• Posted What is Memory? to Psychology 1001 S23, Sp2012
    In Chapter 7, the main topic of discussion is "memory". Throughout history, there have been many different ideas of how memory exactly works. Memory has been said to work like such things as a wax tablet, a cage full of...
  • Posted Critical Thinking to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The one concept that I know will stick with me throughout the rest of my life is the basic framework for scientific thinking. I believe that it is important to evaluate claims from multiple views before you choose whether or not to believe them. They are important because scientific thinking is a set of skills for overcoming our own biases. In all forms of media, we will hear about studies and new findings in science about the correlations of such and such. This is just one example of when scientific thinking will help me out in my daily life. I will think if different reasons that could help to justify the claim. Using "ruling out rival hypotheses", I would think what else could attribute to this? Other ways of scientific thinking include remembering that correlation isn't causation, and asking questions such as; Is there extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims? Has this study been falsified or replicated with similar results? And has the simplest explanation given to us? When I think back to when I was younger and I became briefly interested in conspiracy theories, I realize that if I had known how to think scientifically, I would have realized that many conspiracy theories have ridiculous coincidences and are backed by very little evidence. This just shows that just because something sounds plausible doesn't mean that we can believe it blindly. If not for scientific thinking, we would be nowhere....
  • Commented on High Stakes Testing and Standardized Tests This is the right video, it explains standardized testing, high stakes testing, and the no child left behind act. I seriously have no idea what the other video is. Frankly it's really creepy....
  • Posted High Stakes Testing and Standardized Tests to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011 The usage of standardized testing in the process of college admissions has always been a source for debate. Critics say that standardized tests reward the ability to quickly answer superficial questions that do not actually require any real thought; in other words, they do not measure the ability to think or create in any field. Since I have taken these tests myself, I can attest to the questions requiring hardly any real thinking. Also, according to the text, the correlation between admission test scores and grades in college are usually below 0.5. Others argue that the tests are hardly even objective. The only objective part of standardized tests is when machines do the scoring. What items to include on the test, the wording and content, how the test is administered, amongst other things are all decisions made by subjective human beings. I do not think that standardized test scores should be such huge indicators of someone's intelligence. As Howard Gardner suggests, intelligence comes in many different forms. I believe that high stakes testing is not helpful, and that the no child left behind act is bologna. Ultimately, I believe there are better ways to evaluate people's overall intelligence....
  • Posted Is a child's memory more reliable than an adult's? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    A false memory is a fabrication or warped recollection of an event that someone may believe happened, but in reality never happened. People think of memory as a video recorder, which accurately records everything. However, memory is very susceptible to fallacy. People who are completely confident that their memory is accurate could be fooling themselves. Interestingly enough, according to two researchers, adults are more prone to this than children. Valerie Reyna, human development professor, and Chuck Brainerd, human development and law school professor; argue that memories are captured and recorded separately and differently in two distinct parts of the mind; much like the two-headed Roman god Janus These two hypothesize that children depend more heavily on a part of the mind that records "what actually happened," while adults use the other part of the mind that records, "the meaning of what happened." Such a difference results in adults being more susceptible to false memories than children. "Because children have fewer meaning-based experience records, they are less likely to form false memories," says Reyna. "But the law assumes children are more susceptible to false memories than adults." Their research shows that children are less likely to produce false memories than adults, and are more likely to give accurate testimony when properly questioned. The finding doesn't exactly square with current legal tenets, and may cause many problems in future legal proceedings.
