panz0037: April 2012 Archives

One thing that I will always remember from this years psychology is the memory chapter, specifically the portion describing encoding. Many times while studying I felt that I was having trouble remembering certain items for a long period time, something that frustrated me and also caused me to do poorly on certain tests and in certain classes. However, when I learned about the brain's process to actually remember information, I was able to adapt my study habits to follow the results of research and statistics. Much of the information that we take in is never encoded, as we receive so much stimuli and information that its literally just too much to process into our memory banks. However, there are certain learning aids, strategies, and devices that can enhance recall; these are called mnemonic aids. I had heard of these techniques throughout high school, but never really tried them out. However, with all the studying that I was doing in college, it was hard to sort one lecture from the next, and one night of studying from the previous. I read about the pegword method, the method of loci, and the keyword method, all of which I applied to studying for the present psych test. I was amazed at how easily I could recall items that I had previously had difficulty remembering, and how readily that they were available in my mind. I have continued to use them throughout the year, and though they may seem childish, I will probably use them throughout the rest of my undergraduate and graduate career.


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Lying is inevitable. Each of us does it. The first lie that I remember telling was, "Mom, I swear I didn't wet the bed!" The evidence against me was overwhelming...Research even proposes that two lies are told every day by the average college student. It is so popular that there are 112 synonyms for it in the English Language. So how do you figure out the truth? Reading this chapter, I was amazed to find how inaccurate some forms of lie detection can be. Of course, the only place that I've ever seen these in action is the movies, which is most likely the reason for my false beliefs. The average person possesses a 55 percent accuracy when asked to detect a lie, and even people whose jobs surround them with lies are no better than the rest of us in determining the truth. Even though the modern "lie detector" yields a better chance than the average human, it still has a very high rate of labeling innocent individuals as guilty by confusing basic "arousal" as "lies." Another popular technique in movies and t.v. shows is the use of "truth serum." While originally thought to bring unconscious information to the surface, it is known now that people can lie while under the influence of the chemical just as they would when clean. Also, even though our inhibitions can be lowered by these serums, that gives us no reason to believe that they should be trusted. Other devises, such as the "guilty knowledge test" and brain scanning techniques, claim to be better ways at detecting lying, but both are still extremely fallible. At the moment, lie detection is still a very complicated and inaccurate process, needing a large amount of research to ensure fool-proof results. Will we ever be able to really know the truth?

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