December 2011 Archives

Discussion Session Make Up

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I really enjoyed our unit in abnormal psychology. One topic I found especially interesting was the insanity defense. The insanity defense is when someone argues that a crime wasn't committed "of sound mind," and therefore the perpetrator is not responsible for his or her actions. As it was originally defined, someone arguing this defense had to satisfy one of two criteria: 1) The person could not remember doing the crime that took place, or 2) the person must not have been aware that what they were doing was wrong. As time has progressed, however, the guidelines for this defense have become steadily more hazy.

Today, the insanity defense is extremely controversial. Many believe the insanity defense is simply a way for criminals to off scot-free. On the other hand, others argue that a seriously disturbed person truly cannot be responsible for their actions. For example, someone who brutally murders a coworker because they believed their coworker to be Satan could potentially use the insanity defense.

The biggest problem I see with the insanity defense is that it's easy to fake. Someone could easily make up a story that qualifies them to be "insane," even if they weren't actually at the time. However, I don't think that's a reason to discontinue its use. If we want to rehabilitate criminals, sending the mentally disturbed to prison will not prevent them from doing harm again. If anything, it would just make it worse.

A classic case in the insanity defense is that of the Yates Trial. Andrea Yates, a mother of 5, drowned all of her children in a bathtub. This horrific story had the country in an uproar, but Ms. Yates was able to beat the charges on account of severe postpartum depression. This qualified her as not being "of sound mind." Because of the outcome of this case, many have questioned the insanity defense. The heinousness of the crime was too great for some to stomach, and the fact that Yates didn't spend time in jail as a result outraged many.

The jury is still out on the insanity defense. While it makes sense that someone not "of sound mind" should be tried differently than someone who is, the potential for abuse has many questioning its effectiveness. There are currently four states that don't accept it, including Idaho and Utah, but on the whole, courts still take it into consideration.

Remembering Psychology

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While there are many interesting topics in psychology, I think that the one I will remember most is the concept of scientific thinking. This will be the most useful in the future because it can help me identify whether an idea is accurate or if it is illogical.
This concept will help me with many things. It can help me identify many things. In popular culture today, there are many claims made about various things, such as politics, new products, and other various advertisements. By ruling out rival hypotheses, and considering correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and occam's razor. By using these concepts, I will be able to prevent myself from believing many untrue claims. This could save me money as well, since I would be much less likely to fall for claims that are untrue, hard to believe, or not replicable. I can also then decide whether the evidence is actually causing the claim, or if the relation is merely a correlation.
This concept in psychology seems most useful to me. I think that I am more likely to remember this idea in five years because I would be likely to use it and practice it.

Don't Judge Me

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Here I sit, writing my final blog post a day late, trying to rationalize my sheer stupidity by making excuses for my forgetfulness. Of course, I have no trouble coming up with my justification: I'm the fiddler for The Lundstrom's Country Christmas Celebration, and this last weekend was opening weekend, which means I spent the entire time on stage. However, I can't help but notice an inconsistency in my reasoning. If someone else had forgotten about their blog post, I would have been quick to label him as lazy or irresponsible.

Funnily enough, my blunder is a perfect example of what I will remember most about psychology: The Fundamental Attribution Error. We're often quick to attribute others' failures to an underlying personality trait, but we rarely reflect the same harsh judgements on ourselves because we have a "good" reason for "why" we failed.

5 years is a long time. By then, I will be out of college and completely on my own, which is a reality completely altered from what I live now (a PSEO student living at home). But I'm positive I will remember the Fundamental Attribution Error not only because it's an incredibly fascinating phenomenon, but because it's fully-applicable to everyday life. Everyone makes justifications for themselves and judgements of others, yet simply in knowing that, it becomes a lot easier to look past one's own biases and see a situation in a whole new light. This changed perspective, this objective clarity, is what I truly hope to take away from Psychology 1001.

When do we Start Learning

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It is commonly asked through out the field of psychology "When does learning begin?". Our text book suggests that it is very shortly after birth that children begin to learn and the development of cognitive abilities ensues. However, very recent findings suggest otherwise. As discussed in this video, learning may indeed begin prior to birth. These findings would go as far as to say that many crucial things are taught through fetal learning. A study preformed showed that babies, immediately after birth, cry in the accent that they were raised amongst. This would mean that children can hear us speaking while in the room. In the video they proclaim that they hear their mothers voice most clearly and that it resonates with them, causing them to prefer it to other females voices after birth. The biggest and most interesting claim made by the lecturer is the reasoning given for why why children begin learning as fetuses. She claims that is is too prepare them for the environment that they will soon inhabit. The mothers diet and stress level directly influence the child. If the mother is not under stress and eats well, the baby can be prepared for a similar style of living, but if she leads a very stressed life and/or is malnourished, the baby learns that that is the life that is will have to become accustom to.

When do we Start Learning

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It is commonly asked through out the field of psychology "When does learning begin?". Our text book suggests that it is very shortly after birth that children begin to learn and the development of cognitive abilities ensues. However, very recent findings suggest otherwise. As discussed in this video, learning may indeed begin prior to birth. These findings would go as far as to say that many crucial things are taught through fetal learning. A study preformed showed that babies, immediately after birth, cry in the accent that they were raised amongst. This would mean that children can hear us speaking while in the room. In the video they proclaim that they hear their mothers voice most clearly and that it resonates with them, causing them to prefer it to other females voices after birth. The biggest and most interesting claim made by the lecturer is the reasoning given for why why children begin learning as fetuses. She claims that is is too prepare them for the environment that they will soon inhabit. The mothers diet and stress level directly influence the child. If the mother is not under stress and eats well, the baby can be prepared for a similar style of living, but if she leads a very stressed life and/or is malnourished, the baby learns that that is the life that is will have to become accustom to.

Graphology: Interpreting Handwriting

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I have always thought that graphology was real until I read about it in the psychology textbook. Graphology is the psychological interpretation of handwriting. Before that, I have often wondered if my handwriting really reflected my personality. What did the direction of strokes indicate? Did the size of my letters matter? So I did some research, and found that graphology was not reliable at all.
Graphologists examine handwriting in terms of loops, dotted "I's" and crossed "t's," letter spacing, slants, heights, ending strokes, upslant pressure, downslant pressure, etc. They believe that these are useful to help understand health issues, personality, mental problems and even hidden talents. For example, tall letters show pride and ambition, and dotted "I's" and "t's" show discipline.
However, these claims are not supported when they were put to the test. In studies where participants copied writing samples instead of providing samples from thought, graphologists did no better than chance at predicting traits. One explanation for this failure is because graphologists may have based their interpretations on the content of participants' autobiographies rather than their handwriting. Although graphology is not reliable, it is still widely used. I think it is still popular because people often try to find ways to predict others' personality based on surface information, falling prey to the representative heuristic. When it comes to personality analysis, it takes more than one aspect, such as handwriting, for indication.

Here is a video showing how graphologists interpreted handwriting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL0R3mhqBv0

Culture and Social Psychology

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TED_Sheena_Iyengar2.jpg
http://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing.html


This video explores different cultures and how they perceive and react to choices when presented or not presented with them. This woman claimed that Americans are not as happy or satisfied overall due to the amount of choices they are presented with, and also pushed that choices should be withheld, rather people should look at situations in different ways. The presenter in the video was very absolute about her experiments though and what their findings definitely meant.

This bothered me first of all, but second of all made me wonder how much our reaction to choices was altered by the culture we were raised in. It would be interesting for me to see how differed the results of social psychology tests would be depending on where these tests are produced. I wonder if there are completely different social psychology institutions around the world that come up with completely different theories.

Secondly, this woman was very absolute in what she was saying the findings must mean about the world. This bothered me because there are many confounding variables that she didn't decide to mention, so in my opinion, everything that she was saying, even when paired with all the studies presented, were just inconclusive. There are way too many confounding variables.

In the end, I just wonder how exactly social psychologists come up with any sort of conclusions because reactions to certain stimuli have so much to do with background culture and the exact situation in which it was presented. I also wonder how different the findings are depending on region of the world. I also wonder why Americans are so similar according to the presenter if we have such a diverse culture.

