• Posted What I Will Remember to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Psychology has many topics, theorems, and concepts that all are important in showing how humans work physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively. I will use many things that I learned in psych for the rest of my life but something that stood out to me that I know I will remember five years from now are the Big Five traits, what they mean and how you can tell where people fall on each trait. I have always been one to analyze, especially when it comes to someone's behavior or personality. I think that by knowing the five traits (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, attentiveness, and neuroticism) I can make a better judgment of whom I will be more compatible with friendship-wise and relationship-wise. It may also help me know what certain people would do in a given situation based on where they fall in the big five personality traits. For example, if one of my friends is very low in extraversion, then I can most likely guess that she will not want to come with me to a party where she doesn't know anybody and would rather stay home or be with her close friends....
  • Posted Lying and Lie Detection to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    An interesting topic that we have learned about to me was lie detection. An important fact to know is that humans are not a good way to determine if someone is lying or not. Humans are right about someone lying only 55% of the time and usually by chance; very few people can exceed 70%. Police and other occupations that involved being good at identifying lies say that verbal cues can be more helpful than nonverbal cues. For example, usually if someone's voice goes up higher while talking, there is a greater chance that what they're saying is a lie. Another verbal cue to look for is a statement that has few details and words such as, "I'm not sure but..". We learned about two different kinds of lie detectors, one of them being the Polygraph test. A polygraph test relies on what are called Pinnochio responses; supposedly perfect physiological or behavioral indicators of lying and claims to be accurate about 98% of the time. However, many believe that the test can confuse arousal with guilt and therefore cause the innocent to look guilty. The second test is the guilty knowledge test. This relies on the premise that criminals harbor concealed knowledge about the crime that innocent people don't. For example if there is a fork involved in the crime and a fork is brought up, the criminal is more likely to have a physiological response to the word fork than innocent people. I find this topic of discussion interesting because I would like to be a lawyer when I grow up and it's very important to be able to tell if people in court are lying or not. Many shows that I watch demonstrate how to tell if someone is lying. I believe that the more you know, the more likely you can tell if someone's lying to you or not. A perfect example of this takes place in one of my favorite movies, Legally Blonde. Elle Woods knew the witness was lying because she knew the rules about getting a perm. Knowing this piece of information helped her save the innocent and put the guilty in jail. Here's a clip of that scene below.
  • Posted Classical Conditioning to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The concept I chose to talk about is classical conditioning. Classical conditioning was first recognized in an experiment performed by Ivan Pavlov. In his famous experiment, he originally was researching digestion in dogs and was observing their salivary responses to the presence of meat powder. However, he also discovered that the dogs would start to salivate even before the meat was in front of them. Previous stimuli, such as footsteps of the assistant as he approached the dogs, caused the dogs to start salivating as well. After accidentally stumbling upon this discovery, he took on a different experiment that was based specifically on classical conditioning. Once again, he used a dog but this time he had a metronome going off which he referred to as the neutral stimulus. Then he presented the meat powder to the dog and the dog would start to salivate. He repeated this process several times until finally the dog would start salivating to the sound of the metronome. This is the case because the dog was so used to receiving the meat powder at the sound of the metronome that he associated them with each other and therefore salivated without even having to see the meat powder. I think that this concept is important because it shows how humans and animals become so used to a pattern that at some points they can hear or see or do one thing and then expect a certain thing to happen right after it because that's what they're used to. An example of how this is used is shown in an episode of the show, "The office". In this episode, Jim reboots his computer and after doing so asks Dwight if he wants an altoid. He repeats this process many times and finally one day doesn't offer him the altoid but Dwight sticks out his hand for one without even realizing. Here is a clip of the scene which does a great job of showing how classical conditioning works.
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