This was definitely the most interesting topic we’ve discussed in class. It’s put into words the feeling of being a Filipino. I could see the evidences all around me from the way I socialize with others to the news on TV.
After tackling the two sides of the Filipino identity, the compliant and confrontative Filipino, I imagine Filipinos as a whole to be like a snake ready to strike when things go wrong. We’re patient and enduring but when our dangal is being threatened, we do not hesitate to fight for social justice and freedom.
I think it’s quite beautiful that in order to understand what it means to be Filipino, you must be Filipino. I believe this holds true for trying to understand any kind of culture. In order to understand Filipinos, you must immerse yourself in it entirely. You must eat, speak, and breathe everything Filipino (even the polluted air). Who knew that a single syllable makes such a difference?
It explains a lot of my behavior and it’s probably true for most of the people I know. Sharing this with them is both frightening and comforting. At the same time, some of the concepts a bit alien in my personality. It reminds me of the degree of westernization that I continue to encounter since I was a child.
Although it is very interesting, the Personal Construct Theory is difficult for me to accept. It’s very intangible, abstract, and difficult to research. I liked the premise of ‘man-the-scientist’ perspective though. It makes human beings seem more logical rather than unpredictable and capricious. Moreover, humans are considered more in control of whom they are.
It also means that we have the ability to change and improve ourselves even though it may be difficult. After all, change is never easy.
The part that struck me the most was the discussion about the possible self. It’s something that not everyone readily talks about but it’s something that’s always on my mind. Most of the things I do are because of the person I want to be, my ideal self. It provides a context of our actions.
When I do fail to live up to my ideal self, I get a strong sense of guilt and my self-esteem plummets. I feel like I owe it my parents, God, and myself. They don’t deserve anything mediocre. The idea is not something that anyone pushed on me but it just emerged organically.
I do believe that I have a very strong ought self that I ignore because simply thinking about it leads me to wallow in sadness and self-destructive tendencies that I’m unable to work on schoolwork. My environment pushes so many expectations on me that I’m obliged to fulfill but I constantly fall short.
When I was younger, my favorite past time was to watch people. You could say that I was an odd and imaginative child who made up worlds of her own. I was usually in the company of adults and was left to my own devices. I wasn’t good at socializing with kids I didn’t know so I’d rather be alone and watch them instead. Creepy, isn’t it?
Sometimes, I’d watch the varsity players of various sports train after school. I’d watch them and would be compelled to borrow a ball or a bat and try it myself. Unfortunately, they were wary of the little girl staring at them. It was frustrating not being able to simply see if I could do it. Although, I believe that I learned how. After all, they did drills over and over and the routine ran in my mind faster than they did.
When I became a little older, I started to realize that the extroverts fare better than the introverts in terms of socialization. They were well liked, influential, and more people sided with them. In a small, all-girls school, we all knew each other but what we could try to control was what we knew of each other. Since they were always given social rewards, I tried to act more laidback, cheerful, and hyper. The following year, I was elected as a class officer. Now, I think that the rewards far outweigh the cost of ‘pretending’.
I enjoyed studying the Behavioral in Psych 101 especially operant conditioning. It was also like a puzzle when you try to figure out the chain of stimulus and responses. Focusing on the empirical world rather than the internal workings of the mind is a breath of fresh air. It also defines a way of measuring or reading affects, motivations, etc. It always bothers me that many of the things we study are not tangible and difficult to measure.
It makes me think back to when I was still in Poveda. Since it is a small school, it was more regimented than a typical all-girls private school. Also, it made us easily identifiable by the teachers and administrators. We were trained to be wind up dolls dancing to the beat of a drum.
Back in kindergarten, we used tambourines to signify the start of recess. Even just the sight of it would raise us in anticipation and cause our tummies to rumble. There was one particular instance that my teacher, Teacher Mona, brought out the tambourine from her desk and one of my classmates ran out the door excitedly.
In my second grade math class, our teacher, Teacher Florida, would give us problems to work on over the weekend. Every time we answered the problems correctly, she would give us a sticker the following Monday. And if you get all the stickers by the end of the trimester, you get a little certificate in a picture frame! Even until high school, we were rewarded with stickers and stamps and it felt so rewarding. So much so that the norm was to get those stickers and stamps; the absence of them brought about shame.
