user-pic

mccud001

  • Posted Psychology for Me in the Future to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Of all of the interesting, bizarre, complex, and controversial issues and concepts introduced to me this semester in my first ever psychology course, the most outstanding concept that I know I will remember and use five or even ten to twenty years down the road would be that of the six scientific thinking principles. Ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor were all addressed numerous times constantly throughout the course of our book, related and applied to nearly every idea and theory that psychologists and scientists have hypothesized and thought of. These critical thinking skills to keep in mind are best used, as our book defines them, "for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashion" (Lilienfeld 21). From this definition, it is obvious that they will prove most useful well after I am done with this course and even college altogether. For example, when I see ads in magazines or on the television that claim extreme or outlandish things, I can identify that there might not be extraordinary evidence to back up these claims nor might there be ways to falsify these claims or prove them wrong. Also, when I see a relation between two things, such as the amount of time I study and the grades I get in my classes, I need to learn that there may be other causes for the correlation between these two events, such as the amount of sleep I get every night/how rested I am for class. The main reason why these six principles will be sure to be remembered years down the road is because of their usage in a lot of everyday activities and scenarios. Without learning these psychological strategies to assessing claims, I could fall prey to a lot of false assumptions that could be detrimental to my life in many ways, most importantly my health and reasoning abilities. For this reason, I am most grateful for learning these criticisms and being able to now apply them to situations I am faced on a day to day basis. *Lilienfeld, Scott. Introduction to Psychology: From Introduction to Inquiry. p 21....
  • Posted Psychology for Me in the Future to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Of all of the interesting, bizarre, complex, and controversial issues and concepts introduced to me this semester in my first ever psychology course, the most outstanding concept that I know I will remember and use five or even ten to twenty years down the road would be that of the six scientific thinking principles. Ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor were all addressed numerous times constantly throughout the course of our book, related and applied to nearly every idea and theory that psychologists and scientists have hypothesized and thought of. These critical thinking skills to keep in mind are best used, as our book defines them, "for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashion" (Lilienfeld 21). From this definition, it is obvious that they will prove most useful well after I am done with this course and even college altogether. For example, when I see ads in magazines or on the television that claim extreme or outlandish things, I can identify that there might not be extraordinary evidence to back up these claims nor might there be ways to falsify these claims or prove them wrong. Also, when I see a relation between two things, such as the amount of time I study and the grades I get in my classes, I need to learn that there may be other causes for the correlation between these two events, such as the amount of sleep I get every night/how rested I am for class. The main reason why these six principles will be sure to be remembered years down the road is because of their usage in a lot of everyday activities and scenarios. Without learning these psychological strategies to assessing claims, I could fall prey to a lot of false assumptions that could be detrimental to my life in many ways, most importantly my health and reasoning abilities. For this reason, I am most grateful for learning these criticisms and being able to now apply them to situations I am faced on a day to day basis. *Lilienfeld, Scott. Introduction to Psychology: From Introduction to Inquiry. p 21....
  • Posted The Secret Behind Online Dating to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    In today's world with instant information and a nearly limitless amount of advanced technology, the ways in which we interact with people through the means of technology is drastically expanding. Not only can we reconnect with old friends or family members through means of social networks, but another big way of human interaction is through the use of online dating sites. With these sites such as eHarmony.com, match.com, zoosk, etc., participants can meet potential partners with more compatible personalities. How do these sites match compatible partners? Well, as we've read in chapter 14 of our " Psychology: Introduction to Inquiry" book by Scott Lilienfeld and others, the "Big Five" traits of openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, are used in most sites along with many other personality indicators. http://www.pcworld.com/article/159884/online_dating_analyzing_the_algorithms_of_attraction.html Here is a video discussing the common algorithms used in dating sites to match partners together. As you can see, it varies greatly what personality traits, if any, are most crucial for a couples success. The idea of determining the best couple characteristics based on the happiest couples they have was also a very intriguing concept. As Janis Spindel discusses, even though two people may share the exact same personality characteristics, if they don't have a physical chemistry or attraction for one another, there relationship could still fail. So, personality can't account for everything. Even still, according to an Article below from Science Daily, 94% of people who met their online match met again afterwards, and relationships formed online lasting an average of 7 months, 18% over a year long. