April 2012 Archives

The concept I'll remember in five years

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Throughout the semester, I have learned a lot of things about the field of psychology. To me, one of the most interesting concepts i learned was the confirmation bias. The confirmation bias means to seek out evidence that supports our hypothesis and deny, dismiss, or distort evidence that contradicts them. I think that the confirmation bias is an one aspect of psychology that I observe almost every day and I think that it is important to keep in mind. I see a lot of friends and family who demonstrate the confirmation bias when talking about school, the news, and just about any other subject. At times, I even find myself using the confirmation bias and try to keep in mind to look at both sides of the subject. The reason I think that this happens is because people do not like to be proven wrong. They tend to only look at the evidence that supports their opinions and disregard other evidence refuting their claim. This is especially hard for me because I like to know what i am talking about and do not like to be proven wrong. Overall, I need to keep in mind that I need to look at all evidence for both sides of an argument, and remember to use the 6 scientific keys in order to make sure i am correct

Five Years From Now...

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Five years from now I'll probably be done with school and in the beginning years of starting a lifelong career. With this I'm sure I'll be thrown into new experiences with new people; this is when I'm sure some of the things I learned in Psych 1001 will come to mind.

All the things I learned about personality from the "Big Five" to how people's childhoods can affect their personalities later in life made me think about the people around me. I feel like even in 5 years I'll still have thoughts in the back of my mind about why people do things or what people's actions say about their personalities.

I also think that everyone has those moments when they're not sure why they did something and all that I learned about Sigmund Freud's id, ego, and superego explained that to me. When I do something even I can't explain I'm sure I'll remember those concepts and how the id is mostly an unconscious thought process. This also ties into meeting new people during post-college experiences ;I fell that after taking Psych 1001 I'm more apt to give people the benefit of the doubt after they've done something stranger now that I've learned about the quirks of the human mind.

Something I'll Actually Use in the Future

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This introductory psychology class has been a lot of work but it was also quite interesting, which is a nice change from other required classes. I think the concept I will use the most in my future is the theory of attraction. This is a major concept that people will use when making one of the most major decisions of a person's life, choosing a lifelong partner. Starting during adolescence, males and females develop these new feelings of attraction towards the opposite sex. These feelings continue for the rest of one's life. As a person enters all levels of school, they start to develop relationships. Although these young, immature relationships usually don't last, they still have these feelings and they are acted out through the relationships. As people age they still look for mates. Typically as people leave college they start to consider people to be their potential lifelong partner and resulting in marriage. This seems to be a major driving force in people's lives. Work and other things may get in the way but they seem to take a backseat to a person's love life. This is why I consider the theory of attraction to be a major takeaway from this class.

The Thing I'll Remember in 5 years.

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After thinking over what is important enough for me to remember in 5 years, I thought about all the things I remembered about taking Intro to Psychology as a freshman in high school and what I remembered in that class. What I remember the most from that class 5 years ago was talking about how our brains are influenced by sensations and perceptions. The fact that how we perceive things isn't always what is actually is happening; I think that this is the one thing that I will remember 5 years. Optical illusions are something that people will always like, this is evident from the homepage of Yahoo! About once a month they will post a link/article about optical illusion. Perception however doesn't just involve illusions; it also involves concepts like selective attentiveness. One of my favorite videos that we watched in discussion was the video about this guy asking for directions and in the middle of him holding the map 2 guys holding a painting come and the first guy is switched with a second guy, most of the time the person is so preoccupied with giving directions that they don't notice that they aren't talking to the same person anymore.

One to Remember

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The most interesting concept that I will forever remember is that of Sigmund Freud. In particular his theories on the Id, Superego, and Ego. Two years ago I first read his theories and it struck me how powerful our unconscious is. That we make decision based on primal motives. It strikes me that we can have an uncurious so powerful and not beware of it at all. Although I find this interesting along with the rest of most modern psychologist I believe that he was not able to falsify most of his claims. A pioneer in the world of psychology I will forever know the man Sigmund Freud, but it will forever be tainted with the knowledge he may have been a little crazy and had some mommy issues.

Stressed in five years? Ask me how to deal?

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When I looked back at this semester and reminisce on all the things we learned, one thing really sticks out to me: stress. This whole year I have really been stressed out by the transition, school work, environment, and track. Stress has affected me badly here. I have had sickle cell trait crises and it all relates back to the stress and hydration. A buildup of stress can also cause headaches, digestive problems, eating disorders, insomnia, fatigue, and lower our resistance to other illnesses like colds and flu. I decided to be active about remembering and acting upon way to relieve stress. I've learned so many ways to deal with stress this semester. One thing I think I feel like it helps me a lot is proactive coping. I anticipate my stressful situations that promotes effective coping. Additionally, I talk to my friends about my problems instead of holding it in. I make daily planner as well now and eat healthier. When I feel just a little bit stress, I take breaks or take naps. In five years, I'll be able to tell my friends how to deal with stress if they need my help.
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm
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The Downward Spiral

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After reading the chapter about stress, I am forced to think about all of those people who spend all of their life trying to improve their performance on the job, and how their position depends on their ability to maintain a clear head and exceptional problem-solving skills. However, nobody is perfect, so sometimes they make an error on a project that delays it and someone else has to fix. Such mistakes are more tolerable from rookies, but when you have 25 years on the job, people expect you to be perfect. And although those high-ranking workers are better than the rest, they are still people. And when they mess up, more people are watching them and discussing those mistakes. Then the individual begins to worry about performance, which in term makes it even worse (the repression of thoughts does not work). And, at that position, where one mistake leads to more, it is very easy to disappoint your boss and be on your way home, which you can afford for only so long. So, the question is: is it worth it to have a high rank even if it means a single mistake can cost you your career, or is it better to stay in the middle of the pack?

Does love really exit?

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broken-heart-saidaonline.pngA part of psychology that I will remember in five years is the theory of attraction. Often time my sisters and friends get upset because I do not share their romantic views. I mentioned how the love story in Titanic and A Walk to Remember were both lies. On several occasions I have said there is no such thing as true love. Often times my sister would say," How did she get a boyfriend?" I said that if you are around a person long enough you will start to have feelings for them. Sure there are people someone is more suited for but there is not just one person for everyone. Psychology demonstrates both of these thoughts to be true. One predicator of attraction is simply how close two people live, work or study. We are attracted to people we see on a regular basis ( textbook). In media there is always a story about how opposites attract. This gives a person hope yet it is just a way to sell a film and it is unrealistic. Another point about attraction is people are somewhat superficial and judge a potential romantic partner by looks. In movies or tv shows we would like to believe that the "ugly" "unpopular" one will end up with the "popular" kid. In reality psychology proves we are way more likely to end up with someone at our attractiveness level.

http://www.saidaonline.com/en/newsgfx/broken-heart-saidaonline.png

Does love really exit?

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A part of psychology that I will remember in five years is the theory of attraction. Often time my sisters and friends get upset because I do not share their romantic views. I mentioned how the love story in Titanic and A Walk to Remember were both lies. On several occasions I have said there is no such thing as true love. Often times my sister would say," How did she get a boyfriend?" I said that if you are around a person long enough you will start to have feelings for them. Sure there are people someone is more suited for but there is not just one person for everyone. Psychology demonstrates both of these thoughts to be true. One predicator of attraction is simply how close two people live, work or study. We are attracted to people we see on a regular basis ( textbook). In media there is always a story about how opposites attract. This gives a person hope yet it is just a way to sell a film and it is unrealistic. Another point about attraction is people are somewhat superficial and judge a potential romantic partner by looks. In movies or tv shows we would like to believe that the "ugly" "unpopular" one will end up with the "popular" kid. In reality psychology proves we are way more likely to end up with someone at our attractiveness level.

http://www.saidaonline.com/en/newsgfx/broken-heart-saidaonline.png

I'll remember the Big Five Model

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I go back the textbook and think about what we learned during this semester, I find out the really interesting concept and useful things is not memory, is not intelligence, not emotion, but personality! Honestly, I think personality of individual is hard to define, because different people have different genes and grow up in different environment. As the textbook said, this model, the big five, consists of five traits that have surfaced repeatedly in factor analyses of personality measure. I believe that I can remember this concept five years from now on. The five dimensions are extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. Before the class, our prof ask us to do a survey from UCB, I get "18" in extraversion, "24" in agreeableness, "22" in conscientiousness, "25" in neuroticism and "27" in openness to experience. Let analysis what's the meaning of these statistic. Score high in extraversion means he/she is sociable, talkative, assertive, friendly. Primary correlates are that behaviors associated with positive emotionality and seeking new and exciting experiences. Score high in agreeableness means that this person is sympathetic, kind, trusting, and cooperative. Behaviors associated with constraint and longer life-spans. Conscientious people are organized, disciplined, dependable, diligent. If you are relaxed, poised, steady maybe get low score in Neuroticism this category, because it is associated with negative emotionality and overreaction to stress. Score high in openness to experience, the person is more imaginative, curious, creative, unconventional than others. In this discussion section that week, our TA assign us different table based on our score of the survey. Our assignment is to make a travel plan. As a result, each group's plan are very different, I remember the people sit in the middle of the classroom really make a detailed plan. The Big Five Model of Personality really makes sense.

This Is A Problem For Future ME

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Psychology is a subject that is forever relevant as long as humanity exists and communicates with each other. In the future, there are many things that I am sure will come up randomly and I'll suddenly remember learning about in this class. However, some things I am sure I will remember most have to do with how I plan on raising my kids, making them into good people, and some methods that I can implement. The differing kinds of parenting styles was particularly interesting to me and how you can tell pretty much how a kid was raised based on how he or she acts. Using operant conditioning is something that I planned on using before this class, but now actually knowing what these methods are called and more about them is something that I plan on remembering.

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http://www.savagechickens.com/tag/operant-conditioning

In chapter 13 the section of social influence: conformity and obedience, shows us a tremendous study 'Asch Studies' which has done great discoveries on social conformity with concrete findings. The study put to the test whether people would agree to an answer they knew was wrong. Even if everyone said the answer was right. The results that show peoples strong desire to "fit in with the group." In the study the participants chose against their own correct knowledge to follow suit with the normality of the group. This idea sparked another one in me which was the thought on how corporate business uses this psychological mystery into marketing their products. The big businesses that have no direct form of importing craft, Audience to the masses. Not to what not the rich or the most desired customer, but the most people you can get. And by doing this they play of a generational norm and beg people to tell them they are wrong. Cause nobody can say no to an idea that "everyone" has to have. We are all just cool cats and out with cool cats trying to hang out with cooler cats; even if we don't think they're all that cool in the first place.3CoolCats.jpg

Brain Complexities

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A concept that I learned this semester in psychology that is very memorable to me is the topic of biological psychology. I spent a lot of time in this section to learn the material, so that does play some part in why it stands out to me; but primarily because I found it interesting and fascinating. I was especially curious to learn about all the different parts of the human brain and their unique and specialized purposes. I was struck with shock and disbelief after reading about Phineas Gage, the man who had a tamping iron pierce through his prefrontal cortex in a railroad accident. It was crazy to learn about the damage of the accident but then also learn about the effects after he survived that he lost his personality. I think that even years from now, the human brain will still always fascinate me with its complexities.
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A Lasting Memory

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The ability to think scientifically and critically is the most relevant and lasting concept to me. The reason is because scientific thinking can be applied to everyday life and continue to be used throughout my lifetime. Sure it is nice to know who B.F. Skinner was but it is not something I can see myself using often. The many principles of scientific thinking are things you can arm yourself with for your entire life and use to your advantage. I was not a very skeptical person before I took psychology and I tended to believe most things I heard. However, I now know different strategies to see what information is reliable and valid. I remember in middle school people would always take advantage of my gullibility which usually led to me embarrassing myself in one way or another. I was also the kid who would watch an infomercial on some dumb toy and be the first person to buy it, later finding out that it is not nearly as cool in person as it is on TV.

With my knowledge of the 6 principles of scientific thinking I can now avoid past troubles and be a much more informed person. Scientific skepticism is especially important in college since I will conduct a lot of research and it is important to ensure I am using valid information. Hopefully now I will know not to believe everything I hear on TV and I can use my skills to better my knowledge of my surroundings throughout life.
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The Many Mysteries of the Brain...

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Having studied many different psychological concepts throughout this semester, some interesting, some not so much, I have found that learning about the psychological disorders is knowledge that I have gained that will stick with me for quite awhile. I discovered that learning of different psychological disorders was extremely interesting, especially autism and schizophrenia. The ways these diseases affect the individual and the symptoms they cause are quite fascinating. One of the most interesting parts of studying about psychological disorders was reading of different cases of individuals who are extremely intelligent but also suffer from diseases like schizophrenia. Here are people who are suffering from very severe disorders yet have high brain activity and are high in intelligence. I don't see these diseases as a hinder but more of a window to what the brain is capable of achieving and handling. It provides a different outlook on the mystery that is the brain. But what I found most important about all of this, and what I will always remember is that as much as we may know now about the brain, there is still so much that we don't know. The brain in an organ with more questions that answers and more mystery that anything else.

What I'll Remember In 5 Years...

