January 2012 Archives

Harry Potter vs Free Will

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We make choices every day, from simple to important decisions in our lives. The way we come to those decisions brings the controversy of The Great Debate: Free Will vs. Determinism.

Free Will is the belief that as humans, we feel as though we are making our own conscience decisions. To make something happen, we do not sit back and wait for an action to happen.

Determinism is like an indubitable prediction. For example, a skilled pool player knowing exactly a ball will go when struck.

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The dispute between free will and determinism continues in the book series Harry Potter.

The prophecy states "Neither can live while the other survives."
'You see the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophesy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal... in other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophesy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophesy. He will continue to hurt you ... which makes it certain really, that -'
'That one of us is going to end up killing the other,' said Harry.

In this section of the book, Dumbledore is trying to prove to Harry free will should prevail over his predetermined fate. Voldemort fails to recognize the power of choice and puts all his belief in determinism. It then becomes a figurative and literal battle when Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort fight between the power of free will and determinism.

My opinion on the Great Debate is a deep problem. It is something neither scientist nor folk psychologist has been able to come to grips with. Human behavior follows scientific laws at the same time allowing us to choose. Human beings are too complicated to be deemed as "stimulus-response machines" like Skinner tried to prove. Even though we are a part of a genetic heritage and can be programmed like calculators, we have the capability to alter old programs and add new ones by our self. Still we would not be able to function properly without determinism. It is the predetermined that the sun will rise once it sets. Without this known future event, the world would be at a stalemate. We would be too afraid to live. The most reasonable stand for this complex topic is to live in a world with both. Living a life with zero control would not be a life worth living, but having nothing predetermined would be frightening to live through.

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In chapter 10, I can see that how experience, especially early experience, and gene affect the growth and development of children. The chapter describes the procedure a child grows up and how his/her brain comes to be maturer.
Because of the fast growing of children in their childhood, experiences have important influences than later experiences in shaping them as adults. What interested me is that the what is the causation bewteen experiences and personality. Like what Lilienfeld mentioned in the book that suffered highly fearful tend to seek out environments that protect them from their anxieties. However, those children could take more anxious when they grow up than those who grow up in safe environments. That is, the danger environment one grows up in, the safer environment she/he would seek out as he/she grows older. We can see how experiences affect rest of people's life.
I can relate this with my friend's experience. She growed up in a family full of fights, her father and mother quarreled with each other everyday and in the end they got a divorce. With this experience, she is afraid of marrage after grown up and does not trust men whatsoever. This is a tragedy of her and I can see that how important that the influences of early experiences are.

Nearly everyone has heard of the Nature-Nurture debate! Whether genetics or environment plays more of a role in the developing child? Most people now agree that it is a combination of the two. I was interested in how much DNA family members really share.

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Monozygotic twins, or identical twins, share 100% of their genes, with about 50% of the genes from their father and 50% from their mother. Twins pic.jpg. Dizygotic twins, or fraternal twins share 50% of their genes with each other. After seeing these numbers, I was interested in how closely related I was to my stepsiblings and other family members. As you keep going down the family tree to more relatives and descendents, only one set of parents is from your side of the family. So the DNA percentages keep decreasing by half each branch further.

I found that in stepsiblings or half siblings, I share about 25% of my genes with each of them. I was then curious to as what amount of DNA I shared with a few of my other relatives.

Every person shares about 25% of their genes with their grandparents, aunts/uncles, and nieces and nephews. Going further in the family tree, everyone shares roughly 12.5% of their genes with their first cousins, great grandparents, great grandchildren, great aunts and uncles, and more! Then each step further in the tree you share half of the previous amount of DNA.

I am still curious as to why my siblings resemble my biological father when that is not their biological parent, but is an eerie thing to think about.

The percentages I listed were from the following website, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~laetoli/degree.html.

In the early 1900s, the French government wanted to find a way to identify children who needed assistance with learning. This led to Alfred Binet's and Theodore Simon's development of the first intelligence test. Through the tests they performed, they recognized common higher mental processes including reasoning, understanding, and judgement. Building on Binet's and Simon's work, most experts agree that there is a relationship between intelligence and abstract thinking.
Prominent psychologists haved stated that there are different areas of intelligence. This idea known as the existence of multiple intelligences. People vary in their intellectual strengths and weaknesses.
IQ testing began to get out of hand as it gained popularity. The misuse of IQ tests scored many people in the range of mental retardation, leading to concern about intelligence. This led to a social movement called eugenics where intelligent people were encouraged to reproduce while less intelligent people were discouraged from reproducing. Thirty-three states passed laws enforcing the sterilization of people with low IQs. This practice subsided by the 1970s.
Results of twin studies have revealed that IQ is influenced by genetic factors. The best estimate for IQ heritability is between forty and 70 percent. Twin studies have also given evidence of environmental influence on IQ. Adoption studies have shown a clear environmental influence as well.

Forecasting Happiness

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I had to read chapter 11 of the textbook, and this chapter had to do with "emotions and motivation." The thing that I found most interesting in this chapter is the section of forecasting happiness. According to this section, we are all fairly poor at predicting our happiness. According to the theory of forecasting happiness, we tend to overestimate the impact of events on our moods long-term (Lilienfeld, 426). The most remarkable thing about this section, is that ther have been studies that show when people become paraplegic, their baseline level of happiness return to normal after a few months. Adversely, when someone wins the jackpot for the lottery, their happiness shoots sky high immediately after they win. But then a couple months later, their baseline happiness returns to normal, as well. This all relates to the "hedonic treadmill" hypothesis (Lilienfeld, 427). This is the idea that we all adjust to our baseline level of happiness and unhappiness. So, in the end, this section of the chapter talked about how one cannot accurately forecast happiness, and that our baseline levels of happiness and unhappiness can adjust very quickly. Lottery.jpg

Chapter 9 IQ test storm

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The chapter 9 is talking about intelligence and IQ testing which is divided into 5 small topics. At first, the book gives us the definition and then talks about intelligence testing, external factors' and group influence on IQ and other dimensions. (Chapter 9 Page 316)

It struck me when I get to know that the simple word intelligence has so many different definitions and comprehensions according to different psychologists. The concept becomes more and more accurate and complete after the hypothesis and research raised by psychologists in different generations. When I saw the new words fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence, I am so excited because they are quite new to me. Then, I realized that the friends around me who are easier to learn new knowledge and learn faster are better in fluid intelligence. On the contrary, the friends who can remember words and history dynasty quicker are good in crystalized intelligence. The distinction of two concepts helps me understand my friends and myself better.
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The content attracts me the most is the way to calculate IQ. To be honest, I am really curious about my IQ and did some so-called authoritative tests before. But when I was doing the test, I felt something might be wrong although I always got high scores at end. Besides, I think there are a lot of knowledge and statistics in calculating IQ. According to the book, the way to calculate IQ for children and adult are different. Because once we are 16, our performance on IQ test items doesn't increase too much. (Page 327, 3rd paragraph) Besides, in order to compare our IQ to others, the system of IQ testing needs a set of dorms. That is what Terman contributed to us. As a matter of fact, nowadays, IQ testing has been misused which cause big damage to the society. They are used in business rather than helping schoolchildren who need special help. (Page 327)


RESEARCH METHODS

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This chapter talks about research methods. At this chapter begining, I know a method that helps autism child is facilitated communication. The story gives us a good example why we need to learn research methods in phychology class.
The research methods divided into many parts. Like, Heurisrics and Biases, Cogitive Biases, Naturalistic Observation and Self-Report Measures and Surveys.
I found the most interesting is Cognitive Biases. There are three biases that are confirmation bias, hidsight bias and overconfidence. Typically, when we finished a text, we always think our answer is correct. Nothing is going wrong for questions. "We are much more onfident that we should have been that we got them right".
At last, I am a little confused about Heuristices.

Read it and Weep

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Chapter 16 focuses mainly on psychological and biological treatments. Psychotherapy is a psychological intervention designed to help people resolve emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal problems and improve the quality of their lives. A poll found that about 20 percent of Americans have received psychological treatment at some point in their life; however, some people choose to do "personal psychological treatment" as well. Every year Americans spend over $650 million on over 3,500 new published self-help books that promise everything from happiness, to wealth, to weightless, and more. Researchers refer to this as "bibliotherapy," (the effects of reading self-help books).

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Only a small number of studies have been conducted to suggest that bibliotherapy can actually lead to improvements. In fact, the majority of self-help books are untested and they usually only address everyday minor problems. Often times self-help books promise unrealistic or far stretched solutions, which in return cause readers to feel like they "failed." Because of this Hal Arkowitz and Scott Lilienfeld offered the following recommendations about selecting self-help books...
- Use books based on valid principles of change and that have research support.
- Evaluate the author's credentials.
- Be wary of books that make far-fetched promises.
- Beware of books that rely on a "one size fits all" approach.
- Seek professional help rather then self-help alone when it comes to more serious problems
Self-help books and bibliotherapy should not be disregarded completely, but rather, people should be cautious about how much they can actually help with problems. Although bibliotherapy is better than no treatment at all, psychotherapy is best for dealing with more serious issues.

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More than Words

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"60% of all human communication is nonverbal body language; 30% is your tone, so that means 90% of what you're saying ain't coming out of your mouth." - Alex "Hitch" Hitchens from "Hitch"

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(Statistics above may or may not be correct, examples used are for qualitative purposes only in order to demonstrate a point, actual figures may vary.)

Chapter 8 begins with the unrealized complexities of communication such as word and sentence composition, dialects, physical gestures, volumes, tones, and expressions. It then talks about learning languages as either your first or additional languages.

What particularly struck out to me was extralinguistic information. This says that, although language is thought to be self-explanatory, there are many things involved in communication that is completely separate from the actual words used.

This reinforces a topic I often rant about; texting. I'm not saying that these should be eliminated because it has its time and place and has benefitted me greatly over there years. However, such forms of communication can turn simple sarcasm or jokes into a potential nightmare.

