Social Psychology – Personal Reflections

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Week 1:

Arriving at my first ‘official’ psychology class got me to have butterflies in my stomach, it was funny how I managed to create a typical image in my head that this class might expose all my secrets in front of everyone. Thankfully nothing like that happened, the class seemed to remind me of my English Language subject that I took for my A ‘levels; the only difference between these two subjects ended being based on me and those around me, while the latter was focused more on fictional characters. I always loved the idea to get inside someone else’s head; of course I know I won’t be right all the time (no one’s a mind reader).

Class started out with a brief introduction to what the course was meant to be based on. What stood out to me was the need to pay attention to myself and things around me. Catching small details on others was always much easier compared to my own being, that’s because that role was given to others. I got raised in a society where I had to take the opinion of others into far more consideration than my own. Getting out of that suffocating mindset wasn’t easy; in fact, I know that a part of me still trembles at the negative critiques of others.

The thought struck me instantly when Miss Chew spoke regarding the topic of observation—social experiments. I felt like we were all part of an experiment right then and there, I want to take these seven weeks nice and slow and see if I can improve my social skills not just around others but have a better understanding of myself as well.

(12th January ‘2019, Saturday)

Week 2:

Monday’s class based on self-presentation kept me slightly on edge. Getting to know the clear terms that defined a person’s personality brought a lot images in my head. For each tactic that required someone to portray themselves ended up reminding me of so many people where I finally began to organize their behaviors in a more clear organization, I even pictured myself in a couple of scenarios.

I did enjoy the two personality tests we did in class; I tend to consider them more as a small game. Sometimes the results turn out different while others end up the same, these often confuse but I think it’s good. An unexpected result can also mean that there is some part of me that is changing which allows me to contemplate whether or not I want to pursue this change or prevent it from growing any further.

Thursday’s class ended up being my favorite one so far; attitudes and behaviors and how judgments are passed out. I love how social psychology brings so much attention to figuring out what goes on inside each individual’s mind. It’s like I said in the first journal entry; getting to know what others are thinking is a powerful tool. One may not have the strength of the Hulk and the speed of the Flash, in the end we’re all left with our own minds—our brain—that will allow us to achieve the impossible. Thus, being able to decipher one’s behavior reactions in society can always allow a person to be one step ahead of others. On the other hand, it’s also important to consider self-control; I believe basing too much knowledge on a person’s profile can tend to portray me as someone judgmental.

I’m still trying to figure out how far I can go before I reach an extreme borderline for any sort of character trait. There are some moments were I manage to keep calm in a few situations, while most of the times I end up forgetting about my mission to figure myself out.

(17th January ‘2019, Thursday)

Week 3:

The topic based on group behavior, especially one based on conformity reminded me of some very unpleasant experiences from my past. The true challenge arose when my group—my some horrible luck—had to give a presentation based on self; in which case, the subject ended up being me.

This week’s entry might end up being a little short; for starters, sharing my past with the class had some pros and cons. I hated making myself look vulnerable but at the same time I was glad to share, even amongst strangers, the idea wasn’t that I wanted to earn pity points, rather I wanted to test myself whether or not my fear around certain circumstances had improved or not.

Definitely a big ‘No’.

Improvement still needs time, lots of time.

Until then, I need to focus on my mid-terms.

(27th January ‘2019, Sunday)

Week 5:

More than half the semester is finished but our studies continue.

This week passed on rather quickly, the topics were focused on persuasion and prejudice. The second subject ended up as most important as it helped get a better grasp of my group project assignment. It’s funny, but this topic actually reminded me of an old classic fiction: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This was also an old movie that I ended up watching again to fully understand it this time. It focused around two people; a headstrong girl who seemed to easily give in to rumors and struggled to fully understand others due to her many bias opinions on others against a prideful nobleman who tended to fall victim to multiple false rumors and found it hard to portray his true feelings out in the open. The movie was so refreshing seeing the different perceptions both characters had in the same yet different society.

(10th February ‘2019, Sunday)

Week 6:

The final chapters have finally been completed! These last few topics counted the most because the focus seemed to be more on others instead of the first few chapters that focused on one’s self. Despite finding the chapter titled ‘Interpersonal Attractions and Relationships’ amusing (only on a funny and light hearted level), I found myself coming back to the chapter where it focused on teamwork.

That was something very huge to consider, especially with the deadline due next week. Everyone is slowly getting pressured; in fact I’d be lying if I say that I wasn’t nervous… I’m practically shaking with anxiety right now. Nonetheless, I hope to help everyone out as much as possible and in any way I can while making sure the work load remains equal among all of us.

(21st February ‘2019, Thursday)