April 2012 Archives

Five years from now, if I look back at that psychology class I will be so happy that I passed :). I will remember some things though, for example classical conditioning. We got that pushed into our heads again and again, I feel if you ever went to a psychology lecture, that is one you will remember. The concept of classical conditioning isn't too hard to grasp, there is an unconditioned response, conditioned response, unconditioned stimulus, and conditioned stimulus. The unconditioned response should be the exact same as the conditioned response if you do it right. The unconditioned stimulus is something that gives you pleasure, fear, or any other emotion. A conditioned stimulus could be a sound that is put before the unconditioned stimulus to create the same response as without the conditioned stimulus. Anyways this process is used to show learning, It is a deep concept, but I feel this concept is everywhere in the world, so you can't really forget something you see everyday.
Another thing I will remember is the biological psychology section, I am planning on majoring in biology, so this is a section that interested me the most. Especially the nervous system and how we broke it up into so many categories. I remember doing this same thing in biology class in high school, so I already had some background knowledge on the issue.
The last thing I will remember is the "6 Scientific Thinking Principles," I swear we use at least one of these everyday in psychology class. The six principles are, ruling out rival hypothesis, correlation isn't causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and occam's razor. I feel the most used one is replicability, at least I use that one the most. There are always studies that try to duplicate what has been found before.
I feel I did learn a lot from psychology 1001, and my knowledge definitely grew bigger because of this class!

Freakonomics is a book written in 2005 by Steven Levitt. Steven Levitt is an economist who is known for his unusual thinking practices. Even though he may have unorthodox ways to think about economics, he keeps the core of economics at heart with studying how people behave. Two things about the book stick out to me: the crime rates dropping dramatically and how a real-estate agent may not be the best way to sell a house. One reason most people thought that crime rates were dramatically dropping is because the increased police force, but Levitt shows that it is actually because abortion was legalized and many kids who would be fostered in bad homes were aborted and crimes rates decreased because of it. Another one of Levitt's finding is that a real estate agent may not go the extra mile to get the most value out of your house for example a house selling for about $300,000 and after everybody gets their share of the transaction the agent receives about 1.5% or 4500 dollars. If the house was actually worth $310,000 and the agent needed to put more time and effort to get that much out of it they most likely wouldn't because their 1.5 percent of 10,000 dollars is only $150 and it wouldn't be worth it for them. So real estate agents may not have the sellers interest at heart.

The Bachelor is the most ridiculous show I have ever watched in my life. Having said that, I still watch it religiously .. let's just say it's my guilty pleasure. The show is basically about one hot shot guy who is looking to find a life partner from a group of girls who live in one house for about 6 to 7 weeks. The guy gets one-on-one time with the girls in the form of thrilling and action-filled dates. The producers of the show use different strategies to hype attraction amongst the bachelor and the female contenders. They send the bachelor and the women on dates where they jump off a helicopter into the ocean or skydive. Once the contestants jump off the helicopter or plane, they're adrenaline is pumping and their heart rate is high, the chances of getting attracted to each other increase. Also, the producers tend to choose physically attractive males (I don't really think they're THAT good looking), and even better looking females as the contestants of the show. This way, the physical attraction factor also kicks in. Since I've been watching that show, I've noticed that the bachelor usually picks the girl who is most similar to him. For instance, if she's outdoorsy like him or shares mutual beliefs with him. Moreover, he also picks a girl who tends to give them the most attention (reciprocity) so he feels mentally obligated to give her the rose. The physical attraction, thrilling dates, similarity and reciprocity all play a huge role in the match made on reality television.

Last Blog Post

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This semester psychology has been an interesting class. The only reason I took it was because it was required for me to take it, but I am glad I did. I learned so much about how people's minds work and my questions from the beginning of the semester were answered. The things that most stood out to be from this semester is about how certain things can affect people's brains. For instance the uses of drugs alters people's brains which changes the way they feel and act. Alcohol is a depressant and slows down people's reaction time and inhibits their ability to think and behave rationally. Some other drugs such as LSD are stimulants and can cause people to hallucinate. These are two widely known examples, but another think that affects how people think and behave is their environment. I find this interesting because a person can be shaped by their environment, as well as their genes. Another thing we touched on is sometimes when a part of a person's brain gets injured they can sometimes not operate as well. For example I thought the person who had a pole go through their brain and losing their personality is interesting, though it may be pretty scary at the same time. Overall I have enjoyed my semester of psychology and it was a great class to be in.

