Five years from now I hope will remember many concepts in psychology, but I think the most memorable concept is think critically on everything I experience. Because until I read this psychology text book, I barely had can think critically on the information I get from the media or anything I experience. When I read an article or the news paper I pretty much always believed everything because that information is from the news paper and news paper never put untrue information. Therefore, when there is news about some kind new research I just believed that it is always true, and there is no doubt about that. But, after critical thinking I started to ask question about every information or experience I have. For example, now when I read article about some kind new experiment, I start ask question about it. Such as how many times did this experiment success or is there any other explanation for this experiment. Critical thinking made me see new side of the world. Therefore, five years from now critical thinking is the concept in psychology that I will never forget.
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There are many ways to train the animal, but in Chapter 6, it talks about Operant Conditioning that is used in animal training. Many people train their pets using method that was invented by B.F. Skinner. However, many people don't know who is B.F. Skinner is or why this training technique is working. He did many experiments with animals using operant conditioning procedure such as pigeon, rat or dog. B.F. Skinner's method is still using in many situation to train animals. For example, one of well used method is call method of successive approximations. On this video, it shows how train the parrot using this method. Basically, this method is when a parrot or other animal do the specific behavior that trainer asked to then they get a reward. However, using this method trainer can result to do other complex behaviors such as playing basketball or shaking hand. The animals perform at a circus, zoo, or aquarium are trained using this method of successive approximations one of the example of Operant Conditioning. It was very interesting that this simple way can make animals to do complex tricks or behave. Although, I got curious that is this is the easiest and simplest way to train the animals? Or there is no other influence using this method?
For the most part, the nature vs. nurture debate is settled. Most people agree that it's a bit of both. However one area that this debate still rages on is under the topic of homosexuality. It has captured peoples' attention because of the political debates over whether or not homosexuality is a choice. This article from the Boston Globe looks at a set of identical twin boys. One of them is traditionally masculine and one of them is gay and feminine. The article is interesting because they are identical, but not both are gay, so it seems to not be genetic. Yet, on the other hand the gay child has been more feminine since before he could talk. These brothers however are just one case. The article does discuss other research that has been done, and all that research seems to point to the theory that homosexuality is at least partially genetic.
As I personally do believe homosexuality is genetic, I do not find these results surprising. Although to avoid confirmation bias I admit that no one has attempted to replicate (as far as I know) these studies. Yet, many different research methods have been employed, and all seem to be pointing towards the same thing. What is important to understand for the political debate is that whether homosexuality is eventually shown to be a product of nature, nurture, or both, 'nurture' should not be mistaken for 'choice'.
Chapter 12 deals with stress, coping, and health. The chapter will discuss how stress can emerge in a person's life, and with that, how people have different ways of coping with it. There are certain things in a person's life that can trigger stress or make it more or less easier to cope with. Since people and the lives they live are so different, there are many different factors when it comes to stress in one's life. The chapter will also focus on how to lead a healthy life. In it, several things are listed and discussed to help a person make healthy decisions, get healthy, and stay healthy. Health and Stress are related in this chapter in that if a person started to live a healthier life style, then hopefully the stress in their life will go down. This chapter ties in very well with where we are in our lives right now. Coming to college may be a stressful thing for many of us and this is also a huge transition point in our life. It is important not only to maintain healthy levels of stress, but to also take care of our bodies during this time.
Chapter 1 is all about psychology and scientific thinking. This chapter begins with that psychology is science. The book defines psychology as 'the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior'. Throughout the chapter, it breaks common misconceptions about psychology and prepares students for the following chapters. It first talks about science versus intuition and psychological pseudoscience. Examples of psychological pseudoscience are extrasensory perception (ESP), ghosts, telepathy, and astrology. Distinguishing pseudoscience is necessary because it can lead people to have scientifically unsupported treatment which can cause direct harm on them. Thus, students should think scientifically and be able to discriminate fact and fiction. Keeping six principles of scientific thinking in our mind will be helpful. Then the chapter talks about the history of psychology. It introduces how psychology has developed from past, what kinds of theories has been created, and how psychology is being applied to our life. The chapter also gives some debates that are still going on in psychology.
I think this chapter is useful because it explains basics of psychology before we actually begin studying. I was surprised by the test of popular psychology knowledge that we looked at the beginning. I did not know that all ten statements, which are widely known, are false. By reading this chapter, it helped me to build basic 'scientific mind' and perceive psychology as science like biology, physics, and chemistry.
Chapter 6 is all about learning overall. The chapter starts by introducing classical conditioning and operant conditioning where the first is to associate an involuntary response with a stimulus and the latter is to associate a voluntary behavior to a consequence to aid in learning. Then the chapter goes on to cognitive learning and how learning doesn't only rely on conditioning since we also learn by listening, watching, touching, reading or experiencing new things and process this newly acquired information in our heads. It also discusses the different ways of learning such as latent learning and observational learning and how watching others help people learn and why some models are better than others.
I found the topic about sleep-assisted learning the most interesting because numerous websites and books claim that you can learn while asleep by listening to audio recordings but I'll leave that for you to read if you are interested on how true are these claims.
Chapter 2 is all about research methods. In a science as uncertain as psychology, it is very important to make sure that the results you get from experiments are actually correct. Throughout the chapter, the authors illustrate how good research methods have been developed by analyzing past failures, such as the prefrontal lobotomy, and facilitated communication with autistic children. This is an integral part in showing us that anyone can be fooled or misled by the outcomes of an experiment, and we must consider all possible reasons that we could have achieved a certain outcome. It is because of something called heuristics that we can be fooled. Heuristics are mental shortcuts that people use to help streamline thinking, but in doing so, it is possible that crucial details can be ignored. The authors go on to discuss the best ways to gather data for different situations, such as naturalistic observation or case studies, and how to analyze our observations. One of the best ways to do this is to analyze the extent to which 2 different variables are related, and why this might occur. Overall, this chapter is useful in making sure that the hypotheses that you come up with based on your observations is what is actually occurring.
