August 2017 archive

Name & Identity

What kind of identity does your name give you ?

My name is Priyadarshini Venkatesh, and its pretty obvious that its a very long name, having a long name often makes it difficult when introducing yourself. For me, when I introduce myself I always say my name is “Priya” however, when I go to India and I say that exact thing my family members get very upset that I am not saying my actual full name. My name is also a very “complicated” name therefore making it hard for a lot of people to pronounce and as I was growing up I would always have to correct whoever said my name which made it quite irritating for me to have this exact name. I would often ask my parents if I could change my name because I was so tired of correcting everyone who couldn’t pronounce my name but, now as I am older I am very proud and happy with the name I have because its unique and its special, and people often remember me because of how long my name is. It gives me a special identity because, when I go to India it is very normal to have my name but when I am anywhere else it is viewed as a very unique name.

I have many nicknames, including the shortenings of my name such as Priya or Pri but, my parents call me by many other names that I would probably feel very uncomfortable if anybody else called me by those nicknames. I suppose that is because my parents call me those names because I am their baby so they will always think of me as little and so those names are often associated with a baby. Therefore, if one of my friends called me those names I would feel quite awkward as it would give me the sense of belittlement.

How would you feel is someone else used the “in” words that your peer group uses ?

I wouldn’t be that offended or annoyed because usually the terms and “in” words my group uses are generic pop culture words. However, I do know that at times if there is a word that I use a lot and my friends started using it I would be quite happy because I would feel like I have had a strong influence on them. I don’t think i would ever be offended if somebody used the same language as me or same terminology. I do know of many who don’t appreciate others “stealing” their “in words” but, in my opinion you should be proud of other people catching on to the way you speak/communicate.  It could be that you are their role model and that is something one should own.


Discoveries In The Field Of Psychology

  Psychology is a very new field in comparison to fields such as Mathematics and Chemistry, therefore, the timeline of discoveries is quite small and has a very long way to go. The 2 discoveries that interested me the most are “Behaviourism” and “Sociocultural” both of which consisted of very brutal yet, very revolutionary experiments and findings. Two of the most famous names related to both these psychological findings are Pavlov (who specialised in behaviourism)  Zimbardo ( specialised in Sociocultural). Behaviourism, as defined by Watson is “how behaviour is acquired and modified in response to environmental influences”. On the other hand Sociocultural looks more at the how behaviour changes by the people you are surrounded by and the culture they have.

Pavlov: A famous psychologist remembered by most as the experimentalist who proved conditioned responses. Derived from the theories of Watson, Pavlov conducted experiments on dogs, one such that became very popular some dog owners derive training skills from that very experiment. Pavlov would ring a bell every time it was time for the dog to have a meal, the dog got conditioned to the fact that every time a bell rings they will receive food. Therefore by the end of the experiment the “Pavlovian dogs” started salivating upon hearing the ring of the bell without actually physically seeing the food.

Image result for pavlovian dogs

Zimbardo: The famous psychologist who conducted the “Stanford Prison Study”. This experiment was conducted to identify whether normal people change themselves if they are put in different circumstances. A group of participants were split up, a few became guards and a few became prisoners in this experimental simulation. In very little time those who became guards started realising the power they had over the so called prisoners, this resulted in very brutal actions that emotionally harmed the prisoners as they felt inferior to the guards. This resulting in depression and suicidal thoughts and more extreme results than the experimentalists expected.

Image result for zimbardo prison experiment

Pavlov, I.P. 1928. Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes: Twenty-five Years of Objective Study of the High Nervous Activity (Behavior) of Animals. Translated by W. Horsley Gantt. New York: International.

  • This publication is mainly about his experiment on conditioning responses, it was incredibly revolutionary as it was one of the first experiments to prove how to condition responses, that triggered unconditioned responses (i.e. a stimulus-response connection that required no learning). Conditioned responses were defined conditioning as an automatic form of learning .

Zimbardo : A study of prisoners and guards in a simulated prison 

  • Zimbardo’s study focuses on the experiment and simulation that happened in Stanford, it explored the human behavioural changes when put in positions of authority or places in positions with no power.

What are some of the significant changes in Psychology’s timeline?

The psychology’s timeline shows a change in the way that psychologists are going into more detailed areas a fields instead of broader fields as the bigger ideas have already been discovered and researched but there are many things about the brain and humans that psychologists are yet to figure out.


Is there anything missing that you would like to see added to the timeline?

More research into the scientific side of depression and different mental illnesses, as I see that there is not much scientific research in the psychological side of why only certain people get these mental illnesses.

What area are you most interested in and why?

I am interested in the curing and the research behind mental illnesses and why certain people get certain mental illnesses. I am also very interested in why certain people do certain things, such as serial killers, what is different about them that they don’t feel remorse.

Dear Future Me

Dear Priya,

You have successfully completed IB. Today is my first official day of being an “IB student”. As scary as it is I am quite excited for what the next two years holds for me. I hope that IB hasn’t been too rough on you as everyone says it is going to be. However, I do hope that even the challenges we did face, we made it through with a smile on our face at the end . What usually happens when you enter IB is you are overloaded by the amount of work and effort you have to put in to be at the top. Knowing me, I won’t be completely satisfied unless I know the results I am getting are reflective of the work I think I put in.

During these two years, the last two years of high school and general school, I want to be sure that I make full use of the opportunities and resources available at this school. UWC is known for the unlimited directions that we have the opportunity to take at any given point in time. I do not believe I will feel right graduating unless I have achieved the title of “a true UWC student”. A student who steps out of their comfort zone, a student who does not give up if things get tough and a student who makes a change wherever they go, no matter how big or small. A change so significant that when they look back they have a sense of accomplishment and not a feeling of regret.