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What I'll Remember in 5 years will probably be the chapter on learning or more specifically the concepts of Conditioning and Learning. This part of psychology interested me the most over the past semester. I want to have a job in marketing and the science behind conditioning is extremely similar to what I want to do in the future. I had a lot of fun performing in the advertisement project during our Behavioral Psychology discussion session because I enjoyed and related to conditioning the most. I also think that conditioning and learning are subjects that come up in our daily lives and are very pertinent to many situations we come across with things like advertisements and incentives. Reinforcements and other tactics to emit a wanted reaction in situations is a big part of parenthood, owning a pet, or just dealing with coworkers, friends, family, etc. All of these relationships are currently present or will be apart of our lives in the future in some way or another so these concepts are extremely important and can help us thrive in difficult situations. In five years I hope to have a job in such a field where conditioning is important and relevant, so this part of psychology will stick with me.

In 5 years...

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Although we've learned a lot in psychology this past semester, I think the one thing that will stick with me is something we learned early on in the course. That is, our common sense isn't always right. The rules of thumb our brains follow are necessary for us to function and process information, but may cause us to think something that isn't true. For example, naive realism may lead you to believe that the world is flat but science has proven that it isn't.

I'll remember this, and want to remember this, because it is applicable to my everyday life. Everyone gets things wrong sometimes. Not because they're unintelligent or inattentive, but because our common sense gets in the way. Because of this, I've learned to check and recheck facts and make sure I'm doing all I can to be as informed as possible. Just because I "know" something, doesn't mean I actually know it.

Ask Me in 5 Years

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If you were to ask me what I am to recall in five years about Psychology that would definitely be what I learned about stress. Stress can be both positive and negative towards you and your body. Positive stress can be a motivator and negative stress can be destructive to our health. What I learned about stress is how to deal and manage it. It's tress management that is crucial. Stress management is the ability to maintain control when situations, people, and events make excessive demands. The worst effect that it can have on the body system is the brain. Psychological stress can really hinder your brains ability to perform well. Researchers have claimed that prolonged exposure to chronic stress can shrink the brain and even cause dementia. Stress is a huge part of our daily lives and fairly common in U.S. culture, especially the lives of college students. I, for one, have experienced two years of the high demands of a college student. I am glad to have learned about stress and its effects on the body. Honestly, I am most happy to have learned about how to deal with stress, because it's nothing but bad news when you don't know how to manage your stress. Here are some interesting articles on stress and how to deal with it!
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199601/stress-its-worse-you-think
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2044477/Prolonged-stress-shrink-brain-lead-dementia.html
http://www.studygs.net/stress.htm

Takeaway: Memory & Optimum Study Techniques

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Before I began this class, I thought that I knew a lot about psychology. Some material that we learned reinforced basic knowledge that I had, but more often than not it contradicted the ideas that I had heard before. However, the concepts that I will remember the most five years from now are those relating to memory. I was amazed at how untrustworthy our memories can be, and how easily we can create false memories. Additionally, I was happy to learn that there is a "best" way to study: shorter individual study periods over long periods of time versus cramming. It's not really a surprise, but it was interesting to see the science behind it and see how many study periods help put the information to long-term memory instead of short-term. This knowledge is something that I'll remember for a long time (possibly because I went over it multiple times over a long period of time!).

Psychology is very helpful in daily life!

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Psychology is very closely related to almost everything in our life. This is my first time to actually take Psychology course, and I am glad that I took this course because I learned so much valuable information out of it. When I think back, this is not the first time that Psychology has influenced or has been helpful in my life time.
When I was in high school, there were four girls whom I was very close with. Including me, there were five and we hung out together all the time and we were there for each other whenever we needed to. However, due to one conflict, we were not on good terms of harmony with each other. Further, a group of five girls became to split into two groups. It was like a disaster to all of us at that moment because we really wanted to get along with each other well and did not want to lose anyone. When we were struggling for weeks for this problem, one of our friends suggested visiting the school counselor. With difficulty, we finally persuaded the others to get counseling. When we were talking to the counselor, we realized that our fight began with a trivial misunderstanding. With help from the counselor, we became to resolve the misunderstanding. Now when I think about this happening, I am so glad that we went to talk to the counselor because that really helped solving the conflicts. Without the help of the counselor, we wouldn't have been able to remain as good friends until now.

I am more objective now :)

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Honestly, there are a lot of interesting things going on in our textbook and lecture. One of the concepts that influence my attitude towards people is the Fundamental Attribution Error in the chapter of Social Psychology.
In the book, it is said that Japanese and Chinese people are more likely than those in Western cultures to view behaviors within a context. I agree with that. If you give me a picture, I would first be attracted by the subject in the picture, but soon begin to look at the surroundings more carefully and slowly. But in my life, I still made a lot of biased interpretations of others' behavior. Learning the concept of Fundamental Attribution Error helps me be more aware of actor- observer affects and make less internal attribution.
For example, in my writing class there is an introverted guy who usually becomes nervous when our teacher wants us to talk about our idea for the next paper in class. Once he became more nervous and spoke less fluently than usual. Before I had learned the Fundamental Attribution Error, I would think he might have had some bad experience of making mistakes when talking in front of lots of people, which caused him to be so concerned once he was in the same situation again. But bigger part of my explanation would be he did not have a very good psychological diathesis. However, now I can see more external attributions, which lead to this result. Like he is the last one to talk, which could also increase his stress and he might be not as ready as before. And then I found if I was in this sort of situation, I would probably do the same thing too.
Realizing human being's Actor- observer bias allows me to hold on a little bit before I make my "judgments" of people and it also somehow makes me more peaceful.
约上三五好友,哪怕一个两个,说些不三不四、不着边际的话,看些没心没肺、不痛不痒的碟,然后再胡吃海喝、举杯把盏。青春,是我们不管不顾、不可收拾的疯狂。.jpg

The Big 5 in 5

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Over the course of the semester I have been exposed to a variety of different topics surrounding psychology. Because this was the first time I have ever taken I psych class I found a lot of the subjects very interesting however there is one I think I will defiantly remember in the future. Five years from now I am almost positive I will still be able to talk about the Big 5 Traits from class.

The week before we lectured on the big 5 we were asked to take the survey online about what our traits would be. I treated it like every other survey for every other class. However I was not expecting the results to be as accurate as they were. After I took the survey I wrote down my numbers for each trait, but had no idea what any of them meant. I was simply doing what I was told and thought I could use the extra point. When I arrived to class that following week and began examining each trait I was shocked to realize how much I fit each category. I scored 28 in Openness to Experience, this being higher than the average, and matched me perfectly because I am always up for an adventure and as the textbook states intellectually curious; I am often intrigued by new information in my class. I scored 28, very high, on conscientiousness once again fitting me perfectly because I am very responsible and careful about how I do everything in my life. I scored 22, which is in the middle for Extraversion. I am outgoing when I want to be, however I do internalize a lot of my life and enjoying being alone. I scored 31 in agreeableness matching my cooperative and easy to get along with personality to a "T". The last one being Neuroticism I scored a 16, which I can also see as fitting to an extent in my life. In the survey, that score would reflect a high score. I often find myself being tense over my school work and my perfectionist personality would also be a leading factor in this score.

As I have talked about above, I was able to directly relate my results from the
survey to my own life, which really helped me, learn and be interested in this section of the class. Because of this connection I made to my everyday life, I feel like I will defiantly remember and use these traits five, ten and maybe even twenty years down the road.

Our Imperfect Brain

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Psychology is an interesting and broad topic. Over the semester, I have learned a lot from lectures, discussion sections, and the textbook. It's true that we forget a lot of the stuff we've learned once a class is over. However, five years from now, I think I will remember that psychology isn't definite: our understanding of ourselves and other people will continue to evolve as new scientific knowledge is discovered. Psychology is about testing new hypothesis and working against our natural biases to reveal something about human nature.

I think I will remember that because our brain processes so much information, we often use mental shortcuts to help streamline that information. Heuristics and schemas help us a lot in life; they lessen our brain's workload and help us concentrate on more important and demanding tasks. However, they aren't always perfect. Our brains can deceive us, our memories may change, but that's what makes us human. We have biases that we have to overcome as we do not always accurately judge situations or how situations can affect us. Our brains may not be perfect, but they do do a lot for us.


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Studying psychology and my future

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During this semester, I could learn many things through psychology class. Although I had a hard time studying this course, I could have a chance to experience psychology. Especially, I recognized that I'm interested in child psychology.
For now, I'm considering majoring in child psychology. I knew I like children, but I didn't think about studying the field more so far. However, by studying the chapter about child psychology, I even thought about my future job. That is, by changing my major, my future can be different from the original plan of mine. Anyway, this course made me think about a new field of a study.
Also, the chapter about the children can be helpful when I have a baby in the future. It can be five years later from now. I will remember the contents of PSY1001 course and I will use them. Not only I use child psychology chapter in the future, but also I can use other chapters sometimes. Personality of Emotion was also interesting field for me. By studying about them, I could think my and other people's feature about personality or emotion. Sometimes I will be able to know the reason of a person's behavior approximately. Isn't it interesting?

5 years from now...

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Out of the many interesting topics which have been discussed throughout the course of the semester, in five years I am most likely to remember the section on improving memory (it obviously taught me well). One thing that was very interesting in chapter 7 was the different strategies to help our short term memory, such as chunking. When you chunk or organize material together into meaningful groups, the likelihood of the information being stored in our short and long term memory increases. Another very interesting technique to help us remember words, especially words in a new language, or word phrases is to visualize the word or word phrase as a picture. If the word phrase is, dog-shoe, we may draw a mental picture of a dog wearing a shoe to help us better remember the words in our memory. Another thing I will be likely to remember in the future is how our memory of past events is never perfect. This will help me to think scientifically and be skeptical when people say that they remembered exactly what happened. I now have better techniques to help improve my memory so that I can remember this information in five year.

Reinforcement

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A concept of psychology that I think I'll remember the most five years from now is probably within the realm of behaviorism. I found the idea of reinforcement, in particular, to be very interesting. I find this to be an interesting concept because it can apply to so many aspects of life. Whether it be training a pet or encouraging positive behavior in children, consistent reinforcement is crucial to success.

I think that this concept will stick with me in the next five years because I find it so relevant to daily activities. I have five little siblings and a wild puppy. What I learned in psychology about reinforcement has provided me with an understanding of how to manage more desirable behaviors and affective means of punishment. I try to apply what I've learned to be more successful and reasonable with my approaches.

Of course, when it came to my siblings, I already had a general idea of how conditioning worked. What psychology did was clarify and give a name to this concept that was already relevant to my life. With my puppy, I definitely have a better idea of how to encourage desired behaviors after learning about conditioning (both operant and classical).

I believe that these concepts will follow through with my life as I gain different behaviors and see others with theirs. I will be more aware of how things like dependency occur and have a general strategy for many situations that may occur later in my life.

Stress Will Stay With Us

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Looking back on all we have learned this year, the one concept that I will remember is going to be stress. This is because stress is going to be in our lives until we die. It's a part of our life and no matter what we do it will stay here. I learned a lot from the teachings and chapter on stress. I learned a lot about the health consequences and how stress can come about. However, the most important concepts I learned were the concepts on how to cope with stress. No matter where my life takes me, it will be important for me to know how to deal with stress. Social support will always be a big help and I also can use the different types of control that the book talked about. I also think that a big player in my future will be staying healthy. The book talked about how being healthy can lead to less stressful lives and that's important for me because I am very unhealthy right now. I'll need to start getting better, and I should see my stress levels go down. There are certainly other concepts that I learned this year that I will remember, but I don't think i will remember any better than the concepts of stress.

I'll Let You Pick my Brain!

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I enjoyed learning about the brain (perhaps I'm part zombie). My big take away was perception and how it's different than reality. In our discussion sections we watched some fun youtube videos and marveled at how people didn't realize that the person they had been talking to was swapped out for an entirely different person. I like to think I'm an observant person, but after learning about that over confidence bias, I'll admit that I probably would have fallen victim to the same ploy.

There is so much that we have yet to discover about the brain, who knows where research will lead us in 5 years. Already we've made leaps and bounds -realizing that the brain is essential for life (yay Greeks!), moving away from phrenology, accepting that the brain is the most complicated structure on the planet, no longer performing lobotomies. Excellent progress indeed.

Perhaps, dare I hope, that in five years we will have better treatments for Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, headed towards a cure. Maybe we will know why some axons' myelin degenerates, causing MS. The field is ripe with questions and I can't wait to learn what the answers are.

