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Phobias and Emotion

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The textbook describes phobias as, "intense, irrational fears" and continues that many phobias such as fear of spiders, snakes, the dark, etc., are common place, most of the time without a frightening encounter. I myself have arachnophobia and the rest of my family doesn't understand why, if I've never or had a bad experience with a spider.

I compare this with my mother's fear of worms but she always defends herself with the argument that she's had a bad experience with worms when she was younger. I've heard this story multiple times: when she was in grade school her friends (young and foolish) decided to gross her out (psych terms- produce a reaction of disgust) and collected a bucket of worms on a rainy day. Mind you, previous to this, my mother had no problem with worms. Her friends rang the doorbell to her house and when she answered, they dumped the bucket of worms all over her head. My mother was absolutely horrified and since then has not been able to see or be near worms without getting extremely disgusted and uncomfortable. This argument of spiders versus worms often gets jokingly brought up and it was only after reading chapter 11 that I noticed one part of the story I had previously dismissed.
My mom always starts off with explaining in detail how she'd already had a bad day because my very strict grandparents had told her to clean her room and it didn't get done on time, which means she got in trouble. When her friends were at the front door, they rang the doorbell multiple times in a row and my mom was afraid she'd get into even more trouble and ran to get the door.

This brings me to the two factor theory of emotion, by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer. Perhaps the reason my mom developed an actual phobia of worms was because she experienced a state of fear (from the amygdala) and used a labeling process of fear to worms. However, a possible reason the reaction was so strong was because my mom was already in trouble and possibly could have had a rush of adrenaline when the doorbell was constantly rung, in fearful excitement of getting into even more trouble with serious consequences.

This possibility is backed by the famous Dutton and Aron experiment of 1974, and I think could possibly explain what happened with my mom. Due to the stress of previously being scolded mixed with the adrenaline and annoyance of getting in trouble again (when the doorbell was being constantly rung) her reaction to the worms being thrown on her was an extreme one, and produced more fear than if she hadn't been on the verge of getting in trouble again. However, nothing is concrete and this is just a possibility, which could be easily falsified. For example, many 'flashbulb memories' are remembered with elaborate details that actually didn't take place, and perhaps my mom is mistaken, which is a possibility, along with the possibility that all of the theories of emotion hold some small truth.

To end with, I think phobias are incredibly interesting and often give an insight to the person in question. There are many phobias in the world, and plenty of them are not irrational!

Human development is not only affected by our biological feature inherited from our parents but also environment around us. The environment elements include both social environment and family environment. Environment effect on human is more reflected on behaviors, however, how much does it involved are still under research without a solid conclusion. Most of the time, researchers use twin studies to compare how different environment affect one's behavior and personality.
According to Piaget, we won't achieve our most abstract levels of reasoning ability until our adolescence and our frontal lobe which in charge of our planning, decision making and impulse control is still in maturing process and that's is why teenage kids are easier to be influenced. Both social environment and family environment could affect our cognitive development during this time and that is the reason why the society will put that much efforts in publicize protecting adolescence from improperly internet content and home violence.
Along with the development of the entertainment industry, child and adolescences are exposure to media much more than last generation was. How TV program and computer games affect their behavior becomes more and more complicated because more factors needed to be considered to have valid result. As far as I concern, ways of how does violence and sexual content exposure to child needs to be separately examed. Also, for different age level, children are affected differently. What's more, for oriental and western culture based education, child may reflects differently to same content.
Here is some links related to study on this area.

http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=1952&cn=28
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;108/5/1222

Human development is not only affected by our biological feature inherited from our parents but also environment around us. The environment elements include both social environment and family environment. Environment effect on human is more reflected on behaviors, however, how much does it involved are still under research without a solid conclusion. Most of the time, researchers use twin studies to compare how different environment affect one's behavior and personality.
According to Piaget, we won't achieve our most abstract levels of reasoning ability until our adolescence and our frontal lobe which in charge of our planning, decision making and impulse control is still in maturing process and that's is why teenage kids are easier to be influenced. Both social environment and family environment could affect our cognitive development during this time and that is the reason why the society will put that much efforts in publicize protecting adolescence from improperly internet content and home violence.
Along with the development of the entertainment industry, child and adolescences are exposure to media much more than last generation was. How TV program and computer games affect their behavior becomes more and more complicated because more factors needed to be considered to have valid result. As far as I concern, ways of how does violence and sexual content exposure to child needs to be separately examed. Also, for different age level, children are affected differently. What's more, for oriental and western culture based education, child may reflects differently to same content.
Here is some links related to study on this area.
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=1952&cn=28
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;108/5/1222

blue shirt.jpgred shirt.jpg
Recent research shows that the color red makes men more attractive to women. A study was conducted in England, China, Germany, and the United States that showed, even though red symbolizes many things across the four cultures, in every country it made men more alluring to women. The study showed both men and women a black-and-white picture of a Caucasian man surrounded by a red or white matte and asked them three questions regarding how attractive he is. On a nine point scale, women found the man over one point more attractive when surrounded by red; there was no statistical difference between red and white matte for men. Another experiment showed a man in either a green shirt or a red shirt, women found the man more attractive and desirable when he was wearing a red shirt. Also, a follow up study found that women believed men in red shirts to be significantly more likely to be high in status than men in blue shirts. Five similar studies comparing men in red or grey shirts found the same result, red makes men seem more attractive and of higher status. It has been proposed that red might make men more self-confident, therefore more attractive to women. However, other studies have found that women are better at perceiving red stimuli than men. Though this research does not completely rule out the rival hypothesis of red increasing men's self-confidence, its high rate or replicability shows that there is at least some connection between status/attraction and the color red.
Source: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2010/08/red-attraction.aspx

1? 2? Try 8.

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How many intelligences do you truly have? According to Howard Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligences the answer is eight. Gardner says that these intelligences include:

Logical-Mathematical:
This intelligence is the ability to work in logical sequences and work with numbers. Some of the ways to show this is through the computation of complex math problems, thinking scientifically, and recognition of abstract patterns.
Spatial:
This is the ability to judge objects in space using only the mind and eyes. This is more of an abstract intelligence and it is commonly said that people in the arts such as architects and other design based jobs possess high levels of this intelligence.
Linguistic:
As the name suggests this has to do with the language aspect of the brain. This can include both written and verbal forms of the language. People with high amounts of this intelligence usually enjoy reading and writing and playing various word games to keep their mind sharp.
Musical:
This intelligence allows people to very sensitive to sound and the rhythm of music. A very extreme example of this intelligence is people with perfect pitch who are able to tell one note from another just by simply hearing it.
Intrapersonal:
This is knowing your own self. People with high amounts with this intelligence often like to learn alone and work alone on tasks if given the option. They are also very in touch with their emotions and feelings.
Interpersonal:
This is the opposite of the intrapersonal intelligence. People with high amounts of this intelligence often like working in groups and learn best through interaction with other people. They also have a strong sense of how people feel around them.
Bodily-kinesthetic:
The bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is one in which gives you control over your body and the way it moves. This is important in people who do very physically skilled based positions. This also allows people to communicate through body movement and language.
Naturalistic:
Naturalistic intelligence is the ability to be able to recognize the world around you. Whether this be classifying plants or knowledge such as farming or gardening, the naturalistic intelligence all has to do with you and the world around us.

This theory of the multiple intelligences have been very interesting to the teaching community because if Gardener's theory is true then the best way for people to learn would be by combining all of these different ways of learning. One major problem with his theory though is that not all of the different intelligences can be tested in a scientific way, so there is no way to prove his theory of multiple intelligences. If his theory were to be correct however, this may open a new window into teaching and understanding how the mind is able to learn under all different circumstances.

Population Crisis!

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According to the United Nations, "The world's population is expected to increase 2.5 billion people in the next 43 years" and "Most of the growth is concentrated in the 60-plus age grouping". This may not be too shocking to most considering how far medicine and health has improved in our society. However great these advancements have been for humankind, I have concerns about the longevity of our ever increasing population. I believe that the earth has natural capacity and certain ecosystems should not be pushed over their limits. The Earth recently reached the amazing feat of supporting 7 billion people on the planet, but I believe that this is simply setting us up for disasters in the future. For example, if the Midwest gets a drought thousands will instantly go hungry or even parish. It's a sad situation to think about but scary none the less. Additionally, Americans lead a lifestyle that is rivaled by no other cultures that features wasting products and overusing. To think if other parts of the world consumed at the rates of Americans the natural capacity would be much smaller. This situation is new to the Earth, so it will be interesting to see how our population reacts to the crisis that will be upon us shortly

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_Global_Aging_Problem_999.html

Mozart Effect

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In a 1993 study, researchers Raushecher, shaw, and Ky found that college students who listened to about 10 minutes of a Mozart piano sonata showed a significant improvement on spatial reasoning task compared with a group of student who listened to a relaxation tape. This phenomenon was dubbed the "Mozart Effect." Our book describes the Mozart Effect as, " The supposed enhancement in intelligence after listening to classical music" (Lilienfeld 377).
Although the popular media ran wild with this theory, including marketing scores of CDs targeted toward babies, these findings have yet to be replicated. Those who found similar effects only saw very low magnitudes and durations only lasting an hour or less.
An explanation for such an effect could be that listening to such music elicits greater emotional arousal. Another study done found that subjects who watched a scary movie before memorization found similar effects to those who listened to classical music. Perhaps anything that boosts emotional arousal can increase spatial memory and long-term memory.
From now on when i try to block out my roommates nonsense while studying, i will switch from a white noise generator, to perhaps some classy classical!

I have found body language and human lie detecting techniques very interesting, especially where they overlap. When people lie they tend to take defensive stances which include folding their arms in front of the torso or, if they are seated, leaning away from the person they are talking to. As far as facial cues go people often cover part of their face with their hand, in an attempt to hide other cues but this has become its own hint to lying. It is common to have heard that if someone is avoiding eye contact then they are lying, in fact any change in amount of eye contact can be a dead giveaway for lying. Keep in mind that in normal conversations people keep eye contact only 50% of the discussion.
If we look at body language alone to tell if someone is lying we will not be 100% accurate. There is no way to be 100% accurate with human lie detectors. Still, you cannot be anywhere close to being always right. You need to look at other reasons for the body language the accused liar is displaying. Defensive stances could also be caused by the person feeling uncomfortable with the person asking the questions, or they have been on edge due to outside influences.
Other signs of stressed body language are often linked to lying, because lying can bring up feelings of stress, you must think of what is causing the stress. Most lying body language is based on the person being stressed about having to deceive. When the person is stressed on their own it is mistaken for lies.
To help lower the anxiety of lying, and to lower any cues you may be unaware that you are giving, if you can believe in the lies yourself, you are more likely to be able to sell it. Confidence is sometimes enough to sell the lie, or to lower the suspicion enough so that the questioner will brush off any doubt.

Sources:
http://www.humanliedetection.com/BodyLanguageOfLiars.php

Emerging adulthood is defined as the period in our lives from the ages 18-25. This is the stage in life where many aspects of emotion develop. This stage particularly applies to college students like us.

