Author Archives: brandonlee2016

Closing Time- Brandon

This week I made a lot of good progress and found a few new articles to use. Right now I’m shooting to have around 3-5 sources that I directly cite in my paper. I’m also reading a few chapters from a book Teacher Deb gave me called When She Was White: The True story of a family divided by race, which looks at how traumas and hardships affect memory.  Since this is the last blog I will write at Westtown I want to do a short wrap-up and reflection. Continue reading

Sifting Through Articles-Brandon

After reading through a large number of articles this week, I have picked a subject and started writing an outline. I originally thought of writing about different memorization techniques and comparing them with one another to see which is best for the situation. This past week however, I came across an article titled How (And Why) Emotion Enhances the Subjective Sense of Recollection.   Continue reading

Small Shift-Brandon

I spent most of the week doing research on memory and have decided to shift from doing an experiment to writing a research paper. Last semester, Lily and I adapted a survey on mental illness stigma. The process from adapting the survey to distributing it to analyzing the results was extremely time consuming. The hardest part was getting enough participants. We strained ourselves and all of our resources and still did not even get a fourth of the Upper School to take the survey. Continue reading

Memory Test-Brandon

This has been a pretty slow week because I’ve been on college visits trying to decide where I’m going next year. I have had a little bit of time to search for memory tests but none of them seem perfect. They do not have much diversity in questions so it would be hard to get new baseline results. People would get used to the questions so when they try different memory tactics such as visualization, the results would be affected by outside sources. I would not be able to tell if the improvement in the memory test results were from memorization strategies or because the questions were familiar. Continue reading

Final Project- Brandon

Last week I met with Teacher Margaret and we talked about what I would do for my final project. I mentioned memory/ perception and emotion as the two topics that I was most interested in. After giving it some thought, I have decided to pursue the memory/ perception topic further. I am not sure exactly what I want to do with my project which is why I’m writing this post. Hopefully some of you can give me a few suggestions.  Continue reading



This week’s lecture on emotion was one of my favorites. I suspect that many people including myself have trouble decoding their own emotions at times. Sometimes we feel sad, happy, excited, or scared and can’t pinpoint why.  Even when we can identify the cause of an emotion such as a spider with fear, most of us don’t know why we react the way we do. Surprisingly, evolution plays a huge role in why we feel the way we do. Continue reading

Evolution & Rationality- Brandon

This week’s lecture started off unexpected. Professor Bloom spent the first twenty minutes or so talking about evolution. He compared it with creationism and showed why it was the more logical explanation for how we came to be. He basically just reiterated points that I had learned in biology last year so it wasn’t that helpful. I got more interested in the lecture when the professor talked about how evolution relates to psychology and our understanding of the brain.  Continue reading


I’ve been doing a lot of lecture summaries recently so for this blog post I’m going to switch it up. Last week I went to my final Model United Nations Conference at Johns Hopkins. I represented Austria in the World Health Organization. The first topic was Infectious Diseases which was interesting but I enjoyed debating about Mental Health much more. Last semester, I researched bipolar disorder and this was the first time I was able to apply my knowledge outside of the Westtown community. I was lucky in my country assignment because Austria is pretty advanced when it comes to mental healthcare so I was able to talk about how I truly felt about the importance of mental healthcare without breaking character.

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What is Love?-Brandon

This week’s lecture was a great break from the usual routine. The President of Yale College, Professor Peter Salovey spoke about emotion, specifically love. He is best known for pioneering the concept of emotional intelligence. He also noted that many of the studies he references are from the 1950s and 1960s and not considered ethical by today’s standards. Also, most of these studies are anglocentric and heterocentric. Salovey said that it is up to the audience to decide whether or not these studies can be generalized so I’ll leave that to you.  Continue reading

Perception and Memory-Brandon

Where were you on 9/11? Most of you have a distinct memory and could explain it to me in great detail. The problem is, you are probably wrong. On September 12, 2001 psychologists asked a group of people where they were on September 11th. They then went back and asked the same question to the same people but this time they got different results.  The initial group seemed to be recalling false memories based on the stories from those around them and from the media. I’ve linked an article here that explains this is phenomena in greater detail.  The reason I highlighted this example is to show that memory is not as concrete as it seems. Continue reading