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050218125144.htm This use of online dating is sure to be increasing as technology continues to advance, and if these sites continue to accurately assess participant's personality traits in their structured personality test styles, the matches made are likely to be correct. However, the life of the actual relationship between the two people depends on a lot more factors such as physical chemistry and attractiveness, as well as location, job status, etc. But according to most, it can never hurt to try....
  • Posted Obesity and the Media to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Obesity and weight gain have been a rising issue in societies all over the world when looking at recent years. For instance, the number of obese people in the world has already doubled since only 1980 and in 2008 alone, it was reported that about 1 in 10 people in the world were obese. Clearly there are some roots to this problem, but what's primarily to blame, no one knows. Though this body type is becoming more and more visible in our society, a lot of the health conditions and risks that go along with this lifestyle go unnoticed by others or obese people themselves. Not only can a high BMI and case of obesity cause serious cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke, but also severe diabetes and various types of cancers. It's hard to say what the exact cause of this weight epidemic is, but it is obvious that our society seems to be infatuated with it. There are a handful of popular TV shows watched every day that deal with obesity and some even weight loss, such as Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, Ruby (the reality show based on the life of an obese woman), DietTribe, etc. We also are constantly seeing celebrities on air promoting their weight loss supplements and programs. http://www.hotspot106.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/hart1a_jennifer_hudson_weight_watchers_spokesperson.jpg http://woooha.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/queen.jpg It is possible that this massive media attention brought towards the scene of obesity could be one of the causes of its growth over the decades. When obese people see these shows and their immense popularity, it acts as a type of positive reinforcement in that if they continue to be obese, they could get themselves a reality show or a chance to lose weight to win a huge amount of money. To show the other side of these great incentives, here's an interview with a Biggest Loser winner and his struggle for steady health. Others, however, argue that by bringing more media attention to the scene of obesity, it shows those with the condition the realities of their condition and holds the chance to shed more much needed light on the situation and help them make a change. My question is this: if we keep bringing media attention to the issue of obesity, will it further perpetuate its growth by reinforcing others to be obese, or pose a change that will try to eliminate its stance in our societies? Sources: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/index.html...
  • Posted Helen Keller:An Extraordinary Case of "Language-Learning" to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    In Chapter 8 of Lilienfeld's book of Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, there are categories of special cases of language learning described from sign language to bilingualism. In reading about these less common ways of learning a language, I thought I'd look further into one of the perhaps greatest "miracles" in language learning; the case of the deaf and blind Helen Keller. Around the time that young Helen turned 2 years old, she was stricken severely with a disease that left her both blind and deaf. At the age of 7 is when assistant Anne Sullivan came into aid and began teaching Helen everyday objects by complex combinations of taps to Helen's palm. After some time of teaching a huge breakthrough came about when Sullivan kept pouring water over Helen's hand and she eventually made out the sound of the word water with her voice. This was an exceptional feat considering her lack of vocal language her entire life. She also learned spoken language through the feelings of vibrations of those engaging in conversation. Here's an interesting interview with Anne Sullivan demonstrating this method of sensory teaching. Following her education with Sullivan, she continued in her success in life and became very skilled at using Braille and sign language as well, giving her even more ways to communicate with others around her. She ended up earning a bachelor's degree and writing many novels as well. Even after reading multiple articles in support of this "miracle", there are quite a few skeptics of the legitimacy of this case. Some claim that the amount of knowledge Helen gained before her deaf and blindness could be a huge factor in the way she relearned the world around her. Without measuring this at the time, it's uncertain to know if the way in which her particular brain adapted to this would be the same in any other case. Even so, it has been scientifically proven that with the permanent damage of some of our senses, our other senses become stronger and more attentive in order to make up for this loss. This is where there is a thin line drawn, are the conditions that our brains adapt to to make up for one lost sense still possible when another is taken out as well, especially at such a young age were no legitimate verbal language has been built yet? Through the case of Helen Keller we can see there are extraordinary possibilities....