It Sparked My Interest

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It has been a very interesting year in my psychology class, but the concept I will most remember in the future is how the corpus callosum is so important for the transfer of information between the two halves of our brain. However, I especially will remember the split brain effect. I found it extremely intriguing that one of the studies in our book found that even though we see both of the presented images, our interpretations and speech are influenced due to what functions are controlled in each hemisphere of our brain. Since speech is controlled in our left hemisphere, whatever goes to our right hemisphere must be transferred to our left hemisphere via the corpus callosum in order for us to talk about that information. I feel that I will remember this in the future because of how easy the concept is and how interesting it is to me. I took for granted how complex our brain really is and how completing a seemingly easy task requires many steps to ensure that it is performed smoothly. I have always wanted to know how the brain works, and the transfer of information between the two hemispheres of our brain is a crucial component to learning about how our brain works.

STRESS!!

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Everybody goes through periods of time in their life where they are connected with high levels of stress. Lilienfeld defines stress as a type of response that consists of the tension, discomfort, or physical symptoms that arise when a situation strains our ability to cope effectively. Meaning how an individual reacts to a tough/dangerous situation, both mentally and physically. Since everyone is involved with stress, whether it's as big as the loss of a loved one or as little as going on a date, the importance of low stress lifestyles is becoming more significant.
How an individual handles the stress thrown at them is how most people differ. People, especially students, tend to find little ways or techniques to deal with the stress that they are given. The thing is, nobody really understands the importance of lowering your stress. When you're under high loads of stress your body gives off toxins and hormones that throw off your bodily balance. High levels of these toxins can lead to an endless list of effects such as; hair loss, an imbalance in the digestive system, an increase in cardiovascular disease and is even known to increase the risk of asthma and diabetes. The health problems associated with high levels of stress are extremely alarming, especially with the constant increase of obesity in the United States. If a child develops asthma at a young age due to continuous high levels of stress, he/she is more likely to not get adequate time of physical activity everyday. Which will lead to an increased risk of becoming obese down the road. Obesity is nothing to joke about and is on the rise, showing little evidence of when the numbers may plateau. Overall, stress is everywhere you go, you just need to take one step back and think about what is going on. Try to use any method possible to reduce extended periods of stress because you only live once, why waste it with health problems due to high stress levels.

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Writing 6

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I am going to be talking about two of my favorite tv shows and how they relate to psychological topics I've read in the lillenfeld text this semester. The two shows are It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League. Both shows are almost entirely based on dialogue and Person to Person interactions. Also both are comedies about adults who are somewhat immature. Both shows showcase many psychological constructs.
One concept from psychology that both shows refute is the like likes like hypothesis. This basically states that we like those that like us and are nice to us and dislike those that dislike us and are mean to us. In Sunny one of the main characters Dee is almost always nice to everybody else but they all rag on her all day and none of them like her, even though one character is her brother and one is her father. In The League one of the main characters Andre is by far and away the nicest guy in the group and goes out of his way to do nice things for the others, they react to this by being the most mean to him and using him consistently. Both cases show that like likes like may actually not be true.
There are also psychological constructs that seem to be supported in the shows. In an episode of The League one of the main characters Kevin is being trained secretly by many of the other individuals. His wife stomps her foot when she wants him to do something and one of his friends clicks a pen to get what he wants. Kevin is completely oblivious to this but is conditioned to do what they want after the stimulus. In Sunny there is an episode that is focused on addiction studies and how Dee and Charlie get addicted to cocaine. It follows many things outlined in the text.

Scientific Thinking Principles

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In five years I think I will still remember what I learned about the six scientific principles of psychology. These principles will stick with me because they can be applied to multiple aspects of life. For instance falsifiability will be helpful when pseudoscience is prevalent. When ads appear on television I will now know if they can be trusted or not. I've learned that many of these ads do not have replicated studies to back them. The ads also have a lot of reliance on anecdotes. These results can vary from person to person and do not guarantee the same results for everyone.

Another scientific principle that will come in handy would be correlation verse causation. Just because two things are correlated does not mean that one of the events causes another event. I think this will be helpful when making assumptions about either how people act or about certain situations. All of these scientific principles will be helpful in the future when dealing with the life experiences that are sure to come.

Future Psychology Nostalgia

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In five years from now I hope to be holding down a job at a company I love to work for, making money, and living the "American Dream". In five years from now I will also be looking at those four golden years of college and remembering my Psychology 1001 class I took Freshman year. Although many concepts were discussed, there is one concept I won't forget: the James-Lange Theory.

Although this may seem like a very interesting theory to select, it is the one theory I learned this year that completely challenged what I thought I knew to be true. I had always thought that when I get into certain situations of anxiety or fear that my physical reactions stemmed from my emotions. To James and Lange, my preconceptions would be false: they say that my emotions stem from my physiological reactions to stimulus.

It is because of this very theory that every single situation I enter I always think about how my body is reacting and the emotions I am feeling. I challenge myself to consider which came first and whether or not my emotions are realized before or after the physiological reaction occurs. This is a concept that will continue to perplex me for the rest of my life, and certainly is a topic I will be thinking about every day 5 years from now.

When Psychology was important to me

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I understand this might seem really lame, but a time in my life when psychology has been important to me was assessing my current relationship. The discussion sections about similarity, proximity, reciprocity, etc. came at the perfect time. At that time in my life, I had really been wondering about why my long distance relationship with my boyfriend of nearly a year now is working out so well. I was expecting us to be doomed, but before college I decided it was worth the risk. During that discussion section, I learned that the reason my boyfriend and I, right now, seem so perfect for each other is mainly because of similarity and reciprocity.

My boyfriend and I have very similar personalities. I've always known this, but I was always under the impression that it was supposed to be a bad thing. I thought it was supposed to make us clash more than other couples that weren't so similar. Little did I know, couples with similar personalities and values tend to be more compatible, and this was very good news to me. The other thing that really makes us a good couple is reciprocity. We are the furthest thing from a one-sided couple. Honestly, this didn't even have to try to make this happen either. Honestly, learning about these things was really important to me. Though it wasn't in a situation where I had to use my knowledge of psychology to make something happen, it really did reassure me that this whole long-distance thing, might not be so bad.

5 Years From Now

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5 years from now I plan to be done with college. Aside from that, I'm not really sure what I plan to be doing with my life. But when I look back at what I remembered from college there are a few things that I am almost certain I will still remember. One of these things is the concept of classical conditioning.
In my mind this is one of the most basic fundamental concepts of psychology, but also one of the most interesting. It can be used to train animals for anything from lifesaving purposes to childish entertainment. It also shows some of the more basic functions that go on in the human mind, giving us a more simple idea that we can completely grasp as opposed to some of the more complicated things that are not yet entirely understood.
In addition to the concept itself, the way it developed was a good example of how many scientific discoveries arise. Through testing of theories, a few accidents that expand on the knowledge and lots of research.
Between it being a basic fundamental idea of psychology, as well as something I could perhaps attempt someday, I doubt that 5 years from now I will forget what classical conditioning is.

The Nature vs. Nurture Debate

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The concept that stuck out to me the most in psychology this year was the Nature vs. Nurture debate. It is a huge part of psychology and determining the causes of a person's behavior. It was especially interesting to me because it is often discussed in my favorite television show Criminal Minds. The show focuses on the behavioral analysis unit of the FBI, where psychologists analyze a subjects behavior in order to track them down and bring me them to justice.

In the show the agents always start by examining the backgrounds and childhoods of the unknown subject. They need to do so in order to determine where they developed the urge to kill and what events in their life lead to this. Once the agents understand who the unknown subject is, it makes it a lot easier for them to find the killer.

The Nature vs. Nurture debate is at the center of many psychological evaluations, which makes it very hard to forget. It appears in many different situations like violent family histories, as well as influencing IQ scores. Another reason the debate is so popular is that both sides have such strong arguments, so it's extremely hard to pick one over the other.

The Nature vs. Nurture debate is an important one because it focuses on the sources of a person's behavior. It can be applied to many different things and it is one part of psychology I will remember for a while.