N vs. N

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One concept I will take from this course and definitely still remember five years down the road is an important concept relating not only to psychology, but why we are the way we are as people. This concept is a debate that was touched on in pretty much every topic covered this semester, the debate of nature verses nurture. What makes an individual the way they are? Is a criminal predisposed to being a criminal, or did the way their parents raise them the reason for their behavior? One of the biggest things I will take from this class doesn't involve specific studies or numbers but the general idea that both nature and nurture will usually affect who we are as people. After reading and learning about different topics involving the N vs. N debate, such as parenting for example, signs seem to point to not just nature or nurture being the sole culprit. As more studies are conducted, it seems to be that nature does play a bigger role than once thought but a person's environment can still affect certain outcomes. I think this is an important concept to take from the semester because it is crucial for understanding humans and it needs to be understood in order to make and evaluate new discoveries about what makes us "tick" as people.

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I have long been interested in language - how language develops, where it comes from, how we learn it, what potential we have for learning new languages, and how speaking a certain language might actually change the way we think about and see the world. If you have ever tried learning a new language you know that it takes a lot of time and focus to be successful - especially when that new language is very different from your own (i.e. Spanish vs. Mandarin). As you become more proficient, you may come to notice that you start to organize your mind in different ways when speaking and thinking in that new language. Word order differs, the vocabulary is used in different ways than you're used to, and the cadence of speech is altered.

When we look back at what we have learned about the plasticity of our brains (especially when we are young), it makes sense that speaking a certain language changes the way our brains develop and are organized. Could this also mean that the very way that we see the world is different too? Not just the words we use to describe it, but the WAY that we process the sensory information that we receive from the world around us could be different.

This is something that I will take with me that has changed the way I think.

The Future... in 5 years.

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I easily will remember one thing in 5 years, as many will be confronted with the need to exercise this concept. And that is classical conditioning. Right around this time many of us will become parents, and nothing screams a better time to do it yourself than while raising children. Raising a kid is essentially nonstop conditioning of that child. You condition the stimulus until they understand what is right about their actions, and what is wrong. When they do something wrong, all you need to do is respond to the action accordingly. If it's "naughty" then respond negatively, so the child learns not to do it anymore, and opposite with a "good" action, then let them know it's an acceptable or right one. With so much of raising kids is teaching them about the world, society, and what's good and bad, right or wrong, classical conditioning is used every day of the kid's life until they understand things on their own. So when I'm hit with that situation five years from now, then I will immediately remember this concept, how it is applied to my kid's life, and use it to my advantage.

That's interesting!

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How fast the semester goes! It is almost the end of the semester. Through the whole semester, I have learned a lot of things about psychology, which makes me have a deeper understand about psychology. Besides, through the whole semester's learning, I have been rectified the idea about psychology. Psychology has been divided into several parts, and it does not just talking about mental illness. However, among these knowledge and concepts, the concept that I will remember over five years is how our brain works, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning. It is really a mysterious field to me about our brain. After taking this course, I have a general idea about the structure of our brain, how our brain works, and how our brain deals with all the information. It is really interesting for me to know these knowledge. In addition, classical and operant conditioning is fascinating, too. I have learned what classical conditioning is when I was in high school. It is like magic to me, when I first learnt about it. Until now, I have remembered it for about four years. In the PSY 1001, I have been taught about classical and operant conditioning in depth. It is really surprised me about how classical and operant conditioning formed. I believe I will remember the concept for another five years.