  • Posted The Magic Number 7 to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    During the last lecture, we learned about memory and just how complex it is. I feel that as we have been learning about new things in class, we have been debunking myths surrounding these topics. This made me want to look up myths surrounding memory, and one of the ones that I found was mentioned in the last lecture. According to , the magic of 7 items (plus or minus 2) is a myth that came from a very good, but incorrect, theory by a famous psychologist named George A. Miller is just a myth. The magic number 7 is one of the most highly cited papers in psychology. George A. Miller, of Princeton University's Department of Psychology published it in 1956 in Psychological Review. It theorizes that the number of objects that an average human can hold in their working memory is 7 +/- 2. More recent research has shown that the magic number 7 is not only based upon a misinterpretation of Miller's essay, but that the actual number of objects that can be held in the working memory is around three or four. The research revealed that span depends on the category of "chunks" used, and also features of these chunks within categories. For example, compare remembering a list of 7 things and a similar list split into categories. This could be 7 animals in one list and 2 birds, 2 cats, and 3 dogs in the other list. The second list is easier to remember....
  • Posted #2 Hypnosis to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    At my high school senior lock in, a hypnotist performed in front of us and used our own classmates as test subjects. Some responded well and others did not; all in all it was quite entertaining and proved to be what I expected of hypnosis. Hypnosis has always peaked my interest, although I've never known that much about it until I had read the psychology book. It is defined as a set of techniques that provides people with suggestions for alterations in their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. An induction method is used to increase people's suggestibility, which often includes suggestions for relaxation and calmness. Prior to reading the text, I had believed in nearly all of the myths that I read about in the book. These are all preconceived notions that popular culture has taught us about hypnosis, yet all are untrue. I learned that hypnosis does not in fact produce a trance state in which "amazing" things happen. It all depends on how suggestive the subject is. Hypnotic phenomena are not unique. The same tricks we see in hypnosis shows can be replicated without hypnosis. Hypnosis is nothing like a sleeplike state. People who are hypnotized don't show brain waves similar to those of sleep. Hypnotized people are aware of their surroundings. Contrary to the popular idea that hypnotized people are so entranced that they forget about their surroundings, some people can recall whole telephone conversations they overheard while hypnotized. While hypnosis shows may be more entertaining when you believe in the myths surrounding hypnosis, it is still just as interesting after learning more about it. Its wide range of clinical applications also make it worth researching more.
  • Posted Rebirthing Therapy to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Pseudoscience is a set of claims that is presented as scientific, yet does not follow a valid scientific method, nor has evidence, plausibility, and testability. It is usually characterized by vague, exaggerated claims and an over-reliance on the confirmation bias as opposed to evaluation by other experts. I have always known of pseudoscience, and I have always dismissed it as illogical and harmless. I had always thought of it as a type of for-profit, phony "science". However, after reading about the tragic case of Candace Newmaker, a 10 year old child who received pseudoscientific care for her behavioral problems in Colorado in 2000, I found out that pseudoscience can be deadly. Candace received a treatment called "rebirthing therapy" which was premised on the notion that children's behavioral problems are due to difficulties forming attachments to their parents that stem from birth. Candace's mother paid $7,000 and flew from North Carolina to Colorado to get the controversial treatment provided by Watkins and Ponder. During her rebirthing session, which was taped, the two therapists tried to simulate birth contractions. The tape showed them first wrapping Candace up in a multitude of flannel blankets. Then, instructing Candace to try to come out of her flannel "womb" and afterwards making it more difficult for her to do so. They blocked her, retied the ends of the sheets, shifted their weight around and ignored her cries for help at least 34 times. Even though Candace complained of being nauseous, needing to poop, and a lack of air, they continued the session. At one point she could be heard vomiting, and seven times she said she felt like she was dying. Once she was unwrapped, she was discovered to be blue and without a heartbeat. To think that people could do such a thing to a 10 year old child is absolutely disgusting. At least pseudoscience forces actually scientists to think so critically, as to safeguard against such drastic human errors such as this ridiculous "rebirthing therapy".
  • Posted Rebirthing Therapy to Rebirthing Therapy
    Pseudoscience is a practice that is presented as scientific, yet does not adhere to a valid scientific method, nor has evidence, plausibility, and testability. It is often characterized by vague, exaggerated claims and an over-reliance on the confirmation bias as...
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