I think one of the most overlooked senses is the sense of taste. Most people kind of just take it for granted and never really appreciate the fact that a very special, complex system allows us to enjoy food and drink. The main organ in taste is obviously the tongue. The tongue has many tiny litttle taste buds that help in the process of tasting. These taste buds send information to the brain so we can identify the taste. The tongue has five to six different kinds of taste it reponds to: salty, sour, bitter, unami and maybe fat. Now fat may not exactly be a a responds from taste, but it does do something to the tongue. Fat also alters blood levels of fat when placed on the tongue. Probably the most fascinating thing about the sense of taste are the supertasters. A supertaster has more than the average amount of taste buds. Supertasters can find things to be too sugary or too bitter. They would be very good as professional food tasters. The sense of taste is a great thing. One of my favorite shows growing up, and I recently found out that it is coming back in late November or early December, was Fear Factor. I enjoyed watching people eat all the gross things on there like worms, and scorpions. Without taste we wouldn't be able to enjoy watching others suffer from eating gross food. Without taste I feel like my whole life would be bland.
Standardized tests, the two words have haunted and irritated students ever since their education began.Tests such as the SAT, ACT, and IQ can accurately show how intelligent someone is as well as predict future academic success. This is why they play such a large role in college admissions today. They continually have become a staple in the acceptance of students. Some studies have shown though, that these tests have a low correlation between score and college grades. So the question is, should colleges place so much importance on standardized test scores? Most people don't like the idea of one test showing what someone has learned in four years, but standardized tests do a great job of predicting future success. This is why colleges have put so much emphasis on these scores and will continue to do so in the future.
Many of the new concepts that we have learned in Psychology seem to show up every where in today's world. One of the most useful, though, is the concept of how we learn. The idea of chunking and how the brain picks up on new ideas is fascinating. Before I read the chapter I had no idea the complex system of how this works. The basic thought of "chunking" is that our brain groups similar items together versus learning them separately. This drastically increases our chances of remembering and fully understanding the concept. I liked this part of psychology the most because it can help me with how I study and learn new things in school. With this new idea in mind, I can more grasp future concepts better as well as understand them more efficiently.
It is commonly believed that men think about sex a lot. In fact, some people go so far as to say that men think about sex once every 7 seconds. Is this claim true? What evidence does the claim depend on? Well, according to snopes.com, the claim isn't true. Snopes.com goes further to discredit one of the sources of evidence supposedly proving the claim.
So why do people believe this claim? It, apparently, has a lot to do with genetics and common assumptions about human nature. Snopes.com notes that men are generally more motivated for sexual reasons that females, but snopes.com also mentions that this condition isn't due to some conscious motivation, choice, or social learning; this sexual motivation is due to how males are physically wired -- genetics. From this knowledge, though, the data have been misconstrued to 'show' that men think about sex constantly, or at least once every 7 seconds. Without any actual data to support the claim, though, the notion doesn't withstand its own weight.
Actual experimental data demonstrate that men think about sex 19 times per day which computes to less than once per hour (not considering hours of sleep because it's impossible to say given the subjects in the study as described on snopes.com). Women aren't immune to sexual thoughts, though, as they think about sex 10 times per day. Following this, to say that men think about sex every 7 seconds would then mean that women think about sex every 14~ seconds. However, it's clearly been demonstrated that men aren't so enthralled by sex as to think about it nearly constantly. The data do not support the claim.
The concept of developmental psychology has intrigued me the most when watching my nephew and my friend's child growing up. I first learned about developmental psychology and Piaget's Stages of Development in my senior year of high school, so two years ago. That was around the time my friend's child was about one and a half, and my sister had her child about six months after my senior year. I think it is fun to watch the children grow up and I sort of "analyze" what stage they are in. According to Piaget's theory, my nephew is in the sensorimotor stage. Like most babies, he looks at what is happening in life with curious eyes, and still loves the peek-a-boo game. He is also learning to say words, right now just at the usual "mom," "dad," "Ray," and "gamma" for me and my mom. My friend's child would currently be in the preoperational stage, and she is now talking (more than baby talk) and learning to pay attention. She also is playing with toys more than banging them around like she used to do, so she is gaining knowledge of objects as representations of ideas. It was also interesting watch her grow because she would spend a lot of time with her grandma, who is deaf. She has learned some sign language, and can sign things such as "more," "food," and a lot of other signs. It has been so delightful watching my nephew and friend's child grow and think about what stages they are in.