I read this chapter and it is all about stress, the ways of coping with stress, and the effects that stress has on the body(in case you couldn't tell from the title). I felt this chapter was especially important for college kids because we deal with so much stress with our classes that we need to know how to deal with it at times. I was very intrigued by this chapter, especially since when I was home for break me and my family went to a play called "Next to Normal" which is about a woman who suffers from an acute form of bipolar disease as the result of a traumatic experience in her life (I don't want to give anything away if anyone wants to see it). This chapter really made me think about what I had seen in the play and the effects that stress can have on a person who was perfectly healthy before their experience. This play also features a psychiatrist and I personally like the phrase he continues to tell the worried husband, and that is that psychiatry ,"isn't an exact science." I feel it is good to remember this because I'm sure many of us will feel we know everything about the human condition after this class but we need to understand that there are multiple exceptions to the rules and that we are really only receiving a basic understanding of those rules in this class.
The focus of Chapter 13 is social Psychology. We will learn that social psychology is the study of how people influence other behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. On Average we have about 130 good friends. We gravitate toward people due to a biologically0-based need for social interaction. In other words, most of us get lonely if we are deprived of social contact. Because of this social need, we act certain ways around others. One reason for why we choose this interaction is explained the social comparison theory. It states that we seek to evaluate our abilities and beliefs by comparing them with those of others. This helps us better understand ourselves and the social world. There are different forms of influence we receive as a result of this comparison. Conformity is the tendency of people to alter their behavior as a result of group pressure. Much conformity is due to social pressures and is no0t always a good thing. This chapter also covers attitudes and persuasion. An attitude is a belief that has an emotional component attached to it. This affects our personality and behavior. Sometimes we want to change one's attitude, so we use persuasion techniques.
This chapter teaches a few of these techniques such as the foot-in-the-door, door-in-the-face, and the low-ball.
I really enjoyed reading this chapter. I learned a lot of theories and reasoning behind why we sometimes act the way we do. Certain behaviors come out in a given environment. It was really interesting to read about our social nature as humans.
This chapter covered the research methods involved in psychology and other sciences. As is there is very little that is particularly interesting in this chapter this is one of the toughest to write on. Any scientific minded person has probably taken other science classes and learned part of and if not all of this in those previous classes. The only thing i find somewhat interesting is the necessity of the topics discussed. The scientific method is the main focus of this chapter. That is because it is the backbone of science. All experiments must be completed in compliance with this. Other topics covered included ethics and possible interference with scientific research. Examples of this are hindsight bias, the tendency to overestimate how well we could have done and overconfidence, the tendency to overestimate our ability to make correct predictions. Everything contained in this chapter must be kept in mind during scientific thinking.
Chapter five takes a look at consciousness as a whole, but I'll be focusing on dreams, more specifically, lucid dreams. A lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer becomes conscious that they are dreaming, potentially allowing them to control the dream. This has always interested me greatly, because of all the potential it holds and the liberation that comes with it. Many people share this interest with be, and the phenomena of lucid dreaming has spawned a large online community of people who share experiences they've had, as well as methods of achieving lucidity in dreams. One of said methods is to train yourself to find inconsistencies in the dream by doing reality checks. Some of these are to try to push your finger through your hand, flip a light switch and see if it turns on or off any lights, or checking the time of a clock and seeing if it changes when you look away.
Near the end of spring of 2011 I started using the methods that were recommended to me by individuals I met online, and after working at it for a few months, I remembered having around 3 lucid dreams, however all of them ended very quickly, or were even prevented, because of the shock they cause. Two of the times I was forced awake immediately after becoming lucid, and the third time I convinced myself I was inside of a video game, which was clearly the only conclusion that could be reached after my dogs were killed by the bad guys from home alone and my brother was completely unfazed.
I suppose what I'm trying to get at is that lucid dreaming is an amazing experience and if you've never experienced it you're missing out.
As a random side note, the most recommended activity to do once becoming lucid is to fly. People who have done it say that it is the most amazing experience and that they could do it for hours.
This chapter discusses the way people speak and how they put together sentences. The evolution of language is explained as well. Learning how to speak as children is one topic addressed I find interesting. Beginning with "babbling" noises to learning how to form words is described in this chapter. My niece is in the process of learning how to speak; therefor, I look forward on learning how her brain is going about it. Another fascinating topic mentioned is bilingualism. This topic strikes me particularly because my best friend is from Russia and she switches between English and Russian while speaking to her family all the time. I look forward to learning how the brain can do this. Chapter 8 also addresses the issue of trying to teach nonhuman animals the human language. Imagine if we could communicate with animals in that way. As I child, I had always wished I could converse with my cats, but unfortunately it cannot happen. I also find the topic on speed reading interesting as well. I have always felt as though I am kind of a slow reader. I have tried numerous methods on trying to speed up my reading pace, but then I find comprehending everything I read more difficult. Chapter 8 explains why this is true, which intrigues me seeing I have this problem.
A swiss psychologist named Jean Piaget was one of the first psychologist to say that children are not minature adults. He saw that they have a perfectly rational minds but their limited experience makes it difficult to see. An example that the Psychology: from inquiry to understanding book uses is that many children believe that teachers live at school because that is the only place they have seen them. See, to adults that may seem silly but if you think about it. It is perfectly rational. Piaget also says that children are often more active observers in their worlds and they constantly seek knowledge.
Chapter details the functions of the five sense organs and how the brain interprets each of them.Contrary to popular belief, there is a degree of fallibility to this process. One topic that I found interesting was the discussion on Extrasensory Perception, or ESP. When scientists tested ESP, they were unable to replicate the findings of ESP's proponents. Another thing I found interesting was that we don't need an exact picture of a face to recognize it. This is likely the reason that caricatures can serve as portraits of an individual even when they are portraits that exaggerate certain features of an individual.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes our perceptions can be deceiving. A prime example of this occurs in one's vision in the case of the moon. When the moon is closer to the horizon, it seems much bigger than when it is high in the sky. This is due to the distance, but our minds are unable to process that.
Chapter 1 is all about psychology and scientific thinking. It describes a lot of the scientific basis behind psychology and what makes it so interesting. In addition, this chapter talks about a type of science called pseudoscience. Pseudoscience is defined as a set of claims that seem to be scientific, but aren't. Examples of pseudoscience can include psychics, astrology, fortune telling, etc. It can be easy to believe many of the claims made by pseudoscience, but many it's important to recognize the difference between real science and pseudoscience. Toward the end of the chapter, we learn a little bit about the history of psychology. It describes how psychology came about and includes a brief timeline of the major events in the history of psychology. The book points out several people that have played major roles in psychological studies and what areas of psychology each person specialized in. It ends with a description of how psychology affects our everyday lives.