Although changes in personality also occur, the Emerging Adulthood stage is still different from earlier adolescence. In adolescence, the primary internal conflict is "identity vs. role confusion." For example,in adolescence prior to the Emerging Adulthood stage, I solidified who my friends are, that I still see today. I also could be labeled with an identity as I played sports in high school. Emerging Adulthood is different from earlier adolescence because it deals with internal personal development rather than how we are seen by others in the environment.

http://wearemoviegeeks.com/wp-content/animal-house.jpg
So right now, it is normal for us to be preoccupied with our own internal personal developments. The Emerging Adulthood stage is categorized by a solidity in personality and life goals. I know for certain that I (at 19 years old) think about my life goal each day. This stage may be due to the fact that it is the age in which we, as colleges students, determine our profession that will impact the rest of our lives. My main question is that if this stage can change based on cultural input. For example, would people living in a culture where youth assume more responsibility at an earlier age undergo the Emerging Adulthood stage earlier in life. Like 15 or 16. Or is the solidity of personality and identity due to biological reasons not occurring until later years. (18-25)

Can you beat a lie detector test?

There are plenty of people, websites, and shows that "prove" it's possible to lie to the lie detector without getting caught. However, how professional are these polygraphs that they're using? Here's a video taking a look at this,

Here the test accurately and easily told when he was lying even with a simple test. If this guy can't even lie about a simple number he wrote down it is going to be pretty tough to lie when there is more at stake in a police case. It also mentions in our textbook about the Pinocchio response and it seemed to come into play in this video. The guy here paused and looked a little stressed when it was time to lie, this can also be seen in other videos. Not only here, but also in everyday life there are cues that help any normal person decide when someone is lying.

So, with all of this it leads me to wonder how can the test really be beaten? How can elevated heart rates, blood pressure, respiration and other natural brain and bodily responses be controlled when your under pressure and your body knows the truth?

The textbook also mentions that the polygraphs turn up a lot of false positives. I think this is the reason people think that the test is inaccurate and beatable. However, if someone is lying I think there is a very, very high chance of it detecting it and it's difficult to beat it. Until I actually see someone beat an official polygraph and the test administrator i won't believe it. It is hard to control emotions and sensations that occur because of body reactions and the polygraphs are good enough at picking that up.

http://psychfutures.ning.com/page/psychology-of-attraction

Through psychology, it appears that the popular claim that opposites attract is misleading. Two similar counterparts are more likely to make a whole versus opposing couples. The article provided above is evidence to this idea.

It would make sense that one chooses to surround themselves with people who live near them and see frequently, have similar interests, and have a mutual relationship. While relationships begin between people who live closely together, it isn't necessarily necessary to live close to maintain the relationship. My mother's best friend lives in a different state than her, but when they are together, it appears as if they see each other every day. It is their interests and sense of reciprocity between each other that maintains their relationship.

Today, people often hear of friends being in bad, abusive relationships. This could be a result of media's obsession with portraying couples who are exact opposites. The media gives rise to the idea that opposites attract, and it is necessary for two people to be different to be complete. However, we cannot draw causation from correlation.

However, being too similar to someone does not mean that the relationship will be destined to work out. Another popular idea is that the qualities we don't like in others are often qualities we possess ourselves. Whether this is true or not, I have had personal experiences being in relationships with people who are too much like me. In these cases, I feel as though I get annoyed more easily or lose my sense of identity. It is as if we are all the same. However, this is anecdotal evidence, so people should be weary of it.

In general, the ideas of proximity, similarity, familiarity, reciprocity, and barriers apply to the general public's relationships. People chose to be around people who are close to them, have similar interest and views, and benefit from each other. These characteristics can be said to be essential for a positive, healthy relationship.

Perfecting Parenting

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From my little experience working with kids, (I taught swimming lessons for a couple years, and I volunteer at a preschool) I've been surprised to learn how very different they can be behaviorally speaking at such early ages. I think this has a lot to do with parenting, which is mentioned in our book on page 388. I also think that the style of parenting kids grow up with has long-term effects on development.
A parenting phenomenon that has been highly discussed recently is "helicopter parenting." I would classify a helicopter parent under the style the textbook calls an "Authoritarian." An authoritarian is strict, offering little freedom and much punishment. Helicopter parents are involved with every aspect of a child's life. Many interpretations of the term appear as comic strips with an apathetic looking kid in the middle of two hovering parents, one whispering an answer to the test they're currently taking and the other trying to wrap the kid in bubble wrap.
The term reminded me very much of many of my friends' parents in high school, in particular my friend B's mom. B's mom always decided what classes B would sign up for. She wouldn't allow her to take art because there were more important classes that would be "more beneficial to B later on in life." When I first started to hang out with B she admitted to being constantly stressed out, she told me how on holidays she would always get drunk in her bathroom because she felt like she didn't belong with her family and they didn't think she was good enough. This really freaked me out and I suggested she tell her mom how she felt about how much control she had over B. B's mom didn't like this at all and eventually stopped allowing B to come over to my house. She said I was a bad influence on her because my parents were too liberal and they were divorced so I was "troubled." As stated in our textbook the effects of divorce on children are variable and "better-designed studies show that the substantial majority of children survive their parents' divorce without long-term emotional damage." My parents' divorce came as a relief to me because I knew the constant fighting would be over. B's parents condemn divorce and yet have separate bedrooms and fight often. So then in 2008 came Bs transition and mine into college. While my parents had been lenient with me (or authoritative) I was reluctant to disobey them and their suggested limits because I was generally happy with life. When B got to college it was as if you let her out of a cage, once overwhelmed with structure and limitations B was now free to do as she pleased. She drank heavily and her grades suffered. So was the cause of this her helicopter mom? Or had she simply been wired that way..with little self-control, and thus her mom had no other choice but to constantly dictate her every action?

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1940697-1,00.html <---good article on helicopter parenting

The effect media violence has on families and the general public is an ongoing debate. Some scientists insist that violence in the media directly influences and shapes children's personality. Michael Suman, the Coordinator of the Center of Communications Policy at the University of California at Los Angeles, did a study on the effects of violence in media and drew a few conclusions.

His conclusions were that violence on television increases violent behavior in people, desensitizes people from violence, and increases fear, and that children are more vulnerable to all these negative effects.

However, many scientists would argue with Suman's claims and say that he could be confusing correlation and causation. It is possible that viewing violent television may cause people to have more violent behaviors, but it is also true that people with more violent personalities are more likely to watch violent television.

Some of the claims are also hard to falsify. For instance, the claim that violent television increases fear in people would be extremely hard to falsify, because there are so many different things that could contribute to a person being fearful.

Suman's exact claims can be found here:

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-f012.html

Are violent video games bad?

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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.

Lying and Lie Detection

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An interesting topic that we have learned about to me was lie detection. An important fact to know is that humans are not a good way to determine if someone is lying or not. Humans are right about someone lying only 55% of the time and usually by chance; very few people can exceed 70%. Police and other occupations that involved being good at identifying lies say that verbal cues can be more helpful than nonverbal cues. For example, usually if someone's voice goes up higher while talking, there is a greater chance that what they're saying is a lie. Another verbal cue to look for is a statement that has few details and words such as, "I'm not sure but..". We learned about two different kinds of lie detectors, one of them being the Polygraph test. A polygraph test relies on what are called Pinnochio responses; supposedly perfect physiological or behavioral indicators of lying and claims to be accurate about 98% of the time. However, many believe that the test can confuse arousal with guilt and therefore cause the innocent to look guilty. The second test is the guilty knowledge test. This relies on the premise that criminals harbor concealed knowledge about the crime that innocent people don't. For example if there is a fork involved in the crime and a fork is brought up, the criminal is more likely to have a physiological response to the word fork than innocent people. I find this topic of discussion interesting because I would like to be a lawyer when I grow up and it's very important to be able to tell if people in court are lying or not. Many shows that I watch demonstrate how to tell if someone is lying. I believe that the more you know, the more likely you can tell if someone's lying to you or not. A perfect example of this takes place in one of my favorite movies, Legally Blonde. Elle Woods knew the witness was lying because she knew the rules about getting a perm. Knowing this piece of information helped her save the innocent and put the guilty in jail. Here's a clip of that scene below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acUFdP7N1vw

Divorce and children

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Does divorce impact children?
In one article I read, Journal of Marriage and Family, Demo and Acock say that "the pattern of empirical findings suggest that children's emotional adjustment, gender-role orientation, and anti-social behavior are affected by family structure." Two psychologists argued that one of the basic functions of the family is to serve as a stable, organically integrated "factory" in which human personalities are formed(Parson's and Bales). Two parents also emphasize the importance of role models in children's lives. They are the initial and primary reinforcers of their children's behavior. Straying from the nuclear family is problematic for children's development, especially during the adolescent stage because that is a crucial time in the developmental process. Some developmental problems are deficiencies in maturation dealing with cognitive development, achievement, conformity, and moral learning. As a result of divorce, children are prone to divorce once they do marry, or not even want to marry at all.

Many of the studies of the effects of divorce on children show the negative aspects. The social and psychological effects on well-being are aspects of self-concept, personal adjustment, antisocial behavior, interpersonal relationships, etc. The age of the child during the time of the divorce plays a big role in how much it affects them. Studies show that preschool- age kids aren't as affected by it then school-aged kids are. They are more aware of what is going on and have a deeper attachment. Another factor that affects children is who has custody of them. The gender of the parent and child can have an effect on how the child adjusts. Girls are shown to adjust better with their mothers, and boys adjust better with their fathers, but the rate of father's gaining custody is very low. Over time, as children adjust to their new environment, the affects of divorce become easier to deal with.

I listed a few ways children are affected by divorce. There are many different ways living in single family homes with separated parents affects them. I believe that there are a lot of deep psychological problems that can be correlated with divorce in children. It is very hard for them to deal with their parents splitting, and it can affect them throughout their lives, and it can affect their own families they create in their futures.

In the article I read it focuses on the real meaning behind the phrase "s/he's just a friend." The article had stated that at the beginning of a friendship the boy and girl will have mutual feelings for each other, meaning they do not think of their relationship anymore than just friendship, but all the time spent with each other eventually changes the relationship into something more. This is known in Psychology as proximity: physical nearness, and a predictor of attraction, seeing someone on a frequent basis creates an perfect opportunity for relationship formation. Have you ever noticed when you were younger you always had a crush on the boy/girl that lived next door to you? Or the guy/girl that waited at the bus stop with you every morning? These are examples of how proximity works when it comes to forming relationships. Would you still have a crush on that particular person if you didn't see them on a daily basis?
However in the article I read it also stated that opposites attract. This contradicts what we've learned in Psych 1001 which states in our text book that like attracts like. The article continued to explain that having a friend of the opposite gender excites us mentally, but not enough research has proven this to be true. This does not explain then why some girls may prefer girls over guys and some guys may prefer guys over girls when it comes to what attracts and excites them. Our book also makes a valid argument that having things in common with someone or also known as similarity, can become a predictor of attraction as well.
Another key aspect the article stated on why boys and girls can't just be friends is due mainly because of attitude and nature.Flirty nature more specifically can cause jealousy, and irritation especially when the guy flirts with someone other than his so called friend and naturally the sexual tension may be there. This can end the friendship abruptly. Although there is more support and evidence proving that guys and girls can't just be "friends," more research still needs to be conducted to test out any other hypotheses as to why this became the golden rule. Those of us who have seen the 1991 film My Girl directed by Howard Zieff, have experienced first hand how awkward a friendship can get when spending too much time with one another can start to turn into something else.

