Author Archives: Jacqueline Rose Harpe

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Extra Credit

Psychological thrillers are some of my favorite movies. I love the way they continuously keep me on edge and throw unexpected twists and turns. One of my favorite movies is called “Identity”. The movie focuses on a criminal who murdered 6 women, and his psychologist who tries to convince the judge that he has dissociative identity disorder. Dissociative identity disorder is a disorder that occurs when a person seems to have two or more distinct personalities within one body. The criminal doesn’t have any recollection of murdering the women; he refuses to believe that he did it. This is considered the “core” personality because he experiences blackouts when he performs actions. The movie tells the story of 10 people all with different backgrounds that somehow end up at the same motel. One by one, they start getting murdered by an unknown killer.

It turns out that these people getting “murdered” are the different identities of the criminal. The criminal’s multiple identities are being forced to confront each other to find the identity that murdered the 6 women. As the motel story is occurring inside the criminal’s mind, he changes how he talks and acts in front of the judge, jury, and psychologist. A journal is presented to the judge that has 10 different handwritings within the pages. Eventually one identity remains and the psychologist convinces the judge that this identity is the innocent one and that the murderer identity has been diminished.

Whenever dissociative identity disorder is talked about, I automatically think of this movie. I have never met anyone who has more than one personality but I think that this movie did an accurate portrayal of someone who does. I think 10 identities are a little extreme, but some personalities stood out more than others. Although the movie never explained how he developed this disorder, multiple reasons could be behind it. The psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, or biological approach could all attempt to explain the cause of this disorder.

Chips and Dip

Jackie Harpe
Taste Aversion
Blog Post #3

About 3 years ago, I went on a family vacation to San Diego, California. Our resort was right along the beach, including a casual restaurant that served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It quickly became our place to go for lunch and dinner. The first night my brother and I decided to get the 3 dips with chips appetizer. It came with a local salsa, cheese queso, and guacamole. After dinner, my parents took a walk while my brother and I stayed in and watched a movie. I suddenly felt sick and rushed to the bathroom, proceeding to throw up. The remainder of the night I felt weak and queasy. I decided to sleep on it and see how I felt in the morning to decide what to do. The next day I ended up throwing up again and stayed in bed all day. I had no idea what caused this random sickness. I felt a tad better the next night and joined my family for dinner. My brother wanted to get the 3-dip/chip appetizer again. Just the thought of the queso and guacamole made me nauseous. I refused to get it again.

A taste aversion is the development of a nausea or aversive response to a particular taste because the taste was followed by a nausea reaction. This aversion occurs after only one association and can also occur with a smell that causes the same negative reaction. This taste aversion I developed happened because of one fluke experience with chips, queso, and guacamole. Although I don’t actually know if that is why I felt the way I did that night and the next day, I blame the appetizer we got. The appetizer probably did not give me food poisoning, but to me that is the only plausible explanation. Ever since that vacation, I can’t bear the thought of cheese queso and guacamole; it brings back the memory of throwing up and being bed-ridden.

Monocular Cues

Jackie Harpe
Monocular Cues
Blog Post #2

Everyone goes on a road trip at least once in his or her life. At one point you find yourself staring out the window. Depending on where you are traveling you may see some mountains in the background; they are moving at a slower pace than the scenery closer to the car. When I went to Yosemite, California a few years ago, the mountains seemed to not move while the lakes, trees, and rocks zipped by. As much as I wanted to admire the mountains and their size and beauty I needed to remember to take in the scenery closer to me. The scenery may not have been the same in a few minutes. Although the view I had of the mountains were changing, the change was harder to distinguish than the closer scenes I was enjoying. This is due to the monocular cue of motion parallax. Motion parallax explains the difference in motion of near and far objects.

My grandparents live at the beach. The last 15 minutes of my trip there consists of the bay, boats, and beach houses. Although I have seen the same view my entire life, there are always small changes. Whether we go up in the winter and the grasses are dead and the bay is lifeless, or when we go in the summer and boats and jet skis are all out on the water while people lounge on their back decks. Across the bay you can make out the distinction of other towns. Although the towns are only a few miles away, because the distance is only because of water, you can make out the distinction of the hotels and houses. You can see the strip of sand and small figures that are people. The boats on the water and people on the sand appear to be the same size. The monocular cue, relative size, helps explain this. We know boats are larger than people but because they are far away they appear the same size. Relative size describes that objects that people expect to be of a certain size appear to be small and are therefore assumed to be much farther away.

Driving to Penn State, you can see Beaver Stadium and the different buildings on campus in a distance. They appear hazy, almost fuzzy. As you drive closer and eventually find yourself turning on a street on campus the stadium and buildings are more detailed. The reason why these structures are hazy in the distance yet detailed and clear closer up is because of the aerial perspective. The amount of particles in the air between where you are and where campus is distorts your view. Aerial perspective explains that the farther away an object is, the hazier the object will appear due to the tiny particles of dust, dirt, and other pollutants in the air.

Caution: May Cause the Following Side Effects

I have grown up in a large family on my mom’s side, 29 of us to be exact. My cousins and I are a large span of ages; where the oldest has laid the foundation being the first grandchild of the family, and the youngest has experienced years of family gatherings and found his place in the family. There are so many different personalities and opinions that blend together; not surprisingly your own opinion or actual voice may be lost in family discussions. I have witnessed that someone’s opinions may change, for the duration of only the weekend, or for the rest of their life, largely based on the influence of the majority of the family or a single person’s opinion that they felt strongly about.

I reflect my dad’s personality. We are both independent people who enjoy being alone for periods of time. We have a wicked and dry sense of humor that few pick up on quickly; it takes some getting used to. And, when we speak, we are heard.

I look like my mom, something that is quickly recognized when we are out together. Blonde hair, similar facial structures and expressions. I have come to realize how accurate people are when they express these similarities.

To this day, out of the 15 grandchildren, my grandfather has never been able to figure me out. Now, I don’t know what this means exactly as I have never actually asked him about it and he has never told me why he says that; he has only talked to my mom and aunts and uncles about it. Could it be my personality he can’t figure out? My reasons behind my opinions? Do I seem different every time I see him due to the effect my home or school friends have on me? How is it that I am pretty sure I know who I am and others can figure out my personality, opinions, and values, but he can’t?

The sociocultural perspective sheds light on why my grandfather may not be able to figure me out and why opinions are all over the place on family gatherings. This perspective reminds people that the way they and others behave and think is due to the influence of friends, independence (oneself), crowds, and social norms. It also helps explain or give detail to the different influences of environment or heredity. Everyone changes due to influences all around him or her. When meeting new people, some may have a larger impact on your life than others.

I think at this point my parents have had the largest influence on my life, genetically and environmentally. They have risen me in what they think is the best way possible. My friends definitely affect me but I only allow them to influence me in positive ways. Because my grandfather has met only a few of my friends, but has fully witnessed the effects my parents have had on my life, he may not understand that I have changed also partly because of my friends. He may forget that I have not only shaped who I am based on my parents. Outside influences that have changed who I am began with my parents but throughout the years have also been because of my friends, old and new, and own blossoming thoughts and values.

Whenever a conversation is started around the table, it sparks the interest of the entire family. Some members leave enlightened while others stay true to their beliefs. Some go along with the popular opinion, not necessarily agreeing or fully understanding. The sociocultural perspective explains why this is; each family member thinks and behaves different due to the influence of other family members. Living in a large family is full of chaos and each person has a different identity. Yet, every member impacts one another in different ways, whether we like it or not, when we all come together and mix our opinions.