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Ash Ash We All Ash...

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The concept in psychology that I will remember five years from now is the concept of conformity. The study was conducted by Solomon Ash in the 1950s. The study involved participants being asked to compare a standard line with three comparison lines. The other participants known as the "confederates were undercover agents of the researcher. A simple task as to determine which of three comparison lines matched the standard line can be the result of conformity just by having the participants say out loud their answers. In the end, 75% of participants conformed to the incorrect answers in 12 trails. Surprisingly, some even conformed even when the comparison line differed by more than six inches. I will remember this concept because I was surprised at how even when the the difference was by six inches the participants fell into the trap. Even though they were confused and questioned their answers they still conformed in the presence of others. This just shows that when people are around others they can be easy fooled compared to if they had to write down their answers. Also, even in a simple task participants conformed, what if the studied involved a more complex task participants would be even more likely to conform. Also, if I were a participant in this study and I was unaware of the purpose of the study I wonder how I would perform? I think I wouldn't conform to the incorrect answers but the results tell us that more than half will conform. Also, the elevator experiment in which a participant followed by other confederates share a elevator. The confederates all slowly turn and the participant also begins to conform and turn like the other confederates. The clip we watched in class I thought was really funny how people would actually change the direction they were standing because they were different than the other people in the elevator. This just show how we as humans are victims of conformity even when were unconsciously unaware of our behaviors.

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The Elevator Experiment from Miguel Paulo Flores on Vimeo.

Angela Ouyang

In the case of obedience, we take our marching orders from people who are above us in the hierarchy, such as a teacher or parent. Many groups, such as cults, acquire their influence from a potent combination of both conformity and obedience. For example, I am writing this blog because my teacher told me I need to in order to get a good grade. Obedience can produce troubling consequences when people stop asking questions about why they're behaving as others want them to. During the Vietnam War, U.S. Lieutenant William Calley commanded a platoon of a division named Charlie Company that had encountered heavy arms fire for weeks. They entered a village of My Lai expecting to find a hideout for North Vietnamese soldiers. The platoon didn't find any enemy soldiers but were still instructed to shoot villagers. At the end they brutally murdered 500 innocent women and childrenmy-lai-massacre-vietnam-war-history-pictures-images-photos-rare-amazing-007.gif. When asked, Calley said he was simply taking orders from his superiors and said he had no responsibility for the massacre. In turn, the soldiers in Calley's platoon claimed they were merely taking orders from Calley. Calley was convicted in 1971 of murder and sentenced to life in military prison, but President Nixon commuted his sentence. It amazes me what humans will do just to obey their superiors. Looks like people will go out of their way to kill innocent people just to please the people above them.

Video of Nixon & My Lai----> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHk4TGWx0ZM

Zach DeCou

Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar Disorder

This week, we were asked to write about the most memorable thing we learned in Psych 1001. Although I initially thought the Principles of Scientific Thinking would be most important to me, I instead decided that I would write about something only discussed briefly in our text but has been very influential in my life: Bipolar disorder, or more accurately, the bipolar spectrum.

Why, you may ask, did I make that clarification? Contrary to what our book portrays, there are actually a variety of bipolar disorders. The three most common are Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia.

Bipolar Disorder Type I

This disorder, which is described in our text, is characterized by periods of major depressive and manic episodes. You can find the specific symptoms of depressive and manic episodes on the Mayo Clinic Website. Depressive episodes are normally characterized by sadness, feelings of hopelessness, lack of interest in pleasurable activities, guilt, and anxiety, while manic episodes normally involve impulsivity, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, rapid speech, and racing thoughts. The symptoms of Bipolar I are normally severe and cause major problems in every day life.

Bipolar Disorder Type II

This disorder is the closest on the spectrum because I have it; I was actually diagnosed earlier this semester and used my psychology textbook to better understand my disorder.

Bipolar II is very similar to Type I in that it involves major mood swings. However, Bipolar II is characterized by the presence of hypomanic episodes (a less severe type of mania), which are not as disruptive to everyday functioning. During a hypomanic episode, individuals may feel more self-confident, more productive, and more irritable than normal. In Bipolar II, depressive episodes normally last longer than hypomanic episodes but are still marked by the same symptoms as in Bipolar I.