Challenges of Parenting

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Looking into the future I am very excited to be a parent one day. Because of this, I think the different parenting styles observed by Baumrind, a psychologist on human development, will be something that I will definitely use when the time comes. As a nanny and babysitter, I have seen different parenting styles that resemble permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative ways of parenting. From this experience, I have also learned the style I will strive to be when I become a mother. I find that adopting the authoritative parenting style will allow me to show my love towards my children while earning respect at the same time as I will set rules and limits that they must abide by. If the rules are forbidden, then there will be limits. Growing up, I have noticed that my parents have also adopted the authoritative parenting style and I have appreciated them for that. Parents of children that I care for who are permissive tend to let their children have whatever they want even if they throw a temper tantrum. This is not a style I like because, as their babysitter, I have to deal with children who whine to me and throw a fit when I say no to something they want. With authoritarian parents, the kids tend to be afraid of their parents and seem to have difficulty expressing themselves.
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References:
Psychology from Inquiry to Understanding, Scott Lilienfeld, pg 388
http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1366&bih=624&tbm=isch&tbnid=Bnk8JJrg5rBHDM:&imgrefurl=http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2009/10/07/they-say-authoritative-parents-breed-leaders/&docid=jXEmkfydWmoMFM&imgurl=http://cdn.babble.com/strollerderby/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/parenting-style-300x210.gif&w=300&h=210&ei=muudT7vcJ6Hw0gGxhsToDg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=379&sig=115937440620286802053&page=1&tbnh=122&tbnw=174&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:73&tx=117&ty=69


Milgram and Obedience

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Five years from now the thing I will remember from this psychology course is the Milgram experiment. Not only was it the most interesting experiment, in my opinion, it was also the one that got me thinking the most. From a young age we are taught obedience and to respect authority figures such as teachers, principals and police officers. Milgram proved that this obedience runs much deeper than most people thought. In his study, participants were pushed to their moral limits as they were told to continue to administer shocks clearly labeled dangerous. How far would you go if Mr. Willams was prompting you to continue, to follow orders, to hurt another person? From an outsiders view it is easy to say that you would never follow orders if you knew they were wrong but this experiment makes us think twice. With over half, 62 percent, administering the highest voltage one cannot be so sure that they would not do the same thing. Not all obedience is bad but blind obedience, without listening to our morals, can get us in a lot of trouble. Having learned about this study and its application to the Holocaust it reminds me to always question authority rather than simply obey.

Taking It With Me: Using Psy 1001 in the Future

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Over the course of the semester, I've learned a lot of different things in Psychology. Between the textbook, the discussion sections, and lecture, a ton of information has been thrown at us. Some will stick with us, while other things will be forgotten...maybe even what we've learned about the human memory! I think something that will stick with me from Psych 1001 is that people's personalities are a combination of a huge number of factors. The things we like or dislike about a different person might be from their genetics, their environment, or even from their attempts to fit in or be liked. Because of this, it is unfair to judge others or be hyper-critical of their personalities or its flaws.

In addition, something that I will carry with me from Psychology class is the principles that the book used to evaluate the validity of claims, such as Occam's Razor, Falsifiability, Correlation vs. Causation, Ruling Out Rival Hypotheses, Replicability, andExtraordinary Claims. Many times we are quick to believe something, but by applying these principles of scientific thinking, we can be sure that the information we are getting is trustworthy. After time, being skeptical and thorough in research can become second nature and help me avoid false claims.

Final Blog Post- Parenting

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The concept I will remember most in five years came from the developmental psychology unit in our text concerning attachment styles and parenting (p. 386-9). I had a great set of parents who ended up being a solid base of support for me as a child. In response, I behaved towards them in the classified secure attachment manner. I'm even still a little upset to leave home for school and am always excited to see my parents again!

The idea that all our future relationships revolve around how our parents responded to us as babies is unnerving; it's possible that I might be having children in five years, so it's a relevant topic! I hope that I will have an authoritative parenting style with my kids then; this would include setting firm limits but also providing security and comfort for my child(ren). I think that it would be good to remember that parenting has a threshold value associated with it, however: most children turn out just fine when raised in an average expectable environment. With this new knowledge tucked away in my mind, I think that in five years I will remember what I learned from this interesting unit on parenting.

Conditioning in Daily Life

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Throughout the semester, there have been a lot of interesting topics and concepts that we have learned about, but one that really stuck with me was the concept of conditioning (classical and operant). Five years from now, I think conditioning is something that I will remember from psychology class because it intrigued me the most and made some real life situations make more sense. An example of this can be found in marketing and advertisement, where advertisers use classical conditioning to get customers to associate their products with enjoyable stimulus. A specific example that the book provided was with Skyy vodka, where they have a poster for their product with a swimsuit model on it as well, hoping that customers will eventually associate the vodka with the feelings they get while looking at the model.

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I believe that classical and operant conditioning are concepts that will stick with me in the future because they relate so easily to every day life. I hope that I can apply them in my life or my career in a way that will be beneficial to me, such as conditioning my boss to let me off work early when I wear a certain outfit! (just kidding)

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Throughout the semester, as the textbook noted at the beginning, lot of expectations I had in my mind totally broke down. Many of concepts were familiar but their meanings and insightful analysis were very fresh and unexpectedly developed. "Abnormal psychology" is the one concept that strongly remained throughout the course. I was strongly captured in the popular psychological ideas and biases on this concept. In fact, there were many concepts that I already learned from outside which were mostly derived from the popular psychology which was inaccurate and not very scientific.
"Although common sense can be enormously useful for some purposes, it's sometimes completely wrong" (Chabris & Simons, 2010). As they said, my psychological knowledge were mostly biased and too simply determined due to common sense. For example, abnormality connects with disorders and not being natural under my cognition. However, everyone is abnormal according to psychology. It seems negative and involves bad circumstances, but the term itself isn't harmful. We are all individual characters. It is true we share certain characteristics that may build culture and society, but not everyone shares something. For example, in the last week lab section, I had activity to define certain groups of people or a person from the slides based on 4D (Deviant, Distress, Dysfunction, and Danger) All the described people were abnormal, there were group talking through tongue. They are abnormal, but do they really bad? I can't answer it because it is just different from others due to their religion, we cannot judge them to be bad or wrong. As I realized, abnormality itself isn't bad thing to say.
It was really practical practice for me to learn and remember how scientific approach is essential in psychology.

Personality: Problems and Possibilities!

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This semester has been loaded with a lot of memorable topics. The thing I will remember the most from the class is the activity we did in discussion when talking about personality.

After taking a personality assessment, we were placed in groups of like-personalities. We were given the task of planning a vacation together. The activity did a good job of highlighting the differences between personality types. The group that I was a part of was very detailed and conscientious of what could happen on our trip. We planned every feature which is the same thing that I do when planning my own personal vacations. This all seemed standard to me until the other groups shared their planned trips. The other groups were so different from my group and my personal opinion of how to plan a trip. This activity was interesting because while it was easy for each group to decide on vacation details, if the groups had been intermixed, things would have been a lot different. In fact, in the real world and especially in job settings, personality types will be mixed and it is essential that we are still able to work together. The characters in NBC's Parks and Recreation do a nice job of this. They all have very unique and diverse personalities, but are still able to meet their goals. No matter where we fall on The Big Five, getting past differences is vital and I will always remember my psych discussion on personality types when I need a reminder of that.

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Conformity isn't for everyone

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While reading about social conformity in chapter 13, I thought to myself, "I would never do these things." For example, the testing on humans with deadly voltage just to see if normal people would respond to authority figures in positive or negative ways was shocking. All of this dangerous testing just to prove a point! If regular human beings can cause torture to their own kind, knowingly, just because someone tells them to, well that is something that is one form of psychology that is going to stick with me forever. I was disgusted and appalled by this behavior; it's this sort of behavior I want to keep in the back of my mind when so to say, "treating people the way I want to be treated." Show kindness and you will receive it in return, but even if it is just a one way street, I hope to be the giver. I want to not conform to what everyone else is doing, especially if it's torturing human beings to the point of death.

Stressed about the next five years

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While there are many insightful topics from this semester, I think the one that will be most prevalent in the next five years will be the identification and coping with stress. Our school environment has become one that is almost entirely based on performance whether that is scoring high on standardized tests in middle school to get placed in "honors" classes, getting a good score on the ACT/SAT a large criteria for admission, or while in college competing against the curve to get good grades to land a job or get into professional/graduate school. This constant bombardment of having to beat out your peers in order to get a good grade, is no wonder that students especially freshman have extremely high levels of stress often leading to physical, mental and emotional problems. According to a 2001 Student Health Assessment Survey, 10.5% of University of Minnesota students reported experiencing three or more stressors in the past 12 months ( one of the most common being failing a class), 28% feel sad or depressed at least once per week and 43.2% of students feel worried, anxious, and nervous at least once a week. These numbers are astonishing when converted to real numbers (multiply them by 50,000). While stress is an adapted survival response to stressors it has become overly exhibited in our performance based society and learning about the topic in class will be helpful when confronted with stressors in the future.
http://www.bhs.umn.edu/topics/stressmgmt/index.htm

Some helpful links for dealing with stress:
http://www.bhs.umn.edu/health-information/stress.htm
http://www.everydayhealth.com/college-health/college-life-10-ways-to-reduce-stress.aspx

Finding Your Other Half

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Although I have learned many things in psychology and have strengthened my knowledge of certain aspects of the textbook, something that I will most likely stick with me over the years is the information from Chapter 11: Emotion and Motivation specifically focused on dating, attraction and love.

As college students, although academically focused, we all have the hopes of meeting our future partner/spouse in college. Perhaps it's the media that puts emphasis in such ideas, but it isn't an outrageous thought or belief to possess.

The three things that can "make or break" the formation of a relationship are: proximity, similarity and reciprocity (Lilienfeld, 443). Proximity is what is defined as physical nearness and the more that you see someone on a regular basis, the more you may get to know about a person and become familiar with them, which heightens attraction. Similarity refers to having things in common, which can be a very huge factor, not just in dating, but in friendships. It helps to have similarities in certain aspects (especially values that are most important to you). Although opposites may attract, "birds of a feather flock together" (Lilienfeld, 445). Reciprocity is one of the most crucial principles because, in order for a relationship to proceed, both people involved must have similar feelings towards each other and be willing to enact on those feelings mutually.

I find that these guiding principles are very important, but it is also a good thing to note that if we believe that someone may like us, we are more inclined to like them back (Lilienfeld, 445). However, good judgement must be used in order to determine if we truly care for the person with similar feelings, as this can lead to confusion and heartache.

I think that if we keep these guiding principles in mind and use good judgement and think through our actions and what we are wanting out of a relationship, it is possible to have strong relationships with others and ultimate happiness.
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My dear sister

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I formerly believed that all the unfortunate events such were never going to happen in my life. I believed that those were just what I hear about in the news or from other people until it struck our family.

It was the year 2008 when I heard from my mom through a phone call that my older sister is in the hospital. I was studying overseas at that time so I was very worried that it might be a serious problem. But my mom wouldn't tell me straight forward and just told me that I will see when I come back home. When I went home, I found out that my sister was diagnosed as schizophrenia and that she had to stay in the psychiatric hospital for a while until the situation got better. Our family was shattered and I soon found out that they went through a lot of hardship with my sister while I was away.

The reason for the breakout of my sister's illness was a mixture of a lot of factors that had built up since she was little. Amongst those were factors like the stress she gained from the expectations of a first-born child in the family as she studied abroad from a very young age. And also the anxiety and inferiority complex she had gained from the relationship with me that she never expressed. I had never expected this to happen as she was the most kind and generous sister in the world and she always conceded everything to me first and let me do things first.

At first, I was devastated just like other family members, but through numerous psychiatric therapies like family therapies and counseling, in addition with medication, we overcame the crisis and managed to get my sister back on her feet again. I really love my sister no matter what. Always did and always will.

How to Find Mr. Right

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As silly as it is one thing that has stuck in my mind and I know I will remember is what people find attractive in one another. I will now acknowledge that those that are close to me, will either find me attractive or I will find them attractive. Opposites do not attract. Finally reciprocity, that I will find someone more attractive if I know they like me. The reason I will remember this is because when I am dating, I will know why I am attracted to someone and if they are legitimate reasons. I will also remember what males and females look for in each other. I will know that I look for men that are a bit older, and have a good career attractive. I understand this now because I want someone who is able to take care of me. This is all very beneficial in the dating seen and finding the right person for me!

What We Don't Know, Won't Hurt Us.. Or Will It?

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I found the chapter on "social psychology" to be most informational and unforgettable. I underestimated how powerful one's influence can be on another or even many.

I liked reading about the studies of conformity and obedience, because they show real-life examples of people behaving ridiculously due to others' influences. I feel like after reading the Asch study, I will think twice before I decide whether to go along with the rest of the group or not, regardless of unanimity.

As for the Milgram study, I was surprised how many people were willing to shock another all due to obedience. I learned that just because someone is of higher authority, does not necessarily mean that they should be listened to.

I completely agree with the "enlightenment effect" in that learning psychology research can really change real-world behavior for the better. If people were aware of mass hysteria and the effects of conformity and obedience, then Hitler may not have gotten as far as he did. Therefore, I think that people should be more informed, especially about this chapter, so that anything like the Holocaust will not be able to happen again. I know that I will always think back on my knowledge of "social psychology" from the Lilienfeld book whenever need be.

-Lilienfeld textbook "From Inquiry to Understanding
-http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/32/K376/TopLinks/TeacherResources.htm
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Why Cry When Time Flies?

