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Fundamentals of Psychology

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During this past semester we have covered a great amount of the foundation of Psychology. The further we got through the book I began to notice a common connection between many of the topics being discussed. I found that they are all one united group that has developed from evolutionary influences and adaptability. My thoughts behind this theory came from my continued exposure to different topics that were all results of adaptability and continuous evolutionary influences.

In terms of evolutionary influences and adaptability, they have a great deal to do with the processes and development of social psychology. As humans, and as even seen in animals, we are always developing and modifying our social behaviors such as our goals and motivations. Psychological adaptations are conducted and evolve to solve recurrent problems so we can continue on in our rapidly changing societies.

A significant part of our personalities is formed through adaptability and evolutionary influences. As adaptive humans, we are continuous aware of the world around us, even well into our adulthood we are developing, especially to social situations. "Situations differ in the extent to which they constrain the expression of personality" (Kenrick & Funder, 1991). Because of our evolutionary influences over time we come to have the same responses to certain situations. As expressed in the book on page 585, two individuals, one etravertered and aggressive and the other shy and restrained, would express the same behavior at a funeral, sadness and remorse. So we develop in our social environments and situations, yet as we develop along the side of social norm we all evolve as one human species sharing the same emotional feelings and habits.

McCrae and Costa's Model of Personality expressed that many basic tendencies are biologically based, but characteristic adaptations are influences by situations. These situations influence personal goals and motives of an individual, not directly their personality. As we move into the category of motivation and emotion, a great deal of motivation is biological but also significantly evolutionary influenced. As the culture and social aspects of the world are continually changing, so is our impression of it. Even from birth we are influences by different factor then that of what our parents experienced. No one consciously accounts for these changes; it is in our adaptability as humans to change with our environments so that we can survive and thrive is a greatly changing world. It is still a great wonder though, as to why individuals are so different in their personalities and skills. But, to me I find that "human groups whose members possess diverse skills have a selective advantage over other human groups" (Caporael, 2000).

As we move on to the interaction of evolutionary influences and adaptability in clinical and health psychology, there are many influential components. Stress, health, and well being have changed greatly over past centuries. It has a great deal to do with how advanced we have come medically, but also the response of how we as humans have advanced physically and mentally due to our adapability to evolutionary influences. We have been able to understand more and more of how humans become ill and how to positively help humans live longer lives, because we better understand brain function today.

I remember learning about the "Biopsychosical Model," and how greatly health and illness result from social conditions, psychological factors, and biological characterizes. This shocked me greatly because I understood that actions affected health; alcohol consumption, smoking, etc. are all bad for our health. But, I was shocked at how our thoughts played such a major role on our health. But, as we learned throughout this course, an individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are central to understanding and improving health that is why in this day and age; we have such plastic brains and are so greatly influenced by evolutionary influences. We are always changing and developing with the effects of our societies and cultures and it's important that we move with it, mentally and physically.

Here is where I turn my own thoughts and opinion against my own theory. "People are most likely to die from causes that stem from their own behaviors, which they can learn to modify" (Heron, & Smith, 2006). From extensive and empirically supported evidence, humans as well as a great number of other species, are adaptive. But, is it a fully natural, innate, unconscious process? Or is it our conscious, duty to adapt and develop on our own terms? When looking for an answer, I took notice of the placebo effect. It may seem strange, but I think the underlining behind the placebo effect shows how powerful we as humans are mentally and physically. We have the ability today to heal ourselves just from the power of our brain. I find that to be the outcome of our growing understanding of our human development and the adaptibilty of our brains that we now recognize today. Our brain is capable of things we can note even imagine, and as a result much of how we do adapt is an evolutionary process that works on it's own, it happens unconsciously.

When talking about attention, learning, and memory, they are their own system. Memory has evolved to solve certain problems related to survival, the leading motivation of all mankind. Memory evolves in its function, not in it's job for specific functions. Memory



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