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Culture and Social Psychology

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TED_Sheena_Iyengar2.jpg
http://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing.html
This video explores different cultures and how they perceive and react to choices when presented or not presented with them. This woman claimed that Americans are not as happy or satisfied overall due to the amount of choices they are presented with, and also pushed that choices should be withheld, rather people should look at situations in different ways. The presenter in the video was very absolute about her experiments though and what their findings definitely meant.

This bothered me first of all, but second of all made me wonder how much our reaction to choices was altered by the culture we were raised in. It would be interesting for me to see how differed the results of social psychology tests would be depending on where these tests are produced. I wonder if there are completely different social psychology institutions around the world that come up with completely different theories.

Secondly, this woman was very absolute in what she was saying the findings must mean about the world. This bothered me because there are many confounding variables that she didn't decide to mention, so in my opinion, everything that she was saying, even when paired with all the studies presented, were just inconclusive. There are way too many confounding variables.

In the end, I just wonder how exactly social psychologists come up with any sort of conclusions because reactions to certain stimuli have so much to do with background culture and the exact situation in which it was presented. I also wonder how different the findings are depending on region of the world. I also wonder why Americans are so similar according to the presenter if we have such a diverse culture.

The Big 5

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There are very few things from any of my current classes that I think I will still remember five years from now, but the Big 5 personality traits would have to be one thing that I think will stick with me. I find it extremely interesting that everyone can be rated on how much of each category they are. Even though the Big 5 describe personality at the broadest level, it's still cool to see how similar or different you are from people you know. Before learning about them in this course, I would occasionally think about how extraverted, agreeable, conscientious, neurotic, or open people were so it wasn't surprising to see that those were the five main personality traits used by psychologists. The Big 5 are basic because they're real, universal, heritable, and pervasive so that will make it even easier to remember in the future. Since all people can be rated in each of these categories, each new person I meet might remind me of this concept I learned in psychology. I thought it was super interesting that we all took the Berkeley Personality Profile and found out our score in each category, so that's a memory that will probably stay with me for a while. With every person I interact with in the future, there will probably come a point when I wonder what their scores would be in the Big 5 personality traits would be, so that's the concept from psychology that I think I will remember the most five years from now.

Five years from now...

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What came first? The chicken or the egg? People often encounter causality dilemmas on a daily basis without even realizing it. Does A cause B, or is it, in fact, the inverse scenario? Maybe there is even a third factor, "C" that can cause one or the other or both. I think that the thing I will take from Psychology 1001 is the fact that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. In my life I will keep this in mind because I'll try to think critically. When I encounter real-life situations I now know that I can't jump to conclusions. I won't think that because I ate breakfast before my Psychology exam I received a good score on the exam. I only wish this were the case. I was really adamant about taking Psychology 1001. Overall, I have learned so much about human behavior and the brain. Even though I have learned so much throughout this course I think correlation doesn't imply causation is the one concept I will always recall the most. I will remember this the most because when I am analyzing a situation I will remember that I need to think critically and realize that I can't make that judgment without taking all possible reasons into consideration. Another thing that really made a lasting effect on me was learning about what we look for in our mates. Proximity, similarity, and reciprocity are the three aspects that we factor in when finding our partner. I now understand how important it is to have someone that is caring, shares things in common with me, close to me, and is in the relationship for the same reasons that I am. Next time I look for a guy I'll recognize that these are the things that I will look for. I'll also realize that because a guy is attractive, it's not the only reason I might want to date him. "Correlation doesn't equal causation." correlationcausation.jpg

The Universal Principles of Scientific Thinking

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The six principles of scientific thinking are one of the most important staples in psychology and in science in general. The principles are as follows,

1. Ruling out rival hypothesis
2. Correlation isn't causation
3. Falsifiability
4. Replicability
5. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
6. Occam's Razor

Although these principles are very important in psychology, I will continue to remember them because they are also important to consider in our everyday lives as well. It is crucial to know that you cannot always believe the things you hear, unless you apply these principles. These universal ideas can help almost anyone who is in a difficult decision making situation. When considering each of them, it is nearly impossible to have missed any important pieces of information from whatever question you're trying to solve.

These principles stuck with me in part because they were on nearly every quiz and test in class. Because of this, I was able to learn each principle in depth in order to apply them to each and every unit. They will continue to stick with me as I apply them to each and every life decision I will inevitably face in the future.

To me, the most important of the six principles is the fact that correlation doesn't apply causation. This can be translated into everyday life very very easily. Just because something happens after something else, doesn't mean that the first event caused the second. There are hundreds of other factors contributing to everything in the world, factors that could be altering an event. You cannot apply causation without sufficient evidence. I think correlation and causation is one of the most important things we learned in Psychology class this year.

Biological Psychology

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Five years from now, I think that the thing I will remember most from taking this psychology course would be section on biological psychology. I have always been interested in biological sciences, which is why my major is currently Genetics and Cell Development, but after reading this section I seriously contemplated switching to Neuroscience. It is amazing how the brain communicates with the rest of the body, and vice versa. As I was reading chapter 3, I came across the section on the autonomic nervous system which also mentioned the fight-or-flight response. I was immediately reminded of my senior year in high school when I participated on the Academic Decathlon team. I was required to write a speech, on any topic that interested me, so I chose to write about something involving biology.
When I was younger I dreaded being called on in class because whenever I was I turned a bright shade of red, which made me wonder about how and why humans blush. As I started to research the topic, I discovered that the activation of the sympathetic nervous system (which is part of the autonomic nervous system) brings about the release of adrenaline which then has some adverse effects on the blood vessels in the face. They dilate, which then increases the blood flow to the face (hence the red cheeks). Even though I wrote this speech roughly a year ago now, I can still recall the details. I will remember biological psychology the most simply because I have memories tied to it. Daily, humans' sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are activated. It's definitely pertinent to everyday life.

200 words

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I admit it, like so many other fellow United States citizens I have fallen prey to the question of, "why we fall in love." Before reading the Lilienfield psychology book I was hoping that somehow this question would be answered. I even remember the first week of semester Professor Briggs said, "You're probably sitting here hoping to find out why we fall in love." I was one of them.
Reading the book throughout the semester, I realized my question could never be answered straight up. There are so many differing opinions on that topic that there is no way to prove someone if they are right or wrong. But, in chapter eleven it is briefly talked about with Sternberg's triangular theory of love.
There are a couple of reasons why I picked this topic to discuss. Mainly I picked it because I think every person (including me) wants to achieve every side of the triangle. I will remember the triangular theory of love in five years because I strongly believe in how love is portrayed; it makes sense when you apply it to real world situations. To me, it will be interesting to see if my life will map out to be the triangular theory of love. I'll let you know in give or take sixty years.

key concept

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The most vivid concept that sticks out in my mind from psychology is operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is learning controlled by the consequences of the organism's behavior. So basically its how we learn to respond to things over time based on experience. Operant condition is something involved in our lives everyday. One of the main reasons it stuck out to me is when we learned about animal training. It showed me a real life example of how psychology is used. I found it really interesting about reinforcement and how it affects the outcome. Another key concept within operant conditioning is punishment. The effects of reinforcement and punishment together are what change the stimulus to form operant conditioning. This is a video that cemented operant conditioning into my head. Operant Conditioning - YouTube.webarchiveIt shows a great example of how he uses chocolate as a reward for Penny to obey and please him. Operant conditioning then comes together with classical conditioning and so much more is introduced to the subject. Phobias, anxiety disorders, and more are brought into the mix. The main reason I wont forget operant conditioning is because I find it intriguing and like how it has to do with my everyday life.