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My knowledge in psychology, either through basic facts or deeper knowledge in areas that I've learned this year, has been critical to my survival not only as a college student, but also as a young adult growing up. College life has been fun, but it has also been stressful. Every week, us students are occupied with homework, midterms, papers, projects, and jobs outside of school that create massive amounts of stress. Through knowledge that I've learned and had in psychology, a positive attitude to these everyday stressors will lead to a happier and healthier person in the long run of life.
Not only have I applied this to work inside and outside of school, but also I have applied a sense of optimism into every crisis that has happened to me. From deaths to failures, believing that everything happens for a reason and that one can seek good from anything has lead me to a healthier lifestyle. Rebounding from crisis's doesn't make me want to lock myself in isolation forever; Rebounding has made me want to be active with my body and search for new opportunities to succeed in life. I truly believe my knowledge of coping and having a positive attitude towards everything in life has guided me to live a healthier, more productive life. Not only will I hold a positive attitude toward events in life five years from now, I will hold that positive attitude forever because it has shown nothing but positive results (good grades, healthy work out habits, little stress, etc.). Thank you psychology!

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Five years from now...

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Five years from now, I strongly believe that the topic on learning that we covered this semester in psychology will have a lasting impact. Whether it be training my future dog or watching children grow up to adulthood, learning will always surround me. I understand that ringing a bell to let my dogs know that it is time to go outside is actually a result of Pavlovian classical conditioning. Even in advertisements I am more aware of the underlying methods of learning that are used. On the other hand, when I am trying to retain information I have adopted new techniques. Sometimes I find myself trying to make a visual image out of information that I need to memorize due to the fact that we learned that it 'sticks' better this way. Since being in psychology, I have become not only a smarter learner, but also more aware of learning that goes on around me. This is definitely useful knowledge for the future and will stay with me for years to come.

The Impacts of Social Influence on Our Behavior!

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Human beings are well known to be the social creatures, and this statement is very true since we live with people surrounded to each other, forming a community. Social life and living together with others bring numerous influences that are mostly positive to our life, and this is why we highly value the interactions with others and living within the community.
However, did you know that the presence of people has effects on how well you perform? According to the text book, the presence of people can both have positive and negative impacts on the performance, depending on the situations. For example, suppose you are doing a familiar or simple task, and there are people watching you doing the task. Such presence of others will enhance your performance, a phenomenon called social facilitation. In contrast, the impacts of others do not always bring positive outcomes. For example, when you are doing something unfamiliar or inexperienced in front of lots of people, you will perform worse than the usual, a phenomenon called social disruption.
These impacts of others on our behaviors might gain sympathy from many people because this is something that many people have already experienced during their life time. These phenomena seem reasonable and make sense to me as well since I have experienced both positive and negative situations in my life time. When I was an elementary school student, I began to learn to play a violin. It was my first time to learn how to play the violin that I was still an amateur even after 6 months of playing it. However, one day, my violin teacher held the recital and asked me to participate in. For the upcoming recital, I practiced a lot not to make any mistake in front of many people. , Nevertheless, despite of sufficient practice time, I felt very nervous when I was performing in front of many audiences, making lots of mistakes that I did not even make during the rehearsals. I was very disappointed and upset at myself for making unusual mistakes and performing worse. Now I know that the inexperienced task of playing violin in front of big crowd led to social disruption.
I also have experienced the social facilitation as well. When I was in high school, I was the soccer player of my school soccer team. Many times I found myself playing much better in soccer games than practices. I guess this is related to social facilitation since soccer is something very familiar to me that the presence of other people might have allowed me to perform better than usual.
It is fascinating to see how the effects of social influence can be either positive or negative. From this learning, now we know that when we perform an unfamiliar task with large crowd watching and do poor job on it, it is not because you are not good at the task, but rather it is due to the social influence which imposes heavy pressure that makes you feel nervous and uncomfortable, preventing from performing well. Therefore, do not give up, but practice it more and make it familiar to you. Then, you will perform much better next time!

Babies: The Linguistic Geniuses of All Time

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When I think of babies, I think of them as being cute, loving, adorable, playful, and naive little creatures that will once grow up to be the epitome of their highly intelligent caretakers. Beyond that, I have never given much credit to these cute little humans. After taking psychology 1001 all semester long and learning about the development of language, I have realized that I have highly discredited babies all along. What I realized from learning about the process of language is that babies are highly intelligent humans. According to Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding (p. 290), "language is among the few documented cases in which children are more efficient learners than adults" (Lilienfeld, p. 290). Their ability to quickly learn and develop language even before they are born completely astonished me. According to psychologists, babies within their mothers womb have the ability to recognize their mother's voice and recognize specific traits of her native language by the fifth month of pregnancy (Lilienfeld, p. 290). Furthermore, by the mere age of one, these infants are able to figure out the phonemes of their native language and are able to learn how to produce vocal sounds that are specific to their language (Lilienfeld, p. 291). Though it seems like complete nonsense, the "babbling" sounds produced by these cuties "play an important role in language development by enabling babies to figure out how to move their vocal tracts to generate specific sounds" (Lilienfeld, 291).


(Yes! These two are actually communicating!)

Furthermore, during the next stages of their early life, babies begin the process of developing and learning words. However, in order to produce the language, they must first comprehend it, which takes a great amount of ability. After comprehension, the babies slowly begin to accumulate their words, one by one. And over time, through trial and error, they can beautifully produce language (Lilienfeld, p. 291).

Though this was a very brief explanation of how babies actually develop language, I think its clear as to how intelligent these little human beings are. Their ability to produce and understand language at such a young age in incredible, to say the least. Furthermore, they have the ability to learn language in a way that older human beings can't. Honestly, my mind was blown after I learned this in the psychology lectures. Because of my own sheer amazement and interest in this topic, I know for sure that five years down the road, this is one topic that I will continue to remember since it made such an impact on me.

sources:
Lilienfeld, Scott O. "Language, Thinking, and Reasoning." Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2010. 290-91. Print.

Who has a better memory?

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For this experiment I thought back to my first ever homerun in little league baseball when I was 12 and my younger brother Jacob was 9. I wrote down as many details as I could about this specific memory and then asked my brother to write as well, since he was at the game.

My memories: Played for the Rockies in last year of A ball, overjoyed and euphoric, Spencer Jones (good friend) pitching, sunny day, using Matt's baseball bat, one guy on base, optimist top field, cousins were in town.

Jacob's memories: solo homerun, cold, bottom field, with Dad, eating a fun dip, team was Rockies, Josh was pitching, you wouldn't stop talking about it, living at old house.

Now looking back and reviewing the two it interested me to see the similarities, differences and the obvious mishaps my brother had in his memories. As you can see we remembered the obvious memories like the team I was playing for, my good friend pitching but even had different answers for the field I was playing on. Also there were differences in remembrance of weather, which family members attended the game, and who scored on my homerun. This interests me because I know for a fact my cousins were in town visiting for the fourth of July along with the remembrance of it being a 2 run homerun putting my team tied at 4-4. The interest comes into play because I wonder which of Jacob's memories that differed from mine were indeed accurate. This ties to what we spoke on in class and read in the book how the brain is known to fill in memories with plausible false memories. For example, my brother's favorite candy at the ballpark was fun dip so it would make sense his brain would assume he was eating some (and maybe he actually was). Another example of the brain filling in is myself remembering a beautiful day when my brother swears it was cold and miserable. It makes sense my brain would fill a positive weather memory with one of my fondest memories of my first homerun. It is amazing how a memory so vivid to oneself, much like the 9/11 experiment, can truly change overtime, and sadly I never really will no who was right on some those memories.

Happiness

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Of all of the 665 pages in the psychology textbook, there is one page that stood out to me as something that everyone should remember for the rest of their lives. That one page is about what actually makes us happy. Among these things are marriage, friendships, college, religion, political affiliation, exercise, gratitude, giving and flow (not the sick hair, but that could create happiness too :P). People who are in relationships with solid group of friends, are in or have graduated from college, believe in some higher power, are politically involved, exercise regularly, are grateful for things, are generous and have found a rhythm in life are happier, at least according to our textbook. In this list there is no mention of annual income or career success or material possessions. I believe that we get so caught up in the pursuit of material possessions that we forget the pursuit of happiness, one of the unalienable rights that the American Founding Fathers declared. To answer the question, I believe 5 years from now (and beyond for that matter) although it's not exactly a concrete psych concept, I will remember these things and hopefully I'll be working on improving each one. cute.jpg

Rationalizing a murder??

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Sigmund Freud definitely played a large part in contributing to how we interpret each other today with his different ideas and theories. Specifically, I believe one of his most interesting theories is his theory of personality, which includes defense mechanisms. Furthermore, I've also seen a real example of the defense mechanism, that being rationalization in a recent newspaper article about Erikson, a criminal who was accused of murder back in 2001 along with a man named Ferguson after a physical description, and later lineup identification by Trump, a janitor. This year, Erikson claimed that at the time of the murder he was extremely intoxicated in a downtown club and blacked out from the use of four different substances. He does not remember any events or evidence that he committed the murder, nor does he remember what happened after being at the club. In 2009, Erikson admitted that he committed the murder alone. Erikson's explanation for why his story changed from 2009 to 2012 is because in 2009 Trump had not yet recanted his story and information about Erickson committing the murder, and therefore Erikson was convinced he did it. Erikson used rationalization when he falsely confessed to the murder. Erikson logically rationalized that he must have committed the murder since he had no recollection of the events and very well could have committed the murder in the time that he had no recollection of. Also, the fact that someone described and later identified him probably just solidified his rationalization that he did commit the murder.
http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/apr/18/erickson-rationalizes-changes-his-story/
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Learning: Classical and Operant Conditioning

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We learned many interesting and insightful topics over the course of the semester in Psychology 1001. I believe the topic that has made the biggest impact on my life, and will impact my future, is classical and operant conditioning. I had never heard of either of these topics before taking Psych 1001, but as the semester winds to a close I am beginning to realize how much I notice examples of classical and operant conditioning in my everyday life.

Five years from now I think classical and operant conditioning will still be resonating in my every day experiences. It has made such an impact on the way I "learn" today that I believe it will have a strong impact on my learning in the future. Now that I have learned the basics of classical and operant conditioning, I have begun to notice them everywhere. The other day I was putting on lotion at my house and it was the same lotion that we had in our resort in Arizona last year on a family vacation. Immediately as I smelled the scent of the lotion I started to think about and reminisce on the trip to Arizona. It felt as if I was lying right next to the pool surrounded by rocks and cacti. It was so cool to experience this, because I knew it was an example of classical conditioning.

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Five years from now I think I will also remember operant conditioning simply because it was amazing that the discoveries made by Skinner were made right here at the University of Minnesota, which is really cool! During lectures, when Dr. Peterson explained how Skinner taught pigeons to play ping pong I was absolutely stunned to see that this could actually happen. This was done by shaping and chaining, which was arguable one of the largest discoveries in Psychology...and it was discovered during his time here, at the U! Another thing that stood out to me, and something I will definitely remember, was that Skinner taught pigeons to guide missiles from airplanes to enemy targets (Lilienfeld 219). The concept of shaping is truly fascinating to me, and these examples from Skinner's repertoire will stay with me for a long time.

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Overall, this course has taught me many intriguing things and I have learned so much about Psychology that I never knew before. It truly was a very interesting class. Five years from now, I believe I will distincly recall classical and operant conditioning. They struck me as very interesting topics that I had never known before taking this course. However, they are two things I will be able to take away from this course and remember clearly for years to come!

Check out this example of Classical Conditioning from The Office!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfZfMIHwSkU

Sources: "Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding" Scott Lilienfeld, Steven Lynn, Laura Namy, Nancy Woolf

Classical and Operant Conditioning On My Mind

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gdLogo2.gifUpon Completion of this course the concept I will most likely be able to remember five years down the road will be classical conditioning and operant conditioning. These two concepts separate themselves from the rest of the text due to their numerous experiments, numerous applications, and numerous discoveries. As we all know Pavlov's classical conditioning involved the use of a dog as well as the stimuli and responses: Conditioned/unconditioned stimulus and the conditioned/unconditioned response. Knowing how to condition people and how we have all been conditioned will be of great use to me in business, potentially in marketing. Being able to remember this down the road is also very helpful in many fields of psychology as well as other areas of life. The fundamentals in human beings seemingly lie beneath this focus of psychology. A lot can be analyzed through this concept in years to come. Now, with Skinner's operant conditioning there is also a great deal to be remembered, but seeing as it is intricate in psychology and of great debate I guarantee that it will not leave my memory. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. Reinforcement and punishment, whether positive or negative are concepts that may be applied to many aspects of life. Especially when raising my children or when intending to decrease or increase good or worthwhile behaviors. At work and in business understanding these ideas is essential when analyzing those working harder for pay raises or job advancement. One can truly distinguish these characteristics of condition from one another for one's benefit. This was a great class!

My Takeaway From Psychology

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Taking a psychology course has had an immediate impact on my life. The one concept I will most likely take away from this semester is the Nature vs. Nurture debates. This concept applies to so many things, which makes it both easy and important to remember. You can use the nature vs. nurture debate to find the best way to children. You can also form your own opinions and who's to blame for a killer becoming the way they are, whether it is their genes or their environment.
The concept is easily applied to many aspects of life and can being easily applied to many other subjects being debated today. Therefore I find it important to remember it so I will be able to form my own opinions on such debates and be better informed about them. Fate or free will? Genetics or environments? Nature or nurture? Having knowledge of psychology has allowed and will continue to allow me to answer such questions.

