May 2012 Archives

Conditioning throughout my life


After going through all the types of psychology this semester, from behavioral theories to abnormal psychology, I'm going to say that condition is the one thing that will really stick with me from here on out. In my opinion, it's simple, elegant, and applicable to daily life, from training a pet dog to your kids. However you put it, conditioning has a major role in day to day life for every individual, regardless of upbringing, gender, race, etc. To me, conditioning is something that's in the back of my mind every time I see Buffalo Wild Wings and start to salivate, or how I always grow anxious when I see that a psych study guide is four pages long because I know I'm being fear conditioned like a rat. But more importantly is how I'll use conditioning myself.

As a parent, conditioning is obviously extremely important. Negatively punishing my kids for something like missing curfew or putting bread in between the cushions of my couch is inevitable, and understanding the consequences and potential side effects of what I do can help me become a better parent. Conditioning will become something that will help me both become a better parent and have my kids grow into responsible, respectable adults.

Or, you know, I could use it to condition my friend's girlfriend.

psychology through life


This semester has been a tremendously interesting semester. One of the things I have found most interesting is how the mind changes over time, and just how many things can change and adapt, or conversely deteriorate.I find it amazing at just how complex every single process in the brain is. I knew that their were billions of connections in the brain, but just how interconnected every sensation, every thought, every emotion is just mind-boggling to me. Having seen many disorders present in my family over time, it gets me thinking just how many more things could go wrong, or go right, in every person's brain.

We've all learned about the classical and operant conditioning techniques to train our dogs, cats, or other animals. However, have you thought about using these techniques against another human being? No, I do not mean put someone in a cage and give them an electric shock here and there. Isn't it true, that all of us, in one way or another have felt good getting praise for whatever accomplishment one has achieved, such as an A in a class? Doesn't this make one feel great? Releasing some dopamine? Now let me ask you this, is there a single person on this earth who hates that feel? For most of us, because everyone has different situations, we would desire that feeling continuously. Thus, it leads to trying harder to achieve that status where one will be feeling one's reward center being activated. What would that resemble? I don't think these conditioning techniques are limited only for animals or the mentally ill, it is all around us. All of us, studying in college, aren't we all driven by the award center to get good grades or volunteer? Whether we want to believe or not, every one of us is affected by the conditioning techniques that we have learned throughout our daily lives. Here is a good example to finish up the semester.

The "Secret me"!


During the course of this semester I have learned many valuable things about Psychology. I have come to see how important knowledge about psychology is to us in everyday life. However, the one concept that I found fascinating and that I will absolutely remember years from now is the new finding that has been made in the field of psychology about consicousness and the brain. Consciousness is not the cause of our behaviors but rather is the product of what we do. We are not consciously aware of evey choice or decision we make, the decision is actally made in our brain and the function of conscious awareness only comes in later to help us explain why we did what we did. This proposal, made by psychologists and tested and supported through the use of MRI scanning of the brain activity, had left me in total surprise at first. I had always thought of consciousness as part of science and hence unquestionable, but now I realize consciouness is actually a pholosophical concept that helps human beings explain their behaviors. Therefore, this whole debate of who or what is really in charge of our day to day decisions and behaviors, our conscious self or our brain, is so intriguing to me that it is concrete in my memory. I will remember this from psychology years from now because I find this discussion thought provoking, mind boggling and fascinating, I had never before questioned the existence of a conscious self but now this new finding makes me wonder who I really am as a person, in other words, it makes me think whether I really have control over my decisions in life. Further research is being done to fully understand this concept and I am looking forward to learning about it in the future. In the process I hope to learn more about who the "secret me" is!

visual: this is a picture that reflects "who I am," the conscious me guided by my brain!
the secret me.PNG

Beauty investments


This topic will remain with me for a long period. It really showed me that humans basically did not change. Females still search for men with money, and males look for good looking females.
But this drives me NUTS! and here is the thing:
Women literally think that men are looking for good looking women. They think that if they have nice body shapes they can conquer any rich man. I will discourage all women that think this way. First, most of people who become rich are smart. They know the basics of investment. The main rule is that the coolest investment is the one that appreciates over time, and the worst investment is the one that depreciates over time unless you want to temporary use the investment! Humans get old as time passes. The same applies to beauty. It becomes uglier as time passes. So women that have their looks as their main asset are the worst type of investments because it depreciates over time.
Who wants to invest a lot in something that will be useless after 20 to 30 years?
So try to solve the prioritization problem of looks and brains first, then think about conquering rich men.



I was really excited about this:

Modern Results
Burgers' (2009) study had results similar to the ones found in Milgram's previous study. The rates of obedience were very similar to those found in the Milgram study, showing that participants' tendency to obey has not declined over time. Additionally, Burger found that both sexes exhibited similar behavior, suggesting that obedience will occur in participants independent of gender. In Burgers followup (2011) study, he found that participants that worried about the well being of the learner were more hesitant to continue the study. He also found that the more the experimenter prodded the participant to continue, the more likely they were to stop the experiment. The Utrecht University (1986) study also replicated Milgram's results. They found that although participants indicated they did not enjoy the task, over 90% of them completed the experiment. The Bocchiaro and Zimbardo (2010) study had similar levels of obedeince compared to the Milgram and Utrecht studies. They also found that participants would either stop the experiment at the first sign of the learner's pleas or would continue until the end of the experiment (which the researchers called "the foot in the door scenario"). In addition to the above studies, the pattern of results that found participants to be largely obedient appears cross-culturally in participants from Spain, Australia, and Jordan.

That's amazing! Make yourself an authority, and you can control 90%.

What I learned about learning


I have learned a lot this semester in psychology. There are many lessons I can take away from this class and use in my everyday life. Learning everything from personality to IQ to psychological disorders can help me better understand the world around. Specifically, I think the learning chapter in the class will be very helpful in the future. I plan to have kids in the future and discussing the way kids learn and at what paces they develop will be very helpful when I have my own kids. It is interesting to know that kids have a certain range of emotions at one age and that expand to a certain age. This knowledge will help me to be a better parent to my children and help me understand their development process. Also, the personality chapter will help me discover the kind of person my children might be and where they might get certain traits from. It also will help me identify strong points to capitalize on and weak points to work on. Overall, I found the class very interesting with a lot of useful information to be used in many aspects of one's life, from work to personal. I really enjoyed the class and discussion sections for they helped me gain good insight into psychology

I felt this course outlined a wide array of interesting topics and taught me about the essential make-up of our personalities and intelligence as a human race. What I found to be most interesting and impacting is the discussion on emotions and motivation. These two principals are the driving force for how we feel and how we act on those feelings to express who we are to the world. Our emotions allow us to communicate with others our intentions and desires and can even motivate us to accomplish everyday tasks. Without this expression of emotion, there is nothing unique about our human race. It gives life meaning because it gives life importance and allows us to give it luster.

Our emotions can be considered very fragile because they can be influenced by everyone and anyone. Moreover, these emotions help us interpret various stimuli in our life that can lead to either fear or happiness. These interpretations direct our exact thoughts on a particular object and can motivate us for better or worse. Furthermore, the mere exposure effect, seen through constant familiarity, or even the facial feedback hypothesis are interesting theories on how our emotions correspond to outside and internal stimuli. This chapter helped me to realize further that my actions and experiences are important to shaping who I am. Even more so, I have the ability to shape my emotions and control how I feel through my many life endeavors. Happiness is always the key and always will be. I am very happy this class helped further my understanding on how to understand and shape my emotions to achieve this life-long happiness

Below is a song that makes me happy if I am ever sad.

Sources: Textbook

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