• Posted Another Explanation for A Car Accident in China to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    One Accident in China Are Reported Worldwide October 13, 2011, a two-year-old girl was knocked down and run over by two vans and ignored by 18 bystanders in Guangdong, China. The little girl, Wang Yue, was knocked by a van while wandering through a market, where her parents went shopping. The driver ran away without checking on the girl's condition. Over following 7 minutes, at least 18 people walked past the accident cense instead of helping her, even another van running over her leg. But no one stopped and gave her a hand. Finally, a rubbish collector helped the girl and send her to the hospital. Unfortunately, Wang Yue passed away a few days latter. The accident was reported worldwide because people questioned the state of China morality. Yes, It is undeniable that those bystanders and drivers were apathy and cruel. But is it only simple apathy? Maybe there is another explanation from social psychology. the Explanation in Social Psychology Area It is possible that social psychologist may call above phenomenon "bystander effect", they suggest that bystanders have no idea how to cope with emergencies. In other words, they are just frozen and helpless. There are two steps: pluralistic ignorance and diffusion of responsibility. Pluralistic ignorance refer to error of assuming that no one in a group perceives things as we do. To intervene the emergency, we have to figure out whether the condition is emergency or not. For example, we may think it is an emergency when we see a man laid down on the road but other people just walked away. Therefore we may mistakenly think the situation is not an emergency. However, pluralistic ignorance cannot explain the above example for car accident. obviously, the bleeding toddler is a really emergency. The second step is diffusion of responsibility, that refers to reduction in feelings of personal responsibility in the presence of others. There were at least 18 bystanders in that 7 minutes, thereby, each person may feel less responsible for the accident. The bystander may think he or she was not the only one did not help the girl. It was his or her fault and they did not hit the girl. After all, everyone just walked away. The Later Story An old lady came to donate money during Wang Yue in the hospital, because Wang's parents were both immigrant workers so that they could not afford their daughter's surgeon. The old lay shows altruism, that is, helping others selflessly. We can find situational influences from the case: characteristics of victims, that is, wang's family is impoverished and the little girl was poor, and she may expose to role models who help others. Related Articles:
  • Posted How much do you know about CAH? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    What is CAH? CAH is congenital adrenal hyperlasia, which is a inherited syndrome due to insufficient adrenal. It appears approximately 1 in 15,000 births. There are two kinds of CAH: one is classical CAH, the other is non-classical CAH. Classical CAH could cause uncontrolled salt and fluids loss from body, leading to adrenal crisis and death.On the other hand, non-classical CAH does no threat life, but affect quality of patients' life. What causes CAH? The cause of CAH is gene for producing vital adrenal cortex hormones mutating during coding process.The researches show that a lack of enzyme 21- hydroxylase causes around 95% CAH diseases. It catalyzes hydroxylation reaction and add -OH on the carbon atom 21 in steroids, which is a necessary formation process for hormones. As a normal human, our adrenal produces produce two kinds of hormones: cortisol and aldosterone. Deficiency of 21-hydroxylase enzyme can lead to disruption due to imbalance of these hormones. For instance, if low level of cortisol, aldosterone overproduces androgens or male steroid hormones into high level. Classical CAH and Nonclassical CAH Classical CAH could cause adrenal crises with dehydration and shock, even death. Therefore, patients with classical CAH must be treated properly. In early fetal life, abnormal adrenal androgen production causes abnormal growth of clitoris in girls and masculinzation of other genital-urinary structure. Thus girls patients may be mistaken for boy birth and boys patients have unusually fast body growth when androgen overproduces continually. Patients with classical CAH are premature with shorter height compare to normal adults. But people affected by nonclassical CAH only develop public hair prematurely and unwanted body hair, or with irregular menstrual periods. From statistics, there are about 10% to 15% young women with nonclassical CAH suffer fertility problems. Treatment of CAH Proper medical treatment for classical CAH uses glucocorticoids to balance amounts of two hormones to permit near-normal growth and puberty. Another medicine called mineralocorticoids is used to balance salt level and prevent adrenal crisis. Th surgical treatment is that reconstructs near-normal female genital and vagina at the same time as they reduce the size of the clitoris in early infancy. The surgeons have two stages and finish late adolescent period. For nonclassical CAH, individuals can be treated with very low dose glucocorticoids, which is optional and temporary. Article Link:
