April 2012 Archives

Five Years Time

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It's hard to say what I'll remember from this class five years from now. It's hard to say where I'll be even a year from now. Although in a year I'll most likely still be at school here at the U. I know I'll forget many things between now and five years from now. To be quite honest I've forgotten some things already.
FORGETFULNESS-1jpg.jpgHowever there will be some things that I'm sure will stick with me. Our memory capacity for one. I know I don't keep information all that easily, but I start to think about the psychological reasons now as opposed to it being just genetics (I blame a lot of my forgetfulness on my mother).
personality1.bmpI'm sure I'll also remember some things about personality and abnormal psych. One reason is because I'm taking those classes next semester, so that might be cheating in this case. However in this general psych class I also believe that I learned a few more things about personality and abnormal psych that I didn't know before. I always thought I had a general idea of what abnormal psych was, but now I know that abnormal psych is a much more controversial topic than I had initially thought.
It's really hard to say what I'll even remember next week, let alone in five years from this class. But I like to believe that I'll remember a few of the things that I mentioned. However, try as I might, I'm always going to be thinking about the psychological reasons behind what I do. I might not have all the answers, but I'm always going to be thinking about how a psychologist might classify my actions.

When I think over all the things I have learned this year in Psych 1001, one of the first things that come to mind as something that I will remember down the line is definitely when we learned about the famous Milgram Experiment. The participants were told to administer electric shocks on the subjects taking the test. Each wrong response by the person "in the other room" results in a higher shock administered on them by the participants. As the voltages increased, an unbelievable thing happens. Even though they can hear the "painful" reactions of the person they believe is taking their test, amazingly the participants continue to proceed with the process. All because the experimenters claim it is absolutely necessary to go all the way until the words were learned. When watching this, it is shocking to see that just because they are told to continue by an authority figure, the participants shock the learner under the impression they could be seriously injured.


It is very hard to imagine that people would act like this, and wonder if you yourself could act similarly in like situations. It is unreal that 62% of participants administered what would have been lethal shock to the learners. I bet most people would never believe they would go that far, but more than half would be wrong...

Five Year Impressions

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If there is one thing that I will take away from this course, and retain over the next five years, i would remember that correlation doesn't mean causation.

correltaion vs causation cartoon

There have already been many circumstances that I've personally brought this up in conversation, but usually because it is in an debate scenario. An outstanding example of this are the (generally) opposite views on motorcycles! My parents consistently hear about motorcycle accidents on the news, radio, and so on, but when was the last time anyone heard a news story that Timmy made it safely back home on his bike?
most inspirational kid ever bike rider_thumb[1].jpg
More likely than not, this one sided view promotes the correlation versus causation fallacy. My favorite is "Motorcyclists get into more crashes and thus are less responsible drivers": on the contrary, there are many more things that a cyclist needs to account for, so this correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. Has anyone else used the correlation versus causation fallacy? (some awesome bikes below :D)

Psychology Today happiness.jpg

It's hard to pick one concept from psych that I believe will stick with me in 5 years. I find all the theories, ideas, terminology we've learned in Psych 1001 intertwine in some way. What I have come to highlight the most are the 6 principals of scientific thinking. Once clear, the ease to understand the rest comes a lot quicker.

What I can say unquestionably that I take with me is a new perspective, a renaissance of my state of mind. Psychology has defined some of my thoughts that always went unanswered.

It helped diminish ignorance on issues I use to see in only black and white. One topic that I would use for this validation is individual differences. From our DNA, to our brain chemistry, we perceive and learn in diverse ways and this undeniably affects how we carry out our lives. Judgments and inaccurate conclusions are things I'll try to no longer jump to. I have learned that understanding the deeper meaning relies on more than what meets the eye.

I've never planned to pursue a career in psychology or claim it as a major but I will continue to build on the knowledge this course has laid out for me. One way I plan to do this is through reading. There are so many websites, journals, articles, books, and blogs out there that I plan to take advantage of. One for instance is the website for the articles they posted for this blog assignment.

Another excellent site is www.psychologytoday.com where they have a variety of topics.

Blogs by licensed psychologists also offer interesting information from a counseling point of view. One that I find thought provoking is by a local clinical psychologist from St. Paul. This blog has posts on issues that we all can relate to some degree, like relationships and stress.


If you're like me and found your first psychology experience to be inspiring, keep reading and learning about it. Because being familiar with the basis of human mind and behavior can be helpful in any aspect of life.

Is Conformity Always Bad?

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The concept of psychology that I found most interesting throughout the semester, and the one I will likely remember for years to come, is the controversial issue of conformity. Obviously there are strong arguments for both sides, while watching the experiments presented in discussion, I found myself wondering: is conformity always a bad thing? Upon doing some research, I decided the answer to this question is no. An article published on Helium.com, suggests that conformity allows individuals to more easily accomplish goals. Furthermore, many groups that have been founded on the idea of uniformity have moved toward positive actions and tend to be very protective of its group members. That isn't to say individualism shouldn't be valued, but at some point, everyone needs to conform. For example, upon graduation, I hope to land a good job at a well-respected company. While I may think of it as unique to arrive at the interview with neon green hair, it is likely that I will not be offered the job as many people could see my appearance as a distraction. A certain amount of conformity is necessary to succeed in most professional settings. So, next time you wish to "stand out" and be unique, think about the future and the impact non-conformity could have on your future.


I'd Rather Stand Alone

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Many people assume that "several heads are better than one," but is that necessarily true? In many studies conducted, it actually demonstrates that individual brainstorming is more effective than group brainstorming because groups tend to come up with fewer and less creative ideas than individuals. Groups also often overestimate how successful they are at producing new ideas, which may explain why brainstorming is so popular. If someone thinks that they are creating brilliant ideas by combining brainpower, they are most likely to continue brainstorming within a group. However, below are two reasons why group brainstorming is less effective than individual brainstorming.
1.) group members may be anxious about being evaluated by others, leading them to hold back potentially good ideas.
2.) When brainstorming in groups, people frequently tend to "free ride" : They sit back and let others do the work, while they still get credit for the group as a whole. (Also could be called social loafing, a phenomenon in which people slack off in groups)


Find Sense in Nonsense

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I'd have to say that the concept of science and pseudoscience will stay with me all of my life because it has always been an integral part of my thought process and since I am seeking a major in physics, it will continue to be incredibly relevant. However, it goes beyond just my major and potential careers. I have always been very concerned with other people's perspectives and how they develop such perspectives. I've been known as a very hard-hitting debater and always seek to learn how other people have come to their conclusions and I always test their reasoning against what I believe to be true. That being said, the concept of science vs. pseudoscience is a powerful tool to know to keep one's self as objective as humanly possible.


The world often does not make sense, especially with all of the people in the world with their own unique interpretation of existence. This combination makes understanding to be even more abstract and hard to grasp requiring people to keep a scientific mind to better themselves and the world around them to hopefully find consensus with one another on as many topics as possible in order to progress as a whole and individually. Just imagine how far the United States would get if politicians could come to consensus on their topics...it's almost a scary thought, but exciting too!

Peace with Politiicians.jpg

Classical Conditioning

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One concept that I have learned this year in Psychology that I will remember five years down the road will probably have to do with Pavlov's research and discoveries regarding classical conditioning. When I first learned about Pavlov's experiments with German shepherds it made me think of my own dog and how we got her to learn tricks. It's funny, sometimes when I make her do tricks I even think of Pavlonian conditioning and how she was able to learn how to do the trick because of the conditioning process.
The thing about classical conditioning that I think is unique is that it doesn't only apply to dogs. It applies to humans too, and in more ways than I thought. As a refresher, classical conditioning is based on acquisition-the learning phase that a conditioned response is established, and extinction-the gradual reduction and elimination of the conditioned response.
Phobias and addiction to drugs are hugely based on classical conditioning. A person can overcome their fear when they are repeatedly presented with the conditioned stimulus. The conditioned response may be large at first but overtime it will gradually get smaller (extinction). And when dealing with drugs, we saw that when an individual is exposed to the drug and does not take it to receive the effects, eventually their desire and craving to use the drug will diminish.
I've learned a lot about human behavior and how we function in this psychology class, but I think that a lot of our behaviors come back to the idea of classical conditioning. And I don't think I'll be forgetting it anytime soon.

When reviewing the material that has been taught over the course of this psychology 1001 class, one may find themselves wondering what will be remembered when they look back five years from now. On a personal level, I believe the one topic that has stood out to me and will be remembered is the controversial nature vs. nurture debate. The nature versus nurture debate discusses the relative importance of an individual's natural qualities against personal experiences in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. The nature side of this debate stresses how much of an individual character is based on biological factors. For example, genes are activated at appropriate times during development and are the foundation for protein production. Proteins have a wide range of molecules, such as hormones and enzymes that act influence direct development in the body. When looking at the influence of genes in the Nature vs. Nature debate there has been found to be a change in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene. The discovery of this inherited, genetic "happiness gene" is evidence for the nature side of the debate when looking at life satisfaction. On the other hand, The nurture side emphasizes how much of an organism is based on environmental factors. In reality, it is most likely an interaction of both genes and environment, nature and nurture, that affect the development of a person. Genes and the environment must be in sync for normal development. Even if a person has inherited genes for taller than average height, the person may not grow to be as tall as genetically possible if they aren't given proper nutrition. I believe I will remember this debate because of its currently a well known issue in the social world. This will cause me to hear about it through some form of images.jpg

A popular adage states that high school teaches you what to think, while college teaches you how to think. Reflecting on my experience in the PSY 1001 course, the latter definitely rings true.

One concept from the class that I will certifiably remember the most in five years and beyond is the framework for scientific thinking and skepticism we learned at the very beginning of the semester. In a few years, I may not be able to recount all the details of the sleep cycle, elaborate on each theory of cognitive development, or describe the anatomy of the central nervous system. However, I will forever apply the logic of the six principles of scientific thinking when presented with new assertions and information.


The seven words "rival causes falsify repeated claims, Mr. Occam," is more than just a mnemonic device that helped me through exams. It equipped me with a new basis for how to think critically about various claims and arguments. For example, how often have we run into situations in which we're presented with a claim that's literally incapable of being disproved (falsifiability)? Like how Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy "magically" appear only when we're sleeping.

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One of the most important psychological principles, in my opinion, is that correlation isn't causation. For example, my friend once humorously asserted the following: "I have skin. Potatoes have skin. Therefore, I am a potato."

While the specifics of each subject in psychology are worth knowing, nothing will prove more useful or more applicable to me than the principles of scientific thinking. I haven't just learned what to think, I've learned how to think.