Cyclothymia

Cyclothymia is one of the milder forms of bipolar disorder. It still involves periods of obvious highs and lows, but they are not as disruptive as in Bipolar I and II.

Bipolar disorders are normally diagnosed following a manic episode, which normally first occurs in an individual's late teens or early twenties. Bipolar disorder is influenced by many factors, including genetics (with a heritability of almost 85%), neurotransmitters (especially dopamine and serotonin), and structural differences in the brain. It is also important to remember that some drugs and other substances, such as caffeine, can imitate the symptoms of manic episodes, so it's best to be evaluated by a general physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist if you think you may have a type of bipolar disorder.

The reason the book's discussion on bipolar disorder will stick with me more than anything else I have learned this semester is because of the extent that I used it as I was going through the process of being diagnosed. Not only was I able to use the text's definition of bipolar I, I was also able to use the explanations of the different neurotransmitters and brain regions involved in bipolar II to better understand the biological basis.

Sigmund Freud founder of psychoanalysis, and his views on how people are motivated by more than what meets the eye, is something that I will always remember from psychology 1001. He theorized that people were driven by sexual desires and that the subconscious, unbeknownst to the subject was the main driver of their actions. He also brought new ideas to the table that psychologists had never thought of before and a set precedent for therapy. An example of ideas he brought to the world of psychology include but aren't limited to dream interpretation, psychosexual development (oral, anal, phallic stages), the id, ego, and superego and commonly known terms referring to coping mechanisms such as repression, denial, and displacement.

Without Freud psychology wouldn't be nearly as developed as it is today. His findings brought about many milestones that future psychologists built off of today. Although Freud was a big figure in psychology, he did have many questionable findings. Such findings include the use of cocaine in his hypnosis therapies and use in treatment of depression and belief in the Oedipus/ Electra complex (idea that children when hitting the phallic stage were attracted subconsciously to their opposite sex parent). Even with his unreliable findings, he went where many psychologists didn't and because of this stands out as a figure that I will always remember from Psychology 1001.

Yesha YIsmaw

Five years from now

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I believe that the concept of personality will be a strong subject that I will remember for a while, probably because it's such a personal subject and I can really relate to it. That chapter taught me how to analyze the way that I act and why it is that I act that way. It was a really interesting chapter to read; one of my favorites. Of course I have a strong sense of who I am and what categories I would probably be put in, but it is still interesting to break it down even further and trace it back through generations or family studies. In my opinion, one of the most interesting things to read in this chapter was the defense mechanisms: repression, denial, regression, reaction-formation, projection, displacement, rationalization, intellectualization, identification with the agressor, and sublimation. It made me think back and realize that I have actually experienced most of these mechanisms. I didn't really agree with Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, especially concerning the stages of psychosexual development, but it was interesting to read such a different perspective on why it is that we act the way we do.

Overall, all the chapters were quite interesting to read. Psychology is a complex and interesting subject. It's a lot to comprehend, but I learned a lot about myself and the people around me; how they interact and how they behave.

Anne Tran



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For the past couple of years, I have always been proud of my knowledge. I thought that I knew many things because I always updated new information in my free time. Everything had seemed to be good until the day I started studying Psychology. After reading the first three chapters of the course, I was shocked by the contents; because according to the book, a great part of my knowledge was completely wrong. There were a lot of new concepts that surprised me, but the one, which made me think the most, was "pseudoscience".

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Therefore, if I have to choose a conception that I would still remember five years from now, I would pick "pseudoscience" without hesitation. The reason of my selection is that pseudoscience appears everywhere in our life, and people easily fall prey to it. Furthermore, in chapter 13 of the textbook, I learned one more aspect of pseudoscience, which was related to my major, Marketing.

