Psychology Assessment

Take Test: Unit I Assessment
Question 1
Provide an original example of habituation and discuss how this fits into the principles of
habituation.
Your response should be at least 300 words in length. You are required to use at least your
textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook,
must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.
Question 2
Discuss the results of Penfield and Lashley’s classic experiments on the cerebral cortex.
Apply these to our modern day research and clinical issues.
Your response should be at least 300 words in length. You are required to use at least your
textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook,
must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.
Question 3
Discuss Ebbinghaus research on memory, including methodology, results, and how it
applies to our lives today.
Your response should be at least 300 words in length. You are required to use at least your
textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook,
must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.
Question 4
Apply the opponent process theory to a case example involving addiction or risk taking
behavior. Explain how your example applies to the aspects of this theory.
Your response should be at least 300 words in length. You are required to use at least your
textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook,
must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.

Psychology Assessment
Habituation

Habituation normally results from learning or habits and refers to a reduced reaction to a
stimulus following repeated exposure. As a form of new learning, habitation promotes
acclimation to a novel stimulus. It functions well with animals as well as people and is extremely
effective in treating fears and phobias. The period required to habituate a person to a specific
stimulus differs greatly. Frightening stimuli’s habituations usually take longer. The socialization
process is recognized as a kind of habituation where people are exposed to others regularly and,
hence; do not respond fearfully or aggressively. It is worth pointing out that children who are
rarely exposed to people are extremely fearful (Cherry, n.d.).

PSYCHOLOGY ASSESSMENT 2
Considering that habituation plays a great role in aggression, fear, social skills, and many
other psychological traits, professionals dealing with mental health often deal with habituation.
Substance abuse is influenced by habituation. Long-term addicted individuals are accustomed to
a particular drug dose. Moreover, they may require higher doses to acquire a similar response.
Addiction counselors usually advise drug users to reduce the dose or give up the drug so as to
become re-habituated to a life without drugs. Some of the therapies that therapists can use for
promoting habituation include group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation
techniques, guided imagery, and exposure therapy.
If a drug user stays for a long period without using the drug, a higher dose or sing the
same dose for a longer period will be necessary to achieve the same impact. In addition, if the
person has been using the drug for a long period, higher doses will be required for a similar
impact (Cherry, n.d.).If a person attempts spontaneous recovery, the reduced response that
accompanies spontaneous recovery is more rapid with every spontaneous recovery test. The
habituation rate for a drug user increases if there are shorter interstimulus intervals. This implies
that if a person takes alcohol within shorter intervals, he will get drunk more quickly.
Results of Penfield and Lashley’s classic experiments on the cerebral cortex
In neuroscience, memory is among the enduring mysteries. Neuroscientists wondered
how the brain creates, stores, and retrieve a memory. In the 1920, Wilder Penfield engaged in
searching for the engram or memory trace. He is the pioneer of a technique that stimulates the
brain’s surface electrically. He aimed at identifying and removing abnormal tissues and brain
tumors that were responsible for severe epileptic seizures. However, the surrounding tissues
would be spared since they control vital functions such as movement and speech. Penfield
discovered that memory recall can be provoked through stimulating the hippocampus. In a

PSYCHOLOGY ASSESSMENT 3
female client, stimulating the hippocampus brought about clear memories of giving birth (Liuet
al.,2012).
Karl Lashley purposed to localize memory traces to a particular brain area. Lashley
trained rats the path to use to get food and consequently tampered with their brains in a bid to
make them forget the path. Many animals were used in this experiment but always, they traced
their way. Lashley finally concluded that there are memories throughout the cortex as opposed to
a particular region.
Modern day clinical and research issues
Presently, neuroscientists apply the notion that for memory to be formed, linkages
between nerve cells’ networks have to be strengthened and memory recall involves reactivating
that network (Liuet al.,2012).MIT researchers can manipulate as well as identify the cellular
networks involved in encoding memories. The researchers can induce memory recall through
manipulating the neurons’ networks for a particular memory and reactivating the same.

Ebbinghaus’ research on memory

Memory failure is a daily occurrence and to curb it, people have come up with numerous
strategies ranging from jotting notes and using the phone calendar (Thorne& Henley, 2001).
Basically, forgetting involves memory retrieval’s failure. The information is in the long-term
memory but retrieving and remembering it is the challenge.
Hermann Ebbinghaus used himself as a subject to study forgetting. He tested his memory
through the use of three-letter nonsense syllables. Such nonsense words were worth since using
words that he knew previously would encompass using his existing associations and knowledge
in the memory. New information was tested by testing his memory for prolonged periods (20
minutes- 31 days) (Thorne& Henley, 2001).

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The results were presented on the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. There was a significant
relationship between time and forgetting. Initially, information erases quickly after learning it
and this is influenced by the manner through which the information was learnt and frequency of
rehearsal. According to the curve, forgetting never continues to reduce until all information is
erased. The forgetting rate levels off at some point. This indicates that the long-term memory is
exceptionally stable.
Application in the present lives
Students can benefit greatly from Hermann Ebbinghaus’ work. It gives an insight to the
factors that contribute to forgetting. Students can learn about common distractions when learning
novel information and the measures to be taken to ensure that the information is retained long
enough to be remembered.

The opponent process theory

According to the opponent-process theory, when a person is experiencing an emotion the
others are suppressed. For instance, before drug addicts become addicted, they experience the
drug’s euphoria with minimal negative impacts. However, there is drug tolerance over time
which requires increased doses to acquire a similar impact. On the same note, there are increased
distressful feelings and cravings if a person goes without the drug. This results to more
withdrawal symptoms and a cycle of increased drug use (Neurotic physiology, 2009).
Hedonic states are modulated through mechanisms that minimize the state’s intensity. In
this regard, depression counters euphoria. A person becomes more tolerant to things he feels
positive about. On the same note, the central nervous system will aim at countering them using

PSYCHOLOGY ASSESSMENT 5
negative feelings. As far as addiction is concerned, this corresponds to withdrawal and drug
affect states. Some of the positive effects of drug include pain relief, less anxiety, energy, and
euphoria while the negative effects include anxiety, nausea, depression, headache, and paranoia.
Every drug illicit both negative and positive effects, these effects are as a result of
transformations in the underlying brain’s neurobiology. Therefore, the original acute drug effects
are in opposition to the person’s neurobiology. The brain tries hard to ensure a homeostatic state.
During the first time a person takes a drug, there are key positive effects and reward neurons fire
on all cylinders according to Neurotic physiology (2009), the pleasure circuits are completely
overwhelmed and no major negative effects are experienced.
This effect does not go on long for long. With prolonged intakes of the drug, tolerance
develops and it is accrued to the positive effects. Not that the brain and body can tolerate the
positive effects but there is sensitization to the negative impacts. Consequently, the positive
effects’ perception is blunted. While the negative effects increase and last for a longer period, the
positive ones remain the same.

PSYCHOLOGY ASSESSMENT 6

References

Cherry, K. (n.d.). What Is habituation? About.com Psychology.

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