Personality is a defining factor in our everyday lives. It affects how we interact with others and how we understand ourselves. In five years I will remember the big five personality traits. The big five personality traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. By knowing and understanding a person's score on the big five personality traits you can learn a lot about who they are and what they are likely friendship.jpgto enjoy. Being aware of someone's personality traits can help you interact with them better and promote a relationship. I will not only remember the big five personality traits in the future but also use them to help get along with others. For example if someone scores low on openness to experience then maybe they would prefer to do something that they have done before and is therefore in their comfort zone rather than try something new. Knowing the big five can also help explain why some people don't get along and just can't seem to be friends. Their personality traits could be on opposite sides which means they probably enjoy very different things and act very differently from one another. The big five personality traits can also give insight into someone's fears and desires. Someone who scores low in extraversion will probably be uncomfortable and possibly afraid of being forced to talk to and be around large groups of people for an extended amount of time.

5 years from now

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The psychology concept I think I will remember five years from now is the whole idea of environmental pressures making people do things that they know are wrong. Just watching those experiments really shook me up with the shocking of the learners at gradually higher voltage for wrong answers to see how far the "teacher" would go. I was just so shocked that such a high percentage of people continued giving higher voltages until it reached the level that would have killed a person.
However, I do not know why I am so shocked when Hitler proved that environmental pressure could be a successful way of killing years ago. I guess what this really taught me was to never underestimate environmental pressures and what they can do to someone. Especially the ones who we least expect it. At the end of the day I hope we can overcome environmental pressures and not be afraid to do what we think is right.

The Big Five In My Future

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Five years from now, I hope to be in a business-related field and there is one concept we touched on this year in psychology that will without a doubt help me in my career. The Big Five personality assessment is the concept that will definitely play a part in my future. It could come into play in making hiring decisions and how to arrange employees to work better together. The main business field that would utilize the Big Five is obviously human resources. They distinguish who gets hired based on various tests, including the Big Five, and numerous interviews. This is not the only field that could use the Big Five, but it will play a role regardless of what career I choose to pursue.
I can think of a real world example that uses a system much like this. I read an article about IBM in which they describe an extensive system that allows them to dictate who works better together and place them into distinct groups. The large database that holds all the information on employees factors in tests, such as the Big Five, but also looks into workplace relationships between employees and even more specific ideas like musical taste and family structure. I remember that this system was controversial because it factored in a lot of person's home life and very nosey. However, it does show the effectiveness of performing the Big Five test and others like it to put employees together to help create a better product.


Sticky Situations: Stress

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Hands down, no question in my mind: chapter 12 will probably be the most prevalent material these next few years of my life. We all heard the stories of how fun, yet stressful college life can be and now are living testament to that fact. College is definitely a stressful time in one's life, especially during finals. student_stress.jpg
After reading chapter 12, I have a better understanding of how stress can affect myself mentally, emotionally, and of course, physically. This year, I also took part in a month-long REP study which measured how I currently handled stressful situations and then instructed me on how to improve those methods. With the help of this study, I have learned how to focus on something called present control. Present control teaches individuals to basically focus their efforts and concerns on present matters which are in an individual's control, rather than ruminating on the negative aspects of the situation. This study, conducted by Sam Hintz, has taught me to focus on aspects of life which I can control, such as how I handle a situation; is pointless for me to ruminate on my up-coming tests and finals by wishing I had more time to prepare-that isn't going to happen! Finals are set in place and will not move, so I should focus on what I can control about the situation (such as my mindset, behaviors, etc) instead of things which are out of my control. This way of thinking helps to decrease the ways in which my stress affects me. I feel as if these lessons on stress will be important throughout the rest of my life, especially the years spent here in college studying for high-stress situations.

The fact that dozens of people saw and heard Kitty Genovesse get stabbed to death over a half hour span in Kew Gardens, New York and did nothing blows my mind. Another situation that blew my mind was the girl in California who was gang raped for over two hours outside a school dance, and nobody else bothered to call the police. Because of these situations, it will be easy for me to remember the bystander effect and diffusion of responsibility, which is how we tell ourselves that we don't have to do anything because someone else will, for at least the next five years and most likely for the rest of my life. I find it appalling that nobody there did anything to save that girls life or stop that girl from being raped. These situations, our lectures, and the textbook made it clear that because of the rationalization we have in our thought process, we should just do our natural instinct and help people who are need of help.

Starting to Get Sleepy

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In five years if I am thinking about that psychology class from freshman year, I hope that something will have stuck with me. As of now the thing that I think I will remember is the effect that sleep can have on our brains. I had always heard the stories that a person needs so much sleep otherwise they won't function as well as possible. But it wasn't until this class that I learned the types of things that could come from lack of sleep, as well as the symptoms of sleep disorders. Chapter Five's information made me think about how much sleep I was getting and the things I was doing before going to bed that might make it harder to fall asleep. Since reading the chapter I've started to make a conscious effort to try and get the sleep I need, as well as attempted to increase my odds at lucid dreaming.

Once I began noticing how much better it was to have a healthy amount of sleep throughout weeks of classes and studying, there was no way to forget about it. That is part of the reason I'm thinking that the topic of sleep in psychology will stick with me for at least five years.

Picture: http://www.sleepawareness.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/how-to-lucid-dreaming.jpg

Preemie Me

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I believe that the concept that will stick with me most was from the first of Professor Koenig's lectures. Toward the end she talked about premature babies and brain development, and that bit really grabbed my attention because I was a preemie. I have always been super curious about how that has affected me in the long run. While I was not in the hospital quite as long as the poor babies in the video, I was still 6 weeks early and was 4.5 pounds when they took me home (I was about the length of a Barbie... if I was home, I totally would have scanned the picture my mom took of me next to a Barbie to prove it). Anyway, the video said that later in life, one effect of being born premature can be trouble prioritizing. This made a light bulb go off in my head. Sure, I think that the busy world I live in has something to do with this problem I have. However, I have always struggled with that one thing--prioritizing. It has caused a lot of unneeded stress in my life, and I've tried to fix it, but it's been difficult to do so. In the end, I will now always wonder if my early birth has anything to do with that...

...and those aren't my feet, by the way.

Before you say "I DO"

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I really enjoyed this psychology class, but I would have to say that chapter eleven will be the chapter that I remember most in 5 years from now. Being able to connect to what I am doing in school makes it much more easier to remember. I found chapter eleven super interesting because it had to do with relationships and LOVE. I found it really interesting to learn about what most guys look for in a woman, and how it differs so much from what a women looks for in a man. I enjoyed learning about the triangular love theory that demonstrates the three sides of love. I totally agree with Sternberg's three major elements of love. According to Sternberg intimacy, passion, and commitment are the three most important aspects of love. I think that these three aspects are essential to having a healthy relationship, and that a relationship cannot survive if even one of these is missing. So before you say I DO make sure that you have share all three of these aspects with your partner. I loved being able to personally connect to subject matter, and that is why I think I will remember it for the next 5 years!!

All semester I have been anxiously awaiting the Abnormal Psychology chapter. Things such as Disassociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia have always fascinated me, but the most interesting topic of all, and the one that I'll remember in five years, is about psychopathic personalities.


My senior year of high school I dated an extremely charming boy on and off throughout most of the school year. Around the spring time, however, I noticed a lack of empathy or guilt regarding anything emotionally whatsoever. I started to notice how frequently he lied and that every thing seemed to be about him. You would think that I would've ended the relationship far sooner than I had, but his charm always had a way of bringing me back in. It isn't until taking this class that I realized why something was never quite right about him: he has a psychopathic personality.

Reading chapter 15 has helped me develop a deeper understanding of how people with this disorder function, and how to spot them. Although some people may possess one of the many characteristics of PP, this course has taught me how to spot those that contain the majority of them and to raise concern for those that do.

More Is Not Always Better

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On January 21, 2006 Ilan Halimi was kidnapped in Paris by at least 20 Moroccan's and tortured for 24 days. Many people in the apartment complex that he had been taken to had heard the commotion and many came to watch the gruesome torture. No one ever called the police and Halimi died on February 13, 2006. This is a violent example of the bystander effect. Halimi's life could have easily been saved if any one of the neighbor's in the apartment had called the cops.
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One explanation for the bystander effect is that people feel the "need to behave in correct and socially acceptable ways." What this means is that when people see that nobody else is reacting to the situation, they feel that it may be inappropriate to do something about the situation. Another explanation for the bystander effect is "diffusion of responsibility." This just means that the more people that are witnessing an event, the less likely an individual feels that it is their responsibility to act because the responsibility is shared among all those present. All of the neighbors in Halimi's case heard all of the commotion but did not call the police because they thought probably thought that somebody else will call the police and it is not their responsibility. The bystander effect is a terrible thing especially if someone's life could be saved if someone would just take action and help them.

Without a doubt, one of the most applicable concepts in this course is how to cope with stress. No matter what path one chooses in life, you cannot get away from stress. So, learning the right way to deal with this stress is without a doubt one of the most important skills in life.Thumbnail image for meme.jpeg

Depending on your college path, we're going to have to deal with finals twice a year for at most 3 more years. Using informational control coping strategies, like proactive coping by starting to study to avoid some of the stress of cramming for everyone's upcoming finals. Also, maintaining physical activity throughout the year and during finals week can lower the amount of time we spend ruminating on stressful finals. This also can reduce the effect of stressful finals or the aftermath of a bad grade or on our long-term heart health by promoting oxygen use in the body and lowering blood pressure. Along with exercise, maintaining a decently healthy diet can help reduce stress as well. That means limiting the cases of Redbull and McDonald's that we eat.

In 5 years or whenever you finish school, after our last finals, things will probably get even more stressful as we go out into the real world and try to find a sustainable job. So, making sure that we remember these useful tips that help us stay sane in the short run and alive in the long run is definitely a good idea.b70-305x305.jpg

You continually see advertisements, and things in the news or media that use anecdotal evidence or use correlation statistics to try and make a point. One thing that psychology has taught me is to be skeptical about these things but at the same time keeping an open mind about the evidence that they are presenting. This is something that I will remember five years from now. Something that you should ask questions about is correlation studies, you need to look for different causes of correlation between two topics. An example of this is the correlation between children watching violent television shows and in turn playing violent with their peers afterward. One may conclude that watching violent television causes violent behaviors, but there could also be a third variable that could cause the violent behavior, such as the children being more prone to violent behavior in the first place.
Psychology may have taught me to be skeptical about these studies but it has also taught me that you should not just dismiss new information because there could be another explanation. You need to keep an open mind when confronted with new evidence, and if the evidence is strong enough then at that point switch your thoughts on that topic. Being skeptical and asking question but at the same time keeping an open mind will help me filter out all of the nonsense in media to streamline my thought process towards the facts and not opinions and that is why I believe that I will remember this five years from now.