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So much of communication is eliminated in such a format. Smiles, chuckles, rolling eyes, and obvious joy is stripped from the words leaving plain text which is far too little information for interpretation of what is actually meant. This leaves these methods to require careful treading if relationships are to be maintained. So next time a serious conversation begins, let it be in person and don't underestimate the power of body language for it just may save the day from heartbreak.

Good Communication = Happy Relationship

The first half of chapter three begins talking about the nerve cells. The biology and chemistry of how nerves communicate with each other as well as how the brain has plastic properties, meaning it can change. The chapter continues on by introducing both nervous systems; the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Next, section three describes the endocrine system and what hormones are along with how they affect behavior. Lastly, section four covers techniques on brain simulating, recording, and imaging.
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Upon glancing over the chapter, the part that stuck out the most to me was the left-brained vs. right-brained people. The misconception states that left-brained people are logical, scholarly, and analytical. While right-brained people are artistic, creative, and emotional. However, both sides work together in a complimentary way. The corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres to ensure they work together.

Group Assignments

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Here are your assignments for posting groups. These are not the same as your in-class discussion groups (these are organized by last name and apply only to blog posting). Check the syllabus for the posting and comments schedule for your group.


Group A: A-F

and01697@umn.edu; beckm207@umn.edu; bies0040@umn.edu; biwer011@umn.edu; bjor0335@umn.edu; borch183@umn.edu; bouch113@umn.edu; chenx750@umn.edu; chen2508@umn.edu; conlo047@umn.edu; dalpr002@umn.edu; dolec003@umn.edu;

bear0211@umn.edu; bevac008@umn.edu; bodd0021@umn.edu; chao0073@umn.edu; cull0117@umn.edu; dayxx298@umn.edu; edwar589@umn.edu; elba0012@umn.edu; flann074@umn.edu; frec0028@umn.edu; lint0059@umn.edu

Group B: G-L

gaust024@umn.edu; hahnx214@umn.edu; hann0217@umn.edu; hendr748@umn.edu; hurle131@umn.edu; kolli035@umn.edu; landb041@umn.edu; lysne027@umn.edu;

giord023@umn.edu; herrm075@umn.edu; leex5566@umn.edu; leex5603@umn.edu; lemma010@umn.edu; lyons206@umn.edu;

Group C: M-T

maass040@umn.edu; mill5579@umn.edu; nguy1731@umn.edu; paush001@umn.edu; schuc038@umn.edu; seube020@umn.edu; shimo035@umn.edu; somor003@umn.edu; tazel004@umn.edu;

mann0394@umn.edu; mcqu0123@umn.edu; moser144@umn.edu; neuma275@umn.edu; omeog008@umn.edu; pazur004@umn.edu; rieck053@umn.edu; rozm0025@umn.edu; shame004@umn.edu; skaar067@umn.edu; stel0161@umn.edu; thaox609@umn.edu; thaox560@umn.edu; turg0063@umn.edu;

Group D: U-Z

ullma027@umn.edu; vanre012@umn.edu; wagen057@umn.edu; wanxx072@umn.edu; wang3176@umn.edu; warne349@umn.edu; whit1618@umn.edu; woogx006@umn.edu; wunde066@umn.edu;

vang1165@umn.edu; yanxx247@umn.edu; zydow003@umn.edu;

Anatomy of Psychology

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Much of psychology includes the observation of behavior, however what triggers the behavior observed? Everything from the decisions we make, our personalities, movement and emotions can be studied and explained by looking at our brains and central nervous system (CNS). Scientist have been able to 'map' our brains to show which areas can be attributed to our humor, speech pronunciation and movement of our hands, just to name a few. chickenbrainmap.jpg
All of these elements can be traced down to the very neurons (nerve cells that send messages to fulfill brain functions) which account for everything that we do. Right this second, energy is traveling through the tens of millions of axons (extensions of the neurons that receive signals) at speeds of ~220 miles per hour! Disease, injuries, psychoactive drugs can effect these connections which can cause changes in behaviors, mental degeneration/activation even treatment to illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
Many people question how some of their personality and emotional traits came to be which introduces the study of Nature vs. Nurture. It's true that some of our genetic information (genes) can be amplified or turned off (pruned) by the environment that we grow up in. There are also predispositions we may have to traits and diseases which can be attributed to our hereditary. Nevertheless, the study of Nature vs. Nature has been found to be far more intertwined than separate.
FUN FACT: In ancient times, people believed the heart to be the source of mental activity because when we get excited, scared, upset, etc. our heart beats more rapidly!

Reading through and reviewing the first chapter of the textbook in preparation for the chapter quiz, I remembered how interesting it was to discover that psychology was actually a science. I had never really thought to stop and think how important a role the processes of science played a part in studying the mind.

Like all other sciences, psychology relies on facts and evidence to support claims pertaining to human behaviors, thoughts, and actions, as well as factors from the outside world that influence these behaviors. However, like other sciences it too can fall prey to biases that can drive us farther from the truth. These biases can stem from our inability to accept evidence that discredits our claims (belief perseverance bias), to our own blind pursuits of evidence that only supports our claims (confirmation bias).

This revelation has really changed the way I view things in the world. I am constantly questioning medical television advertisements and magazine articles with flamboyant claims. Psychology is a much bigger part of our lives than most of us may believe.

The main emphasis placed in chapter two is why research methods are so critical to science. As humans we have many tendencies such as being biased towards a certain view and heuristics which are mental shortcuts. One of the more interesting type is a hindsight bias where us as humans seem to think that we should have known the answer before the fact, once we already know the aftermath of the event. This is one of many varying reasons why experiments and good research design is necessary. There are a wide array of tests used to manipulate human bias such as a Naturalistic Observation, observing real-word situations without knowing the ongoing experiment. Other common experiments used are case studies, correlational designs and controls groups, which are more used as more planned and usually already expect certain results. Validity is the main limiting factor in all of these because when people answer untruthfully it creates illegitimate results.tuskegee.jpg

The thing I found interesting between all the different studies is the ethical aspect to them. The line between pain and suffering in human studies versus animal studies is very different. In the early 1900's there was a test known as Tuskegee where humans had syphilis and were to not be treated simply to see what the results would be. The morality of this shocked me and made me question other human studies that have caused pain. Now instead of humans, they often do studies on small animals, which in the eyes of many are almost just as bad.

Chapter 15 begins with an overview of abnormal psychology, addressing the history of views of mental illness and discusses the complicated issue of defining mental illness. In so doing, it introduces the concept of a "family resemblance view" rather than a strict definition. This seems to be a very useful view as it works well with the fact that mental disorders may have several similar features rather than any defining characteristic common to all of them. From there it summarizes specific mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, mood disorders, and culturally specific disorders.

In its discussion of defining a concept of mental illness, the book touches on many misconceptions held by the general public. As a subject which is difficult to define and classify for experts, it makes sense that the rest of the population would hold many erroneous beliefs about mental illness; however, many of these seem to stem from much simpler misconceptions such as those discussed at the beginning of the textbook. People may see pop psychology labels or "dueling expert witnesses" and conclude that diagnoses are meaningless. Some also deny the existence of mental illness entirely perhaps because of a belief that the mind exists in a magical realm entirely outside the brain similar to historical beliefs about the spiritual nature of mental illness.

Stress, the strain of change

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Chapter 12 is about stress, coping and health. Stress is a response to an event that is difficult to cope with. Not all stress originates from negative events and not all stress is a bad, but it is generally a good idea to have lower levels of stress. How stressful an event is varies from person to person, but major changes in someone's life will always cause stress to some degree.

High amounts of stress can be problematic because they tend to increase the risk of health problems. Several studies have shown that higher levels of stress increase the chance of catching a cold or heart disease. While stress itself may not be the direct cause of these problems, it could cause other activities that weaken the body and make the body more susceptible to disease.

Coping with stress is important because it determines how we react to the stress we are under. There are many ways to cope with stress and choosing the best way for each situation is the best way to reduce stress. Not all methods of coping may be useful in every situation. If a coping method is ineffective it may cause more stress stemming from an inability to reduce stress.

Stress is a part of everyone's life, and how people deal with stress is important because it has an effect on the mental and physical health of the person.

The importance of research methods and guarding against error in experiments is emphasized in Chapter 2. Humans are influenced by heuristics and biases, which can fool us into believing something that can be proven false through research. In order to guard against these tendencies, researchers must use the appropriate type of research design, which can range from naturalistic observation to experimental design. To guard against error, such as the experimenter expectancy effect where the researcher unintentionally influences the results, researchers must follow guidelines and procedures to ensure the experiment produces accurate results. For example, a double-blind experiment can guard against the experimenter expectancy effect.

While all of these details are interesting, what intrigued me the most was the ethical issues in research design. I don't believe the scientists in the Tuskegee study intentionally wanted to inflict so much pain on the subjects of their study. I believe the pursuit of knowledge consumed them and they justified what they were doing that way. While it is extremely unfortunate that such pain-inflicting studies took place, the research method "silver lining" is that they led to the strict guidelines of today. The pursuit of knowledge does not justify human suffering.

Whoops! Freshman year...

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It seems to be a time when a lot of people lose their way.


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The phenomenon of freshman year was the first thing that came to my mind when reading about deindividuation- the tendency of people to engage in atypical behavior when stripped of their usual identities (Lilienfeld, p. 502). To some degree, we are all displaced our first year at college. Freshman year forces kids to go through the exact process of deindividuation. Nobody knows who we are, and we have lost our reputations completely. It makes sense that someone like the football team captain from high school could feel displaced going to college where his reputation no longer holds any weight. And the quiet girl, who is just as anonymous as any other freshman at college, can be equally as vulnerable to college social influences like drinking and partying as the girls who used to blow off their studies in high school.