To me, the section on pseudoscience was most interesting. It's amazing that many of these "sciences" are so widely believed by the public. If people just took the time to search for a little bit more evidence behind certain claims that they're buying into, they would realize just how ridiculous things like fortune telling are!
Chapter 11 discusses about human emotion and motivation."what moves us?""What causes our feelings?""Our wants and needs"First of all,the textbook introduces us some theories of emotion such as discrete emotion theories,cognitive theories of emotion,James-Lange theory of emotion Cannon-Bard theory of emotion and so on.we can guess other people's emotion through their words in our daily life,but we can also see it from other's nonverbal expression including facial expressions,gestures,postures,etc.some times,we may also tell who is lying and who is not by observing and judging from people's nonverbal expression of emotion and I think it is the most interesting part in this chapter.
Second,the textbook also talks about happiness and self-esteem."What happiness is good for""What makes us happy"This part mentions about positive psychology and defensive pessimism as well as how to identify common myths and realities about happiness and self-esteem.
Third,about motivation,the textbook explains its basic principles and theories,the determinants of hunger,weight gain and obesity,the symptoms of bulimia and anorexia and so on.
Lastly,the book also teach us the principles and factors that guide attraction and relationship formation and the major types of love and the elements of love and hate.
This chapter is about consciousness, sleep and different things that can affect what happens. The first part of the chapter goes over the five different stages of sleep, and discusses the necessary processes our brain goes through during our sleep. Afterwards it gets in to different sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy which has been a topic of many comedies. Apart from sleep I particularly enjoyed the part about hypnosis. Before I had seen any hypnosis shows, I was very skeptical at what was actually happening. I've seen two shows where hypnosis has been used to date, at my high school senior party and at Coffman during welcome week. After seeing those (and laughing a LOT) I can definitely say that something is happening there and the chapter sheds some light on what is going on, as well as discussing a few of the myths associated with hypnosis. The rest of the chapter is devoted to drugs and the different things it can do to your body and mind.
Language is what separates humans from all other species on the plant. It allows us to communicate, express thoughts and form relationships. Chapter eight is all about the phenomena of language. It explains exactly what language is, how it affects our thoughts, and how it effects out reasoning. The chapter also talks about how language came about, the different components to language, and different stages of its development. I found the section on bilingualism especially interesting because I grew up in a bilingual home. It focused particularly on how children who grow up learning two languages are affected, answering questions like how does it hinder their progress in learning language and how does it affect other areas of learning; I found the information related very closely to my experiences growing up in a bilingual environment. Towards the end of the chapter the focus is shifted from the logistics of language to how to effectively use it. We all know that language is what separates us from other animals, but few people really take the time to truly understand language which is what chapter eight is all about.
Chapter 16 is all about psychology in action. It examines the ways that psychology is used as treatment to alleviate emotional suffering, and improve the wellness and quality of life of those that undergo it. It explores many different fields of psychotherapies, from interpersonal therapy (think of life-coaching) to Alcoholics Anonymous. It also examines the dynamics of psychoanalysis, and what makes an effective psychotherapist. It then delves into biomedical therapies- medical prescriptions, electrical stimulation, and surgery, and why they are a last resort.
I thought the most interesting part of the chapter was electrical stimulation. I always thought shock treatments were dangerous, medically unproven, and, more than anything, no longer used. Like many, I thought these things because of Hollywood- movies often liken shock treatments to horrific torture (SEE LINK BELOW). The chapter sheds much needed light on the fact and fiction of electroconclusive therapy, or ECT for short. Turns out Hollywood wasn't that far off. ECT is still practiced today, but only in extreme situations, and is a very last resort.
When I hear the word development, in relation to human beings, my thoughts immediately jump to physical development and how our bodies grow and change as we get older. This chapter in the book, however, reminded me just how much developing our minds do as well. What I liked most about this chapter is how in depth it went into studying what brings about these mental and physical developments and how they are different for each and every individual. One example in particular that the book uses is how all babies experience the same motor milestones in the same order, but the time it takes each baby is different depending on both the physical development of the child itself as well as environmental factors, such as parenting practices and cultural beliefs.
Another thing that this chapter brought to my attention was just how much outside influences affected our development, both physical and mental. At the beginning of the chapter a case study involving the Genain quadruplets is mentioned. These identical sisters all developed schizophrenia, but at different stages in their life. I think this is fascinating evidence of how much outside influences, be it certain events or interactions with other individuals, can affect how a person develops. I also thought that this was a strong argument for the Nurture side of the popular Nature vs. Nurture debate, because it was believed that how the sisters were treated by their mother played a very important role in when the schizophrenia developed for each sister. If our development was left entirely up to Nature, these sisters, who were genetically alike would have developed schizophrenia at the same time: instead the two sisters who received better treatment from their mother were diagnosed much later than life than the others who were not treated as well.
Chapter one of our textbook focused mainly on the reasons why psychology is difficult to define, why psychologists are required to be skeptical, and explaining the dangers of pseudoscience in the practical use of everyday psychology. All three of these points are vital in disproving pseudoscience in popular psychology. Since psychology cannot be strictly defined, there is always room for theories to be proven false--this is why psychologists must be skeptical of blossoming theories that could later prove to be pseudoscience. Although pseudoscience sometimes offers solace or quick-fix solutions to willing believers, it can also be harmful, even deadly. Here are some examples of psychics that claim to speak with departed loved ones,
when in actuality many of their claims are just generalized inferences that could apply to a variety of different audience members' lives. As you can see, a surprising number of people still believe in the "talents" of these psychics even though they often get debunked on television. These psychic mediums have no idea how they effect the lives of the people they speak to, and that's why even something as seemingly innocuous as pretending to talk to dead people could cause unintended harm.
