#6: November 2011 Archives

Psychology for Me in the Future

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Of all of the interesting, bizarre, complex, and controversial issues and concepts introduced to me this semester in my first ever psychology course, the most outstanding concept that I know I will remember and use five or even ten to twenty years down the road would be that of the six scientific thinking principles. Ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor were all addressed numerous times constantly throughout the course of our book, related and applied to nearly every idea and theory that psychologists and scientists have hypothesized and thought of. These critical thinking skills to keep in mind are best used, as our book defines them, "for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashion" (Lilienfeld 21). From this definition, it is obvious that they will prove most useful well after I am done with this course and even college altogether.
For example, when I see ads in magazines or on the television that claim extreme or outlandish things, I can identify that there might not be extraordinary evidence to back up these claims nor might there be ways to falsify these claims or prove them wrong. Also, when I see a relation between two things, such as the amount of time I study and the grades I get in my classes, I need to learn that there may be other causes for the correlation between these two events, such as the amount of sleep I get every night/how rested I am for class.
The main reason why these six principles will be sure to be remembered years down the road is because of their usage in a lot of everyday activities and scenarios. Without learning these psychological strategies to assessing claims, I could fall prey to a lot of false assumptions that could be detrimental to my life in many ways, most importantly my health and reasoning abilities. For this reason, I am most grateful for learning these criticisms and being able to now apply them to situations I am faced on a day to day basis.

*Lilienfeld, Scott. Introduction to Psychology: From Introduction to Inquiry. p 21.

Psychology for Me in the Future

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Of all of the interesting, bizarre, complex, and controversial issues and concepts introduced to me this semester in my first ever psychology course, the most outstanding concept that I know I will remember and use five or even ten to twenty years down the road would be that of the six scientific thinking principles. Ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor were all addressed numerous times constantly throughout the course of our book, related and applied to nearly every idea and theory that psychologists and scientists have hypothesized and thought of. These critical thinking skills to keep in mind are best used, as our book defines them, "for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashion" (Lilienfeld 21). From this definition, it is obvious that they will prove most useful well after I am done with this course and even college altogether.
For example, when I see ads in magazines or on the television that claim extreme or outlandish things, I can identify that there might not be extraordinary evidence to back up these claims nor might there be ways to falsify these claims or prove them wrong. Also, when I see a relation between two things, such as the amount of time I study and the grades I get in my classes, I need to learn that there may be other causes for the correlation between these two events, such as the amount of sleep I get every night/how rested I am for class.
The main reason why these six principles will be sure to be remembered years down the road is because of their usage in a lot of everyday activities and scenarios. Without learning these psychological strategies to assessing claims, I could fall prey to a lot of false assumptions that could be detrimental to my life in many ways, most importantly my health and reasoning abilities. For this reason, I am most grateful for learning these criticisms and being able to now apply them to situations I am faced on a day to day basis.


*Lilienfeld, Scott. Introduction to Psychology: From Introduction to Inquiry. p 21.

Correlation vs. Causation

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Five years from now, and for the rest of my life for that matter, I will be incorporating the concept of correlation and causation into my everyday life. As I have matured as a psychologist, I have discovered the importance to identify when correlation does not necessarily mean causation. You do not have to look hard in your day-to-day adventures to find an event where just because two things may appear to be related to one another, it does not mean one caused the other to occur.

Five years from now I am hoping to be working in finance at a large corporation or in the midst of starting my own business, both of which will require many difficult decisions regarding how to spend money. For example, I cannot simply assume that because my company or the company I am working for has a good month of June that the month of June is directly correlated with good profits and therefor we should increase spending and inventory during all June months. There are many third variables that may have come into play. Maybe a new product was released, or maybe the economy was on a rise, neither of which has to do with the month of June. Because of my psychology class I realize this, and I will now be more careful and aware of this common fallacy.

Psychology In My Life

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Throughout this semester of Psychology 1001, I have learned so many complex concepts that have captivated my interest and challenged the way I see the world and the people around me. One concept that in psychology that I think I will remember in five years from now is the concept of stress and ruminating. Ruminating is defined as "focusing on how bad we feel and endlessly analyzing the causes and consequences of our problems". Ruminating is thought of as "recycling negative events" and often leads to high levels of depression and anxiety.

During my high school years I had constant anxiety about every single little thing that was happening in my life. I spent countless hours obsessing over problems (and potential problems) with family, friends, school, and work... It seemed like I had gone crazy! I constantly had thoughts running through my mind about every possible thing that could go wrong within different aspects of my life. Ruminating even ruined my relationship with my boyfriend of the time. I continuously over analyzed every second he was not with my and became overly controlling to the point where we could not even have fun together.

Learning about the concept of ruminating related to stress helped me recognize my problem. I was driving myself into a deep depressed, stressed out hole. Because of Psychology 1001 I have learned to take the time to relax and stop 'pre-living' events that occur. I will remember the concept of ruminating in five years from now and, hopefully, this concept will help me throughout the rest of my life.
Source: Psychology 1001 From Inquiry to Understanding, Scott Lilienfeld

Why Are You Happy?

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There are a lot of factors that make people happy. It's interesting that there could just be this simple list of things that are common for every one and they make everyone happy. The list of things that make people happy are:
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Marriage: married people are usually happier because they have someone to share their life with and responsibilities as well giving them less to worry about.
Friendship: people who have a good number of friends tend to be happier than those with few or none. My friends are what keep me happy, without them I would be so sad and lonely and bored.
College: people who went to college are usually happier. I would say that compared to my brother who didn't go to college, I am happier. I wouldn't know what to do with my life if I didn't go to school. I would feel like a loser.
Religion: those who are deeply religious tend to be happier than those who aren't. Their religion and closeness to God make them happy and fulfilled with life.
Political affiliation: people in the Republican Party tend to be happiest then democrats then independents.
Exercise: people who exercise are usually happier than people who don't. Exercise works as a kind of antidepressant. It also makes people happy to feel the sense of accomplishment you get after working out and feeling fit and healthy.
Gratitude: thinking about all the reasons that you should be happy actually makes you happier. When you think of all the good things you have in your life you realize how much you have to be happy for and how much you appreciate those things. Sometimes I am sad but if I really think about my life and all the people in it, it makes me much happier and I realize I'm not alone.
Giving: when you give to other people who are less fortunate it usually makes people happy. People are more happy spending money on others then on themselves. I love to give gifts it makes me happy to know that I got someone something that they wanted or will just love and I love to surprise people and see the look on their face.
Flow: this is a mental state where people are completely caught up in the moment, in what they are doing at that time. They aren't really paying attention to the world or the bigger picture or problems that can wait until tomorrow. They're just happy now. I always feel this way when I'm with my friends or boyfriend and am having an amazing time.
These things are important because it is important to know what makes people happy and what makes you happy and realizing that these things are a common bond among most people.

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This page is an archive of entries in the #6 category from November 2011.

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