A lot of people admit to making mistakes their freshman year, even warning you about what's to come. So often we hear people say, "I had to work really hard to make up for my freshman year" and "Don't make the same mistakes I did freshman year". Entire books and websites are dedicated to helping freshman survive their first year.
We generally boil it down to the transition; having to make all new friends, living somewhere completely different and not necessarily nicer, and a huge work load. These can all be causes of deindividuation. Think it's happening to you? Not to worry, check out this website and get some advice on how not to lose your mind freshman year.

http://thefreshmansurvivalguide.com/

chapter 6,learning,

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Hi everyone, my name is Meng. It is my first time to learn psychology. In the entire book to see the brief contents I am very interesting in "learning". Whether human or animal, get learning or trained the result is not the same; dogs in circus know how to successful dump ring of fire; breeder taught dolphin how to applaud, they know how to listen to arrange to do some action. When I was a child, I heard a story. The nature of the wolf is eating sheep but someone put Lithium oxide in lamb burgers Will produce a very disgusting taste. They put lithium oxide in the sheep. Let sheep walk in wolf's place, A miracle happened, the wolf is close to the sheep, but the attack did not happen. Why? So amazing! What has changed is the nature of the wolf?
Through the five parts of this chapter let us know. What is learning; Classical conditioning; operant conditioning and cognitive-social theory. The Definition of learning is learning refers to any enduring change in the way an organism responds based on its experience. The Pavlovian conditioning is a form of learning in which animals come to respond to a previously neutral stimulus that had been paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response. The organism learns to associate CS with UCS, we should remember what is UCS, UCR, CR and CS. For example dog is NS; jump is UCR. What has changed is the nature of the wolf. That's the chapter 6 interesting thing.

Many students probably have a basic understanding of Pavlov's foray into "classical conditioning," by which the Russian scientist trained dogs to salivate upon the sound of a metronome. But as Chapter 6 tells us, classical conditioning may extend as far as human phobias and fetishes. Each is part of the broader learning process, "learning" defined as "change in an organism's behavior or thought as a result of experience" (202).

While for Pavlov's dogs, the original response to the metronome was neutral, he started inserting meat powder into their salivary glands, upon which they began salivating. However, with the sound of the metronome and the flavor of meat powder combined, the dogs began to elicit the same response from both, and began salivating even when only hearing the metronome, a previously nonexistent response.

The same sort of conditioning may apply in developing phobias and fetishes. I, for one, have a deathly fear of mice, but maybe my phobia became engrained because of another object associated with the mice (like how the metronome became associated with the meat powder).

Fortunately, those who harbor powerful fetishes probably had a more "pleasurable" conditioning experience. Whether we learn through classical conditioning or the consequences of our actions, the learning process is shrouded in deep, dark - perhaps erotic? - secrecies.

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In Ch1, I found the section about scientific thinking principles very interesting, especially the principle #2: Correlation isn't Causation and the example that really struck me was the research on teenagers who listen to sexual lyrics have more sexual intercourse than the "typical teen".

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This struck me because our society is bombarded with music about sex and other sexual activities, so my first reaction was "of course, this sounds right" but what I didn't take into account was that teens' sexual behavior might also cause teens to listen to such music, other factors such as impulsivity that may lead teens to listen to music with sexual lyrics and engage in sexual behavior. Of course, we can't stop artists from producing such
music but we, as humans have the right to choose to listen or not.

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So...in conclusion, just because there is a correlation between two things, it doesn't automatically mean there is a connection between them.

You would notice if something as absurd as a person in a gorilla suit walking through the middle of the screen while you're watching a movie right? I wouldn't be so sure...

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Chapter 4 of the book describes the concepts of Sensation and Perception and how we as humans sense and conceptualize the world. Though we may consider ourselves as very attentive or conscious of our surroundings, we may not be as good as we think. In fact, we're surprisingly poor at detecting stimuli in plain sight when our attention is focused elsewhere (Henderson & Hollingworth, 1999; Levin & Simons, 1997; McConkie & Currie, 1996).

Two psychologists came up with a test to showcase "inattentional blindness", where the subjects were asked to watch a movie of people passing a ball back and forth. The subjects were to count how many times they passed the ball. Midway through the scene, a "gorilla" walks straight through, taking the time to face the camera and beat his chest and proceeded to walk out of picture. Half the subjects failed to notice the gorilla at all! How can this be?

Think of all the things you may have missed...

Has this statement ever crossed your mind during finals week? For me personally, this is one of my worst fears come test time. But why is it that we always seem to be under the weather during the most important week of our college careers? Well according to our Psychology book, it states that "Many people believe they're more likely to get a cold when they're really stressed out-and they're right." So it is very plausible for us humans to get a cold due to the large amounts of stress we're handed a few nights before the big exam.

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There is a definite scientific explanation for sickness, but stressors do happen to play a part of the process. These illnesses are given a rather long term, psychophysiological. This is defined as illnesses such as asthma and ulcers in which emotions and stress contribute to, maintain, or aggravate the physical condition. So although a small amount of stress may be good for us, constant stress could possibly have damaging effects on our bodies, especially the heart. According to scientists, coronary heart disease (CHD), which is the complete or partial blockage of the arteries that provide oxygen to the heart, is directly correlated with psychological factors including stress (Lilienfeld, 467).

All this talk on stress and illness can be depressing, but good news is that positive emotions and social support can fortify our immune systems (Esterling, Kiecolt-Glaser, and Glaser, 1996; Kennedy, Kiecolt-Glaser, and Glaser, 1990). So it's very important to learn to cope with our stress effectively so we can all be happy and healthy!

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Psychological disorders, the subject of Chapter 15, are fascinating. I was particularly struck by information in this chapter about psychiatric diseases across cultures and recent findings in schizophrenia and autism.
Mental illnesses are universal. It was interesting to learn that different cultures have their own names for and descriptions of mental disorders. Latah, for example, is a SE Asian illness characterized by "an extreme startle reaction, followed by a loss of control, cursing, and mimicking of others' actions and speech," while Windigo, found in Native American populations, involves a "morbid state of anxiety with fears of becoming a cannibal." (Data, DSM-IV APA, 2000; Hall, 2001). Western culture also has its more common mental illnesses, such as bulimia (Keel & Klump, 2003; McCarthy, 1990).
Recent insights into schizophrenia include functional brain imaging studies (example below) showing that schizophrenic patients have less frontal lobe activation with strenuous mental activity than normal individuals (Andreasen et al., 1992; Knyazeva et al., 2008). In terms of autism, I had previously heard that US rates were rising, but was very surprised to learn that Wisconsin had a whopping 15,117% increase in autism diagnoses within a 10 year period (Rust, 2006). The textbook discussed possible causes including genetic factors and vaccines (Rutter, 2000; Rimland, 2004), although the link between autism and vaccination has recently been challenged. Lilienfeld notes that the cause of this disorder still remains a mystery.

Bystander Nonintervention

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A topic I found interesting was Bystander Nonintervention. This is the name given to situations in which there is an emergency or something that requires help, and the more people that are present means it is less likely that one of those people will help with the situation. This phenomenon is due primarily to two different reasons. The first is called Pluralistic Ignorance, which is the feeling that if everybody else does not mind something, I should not mind it either. The second reason is Diffusion of responsibility. Because there are more people present, each person feels less guilty about the situation because everybody else could have helped too.
I found this very surprising and interesting because it is very ironic and goes against what most people would think. It is surprising to think that when more people are present at an emergency, the less likely the people are to help.

Looking Through Illusions

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Chapter two introduces the term ideomotor effect. The idea behind the effect is that ideas of a person can influence their actions unbeknownst to themselves. This effect brings the issue of bias to the surface as well as how naive realism clouds judgement and causes people to miss key scientific observations. An example of this was in the use of prefrontal lobotomy as an effective treatment for schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders. Scientists were so in awe at the apparent success of the technique, they failed to notice the treatment was superficial. Scientists did not perform tests for years to prove the effectiveness of the lobotomy. When they performed the experiments, the results were surprising. Not only were none of the previous disorders fixed, but other problems were formed. Scientists inability to look through the illusion of apparent good results caused harmful treatment to be carried out for years.
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Shrimp Pasta, No thank you!

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Have you ever eaten a delectable shrimp pasta and hours after thrown it up? And the next time you see or eat that yummy shrimp pasta it makes you want to vomit? That unfortunate situation right there is simply named a taste aversion. That... ladies and gentlemen is one of the ways we, as humans, learn. Throughout chapter six I found this section to be the most interesting!

Before reading about that, I "learned" (haha get it?) that learning occurs through the fun vocab words classical conditioning, conditioned response, unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned response, and conditioned stimulus. Obviously there is more to it then JUST those six statements but basically learning has shown to occur when an animal or person is put through an experiment where they give a response to a stimulus alone or a stimulus that has been paired with another stimulus.

Kind of get the jist of it?

Well if not, go look up those vocabulary definitions and ingrain them into your brain! Thank goodness for flash cards!

Any ways, back to what I thought was interesting. A taste aversion is a different way of learning than the process I just explained. The other experiments that follow those terms are usually repeated multiple times. With taste aversions it takes you ONE time of bad food poisoning to get the response that you don't want to experience that again. This strikes me as interesting because it is different than the way I normally think of learning. I usually have this concrete idea that learning is linked with school lectures and overpriced textbooks. Biologically, this is not the case when we take a look into taste aversions and it is a new way to think of learning in psychology.

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Chapter 13 focuses on social psychology. Lilienfeld opens the chapter with the story of Orson Welles famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast that sent our nation into a frenzy. This is an intriguing bit of history to begin the chapter because it is a great example of the way our species can be so easily deceived by such comically false information delivered through a socially accepted medium.
Throughout the chapter the author talks of the many different ways in which an individuals' behavior is influenced by the social setting in which they are placed. I found the section on social facilitation interesting because both humans and cockroaches completed a race faster when they were watched by a group of their peers. Another section that caught my attention were the Asch Studies on conformity. These studies showed that when the confederates of a group gave the wrong answer to a question the participant is likely to conform to the answers of the confederates even if they think the answer is wrong. This study intrigued me because as a student I have responded the same way when given a question in a group setting. It is scary to think how different social settings can have such a big impact on the way we choose to act and I am excited to learn more about the reasons behind these phenomena.