Lance Armstrong's Secret? My Reality. (Blog #4)

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The Tour de France is known for its brutal stages, killer climbs, and lightning speeds, but how do these mere mortals accomplish such feats of raw speed and determination? Now drafting has a considerable hand in these mythological accomplishments, however psychology suggests the presence of a phenomenon I also experience every time I get in the saddle among friends and family.

I pride myself on my bike's 2,200+ miles ridden in the last 2 summers, but this was not all my own self-generated will power that has allowed me to ride such distances. Social facilitation is ever present in the sport of bike racing and long distance riding. The mere presence of other riders enhances my own performance while I reciprocally enhance theirs. Alone, on a good day I can average around 17.5 mph for a 25 mi ride. With one or two other people, even without drafting, I consistently average 18-19 mph (it may seem like an insignificant difference, however this is the difference between losing and destroying your competition in a long distance ride). Riding in a pack up 200+ people with drafting has brought my average even up to 25 mph for an equivalent ride.

It is no secret. Social facilitation, even non-verbal urging of one another to compete to our very best ability, and a little friendly competition, has a considerable effect on my riding. I have no doubt that this affects Lance's performance as well, whether or not he knows it. The secret of the peloton's blistering speeds is surely seeded in this phenomenon.

Talking to with a child's limited world

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When talking with my 5-year-old niece about things she often has a wide variety of things to say and what she imagines. She thinks that she is a princess and she thinks that everyone loves puppies and should eat candy all day. Normal 5-year-old thing to believe. There are times thought when I notice she says very similar things that relate to Piaget's theory of Assimilation and Accommodation. The process of absorbing new information into current schemas is Assimilation, where Accommodation is altering the schema to make it more appropriate for the situation. My niece was in the stage of assimilation; for example while driving along one day a limo passed us by and she was excited by the length and exclaimed, "Look at the Tall people car!" At first I laughed but then thought she is using some assimilating to recognize that long cars are for longer, taller people. I saw this same thing once again when she said I was older than my sister because my birthday month comes first. She figured that since the months come in order its does so with age as well because someone turns that age first. In both cases she had learned accommodation but was still in the stage of assimilation because those things made the most sense to her.

Obesity: Is it a Biological Problem - William Juckett

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While reading about hunger and obesity I found the science behind obesity to be quite interesting. The book explains the process of eating on a chemical level. They explain that as a person eats a candy bar, some glucose gets converted into fat and becomes long-term energy storage. The more energy storage, which means the more candy bars eaten, there is an increase production of a hormone named leptin. The hormone leptin signals the hypothalamus and reduces appetite and increases the amount of energy used. The researches related this to the reason some may be obese. Those who are obese seem to resist the effects of leptin. Is this a valid excuse for the high obesity rates in America or is this chemical response just a small factor that could be easily overcome? Of the obese population how many people does this affect, does it only account for a small number of the obese population? Our book also discusses genes being a factor in obesity. The authors of the book mention a mutation of the melanocortin - 4-receptor gene that causes people who are affected by this mutation to never feel full. They also mention other genes, like the leptin gene, and a combination of other genes that increase the likelihood of obesity. What I am wondering is how many obese people are affected by these mutations and is it actually a substantial percent of the obese population. Where do biologically reasons for obesity end and the lack of a healthy lifestyle as the cause of obesity begin? As the number of obese children in the United States increase, is it due to an increase in these biological malfunctions or is it because our youth is not being exposed to what a healthy lifestyle consists of? Are we approaching this issue the wrong way? Should we be trying to find a solution to these biological issues that cause obesity?
Reference: Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy and Woolf)

Birth Order-Are you really "Born With It?"

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Being the second oldest in a family with four kids birth order is definitely something relevant in my life. The article I found has very similar findings to the textbook but I also found many of the same flaws in their reasoning. The major one is replicability. Although there can be many families whose children's characteristics fit that of the studies the percentage it applies to the population is too small and inconsistent to be taken with credibility.
The other critical thinking aspect I saw representative was correlation vs. causation. In my opinion, I see how the parents treat each child separately as a major factor to their upbringing rather than birth order. For example, the first child is considered to be a natural leader, reliable, perfectionists, and aggressive. Growing up the older kids tend to be role models for the younger ones so the younger siblings already look up to the oldest one and put him or her in a leadership role. My older brother fits these qualities in all except being a perfectionist. The middle child is supposed to be secretive, independent, and inventive. Since the oldest child tends to receive most of the attention the middle child copes with this by keeping his feelings withheld and being secretive. I can see many of the middle child characteristics within me. Finally, the last born is outgoing, irresponsible, and spoiled. Parents usually are not as strict with the last child since they have had a few kids already they are not as worried as parents. This results in the kid becoming irresponsible with so much freedom but at the same time spoiled. This is perfectly representative of my youngest sister. I think birth order differences are more a result of them being "nurtured" as they grow up rather than something that predestined.


http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500172_162-511694.html

Sigmund Freud

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Sigmund Freud's influence to psychology is very controversial because some of his theories lack of valid evidences, like "The primary influences on behavior are unconscious drives, especially sexuality and aggression." Some critics also insisted the unconscious processes he had proposed were difficult or impossible to falsify and hence retarded the development of scientific psychology (32). But to me, Sigmund Freud, as the first person who claimed the huge role subconscious plays in the psychological activity, was such a genius in the history of psychology and deserves everyone's respect.
Erich Fromm, a German social psychologist, thought western rationalism was best presented by Freud because Fromm thought what Freud did in his most of his life was to explain or try to understand the unconscious or subconscious part of our brain through conscious thought. Freud's book can be a good example of this. Although the symbols Freud use to analyze people's dreams and his analysis did not really make a lot of sense to most people, I am still curious about the logic and assumptions behind these interpretations.
I felt like that his model of Personality Structure also showed the way he explored the subconscious. Because Freud did not separate the conscious part and the unconscious part, which means if there is id, the "entirely unconscious" part, there will be ego, that "governed by reality principle" and they are somehow related and effect each other. Therefore, people's behavior is the outcome of consciousness and unconsciousness, which both need to be considered in the analysis. Psychologists can also use the consciousness to better understand the unconsciousness, and vice versa (547).
Through the part that unconsciousness occupies in the personality structure, I can see Freud value unconscious thought more than conscious thought, which Erich Fromm thought is opposite to the modern Western Culture but more like the Buddhism in Eastern culture.
After all, I think Freud is someone overpassed the psychologist in his age and his contribution to the psychology even the whole world will never be overshadowed by some of his theories that lack of scientific evidences.

Reference: http://www.hezhici.com/sort/xinlixuepai/2008-12/3/174701856_3.html

Is fear the cause of mass hysteria? A case study

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Mass hysteria is defined as a condition in which a large group of people exhibit the same state of violent mental agitation.
The definition of mass hysteria is clearly seen through an historical event that occurred in Blackburn, England in 1965. On Thursday, October 7th 1965, several girls in a girl's secondary school had complained about feeling dizzy and some had fainted. By midday, several other (about 85) other girls had fainted. The girls were taken to the hospital in an ambulance and the school was closed for the week. So does this mean a huge group of people all of sudden came down with same epidemic at once? Our initial thoughts would be that whatever this disease is, it must be very contagious and strong. However, throughout several tests, such as white blood cell count (check for immune response), neurotoxic reagents that could have been in food, and such, everything seemed to be normal and there seemed to be no biological link to the cause of this incident. The girls who were affected scored higher for extroversion and neuroticism in the Eysenick Personality Inventory, indicating their vulnerability to 'follow the crowd'. A possible hypothesis proposed by the paper is that the fear stemmed from the polio epidemic the town suffered earlier in the year. This case is a great and interesting example of fear as the sole reason for the dizziness and fainting in students that led to mass hysteria.


Source:
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=mass%20hysteria
Moss, P. D., and C. P. McEvedy. "An Epidemic of Overbreathing among Schoolgirls." Bmj 2.5525 (1966): 1295-300. Print.

Can a stroke cause a change in sexual orientation?

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In chapter 11 in Lilienfield there is a section about studies that document whether or not sexual orientation can be changed by reorientation therapy. In the book it states that reorientation took many sessions of work and a variety of treatments from electroshock to drug induced nausea. Just recently though a man in Britain is claiming that after suffering a stroke he has been turned gay. If you read the article you will see there are differing opinions on whether or not this is true or possible but I think that it is interesting that it could be possible. One thing I don't understand is that if it is possible could a concussion or anything else that affects the brain have a similar effect? I am very interested in hearing opinions and theories from everyone. What do you guys think? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17703018

Implicit Association Test

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I took the Implicit Association Test. Researchers at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington developed this test. Its intentions are to measure a person's unconscious associations between two different subjects for example, my test dealt with my feelings of white and black people and my feelings about the two and about presidential candidates and my preference. While this test was measuring feelings on the 2012 presidential election, since the current election deals with many racial issues, many others deal with different topics. It tests you by association of positive and negative words and black people, white people, Barack Obama, and a republican candidate (Rick Santorum in my case). You are instructed to press a certain key for positive words and the faces of black people and another for the faces of white people and negative words and vice versa. The same is done with presidential candidates. It is thought by researchers that by doing this quickly you unconscious press the key for bad things for what you do not like and the same for positive. The test preferences range from little to no preference, slight, moderate, and strong. After my test I got the results of having a moderate preference for black people in comparison to white people and having a strong preference for Rick Santorum in comparison to Barack Obama. I found these results odd since I am white and never had a preference between white or black people, but I did agree with the presidential candidate results since I am a conservative republican. I argue that some of the results may be flawed in the tendency to press different buttons be due just to accident rather than actual unconscious preference.

References: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/300.obama.cm.102710.jpgUnknown.jpeg

Technology: worth deindividualization?

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Technology can help us connect to one another at great distances and provides fast, easy forms of communication, but it comes at a price: a heightened risk of deindividualization. Deindividualization leads people to behave in uncharacteristic ways, and they may feel less of an obligation to interact with others in a civil manner than they would in person. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter provide a forum to speak freely without the risk of verbal or physical retaliation, creating the illusion that any words typed or texted are simply floating around in cyberspace and have no real consequences, that they are the product of the computer or phone rather than the person. While the purpose of texting, emailing, and social networking is to maintain interpersonal connections, these forms of communication should not be regarded as completely harmless. Unfortunately they have made cyber-bullying, the use of communication technologies to harm others, possible. Cyber-bullying may not seem like a serious issue, but it comes with many negative effects. A number of victims experienced emotional responses including a lower sense of self-worth and an increase in suicidal thoughts. 42% of kids in a survey of 1,500 reported being harassed online, and at least four people in the United States have committed suicide as a result of cyber-bullying. While forms of communication that rely on technology may make our lives a little easier, it is questionable whether we should sacrifice individuality, real interpersonal connections, and human lives for the sake of convenience.

stock-photo-14191954-cyber-bullying.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying

Birth Order-Who Gets the Short End of the Stick?

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Birth order is both a topic of controversy and of great interest to many researchers. It is very true that the claims of first-borns tending to achieve, middle-borns to be diplomatic, and later-borns to be risk averse are overly exaggerated. However, there have been great deals of studies and findings that have supported the claims previously listed. There has been a great deal of studies that have pertained to replicability and correlation vs. causation. There have obviously been replications of siblings whose personalities match their birth order, but many believe the statistics and samples given are too small to represent the whole population. Obviously correlation vs. causation has been tested because of the different ways in which children may be raised and how that impacts their individual personalities and achievements. I personally come from a family of five kids. I have three sisters and one brother who are all younger than me with my brother being at the tail end and my sisters in-between. Now, I am the first to go to college seeing as I am a freshman. In turn, I do have a strong desire for achievement. My three sisters after me are quite bright and all excel in school while only my middle sister is quite as out-going as I have tried to be. They all seem to be a little more involved and up to date on what is happening in the world than myself-somewhat diplomatic. My brother at the tender age of nine is a reckless tycoon. He is also very bright, but has been taking risks since birth whether it be playing sports, unlocking and jumping out of windows, or joy-riding on lawn mowers. I am inclined to make these connections with what the text states to be true of children in that birth order. A little eerie almost. The link at the bottom gives a quick glance over what professionals and statistics have to say on the matter. I also believe that the idea is so popular due to the fact that people expect change over time and want explanations for differences among siblings. Do people just want a generic explanation for differences among their siblings or do they want a specific reason? That is the question that many people ask and that is why we have begun to seek put explanations just for an explanations sake, in my opinion. This youtube video demonstrates how the public views birth-order and personality as Dr. Georgia Witkin discusses on grandparents.com. What do you think about the statistics and the reasoning behind the grandparents for who they think will acquire certain traits. (if the video link doesn't show up just plug in the link for the youtube video, it's pretty interesting!)
http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/birthOrder.shtml

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Cited:
Human Intelligence, http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/birthOrder.shtml
Grandparents.com, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRCn3JYFGjc


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Someone Else Will Take Care of It

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The bystander effect pretty much means that if there is a large number of people that witness an act of violence, that no body will report it because they all think someone else will do it. It is a big problem because it can mean life or death for a victim. A classic example of this was story of Kitty who was stabbed several times, but nobody called the cops because they assumed one of the other witnesses would do it.

