February 2012 Archives

Mac Vs. PC (group C)

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We all have seen and remember the various versions of the Mac vs. PC ads. The ones that have the semi-overweight, nerdy, thirty-something year old "PC guy" and the likeable Jake Long as the "Mac guy"? Why are these ads so memorable? The combination of humor, distinct characters, and famous actors like Jake Long help us to recall these ads.
Getting people to remember advertisements is the first step in an effective advertisement campaign and these ads do a very good job of it (at least in my opinion). Also the humorous situations portrayed in the Mac vs. PC ads make people like the ads and, in turn, like the product.
The fact that people like and associate, with the Mac guy is a useful advertisement technique, as people extend the positive associations with the Mac guy to the actual Mac product.
Most of the commercials also have various inside jokes or jabs at PC's that highlight their "flaws"; such as one where the PC guy has to constantly pause to buffer.
The repeated use of the same characters and actors in Mac's ads helps to build viewers' attachment to the "Mac guy" and reinforce the positive stereotypes about Macs and the negative stereotypes about PCs.

-Chris Leslie

We talked about advertisements last week in discussion and how they often try and manipulate consumers into buying products. They do this by "the law of contiguity" by attaching desirable emotions and wants to the product. Here are a few cigaret ads from the mid 20th century that attached different meanings with their product. CigFat.jpg
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What do you think about these images?
I think it is really interesting how the first ad is trying to attach "being physically fit" with smoking cigarets. I remember when I was young and my grandma was quitting smoking and I didn't understand why she would start in the first place because It was such a bad thing. Now I understand that before the research came out supporting the fact that cigarets are positively correlated with lung cancer and lung disease, smoking was seen as healthy. Smoking was looked at as a smart and healthy choice, because it was a good alternative to food and helped people lose weight.
Often beer commercials will associate drinking beer with women being attracted to the men drinking the beer. This is very similar to the second advertisement I attached. Have you ever found yourself "falling for" advertisements like these? If so what was the product and how did it affect you?
Here is website with more controversy photos of cigaret advertisements. http://www.medicalassistantprograms.net/blog/20-outrageous-vintage-cigarette-ads

Consciously Considering our Departed Consciousness

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Consciousness, it's our subjective experience of the world and ourselves, as taken from the University of Minnesota's Psychology text book. But there are many alterations to consciousness humanity experiences everyday, from sleep to drug use. These alterations in consciousness bring on an array of different states of consciousness, from Near Death Experiences to Mystical Experiences. People who have these experiences strongly believe in them and most are changed forever. consider this video of one man's Near Death Experience, . These almost mystic states of consciousness seem vivid and real, and seem to have lasting impact upon the person who experiences it. But are they really a phenomena? According to our text book much of the data is differing depending on culture. In most Christian and Buddhist believing people people meet spiritual beings and go down tunnels of light.

Some scientists believe it's simply changes in the brain's chemistry during cardiac arrest, anesthesia, and other physical traumas, and the release of endorphins in great quantities.
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Yet in light of this scientific conclusions psychologists have worked to find, NDE's tend to cause people leave in the supernatural. Are they something to be thought of as a supernatural occurrence, or something that should be continually studied for a scientific value?

Old Spice ad ~ Jarod Aaron, group C blog post.

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3. Find an ad and analyze how the advertiser is trying to manipulate your emotions in order to sell his (or her) product.

Old Spice's Super Bowl Ad :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yCP1phpN3o&feature=fvst

How the ad tries to manipulate your emotions in order to sell their product:
1. They address woman with the "look at your man, now back to me, now look at your man, etc" and they have a good looking man who is comparing himself to a boyfriend or husband by saying your looking at the man your man could smell like.
2. He goes from advertizing in a bathroom to being on a boat which is a random part of the ad but it adds to the way the viewer is feeling by suddenly changing his surroundings to something people would associate with a good feeling.
3. He than pulls out an oyster with "tickets to the thing you love" that soon after turn to diamonds. This is a way that the add associates the product with even more good feelings because it brings to mind the feelings people have when they receive items such as tickets or, in this case, jewelry.
4. Than right at the end they throw in an even more random change which is when he is suddenly on a horse. This is to associate the product with even more enjoyment because it is just something that is totally unexpected and makes the viewer laugh.