Throughout the course we covered many different topics that varied in my personal interest.Though at first I wasn't thrilled to learn about topics like the anatomy of the brain and their psychological functions among other things, I began to warm up to things that I could think about and use in everyday life. This is a factor that gauges my interest because it really determines how invested you are in the subject and the educational value, not only regarding grades but also its potential to improve your perspective on life. One particular topic we discussed that I found interesting and useful was the area of developmental psychology. Learning about the different stages of development even from infancy caused me to think about my habits and psychological traits as a child. For instance, how I learned to walk before i learned to crawl and the psychological norms that go along with being the first born child. I found myself thinking about the roles of my family member's influence on my development and my parents style of parenting. What I really found interesting, and also wish we would have talked about more in class, was the influence of peers and parents during childhood and adolescence. I diagnosed my influences throughout the years and came to conclusions about what made me who I am today, for better or for worse. Now that I am aware of this type of knowledge I can use it to make decisions that will affect how I change and grow psychologically in the future. For instance, learning how to make an effective transition into adulthood, how to be the type of parent I would want, and even eventually dealing with a midlife crisis and retirement. A great thing about all of this is that psychology is such a new science compared to others, like math, physics or biology, that there will always be new findings and theories emerging. Within the subject of psychology is discovering the ability to run your life the way you want to in order to achieve optimal traits and situations. This video is just and example of using psychological concepts and applying them to life improvement.


5 Years Down the Road..

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Because I work with younger children, especially kids under 3 years old, I'll remember the chapters and lectures describing their language and mental capacities. I've definitely noticed that kids start babbling much earlier before beginning the one-word phase but never understood that it was their attempt at mimicking actual talking. Also, I used to play games with the babies where I'd hide things in my hands, not realizing I was manipulating their lack of object permanence. This applies to my life not only because of my past childcare experiences, but I'll be a nanny for two kids this summer. I also plan to one day have my own family. Knowing more about the specifics of developmental stages will help me appreciate just how much goes into growing and developing overall.

I think a lot of the general knowledge that I acquired in psychology will serve useful to me in my future, however one concept withstands the rest: Personality. I found this chapter the most intriguing of all that I read in the book because it will be extremely applicable through the remainder of my life time. As collected from the short inventory we took in class, I found that I my personality consists of High Extraversion and Low Conscientiousness. Through this I am able to see my fit in situations I will face in the future. From assessing my personality as well as others, I am then able to see how I best interact with others as well as tasks placed upon me. This will serve to my benefit in relationships, group interaction, and leadership positions as I use my personality to maximize my potential in these areas. Overall, I think this chapter helped me to realize that by evaluating my personality in-depth, I am able to better understand myself and where I fit throughout the rest of my life.

Memorable Topic

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Thinking back to this class five years from now I think I will remember the video we watched during discussion on conforming. It was super interesting to me because thinking about it i would say that I would not conform, but if I was in the actual situation I am pretty sure I would very quickly. When you are under the pressure of many other people who are all doing the same thing, there is a huge influence to do the same thing. I think that this happens the most when kids in a classroom are asked a multiple choice question by the teacher. If you think the answer the the second choice but the majority of the class raises their hands for the first answer, a lot of kids conform and also raise their hand to the first choice. I think in high school this was the most common because the classrooms were smaller and you knew all the people. I think people are more likely to speak their true thoughts in larger classrooms here at the U then in the smaller high school classes.

The one striking example that I will remember from this book is that of the nuns in relation to memory deterioration. The study showed a strong correlation between an active, social lifestyle with increased memory capabilities at an increased age. While not opting to join a nunnery (or a friary in my case), I will remember to live an active lifestyle both physically and mentally in order to live a longer, more memory filled life.

If life experiences make us who we are, then dementia and Alzheimer's rob us of that identity; that fact scares me more than anything. Without a deeper knowledge of this disease, the causes and or treatments / cures; one can only work their hardest to imitate the lifestyles recommended by correlational findings.

Far from proving causation, the studies included remind the reader that the results of the findings may go in either direction; that perhaps the elderly that do not suffer from dementia had a higher brain capacity to begin with. This fact speaks to an inevitability that I choose not to subscribe to. If it is bound to happen eventually, what is the purpose of fighting your way through life?

False Memories

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Body Language

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One section I found particularly interesting was from the emotion and motivation chapter. Posture is largely unconscious but can tell us a lot about one's emotional states. People slumped over or slouching can convey sadness while an upright posture can convey excitement or happiness. After reading this section, sometimes I look around the classroom and look at others postures and can judge their emotional state by how they are sitting. There are also many other unconscious behaviors such as hand gestures. People tend to point or move their hands fast when they are trying to highlight speech, and people tend to engage in manipulators such as when one body part makes contact repeatedly with another body part. I've noticed that when I'm studying i tend to bite my lip or twirl my hair. A lot can be told from baby language and gestures but you have to be careful not to make official conclusions based on these unconscious actions because many other variables can come into play.

