January 2012 Archives

Chapter 11: Emotions

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Humans are emotional, expressive beings. Research on what causes and defines emotions has grown and will continue to grow abundantly as we are very complex. Many theories probe at the way and order in which emotions develop: including our emotional expressions and the feelings that accompany them. Some researches believe we experience arousal and through observation label that arousal with an emotion, other scientists believes that humans feel emotions as reactions that we don't control so much but that they happen subconsciously; regardless of the specific theory that they believe in, psychologists agree that emotions are very complex. Something that I found interesting at the beginning of this chapter was an idea called Facial Feedback Hypothesis, that explains that an individual is will most likely associate their emotional feelings with their expressions. In one application, this means that if you wrinkle your eyebrows together you will feel angry and if you smile you may feel happy. Supported by research with the chemical Botox, by disabling muscles that help create sad emotions (and those associated with feelings of depression) emotions of depression may be dampered and help with mental health. Over break I read Eat, Pray, Love and in it, an Indian meditation guru uses a form of medidation in which he "sits and smiles with his whole being". I guess the idea comes from an ancient Taoist method, and I think that might be on to something. In the rest of the chapter, nonverbal cues are researched in a way that shows how telling nonverbal communication is in a social situation. What is the most important emotion? Personally, I think it is happiness, it is what everyone strives for in life and it is something that has been probed by philosophers, religions and now psychologists. Psychology has found a way to break down happiness to its core to find what things attribute to authentic happiness. This essential emotion goes hand in hand with motivation, in some cases it is what motivates us, and in other cases it is what we are motivated towards. No way is correct, but it shows that human beings are motivated to act in certains ways and seek life paths because of various things. In the book, they explore how all motivations could relate to the physiological motivations that we have naturally as humans: food, sex and community. Finally the chapter takes a scientific approach to how we fall in love, select mates and what it maybe means. This is an interesting and applicable chapter to our daily lives and it covers a broad range of topics within emotions and motivations.

chapter 7 memory

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I choose this chapter just because i am very interested in how we people have memories how can we keep memories and how long can we keep it.
It tells me that memory changes as we age (page269). Infaints have worse memory than young people, but in the childrenhood chileren's memory increasing with time goes, what's the interesting thing is maybe infaints display a serial position curve just as adult do. Maybe somepart of the memory center in ur brain won't run out of work as time goes. but actually our memory controlled by the brain and as we grow older the brain begain to narrow, our memory will decrease.
I think there is a strong relation between memory and motion, because when we know something is there, but just cannot recall it, then we usually get frustrated, So recall the memory maybe difficult for us to do, and sometimes we cannot recall something immediately this may be why we think essay is easier for most of us than multiple-choice.
So memory can be a very important aspact in learning psychology.

The Brain: The Communicator

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The brain is one magnificent powerful mechanism. Imagine our lives without it for a second; we wouldn't be able to function! Yeah how scary. The brain holds the power to our bodies; it contains all the necessary "tools" to every day living.
Think of the brain as a business, thriving to do well in society. At a business' core are the many people that help run the company, from the CEO down to the factory workers, all who work together sending and receiving information and products in order for their company to become a success.

That's just how our brain functions. Inside our brain are neurotransmitters that send messages to neurons, which is the brain's communicator. The tiny components of the neuron; (the dendrites, axon and axon terminals) are the "workers" that send and receive information throughout our nervous system, in result, telling our bodies what to do. Giving us the gifts of emotions, thoughts, actions, and behaviors.

The text also explains how important the brain is as it is involved with the Central Nervous System (the brain and spine). The CNS has separate systems that each convey and exert abilities and functions. These systems are
1. The Cortex: The Frontal, Parietal. Temporal, and Occipital Lobes
2. Basal Ganglia: which controls our movements and motor planning
3. Limbic System: The thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus. Which contribute to sensory, overseeing smaller nervous systems, regulating arousal and fear, and processing memory.
4. Cerebellum: controls balance and coordinated movements.
5. Brain stem: The midbrain, pons, and medulla. Which trigger reflexes by sound, convey info between the cortex and cerebellum and regulates breathing and heartbeats.

The most interesting fact that I learned from reading chapter three was about the Endocrine System. Here there was a fun fact that I would never have thought to be true. In both men and women, we carry the opposite sex's hormones. For men the testes manufacture estrogen, but very low levels, and in women we carry 1/20 of testosterone, I know it's a small number, but I find that very odd. Women also (led by theory) get their sex drives influenced by the amount of testosterone in their bodies.

Chapter 7 Memory

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The paradox of memory (page 243) suggests that "the same memory mechanisms that serve us well in most circumstances can sometimes cause us problems in others." It is interesting to know that what makes us "good/well" can also cause problems to us.

Infantile autism are individuals with autism that lack specialized memory abilities, but there are impressive exceptions. The example of infantile autism the authors give us is the case of Kim Peek. He has an IQ of 87, which is below average (average being around 100). The impressive thing about Kim is that he memorized about 12,000 books word, the zipcodes of every town in the United States, and the number of every highway connecting every city in the U.S. In this case the correlation between IQ score doesn't correspond to his memory abilities.

Iconic memory is a type of sensory memory that applies to vision. Iconic memory lasts only about a second, then it's gone forever. They give us the case of Psychologist George Sperling who conducted a pioneering study demostrating iconic memory. He uses a card/board with 12 letters (the letters placed in dimension of 3 rows by 4 columns). He quickly flashed these letters to each participants. Each participants could remember 4 to 5 letters of the 12 (different people remembered different letters). Sperling concluded that all 12 letters had an equal chance of being recalled, but no one could remember all of them. He then, did the same experiment again, but this time he instructed each participant to tell him the letters of one row. This time, they remembered almost all the letters in that row. This proves that the participants were able to take in all the information, but retained it in the memory only long enough to read off a few letters.

I thought this experiment was really interesting and explains why we can't remember some things sometimes, although we feel like we know it, we can't recall it.

Intelligence. What is it? How can it be determined? How can we measure it? Chapter Nine takes an in-depth look at the concept of intelligence. The text makes it very clear that there is not set definition for intelligence. In fact it seems as the definition is all relative the person asking the question, making a correct definition nearly impossible to attain. Many of the determinants that are supported include, but are not limited to sensory capacity, abstract thinking, "thinking on ones feet", and ability to attain knowledge. While these ideas all hold true in terms of defining intelligence, determining what makes these things present is a little bit tougher. Many scientists have tried to determine what makes us intelligent by putting them into domains. The Triarchic model, developed by Robert Sternberg, divides intelligence into three parts, analytical, practical, and creative. Lastly, there are many supported biological explanations such as the size and structure of the brain.

The first to questions were answered early in the chapter, however the majority of the chapter goes into deep detail of how to measure intelligence. The IQ is the focus of this chapter which is defined as, "systematic means of quantifying differences among people in their intelligences." While the chapter shares how the test has created and has been evolved into a key part of our society, I found the "influence of genetics and environment on IQ" section the most interesting. Specifically the question "Does Schooling make us smarter?" was asked. I thought it was very intriguing that studies supported this unbelievably, with some surprising evidence. It shows that children who have an extra year of schooling have higher IQs, summer vacations lower our IQs, and dropping out lower ones IQ.

With an election just around the corner, education is a heavy platform for many of the candidates. I think it would be interesting if our country took a focus on developing children's IQs in school in order to ensure them a brighter more successful future. This information in this chapter shows that we can not only determine and test IQ but that we can develop. To me, a more intelligent country is vital to our future in the vastly changing and growing world.
-Spencer Price

Learning (Ch. 6)

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Chapter 6 focuses on learning- the change in an organism's behavior or though as a result of experience. It breaks it down into 4 groups: Classical conditioning, operant conditioning, cognitive models of learning, and biological influences on learning. Classical conditioning states that virtually all of our knowledge is acquired by conditioning, which is the forming of associations among stimuli. Operant conditioning is learning controlled by the consequences of the organism's behavior (Staddon & Cerutti, 2003). This behavior is usually followed by a reward, for example, if you put a dollar into a vending machine, your reward is a candy bar. This is the belief that things operate in an environment to get what they want. Some models of cognitive learning include latent learning and observational learning. Latent learning isn't directly observable and it is learning based off of what we already know. Observational learning is learning by watching and examining others actions and what they do. We often experience observational learning through parents, teachers and other influential people. What I found very interesting in this chapter is sleep-assisted learning. Many people actually learn while they are sound asleep. There was a group of investigators who gave morse code to sailors while they were asleep. Results showed they learned morse code three weeks faster than sailor who weren't exposed to it.

Chapter 5

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Throughout chapter five, Lilienfeld touches on the different stages of sleep we go through each night. Along with these five stages of sleep, chapter five includes explanations about different kinds of dreams and sleeping disorders. Particularly interesting was the idea about "lucid dreaming" and how our minds realize that we are dreaming. I think it is odd that we only experience these types of dreams once or so a month. I find it ironic because we know we are going to sleep, so how would we not realize it is a dream. Another thing I was interested in was the sleep disorders, especially insomnia. I'm interested in it because I feel like I have these disorder to an extent because my sleep habits are so unusual. Chapter five also touches on things like out of body experiences and near death experiences. These are especially interesting because out of body experiences are in a way dreams within a dream. It brings into mind the movie Inception and how dreams in a dream could be possible. The near death experiences could be compared to a dream while we are not asleep. It depends on the person, but near death experiences generally change depending on the person's religion. I think one of the most interesting thing this chapter touches on is déjà vu. I think this is the most interesting because most people have had an experience at least once in their life.

Chapter three begins to explain to us how our brain works.

The brain is the most complicated system in the universe. Yep, you heard it right, THE UNIVERSE. Not that my ego needed much padding, but it seems that I have the most intricate and complex hard drive, know to human kind, sitting right here up in my noggin. Sweet.

Much of what we know about how our brains work, and really how our whole body works as a result of that mushy 3 pound chunk of flesh, we discovered pretty recently. I found it funny that the ancient Egyptians thought it was our heart that called the shots, hence the saying "I know it by heart".

From the reading, the nuts and bolts of it seem to be this: Our brain is a super computer that tells us how to function. It does this through communication dependent on our brain's neurons and neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters are the neuron's messengers, telling our nervous system how to function and exercise control over our body. It is this incredible process that provides the physiological bases of our thoughts, emotions, actions and behaviors.