Serial Position Effect

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Over this semester in Psychology 1001 we have learned about a variety of topics, but most memorable for me had to be the unit on the different types of memories. Although I had a little background on the difference between short and long-term memory, I didn't realize the depth and intrigue the unit could offer. In specific, I remember the relevance of the Primacy and Recency effects or the Serial Position Effect. When I try to relate these effects to my personal life, I think of one moment in particular. In my seventh grade english class we al had to memorize a poem to compete in a Poetry Out Loud recitation contest. We had to choose a poem that took around five minutes to recite so I chose Casey at the Bat by Ernest Laurence Thayer. So to the point, this poem is organized into many different stanzas each about four lines long. It was extremely easy to remember the first few and the last few, as is explained by the Serial Position Effect, but I kept messing up the order of the middle chunk of lines. I took it rather personally that I couldn't get my lines right, I didn't know what I was doing wrong and obviously being the proud middle schooler I was I didn't tell anybody about my struggles. Maybe if I had someone That could have explained this effect to me it could have made my recitation go by without all the stress.

Dealing With Anxiety

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After my college career I'll be applying for positions as a high school/junior high school guidance counselor. I absolutely love talking with people and being there for them when disaster strikes anywhere from school schedules to friend groups. However, in the past anxiety was unfortunately something that I had very little understanding in. I saw it in my friends, girlfriends, relatives, and I could never empathize with them as strongly as I could if they were actually going through rough times (rather than just worrying about them). Then in psychology we learned about the Big Five Model of Personality and the trait of neuroticism. I learned that some people tend to experience negative emotions more often then others and I learned something incredible about anxiety. Our lecturer told us that people experiencing anxiety do so because the future disaster seems, to them, so prone to happen that they psychologically convince themselves that it has happened. He went on to tell us that when something has happened to us inside our heads it feels like it's happened in real life. This insight allows me to empathize with people dealing with anxiety now and years later as a counselor. Through my understanding of this concept I will be able to help people deal with their anxiety by teaching them to handle things as they come instead of everything that has a chance of becoming a reality.

Andrew Otto

What I will Remember about Psychology

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What I will remember the most of psychology is power of our words. An example is the power of suggestion. It's amazing that the right situation and the right words can compel someone to do so much. The story about Paul Ingram prompted this interest in the power of suggestion. Although there were many other factors such as investigators secluding him from his family and keeping him in questionable conditions, his confession was a biggest piece of evidence against him, which investigators coaxed out of him using the power of suggestion. A man, who at first clearly believed he was innocent, was lead into believing he was guilty of heinous, unspeakable crimes. The power of words are also used in many positive ways. Countless self-help companies market the idea that one can better themselves through merely saying so. For good or bad it is very apparent that words have power.
Pharmaceutical companies spend millions and millions of dollars creating drugs to that affect our emotions and moods, yet mere words can change a person's dispositions in seconds. We should remember that even though the environment plays a role in affecting someone, our words can influence someone just much. Some psychologists even only use words to heal. I will always remember to be careful of what I say to others because the effect might be stronger than I perceived. As society belives and psychology has proven words can be the most powerful weapon a person yields.

Persuasion Techniques and Management

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The foot-in-the-door technique, the door-in-the-face technique, and the low-ball technique are all marketing persuasion techniques with psychological implications. The foot-in-the-door technique involves making a small request before making a bigger one. There are several examples of companies and organizations that use this technique. Often, organizations go door to door to get small contributions, and then ask for progressively more significant contributions. My high school, for example, is a private high school that asked my graduating class for contributions to a scholarship fund. I contributed, and now I receive frequent emails asking for more and more contributions. This video, directed by Nick Cooney, author of Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change, gives examples of how marketers use the foot-in-the-door technique as a standard business strategy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlJYB7V1RpA).
The next marketing strategy, the door-in-the-face strategy, involves making an unreasonably large request before making the small request we're hoping to have granted, according to our Lilienfeld text. Charities are known for executing this technique. For example, if one is persuaded by a charity's representative to donate a large sum of money, say one hundred dollars, the charity can then follow up on the person to ask for a smaller amount of money, which will generally keep the donator since they psychologically feel that they can donate smaller amounts of money instead of their initial large amount.
The third marketing technique is the low-ball technique in which the seller of a product starts by quoting a low sales price, and then mentions all of the add-on costs once the customer has agreed to purchase the product. A common culprit of this technique is a car dealership. Even though it is expected, car salespersons often have a base price for a car then once the buyer agrees on the price, the unknown fees are added onto that base price. Thus, it is best for the buyer to have their own haggling technique to make the base price as low as possible.
Because I would like to go into the marketing field of business, having basic knowledge of the human mind and how they psychologically make decisions is important for my success. Mastering these three techniques will help me understand how people make decisions and how I can best market products.

Persuasion Techniques and Management

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The foot-in-the-door technique, the door-in-the-face technique, and the low-ball technique are all marketing persuasion techniques with psychological implications. The foot-in-the-door technique involves making a small request before making a bigger one. There are several examples of companies and organizations that use this technique. Often, organizations go door to door to get small contributions, and then ask for progressively more significant contributions. My high school, for example, is a private high school that asked my graduating class for contributions to a scholarship fund. I contributed, and now I receive frequent emails asking for more and more contributions. This video, directed by Nick Cooney, author of Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change, gives examples of how marketers use the foot-in-the-door technique as a standard business strategy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlJYB7V1RpA).
The next marketing strategy, the door-in-the-face strategy, involves making an unreasonably large request before making the small request we're hoping to have granted, according to our Lilienfeld text. Charities are known for executing this technique. For example, if one is persuaded by a charity's representative to donate a large sum of money, say one hundred dollars, the charity can then follow up on the person to ask for a smaller amount of money, which will generally keep the donator since they psychologically feel that they can donate smaller amounts of money instead of their initial large amount.
The third marketing technique is the low-ball technique in which the seller of a product starts by quoting a low sales price, and then mentions all of the add-on costs once the customer has agreed to purchase the product. A common culprit of this technique is a car dealership. Even though it is expected, car salespersons often have a base price for a car then once the buyer agrees on the price, the unknown fees are added onto that base price. Thus, it is best for the buyer to have their own haggling technique to make the base price as low as possible.
Because I would like to go into the marketing field of business, having basic knowledge of the human mind and how they psychologically make decisions is important for my success. Mastering these three techniques will help me understand how people make decisions and how I can best market products.

Memories of Psychology

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If you are going to talk about Psychology, you have to talk about the Big Five. It is such an important topic, that if it were to be left unsaid, one would not grasp Psychology. So it seems very cliche that I would still choose to write about it; but yet, here I am.

I will remember the big five for reasons such as this: I am using it literally every day. I cannot help but evaluate myself and how I rate in every category. When I took the test, I scored the highest possible score for extraversion. It made me laugh, but it is the truth. I look at my second top score, which is agreeableness, and understand how I am able to relate to people so well. Constantly throughout the day, even though I would rather relax sometimes, I am evaluating people to see what personality characteristics are prevalent in them and which are not.

I hope to go into management someday. I intend to be a engineer after college, and I want to manage engineers. To do so effectively I have to understand who people are, down to their core, and understand where I can put that person so they will be the most productive. The Big Five is the simplest way of understanding who someone is. That is why I will remember it in 5, 10, and who knows, 45 years from now!

In 5 years I'll remember..

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One concept that I think I will always remember from Psych1001 is the two-factor theory of emotion. This theory was coined by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer in 1962 after they decided that the previous representations of emotion were too simple. They believed that two separate psychological events were necessary to produce an emotion. The first of these is experiencing a state of arousal after an emotionally stimulating event. The second event is our bodies and minds trying to identify the source of this state of arousal. Only after attributing this feeling to an internal or external environment do we experience an emotion. Schachter and Singer described emotions as being the explanations that we attach to arousal. For example, our "fight or flight" instincts of arousal would kick in if we were crossing the street and saw a bike zooming at us. We would then infer that our arousal was obviously due to the bike and then we would call this arousal fear or surprise, so those would be the emotions we experience.

This concept has impacted me mostly because of its real world applications. Countless TV shows or movies show a couple (or soon-to-be couple) undergoing exhilarating experiences like sky diving, roller coasters, or even watching scary movies. At the end of these adventures the couple is always more in sync or more in love. This is probably because their minds were misinterpreting their fear or anxiety as feelings of love and desire. I know it has happened to me before. This theory is a great starting point for anyone trying to woo a special someone; apparently, it might help to take our first date bungee-jumping so they will like us more. On the other hand, this also means we may need to be more cautious if we start getting any "love at first sight" feelings. In the end, it could just mean we have a faulty emotion labeling process. After all, it is better to find out our actual compatibility with our dates sooner rather than later, right?