In chapter nine the book discusses different measurements of intelligence and goes into depth about the IQ (intelligent quotient) test. This test can show us many things about the differences in IQ scores between groups of people. One interesting thing to know is the difference between the IQ score ranges between men and women. The bell shaped curve of men is wider than the distribution of women. This means that men have both more low and high scores for men while women have more scores in the middle.
An interesting person they talk about in the chapter is Chris Langan who has one of the highest IQ's in the United States. He once played on the television show "1 vs 100" and won $250,000. Surprisingly his job resume is not as impressive with him having worked as a bar bouncer, firefighter, and a farmer in Missouri. This is amazing that someone so smart would not be a doctor or use his intelligence to get a great academic career. He is an exception to the rule though and high IQ's tend to correlate with academic success which leads to higher income for people with higher IQ's.
Chapter five sets its focus on various states of consciousness. More specifically, it seems to focus on altered states of consciousness whither these modified states of mind be due to sleep cycles, hypnosis, or brain altering drugs (any depressant or stimulant really, not just the "bad" ones).
One aspect of the chapter that peeked my interest was that of not only near death experience but also simply out of body experiences. I was fully aware of such occasion as people, for example, claiming to have seen themselves being tended to in a hospital when they were medically considered dead and then returning to their body. The story of the officer leaving their body and watching themselves bring down a criminal was fascinating to me. This was simply something that stood out to me as something interesting. The more important topics concerning altered states of mind would be those that i mention at the exposition of this post.
Hypnosis was the most interesting topic in my opinion. The chapter discusses myths associated with it and from what i could tell from my looking a bit more in depth on this section was that many of these myths associated with hypnosis (such as forgetting everything that happens during hypnosis) "can occur" but is very rarely and usually due to the fact that the subject is expecting it to happen. One thing that I learn from a hypnotist I saw in the past was that, for the most part, hypnosis only succeeds if the subject is willing in most cases--in other words if one was actively attuning their mind to fighting hypnotic effects very little could be achieved by a hypnotist's efforts. This chapter will discuss hypnosis in much more depth than I feel the average student would know and I expect to find this topic particularly interesting.
The other part of the chapter, which I feel is a very important part of looking at altered states of mind, would be dreams. One of the most interesting concepts I encountered in the chapter concerning dreams was that they could essentially be used to gauge one's cognitive abilities. For example, children remember dreams on considerably fewer occasions than adults do and their dreams are much less complex. As one grows up and acquires more knowledge as life progresses their dreams gain a lot more movement and emotional context--something that many children might reasonably lack in early stages of cognitive development.
Here's a question for you. What weighs a mere three pounds and has the consistency of gelatin? You got it, that mushy thing between our ears--the brain. Previously thought in ancient times to be irrelevant to mental life, biological psychologists have come a long way in studying the relationship between the network of nerve cells, spinal chord, and magnificent brain with behavior.
Chapter 3 provides an extensive overview of neuroscience, addressing the fundamental way the brain communicates, and how the central nervous system works as a command center while the peripheral nervous system carries out messages determined by the command center. The brain is also compartmentalized such that different areas are responsible for the various functions and behaviors the body exhibits. The chapter sheds light on methods used to explore the brain and it's functioning. These methods are in the realm of familiar procedures like CT, MRI, and PET scans as well as many others.
Finally, the chapter sheds light on the origins of psychological characteristics with introducing the debate of "Nature vs. Nurture". In other words, biological scientists are interested in knowing to what extent our heredity, adaptation, and evolution impact the brain and our resulting behavior and to what extent the environment has on the formation of our behavior. To study this, scientists use family studies, twin studies, and adoption studies.
What struck me as particularly interesting was the role science has played in determining the functioning of the brain, and the popular notions about the brain it has falsified. In ancient times, the heart was perceived to be the center of human thought. It was reasoned that the heart must be causal of emotions since it was observed to beat rapidly in response to anxiety, anger, or fear. This "common sense" approach was completely off base however. Without the practice of science and demand for evidence to avoid belief perseverance and misinformed perceived notions, the developments for the discovery of the human brain and its functioning would not have occurred. I think we can all agree that at least a basic understanding of the brain is necessary since it is one of the most important organs in our body. This alone makes the case for why the demand for scientific truth is extremely important.
More recently, scans used to explore the brain today have helped scientists determine that 100% of the regions in the brain have some form of function. This drastically contradicts the common perception that humans only use 10% of our brains. The Hollywood blockbuster "Limitless" is plotted off of this generalized notion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d1Uc68wt3c) but does not have a real scientific basis.
Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, Second Edition, by Scott Lilienfeld, Steven Lynn, Laura Namy, and Nancy Woolf.
Chapter three in the psychology book goes over various topics involving our nerves, brain, and memory in correlation to how it all ties in with psychology. The chapter goes in depth with each subtopic and gives examples as well to explain why the subtopic is important in understanding psychology. An example of an important subtopic would be the brain. The human brain helps in the function of our thoughts, behavior, and feelings (Lilienfeld, 2010). Another thing that I found interesting is that each part of our brain contributes to how our mind works. For example, the cerebral cortex allows us to visually see what is in front of us. If one side was to be impaired it will affect the person's visual intake of what they are seeing (Lilienfeld, 2010). I think this is important to know because psychology focuses a lot on how the human mind works. This information is helpful for a psychologist to understand why a person may act the way they do.
This chapter, in my eyes, is mostly about unveiling misconceptions. What is the right spot for psychology in academics---Science, non-science or somewhere in between? What are the common misconceptions and pseudoscience bothering us in our everyday life? How much do we actually know about psychology? The chapter provides a detailed picture about what psychology really looks like; it is mysterious and it arouses much of my curiosity for it proves what we commonly hold true is in fact wrong. It is no different from other hard sciences as it calls for rigorous scientific thinking and follows strict scientific research methods. It is to me both boring and interesting, just like any other science subject. I think now you must be quite positive about what chapter I'm talking about. Yes, it is Chapter 1.
Usually the first chapter of a textbook is found to be the most boring; unlike the latter chapters, it is the introduction of the book and it contains little new and fun information. However, I found out in surprise that I have learned quite a lot from Chapter one in this book possibly because I simply know too little about such wonderful branch of science. What strikes me the most and also interests me the most is how largely I am trapped in daily misconceptions and how psychology could help me figure out the truth behind the deceptive surface of the world.
