lindq286: October 2011 Archives

50 First Dates.. For Real?

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50 first dates is a pretty popular movie which has a main story line about a girl who is suffering from memory loss due to a car accident. This clip is one which outlines the movie somewhat, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_OW9UejdY8 giving the reader of this post an idea of Lucy's condition. I was really perplexed as to if this type of memory loss was even possible. Then i researched some and found this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1285535/ Two-car-crashes-leave-Michelle-Philpots-24-hour-memory.html, which is surprisingly very similar to the plot of 50 first dates. Until now whenever i had watched 50 first dates I had though how impossible that memory loss would be not only physically but even to have to deal with that on a daily basis. Her husband and her wake up every day and he has to convince her that they are actually married and who her loved ones are. This article relates her story to the movie but it does not say that the movie was based on her story. In the movie everything ends up alright but by this article ends and no evidence is indicated that she can break the illusion and thought that it is 1994, she just has to go through a memory gauntlet barraging her brain every morning trying to convince her the current date and situation. I really feel for her situation because if I had to deal with this issue every single day either for me or for a loved one I don't know if I could put up with it day after day for months, years, or even decades on end.

What we actually see

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Inattentional blindness is an extraordinary event where we unconsciously "forget" to pay attention to small details. This often occurs when we are extremely focused on a task or some sort of event that we become blind to the simplest of perceptions available. This concept really strikes me as important because of how we could miss the smallest of things which in turn could wind up affecting us in a much greater way. This video is a great example of this phenomena in progress ( http://youtu.be/Ahg6qcgoay4 ) because unless you have already done it and know about it most will be shocked to find what they missed. There are other examples such as the "Disappearing Card" trick where the user simply swaps every card after asking the subject to focus solely on one, or this video http://youtu.be/vBPG_OBgTWg where the subjects are so determined to help the person in need that they forget about the person themselves. It simply fascinates me that we humans are constantly ruling our events and objects that our sub-conscience declares as unimportant. And I truly begin to wonder, "To what extend will our brain rule our things as unimportant but we the consciously determine important at a later time". I also wonder since Marc Green declares it normal for this action to occur at http://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/inattentionalblindness.html, what it takes for the few people that overcome this even feel and observe on a daily basis. Is it a ridiculous overload on information? Or is only linked with disorders such as ADD?

Cognitive biases have long been plaguing the minds of people by making "Systematic errors in thinking" (2). Looking into the topic I read the article at http://cognitivebiasmodification.com/ but now there is a new computer based system in the works called "Cognitive Bias Modification" which allows for a therapy to common cognitive biases. Some of these biases include "Hindsight bias" and "Overconfidence" both of which give us a security blanket making us feel safe in our predictions and in our biased thoughts. According to this article, "People who suffer from social anxiety typically focus on the faces of negative or disgusted people rather than people with happy faces" (1) and they do this without even realizing it. So these new computer-based therapies will eventually give the option to patients to completely change their negative thinking to a more optimistic point of view. This article does not mention anything about correcting the overconfidence bias possibly because the technology doesn't exist or possibly because our society in general is way too overconfident with their abilities. My question with this technology is will it work consistently and will it actually make an impact on the lives of the people who use it? Also how much further can we push the limits of this to change thought process in general?
Sources:
http://cognitivebiasmodification.com/ (1)
Our Lilienfield textbook Psychology, From inquiry to understanding (2)

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by lindq286 in October 2011.

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