Go to 3:00 to see a prime example of the two factor theory!

Five years down the road

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One thing that really stood out to me in psychology this semester was the whole study of memory, more specifically, the deficiencies of memory. I really identified the whole idea of the flashbulb memory. That was one of the parts of this class that genuinely surprised me. those are the 'moments that you ill remember for the rest of your life.' Its those that are often the falsest memories that we have. Those are the most important things in life, your greatest accomplishments. This gives a part of life a certain uncertainty to it. If we can't truly remember the most important parts of our lives, what can we trust? The other false memory type that stood out me were the suggested memories. This really factors into what people will say when asked about something. The lawyer example that the book gives could mean the difference between innocent and guilty. It is easy to understand how easily people can become suggested, and that could help me understand why people will be so persuaded to remember things inaccurately, or have a different opinion on something that may not have actually occurred. I think Psychology was not quite as I had expected, I thought it had more dealing with things like the big five, and why people are the way they are, but all in all, it was a fairly interesting class.

What I will remember most..

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If I were asked to recap something I remember most from taking this class (Psych 1001), I think I would touch on the principles of finding and falling in love. It's easiest to fall in love with someone that you see often, because it allows for a relationship to develop between two people. For instance, my parents met at their company where they both had been working for some time, and although they have both taken new positions elsewhere, they have remained together. I believe that seeing each other every day at their first jobs really allowed for their relationship to flourish. People also are attracted to others with similar likes and dislikes as them. Not only do people with similar views as another support each other's attitudes (and increase self confidence), but they also provide a foundation for great mutual understanding. This saying goes against the all too common "Opposites attract" that we all have grown up hearing in movies, etc. Another aspect of a solid relationship is the reciprocity effect, which states that people like to receive just as much as they give, and when one aspect is lacking, it causes a relationship to deteriorate. Lastly, no matter what people like to believe, there is not much truth in the statement that we don't judge books by their covers. Attraction has been scientifically proven as the rate at which a partner rates the others physical attraction. If a partner finds one to be attractive, it is more likely that they will pursue a relationship.

5 Years from now...

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sleep-learning.jpgConsider five years from now looking back at my psychology knowledge, one concept that I think I would stick with me is the learning development and how the brain retains and processes learned information. For me, the process of learning is important because it helps me to modify my own learning system and improve my scores in tests. In many cognitive models of learning that were introduced in Psychology class, I learned several different ways to improve my learning ability. For instance, I learned that information gradually diminish after you learned if you do not review the materials. Now, I usually go over my notes more frequently and rewrite the notes that I have so that the information will retain longer. This way the brain has the time to rehearse the information more frequently and able to recall it faster. It demonstrates that the brain tends to remember things better in the long run when spread learning over long intervals of times than pack into short intervals. Also another concept of learning is chunking. By organizing meaningful concepts to things that I learned, this will help the information retain in brain much longer and even process them to long-term memory. These two concepts are very important in improve my learning because they help me recall new and old materials better and maximize my learning ability especially when the exam season is coming soon.

Correlation does not equal causation

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I think the one phrase that stands out most for me in this psychology course is "correlation does not equal causation." Other than making a regular appearance in most of my psychology midterms, it is also a very important concept to understand in life. After thinking more about this phrase, I find that everyone probably has fallen victim to this trap at least once in their lives. In fact, I could even argue that this is the main cause of most of our stereotypes and prejudices. For example, when you see an Asian-American person, you basically kind of assume that they have one or all of these following characteristics: very intelligent and good at math, eats rice everyday, studies everyday, enjoys anime, knows martial arts, and the list goes on. However, just because you've met someone who was Asian-American a very long time ago and they have all those aforementioned qualities, does NOT mean that every Asian person is the same. But you assume that they are, which is a huge injustice to the whole race. Now, those qualities are not necessarily bad. Honestly, I'd have to say that I do have all those qualities, minus being good at math (I was good at math before they decided to put the alphabet in it). However, what if we started thinking bad qualities are specific to a race? That's when prejudice and bigotry comes to mind.

Dr. Gonzales' lecture last Friday about Euro-Americans and African-Americans showed a picture of a black man with a bag of food after Hurricane Katrina and the caption said that he "stole" the food from a local convenience store. And then there was a picture of two white men with food as well and the caption read that they had "found" the food at the convenience store. As we see and hear the word "black" associated with the words "crime", "looting", and "bank robbery", we immediately start to form biases. And it is because of these existing biases that we have labeled a particular race a particular image.

I feel that we, as a society, should think more like scientists. Some of the vocabulary for the experimental designs could be applied to everyday life. And if scientists are trying hard NOT to include such damaging variables in their experiments, we should think the same thing and try to exclude it our everyday lives. I think that science strives to be perfect and while I am not idealistic as to believe in a true Utopian society, I think that we should try to open our minds and not fall into such dangerous traps.

Psychology In 5 Years

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Psychology has always been an important aspect in my life because my dad is a psychology professor and a clinical psychologist. Many of the things that we have learned this year have been familiar and I have witnessed some concepts first hand because of my dad being so involved in his profession. Out of everything that we have learned, I think that the things I will remember most and be able to use the most would be the things that we learned in the human development chapter. Human development will be involved in my life often because I'm going to be a nurse. I will most likely still be in school in 5 years, and many of my classes deal with human growth and development material and concepts. After schooling I will need to remember the things I learned about human growth and development to be successful in my career. My plan right now is to be a midwife or labor and delivery nurse. Being in that position I would need to be very knowledgeable about growth and development especially in the prenatal stages. The things that we have learned this year like the development stages, coordination and movement stages, genetic disruptions and prematurity will serve as great base knowledge for me to build on and use in the future in my everyday life. This was my favorite unit in psych so far this year, and I'm glad that I will be able to not only remember what I learned from this unit, but also be able to apply it to my life and career.

Parental Investment and Pickiness

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Just before the exam, we had a lecture on evolutionary psychology. Personally, I think the most interesting part of the lecture was sexual dimorphism, which is the difference in appearance between members of the same species that are of different genders. For a brief moment, I wondered how dimorphism worked in species in which members may take the role of either gender, or can change between genders. Though I've heard of such species existing, I never really looked into what they were, so I couldn't really attempt to analyze any examples.

The next time I thought about dimorphism, I remembered there are sexually cannibalistic species and wondered how Parental Investment, Dimorphism, and "pickiness" are related in such species. The main example I had read about was spiders in which male is the cannibalized gender, and are smaller than the female. Given that the males invest the remainder of their lives, it makes sense that they'd be the more investing and smaller gender. This makes me wonder at the pickiness, or more specifically scarcity and its relation to investment. Intuitively, I'd expect the scarcer resource to be the gender that actually invests more in reproduction. The theories that sexual cannibalism is a way to be selective about breeding indicate that the females in this case are the picky ones, so the males probably aren't that selective in who to get eaten by. The example with mantises - in which 63% of the female diet is male mantises - only further supports that the scarce gender is the picky one, rather than the more investing one.

An example from class was of seahorses, a species in which the females are bigger, and mates with several males. In this case, the males have to take care of the babies, and the females are definitely the less picky and less investing party. Because one female mates with several males, I'm inclined to assume there are more males out there (though I admit that because I'm not reviewing the recording, there may be more females and most of them simply fail to mate).

With the examples of humans, seahorses, and sexually cannibalistic spiders, I have to wonder when parental investment stops positively correlating with pickiness. Is the correlation between parental investment and pickiness a false assumption on my part, or is it a real but generally weak relationship that is easily disrupted by other variables such as the (unwilling) absence of a parent, or the "sexual tension" mentioned in the article?

Remembering psychology 5 years down the road...