“Happiness is a… by-product of operant reinforcement. The things which make us happy are the things which reinforce us.” (B.F. Skinner) Before college, they told us to do what we loved doing, what made us happy. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time running after deadlines and writing paper after paper to actually find what I love. Luckily for me, psychology already piqued my curiosity in grade school. Since I don’t know what I love, I run after the things that intrigue me and challenge me. It’s not necessarily love but the fulfillment of my curiosity is reward in itself.
Unconditional positive regard really struck a chord with me. When my brother was growing up, I remember that whenever he did something wrong (even unintentionally), it was so easy to call him ‘bad’. His entire identity is suddenly based on one mistake and all his good deeds are rendered void.
Even as young adult who is surrounded by (relatively) more mature people, it’s the same. We still fail to see people for who they are. Rather, we see that one time they crossed us, messed up in class, or was rude once. Often, we are defined by that one moment rather than as a sum of the thousands of moments that make up our lives. Then again, they say that it only takes one moment to change our lives.
I can honestly say that I am far from being a fully functioning person. I think it takes a lot of self-awareness to fight off bouts of anxiety. I don’t think I’m that consistent that I doubt any idea that I have about myself. When others comment on my personality, I question the validity of their statement. It feels like a house of cards. With just a little rumble on the table, it tumbles and falls.
Someday, I really hope to be a fully functioning person. I imagine it’s what happens to you when you do something you love or find fulfilling and doesn’t kill you slowly. It makes me wonder if pursuing medicine will be as fulfilling as I hope it would be. “We choose to die studying everyday so that others may live.” I never want to end up hating my way of helping people.
I’m often tempted to pursue something else and spend my time travelling, reading, and accumulating experiences. When I imagine being a fully functioning person, I see myself walking through museums, sitting by fountains reading books, getting lost in picturesque rural towns, and discovering the world.
I’ve studied a bit of Abraham Maslow in our Christian Living classes and even then, I was already intrigued. It was my first taste of psychology in the classroom and it holds a special place in my heart.
It gave me an idea of what to work towards. Back then, the only aspects of my life were school and home. Under school, there were academics, athletics, and leadership. That was my life in a nutshell. My idea of self-actualization was excelling in those areas of my life. Studying the Holistic-Dynamic theory gave me perspective. My view is so limited and terribly lacking and I feel like I’m building castles out of sand. When a part of it topples, everything gives way. There’s no stable foundation to hold it all. I realized that I was sacrificing so much to gain so little and it’ll take a huge toll in the long run.
The great thing about the Hierarchy of Needs is that we can slowly fill up each aspect with little things. We don’t need to fill each level completely to go to the next one. It also brings up growth vs deficiency. How do you know that you only want something to fill a void or you want growth? It’s quite vague though it’s a fun idea to play with. I’m intrigued with B-love. I hope someday to find it.
I think that in some points in my life, I have had something less intense than what Maslow describes as peak experiences. I think it’s more similar to Csukszentmihalyi’s optimal experience. I find it when I play sports and I’m out-of-my-mind exhausted or when I’m problem shooting for an event. I recently found out that when I study living things, I get so engrossed and lost in it. I live for these moments and I hope that medicine will provide it.
Biological is my favorite out of all the approaches we discussed so I was very pleased to find out that there’ll be more studies on the neurophysical, biochemical, and genetic bases of personality. Using biology as a basis is very solid and can be easily studied and proved (or disproved).
I found the study regarding extraversion and introversion very interesting. Someday, I hope that our personalities could be mapped out in the brain. By observing it, psychologists could say, “Aha, so this is why he/she is that way!” or “So, this person is a extrovert/introvert/etc!”
I read in an article that 40% of a child’s intelligence is inherited. Although, the idea that certain traits and characteristics are inherited isn’t particularly new to me. My parents would always remind my brother and me that we’ve inherited good genes are expected to be the improvement of the race. My mom says that I have my dad’s workaholic and ‘Superman’ (stubborn in the face of weakness) tendencies. Honestly, I attribute more of my characteristics to how they raised me.
Growing up, I think I was an inhibited child. Going to a new place and meeting new people (especially family) is very anxiety provoking for me. I used to attribute this to shyness and now, I think novelty anxiety fits better. My parents used to force me to socialize but eventually, they became more sensitive to my plight. Since we didn’t have family friends, I wasn’t taught how to act. Now, I still get anxious but I have to get over it considering the expectations for my age.