  • Posted Is Divorce Harmful to Children? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    As we known, children are affected a lot when their parents decide to divorce. But the degree of influences and the factors contributed in divorcing families have not discussed in the textbook. Are there any damages for children of divorce? According to Amato and Keith's studies in 1991, children from divorced families, on average, experience more difficulty in school and getting along with their parents, than children in married two-parent families. Also, they may have more negative self-concepts. However, Amato mentioned that the actual difference between these two groups have more similarities than differences. Other studies replicate same results.These findings illustrate that most of children from divorced families do not have serious problems compare to children from intact families, but more children from divorced families tend to need help than intact family children. Why children in divorced versus intact families are still different? Paul Amato and Kelly conclude 6 factors that may contribute to difficulties of children in divorced: Parental loss, economic loss, more life stress, poor parental adjustment, lack of parental competence and exposure to conflict between parents. Parents provide emotional support and practical assistance, even serve as role models for their children. The quantity of the father-child relationships is the determining factor for their children growing; limited economic resources makes that children from divorced have more difficulties than intact families, because schools, friends and other supportive relationships change. Parental competence is skills that parents have dealing with children have profound influence on children's well-being. The evidence in studies suggest that parenting skills and types of relationships between parent and child are strong influences on how well children are doing. Some researches show that children carry more painful memories and longer than children given chances to voice their ideas about visiting or living arrangements. Because they feel little control over their lies following divorce including the transition between households. Therefore, divorce may affect children but not very much, and the degree of influences mainly depend on the loss of contact with parents, economic difficulties, stress, parental adjustment and competence. Article Link:
  • Posted Is Discovery Learning Better Than Direct Instruction? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    I was surprised by authors' idea that direct instruction is more effective and efficient than discovery learning, when I read chapter 6 in textbook. Because we always hear educational scholars advocate developing discovery learning in classes, instead of suggesting to improve direct instruction. Why do authors support opposite ideas as we heard, and what is the evidence shown? What Is Discovery Learning and Direct Instruction? First,we recall the conceptions of discovery learning and direct instruction. Discovery learning is a method that students find principles by themselves without teachers instructing. Direct instruction is the opposite idea, which refers to a rigorously developed, highly scripted method for teaching that is fast-paced and provides constant interaction between students and the teacher. It emphasizes the use of small-group, face-to-face instruction by teachers and aides using carefully articulated lessons in which cognitive skills are broken down into small units, sequenced deliberately, and taught explicitly. Discovery Learning V.S Direct Instruction It is a controversy between these two ideas. Proponents of discovery learning theory believe that discovery learning could encourages active engagement,promotes independence and most important,develops creativity and problem solving skills. However, Critics cites this method could create cognitive overload and potential misconceptions. And they suggest classical teaching method, direct instruction, is more effective and efficient than discovery learning. What does evidence show? Studies of Learning Methods One study is completed in the 1970s, about Project Follow Through, which was the largest educational study up to now. It examined a variety of programs and educational philosophies to learn how to improve education of disadvantaged children in grades K-3. The studies could be grounded into basic skills, cognitive skills ("higher order thinking") and self-esteem. Subjects were divided into two groups, that are receiving direct instruction and receiving discovery learning. The results showed Students receiving Direct Instruction did better than those in all other programs when tested in reading, arithmetic, spelling, and language.Also, direct instruction improved cognitive skills dramatically relative to the control groups and also showed the highest improvement in self-esteem scores compared to control groups. Therefore, direct instruction is better than discovery learning. Yet, Another study shows direct instruction is insufficient and inappropriate in the long term by DAVID DEAN JR. and DEANNA KUHN. In conclusion, both methods of learning have advantages. But, applying either one method alone in teaching is not a rational way. Therefore, we need consider to combine both methods during teaching....
