Antisocial Personality Disorder, Coursework Example
Knowledge of the definition of Antisocial Personality Disorder, which according to Hare (1993), Holmes (1994), Luengo, et al. (1994), is disorder that caused one to act without conscience, lie, seduce, charm, and manipulate others, before dropping them without having any qualm about what was done; has changed the writer’s behavior towards these people considerably.
This understanding had enabled the writer to ignore these people, when they are manifesting these types of behavioral patterns, and be not bitter, hold grudges, or angry against them, because they are not responsible for their actions as a result of the illness.
It was interesting to note however, that according to Robins, Tipp, Przybeck (1997), that the disorder was far more common in males that in females; with a 3.5 % to 1 % distribution ratio in society, yet the writer had found more females than males displaying this behavior in his presence in real life. Hare (1993), writes that this behavior can create a great deal of havoc, and individuals so affected are responsible for some of the most serious crimes in the United States of America.
Participating in the courses was therefore seen as a form of protection as well as empowerment for future experiences regarding interactions with individuals that falls into this category of behavior.
Feelings that the writer had regarding the inferiority status of his high school education in the rural area of the country, compare to other students in the city, bothered his mind constantly while in college, to the point where it affected his self esteem. There were several times when the he had to reassure himself that the exams all the students took to get into the institution were the same, but the teachers were of different quality, and given the same conditions, the results he firmly believed would have been different, and there would be no feelings of inferiority within.
Proof of the validity of his hypothesis came to fruition when the lecturer gave a class exam and he excelled above many in the batch of students. No longer will the writer make himself a victim of cognitive dissonance, which according to Tavris and Wade (1997), is a state of tension that exist, when a person simultaneously hold two cognitions that are psychologically inconsistent.
The rural student also found time to forgive himself for thinking that he was academically inferior to others and for unnecessarily inflicting personal mental punishment on himself for issues and events that he had no control over in his past life.
Presently, however, the challenge for this individual will be to align his behavior to that of the rest of the students in the group, as well as the residents in the community where he resides. By careful observations and imitations where necessary, he tells himself, he was going to fall in line behaviorally, until graduation and relocation, because when he assume his professional position in any geographical location, there should be no question of inferiority in terms of his origin and educational quality, as his competence and excellence on the job will speak for itself.
It was the belief of the author that his behavior before and after taking this course in Psychology differs, especially with regards to displaying more tolerance to members of the society exhibiting Anti Social Personality Disorder, was due to a change in his body information storage system. Prior to taking the class, information regarding actual observation of how these people were treated by members of the security forces and others were acquired and stored for future replications, should there be any encounter.
Coming to this class and accepting the philosophy behind the teaching based on the theory and practical examples presented, caused a change in ones Long Term Memory System, which hopefully will help to shape the outcomes of future interactions in a different direction than before.
The process of encoding, which according to Tavris and Wade (1997), is the conversion of information into a form that can process and store, had taken place during the class sessions, and as soon as the new information was received, sensory information status changed, due to the different type being released, and will be retained for the future, as it had become a part of this writers cognitive schema.
Skepticism according to Lindsay (1997) is a weapon that can be used to deflect and spin propaganda, as well as make the world accountable, and should be regarded as a virtue.
Intelligent Skepticism towards unwarranted claims in the media or even from credentialed authorities can be applied by collecting as many versions of the supposed truth, issues or events as possible from primary or secondary sources, and then subject each to impartial assessment to verify the extent of plausibility (Pingree, 2011).
Claims that are found contrary to reason and nature according to Pingree (2011), are to be immediately rejected, and the remainder further examined for consistency and contradictions. In the final analysis, the weapon will either verify or nullify the essence of these claims, and allow virtue of the truth to come forth in the form of conclusive statements that will put to rest the fallacy of the claims that had failed the test.
A possible downside in this situation of applying Intelligent Skepticism, are in cases where verbal evidence have to be taken. The approach of the researcher may prove unpopular to the targeted participants, if they perceived that their credibility was being questioned as to the veracity of the claims that were made.
This is more likely in the case of credentialed authorities, who may believe that on the basis of their positions and authority, their word should be accepted on face value, and not questioned in any way.
The process may also be extraordinarily long in completing, due to the desire to ensure objectivity and accuracy, and possible cause false perceptions regarding the claim to dominate the environment, even on a national and global sale. This may lead to the destruction of the credibility of persons involved in the claims being made.
The psychology of the memory, which involve encoding experience into a format that allows it to be stored for later use, was not known to this individual, who had previously believed that the importance of it was only from an academic perspective, where one is challenged to reproduce what has been studied for examination purposes only.
