golo0029: November 2011 Archives

Are you honest?

Vote 0 Votes

Intelligence is a very difficult topic to discuss. This is because some people are naturally better at solving problems and can process information faster than their peers. Yet, we know that intelligence is highly influenced by genetics. Therefore, is it fair to test people based off of their genetics?

As we have discussed in lecture, there are multiple views on intelligence. Some people look at overall intelligence while others believe it is a multifaceted construct. Yet, I am not sure we will ever know exactly how to define intelligence.

Testing intelligence can be a rather touchy subject especially for juniors and seniors in high school taking the ACT or SAT tests. A low test score could mean rejection from a potential university. I think this raises the following question.

If every job is important and every individual unique, why do people always get rewarded for being the most intelligent? Is that really fair?

Yet, is that really the question society faces? Sometimes I wonder if it is our priorities that we need to realign. Typically when describing an individual people describe their career and that's how they define success. What if we started defining people through other terms, such as honesty, compassionate, and selfless? Would this change how society views mental/school like intelligence?

Furthermore, if society bases success on career, than it seems socioeconomic status which highly correlates with career would also be influenced. Then I wondered, does this influence people's self esteem? If your success is based off career and thus socioeconmic status, will this affect an individual's daily life? To see if there is a correlation between socioeconomic class and careers (intelligence) I decided to do some research. It ends up that Jean Twenge who works in the Psychology Department at San Diego State University, studied self esteem and socioeconomic class. She found that an individual's economic status has a small but significant relationship with self esteem. She also noticed that the effect is very small in young children but continued to grow until age sixty.

Therefore, next time you ask someone to describe themselves, maybe try asking something other than their profession. What if society changed and asked something totally different: are you honest?

Is love addictive?

Vote 0 Votes

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.


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.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by golo0029 in November 2011.

golo0029: October 2011 is the previous archive.

golo0029: December 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.