• Posted Personality Tests to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Personality tests are very helpful to scientists , but creating accurate tests is a challenge. The most common personality tests are structured personality tests, which ask respondents to answer in one of a few fixed ways. The most extensively researched structured personality test is the MMPI. The MMPI uses an empirical method of test construction, which means the test is built with two or more criterion groups, and then items are examined to determine which best distinguish the groups. The MMPI is considered very reliable, but it still has it's problems. Another way of constructing tests is the rational/theoretical method, in which developers begin with a clear-cut conceptualization of a trait and then write items to assess that conceptualization. The NEO-PI-R uses this approach and has demonstrated good validity, but not all rational/theoretical tests display this validity. A good example is the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator. The Meyers-Briggs test is given several million times a year. I myself have taken this test in my school multiple times and my counselors consider it a helpful tool in life decisions. Many companies give the test to predict job performance and satisfaction. There are many versions of the test available online. These websites tell you they can help your life, because the tests tell you what you should be doing to make yourself happy. According to the video below the Meyers-Briggs test is the most well established personality test in the world! How accurate are these tests really? According to out text book, "Most respondents don't obtain the same MBTI personality type on retesting only a few months later, and MBTI scores don't relate in especially consistent ways to either the Big Five or measures of job preferences". So why do people still take the Meyers-Briggs test, and put such faith in it? I think people like the idea of having their personality labeled. We as humans like things to be organized and understandable. The Meyers-Briggs test allows us to clearly identify ideas about ourselves without thinking too much about it. But because the test seems to be so inaccurate, I think people should be more educated on the reality of its invalidity. I also think companies should use different methods to determine personality....
  • Posted True Love? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Our society is constantly bombarded with stories of love. The relationships of the famous, movies, books, and our friends surround and envelop us with the idea of "true love." For example, one of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In this novel two of the main characters, Elizabeth and Darcey, fall into a love that is totally pure and unconditional. All they want to do is spend the rest of their lives together. In our text book, it is described how love is studied scientifically. We like people depending on their proximity (physical nearness), their similarities, and reciprocity (give and take) to ourselves. There is also the fact that we do judge a book by it's cover, a person has to be physically attractive for us to pursue them. There is also the triangular theory of love proposed by Robert Sternberg, that proposes that love consists of intimacy, passion, and commitment. These ideas break love down into a very clear manner, but it makes me wonder, can love be this simple and scientific? I don't want to believe it is, but I know myself to be a romantic. I think there are other parts of love that can't be explained by science. For example, the textbook says that passionate love (love marked by powerful, even overwhelming, longing for one's partner) tends to change to companionate love (love marked by a sense of deep friendship) as the relationship progresses. What about those people that seem just as passionate as when they first started the relationship? I don't think love can be boxed and tied up neatly. I think there are other variables to love that will can't be described, but I am also interested to see what information about the idea of love will be discovered in the future....
  • Posted Memory and Alzheimer's to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Memory is crucial to our lives because it allows us to apply our past experiences to our present lives. Memory allows us to function normally. Without memory we wouldn't know what to do when we got up in the morning or recognize the faces of those we love. It is normal not to remember every detail of our lives, but sometimes people begin forgetting too much. This is a disease and it is called Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that gets worse over time and affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer's accounts for 50 to 60 percent of the cases of dementia, and it occurs at alarming rates as people age. For those people aged 65 and older the risk for the disease is 13 percent, but once you hit age 85 and older the percent jumps up to 42 percent. Alzheimer's begins with the forgetting of newer memories, and ends with older memories being the last to go. When you have Alzheimer's the brain contains many senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that contribute to the loss of synapses, and death of cells in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. It is not known what exactly causes Alzheimer's but it is thought to be partially genetic and partially environment and lifestyle based. For example, it has been shown that being physically active reduces your risk for Alzheimer's. The disease of Alzheimer's is close to my heart because my grandfather had it. I personally experienced his decline and memory. He had to be moved from his house and to a nursing home because he could no longer take care of himself. I wonder if scientists will ever discover the exact cause of Alzheimer's and if there will be a treatment that works. What would our world be like if people no longer had memory loss? Would it increase life span? Would it be a good thing or a bad thing? I guess we will just have to give Alzheimer's research time and wait to see the outcome. Sources: Psychology Textbook...
  • Posted REM Sleep to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    1) Identify one important concept, research finding, theory or idea from Psy 1001 lectures or the Lilienfeld text from the past two weeks (Sensation & Perception and Consciousness.) Summarize the concept in your own words and explain why you believe this concept research finding, theory or idea is important. Apply this to some aspect of your life (real life example are an excellent way to learn. Photos, You-tube videos, etc. are encouraged.) As you reflect on this concept, research finding, theory or other idea, what other questions occur to you? What are you still wondering about? REM sleep is the 5th stage in the sleep cycle and it is when the brain is most active and the most vivid dreaming occurs. Each night a person spends about an hour in REM sleep. I think REM sleep is important because our bodies physically need it. It is also interesting because it is such a strange thing. Why does REM sleep happen? Why do our brains get so excited and why are are dream more vivid? What is the point of REM sleep? I can apply the finding of REM sleep to my life by making sure I get it every night. It is important to be well rested to live healthfully. REM sleep is considered to be biologically important, and most likely essential. When people don't get enough REM sleep their bodies rebound, and the amount and intensity of REM sleep increases. I know when I don't get enough sleep I feel terrible the next day and cannot concentrate on anything. I think it's important for me and others my age to go through the entire sleep cycle which allows good REM sleep to happen. I wonder why REM sleep happens? What is the reason our bodies do it? Why do we dream more vividly in REM sleep? Why do some people get more REM sleep than others?...
  • Posted Astrology to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    A metaphysical claim is one that can not be proven scientifically because it is outside the realm of scientific experiments. I think these claims are important because I don't think we should know everything, I think there still has to be some parts of our world that we don't understand. I'm not saying I agree with every single metaphysical claim there is, but I think that it's important they are there. In my life, a good example of a metaphysical claim is astrology. Personally, I believe in astrology because the information it has given about me and who I will be has lined up exactly with my character. However, the scientific part of me knows I probably shouldn't believe in it, because how can astrology actually be proven? I think this article does a good job of going over astrology and what it qualifies as; In the media, astrology is commonly used. For example, you can always find horoscopes in newspapers and magazines. For example this website offers horoscopes every day: 1. Ruling out Rival Hypotheses: Horoscopes and astrology tell you certain things are just going to happen, but that really isn't true. People have the ability to make their own choices and decide where they want their life to go. 2. Correlation vs. Causation: A horoscope may claim that you are going to have a horrible day and you actually do end up having a horrible day. You therefore decide it's because of what sign you are, when in reality it's other things going on in your life. 3. Falsifiability: A study can't really be designed to test astrology. 4. Replicability: Horoscopes and astrology may claim to be accurate, but that isn't true. What horoscopes say are going to happen can't happen to every single person of that sign. In reality I don't think horoscopes are anything to really be paid attention to, because events in our lives occur because of chance and what we ourselves do. In spite of this, there is still that part of me that believes in astrology and I know this is true of many others. I wonder why we do this? What is it about astrology that makes me and others believe parts of it are true?...
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