• Posted Ch. 12 Stress, Coping and Health to Psy 1001 Section 21 Spring 2012
    In Ch. 12 the topic of stress, how to cope with it and how it effects our health are discussed. In addition to defining what stress under three different approaches, the chapter also covers how we adapt to stress and...
  • Posted Standardized Testing to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Are standardized tests too difficult? It is not that these tests are ridiculously difficult; it's that they are simply ridiculous. They don't have the ability to capture what it means to be a well-educated person. As the president of the National Academy of Sciences has remarked, questions that focus on "excruciatingly boring material" not only fail to judge students' capacity to reason but wind up driving away potential future scientists." The following is an example of a high school standardized test question that students commonly get wrong: n 12 3 4 5 6 tn 3 5 The first two terms of a sequence, t, and t2, are shown above as 3 and 5. Using the rule: tn = tn_2 + tn-2, where n is greater than or equal to 3, complete the table. This question was found under the math section of the test but it does not actually test a students math skills, it tests the students ability to follow a set of instructions. This is really asking the test taker to add 3 and 5 to get 8, then add 5 and 8 to get 13, then add 8 to 13 to get 21, etc. In addition to the wording of the question being unclear and difficult to follow, many students will get questions like these wrong because they haven't been exposed to this type of notation or question. Questions such as this one demonstrate that students have memorized a procedure, not that they fully understand what they are doing....
  • Posted Ergonomics: Design to Fit the Human Body to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Ergonomics refers to the study of how our bodies interact with the technology and devices in our environments. With the rapid growth of technology, the understanding of how our bodies can work comfortably and efficiently under various conditions is becoming more important. As an interior design major, the study of ergonomics is a topic of high importance. Proper ergonomics in interiors address issues of safety, comfort, and well-being of the occupants. The design of offices is an area of design that studies and utilizes ergonomics extensively. Chairs, tables, workstations, conference rooms, and collaborative work configurations are all designed to adjust and fit the varying sizes of the human body. People spend much of their lives at work.; it is crucial that their work environments promote comfort, efficiency and low stress in order to maintain high worker retention and overall well-being. Herman Miller is an office furniture design company that dedicates extensive time and funding to research on ergonomics and the science behind designing to fit the human body. Herman Miller designed the first ergonomic chair for the office and today creates a variety of furniture built to adjust to suit the body and comfortably as possible. As part of the concept of universal design (design to suit all needs and abilities equally) ergonomic design strives to suit the diverse needs of all users....
  • Posted Not Just Your Imagination to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    How do we recognize the present, without confusion from the past? Our visual perceptions of the world each day are composed of both unconscious inferences from sensory information, as well as knowledge we have gained from past experiences in life. When first encountering a situation or new information, our brain forms a sort of predictive hypothesis or relies on our most 'immediate reality' to understand visual perceptions. (Gregory) When our brain is relying on our most immediate reality, it is filling in the gaps to complete the full picture of what we are visually perceiving. As an interior design major, I find perceptions and illusions an intriguing and important way to create stimulating yet safe environments for users. Designers can use simple methods to alter our perception of interior spaces. Things like color, lighting, interior element placement, integrated (horizontal or vertical) lines and even mirrors can have a huge impact on the size, proportion and mood of a space. Color can have a huge impact on a space and has the ability to change a space in all three dimensions. Colors can make a space seem smaller or larger, higher or lower, or even make you see something that isn't really there (filling in the gaps). Color can also effect the mood of a user. Brighter bold colors like orange and red are stimulating and can promote action or stress from over-stimulation, while lighter, less saturated colors are calming and can relieve stress....
  • Posted to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    After studying the six principles of scientific thinking, Occam's Razor struct me as the most interesting. It can be applied to a myriad of supposed paranormal events that can usually not be disproven as a paranormal explanation; this is why we often consider the paranormal explanation for these events. The paranormal explanation for random phenomena such as UFOs, reincarnation, psychics, and near death out of body experiences occurrences seem abnormally exciting in our ordinary lives. When studying Occam's Razor, a personal experience as a child came to mind. When I was 7 years old, I awoke Christmas morning like any bright eyed, exciting child at 6 am to discover what santa had delivered this year. To my surprise, this year was different; santa had left more than presents under our tree. My dad dressed my brother and I and brought us out to the driveway to see what santa had left, it was tracks from his sleigh left from landing on our roof! We were so excited, but I was old enough to question if santa could really fly all the way to our house and land on our roof to deliver presents. After thinking it through, I figured santa must have left those sleigh tracks, how else would they have gotten there? Even as a child Occam's Razor determined my reasoning for a random phenomena. A paranormal explanation seemed more simple than trying to determine how else these sleigh tracks could have appeared... -Amber Etzel...
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