During the course of the semester, I focused my studies on politics and psychology. I never knew there were so many psychological aspects that went into deciding whether to vote and who to vote for.
Firstly, I never knew there were so many biological reasons for my political behavior. I've learned that my genes may determine whether I choose to vote or not. I also discovered that if I have low physical sensitivities to loud noises, I may be more likely to support foreign aid and liberal immigration policies. If the opposite is true, I probably favor the death penalty and the Iraq War. I also learned that certain parts of my brain get "excited" depending on what candidate I look at. What this means is controversial, but it shows that politics and psychology are linked.
I also didn't know that some of my political responses were due to my unconscious. I always thought that making a political decision was a conscious effort but this project has shown me otherwise. I've always been against negative political campaigning because I think it's tasteless, but unconsciously I'm drawn to it! One of the reasons is because negative campaigning activates my "fight or flight" response because I think I am in danger. Therefore, I actually respond more to negative campaigning than I do to the tame stuff!
I really enjoyed studying psychology and politics at the same time. It even has prompted me to pursue a double major in Political Science and Psychology. I liked that I was allowed to choose topics that interested me and didn't have to read what someone wanted me to read. I also liked that I had to write a summary and an interpretation. The summary made me work hard to understand what the study was about and the analysis made me understand why the study was important and what it actually meant. To make it better, I would suggest having group meetings instead of just writing blogs. Sometimes I would forget about posting a blog and I think having meetings would help me schedule better and also understand my peers' work more fully. I will add that doing one a week is far better than writing a 10 page research paper which I have to do for my other class :(. I also think some of my classmates would have been interested to hear about our work but I'm not sure the PSYC 100 schedule would be able to accommodate class presentations. All in all, this was a really interesting project and I learned a great deal! I'm sure it will be something I will be studying for a long time!