The classification of memory into long and short term was also new to this student, as it was believed in everyday life that there was only one type of memory which would vary in quality, depending on the culture, personality, upbringing and educational training relevant to each individual.
Procedural Memory, which entails recalling techniques to accomplish specific task, was always seen as being natural, something acquired by observation and application of common sense, as well as social skills unique to individuals who were above certain levels of intelligence.
Abraham Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of needs and motivation were always viewed solely as a management tool to get people to do their jobs willingly and well, so that the goals and objectives of companies were achieved consistently, but the contents of the course allows one to realized that there is a psychological component that works within, to direct behavior towards specific need satisfactions, even when employment is not an issue..
Additionally, it should also be said that when Abraham Maslow conceptualized that a satisfied need was no longer a motivator; the truth behind the theory did not connect sufficiently until one had enrolled in the course. Confirmation of this reality came about when the writer began noticing that the anxiety and desire to succeed in certain areas would disappear as soon as the goals were met, and the process would resume like a cycle when new courses or subjects are taken on. The class therefore has served to improve one’s level of cognition regarding the psychology behind met and unmet needs in life generally.
The Drive Theory was also at work in the mind and attitude prior to the course without ones awareness, in that there were high levels of anxiety regarding certain life issues, and only when these problems or issues were resolved, did feelings subside. According to this theory, when an organism is in a state of physical unrest, it consciously acts so as to regain homeostasis. Having this knowledge has helped the writer to become more acutely aware of his behavior, and this augurs well for the greater development of his cognitive skills to manage future challenges.
The course also helped to the author to realize that he was N-Ach, after reading and understanding the concepts behind Henry Murray’s theory, because difficult challenges always seems possible to him, even when others have given up. There was a belief that with the right strategy, techniques, commitment and dedication, these goals are achievable.
There was however, a feeling that this behavior was driven by the circumstances of one’s upbringing, as well as a desire to be somebody of importance in life. The contents of the course has helped to arm this individual with a different type of encoding in his memory storage system, to develop the belief that the drive to achieve at the highest level is a combination of the environment relevant to his upbringing, and the drive theory that are responsible for the patterns of behavior that has been manifesting in the earlier stages of life.
Difficulties it was perceived will now arise when it comes to decide where the locus of control resides, due to the level of strength and influence generated by each component on the mind of the subject. Prior to the course he was completely unaware of the psychology of the locus of control, and was convinced that whatever goals were achieved were based on dedication, skill acquired, knowledge, experience of trials and errors and competence.
Knowledge of Solomon’s Asch experiment was observed in real life without any appreciation of what was happening and often led to anger, frustration, resentment and disappointment towards individuals that seems fearful, weak, and illiterate when they took sides with leaders who were dishonest and manipulative in their actions.
The course was enlightening for the writer, in that it made him realize that these people behaved the way they do, because they were afraid of being wrong, wanted conform to the group value system, and perhaps were weak mentally to the point where they could not think or themselves.
This experiment is still valid today as in the time when it was first performed, and will manifest many times again in real life, but the writer will have a better prepared and have greater understanding of what is transpiring, and may be able to develop strategies to negate it as efficiently and effectively as possible, and in the process help those individuals to become more independent in their outlook on life.
Hare , R.D, (1993)., Temporal gradient of fear arousal in psychopaths Journal of Abnormal Psychology 70 pp.442-445
Holmes, D.S., (1994). The evidence for repression: An examination of sixty years of research. In J.L Singer (ed.) Repression and Disassociation University Press, Chicago, ILL
Luengo, M.A., Carrillo-de-la Pena, M.T., Olero, J.M., Romero, E., (1994). A short term longitudinal study of impulsivity and antisocial behavior Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 66 pp.542-548
Robbins, L.N., Tipp, J., Przybeck, J.R., (1991) Antisocial Personality In L.N. Robbins & P.A. Reger (eds.) Psychiatric Disorders in America, New York Free Press NY
Tavris, C., Wade, C. (1997). Psychology in Perspectives 2nd edition Longman New York, NY pp.g2, 357.
Lindsey, B., (2011). Intelligent Skepticism All-About Psychology all-about-psychology.com/intelligent-skepticism.html 09/13/11
Pingree, D., (2011). Biruni, Abu Rayhan vi: History and Chronology Encyclopedia Iranica iv Fasc. 3 www.iranicaonline.org/articles/biruni-abu-rayhan-vi , 09/13/11
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