I really appreciate that our nervous system is not set in stone. It has the ability to change through growth and learning. In fact, during a process called pruning, which happens during early development, over 70% of those 100 billion neurons die, removing unnecessary lines of communication, leaving us with a more efficient brain. This is our brain's way maturing during adolescence and early adulthood. This explains a lot of the decisions I made when I was a teenager. It is nice to know it was actually because I was operating a Beta version of my brain. Now that I have discarded all of those unneeded neurons, I am operating 2.0, and the decisions I make are slightly better (once in a while).

What I found most interesting in this chapter was that the massive change our brains made around the time we decided to move on from being apes. In the span of only a few million years, one small part of the human genome changed 70 times faster than any other area, resulting in a complete overhaul of our cortex. Our brains tripled in size! (Oh, and, by the way, we don't know why this happened, but, it is pretty awesome that it did). It was like there was this part of our brain just waiting to be stimulated, just one ape to decide to think outside the box, and once that happened, BAM! Better make room up there cranium, we have big plans. Again, all this happened in just a few million years, of the earths 4.5 billion year history. That is sort of like growing a third eye during one split second of a day. Pretty major event.
I also realized from this reading how easy it is for us to take all of this for granted. We sometimes forget what an amazing gift our brains are. Like no other living being in the world, we have the capability to think in unique ways and create fantastic ideas that can result in truly incredible achievements. We don't always make the best use of it (I'm thinking Snuggies... and Farmville), but when we do... (The Sistine Chapel... space shuttles, The Beatles....) Damn! Ain't it good to be a human?

Chapter 5

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This chapter talked about sleep, dreams, different types of consciousness, and drugs. The sub sections I found interesting were types of dreams, sleep walking, and hypnosis.

1. Some examples of dream in the chapter include REM dream, where it feels unrealistic, non-REM dream, where the dream is more like real life, and lucid dreaming, where you know you are dreaming. I think it would be really cool to have lucid dreaming because I can then control the outcome of the dream.

2. As a child, I had a few personal experiences of sleep walking. When I was about 8 years old, I walked from my room to the entertainment room downstairs and grabbed a toy. I remember this because I squinted my opens open when I grabbed the toy. I thought it was a dream at first until I saw the toy at the foot of my bed.

3. I found it interesting to read about hypnotist shows. In one part of the section about hypnotist, it says hypnosis will only work on only a selected few. I agree with this 100% because for my school's senior party, there was a hypnotist who said it may only work if we pass a test. It was the same test suggested in the chapter.

Chapter 3:

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Chapter 3 focuses on the brain and how in operates as the central hub between stimuli and our reactions. It discuses how information travels from stimuli to our brains. When our brains respond to stimuli they sometimes send out neurotransmitters. I found the chart in this section particularly interesting because it shows what role each neurotransmitter has and what drugs have effects on neurotransmitters. Chapter 3 also discusses different parts of the brain and the function they serve. I thought this was pretty cool to see what areas of the brain are responsible for different actions. One the last parts of the chapter discusses some tests on the brain and how we are able to see how the brain works. It discussed how we are able to pinpoint what area of the brain is responsible for each type of action and to what extent it does. I thought the MRI pictures were cool and that we are able to see according to what people do how their brain operates. They very last part explores how our genes and our environment can shape the way we behave.

Sensation is the physical energy that is detected by a sense organ (i.e. eyes, ears, nose.) Where perception is the interpretation that our brains gives us of what we haves sensed around us. Chapter 4 talks about the effects and results of specific ways humans perceive things. The most talked about sense in the chapter is vision. There are pictures all over allowing you to be able to test out some of the illusions and tricks. The chapter also discusses how we humans perceive certain things. Such as a picture that can look like 2 totally different images, all depending on who is looking at it as well as how it is being looked at.

Sociol Psychology

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Chapter 13 delves into the topic of Social Psychology. Social psychology is the study people's influence on others' behavior, beliefs, and attitudes. Humans need interaction with others to function properly. If we do not have social interactions with other people we often become lonely and can suffer negative psychological consequences because of it. To avoid this loneliness most humans have social groups. Research shows the approximate size of these social groups is 150 and people have been gravitating to small groups for thousands of years. The part of the Social Psychology chapter that stuck out to me the most was the influence a group has on people. Humans often conform to the behavior of the rest of the group. This often happens even when people think that the entire group is wrong people will still conform to the unanimity in order to not be the lone one that is the outlier of the group. People do not fully understand the true power that other people have on them. A majority of people believe that social influence will affect them but when put into the situation they act as humans have for years and conform to rest of the group.

Chapter 7 - Memory

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Chapter 7, titled Memory, dealt with explaining how memories work within our minds. While everyone knows what memories are, few know specifics when it comes to knowing how it works. For example, short-term memory is much shorter than I assumed; short-term memories only last about 10-15 seconds until it becomes a fuzzier depiction of whatever that memory was. Additional interesting statistics about short-term memory explain the number of things that can be remembered. For example, page 248 explains that "the digit span of most adults is between five and nine digits" and "applies to just about all information we encounter: Numbers, letters, people, vegetables, and cities" (249). Beyond just the three types of memories, chapter 7 describes memory's level of function in regard to age, going into the specifics beginning with an infants' limited memory functions to an elderly person's. Another interesting discussion was one I found very relatable to as a student. When it comes to relearning, or studying in our case, the law of distributed versus massed practice means that one is more likely to learn something if restudied over long intervals rather than only a few times. While this is something I've heard before, this is proof.

Chapter 16's focus was on different available treatments. The subcategories talked about psychotherapy and its specifics, understanding insight therapies and their effectiveness, behavioral approaches and changing actions, the effectiveness of psychotherapy, and various biomedical treatments.

Like a few others, I was immediately drawn to some of the biomedical treatments that are available now. Being a biomedical engineering major I felt a connection to some of the current technologies. When reading the very last section, however, I developed the opinion that our ability to understand and treat some of these conditions were being used for immoral reasons. While treatments like ECT and psychosurgery may be logical last-resort treatment options, I do think that more research and solid, consistent results should be established before using these therapies. Though some of the treatments may seem successful on the surface level, the section mentions the fact that some of the results could be products of the placebo effect. It was scary for me to read about how people could essentially trick themselves into being cured of these major conditions. Money speaks and when such time, dedication, money, and self-sacrifice has been put into a cure, it only makes sense for a person to deeply desire effects. Seeing that there are not many long-term, conclusive studies done on these psychosurgeries, I don't think the risk should be taken; the negative outcome is too likely and unpredictable to rationalize the procedure.

Also, when the section was mentioned about Lobotomies my mind jumped to the book "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" where the main character, in order to prevent him from corrupting the rest of the insane asylum and opening their minds to the freedom of thought was lobotomized. To read explicitly in the text that this was a form of punishment for various crimes was a bit shocking after reading an example from the novel. To me, the "zombie-like" state that this procedure induces is the worst form of punishment available.

This section covers many different topics and concepts about the biological aspect of psychology. I found it very interesting learning about the 100 billion plus neurons that are in the brain and there functionality. Neurons are specialized cells that communicate with one another. The chapter also goes in depth as to the specific pieces and characteristics of neurons in the brain. This chapter discusses neural plasticity or changes that occur in the brain over time, one such stage is known as pruning; where 70 percent of neurons die off. Two different systems are mentioned, the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). There functions are further explained in the text. The most intriguing portion of the chapter to me was the differences between the left brain and right brain and how split brain surgery has effects on people. The left brain is more intellectual while the right deals more creatively. People often lean slightly more to one side being more intellectual or more creative. This has caused me to wonder which one do I lean more towards?

Generally speaking, '-ology's tend to be studies. Ecology is the study of ecosystems, sociology the study of societies, and psychology....the study of psyche? Well, not quite. Psychology is defined in Lilienfeld et. al. as "the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior." While this definition may encompass a number of items, it is important to bear in mind the main essence of psychology: that it is, after all, a science. This means it is based on evidence and explained by well-supported theories, which act as the culmination of a number of individual observations-- the results of logically inquisitive hypotheses.
Our textbook suggests that psychology is a challenging field for various reasons. For example, the fact that human behavior is multiply determined, influenced by difficult-to-pinpoint sources, largely variable, and subject to the impressions of others makes it quite difficult to study. To add to the jumble, psychology is analyzed on a number of levels, which the textbook likens to "rungs on a ladder." These include the neurochemical, mental, behavioral, and social levels, among others. Thus, it becomes apparent from the very first chapter that psychology is quite the multi-faceted field. The complexity of psychology was quite interesting to me! While I had always imagined that the study of how humans act/think would be quite intricate, I had never specifically considered all the diverse aspects and variables in the field.
The chapter discusses the difference between science and pseudoscience (giving several intriguing examples of pseudoscience which I suggest you look at!), and it outlines the importance of critical thinking and scientific skepticism. The authors list six "scientific thinking principles": ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation is not causation, falsifiability, replicability, evidence, and Occam's razor (an example of parsimony).
Chapter 1 also provides a summary of the history of psychology, beginning with the early history characterized by introspection, and moving on to elaborate on structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and cognitivism. The chapter concluded with some interesting information on modern psychology. I especially found the nature-nurture debate intriguing! This is an age-old question which has many implications in my field of study, genetics, as well as in nearly any subject in the natural or social sciences.


(photo source: http://www.asianjobportal.com/2011/07/psychology-degrees/ )

Chapter 5

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Chapter 5 is mainly about dreaming and consciousness. There are many different topics in this chapter that I found extremely interesting, mainly sleep stages and out of body/near death experiences. There was a police officer that had an out of body experience while chasing a suspect. She remembered viewing herself from twenty feet above. She watched herself do exactly what she had been trained to do. By the time she was back in her body the suspect had been detained. Out of body experiences like these have always sparked my interest. Near death experiences are even more interesting to me. While reading this chapter I recalled a memory of a tv show I had watched. A man was trapped under a semi and almost had his body completely severed in two. He survived the incident but he recalls seeing himself being pinned under the semi from at least 50 feet in the air. He recalls an angel telling him that he had to choice of dieing or returning back to his body. If he chose to return to his body he would have to suffer through an extremely long and painful recovery. He chose to go back and is still living today. This near death experience came from his Christian background. Peoples near death experiences are typically related to where there from or what religion they practice. I really believe that the mind is an incredible thing and far to complicated for someone to fully grasp how it works.

