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saly0015

  • Posted Marketing Manipulation to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    While reading Chapter 13 from the textbook, on social psych, I noticed that many of the ideas being addressed are quite noticeable in real life; especially, conformity. Any person that went through a public school system can tell you that conformity most definitely exists. During my time, especially in Junior High, such things such as a certain brand of sneakers, music, clothes etc, were very popular. So popular in fact, that if you did not wear those specific brands, you stuck out. For example, sketchers were very popular, and continue to be: In essence, if you didn't conform, you weren't apart of the acceptable group. Within this same chapter they discuss celebrity endorsements, and this ties in hugely with conformity: when celebrities endorse something, honed to a certain gender or age, that specific group is very likely to buy that product. The more they purchase said product, the more popular it becomes, and the more likely that everyone within that age group will want to conform and fit in. It made me realize, that of course, marketers and companies will take advantage of this psychological state of mind as well as the insecurities that drive people to fit in, so that their product sells. The most interesting part is that conformity and endorsement does not just stop at tangible products: it works with words as well. A couple years ago the phrase 'finna' popped up in a Black Eyed Peas song. They rap and sing, and would mostly fit in the R&B genre of music. 'Finna' means 'gonna' which of course means 'going to'. Because of one word in one song, slowly but surely 'finna' started spreading: first among those who listen to the Black Eyed Peas and similar music (because other artists were using it as well) and slowly it trickled down until almost any teenager you ask will know what it means. I believe even I've used it once or twice, even if it has been in a joking manner. But from all this, I've definitely learned one thing: psychology is, without a doubt, seen everywhere in the real world. Now that video of conformity we saw of the people facing the wrong way in the elevator may not seem so silly, because we follow equally odd trends all the time. 'Finna' is just one trend that seems unfamiliar to many age groups, but that is what conformity is: often times it makes absolutely no sense, but we want to feel like we know what we're doing and we are apart of "the group". Still interested? Google searching 'conformity and hipsters' will bring up many hits of what is and isn't mainstream, what's cool and what's not. However, being outside of high school and the silly trends that come along with it, it's much easier to see now that cool is what you make of it....
  • Posted Sleepiness & Honesty to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    When reading chapter 11 I was interested in the section about humans as lie detectors. I have seen the show "Lie to Me" and did doubt whether it was as accurate as the show made it out to be. I deduced that it wasn't, because they make far stretches to come to a conclusion, and it's a television show- of course they're going to add more drama. However I was curious as to whether or not some of those 'lie cues' could work in real life. After trying out some of the simplest ones on my friends (such as minimal eye contact, fidgeting, touching of the face, looking down to the left, fake smiles-Duchenne smile) and realized that it was more difficult to spot a lie than I had previously thought, and signs could be easily faked. Later on that day, I was talking to one of my friends on the phone late at night and we were both getting sleepy. I was still awake, but as she was getting sleepier I realized that she was becoming a lot more open with some of the stuff she was telling me. We're good friends, but when I asked questions, she answered them right away in a very straight forward and honest manner, instead of usually when people think for a moment of how best to answer something. I realized that perhaps, when someone's sleepy, they tell the truth! When I researched this, it hit me that it may not be the sleepiness, but the fact that when someone is drifting off to sleep, their brain starts to slow down many sensory areas as well, while different neurons become active. One becomes a lot less guarded and is less aware of their surroundings and understanding of what is happening, and respond by doing things very straightforward, or automatically and without much deep thought. Much to my surprise, when I told my friend about this a couple days later, she said I've done the same thing myself! At a sleepover during the summer she swore that I hadn't fallen asleep yet and was answering every one of her questions honestly. But just as she didn't remember anything she had said when I was questioning her, I don't remember anything about answering questions during that sleepover either- we decided that we must have been so sleepy, perhaps we either forgot about it or thought it was a dream. I believe that perhaps there is some sort of link between telling the truth while being sleepy, and just as some of those simple clues to find out when a person is lying, perhaps being sleepy works as well. This could be easily falsified with many claims. Perhaps it holds no reliability and was a one-time deal, perhaps other side effects from the day such as being stressed, etc., led to us opening up and perhaps we can use Occam's razor and simply say that we were too tired to do anything but tell the truth....