So, because my memory has failed me again, this will probably be one of the last blog posts of my class. It was a good thing however, that I caught the little thought of "some blog thing" crossing the back of my brain just in time for the clock to hit 7:00 PM; otherwise, the assignment of Blog Post #1 in the grade book for Psy 1001 would've taken a 0. Chapter 7: Memory-the chapter I was assigned to-was meant just for me!
Chapter 7 explains a wide variety of concepts and issues. A few of these things include the paradox of memory (how it helps and hurts us), the "Three Systems of Memory" (sensory memory, short-term memory, long-term memory), and the Three Processes of Memory. However, the topic that struck me the most within the chapter regarded the concept of amnesia; more specifically, anterograde amnesia, which is losing the capability to form new memories (Lilienfeld, 2010).
Contrary to popular belief, anterograde amnesia is actually a lot more common than its polar opposite, retrograde amnesia (losing memories of our past). The class textbook gives an example of anterograde amnesia through a man name H.M. (only his initials were known until after his death), who was suffering from epileptic seizures. His doctors performed surgery, which removed large areas of his temporal lobes to see if that would control the seizures. This surgery caused his case of anterograde amnesia (he also suffered from retrograde amnesia as well; he couldn't remember 11 prior to the surgery).
Over time, however, H.M. started to show implicit memory. Researchers asked H.M. to trace shapes in a mirror. This simple task proves difficult when first performed, but over time, he improved, even though he had no memory from doing the task. He had no explicit memory from this task, but had implicit memory (procedural).
The researchers examined H.M.'s brain and found that the hippocampus and amygdala (which were tampered with during surgery) were damaged. To put it simply, a hypothesis was born: the hippocampus and amygdala, as well as other major parts connecting to the limbic system must be critical to memory. (Lilienfeld, 2010)
Source: "Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding." (Lilienfeld, 2010)
Have you ever wondered why you sometimes forget such necessary things as your keys or phone? Or why you can't remember a persons name after meeting them three times yet can sing along to the radio with just about any song that comes on? The psychological studies done on memory have opened a window into how our memory works and why it works the way it does. In this chapter I found an intriguing comparison between how our short term memory works. In this comparison there were two tests, one had you remember rows of numbers while the other had you memorize a sentence. These two studies found that people had a hard time trying to remember 9 numbers, but they were much more likely to recite the sentence which had 11 words. The reason for this memory trick is the parallel we place on short memory and "chunking", which is grouping words or phrases together. This is just one of many examples of memory tricks I came across while reviewing this chapter. In essence our mind is a wild card that can play games on us and give us false information, dumbfound us by the inability to recall a certain word or name, or surprise us with an astonishing recall of something we barely know. In all our memory serves as a storage unit for all the information our sensory receptors come across.
Human memory is an interesting area of psychological study. It is important to understand how memory works because it not only helps humans drive forward such as passing tests, but also allows us to retain pleasant and amusing thoughts. Memories can decay, meaning that they fade over time. Although some memories fade (often the sensory or short-term memories) some memories are retained deep in our brains (Lilienfeld, 248). Sometimes these thoughts are bad memories, other times good.
It is important to understand how to retain these useful memories to the point where they could possibly go from a short-term memory to a long-term. One way to do this is through rehearsal. Rehearsal is repeating the information repeatedly, or even aloud. I have found this technique to retain a memory very useful by simply repeating the phrases or fact, or by just thinking of it frequently. I am currently initiated into a business fraternity, and I think that some of the memories that I have experienced in my close past should definitely be retained, and rehearsal is how I will achieve this just by thinking about it. (Lilienfeld, 252).
Chapter 6 discusses learning in all shapes and forms. It describes the different types of learning and the different ways people and animals learn. One of the topics i found interesting was Operant Conditioning, specifically animal training. In animal training, certain techniques are used to encourage an animal to behave in a certain way. For example, when you get your dog house trained, they use positive and negative reinforcements to get your dog to behave in a certain way. This technique is referred to as shaping (Lilienfeld, pg 219).
One example of this that i found really interesting was the pigeon experiment that was done by Skinner. In this experiment Skinner used positive reinforcements to teach pigeons how to play a slightly altered game of ping pong. Skinner would put the ball in the center of the two pigeons and they would try to knock the ball past each other using their beaks. In one pigeon was successful food was dropped into a dish right below the game, therefor giving positive reinforcement. To show you what i am talking about watch the link below.
When somebody tells other people that he or she has been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), others don't understand. Chapter fifteen is simply titled "Psychological Disorders." I used the word 'simply' to show how contradicting the chapter's title is, as opposed to the intricate details presented within the text. As the tittle reads, the chapter is about various medical disorders, but the chapter also explains what a victim of mental disorder is going through. However, what stood out to me the most was the section on OCD. Before actually learning what OCD means and does, I use to form my knowledge of the topic based off of what others had to say about the mental disorder. After reading about OCD, I learned about the seriousness of the illness. Usually, people will use the word 'OCD' loosely; using statements such as, "I OCD over cleaning my room all the time." This statement is highly exaggerated and it shouldn't be because a "normal" person doesn't know how difficult and impossible it feels to not have control over your mind. Just reading about OCD makes me realize how severe all mental disorders are; not being able to control your thoughts and feelings is a major stressor, especially when these thoughts can lead to self-danger.
Here is a link to an image that describes the severity of OCD very well:
Chapter 4 is how we view and receive information that is in front of us and around us. Many times, the mind can play tricks on us, such as view a picture (which you think is just one image). For example- Can you find both images in this picture
The most interesting section of Ch. 4 was 4.7-4.8 learning about the ear. As a musician, I rely on pitch and sound to construct the notes I am playing, as well as listening to others around me to make sure I am playing the same notes as they are. In the chapter, it was intriguing to learn about how the hear works by detecting sound waves to hear a specific pitch. Overall, this chapter was how we, as humans, need to use all 5 of our senses to perceive and interpret all the information that is going on around us.