Psychology is yes, lots of theories, but there is also a side to psychology that looks into the biology of the body. Biology being the study of life and living things. So what is biological psychology exactly? It is the study of "nerves, neurotransmitters, brain circuitry, and other biological processes" that are used to explain behaviors. Biopsychology is also known as behavioral neuroscience. In chapter 3 they start out with diagraming nerve cells, explaining individual parts and how all their parts function together to create "webs" of neurons that communicate with one another to make our body function. They then move onto parts of the brain explaining what each section "controls" or monitors. IE: the "hypothalamus controls the body's endocrine system." Next connected with the brain, they talked about the spinal cord and its function. I found most interesting in this chapter the couple paragraphs discussing the somatic and autonomic nervous system (the first controlling muscles, the second controlling emotions.) Lastly, they discussed mapping the brain. In this section different ways of "seeing" brain function were discussed. They talked about different scans used to follow electrical impulses or functioning parts of the brain depending on what the test subject was doing, watching, etc... This got me wondering what sort of new scans will scientists develop to help us more understand the brain and each parts function.

Caught in Limbo? (Chapter 5)

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This section brushes on the topic of sleep, and any disorders we may have that accompany it. There are many references to both theories on dreaming and our slips between consciousness and unconsciousness within them. The topic that epitomizes both of these at once is lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming is when a person is dreaming, but consciously aware of it due to their spectacular surroundings and has the ability to control their actions. It is uncertain whether we are completely awake or completely asleep during our state of lucid dreaming; and much like the movie Inception, it is metaphorically limbo between the conscious and unconscious.

While about twenty percent of Americans report having lucid dreams on a monthly basis, yet because of the lack of empirical evidence it is impossible to tell if one is actually experiencing a lucid dream, or rather just reports it upon awakening.

I believe that lucid dreaming is not, in fact, something that happens while completely asleep or unconscious. Hallucinations, visions, and daydreams are all perfectly commonplace with the human mind. The distinct part of dreams, however, is we cannot control them. When we have lucid dreams I believe we simply experience a mental phenomenon that seems like a dream because it is instantaneously following the act of dreaming. Lucid dreaming could also potentially be what dreaming during the process of waking up feels like. Whatever a lucid dream is, it is absolutely a bizarre human function worth further research.

Chapter 15 summary

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Chapter 15 summary - January 24, 2012 -Psychology 1001

Chapter 15 discusses psychological disorders. The chapter starts off by giving examples of different types of psychological disorders such as: panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder. The textbook offers five criteria that psychologists use to define psychological disorders. The criteria are: statistical rarity, subjective distress, impairment, societal disapproval, biological dysfunction. Text then discusses how disorders were viewed and treated throughout history. People suffering from disorders were often thought to be inflicted with evil spirits and were treated with equally foolish methods. Text then discusses different syndromes that exist across different cultures. Text offers some corrections to common misconceptions regarding psychological disorders and the symptoms/treatments involved with these disorders. The book also discusses several popular culture icons like Tiger Woods and Andrea Yates who have recently been in the news because of their psychological disorder. The text spends considerable time discussing somewhat common disorders such as depression, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or posttraumatic stress disorder. The text continues discussing more illnesses and the corresponding symptoms. The text spends a considerable amount of time discussing various other psychological disorders and their causes and symptoms. The book discusses suicides and which people are most likely to be at risk of committing suicide. It also discusses ADHD and autism. The book also discusses some different forms of disorders that can cause people to become violent.

Chapter One Summary

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The first chapter of "Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding" is an introduction to the field of psychology. It defines psychology as "the scientific study of the brain, mind and behavior." I really enjoyed this chapter, because it gave a very clear overview of the field and raised questions in an engaging way. I also liked the persuasive style of writing- the sharp criticism of pseudoscience and logical fallacies were especially interesting.
The chapter explains that the psychology goes much deeper than common sense or intuition: it is a scientific field. The writers also acknowledge that psychology is difficult to study and difficult to define. This chapter explains the levels of analysis, which can be used to define the study. The levels of analysis are likened to "rungs on a ladder," the lowest of which is biological influences. The highest level is the social level.
Chapter one also goes into depth on the challenges of psychology, noting that "human behavior is difficult to predict" because actions are multiply determined, that is, there are many factors that go into the final result. It delves into the common errors of popular psychology, including attributing complex behaviors to a single factor. It enlightens us in common errors of common sense, such as the contradictions of famous proverbs. It presents the concept of naïve realism (believing we see the world exactly how it is) and stresses the need for critical thinking: the ability to evaluate claims with an open mind, yet carefully. The chapter also highlights scientific theory, the scientific method and how they are applied to psychology. It presents science as a "safeguard against bias," particularly confirmation bias (the tendency to look for evidence that supports one's own claim, and dismiss findings that contradict it) and belief perseverance (the tendency to cling to one's initial beliefs, even when faced with contradictory evidence).
This chapter also places metaphysical claims (beliefs about the world that cannot be tested) squarely out of the scientific realm. In short, the authors do not refute metaphysical claims, but assert that since they cannot be tested, they lie outside the boundaries of science.
Chapter one also addresses psychological pseudoscience: it is defined as a "set of claims that seem scientific but aren't." Its lack of prevention against confirmation bias and belief perseverance make it particularly untrustworthy, and as the writers assert, dangerous and even deadly. The authors state that the reason humans are drawn to pseudoscience stems from an innate tendency to draw sense from nonsense and order from disorder. Our brains are predisposed towards it.
Chapter one also includes the necessity of scientific thinking. It describes scientific thinking as the "approach of evaluating all claims with an open mind, but insisting on persuasive evidence before accepting them."
This chapter also includes the history of psychology and its early leading figures. It introduces the early theoretic perspectives: what they contributed and how they continue to influence psychology today.
This chapter also discusses the "multifaceted world of modern psychology." It explains the types of psychologists that practice today and the steady growth of the field. It includes the big debates of psychology: nature versus nurture and free will versus determinism. Finally, the chapter concludes with examples with how psychology has impacted our daily lives- from paving the way to school integration to choosing the color of fire trucks to the more nocturnally visible color of lime- yellow.

Obviously the title gives away what much of this chapter is about. Stress is a great topic to dig into because most people can relate to it, especially students, myself included. The chapter covers the whole gambit of the stress factory. It covers what stress is, including causes as well as a handy guide/rating, which I have seen used numerous times to rate and monitor stress. It is a handy sheet to use when dealing with huge or numerous conflicts. It helps keep things in perspective. I think as a society we tend to push ourselves to ignore or move through things instead of accepting and allowing time to heal or even process. This chart helps solidify a kind of validation.
However, obviously different people handle stress in a variety of different ways and some things that are stressful to some are not to others. That chart does not help as much with that, but does give you a general idea, while the chapter goes on to explain all the levels of diversity and deviation in stress responses.
The chapter also covers all the ways that our bodies take on stress. Again, as a rather emotionally suppressed society, it can all too often be ignored that what we are suppressing is actually harmful and that even though it might not feel like it, actually feeling our emotions can be a lit healthier than ignoring them or letting them build up.
This was encouraging to see because many people believe that the high levels of stress seen today is actually becoming a chronic condition, similar to diabetes, the brain can basically o.d. on stress and can no longer process it correctly. This can result in a number of health problems, both mental and physical.
The chapter wraps up with solutions to coping and promoting a more stress free life style, which did not include funny things like this:


but did have some basic (and nonbasic) things that we intuitively know but don't often do...or do literally, like this:


don't we all wish it was as easy as installing a vent in your brain?

Chapter 16 is mostly about different psychological and biological treatments that are used in psychology, but there was one factor that struck me the most. It's becoming more common in our society to seek professional help when facing recurring problems. We're expected to sit in on a few sessions, get diagnosed and then properly treated. However, it was found that in some cases, psychotherapies can make people worse off (Barlow, 2010; Dimidjian & Hollon, 2010; Lilienfeld, 2007). One example are coercive restraint therapies which are targeted towards children, usually fostered or adopted children, who have attachment issues. The extent of the therapy consists of the child being physically held down until they stop resisting and they begin to show eye contact and are open to reason. Such a treatment questions ethics and can even be seen as barbaric, as there's a possibility of physical injuries, or in extreme measures, even death. Another more commonly known "therapy" is the national D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse and Resistance Education) program where police officers inform students about the risks of drug use and skills to resist peer pressure. Although with good intentions, there has been noticeable increased intake of alcohol and other substances following the execution of this program. I'm not saying that all therapies are detrimental, because the majority of them are, in fact, extremely beneficial, but just to think twice before blinding committing yourself to any type of therapy. It's not in the therapist's intention to cause any harm to their patients, it's only the unpredictable side effects of what they were taught. But we all know the saying; the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Conciousness -- Chapter 5

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"Expanding the boundaries of psychological inquiry" through every infallible transgression is merely a befuddlement of the function and diversity that perturbs the brain. From its biology, its outer-bodily experience, its existential freedom and imagination, to the abuse of substance control/depressants, this is by far the most intriguing aspect of the brain that is both analytically interesting and curious for those whom just want to depart from reality. What I found quite curious were the stages of sleep--the idea that there is a pattern to our brainwaves and how we are in constant looping in and out until we reach a deep slumber, a passage of which is never reconvened nor can be touched. Loss of consciousness in itself is fascinating and a mysterious journey to venture especially when attempting to find recollections of our previous nightly thoughts. The "other alterations of consciousness and unusual experiences" I find are the most haunting and the most intangible of them all. This is the most fascinating aspect of our consciousness because I feel unless you are Harry Potter and have a dream pool where thoughts can be perfectly dissected from what you personally experience, this realm of the mind is particular to the individual and is like a stage of limbo for those who want to remain and insane for those who cannot cope nor understand. It is not an even playing field at these various curious unexplainable phases of the mind.

Chapter 16

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Chapter 16 is all about psychological and biological treatments. The first section discusses psychotherapy, who benefits from it and what kind of professionals practice it. The topic of the second section is an insight to the different types of therapies to get a better understanding. Behavioral approaches is discussed in the third section. The fourth section is about if psychotherapy is actually effective and how we can be fooled in to getting involved with ineffective therapies. The last section of this chapter is about biomedical treatments such as medications, electrical simulation and surgery.
The part of this chapter that stuck out to me and really interested me was about the deeper insight to the different types of therapies. I knew there are a lot of different types but i didn't really understand how they actually work and benefited the people who go to them. For example gestalt therapy is a type of therapy that aims to integrate different and sometimes opposing aspects of personality into a unified sense of self. They ask their clients to move from chair to chair, creating a dialogue with two conflicting aspects of their personalities.

