The concept of what constitutes a sound scientific experiment is something I learned this year In Psychology that I will be most likely to remember in 5 years.

I had a general idea of what made an experiment accurate, but now I feel that I understand completely. Now, whenever a read an article or listen to a news story, I approach the information being given to me differently. I'm now curious about whether an experiment being reported has been replicated by someone else, and how the group of participants in the study were randomly chosen and randomly assigned. I'm also more aware of people possible biases.

In this world we are constantly being bombarded with information, and after taking this course I feel I am better able to sort through that information and decide for myself what to believe, instead of just accepting everything at face value.

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Remembering Psychology

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Honestly, two things stuck out to me this semester in Psychology 1001.

The first concept that intrigued me was visual, or optical, illusions. It intrigued me because this visual deception effects everyone. The arrangement of images, effects of colors, impact of light, and other variables lead to these visuals. While optical illusions may effect everyone, they don't always effect everyone in the same way. Some people struggle to see certain images that others may see easily. It is so interesting to think about! Everyone's eyes allow them to see something different, and it isn't only their eyes, but their brain. There are also studies that people with mood disorders and addictive disorders view these illusions differently. It all is intriguing to me.

Another concept I found intriguing, was the study of child development. It was easy to learn, and therefore, embedded itself in my mind. It's interesting to learn about children and object permanence or egocentrism. Knowing that when a ball or a toy falls under the couch, they believe it is gone forever or doesn't exist anymore. "Out of sight, out of mind", I never truly understood that this concept emerged from child psychology. Also, the experiment with the glasses. The liquid fills a glass higher when the glass is skinnier, and the child will therefore prefer that glass, assuming there is more liquid in the container. Very interesting and something I know I will remember in five years!

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One of the concepts that we have learned this past semester is the fundamental attribution error, which is over valuing dispositional or personality based behaviors for an observed behavior and under valuing situational explanations for that behavior. This is one concept that I can see myself remembering for the next five years to come. I believe I will remember this concept because it was one that I really related to my own life. I am definitely guilty of doing this a multitude of times and I would hope now that after learning about it I will be able to keep myself from jumping to conclusions about someone's personality. This will be a useful characteristic in creating new relationships with people because it will keep me from assuming something about their personality that would otherwise keep me from giving them a second chance. It is true that first impressions are everything, but perhaps we all jump to conclusions too quickly on the first impressions we get. If everyone were to take the fundamental attribution error into account, I believe it would keep everyone from making quick assumptions and allow for everyone to be rightfully judged.

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The statistic of one in two marriages ending in divorce today has brought the subject of how divorce affects children into the eye of popular psychology. Many say that children with divorced parents are prone to long-term emotional damage and unable to maintain a meaningful romantic relationship. A twin study revealed that the children of the twin that had a divorce had higher levels of depression and were more likely to have substance abuse problems. These findings suggest that these circumstances would lead the child of divorce to be twice as likely to get a divorce themselves, continuing the cycle. However, studies have shown that the majority of kids get through their parent's divorce and can live their lives normally. Although studies suggest that the likelihood of the child being emotionally damaged depends on the amount of conflict between the parents before, during, and after the divorce. Personally, as a child of divorce myself, I believe that the parent's relationship and the level of negativity and cooperativeness in it greatly determines the child's emotional outcome. I have never had any emotional or behavioral problems and my schoolwork never suffered as a result of my parent's divorce (contrary to popular belief).

http://parenting247.org/article.cfm?ContentID=646

Personality

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I found the concepts in Chapter 14, Personality, the most intriguing. Among these concepts were how people express anxiety and use defense mechanisms (repression, denial, regression, reaction-formation, projection, displacement, rationalization, intellectualization, identification with the aggressor, and sublimation), Freud's idea of Psychoanalytic Theory, The Big Five Model of Personality, and graphology (the psychological interpretation of handwriting). However, the structure of personality is particularly interesting. Freud identified the personality as consisting of three parts, the id, ego, and superego. The id is the reservoir of our most primitive impulses; the ego is the psyche's executive and principal decision maker; the superego is our sense of morality. It is explained in the book with the analogy of an iceberg with the ego the most visible, the superego partly visible and the id completely hidden from sight. You can see many examples of this concept in pop culture movies in which a character is in conflict. The ego is represented by the person in conflict. Then suddenly, two miniature characters appear on the shoulders of the ego. The id is the devil who is only interested in their own wants and needs and the angel on the opposing shoulder is the superego which advocates for the ego to make the morally correct decision.
Example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnMGCUH-lLY

