- It goes without saying that males and females are very different. Physical differences between man and woman are clear and easy to distinguish, compared to the psychological ones that are more complicated and deep. Researches all over the world are studying the question of gender differences and there are a lot of hypotheses and statements on this topic.
The reasons for the gender differences are uncertain. In order to explain the brain structure of males and females, psychology science divides it into four main areas: processing, chemistry, structure and activity (Jantz, 2014). Processing of brain characterizes how males or females are doing something. It is a well-known fact that a man tends to concentrate on one job or solving perfectly one task, while a woman can manage a couple of problems and pay attention equally to multiple tasks. “Even before boys or girls are born, their brains developed with different hemispheric divisions of labor” (Jantz, 2014). In addition, there is a different number of neurochemicals, including serotonin, testosterone, estrogen and oxytocin that direct processing in the brain. The essential difference is that verbal centers of females are located on both sides of the brain, while the center of males is only on the left hemisphere. As to brain activity, women are more emotional than men, because the degree of their blood flow is more intensive in this particular area of the brain (Jantz, 2014). Therefore, the majority of females are involved in a social sphere, in linguistics or humanities. In contrast, males are typically more associated with technical spheres, sports, economics, business and politics.
In order to examine the mental rotation performance and individual differences such as anxiety, two tests were conducted. One requires 3-D mental rotation (Vandenberg Mental Rotation Test or VMRT) and the second requires 2-D mental rotation (Card Rotation Test, CRT) (Cherney, 2008). Such exercises with large gender differences assist in understanding the origins of gender differences as they show the most reliable and accurate findings in various types of studies and experiment researches (Cherney, 2008). After the test, the researchers found that anxiety has much bearing on the performance of a man or a woman; however, the results showed that women have higher level of anxiety. Generally, tests that are more complex show larger gender differences and may be particularly susceptible to individual differences. Furthermore, exercises with substation gender difference are important in trying to understand the origins of gender (Cherney, 2008).
In the sphere of social interaction, males and females are also different. It is a common knowledge that women tend to self-disclose, they are more communicative and talkative than men. In addition, friendship of males is typically based on common interests, while that of females – on mutual support.
As one can see, men and women are different, starting from biological aspects to the social ones. Biological distinctions along with the work of brain vary significantly. Nevertheless, people need to be tolerant of those differences and respect the opposite gender, not judging the differences but embracing and appreciating them.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, in short CBT, is a kind of psychotherapy that tends to reduce overstresses and improper behavior by changing the motivators of such reactions like wrong thinking and convictions (Taylor, 2014). This therapy has shown a great influence on athletes’ results and is very popular nowadays.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy divides into cognitive and behavioral therapies (Nazam & Husain, 2014). Cognitive therapy is responsible for discovering the thoughts of a person, his or her feelings and emotions, and the way his/her mind works. A therapist can examine someone’s thinking and, together with the patient, direct it in a positive way excluding negative features. Behavioral treatment is based on the gradual reduction of different fears that a person might have, and instituting actions that help him or her to relax. These therapies help an individual overcome his/her concerns, making life better.
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Cognitive-behavioral therapy embraces a term called “self-talk”, when a therapist together with an athlete controls his or her fears and directs his thoughts toward winning (Taylor, 2014). Positive self-talk aims to encourage the sportsman and give him self-confidence through concentration on his successful results. In addition, the fears of performance and other destructive aspects considerably decrease, and anxiety is under better control as well.
Sport psychologists play a significant role in the activity of athletes as they help overcome fears and anxiety. Additionally, they make it easier for sportsmen to prepare for the competition as they make athletes mentally ready for it. Sport psychologists teach their patients to concentrate on the practice and receive the greater effect of it. Thanks to them, athletes can show better results.
- According to Heraclitus, everything flows, everything changes. There is a belief that personality traits are set by genetics, but other researches shows that an individual can change with age. Since childhood, every person possessed his or her own features of character, which will dominate throughout their entire life. However, as time passes and they face life realities, they change either more or less, as they become more experienced in life.
Scientists working in the psychology field define five major features of personality that are commonly “known as the “Big Five”: conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness and extraversion” (Dahl, 2014). These traits do not depend on such factors as mood because they are genetically formed. Different observations and studies in this sphere show that dominant traits can change significantly due to “ups and downs” that a person goes through in his or her life. As a rule, a man or a woman becomes more mature, responsible, and caring with age.
Recent research has shown that life and working experiences are closely connected to the changes in personality traits. One who is happy, satisfied with college and later with the job, can typically more easily overcome difficulties and become more self-confident, brave, and reliable. In contrast, as a rule, people with problems at work and in their private life are more emotionally unstable.
“Most mean-level personality-trait change occurs between the ages of 20 and 40” (Roberts & Mroczek, 2008). This period of life is the most difficult for a person because during this time one has to make the most important choices in such spheres as education, work, family, and others. A great responsibility falls on a man or woman, and not everything goes the way he or she planned. Therefore, a person learns how to cooperate with tasks and problems, rely on his own abilities, and continue to carry on, even when it is very tough. As a rule, an individual has gained enough life experiences that were building his character all this time. During the second half of life (taking into consideration that a person lives approximately 90 years), it is not very common to change personality traits, but there are such cases. Life is very unpredictable, there might be situations when an individual can lose or gain some features of character. If such changes occur, they are usually directed in a positive way.
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According to Roberts and Mroczek (2008), “one of the precepts of a life-span orientation is that humans are open systems”. This statement means that every person tends to evolve, learn something new, and gain experience. The peak of such development is in young adulthood, but as scientists say, it can continue into old age. Nevertheless, all people are different, and somebody might change many things to a positive way, someone else can show fewer changes, while another one remains the same. The alteration depends on genes, personality, way of life, and other factors.
To conclude, it is clear and scientifically documented that personal traits tend to change with age. Deviations in the character depend on the lifestyle of a person, his/her goals, and environmental situations. Usually, an individual becomes kinder, more confident, and affectionate with age. Thus, life experiences usually influence people in a positive way that is why older people are more respected.