Chapter 10: Human Development

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This chapter deals primarily with the development of various perceptive and cognitive abilities of humans as they mature. It touches on various crucial steps in physical co-ordination, perception of the world around the individual as they mature, as well as the development of social and moral perspectives. For the most part the chapter is focussed on many theories regarding behavior and the nature/nuture complex, supported by a number of experiements and observed behaviors listed throughout each of the sections. One thing that interested me was the discussion of gene expression and the wide variety of effects that experiences may trigger. This is something I've seen happen, some women I've known have developed allergies during pregnancy that persisted indefinitely, as well as the number of behavioral changes based on hormone production, such as the reduction of testosterone in older men and the effect on behavior.

Social Psychology is the study of how people influence others' behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. Chapter 13 covered the in's and out's on how social interaction affects us. Based on Mark Leary's Need-To-Know theory, humans have a biological based need for social connections. But these interactions affect our behaviors and attitudes more than we can comprehend. Social Psychology is the study of how people influence others' behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. Chapter 13 covered the in's and out's on how social interaction affects us. Based on Mark Leary's Need-To-Know theory, humans have a biological based need for social connections. But these interactions affect our behaviors and attitudes more than we can comprehend. One psychological trait really stuck out to me was bystander nonintervention. In 2009 there was a 15 year-old girl viciously gang raped outside of a school dance. Not only was the viciousness of the crime appalling, but also it was learned that at least a dozen witnesses stood by and did nothing. Psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latane have come up with a few causes of bystander non-intervention. The first, pluralistic ignorance, is experience during a more mild act of emergency (i.e. some drunk man passed out on the ground). It is the error of assuming that no one in a group perceives things as we do. So the individual walking by might look around at everyone else walking past the drunk man and if no one is stopping to help they might just assume their perception of the event is flawed and continue on their way. The second option is called diffusion of responsibility and it more present in an emergency (i.e. the young girl being gang raped). It is the reduction in feeling of personal responsibility in the presence of others, meaning that the larger the group of people idly standing by, the less personal responsibility they feel for what is happening because everyone else is standing by as well.

Ethical Issues in Research

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The Tuskegee study on syphilis is one of the most known ethical controversies related to psychology. It was a forty year study on 399 African-American men who had syphilis left untreated. During the study over 125 men died of syphilis related complications and many other people were infected with syphilis.
It is amazing how this study was allowed to happen. According to the Tuskegee University website the men in the study had no idea what kind of study they were in or what the name of the study was. The men that were involved were not given informed consent of the procedures which is against research protocol.
Also many people have problems with animal research. They don't like the fact that some of the procedures are invasive which will cause physical harm to the animals. In my opinion animal research can be very helpful in many different fields of science including psychology. The brains of the animals are able to help psychologists by seeing how the brain relates to behavior. I also think that some animal research is too invasive. These invasive procedures lead to the death of these animals where they would still be healthy if the procedure wasn't done.
From the story of the Tuskegee study to many of the invasive animal studies many ethical problems have come about in research. Although some of the research can be very useful, is it worth the cost?


The way psychologists collect, analyze and present data is all through certain research methods; which can lead to completely outlandish conclusions or to an educated and precise conclusion. Many ways that psychologists record accurate data is to make sure that no one, participants or experimenter, can have a bias on the hypothesis, unconscious or consciously. They also have to be wary of where and from what background they are taking participants from. Even if they have done all of their preemptive steps correctly they still have to present the data they collect in a correct way that it will pass through multiple peer reviews to be published.
Some of the more interesting and interesting ways your research can go wrong includes unconsciously changing the outcome of a study because of your unconscious bias. This causes experimenters to take precautions such as having double blind studies, where both the participants and the experimenters are told of the independent variable but not told which group will receive the variable, an example of this would be a group of participants who are given a real pill and a placebo pill and neither examiner nor patient knows who got which. There are so many ways that your research and data could be inaccurate. One of the most important things to do in a research study is to check your processes of collecting participants, creating your procedure to collect data, how you interpret your data, show your data and present it.

This chapter breaks up how we communicate, think, and reason into different sections; it then provides insight on how each of these are connected to one another. The first section is about how language was created and how we learn language. It also provides information on different types of communication, such as, non-verbal and nonhuman (or animal) communication. The second section talks about how we think and if we think in words or not. It also talks about how we recognize written word. The third section connects thinking and reasoning. It explains mental processes like decision-making and problem solving.

When I was skimming through each section I found the 'Thinking' section most interesting. It revolved around the relationship between language and thought. The main question was: "do we think in words?", and if so, "does one need to be mastered in language before one can speak?" Linguistic Determinism is a view that claims: all thought is represented verbally and that, as a result, our language defines our thinking. Psychologists didn't know how to go about studying this, but found that Helen Keller had once written: (before she learning language) "I did now know that I am. I lived in a world that was a no-world... I did not know that I knew aught [anything] or that I lived or acted or desired. I had neither will nor intellect." From this finding psychologists believed linguistic determinism to be true. In a later experiment, a certain anesthesiologist chose to be paralyzed except for sensory muscles. After the study had taken place he found that he could recall and remember everything that had happened, therefore, disproving the theory that was must speak to think. I found this section quite interesting because I had never given much thought to how communication and our thoughts have such a deep connection.



It was about three PM when I started looking through this chapter today. Around this time of day I tend to get sleepy, and I generally avoid doing anything productive. This chapter was doubly dangerous to try to overcome, considering a large majority of it goes in depth sleep and dreaming--making me crave that nap even more.
However, I managed to stay awake, and found some interesting facts that I didn't know before about the dreamworld...
1. We can fall asleep with our eyes open.
This would make falling asleep right now a lot more plausible. It also makes narcolepsy easier-a disorder that makes you suddenly fall asleep from anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes.
2. Nightmares are different than Night Terrors.
Night terrors actually take place during non-REM sleep. This is during stages 3 and 4 of sleep. The book references to these stages as "sleeping like a baby" because it is such a deep, dead sleep. REM sleep is when we have fast waves going through our brains and our blood pressure is hyped up. We dream more during this stage and dreams are typically more "emotional" and "illogically" driven.
3. Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
Literally, they sleep with one hemisphere of their brain, while the other watches out for predators and goes to the surface to breathe. After a while, the hemisphere's switch, and the other one sleeps and the former is alert. Basically, dolphins are awesome.


Chapter 1, Psychology and Scientific Thinking, is primarily on the basic history and terminology of psychology. It explains the main factors that make psychology a challenging science. One of the main reasons it is so challenging, is due to the fact that psychological tendencies are produced by many factors. Another area covered in this chapter is the importance of understanding a pseudoscience. It explains that in psychology you can easily fall into logical fallacies. These are traps that can lead to mistaken conclusions. We generally believe in pseudoscientific claims because it allows us to feel in control. Another section in this chapter is on the basic framework for scientific thinking. There are six main principles that contribute to the framework. The last section in Chapter 1 is on psychology's history and the five theoretical frameworks of psychology. These five are structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, cognitivism, and psychoanalysis. I found this section the most intriguing because these five theoretical frameworks are what have shaped psychology into what it is today. Also mentioned in the chapter are the great debates of psychology, such as the evolutionary psychology, and free will-determinism debate.

The Brain: a small, three-pound chunk of flesh that essentially controls our body, but the way it functions is far more complicated. The brain is the most complex item within the known universe. Chapter 3 goes in depth about the biology of the brain. It describes the individual parts of the brain and it explains each piece's function.

So you might be asking yourself, "What makes this thing in my head so complex?" The brain's most basic component is its cells. Within each cell there are many different parts such as neurons and dendrites. Neurons are what allow our brain to communicate; there are 100 billion neurons within each brain! Neurons use electrical transmissions to send messages throughout the body.

A popular myth is that we use only 10% of our brain. We actually use most, if not all of our brain capacity at all times. Each part of our brain has different functions. A simple map within this chapter shows six parts, each with a different function. For example, the brain stem regulates involuntary functions such as your heart rate and breathing. The largest part of the brain is the Cerebral Cortex, which is split into two hemispheres that are connected by the Corpus Callosum.

Our brain is a very complicated computer-like system; it is amazing that such a powerful tool is within our heads!

Chapter 7: Memory

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Chapter seven talks about memory. Memory is the retention of information over time. There are three systems of memory--sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. The book details these three main systems and there subcategories. Also, there are three major processes of memory. These processes are encoding, storage, and retrieval which are also detailed in this chapter. Other topics covered in chapter seven include: memory aids/methods, memory deterioration, developing memories, and false memories. However, to me the most interesting topic the chapter covers is memory storage in the brain. This section details the biology of memory; such as the different areas of the brain in which we store different types of memories. This section covers the biology of long-term memory (implicit and explicit), emotional memory, and memory deterioration (Alzheimer's). I found this section of chapter seven to be most interesting because the brain is complicated and intriguing. I like to learn about different areas and functions of the brain, like this section explains. Overall, this is a very interesting chapter.

Chapter 7- Memory

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When I think of memories, I think of my high school experiences, a few middle school experiences, and a couple of elementary school experiences. Any time before that is incredibly hard for me to remember. As I was reading chapter 7, I learned why it is hard for many people to remember their childhood and even recent activities. I never realized that memory was such a complex subject. There are many parts to it such as its reconstructive nature, the three systems of memory (sensory, short-term, and long-term memory), and the three processes of memory (encoding, storage, and retrieval), how memory acts over time, and false memory. This chapter also covers infantile amnesia, implanted memories, experimental findings to the real world, and child testimony. I thought that the child testimony topic was very interesting. It suggested that when children are being told that something or someone is good or bad then they'll believe it. There was a research that suggested to three to six year old that there was a man named "Sam Stone" who ripped sweaters and broke Barbie dolls. Later, Sam visited their classroom and shortly after there was a soiled teddy bear and a torn book. "Investigators" asked the children suggestive questions such as, "Did Sam Stone rip the book or did he use scissors?" Many of the preschoolers responded to the suggestive questions by responding that Sam had ripped the book or soiled the teddy bear. There were children who weren't interviewed or given misconceptions about Sam and many of their responses rarely said that Sam did it. It amazes me how children can be so easily influenced. It even reminds me of my own experiences. In Hmong tradition, it's usually a woman's job to do the cooking and the cleaning. As a child, I always wanted to wash the dishes because I always saw my sisters doing them. Not only that, but my family constantly reassured me that this was a woman's job. I'm now old enough to realize that it's wrong but, I can see that I was influenced by the people around me and the suggested ideas of what a woman's role was.