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Chapter 11 delves into the mysteries of human emotion and motivation. This chapter begins with the story of a man who had a brain tumor removed, and part of his brain. This resulted in him losing his ability to feel any sort of emotion. The next portion of the chapter demonstrates how important it is to have both emotion and rationality. The rest of the chapter breaks down the theories on why emotion is important and the reason why we have it. The chapter talks about verbal and nonverbal cues, and how both are essential to effectively communicating our emotions. Happiness and self-esteem are also touched on in this chapter, showing how much those two subjects influence our everyday life. Later we find out what are our motivators, and why. Lastly the tricky topic of love is discussed and we find out different styles of love and attraction.
What stuck out the most for me in this chapter was the section on what triggers emotions. The debates on what causes our psychological responses versus physical responses were fascinating. Similarly the debates on what comes first, psychological responses or physical responses were equally as interesting. This interests me because I enjoy finding out what triggers emotional responses and this chapter definitely gave me a better insight- especially with the extensive bear-based scenarios.


Grilled Cheesus

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Like Finn, a member of the Glee Club in the TV series Glee, we sometimes think we see an image in an object that has a certain meaning. For Finn, it was a portrait of Jesus in his grilled cheese. For some, it is the face of the man in the moon. For others, it is an image of something with far greater meaning that a man in the moon. This phenomenon of "seeing meaningful images in meaningless stimuli" is called pareidolia. While reading through chapter 1 of our textbook, this section caught my attention more so than the others.

What caught my attention about this topic-- more than scientific thinking, the departments of psychology, and different Psychologists--was that what we see isn't always reality. We rely on our judgements and common sense so often, but it isn't always right.

I am curious as to why this phenomenon happens. Is it because someone is thinking about something so often or worrying about a certain topic that it causes them to subconsciously see something related to that topic? I have never had this experience other than seeing the man in the moon, so I am wondering: have any of you? Was the image you saw related to something consuming your thoughts?

Free Will-Determinism

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The free will determinism debate- is human freedom an illusion?
The book had a pretty solid example when it came to the legal system versus the human mind. In my opinion, human freedom is an illusion. All our lives we are told what to do and how to do, and if you don't do it in a particular way then it is considered to be wrong. This also relates to human obedience. Humans are an obedient species so therefore anything that we are told is believable. America is a free country but there are laws stating what we can and cannot do.
We do not always know why we behave the way we do, but these behaviors are triggered by influences of which we are unaware. Even though there is a significant difference between criminals and the common civilian. Are they aware of their behaviors when they make a decision to commit a crime?
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chapter 15

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Chapter 15 is going to cover knowledge about psychological disorders. It contains 6 main points: Conception of Mental Illness, Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders and Suicide, Personality and Dissociative Disorders, the Enigma of Schizophrenia, and Childhood Disorders.
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I'm interested in the "anxiety disorders" part when I saw the sentence "Explanations for Anxiety Disorders: The roots of pathological worry and fear." in the text book. As for the reason, it's acknowledged that psychological health is as important as physical health because sometimes mental illness even has large impact on society. Everyone lives in the society is facing challenges of pressures everyday. The pathological fear of pressure or on the other hand we can say the fear of the real life results in some mental illness like tristimania and schizophrenia. While diseases like these always ruin the society because we all know the fact that a criminal who has mental illness could escape from punishment. In my view, most of the psychological disorders result from our daily lives. Such as pressures, bad mood, unhappy experience in childhood, etc. I think the key to get rid of psychological problem is to relax and to face the fears bravely.

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This potato really does look like face, doesn't it? This type of phenomena can be referred to as pareidolia, which means seeing meaningful images in meaningless visual stimuli. In other words it is when people see images in random objects such as toast, fruit, chips, etc. The concept of pareidolia was just one of many interesting introductory topics discussed in chapter one. Chapter one also introduces topics such as scientific thinking, replicability, the major departments of psychology, different types of Psychologists, and Pseudoscience.

Pseudoscience was particularly interesting to me because I myself have believed some pseudoscientific claims! Pseudoscience is a set a claims that seem to be true but in reality they are unable to be backed by scientific evidence. One Pseudoscientic claim that I have heard is "you can lose up to 15 lbs in two weeks!"

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Another section in chapter one that I found interesting was the section about apophenia. Apophenia indicates perceiving meaningful connections among unrelated and random phenomena. The example that the textbook provided was about the many similarities between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Some similarities included that Lincoln was elected president in 1860 and Kennedy was elected president in 1960 and both were succeeded by a president named Johnson. The amount of similarities was very surprising to me; how could these two people have so many similarities?

I thought that the chart that listed a wide variety of job opportunities that involve psychology was informative. I learned that counseling psychology is practically the same as clinical psychology and most forensic psychologists are actually criminal profilers just like people in the FBI.

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Working Out Image:
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Potato Face Image:
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Pinocchio Response

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lie detector.jpg In reading chapter eleven I thought one of the more interesting sections was the one dealing with the Pinocchio response, and polygraph testing. The Pinocchio response is defined as a perfect psysiological or behavioral indicator of lying. I was surprised to read that some polygraph organizations claim to yeild 98% accurate results, I would be interested to hear the actual stats behind their clam and what the truth is but I am skeptical about their 98% claim. I was looking at a few articles online about what situations a polygraph may be used in and found out that they are regularly given to people during the interview proccess for government jobs such as law enforcement. That fact makes me a little bit uncomfortable because I have found multpile sources saying the test yields a high rate of false positives, and I would hate to see someone denied a government job after a false positive test when they were actually telling the truth. I looked a little further and found out how the polygraph can be used in court. In some states it is completely disallowed, but states like California and Florida have different rules. In California they are allowed to use a polygraph test as evidence but it is presented to the jury and made clear that there are no guarantees to the results and the jury must decide how to use the information on their own. In Florida they actually require some sex offenders to submit polygraph tests, but they can not be used in court in any way. Those are a few interesting things I was able to find on polygraph testing and the Pinocchio Response.

The Danger in Numbers

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Chapter 13 explains social psychology as the study of how the behavior of other people affects our own behavior, beliefs, and attitudes. Humans are naturally social and tend to gravitate toward each other (Lilienfeld 495). Consequently, it is inevitable that we observe and react to others' behavior in social situations.

According to the University of Minnesota's website, "An aware and watchful community is one of the strongest deterrents against crime. We all must do our part and Stand Up. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for each other" (http://standup.umn.edu/). Contrary to this statement, however, an observant group of people may be detrimental to our safety.

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Although individuals tend to feel safer when there are many people around, studies show that people are less likely to help someone in distress in the presence of others. This is called bystander nonintervention. One major cause of bystander nonintervention is assuming a certain situation isn't an emergency based on the fact that nobody else is reacting to it. The presence of others also makes each individual feel less responsible to help (Lilienfeld 514).

Therefore, next time you see someone at risk, follow your instincts and help them out. Chances are, if you initiate the help, others will follow your lead due to our instinctive tendency to conform to one another.

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Chapter ten of the book goes over human development. Chapter ten covers several different theories and debates regarding the development of humans. One aspect of the chapter that stood out to me was the part on nature versus nurture and its relation to the NIMH quadruplets. Besides being identical these quads have one thing in common and that's schizophrenia. They each had a different severity of the condition and all but one was eventually hospitalized due the disorder. So where does nature versus nurture come into play here? Well the mother clearly favored two of the twins and more heavily punished the other two. It turns out that the two daughters that were punished more harshly had more severe schizophrenic symptoms. So is it reasonable to conclude that a more nurturing mother can be beneficial to problematic children or does nature have the final say?

Everyone has a different personality, but just what are some of those central influences that make us who we really are? Can something as simple as birth order really change who we become?
Chapter 14 covers personality which can be defined by a persons way of thinking, behaving, and feeling. It goes on to say that psychologists have came up with three basic influences that help make up someone's personality, these being their genetic factors, shared environmental factors, and non shared environmental factors. Parenting is said to have an influence on the shared environmental factors. If parents want their kids to be more outgoing, they will give the kids this attention needed in order to do so therefore succeeding in such a shared environmental factor.
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In Rome Neal's article "Personality Traits Linked to Birth Order", it helped me better understand the concept of a non-shared environmental factor. In this article it explains how firstborns tend to be natural leaders, very reliable, and not too fond of surprises. The child, who is born in the middle, usually will feel some sense that the world pays less attention to him/her. This results in a personality that is more secretive and in a way stubborn to share. The last-born tend to be more social and outgoing. Shockingly, those who are born last in the family usually end up being more financially irresponsible. Neal then proceeds to say that the last-born "just want to have a good time".

A common compliment that is given and received by a large amount of people is, "You have a great personality". What Chapter 14 of the textbook tries to do is determine where the personality comes from through various theories such as Freud's id, ego, and superego theory and how biological and environmental factors may play a role in personality development. What struck me as most interesting in the chapter is the discussion of twin separation and the meaning of birth order. The example given is that of Jack and Oskar who were separated at birth by Thomas Bouchard, who was a professor at the University of Minnesota. The twins grew up in two complete different situations and with far different political views. The biggest contradiction comes from the fact that Jack grew up Jewish, while Oskar grew up a Nazi and was a member of the Hitler Youth Movement. What came of the study was that although the two men grew up in such opposite environments, researchers determined that they had similar personalities by conducting personality tests. This produced numerous questions about how the twins were able to grow up with similar personalities despite their opposing views.

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In terms of birth order, the author calls into question the commonly thought ideas, such as independence and rebellious nature, about what birth order means. Being the oldest sibling of three, I was interested to find that there is no true consensus that birth order may affect an individuals personality because the main experiments of birth order have not always bee n replicated.

