Ethical Security Solutions

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Psychology of Survival and Security: A Behavioral Analysis (part 4 of 6)
Shamuel Kohen

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Part 4 of 6
Cognitive functions
            When it comes to cognition and the mental processes it takes to get the tasks of ensuring survival and security done, as well as learn from mistakes, the main areas that were affected during stress were the memory, attention, reasoning, thinking, and awareness. These affected cognition functions were not only evident to ourselves, but to others around us.
Effects on memory
            Memory seemed to be the first affected when it came to acting under pressure. Short-term memories such as locating a tool became a dance of checks and rechecks of our area so nothing would remain behind when we moved to safer locations. Remembering to drink, to eat, remembering good times of the past and remembering basic tasks all seemed to be a mental challenge that kept the group always on edge. Moreover, if something would remain behind by a group member such as a bottle of water due to forgetfulness, this forgetfulness became a source of fighting and aggression that affected the group’s motivation.    
            Not only does the activation of the amygdala due to stress affect perception, but it also has an impact on retrieving and forming memories. When the amygdala is stimulated and becomes triggered, it has a significant effect on working memory, and so things that were easy to recall under no stress situations became an effort to remember under fear and anxiety (Gonzales, 2003).
            When cortisol is in the system, it floods the hippocampus and has an adverse effect on its output. The amygdala has a vast network connection to the sensory cortices, rhinal cortex, and anterior cingulate as well as the ventral prefrontal cortex, the dominant area of the memory areas (Gonzales, 2003). Both the input of information for memory and the output information to draw from memory are now influenced (Gonzales, 2003).
            Due to the memory problems with little things that many of the group members had such as, retrieval of essential memories on how to do the simplest of tasks were forgotten, and of course how the members perceived situations were negatively affected and hindered motivation for more complex tasks.

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Thursday 1 March 2018

Psychology of Survival and Security: A Behavioral Analysis (part 3 of 5)

Shamuel Kohen

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Part 3 of 6

The crisis
            After the surviving group members found themselves in a crisis having to fend for themselves, they realized that there is no way of getting assistance nor getting into a shelter. Some members tried to seek shelter of some form by sleeping under temporary shelters such as self-made wind protection such as tarps or woods, or even an old car if possible. The shelter became the primary goal in the minds of those affected by the wind and cold, or in some cases heat. The panic and distress of feeling exposed affected group members to various degrees. Everyone felt the effects of the crisis, but not everyone felt it to the same degree.

The emotion felt knowing in helplessness
            The emotion of panic developed in many group members each in their own way that expressed itself in unclear and hurried thinking. It was evident that the brain was in a fight or flight response mode, and this being the case affected memory, emotions, behavior, and motivation. From my observation and exploration of the situation, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was being played out in real-time. Questions like, what will we eat and drink? Where will we stay? How will we keep warm? These issues and more were the discussion points within the group.
            The individuals that have now found themselves living out a crisis due to devastating events in their lives were unaware that they were living out Maslow’s needs theories of what motivates creatures. However, many did not understand their own emotions, and in some cases this caused them to live in hardship and struggle to succeed in survive and gain security. The group’s struggles were not only due to lack of food, water or shelter but from the inner working of their brain and psychology that led some to fail and others to seek death as a means of escape.
            What the group members did not know seemed to make the problems more prominent than they already were, and what they did not know is why they are behaving as they were. Whether it was called worrying, anxiety, fear or panic, they all had this in common, they all affected emotions, motivation and behavior for the positive or the negative. In addition, they also have a commonality in brain function and hormonal functions that are bad for short-term and long-term health.
            Group members used words such as worry, anxiety, fear, and panic all used interchangeably during the crisis as well as feeling similar effects by individual members. Some group members felt these feelings to somewhat of a greater and some to a lesser degree.