Sources:http://living.oneindia.in/relationship/love-and-romance/2011/girl-boy-friendship-041111.html
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200109/can-men-and-women-be-friends

The topic of our recent psychology discussion, Can the media influence children in negative ways? The answer to this can vary from study to study. In class, we viewed a video of children shown two different movies. In the first movie, they were shown Barney. The children in this movie were shown singing happily about sharing and having respect for one another. The children watching this seemed to imitate them by playing nicely and quietly. In the other movie, Power Rangers, the "good guys" were shown fighting, punching, and defeating the "bad guys" and it was shown to the children as positive actions. This caused the children to slowly begin to pretend they were the Power Rangers, kicking and hitting one another.

Although this "violence" appeared to be mainly pretend and recreational, does it still have an effect on how the children would approach certain situations? There are two sides to this.

Some researchers take the side that media does have an influence. Art Mackman wrote an article siding with this perspective. He describes a study that showed increased arousal and energy in the brain when one plays a violent video game. However, challenging this, does this activity have a direct link to aggression? When we simply play a game of basketball we have increased arousal and energy. So would this mean that the sport is making us more aggressive? I don't believe this. However, I do not fully side with the idea that media has absolutely no influence on behaviors. In another article, by CJ Ferguson, he explains a study that he did which measured the amount of violent crimes that young people, ages 10 to 14, committed after a month of playing violent video games. I wouldn't conclude that from one month long study, you could determine if video games had any effect on someone. Furthermore, since the study was on young people and not "children", they are more capable of knowing what already isn't socially acceptable when it comes to violence. I feel that it is too late of an age to manipulate their behaviors.

I tend to fall in between the two sides to this debate. I believe that if children grow up around violent video games and shows, they will be more capable of reacting to situations violently than a child who hasn't had much experience with this type of media.

Obesity and the Media

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Obesity and weight gain have been a rising issue in societies all over the world when looking at recent years. For instance, the number of obese people in the world has already doubled since only 1980 and in 2008 alone, it was reported that about 1 in 10 people in the world were obese. Clearly there are some roots to this problem, but what's primarily to blame, no one knows.

Though this body type is becoming more and more visible in our society, a lot of the health conditions and risks that go along with this lifestyle go unnoticed by others or obese people themselves. Not only can a high BMI and case of obesity cause serious cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke, but also severe diabetes and various types of cancers.

It's hard to say what the exact cause of this weight epidemic is, but it is obvious that our society seems to be infatuated with it. There are a handful of popular TV shows watched every day that deal with obesity and some even weight loss, such as Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, Ruby (the reality show based on the life of an obese woman), DietTribe, etc. We also are constantly seeing celebrities on air promoting their weight loss supplements and programs.

http://www.hotspot106.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/hart1a_jennifer_hudson_weight_watchers_spokesperson.jpg

http://woooha.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/queen.jpg

It is possible that this massive media attention brought towards the scene of obesity could be one of the causes of its growth over the decades. When obese people see these shows and their immense popularity, it acts as a type of positive reinforcement in that if they continue to be obese, they could get themselves a reality show or a chance to lose weight to win a huge amount of money. To show the other side of these great incentives, here's an interview with a Biggest Loser winner and his struggle for steady health.

Others, however, argue that by bringing more media attention to the scene of obesity, it shows those with the condition the realities of their condition and holds the chance to shed more much needed light on the situation and help them make a change.

My question is this: if we keep bringing media attention to the issue of obesity, will it further perpetuate its growth by reinforcing others to be obese, or pose a change that will try to eliminate its stance in our societies?


Sources:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/index.html

How to be a Better Dad

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The Lilienfeld text touched on the role of the father in parenting a child; sparking my interest on what really makes a great father. Of course it is important that children have a "warm, close relationship with their father" (Lilienfeld, 390) but what exactly does this mean? I found a source which lists ten ways to be a great dad so I chose only a few that I found most interesting.
My personal favorite off of this list was the advice to respect your children's mother. While this was not the first thing I would have thought of in order to improve a father's relationship with his children, it makes the most sense. Whether or not the father is married to the child's mother, it is important that a child feels like he is safe and there is no conflict between his parents. This is especially important for children whose parents are separated.
Another good piece of advice in this article was to discipline with love. A father who can both acknowledge his child for rewardable behavior, and fairly and calmly discipline them as well, is both loving and admirable.
Probably the most obvious way to be a great father, showing a child affection can make a world of a difference in the relationship between a dad and a child. This is especially important for fathers because they are less likely to be the parent to provide the most comfort to infants as they are growing. A father who hugs his child every day and lets his child know how important they are to him gets a gold star for being a great dad.

I know from personal experience that eating meals as a family is also a great way to be a good father. Sitting down to dinner and talking about each person's day allows children to talk to their father and tell them how they are feeling or bring up things that they've been wanting to tell them but couldn't find the time. It also provides a sense of family which is important for any child growing up.
Although there is no set recipe for whipping up the perfect dad, it seems there are a good number of things that are important for a dad raising his children. Mother's are typically given a lot of the credit for raising and taking care of a child but it can not be forgotten that a father provides a great deal for his child. I personally cringe at the thought of the question, what would I have done without my father?

http://www.a-better-child.org/page/823183

How To Spot A Liar

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The average person lies twice a day (Lilienfeld). Most of the time, the lies go without question from others. But sometimes, we wonder if we are being lied to. To determine this, we rely on unconscious, nonverbal cues that a person gives off. Most people are only 55% right in detecting a lie, so here are a few ways to enhance a person's ability to detect a lie (Lilienfeld).

http://youtu.be/E3PAW7zjgPw

According to ex-FBI agent Bill Brown, "The eyes are a window to the soul." By this, he means that the eyes hold the key in displaying a lie. For example, if someone looks up and to the right before responding to a question, he/she is probably about to lie. This is because he/she is tapping into the part of the brain that visually pictures something that has never happened. If someone looks up and to the left, it means he/she is probably telling the truth. This is because he/she is remembering something that has actually happened. Also, if someone continuously shifts their eyes or intensely stares or avoids eye contact with the person he/she is responding to, chances are the person is lying (Dr. Phil).

However, there are more ways to tell if someone is lying. Body language is a huge giveaway. For example, liars tend to rub their neck, scratch their head or nose, tap their fingers, look at their watch, position something between them and the person they are talking to, lean back in their chair, sit at an angle to the person they are talking to, keep their arms crossed, and keep their hands tightly folded in their lap (Dr. Phil, Deborah King & Bill Brown).

With this newfound knowledge of detecting a lie, can you tell which person is lying?
picture
picture
Hopefully you chose the second picture as the liar.

This topic is really interesting, because lying is such a common occurrence in our society. If everyone lies at least two times per day, that's a lot of lies accumulated in a lifetime. I've been in situations where I could sense someone was not telling the truth, but didn't know for sure because I didn't know the common facial or body traits of a liar. That's why I got hooked on the show "Lie to Me." I was fascinated that Dr. Cal Lightman could tell whether someone was lying just by studying their facial movements. From the show, I learned a few common characteristics a liar does when he/she is telling a lie. It was fun to occasionally use that knowledge in my everyday life when talking to people at school or at home.

Sources:
http://drphil.com/articles/article/228 (Dr. Phil)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRt2YvuRB_4 (Deborah King)
Youtube video (Bill Brown)
"Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding" by Lilienfeld (Lilienfeld)

Disgust?

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The Mayans and their culture have always been a mystery to the world. The Yucatán Mayan people do not have a word for disgust.

The Mayans that were a part of an emotions without language study are from the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Their language database is smaller when it comes to describing emotions. Compared to the Yucatán Mayans, the Germans have a larger database of emotions to choose from. To start the study, researchers from MPI Psycholinguistics and Evolutionary Anthropology took subjects that spoke the Yucatán Mayan language and they took subjects that spoke German. After showing both a collection that contained emotional photos of disgust and anger, the German speaking people described the two emotions differently. The Mayans, on the other hand, described those two emotions the same. This showed that the Mayans had no specific word for the disgust emotion. This is very interesting to me. I don't know why they do not have a different word. I would think they still experience the emotion at times. They must use a unique linguistic system, or they must group emotional descriptions more generally.

They also conducted a second test. They used this test to see how the Mayans language transferred to their view of emotions. They showed the subjects a picture of a mixed emotion. Then they took the photo away, and showed two other photos. One of the photos was the original, and the other was the same person with a "slightly different" emotion. In some pairs the dominant emotion changed, in others it remained the same. For many of the photos, the subjects were asked which of the two they had just seen.

The results showed that they did the same as the German speakers. They performed better when the two faces they chose from were dominated by different emotions.

We were talking about how there are emotions that are internationally understood or "universal". This study proves this, there may be no word for disgust in the Yucatán Mayan language, however they were able to perform just as well as a German speaking person. One of the things that intrigues me is how these expressions are so universal. How could they reach everywhere in the world? I think that the answer to this is because they live in the same world. Some experiences will be the same. For example, no matter where one is in the world there is death. People generally are sad when someone dies. Also, around the world there are celebrations for various different occasions, and for that people are happy. I think life experiences and human interaction make these emotions universal more than any other reason.

Ishan

LINK:
http://www.healthcanal.com/mental-health-behavior/22712-Understanding-emotions-without-language.html

Background
Gender, male or female, it is one the basic elements that helps develop our own individual personalities and sense of self. But then there are those who are really sure they are you they should be. Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a condition where the individual feels a strong identification with the opposite gender.
A person suffering from GID often experience severe discomfort with their actual anatomic gender. They may often present themselves as members of the opposite sex, as well as express their desire to alter their bodies.
Some individuals, such as Chaz Bono, are committed to altering their physical appearances. They may do this through cosmetics, hormones, and in a few cases surgery. Those who commit to the surgery, such as Chaz, are known as transsexuals.

What is it?
With all the science and technology in the world today, no one has quite been able to determine the exact cause. There are however several theories that exist. They include genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities, hormone imbalances during fetal and early childhood development.

How common is GID?
This is a rare disorder that can affect anyone at any age. It is usually caught in early childhood, in fact, most people are able to recognize it before adolescents (<13 years old).

How can it be diagnosed?
GID is usually diagnosed by a trained mental health professional (psychiatrist or psychologist). They perform a thorough medical history and psychological exam. They do this to rule out the possibility of depression, anxiety or psychosis. GID is diagnosed when the evaluation confirms the constant desire to become the opposite sex.

Background
Gender, male or female, it is one the basic elements that helps develop our own individual personalities and sense of self. But then there are those who are really sure they are you they should be. Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a condition where the individual feels a strong identification with the opposite gender.
A person suffering from GID often experience severe discomfort with their actual anatomic gender. They may often present themselves as members of the opposite sex, as well as express their desire to alter their bodies.
Some individuals, such as Chaz Bono, are committed to altering their physical appearances. They may do this through cosmetics, hormones, and in a few cases surgery. Those who commit to the surgery, such as Chaz, are known as transsexuals.

