user-pic

palo0055

  • Posted Psychology and Critical Thinking to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    I've always been a bit skeptical when I see stories in the media about studies and new findings in science. I think that it's important to really evaluate a claim before you believe or accept the findings, and through the principles of critical thinking have really played a role in my ability to evaluate those reports featured in the news. I've realized that once I see something on the nightly news, like a claim that ice cream sales increase robberies, for example, I start to think of other reasons to justify the claim. Ruling out rival hypotheses. What else could attribute to this? Or when I see other stories, I think...hmm, Correlation vs. Causation? Or do the findings back this extraordinary claim? Has this study been falsified? Has it been replicated with similar results? Is this the simplest explanation given to us? I react with some critical thinking principle when hearing claims like those because we really shouldn't believe everything we hear. I think that many people believe things and go along with ideas just because it's presented to us through some "authority" like the news. They don't think it over, they're not skeptical enough. There are many debates going on that could be resolved by doing a little critical thinking...like the issue of arsenic in apple juice. Many scientists don't believe this claim, as I've read. Or how vaccines can cause autism. What are some other reasons this could happen? Think about it. The principles of critical thinking can be applied to many situations. We shouldn't just follow blindly and believe information presented to us. A little thinking goes a long way....
  • Posted Meet the love of your life...online. to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Chances are, you haven't used eHarmony or match.com to find a significant other...at least, not yet. Some online dating sites have users take "personality assessments" in order to find potential partners rather than browsing for people themselves. eHarmony makes users take a 258-question personality assessment and uses those results to find potential partners. Chemistry.com uses algorithms to "match people on 29 'core traits,' like social style or emotional temperament, and 'vital attributes' like relationship skills". But does it work? Does using "secret" algorithms and personality tests really work? Can these methods really help you find The One? eHarmony has the data and resources to conduct cutting-edge research--from its fees and well-known success. But the company has yet to prove that its methods work. "It has started a longitudinal study comparing eHarmony couples with a control group, and Dr. Buckwalter says it is committed to publishing peer-reviewed research, but not the details of its algorithm." Obviously, not publishing their secrets allow for much scientific criticism. What other factors contribute to the success? Or hinder it? What kind of personality test is used? How do they factor in error--such as people lying in order to match with "better" partners? And what exactly is in those algorithms? Researchers know that their findings can't be taken seriously if they aren't released and peer reviewed. It's important to take the findings lightly. Chemistry.com was even under fire for running ads saying that they've discovered the "new science of attraction." Researchers working with eHarmony have found one thing, though. "Researchers who studied online dating found that the customers typically ended up going out with fewer than 1 percent of the people whose profiles they studied, and that those dates often ended up being huge letdowns." There really is no easy way to find love. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/science/29tier.html...
  • Posted Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Education to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Which is better...motivating ourselves to learn simply for the benefits that learning provides, or motivating ourselves to learn because of the positive outcomes of furthering our education? The answer isn't a simple one. Does one "type" of motivation overrule the other? Especially as college students, we should ask ourselves why we're really here. What motivates us to be here? Going to college was a choice, a privilege. Did we choose to go because we simply love learning and want to gain more knowledge? Because we find enjoyment in learning or want to master something and learn new skills? That's our intrinsic motivation. Or were there other factors driving us? Perhaps the possible job prospects after receiving a college degree, using that degree to enter higher levels of education, or maybe you just felt that it was the next "logical" step in your life. That's all extrinsic. But what happens when you're no longer motivated extrinsically? You lose interest, because there's nothing to gain for YOU. Many educators across America believe that while a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is good for students, it should really be intrinsic motivation driving students in school. Because once the reward of good grades or other accolades is gone, what else will drive the students? According to an article about educators and motivation, "Students' intrinsic motivation is enhanced when practices promote their sense of personal autonomy, when schoolwork is challenging and relevant to students...Practices that promote these environmental characteristics include providing students with choices among activities and between ways of completing tasks, encouraging students to explore and pursue their interests, building on their backgrounds and prior experiences in constructing tasks, encouraging them to collaborate, incorporating fantasy in activities..." It's also implied that students who are intrinsically motivated tend to "burn out" less because of other motivations besides grades and approval. So ask yourself while you're finishing a paper at 3 am or studying for a mid-term...WHY are you doing this? Why is this important to you? WHAT is driving you? I think figuring out why we're motivated to do what we do can really change our outlook on our education and other aspects of our lives as well. Source: http://www.education.com/reference/article/intrinsic-and-extrinsic-motivation/...