Gender Freedom

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One of the concepts I found interesting, as well as appalling, was the concept that gender, while clearly biological, is also defined by our society. Now, of course it is important to define gender, but we take it to far when we expect an individual to submit to society's idea of what that gender is. Baby boys are usually given blue socks and baby girls are usually given pink socks. Our society has become one that does not allow individuals to easily explore their own gender. Instead, we use their own anatomies against them, forcing them live their lives according to society's expectations. Many people do not feel that their biological gender is the gender that they wish to express and fueling the stereotypes of man and woman that we already have in place, only cements in them the idea that they have no choice but to live in a way that they may find uncomfortable. I think anyone who identifies as a transgender person is very brave to push the limits of our gender stereotypes. The tragedy is when transgender people are met with violence for expressing the gender they believe fits them the best. How long will it take for us to break down the gender stereotypes that have been dictating the lives of people across the country? Everyone has a right to identify with whatever gender they deem appropriate and they have a right to express themselves as such. When will our society allow everyone this gender freedom?
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Whether it is five, ten, or fifteen years in the future I think the thing that I will remember from this psychology course will be how our memory systems work. This was so interesting because memory is something that is used in our everyday lives. For example, simply writing this post is accessing my long-term memory of the topics discussed in chapter 7! The thing that was much different from my previous idea of how memory worked was that I never realized how short our short-term memory truly was. In the book and lecture is states that the average time things are in short term memory are only about 15-20 seconds and then they are either put into long-term memory or lost. So while short-term memory may be good for taking notes, it is the long-term memory that carries everything we need to know. Additionally, understanding how memory works allows us to change how we study in order to best remember information. Finally, one thing in the book that struck me as amazing was that our memories can hold as much information as up to 500 complete sets of Encyclopedia Britannica!


So if you going to choose one thing to remember from this course, it may as well be how you remember!

The Psychology of Sex

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What I think most students our age will really remember and carry with us into the future is the psychology of sex and gender in society. What interests not only myself, but many other peers of mine the most is the differences and similarities between men and women. This particular part of psychology is not limited to just the physical aspects of sex and attraction between men and women, but also the natural tendencies and behaviors associated with each gender. I could not find a single person who has not always wondered why the opposite gender always acts a certain way in certain situations. Whether men ask "why are girls so emotional?" or if women states "all guys think about is sex". On the surface, the common answers to these various questions and statements which most people see as the truth do not do justice to the true answers that psychology has revealed. The psychology of sex helps explain why men and women act in certain ways, and also helps explain the mental processes and rationals that each gender experiences. These topics are some of the most interesting topics covered in psychology, and I believe that for this reason it will stick not only with me, but many others in the future.



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My mother loves mantras. One of her favorites is: KISS or Keep It Simple, Stupid. Throughout my life, she has applied KISS to many different situations. For example, she knows I love to plan fun events for friends and family. She also knows, however, that I like to go overboard and make really complex plans. She would have to repeatedly say, "KISS, Sarah, KISS!" Another example is when I was acting like the typical teenage girl and overanalyzing the actions of the boy I liked, she would tell me to calm down and KISS. Lastly, whenever I worried about a paper and getting a good grade, her advice would be KISS. SOCIALLY AWKWARD PENGUIN

Psychology 1001 taught me KISS is more universal than I once thought. Besides my mother, psychologists use KISS in the context of Occam's Razor. This guideline in psychology refers to when "[...] two explanations account equally well for a phenomenon [...]" (25), we should generally use the simpler one. By not getting muddled in the details of a complex explanation, we can embrace simplicity when considering explanations. While this method is not always correct, it has proven to be more reliable than not.

So the next time you're analyzing the "true" meaning behind someone's words, think KISS and apply Occam's Razor to your everyday life.

Throughout the semester I found Baumrind's parenting styles to be very interesting and helpful to those who are intending on having a family with children. There are 3 different styles in which he explains being permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. Permissive parents tend to be too lenient with their children allowing too much freedom, causing very little discipline. Authoritarian parents tend to be too strict giving children little opportunity for free play and are punished when not responding appropriately to demands. But, Baumrind said that the best parenting style is authoritative which simply combines the best features of permissive and authoritarian worlds. Parents tend to be supportive with their kids but set clear and firm limits.
Finding the picture above connected with me very well as I have friends that clearly show that this diagram is correct. While learning about Baumrind and his theory on parenting styles I thought about my central group of friends and connected their life to how their parents raised them. Majority correlated perfectly with what the diagram says and of course there are the few who are outliers but this you will find with any experiment. It makes me wonder what parent wouldn't want to use the authoritative parenting style, all in all results show your kid will end up on the best path.


Let's be honest here for a minute, when does one ever see an elderly couple be sexually active. Now, I am not saying that I want to see this, but because it is not portrayed as a commonality everyone has the false idea that as one ages sexual activities cease. The truth is that many people are still sexually active well into their seventies and eighties. There is a larger chance they are still active if they are healthy and are sharing their life with a significant other. There are some statistics to put it in a better view: three-fourths of married men and 56 percent of married women are sexually active over age 60 and 30 percent of women 80 to 102 years old. When I first read these numbers my mind was blown! I ended up sharing this information to everyone I knew. The unfortunate part for the ladies is that at age 80 women are only able to pick from 39 men to every 100 women...those are some slim pickin's. This psychology information about frequency of sexual activities and aging is something that will stick with me for years and is something I will remember when I am older. You never know what percent you may be in. My best advice is to find someone you can grow old and gray with.

The one thing that I think I will remember from psychology five years from now are the six scientific thinking principles. The six scientific thinking principles are ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor. The concept of these six principles has been reiterated throughout the whole textbook so I have become very familiar. They are basically glued into my mind at this point. These principles go beyond psychology and I think that these things can apply to many different situations in life.

For example, somebody might make a comment saying "the beach is packed because it is sunny," which relates to the correlation vs. causation principle because one thing may not cause the other. It also could relate to ruling out rival hypotheses because an alternate explanation could be because it's on a weekend and less people have to work.
Another example is in court cases. The persecutor might make a claim that the defendant is guilty. In this situation they would have to see if the evidence is as strong as the claim made by the persecutor. This relates to the extraordinary claims principle.
With that said, I think I will remember the scientific thinking principles because they relate to many situations in everyday life.

Treating Autism

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Five years from now, I think I will still remember learning about how autism symptoms can be completely eliminated from children through the use of operant conditioning. The concept of operant conditioning seems very basic and intuitive, but the fact that it can be used to transform severely autistic children into normally functioning children is amazing. The treatment works like this: normal behaviors, such as talking, sitting still, making eye contact, and grooming oneself are reinforced with a reward in the form of something the child likes. Behaviors characteristic of autism, such as throwing tantrums, self-stimulation, and repetitive movements are ignored and not rewarded, eventually leading to their extinguishment.

This kind of treatment, pioneered by Ivar Lovaas in 1987, is called applied behavior analysis (ABA). In the original study, a group of children received 40 hours of intense ABA therapy per week and were followed up years later when they were in high school. The children were indistinguishable from their peers, and some of them were even in advanced classes and were planning on attending college. This most likely would not have been possible had they not gone through the treatment program. The fact that ABA is still used today as a form of therapy shows how successful the treatment has been. Here are just a few companies that advertise ABA treatment: AIM, Maximum Potential Kids, and Maxim Healthcare Services.

Many times in life people go through terrible events that can cause a lot of stress on them. Because of this, some people develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); a condition that sometimes follows extremely stressful life events. Its symptoms include efforts to avoid reminders of the trauma, feeling detached or estranged from others, and increase in arousal. However, the symptom most widely known for PTSD is flashbacks. Flashbacks are vivid memories, feelings, and images of the traumatic experience. Flashbacks can lead to many more symptoms of PTSD, but recent research has found that there may be a way to help prevent them.


Tetris, a popular computer game, may help prevent flashbacks of disturbing events. In one study done, students watched a disturbing 12-minute film of horrible deaths and injuries, and then kept a diary to record any flashbacks they experienced. Students who played Tetris for 10 minutes, a half hour after the film, reported far fewer flashbacks compared with students who didn't. Playing Tetris may distract participants from dwelling on thoughts about upsetting scenes, and interfere with the formation of disturbing sensory impressions associated with the memories of an event. However, researchers still need to determine whether playing Tetris or other video games prevents flashbacks or PTSD among people who experience Trauma.

Try Playing!!

The most important thing that I will remember in five years that I learned from Psychology is the Yerkes-Dodson Law. The Yerkes-Dodson Law demonstrates the relationship between arousal and performance. It shows that there is an upside down U shaped relationship between these factors. In other words, being too aroused or not aroused enough will lead to poor performance. The desire is to be somewhere in the middle. When people aren't aroused enough, they become lazy. When they are too aroused, they become nervous and their performance suffers. I plan to keep the Yerkes-Dodson Law in mind over the next five years. I will remember this or two reasons. First, the Yerkes-Dodson Law applies to everyday life. When I am at work and I am giving a huge presentation, I will keep the Yerkes-Dodson Law in mind. I will try to motivate myself but only to the point of optimal performance. The second reason is that it applies to sports. In sports, when a person gets nervous and fails, they are labeled as a choke artist. In high pressure situations, talented athletes often underperform. The Yerkes-Dodson Law won't make me feel bad for the kicker who blows a game off a missed easy kick, but at least I'll understand why he failed.

In five years, I think one aspect of psychology that I will utilize in my daily life is the Big Five. Ever since we learned about the Big Five earlier this semester, I have been using it to analyze several of my classmates from both first and second semester, and have made some very interesting observations.

One classmate has shown high extraversion, and low conscientiousness. He is consistently zipping around campus on high speeds without his bike helmet. This person, as it turns out, may want to be an entrepreneur, which may go along with high levels of thrill-seeking and risk-taking behavior.

Another student is studying to be a classical musician. This person is very intellectually curious and creative, signs of openness to experience. Combined with this is a high level of conscientiousness, shown by her willingness to practice 4 hours every day. I think this combination of personality traits will likely help her succeed in her chosen field.

A third classmate has shown high levels of agreeableness. She avoids controversy and conflict whenever possible, which goes along with her interest in a field such as politics, diplomacy, or human relations.

In conclusion, an analysis of the Big Five may provide helpful insights into individuals' career choices.

Coping with Stress

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I think that in 5 years from now I will remember the topic about stress the most. Everyone will always have some kind of stressor in his or her life whether it is stress with school or a job or another form of stressor so it is important for everyone to know how to cope with and manage his or her stress.

I think that it is important to remember that people can sometimes control stressful situations, however, sometimes you can't control the situation, but you can control how you react to it. I really like the idea of keeping a journal to manage your emotional stress, I think that method works well and can help a variety of people in many ways. I also think that practicing yoga or a form of meditation is a good method of managing stress. I do yoga occasionally and I can tell that it really does reduce my stress level and it helps me to relax.
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I found it interesting that having some type of social support such as interpersonal relationships with people, groups, and the larger community can really help everyone cope with the stress that they encounter in life. It is interesting that people with social support are in overall better health than those who do not have it.

What's Stuck onto me?

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The thing that's stuck on me is Freud's Psycho-sexual Development. The different stages is funny, to me, and yet intriguing. Each stage made me think of what my nephews and nieces would go through and what they have gone through. Observing my six year old nephew, I wanted to see if Freud's theory about the Latency Stage. Seeing as how he interacts with girls his age at the park, he doesn't find the opposite sex nasty or "ew". He would still introduce himself and still play house, tag, or whatever they wanted to play. Next I observed my four year old nephew about the Phallic Stage. He liked his mom better than his dad. Every time he was tired or wanted to sit, he would go to his mom to sit next to her or on her lap. Even though he does that he doesn't try to get rid of his dad so that he could have his mom all to himself, he would still go to his dad to talk about cars whenever he feels like it.