Chapter 16 of Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding deals with psychotherapy and biological treatments. The authors describe who gets and benefits from psychotherapy along with what psychologists do in their therapy sessions that are effective. One section of the book stated why so many people fall for ineffective therapies. Some therapies, including dolphin therapy, laughter therapy, and treatments for alien abduction and past life trauma, are not scientifically proven to be effective, yet many people still believe in them. Some reasons that the book gives for the success of these treatments are from the natural highs and lows that people have naturally, the placebo effect, and people telling themselves they are better only for the fact that they have spent a lot of time and money on treatment. Statistics show that if something starts bad that it can only go up and remembering past feelings as worse than they actually were, making it seem as though change has happened are also ways that make people believe that ineffective treatments work. There are many different psychotherapy treatments that claim to be natural and effective, but some are just strange treatments that are sometimes effective only by coincidence or by the reasons above. The article, Beware of weird, wacky psychotherapy treatments, attached to this blog entry below describes more about other strange treatments and how the psychologists running the treatments defend the therapies when they go wrong.
This chapter deals with the relationship between 'sensation' and 'perception'. Sensation refers to the physical detections made by our senses (light entering our eyes, or a sound wave reaching our ear). Perception is how our brain interprets these detections. While sensation enables us to see images and hear sounds, it is our brain that interprets these into something that is of use to us. For example, our senses may cause us to see a plate of food, but it is our brain that realizes that it is a steak and that we should eat it. As a whole our senses and mental perception of those senses is reliable, however they can deceive us. The book provides many different optical illusions to demonstrate this. Because we are completely reliant on our senses, we sometimes trust them too much, believing they are always right. The optical illusions have proved this is not so. Another topic this chapter discusses is the concept of extrasensory perception (ESP). Though there are many who believe in ESP, there haven't been any replicable studies done to prove its existence. This chapter is interesting because it challenges our inherent belief that what our senses perceive is 100% accurate. It exposes possible flaws in our perception and shows the relationship between the senses and the brain.
On Chapter 4, it covers about how our brain recognizes and conceptualize the world. It talks about that world is not same as we see through the eye. Because in our brain, it always reconstructed the data, we receive from the sensations. Therefore, this chapter talks about which sensory systems in our body can accomplish, and how their physical signal change into neural signal so brain can read the data. This chapter is divided into big four different sections such as the visual system, the auditory system, the sensual senses and touch, body position, and balance. Each sections talks about how physical data transform into neuron so data can deliver to our brain. Although for me the most interesting section was 'the visual system'. There are so many examples about how brain can make illusion. Such as the 'Ponzo illusion' more known as railroad tracks illusion, even there are two same lines in the rail road, but the brain thinks that line in the back is longer than the closer one. In this chapter there is lots of knowledge about sensation that related to our brain.
In chapter 13 we learn about the study of Social Psychology, "[the] study of how people influence others' behavior, beliefs, and attitudes" (Lewin, 1951). One of the subjects covered in this interesting chapter was the practice of altruism, helping others for unselfish reasons (Batson, 1987; Dovidio et al., 2006; Penner et al., 2005). Personally, I have always found this to be a great way to go about living your life after first learning about it in a philosophy class taken in high school. Things such as volunteering at a food shelf out of pure will and not to fulfill a class requirement, or even something as simple as giving someone directions to a restaurant down the road are all examples of altruism. If we were to all adopt this altruistic identity do you believe we would be able to change society for the better. One thing that caught my attention is that the textbook stated that many scientists believe we do good deeds for purely selfish or egotistical reasons. Do you believe this is true? Do we help people for selfish reasons or do we truly want to help people out of empathy?
- Drew Kellum
Chapter 8 is titled "Language, Thinking, and Reasoning." The subtitle "Getting inside our talking heads is a fitting one as the entire chapter is dedicated to the language we use, why we use it, and how we develop it.
One portion of this chapter that was especially entertaining to me was the portion about twins and the language they develop with each other. Common psychology often leads us to believe that twins are sometimes able to develop their own language based on a variety of internal and external factors.
In reality, however, this only seems to be the case as twins often suffer from the same speech production disorders (297). Such disorders are more common with twins than among siblings.
Furthermore, twins often can understand each other better because they do have the same "articulation and significant pronunciation errors" (297). Thus, twins can understand each other better but it has nothing to do with a secret language that has been developed.
Chapter 16 was about people involved in psychotherapy, different types of psychotherapy, techniques, benefits and treatments. There are many different occupations for therapists such as Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counseling Psychologist, Psychiatric Nurse, and many others. Some different Techniques used by psychologists are the Freudian concept, Neo-Freudian tradition, Interpersonal therapy Humanistic Therapy, Group Therapy and countless more. The things that I found most surprising throughout this chapter were how many steps were necessary for some forms of therapy, how many different types of psychologists and techniques there are, and how certain people respond differently to different therapies. Near the end of the chapter it talks about all types of treatments from therapy, antianxiety medications, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, Electroconvulsive therapy to Psychosurgery, or brain surgery. Brain surgery is an absolute last resort for patients that are not being helped by anything else. I used to think that psychotherapy was a very simple and easy process, but there are many different types that all have different techniques and ways of dealing with patients.
Here is a video that talks about different personality tests used by psychotherapists.
The title given to Chapter 8 is Language, Thinking, and Reasoning. However, I found this title to be very simple in regards to the breadth of details that are provided in regards to the variety of ways people communicate around the world. As I skimmed through the chapter I had a goal of seeking out the section that talked particularly about sign language. They explain why sign language is categorized as a language because it contains all the four features of language: phonemes, words, syntax, and extralinguistic information. (Newport & Meier, 1985)
Though some may consider sign language talking through symbols, the various symbols are considered actual words to those using them. There are specific rules in regards to the way words are put together through signing, just like there is a correct way in our native languages. Since the chapter clearly describes that the developmental stages are similar for deaf and 'normal' hearing babies, I decided to explore why apes cannot speak and how extensive their ability to communicate through signing is.