Chapter 1 presents us with the basic principles of psychology and information on the people who created the different types of psychological studies. Psychology is a science and there are many ways to test the hypotheses that psychologists present. The chapter also explains how many people's beliefs are often wrong due to assorted biases and pseudosciences. This stuck out to me because all of the biases were easy to relate to and could be applied to some of my current thoughts. Also, the book's comparison of the similarities of the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations was intriguing.
Chapter one's introduction of the scientific thinking principles will be a key to understanding the different concepts throughout the rest of the book. They'll be highlighted in the margins so it'll be easy to tell which principle is being discussed.
Psychology's beginnings were often lumped together with the field of philosophy. It wasn't until the late 1800s that it became its own distinguished science. Many prominent figures kept introducing and improving the field of psychology into the science it is today.

Wilhelm Wundt ( One of the early psychologists )

Currently, there are many psychologists working in universities, private companies, and the government. There's a wide range of jobs available to people seeking employment with a psychology degree. The majority of the jobs are located in the universities.

Chapter 1 presents us with the basic principles of psychology and information on the people who created the different types of psychological studies. Psychology is a science and there are many ways to test the hypotheses that psychologists present. The chapter also explains how many people's beliefs are often wrong due to assorted biases and pseudosciences. This stuck out to me because all of the biases were easy to relate to and could be applied to some of my current thoughts. Also, the book's comparison of the similarities of the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations was intriguing.
Chapter one's introduction of the scientific thinking principles will be a key to understanding the different concepts throughout the rest of the book. They'll be highlighted in the margins so it'll be easy to tell which principle is being discussed.
Psychology's beginnings were often lumped together with the field of philosophy. It wasn't until the late 1800s that it became its own distinguished science. Many prominent figures kept introducing and improving the field of psychology into the science it is today.

Wilhelm Wundt ( One of the early psychologists )

Currently, there are many psychologists working in universities, private companies, and the government. There's a wide range of jobs available to people seeking employment with a psychology degree. The majority of the jobs are located in the universities.

Summary of Chapter 7

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This chapter is all about our memory.
It talks about how we have memory and how our brain works with it. The three types of memory, sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory, consist of memory in our brain. The thing that most interested me is the relationship with short-term and long-term memory. When we repeart something over and over, short-term memory becomes long-term memory, which is a truth but I've never notice. Besides, long-term memory can stays a long time, even when we think we have forgotten, we still remember it as long as we have some stimulus. That's really happen. For instance, the knowledge we learned in high school is long-term memory, after we practice many times. When the time goes by, we don't use it, and we think we forget it. However, the real situation will be that you can recall them after you go over the knowledge quickly.

The initial portion of this chapter discusses emotions: why and how we as humans experience them. Although it remains unknown the cause of emotions, there are several widely accepted theories that help explain the phenomenon. One such prominent theory is the James-Lange theory of emotion which says that "emotions result from our interpretations of our bodily reactions to stimuli". The Cannon-Bard theory, on the other hand, suggests that "an emotion-provoking event leads simultaneously to both an emotion and bodily reactions." Through each of these theories, it is apparent that we experience emotion in effect of some stimuli. This chapter goes further into the process of how we feel emotions describing how what we feel is reflected in our facial expressions. When we feel happy, we smile and vice versa. When we smile, we feel happy. Much of what we feel is either portrayed or taken from nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and gestures. Merely through seeing another person smile we can tell they are happy, frown they are sad and so forth.

Through the rise in popularity of technology we have created 'emoticons' which show our emotions so that other can know how we feel even when they can't see our facial expressions which is what we usually rely on.

The chapter begins by asking a very simple question: what is stress? Researchers have approached this question in three different directions. The first approach treats stressors as stimuli and seeks to identify different stressful events, some examples given were job loss and combat experience. The second approach treats stress as a transaction between people in their environments. This approach is concerned with how individuals respond to similar problems very differently. The third approach is that of researchers that study stress as a response; these researchers expose test subjects to stressful stimuli in laboratories and measure the reaction.

The second section of the chapter deals with how to cope with stress. This section implies that social support is very important when dealing with stress, along with maintaining various types of control in your life. Another important factor in coping with stress is flexibility; a study cited that followed new college students in 2001 showed that people able to express or repress their emotions on demand were less stressed than those that could not.

The third, and final section of the chapter deals with the health consequences of stress. This section discusses unhealthy ways of managing stress and urges the readers to stop using them. The unhealthy behaviors it lists are smoking, excessive drinking, and excessive eating. Through eliminating these practices the book suggests that individuals will live a longer, stress-reduced life.

Chapter 2: Research Methods

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Chapter 2 is all about different research methods (obviously) and how to conduct a good experiment, set up a proper research method, and different types of research done in the world of psychology. One thing that immediately stuck out to me was all the different types of research. One would think that there is just the simple kind of research where you ask a question and then try to answer that question. Wrong! This does make sense, however. If there was just one kind of research, then there would be a lot of biased decisions and discoveries and opinions. One kind of research I do find to be interesting is the idea of a double-blind study. This is the ultimate study for non-bias opinions and observations. Nobody knows anything about any of the things being researched, so it is an honest and legitimate type of research. If people know about the subject being researched, they run the risk of tainting the observations with their personal opinions and ideas. It will be interesting to see how these different types of research will be used in different ways to describe different types of psychological phenomena.

Chapter 3 (Biological Psychology) is an extremely complex chapter. It brigdes the levels of analysis between all of the different function of your brain and body. The introduction of stem cells, nerve cells, the central nervous system, the endocrine system and more cause this chapter to be extremely intriguing. Ancient people often assumed that the heart was the "center" of the body due to the fact that it speeds up when certain emotions or physical strains are occurring in the body. The brain, however, is the center of feeling, thoughts, and emotion. It is known as the most complicated structure in the known universe for a reason. In this video "The Miracle in Human Brain" Susan McConnell shows how our three pound brain can accomplish the astonishing feats that is does. The Miracle in Human Brain - YouTube.html

Another interesting topic that this chapter touched on was the Nature vs. Nurture concept. Through the twin studies scientists were able to prove that identical twins are more alike on a psychological characteristic, such as intelligence or athletic ability, than fraternal twins are. Chapter 3 was filled with information critical to understanding the way our body functions which is crucial in determining why we do what we do.
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Benefits of Bilingualism

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Chapter 8 focuses on just as the title says, "Language, Thinking, and Reasoning." It discusses how language works, how it is learned, and how language correlates with thought and thinking processes. When it comes to learning languages, it is known that one can learn to speak and comprehend multiple languages. On page 293, the text says when children are bilingual (know two languages) it "gives them heightened metalinguistic insight--awareness of how language is structured and used. As a result, they tend to perform better on language tasks in general." I found this to be interesting, and I wondered what other benefits being bilingual could have. I found many links discussing the benefits, but I chose to show the two I found to be most thought-provoking and seemed most credible.

This link leads to a lengthy article by Wen-Jui Han about the link between bilingualism and behavioral and emotional issues in grade school children.

In an interview with Brenda Gorman, Ph.D, this video briefly discusses the pros of being bilingual from the social and professional to even the cognitive benefits.

In chapter 15 they start out by jumping in to some psychological orders and showing the conceptions of these illnesses. They also talk about the common misconceptions that the people of today seem to assume. These conceptions are based on the mental illnesses. the chapter then moves on to anxiety disorders and some of the common symptoms of them. It explains the way these people feel that suffer from these disorders. Then mood disorders and suicides and they identify the different characteristics of mood disorders, and also what events in ones life may lead to depression and other mood disorders. It looks inside these to see if in suicide cases, if what the end result that the people committing this act really want is to die. It researches it and breaks down the myths about suicide. Then the chapter touches on personality and dissociative disorders, it identifies the characteristics of these disorders and examines the controversies. The chapter talks about schizophrenia and the symptoms and links it to genetic influences that heighten chances of being schizophrenic. Lastly, it wraps up the chapter with childhood disorders and the symptoms and surrounding disorders that are linked to these childhood disorders.

One major subject chapter 13 focuses on is aggression. The definition of aggression from the textbook is "behavior intend to harm others, either verbally or physically". Aggressive behavior can be accounted for on both large and small scales, and can be influenced either situationally or through disposition. Psychologist have pinpointed many situational influences on aggression in humans. The first situational influenced described is Interpersonal Provocation, which explains that people are more likely to show aggressive behavior towards those who provoke them. Another situational influence is Media Influences. Evidence has shown at watching media violence and playing violent video games boosts aggression in Western and Asian cultures. Alcohol and other drugs can disinhibit ones prefrontal cortex, lowering reservations toward behaving violently. However, alcohol is likely to trigger aggression only when the target of ones violence occupies the main focus of our attention. Arousal is another influence mentioned. When autonomic nervous systems are risen, people may unintentionally mistake that arousal for anger. The last situational Influence mentioned is Temperature. Warm temperatures increase irritability and warmer temperatures are associated with higher rates of violence.

Certain personality traits can also create aggression. People with high levels of irritability or mistrust tend to show higher rates of aggression. It has also been proven that males are show a higher rate of physical aggressiveness compared to females. Cultural differences also show a variety in levels of physical aggression. For example, Asian individuals have lower levels of physical aggression compared to American or European individuals.

In chapter four it focuses on our senses: seeing, hearing, taste, smell and touch. It first starts out by explaining how our senses work in creating the world around us through sensation and perception. Then the book goes through each sense a little more in depth, discussing how biologically our senses work through body parts like our eyes and ears. It also describes how our brains perceive these senses and why some people cannot use them. One topic I find extremely interesting in the chapter is selective attention. After thinking about it, I use selective attention a lot. For instance, the book talked about the cocktail party effect -where even if you are not paying attention to someone's conversation at a party, if they say your name, you hear it. I feel like this happens to me many times at parties and other places. It does not help having such a common name either. Also my selective attention works opposite as well. In some cases I will be so focused on getting to my next class, or woking on homework that when people call my name I do not hear them. I would really like to learn more about this and look into how the brain does that.