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A friend is watching late night television and comes across an infomercial that guarantees contour abs in just weeks! It sparks her interest so she decides to watch the entire infomercial. During this add, she discovers that there is a vibrating machine that straps around the waist and somehow contracts the muscles of the abdomen. The commercial claims that no workout is necessary to gain such a figure, just strap on the device around the waist and sit back and relax! They show the "before" and "after" pictures of the individuals in the commercial. Your friend is amazed at the weight loss and extremely excited about the idea of a fresh new beach body for herself.

She comes to you and tells you about this product that she is convinced works. It seems too far fetch of an idea to believe so you sit her down at a computer, do some research on Google about the product and find strong evidence that it is NOT a reliable product. She dismisses the information you just provided and conducts her own search on Google. She ends up finding information on a couple unreliable websites that this product is "100% worth the money" and "it is guaranteed to work."

The next day she shows up on your doorstep with her new abdominal machine. She's come to show you how it works and tell you how she's already feeling the soreness from the effects of the machine. Shaking your head, you tell her, "you just fell prey to confirmation bias."

Infomercials like these are going to be continually successful because there are always going to be people that believe their misleading information. In various situations in life, people hear an idea or theory that captures their attention, and when they conduct research on this theory or idea, they may find contradictory evidence but shrug it off and pay closer attention to the information that supports their belief of the situation. I know I remember this term because I will continually come across situations like these that lead to confirmation bias. They pop up in every day situations, just like in this commercial! Watch the video; do you think this infomercial is believable?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swk1qKZLOU4

The importance of Occam's razor

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Among all the concepts we have learned through this semester, the most impressive one to me is Occam's razor. I think I will keep this concept in mind for the next five years. As a sensitive person who easily gets nervous and anxious, I am usually too concerned about my academic performance and social relationships. Even when asking an easy question, I spontaneously believe that it must be a tricky question that I cannot solve with a simple method. In these cases, I often analyze the question in a more complicated way than necessary. Moreover, I used to worry a lot when I interacted with others. Are the words I used offensive to them? Did I behave properly during the conversation? I cannot stop asking myself these questions which make me feel tired after talking to people and participating in social activities. However, after learing Occam's razor, I know that one of the most important things in science is simplifying. Things can become much easier if we remove the excessive parts. In the following five years, my assignments will become more and more difficult. By simplifying questions, I will be able to come up with correct solutions with less time and effort. There will also be more opportunities for me to make friends if I just show peoplethe person I am.

LOVE

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LOVE

For some times, people thought that love was something that scientists can't understand, but it's wrong because scientists do know some thing or two about how love is part of the human emotion.

Romantic love is made up of three elements: attachment, caring, and intimacy. Attachment is the need to receive care, approval and physical contact with the other person. Caring involves cherishing the other person's needs and happiness as much as your own, intimacy refers to the sharing of thoughts, desires, and feelings with the other person.

There are also two basic types of love: compassionate love and passionate love. Compassionate love is characterized by mutual respect, attachment, affection and trust. It usually develops out of feelings of mutual understanding and shared respect for one another. Passionate love is characterized by intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety, and affection. When both partners are feeling these intense emotions, they feel overjoyed and fulfilled and when only one partner is feeling those intense feelings alone, the love may lead to feeling despondence and depression. Initially, passionate love then leads to compassionate love, which is more enduring.

Romantic relationship may have same attachment styles as an infant that have a relationship with their caregiver. It is thought to be that an adult attachment style have some correlation with how their relationship with their caregiver while growing up. To some degree, the relationship between an infant and their caregiver affect how they are going to act in a romantic relationship in the future.

5 years from now..

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5 Years from now...

For me it's hard to pick one specific concept from psychology that I will still remember in five years. So many of the concepts that we have gone over during the semester I see on a daily basis, which makes me believe that I will remember a lot of them down the road. However if I were to pick just one concept it would be Classical and Operant Conditioning.

Classical and Operant Conditioning are concepts that I noticed long ago yet I never knew that there was actual science behind them. For instance, for a long as I can remember I have always associated different things with my senses. The smell of old perfumes always makes me feel as if I was back at the time in my life when I used to wear them. Or hearing an old song makes me think of the people I used to listen to them with. It was very exciting and interesting for me to learn that there was scientific evidence as to why those things happened to me.

I am sure that for as long as I live, I will remember how Classical and Operant Conditioning work. This psychological concept happens just about every day and I always notice when it does.


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Classical Conditioning

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For me classical conditioning was one of the most interesting and applicable concepts that we learned about in Psych 1001. The idea that we can in essence train things to respond a certain way just by presenting a certain stimuli I found extremely useful in real life. One of the first things I did when I got back home was classically condition my cat to come every time he hears some sort of clank from a dish on the countertop. It is extremely interesting to see it work in real life. Now every time I can't find my cat I simply take out a dish from the cabinet and place it on the countertop and he comes running. I find that classical conditioning is a huge part of our everyday lives. When learn to wake up when we hear our alarm go off, our come to dinner when our parents call our names. Without classical conditioning shaping would also be virtually impossible and training animals to do what we want would never happen. I think classical conditioning will be the easiest concept for me to remember because of how it is used almost every day and how it was by far one of the most interesting concepts I learned this semester. This next video demonstrates the idea of classical conditioning.

The Empathetic Mind

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If I had to take one lesson from psychology, it would be the importance of understanding how others' minds work in certain situations. Different personality types will tend to act differently in social situations based on that personality type. The big five are good indicators of how people will act:


  1. Extraversion

  2. Agreeableness

  3. Conscientiousness

  4. Neuroticism

  5. Openness


Extraversion is the level of how outgoing someone is. Agreeableness is how easy it is for someone to get along with others in social situations. Conscientiousness is how organized and goal-oriented someone is. Neuroticism is high in people who are emotionally unstable, anxious, irritable, etc. Openness is how open a person is to new experiences and how likely they are to have a broad range of interests.

After this class, I know that I am average in Extraversion and Agreeableness, low in Conscientiousness and Neuroticism, and high in Openness. While all of these aren't necessarily ideal personality traits, I can at least find better ways to adapt to situations using my strengths or weaknesses. For example, since I'm sometimes not very outgoing when I meet new people, I can try to think that new people offer new experiences, which, since I'm high in Openness, makes it easier to make friends. And since I am only average in Agreeableness, but low in Neuroticism, I can rely on my easy-going-ness to get along with others.

And I can also use this knowledge to get along with others. You can use someone's strengths and weaknesses to accentuate the strengths, the same way that I did for my own above.

Doing this could potentially help someone in the workplace, relationships, or just to improve their overall happiness. But above all, they can help us to better understand others and why they act the way they do. Instead of simply contributing behavior to other things.

What I will remember the most

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Five years from now the section I will remember the most will be the section on personality, more specifically the Freudian defense mechanisms. The reason I will remember this in five years is because for me this was most interesting topic that we covered. This topic interested me the most because I found it interesting to learn the different ways in which people deal with adversity or controversy. Another reason I found this topic to be the most interesting is because I was able to better understand my reactions to things when I objectively looked at the way in which I acted, which typically reflected on of the defense mechanisms. Also, being able to understand the different types of defense mechanisms will help me to deal with people in my future jobs.

http://blogasarea.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/defence-mechanisms1.jpg

The cartoon above provides examples of several of the Freudian defense mechanisms. I believe being able to identify the different defense mechanisms illustrated will also help me with dealing with people in general and allow me to better understand their actions. Also, through this better understanding of their actions I will be able to change the way I act towards people. So, if you were to ask me which topic I would remember from psychology 1001 in five years it would be the Freudian defense mechanisms.

What I will remember

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The psychology concept that I will remember for 5 years or longer is the hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect. I will remember this bias very well, even after 5 years, because I often recognize it in everyday situations all around me. One example is when someone asks someone else to guess something, but they guess wrong. Then the asker tells the guesser the right answer and the guesser claims that they were going to say that next. I have seen that situation play out before my eyes several times. Another example is like the comic shown below. In this situation, an event occurs and someone says that they knew it was going to happen all along. This is most likely the most common display of hindsight bias. I will remember this concept because before I even learned what it was called, I recognized that it was a common occurrence. So when psychology class taught me what it was called, I had a name to put to the concept. In conclusion, I will remember hindsight bias because it is easily recognizable, it is a common occurrence, and I found it interesting before I even knew what it was called.

