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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Psychology I揃II ~Mechanism of the Human Mind~

Ms.Miho Kumano
2nd year Student at the School of Education

In the courses Psychology I揃II, students study mental activity and the workings of the human mind, namely perception, learning ability, intelligence and emotion. (Different fields are covered in I and II. Both courses together cover all of psychology.) Although these may seem to be difficult topics at first glance, Professor Matsumoto gives an easy-to-understand and unique explanation by incorporating material that is familiar to students or comes from his own experiences. This explanation makes the courses very interesting.

For example, for the theme of "Perception & Attention", Professor Matsumoto conducted the class by making an example of the question "Why is the use of cellular phones while driving dangerous?" We are constantly receiving a variety of stimuli from our senses of sight, sound, and smell. However, since the attention of human beings is limited, we normally select only a certain stimuli to which we are directing our attention. Human beings are physiological unable to direct attention to all of several different stimuli. For this reason, when we attempt to talk on our cellular phones while driving, it is difficult for us to simultaneously direct the required attention to both driving and talking. As shown by Professor Matsumoto in his easy-to-understand explanation, this results in an increased occurrence of accidents.

I decided to enroll in the courses Psychology I揃II because I had no knowledge of the field of psychology and possessed an interest in learning. However, more than anything else, my strongest desire was to learn the mechanism which composes my own mind. Before taking the course, I still had only a vague image of psychology and I was worried whether I would be able to keep up with the course work. However, Professor Matsumoto began the course with a simple and careful explanation that "psychology is the creation of a method for clearly understanding the minds of people", and I was soon able to adjust to the way in which Professor Matsumoto conducts class.

By enrolling in this course, I was able to enjoy studying the composition of mental activities of human beings. I recommend this course to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the mechanism of the human mind. As for study-materials introduced in this course, the discussion of "Sesame Street" as part of the theme of "the language ability of children" was extremely interesting, and I hope that you will take the opportunity to hear this discussion for yourself by taking the course.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)