Ashley Lutz, with Business Insider, reports that Millennials are the most stressed generation, surpassing that of generation x, the baby boomers and all that came before. In addition to the high unemployment rates experienced by the earlier generations, the millennials also have to worry about high student debt on top of other daily stressors. She also reports that millennials are more likely than earlier generations to stress over their dating and social lives.

What is the reason that millenials are more stressed than earlier generations? According to Ms. Lutz, this stress can be attributed to the immaturity of the youngest generation. She does not develop this idea further, but instead she reports that millennials have poorer stress relief techniques, and have less developed problem solving skills. I do not think this is that radical of a report because earlier generations have had much more time to learn these skills and techniques, meanwhile the millennials are still in the process of learning them.

Included with the article is a chart showing the percent of each generation that reported being more stressed than they were five year prior. Millennials were the highest with 52%, where boomers were the lowest with 39%. What other reasons could there be for this shockingly large stress gap between generations?


It is very interesting that both sides are so established and have valid points concerning which side should be the deciding factor in shaping us as human beings and our behaviors. It is intriguing to think that our genetics may fully influence our behaviors or so the nature side debates. While the nurture side argues that our upbringing and experiences shape our personalities and behaviors instead of a genetic predisposition to certain likings and behaviors. This is so memorable to me because it makes me wonder which side really affects me the most, the genes my parents passed on or my experiences growing up. I feel as though it is a combination of the two but more so my experiences. In some ways i do have traits and things very in common with my parents one of which i was not raised with. One such interesting debate is the one made that if one were given several children to raise from birth that one could mold them to be any which occupations in life whether it's a doctor, lawyer or street beggar. In reality it is a combination of the two but one must influence us more so. It is a very controversial subject which is another interesting and exciting aspect to the topic.

I remember going through the parenting sections thinking, "Okay, don't need to think about this for a while." So when I saw this prompt, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I've learned a lot about what being a successful parent entails, but the take-home-message that stands out to me is it's always going to be a work in progress. I don't have the kids' names picked out, and the number of children set, but I do know I'm going to try my hardest to follow the advice of our psychology book. Nanny Lilienfeld to the rescue!

One aspect that was slightly touched upon but not highly covered in class was the correlation between nature vs. nurture and sexual orientation. Being a part of the gay community, psychology of the mind has always interested me as to whether or not it was a biological factor or a societal factor that has made me the way that I am. It is a common joke and stereotype that many gay people have been shaped by their mothers at a very early age to resemble their mother. I, however, am living proof that this is not always the case. Without going into too much detail, my mother and I have never really gotten along in a way that she would have such a huge impact on the way I have formed. On the other hand, many scientists have theorized that there is a "gay gene" and are trying to see if homosexuality is simply a biological factor. This also doesn't appease me as an answer simply because the fact that homosexuality doesn't only manifest itself as a biological thing as much as it does a personality trait. One thing that I learned from the personality unit is that although there are certain genes and personality things we do get from our parents, there is not a specific gene that would account for personality aspects like extroversion/introversion, agreeableness/disagreeableness, etc. In conclusion, it is a very important topic of homosexuality as caused by certain degrees of nature vs. nurture because many people have said it is one way or the other, but I rather open the idea to the floor and discussion that it is a mix of the two or even an unknown, undiscovered third factor.

Behavior is something that has been long debated over as to whether our actions are guided by nature or nurture, or to what extent each affects our actions. There are numerous requirements that a behavior must fall into, many of which are highly subjective, in order to be labelled as an 'instinctual' or 'natural' behavior. The psychology aspect of this is vital however when describing the way in which the human brain may have developed since our last common ancestor with the chimp/bonobo line.