Naturalistic Obeservation

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Naturalistic Observation is defined as "watching behavior in real-world settings without trying to manipulate the situation." This type of observation is necessary in experiments that require the subject to remain unaware that he or she is being tested. The example the text book uses is an experiment on laughter. If a subject were in a laboratory setting, they might feel awkward and give unwarranted responses. Naturalistic Observation is high in External validity which is defined as the "extent to which we can generalize findings to real-world settings." Basically the subject acting in its natural state without knowing it is being observed. However, Naturalistic Observation has its weaknesses as well; it lacks internal validity. Internal validity is defined as the "extent to which we can draw cause-and-effect inferences from a study." Observing things in their natural state leaves out the possibility of using variables to test the subject. Laboratory experiments are high in internal validity because they can control the variables. A major link to Naturalistic Observation would have to be John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner and their pioneering of Behaviorism. Behaviorism's central focus is observable behavior. Watson was fed up with introspectionists such as E.B. Titchener who looked more at the inside and the conscious experience. Overall, I believe Nautralistic Observation is very helpful in psychology because it eliminates a type of bias that laboratory settings sometimes set up.

languages_of_the_world.jpgChapter eight is about language, thinking and reasoning. This chapter talks about the small features that make up a language and how dialects are formed. This chapter also talks about how language came about and how it has evolved and still continues to do so. It also has facts and theories about how children learn a language through their early stages of life. The most interesting thing to me in this chapter was the section about bilingualism. I thought this part was interesting because I grew up learning three languages and I'm equally fluent in them and where I'm from most people grow up learning more than one language. The surprising part was when they asked how they keep the languages separate and organized in their brain. I never thought about this because I automatically switch languages when I'm with certain groups of people and think in different languages when I'm with certain groups. I took these skills for granted, but I learned how crucial language, thinking and reasoning are in our everyday life in order to communicate effectively.

Illusory Correlation

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The illusory correlation is the perception of thinking we see a correlation between two different things when really none exists. This is something we, as human beings do naturally and it is an inescapable fact of everyday life. In our text on page 58 and 59, we are given several examples of illusory correlations, such as the baseball player Wade Boggs who ate chicken before every game he played believing that it would make him a more successful hitter. Another example was the illusory correlation between nights where there were full moons and increased crime activity. A full moon doesn't necessarily cause crime rates to increase, people just are more prone to recognize it when they have something to relate it too, such as the moon being full. Crime happens just as often on non full moon nights and there are plenty of full moons that go by where crime doesn't happen as much.

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Superstitions also have a lot to do with illusory correlation. A belief in superstitions gives people an illusion of control in an uncertain world. Many superstitions originated at a time when little was known about how the physical world functions. Human beings will always seek to understand their surroundings and will interpret life by that understanding. There are several well known superstitions about luck, health, and fortune. It is said that is lucky to find a four leaf clover or to carry a rabbit's foot with you. On the other hand, it is unlucky to walk under a ladder or to pick up a coin that isn't heads up.


Finally, the illusory correlation comes into play when dealing with stereotypes as well. Stereotypes are generalizations, or assumptions, that people make about the characteristics of all members of a group, based on an image about what people in that group are like. People are constantly stereotyping. We make these stereotypes based on preconceived ideas we have on different races of people, gender, age, cultures, anything. We just put things into already formed categories in our minds so quickly, we don't really give new people or ideas a chance to prove they aren't like the rest or like that idea we have in our heads. Stereotyping is unfair and wrong because of the fact it doesn't give people a chance to make a true name for themselves or prove preconceived thoughts of them or their group wrong. Here are several well known stereotypes....

Prior to attending this psychology class, or just college in general, we had to undergo the frustrating (at least for some of us) task of preparing for several IQ tests like the ACT and the infamous SAT. During that time, we may have found ourselves questioning that do tests like the ACT and SAT really measure our knowledge and predict our success in college? The answer isn't as simplistic as we might think so. Chapter 9 goes into depth about what really defines intelligence and taps on controversial subjects of racial and gender differences in their IQ's.

Psychologists, for years, have argued over the exact definition of intelligence. Thus, they listed certain characteristics associated with intelligences. These are:
Intelligent individuals have the ability to:
1. Thinking and reasoning abstractly
2. learn to adapt to novel environmental circumstances
3. like to acquire knowledge

However, I found it interesting that different cultures have different perceptions of intelligence. For instance, most Americans describe an intelligent person as one who can reason well and quickly. On the other hand, other countries like China perceive a person intelligent if he has good wisdom and a better judgement than others.

Different psychologists came up with different hypothesis and theories to what makes people really smart. Sir Francis Galton proposed that knowledge comes through really exceptional senses like that of vision and hearing. However, this would mean that the blind or deaf would be considered mentally retarded. Thus, this theory stand falsified. Along came Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon who described intelligence as the ability to understand hypothetical concepts rather than the concepts in the here-and-now. They came up with the first intelligence test which measures overall thinking ability. Their intelligence tests are still used in the modern era.

Even with Binet and Simon's "Abstract Thinking" theory, there is still more to intelligence that mere understanding of hypothetical concepts. This gave way to Robert Sternberg's Triarchic model. He classified intelligence into three categories:
1. Analytical intelligence; which is basically the same as "book smarts"
2. Practical intelligence: equivalent to "street smarts", which is basically the ability to solve real world problems.
3. Creative intelligence: the ability to think outside the box and come up with novel and effective answers to questions.

Sternberg's, Gardner's, Binet's and Simon's theories all point to a more simplified statement that intelligence is directly correlated to efficiency or speed of information processing. This brings us to measuring intelligence. The most commonly used method of measuring intelligence is using IQ tests. The Intelligence Quotient finds differences among people in their intelligence. IQ tests are used to screen job applicants, as well as college applicants. However, this approach has not been free of controversy. This brings us to the variations of IQ scores of test-takers belonging to different sex and racial groups.

Studies suggest men have slightly higher IQ's than women. Moreover, various studies propose that Caucasians score higher IQ's than African Americans and Latinos. This obviously caused a stir. Many started using these results as means of claiming that one sex or race is inferior to the other. However, after investigating more into the variations of these scores, studies proposed that these variations were more environmental than genetic. There might not have been enough women in hard science professions due to the discrimination they faced in the past, or African Americans with lower IQ scores were due to inferior education and schooling opportunities available to them or we could explain it through the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Although, IQ's have a high correlation between them and success in a job field or college, there are other factors that may lead to success. These are motivation, curiosity and effort. Moreover, we can't use race as a basis for inferring any given person's IQ. There is more to intelligence than a generalized definition. And hey, the best part about psychology, or any other science, is that theories are always open for revision.

Chapter four dives into the body's ability to sense and perceive. It clearly explains the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Along the way, the text notes remarkable features of the senses that allow the body to do extraordinary things in order to live safely and perceive the world as it should be.
Within each sense, the text lists and explains what each body part within that sense does to enable the sense to work properly. Along with explaining each part of the sense, the text shares different experiences, diseases, and disorders humans have with each sense. Some include blindness, deafness, visual agnosia (the inability to perceive objects) and phantom pain, just to name a few. Other interesting experiences were included such as the visual illusions humans experience and why they occur. Extrasensory perception or ESP, the ability to perceive events "outside the known channels of sensation," was also a notable area of the chapter because of its controversy in today's society.
For me, the most interesting part of the chapter was learning about subliminal perception, "perception below the threshold of conscious awareness." This was interesting because it explained why humans buy certain things or think specific ideas.
On top of sharing recent research about the senses, the text corrects false conclusions that have been made in the past such as the "Tongue Taste Map," the idea that the tongue tastes certain tastes only in some spots and not others. As we learned in the first chapter, many of these claims are false because they violated one of the six rules for critical thinking. Overall, chapter four explains why we sense and perceive the things in this world and how that happens.


One thing this chapter largely focuses on is emotions and theories of where those emotions derive from, some which include emotions being products of thinking, bodily reactions to stimuli, and "gut reactions," etc. It also gives explanation to how our body language and facials react to that of the emotions we are feeling. One thing I found really interesting is that the blood vessels in our faces actually feed temperature information to the brain, which ultimately alters our emotions.

This chapter also discusses the study of personal spaces and actually gives examples of "correct space" in different instances. Something that also sparked my interest in this chapter was the topic of lying and tactics of lie detection. Something that I didn't know prior to this chapter was the use of integrity tests by employer's used to assess a workers' tendency to cheat or steal.

This chapter also touches on the topic of happiness and misconceptions of happiness. Along with happiness, it discusses positive self-esteem and what drives us as humans. This chapter also presents the topics of eating, disorders associated with eating, and weight gain. A theory I found interesting was the internal-external theory which states that people who are obese are more likely to eat due to external cues such as portion size, taste, appearance, and smell rather than internal cues such as a growling stomach. In conclusion, the last topic talked about is sex and love and the emotions that go along with them.

Chapter 14 Personality

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Chapter fourteen touches on the different types of personality's people have and how they are come to have them. There were case studies done on about 130 identical and fraternal twins showing signs of specific gene related personality traits that a set of twins shared even though separated from birth, such as similar views on divorce, religion and also the inclination to watch TV. There were other differences found due to environmental influences, but the genetic similarities were more prominent.

Other parts of the chapter talk about the different developmental stages people go though starting at birth, which is called the Oral Stage (Freud's Stages of Psychosexual Development). These stages "end" around age twelve at the, Genital Stage, when the genetics and environmental factors begin to show who a person has become. It is explained later in the chapter that different personality traits such as extraversion, neuroticism or "openness" seem to define a person (but can also be strengthened or toned down, depending on the personality) until around the age of thirty. The chapter battles back and forth regarding the different views and theories of the Freudians and Skinnerians on unconsciously processing things and the behaviors one has which then creates a personality.

