato and Aristotle believed they were not responsible for their behavior.

Later Greek and Roman Ideas

Asclepiades divided mental illness into two categories: acute and chronic (short-term and long-term illness). Cicero believed that emotions could cause mental illness. Aretreus felt that normal personality traits taken to an extreme were what caused mental illness, while Galen believed that injuries to the head, adolescence, alcoholism, or a relationship break-up could cause a person to go insane (or have other mental illness like depression, which makes sense).

Middle Ages: Mass Manias

In the Middle Ages, besides taking the mentally ill to monasteries, they had two crazy mass manias of the public: tarantism (people thinking they had been bit by tarantulas) and lycanthropy (people thinking they were possessed by wolves). These two mass manias probably had natural causes, but historians are still trying to figure out what caused them.

Renaissance & King Henry VIII

During the Renaissance, people were taken to mental institutions called madhouses, and sadly, they were treated like animals. Henry VIII changed a monastery into a madhouse. Some of the mentally ill were exhibited at circuses, and others were sent out to the streets to beg.

monastery-to-insane-asylum

Europe, Humanitarian Reformers, & Mesmer

Finally asylums were constructed throughout Europe where people were taught life skills and given fresh air and exercise. They were taken to the countryside to recuperate, and many patients were healed with this much more humane treatment.

It’s actually quite heartbreaking how horrible the mentally ill have been treated, from ancient times to pre-modern times. Our next episode will introduce Freud, Adler, and Jung, three of the most famous psychologists of all time. Sign up for our newsletter below to not miss a single post in the series! (Our series will pick up again in January, so stay tuned…)

The psychology curriculum we are using can be found here: {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool.

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