What I will remember

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The psychology concept that I will remember for 5 years or longer is the hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect. I will remember this bias very well, even after 5 years, because I often recognize it in everyday situations all around me. One example is when someone asks someone else to guess something, but they guess wrong. Then the asker tells the guesser the right answer and the guesser claims that they were going to say that next. I have seen that situation play out before my eyes several times. Another example is like the comic shown below. In this situation, an event occurs and someone says that they knew it was going to happen all along. This is most likely the most common display of hindsight bias. I will remember this concept because before I even learned what it was called, I recognized that it was a common occurrence. So when psychology class taught me what it was called, I had a name to put to the concept. In conclusion, I will remember hindsight bias because it is easily recognizable, it is a common occurrence, and I found it interesting before I even knew what it was called.

Memory - the most useful subject of psychology

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Five years from now, I will remember the psychology chapter on memory (no pun intended).  Around that time, I would like to start my preparation for the GMAT.  The chapter had some useful memory devices, which I think will be useful in the Reading Comprehension section of the exam.  This section requires a lot of vocabulary knowledge.  In order to remember the long list of words, I think that all five of the study hints will be helpful in their own ways.

 

The distributive method means to spread out the work, which makes sense in this case because I cannot learn so many words in one go.  The testing effect will be useful because, by frequently testing my understanding of these words, I will be more likely to remember them.  I can do this one using flashcards.  Elaborate rehearsal will be helpful because I will learn to use the vocabulary words in context, which will make it much easier to understand them in the long passages on the GMAT.  Levels of processing will allow me to connect the dictionary definition and contextual definition to create a new definition which makes more sense in my head. Finally, I can use mnemonics to remember similar sounding words and connect their meanings with the vocabulary words. I could also group the words by similar meanings, and then create acronyms like HOMES, and Roy G. Biv.

 

Overall, I think this chapter will be the most useful, because it will not only help me to take the GMAT but it will also help me throughout Undergraduate, and Graduate Careers.

Knowledge I Received.

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NouCheng Yang
Psy 1001
Sec. 15
Knowledge I Received
In the beginning of it all I absolutely hated psychology. It wasn't for the fact that I didn't like the subject itself (Causation vs. Correlation), but the fact that it required an excruciating amount of thorough reading. I am fonder of psychology now, because of the things I learned: refined concepts, scientific reasoning, and just the way the mind works itself (cognitively and externally). I've cultivated defined concepts (Ruling out Rival Hypotheses) that will assist me through difficulties that may involve simpler (Occam's razor) routes. The way psychology taught me how to live life with a stronger passion cannot explain itself (Falsifiability) in which all knowledge gained from this course has only benefitted me. Through this whole course was it ever possible for me to put the learned concepts into real life situations (Replicability)? Yes it was and it has really changed how I perceive life, there are explanations for everything and if one sounds too extreme (Extraordinary Claims), it's probably not true. The six principals of critical thinking now has its very own suite within' the floors of my hotel of wisdom, which plays an essential everyday role in my existence. I believe these six critical thinking concepts direct us through life and sets guidelines that cannot be broken in order to have regularity which is very much needed in humane societies. In conclusion, this set of psychological critical thinking has refined itself in my library of intellect which very will be remembered five years from now.


(http://www.google.com/imgres?q=psychology&hl=en&biw=1024&bih=643&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=X--bvCGrgWZlnM:&imgrefurl=http://optimumtennis.net/tennis-psychology.htm&docid=_1vBwdRw3Iw3ZM&imgurl=http://optimumtennis.net/images/tennis-psychology.jpg&w=300&h=300&ei=lgfbTub_C6r8iQLXh9TACQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=490&vpy=233&dur=1725&hovh=225&hovw=225&tx=132&ty=172&sig=106777787007718929447&page=3&tbnh=130&tbnw=130&start=33&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:9,s:33)
Here is an image summing up my semester of psy 1001.

Conformity in Social Psychology

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Of all the theories, concepts, and experiments we discovered this semester in Psych 1001, five years from now I think the concept of how prevalent conformity is will stay with me. Social psychology as a whole is a very interesting topic. Most people would like to think they are their own person, without letting the impact of others persuade them. That thought is completely impossible. In fact every person is a combination of all the other people that have came and influenced their lives.
People are proven to feel the pressure to conform to what others are doing, even if direct pressure isn't applied. It just shows that you can change your choices and behavior just based off what others around you are selecting. The example here: shows how far an individual really will go. The man in the experiment feels like since he is the only one not agreeing, that he must be seeing something incorrectly. Immediately he doubts his own perceptions and just agrees with the majority. I feel like this issue of conformity happens all across society for different situations some positive, and some not. It makes me question my own self and how I am affected by peers unconsciously. It also makes you wonder about how the world would be different without people falling victim to conformity. Would it be better? Or worse? I will keep this thought with me for the next five years mostly because I can now understand more easily how people make their decisions, and maybe where the influence is coming from. I will always be thinking am I staying true to myself, or am I a victim to conformity of social psychology.

Importance of Correlation versus Causation

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The scientific thinking principle of correlation versus causation will be something I will remember for at least the next five years. One of the main reasons I will remember this is because it was a concept of psychology that was repeatedly pounded into my head that correlation does not cause causation. This concept is also very important not only in psychology, but in other aspects of life as well. Since first learning of this concept in the first few weeks of psychology, I have applied it in many areas of my life that involve critical thinking, such as in completing work for other classes. Recognizing that correlation does not cause causation has helped me to draw important inferences when interpreting data. I will remember this because almost every correlation in the world can be picked apart to see if there is something that causes it. However, this correlation might be caused by an outside factor that was overlooked, making the two things see like they have a correlation. I have taken this perspective when viewing things where correlation does not necessarily causing causation. This is something I will take with me though at least the rest of my college years and possibly beyond.

Child-rearing Success

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I have always thought that my parents did an exceptional job at raising my two sisters and I. We each have turned out to be well adjusted young adults with minimal to zero aggressive behavior and virtually no conflicts. But when it came to thinking about when I became a parent, I highly doubted that I could be as triumphant in child-rearing as my parents .

In this way, Psychology has helped me to better understand the process of child development and how parenting affects that. I have learned that the best parenting style may be that of Authoritative, combining a mix of rules and opportunities to help provide a enriching environment for a child to develop in.

In the end, what a child needs perhaps most, is that of what any human needs; relationships. All humans have a strong need to make and maintain attachments to other human beings. The attachment of a physically and emotionally present parent makes the world of difference and is the greatest theory in psychology that I will remember five years from now. This is what I grew up with all my life and is the greatest attribution to the results my parents had.

Something I Will Remember From Psych 1001

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The thing I will remember most from Psychology 1001 is the stuff we learned on human development. I found this chapter to be the most interesting of all the chapters I have read so far. I learned a lot about children, and why they do certain things they do.
I really liked watching all the videos from the lectures in this section. They were very funny. I particularly liked the video on the study where the researcher used the puppet monkey to see if kids would lie to the monkey or not. This video was hilarious, and I have personally seen this happen while volunteering at a daycare. And from now on, I will remember that children do not really start to lie to people until around three years of age.
I will also, remember that infants do have concepts with them at birth like; number concepts, person concepts, and object concepts. Studies with these concepts show that we continuously develop, unlike the stage-like theory that Piaget proposed. I also remember, that even though Piaget was wrong about a lot of stuff concerning his theories on development, he opened up many doors in the field of developmental psychology.

Bystander Intervention Instead

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Five years from now the one concept I learned in psychology that I will remember is the Bystander Nonintervention. The reason for this is because after reading the two tragic stories of bystander nonintervention about Kitty Genovese and the 16-year-old girl I was frightened. To think that those people heard Kitty's cries for help and the 20 bystanders of the 16-year-old girl watched for 2 hours and still did nothing makes me question the chivalry of humans in today's society. Five years from now I want to be the one person who comes to the rescue of the person in distress. Even if my efforts to help the person don't save them I still did more than those people in the two stories.
I read in the chapter that after a person learns about the bystander nonintervention they are more likely to stop and help someone who seems to be in trouble. Reading this made me feel better and more confident that I will stop help someone in the future. After reading about bystander nonintervention I have made it my goal in life to stop and help anyone who seems to be in distress or pain even if they are not still checking is better than just walking by without asking if they need assistance. I can thank psychology for teaching me a lesson that not very many people know of and might save someone's life in the future.