A very common misconception in the psychological world is the belief that schizophrenia causes the victim to have multiple personalities, where it is truly an experience of delusions and hallucinations. This is just one example of many incorrect ideas about psychological disorders. Chapter 15 explores the complexities of mental illness and its many forms.
Mental illness was previously believed to be reactions to demonic presence within the body, but after scientific explanation it was revealed to be just like most physical illnesses and required medical treatment. The most important part of treating mental illness is the diagnosis. The DSM-IV is a large text that is the official system for classifying mental disorders and is used by doctors to help diagnose.dsm_iv.jpg Mental illnesses fall into four main categories: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, and dissociative disorders. Under anxiety disorders you find panic disorders, phobias, OCD, and many other illnesses connected to stress. Mood disorders are just as common as anxiety. Some common mood disorders are depression and bi-polar disorder. Suicide almost always coincides with mood disorders causing these diseases to be taken very seriously. Personality and dissociative disorders are often similar, dealing with the personality of a victim. Common illnesses include borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, and dissociative identity disorder, which is what is what schizophrenia is commonly thought to be.
Though many of these mental illnesses are rare, there are still ones that go on all around, everyday. Mental illness is very complicated because our minds are so complex. Years of studying, experimenting, and studying have gone into alleviating these illnesses but scientists are limited and there is still much to be learned. Psychological disorders are plaguing the people of the world and it is up to present and future psychologists to save human kind from their own minds.
- Brian Wasz

Chapter 7, Memory

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This chapter is specifically about memory and how are brain works. It gives reasons for the different types of memories, why we don't remember some of our memories, and things people use to trigger memories or remember them. What fascinated me the most would have to be when they started to talk about short term memory versus long term memory. For me it seems to be difficult to see this happen. For me I suppose that maybe some of the information that we learn in school can be considered as short term things and long term things. To me, the things that are most interesting are what I tend to remember the most. So take history class, for me, this is not one of my favorite subjects, so I tend to remember more information gathered from my math classes because that is my favorite class. Another interesting thing that I came by was what we use to remember certain things, or memory triggers. For me this happens to happen a lot when I listen to music. I am always listening to music and at different points in my life I listen to different styles of music, so when I hear these songs later in life, they remind me of that time of my life and some of the things that happened.

Learning is a change in an organism's behavior or thought as a result of experience. Habituation, a process of responding less strongly over time to repeated stimuli, is probably the first style of learning that humans emerge that they do not need to be so sensitive about the less important things in their daily lives. There are classical and operant conditions with which human face to learn something. While several models of learning styles are introduced, the most interesting one was the sleep-assisted learning that we often wonder it works or not. I personally have experienced an English learning CD that I can listen to a recorded English story to learn a second-language. If humans were able to learn something while asleep, it would not make sense why students need to wake up in the early morning to go to school. B.F. Skinner, a famous behaviorist, believed that at the same time humans learn something, they are thinking. The monitor subjects were doubted if they were awake to think what they were listening to. Customers have the right to require those companies to show more scientific evidence that the sleep-assisted learning really works or not.

Chapter 1

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Chapter one focuses a lot on the basic principles of Psychology. It gives multiple terms as to how humans want to always be right (confirmation bias and belief perseverance) as well as a lot of information about pseudoscience and why we are drawn to pseudoscience so often. This chapter discusses multiple logical fallacies often found in psychology, for example the bandwagon fallacy. Skepticism and scientific thinking are extremely important in this chapter because they discuss ways of distinguishing fact from fiction. Lastly, this chapter introduces the history of psychology, including the most famous psychologists and their ideas and different psychology professions today.
What I found the most interesting was the tendency for humans to always want to be correct. With things such as confirmation bias (seeking evidence to prove we're correct) and belief perseverance (sticking to our original beliefs). I find that these often come up in daily life, whether it be in an argument or on a test. We always need to use self correction and determine if there are outside forces causing us to think this certain way, and realize we may not be correct. Also, I found it amazing the commonalities between Abraham Lincoln and JFK.

Chapter Six Summary

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Chapter six's main theme is learning. In the book, learning is defined as a change in an organism's behavior or thought as a result of experience. Learning can be applied to two main conditionings that are talked about in chapter six. The first is classical conditioning, or otherwise known as Pavlovian conditioning. Ivan Pavlov discovered this form of learning when he was studying digestion in dogs. He observed that the dogs began salivating not only to the meat itself, but to stimuli that became associated with it. The second conditioning is operant conditioning. This varies from classical conditioning because the target behavior is not drawn out automatically, it is emitted voluntarily. Two key concepts of operant conditioning are reinforcement and punishment. B.F. Skinner researched both positive and negative reinforcement and punishment and discovered that there are two dimensions involved when giving reinforcement. One is the time interval between reinforcements and second is the amount of reinforcement given. He concluded that each different reinforcement schedule yielded different patterned responses. One of the most interesting things I found when skimming chapter six is that operant conditioning is used to train service animals. Initially, trainers give feedback to the animals for behavior exhibited which is close to the target behavior and as time passes, only reinforcing them when the exact target behavior is displayed.

Once you have identified the problem, or are seeking to further examine a psychological issue, who do you go to and what can you do? Chapter 16 of our textbook details many of the possibilities for treatment of various emotional, behavioral, and inter-personal problems that many people deal with within their daily lives. Some options include group therapy (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous), family therapy (to improve communication within families), interpersonal therapy, and many other forms of treatment. Regardless of the form of therapy, it is important to be aware of possibly ineffectual therapies masquerading as truly helpful methods of treatment. Biomedical treatments such as medication, electrical stimulation or, as a last resort, surgery, are also available.

One of my favorite examples of why thinking critically is important is when approaching advertisements for self-help books. When we take into consideration that 3,500 new self-help books are published every year (Lilienfeld, 657), it begs the question as to how many are actually legitimate! As the majority of these self-help books are untested, one cannot just assume that the contents of a chosen self-help book will by truly helpful or if it will in fact exacerbate your personal issues. Be sure to avoid the potential pitfalls of untested therapies and the vast world of self-help books available on the market!

- Lauren Y.

Chapter 11 is all about emotions.

There are various theories about where emotions come from. Some of the important ones are the Discrete Emotions Theory, the Cognitive Theory of Emotion, the James-Lange Theory of Emotion, and the Two-Factor Theory of Emotion. Each theory contributes key pieces to our understanding, but it's hard to study the evidence because emotions are not concrete. I trust that all these gentlemen who constructed theories are very highly qualified within their field of expertise, but I wonder if their opinions would change if they went through a week of PMS...
One important piece to remember when we study emotions is that emotions vary from culture to culture. The body language, personal space, and physical gestures that could convey one message in one culture, can mean something entirely different in another.
Chapter Eleven also touches on what makes us happy and tests our assumptions about what we think happiness means to human behavior. Luckily for us, looks like people who graduate from college tend to be happier :)
Motivation has a lot of emphasis on incentives and our needs. It's interesting to see the techniques that are proven to work the best; hopefully we can channel that during midterms...
Chapter 11 then goes to talk about sexuality in terms of emotions and desires. Homosexuality is touched on, what makes us attracted to others, and the different components of love. I thought this section was interesting because I usually don't think of my relationship in terms textbook guidelines; definitely makes you evaluate yourself more.

Summary of Chapter Four (4)

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Chapter four of our textbook talked about the different ways that our body senses stimuli and the ways in which it reacts to them. It discussed in detail the different organs involved in these different processes and how they work, as well as different theories regarding uncertain information.

It began by discussing the principles involved in sensing stimuli and how our brain uses those stimuli to create perceptions and ideas. Not only did it discuss the known facts about this, but it also talked about ESP and other theories that people have put their faith in.

From here it went on to describe each of the senses - sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch - and the organs associated with them - eyes, ears, tongue, nose, receptors throughout the body. Once again, the authors not only talked about the known ways in which these organs function, but alsoabout the theories that have been discussed regarding controversial or unknown observations. They also talked about different disorders or problems that can arise when these organs are not functioning correctly and are not sending the brain signals regarding stimuli.

Overall, this chapter gives not only a good anatomical description of the human sense organs, but also some of the important terms and theories about how these organs function to help our brains interpret and react to the stimuli that we receive.

The IQ test. Each human's IQ varies accordingly, based on his or her own knowledge, experience, and skill base, but do we really know what intelligence is or how it is calculated? Chapter 9 seeks out to define and expand the subject of intelligence, and more specifically, IQ testing. Scott Lilienfeld, Steven Lynn, Laura Namy, and Nancy Woolf note that intelligence is a simple concept, being described as "what intelligence tests measure" (Lilienfeld, et al, 2010). The definition can be defined more acutely as a sensory capacity, abstract thinking, and fluid and crystallized intelligence, among others.

How one's intelligence is measured depends on the "type" of intelligence being tested, which brings us to the matter of multiple intelligences, that is, "entirely different domains of intellectual skill". Imagine you've got a knack for public speaking but are petrified by the thought of solving an advanced equation; this simply means that your linguistic skills are more tightly tuned than your logico-mathematical intelligence. The book notes that these different mind frames (coined by Howard Gardner) has sparked inspiration for teachers to reconfigure their teacher plans to accommodate the diverse model of intelligence in each and every classroom.

In order to test how "smart" an individual is, a systematic approach must be used-- enter: IQ testing. Binet and Simon created the first version of the IQ test in 1916; it consisted of vocabulary, memory situations, naming objects, commands, and repeating phrases (Lilienfeld, et al, 2010). At any age group, a person scoring 100 is average, 80, below average, and 120, above average. Today, the IQ test is in its 5th revision from its birth in 1916 and is a highly influential assessment of intelligence. Relevant for college students are the SAT and ACTs which "are designed to test overall competence specific domain or predict academic success." So with that in mind, are you living up to your ACT score--or possibly, passing your expectations?

-Emily Palecek

From the title of Chapter 16, it's easy to figure out its content is mainly about the treatment "helping people change" from two perspective, psychological and biological. I would see Chapter 16 as a respond to the content in its last Chapter, which is about psychological disorders.

This Chapter focuses on psychological treatments by discussing about four topics, including psychotherapy's object, psychotherapies on two focuses, insight therapies and behavioural approaches, and effectiveness of psychotherapy. Followed by "effective and ineffective psychotherapy" topic, it also implies that biomedical treatments would be an alternative if psychotherapy tends to be ineffective.

One of the most attractive parts in this Chapter for me is the introduction of those psychotherapies. Insight therapies and behavioural approaches are two types of methods from two points of view. In my opinion, there is one thing we should remember. What a therapist needs to do is to choose a method which could effectively help his client release from the sufferings, psychologically or biologically.