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Before reading this chapter, I knew that firms often take advantage of pseudoscience to persuade consumers to buy their products. The most common ones that you would see on the Internet would be the advertisements about sex and money. For examples, "click here for the better sexual performance" or "would you like to earn $7,000 every month right at your room". However, the only thing I knew about these advertisements was that they were all pseudoscience, I did not truly understand about them until I studied the section of pseudoscientific tactics from chapter 13. There are seven tactics; the first one is "creation of a phantom goal" that talks about methods to achieve unrealistic objectives. The next three tactics are "vivid testimonials", "manufacturing source credibility" and "consensus heuristic", which usually provide personal experiences as well as the sources that people tend to believe in. In addition, there are other tactics, such as "the natural commonplace" and "the goddess-within commonplace" that discuss about people belief. Many people always think natural products are good, but it is not true. Take poisonous mushrooms, for instance. Moreover, a huge number of people strongly believe in hidden mystical sides without any valid evidences. The last tactic was "scarcity heuristic", which is about people reactions. People often think of something that is rare must be very valuable, thus these ads will always have an additional line telling customers to be fast because the products are going to sell out soon.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that I would still memorize the concept of "pseudoscience" in the next five years, since it is closely related to my major and my future job. Moreover, pseudoscience happens frequently in real life, and I will have to face it everyday. The best thing, after studying about it, is I cannot be deceived easily because I now can recognize many forms of pseudoscience.

Thuc Huynh

Five Years Later

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In five years time I will definitely remember the Little Albert experiment. It was a study to find out how and if classical conditioning worked in humans. The study was to create a fear response to a child with a variety of objects that Albert was not fearful of before the experiment. Albert was subjected to a loud sound and then was presented a white laboratory rat to play with. After many trials, Albert would become anxious and fearful when only the rat was presented which showed learning. Albert would even become fearful when presented with a similar object, such as a furry dog.

I thought this experiment was particularly fascinating because of the ethical and moral views about it. The experimenters (John Watson and Rosalie Rayner) obviously had no problem with exposing Albert to these kinds of treatments even though they were aware that the mother may not think highly of the tests. When the mother found out, naturally, she was outraged and immediately withdrew Albert from the experiment and the child's identity was actually quite a mystery for some time.

Even though the experiment did have its own problems as far as ethics go, it was a successful test and proved the theories to be factual.

~Andrew Wegner

Psychology in Five Years

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Jenny Vue vuexx256@umn.edu

Remember all those times when your friends complained to you about his/her partner? Exactly! Some of them may not think much whereas some can just keep going on and on with the "what ifs." It can even make you go crazy sometimes! This is how psychology concepts comes in.
I always tell my friends, whoever is complaining to me, that there are many possible reasons why their partner respond to them in that sort of way. This concept is the correlation versus causation fallacy:

A -> B A causes B,
B -> A B causes A,
Or
C -> A and B C causes both A and B

Although I have use this concept before, I know that I will use this concept again in the future because it is appropriate for some situations, or should I say most? I might run into some relationship problems, business problems, school problems, or whatever problems and use this concept to lay out the causes for that condition.

Five years from now

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In Psychology, there are so many different concepts. Students learning about Psychology can relate to these concepts in different ways. In this week's blog, I was asked to write about a concept that I thought I would be able to remember five years from now. I thought carefully about what concept I was going to choose, and after a debate between a few, I decided to go with the Nature vs. Nurture debate. The Nature vs. Nurture debate is the debate on whether our behaviors emerge from our genes (nature) or to our rearing environments (nurture). I sort of relate to this debate in the fact that my cousin was adopted. She has always had behavioral problems and tended not to get along with her parents or siblings. Her siblings were not adopted. When I first read about this debate in the book, I sided more with the nurture side, because to me that made more sense. However, after thinking about it a little more I slowly started changing my mind. I thought about my cousin who has had behavioral problems all of her life, and how her siblings seem perfectly fine. Other examples in the book such as the identical quadruplets started to influence my decision on switching sides. The reason I think I am going to remember this concept for the next five years is because now every time I see my cousin I am going to wonder if her behavior was constructed by her genes.

Five Years From Now

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Over the course of this semester in Psychology 1001, we have covered a vast range of topics. Five years from now, when I'm well on my way in the real world and starting my career, I think the thing I will remember the most is the information of how sleep works and the concept of REM sleep. I believe that this is what I will remember most because even while just now being in college, I have applied this the most to my life, by thinking of sleep in a different way and making sure that I am getting enough of it. When I'm on my own completely and working incredibly hard in my career, I will need a lot of sleep and to feel rested every day, and the knowledge of sleep is what I will use to make decisions on my sleep pattern. The idea of REM sleep also interested me in Psych 1001, where I pay attention to whether or not I have vivid dreams, and can relate that back to the quality of my night's sleep. I find it interesting, although I don't know just how actually useful it may turn out to be later in life, Its something to think about when waking up in the morning.
zzz

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