  • Posted Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Education to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Which is better...motivating ourselves to learn simply for the benefits that learning provides, or motivating ourselves to learn because of the positive outcomes of furthering our education? The answer isn't a simple one. Does one "type" of motivation overrule the other? Especially as college students, we should ask ourselves why we're really here. What motivates us to be here? Going to college was a choice, a privilege. Did we choose to go because we simply love learning and want to gain more knowledge? Because we find enjoyment in learning or want to master something and learn new skills? That's our intrinsic motivation. Or were there other factors driving us? Perhaps the possible job prospects after receiving a college degree, using that degree to enter higher levels of education, or maybe you just felt that it was the next "logical" step in your life. That's all extrinsic. But what happens when you're no longer motivated extrinsically? You lose interest, because there's nothing to gain for YOU. Many educators across America believe that while a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is good for students, it should really be intrinsic motivation driving students in school. Because once the reward of good grades or other accolades is gone, what else will drive the students? According to an article about educators and motivation, "Students' intrinsic motivation is enhanced when practices promote their sense of personal autonomy, when schoolwork is challenging and relevant to students...Practices that promote these environmental characteristics include providing students with choices among activities and between ways of completing tasks, encouraging students to explore and pursue their interests, building on their backgrounds and prior experiences in constructing tasks, encouraging them to collaborate, incorporating fantasy in activities..." It's also implied that students who are intrinsically motivated tend to "burn out" less because of other motivations besides grades and approval. So ask yourself while you're finishing a paper at 3 am or studying for a mid-term...WHY are you doing this? Why is this important to you? WHAT is driving you? I think figuring out why we're motivated to do what we do can really change our outlook on our education and other aspects of our lives as well....
  • Posted Eidetic Memory...is it real? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    We learned in the Memory chapter about persons with exceptional memories, like those with eidetic memories or echoic memories. One of my favorite shows, Psych, features a main character with an eidetic memory who uses this characteristic to his advantage in solving crimes. He claims to be a psychic and uses his memory to solve the crimes with his "psychic abilities". It's a very funny and clever show, if you haven't seen it, go watch it. Another show that I love, Criminal Minds, also has a character with an eidetic memory. Fictional Dr. Spencer Reid uses his memory of things he's read or seen to help solve the crimes. I'm really curious about the whole concept of eidetic memory. From Wikipedia and our textbook, it's defined as "the ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with extreme precision and in abundant volume." With such an extraordinary claim, it really should be backed up. I'm just baffled on how this is even possible. I think I have a pretty good memory, and I know that during tests I can recall whole pages in my notebook or textbook about the information being tested--it's not super precise, but does that mean that I can have a semi-eidetic memory? Or is my memory just really good? How is a person classified as having an eidetic memory? I looked it up and found some interesting information. Wikipedia says, "there are distinct differences in the manner in which information is processed. People who have a generally capable memory often use mnemonic devices to retain information while those with eidetic memory remember very specific details, such as where a person was standing, what the person was wearing, etc. They may recall an event with greater detail while those with a different memory remember daily routines rather than specific details that may have interrupted a routine..." Interesting. I read on and found that this topic is still a subject of skepticism. Many psychologists have conducted studies testing eidetic memory and have found different results. I don't know what to believe. Could good memories just be a result of rehearsal or repeated exposure? Strong attention to detail? There are many claims, and with every extraordinary claims there has to be sufficient evidence to back it up. From what I've read, as of 2008, no one has been able to claim long-term eidetic memory in a scientific setting. So until then, I'll just enjoy the antics of Shawn Spencer on Psych and the drama on Criminal Minds. Source: Lilienfield textbook, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eidetic_memory...
  • Favorited Easily embarrassed = Trustworthy. Huh? on Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
  • Commented on FBI agents jobs just got a little bit easier for solving crimes... Or did it?
    I've also seen that episode of Criminal Minds and other crime shows in which they conduct hypnosis to remember statements and remember the crime scenes. I don't believe in this at all because I think that people might say things...