  • Posted Phobias and Emotion to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The textbook describes phobias as, "intense, irrational fears" and continues that many phobias such as fear of spiders, snakes, the dark, etc., are common place, most of the time without a frightening encounter. I myself have arachnophobia and the rest of my family doesn't understand why, if I've never or had a bad experience with a spider. I compare this with my mother's fear of worms but she always defends herself with the argument that she's had a bad experience with worms when she was younger. I've heard this story multiple times: when she was in grade school her friends (young and foolish) decided to gross her out (psych terms- produce a reaction of disgust) and collected a bucket of worms on a rainy day. Mind you, previous to this, my mother had no problem with worms. Her friends rang the doorbell to her house and when she answered, they dumped the bucket of worms all over her head. My mother was absolutely horrified and since then has not been able to see or be near worms without getting extremely disgusted and uncomfortable. This argument of spiders versus worms often gets jokingly brought up and it was only after reading chapter 11 that I noticed one part of the story I had previously dismissed. My mom always starts off with explaining in detail how she'd already had a bad day because my very strict grandparents had told her to clean her room and it didn't get done on time, which means she got in trouble. When her friends were at the front door, they rang the doorbell multiple times in a row and my mom was afraid she'd get into even more trouble and ran to get the door. This brings me to the two factor theory of emotion, by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer. Perhaps the reason my mom developed an actual phobia of worms was because she experienced a state of fear (from the amygdala) and used a labeling process of fear to worms. However, a possible reason the reaction was so strong was because my mom was already in trouble and possibly could have had a rush of adrenaline when the doorbell was constantly rung, in fearful excitement of getting into even more trouble with serious consequences. This possibility is backed by the famous Dutton and Aron experiment of 1974, and I think could possibly explain what happened with my mom. Due to the stress of previously being scolded mixed with the adrenaline and annoyance of getting in trouble again (when the doorbell was being constantly rung) her reaction to the worms being thrown on her was an extreme one, and produced more fear than if she hadn't been on the verge of getting in trouble again. However, nothing is concrete and this is just a possibility, which could be easily falsified. For example, many 'flashbulb memories' are remembered with elaborate details that actually didn't take place, and perhaps my mom is mistaken, which is a possibility,...
  • Posted Negative Reinforcement- possible personal example to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    To begin, I'm allergic to cats. Specifically, the dander that cats shed, not the popular misconception of allergies to the fur. One of my cousin's family owned a cat for about 12 years, and whenever I'd visit I would need to bring my asthma inhaler because allergies to cats is a common irritant to asthma; the effects would be difficulty breathing, coughing etc. I visited many times before and after the cat passed away and had the same ashtmatic reaction everytime. Only after reading chapter 6 in the text book regarding negative reinforcement did I put a name to my finding. I wondered why the reactions didn't subside after the cat died, because the family cleaned the house everyday and without a constant source of cat dander, there'd be nothing to trigger my reactions. The definition of negative reinforcement is, "removal of stimulus that strengthens the probability of behavior" (Lilienfeld, 213). I believe that the reason I continued to cough, etc, before I used the inhaler, is that just seeing the house maybe triggered a reaction within my body, of the cat, and the results was my regular asthma. Inhalers act immediately and one can't use an inhaler before hand as a preventative medicine, but only once you're feeling the effect of the asthma. My body perhaps experienced negative reinforcement, in that, every time I visited my cousins house, I'd use my inhaler at some point, right after I felt the effects of asthma.Below is what an inhaler looks like, and how it is used, for those who are curious. By using my inhaler, I therefore removed the stimulus that was bothering me (the difficulty breathing due to cat dander, and resulting expanding of my airways) and reinforced the behavior that at my cousins house, I'd start feeling the effects of my asthma and use my inhaler to stop them. I find this really incredible, but Occam's razor could prove me wrong: maybe the cat dander simply hasn't all been cleaned, perhaps it's still stuck to the clothes, carpet, etc. There are many ways to falsify this claim, but I feel that it could be a possibility that the reason I continue to feel the effects of my asthma at my cousins house, without the cat, is that my body is enduring negative reinforcement. Perhaps after a couple years, I will even experience extinction of this response, without the stimulus. And finally, some humor to end with....
  • Posted Unconventional Sleep Diet to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Recently in Reader's Digest, I came across this article about some of the most recent (and craziest) diet fads in the states. Many people are trying to get skinny fast, but some of these ideas were ridiculous and just plain dangerous. They ranged anywhere from the 'baby food diet' where one only eats jars of baby food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to the 'cotton ball diet' in which you consume cotton balls 30 minutes prior to eating, so you eat less because your stomach is already pretty full. It's not even necessary to get into the details of how easily falsifiable these anecdotal diets are- if babies weigh very little, then I'll lose weight? If I fill my stomach with inconsumable cotton balls, therefore I'll be full and eat less? Some research and scientific thinking is required before trying these out. From the diets listed, there was one that I believe had some truth to it. It was called the 'sleep diet' in which you slept right before every meal, so your hunger subsided, because the hypothalamus would not be able to alert your conscious body of hunger. When you woke up, you'd eat less. From there, every time you felt hungry you'd try to sleep and somehow take a nap. Every single diet trend in the article was a joke, but I did see an ounce of truth to this one. I do not condone 'sleeping away' your hunger and therefore starving yourself, depriving your body of nutrition, putting your sleep schedule in disarray and missing life. However, aside from their claim that sleeping reduces hunger, (and also the fact that if you don't eat, you will obviously lose weight rapidly and in an unhealthy manner) I came to the conclusion that you might lose weight because sleep also happens to burn a large amount of calories. An average woman about 5'5" and 130 lbs, who sleeps 8 hours a night, burns about 425 calories, according to the calorie counter on the webMD site: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-fitness-calorie-counter. Based on this, I'd say that the 'sleep diet' has definitely been falsified. An extra two hours of sleep within the day for this average person amounts in an additional 120 calories burned. If they are sleeping an average of eight hours a night, that's 545 calories burned. This diet is neither safe nor healthy, but part of your weight loss aside from under eating and forcing away your hunger, is the additional calorie loss. I hope these diets all remain a joke as the article portrays them, but if not, perhaps the participants will do their research first....