Final Entry

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Five years from now, I will remember many important concepts I have learning in Psych 1001. Firstly, I know I will remember many things from the memory unit (ironic huh?). I will remember the devices that are proven to improve memory and apply them to my further schooling. I also will recall how much we humans seek to protect our beliefs. One can see this through belief preservation and defense mechanisms. I now understand how another person can truly believe in something that is completely different than the norm or that goes against the grain of common belief. I think I will also have a better understanding of social influence on the brain. I have come to learn that hypothetical situations can still bring about real world emotions and reactions. I have been rocked by learning about the primitive responses we still have today. We like to think that we are quite complex creatures but a lot of the thought processes such as fear, attraction, and coping are simple survival tactics. Despite the trillions of dollars that go into beauty products and primping ourselves up, attraction comes down to very simple concepts. Five years from now I think I will still grasp concepts on the origins of thought and behavior. Psych 1001 has been a very fascinating class and has fostered a desire to learn more about this fantastic field.

Remembering Psychology

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A concept from psychology I think I will remember in the next five years would be emotion. Emotion is a concept that we, as humans encounter everyday when interacting with others and ourselves. Being able to understand every aspect of emotions from the basic ones that are cross-cultural to the ones that are harder to read and specific to each area of the world can be extremely helpful. My future career is hopefully going to be in communication and advertising so I'd be working with people, all the time. Being able to read their emotion when pitching an idea, working with a client or even in an interview could be extremely beneficial on my side. Also understanding that emotion is not just tied to feeling it has to do with a lot more psychological concepts like anticipation of a certain event and reward which can be connected to conditioning. This concept of emotion will also be helpful as I continue to make and maintain relationships and when raising my children (eventually). To understand the different types of emotion will be helpful when dealing with clients, because reading facial expressions is different than acting on certain hormones. Basically understanding emotion can be helpful to all aspects of life, because emotions are inescapable and can be specific to each person.

Pursuit of Happiness

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I have learned a lot in psychology over the course of the semester and I believe the thing that has impacted me the most and will stick with me throughout my college years is positive psychology. Positive psychology is aimed at helping people to improve and enhance their positive emotions and feelings. I used to have a hard time finding the good in the bad and didn't have the best positive outlook on things. After reading and learning about the broaden and build theory I've tried to have a more happy outlook on things and it actually has made think more openly about things. I always had my expectations set pretty high on how I wanted things and my expectations were usually never met which led me to disappointment after disappointment. I've learned to lower my expectations and think differently about things which has made me a lot happier as well. I now know that happiness isn't all about money or life experiences but its more about the relationships I develop with other people and how I treat them and how I live my life. In the next 5 years of my life I'm going on the pursuit of happiness by being the best that I can be and developing friendships and relationships with others that will last a lifetime.

Classically Conditioned

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Out of all of the psychological concepts we have learned so far in Psych 1001, the concept I think I will remember the best in five years is that of Classical Conditioning. We first learned about classical conditioning when we read chapter six and learned all about Pavlov and his dogs. Each dog was classically conditioned to salivate to the sound of a bell as shown in the picture below. I remember thinking, when I had first read the chapter, that the whole idea of classical conditioning was pointless and probably wouldn't work if applied to someone who truly didn't want to change their behavior. I quickly changed my mind as I continued reading and realized how I, myself, am classically conditioned to do many everyday things. I felt the concept really applied to me. I was able to relate to and fully understand many of the examples.
Pavlovs Dog Model.jpg
Another reason why I feel I will remember this concept in five years is because it is very applicable to everyday life. Today, according to helpingpsychology.com, classical conditioning is used constantly to help treat phobias and anxiety problems in people. It is also used in classrooms and work environments to create a calm and happy place where they can get their work done. Also like Pavlov, classical conditioning is used to train dogs and pets in participating in tricks and displaying good behavior.

I plan to continue working this summer as a swim instructor for kids ages three to six and I can already think of several ways where I can apply classical conditioning into helping the kids learn how to swim and making it fun for them. One example is using noodles when they jump in the water. The noodle will act as the neutral stimulus and the instructor (myself) will act as the unconditioned stimulus. Jumping into the water will act as the unconditioned response and they will do so whenever I am in the water and motion with my hands. Because they are little and I have to catch them, I plan on using a noodle to help me do so. Hopefully, if I do this enough, the child will be able to jump in just with just the noodle and no instructor and the noodle will have become the condition stimulus. This is just one of many examples where I can apply classical conditioning. Its applicability and use in my life will keep it active in my brain and allow me to remember it in five years.

Source: http://helpingpsychology.com/classical-conditioning
Photo: http://mktg343.pbworks.com/w/page/9973621/Classical%20conditioning

Psychology And Me, Five Years From Now

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What will I remember most about this psychology course? What principle will I be able to apply regularly five years from now? I think that the principle Occam's Razor is one that I employ and will definitely continue to employ throughout my life. In all my years, I have seen so many people make a situation more complicated than it has to be, whether knowingly or not. And my general response has always been: "Slow down, lets look at this before you jump around and start doing all this stuff," or something along those lines. So now that I have learned about that being a major principle that needs following in the psychological field, I will always remember it, and it will just reinforce my previous thoughts. Simply put, Occam's Razor is the principle of looking at things in a simplified way, and not going overboard into unnecessary details and such. Although I have learned many psychological principles and constructs throughout this semester, this is definitely going to be the one that will stick with me the most. It just makes so much sense, and its name is also really easy to remember. But even if you aren't able to recall the name, I think many will still remember that the most complicated approach isn't always the best, sometimes you just have to simplify things.

Using Scientific Principles Half a Decade from Now...

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When one watches the news, reads an article online, or listens to a professor's take on a current event, one must take this information with a grain of salt. Technology is growing as well, leading to more information more frequently. This expansion could lead to a greater knowledge base or misconceptions.

One concept in psychology that I think I will remember in five years would be the scientific thinking principles. I believe everyone should also keep this information in mind when they are collecting information. Especially with my planned future in the business world, keeping an objective mind and following these principles is essential to success.

I feel I will also need to apply these principles to new data: ruling out rival hypothesis, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor. In addition to when I am using these principles to be critical of new data, I can also use these terms to understand this clip from one of my favorite television shows:

I have come to understand that even though they are termed scientific principles of thinking, they are applicable to nearly every situation. A situation, as shown above, that can be as simple as using Occam's razor to explain why an object is in the trash can (although that fact is unrelated to the character's question).

I truly believe that in half a decade, I will still remember and will still be using the scientific principles of thinking.

Love Studies- Principles That Will Always Stick With Me

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The psychological theories surrounding the 'L' word will probably stick with me forever; I'm talking about the biggest mystery of all, l-o-v-e, people. When I read the section in the text on "social influences on interpersonal attraction," I actually laughed out loud at the similarity I felt they had to me personally. These three principles of attraction and relationship formation are, of course - proximity, similarity, and reciprocity. Reciprocity: the rule of 'give and take.' Taking a deep breath and letting that incredibly ridiculous statement slide. Gritting my teeth and ignoring that nasty habit to which I've expressed my continued annoyance. Similarity: the extent to which we have things in common with others. Laughing at the same stupid, tasteless jokes. Telling each other to 'shut up' somewhere around 20 times a day and being ok with it. Trusting and never questioning each other. And the principle that put a giant grin on my face when I read about it, proximity: our physical nearness to each other. The kid in my homeroom since freshman year, the same one with the locker above mine who always managed to hit me in the head with his locker door? Who woulda thunk 'that kid' and I would date for 2 years? Even with our physical nearness extended to a separate time zone and a couple thousand miles, the similarity and reciprocity haven't diminished a bit, and I'll still smile when reminded of these three principles.

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