What I learned in school during week one

As some of you may or may not know I decided to return to school and try to finish off my degree in Business Administration.  It’s pretty crazy to look back and see that it’s been almost 7 years since I last attended classes.  In an effort to try to get the best grades possible I thought it might be an interesting experiment to post the output from my classes here on the blog.  It actually forces me into a different mental state where I am not only writing for the teacher, but to ensure that what I’ve learned is clear for my readers as well.  Please let me know what you think so I can get even better.

Week 1 learning summary:

BEH 225 – Introduction to Behavioural Science

Psychology was not considered to be a formal discipline until 1879 when Wilhelm Wundt from Germany setup the first laboratory of psychology.  Prior to this time, it was considered to be a discipline of philosophy.  Because of these differing perspectives psychology has taken many paths over its young life, and is an extremely large umbrella under which hundreds of disciplines are covered.

In believe that the rise of cognitive psychology in the 1960s has had a larger impact on psychology than any other sub-field.  The primary reason for this belief is that cognitive psychologists were actually able to expand the definition of psychology which firmly supports my belief.  Additionally, I feel that neuroscientists in the future will be able to answer many of the “black box” questions that have been eluding psychologists for many years.

I also see the power of cognitive psychology in my every day work for Intuit’s customer care department of Turbotax.  As a team we continue to try to better understand our customer needs during extremely busy tax seasons by utilizing voice of the customer (survey), “follow me home” (naturalistic observation), case and mock-case studies to help us try to understand which key levers we can pull to effectively impact our key business outcomes (correlational research).

I look forward to learning more about the field of psychology and how I can use the scientific tools to better understand my current and future customers.  Additionally, I would like to understand more about neuroscience as I believe that it holds the keys to many currently locked and other yet unidentified doors in science.

ETH 125 – Cultural Diversity

Before reading this first chapter of the book I thought I had a clear understanding that race was effectively just skin color or the continent that someone was from, but now I realize that I was very incorrect.  I have often interpreted the terms almost interchangeably, which I believe is what many people do every day.  

Due to the rapid growth of the world population, it is imperative that everyone has a clear understanding of the differences between these terms.  By the year 2020 it is estimated that the population of China will outnumber that of the United States, Canada and Mexico.  If we do not come to terms with the underlying issues we run the risk of finding ourselves assimilated by another group just due to them viewing us as ignorant.

For me personally it is hard to turn off my analytical side which wants to constantly categorize and bucket people.  Between my daily work, school and social activities I do consistently interact with people of various races and ethnicities. It is human nature to assume that you know how someone will behave, but once you get to know them you typically find out that you were nowhere close.  I’ve had many situations in my past where I’ve been pleasantly surprised, but it’s important to be sure that you’re adopting a very open mindset and approaching these situations as a chance to learn from the other person.

  • It’s great to see you taking the classroom by storm, Aaron. Good luck and can’t way to see what you share!

    • aaroneden

      Thanks Seth, I look forward to learning and sharing lots!