I’m more interested how personality could be reflected in the structure of the brain for instance. There was a TED talk about what they called an ‘evil gene’ and they discussed the brains of serial killers and the specific genes for anti-social and aggressive behavior.
I really like the simplicity of Gordon Allport’s theory. It’s very straightforward and clear. Most of all, I like how positive its outlook on humanity is. This is the first approach that actually empowers people and claims that our personality isn’t set in stone. It just describes your personality but the challenge is finding the right words.
After the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the IPIP NEO-PI was the second personality test I’ve ever taken. To be honest, I obsessed over my results for a while. Here was my personality on a paper derived by scientific means. People are so unreliable when it comes to these things. Besides, it’s weird to ask them to describe who you are off the bat. We’d have to account for bias and inconsistencies as well.
I digress. Taking this test was very enlightening. It’s more detailed than the MBTI and gave a lot to think about especially with regard to the extremes. For instance, my score of 0 in altruism and 1 on Sympathy. I don’t feel extremely selfish. Am I supposed to feel a tinge evil? On the other hand, I scored extremely high on Immoderation and Achievement-Striving. It’s ironic that my score on conscientiousness is quite high while having a surge of impulsivity.
Interestingly, I found out that my motives might be different than what I think they are. I scored lower on Dutifulness than I thought I would. Perhaps I’m driven by achievement more than duty or search for knowledge? Should I change to become my ideal self? Or just learn to accept who I am? The more I think about it, the more I realize that there isn’t a correct answer to it. If I do have the capacity to change, why not?
Oh, to be a feminist. I’m always so impressed with people who fight the status quo. I can’t imagine being a rebellious woman in a very conservative and patriarchal society. I love reading stories about people who make their dreams come true and her life is proof that hard work gets you places. When I read about her theory, bits of her life float to the surface.
The most difficult profession in the world is to be a parent and/or a teacher. Why? They’re doing the most important job in the world without a formula for doing it perfectly. They’re raising the future and ultimately, I believe they are changing the world. At the same time, no matter how good the intentions are some things will go wrong.
I came from a good family. Both of my parents are hardworking and loving people and I believe that they did their best in raising my brother and me. Though it is unfair for me to expect perfection from them, I can vividly remember the empty promises, missed performances, and angry words. When I look back, my identity makes sense.
It’s difficult for me to be a ‘Moving Toward People’ kind of person. I prefer to be independent and self-sustaining. For some reason, I refuse to rely on anything and I take solace that if something were to be taken away from me, I could survive. The same goes with people. Although I think that in some ways it is strength (or perhaps pride), I understand that I have to stop thinking that everything is disposable.
In the face of anxiety, I think I use the ‘Moving Away from People’ primarily. From past experiences, I learned that it leads to overthinking and more wallowing. However, I don’t find it comforting to use the other interaction styles. At one point, I used to employ ‘Moving Against People’ when I had to interact with others but then ‘Moving Away from People’ was still dominant.
Carl Jung brings in an unconventional twist to psychology. The mere idea of a collective consciousness takes a little dip into mysticism. A little eccentricity isn’t bad, I actually think it makes the field richer. Once, I was asked why I wanted to study psychology. I said that I wanted to know what made us all different. One of my friends answered that she wanted to know what made us all the same. Collective consciousness a fascinating notion and I’d love to read more research on the matter. On a related note, a TED talk regarding collective consciousness was removed from their official youtube account because it was called ‘pseudoscience’.
A side of me wants to believe in something so mystical that traces of entire human race is somewhere in my subconscious. Although I’m curious how the other approaches would try to explain archetypes and primordial images, the scientist inside of me scoffs in disbelief. It’s terribly difficult to prove any of it.
When it came to the personality types, it kept going back to balance. Like a coin, we need both sides and like a compass, we need all four directions. I like that it acknowledges that there is no ideal type but we just learn from one another in order to have a well-rounded identity. Personally, I think it’s just about natural selection. Being purely of a certain function makes you inflexible and the ability to adapt is necessary for survival. Besides, repressed functions will bite back.
Flashforward a bit. It reminds me of the study on androgyny and how people prefer socializing with androgynous people. I think it’s like Japan’s selective borrowing where you adopt the best characteristics from a certain type.