The main reason scientists have been giving for why apes cannot speak is that some part of their anatomy (i.e. their vocal chords) we not built for speaking. (de Luce & Wilder 1983: 3) However, Koko.org describes how Koko the gorilla has been able to express feelings through over 1,000 words from the standard American Sign Language vocabulary along with other natural gestures native to gorillas. The following link will bring you to the website where you can look through a variety of images showing Koko's symbols. The YouTube video also provides a good historical exemplification of how important the practice of sign language has become and still is in our modern society today.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmuu8UEi2ko (watch 1:00-3:40)
Other source used: http://www.davidmswitzer.com/apelang.html
-Terri Cheney, from her memoir Manic
This quote highlights what pop psychology so often misses when imagining mania. Yes, true mania is defined by a psychotic break (any mania missing that factor is considered hypomania) but mania is not crazy. Granted there are delusions but it also is a natural reproduction of every upper one could take, and continue to be productive. Due to this heightened level of energy, hyper focus, and drive during a hypomanic state, a great number of bipolar people end up at the top of their fields. Take Dr. Kay Jamison for instance. She is a professor at Johns Hopkins Medical, a leading expert of mood disorders and suicide, and in 1995 she wrote a memoir about her journey as a scientist who was bipolar. As she describes:
Having worked in the mental health industry, I could sit here and tell you all sorts of facts about bipolar disorder that the book failed to include. That not only do people with bipolar I have a 15% suicide rate, but for 50% of those people, it is because they go off their meds. AND Adults on a bipolar I medication regimen have a 50% chance of going off their meds at least once in their life; even though most know the illness only gets worse the longer left untreated. Even Jamison, trained in psychology, stated:
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
A cycling (the start of the mania/depression roller coaster) is set off not only by stressful events, but by the most happy of events. The most dangerous time for a bipolar woman, for instance, is when she is postnatal. Bipolar disorders (all three types) have the highest genetic connection of all the mental illnesses. Bipolar usually develops around 23, but is rarely correctly diagnosed until the age of 40. I could even get into the biological, neurological, or historical details. But not only am I already long over word limitations, to really get a hold of mental illness you have to meet it, and I'll give the book the impossibility of making that happen for each of you.
As you easily have guessed my chapter was on mental illness, and with each condition described I was greatly disappointed with the limited explanations. As a society we fear the mentally ill, and as a science it is our job to understand it. My concern is that the book did too little to explain something newly introduced that we culturally hold such bias to. The length of this post is my way of bringing a little more understanding to just one of the illnesses presented in this chapter. Much more could be said on all of them.
*Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D., Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families, revised edition, (Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).
*Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. (New York, Random House, 1995)
*Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life. (New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008)
*Terri Cheney, JD, Manic. (New York, Harper Collins Publishers, 2008)
Obviously being chapter one this section gave me a brief overview of the entire book. The chapter contained enticing little bits and pieces that kept me wanting to skip to those chapters to read the more interesting things. I contained myself.
In this chapter "Pseudoscience," was touched on briefly. Pseudoscience is claims that are made, and seem scientific, but are not true. The first thing that came to my mind was Proactiv Facial Cleansers. It may have worked for you, but for everyone I know who has tried it, from me who washes their face to prevent break outs to those who wash their face because they have break outs already, it has not worked.
Here's a Proactiv Commercial: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/05/04/business/1247467767739/proactiv-commercial-with-katy-perry.html
Their selling techniques in the commercials on television are more of an example of Pseudoscience. Also, when thinking Pseudoscience, think diet pill commercials.
Chapter 14 Personality
This chapter was all about personality, how it is formed, and how our personalities shape us as humans. This chapter starts by focusing on two twins from the University Of Minnesota twin studies. Their names were Jack and Oskar, they are identical twins that were separated at birth, and raised in completely contrasting environments. A Jewish family in the Caribbean raised Jack, and at the age of 17 he moved to Israel to join the kibbutz. Oskar, contrastingly, was born in Czechoslovakia under Hitler's rule. He went on to join the Hitler's youth program.
When these two were reunited, one a fanatical Jew, the other a passionate anti-Semitic, they were given a personality test. When the tests were completed the scores were closer than if one person took the same test twice. This shocked the researchers. Since Freud, psychologists have seen personality being a result of the situations and environment that people have been in. These new findings leads psychologists to believe that genetics plays a major role in personality, and that environment holds little weight.
I find this very interesting not only because it contradicts the previous theories about the importance of environment on personality, but also because my major is Genetics. It is amazing to me to think that our personalities are all imbedded in our DNA. And that our DNA doesn't only make us look like we do, but it can also determine the way that we view the world.
I read The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells in eighth grade for a book club group that I was a part of with a number of friends. My mother explained to me afterwards that this book had created a great controversy back in the 1930's and told me that people actually believed it and were fearing for their lives. My reaction after reading the first section, which happened to be about this phenomenon, was much the same as to my dumbfounded reaction when my mother told me about these approximately five-ish years ago. Upon finishing the chapter though, I have come to the realization that I too could have fallen victim to this radio broadcast dilemma.
Overall I learned a lot from this section of reading. I find the topic of social psychology to be extremely relative and important to our everyday lives. Why do we freeze in emergency situations? What are the reasons for aggressiveness and is it true that girls and boys experience different levels of aggression? These are just a few of the many topics covered throughout the chapter. I really enjoyed learning more about the Fundamental Attribution Error because I had previously learned about it in my Contemporary Management course last semester. When my teacher first explained how humans tend to internalize our own successes (I got a grade because I studied and am naturally intelligent), and externalize the successes of others (she only did well because she got lucky on this exam), I thought it was a painfully obvious and unnecessary topic to discuss. As the semester progressed, I started to notice that not only was I doing this, but others around me were also falling victim as well.
All in all, I think the main point that I took from this chapter is that people tend to generally think they would always do either the right thing, or made the better choice in a situation that they hear about, or see. I think people truly don't know what they would do in any given situation unless they are placed in the exact same environment. So before you make judgements on what "you might've done" think twice and think objectively about what you really would've done.
Chapter 11 focuses on human emotion and motivation. In other words, "what moves us" or "what causes our feelings." The chapter opens up with a reference to Star Trek's Mr. Spock. Spock's character is completely devoid of emotion and is therefore considered to be the epitome of rationality. However, the text goes on to claim that if a creature like Mr. Spock were to really exist, he would be significantly LESS rational than someone with emotions. The book suggests that these feelings, good and bad, are very necessary to our survival (page 406).
