• Posted What I Will Remember to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    This class definitely gave me a different look on how our brains actually process things, and when I look back on it five years from now I am sure that I'll think all of this information is a lot more useful than I do now. One of the things that I think will stick with me the most is the segment we had on how the human brain learns. This section of study was incredibly interesting to me and I feel will be most applicable in coming years as the thought of a family becomes more prominent and having to teach a child how to walk and talk and all of those things will quickly become reality. The particular study pertaining to the Bobo doll is one that I believe will never fully leave my mind, as a child seeing something done by an adult seemed to immediately make it okay to replicate. This will make me infinitely more mindful of my actions around children and make sure any behavior I display is one that I would also be content with them displaying. This knowledge will help me every day, allowing me to both improve the way a child is learning by understanding how the brain learns and making sure they are learning the right things. It's a great thing to know, and I sure won't forget....
  • Posted Seeing Like a Baby to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Wouldn't it be nice if when something was out of sight it truly disappeared? I know there would be a few things I would try this with, homework, dirty clothes, the list can go on. Well as we read in the book this concept of object permanence is actually something babies lack and so they can view the world with the mindset "Out of sight, out of mind". This would definitely make the world more simple, and infinitely more entertaining. This lack in object permanence is what makes peekaboo so enthralling to a baby. When their parent or caretaker covers their face with their hands they actually believe they are gone, then return when the face comes back into view. Now this would seem like it would always be an amazing time, but the article I read put it into a more sad and terrifying tone. The article talked about how while the lack of object permanence would make games of peekaboo mystifying it would also make people simply leaving the room devastating. The idea the infant has is that the parent is simply gone instead of in a different room, which can be a very scary thing for something fresh out of the womb. A favorite toy going behind the family couch would be like taking it out of the world. The article claims that these disappearances occurring so often in a child's world allow them to adapt through habituation, but this claim is not consistent across all infants as I'm sure any parent knows the constant crying that will follow their leaving the child. I'm not quite sure if I would hold the lack of object permanence in such high regard if I had to experience it every day, but right now it sure sounds like a pretty cool ability. The articles I used can be found here: - -
  • Posted Violent Video Games Creating Violent Children to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    This is something that it written about time and time again, yet I never feel any single article establishes a real resolution to this argument. The article I found on the topic however, and this is a first, does not claim one side or another, it simply points out the scientific evidence and lets the reader decide which is where I must step in. Based on the evidence that the testers gathered in their studies, violent video games triggered enhanced amounts of emotional arousal in children. The article goes on to add that this does NOT mean the child will go on a killing spree after playing a game like Call of Duty, which I think is one thing many studies fail to point out. From what I read numerous other activities, such as playing an intense racing game with no graphic violence at all, can also cause similar results on brain patterns. What I found was most surprising in the article was that these instances of heightened brain activity seemed to increase in duration based on how long the game was played, and some researchers even began to theorize whether or not the effect could become permanent after consistent gaming sessions. To me the idea seemed somewhat possible, as just as our brain has the ability to learn a new skill or ability wouldn't it make sense for it also be able to learn a mindset? This possibility is quite interesting and could finally justify the fear of violent games as true, yet just as the article stated they are simply theories. From a personal standpoint I am undecided on the topic. The way that our brain is able to learn makes me think that there is a possibility of such a threat, yet from experience I have to think otherwise. At very young ages when children are most impressionable during early stages of development, do I believe they might begin to play soldiers after seeing a game of guns and killing? Of course I do, and this could be where the belief stems from. Yet in a practical case, where the children are maybe a bit under recommended age I believe their knowledge of reality and simulation will overcome any urge they have to pick up a gun and go shoot people. Just as the parents believe the violence corrupts the minds of their kids, I believe the fear is corrupting the minds of the parents, and until there is solid evidence to prove otherwise I will continue believing just that....
  • Posted Musical Memory to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    While going through the expanses of my iPod I will often stumble upon a song that will trigger a memory from years ago in vivid detail and leave me wondering why music couldn't trigger answers to test questions when I start singing it in my head. With music possessing such a powerful ability, it made me wonder how exactly this process occurs within the brain and whether or not a specific part had control over this odd "musical memory". In class the topic of brain stimulation causing projections of vivid images came up. These projections have not been proven to be more than fantasies made up by the brain, which leaves them essentially useless in any practical sense. Music, on the other hand, has been proven to help the regaining of memory by those affected by brain injuries that inhibit recollection of memories. Often researchers have found that a simple verse from a familiar song will cause subjects to remember things that they previously thought they would never remember again. It is also used with those who have had damage to the part of brain that allows speech, by playing a melody and allowing victims to fill in the verses. With such an amazing ability to rehabilitate I immediately expected there to be some area of the brain completely dedicated to music. I was wrong, for just as memory does not seem to have one specific area of the brain it resides in, neither does music. With music being something exclusive to humans, it would make sense that we would have some part of the brain that was unique to our species. It would also explain how some people, such as those affected by autism, sometimes have an unnatural talent for music while others are musically inept. Yet with this complex process requiring multiple areas of the brain and still not being completely understood, testing the applications of music and its rehabilitation powers still fall into the hands of those conducting the experiments. The article can be found here:,9171,46157,00.html...
  • Posted Can we Blame Nurture for Nature's Influence? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    This question is often irrefutably answered with the conclusion that society and upbringing is the cause of criminal activity among people, however I never quite believed that and went looking for some supportive evidence. In the article "Behavior: Are Criminals Born or Made?" the question once again comes up only this time it is answered with a different approach. I have always had the mindset that even with a terrible childhood and horrific upbringing a person must have a certain characteristic that would make them more prone to be a criminal than someone else. With recent research two scientists conducted in the article, it turns out my hunch is somewhat correct. With the data gained from the experiments, and not to my surprise, the results claimed that criminals can be characterized by much more than just a bad upbringing. I have noticed this on multiple occasions when walking through a shady area of a city or watching some cops show where an offender is getting arrested, they often have the same physique as well as personality traits. It is somewhat of a stereotype I'll admit, but it very rarely fails to produce the correct assumption and can be claimed as another factor that leads into being a criminal. In my eyes, these factors such as aggressive personalities and having a stronger body type can be larger players in the role of being inclined to criminal activity. Crime requires a person to be aggressive and intimidating in some cases, and having a powerful physique and the abrasive personality can make this all the easier for the person, and I know that when I have a strength I will play on it until it essentially becomes a weakness. This principle can be applied here and make people more inclined to use their strengths in a profitable way: crime. While the whole nature versus nurture debate in this topic may still favor nurture, I do believe there is compelling evidence on the side of nature. Stereotypes may be a harsh thing to apply to a person and throw them into the category of criminal, but these stereotype characteristics may have more justification to them than most will currently admit. The link for the article can be found here:,9171,960148,00.html...
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