Jan.22 2012 by Yao

Chapter Twelve

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Stress, Coping, and Health

Chapter twelve starts out about stress. The chapter explains what stress is and the different types of stress people experience. The different approaches to stress are as a stimuli ( that is focusing on identifying different types of stressful events), transaction ( how people interpret and cope with stressful events), and as a response (psychological and physical reactions to stressful circumstances). The chapter also discusses the creation of the Hassle scale. This scale is used to determine how stressful events are associated with poor health. The next section of the chapter is how one adapts to stress and the challenges associated with change. Also discusses the different types of responses to stress. The next section is about how the brain and body reacts to stress. This section also discusses events that can cause a weak immune system or diseases, such as coronary heart disease. The next section is about coping with stress and different strategies offered to help. Also explains how some ways of coping are better for some rather then others. The next section is about how to live a less stressful life. This section provides techniques to make living a healthy lifestyle easier.
What interested me most when reading the chapter was that stress is studied with three different approaches. I found it interesting because I didn't know there were different kinds of stresses. I thought one would just be stressed. Its interesting to find that different kinds of stresses affect how one should approach to cope with stress. Another aspect I found interesting was that not everyone deals with stress the same way. I also found it interesting how one can measure their stress. By using the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) one can see how stressful events have effected their life and if they are susceptible to illness or mental health problems. It was interesting to see how stressful events can affect the mind.

Chapter 8 begins with a conversation between two people. With even a simple exchange, language is shown to be uniquely human. Unlike animal communication, humans have large brains that allow for things discussed in this chapter including syntax, extralinguistis information, dialects, and much more. As humans, we use language everyday to express thoughts and reasoning.
As language is very complex, it is very difficult to pin pint the origin. Only guesses can made as to why and how humans began to speak cognitively. One of the interesting parts of this chapter was the theory about how language came about. I found it unusual that the book assumed an evolutionary belief in its explanation of how language came about. They argue that the larger brain which enabled early humans to think enhanced survival because the social life and organization became more important. However, the book mentions that the mixes of words that reflect their meanings are puzzling because, on one side, arbitrarily related words seem like "unintuitive 'design feature'(s)." Another interesting part of this chapter was the exploration of how children learn language. I found it intriguing the capacity children have to learn such a complex skill.

Chapter 14 Personality

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Personality is the people's typical ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Psychologist Gordon Allport defines personality as consisting of relatively enduring predispositions that influence our behaviors across many situations. Predispositions are also called traits and can be introversion, aggressiveness, and conscientiousness. The nonmothetic approach to studying personality is when one strives to understand personality by identifying general laws that govern the behavior of all individuals. The idiographic approach is when one strives to understand personality by identifying the unique configuration of characteristics and life history experiences within a person.
Three influences on personality are genetic factors, shared environmental factors like experiences that make individuals within the same family more alike, and nonshared environmental factors like experiences that make individuals within the same family less alike. A molecular genetic study investigation allows researchers to pinpoint genes associated with specific personality traits. Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality has three core assumptions: Psychic Determinism- the assumption that all psychological events have a cause, Symbolic Meaning- no action is meaningless, and Unconscious Motivation- why we do what we do. Freud said that the human psyche consists of three components: Id- reservoir of our most primitive impulses (basic instincts), Ego- psyche's executive and principal decision maker (the boss), and Superego- our sense of morality (moral standards). Social learning theorists are theorists who emphasize thinking as a cause of personality. This can include social learning views of determinism, observational learning and personality, and sense of perceived control.

Chapter 9 first explores the history of the evolution of intelligence measurement, current types of tests and how they differ, as well as the controversial, unethical policies stemming from the implementation of eugenics programs based on flawed intelligence testing. Chapter 9 also explores in depth the nature of IQ tests, their validity, links between IQ and poverty, genetics, and so on.

The book cites a definition of intelligence from the awesomely (perhaps fittingly) named psychologist, Edwin Boring: "Intelligence is whatever intelligence tests measure". Thank you, Edwin Boring, for clearing that up.

Our chapter 9 story starts in the late 1880s, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, believed that intelligence was derived from the sharpness of our senses, i.e. hearing, vision, etc, and in having keener senses, those humans were more intelligent, and thus have superior reproductive success in line with Darwin's theory. Later research disproved this theory, on the basis of the weak correlation between keen senses and intelligence. I question this, because I'm sure my cat has much sharper senses than I do, but I don't see my cat writing this...

Later research explored the idea of intelligence as a multifaceted aspect of the mind. In 1905, two French scientists, Alfred Binet, and Théodore Simon created a new test at the behest of the French government, with the goal of creating a metric for 'higher mental processes'. The duos' tests measured abstract reasoning with objects, sentences, pictures, word knowledge. This approach, which encompassed several areas, would become the foundation for future research into intelligence metrics. This test was translated in 1908 by American psychologist Henry Goddard, and IQ testing exploded in popularity. IQ tests were misused to keep immigrants out of the US, as well as justify cruel mandatory sterilization of thousands of 'low-IQ' individuals within the US and around the world, as part of the wider eugenics movement.

In the 1920s, a psychologist named Charles Spearmen, noticed correlations between test results, and postulated that these correlations represented an underlying 'general intelligence, or 'g', a mental equivalent to horsepower, 'g' representing a form of mental energy. The more 'g', your brain is more efficient and capable than someone with less 'g'. Spearman also presented the notion that the brain might be stronger in certain areas, represented by a factor he called specific abilities, or 's'.

The nature of human intelligence was further distinguished by the definition of 'fluid intelligence' and 'crystalized intelligence', in the late 1930s, by several scientists. A game show like Jeopardy draws purely from crystallized intelligence, random trivia, facts, knowledge accumulated about the world, s-words, art history for 500, and so on. Fluid intelligence, however, refers to our ability to solve problems, for example how quickly one can learn how to drive stick or solve a Rubik's cube.

Fast-forward to the 80s, and we've got Howard Gardner with the theory of 'multiple intelligences', a much friendliest view of intelligence that's far more inclusive than something like 'g'. Rather than just having more brain-power, Howard Gardner proposes that people have strength in various areas and all of these areas are a form of intelligence. For example, one could say Sting possesses great musical intelligence, where as Van Gogh had great spatial intelligence, but poor intrapersonal intelligence.

Today, there are many tests in use, all attempting to correct for faults in earlier testing paradigms. I find it interesting that the 'Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale' test, psychologist David Weschler, was created by a man classified as 'feebleminded' by earlier IQ tests. Variants of this WAIS test are available for children. Another aim of more modern IQ tests is to avoid the cultural bias prevalent in earlier tests, to make it fair for people who might not have a strong grasp of the language or the culture of the testers.

- Adam Priest

Lilienfeld, S.O., Lynn, S.J., Namy, L., & Woolf, N. (2010).  Psychology: From inquiry to understanding (2nd edition).  Boston, MA: Pearson.

Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 is mainly an introduction to the subject of psychology. The scientific theory and how it is used in psychology just like any other science. Important people from psychology's past are also featured in this chapter along with the goals they had for psychology and science as well as the lasting impacts they made on the subject. Light is also shed on different types of pseudoscience and how advertisement can gather such a following like; exaggerated claims, overreliance on anecdotes, absence of connectivity to other research, lack of review by other scholars or replication by independent labs, lack of self- correction when contrary evidence is published, meaningless "psychobabble" that uses fancy scientific-sounding terms that don't make sense, and talk of "proof" instead of "evidence". The pseudoscience section was probably the most interesting to me because I had never really thought about the claims that were made versus what is considered to be science. I would not have caught the use of the word "proof" instead of "evidence" which is a huge warning that the claim is not scientific.

Chapter 12, Stress

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Stress is a type of response, it consists of the tension, discomfort, or physical symptoms that arise when a situation, called a stressor, a type of stimulus, strains our ability to cope affectively. Stress if commonly confused with trauma. A traumatic event is a stressor that is so severe that it can produce long-term psychological or health consequences. Until the 1940's stress was not a common word used by scientists.
There are three main approaches to stress. The first one is stressors as stimuli. Stressors as stimuli approach focuses on identifying different types of stressful events, ranging from job loss to combat.The second one is stress as a transaction. Stress as a transaction is how people interpret and cope with stressful events.The third one is stress as a response. Stress as a response assess people's physical and psychological reactions to stressful circumstances.
One thing that struck me in this chapter was the four steps to a healthy lifestyle. Stop smoking was number one, followed by curb alcohol consumption. So many people smoke these days and nothing is really being done about it. I feel some things have changed like the laws in bars, restaurants, campuses, but still when I see doctors and nurses smoking a cigarette outside a hospital, it really makes me think. They try to say smoking is bad for you but they do it themselves.
Another thing that struck me was that in the United States strokes causes more deaths than all types if accidents combined. That is scary. This fact helps people realize that they should change their lifestyle and start being healthier before it is too late.
I learned that stress affects your everyday life, and there are many things you can do to manage stress or prevent it from ruining your life.
-Emily Sirek

Getting Started

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shakespeare blog.jpg

Hey guys,

Welcome to Psychology 1001! This blog is created as a space for you to share your ideas, and also give feedback on each other's entries. I'm really looking forward to seeing the creativity you all put into this. This is your time to have fun, and really talk more in depth about topics that personally interest you as they pertain to Psychology.

This blog is here so we can see that you thinking critically about the concepts you're learning about in Psychology, but also so you can learn from the perspectives and ideas of your peers. Be sure to comment on your peers' entries throughout the semester

Getting used to this writing style might be tricky at first, but below is a link that I think provides some really good tips on getting started on this writing:


Happy writing!


I was assigned to read Chapter 13, Social Psychology: study of how people's behavior, beliefs, and attitudes are influenced by others.
One thing interesting highlight was the Fundamental Attribution Error. Basically, people think of their own actions as being influenced by their circumstances, but attribute other people's actions to who they are. For example, if you yelled at someone, you might think, "She was annoying, and it snowed all night, so I was grumpy from my bad commute." If you saw someone else yelling at someone, you'd think, "What a mean person!"
Another interesting part of Social Psychology is Conformity, whose effects are best seen in the Asch Studies. In these, a participants was put in a room full of confederates. The group was asked to match a line to another of corresponding length. The catch is that group would call out an obviously wrong answer. If you were like 75% of participants, you would end up saying an answer you knew was wrong just to fit in with the group. The figure below shows a sample question:

Overall, this chapter demonstrated the need to remember how others are affected by their environments, and especially how they are effected by other people.

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