  • Posted Stem Cells: to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Among one of the most controversial issues in the science world today is that of stem cell research. A stem cell is "a cell, often originating in embryos, having the capacity to differentiate into a more specialized cell" (Lilienfeld 92). In other words, these cells have the ability to transform themselves into nearly any type of cell in the body, from skin to lung tissue etc. http://biochem118.stanford.edu/images/Stem%20Cell%20Slides/04%20Pluripotent%20Stem%20Cells.jpg Furthermore, there are two type of stem cell research used widely today; adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research. The clear difference between these two is that embryonic research requires the manipulation of cells in developing embryos to create different types of cells, while adult stem cells are already developed in each individual's body that can be recreated into other types of cells. The main debate between the two is that embryonic stem cell research is essentially destroying embryos or potential lives to further research, an element that is considered extremely unethical. People not in support of embryonic stem cell research also claim that there have been few if none cases of cures or improvements in patients who use the embryos cells, and instead that embryonic cells can multiply at such an excessive rate that they have tendencies to turn into cancerous tumors. Meanwhile, adult cells do not divide as quickly so they don't cause tumors and the success rate of it is tremendously higher in patients than embryonic. This causes those in opposition to embryonic to also become upset with the fact that a large number of scientists spend their research and experiments on embryonic stem cells which have little or no success while they could instead be using their time and resources to further the success in adult stem cells. Those in favor of embryonic cells say that success is on its way and that in most cases, embryonic cells are being used from eggs in females that would otherwise go unused. In terms of psychology, the issue of stem cells can be applied to the use of using these cells to be recreated into different brain cells that may have been lost or severely damaged from various diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's or even accidents such as a car crash. I found this topic extremely intriguing especially after watching the second video attached below because Dr. Oz claims in this video that cures for diseases such as Parkinson's may be possible within the next ten years, and in being in close relationships in my life with people diagnosed with Parkinson's this cure could be monumental and life-changing. Will this extraordinary feat be made in this decade? We'll have to wait and see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Axkn8G18t8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDFJOzu9SyM&feature=related *Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. Scott Lilienfeld, etc....
  • Posted Ethical Issues in Animal Research to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    As today's scientists make efforts to solve the seemingly unanswerable questions to issues like curing terminal illnesses or learning about different functions of our brains and bodies, about 7-8% of this published researched is performed on animals (Lilienfeld 69). In performing this type of research, the ethical treatment of these tested animals has brought forth a highly controversial issue all over the world. While some claim animal research has given us useful insight into the human mind and functions, opposers like the world-reknown PETA organization state on their wedsite that ".. animals have rights and deserve to have their best interests taken into consideration, regardless of whether they are useful to humans." It is estimated that mice and rats account for 90% of the animals that are used in laboratory testing according to the S.O.S group at the University of Georgia's website. Among other animals to be experimented on are primates, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, rabbits, and various others. Some of the purposes of these animals are to test human medications to determine harmful side effects, or to inject them with harmful diseases or even cancer in order to try to find cures to these terminal illnesses. With both sides taken into account, my view on this issue is with the PETA organization in that since animals do not have the ability to stick up for themselves and give consent to their bodies being used in experiments, this type of research should not be allowed. There are so many different types of new testing and scans that scientists have developed that can be used safely on humans like CTs, MRIs, PETs, fMRIs, MEGs, etc. that there should be even less of a reason to have to resort to inhumane practices on defenseless animals. My stake in the defense against this type of testing is also strong due to my ownership of an animal myself. Though my dog has never been tested on, I could never allow myself to think it's understandable or ethical to allow an animal of any kind to be harmed or killed for the purpose of proving or disproving someone's research. *Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, Scott Lilienfeld, etc....
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from mccud001

Following

Not following anyone

About This Page

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.