What is it?
With all the science and technology in the world today, no one has quite been able to determine the exact cause. There are however several theories that exist. They include genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities, hormone imbalances during fetal and early childhood development.

How common is GID?
This is a rare disorder that can affect anyone at any age. It is usually caught in early childhood, in fact, most people are able to recognize it before adolescents (<13 years old).

How can it be diagnosed?
GID is usually diagnosed by a trained mental health professional (psychiatrist or psychologist). They perform a thorough medical history and psychological exam. They do this to rule out the possibility of depression, anxiety or psychosis. GID is diagnosed when the evaluation confirms the constant desire to become the opposite sex.

Background
Gender, male or female, it is one the basic elements that helps develop our own individual personalities and sense of self. But then there are those who are really sure they are you they should be. Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a condition where the individual feels a strong identification with the opposite gender.
A person suffering from GID often experience severe discomfort with their actual anatomic gender. They may often present themselves as members of the opposite sex, as well as express their desire to alter their bodies.
Some individuals, such as Chaz Bono, are committed to altering their physical appearances. They may do this through cosmetics, hormones, and in a few cases surgery. Those who commit to the surgery, such as Chaz, are known as transsexuals.

What is it?
With all the science and technology in the world today, no one has quite been able to determine the exact cause. There are however several theories that exist. They include genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities, hormone imbalances during fetal and early childhood development.

How common is GID?
This is a rare disorder that can affect anyone at any age. It is usually caught in early childhood, in fact, most people are able to recognize it before adolescents (<13 years old).

How can it be diagnosed?
GID is usually diagnosed by a trained mental health professional (psychiatrist or psychologist). They perform a thorough medical history and psychological exam. They do this to rule out the possibility of depression, anxiety or psychosis. GID is diagnosed when the evaluation confirms the constant desire to become the opposite sex.

Background
Gender, male or female, it is one the basic elements that helps develop our own individual personalities and sense of self. But then there are those who are really sure they are you they should be. Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a condition where the individual feels a strong identification with the opposite gender.
A person suffering from GID often experience severe discomfort with their actual anatomic gender. They may often present themselves as members of the opposite sex, as well as express their desire to alter their bodies.
Some individuals, such as Chaz Bono, are committed to altering their physical appearances. They may do this through cosmetics, hormones, and in a few cases surgery. Those who commit to the surgery, such as Chaz, are known as transsexuals.

What is it?
With all the science and technology in the world today, no one has quite been able to determine the exact cause. There are however several theories that exist. They include genetic (chromosomal) abnormalities, hormone imbalances during fetal and early childhood development.

How common is GID?
This is a rare disorder that can affect anyone at any age. It is usually caught in early childhood, in fact, most people are able to recognize it before adolescents (<13 years old).

How can it be diagnosed?
GID is usually diagnosed by a trained mental health professional (psychiatrist or psychologist). They perform a thorough medical history and psychological exam. They do this to rule out the possibility of depression, anxiety or psychosis. GID is diagnosed when the evaluation confirms the constant desire to become the opposite sex.

There are many debates over video games and how it affects people. It has been proposed that video games lead people to become more aggressive due to the aggression and violence involved in them. Such video games include Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and others, which emphasize killing, raping, and illegal acts in order to obtain points. But, there are many questions as to the correlation and causation of such accusations of video games and aggression.
One great example that considers the aggression caused by video games took place in Alabama in 2003 by Devin Moore. Moore was apprehended under suspicion of having driven a stolen car and then snatched a policeman's gun and shot two officers and a dispatcher. Devin blamed his actions on the inspiration of the Grand Theft Auto game series, which he claimed to have played obsessively and ended up taking out a lawsuit against the creators of GTA.
Another example that I have personally took interest in is discussed in the book "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. In this book, a young man has been constantly bullied since a child by the popular kids for being a nerd. To help deal with this reality, he creates a video game that is set in a school and its objective is to kill the popular students. But, this video game becomes a reality when the teenager, Peter Houghton, becomes the shooter at his high school one day.
But could video games really cause someone to murder another? It is a great question that still remains unanswered.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/60minutes/main678261.shtml
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/17/taketwo_gta_lawsuit/

There are many debates over video games and how it affects people. It has been proposed that video games lead people to become more aggressive due to the aggression and violence involved in them. Such video games include Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and others, which emphasize killing, raping, and illegal acts in order to obtain points. But, there are many questions as to the correlation and causation of such accusations of video games and aggression.
One great example that considers the aggression caused by video games took place in Alabama in 2003 by Devin Moore. Moore was apprehended under suspicion of having driven a stolen car and then snatched a policeman's gun and shot two officers and a dispatcher. Devin blamed his actions on the inspiration of the Grand Theft Auto game series, which he claimed to have played obsessively and ended up taking out a lawsuit against the creators of GTA.
Another example that I have personally took interest in is discussed in the book "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. In this book, a young man has been constantly bullied since a child by the popular kids for being a nerd. To help deal with this reality, he creates a video game that is set in a school and its objective is to kill the popular students. But, this video game becomes a reality when the teenager, Peter Houghton, becomes the shooter at his high school one day.
But could video games really cause someone to murder another? It is a great question that still remains unanswered.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/60minutes/main678261.shtml
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/17/taketwo_gta_lawsuit/

There are many debates over video games and how it affects people. It has been proposed that video games lead people to become more aggressive due to the aggression and violence involved in them. Such video games include Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and others, which emphasize killing, raping, and illegal acts in order to obtain points. But, there are many questions as to the correlation and causation of such accusations of video games and aggression.
One great example that considers the aggression caused by video games took place in Alabama in 2003 by Devin Moore. Moore was apprehended under suspicion of having driven a stolen car and then snatched a policeman's gun and shot two officers and a dispatcher. Devin blamed his actions on the inspiration of the Grand Theft Auto game series, which he claimed to have played obsessively and ended up taking out a lawsuit against the creators of GTA.
Another example that I have personally took interest in is discussed in the book "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. In this book, a young man has been constantly bullied since a child by the popular kids for being a nerd. To help deal with this reality, he creates a video game that is set in a school and its objective is to kill the popular students. But, this video game becomes a reality when the teenager, Peter Houghton, becomes the shooter at his high school one day.
But could video games really cause someone to murder another? It is a great question that still remains unanswered.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/60minutes/main678261.shtml
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/17/taketwo_gta_lawsuit/

There are many debates over video games and how it affects people. It has been proposed that video games lead people to become more aggressive due to the aggression and violence involved in them. Such video games include Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and others, which emphasize killing, raping, and illegal acts in order to obtain points. But, there are many questions as to the correlation and causation of such accusations of video games and aggression.
One great example that considers the aggression caused by video games took place in Alabama in 2003 by Devin Moore. Moore was apprehended under suspicion of having driven a stolen car and then snatched a policeman's gun and shot two officers and a dispatcher. Devin blamed his actions on the inspiration of the Grand Theft Auto game series, which he claimed to have played obsessively and ended up taking out a lawsuit against the creators of GTA.
Another example that I have personally took interest in is discussed in the book "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. In this book, a young man has been constantly bullied since a child by the popular kids for being a nerd. To help deal with this reality, he creates a video game that is set in a school and its objective is to kill the popular students. But, this video game becomes a reality when the teenager, Peter Houghton, becomes the shooter at his high school one day.
But could video games really cause someone to murder another? It is a great question that still remains unanswered.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/60minutes/main678261.shtml
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/17/taketwo_gta_lawsuit/

Violent Video games and TV shows affect children's behavior positively and negatively. As we saw in our discussion section, children reacted to both violent and peaceful TV shows. After the TV shows, they started playing with each other. We noticed that after they watched the peaceful Barney show they were happily getting along and playing with each other. After the Power Rangers show was done they started acting out the fighting that occurred in the TV show. At an early age, children are very susceptible to imitating what they see and hear. So it does not surprise me that this is happening. TV shows and video games have the most impact on these children at a young age. Parents are not monitoring the TV or video games a child watches. A great example of a video game that has great influence on children's behavior is Grand Theft Auto. As a player of this video game, I can see how children may imitate the actions from the game. It involves beating people down with bats and shooting people and even stealing cars. This is not the proper material to be showing a child a young age. I am not saying all children that play these games will go on to perform these actions, but a certain amount will. I fortunately was not affected by the actions of the game. I know there are limitations to obtaining these games to play, but all it takes is for a child to go to a friend's house and play it. I know in my future of being a parent I will monitor what my child is watching and playing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsMFsdS3aqU

How to detect lies?

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Everybody lies. Is it right or wrong? Or is it really matter?

It not about the lie itself, but what behind those lies are what people find fancy about. Since the beginning of time, everybody lies. Then, in order to be more successful in everyday personal life and social life, knowing things about lies becoming really important and useful.

It is impossible to catch a liar every time, but there are numerous methods to increase the chance of doing it. Based on the statistical data research, normal person make average about 3 lies in every 10 minutes talking. However, good news, according to our Lilienfeld-textbook: the signs of lying are universal, which means if we know those signs, then we can tell most of the lies other people make.

Then here comes the question: where do we suppose to pick up the cues of someone lying? Answer: social cues, since we talking and interacting with other people, we lie to them as well. There are usually 4 most obvious types of the cues we can look into: eye patterns, patterns of speech, body language, and emotional gesture.

Eye Patterns:
People usually look up to their right while they are lying and do not willing to maintain eye contact.

Pattern of Speech:
A liar will use your words to make answer a question. A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful. Avoiding making direct statements. Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. The use of distancing language.

Body Language:
Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space. Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear. Not likely to touch his chest/heart with an open hand.
emotional gesture
A guilty person will gets defensive.

Everybody lies. We can't change that. However, knowing how to detect a lie and how to making a good lie can make life much better and easier.
Video:http://thelifechic.com/2011/05/how-to-detect-lies/

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie
http://thelifechic.com/2011/05/how-to-detect-lies/

How to detect lies?

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Everybody lies. Is it right or wrong? Or is it really matter?

It not about the lie itself, but what behind those lies are what people find fancy about. Since the beginning of time, everybody lies. Then, in order to be more successful in everyday personal life and social life, knowing things about lies becoming really important and useful.

It is impossible to catch a liar every time, but there are numerous methods to increase the chance of doing it. Based on the statistical data research, normal person make average about 3 lies in every 10 minutes talking. However, good news, according to our Lilienfeld-textbook: the signs of lying are universal, which means if we know those signs, then we can tell most of the lies other people make.

Then here comes the question: where do we suppose to pick up the cues of someone lying? Answer: social cues, since we talking and interacting with other people, we lie to them as well. There are usually 4 most obvious types of the cues we can look into: eye patterns, patterns of speech, body language, and emotional gesture.

Eye Patterns:
People usually look up to their right while they are lying and do not willing to maintain eye contact.

Pattern of Speech:
A liar will use your words to make answer a question. A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful. Avoiding making direct statements. Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. The use of distancing language.

Body Language:
Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space. Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear. Not likely to touch his chest/heart with an open hand.
emotional gesture
A guilty person will gets defensive.

