my interest in psychology
I have always been intrigued by the mental processes of humans and animals. As a young child and into adolescence, as a student and teacher and as a caregiver, I have always been interested in psychology in one form or another. This essay will reflect not only the development of my interest in psychology, but the development of myself as a person.
I was born into a family with Native American heritage that practiced a strict protestant religion. As a child, I would often wonder why people's attitudes, behaviors and beliefs could be so different from one another. I wondered why some people believed in things with great zeal, yet other people believed the contrary just as vehemently.
As an adolescent, I was enrolled in an accelerated high school program from which I graduated at age 14. I was then faced with the decision at a very young age of what direction my adult life would take. During this time, I also began researching my Native American heritage and began to form my own outlook on individuality, life, spirituality and relationships. My beliefs eventually evolved, and became very contrary to the belief system which was prevalent in my childhood environment.
It was also during this time that I first learned about the field of psychology. I felt it was very natural for me to gravitate towards a field that investigated the affect, behavior, and cognition of humans and animals, since I had always shown an interest in this area.
During my initial years as an undergraduate student, I found myself very interested in the psychological issues that I was learning about. I also found how difficult attending college and working full time could be. During the first two years of my undergraduate career, I chose to take time off to help adjust to living on my own and providing for myself. I then went back to school with more determination and plunged myself into more psychology classes.
In these classes, I found myself naturally drawn to the topics of research methods and statistics. These two academic areas in particular provided an environment in which I was able to develop and excercise my naturally analytical way of thinking. I then geared my undergraduate education towards learning to perform research in psychology by taking more research and science based psychology classes. Additionally, I sought out and obtained research assistantships with professors of cognition, physiological and clinical psychology. Specifically, I have been a primary research assistant for an investigation of the effect of irony on recall and recognition, an investigation of the performance of children with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on a computer anticipation task, and an investigation of the effect of Polychlorinated Biphenyls on ADHD-like behavior in laboratory rats. I have also assisted in literature reviews in the area of receptive language...