• Posted Principles of Scientific Thinking, Principle of Life to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The principles of scientific thinking will be the Psychology 1001 lesson that will remain with me the longest. These principles are important because they are applicable to psychology, other sciences, and the world. Ruling out rival hypotheses will help me to determine whether something is the real result or if another hypothesis could explain the idea presented to me. Correlation vs. causation is perhaps the most important as it is the most commonly disregarded. Correlation vs. causation will come in handy when someone simply presents statistics and claims that one of the variables proves the other. Falsifiability is rather simple, but still essential when reviewing claims. Replicability is important for any sort of research across academia. Extraordinary claims is a great rule of thumb for anything in life. Occam's razor is a good principle to follow when trying to explain things. These principle go far beyond psychology and I will apply them to all aspects of my life, in conversations, in school, and in decision making....
  • Posted 9 Steps to a Successful Marriage to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Source: APA- Research on marriage has shown that couples in successful marriages tend to have completed nine psychological "tasks." The first task is that each spouse has an identity independent from the family in which he or she grew up, not an identity based on one's parents or siblings. Having a sense of unity built on a foundation of shared intimacy and identity, yet respecting the other's boundaries is the second task. Thirdly, a married couple must have an healthy and enjoyable sex life, unimpeded by other obligations. If a married couple has children they must also protect themselves and their relationship from being overrun by the demands of parenthood. Fourthly, a couple must confront and deal with the inevitable troubles life throws their way. The relationship must be a resort for the spouses to express their emotions and conflicts as well, even in difficult times. To avoid boredom and isolation, as well as keep ups and downs in perspective, spouses should use humor. The penultimate task is to nurture and comfort each other, fulfilling the other's need for dependence but also encouraging and supporting one's spouse. Finally, while acknowledging the realities of change due to time, a married couple should always keep alive the idealized concept of falling in love from their early romance....
  • Posted Power, Sex, and the Color Red to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Recent research shows that the color red makes men more attractive to women. A study was conducted in England, China, Germany, and the United States that showed, even though red symbolizes many things across the four cultures, in every country it made men more alluring to women. The study showed both men and women a black-and-white picture of a Caucasian man surrounded by a red or white matte and asked them three questions regarding how attractive he is. On a nine point scale, women found the man over one point more attractive when surrounded by red; there was no statistical difference between red and white matte for men. Another experiment showed a man in either a green shirt or a red shirt, women found the man more attractive and desirable when he was wearing a red shirt. Also, a follow up study found that women believed men in red shirts to be significantly more likely to be high in status than men in blue shirts. Five similar studies comparing men in red or grey shirts found the same result, red makes men seem more attractive and of higher status. It has been proposed that red might make men more self-confident, therefore more attractive to women. However, other studies have found that women are better at perceiving red stimuli than men. Though this research does not completely rule out the rival hypothesis of red increasing men's self-confidence, its high rate or replicability shows that there is at least some connection between status/attraction and the color red. Source:
  • Posted Gender Separation or Co-education in Schools to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..." --Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act (AKA Title IX) In 2006 the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, or as it is more commonly known by, Title IX, was amended to more easily allow public gender separated classrooms and schools. Recently, there has been growing resurgence of classrooms and schools being single sex. Professionals and political groups lie on both sides of this highly debated resurgence. Each side demonstrates strong reasons either for single-sex education or co-education, however the studies conducted in this field of education are not very convincing for either side. Advocates of single-sex education display that gender separated education allows gender specific teaching, like providing the extra moral encouragement needed to ensure girls learn math at the same rate as boys. Gender segregated education also capitalizes on brain and developmental differences between genders, such as the more rapid development of the occipital lobe and language areas of the brain in girls. Single-sex education advocates also point to studies which show that gender separated schools lessen gender roles, as boys in single-sex schools are more likely to be involved in nontraditional gender role activities. Finally, proponents argue that single-sex education removes the complications that typically arise between members of the opposite sex during this time, such as the desire to impress the other gender. Co-education proponents point to studies that have shown that single-sex education leads to greater gender discrimination in students as differences in boys and girls are exaggerated; for instance when boys are taught using techniques that encourage aggressiveness while girls are taught using techniques which promote passivity. Advocates also list studies that show that coeducation reduces gender roles by encouraging more blending between genders. Proponents claim that co-education teaches students how to interact with the opposite sex, an important skill for later life that single-sex education does not develop. Advocates of co-education also prove that separate resources for girls and boys are rarely equal, an observation that was also proven in other circumstances. The Department of Education has not moved to all single-sex education but is letting it become more popular because there is little evidence for which works better. The primary fault of studies on gender separated classrooms and co-education is that variables are not held constant in studies. For instance, when schools switch from co-educational to gender separated, they often change many other teaching approaches at the same time. Another way in which variables are not held constant is that most studies of single-sex education occur in private schools, which already have an advantage over public schools in resources. However, both sides of the debate agree that education is not one size fits all and each child requires unique attention. This error in the scientific method of the studies conducted in...
  • Posted subliminal messageS EXhibit to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Link: People often accuse advertising firms of using subliminal messaging to persuade customers to unconsciously associate a product with a pleasurable experience or activity, such as intercourse. The above advertisement is considered a "classic" subliminal message. At first the ad seems to be nothing more than a traditional drawing of a woman and an ambiguous slogan. However, if the image is flipped upside down, one can see the image of a woman masturbating. It is believed that this ad creates a strong desire to choose this flooring company because, unknowingly, the viewer associates the company with sex. Most people claim this advertisement strategy uses subliminal messaging to persuade people without their knowledge. This extraordinary claim, which would surely have huge affects on society, must be supported by extraordinary evidence. However, the extensive evidence that exists proves this claim to be wrong. Subliminal perception is the processing of sensory information that occurs below the limen, the threshold of conscious awareness. This is done by flashing an image very quickly and then following it with a mask to block mental processing of the image. Evidence has proven that subliminal perception can affect a subject's thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. However, studies of subliminal persuasion, using subliminal perception to influence one's choices (also known as subliminal messaging,) show that subliminal perception has very little power to persuade a person's decision. This is because even though the brain identifies the subliminal message, it does not participate in much, if any, processing of what that stimulus means. As a result, subliminal persuasion cannot produce large-scale, enduring changes in attitudes or decisions (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy, & Woolf, 2011). Furthermore, by definition, a still image advertisement cannot contain subliminal messages, as the stimuli can be consciously acknowledged. The ineffective results of subliminal persuasion and the fact that still images cannot contain subliminal stimuli show that these suggestive advertisements, such as those below, do not affect buyers' decisions. So, even though these advertisements may be considered inappropriate, they cannot be considered subliminal messages and do not affect consumers....
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