Everybody lies. We can't change that. However, knowing how to detect a lie and how to making a good lie can make life much better and easier.
Video:http://thelifechic.com/2011/05/how-to-detect-lies/

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie
http://thelifechic.com/2011/05/how-to-detect-lies/

the science of dating

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The topic of "better dating through science" during discussion got me thinking about dating in our culture today. Young people today are now cohorts of the online dating epidemic. Online dating is turning attraction into a scientific equation. In this article found in the New York Times, they talk about different websites approaches to finding the "perfect match." Personally, I am turned off by many of these websites. For example, scientificmatch.com matches people up completely by genetic testing. they attempt to match people up based on likeness of immune system. These extraordinary claims must be backed up with some extraordinary evidence. That is where I have a problem with a lot of these sites. Most of the results are inconclusive. These websites take millions of dollars from people claiming to give them their perfect match, but offer little concrete evidence in the end. They are trying to turn love into an equation by using cheek swabs and extensive tests.
On the other hand, there are some websites that truly aim to cater to personality likeness. Eharmony.com has had a good success rate of long term relationships. Their matching is based on personality traits rather than biological sameness. Overall the notion of a computer deciding who you are attracted to is something that is hard to swallow. It is frightening to think that pretty soon no one will be finding their true love without help from survey or test.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/business/07stream.html

Eating Disorders

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I was flipping through the book trying to decide what to write about for this blog entry and stumbled upon eating disorders. So, I went online and typed in eating disorders. As I was scrolling down the page an interesting article appeared. It was an article written by Britt Farwick in the psychology department at Vanderbilt University. This article was about whether or not there is a correlation between people with eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder. If you even just think about the characteristics of both of these disorders you can come to some sort of conclusion that most eating disorders and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) have a strong correlation. Through out the article Farwick found very strong evidence to help support her claim.

But, what I found most interesting in the article is that there was another point addressed. It was that since these diseases have such a strong correlation and have very similar characteristics, they could and/or should be classified under a " "family" of disorders called obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder" as stated by the article.

In my opinion these should only be classified under one overarching condition if it has been shown that the said person has been diagnosed with an eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia, etc. AND has been diagnosed with OCD. As for treatment regarding this "obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder" condition, medical professionals are trying to create one drug that patients would have to take. There have been several tests with a drug called fluoxetine but it hasn't shown effective yet.

In summary, this break through would be very helpful in cutting down the amount of medications people with both of these diseases have to take. But, as with many psychological claims, further tests need to be done.

Article:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/ocd.htm

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.174-1617.1998.tb00519.x/pdf
For this blog post I read the findings of a longitudinal study on the affects of divorce on children. For this study, the behaviors and attitudes of approximately 30 children who, at the time of separation, were between 2½ and 6 years old, were studied over a 25-year period. The researchers decided to study this age group because it is at this age that children are very dependent on their parents, both emotionally and physically, and they are less able to comfort themselves or seek out comfort elsewhere. All of the children came from families in northern California, and had no previous records of psychological issues.
Before I tell you what the results were, I would like to point out an error in this study. Because the researchers chose children from the same geographical area, with similar backgrounds, the conclusions that they developed about how divorce affects children cannot be generalized to the entire population. Perhaps the parents of different cultures would act differently after the divorce, which would then affect the children differently.
The results of this study are very interesting. The researchers found that:
1) Immediately after the parents separated, many of the children feared being abandoned by both parents. They felt that if the parents could leave each other, they could just as easily leave the child. They feared waking up to a deserted home, coming home from school to a deserted home, and other things such as starvation.
a. Interestingly, these fears turned into reality for many of the children. In most families, the father was gone and the mother was forced to work full-time, leaving the children with strangers or older siblings. Many of the children reported feeling lonely.
2) As they reached adolescence, many children were vulnerable in dealing with their own sexuality and aggression. They were less resistant to drugs and alcohol and many of the women became sexually active in their early teen years.
3) Children who witnessed violence in their parents failing relationship tended to end up in abusive relationships later in life.
The affects of divorce on the children in this study are very apparent and certainly hindered them as they grew older. This study suggests a reform to the legal system and better support for children who are dealing with divorce parents.

As we known, children are affected a lot when their parents decide to divorce. But the degree of influences and the factors contributed in divorcing families have not discussed in the textbook.
Divorce1.jpeg
Are there any damages for children of divorce?
According to Amato and Keith's studies in 1991, children from divorced families, on average, experience more difficulty in school and getting along with their parents, than children in married two-parent families. Also, they may have more negative self-concepts. However, Amato mentioned that the actual difference between these two groups have more similarities than differences. Other studies replicate same results.These findings illustrate that most of children from divorced families do not have serious problems compare to children from intact families, but more children from divorced families tend to need help than intact family children.Emotional-Effects-of-Divorce-Children.jpg
Why children in divorced versus intact families are still different?
Paul Amato and Kelly conclude 6 factors that may contribute to difficulties of children in divorced: Parental loss, economic loss, more life stress, poor parental adjustment, lack of parental competence and exposure to conflict between parents. Parents provide emotional support and practical assistance, even serve as role models for their children. The quantity of the father-child relationships is the determining factor for their children growing; limited economic resources makes that children from divorced have more difficulties than intact families, because schools, friends and other supportive relationships change. Parental competence is skills that parents have dealing with children have profound influence on children's well-being. The evidence in studies suggest that parenting skills and types of relationships between parent and child are strong influences on how well children are doing.
Some researches show that children carry more painful memories and longer than children given chances to voice their ideas about visiting or living arrangements. Because they feel little control over their lies following divorce including the transition between households.divorce.jpg
Therefore, divorce may affect children but not very much, and the degree of influences mainly depend on the loss of contact with parents, economic difficulties, stress, parental adjustment and competence.

Article Link: http://parenting247.org/article.cfm?ContentID=646

Sexual Orientation

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The concept of sexual orientation has come up in chapter 11 suggested that a persons sexual orientation is something that is not controlled but instead it is due to a small cluster of neurons in the hypothalamus in the brain. Simon LeVay proposed this in 1981, in later years investigators exposed gay men and heterosexual men and women to phernomes. The results were that homosexual men responded similar to the women's when they smelled the substance derived from male sweat. These finding supported LeVay's earlier results. Further studies have shown that the brain's corpus callosum was is larger in homosexuals than heterosexual men. Scientists have also found that there are physical aspects that also differ. For instance, a majority of left-handed individuals are not homosexual. The article "The Science of Sexual Orientation" by Daniel Schorn published by CBS news discusses to twin boys (Jared and Adam) and their very different interests. Jared was always interested in "boy things" playing with G.I. Joe's, guns... which Adam enjoyed playing with dolls. The scientist Lesley Stahl stated that Adam was demonstrating extreme gender nonconformity she also went on to say that children that show this sign usually grow up to be homosexual. Adam and Jared's mom stated that she began to notice this when Adam was only 18 months old when he began to ask for Barbie dolls. Similar to Jared and Adam were the twins Greg and Steve who were also discussed in the article. This article explained two situations in which one twin was homosexual and the other was not this provides some evidence that sexual orientation does not have to do with nurture but most likely genetics. These findings I thought were very interesting they do not necessarily show that correlation is causation, meaning we still do not know what the difference is, but to me these findings did show that a person's sexual orientation is not a choice but in fact they are born either homosexual or heterosexual and that there are many factors that contribute including perhaps genetic. Video: (video could not be embedded) Direct link: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1391768n News article: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18560_162-1385230.html?pageNum=3&tag=contentMain;contentBody

Most people know how truth serum is supposed to work: bad guy is lying, good guy forces him to drink truth serum, and bad guy spills the evil plot to take over Nakatomi Plaza. While words like amobarbital and sodium pentothal sound like scary compounds that could induce the truth, they are nothing more barbiturates, a fancy class of drugs very similar to alcohol. For the Fratellis and bad guys everywhere, there is little to fear about truth serum.

Numerous studies have shown that people can lie when given truth serum. Those studies falsify the claim that truth serum produces truthful statements. Some evidence points to truth serum simply increasing how talkative someone is, but creates the problem of decifering facts from fiction. The 'truth' is that truth serum doesn't enchance memory in any way. Truth serum is as reliable as asking 'Zoltar Speaks' to reveal the truth.

The studies make sense, given the fact that barbiturates are very similar to alcohol. Even in large quantites, alcohol rarely reveals secrets more important than 'Harry thinks Sally is attractive' or 'I am your father'. We are just as likely to lie and tell the truth under both circumstances.

In my opinion, a more effect way to get the truth out of people is to give them Saturday detention for eight hours and fifty four minutes.

Ref: pg 421, 191.

While reading chapter 10, the section that particularly interested me was the section on infant development and the Mozart effect. While the book focuses on musical stimulation after birth, my experience comes from "Prenatal Learning with Music." While my parents were pregnant with my older brother, they occasionally attempted to stimulate him with Mozart and other classical works. Remember, this is all before birth. Three years later, when they were pregnant with me, they were already parents dealing with another child and had much busier lives. They did not find time to make me subject to forced stimulation while I was in the womb. Now advance 18 years and compare my brother and I. We are almost exactly the same in terms of test scores, work ethic, and drive for success. There is no gaping discrepancy between my brother and I proving that stimulation while in the womb significantly affected his development. The only difference between him and I, he may be a much more creative individual than I am considering he will soon be an architect and I will be an accountant.
Admittedly, I cannot completely disprove that music while in the womb is a pointless practice because of this tiny sample size with no control and hardly a well set up research study, but from my personal experience, I do not see much of an effect.

While researching more background on the Idea of prenatal music development I came across babyzone.com, a typical website for excited parents. The page they have dedicated to Prenatal learning with music is pretty wimpy when it comes to psychological evidence which makes me question the validity of this phenomenon.

http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/article/prenatal-learning-with-music

This website doesn't really directly quote research studies or provide concrete evidence for this phenomenon. They even mention that findings vary in their results which prove issues with replicability. The only thing that has consistently been proved is that babies react to auditory stimuli while in the womb, but this has no proven effect on the cognitive and psychological development of a child.

While reading chapter 10, the section that particularly interested me was the section on infant development and the Mozart effect. While the book focuses on musical stimulation after birth, my experience comes from "Prenatal Learning with Music." While my parents were pregnant with my older brother, they occasionally attempted to stimulate him with Mozart and other classical works. Remember, this is all before birth. Three years later, when they were pregnant with me, they were already parents dealing with another child and had much busier lives. They did not find time to make me subject to forced stimulation while I was in the womb. Now advance 18 years and compare my brother and I. We are almost exactly the same in terms of test scores, work ethic, and drive for success. There is no gaping discrepancy between my brother and I proving that stimulation while in the womb significantly affected his development. The only difference between him and I, he may be a much more creative individual than I am considering he will soon be an architect and I will be an accountant.
Admittedly, I cannot completely disprove that music while in the womb is a pointless practice because of this tiny sample size with no control and hardly a well set up research study, but from my personal experience, I do not see much of an effect.

While researching more background on the Idea of prenatal music development I came across babyzone.com, a typical website for excited parents. The page they have dedicated to Prenatal learning with music is pretty wimpy when it comes to psychological evidence which makes me question the validity of this phenomenon.

http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/article/prenatal-learning-with-music

This website doesn't really directly quote research studies or provide concrete evidence for this phenomenon. They even mention that findings vary in their results which prove issues with replicability. The only thing that has consistently been proved is that babies react to auditory stimuli while in the womb, but this has no proven effect on the cognitive and psychological development of a child.