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yuck.jpgHow do people come to do the things that they do? Where do phobias, fetishes, and tastes come from? In chapter six, it is pointed out that a lot of it has to do with learning. This may seem like a really obvious fact, but in some cases I was surprised to discover just how much learning, specifically observation as well as conditioning, affect a our day to day lives. One can be conditioned, for example, to find a food distasteful. Everyone has experienced it: you have something for lunch, get sick later on, and as a result cannot even look at that food again. What is really interesting is that people are able to take this knowledge and use it to their advantage in many ways. One example from chapter six is ranchers who place a mild poison in sheep carcasses in order to keep coyotes away from their flock. Any coyote that eats the poisoned sheep will become sick afterward, and consequently avoid eating sheep in the future. It is techniques such as this that show just how useful insight into the psychological learning process can be for our world.

psychology1122.jpgWhen reading chapter one we are introduced to psychology as how most of us utilized it before; with common sense. As we continue though we find out that our common sense can blind us from a deeper understanding psychology and how critical thinking is an essential piece to the puzzle.

While reading the chapter there was one thing that really grabbed my attention. If the word apophenia rings a bell then you've probably either read chapter one or have a fairly solid vocabulary.

Apophenia is the perceiving of meaningful connections among unrelated and even random phenomena. Do you recognize these two men?
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Well here is something you probably didn't know about president Lincoln and Kennedy (as seen on page 15 of "Psychology From Inquiry to Understanding"):

Lincoln:

Kennedy:

Elected to congress in 1846
Elected to congress in 1946

Elected president in 1860
Elected president in 1960

Both names contain seven letters

Lincoln's secretary, named Kennedy, warned him not to go to the theater where he was shot and Kennedy's secretary, named Lincoln, warned him not to go to Dallas, where he was shot.
Both of their wives were sitting next to them when they were killed.
Assassins.jpgIf you see the trend, the time frame is 100 years apart. Both johsn Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald were born in 1839 and 1939 respectively. And if that isn't coincidence enough, both presidents were succeeded by a president named Johnson who were also born 100 years apart in 1808 and 1908.
BUT WAIT! There's more...Booth fled from a theater to a ware house, Oswald fled from a warehouse to a theater, and BOTH were killed before their trials.
If you found these similarities compelling and potentially related you wouldn't be the first. Apophenia is a large factor in why we are drawn to Pseudoscience! This is why me must be careful in our critical thinking and reasoning, so to avoid falling into the grasps of pseudoscience.

Countless factors come in to play when talking about human development. Chapter ten goes into depth about these factors as well as many situations in which they occur. The chapter begins by describing a very interesting study about the Genain quadruplets. Each of the quadruplet sisters all developed a case of schizophrenia. From the study, important findings about the idea of nature vs. nurture were made. In this case the mother of the sisters treated each daughter differently while they were young which correlates with the expression of the disease in their lives.

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While reading this chapter there were a few concepts that I had heard of in previous high school courses, but most of the concepts were brand new to me. It was pretty eye-opening reading about how children develop and change the way they see the world since not too long ago that was my age. A Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, explained his theory on how children construct their worlds caught my attention. He explained that children see the world differently than adults, but what they see is rational with their small experience with the world. Interesting studies like this help illustrate human development throughout chapter ten.

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In chapter 7 in our textbook, it mainly talks about the Memory. When I read through the chapter, I am really interested in the section about " The Three Process Of Memory". When we memory some new things like cell phone numbers, or some math equations, we can easily remember it in a very short time. However, after several days or even several hours, we will find that we start to feel not sure about the cell number. That is the feature of the memory.
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When human start to memory something, it usually will follow two aspects. First aspect is encoding. It refers to the process of organizing and putting the information into human's memory space. When we start to encoding, pay the highly attention is pretty important. When we pay a lot attention, our brain will easier to remember those memories. Encoding helps to explain the familiar next-in-line effect. When we answer the questions during the class, we always feel that the person answer the question before we did got a better memory than you. However, it is because when you hear the question, you start to focus on the answer, you pay your attention on the answer, not the person before you was saying. Second part of the process is mnemonics, which is the way to help us recall our memory. There are three methods for mnemonics. First one is the Pegword Method, this method often use the rhyming to help us recall the loss memory. Make us easy to read, easy to understand will help us to memory a lot. Second is the Method of Loci, it need us to "think of a path with which you're familiar and can imagine vividly". This method use the imagination of human, to make the things we need to remember become more interesting and easy to accept and remember. Last method is keyword Method. As the name of the method, we use the keyword of the things we need to remember, the keyword is short, that will be much easier to remember, when we remember the keyword, imagine the things related to the keyword will help us to memory the things we want.
In all, memory things need to use specific method, use the right way and right method will make our life, study, work more efficiency and easier.

Coping With Stress

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We all cope with stress in different ways, some anger, others talk it out with friends. What chapter 12 covers is "Stress, Coping and Heath" in which coping with stress is the section which seemed very interesting to me and I think every other college kid in the world. stress.jpgThe other parts of this chapter address how we adapt, react and cope with stress along with promoting good health with less stress. Gaining control of stress seemed to strike me as we all would love to manage such a feat. I never knew there were a variety of ways to control stress. Behavior, cognitive, decision, informational, and emotional are ways in the book of coping. I found the study of emotional behavior to pertain to college students. the researchers had a group of college students write about their deepest thoughts and feelings for 20 minutes for 4 days in a journal compared to a group who wrote about superficial thoughts. Not surprisingly, the group who opened up in their journals had fewer visits to the health center and showed signs of improved immune functions. The replication of this experiment shows the science of psychology which we have been learning about the first week as studies showing the same results have been repeated all around the world. So start your journals ladies and gents, and hopefully the stress of a new semester will melt away, if not, there are plenty more interesting stress controls in chapter 12!

Chapter 5 talks about topics relating to our consciousness. When looking through the chapter what I found most interesting was the section about Out-of-Body experiences because I have seen them in TV shows and movies but was curious to learn more about them.
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An Out-of-Body experiences (OBE) is when one feels that their soul is leaving their body and watching themselves from above. "About 25 percent of college students and 10 percent of the general population report having experienced one or more of them (Alvarado, 2000)." This seems to be quite common however it is questionable whether or not the people are actually leaving their body or if their brains are tricking them. This claim however, is very hard to prove it is wrong because no one knows when they will have an OBE, therefore no one can document to phenomenon. However, H. Henrik Ehrsson used a visual sensory test to try and replicate what happens in OBE and found that when visual sensory is combined with physical sensations it is possible for a person to feel like they are out of their body when really they are not. This experiment suggests that OBE may not be real and it is just has to do with our brain and our situation.

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OBEs are found to occur during near death experiences (NDEs). Which are cases when a person almost died or believed they almost did. The people experiencing this phenomenon say that they: were in a tunnel, saw a light, or talked to dead relatives before coming back to themselves. However, studies suggest that what one experiences during a NDE is based on the beliefs a person has on what happens after death. "People from christian and Buddhist cultures frequently report the sensation of moving through a tunnel, but native people in north America, the Pacific Islands and Australia rarely do (Kellehear, 1993)." This suggests that a person reacts to NDEs how they have been taught by their culture to act.

I found the subject of OBEs and NDEs interesting because as its been shown it is hard to prove whether or not these really occur. However, it would be interesting to hear first hand from an individual who "experienced" it because they will give a different view on the matter. They may believe that they really did leave their body and be convinced that scientists do not know what they are talking about. It would be interesting to hear their side of the story because the chapter really only talks about the science of OBEs and NDEs and what it suggests but it is not for sure one hundred percent correct.

The Mozart Effect

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Chapter 10 primarily covers all areas of human development-whether this be physical and motor development, development of the mind, or social and moral development. We as humans go through many significant changes throughout our lifetime; we learn to embrace the environment around us and in our early years we rapidly acquire new information. Some of these things will stick with us until the day that we die.
One thing that I found interesting in Chapter 10 was the section about "The Mozart Effect, Baby Einstein, and Creating Superbabies." I have heard about this new fad of surrounding one's newborn with Mozart piano sonatas and how it will boost the child's intelligence, and I always thought that these studies held true. I mean, it seems right, doesn't it? That's why I was surprised to discover that this study had some flaws. First of all, this experiment was only conducted on college students. The students listened to Mozart for ten minutes, and after they showed a "significant improvement on a spatial reasoning task compared with a group of students who listened to a relaxation tape." But the finding didn't say anything about enhancement of intelligence in the long run. It applied to a task given almost immediately after listening to the music. This begs the question though... Will parents keep surrounding their newborns with Mozart, despite the negative findings?

Twinning

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Chapter 8 of the textbook covers communication and language and the importance that it plays in our everyday lives. I was especially interested in a small excerpt called psycho mythology that talked about how twins appear to have their own language when young. This topic is especially interesting for me because I am a twin. The textbook states that Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for twins.jpgtwins are actually using such underdeveloped language that only they are able to comprehend it. While twins do not develop their own language it is in essence a secret language because only they can understand it. The textbook mentions that other children are also not able to understand the communication which leads me to wonder if this is a factor in why twins have a stronger bond. Over the years I have realized that I can understand my sister without her speaking. I know that this is because I can read her body language and facial expressions effectively. I started wondering if infant twins are also able to understand each other because they can read each other's body language. After previewing the chapter I am excited to learn more about the different aspects of psychology.

The Myth On Brain Usage

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Chapter three focused on the biological aspect of psychology. The key points that were covered were nerve cells, the brain and its use, the endocrine system, and genetics. These things all combine together to make the body function and help us go about our lives.