Most of the advertizement involves humor which associates it product with a funny/happy feeling. The purpose for creating that association is to make you feel happy if you are to see this product on the shelf in a store and their goal is for that feeling to encourage you to buy their product.

Uh-oh! Somebody Made a Stinky!

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For anyone who has had to babysit a baby alone knows how much work it can be! It would be pretty awesome to have another hand (or paw in this case!) around to help with the baby wouldn't it? Thanks to the workings of operant conditioning we can!

Here's a breakdown of how the dog was trained.

1. Get the dog to attach the diaper with something positive, like a toy or treat, through classical conditioning.
The way the video shows how to accomplish this is by having the dog believe that fetching the diaper is a game. This is similar to any other game of fetch you can play with a dog, but instead of a stick or ball as the object of interest it's a diaper!
It is also important to positively reinforce the dog's behavior of fetching the diaper by administering something like food or praise.

2. The second thing the trainer did was to teach the dog to leap over the baby fence.
Similarly to before the trainer classically conditioned the dog to leap over the baby fence. By administering praise whenever the dog leaped over the fence, the behavior of leaping over the fence was reinforced.

3. Finally, in order to get the dog to do the complete action of obtaining the diaper, leap over the fence, and deliver it to its master, the trainer administered reinforcement the dog's behavior when it completed the complete action or perhaps administered punishment if the dog did something wrong.

How much is enough??

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"Get healthy!!!" Those words scream at American society from nearly every media source... One thing is pretty much unanimous when it comes to good health, exercise is an important component! But how much time should an individual put into exercise in order to achieve health? The answer to that varies depending on who you ask... On About.com, the recommendation is at least "60 minutes of honest to goodness exercise" each day. The Mayo Clinic's suggestion is drastically different, suggesting 30 minutes of exercise per day. They do go on to say 300 minutes per week would be more beneficial, but the bare minimum is only about half of what About.com suggested! Yet another link on About.com suggested less still, only demanding 30 minutes 5 times per week... So, America, who are you going to listen to? Which is the "right" amount of time? The magic healthy amount of exercise? Truly, each article has credible sources as well as research to back up their ideas. I feel that the difference in time suggestions rests not in a difference in research per say, but in the optimism of whether or not this lazy country will actually listen to said recommendation. It is also important to take into account that biologically, each individual is different and has different needs to achieve good health. But that raises another question, were all of the sources thinking of "good health" in the same way? And what is the definition of "good health" anyway?

This nurse definitely covers her bases touching points from each of the above articles! She seems to adhere most to the recommendation of the Mayo Clinic however.


How much is enough??

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"Get healthy!!!" Those words scream at American society from nearly every media source... One thing is pretty much unanimous when it comes to good health, exercise is an important component! But how much time should an individual put into exercise in order to achieve health? The answer to that varies depending on who you ask... On About.com, the recommendation is at least "60 minutes of honest to goodness exercise" each day. The Mayo Clinic's suggestion is drastically different, suggesting 30 minutes of exercise per day. They do go on to say 300 minutes per week would be more beneficial, but the bare minimum is only about half of what About.com suggested! Yet another link on About.com suggested less still, only demanding 30 minutes 5 times per week... So, America, who are you going to listen to? Which is the "right" amount of time? The magic healthy amount of exercise? Truly, each article has credible sources as well as research to back up their ideas. I feel that the difference in time suggestions rests not in a difference in research per say, but in the optimism of whether or not this lazy country will actually listen to said recommendation. It is also important to take into account that biologically, each individual is different and has different needs to achieve good health. But that raises another question, were all of the sources thinking of "good health" in the same way? And what is the definition of "good health" anyway?

This nurse definitely covers her bases touching points from each of the above articles! She seems to adhere most to the recommendation of the Mayo Clinic however.

Have You Ever Experienced Lucid Dreaming???