I can think of a really good example that plays role in today's world. First answer this question: How many of you have seen a drunk driver late at night? Did you call the police? If you did then good for you, if you didn't, you most likely fell prey to the bystander effect. Don't feel bad thought because I have done the exact same thing. Another example that could be used today was if you witnessed a big fight, and there were multiple other people that witnessed it as well. It is pretty unlikely that this would happen, but looking out my window, that is what I thought about. What are some possible scenarios that you can think of where the bystander effect would come into play?

What do your genes say about you?

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Genetics refers to the subset in biology which studies traits, heredity, and variability in living organisms. A field within the realm of genetics is behavior genetics which attempts to draw a correlation between an organism's genetics and its behavior. In class we learned about a one of the first scientists involved in behavioral genetics - Sir Francis Galton cousin of evolution theorist Charles Darwin. Galton studied the heritability of human ability, and pioneered the field of eugenics - the study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding. While eugenics has been classified and used for negatively (racial cleansing and extermination), research in the late 20th century and continuing into the 21st century have shown ways that it can be utilized for good - such as testing a mother and father for genetically dormant diseases that could be passed on to future offspring, thus reducing the likelihood of diseases such as Tay-Sachs and Cystic Fibrosis. While genetics can be used to test for the likelihood of certain diseases the application of using certain base pairs to account for a person's behavior can have immense pros and cons. On one side if it is found that certain genes are directly linked to certain behaviors (depression, anxiety, exc) parents and doctors can begin to look for signs earlier, however a negative of this linkage would be discrimination whether in the workforce or in general if made publically. While it varies by state currently in Minnesota it is illegal for an employer to request or require an information genetic test, or firing/hiring based on genetics (NCSL). In my opinion this type of legislation is required in order to ensure that discrimination doesn't happen as it becomes cheaper and more available to sequence a person's genome.


"Francis Galton." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1994-2010. Answers.com 22 Apr. 2012.

"Genetic Employment Laws." NCSL Home. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. .

Cast Away: Why we "Need to Belong"

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In the Academy Award nominated movie Cast Away, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) finds himself stranded on an island for four years after his plane crashes in South America. Being separated from his long-time love and of any social contact for that matter naturally took a toll on Chuck, causing him to go slightly insane through his loneliness. Because of this, he creates an imaginary person from a ball he comes across and names him "Wilson". For years, "Wilson" served as Chuck's only source of "social" contact and provided some form of comfort to Chuck. However, in an effort to escape from the island on a raft, "Wilson" falls from the moving raft and is lost, leaving Chuck in an overwhelming loneliness that almost destroys this once strong and doting man (Cast Away).

The loneliness derived from being stripped from social contact by Chuck Noland in Castaway is exactly the reason why people have a "need to belong." According to the need-to-belong theory, human beings "have a biologically based need for interpersonal connections" (Lilienfeld, p. 495). Due to this, we tend to socially "band" together and form groups when we can and when we are deprived of this ability, we naturally "suffer [the] negative and physical consequences" associated with this rejection (Lilienfeld, p. 495). A prime example of this is in Castaway itself. Finding himself lonely, Chuck creates "Wilson" so that he can "communicate" with him. However, once "Wilson" is lost in the deep see, this loss of contact takes a deep, psychological toll on Chuck, causing him great depression and loneliness (Cast Away). Finally, research has shown complete social isolation has the potential to not only be self-destructive, but also severely damage one's cognitive functioning (Lilienfeld, p. 496). This is quite scary, as it shows what a lasting effect deprivation can have on human beings. Even in the face of social contact again, it's quite surprising how much of a toll this takes on a person, as they seem very detached from the general public. Likewise, in the film, when Chuck is rescued and brought back to civilization, he find it very hard to connect with the society he was close to in the past. His mental state is further deteriorated when he discovers that the love of his life and his only source of hope, Kelly, has remarried in the time he was gone. This throws Chuck into a deep pit, literally leaving him to feel alone once again (Cast Away).

Though the story portrayed in Cast Away is fictional, it accurately paints a picture of the the need to belong theory and why this particular theory is so valid. Without social contact or communication, human beings will virtually deteriorate. Though they can be damaging at times, we need to form social groups in order to keep our own sanity in tact as other people serve as our own personal life lines. If we become so detached from society like Chuck became in Cast Away, it is very difficult to recover once we are faced in social situations. Furthermore, the psychological toll that isolation can have on people is quite scary. The best way to explain the harmful effects of this is with Jared Lee Loughner, who is the young man responsible for shooting Gabrielle Giffords and eight other people in Arizona. Though Loughner was social throughout high school, he isolated himself from others in the years following that. Along with the psychological problems that he already had, like bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, this isolation from society took a toll on this young man, trigger him to shoot those innocent people (Berger).

In all, I think it's pretty clear why we need to stay in contact with society. Without this communication, we are not only harming ourselves, but potentially the people around us. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe in this theory? Why or Why not?

sources:
Lilienfeld, Scott O. "Chapter 13: Social Psychology." Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2010. 495-96. Print.

"Cast Away." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. .

Judson, Berger. "Mental Health Warnings Preceded Rampage, as Arizona Gunman Likely Went Untreated." Fox News. FOX News Network, 10 Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2012.

Your Interview - a Piece of Hair

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Previewing in 1997 the movie Gattaca (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZppWok6SX88) offered the chilling example of how genetics has the potential to control every aspect of our lives. Portrayed in the movie is the main character, born with poor genes destined for failure in a society where only your genome matters. Determined to beat his genetically superior brother, he is forced into a life posing as another person, one with the blood of success, the genes required for accomplishment.

Now this kind of society seems far-fetched, one so obsessed with genetic composition alone that your job interview is as simple as plucking a hair off your poorly combed head. History teaches us though that it tends to repeat itself.

Eugenics has throughout history offered the world a solution to all its social ails. By ridding the planet of deleterious DNA we can breed a super race, one resilient to all troubles. The technology to fully implement this type of policy has not existed in the past, but it does now.

For only $399 the website 23 and Me will sequence important parts of your genome and tell you what social, behavioral, and pathological circumstances you are predisposed to; other sites will now do it for even less. This is rooted in much good science too, years of research, however we must take a step back an think "is this ethically responsible?" After all, what would happen if your medical insurance company found out you were greatly predisposed to dimensia? If your girlfriend found out that you have many copies of the football watching/beer drinking gene? Or that the state found out that based upon your genetics you are 75X more likely to commit a violent crime?

These questions are already being asked. Weekly stories surface about people engaged in this type of ethical debate (example http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/news_cut/archive/2008/06/the_ethics_of_genetic_testings.shtml).

After all, we have no control over what we are born with. We cannot control our race, our sex, our ethnicity, our age, or our body image. Laws exist to fight discrimination tied to these qualities. It is our job as a society to make sure that individuals remain free from genetic discrimination too, because it is a field offering incredibly solid evidence capable of disenfranchising the most undesirable individuals of society.

Physiognomy, the assessment of a person's personality by their outward appearance, is literally translated as "nature-judge." Although some might assume this seemingly shallow judgement of character would be a new invention by our appearance-driven society, physiognomy has been around for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Greeks. Today physiognomy is considered a pseudoscience, with no real evidence backing it up. However, it is still often used by people all over the world. As recently as 2011, a South Korean news agency published an analysis of Kim Jong-Un's features. Everyday people employ physiognomy almost every day. How many times have you thought that someone with sharp cheekbones seemed mean, or someone that was overweight was lazy? It's these kind of stereotype-backed judgements that drive everyday physiognomy that people often rely on as a basic human instinct. One area in which physiognomy has a larger influence than most of us would probably like to think is politics. The article found at outlines how Mitt Romney would have an advantage over Newt Gingrich as a presidential nominee because of his square jawline and high cheekbones, which voters equate with "competence" and have been historic indicators of winning candidates. Some studies even suggest that voters look for different features in war times vs. what they look for when the nation is at peace.

So what should we make of this tendency of people to judge a book by its cover? Should we be concerned that people make important decisions, including who should run the country, based on physiognomy? I'm not exactly sure, but you can take this information at "face value."

Intelligence Testing: SAT, GREs, and GPAs?

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One concept that I found interesting about intelligence was the debate regarding the use of SATs and college aptitude tests to predict how students would perform in the future. We all had to take at least one of these tests, but I still wonder what they're even measuring. I've heard before that the SAT, ACT, and GRE were not designed to predict an individual's GPA. As I learned from the excerpt on Lilienfeld p. 331, the crucial piece that's overlooked when people dismiss these tests as useless is this: colleges don't admit the lowest scorers, so the intelligence "playing field" is somewhat evened in college admissions requirements. This article on the ABC News website has a great soccer "SAT" analogy that helped me think about this concept.

Basically, the people who scored low on tests in high school generally don't attend college, so some of the previously "average" students will struggle and become those students with the lowest GPAs. Conversely, some of the "average" people may get motivated and work hard to obtain a great GPA; some lazy, brilliant students may slack in their newfound freedom and start to fail in class. While these intelligence tests can't perfectly predict how students will perform in college, some of the variability in first-year GPA can be explained using the soccer analogy. It's important to remember that the SAT is a rough estimation/comparison tool, not the final word in admissions; so, study hard but relax about your upcoming GRE!

The relationship between Harry and Lloyd

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As I sat back to think of famous relationships of cinema, I immediately thought of Harry and Lloyd from the fantastic film Dumb and Dumber. This may be due to the much-anticipated sequel set too come out in 2013, but nonetheless, these two characters show the true meaning of relationships between close friends. I realize this does exactly mirror the love and lust of a Twilight film or some Gossip Girl relationship scandal, but I feel their relationship matches quite well with what we are learning. First off is proximity, and the affect it has on the formation of relationships due to the amount of time people spend around each other. Harry and Lloyd fit this perfectly in the fact that they both attended the same high school and school groups, which now has turned into them being roommates. Along with proximity pushing them towards the attraction of friendship, is similarity. Harry and Lloyd are Dumb and Dumber, and with that show countless parallels to their daily activities, dreams (the I Got Worms ant farm) and of course their sense of humor. Last but not least is their reciprocity in their friendship, and what better than the final scene of the movie. Harry is on the verge of death when Lloyd jumps in between Harry and the gunman taking the bullet in the chest showing that they are willing to give anything for the other. So yes, Harry and Lloyd are dumb, but their friendship is incredibly amusing and reflects the three major principles that guide relationship formation.

I recommend looking at least one of these links for a good laugh:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBrCaVySmDU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBrCaVySmDUharry&lloyd.jpg

What men like in a woman and what women like in a man is something that is all too familiar to all of us. We all know that men want an attractive and young woman, and women want a mature man with good financial resources. This is a gender differnce in mate preferences that finds its roots through evolution. Men are attracted to young and attractive women because they can bear healthy children, women look for mature men with good financial resources so that they can produce children with good genes and plus he can take good care of her and their children. Although this fact seems too cut and dry and makes us humans seem like animals, it is an inevitable truth. I found an important point that was made in the lectures very interesting and explanatory; women invest more in the rearing of a child than do men and therefore that is why they are more picky in their mate preferences, whereas men mostly only look for attractiveness in a woman. A Woman takes in to account the factors for giving birth to a healthy child that will be taken care of. It is interesting to me to see that even with all the advances we humans have made today, deep down we still have the basic animal like instincts within us that has a strong control over us, and the need for reproduction is one among them. However, I can't say that this is all men and women look for in each other, things like intelligence, kindness and trust etc, all still matter very much in a relationship or in other words as factors in mate preferences between the two genders and there is a lot of overlap with these latter factors. So, here is something to wonder about...if you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend or a special someone in the near future, would you say that these facts apply to you too?!

http://listphobia.com/wp-content/uploads/041609-1115-10mostexpen10.jpg
The picture in this link (above) shows an old and therefore mature man with high level of financial resources (Donald trump) married to an attractive and young woman. This picture, I can say, shows the classic, cut and dry, gender difference in mating preferences!

Beauty in Bulk

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The most striking article that I came across on my search for differences in cultural beauty standards was one about women in Mauritania, a country located in Northern Africa and about the size of Egypt. In the article "Mauritania's Wife Fattening Farm" BBC news sheds light on a view of beauty unlike that of the Western world. In this country fat women, categorized as obese, are considered desirable to men. So much so that young girls are being force fed and even punished for not eating. This phenomenon of beauty is so opposite of American norms of beauty even Oprah featured this difference in an episode that aired in 2008. Her guest Houda, the daughter of a Mauritanian doctor, said that "when you're skinny, you're even considered as sick or there's something wrong with you". When I compared this country's idea of beauty to what our book said on physical attraction I found both differences and similarities. One part that didn't match up with the book is the idea that men look for women with a hip to waist ratio of .7 because in this nation the larger all the way around you are the more desirable you are to men. On the other hand Mauritania's culture matches the textbook in the aspect that men are attracted to younger women, with kids as young as 10 getting married. Our society is so concerned with the pressures media put on women to be thin but I had never thought about it to the other extreme and the health effects that come along with forced obesity.mauritania-woman_5106.jpg

Do your Siblings have a Higher IQ?