  • Posted Perception: First impressions to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, and P&G recently unveiled the results of a study they conducted about perceived trustworthiness, competence, and likability. In the study, 149 adults were shown images of 25 women wearing various "stages" of makeup. A professional makeup artist applied makeup to the women, with "natural" and no makeup, "professional", and "glamorous". The images were flashed for 250 milliseconds to one group subjects and asked about first impressions, and another group was shown the images for a longer length of time and asked whether they would hire the woman and whether she would be competent. In both groups, the subjects rated the women wearing makeup higher approval compared to the bare-faced women. Apparently, this was the first study ever done to explore the long-standing belief that attractive people are more successful in their careers and are more successful in getting jobs. "For the first time, we have found that applying makeup has an effect beyond increasing attractiveness - it impacts first impressions and overall judgments of perceived likeability, trustworthiness, and competence," said Nancy Etcoff PhD. While I think that part of the study was to research better ways to effectively market cosmetics, it definitely touches into perception. From what I read, the study only explored the surface of the issue--they did find that people find makeup-wearers more attractive, but I want to know why. Since this is the first study ever done, there could be many other explanations. Such as why does someone who is makeup free appear to be incompetent? The study didn't seem to answer that. It has been said that humans are wired to be drawn to more attractive people because of evolution and such--but how does this factor into job search? That wasn't explored either. Ruling out rival hypotheses is really important when considering this study. People have different tastes and preferences when it comes to makeup on women, too. Does every employer share the same tastes? Speaking of which, maybe they should've gotten their sample from a group of hiring managers if that's part of the reason why they conducted the study. Hmm... So like with any study, people shouldn't just jump to conclusions--women shouldn't just go out and buy lots of P&G makeup because of the results. Source: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/52087-p-g-harvard-study-reveals-cosmetics-alter-instinctual-perception...
  • Posted Easily embarrassed = Trustworthy. Huh? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    I came upon this article on ScienceDaily.com, about how people who are easily embarrassed are more likely to be trusted. Really? Personally, I don't believe this because I think that if you're easily embarrassed, you may not have that much confidence...and if you're not too confident about yourself and/or what you believe in, how am I going to trust you? I do think that if you get embarrassed easily, it just goes to show that you're human and I can relate to you easily. But my question is, what did the researchers mean by "trust"? I don't think that they shared embarrassing stories and did "trust falls". The study, which as conducted at UC-Berkeley involved "a series of experiments that used video testimonials, economic trust games, and surveys to gauge the relationship between embarrassment and pro-sociality" that involved college students and Craigslist users. In the survey portion, Craigslist users were the subjects, which is good because it was random selection. Like the college students, they were asked about times they felt embarrassed and they played some games. One of the games involved participants giving each other tickets or keeping them for themselves--the researchers found, with both the Craigslist group and the college kids, that the people whose stories were more embarrassing ended up giving away more of their raffle tickets. The article states that the researchers concluded that the more embarrassed people were more generous, hence more trustworthy. But what about other factors? Could they have just given tickets for the heck of it? Maybe they're just more generous people, regardless of being easily embarrassed. The same applies to the college kids' group. I'm sure the researchers thought about this, but it wasn't mentioned in the article. There could be lurking variables that weren't addressed in the design of the experiment, and it's things like that that really affect the outcome of an experiment. Also, I want to question the reliability of the experiment. They only performed that portion twice, and I don't think that their results could be consistent enough after 2 trials. Plus, were they comparing the two? Or just using them as trials? That is unclear. Another part of the experiment was that a trained actor received news and had to respond with either embarrassment or pride. The trust the participants had in that person was "measured" through games. I don't really know how that worked, but the results from this portion don't seem very trustworthy to me. I think that this experiment overall relied too much on anecdotal evidence, one of the warning signs of pseudoscience. I also think that there are still too many unanswered questions that the study did not address. For example, why are the easily embarrassed more trustworthy? Their experiment just found this occurrence but did not answer why. I believe that if replicated, the study would yield different results. They only did it with 2 groups and I don't trust the results. That principle is especially significant in evaluating this study,...
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from palo0055

Following

Not following anyone

About This Page

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