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larwa002

  • Posted Correlation vs. Causation to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Five years from now, and for the rest of my life for that matter, I will be incorporating the concept of correlation and causation into my everyday life. As I have matured as a psychologist, I have discovered the importance to identify when correlation does not necessarily mean causation. You do not have to look hard in your day-to-day adventures to find an event where just because two things may appear to be related to one another, it does not mean one caused the other to occur. Five years from now I am hoping to be working in finance at a large corporation or in the midst of starting my own business, both of which will require many difficult decisions regarding how to spend money. For example, I cannot simply assume that because my company or the company I am working for has a good month of June that the month of June is directly correlated with good profits and therefor we should increase spending and inventory during all June months. There are many third variables that may have come into play. Maybe a new product was released, or maybe the economy was on a rise, neither of which has to do with the month of June. Because of my psychology class I realize this, and I will now be more careful and aware of this common fallacy....
  • Posted How Old Are They? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    As we read in the textbook, chronological age doesn't necessarily forecast the behavioral or biological changes that accompany aging. My grandparents are living examples of this. Given the way they act, communicate, and live one would assume them to be a good 15 years younger than their chronological age would indicate. Lets look at some other ways to measure their age. According to the doctors, my grandparents are as healthy as 70-year-olds can be. They regularly take their required vitamins, have a diet that would seem to come straight from Oprah, and are careful with everything they do. Their biological age, or age in terms of biological functioning, is well below their chronological age. Next, lets look at psychological age, or their mental attitudes and agility. For the nearly twenty years I have known my grandparents, there is not one change I have noticed in terms of their attitudes or ability to learn. They are more willing than ever to learn new things. Every year they vacation somewhere extravagant, where they bring back lots of memories and newly learned facts about the place they went to. For example, last year they went to Hawaii for a month, and it took hours for them to tell us everything they did and learned. Functional age refers to a person's ability to function in given roles in society. This is a touchy subject for my grandfather, as he was recently forced into retirement from IBM, not for his lack of functioning skills, but because of the hard economic times. If it were up to my grandpa, he would be working until he could work no more. Social age refers to whether people behave in accord with the social behaviors appropriate for their age. My grandma's social age does not respond to her chronological age what so ever. If you went to her house right now she is probably sitting in designer clothes commenting on people's Facebook statuses; not something you would expect from a 70 year-old. With all that being said, I completely agree that there are various ways of measuring age other than chronological age that capture the impact of changes in later life. I think people often stereotype grandparents or people in their later years as individuals unable to perform everyday functions and keep up with the younger generations. My grandparents prove this to be nothing more than a stereotype....
  • Posted What is a traditional family? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    It is evident that the traditional family has had some major transformations over the recent years. The video above shares interesting facts on the changing family of today. Irma Zandl from the video states, "There are 30% fewer 30-40 year olds married today than were in the 70s. Marriage and parenthood are also drifting apart, with only four in ten births in this country to married women." I found these statistics very interesting because these changes directly affect the environment in which children are growing up. So how exactly have these changes affected children? Lucky for me I have learned all about this in my exceptionally informational psychology class. First of all, the absence of a father would have a large impact since the role of a father is very important. Fathers often engage in more physical play than mothers, which is great when developing a child. Also, boys and girls tend to choose their fathers over mothers as playmate. According to the video, six in ten children are born without a father, who is the figure children look to when wanting to play. According to our psychology book on page 389, "Children benefit from warm, close relationships with their father regardless of how much time they spend with him." We have also learned that children from single-parent families have more behavior problems, such as aggression and impulsivity, than do children from two parent families. "There risk for crime is about seven times higher than for children in two-parent families" (Lilienfeld 390). Although we are given this information, it only shows a correlation. We cannot simply say that single mothers cause children to be aggressive or be criminals. However, from the statistics provided in the video about the changes occurring in family structure, we can observe and hypothesize the affects these changes can have on children....