Learning those things would make me start to observe my own kids if I ever have any. I don't know if this is going to be entertaining for me or if this would be something annoying.

Violent Cycles

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Thousands of ordinary people are victims of abuse from people they love every day. Abusers can range in all ages and believe it or not can be anyone. A common stereotype that I have heard is that only men are abusers. This is a common misconception. Abusers can range from little kids to both men and women. Many people would think that one would leave the abuser or notify the authority about the abuse but many times this is not the case. People that are abusive tend to be very good at making a person feel like it was there fault. This kind of behavior is known as the borderline personality or the psychopathic personality. Many victims also have a sense of responsibility to try to fix the abuser. An example of this can be shown by a friend of who wants to spread his story of his past relationship with his girlfriend that lasted for fourteen months. He is a very nice guy but after he entered this relationship I noticed a change. He told me she manipulated him, punched him, and broke up his family in ways that were just terrible.400px-Cycle_of_Abuse.png I knew this was true because he showed me nail scratches on his chest and marks on his face. I tried to help him in every way I could but then I realized how hard he was trying to fix her and make it work. This girls horrible psychological disorders were taking over his life finally one day she reached a point where she was so insecure that she snapped and hit him in the face multiple times and since that day they have not talked. The point of this story is not to pinpoint women as abusive because anyone can be an abuser but rather to show how many personality and mood disorders cannot be treated without extensive help from a trained counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. He looked back on his relationships and regrets trying to fix something that was so cold and violent.

Violent Cycles

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Thousands of ordinary people are victims of abuse from people they love every day. Abusers can range in all ages and believe it or not can be anyone. A common stereotype that I have heard is that only men are abusers. This is a common misconception. Abusers can range from little kids to both men and women. Many people would think that one would leave the abuser or notify the authority about the abuse but many times this is not the case. People that are abusive tend to be very good at making a person feel like it was there fault. This kind of behavior is known as the borderline personality or the psychopathic personality. Many victims also have a sense of responsibility to try to fix the abuser. An example of this can be shown by a friend of who wants to spread his story of his past relationship with his girlfriend that lasted for fourteen months. He is a very nice guy but after he entered this relationship I noticed a change. He told me she manipulated him, punched him, and broke up his family in ways that were just terrible.400px-Cycle_of_Abuse.png I knew this was true because he showed me nail scratches on his chest and marks on his face. I tried to help him in every way I could but then I realized how hard he was trying to fix her and make it work. This girls horrible psychological disorders were taking over his life finally one day she reached a point where she was so insecure that she snapped and hit him in the face multiple times and since that day they have not talked. The point of this story is not to pinpoint women as abusive because anyone can be an abuser but rather to show how many personality and mood disorders cannot be treated without extensive help from a trained counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. He looked back on his relationships and regrets trying to fix something that was so cold and violent.

Violent Cycles

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Thousands of ordinary people are victims of abuse from people they love every day. Abusers can range in all ages and believe it or not can be anyone. A common stereotype that I have heard is that only men are abusers. This is a common misconception. Abusers can range from little kids to both men and women. Many people would think that one would leave the abuser or notify the authority about the abuse but many times this is not the case. People that are abusive tend to be very good at making a person feel like it was there fault. This kind of behavior is known as the borderline personality or the psychopathic personality. Many victims also have a sense of responsibility to try to fix the abuser. An example of this can be shown by a friend of who wants to spread his story of his past relationship with his girlfriend that lasted for fourteen months. He is a very nice guy but after he entered this relationship I noticed a change. He told me she manipulated him, punched him, and broke up his family in ways that were just terrible.400px-Cycle_of_Abuse.png I knew this was true because he showed me nail scratches on his chest and marks on his face. I tried to help him in every way I could but then I realized how hard he was trying to fix her and make it work. This girls horrible psychological disorders were taking over his life finally one day she reached a point where she was so insecure that she snapped and hit him in the face multiple times and since that day they have not talked. The point of this story is not to pinpoint women as abusive because anyone can be an abuser but rather to show how many personality and mood disorders cannot be treated without extensive help from a trained counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. He looked back on his relationships and regrets trying to fix something that was so cold and violent.

After learning 669 pages psychology this semester, I realize that I become increasingly interested in psychology things and change a lot of concepts which were wrong before I attended this class.
Although I have learned a lot, the explanation of insomnia seems to be the most impressive when compare to others. As a matter of fact, I was surprised about it at the first place. I used to think people who have insomnia are those have trouble fell asleep. After reading the book, I was surprised that people who wake too early in the morning and wake up during the night and have trouble returning to sleep also have something to do with insomnia. I remember my grandparents always get up at 5 in the morning every day, and I used to envy them for not being lazy and wasting too much time on sleep. Besides, I thought it is a kind of good habit typically, too. Now I realize that they may have insomnia therefore wake up too early in the morning and it is not a good thing as I thought before. I think the correction of concept can not only help me to find the symptom immediately, but also help the people around me and provide them warnings.images.jpg
Besides, I still learn the significant causations for insomnia such as suffering depression, pain, stress and relationship problems and so on. After knowing it, it becomes easier for me to find out the problem and solution if I have the symptom of insomnia one day.
Apparently, the reasons why I think I can remember it for five years or even longer are that it correct my false concept and it can benefit my life.

kronk.jpgI've learned a lot over the course of this semester, but the topic that intrigued me most was chapter 14 - personality. Everyone has a different personality, and reading about how genetics and external environments could affect it caught my attention. It may sound odd, but the structure of personality our book presented (Id, Ego, and Superego) really connected in my brain. I liked the fact that Freud divided up three major agents of personality - basic instincts, moral standards, and decision making. The concept made sense to me how a person's decision process goes through each of the components. The iceberg model the book presented was a perfect display for these levels of structure. Although I believe some people's egos are more visible than others! Our everyday decisions depend on the id, ego and superego interacting, and knowing how this works still amazes me! I'm sure five years from now I won't be talking about it on a regular basis, but I will always remember what people are thinking as they make important moral decisions.

We're all here in Psychology 1001 only touching the basics of many different fields of psychology. Some of us know what we want to do and where we want to be in five years, and some of us don't, and that may or may not include psychology. But even by taking this 1001 course, we've learned so many topics that there's got to be at least one thing that everyone remembers, from biological psychology to psychology disorders. For me, I know there will be one thing from psychology that I will bring with me for the rest of my life, and it was covered in every chapter. That concept is the six principles of scientific thinking.

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Every day we hear so many personal anecdotes, media headlines, advertisements and much more. But how do we know if what we hear is real or not? These six principles touch on that and they teach you to take everything with a grain of salt and be cautious of what you read at face value. I really enjoy following the news and what's happening around the world, and these principles have already helped me evaluate and form my opinions for everything I hear. I know I will take this with me the rest of my life and be a true critical thinker.


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So, We are probably aware of this term when it comes to talking about relationships with people, usually in cases where someone is friends with one person and then talks bad about the other person. Well this time I am going to use to term two face with Stanford Prison Study. You guys should all be aware of this case, but if not, long story short, people were given authority and it turns out those who had authority mistreated the people without the authority ( in this case the prisoners.) This was an example of what REALLY happens when people view themselves as the top dog, they tend to act different. So with that being said, I have quesitons and thoughts instead of answers...
Question # 1 Why does that Happen?
Thought # 1 Probably because these people think that this is how people with auhtority act, in other words people have negative views on people like police officers, presidents (and other important figures.
Question # 2 Can this case study explain why other similar attitudes towards acting different when put in a costume?
Thought # 2 (for example, Do performers produce an alter ego or is this actually their personality...
My point is, in one way or another we are all sort of two faced, it may be when we are in competition mode we might get more aggressive and snide, or when we are in love, we may be more sweet than sour. whatever the case may be, we might not need a costume or someone telling us that we are in charge, so we need to be careful and know our personality traits before we express them.

A year ago, I met someone in China, he is a 20 year-old male. We met each other in a informal party. As the Chinese habits, we get used to shaking hands with someone who can make friend with us. I just shock my hand with him, but he stepped back and showing a feeling of disgusting. I was shocked, since I am so friendly to him, why he was like that? Then I just saw him using the napkin to clean everything on the table, like the fork, the knife or the spoon. I suddenly realized that he might have Mysophobia.
Mysophobia is a term used to describe a pathological fear of contamination and germs. Someone who has such a fear is referred to as a mysophobe. Mysophobia is a common symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety disorder that results in unwanted thoughts and excessive or compulsive actions. Mysophobia may also be related to hypocondriasis, an intense fear of contracting an illness. In some cases, mysophobia may be regarded a type of specific phobia. Even if the people who got Mysophobia shows abnormal actions, we should still see them as normal friends and try to make friends with them, understand them. Because those abnormal people will be easier to feel lonely, and we should pay more attention to take care of them.

Remember: Attractiveness

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Oddly enough, I think a psychological concept I will remember the most strongly is the "rules" of attraction. I found it incredibly fascinating how primal our reasons for finding a significant other are! Discovering that women search for one man that will be strong and provide them whereas men search for many virile woman who will carry on their seed, is so interesting to me. Now that I've learned about this I find myself wondering about my current boyfriend and some of our disagreements. He is in no hurry to start an "adult" career, but to me it's very important that he finds a respectable job. I have never worried about status or money in the past, but I think a combination of my impending adulthood and my primal instinct towards support has caused me to realign my priorities! At the same time seeing and hearing many stories about men committing infidelity has also caused me to ponder if that has anything to do with a man's hardwired need to spread his seed. Of course this is counteracted by the amount of women who also commit infidelity so who really knows! I think because this fascinates I will look into studying more about the "psychology of love".

A Beautiful Mind

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In the movie "A Beautiful Mind," the main character, John Nash, has schizophrenia. In the movie, which was based on a true story, John Nash experienced extremely lucid hallucinations of people and situations that did not exist. The book says this is very rare, and that people with schizophrenia experience mostly auditory hallucinations. Usually, people with this disease have an impaired ability to think and reason. However, in the movie, John Nash was able to distinguish his hallucinations from the real world over time. He went on to lead a productive life as a professor and won the Nobel Prize for his work in Economics, specifically in Game Theory (all while ignoring his persisting delusions). In his own words, he wrote, "Then gradually I began to intellectually reject some of the delusionally influenced lines of thinking which had been characteristic of my orientation."

