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wojta013

  • Posted Five years from now to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Five years from now, the one thing I know that I'll remember is the lessons on advertisement techniques. It seems like everywhere I look there are advertisements; some type of propaganda, trying to convince me to buy a product. It doesn't surprise me that young people see over 40,000 advertisements per year on television alone (Pediatrics Vol. 118). When we learned about classical conditioning and how it can change our behavior, it made complete sense to me that advertisers would use this technique to "teach" people that their product is the best choice. Most people have the point of view that they make informed, objective decisions when choosing a brand of shampoo, chips, or even a new car. However, after learning about classical conditioning, I think advertisements affect our decision making a lot more than we realize. We can compare an advertisement to Pavlov's salivating dog. For example, the skyblue vodka advertisement in the Lilienfeld textbook (pg. 208). In this advertisement the girl in the bathing suit is the unconditioned stimulus (or the food in the case of Pavlov's dog) because she creates an inherently enjoyable response in the viewer. This becomes associated with the conditioned stimulus, skyblue vodka, and eventally the same enjoyable response is associated with both stimuli. If consumers have an enjoyable feeling associated with a product they are mich more likely to buy it, even if they attribute this bahavior to something else, like the quality of the product. There are so many products available to consumers now, how do people decide which ones to buy? I am now aware of, and will remember in the future, the reason that certain advertisements are so effective....
  • Posted Mirror mirror on the wall to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Do you have the experience that the image of yourselves in the mirror is more attractive than the image we appear in photographs? That's an example of mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effect is the phenomenon in which repeated exposure to a stimulus makes us more likely to feel favorably toward it. From the example above, as we may see ourselves in the mirror every day, we are more familiar with the image of ourselves in the mirror, so we prefer to see the image in the mirror. Obviously, the companies always wish to apply the mere exposure effect in their advertisements and it enables the consumer to buy their products more. But the mere exposure effect does not always work on advertisements, sometimes high level of media exposure will let people become unfavorable. The following video is a TV advertisement during Olympics sport competition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2dI6dQzqYo This advertisement just repeats the name of its brand 12 times without anything else. Nearly all the audiences feel boring and disgusting when watched this advertisement. Finally, this advertisement has been banned by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television of China. As it mentioned in textbook, "The more frequently we encounter a stimulus without anything bad happening, the more comfortable we feel in its presence." Because when audience watched the advertisement, they arouse some negative feelings, the repeated exposure cannot make consumer become favorably toward it. In my respect, novel advertisements which people are unfamiliar with are more attractive and easier to apply the mere exposure effect. And there may exist an ideal level of exposure that nobody become unfavorably toward the advertisement. That's just kind of idealization....
  • Posted Are violent video games bad? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Are violent video games bad? Do they cause aggression, or help vent stress in an way in which nobody is harmed? Growing up brings on a slew of emotions and stress that young teenagers have to learn to cope with. The argument states the very interesting point that violence in video games can help children deal with certain emotions that could be harmful to others if they were dealt with in other ways. Think of a child who is angry at a fellow classmate. Wouldn't it be better if he/she deals with this anger by playing a game in a virtual world were the emotion is released on a virtual character, rather than engaging in a physical fight with the classmate? In this scenario, both parties win and nobody is hurt. The counter point to this argument that is brought up is the fact that children who do not posses violent behaviors can pick them up through video games and then engage in real life violence. While this could be possible in some, I personally think that it is more beneficial to let the children who already have the emotions of anger or violence take it out in a way that does not harm anyone, rather than focus on the few children who cannot differentiate reality versus video games. Another interesting point brought up in this panel is the idea that children not only are able to deal with the emotion, but learn to vent it and become a master of it. Think of growing up in the middle school and high school years. There are many things being learned, and how to deal with emotion is one of them. By finding ways to positively express these new and powerful emotions, the child masters it and has ways to deal with them in the future. I believe that is a very positive thing that is not considered much in the debate on violent video games. If one is able to master a way to deal with anger by sitting down and playing video games, then the child is not participating in other negative activities that can lead to even more negative activities in the future. By learning to deal with sadness and down days by playing video games, the child is avoiding self destructive behavior that could occur as they get older such as smoking cigarettes and taking it out on other people. There may be other ways that children can learn how to deal with emotions, but I feel like video games are a good way for some children to take out emotions in a positive or neutral way. Everyone has their own stance on the subject and may feel like these ideas are only selective to only a portion of those who play video games, but there is no right answer to this debate as everyone differs in the way they react to violence in video games....
