• Posted My Friend the Amygdala to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The concept (or rather, thing) in Psychology that I believe I will remember in 5 years or so is the amygdala. Not only does it have a funny spelling, it has a lot to do with fear, excitement, and arousal. Plus, every time I think about Doctor Gewirtz, I will remember his distinct, accented voice saying the word "amygdala." For those of you who don't remember, the amygdala is defined as the "part of the limbic system that plays key roles in fear, excitement, and arousal." I will remember the amygdala because I am bound to think about my fears in the future, and thinking about my fears will remind me of the part of my brain that gets activated when I'm scared or aroused. Now when I think of fear, excitement, or arousal, I will be reminded to psychology class and my dear friend the amygdala. The final reason I will remember that particular part of the brain is because it is not a recognized word by Microsoft Word, which I found to be rather strange. Weird....
  • Posted Different Types of Intelligence Tests to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    An intelligence test is a tool used to measure thinking ability in terms of a standardized measure. Since IQ tests do not directly assess the same things that are taught in the classroom, it is difficult to "study" for them. However, IQ tests are typically able to assess reasoning, comprehension, working memory, and processing speed. Good intelligence tests measure intelligence without relying on verbal expression and can be used for a number of populations. Commonly used intelligence tests: Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Ages 2 to 90 Measures: Fluid Reasoning (the capacity to learn new ways of solving problems) Knowledge Quantitative Reasoning (the application of mathematical concepts and skills to solve real-world problems) Visual-Spatial Processing (organizing visual information into meaningful patterns and understanding how they might change as they rotate and move through space) Working Memory (the ability of actively hold information in the mind needed to do complex tasks such as reasoning, comprehension, and learning) Also measures the ability to compare verbal and nonverbal performance. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children: Ages 6 to 16 Measures: Verbal comprehension Working memory Executive function skills Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS): Ages 16 to 89 Measures: Verbal comprehension Perceptual organization Working memory Processing speed Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities: Ages 2 to 90+ Measures: General intellectual ability Working memory Executive function skills Cognitive Assessment System (CAS): Ages 5 to 17 Based on "PASS" theory, measures "Planning", "Attention", "Simultaneous", and "Successive" cognitive processes What test would you take? What measure of ability are you most curious to find out about yourself?...
  • Posted Humans as Lie Detectors to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Humans can be used as lie detectors. Albeit many of us think we're avid liars, there are many tells that could give us away to others. Being able to tell whether or not someone is lying is important to the relationships you hold with people. Honesty and communication are key to building strong friendships. What can you do to tell if someone is lying? Although our textbook says that the best way of finding out whether or not someone is lying is to listen to what they're saying as opposed to how they're saying it, being able to read gestures and body language is fun and interesting. Here are a few tells that can show dishonesty: A person who is lying to you will avoid eye contact or turn their bodies away from you. Liars are unlikely to tough their chest or heart with an open hand, but they will touch their face, mouth, and throat. Scratching the nose or behind the ear is another common gesture of liars. The book uses the example of the Duchenne smile vs. the Pan Am smile. A real smile uses the entire face: eyes and mouth, but a fake smile involves just the mouth muscles. A liar might unconsciously place objects between themselves and you. Here is a good site that can tell you more about body language and lying:
  • Posted Troy Davis's Eyewitness Testimony to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Over the past two weeks, we have learned about suggestive memory techniques in our textbook. Suggestive memory techniques are ways that encourage people to remember memories that were often impossible events. I believe this finding to be important because there are often many criminal cases that involve completely innocent people to be wrongfully imprisoned. Even when evidence does not confirm that the suspect is linked to the crime, eyewitnesses may incorrectly identify them at the scene of the crime. One recent example is the case of Troy Davis. Troy Davis was a man wrongfully convicted of and executed for the murder of a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. He maintained his innocence until his execution. Though Troy Davis was innocent, eyewitness identification said otherwise. The entire case against Troy Davis was based on eyewitness testimony, despite the fact that the eyewitnesses' testimonies were unreliable. Eyewitness recall is not a good enough base to rely on when it comes to criminal cases, according to Elizabeth Loftus, of whom we learned about in our discussion sections. Variables that may affect a witness' ability to recall facts include how far away the witnesses were from the scene, what the light was like, whether they were afraid, or whether they are of a different race than the person they witnessed. This relates to the case of Troy Davis because the eyewitnesses clearly mistook someone else for him, which occurs a lot more frequently than I would like to think. Innocent people are being sent to jail and possibly executed. Why should we have such little faith in our judicial system for finding the true criminals in cases like this? What can we do to increase our efficiency in convicting the correct person? Here is a link to an article from TIME magazine that gives more details about the Troy Davis case:,8599,2095209-1,00.html...
  • Posted Students are Classically Conditioned to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    One thing we have learned in the past two weeks is conditioning. Ivan Pavlov discovered the process of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning, also known as Pavlovian conditioning, is a form of learning that involves animals automatically responding to an action. Basically, classical conditioning is the act of an animal doing something in response to a stimulus that was previously neutral. An excellent example is Pavlov's dogs. Pavlov used the sound of a metronome to trigger salivation in a dog by turning a metronome on whenever the dogs were fed. After many trials of this, the dogs would salivate whenever the metronome was turned on because they were expecting food to appear before them. The metronome acted as a signal that announced food. Another example of Pavlovian conditioning, which is likely to be more familiar, is the conditioning that middle- and high school students undertake. Many schools use bells to indicate the beginning and end of classes for students. Those students are classically conditioned to either leave class or be in their seats when the bell rings between classes. I thought this was interesting because there were a few times in high school when the bells would go off at incorrect times, and students would get up to leave class before realizing that it was a false alarm. The bell meant leaving class, and now that there are no bells in college, it's weird leaving class without that proper indicator. What are other examples of classical conditioning used? The zipping of multiple backpacks? The shutting of the door when people leave the lecture early? In an episode of The Office, there is an excellent example of how classical conditioning works. The Office - Pavlov's dog from Rauno Villberg on Vimeo....
  • Posted Hindsight Bias: The Simple Inventions to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Over the past two weeks of Psychology class, we have learned about the concept of hindsight bias. Hindsight bias, also known as the "knew-it-all-along effect" or "creeping determinism", is the tendency to believe that we could have predicted something that has already occurred. Hindsight bias is important because it occurs in everyday life. It is especially prevalent in sports and politics. For example, when someone fumbles the ball in a football game, a viewer could say that they knew that was going to happen. Did they really know that was going to happen, or did they become an example of hindsight bias? Chances are, the answer is of the latter. Another example of hindsight bias is exemplified when viewers see a commercial or advertisement for a product. If you have found yourself looking at a product and thinking, "I could have thought of something like that a long time ago", then you have fallen victim to hindsight bias. Often times, I see products at the store or see an advertisement that are so simple and useful and say to myself, "I could have invented that!" However, I never really would have thought to invent such an item before seeing that product or advertisement. The question is this: What are other examples of hindsight bias in everyday life? And how often do you believe we fall victim to this theory?...
  • Commented on Taste & Smell
    Interesting questions at the end of your post. I feel like people with food addictions would not, in fact, have stronger olfactory and gustatory perception because it brings up the question: Wouldn't people who sense more smells and tastes also...
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from lachx016


Not following anyone

About This Page

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