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The thing that I found most interesting in this chapter is a section called "How Much of Our Brain Do We Use?" This section discussed the common myth in psychology that we only use 10% of our brain. A movie called "Limitless" came out in recent years supporting this myth despite it being false. The truth is that we use just about all of our brain capacity. Each part of the brain serves a purpose to help us function. If we were only to have access to 10% of our brain, than many of those purposes would not be fulfilled. The authors discuss that even if a small area of the brain is damaged, we might lose complete function from that area. So if each person was only using 10% of their brain, than the way we function would be completely different and probably result in our body not being able to function.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xH0mBP9jcc

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In chapter 16 of the textbook there is a section that talks about projective tests. A projective test is one that asks the subjects to examine or interpret various ambiguous stimuli. One of these tests is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. This was developed by Hermann Rorschach in the 1920's. It was a simple yes consisting of 10 different inkblots and all you had to do is tell the examiner what you say in the inkblots. The results of these tests widely varied and depending on how you interpreted the inkblots, you could be deemed obsessive compulsive, narcissistic, emotional, and so on. One thing that this test was greatly scrutinized for was for its lack of evidence for incremental validity. Incremental validity is the extent to which a test contributes information beyond other, more easily collected, measures (Lilienfeld, et al. pg. 571). The test itself takes approximately 45 minus and about twice as long to inexpert, so wouldn't it be easier and more time efficient to use another method to get the same answers?
I think that this would be a very interesting test to take because I don't think that by saying what you see in an image can determine you psychological makeup. The results of these tests were ver controversial and I agree with that. Also, the test-retest reliabilities were unknown and often problematic. So does this really work as an effective psychological analysis?

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Psychology, founded in part by William James, is the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior. Chapter one covers the basic concepts of psychology, focusing on how scientific the study is and the common misconceptions that come along with it. Another important concept covered in the chapter is the introduction of the six scientific thinking principles: ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation verses causation, falsifiability, replicabillity, extraordinary claims, and occam's razor. For me, the most interesting topic covered in this first chapter was that which put psychology into perspective for me. I, like many others, was under the impression that psychology would tell me why common sense, is common sense; however, I was quickly put in my place.


Remember those silly proverbs you always heard as a child? The ones your mom told you when life got tough, or your grandparents said when trying to teach you a lesson? Well, it turns out many of these famous proverbs exist in a world of contradiction. The Lilienfeld text presents five widely known proverbs with their respective contradiction.

1. Birds of a feather flock together.
2. Opposites attract.

3. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
4. Out of sight, out of mind.

5. Better safe than sorry.
6. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

7. Two heads are better than one.
8. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

9. Actions speak louder than words.
10. The pen is mightier than the sword.


What I found most surprising about this section of the text, is the fact that I can recall using every one of these cliches in conversation before, yet never made the connection of how contradictory they are to one another. One would think, after common use of phrases such as these, a human, designed to recognize patters, would take note of the contradictory beliefs. However, the Lilienfeld text makes an important observation, supporting one of the chapter's main concepts: psychology is not as easy a concept as we humans tend to believe.

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 began by explaining that psychology is often misinterpreted to be a set of assumptions and based off common sense. Psychology is actually a science and not at all based off common sense. An interesting example of this was on page 7, when the upside down pictures of Obama looked identical, but when turned upside down were very different. I thought this was a strong example of how common senses can be deceiving. The chapter went on to describe the boundaries of science and how it applied to psychology, the dangers of pseudoscience, a basic framework of scientific thinking, and finally the evolution of psychology. I also found the most important scientific thinking principle to be replicability because when several people are able to produce the same results, the likelihood that it is correct is very high.

Stress. It happens to everyone, but not everyone deals with it in the same way. Chapter 12 discusses the different stressors that one faces and how individuals deal with them. Everyone has their own way that they deal with stress, but there are some responses we can't help but having. The chapter gives examples of stressors in three different ways: as stimuli, transaction, and as a response. Stress is subjective, so each person will react differently. Some may choose to find the positives in a situation, while others may seek support to help them get through.
The chapter also discusses the physical repercussions that stress can cause and the importance of staying healthy as a way to help manage your stress. The text discusses how stress can be measured, and one of the scales that are used is the Hassles scale. It ranges from little, bothersome tasks to major daily problems. This scale seemed particularly relevant to what we deal with as college students. Not all of us will deal with stress in the same way, it's important to make sure that you manage stress properly and don't start to let all the little things add up.

To start off, take a second and try to recall how many times you have been annoyed by someone complaining about how late they were up studying the night before (if you can actually count that high let me know because you deserve a medal). The bottom line is that college students generally get less than six hours of sleep when they should get nine, no surprises there (Maas, 1999). students-sleep-in-class-1.jpeg

Previously, I had always assumed that when you were asleep, you were asleep, but I was fascinated to learn that is not the case. In order to feel truly rested, we must experience at least several cycles of delta sleep, which takes about 10 to 30 minutes to set in. So, while the naps students squeeze in between, or during, classes might sound appetizing, they generally won't do a whole lot of good without a solid night of delta, or deep, sleep.

A very common response to this lack of sleep is sleeping in on the weekends. However, with a somewhat alarmingly high percentage of college students that abuse alcohol, about 31%, this may not be effective (Knight et al., 2002). Even minor alcohol use before bed suppresses delta sleep. So, although many students are able to sleep longer on the weekend, it may not even help with the midday drowsiness.college-guy-sleeping-in-library.jpeg

This chapter shoots down one of college students' favorite misconceptions. That quick naps can make up for a legitimate night's sleep. Although a few "all-nighters" won't hurt you much, it is important to remember to keep track of those precious hours of sleep and make sure that you make time for a good, full night of sleep.

In Chapter 8, Lilienfeld argues that seemingly simple functions, such as speaking and thinking, are more complex than we perceive them to be. Specifically, he argues that the interpretation of language is based on the context in which it used. For example, the phrase "shut up" can be interpreted as a command to stop talking or an exclamation of astonishment.

The section about extralinguistic information, or nonverbal cues (such as facial expression and tone of voice), struck me as most intriguing; How we say something is just as, if not more, important than what we say. The tone of voice and/or facial expression we use when speaking can convey a more powerful message than our actual words. I found this section most interesting because of the truth behind this message: more often than not, I pay more attention to visual cues and fluctuation in tone of voice than what is actually being said. Furthermore, nonverbal cues can often foreshadow conversation, and it is crucial that we are able to read people's body language and facial expressions so that we can react accordingly. Failure to recognize this extralinguistic information can result in serious misunderstandings and bring about conflict.


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Advertised Psychology

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Have you ever thought about how much psychology affects our daily lives? In chapter one, many different topics are discussed. However the one subject that caught my attention the most was about how much psychology affects our daily lives.
As we go about our daily routine, we don't often stop and think 'How does psychology have something to do with that?' However, psychology is in more of our daily lives than we would originally think. One example involves our firetrucks. The common color for firetrucks was always red, but now more firetrucks are being painted lime-yellow because they are easier to see.Ad.jpgPsychology also affects how our advertisements are being run. Ads in magazines commonly put a picture on the left hand side of the page and put the words or descriptions on the right. Advertisers use this arrangement because it better attracts customers' attention.
Psychology in our daily lives was not the only thing discussed in chapter one however. Topics also covered were major debates in psychology such as the nature-nuture debate which talks about the controversy of whether our behaviors are from our genes or our environments. weight loss.gifAnother major topic mentioned is pseudoscience which is basically claims that seem scientific but aren't. Other things discussed are the history, how to think scientifically, jobs within psychology, fallacies, and what psychology is.

Chapter 7: Memory

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The human memory is a very complex system. Why is it that people can remember some things for years while other things we forget almost immediately? Or why is it that sometimes we say that we remember things that we never actually saw? This is what Chapter 7 of the text is all about. It talks about the three different types of memory, sensory, short-term and long-term memory, and how different experiences affect these sectors of memory.

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The thing that struck me as most interesting about this chapter was the paradox of memory. The paradox of memory states "the same memory mechanisms that serve us well in most circumstances can sometimes cause us problems in others. This was interesting to me because it is odd to me how one person can have an extremely good memory on a specific subject but then forget seemingly simple things such as where they left their phone or keys. A good example of the paradox of memory out of the text was that of Rajan Mahadevan. Rajan could recite the value of pi to 38,811 digits, but he continuously forgot where the bathroom was. This example shows just how complex and interesting the human memory is.

Why is it that some people are more aggressive than others? Why some people can control their emotions better than others? Or why some people are more anxious than others?
Psychologists have wondered what contributes to peoples' personality and how they act around others. Most people believe it is from the environment they grew up in, such as their location or how their parents raised them. The University of Minnesota investigated these thoughts by constructing a twin study involving twins that grew up in the same environment and twins that were separated at birth. After two decades of researching personality traits among twins, the U of M found the correlations of personality traits of twins living together and presented it in a table. The U of M then showed the correlation of personalities of twins living separately on the table next to the twins raised together. The correlations of personalities were very similar. This finding hints that the environments in which kids are raised in has little or no affect on peoples' personalities.

Chapter 6: Learning

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In chapter 6 of the Lilienfeld text, the focus is on classical conditioning, operant conditioning, cognitive models of learning, biological influences on learning, and the effectiveness of different learning styles. What struck me in particular was the research and discoveries of Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov's classical conditioning experiments used canines and he studied the responses of these canines to hearing the sound of a bell, and feeding them.
I found it fascinating how upon hearing the bell, the dog had learned to expect food immediately afterwards and would begin to salivate, even though this should not have been an expectation, the dog had been conditioned over time to act this way.
I also found it incredibly interesting that classical conditioning can take place in people who are in a vegetative state. This was discovered by playing a musical note and then using a puff of air to induce blinking. Eventually, when the music note would be played, blinking would take place, even though there was the absence of the puff of air.