For five years from now I most remember the concept in psychology is the part of human develoment. Not for it's knowledge, because it changes my mind. Seriously, I learn psychology just in this semester. At this time I still learn child psychology, in part of human development I seem to see a lot of my parents and me for my childhood. I remember this concept the one of the most important reason is why I choose child psychology for my major. I think that the pillars of the country is young people.And children's education is more important than high school education university education. But in my country´╝îthe training of kindergarten teachers are very scarce.Or many parents recognize the importance of education for young people, but did not seize important. I would like to use their abilities to change my opinion, not a sound system, and perhaps can only do a little. The parents are the child directly to teachers, early childhood, the child will have a very long time and the parents stay with the parents' words and deeds a direct impact on the child, over the formation of a habit, this is not to be indiscernible. I hope I learned to regulate early childhood education. I hope I can do it well ! 20090714003.jpg

With so many ads and claims out these days for the new "cutting edge" diet or the "miracle" cure to some disease, how can the average Joe decide what to and what not to believe? From taking psy 1001, I believe that in the future I will most definitely remember how to think scientifically, that is, using the six scientific thinking principles. These include ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor.
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All of these thinking principles can be applied to psychological studies, but also can be used to evaluate any scientific claim. One could use falsifiability to evaluate and outrageous claim from many self-help books when deciding if their facts are true. You could disregard claims about UFO and big foot sightings with the rule of extraordinary claims, needing to have more rigorous evidence for an extreme claim. Many health claims about weight loss tactics or intelligence claims of boosting brainpower by some unorthodox means, you could use replicability to see if there have been any other studies to prove them to be true. Ruling out rival hypothesis and correlation vs. causation to see if there may be another answer or another factor that may contribute to a claim.
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Scientific claims may reap the benefits of the average citizens easy belief of such claims, but those who took psy 1001 have the tools and knowledge to evaluate some "phony" claims.

Someone just got hit by a car, what do you do? Do you decide to sit back and watch simply because everyone else who is around will handle the situation? This is what many tend to do resulting in the bystander effect. This social psychological effect is described when an individual doesn't offer any help in an emergency when others are present. This problem is inversely related to the number of bystanders which simply means the greater number of bystanders, the less likely that anyone will act and help.

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I found an article on CNN which explained that two years ago a fifteen year old girl from California was gang raped, which preceded to her getting beat outside the homecoming dance at the school. Hundreds of students gathered in the gymnasium at the school for the dance and in a dim lit alley outside the victim was being raped. The title of the article was called "Gang rape raises questions about bystanders' role", which is easily getting at the bystander effect. Some witnesses took photos, but others preceded to laugh. As more and more people found out about this event, people came to see and some even began to participate. Other than such a disturbing event such as this one, people need to come to realize that doing something simply like dialing for the police can help out any given situation by a ton.


"What's love got to do with it? " sang by Tina Turner in 1984 was one of the top songs of the year and is actually the question that many ask today when it comes to relationships. Robert Sternberg, a leading psychologist who posted on the blog "Psychology to the rescue," stated his opinions on love and relationships in a way that I agree with. He summarized that love is something he had always had a hard time connecting to. He connected the thoughts to psychology and the result that he came to was the triangular theory of love. The three components of this theory are intimacy, passion, and commitment. All three have a way of making sense of problems in relationships in different combinations of the three. I found this section of the reading for this course to be quite interesting and actually one of the most important aspects that I will remember five years down the road. Many of us, being college students, have had relationships with a significant other in the past, and if not, will be looking for that someone in the future. Keeping these three components in mind is a smart decision in looking for someone you may develop a relationship with.


Here is a short paragraph depicting several characters interacting in a scene. It is an example of how one can infer the personality of a person by using the Big Five to interpret their actions. Notably, authors may use contrasting characters in order to emphasize their personalities.

"The two of them quickly took to occupying themselves in the armory. The young woman moved brashly throughout the the room, carrying and handling each ammunition crate crudely. Loud thumps echoed about the room the young woman stacked each crate with discontent, nearly slamming one on top of the other as if to protest such a mundane task. Her footsteps were hurried and heavy as she stomped through the various shelves of unsorted munitions. Plastered upon her face was a rather stern expression with a hint of discontent.

"Sitting atop a crate was another younger man. He appeared to be younger than his companion by a year or two, and where she wore a scowl on her face his was a look of focus and patience. One by one he slipped each bullet carefully into the magazine, the bullets locking into place with a soft click. He took to his work steadily, an air of silence surrounding him as he placed the full magazine into another box before reaching for another. His eyes examined each round with precision, observing any defects and deterioration before firmly locking it into the magazine."

Using the Big 5 to analyze each character, we can infer a few things about their personalities.

The young woman may be low in conscientiousness, as demonstrated by her rather rough way of going about her task. She may also be high in extraversion, as demonstrated by the vigor she puts into her task, although her demeanor may rate her low in agreeableness and high in neuroticism.

The male character may act as a contrast to her. He would probably rate high in conscientiousness while scoring low in neuroticism with his calm demeanor. Such scores may indicate a high level of agreableness as well, although his quiet attitude may put him at a low score for extraversion.

As we can see, this short passage demonstrates how an author can use contrasting characters to emphasize their personalities. They often go even further to include interactions between said characters to establish those differences in personalities.


A common phrase from students learning something seemingly "invaluable", this often slips out (possibly a Freudian slip?) when overcome with frustration over being taught something that will possibly have little application in the real world (I will probably never need to find the derivative of sin x +cos x). However, in psychology, there are so many "take-home" topics, it seems impossible to find a chapter that is uninteresting or invaluable. After flipping through the chapters, I've found many that are and will be pertinent to my life, but I suppose the most pervasive and stand-out topic was found in chapter 12: Stress, Coping, and Health. The first sub-topic that I found not only valuable to me now, but also five years from now and into the future regards coronary heart disease. From another topic in psych, we know that few things are caused solely by either nature or nurture, so not only does stress cause CHD, but genetics also play a role in the disease. My family has a recurring issue with heart disease, so I need to take all precautions in preventing CHD, such as keeping my cholesterol in check and reducing my stress level. Although critics of this blog may say I've fell victim to the recency effect, which may be valid, but I'm a proponent of proactive coping, anticipating stressful situations and taking steps to prevent or minimize difficulties before they arise. So in response to the ubiquitous question, yes, we will definitely be using this information for many more years to come.

There are few concepts that we covered in class and out textbook that I will easily remember 5 years from now. One concept that really stood out to me was the different parenting types such as: permissive, authoritative and authoritarian. Each of these different parenting styles have specific qualities that will set children apart from others throughout their life. I believe that I will remember this concept the most in 5 years because it taught me how I want to raise my children (authoritative) so they are set up to succeed and deal with life's mishaps the best over the other permissive and authoritarian parenting styles. I also believe that I will remember this concept, because I was able to recognize how my parents raised me and how it still has an impact on my today in my life's adventures. In addition another reason why I feel I will remember the different parenting styles and the style that I want to use with my children in the future is, because it is so simple for me to recognize and place value on how to raise my future children; with now knowing the too "hard," "soft" and "just right" approach to parenting it is something that I can easily reflect back on and remember when I am scolding or showing my children affection. I will be able to easily remember and evaluate myself, because the concepts of each are easy to remember thanks to talking and reading about them in psych. parenting styles.jpg

What would you do?

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Have you ever been in a situation where you're driving along in your car and somewhere out of the corner of your eye you see someone fall off bike, sprain an ankle, or get in a car crash? Odds are that at one point most of us have, but the question which is interesting to investigate is, "Would you stop to help?" According to the idea that the bystander effect presents our willingness to the help the person would depend on how many other people we saw near the situation. So if we were driving past a park full of people, when we saw this person hurt themselves, odds are that the majority of us would not help them. The reason this happens is because many people have the idea in there head that, "Oh someone else is here, therefore they will be able to help him and I won't." However because everyone thinks this at the same time sometimes the person who is in need of help often does not receive any!

Another real life situation of the bystander effect was a time a young girl was abducted and because there were many people around no one chose to help. This can be viewed in the following video:


Overall, it is scary to think that if we were experiencing an emergency in an area with 10 people instead or by 1 person alone, we would less likely be helped in the situation with 10.

What would you do?


Many years ago, Stanley Milgram, a graduate student under Solomon Asch, wanted to conduct a study on the sources of destructive obedience. He played around with different scenarios to conduct his study. He finally found one that worked which involved a test subject being told by a man in a white lab coat to ask questions to an actor (unknown to the test subject) and give them an electric shock for a wrong answer. During this study, Milgram and his associates predicted that only .1% would administer the "450 Volts" shock; this shock would indeed kill you. After finishing his study, Milgram was dumbfounded by his results that a whopping 62% of participants in the study administered the 450 Volt shock.

Now you may think that his results are complete nonsense because who in their right mind would kill someone just because they are being told to by a man in a white lab coat? I thought the same thing but this shows that a majority of us fall prey to people in authority and peer pressure. This man in the lab coat looks totally official and we wouldn't want to disappoint him and ruin the study, right? Of course not, we want to give him the results he wants and fit in because we are afraid of discrimination or consequences for not following orders.


Many years ago, Stanley Milgram, a graduate student under Solomon Asch, wanted to conduct a study on the sources of destructive obedience. He played around with different scenarios to conduct his study. He finally found one that worked which involved a test subject being told by a man in a white lab coat to ask questions to an actor (unknown to the test subject) and give them an electric shock for a wrong answer. During this study, Milgram and his associates predicted that only .1% would administer the "450 Volts" shock; this shock would indeed kill you. After finishing his study, Milgram was dumbfounded by his results that a whopping 62% of participants in the study administered the 450 Volt shock.

Now you may think that his results are complete nonsense because who in their right mind would kill someone just because they are being told to by a man in a white lab coat? I thought the same thing but this shows that a majority of us fall prey to people in authority and peer pressure. This man in the lab coat looks totally official and we wouldn't want to disappoint him and ruin the study, right? Of course not, we want to give him the results he wants and fit in because we are afraid of discrimination or consequences for not following orders.

As a truly dynamic character in the Star Wars book and movie universe, Obi-Wan Kenobi exhibits all components of the Big Five. In regard to conscientiousness, Obi-wan was always very careful when on dangerous missions. He also took pains to hide Luke and Leia as infants from Anakin and the Emperor. Obi-Wan was usually agreeable with his friends, cooperating with other characters as long as he or others he was with were not in danger. He was calm and focused in tense situations, and his low neuroticism score correlates with leadership, as we learned in class. In terms of Openness to Experience, Obi-Wan was always intellectually curious and creative in finding solutions to problems that arose. He frequently took on challenges such as sneaking through the Death Star alone. The extraversion dimension of Obi-Wan's personality varies, fitting nicely into the Person/Situation debate. In the first half of the saga, Obi-Wan was fairly outgoing and talkative as a padawan and Jedi master. He conversed with many humans and alien species and hardly was hardly ever lacking in confidence. However, at the end of the third movie, Obi-Wan goes into hiding to watch over Luke, and we learn in the fourth movie that he had basically become a hermit, living by himself in the desert, probably never coming into contact with anyone. Looking back over the first four episodes, the claim can be made that Obi-Wan was only as extraverted as the situation demanded him to be. obiwan.jpg

Conforming to Society

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One of the dominant themes of social psychology is how our behavior is affected by certain situations. Often times we find ourselves in situations usually with many other people, and thus our behavior is affected by the presence of others. This change in behavior is due to conformity. Conformity refers to the tendency of people to alter their behavior as a result of group pressure. This tendency takes place at all different ages and at all different types of social gatherings. It is a natural human tendency to WANT to be like everyone else, and the result of being like everyone else is that people will accept you. Being accepted by other people is a huge desire by most people in the world. A social psychologist by the name of Solomon Asch conducted the classic study of conformity in the 1950s. His experiment would test to see how a subject would respond to a question after all of their peers had purposefully given the wrong answers. The tendency to give the wrong answers was very high when all of the other participants gave the wrong answer. Thus showing that more often than not, an individual will prefer to conform to give the same answer to a question, even if the rest of the group's response was incorrect, and the subject knew of the inaccuracy. Below is a great video showing the Asch experiment, as well as some variations to it, and how those variations affect conformity in groups.



Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play professional sports? Sure it would be nice to make potentially millions playing a game you love, but how would you face the pressure of the fans and the media? Professional athletes face this dilemma in two ways, the first is using that pressure to make them perform better, which is known as social facilitation. Tim Tebow has been upfront about the media pressure he faced, such as not being good enough to play in the NFL, and he made a video out of it that showed how reacted to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leApAawSvkI
For some athletes, they can't face this pressure which makes them perform worse, and maybe makes them lose their job. A good example of this is former NFL QB Todd Marinovich. He was the center of attention in football for a while, since he was raised by his father to be the most "superior" athlete. In his situation, he was expected to be one of the best players in the NFL, and it caused him to not perform at what he was capable of, which lead to a whole bunch of other issues.
For both of these athletes, these different situations caused them to act a certain way, which lead to very different results in their legacies. Most potential professional athletes face situations very similar to both of these, which brings me back to my original question. How do you think you would you react to the media?

On March 13, 1964, Catherine Genovese was stabbed repeatedly and killed by a man and it all could have been avoided had the numerous amounts of neighbors, from half a dozen to 30 people, reported the act to the police. The idea that is exhibited in this example is know as the bystander effect. It was once thought that people do not intervene in horrible acts because people were less caring. John Darley and Bibb Latane later said it was due to a feeling frozen in a certain situation. One contribution to this feeling is pluralistic ignorance, which believes that people are not seeing things as we do. This could be in a situation where we understand that there is a need to help someone, while others do not. The second factor that contributes to the "freezing" feeling is diffusion of responsibility. This states that people feel responsible when they are with more people.

Picture of Catherine Genovese

One example that comes to mind is when my family and I traveled to Los Angeles for spring break. We walked down to Venice Beach and along the way we saw a little boy crying and looking around for his family. I watched as numerous people walked by and I also felt "frozen" and did not intervene. However, my brother was willing to ask the boy and his family was near by. An additional example was in the news not to long ago. The video shows a young girl walking on the street in China when a vehicle strikes her and then the driver drives away. Numerous people walk past and do not stop to help the girl as she lies in the street. The bystander effect is sad to me in the sense that people find it difficult to help someone that might be in need and I am curious to why people feel challenged to intervene in maters such as these.


Video for Bystander Effect in China

On March 13, 1964, Catherine Genovese was stabbed repeatedly and killed by a man and it all could have been avoided had the numerous amounts of neighbors, from half a dozen to 30 people, reported the act to the police. The idea that is exhibited in this example is know as the bystander effect. It was once thought that people do not intervene in horrible acts because people were less caring. John Darley and Bibb Latane later said it was due to a feeling frozen in a certain situation. One contribution to this feeling is pluralistic ignorance, which believes that people are not seeing things as we do. This could be in a situation where we understand that there is a need to help someone, while others do not. The second factor that contributes to the "freezing" feeling is diffusion of responsibility. This states that people feel responsible when they are with more people.

Picture of Catherine Genovese

One example that comes to mind is when my family and I traveled to Los Angeles for spring break. We walked down to Venice Beach and along the way we saw a little boy crying and looking around for his family. I watched as numerous people walked by and I also felt "frozen" and did not intervene. However, my brother was willing to ask the boy and his family was near by. An additional example was in the news not to long ago. The video shows a young girl walking on the street in China when a vehicle strikes her and then the driver drives away. Numerous people walk past and do not stop to help the girl as she lies in the street. The bystander effect is sad to me in the sense that people find it difficult to help someone that might be in need and I am curious to why people feel challenged to intervene in maters such as these.


Video for Bystander Effect in China

A Critique of the IAT

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After taking several IAT's, I found myself consistently receiving scores that indicated a small automatic association consistent with the more common cultural prejudices (associating women with liberal arts and men with science for example). While this may reflect something about my unconscious thought, I was also somewhat skeptical since the tests always presented these pairings before the other pairings. This seemed to favor the associations presented first, perhaps due to the primacy effect.

Correlation, however, does not imply causation, so using open source versions of the IAT found online I attempted to test this hypothesis. In order to assess the IAT rather than my own subconscious associations, I tried to measure associations between unrelated artificial concepts such as even or odd numbers with consonants or vowels. Given that I am no more likely to associate 2 with Q and 3 with A rather than the opposite, any associations "revealed" by the test are merely a product of an error in the test (either systematic or random). I repeated this procedure with several artificial associations and consistently found that the test reported a slight automatic association consistent with the pairing presented first. This indicates a small systematic bias in IAT.

I certainly don't claim that this invalidates the test though. It only indicates a small systematic error: a moderate or greater preference as reported by the test scores is unlikely to be caused by such a bias in the test. There were also a number of shortcomings in my method. The sample size was extremely small: a single person. Additionally, my own participation may have made the results susceptible to the experimenter expectancy effect.

Do you have the same feeling about the memory loss of the things we learned in the past? When we study the history, Mathematics, literature and some other subjects which will drive us mad, do you have the feeling which you can't remember them after a really long time, like a semester?
Most people will think studying is the short-term memories, which can be forgotten very easily. Actually it is the long-term memory. The storage in long-term memory and short-term memory generally has a strictly limited capacity and duration, which means that information is not retained indefinitely. By contrast, long-term memory can store much larger quantities of information for potentially unlimited duration-. Its capacity is immeasurably large. The reason why we can't remember what we learned last semester is not because we forget them. Our memory put those things into a deeper level of our memory, when we need to use it, the memory will come out, and we can find out that even we can't remember what we learned in the Calculus class, we still could do the exercises of the calculus.
Here is some food that can improve our memory, fish, soy, Colorful and citrus fruits, Cruciferous and leafy green vegetables, seeds, nuts, chocolates, whole grains, and curry... The final week is coming, you can have a try to improve your memory and hop you will have a good grade in your final!

In 1993, the supposed enhancement in intelligence after listening to classical music became very popular. Known as the Mozart Effect, a paper reported that college students who listened to about 10 minutes of Mozart showed significant improvements on spatial reasoning tasks. However, the finding didn't say anything about long-term enhancement of spatial ability or of intelligence in general. Yet, later researchers suggested that listening to Mozart rather than other composers might have produced greater emotional arousal, causing the effect. They also found that listening to a passage from a scary story produced similar spatial ability. These findings suggest that the Mozart Effect is a short-term arousal and anything that boosts alertness is likely to increase performance on mentally demanding tasks.


Even with research suggesting otherwise, toy companies and popular press still took advantage of the Mozart Effect and ran with it. They marketed Mozart Effect CD's/cassettes and claimed that listening to that music would boost infant intelligence. It worked so well because parents are always looking for ways to easily educate and enhance their child's' intellect. However, despite trying to create miniature geniuses, the Mozart Effect is unlikely to produce long-term effects on spatial ability or overall intelligence.

Getting ready for finals? Here's a little Mozart music to help you prepare:)

Not to be sexist but...

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I have always wondered if girls were smarter than boys, I usually panicked when the class was split into gender groups when we played games like jeopardy. The boys always won. But then again that was in grade school. while boys were always on the math team or chess club, the girls always excelled in Spelling Bees. Chapter 9 was all about intelligence, Women tend to do better that mean on some verbal tasks, like writing, spelling and pronouncing words (Feingold, 1988.) The book also said that women are also better with understanding the emotions of others. But why is that? I think that it might have to do with gender roles in society. We usually are consumed with assumptions that women are better with children than men, and should stay at home while men work. If roles were reversed do we still see these definitions of intelligence to be true? Would men still be better spatial learners if they stayed home instead of going to work? Overall I do agree with what the book has mentioned about the different areas of intelligence in genders, but I have always wondered about what it would be like the roles were reversed. Man_In_A_Dress.jpg

forgetting_sarah_marshall_2008_627_poster.jpgThe three major principles that guide relationship formation can be applied to many situations, and are even featured in American popular culture. Romance is a component of many movie plots, including the 2008 romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The two characters that fall in love, Peter and Rachel, display all three major principles. First, the two are in close proximity because Rachel works at the front desk of the hotel that Peter is staying at, so they see each other every day while Peter is in Hawaii. Second, Rachel and Peter display similarity and have things in common. They were both in serious relationships and got cheated on, and they both are at transition points in their lives. Third, they display reciprocity towards each other in the form of favors to maintain equity in their relationship. Rachel allows Peter to stay in a very expensive suite at the hotel free of charge, and Peter removes an embarrassing picture of Rachel from the men's bathroom at a bar, even though the bartender brutally beats him up for taking it down.


The three principles, proximity, similarity, and reciprocity, show that falling in love with someone is far from random. Although physical attractiveness may play a role in the probability of two people wanting to get to know each other, there's probably no such thing as love at first sight. In order for a relationship to develop successfully, the three major principles need to be acted upon to some degree.

In Chapter 11 of our textbook sources say they found that physical attractiveness is a huge selling point for men all over the world. Women on the other hand, prefer a man who can provide for them, although physical attractiveness is still a factor.
What is interesting, however, is how beauty is perceived in other cultures, men may rely on physical attractiveness, but what do they find attractive?
In Burma, women are perceived as being beautiful based on the length of their neck. Starting at the young age of five women of the Kayan tribe begin to wear metal rings around their neck. The rings push down on the collarbones and compressing the ribs, after time more rings are added.
In Ethiopia the Suri tribe measure's a woman's beauty is measured by the size of the "lip plate" in her bottom lip. Once a girl reaches puberty her bottom teeth are removed to make way for a piercing in the bottom lip. Once the piercing is put into place the lip is stretched around clay plate, girls with bigger plates signify a more desirable woman.
Finally, in Mauritania (Northwest Africa), women are considered beautiful if they are extremely obese. Girls as young as four begin to be fattened up, drinking 14 gallons of camel's milk a day. The reason this is considered attractive is because Mauritania is frequently wracked by drought and weight is a sign of wealth.
What I find especially interesting about this image of beauty is that is all stems from ancient traditions that may have made sense at the time, but in this present day are simply for aesthetics. Do you think this carries over in all other cultures?