I found this portion of psychology especially interesting in correlation with my coursework as an anthropology major. Many hypothesis on human evolution are discussed with reference to human brain size and functionality. Some examples include Homo flores. which is a small island species whose brain case would have allowed for peculiar shaping of the brain, especially in parts which are vital to social interaction and tool usage. The modular view of the brain in psychology also can be used to explain language development in humans as the area for throwing (a strong hypothesis regarding human hunting success) is located adjacent to the language center in the brain.

Overall, psychology is applicable across many fields of study, and holds many valuable skills that can be employed outside of the academic world.

Social Psychology

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If I had to pick one chapter or concept from psychology that I will remember, it would be the social psychology. No, I did not pick this simply because it was a more recent chapter; I genuinely find the topic interesting. Particularly I will remember the concept of conformity, tendency of people to alter their behavior as a result of group pressure, and its sub-topic groupthink, the emphasis on group unanimity at the expense of critical thinking. It is interesting to see how groups influence an individual, especially through the Asch studies and other examples provided in the book. After reading this section on conformity and groupthink, I can recall things that I have seen or done in a social setting, and think of how the "group" influenced actions or decisions. I would have never thought of these things in terms of psychology, but now I realize how conformity really has a huge impact in everyday sorts of things. Also, I thought cults were interesting and bizarre--I never really understood how they came about, but now I understand that they are an extreme result of groupthink. It is fascinating to see the effects that conformity and groupthink have, and how important and interesting social psychology really is!line study.jpg

Psychology in 5 years

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5 years from now the only things I'll probably remember are the major concepts from the class. I'll remember classical conditioning, since that's been drilled into our minds forever. From Pavlov's classically conditioned dog to Sigmund Freud interpretation of dreams, I'll remember all the major points in psychology. I'll recall the six scientific principles of thinking and how they can be applied to clarify any information I come across in the later years. I'll also remember the discussion sections I had and all the Google docs we were to complete. As far as concepts are concerned, I'll remember personality and emotion the most. This is because I found these topics to be the most interesting. I enjoyed learning about relationships and how emotions play their role in it. I enjoyed learning about the stages and various kinds of love. I think I'll remember this also because I learned more about what kind of personality I have and how people with certain personality traits tend to act. This, by far, was the most interesting, and time-consuming, class I've taken so far in college. I learned a lot about how the mind works and how and why people behave the way they do. I recognized the famous psychologists who have had a big contribution in the evolvement of psychology.

A Timeless War

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When I think about what I have learned this whole semester in psychology many things come to mind. Over time I'm most likely going to forget about classical conditioning, the representative heuristic, and probably Freud's stages of development but one thing that I will never forget is the great nature versus nurture debate. Nature vs nurture is one of the most debated and challenged topics in all of psychology. It encapsulates the conflicting ideologies that we are the way we are because of our ingrained genes or the environment we have grown up in. The best psychologists throughout history have clashed over whether we are born a certain way or we are shaped by everything else. As a self proclaimed optimist I tend to be on the side of nurture. I like to believe that we can actively shape who we are and can determine my own future instead of having it already laid out. This topic will stay with me for a long time because it is yet to be solved. We do not know the true answer and the most intelligent people are still trying to find out. The debate also sticks with me because it is always prevalent. We are constantly questioning behaviors and find ourselves asking how someone got the way they did. The nature vs nurture debate affects our lives daily, and will continue to be a heated, well discussed topic for as long as humans exist.

I decided to study psychology because I wanted to know how individual people become so unique and different from others. As I learned several types of psychology fields, people build their personalities, beliefs, and other psychological attitudes by genetic factors as well as environmental factors. Since it is hard to change those genetic factors, I believe that the environment that we live in is very important to us.
We look at our parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, teachers, and more, learn about our society, and shape own behaviors. As I read about obedience in the textbook, I thought humans are sometimes very fragile in today's hierarchical society. Especially in my country, Japan, people were required to behave respectfully toward older generation, teachers, leaders, boss, and other higher positions in the hierarchy. I believed what is right and wrong as I learned from my parents and teachers and did not doubt them at all when I was a kid. We work hard to become what teachers and bosses desire from us because we want to be accepted by them. But if the order were ethically wrong, humans would lead their society into a harsh condition. Therefore, I hope those people, who were supposed to teach others, understand morals well.