  • Posted Narcoleptic Poodle to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    While discussing our consciousness in Psychology, we talked about sleep and the various disorders associated with sleep. These disorders consisted of insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, night terrors, and sleepwalking. The one that especially stuck out me was narcolepsy. As we learned, narcolepsy is a disorder in which people or animals experience episodes of sudden sleep lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Normally, people don't enter REM sleep, the stage of sleep where the brain is most active and dreaming often occurs, for more than an hour after they fall asleep. This is not the case for those who experience narcolepsy, who enter REM sleep as soon as they doze off. Talking about this disorder in class reminded me of a video someone showed me a few years back of a narcoleptic dog. Although at first the video below may come off as funny, it shows how terrible this disorder can be. It appears the dog in the video, named Skeeter, is experiencing cataplexy, which is a complete loss of muscle control. According to the book, people and animals with narcolepsy can experience cataplexy when they become excited. This makes it extremely hard for Skeeter to enjoy the things every dog should, such as running, playing, and eating. It is also very dangerous, as dogs cannot be watched at all times, but an episode of narcolepsy can hit at any time. I was left wondering how the dog could ever get the chance to experience a full day without being interfered by narcolepsy. After doing some research, I found that the answer is somewhere in between. While narcolepsy cannot completely be cured, there are ways to minimize its symptoms. This can be done with oral administration of tricyclic antidepressants. Although narcolepsy is not directly harmful to Sceeter, it is indirectly harming his life by taking away his excitement....
  • Posted Effective Use of Gestalt Principles to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    In the early twentieth century a school of thought arose in Germany that explored how people organize visual information into patterns and forms. This school of thought was known as Gestalt psychology. Gestalt psychologists described several principles people use to make sense of what they see. These principles include figure and ground, proximity, closure, similarity, continuity, and simplicity. Today, companies have mastered these principles and heavily incorporate them into their advertising. Gestalt principles keep the logos interesting and tend to catch peoples attention. Many of the logos and ads you see everyday consist at least one of the Gestalt principles. I will explore many of the principles and find real life examples of advertising applications that apply to each. Figure and Ground: People often divide visual information into figure and ground. Figure is what stands out, while ground is the background. This effect is used in one of the Macintosh logos. As you see below, the logo can be viewed as a regular happy face and as a happy face in profile looking at a computer screen. Proximity: When people see objects that lie close together, they often perceive the objects as a group. In 2002 the MTV European Music Awards used an ad that demonstrated the law of proximity. We perceive the two logos in the top left as a group and the logos of the sponsors in the bottom right as a group. The white space and the proximity of the logos indicate that the logos are meant to be groups, without MTV needing to identify it. Closure: People tend to complete objects that are in fact incomplete by filling in gaps. The IBM logo is actually only blue lines of different length, but we perceive the letters I, B, and M. Similarity: People tend to group similar objects together. The company Lega-Lega used this principle in their website design. They use the orange color for all the icons at the top right of the webpage so that people group the icons together. Symmetry: When we perceive objects we tend to perceive them as symmetrical shapes that form around their center. When we see two unconnected objects that are symmetrical, we unconsciously see them as one object. Since the U's are symmetrical to one another, we automatically group each U with the one it is next to, leaving us with four objects rather than eight....
  • Posted That Can't be Right. Can it? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The emotional reasoning fallacy is the act of disregarding scientific claims that contradict or oppose our current beliefs. This logical fallacy tends to be very popular because nobody wants to hear claims that give them negative emotions. It is important to be aware of this fallacy and to avoid it at all costs, as not doing so may lead to unwanted results. I have found myself to be a victim to the emotional reasoning fallacy in many instances. I find it much easier to completely reject a statement or proven claim rather than change my current ideals, as i can be quite ignorant at times. Last year while playing soccer i began experiencing extreme pain in my foot every time i stepped onto the field. I figured i had just bruised my foot, and that the pain would be gone soon enough. Well, this thinking went on for days so i decided to get it checked out. After getting it examined, the school trainer told me i could not play, and that if i continued putting that kind of pressure on my foot it could fracture. The words that came out of the trainers mouth were hidden behind my ego, and i disregarded everything she said. Sure enough, less than a week later i was in the hospital for surgery. After this incident i became much more aware of this fallacy, and i do all i can to avoid it. It is amazing how many people overlook proven claims because they do not want to change their current beliefs and do not want to accept the truth. It would be interesting to know how many severe injuries in sports are a direct result of the emotional reasoning fallacy....
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