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Lucid Dreaming

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Have you ever dreamed and at the same time know that you're dreaming? If you have, you've probably already experienced lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is being aware that you're dreaming while you're dreaming. I chose this topic because after reading about it I knew and understood what lucid dreaming is; I, myself have experienced it. You'll know you're lucid dreaming when something's not right or something's out of the ordinary, or when something feels too unreal. If you're not sure what I'm talking about or if you would like to learn how to lucid dream, check this video out. I think it's fascinating how our brain is somehow awake and wanders while we are sleeping. Lucid dreaming is amazing because you realize you're dreaming but at the same time you're sleeping so you know you can do anything and everything because you know it's not real; you know that in reality, you're actually in bed and sleeping. Lucid dreaming gives you the possibility of controlling your dreams so it really comes in handy when you're having a nightmare because if you wanted to, you can possibly change the outcome of what's going on in the dream. A question researchers still have about lucid dreaming is whether lucid dreamers are asleep when they're aware of what they're dreaming or whether some people just report that their dreams have a lucid quality after they awaken. What do you think?

Do you believe in ghosts?

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While reading Chapter 5, I came across the term "sleep paralysis", in which the person is unable to move after just falling asleep or have just woken up. I have never heard of this term prior to reading this text book, but I knew exactly what it was describing.

sleep-paralysis-nightmare.jpg

Like examples in the book, different cultures have different explanations for this experience. In the Hmong culture, we call it "dab tsog", literally translating to "crushing ghost/demon." Sometimes the people sleeping even see the "ghost/demon" sitting on their chests. Because I had previously believed that sleep paralysis was caused to ghosts, I questioned the books explanations of why and how the phenomenon occurs. Did psychologist, scientists, or health care professionals run tests on individuals and abruptly wake them up? Did they hook machines up to individuals to test their anxiety levels? Because the book did not give such information, all of these questions ran through my head and I found myself being placed in the category of belief perseverance.

It's not that I don't believe in sleep paralysis, or agree with why/how it happens; it's just that I was previously believed it to be caused by something else. What do you believe? Is there an explanation of this phenomenon in your culture or country?

Nature vs Nurture debate

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The nature vs nurture debate is still a very widely known debate on people in our society and scientists trying to figure out what really causes humans to act the way they do. Isn't because of their genes or is it the way they were raised and taught? Most people today think that it is a combination of both genes and the environment a person is raised in. Everyone knows that a nature trait is when a person is born with the same color eyes as their parent or the same facial structure..it is something that is in their genes that came from a parent. Scientists also believe that some other traits like a persons personality or sexual orientation, just to name a few also are hereditary and come from their parent's gene. A nurture trait is more like a behavioral aspect as in a person's temperament that they could have seen around them in their environment. Both are believed to have a great impact on a person's upbringing and how they are in society.
http://genealogy.about.com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/nature_nurture_2.htm

Heritability

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A few things that I found interesting about the heritability concept were that it is expressed as a percentage. For example, if the heritability of a trait is 40 percent, that means that less than half of the differences among individuals in their trait are due to differences in their genes. In other words, the 60 percent is from differences in their environment. Another example is height; the heritability of height in adults is between 70 and 80 percent. On the other hand, religious affiliation is almost entirely due to environment, meaning there are no heritable traits.

As I have reached a stage where I feel like I am done growing (height wise) I have noticed that I am taller than my mom, but shorter than my dad, and falling right in between the both of them so the heritability is 50/50. An example of environment is religious affiliation, I was raised as a Christian, as was my mother, but it is still considered an environmental trait, not a heritable trait. Another environment trait is my choice of food, my mom loves salad, she will eat it everyday, however, I do not like salad at all, and therefore the trait of eating salad was not inherited.

One question that I have always wondered is why do some people think that I look Mexican, Latino, Puerto Rican etc. but I am mixed with black and white. I am not sure whether it is hereditary or a coincidence.