One of the main things I will take away from psychology class is the effect sleeping, eating, and exercising can have on our health. As it is commonly known, it is recommended that us college students average almost 9 hours of sleep per night. I have always put sleep as a priority in my life and after learning the effects it can have on mood and emotion I will make sure that it remains a critical necessity in my life.
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Secondly, I want to emphasize the effect of exercising in my life. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you lift weights twice a week and have either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity per week. As a general goal they recommend aiming for 30 minutes of exercise per day with a higher goal of 300 minutes per week. I have always been very active with soccer and psychology has taught me how important that really is to the well being of a person. Overall, I found no evidence claiming that you can exercise too much per week. The minimum amount you should exercise in one week if you want to be fit should be 30 minutes per day.
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Lastly, I want to emphasize the effects of eating healthy in my life. I have never had a problem with weight gain or anything like that but psychology has taught me how vital it is to make sure your body has access to a wide range of nutrients so that you can be healthy not only now but also when you are old. I found it interesting that some of the longest living people in the world focus a lot on eating soy and vegetables and do not eat a whole lot of meat. I am going to try and stay away from the processed foods and eat more natural from now on as a result of this class. Overall, these three things have really had an impact on how I live my life and psychology has helped reinforce and better educate me in my decision making processes.


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I think of the concepts from psychology that I will definitely remember and use often is chunking. Chunking is organizing information into meaningful groupings, allowing us to extend the span of short-term memory. It a concept that we use in our everyday, lives with out realizing it. It will be a great to tool to use while studying or even trying to remember a phone number. It is amazing the unique and exciting tricks we can use to "fool" our brains. The magic number is the span of short-term memory, according to George Miller: seven plus or minus two pieces of information. Chunking allows us to extend this number. The people who are able to do crazy things like memorize large amounts of number in for instance phi. On of the most famous people for doing this was a runner and was able to use chunking to see the groups of numbers as running times. Chest masters also use chunking to remember tricky moves. I am glad I learned this method because I will definitely recall it when I am studying large amounts of material. The whole topic of memory in psychology is fascinating. Especially about the people who can recall exact memories from years ago just like it was yesterday.

Picking Up Chicks

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There are several things from this psychology course that I am almost certain to remember. The funny part about the memories is that they will all have one common theme: gaining and maintaining the attraction/ affection of women.

An example of one part I will remember is how emotions are formed: first someone is aroused, and then they assign that arousal to a certain emotion. This is especially useful for date ideas. I will make sure to take my date to somewhere arousing like a theme park! Another theme from psychology that is sure to help me, is the fact that people are more attracted to people with close proximity, or who they see often. This can be taken advantage of when trying to woo a girl, and I believe this is the reason that persistent boys tend to have the most girlriends!

Lastly, it is very interesting that the most attractive type of face is the most average one. I think it would be interesting for me to take advantage of this by having children (way, way in the future) with an exotic-looking girl with many ethnicities in her blood. That would allow me to have the most "average" looking children and thus the most attractive children!

One concept that I'll remember from Psychology 1001 five years from now is the fixed mindset concept. This concept is something to keep in mind when trying to solve any range of problems and I'll think about it when I get stuck on a problem. When trying to solve a problem and I keep trying to it with the same method each time, maybe the method I'm trying isn't the one that is best suited for the problem. If I can recognize that the method is the problem early, I can save a lot of time. I tend to get stubborn with my methods so it usually takes a lot of time and frustration to realize that there are other ways to solve a problem.


Overall, five years from now when I'm in the real world with a job I can utilize the recognition of the fixed mindset. Realizing that there is the possibility of a more effective solution to a problem when your original method isn't working is a valuable thing to learn from Psychology 1001.
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

This semester, I have most enjoyed studying learning, behavior and emotions because they are, like many other subjects in psychology, elements of human nature. My favorite part about each of these subjects is seeing what psychological processes we have in common with other animals and which ones make us unique. Along with the challenging ideas of the evolutionary science we study, I found that the constant question of what our processes were attributed to, nature or nurture, was very interesting. This question is something that I find myself constantly pondering, "What makes him that way?" and it is a question I have used to evaluate myself too.
From what I understand, psychology works to explain why people do what they do and I think that this core question tries to unify all people within a set of rules. From what we have learned recently about social psychology, this mental understanding of our own nature may help us to empathize with other people. I think that what has been uncovered so far regarding how we learn and process things as we develop has been greatly insightful. I also think it will be interesting to watch or be a part of psychology as it combines with other subjects to really tackle the huge question that it has posed.