While reading chapter 10, the section that particularly interested me was the section on infant development and the Mozart effect. While the book focuses on musical stimulation after birth, my experience comes from "Prenatal Learning with Music." While my parents were pregnant with my older brother, they occasionally attempted to stimulate him with Mozart and other classical works. Remember, this is all before birth. Three years later, when they were pregnant with me, they were already parents dealing with another child and had much busier lives. They did not find time to make me subject to forced stimulation while I was in the womb. Now advance 18 years and compare my brother and I. We are almost exactly the same in terms of test scores, work ethic, and drive for success. There is no gaping discrepancy between my brother and I proving that stimulation while in the womb significantly affected his development. The only difference between him and I, he may be a much more creative individual than I am considering he will soon be an architect and I will be an accountant.
Admittedly, I cannot completely disprove that music while in the womb is a pointless practice because of this tiny sample size with no control and hardly a well set up research study, but from my personal experience, I do not see much of an effect.

While researching more background on the Idea of prenatal music development I came across babyzone.com, a typical website for excited parents. The page they have dedicated to Prenatal learning with music is pretty wimpy when it comes to psychological evidence which makes me question the validity of this phenomenon.

http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/article/prenatal-learning-with-music

This website doesn't really directly quote research studies or provide concrete evidence for this phenomenon. They even mention that findings vary in their results which prove issues with replicability. The only thing that has consistently been proved is that babies react to auditory stimuli while in the womb, but this has no proven effect on the cognitive and psychological development of a child.

Sexual orientation is a polarizing and controversial topic of discussion in American society. Sadly, there is not much concordance between people about the origins of one's sexuality: many still believe that homosexuality is a choice, whereas modern science and Lady Gaga give evidence of people being born this way. It has entered the sphere of social politics, where perceptions of homosexuality have been clouded by heteronormative personal convictions and outdated religious dogma. It is my personal opinion that religion impedes the progress of humanity, so I will focus only on the biology of sexual orientation.

Many hypotheses exist for how sexual orientation is gained. In our textbook, it gives birth order, exposure to hormones/pheromones in the womb, early upbringing, and temperament as possible factors in determining it.

One hypothesis I found particularly interesting was that homosexuality was caused by a pathogen. As a microbiology major, I found the 'gay germ hypothesis' interesting. Gregory Cochran and Paul Ewald argued that evolution would strongly select against homosexuals, who have lower fitness (i.e. reduced chance of reproducing and passing down genes). This would make sense. In my biology class, however, we learned of kin selection- in this case, fitness of the homosexual's family increases because it devotes time to caring for its relatives' young, allowing their similar genes greater chance to be passed down.

Furthermore, they argued that higher prevalence of homosexuality in dense, urban areas suggested an infectious agent at work. However, you can't infer causation from that correlation- there might be another reason why there are more homosexuals in big cities such as bigger cities being more accepting and/or increased proportion because of a higher population.

The gay germ theory has largely been rejected by the scientific community because of lack of peer review and replicability. The American Philosophical Association said "there is ultimately very little to be said in favour of these contentions" that liken homosexuality to a disease that needs to be treated.

Sources:
An Evolutionary Look at Homosexuality by Gregory Cochran: http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/backup/An_Evolutionary_Look_at_Human_Homosexuality.htm
Crain, C. "Did a Germ Make You Gay?" in Out Magazine, August 1999.

A way to make you happy.

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I found that this week's chapter was very interesting, especially, ''What Makes Us Happy" on page 424 to 425 caught my attention. I'm pretty confident to say that everyone wants to be happy and in response to that people read many books about how to be happy. According to the text book, there are certain things that make us happy such as marriage, friendship, religion, political affiliation, exercise, gratitude, giving, and flow. I was surprised to see exercise makes you happy not because I was not aware of it but because I have proven to myself how it makes me happy. Today I would like to share more findings about it. I read that exercise not only makes you happy but also makes a difference in your brain size

According to new research found by Lindsay Smith and Dr Nickolas Smith from the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, you can experience a significant mood boost when you perform more intense workouts than less intense workouts. The scientists measured the mood before, during and after the vigorous workouts and what they found is that only the vigorous workouts enabled participants to have respectably elevated moods even 20 minutes after the workout. This is interesting because exercising is what I do when I get stressed. I usually ride a bike when I am stressed and after I finish exercising I find myself feeling better than before. Especially when I ride a bike faster than usual I feel that I did something good and feel pretty good about it.

I also found a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that adults aged from 55 to 80 with one year of aerobic exercise such as running or biking increased the size of the hippocampus. As you know, the hippocampus is the area that is in charge of memory and spatial navigation. As you get older, the hippocampus becomes smaller and it can result in dementia or impaired memory. The volume of the hippocampus plays an important role in terms of memory function.

These two findings perhaps suggest that we should consider exercising in order to be happy and healthy. Next time when you are stressed or depressed why don't you try some intense exercise? It is cheaper and healthier than drinking or shopping after all.


http://www.bps.org.uk/news/feel-burn-and-feel-better The British Psychological Society
http://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/3017.full.pdf+html?sid=f497d8c0-eccf-4824-be57-d408b582d6cf PNAS
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/01/25/1015950108 PNAS

The Mozart Effect

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The Mozart Effect is the supposed boost in intelligence after listening to classical music (Lilienfeld 377). This concept is important because I have learned of the Mozart Effect prior to this class and always thought of it to be true. Whenever I study, I usually listen to classical music, rather than music with lyrics or words in it, so as to boost my studying ability I guess. My Dad always has asked me if I listen to music when I study. Usually when I am doing math-based homework, I can listen to any type of music. When I am reading or studying for a quiz or an exam, I usually listen to classical music or instrumental music on a very low volume, kind of just background noise. I guess I have done this because my Dad has always suggested it. Further research on the Mozart effect has shown that it is hard to replicate and is falsifiable. The simpler explanation is that the music arouses the participant greater than listening to other composers or silence. So does studying with music allow you to perform better when having to retrieve information? Or is it better to study with no music? I guess it would depend on the person. In the book it says that it showed no long-term effect on overall intelligence. I could see how listening to music would not be helpful when you are studying because of stimuli overload, and you may get distracted. One may suffer from state-dependent or context-dependent learning when taking an exam if they studied while listening to music, which caused arousal because they wouldn't be able to listen to music while taking the exam.

As this commercial suggests, many people's lives now revolve around technology. No longer do people meet up with their friends at the local coffee shop to have a cup of coffee together while catching up on the latest gossip or even use their phones to call people. Instead, people are relying more on technology to communicate with each other, such as emails, text messages, and facebook, to name a few. However, there are multiple downfalls that come with replacing face to face communication with technology.

It is very easy for people to misinterpret written language. According to techdirt.com, around fifty percent of emails are interpreted the wrong way. A lifelong friendship can be destroyed in seconds after simply clicking the send button on an email or text message. One phrase that often appears in text messages is, "Oh okay." For example, I may ask a person if they want to go to the dining hall for dinner together or if they would be interested in going to the recreational center with me to go swimming. They may respond that they cannot go because they have already used up all of their meals for that week at the dining hall or that they have too much studying to do. After viewing their response, I may text back, "Oh okay." This can be interpreted in various ways depending on what syllable the emphasis is put on. A person may think it should be pronounced, "OH. OH-KAY." This makes it sound as if I am angry at them for not wanting to do anything with me. On the other hand, they could interpret the phrase as though my voice gets higher at the end, such as "oh oKAY!" This would mean that I respect their reason for not going and am just acknowledging that I received their text message. People often fail to realize the importance of facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice in successful communication.

There are many ways people can protect themselves from misinterpreted emails. Emoticons are becoming popular in communication technologies. People can place a smily face, consisting of a semi-colon followed by a left facing parenthesis, after something they say in an email to ensure that the comment is received lightheartedly and to let the recipient know that it was meant as a joke. Another technique that people could use would be to underline or italicize the word in the sentence that the emphasis is on. This would allow the person to hear the sentence in their head similar to the way that the person would actually say it. In addition, people should think twice before sending an email and reread their email to ensure that the wording of the email correctly depicts what they are trying to say. The safest thing to do, however, is to turn off the computer and meet with the person face to face.

Video courtesy of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkljLxddVI4

Information courtesy of: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060213/1558206.shtml

True Love?

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Our society is constantly bombarded with stories of love. The relationships of the famous, movies, books, and our friends surround and envelop us with the idea of "true love." For example, one of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In this novel two of the main characters, Elizabeth and Darcey, fall into a love that is totally pure and unconditional. All they want to do is spend the rest of their lives together.

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In our text book, it is described how love is studied scientifically. We like people depending on their proximity (physical nearness), their similarities, and reciprocity (give and take) to ourselves. There is also the fact that we do judge a book by it's cover, a person has to be physically attractive for us to pursue them. There is also the triangular theory of love proposed by Robert Sternberg, that proposes that love consists of intimacy, passion, and commitment.

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These ideas break love down into a very clear manner, but it makes me wonder, can love be this simple and scientific? I don't want to believe it is, but I know myself to be a romantic. I think there are other parts of love that can't be explained by science. For example, the textbook says that passionate love (love marked by powerful, even overwhelming, longing for one's partner) tends to change to companionate love (love marked by a sense of deep friendship) as the relationship progresses. What about those people that seem just as passionate as when they first started the relationship? I don't think love can be boxed and tied up neatly. I think there are other variables to love that will can't be described, but I am also interested to see what information about the idea of love will be discovered in the future.

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Smiling is universally associated with expressions of pleasure, joy, happiness, and amusement. As Americans, we smile at friends, loved ones, at acquaintances, at the check-out lady at the grocery store, at cameras, at good tidings, and in new surroundings, to name a few. Much of the rest of the world thinks that we smile way too much and sometimes in an inappropriate context. Excessive smiling is viewed as a sign of dishonesty or shallowness in some cultures. In Asia, smiling is a more reserved action suited to express love as well as embarrassment, anger, or confusion. Try as we might, we could never get our grandparents (Indians) to smile for the camera although they would readily smile at us.

What makes us smile? In the anatomical sense, it is the contraction of the zygomatic muscles in the cheeks that pulls the corners of the mouth outwards and upwards. That is enough to pull off a conscious, fake smile but a genuine Duchenne smile (the pictures at the ends above) requires the co-ordination of these zygomatic muscles as well as the orbicularis oculi muscle. The result is the raising of the cheeks, the corners of the mouth pulled upwards and outward, crow's feet around the eyes, bagging under the eyes and a gleam in the eyes. It is very difficult to make a Duchenne smile voluntarily and for that reason, it is seen as reflection of genuine happiness.

Now that you have the tools to spot a genuine smile, look at the pictures below and test yourself.


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There have been a number of studies in the area of smiles and the results are fascinating. Paul Ekman (of Facial Action Coding (FACS) fame) has conducted studies that show that ONLY Duchenne smiles cause increased activity of the front region of the left hemisphere, the area associated with positive emotions. This finding has been replicated by Harker and Keltner who conducted a longitudinal analysis of the relationship between positive emotional expression (how the students smiled in their yearbook) with outcomes in marriage and personal well-being. The Duchenne smilers were the winners!