The chapter goes on to discuss where these emotions come from. One evolutionary example I found interesting was the emotion of disgust. The reason human tend to scrunch up their noses and stick out their tongues when faced with something repulsive is to lessen the chances of ingesting the object that may be harmful.
We will read about how emotions vary slightly from culture to culture and how, despite cultural differences, the most basic emotional reactions are much the same throughout the world. When I thought of how these basic emotions are universally conveyed, I thought of those pain charts you sometimes see hanging up in the dentist's office (follow the link below).
Chapter 11 also considers "what makes us happy" by going through some popular misconceptions about money, location, experiences, and age in relation to overall happiness. It also examines the effects of hunger, sexuality, love, and hate on our outlook of life.
Chapter 14 is about our personalities. This chapter looks at what shapes our personalities, the effects certain events can have on our personalities, some theories about personalities, and some models about personalities. First, the chapter looks at studies done on twins and people who were adopted to see the effect that genetics has on our personalities and the effect that the environment has on our personalities. Then, the chapter moves into looking at Sigmund Freud's Psychoanalytic theory of personality and his structure of personality: the Id, Ego, and Superego. After breaking down Freud's theory and knowledge about personalities, the chapter goes into the connection between behavior and personality and then looks at models of personality. Lastly, the chapter looks at different assessments done to test and study different personalities. What I found was the most interesting in this chapter about the studies done on twins. I was surprised by the conclusion that genetics had a larger role in shaping personalities than the environment people grew up in and were surrounded by in their lives. I thought that genetics would have a large impact, but I also thought that the environment would have a large impact too. But when looking at the study comparing twins who were raised together and twins who were raised separate for one another, it supports the findings that genetics plays a larger role in how our personalities are shaped.
Chapter 5 is largely based on sleep, dreams, and how drugs affect consciousness. I found it quite interesting that there were multiple stages of sleep, I always just assumed there was deep sleep and light sleep. But there are actually five stages, each with their own differences. This chapter then moved on to sleeping disorders, and sleep apnea stood out to me right away. This disorder causes great daytime fatigue, as the main character of The Machinist experienced. Here is a clip to the movie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRoYCwUvBPc.
Later in the chapter, hypnosis was discussed. I have always been a major skeptic of this, yet it seems so real when you see a hypnotist at work. The book revealed major myths of hypnosis, such as hypnotized people are unaware of their surroundings, also, they forget what happens during hypnosis. The last main subject touched upon was how drugs affect consciousness. What really caught my attention was how widespread some drugs are. According to recent research, 90% of dollar bills contain trace amounts of cocaine (Raloff, 2009). That is an incredibly high statistic and really took me by surprise!
Hello, everyone! Chapter 3 was an intriguing chapter as it discussed the biological side of psychology. Overall, the book really focused on the connections and links from the brain to human behavior. Nerve cells represent the communication portals for the brain. The brain relies on neurons to deliver messages and actions to the human brain. This chapter also touched base on the central nervous system (the command center; controls the mind and behavior) and the peripheral nervous system (nerves extended outside of the nervous system) and how they correlate to behavior. However, I found the most interesting aspect of this chapter when the book talked about nature and nurture along with the question: "Which sides of our brain do we use for what?". I found this interesting because our brain changes with nature (our genetic make-up) and nurture (the things we learn in life as it progresses). Our brain is constantly changing due to this, so I thought that was cool. Also, our brain is split in to the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. It was cool to find out that the left side of our brain is responsible for fine-tuned language skills and actions like expressions. The right side focuses more on coarse language skills and visualization skills.
Chapter 14 discusses personality, what it is, how we can study it, and covers theories of personalities. I found most interesting the studies that were done on identical and fraternal twins. In the book there is a table of personality traits for identical twins raised together, and apart, and fraternal twins raised together, and apart. The results show that identical twins have a significantly higher correlation than fraternal twins, and that being raised together or apart had little effect, causing belief that personality is more affected by genes, rather than environmental factors in their lives. To go along with that idea, there have been other studies to see how these sociable these twins are. Even with adoptive parents, the twins were more likely to be more like their biological parents in terms of sociability. I think it's very interesting to see that personality seems to be a genetic thing, rather than sculpted by how you were raised.
i had chapter 9 for my first blog and it talked all about intelligence and IQ. this chapter was super fun to read because at the beginning of my college experience i had alot of trouble with this subject. there is a section in this chapter that talks about the ACTs and SATs. i remember preparing for them and taking them in hopes that i would do well even thou normally on tests im about "average". i ended up not doing to hot both times i took the tests. i thought schools would think i was stupid even thou i have a really good GPA in high school. i though it wasn't fair that a school would just drop my application because i did bad. so reading the section about how colleges around the united states are not taking these tests real serious now really helped bring closer to this experience. it talked about how college now a days can't use these tests as good indicators because on average they only predict the first year of grades, how the test tends to fair on the wide scope of things.
another thing it talks about it how intelligence should really be broken up into multiple sections such as: linguistic, logico-mathematical, spatial, musical etc. (they used taylor swift as an example for musical which i thought was a bit funny.) this entire chapter gives us many examples of how and why these tests are just like any other scientific theory. they are constantly changing and we all need to keep an open mind.
one last fun fact that this chapter brought about was how environment can change some ones IQ such as summer vacation. thats probably why our books are constantly reviewing things we learned the semester before.
Chapter 9 covered intelligence and IQ testing. Intelligence was really interesting, they call general intelligence "g" and there are many different theories about "g." A few ways "g" is interpreted is that some people are simply smarter than others, personally I think this is true, some people just seem to be naturally smart. Three different types of intelligence are fluid, crystallized, and multiple. I never thought there were ways to separate intelligences, but I think it's good that there is. It's crazy to think about all the different way everyone's brains function. This chapter also touched on the relation between intelligence and the size of ones brain, or parts of their brain. Also, calculating IQ doesn't seems as difficult as I thought it'd be, The most commonly used IQ test now is the WAIS, with more of a focus on verbal abilities. Something I thought was the most interesting in this chapter was the bit on SAT, ACT, and GRE college admittance tests. It is said that these college admissions test do not predict how the students grades will be in college, this made my day hahah but it really is interesting because even though they say the tests aren't a correct indicator for student's success in college they still don't think the tests are useless. That is very interesting to me.