  • Posted Mysterious Nightmares to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Sleep paralysis, known as nightmare, is a kind of mystery of our daily life because most of us have to encounter it at least once in a lifetime. The statistics show that 20% to 60% of individuals reported having experienced sleep paralysis at least once in their lifetime in Canada, China, England, Japan and Nigeria. Mystery around the world The original definition of sleep paralysis in English is a nightmare, and is mainly considered as demons sitting on the chests of sleepers. It is similar in North American folk belief, that sleepers suffer breath difficulty after waking and are unable to move, because of perceived heavy invisible weight of demons on their chest. Also, It is considered a sign of an approaching tragedy or accident. In Mexico, it is believed that this is caused by the spirit of a dead person. Swedish people think sleep paralysis is related to a damned woman who has a super power to make nightmares when she visits villagers at night. However, Most Asian cultures consider that sleep paralysis is a ghost or dark spirit pressing on the bed. What is sleep paralysis? Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. It occurs either at sleep onset, which is called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis, or upon awakening that is hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis. For example, one cannot move on the bed but he or she can hear or see things that do not exist. There are other symptoms like skeletal muscle paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations or dream-like mentation during sleep. What causes "nightmares"? The factors that influence sleep (SP) paralysis are studied by J. A. CHEYNE at the university of Waterloo. He set two situational conditions for sleep paralysis, different body position and different timing of sleep (beginning, middle or end of sleep ) as independent variables, and the number of SP occurred during an individual's sleep as the dependent variable. In addition, the sample size was 6730 subjects. He measured REM during sleep time to examine when SP episodes occurred and compared the difference of dreams between REM and NREM, as well as the intensity of SP hallucinations. The results showed that more subjects reported SP in the supine position, lying down on their back, than all other positions combined; SP occurred more at the middle and end of sleep than at the beginning; SP Hallucinations were found for SP timing more body position. He summarized that body position and timing of SP episodes both appeared and affected the quality of the SP experience. There is the article by J.A.CHEYNE 6726710.pdf Do we need to worry about nightmare? As most articles mention most of us do not need treatment for sleep paralysis. But there are some suggestions that can help us escape from nightmares. We need to improve sleep habits like getting enough sleep every night. Furthermore, we need to find doctors to treat any mental health...
  • Posted The Secret of Nerve Zero to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Nerve zero is the secret cranial nerve in our brain and it is not mentioned in typical textbooks. Some anatomical evidences show the little nerve may be the hot button in our body. However its presence in human remains controversial. Where is the mysterious nerve? The nerve zero is in front of the olfactory nerve which was discovered by German scientist Gustav Fritsch in 1878 in the shark brain. The anatomists found it in vertebrates over the next century. That means nerve zero also in human body. Because other 12 cranial nerves have been numbered at that time, therefore, it is named nerve zero or terminal nerve. How does it work? One ending of nerve zero in the nose as the receptor of pheromone, another endings is located in the nasal cavity. Thus, the terminal nerve can send nerve fibers to the medical and lateral septal nuclei and preoptic areas which are sex and reproduction region that can be affected by the amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus, when the pheromone is received by the receptor in the nose. Where is controversial? There are some debates about nerve zero. Some scientists argue that nerve zero is the branch of the olfactory nerve and not a separate nerve. In other words, the sexual responses in animals body are stimulated by olfactory nerve. What is new finding? In 2007, Professor R. Douglas Fields suspected that nerve zero related to sex, if whales and dolphins reserved nerve zero in their brain, because they lost the sense of smell and olfactory nerve in the evolutionary exchange. He got a chance to open a pilot whale's brain and he found that a pair of nerve zero headed toward the whale's blowhole. In other words, nerve zero was a separate nerve. More questions However, there remains uncertain about zero nerve. We do not know the role of nerve zero in the sexual behavior in human and the dominance relationship between olfactory nerve and nerve zero is unclear.
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