(If anyone is a social-justice nut like me, when I was searching for a cool picture to put on my blog I found this cool website called Psychologists for Social Responsibility!)

One of the topics that I personally found really interesting was the part of the personality chapter that talked about defense mechanisms. Whenever I interact with others, I always end up observing their behavior, especially when they get angry or upset. I find the subject of defense mechanisms extremely applicable to everyone, and is something everyone can relate to. Freud describes a defense mechanism as an unconscious maneuver intended to minimize anxiety. He believed that defense mechanisms are essential for psychological health and that anyone who lacks them would be at the mercy of uncontrollable anxiety. I do believe his statement to some extent, because we utilize our defense mechanisms in uncomfortable situations where we may feel mentally or emotionally threatened.
Some of the most common mechanisms that we're all familiar with are repression, denial and regression. Sometimes after a particular traumatic event, our brains end up forgetting the event because it was emotionally threatening. We would be completely unable to recall the event again afterwards unless we undergo psychoanalysis. Denial is the refusal to admit the truth. This is also seen after a traumatic event, such as a death, where a person may refuse to recognize that the person is gone. The last is regression where a person would retune psychologically to a younger and safer time. This explains hugging stuffed animals at an older age when you're distressed to remind you of when you were younger. It is really interesting to see all the tools you're given to cope with emotionally and mentally stressful events.

We learned so much in this psychology course and we are still continuing to learn up until the last day of class, but there is one thing that will stick with me for more than five years. I will remember the conformity concept. The reason that this will be so memorable is because it comes up in everyday life and we see it as students each and every day. After watching the video on conformity n discussion class I started to see this more than ever in all my classes. For example when the teacher will ask a question and tell you to raise your hand for answer A and then raise your hand for answer B. If you look around the classroom you will see everyone looking around and when they see certain people raising their hand they will then raise their hand too. It is amazing how many people conform to their peers without even realizing that they are conforming, all for the comfort of not being the odd one out. Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to a group norm, and this is an interesting topic and takes part in everyone's life. This concept will stick with me throughout my whole life, standing out more now that I am aware of it because of this psych course.

Two key concepts I learned in psychology this year are the diffusion of responsibility and social loafing. I believe they will prove to be the most helpful for me in the coming years as I am planning on entering the business field where there is needed constant collaboration with others. Furthermore, throughout my time at Carlson I will be presented with numerous team projects. I believe reading chapter 13 on social psychology about the diffusion of responsibility and social responsibility will help me make the teams in which I will be involved in more productive and successful. It made me more aware of the downfalls of teams and will discourage me to allow myself to fall victim to both of these phenomena. It will also help me to prevent others from doing the same. After reading the book I learned that there are a few things we can do to lessen the chance of our teams from falling into these "traps." One is to designate roles for all team members. This will keep them involved and engaged in the group activities and will help them focus on team goals. I also learned that when you need to formulate ideas within a group, it is best to first instruct all team members to come up with a few ideas on their own. Then bring the group together and share the ideas of each individual and build off of them. If a team simply meets to brainstorm ideas all together, group members will not come up with as many successful ideas. They may also be timid and withhold a few of their good ideas or they may just simply not even form any ideas, become a social loafer and allow all the others to do the work, hurting their team in the process.

I think the concepts I will remember most in psychology are those related to experimentation and testing. Things like validity, reliability, and Occam's razor. Although these are concepts that I was aware of before I took this class, I did not really apply these ideas to my everyday thinking and questioning until taking psychology. I find myself questioning more of the news I hear and wondering about the validity of the statements. The news is filled with stories about different tests that show extraordinary or shocking results. I think it is good to always look at test results with a critical lens. It is easy to read the results of a study and not really think how valid the results may be or question whether participants were randomly assigned.