After learning about conditioning in psychology I realized I could use it to my advantage. There are a couple of ways you could use it.
One way is to overcome your fears easier. If you are afraid of something figure out what makes you afraid of it and face that. Lets say someone is afraid to swim because they almost drowned when they were younger. They could swim in a safe environment numerous times and lessen the fear of drowning.
Another way is to condition body movements. Such as conditioning yourself to melee in Call of Duty. After getting killed repeatedly by another players melee you would learn that you need to press melee faster. So after time and trial you would be able to melee as soon as an enemy pops out in range.
Since we were all small children (and maybe even more now that we are college students) we have been asking our parents and guardians for things. A raise in our allowance, a car on our 16th birthday, or maybe just some extra spending money, we all have our own strategies we think increases our chances to get what we want. But if we listen to social psychologists, we can use an approach that has been proven much more effective to get what we want. The most realistic approach to attain our goals is to try a direct approach, where those we are trying to persuade know what we are up to. This is used by advertisers and in political campaigns because a direct approach attempts to change others' attitudes toward an idea in hopes that their behavior will follow. If we wish to be a bit sneakier, we can try either the foot in the door or door in the face approaches. A foot in the door approach would be us asking our parents first for a five dollar increase in our allowance and once they accept asking instead for a ten dollar increase. This differs from the door in the face approach which would have us first asking for a hundred dollar allowance raise; knowing our parents will say no, we would then request that ten dollar raise knowing their much more likely to say yes to that now. Personally, I have always had a very high allowance because I tell my mother she is very beautiful as often as possible. So keep in mind I have never needed to ask for a raise when you are weighing out your options!
I have dealt with a lot of foreigners in my life. My family have had many exchange students in the past. We've had some from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Germany, Ecuador and a few more I can't think of right now. The thing that caught my attention was the section on individualism and collectivism in relation to culture. With all these students coming in and out of the house I was bound to learn things not only about them as a person but about the place they lived. They really did think of thinks differently. Most of the kids from Europe were very fond of themselves. They were great but you could definetely tell that they thought of themselves more. I played soccer with many of them and the Europeans tended to act like they wer superior and didn't need the help of others. The Zimbabwean, Ecuadorean, and the many Japanese students that lived with us were way more team oriented. When I was in Japan we had a pick up game in the park. As my host brothers started to play they were passing so fast and hardly kept the ball to themselves. An example of the individualism would be a Finnish player that came and played my soccer team in high school. The rest of my team really disliked playing with him after a while because he would not give the ball up to save his life.
Positive psychology is an important new area of psychology. Rather than focusing on individuals with mental disabilities or those who are psychologically challenged, positive psychology is all about helping people realize how they can find happiness and fulfillment in their lives. A large part of positive psychology is the self actualized individual. A self actualized person is described as someone whose personality contains a few main characteristics: acceptance and realism, personal responsibility and strong ethics, spontaneity, autonomy and solitude, continued freshness of appreciation of the world and experiences, and has peak experiences, or moments of intense excitement and tranquility because of a profound sense of connection to the world. Some people that have been recognized as self actualized individuals are Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller, and Mahatma Gandhi. Maslow views a self actualized individual as someone who has reached their highest potential and are doing the best that they are possible capable of doing. Seeing the list of characteristics next to the list of extremely accomplished individuals can make the journey of self actualization sound extremely unattainable. Yet it is just the opposite! One of the biggest outlooks of a self actualized individual is the understanding that the journey is just as important as achieving the goal. Although the idea of self actualization is not easily falsified, the idea behind it is to better yourself as an individual to be the best that you can possibly be. So think 'What Would Jefferson Do' and enjoy your journey!
Five years from now, I admit that I probably won't remember everything from this psychology class. However, I am almost positive that I will remember the section on the relationships we seek with others. I will remember most people will be secure, avoidant, or anxious in their relationships. I think that I will remember this because I consider this section to affect my daily living the most out of all the rest. My relationships with others affects who I am as a person and I now feel confident in my ability to understand what kind of person they are in the relationship so I can better react to what they need or want. Also, I will now know that I won't be able to get along with everyone, especially if my significant other is avoidant if I am secure or vice versa. We all want something different in a relationship but understanding these differences is crucial to maintaining them. In my opinion, it is impossible for us to live completely alone and we need to be able to maintain relationships with other people for survival. Although I won't go up to people and ask them "Are you secure, avoidant, or anxious?" and then decide if I want to be friends with them, I will keep these in mind after I begin this relationship and know how to deal with each individual person.