To test yourself further, check out this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/

Sources:

Expressions of Positive Emotion in Women's College Yearbook Pictures and Their Relationship to Personality and Life Outcomes Across Adulthood
LeeAnne Harker and Dacher Keltner University of California, Berkeley
Joumal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2001, Vol. 80, No. 1, 112-124

Ekman, P. (2003). Darwin, Deception, and Facial Expression. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1000: 205-221. Retrieved November 5, 2011, from http://www.evenhappier.com/darwin.pdf

Wikipedia Contributors. (2011, November 5). Smile. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 5, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Smile&oldid=258939145

BBC. (n.d.). Spot the Fake Smile. Retrieved November 5, 2011, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/index.shtml

Build a Baby!

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Our Psychology book briefly discusses the "Mozart effect" and parents' desire to enhance their child's cognitive development...basically, they want to make their child smarter. So, the case: Playing Mozart improves intellectual ability. I think this classifies as an extraordinary claim in need of extraordinary evidence. The study done by Rauscher, Shaw & Ky that launched the "Mozart effect" has failed to pass the replicability and falsifiability tests of scientific reasoning. Unfortunately, this study provided a lucrative opportunity for press and toy companies, elevating an underdeveloped idea to a level of scientific proof. The book even cites the seemingly imprudent act of a former Georgia Governor that added money to a state budget in order to provide all new babies with a free Mozart CD. By applying the Occam's Razor principle, suggests that maybe the extra brain stimulation that music provides accounts for the temporary cognitive improvements.
However, I think that the this Mozart craze isn't a complete waste. In a BBC article "The Mozart Effect Debunked," it reinforces the evidence from our book that Mozart music does not make babies smarter. However, it also interviews children who are frequently exposed to Mozart's music and asks them what they think about it. Their responses are all positive and they seem to have developed an appreciation for Mozart's classical style of music, which I personally think it great. If anything, the Mozart craze can maybe help children be more accepting of music (and maybe other things too) that is not typically their favorite.

Being Prosecuted as an Adult

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While reading chapter ten I came across a particular section and immediately bookmarked it for this blog post. The section was on the cognitive changes in adolescence and it dealt with how the brain develops with age. More importantly though it touched on the subject of how some adolescents are "pardoned" for their crimes because their brains are not fully capable of making good decisions. To this idea I definitely agree. However, I sometimes don't agree with how the law handles this. The law generally considers adults as eighteen years of age and older, but sometimes younger teens can be convicted as adults depending on the case, and how hard the prosecutors push to try the defendant as an adult.
The way I believe it should work is that there should be rules "set in stone" about how this works. I believe that for certain crimes, committed at certain ages, it should be required that the defendant be prosecuted as an adult. For example, many teens 16-17 years old commit attempts of murder every year, and find themselves using the excuse of "my brain isn't fully developed yet" as a way of getting barely anytime in jail, and back on the streets. If there were more specific rules on age and crime serious crimes like attempted murder could be dealt with more effectively. Any normally developed teen at the age of 15, 16 or 17 should know that killing somebody is wrong, and if they decide to try and kill somebody, they should be punished like somebody who is 20, 30, 40, etc.

For a couple years now, people have been making claims that pop culture and the media have influenced women to contract eating disorders. While currently there is some research going on to find a biological basis for these disorders, I personally feel that the leading cause is the media's idea of "beauty" and the 20 inch waistlines that are splattered across every newsstand and checkout line. An article published in 2007 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/02/AR2007010200298.html) discusses a study conducted here at the U which "found that girls who were frequent readers of magazine articles about dieting and weight loss were more likely to engage in unhealthy weight-control behaviors five years later." I can say with a significant degree of certainty that having images of underweight "models" (in the fashion sense as well as the observational learning sense) in every ad and photograph causes women to second guess whether or not their body weight is acceptable. In the U's study high school and middle aged girls were surveyed on their height, weight, etc. and several other variables. "The odds of engaging in extreme behaviors such as vomiting or taking laxatives were three times higher in the group that read the most, compared with those who did not read such magazines."
The advertisements themselves are the classic "Bobo doll study" just in a different setting. You see skinny, "beautiful" women being adored by equally attractive guys. The way they look is being rewarded with attention and hunky men, and so young impressionable girls who want both of those things are willing to do just about anything to recreate their "model". Another study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2533817/) , suggested that "Beauty magazines become 'how-to' manuals to help women suffering from eating disorders in their attempts to obtain an elusive and impossible standard of physical thinness."
There have been so many studies involving the media's portrayal of women's bodies and eating disorders it's hard to ignore the claim's replicability. While it is possible that genetics have a hand in things, the most obvious and abundant factor for eating disorders remains, in my opinion, American culture's focus on weight and appearance. Drowning in a sea of Kate Moss spreads and repeatedly being shown images of thinness being rewarded and revered creates a rather simple explanation for women developing eating disorders.

The "traditional" family is a dad, a mom, and the children. They believe that a child cannot develop properly without the presence of a mother and a father. However, contrary to popular belief, there are many more "non-traditional" families living in the world than people think. Single-parent families, second marriage families, childless couples, and same-sex parents all fall under the category of "non-traditional families." All of these family lifestyles, although some might not believe it, are capable of raising perfect children (minus the childless couples, for obvious reasons). Out of all these nontraditional families, same-sex families are undoubtedly the most discriminated on.

It is proven that a child raised by same-sex parents develops as any other child would. Although a mother and a father have distinctive roles in child's development, same-sex parents take on the same roles. These include the role of the "caregiver" and the "breadwinner". In "traditional" families, both parents can be either of the roles (although more often the mother is the caregiver and the father is the breadwinner) and the same goes for same-sex couples. A child that has one primary parental attachment figure and one secondary attachment figure that both play different roles, develops normally whether she has heterosexual or homosexual parents.

Though this fact is proven, people are still hindered by the fact that two people of the same sex are capable of raising a child. Why? I have no idea! I found a, quite frankly, disturbing case when I was reading an article titled, "America's Child Abuse Epidemic." The article discusses how the state of Texas' governor, Rick Perry, brags about how Texas has one of the highest rates of traditional families that stay together. However, he neglects to inform people about how Texas has one of the highest rates of children being incarcerated, dropping out of high school, and dying from abuse and neglect. The article continues to discuss that Texas' Child Protective Services has "lowest rate of removal for abused children from their homes. Not surprisingly, it also has the highest number of child abuse fatalities in the country". This is all due to the fact that Texas wants to boast about its "high traditional family values" which means children should be in a "traditional" family. This also means that Perry would rather have a child stay with an abusive traditional family than be in the hands of a homosexual couple. There is an extremely low rate of abuse in same-sex parent families. This is most likely because these parents have to jump through hoops to finally get their child with adoption costs. They would have to be completely insane to want to spend all that money on child only to abuse it. I think Perry needs to reevaluate his so-called values...just sayin'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/oct/24/america-child-abuse-epidemic?fb=optOut

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/

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.

Truth is, You're a Liar

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Television shows, like Maury shown above, utilize the polygraph test on a regular basis to 'prove' that a partner is lying, cheating, or committing other dishonorable acts. In chapter 11 of the Lilienfeld text it says the largest organization of polygraph examiners claims that the polygraph test is 98 percent accurate. It is extraordinary claims like this that television shows tell their audience and participants, persuading them to believe that the polygraph results are correct. But are these results actually that accurate?
According to the Lilienfeld text, polygraph tests are based on the Pinocchio response, a perfect physiological or behavioral indicator of lying like spiked blood pressure, perspiration, and/or breathing. According to the USA Today article linked below, this means that lie detectors are more of an arousal detector, because scientists still do not know how the nervous system acts when it is lying. If a person responds higher to a control question like "Have you ever been tempted to steal anything from a candy store?" than to a relevant question like "Did you kill your brother?" then they pass the polygraph test. In a perfect world, guilty suspects would experience this heightened autonomic activity, while the innocent would not. However, this is usually not the case. Polygraph tests give a high rate of false positives, or deeming innocent people guilty because of their heightened physiological responses. False positives occur because innocent people are usually very worried about being wrongly convicted, which heightens their physiological responses to relevant questions. On the other hand, the polygraph tests can result in false negatives, or concluding that the guilty person is innocent. This occurs when the guilty person changes their responses to the control questions, allowing them to pass the test. Also, some guilty parties have psychopathic personalities, meaning they have low levels of guilt and fear, causing them to not respond highly to the relevant questions.
The USA Today article also says that the polygraph test is only 61 percent accurate, which is slightly higher than chance. Remember that the next time you watch Maury or MTV's Exposed, linked below. Also keep in mind that it makes for better television drama if the person is found to be a liar. How interesting would a television show be if the participants were all squeaky clean?


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-09-09-lie_x.htm

Viloent Media and Aggression

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Violent media influencing aggression is a very interesting topic to me. It is saying on one side that watching violent television programs or playing violent video games causes people to be more violent and aggressive in their everyday lives. Then on the other hand there is the argument that people that are already violent or aggressive just happen to watch and play these violent media forms. This is a matter of correlation versus causation because we don't know that these two factors are correlated and if they are we don't know that one causes the other, or which one causes which. This study is important because it could help us learn why some people act the way that they do and also whether or not it is crucial that we don't allow children to view these kinds of media in case they should permanently influence their life styles and choices. This issue is so interesting to me because it is so hard to decide which side I would agree with because both have the possibility of being correct. I would agree that violent media influences the behaviors of children as we saw in the video in discussion. Though there were also the factors such as the fact that some children may have only participated because all the other kids were doing it. There is also the fact that these children were playing not being aggressive for real and we don't know that this would be a way that they continue to act or if it only occurred at that time immediately following the show and then they forgot all about it. Perhaps this only affects young children and they should be monitored. (http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20050610/media-violence-may-affect-childrens-minds) Some may think though that if affects all adolescents' not just young children. That video games and movies can make teens even act more violent and aggressive. We can't know though whether that is the cause or not. (http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/11/20/media-violence-linked-to-aggression/3379.html) Then there is the fact that maybe the media isn't the cause of that behavior it could be the effect.

After our discussion session i was very interested in the correlation between violent video games and violent behavior. I have pretty much always been had the opinion that video games do not cause violent behavior, at least for kids old enough to play the games. I would say that media violence definatley desensitizes very young children but that is seen in movies, t.v., and video games. But that is not exclusively for video games, it is definately up to the parents to keep children away from violence as much as they can intil they're old enough. Video games already have age appropriate ratings that tell what kind of content can will be showed in the game. If parents still choose to ignore the ratings its is their own fault that they are showing that type of inappropriate content to their kids. I did some research and found this video that i find i really agree with.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnWO09q2nnw&feature=related
I agree with the psychologist in this video because obviously playing a violent video game would increase aggression at that point in time. It's just like seeing any violent event or getting in a fight, it excites you and scares you and your bodies response is to be more ready to defend yourself. Over long periods though these games don't really make you a violent person, they're more of immediate stressors. People that start school shootings probably play violent video games because they are already angry with their lives. Or itc ould be the fact that pretty much all teenage boys play violent video games, they are a very popular product. Too many people are mistaking correlation with causation when it comes to this topic.