People have always wondered why one person is as intelligent as they are. Scientists ask the question of whether or not it has to do with the brain size. This chapter is all about intelligence. Many interesting questions were asked in this chapter pertaining to how intelligence affects you as a person and studies show and prove different answers to these questions. One questioned asked was whether a person with higher intelligence has a faster reaction time or slower reaction time than a person with less intelligence. It was proven that a person with higher intelligence had a faster reaction time. Intelligence can be measured by the IQ tests that are proven to be valid. What I found most fluid_intelligence.jpginteresting was the section Genetic and Environmental Influences on IQ. It has been proven that IQ runs in a family. An interesting study was done to see if adoptive children have a similar IQ of their biological parents or their adoptive parents. Proven by research a adopted child is like their adoptive parents until the child reaches adolescence. An overview of this chapter from my point of view after reading the text would be that intelligence is affected by numerous aspects and has a very large impact on the way a person is going to turn out either for the better or the worse.

Inist On Evidence

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Sigmund Freud; leading figure in Psychoanalysis.
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Chapter one covered an interesting array of topics that discussed the basic principles of psychology, schools of thought in psychology, and how to think scientifically. The main point was "insist on evidence". It discusses how everyone is different and makes decisions based on multiple variables. As scientific thinkers, people try to think objectively and take out belief perseverance and confirmation bias. Also, you should be on your guard to interpret metaphysical claims and pseudoscience. The point is not to be cynical and closed minded, but show scientific skepticism. Scientists must know the six scientific thinking principles: Ruling out rival hypothesis, correlation isn't causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and Occam's razor. I always hear extraordinary claims from weight loss programs claiming that you can lose fifty pounds without hard work. Psychology has several schools, including functionalism, behaviorism, cognitive psychology, and psychoanalysis. Psychology is constantly changing and being argued upon. Some schools believe it is based on incentives, like behaviorism, and others believe it's what goes on inside your head, like cognitive psychology. It is believed by most that Psychology is made up by not one but many major schools of thought.

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We all have seen the classic cartoons, movies, and television shows where a man or woman lay on a couch in front of a therapist to solve some of their problems. But with all the fictional ideas that Hollywood creates, we need to ask ourselves some questions. Do people actually do this, and if they do, who does this? Who practices this so called therapy (or psychotherapy as the book calls it)? How is this practiced? What are some consequences? And most importantly, is psychotherapy actually effective? Chapter 16: Psychological and Biological Treatments explores all of these questions, and the results are quiet fascinating.
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It turns out that for once, and most likely only once, Hollywood has projected an appropriate image of psychotherapy for Americans. According to a 2006 Newsweek poll, close to twenty percent of Americans have received some sort of psychological treatment during some point in their lives (Lilienfeld 632). In fact, the "it all began when I was a child..." phrase may happen more often than we know it. Chapter sixteen shows that there are three approaches and beliefs that psychodynamic therapists share and use to form a base to their approach.

These three are:

1. Causes of abnormal behavior can come from traumatic childhood events.
2. They strive to analyze.
3. If a client achieves insight into a past unconscious matter, the causes become clear and often cause the symptoms to disappear.
(Lilienfeld 636)

This blog only covers a fraction of what chapter sixteen is about, but you'll be surprised at how much of this you can connect to from what Hollywood has already created.

This first chapter of the book was a fairly general overview of psychology as a whole. The first section basically defined psychology as the scientific study of the brain mind, and behavior. I found that the interesting information came later in the chapter. I really enjoyed learning about pseudoscience. It was a semi- new concept to me, and I thought that it was interesting to see how predominant it is in my everyday life. Pseudoscience is all over, and is something that is somewhat over looked because it is so "normal" to us. An example of pseudoscience is the advertisements associated with weight loss, and how ridiculous their claims are.I really enjoy learning about things that pertain to me everyday life.
Later in the chapter the different types of psychology were mentioned, and I think it might be hard to keep them separated from one another. The definitions of each type is very similar to me. In the next portion I enjoyed learning about the different people associated with each section of psychology, and what they each had to contribute to what I will be learning about this semester. Overall, reading the first chapter got me excited for the semester, yet the idea of all of this memorization kind of freaks me.

Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 talks about what pschology is and how to tell the difference between science and psodoscience. The most interesting part of the chapter was when it talked about confirmation bias and naive realism. It is interesting to learn about times that our common sence is wrong. The list of common proverbs was also interesting. You would never realize how contradictory these sayings are without seeing them all together. Confirmation bias is also really interesting to learn about, everyone thinks that they are completely impartial and its everyone else who is twisting the facts but in reality, everyone has biases and everyone succumbs to them. This relates to another important part of the chapter which explains that overcomming and protecting against the influence of biases is one of the most important reasons that phycologists use the scientific meathod.

What do you see?

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Chapter four of our textbook explored the roles of sensation and perception and their relation to one another. In short, sensation is the detection of physical energy by our sensory organs, and perception is simply our brain's interpretation of these senses. One section that caught my attention discussed parallel processing; specifically talking about bottom-up processing, processing in which a whole is constructed from parts, and top-down processing, conceptually driven processing influenced by beliefs and expectancies. Take for instance this picture:
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Depending on your expectation, you may have either perceived a rat or an old man with spectacles. In other words, if you are more familiar with, or have encountered more often, an old man, you most likely saw the old man first. Likewise, if you have encountered or are more familiar with rats, then you most likely saw the rat first. The authors term this as perceptual sets, sets formed when expectations influenced perceptions. However our minds choose to interpret pictures or the like, we must always keep in mind that what we see may not always be what we get.

Chapter 11 is all about those tricky little things that dictate our lives: emotions. I was interested in the section discussing how to discern the emotions of others based upon their facial expressions. There are seven primary emotions (happiness, disgust, sadness, fear, surprise, contempt, and anger) that come across the faces of society in the same general manner. For example: Blog jpg

So, based off of the idea that emotions manifest themselves in the same general fashion, it should be easy to detect when people are lying, right? Unfortunately, no. Studies show that most people detect lies at barely over the accuracy of chance. There are, however, some tips for how to increase your chances of catching a liar. Listen to what they are saying, as opposed to how they are saying it. Contradictory to common thought, verbal cues are often more valid than non-verbal cues. Also, beware of those who are confident in their abilities, there is little or no correlation between someone's confidence to catch a liar and their actual ability.

Emotions are the centerfold of our lives, and are extraordinarily important to understand. Most of the time we can hardly understand our own, but with the aid of chapter eleven we can begin to understand not only ours, but those of the people surrounding us.

The Eye for the Tiger

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All eyes are not created equal, especially when talking about how an image is perceived.

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In the text, we are taught five challenges we face when studying psychology with one being that people's behavior is often shaped by culture. To exemplify this obstacle, the text describes a study done by Richard Nisbett. To study the differences among cultures, he used a simple picture of a tiger surrounded by rocks and trees to observe the eye movements of his subjects. He found that European Americans were drawn to the center of the photograph where the tiger was perched. On the contrary, though, the Asian Americans focused their attention on the scenery around the tiger. Despite grabbing my interest, I found his results to be in accordance with a concept I learned in Contemporary Management last semester.

During our topic on International Management, my professor addressed the need to respect the cultural differences that exist in society. In agreement with Nisbett's results, we learned that the European cultures tend to be very assertive in business negotiations. In connection to the photo of the tiger, the European Americans stared right at the tiger, signifying their audacity to "stare it straight in the eyes." On the other hand, Asian cultures are very collectivist, meaning they view themselves as one large society. This holds true with Nisbett's results such that the Asian Americans were looking around the perimeter of the picture, as to make sure that every part of the picture was just as important as the forefront.

No matter if we're talking about a picture of a tiger or doing a business deal, we should always remember to respect the cultural differences across societies.

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In chapter 2 you are introduced to the human brains faults. Because we are cognitive misers we are mentally lazy and try to conserve our mental energy by using heuristics. Heuristics are mental shortcuts that helps us to streamline our thinking and make sense of the world. There are two types of heuristics: representative and availability. Representative heuristics involves judging the probability of an even by its superficial similarity. This heuristic is like the saying judging a book by its cover. The availability heuristics involves estimating the likelihood of an occurrence based on the ease with which it comes to our minds like past knowledge or memories.
To help us over compensate these faults we have a toolbox of skills. We have the ability to do naturalistic observation by watching behavior in real world setting without trying to manipulate the situation with gives us high external validity but low internal validity. Second, we can use case studies to examine one person of a small number of people for an extended period of time to create existing proofs. Third, we have self-report measures, questionnaires, by using random selection to receive answers from a group. The negative part of using self-report is the halo effect and people are not always honest with their answers which could scew results. Fourth, we can look at the correlation between two things using a scatter plot.
The best way to make sure you have reliable information is using experimental design. Key aspects of an experimental design are that there is random assignment of participants to the conditions and manipulation of an independent variable. When doing any experiment ethical issues arise. In history scientist were testing what would happen to a patient if syphilis was untreated so without the patients consent they were never made aware that they have syphilis and were going untreated. In the end many died. Now, there is law that states there needs to be an informed consent.
Whenever you look at the data you need to be aware that information is not always portrayed truthfully. To make sure you are getting accurate information consider the source of the information and look out for sharpening and leveling and misleading balancing of opinions and sides.
This chapter was so interesting because it points out every day things that happen to me that did not realize. I am a person who says this happened because the "stars are aligned right." I after reviewing this chapter I think that my perception on things are going to be altered.
Another interesting part was looking at psychology as a experimental scientists. I have used the scientific method in science all through grade school. Now seeing it in a psychology class surprises me. This class is going to be a lot different then I expected. I am now excited to get in to the work and see what I discover.

Chapter 9

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Are older siblings wiser? Does schooling make us smarter? Can you boost your IQ 200 points in a matter of days?

All these questions and more are answered in Chapter 9: Intelligence and IQ testing. Analyzing the controversy and consensus among the various mysteries of intelligence is the primary focus in this chapter. Chapter 9 explores the different meanings of intelligence based on culture and theories. For example, do people with greater sense of hearing or smell have a higher level of intelligence as Sir Francis Galton tested? Or are people just strong in different types of intelligence as Robert Sternberg's Triarchic model shows.