My mom is a twin, and ever since I was born it was hard to tell her and my aunt apart. Now it is a little easier since they got older but I've always wondered, how identical are they? Only a couple years ago I learned (on CSI) that identical twins had the same exact DNA. This made me wonder, since they have the same DNA shouldn't they become the same person? The twin studies done here at the U of M and other universities have pioneered this road to discover that very question.
I was surprised at how simple and ingenious the method of answering this question was. Compare monozygotic twins who had the same DNA and upbringing compared to dizygotic twins who have half the DNA but still the same upbringing to see how much DNA really effects outcome. Then have a control of adopted children who have no DNA similarities but same upbringing. As if that was not enough, researchers compared identical twins who where separated at birth and then brought them back together to have 100% shared DNA but different environments. Just like the slides in class showed and the book says, there was .7 correlation between identical twin IQ where only .3 to .4 in fraternal twins. This held true for identical twins who were separated at birth also. As seen in class, adopted children IQ is only slightly correlated.
This help answer my question how much is nurture and how much is truly nature. I still wonder though how many other things like preference and attitudes are genetic compared to environmental. Twin studies are a great way of seeing how simple, logical steps can lead to conclusions of some of life's questions. (my mom and her sister in the picture)janice and janell.JPG

Stranger Anxiety

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The first thing I saw when I entered my dorm room at Sanford Hall last year was my roommate, we'll call him The Zellmenator. I was a bit taken aback because his eyes were glued to his computer screen, he barley acknowledged my presence. After a while this type of behavior didn't surprise me in the slightest, it did however create interesting reactions from friends that I brought to the room. Every time I brought someone new to the room i would introduce them to The Zellmenator and every time he could hardly bring himself to look away from his computer screen for one second to greet a new stranger. At times I found this amusing, at others I found it quite maddening.
At around eight months infants begin to display stranger anxiety a phenomenon where babies exhibit extreme fear and other negative reactions when met with a stranger. The funny thing is two months earlier the same baby would have been over joyed to meet a new person. Stranger anxiety might serve as an evolutionary defense mechanism because at eight months infants begin to learn to crawl on their own, and maybe get into trouble. This anxiety might help to protect them from dangers like unknown adults. Behavior like this gets worse until 12 to 15 months of age and declines as life goes on.
Stranger anxiety.jpg
So my question is why would a seemingly fully developed college freshman show such strong signs of stranger anxiety? I'm sure the Zellmenator had meeting strangers his whole life and I would think that he'd be able to realize there is nothing to fear, because after all according to the research he should have lost this fear years ago. What could be an explanation for his fear of strangers at Sanford? Was it just the overwhelming rush of the socialization that happens during freshman year or is there a psychological explanation for his reactions to new people?

cal lightman.jpg"Let there be Lightman". Anyone who is an avid fan would recognize this as the narcissistic line Dr. Cal Lightman from "Lie to Me" wanted to use to start his book on facial reading. While people tend to view Lightman as a simple lie detector, he may have reason to boast about his exploits. . He is consistently able to dissect lies and determine the truth simply by interpreting emotional and facial responses. What Lightman is demonstrating is an extremely high level of creative thinking and interpersonal intelligence.

Consider this typical scenario from a scene in "Lie to Me". Lightman sits someone down and asks him or her a question about the potentially false story a person has been telling. The person responds to the question and Lightman has to identify all facial cues or body language and determine which one does not fit the reaction of an honest person. For example, he sees shame in a response in which a person claims to have done nothing wrong. Using these cues, Lightman has to utilize divergent thinking to come up with plausible scenarios that account for the present emotions. Then, using convergent thinking, he selects the one that best fits and is most logical. He does all of this in a matter of seconds before he tells the lying person exactly what it is that actually occurred. Not only does this demonstrate high creativity, but also a high level of what Gardner termed interpersonal intelligence.

Granted Lightman is simply a TV show character, I believe this analysis is a good indicator of the different skills that one needs to measure when considering jobs. For example, say a potential replacement for Lightman was extremely gifted at reading emotions, but lacked in creative thinking and people skills. He would be able to read the emotions of the liars, but would he be able to interpret the emotional responses and decipher the truth?

Take a minute to stop and think for once in your life. Put down your pen, your textbooks and highlighter. Are you currently in a relationship? Have you been in a relationship in the past? What characteristics do you look for when selecting someone to date? What characteristics serve as "turn offs?" Maybe you're not in a relationship right now because you know exactly what you're looking for, but just haven't been able to find 'that person' yet. What would that person be like? Would they share the same interests as you? Maybe they're quite your opposite. Specifically think about what it is that makes you happy in life when interacting with others in the world.
Psychologists have spent much time researching what makes individuals happy. They have shown us that many commonly believed myths are not correlated to happiness; money "can't buy long-term happiness," although it is "a bit related happiness." Psychology research also disproves the myth of happiness declining with old age. Not only does research show us what does not relate to our levels of happiness, but it has also found a few variables which are shown to be correlated to happiness:
1. Marriage
2. Friendships
3. College
4. Religion
5. Political Affiliation
6. Exercise
7. Gratitude
8. Flow

Watch the following video and see if you can pick up on any of the above mentioned eight variables.

First impressions? The bride-to-be in this clip is clearly happy. She is about to be married (first variable) and surrounds herself with her many friends (second variable) when selecting her dress. She doesn't spend much time elaborating on exactly why she has decided to marry Chad Gaudin, a Yankee pitcher. Perhaps one of the major reasons is due to Chad's personal level of happiness. Being a professional baseball player, Chad obviously spends quite a bit of his time exercising; according to psychology, people who "exercise regularly tend to be happier and less depressed than people who don't."
Although this bride does not mention it in her interview, many brides on the hit TV series Say Yes to The Dress often speak of how they are about to marry their best friend. They elaborate on memories which their significant other in which the two display a close friendship, expressing a great deal of gratitude (variable seven). Another important variable is often key to a happy relationship: similar religious upbringing (variable four). Many brides-to-be mention falling in love with not only the person, but also the person's beliefs and morals.
So ladies, when it comes time to having to either pass or 'say yes to the dress,' remember this: you not only say yes to the dress, but also to the individual you will marry and your prospective level of happiness in your future years.

What is True Beauty?

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People often say, "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder," which I also find quite true. Here in the United States, people might find men that are tall, dark, and handsome or women with blue eyes and blonde hair and a curvy figure attractive, but that may not be true somewhere else in the world. After doing more research on attractiveness, I have found out that what people generally think is attractive is very different around the world, and has changed through the years. As early as the 15th century, people that were fat and pale were believed to be beautiful because that meant they made enough money to eat and stayed out of the sun. Now, thin models and models with plenty of muscle are attractive and are all over advertisements. Around the world, levels of attractiveness vary even more. Women in Thailand wear brass rings around their necks to show elegance. Maori men and women in New Zealand get sacred tattoos on their faces. Who knows what will be the definition of beauty in the future!

neck ring.jpg


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In the movie The Note book, there is a lot of romance going on. The girl falls in love with the boy in her town right away in the movie. Which demonstrates the proximity theory. Which states that if two people live in close distance they are more appealing as a mate. This gets backed up again when she moves to college and finds a man who is in the same area as her.

Then she moves to go to college where she gets a fiance. This fiance is rich and very well educated which demonstrates the Social Role Theory, which says that women are more likely to want a mate that can provide for her and has a good education. Even though in the end she goes back to her first love and brakes it off with the rich guy. It took her forever to decide what to do, which shows that money and stability did matter to her.

In the movie she falls in love with two men. Both are very attractive males, which shows that the physical attraction theory is true, we do judge books by their cover.

Even though this was a fiction love story, it is backed up by some very factual psychology.

While searching for universal concepts of human beauty is a challenging business, it seems most cultures find common ground when it comes to causes of attraction. An internet search on the subject confirms that physical attractiveness is generally more important to males than females. We also tend to value symmetrical faces more highly than asymmetrical ones, so there may be some truth to the textbook's assertion that people are more inclined to "average"-looking faces.

One of the most fascinating findings to me is the notion that people are generally attracted to those with similar features as themselves. This may also shed light on the "proximity" principle on guiding interpersonal attraction discussed in the text. By looking in the mirror often, perhaps we create a certain "proximity" to our own image that makes us naturally inclined to our own looks. So maybe people are more confident in themselves than they would like to lead on (or maybe they are already vocal about their smug narcissism).

At the same time, beauty is far from being perceived as the "same" across all cultures. Masai women of Kenya, for example, are known to shave their heads and remove two of their lower middle teeth to attain such radiant beauty.

Beauty is, overall, impossible to define completely. If beauty is anything like pornography, however, perhaps most people would apply the same definition to beauty that former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did to pornography: "I know it when I see it."




The True Love Story

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When the Twilight series came out a few years ago, the love story of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan became famous. The series was broken into four books along with the movies, which entailed the different views of their relation ship. In the text pages 443-447, Lilienfeld describes the three principles that guide relationship formation, which are proximity, similarity, and reciprocity. These three variables can easily be seen through the Twilight love story of Edward and Bella.


To start with proximity, Bella is the new girl in the small town of Forks, Washington. She moved in with her dad, who is one of the policemen of the town, from her mom, who lived in Arizona. Bella and Edward started to attend the same high school because of this move, which gave them closer proximity to each other. The two soon become attracted to each other because Edward is interested in how she is the only person whose mind he can't read. After they start dating and the series is coming to a close, similarity comes into play. Edward ends up turning Bella into a vampire. This drastic change gives the two a commitment to each other that will last a lifetime in their situation. The last principle is reciprocity. You can see this in their relationship when Bella picks Edward over her friendship with Jacob. Since Jacob and Edward aren't on the best of terms over the four series it is a big deal that Bella picks Edward's side on many issues, ultimately making their relationship stronger. I think these principles of relationship formation are extremely true. When I think of my relationships that I have had with a significant other, I look back at past events that lead me to like that person. Those three variables count in seeing if the relationship will form to be a good one for the future.

With more and more same-sex couples adopting and parenting children, this question is getting harder and harder to answer.

Many people are divided when it comes to their beliefs about gay adoption and parenting. Gay parenting may also be affected by the results the Marriage Amendment vote coming up in November, making this issue a hot topic in Minnesota right now.

Opponents of gay parenting argue that children raised by same-sex couples do not have role models of both sexes in their lives. While it is true that one sex will not be as prevalent in the home as the other, there is nothing to say that a child can't have a role model other than a mother or father. No matter who raises a child, there will always be members of both sexes in the child's life. It does not seem to matter whether or not a child is raised by a heterosexual couple or a homosexual couple. Research indicates that gay parents are as likely as straight parents to provide a stable and supportive growing environment for children. The sexual orientation of the parents does not matter nearly as much as their ability to be good parents. The things that really matter when raising a child are love and support, things people of any sexual orientation are able to give.
There are always more orphaned children in the world than parents willing to adopt them. Any loving couple who wish to adopt a child should not be barred from doing so. A family, whether with heterosexual or homosexual parents, is better than the foster-care system.