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Neuronal Plasticity: Learning

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One concept I found particularly interesting was the concept of neural plasticity with learning. I was not necessarily surprised that our brains have the ability to develop further in our childhood to early adulthood years, but rather more intrigued at the fact that our synapses within our brain have the potential to "simply perform better." Even the structure of neurons are involved in the basic build blocks of learning, which is amazing to me that our bodies have the capability to structurally adapt according to our specific learning levels.
NeuralSynapse.jpg
As I think more about this concept I realized that this has happened to me in my lifetime. When I was beginning to learn how to read at the age of 2, my mom would put pictures of different things all over the walls of our home, and would tell me to go find a specific item like "tree." She eventually added words to the pictures, then took the pictures away and left only the word. I learned where every specific item was, and would go directly to that spot. But my mom later started moving the words the different spots, which is when I had to actually start to learn more critically, instead of a pure memorization.
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They say, "You can teach an old dog new tricks," but I still wonder if this phrase holds true with neuronal plasticity. Our highest plasticity up to early adulthood, but there still might be room more learning and improvement later in life.
Old Dog New Tricks.jpg

Pseudoscience or not?

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I was looking at a website called "All women Stalk-the women blogs" and I got the idea to talk about binge dieting. As I was looking for information, I found a yahoo article called "Binge-proof your diet: 6 food that keep you full and satisfied".

While I was reading each one of the 6 foods and their description, I kept on thinking: "Is this true? Did she test this out? Where are her sources?" If I had read this a couple of weeks ago I might have believed it and maybe even tried it out for myself. However, now that I know about the signs of pseudoscience and the six principles of scientific thinking I cant help but question if what I am reading is true or not. If you read the article you will probably say that im overreacting because she does talk about tests and studies that have been done, but what study? whos study? I dont see any peer review or replication, and I read about proof but what about evidence? If those studies were done, why not post a link that has information on the study? or use the name of the doctor or person that did the study? I dont know about you but I would have believed everything she said a bit more if she had talked about actual people or showed some evidence.

In reality, we should all think about pseudoscience when reading things on the internet. There are so many things out there that you never know what can be true or made up if there is no evidence to support what is being said. Anyone can talk with big scientific words and talk about as many tests as they want. WE are the ones that have to see how credible they are.

The Fascinating Adrenal Glands

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While reading the text this week I was interested in everything, but especially the segment of the chapter about the adrenal glands. I think that this stood out to me a lot because it illustrates more on the topic of "fight or flight" and I've always remembered hearing this phrase throughout school and wanted to learn more. I took psychology in high school and we touched on the subject but I still want to learn more and dig deeper into how the glands work, and how they know exactly when to release since everyones levels of fear and excitement do vary. They manufacture the hormones adrenaline which boosts energy production in muscle cells which puts them into action while still conserving energy. I think its such a cool feature of our bodies that this hormone can do so much, even to the point of opening our pupils to see better during these moments of emergency. The next part that I found really intriguing is the fact that adrenaline decreases our appetites which is something I have experienced many times. I competed as a figure skater for over 15 years and experienced this feeling so many times over the years and even now when I'm nervous over an exam or quiz in school. It seems weird to me that it is released at different times, such as being nervous and scared but can even happen during an exciting or happy time as well! I'm still really wondering about how exactly our bodies know when to release these hormones, and when do they? Do they release it right when the emergency is happening or does it start to produce over a slower amount of time and how much is released? I'm also very curious about how the levels of hormones released in each person varies as well and how does our brain understand that. I guess I have a lot of questions regarding this small section of the chapter but it seems incredibly fascinating to me!

Where'd you get those GENES?

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Where'd you get those GENES?
Nature vs. Nurture Debate

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The great debate bewteen Nature vs. Nurture has been going on for years in the world of psychology. What is the reason for the way we act or the things we like? Is it in our genes (nature) or is it the environment (nurture) we live in. Psychologists can say it's both, but there have been many cases where the nature seems to takes over.

Here is a story about two identical twin sisters that were separated at birth. Their names were Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein. They were apart of an adoption study (without even knowing), which examine the extent to which children adopted into new homes resemble their adoptive as opposed to their biological parents.

My thought on this video is it shows a good example that your genetics give a great contribution to the makings of you. If one of the twins were in an environment that was drastically different from her sisters we may have seen more differences between the two sisters. Twins can either be identical, which is called monozygotic (MZ), on the other hand fraternal twins are called dizygotic (DZ).

You can take yourself out of an environment, but you can't take yourself out of your genes... genetic genes that this.


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