As a Child Psychology major, it is hard to place more importance on one aspect of psychology over another. So much of what I have read in the text and heard in lecture applies to my major in one way or another that to forget any of it would be unwise. But from a purely leisurely standpoint, I will remember best the different forms of conditioning. Conditioning is responsible for many of the negative behaviors children perform, and conditioning can be used to in something like ABA therapy to "cure" autism. Parents of children with ODD inadvertently reinforce negative behaviors, and through behavioral therapy, families can be taught to get along better. I'd also like to help children who are having difficulty with their peers, and using operant conditioning and behavioral therapy can solve that dilemma as well.
Conditioning can also be used to modify the behaviors of: pets, yourself, coworkers, your boss, your annoying neighbor, your girlfriend/ boyfriend, and many more! The ability to subtly control everyone could be quite evil useful. That is the thing I will remember most, and try to apply to my everyday life.

I have learned about so many interesting topics this year in Psychology 1001, it is hard to choose just one that will be the most memorable for me. However, I do know that I found the human development section most interesting and will likely remember a lot of what I learned about it for long to come.

I was so fascinated by this topic because I never really thought about how a child's brain develops or how different a child's brain is compared to an adult's. While I knew that children were unable to understand many puzzles and tasks that someone even two years older than them could complete with ease, I never understood why this was or how they developed these thinking abilities.

Specifically, the idea of self concept and theory of mind, or our ability to reason about what other people know of belief really stick out in my mind. It is so interesting how most children at age 3 are unable to knowingly deceive someone, but then usually around age four, children are able to. I specifically remember my older sister tricking me into believing that a penny was worth more than a dollar, so I traded her all of my one dollar bills for pennies!

This hilarious video goes to show how easily young children can be deceived by adults, check it out for a good, quick study break!

We tend to think of causation as a phenomenon that occurs in one direction. "A" causes "B". The cueball strikes the eightball at a certain angle and velocity, and we can precisely map the eightball's subsequent motion using mathematical formulas. The universe is rational and deterministic: laws govern reality as it plays out in an orderly and predictable cascade of events.

That's why the concept of "nature via nurture" is so memorable, and so striking. It forces us to alter certain cherished paradigms, to shift our "natural" views of cause and effect. "Nature via nurture" describes the mechanism by which genes shape the development of the self. It refers to the principle that our natural inclinations and talents tend to influence our environment, which in turn influences our inclinations and talents. It also describes a system within which causation is bi-directional: "A" causes "B" while "B" simultaneously causes "A".

I used to worry that there was a person inside of us, defined by our genes, that we were meant to become. I worried that personal development could be hijacked by environmental circumstances, generating a false, misshapen self--that is, a self tragically at odds with our genetic destiny. Of course these views were naively teleological, and a touch grotesque. Still, I couldn't help but harbor a certain anxiety that I had been betrayed by my upbringing, which operated as a kind of alien imposition on the self. The principle of "nature via nurture" functions as a nice corrective for these fears. It states, in short, that we shape the environment that shapes us; that whatever circumstances contribute to our development already bear the mark of the self's influence.

Final Blog!

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There are two things for sure that I will remember. One is nature V. nurture and the second is correlation V. causation.
When it comes to nature V. nurture I will remember that they both play an important role in everything. For example when it comes to children and their behaviors it could be a result from both nature and nurture. Meaning biological and the environmental conditions could have played a role.
Correlation V. causation has me think about things and how they could have a correlation but not be the cause of each other. When two things happen at the same time it does not mean one causes the other and this concept tries to prove this fact.
I will remember many other things I have learned in this class but these two are the ones I feel like I catch myself using the most. I like all the sleep cycles and the freudian beliefs too.

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Although this may not be the most useful theory in psychology, Sigmund Freud's ideas about psychosexual development are very interesting and memorable. This theory is a bit controversial and believed to be pseudoscientific, but Freud thought of it as a way to explain personality development through a series of stages around the erogenous zones. Freud believed that infants experienced sexuality, and without sexual gratification, children could become fixated on a certain stage. The first stage is the oral stage, which focuses on sexual pleasure in the mouth. Infants satisfy themselves with drinking and sucking. The second stage is the anal stage. Children are able to experience pleasure by moving their bowels. This also teaches them to learn to do so at the appropriate time and place. The next step, the Phallic stage, focuses on the child's genitals. The child will become sexually attracted to the opposite sex parent, and feel a rivalry with the same sex parent. For boys this is the Oedipus complex and for girls it is the Electra complex. This part of Freud's theory is the most criticized. The Latency stage is next, during which sexual impulses occur unconsciously. The final stage is the genital stage and sexual impulses become conscious again and mature romantic relationships are possible. These different steps are one of Freud's most interesting theories. However, the lack of research and evidence makes most modern psychologists skeptical.