Love is Love

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Being gay or being a lesbian is viewed to be wrong in some places in the States. The biggest issue that is happening right now in the U.S is gay marriage. The debate is if they should allow people of the same sex to marry each other. The reasons why there shouldn't be gay marriage is because the Bible says that marriage should be between a man and women and that homosexual people can't raise children as well as heterosexual parents. The reasons why they should allow gay marriage is because marriage is between two people that love each other and not just between a man and women.


When it comes to raising children, people say that gay parents can't raise children like straight parents. Homosexual parents can give the child the exact same environment and parenthood just like any other parent could. They could provide support to the children like a parent should and do what parents supposed to do, love them.


I have always supported the gay marriage rights. Who are we to deny another person's choice in love? Even though the Bible says that marriage should between a man and women, it doesn't mean that it shouldn't be allowed. The Constitution states that the people can have the freedom of religion. Having the freedom of religion means that you can choose to be whoever you want. Not having to abide by what the Bible says is a choice. So to say that homosexuals can't marry is like saying that they don't have the freedom to be who they want.

While eating at a relatively popular restaurant recently (I won't say their name, but I will say that they are known for their chicken wings ;-] ), I made an interesting observation. There wasn't a single worker there who was the least bit unattractive. Then I thought back to my experiences with this same restaurant in different locations, and came upon the realization that just about every single person that worked for that chain was decently good looking.


Using this as a backdrop, I looked more into this idea of physical appearance and hiring. While doing so I happened upon an interesting article that talked about the "what is beautiful is good" stereotype. It would seem that our society leads us to believe that more attractive people are happier, more social, and altogether more successful. Therefore, this one characteristic can, in some instances, influence the hiring process. There is a very heavy bias that exists. In one experiment, it was discovered that looks had a huge effect on the ratings of potential in applicants. But why is this so when there is no true support behind the ideal? Somehow the human brain, especially in the western world, is programmed to create a correlation between performance and looks that is not actually there. I believe that this says a lot about our society.

Article Referenced: http://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/orsp_shahani-denning_spring03.pdf

The above article discusses the dangers of going on the fad diet, Atkins. Like most fad diets, Atkins tries to help people lose weight without having to diet or exercise as hard as necessary. The Atkins diet does this by having people eat high amounts of protein and low amounts of carbohydrates. This diet plan has led to a distinct pattern of heart disease. Diets high in fat have been linked to increase risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. High cholesterol, low carbohydrate diets have been found to be linked with ketosis. Ketosis symptoms include thirst, headache, and weakness. While there have so far only been distinct patterns, and no scientific studies to show the dangers of being on the Atkins diet, there have also been know studies showing its effect on long term health. Users should beware the patterns of heart disease that Atkins creates, along with the complications from other fad diets and stick to the only method of weight loss that has worked traditionally: diet and exercise. Looking for the quick fix rarely works. In the case of Atkins, sure you might lose weight in the short run, but in the long run you can get heart disease.
Unhealthy Heart

As we look back on history, we've seen many good presidents, many great presidents, and a couple not so great presidents (although everyone's opinion is a little different on who fits into each category). But what's even more shocking is the correlation between the IQ of a president and the predicted quality of leadership. "...one researcher even found that presidents' estimated IQ predicted the quality of leadership among U.S. presidents, with correlations in the .3 to .4 range..." (Psychology textbook p. 333). We know that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but the correlation is at the very least notable. In fact, there may be a relationship between how Americans view the success of a president and that presidents IQ. By taking the estimated presidential IQ from the textbook and the approval ratings of Americans from a Gallup Poll, I found there is a .324 correlation between the two. That correlation is very similar to the quality of leadership that the textbook gives. Once again, correlation may not be causation, but this correlation is notable.

Presidential IQ and Percent Approval Data.png

Presidential IQ and Percent Approval.png

Does this mean we can say that the quality of leadership is related to approval ratings? Chances are it is, but we need the data, and there's always the pesky correlation versus causation hanging over our heads. I'll take my chances on saying they are related based on my own opinions, but that wouldn't be very scientific, would it?

Body image and self esteem are two important issues facing many teens today. Almost every girl want to look like a Victorias secret model, and almost every guy wants to be as muscular as the men in magazines.

Many teenagers have a hard time recognizing changes that are happening to them in these teen years. As a teenagers body changes their self esteem changes as well. Some people begin to feel " not skinny enough", "not pretty enough", and generally not good enough. I think it is really important to stress true beauty in young people. Inner or true beauty is something that cannot be obtained from being thinner or prettier, but from having a positive outlook on life. Personally, I think it is a parents responsibility to help their child realize what true beauty is, and where it comes from. In an article from 2002, I read that there is a strong correlation between body image and interpersonal relationship. The study concluded positive correlation between self esteem and the following things:high reading and math achievement, small family size,early ordinal position in the family, and high parental warmth. Of theses variable, the one that we can control for future generations is parental warmth. What are your opinions on this topic? What variable do you think has the largest impact on the self esteem of a child? This study was done on college females, so do you think the study would be different if i were a different gender or age?

Crystal, D Paul.A correlation study of body image and perceived parental nurturance in college females. April 27 and 28 2002 http://www.charis.wlc.edu/publications/symposium_spring02/paul.pdf

Chapter 10 has a section on Infant Motor Development, and the section on their reflexes particularly intrigued me. This part proved interesting because my cousin had twins during the last week of January, so I have spent the past two months observing their growth and development.

The book talks about their sucking and rooting reflexes. Both of these serve one extraordinarily important purpose: eating. The sucking reflex is the automatic response to oral stimulation. Meaning that if you put something, such as a bottle or pacifier, into an infant's mouth they will begin sucking. This is the more well known of the two reflexes, most people would probably tell you that they knew that. The rooting reflex, however, is much less well known. This reflex means that if you stroke an infant's cheek they will automatically turn their head and search for a bottle to suck.

The rooting reflex has taken affect in my life, but until I had to pacify a crying newborn I had no idea what it was. My cousin uses the rooting technique on a daily basis when trying to figure out the reason for her newborn's crying. The result is almost instantaneous from both of the twins; their heads turn very quickly in search of the food source.

The development of infants is fascinating, and I would venture to say that even as a newborn their reflexes are extremely impressive. The babies know what they want, and their reflexes are fine tuned to get it.

Presidential Morality

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In chapter 10, Lawrence Kohlberg's findings on how morality unfolds across the life span are explored. His research judged participants on what kind of reasoning process they used to decide what was right or wrong in moral dilemmas. What he came up with was that morality develops in three different stages. The first is preconventional morality, which focuses on punishment and reward. Second deals with conventional morality, or the impact of societal values of morality. And the third is postconventional morality which is about whether or not something goes with or against fundamental human rights and values.


One place in popular culture that I thought this particularly applied to was the US presidential elections. Each candidate has to take a stance on very important societal issues, which could be seen as moral dilemmas. In order to choose where they stand they must analyze each on at least one of the levels that Kohlberg spoke of. In particular, the second level seems like it plays a pretty big role on their decisions. This level is a focus on societal values. What is right is what society agrees with, and what is wrong would be something that society believes is wrong. But, in the US, society is split on essentially all of these issues. So, do they go with something that may contradict their own opinion to conform to society, or might they try and think about things in different terms?


Equal or not?

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stock-photo-10234970-young-asian-boy-playing-chess.jpgChildren from ages two to seven are in what psychologists term the preoperational stage; or, the stage in Jean Piaget's theory characterized by the ability to construe mental representations of experience, but not yet perform operations on them. I was able to perform the Piaget conversation task on my little brother Thomas, who is six years of age. I showed him two glasses of equal amounts of water and proceeded to pour the contents of one glass into a tall, skinnier glass and asked him which one contained more water. He hesitated for a moment, but then told me that they were both equal. When I questioned him why, he said that the water in the tall glass was the same water that had been in the now empty glass,which, was the same size as the other glass, therefore, the amounts of water had to be the same. Of course, it took him a while to explain all this to me in a way in which both he and I could understand.
I am unsure of the age at which children in the preoperational stage should be able to correctly complete this task, but from what I have observed, I can assume that around ages six and seven, they should be able to do so. Children any younger than that, I feel, wouldn't have the sufficient mind to grasp such a complex task.


After reading about parenting styles in the textbook, (starting on page 388) I started to think about how my own parents raised me. According to Diana Baumrind, there are 3 parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. Permissive parents shower their children with affection and are very lenient. Authoritarian parents are strict with their children and rarely show affection. And authoritative parents are somewhere in between.
For me personally, my parents were definitely authoritative. They showed a lot of affection, but at the same time, they had firm limits for my behavior. I remember the time-outs and the times when my mom and dad sent me to my room to "think about what I have done." (Yeah, I really didn't like these moments but looking back on them, I found them to be beneficial for the development of my behavior). From what I have seen in my adolescent years, we sometimes judge each other based on the way our parents shaped us. Spoiled kids are treated in a much different way than kids that come from a strict family. We spend our money differently depending on the way our parents raised us, we speak our language differently, and we form relationships in different ways. Our parents indeed shape us for the rest of our life. If your parents were extremely permissive, just think about how different you would be if they were instead authoritative. And to continue on this, the way our parents shaped our behavior will also affect the way we will shape our own children in the future.

Have you ever been scrolling through the channels of your television and can't find anything good on to watch? Well when this happens to me I usually get caught up watching The Maury Show and watching couple after couple getting back the test results of polygraphs their partner took.


Most of the people that are found to be guilty on the show argue that it "wasn't possible" and that they were innocent. Many of them even ask to retake the test, but I always seemed to convey guilt to me as the viewer. I believed this until I came across a topic in our textbook that would change my perspective in an interesting way. The topic concerns the Modern Polygraph Test and Evaluating the Polygraph Test: What's the Truth?. Through these two sections of the book, in chapter 11, I learned that the commonly used lie detector test that is given in the United States isn't as reliable as I believed. Actually, it is even referred to as being "biased against the innocent" and "yields a high rate of false positives, being those who the test incorrectly deems as guilty."(Iacono & Patrick, 2006; National Research Council, 2003). The test measures a person's physiological signals like changes in blood pressure, a person's breathing and even a person's skin for sweat!

A midlife crisis is a phase of adulthood characterized by emotional distress about the aging process and an attempt to regain youth. This occurs more often in men than in women around forty-fifty years old. In chapter 10 of our textbook, they briefly describe the midlife crisis and say that studies have not been replicated to prove that this occurs. Research has shown that there isn't enough evidence to prove that a midlife crisis occurs.
Believe or not, I have not reached a midlife crisis quite yet. Although, both of my parents are in the age range of forty-fifty years old in which a midlife crisis would be most common to occur. I am almost 100 percent sure that neither of my parents has experienced a midlife crisis. Because they have not experienced a midlife crisis, I tend to agree with our textbook that a midlife crisis is essentially a myth. Because my sample size is limited to just two middle-aged people, I don't have much evidence to back up my thoughts on a midlife crisis. So I am not completely sold whether a midlife crisis occurs or not. This raises the fact or fiction dilemma: a midlife crisis occurs among middle-aged adults.

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