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Birth order has always been an interesting concept that pertains to one's personality, success and many other attributes to a person. One of these attributes affected by a person's birth order was IQ. Robert Zajonc conducted studies that showed a correlation that later-born children had a lower intelligence than earlier born children. It was later realized that this correlation was interpreted incorrectly and the correlation was due too the fact that low IQ families tend to have larger families than high IQ families. This means children from larger families have lower IQs than chlildren that come from smaller families. This is an example of correlation vs. causation. The claim A was not caused by claim B, but by claim C.
Most studies of this subject show that there is little to no correlation between birth order and intelligence. I do believe there are things that are affected by birth order, like personality. I also believe that there is no correlation and that each individual is affected by things more important than birth order. Many people will probably hold the views that they have higher IQs than their siblings. Do you believe that there is a correlation between birth order and IQ? Here is an article for more information about the topic: http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/birthOrder.shtml

Lives depend on educating ourselves

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There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding eating disorders. They develop in all races, socioeconomic groups and are complex. The stereotypes surrounding them succeed in oversimplifying them: "she wants to be thin, so she starves," or "she wants to be popular, so she purges." For some reason, that seems to be a much easier concept to grasp than someone having anxiety and using eating disordered behaviors as a way to try and cope or someone being depressed and hating themselves too much to believe that they are worthy of food.

Unfortunately, most people will never be educated as to the fact that (most) eating disorders are not about food, vanity or attention. Many will hold steadfast to their beliefs, citing modern media as the culprit for the disease or not being thin and popular enough in high school.

Eating disorders can becaused by a variety of factors such as genetics or psychological issues. They cannot be cured with willpower alone. They are chronic conditions and those who suffer with them will likely face a life long battle, much like an (recovered) alocholic.

Our textbook states that eating disorders are one of the most deadly mental illnesses. The Department of Mental Health, South Carolina states: the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 - 24 years old. That blows my mind. If this is true, isn't it time for everyone to become more educated about eating disorders? It is crucial that we start looking for that deeper "why" and not chalk it up to "wanting to loose a few pounds".

*source: http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm

The Cookie Diet

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Almost everyone has heard of the Hollywood Cookie Diet at one time or another, but is it a the proper way to lose weight or just a hoax? At first glance, the cookie diet looks like a great way to lose weight. You can lose weight fast and don't have to give up eating sweets. Even celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Kelley Clarkson, Howard Stern, and Jennifer Hudson claim that the cookie diet has helped them lose weight. But when you get a closer look at how the diet works, you find out that it's not the healthy way to lose weight. The cookie diet requires the dieter to eat four cookies a day. Two replacing breakfast and lunch, and the other two cookies for snacks in-between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. Each cookie is around 150 calories and is created to make the person feel full after eating each one. For dinner, the cookie diet requires the person to eat a moderate meal equalling 400-500 calories. The good part of the cookie diet is that it comes in four different kinds of cookies and each one contains 13 minerals, vitamins, protein, and fiber. But the cons far out way the pros. The cookie diet is designed to drastically reduce a person's caloric intake to make the body burn the fat it already has. This low daily intake of calories can cause the body's metabolism to slow down and make the body burn less and less calories. When the body's metabolism slows down, this in turn causes the person to lose less and less weight. The cookie diet can also cause harm to the body, as the calorie intake is lower than what doctors recommend. After a while, the dieter may stop using the cookie diet because of this slowed weight loss and when they go back to a normal eating routine, this can cause the person to actually gain weight. Overall, the Hollywood Cookie diet may help a person lose weight in the short run, but if a person really wants to lose weight and keep if off, the cookie diet is not a good choice. Instead, people should make healthy and wise choices on choosing what to eat and exercise regularly to lose weight properly.wpid-51ko3RO2dpL.jpg

sources:
http://www.worldofdiets.com/hollywood-cookie-diet/
http://gigabiting.com/celebrities-endorse-the-hollywood-cookie-diet/
http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Health-Fitness/Craziest-Diets-of-All-Time

The Master Cleanse

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The Master Cleanse (or Lemonade Diet) has been around for quite some time, but gained popularity a couple years ago when Beyonce reported substantial weight loss in a short amount of time from this method. While it was originally intended for use as a full body toxin cleanse, it has grown into something people use for fast weight loss. While on the cleanse you are limited to drinking the "Master Elixir" (lemon juice, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and water), a mixture of water and sea salt, herbal laxative tea, or just plain water. Sounds delicious AND nutritious right?

Obviously while on this diet (anywhere from 4-14 days is suggested) you lose weight because your calorie intake is so low. You are barely getting enough nutrients to keep your body running and, because of this, may experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and constipation. Your metabolism will slow because your body is starving, which will make it easier to gain all the weight (and then some) back once the cleanse is over. This creates a vicious cycle and often leads to feelings of guilt because even after "all that work" you still managed gain the weight back.

There is no evidence to support the fact that you need a cleanse to get rid of the toxins in your body. Your liver is doing that for you. The best you can do to keep your body healthy and fit is eat foods high in nutrients that you need, have a balanced diet (which can include an unhealthy snack or two), and stay physically active. One of the last things most of us want to do is slow down our metabolism, which is exactly what a starvation diet does. Extraordinary claims and anecdotal evidence make for a great fairytale weight loss plan, but don't do much for those actually looking to lose weight.

Beauty and brains? Or just beauty?

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There has been much controversy and debate about whether being attractive gives a person an advantage in life or better occupational success. As we've learned, physical attractiveness does affect our romantic relationships but does it also affect our careers?

Frustratingly enough, research says yes and no. A meta-analysis of multiple experimental studies found that "attractive" individuals were more successful than unattractive individuals in a number of social outcomes including popularity, dating experience, and physical health as well as initial job impressions. This can be attributed to the halo effect as more attractive people are perceived as having better job qualifications and intellectual competence. Professionals were just as susceptible as college students to the "biasing effect of attractiveness." In addition, it was found that men and women valued attractiveness on the same level. However, the correlation between attractiveness and occupational success may not be as strong as previously thought. The correlation was largest for social competence, intermediate for potency, and nearly zero for integrity and concern for others. Several researchers noted that although attractiveness may not be the most important element, it might be the deciding factor when employers are faced with job applicants that possess similar levels of qualifications or performance. One reason for this is due to both implicit personality theory and the lack of fit model. People assume that a person's attractiveness evokes stereotype-based expectation and are evaluated based on those expectations. Despite the fact, the magnitude of this biasing effect has been decreasing in recent years.

So, do you guys think that attractiveness can lead to better occupational success?

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The two full studies can be found here and here as well as many other online databases.

Is intelligence a fixed entity or a creation?

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genius.gif

Everyone probably once dreamed of becoming a genius with incredibly high IQs. I definitely have. Such thought comes to me especially straight after coming out of an exam room. Then what determines the level of one's IQ? There has been a continual controversial debate on whether one's IQ is more genetically inherited or environmentally influenced.

Family studies conclusively show that IQs are genetically influenced. Intellectually brilliant individuals had many first-degree relatives and children who were also brilliant, but fewer second-degree relatives and still fewer third-degree relatives who were brilliant. Further studies with identical and fraternal twins also show that IQ is influenced by genetic factors because there is higher identical that fraternal twin correlations.

On the other hand, there is also numerous evidence that support environmental factors as the main influencers of IQ. There is a mysterious phenomenon named 'Flynn effect.' This phenomenon describes the decrease in the average IQ of the population at a rising rate about three points per decade. Such finding and its causes particularly stirred my interest and I was surprised how such environmental surroundings could affect one's intelligence. Some of the influences include increased test sophistication, increased complexity of the modern world, better nutrition and changes at home and school. For these reasons, the IQ level of grandchildren's generation is generally higher than the grandparents' generation.

After reading textbook pages on genetic and environmental influences on IQ, a thought came to my mind. Because IQ is not a fixed entity and does not solely depend on genetic factors, I will strive to enhance my intelligence rather than to just sit back and do nothing. Also, I will definitely try hard to provide the best environment surroundings to my children for their intelligence improvements.

eat, hungry and eating disorders

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Everyday we relay on eating to satisfy our stomach and get rid of feeling hungry. But do you know about the eating process and what is the eating disorders?
It's seems very simple that of food is available, we eat when we're hungry, and when we feel full, we stop eating. My feeling told me that eating has a lot to do with the endocrine system, but just out of intuition. According to the glucostatic theory,(Campfield et al., 1996; van Litalie,1990), which means that when our blood glucose levels drop, hunger creates a drive to eat to restore the proper level of glucose. When I was in high school, I learnt form my biology teacher in the superficial level.

A useful, healthy and reasonable weight loss plan never fail to fascinate people. The textbook says that:" we help you lose weight by changing your everyday habits. Learn how to eat smaller portions, choose more nutritious foods, and make exercise a part of your daily routine. There are science behind this ads, control portions of food consumed is a good way to control our weight, keep in mind that eat food on a smaller plate, because doing so will make portions appear bigger and limit the amount we eat.

About the eating disorders, I really interested in this, because I have a friend who have suffered mild bulimia nervosa, one kind of eating disorders. She's not fat, actually can be count by slim, under high pressure, she always eating large amounts of highly caloric foods in brief periods of time. However, I have a question that people eat a lot, not because of hungry, but because of the huge depression, can I take it as relieve the pressure?


Our Disney Prince Expectations

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As we learned in our textbooks, the three principles that guide our attraction and relationship formation are proximity, similarity and reciprocity. (Lilienfeld, 443).


In the following clip from the television show "Say 'Yes' to the Dress", we catch a glimpse of a disney-obsessed bride who shares what her ideals are of what she wants for her wedding and perhaps how our culture has shaped her beliefs in marriage and how to find a spouse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGRliq6aQWw

As we can see, Megan is all about the Disney princesses and would like to have the ideal princess wedding, as she wants a gown that resembles the "Cinderella classic". She briefly describes her fiancé and said that they both went to the same high school together and rekindled their friendship after college through mutual friends and began to get to know each other and date. This allows for the principle of proximity (physical nearness) to occur in their relationship because of going to the same high school and having mutual friends. With Megan's obsession with Disney, her fiancé also had to go along with a Disney World wedding and her Disney ways. This similarity (the extent to which we have things in common with others) in likeness allows for the next principle we have learned about to be met. Although, Megan doesn't elaborate on her fiancé and their similarities, but she said that he is perfect and the feeling must be mutual in order to meet the third and final principle, reciprocity (rule of give and take): "liking begets liking" (Lilienfeld, 444 & 445).

I felt that this clip of an episode depicts our varying levels of expectations for our partners and what we hope our partners will live up to. In regards to Megan, her obsession with Disney may have also influenced how she picked out her spouse or found him to meet the three guiding principles we have learned about. She may have felt that she needed him to be good looking, charming, and the near equivalent of a Disney prince. I think that the Social Role Theory also comes to mind, especially with the example of Megan. Although biologically men and women do have certain roles (nature), it is the way in which society allows each role to play out (nurture) that can affect our ideals for our mates (Lilienfeld, 446).

I think that "Say 'Yes' to the Dress", in some ways, shows how we as a society put men and women into their social roles and it can be seen by how many of the women on the show will describe their spouses. In regards to attractiveness and potential spouses, it is clear to see that women are pickier (as stated in our textbooks) and that women do look for qualities of a spouse who is motivated and will provide for his wife and family.

American popular culture creates standards for men and women and we can either nurture these standards or allow for them to pass without much of a faze. I think that Disney has added to these standards and is something that some women, like Megan, hold onto as they search for their ideal spouse. A prince charming who is perfect and exactly what a woman wants and needs. disney unrealistic.jpg

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Opposites don't attract after all

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In discussion last week we discussed the science of attraction. It was very interesting to see the science of what I have witnessed throughout my experiences. The experiment we did showed that people rated certain attractiveness would pair off with someone of equal or similar attraction level. I have noticed this trend in real life especially middle school and high school. Pretty much every couple you see is of equal attractiveness. It is almost an unwritten rule that if you want to date someone they have to be as attractive as you are. The only way you can find out how attractive you are is by the popular opinion. Not everyone has people come up to him or her and tell him or her how attractive they are. I believe that leagues do exist in our world. For the most part, in a natural, almost shallow, way of thinking, you want to date someone who is attractive as you. I find it very interesting and yet quite obvious that males put more emphasis on how physically attractive a woman is and women put more emphasis on who the person is and how successful they are. Both genders value symmetry and similarity in their mate. The old saying that opposites attract is false. Although these are very general observations and there are certainly more variables that go in to the process. I find that these are all natural occurrences and hopefully that it is not the only way people are attracted to each other. After all, there is more than just looks.

The Truth About Lying

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What is the best way to decide whether someone is lying or telling the truth? Some people believe that looking at verbal and non-verbal cues will give a lie away, but others think that lie detector tests like the Polygraph is most effective. Before reading about this topic in the textbook, my initial belief was that lie detectors like the Polygraph were almost 100% accurate and that they were used widely across the country in important criminal cases. Surprisingly to me, I found out that the Polygraph test is very beatable and that it doesn't even yield very good results much of the time. It often accuses innocent people of being guilty, and also lets guilty people get away with being "innocent". This is an interesting video about beating the test.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt3ninRIsSs
Something else very surprising to me was that the textbook described ways that the lie detector can be beat. I didn't know there was public knowledge available about how to beat the test, such as biting your tongue or clenching your fists during control questions, or solving tough math problems in your head while the question is being asked (counting back from 500 by 12's). I was also surprised that police officers are not as good at detecting lies as they think they are, given some exceptions of CIA officers. In general, police officers are just as good at detecting lies as we are, which is not much better than a 50-50 shot. Although they claim they can detect a lie by looking at non-verbal cues such as your eye movement or fidgeting, they fail to recognize that these cues could be the result of being placed on the spot, or being accused of lying. In fact, tests show that verbal cues are more effective at lie detecting than non-verbal cues, so beware when the cops are trying to manipulate you and tell you that you are lying because they could be wrong themselves!