  • Posted Need help remembering important information? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Mnemonic devices are a type of memory aid. They are a way of encoding information in an easy to remember construct. There are many different types of Mnemonic devices, and they can be used to remember anything. Some examples include: acronyms, acrostic, method of Loci, and the peg system. Acronyms are made up of taking the first letter of each word or phrase you are trying to remember and making a new word from those letters. An example of this would be, NEWS. NEWS is an acronym for the directions on a compass; north, east, west, south. Acrostics are created by making a full sentence using the first letter of each word as indicators for the words you are trying to remember. An example of an acrostic would be, "My very energetic mother just served us nine pizzas." This acrostic is used to remember the planets. The method of Loci uses visualization of places to recall information. An example of this would be linking something you want to remember with a location you know well. This place will later cue you what you needed to remember. The peg system is a mnemonic device used commonly to memorize lists of things. An example of this would be remembering 1 and gun, later associating the first thing on a list fired from a gun. Second, remembering 2 and zoo, associating the second thing on a list and a zoo. This can go on and on. As I said before, mnemonic devices can be used to remember anything. I have personally used mnemonic devices as a short cut to recall things my entire life. One very recent example where I used a mnemonic device was in my psychology class in order to remember the six principles of scientific thinking. The sentence I used to remember them on the test was: "Rival causes falsify repeated claims (Mr.) Occam." I have found that mnemonic devices are a very important type of memory aid. They may not help you understand the material you are studying, but they do help you remember key words or phrases quickly and easily. Here is an example of an acrostic mnemonic device used to remember the order in which to solve a multi step mathematical equation: PIC001...
  • Commented on Effective Use of Gestalt Principles
    I found this topic to be very interesting as well because it has to do with things that we experience in our every day life. Often times people can go their whole lives without realizing the effects that the Gestalt...
  • Posted Narcolepsy to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder often identified by an excessive urge to sleep at inconvenient and inappropriate times. Work, school, while showering, and while driving are just a few examples of when this disease can click in and begin to affect the victim's life in a negative way (and others' lifes too). Not only can it be embarrassing for this to happen in the first place, but it often makes it even harder for the individual when the sleep lasts more than a couple seconds. Narcolepsy has been known to make the victim fall asleep for a few seconds, a few minutes, or even a few hours at a time. While being affected by this disorder, one will often experience something called cataplexy which causes complete and total loss of muscle tone (causing them to fall to the ground). This is most common to happen for people with Narcolepsy when engaging in activities that cause strong emotions to emerge such as laughing or engaging in sexual intercourse. Cataplexy is a daily occurrence to most people on a daily basis while in REM sleep, however in those cases the person being affected is unconscious and also laying down for support, preventing them from falling to the ground. When a Narcoleptic patient is affected by cataplexy they often fall into REM sleep immediately. Some of the common causes of Narcolepsy are genetic abnormalities, or a severe accident of some sort that results in brain damage. Within the brain there are certain cells that create a hormone called orexin, which is one of the main triggers for the sudden sleepiness. People affected by Narcolepsy are often treated with medications that either replace this hormone or mimic it in some way that has equal results that minimize the amounts of sleep attacks throughout daily life. These medications help victims live mostly normal lives again, resulting is happier patients overall. Link to view the effects of Narcolepsy in a puppy: http://youtu.be/wN1_yS6_5T4 Samantha Wojta...
  • Posted Optical Illusions to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    In chapter 4, we learned about illusions and how the brain can be tricked in seeing something that is not actually there. An optical illusion is textbook-defined as an "image that differs from virtual reality". This is exactly what Julian Beever does for a living. He is a sidewalk chalk artist who has been working all over the world to draw breathtaking optical illusions for almost 20 years. He has worked in the UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Denmark, the USA and Australia. He uses a process called anamorphosis to create his drawings. Anamorphosis is basically another way of saying that his drawings are only recognizable from one exact angle. Take a look at this example: XXXXX Now, here is a picture of that same drawing from the wrong angle: XXXXX This type of sidewalk art is becoming more and more popular all over the world, even right on campus! A few days ago, I noticed a man drawing an optical illusion just like Beevers right outside of Coffman Memorial Union (seeing this drawing is what gave me the idea to write this blog post). He was drawing a picture of the Minneapolis skyline, but just by walking by you would have a hard time telling what the picture was of, unless you looked at it from just the right angle. Our brains are easily tricked by this phenomenon because, as we learned from our textbooks, our perception keeps our brain from seeing the reality of what is there. When we look at the above example, we see a swimming pool in the middle of the ground. Obviously, there is no swimming pool; it's just a drawing. We interpret what we see as a three dimensional image when in reality it is only two dimensional. To find out more about Julius Beever and 3d sidewalk chalk drawings, simple google "sidewalk chalk optical illusion" or visit www.juliusbeever.net. -Samantha Wojta...
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