We all know the story of the stork flying though the starry night, innocently delivering babies to hopeful young couples. However, we also know that this little story is completely untrue (although still a good excuse when small children ask where babies come from!). As a child grows older, they learn that when a husband and wife love each other, they get married and eventually partake in god's special gift of sex and that is what makes a baby. As if this process isn't miracle enough, there are now claims being made that the day the baby is conceived will predict the gender of the baby!

Check out this web site/article: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/genderpredictor/ .
This web site claims that if you use the Chinese Lunar Calendar, you will be able to predict the sex of your future child. There is a date generator that asks for the mother's birth date and the date of conception. Then, based on these two dates, the Chinese Lunar Calendar will be able to calculate whether the baby will be a boy or girl. This is a very extraordinary claim. As we have learned in Psychology 1001, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (also referred to as Occam's razor, one of the six scientific thinking principles). Within the web site stated above, there is absolutely no evidence that could support such a crazy claim.

In my opinion, it is better to simply wait out the pregnancy to find out what gender your newborn will be. There is no point in becoming invested in hoax claims that have no evidence of their validity or reliability. From the text book "Psychology From Inquiry to Understanding", by Scott Lilienfeld and others, we know that after conception, the sperm fertilizes an egg to produce a zygote which forms a blastocyst during the germinal stage of prenatal development. The cells in the blastocyst do not yet have specific functions. Once the cells take on functions, the blastocyst becomes an embryo (at about 2 weeks into pregnancy). At this stage, the major organs and limbs are developed. Then the embryo turns into a fetus which marks the first heart beat. This process of development has been proven and can be observed in everyday life. So, although some websites claim to be able to predict the sex of a child based of the conception date, we know that it will not be until weeks into a pregnancy when organs start to develop and the baby becomes a boy or girl.

At the age of four Saturday mornings meant that you could turn on your favorite television show while eating breakfast and have a relaxing morning. But was your favorite show Barney or Power Rangers and does that make a difference? After watching a video that demonstrated children's behavior during and after they watched Barney and then during and after Power Rangers showed significant differences in their behaviors based off their exposure to media. During and after the children watched Barney, a calming show full of love and friends, the children played nicely together, sharing toys, and not hurting one another. Once the children watched Power Rangers, a action filled show with fighting, they immediately began imitating the fighting displayed by the Power Rangers during and after the show. Not only did the children act out the motions of punching and kicking but they also began punching and kicking the other children around them. This is a specific example of how children's exposure to violent media affects the amount of aggression displayed through their behavior.

Another experiment was conducted to see how violent video games influenced aggressive behavior (Psychology Today).

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201003/the-broad-view-research-video-games-and-aggression

This meta-analysis examined 380 studies that involved over 130,000 participants. Through this experiment it was proved that there are short-term and long-term effects on aggressive behavior due to violent video games. Playing violent video games for a short period of time seems to activate the idea of violence and increases people's overall level of energy or arousal. Playing violent video games over a longer period of time increases the person's overall aggressiveness. It has also been found through these studies that playing violent video games desensitizes people who play these games and makes them less sensitive to the negative aspects of violence.

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In an article from Science Daily I found something Bruce Bartholow said, associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science, very interesting.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525151059.htm

"More than any other media, these video games encourage active participation in violence," said Bartholow. "From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence."

This supports evidence found in studies that violent television shows and video games increase aggression in children and desensitizes them to violence.

Even though there is all this support for violent shows and video games increasing children's short-term and long-term aggressive behavior there are also arguments that go against this. One study from another article in the Science Daily suggests that, "Depressive symptoms stand out as particularly strong predictors of youth violence and aggression, and therefore current levels of depression may be a key variable of interest in the prevention of serious aggression in youth," not violent video games.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214112031.htm

The second argument against violent media affecting children's aggression argues that there is no obvious link between real-world violence statistics and the advent of video games and says that video game usage has reduced real violence. "Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s," says Kierkegaard, "while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use. For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before. "With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence," he says, "Instead, violence has declined." With this finding, Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England finds supporting evidence that these violent video games and television shows have actually decreased the amount of real-world violence and aggression instead of increasing it.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080514213432.htm

There are two-sides to each argument, so which one are you going to side with? Personally, I agree with the argument, violent shows and video games has increased children's short-term and long-term aggression and has desensitized people to the negative aspects of violence. I have witnessed this first hand through my cousins, little sister and my peers. Moving up a level in video games by shooting someone or stealing a car is reinforcing us to be aggressive and violent to get higher in life. This can in no way help future generations in becoming less violent and reducing real-life aggression and violence. Therefore I believe that violent media and games should be restricted due to its lasting affects on our people.

Imagine yourself when you were 4, watching your favorite television show, Power Rangers. It made you feel powerful, aggressive, and invincible. When you and your friends would play, you reenacted the moves you saw in the show: kicking, punching, and shoving. One of your friends gets hurt, but it was only playing; you didn't mean to hurt anyone! After the wound is all bandaged up, you just keep playing like nothing happened. This is a common occurrence with children after watching violent media. This also occurs in children playing violent video games. Findings from University of Missouri say that "brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression" (ScienceDaily). In their studies, after the participants played the violent video games, they were shown a picture of violence. The participants had reduced brain response to the photos. This reduced response to the photos predicted aggression levels, where the smaller the brain response to the violent photos, the more aggressive the participants were. The video games that are popular now are mostly violent video games, and surveys show that an elementary school child spends more than 40 hours a week playing these violent games (ScienceDaily). Most of these popular violent video games encourage the participation in the violence, therefore, desensitizing the children's brains to the sight of violent behavior. In another article, researchers suggest "performing violent acts in video games may be more contributing to children's aggression than passively watching violent acts on television" (Tomkins). There are games that promote prostitution, theft, and violent behavior, such as Grand Theft Auto. The fact that, in video games, you have to act out the violence, makes violent actions are more familiar to the children and there are no consequences for it, leading to the wrong idea. From these findings, we can conclude that violence in media cause children to be more desensitized to violence and more familiar with how to act out violent actions without the consequences there are in real life.


http://allpsych.com/journal/violentmedia.html
https://www2.webvista.umn.edu:443/webct/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct?appforward=%2Fwebct%2FviewMyWebCT.dowebct

It is evident that the traditional family has had some major transformations over the recent years. The video above shares interesting facts on the changing family of today. Irma Zandl from the video states, "There are 30% fewer 30-40 year olds married today than were in the 70s. Marriage and parenthood are also drifting apart, with only four in ten births in this country to married women." I found these statistics very interesting because these changes directly affect the environment in which children are growing up. So how exactly have these changes affected children?
Lucky for me I have learned all about this in my exceptionally informational psychology class. First of all, the absence of a father would have a large impact since the role of a father is very important. Fathers often engage in more physical play than mothers, which is great when developing a child. Also, boys and girls tend to choose their fathers over mothers as playmate. According to the video, six in ten children are born without a father, who is the figure children look to when wanting to play. According to our psychology book on page 389, "Children benefit from warm, close relationships with their father regardless of how much time they spend with him."
We have also learned that children from single-parent families have more behavior problems, such as aggression and impulsivity, than do children from two parent families. "There risk for crime is about seven times higher than for children in two-parent families" (Lilienfeld 390). Although we are given this information, it only shows a correlation. We cannot simply say that single mothers cause children to be aggressive or be criminals. However, from the statistics provided in the video about the changes occurring in family structure, we can observe and hypothesize the affects these changes can have on children.

Allison Conner, Psy. D., did specific research on different couples and singles around the country and came up with a scientific and surprisingly somewhat emotional take on tips for dating, the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them. Conner came up with a top ten, and she states that all these mistakes are more than fixable. A couple of these steps include trying not to play games. At one point or another everyone fears rejection, and depriving your involvement may make you feel secure but this may make you come off as distant or detached. Another form of this would be lying to an individual to get into bed with them. Manipulation is obviously wrong and Conner says that its ok to be genuine and do not be afraid to be yourself and put your best foot forward.
Another topic was talking too much about your ex. Connor states that information on your ex is something that will eventually be shared in the relationship, but while still in the early stages it is bits and pieces of your past that should be left there. Connor says that bringing old baggage into a new relationship creates clutter.
A third piece of advice was what Conner called the "rush in, rush out". She asks her subjects if they rush into love or get overly involved much too soon. This leads to possibly leading your partner on or possibly getting yourself taken for a ride.
Lastly, in general, Conner says that if you have any of these conflicts, or any of the others that she has conjured up, its best if you notice and address them right away.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/therapy-in-mind/200910/top-10-dating-mistakes

Humans as Lie Detectors

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Humans can be used as lie detectors. Albeit many of us think we're avid liars, there are many tells that could give us away to others. Being able to tell whether or not someone is lying is important to the relationships you hold with people. Honesty and communication are key to building strong friendships.
What can you do to tell if someone is lying? Although our textbook says that the best way of finding out whether or not someone is lying is to listen to what they're saying as opposed to how they're saying it, being able to read gestures and body language is fun and interesting. Here are a few tells that can show dishonesty:


  • A person who is lying to you will avoid eye contact or turn their bodies away from you.

  • Liars are unlikely to tough their chest or heart with an open hand, but they will touch their face, mouth, and throat. Scratching the nose or behind the ear is another common gesture of liars.

  • The book uses the example of the Duchenne smile vs. the Pan Am smile. A real smile uses the entire face: eyes and mouth, but a fake smile involves just the mouth muscles.

  • A liar might unconsciously place objects between themselves and you.

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Here is a good site that can tell you more about body language and lying:
http://www.blifaloo.com/info/lies.php

Is love addictive?

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Emotions and Relationships

Being in college, relationships including romantic relationships are commonly on the forefront of many people's minds. As we discussed in psychology class, people are romantically attracted towards people similar to themselves, in contrast to the well known proverb that opposites attract.

Understanding relationships and behavior between individuals is a primary goal of many psychologists. Yet, how far can we go in studying relationships? Some psychologist have already developed a method to predict if couples will stay together. Furthermore, we have already determined, people of similar wealth, race, religion, attractiveness and education will typically come together.

Yet, what types of scientific findings are there in romantic relationships? Are they studying what happens when people are "in love"?

In fact, it seems there is scientific research on romantic love being carried out by Helen Fisher. Check out the following link to see a very interesting video.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love.html

Fisher is studying people in love. She has taken fMRI images to see what is happening when people see their loved one. She has found that the Ventral Tegmentum Area (VTA) and Nucleus Accumbens a part of the brain responsible for reward is activated. She compared people in love to those who were recently separated from their loved one. She found that these same areas in the brain had heightened activity in both groups of people. Helen Fisher has decided that love acts on the brain like an addiction. This helps explain why it is so hard for people to forget their old relationships and ex partners.

Fisher's next project will also be very interesting. She is going to try to determine why two people fall in love. As we noted in psychology class, proximity and similarity make a difference. However, what if we could determine if two people would make a good match because of their biology?

Overall, it seems love still remains a mystery.

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.

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/March08/Memory.on.trial.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070720100026.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080313124445.htm

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