Administered IQ tests date back to the 1920s when U.S. Congress passed laws that restricted immigration from other countries that were considered "low intelligence" (Lilienfeld 328) . Unlike these tests which were purposely designed for the non-English speakers who took them to fail, anyone can type "IQ Test" into the Google search bar and find a test that will declare them "genius." IQ tests administer different tests that asses various mental abilities. This includes facts, comprehension, arithmetic, vocab, symbols or visual puzzles like the one shown below.

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Correlations between a person's environment and their IQ have also been explored by psychologists. Mysteries of why an older sibling has a higher IQ than the younger sibling and if twins separated at birth produce different levels of intelligence have been tested.
Whether IQ tests accurately calculate one's intelligence or not they stand as one of psychology's best-known and controversial accomplishments.

Is Psychology a "hard" science? Many people debate that Psychology is not a "hard" science, such as Chemistry, Physics, or Biology. For my first blog entry I was assigned to take a closer look at chapter one, Psychology and Scientific Thinking. Let's find out what it entails!

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Chapter one introduces the reader to the basics of psychology. It discusses Psychology as a study that has multiple levels of analysis that go from biological influences to social and cultural aspects. This introductory explained the differences between a scientific theory, an explanation for a large number of findings, and a hypothesis, which is a testable prediction from a theory.
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What struck me the most interesting in the chapter was pseudoscience, which is defined as a set of claims that might seem scientific but really aren't. Pseudoscience is all around us in everyday life in ads like extreme weight loss diets, newspaper articles, surgical procedure claims, and many more! I can admit I have fallen for some pseudo scientific claims myself! A few warning signs the chapter gave for this include exaggerated claims, absence of other research, use of fancy scientific-sounding terms, and talking about "proof" rather than "evidence". A pseudoscience claim could be "A breakthrough new Chicken noodle soup diet can help loose 20 lbs a week!"

Other topics the chapter covered included logical fallacies, how to think scientifically, a bit on Psychology's history, theoretical perspectives of Psychology, and some typical jobs for Psychologists!

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A brief overview of Chapter 9: Intelligence and IQ Testing

Overall the chapter defines in great detail what exactly intelligence is, what intelligence testing is, what it measures and how it has evolved, the influences that can effect the results of an IQ test and other dimensions that affect our intelligence by varying it. What strikes me as most interesting in the text is how intelligence varies greatly. Intelligence can vary from abstract thinking, to general thinking and all the way down to specific abilities. The capacity of intelligence that a person has to fulfill specific abilities, depends on how we can narrow our overall general intelligence that we have gathered over a period of time down to a task that requires a certain kind of intelligence that we have gathered that is specifically relevant to the task. Such as our ability to problem solve (general intelligence) and examine the location of objects in physical space (specific abilities), allows us to have a specific ability of intelligence for varying things. For example a specific ability would be determining how many L-shaped figures we could fit into a square. The L-shaped figures and the square would be separate of each other but right next to each other. That will allow for the brain to use problem solving while thinking through the problem of how many L-shaped figures can effectively fit into the square, in addition to that we use specific abilities of intelligence to determine the amount of physical space of the two items. Intelligence is compiled of several different aspects and is more complex than what meets the eye.

Needs Work: "Deja Vu"

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The tendency of feeling that you lived past through that moment and going through the same experience is something that I struggle with everyday. Usually, it's a feeling that I get that I said thing before, or I have done this thing before. One day, I had a math exam and the night before I was dreaming that I was taking the exam, so I could remember all the questions very clearly. When I woke up and REALLY went to do my exam I saw some of the questions that was on my dream. I was really freaked out about the Idea that I knew the questions before even seeing them. It is a very interesting phenomena to witness and withhold such an amazing theory and to be the lab rat of that experiment.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3qVqNPDnD8

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"The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes..." (Audrey Hepburn)

Perhaps Ms. Hepburn knows what she's talking about. Page 137 of our psychology text books states that "The dilation (expansion) of the pupil also has a psychological significance." Psychologists have discovered that the pupil dilates when we find somebody physically attractive.

The book hypothesizes that people with larger pupils are found more attractive. This could be because we are attracted to those who are attracted to us (http://www.sosuave.com/articles/lookinto.htm). So ladies, if you find a guy attractive don't hide your eyes, show them off. It could work to your advantage.

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I was intrigued by these claims and wanted to find more. Being a student of the 21st century, I hopped on Google. I was surprised to discover how much our eyes really do convey. I found out the following things on a psychology today website (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201007/beauty-is-in-the-eye). Our eyes say a lot about our emotions, such as happy or sad. When we're happy our eyes also tend to dilate, but when we're sad they contract. Furthermore, when we see a sad face our pupils will contract as well, revealing compassion.

Fear can also make our eyes dilate. Big-Eyes-animal-humor-4515746-1280-800.jpg

Pupils also have to do with our memory. The website above states that when we learn something new our eyes dilate while we're storing it into our memories. When we draw information from memories already stored our eyes dilate once again.

While our eyes may not be "windows to our soul" per se, they do reveal a lot. So for you dark and mysterious types out there you may want to grab a pair of dark Oakleys. Those of you looking for a friend, keep your eyes "wide open" and don't be afraid of a little eye contact.

Writing 1 Instructions

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For this first blog post, you will be assigned a textbook chapter to look over. Here are Kate's instructions:

In your discussion section this first week, you have been assigned a chapter from the Lilienfeld textbook (see below for your chapter). For your first blog entry, first spend 10 or 15 minutes previewing this chapter. You don't have to read it in depth, just look through it, paying attention to what kinds of things are going to be covered there.

In your blog entry--remember, we're looking for 200 words or less--summarize for your readers what this chapter is about; in particular, what struck you? Spend most of your time describing to your readers what you found most interesting in this chapter. Why?

Can you find and upload a visual to support what you have written?

Look for your username below to see what chapter you should talk about:

Chapter 1

lint0059@umn.edu, bear0211@umn.edu, bevac008@umn.edu, bodd0021@umn.edu, carl3865@umn.edu,

Chapter 2

chao0073@umn.edu, cull0117@umn.edu, dayxx298@umn.edu, edwar589@umn.edu, elba0012@umn.edu,

Chapter 3

flann074@umn.edu, frec0028@umn.edu, giord023@umn.edu, herrm075@umn.edu, kelly585@umn.edu,

Chapter 4

lannu003@umn.edu, leex5566@umn.edu, leex5603@umn.edu, lemma010@umn.edu, lyons206@umn.edu,

Chapter 5

mann0394@umn.edu, mcqu0123@umn.edu, moser144@umn.edu, neuma275@umn.edu, omeog008@umn.edu,

Chapter 6

pazur004@umn.edu, perry350@umn.edu, rieck053@umn.edu, rozm0025@umn.edu, shame004@umn.edu, skaar067@umn.edu, stel0161@umn.edu,

Chapter 7

thaox609@umn.edu, thaox560@umn.edu, turg0063@umn.edu, vang1165@umn.edu, xuxxx809@umn.edu, yanxx247@umn.edu,

Chapter 8

alle0518@umn.edu, and01697@umn.edu, beckm207@umn.edu, bies0040@umn.edu, biwer011@umn.edu,

Chapter 9

bjor0335@umn.edu, borch183@umn.edu, bouch113@umn.edu, chenx750@umn.edu, chen2508@umn.edu,

Chapter 10

conlo047@umn.edu, dolec003@umn.edu, gaust024@umn.edu, hahnx214@umn.edu, hann0217@umn.edu,

Chapter 11

hendr748@umn.edu, hurle131@umn.edu, kolli035@umn.edu, landb041@umn.edu, maass040@umn.edu,

Chapter 12

mill5652@umn.edu, mill5579@umn.edu, neilx035@umn.edu, nguy1731@umn.edu, seube020@umn.edu,

Chapter 13

shimo035@umn.edu, somor003@umn.edu, tazel004@umn.edu,

Chapter 14

ullma027@umn.edu, vanre012@umn.edu, wagen057@umn.edu,

Chapter 15

wanxx072@umn.edu, wang3176@umn.edu, warne349@umn.edu,

Chapter 16

whit1618@umn.edu, wunde066@umn.edu, zimmx011@umn.edu

How to Post--The Basics

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**NOTE: More detailed instructions are available in the syllabus. I highly recommend you read those as well as these. Both sets of instructions have important information you need to know before posting.**

The first thing to remember about posting is that you should always log in through the UThink Blogs page rather than using an external link to the blog. This should take you to the dashboard page, which is where you want to post from. It is possible to post a different way once you are into the blog itself rather than your dashboard, but doing so will create all kinds of problems for you.

Once you are logged in this way, you can create a post in our blog, which is called Psy 1001 Section 04-05 Spring 2012. Some students have accidentally created their own separate blog and posted there, so be sure that Psy 1001 Section 04-05 Spring 2012 is displayed on the dashboard in the upper left corner. Once you have done this, go to the "Create" menu and then select "Entry" to make a new post.

Now it's time to file your post in the correct category. This crucial step allows me to find your post and grade it, and since it's so important you will lose points if you fail to do it. All you have to do is go to the "Categories" box in the lower right corner of the posting screen and select the correct category. If your class meets at 12:20, then you are in Section 4, and if it meets at 1:25, then you are Section 5. If you are in Section 4 and are working on the second blog assignment, then you should put that post in Writing 2; Section 4. Even if you missed your first post, still put it in Writing 2 and not Writing 1.

Without exceptions, there are always students who forget to do the category step on every blog assignment; it is probably the most common mistake in posting. It is important to note that it is not my responsibility to track down your post if you do not put it in the right place. Therefore, please check Blackboard to make sure that you have received a grade for each entry. If you are missing a grade, just send me a working link to your post and I'll take care of it.

Note that I may not grade posts until all posts for a given writing assignment are in. Since each writing assignment is done at different times by different groups (A,B,C,D), don't worry if you don't get a grade right away. I try to get grades in within one week of the last group's submissions (see the syllabus for the posting schedule).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2012 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.