You Are What You Eat

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Why is it that we Americans are always looking for a new, quicker way to lose weight and achieve our ideal body size and shape? We have all seen or heard about some of the diet and weight-loss plans. We have also heard about their extraordinary claims they seem to make; "Our revolutionary research shows that you can lose weight without dieting or exercise." Or the anecdotal clam, "I have a whole new lease on life- I lost 98 pounds in only four months!" I believe these claims hold nothing special and are there for the attraction. So often we take drastic measures to see weight loss results. For example, we go on diets, pop some pills, or buy into those weird gadgets on infomercials that promise us instant success. At the most basic level losing weight is all about burning more calories than you eat. Yes, wouldn't we all like it to be that simple, but it turns out its kind of a complicated process. There is a link by About.com that shows how to properly set up a weight loss program. The medical doctor for the show The Biggest Loser, Dr. Dansinger explains how to drastically lose 20 pounds in one week in a WebMD article, Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely. This is of course through a very ambiguous eating and exercise plan. Overall, I think it is all about the food that you put into your body is going to resemble what your body physically looks like, excluding exercise. Also, next time you see on of those weight loss claims, take it from you Psych book to evaluate all claims and make sure they have the data to back it up.

http://exercise.about.com/cs/weightloss/a/howtoloseweight.htm

http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/lose-weight-fast-how-to-do-it-safely

My 2 cents on Happiness

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So, I've decided to do the usual, generic post simply because I found the happiness section of Chapter 11 particularly interesting in the misconceptions and what makes us happy. I'm not one hundred percent sure why these two areas of the chapter caught my attention, but I'm thinking there were a few things that seemed humorous or a little weird. For instance, misconception number four on page 425 stated that it's a common misconception that people are happier on the West
Coast, and I've never once heard this before. Has anyone? I understand the explanation given in the book for why one might think West-Coaster's might be happier, such as the weather or the celebrities (who would probably make me irritated to be honest), but I guess it was just weird to me because a misconception is generally something the a large populations believes to be true, so if there's anyone else who hasn't heard of this, or even if you have, post in the comments and tell me so I know where I stand in the scheme of things.

Aside from that, I found the part on how marriage makes an individual happier over time funny if only because it contradicts so much of what pop media shows and characters say, like Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men, or Stiffle from American Pie. I guess it's more of an availability heuristic; the opinions of marriage that come to mind are the funny or intense ones we hear while people complain about it, not the subtle or less-oft spoken praises of being married. Otherwise, this is exactly what I found to be interesting in Chapter 11, if only to get a few chuckles and some mild confusion from the psych text.

Having personally come from a divorced family, I have always been interested in the effects on the children coming out of the divorce. Could my brother and I been negatively affected by it, or was it a relief from the fighting between our parents? In our case, I would say it had no effect on us because we were so young when our parents got divorced that the situation was all we ever knew. Of course, this does not apply to all children, and science still has yet to find a solid answer on whether or not the effects are generally negative.

Studies on non-traditional families are also interesting. Thinking about this, I remembered a video I had seen regarding the topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSQQK2Vuf9Q

Although it's a bit anecdotal, the speech is incredibly interesting and eye-opening. This young man gives an inside look at his life as a child with same-sex parents, which is a look many of us have never seen. Whatever your opinion on the issue, the man in the video is apparently unaffected by the same-sex relationship his parents have. In fact, he has succeeded in many aspects of his life.

children's imitation like a sponge

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I've been considering children as sponge because they are easy to accept or learn anything like sponge. When I saw the two videos that were about "power ranger" and "Barney" at the discussion class, I've got a conviction about the thought. Although the discussion class focused the children's violent behavior when they saw violent video, I'd like to focus on the comprehensive mimicking behavior of children. The children were mimicking what they saw on the video. Isn't it surprising phenomenon? At this point, I felt the importance of the environment in raising a child. In my case, I can remember my behavior in my past like this topic.
I mimicked many things and my parents often laughed and were interested in my behavior because I show something without direct learning experiences. For example, I showed the posture of playing golf and played the piano. I think I could show them by mimicking my parents.
I also saw an interesting thing in a elementary school. One of my classmates was making an imitational tobacco by using a paper. She rolled up a piece of paper and drew something on that. It was like a real tobacco! I followed the friend and I also made some fake tobacco. Now I just laugh whenever I recall the memory. I think the friend saw the shape of tobacco specifically in her home because her father smoked at that time.
In conclusion, If you have a child, you need to show educatory and informing things to your child because your child will absorb everything like a sponge.

related link: http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/behavioral/learning-by-imitating-you/

Morality Corruption

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Lawrence Kohlberg studied how morality changes with development. When studying how people make decisions about moral dilemmas, he wasn't concerned with whether they had the 'right or wrong answer,' but rather what reasoning processes they used. Kohlberg wanted to understand the underlying principles that people invoke to solve moral problems. Kohlberg believed that morality develops in three stages: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. I would like to apply these stages of moral reasoning to modern culture by aligning them with the post-election actions in 2008 by Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
At the first level, preconventional morality, Blagojevich's decisions are characterized by punishment and reward. At this reasoning level, he had to weigh whether or not he could get away with his actions or if he would get caught. He also had to examine his possible reward (a payoff).
At the second level, conventional morality, Blagojevich's decisions are characterized by societal values. He had to evaluate what society approves and disapproves of. This is also the level where breaking the law comes into play.
At the third level, postconventional morality, Blagojevich's decisions are characterized by internal moral principles. I think its safe to say that by evaluating the former governor's decisions and actions would lead most people to the conclusion that he decided immorally at every level.
2009_06_Blago.jpg

Human Lie Detectors

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While reading about lying and lie detection in the book I was particularly interested by the section "Humans as Lie Detectors." It mentioned that people generally have a 55% chance of detecting that someone has told a lie. It also mentions that certain groups we may expect to have a higher chance of detecting a lie, actually perform at levels similar to most people.

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I have personally watched almost every episode of "Lie to Me" that was made, before it was cancelled in 2011. In one the episodes Cal Lightman, of The Lightman Group which the show is about, meets one of his future employees . This character is working as airport security, which you could argue is similar to a customs official at an airport, which is one of the groups specifically named in the book as being expected to perform better in detecting lies, but is actually just about as accurate as most people.

In the show she is portrayed as a natural at detecting lies. While this opposes the what the book says in generally the case, it got me thinking about what makes a person better at detecting lies than any other person. The book mentions certain groups, such as secret service agents, clinical psychologists and some judges or law enforcement officials as being more adept at detecting lies. It also suggests that their superior lie detection is attributed to year of experience in spotting lie, but how do they even detect lies?

Lie to Me Cal.jpg

The book mentions types of machine that can help determine if a person is being deceptive, but it doesn't mention how to spot lies without machinery, which is essentially what the show "Lie to Me" is about. The show heavily used the idea of "Micro Expressions," which is a major part of Ekman's work. The premise of these micro expressions is that if you can detect the micro expression, which is essentially a brief show of emotion on a person's face, you can use that to determine if the person is lying. These expressions, which are shown even when a person is attempting to conceal their emotions, are 1/15 to 1/25 of a second. These expressions merely tell you an emotion is being hidden, but not why. Which can be a similar problem with other forms of lie detection.

Micro Expressions.jpg

Do you think this method will ever be used to detect deception in criminals the way modern lie detection equipment is used?

Sources:

http://www.paulekman.com/

detection inspection

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The basis of the show "Lie to Me" is about a psychologist who uses nonverbal clue to detect lies. There many ways to try to detect lies such as polygraph tests, guilty knowledge test and brain scanning tests. Nonverbal detection of lies tends to be less of an indicator than verbal detection, which I found strange because we consciously choose our words where as our physical responses I feel are more subconscious. It seems improbable then, that Dr. Cal Lightman, the character in "Lie to Me", can almost always detect when someone is lying based solely on nonverbal cues. I also found it interesting that those in occupations who one would expect to be good at lie detecting, such as cops or psychologists, tend to be no more accurate at detecting than the rest of us. This could mean that no matter how much experience or practice you have with lie detecting it does not really help with improving your skill. There wasn't any type of lie detecting test that was 100% accurate, or even close. This goes to show that even though we spend much of our time trying to detect the lies of others , we will basically end up with a 50/50 guess on if the truth is being told or not. I tend to go with intuition in situations like this instead of looking for clues, verbal or nonverbal, or searching for signs of anxiety.
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Life-threatening eating disorders

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I am sure that every one of us, especially the girls have once dreamed a thinner version of ourselves. Maybe not just once or twice, but every single moment of the day. These days, the media has influenced and increased our standard of ideal body image. Celebrities and models that we see in media are mostly underweight which makes us feel as if we are incredibly overweight. These psychological influences often lead to terrible eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

Anorexia is a phobia of becoming fat despite being normal or severely underweight and restraining oneself from eating. Anorexia is less common than bulimia which is continual vicious cycle of binging and purging. Bulimia occupies about 1~3% of the population while anorexia occupies 0.5~1% although they both begin in adolescent and much more common in girls. Such phenomena can be found not only in western cultures but also those that have had little exposure to western culture. So it is basically a universally spread idea.

One of the statistics about the eating disorders suggest that "the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old" Personally, as a girl myself, I also have experience of going on a diet because I want to look as slim as those women on media to have more confidence. I am sure many of us have looked at ourselves through mirror and have realized the need for going on a diet. There are many researches about body image and eating disorders, and many of the researches address that women are rarely completely satisfied with their body images which causes the anxiety for being fat. Therefore, these research findings explain why the individuals with eating disorders are in the normal weight range.

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are more common in girls and such phenomena are largely rooted in media and how society views overweight people. As stated in the quotation above, such eating disorders are life threatening and increasing numbers of women are becoming the victims of the media. It is also the matter of women standing strong for themselves but I personally think that it is more of the media's responsibility to portray less of the underweight models that gives shallow image of what human beauty really is.
body image & eating disorder.jpg

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As the text book mentioned, "We all lie" (Lilienfeld, 2010). What we called lie is not always serious as much as in the criminal justice system. It may not be true that there might be a person who never lied in his/her life. However, include me, many of people have had at least once of an experience of lying to someone. However, not all of us seriously rebuked in front of the law. I'm not saying that lie is good, but not always considered deeply as crime.
Lie as my personal definition, I defined as the violation of truthful saying against social norms and moral expectations as a small part. Thus, we do not apply polygraph test or other methods for detecting lies to everyone at a single time we have suspicions. Then what about the white lies? I raised this question for the whole time while I was reading the text book and some articles and posts about the program "Lie to me". No matter what they purposed for lie, people's physiological actions react on the lies which enables us to catch whether they are lying or not through polygraph. However, the white lies that mostly considered as telling the untruth intentionally to avoid hurting someone's feelings. (Miffin Company, 2009). For instance, in a restaurant you definitely heard "it will be served in a minute", but that often takes more than a time, sometimes people loss of their patient. But why do they say that all the time? Do they even feel a prick of conscience at what they said? In this case, if we apply polygraph test, based on the Pinocchio response, can we identify their lies?
I basically brought such ironic question to you not just because of my curiosity, but also kind of way to look at the subject in a diversity of aspects.


Reference

Photo: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/2007/07/30/cartoon-white-lies/

Lilienfeld, S,. (2010). Psychology From inquiry to understanding. Pearson. 418
Marc (2007)The 15 most common white lies and why. Retrieved from http://www.marcandangel.com/2007/10/04/the-15-most-common-white-lies-and-why/
Definition on white lie: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/white+lie

Ap(parent)ly

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1311539964-55.jpg

Parenting styles seems to be a controversial, yet important topic. With different situations, cultures, and metanarratives people seem to have very different styles on how to approach raising their children. Some have similar positive outcomes, and others may physcologically scar their child for the remainder of their lives.
The three main styles are categorized by Diana Baumrind as permissive - parents with little discipline and an overdose of freedom, authoritarian - extrememly strict parents, authoritative - a mixture of both, and uninvolved - parents who neglect their children. Personally, I was raised in a home that held more than the basic amount of affection, support, and safety which I would consider authoritative. However, I think we've all seen the different types of parenting styles at some point in our lives. If not to an extreme, I've seen parents who are sticter than mine or more permissive - sometimes there is not clear lines to what the style may be and it can lean more towards one or the other without being completely categorized. This almost makes the issue more controversial because two parents could have the same style, but on a certain issue disagree.
The situation the family is in is also a huge variable on how the parents choose to handle their kids - this could depend on the parent's personality, culture, martial status, and even how they themselves were raised. However, basic affection and an expectable environment is most likely to have a good outcome on the child.

http://thebreakingstory.com/parenting/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/1311539964-55.jpg
http://www.devpsy.org/teaching/parent/baumrind_styles.html

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