  • Posted Unconventional Sleep Diet to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Recently in Reader's Digest, I came across this article about some of the most recent (and craziest) diet fads in the states. Everyone is trying to get skinny fast, but some of these ideas were ridiculous and just plain dangerous. They ranged anywhere from the 'baby food diet' where one only eats jars of baby food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to the 'cotton ball diet' in which you consume cotton balls 30 minutes prior to eating, so you eat less because your stomach is already pretty full. It's not even necessary to get into the details of how easily falsifiable these anecdotal diets are- if babies weigh very little, then I'll lose weight? If I fill my stomach with inconsumable cotton balls, therefore I'll be full and eat less? Some research and scientific thinking is required before trying these out. From the diets listed, there was one that I believe had some truth to it. It was called the 'sleep diet' in which you slept right before every meal, so your hunger subsided, because the hypothalamus would not be able to alert your conscious body of hunger. When you woke up, you'd eat less. From there, every time you felt hungry you'd try to sleep and somehow take a nap. Every single diet trend in the article was a joke, but I did see an ounce of truth to this one. I do not condone 'sleeping away' your hunger and therefore starving yourself, depriving your body of nutrition, putting your sleep schedule in disarray and missing life. However, aside from their claim that sleeping reduces hunger, (and also the fact that if you don't eat, you will obviously lose weight rapidly and in an unhealthy manner) I came to the conclusion that you might lose weight because sleep also happens to burn a large amount of calories. An average woman about 5'5" and 130 lbs, who sleeps 8 hours a night, burns about 425 calories, according to the calorie counter on the webMD site: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-fitness-calorie-counter. Based on this, I'd say that the 'sleep diet' has definitely been falsified. An extra two hours of sleep within the day for this average person amounts in an additional 120 calories burned. If they are sleeping an average of eight hours a night, that's 545 calories burned. This diet is neither safe nor healthy, but part of your weight loss aside from under eating and forcing away your hunger, is the additional calorie loss. I hope these diets all remain a joke as the article portrays them, but if not, perhaps the participants will do their research first....
  • Favorited Brain Damage and Neurogenesis on Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
  • Commented on Brain Damage and Neurogenesis
    First Video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aplTvEQ6ew&feature=related Second Video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zNKz7YoUao&feature=related Third Video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l9P4H1BKEU&feature=related...
  • Posted Brain Damage and Neurogenesis to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Within the textbook, there have been many real life examples along with the text. In Chapter 3 I was interested with Broca's Area- a language area in the prefrontal cortex that helps to control speech production (Lilienfeld, 98). The example with this text was a patient named Tan who only responded with the word "Tan" when asked a question, due to brain damage that resulted in a speech disorder. When some research, I found the case of a young girl named Sarah Scott. She was 18 years old when she had an unexpected ischemic stroke, which resulted in brain damage: a communication disorder called Aphasia, which results from Broca's Area being affected. Attached are three Youtube videos of Sarah answering questions about herself and her condition. The videos span over two years, and I felt that Sarah's improvement is especially important. From the first video, Sarah has difficulty answering questions about her name and age. During the last video, she answers them easily. Though I thought this may be because of repetition and familiarity, I continued watching and saw that she undoubtedly made improvements. This reminded me of Chapter 3, discussing brain damage and how there is limited regeneration when it occurs (Lilinfeld, 92). However, aside from stem cells, our book mentions another way that may allow regeneration of neurons, and that is Neurogenesis- creation of new neurons in the adult brain. Though the definition says adult brain, would that be considered 18 years old? It is possible that Sarah's improvement has come from her brain not being completely fully developed as an 'adult' brain. It is possible that her intensive speech therapy has triggered neurogenesis, because it plays a role in learning. Also, aiding recovery following brain injury may trigger neurogenesis and induce the adult nervous system to heal itself; Sarah is receiving aid through her supportive family, speech therapy, as well as practicing reading and writing. I feel that this is possibly a case of neurogenesis, although it may also be the fact that Sarah's brain is in the later stage of development. A multiple amount of variables are taking place- her age, her condition, the time that she had the stroke and was given medicine to stop it, her intensive speech therapy as well as her home life. However, it is fascinating to see that neurogenesis could also plausibly be part of the solution of her improvement....
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