I will also remember some of the ideas in the chapters on relationships. It was interesting to hear a psychological perspective on what types of relationships last and what types of relationships are less likely to last, especially considering that many of us are at an age where we perhaps begin dating a little more seriously and look for qualities of a potential spouse. I think things like proximity, reciprocity and similarity are concepts I will remember in the years to come. I liked learning about the different types of love in the triangular theory of love and how different people at different stages of their lives will experience each of these types of love. I will also remember how the the strongest types of unions are those in which the couple loves each other on multiple levels and develops a true consummate love.

When I'm sitting in my math class, chemistry, writing, or Spanish class, I feel like I'm not getting what I really want to get out of them. As a student, I'm very aware of the concerns of the quality of education my peers and I are receiving. There's a question I hear everywhere I go, "How is this going to help me in the future"? After reading this huge textbook word for word throughout this entire semester, I've realized that this is the one course that really is going to help me in the future. Five years from now, I'll remember things like the bystander effect, cryptonesia, learning abilities (for children), how the brain works, conformity, obedience, and or the effects of alcohol. These are a few of the things I'll remember because...

• Bystander effect- I can help someone in need.
• Cryptonesia- I can use this in court if I honestly did accidentally plagiarize.
• Learning abilities- With this knowledge, I can help maximize my future child's potential.
• Obedience- With this knowledge, I've further realized that people of higher authority aren't always correct.

Furthermore, when I am speaking to friends or to my boyfriend, I find myself referencing to key ideas, examples, or terms I've learned about. This is why I've decided to major in psychology. I've learned so much material and have really enjoyed it (although it was a lot of reading).

One topic that I will remember in five years from now is classical conditioning. I thought it was interesting that we are trained with different stimuli to get different responses. I have been noticing more than ever about advertising and how a neutral stimulus can become a conditioned stimulus and give a conditioned response. I think it is really interesting and definitely helps products sell. Also now I know why so many products have athlete or celebrity endorsements because it helps the products sell. If you look up to an athlete or have a favorite celebrity and see them using a product, you are more likely to get that product because you think that you are more like them.
I think I will remember this years from now because every time I see a commercial I can probably pick out the different stimuli and responses and how that makes the company try to make people buy their product. I also might go into marketing and I can help use classical conditioning to help sell a product I might sell. I think I will remember this topic every time I see an advertisement, which will occur often.
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Personality is Everything

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I think that chapter 14 had the most information in it that I feel I will truly use later in life. It's all about personality. I'm a retail merchandising major so I'm going to be dealing with people everyday in my profession. It's very important to understand and be able to read people's personalities. I think the Big Five traits are a crucial pieces of information in being able to read people. The Big Five are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticisim. The factors can be used to describe all people, even those with psychological disorders. Everyone has some of each of these in us. Depending on what level we have of each depends on what are personality is like. These Big Five can also help to predict real-world behavior. For example the book mentions that people with high Conscientiousness, low Neuroticism , and high Agreeableness are associated with successful job performances. The Big Five are also identifiable in other countries besides the US. Which is helpful to know when traveling because it will be easier to try to gauge what other people will be like. Overall the Big Five, which can be remember with the acronym OCEAN, is one of the most important and useful things I've learned in this course.

The most memorable thing I learned in psychology...that's a tough decision because there are two concepts that I have already seen more prevalent in my everyday life. By this occurrence I know that they are going to stay with me for longer than five years. The first is nature versus nurture. Before psychology I really never thought about the concept before. Now my friends and I end up on (basically) a daily basis joking/ debating about situations and behaviors we come across: "Nature versus Nurture?" I have become so intrigued with this concept that I wonder about it a lot, so I can only see myself thinking about it in the future.
The second concept that I see myself remembering and using in the future is conformity. I always knew that I cared about what people think, but I never thought about it in depth, the way the book talks about conformity. For instance, after the video of the line experiment (Asch) that we watched, I thought I would probably be like the others and conform in that situation, even though I knew the answer was wrong. Then I realized I have done that before, many times. One example is: last year, when picking designs for my cheerleading team's fundraiser t-shirts, I picked the design that everyone picked. I did not really like the design, but I picked it so I would not be different. Social psychology is obviously incredibly easy to relate to that it would be hard not to remember this concept!

4. Do you have a chld of 2 to 7 years in your life? Look at some aspect of language development or read about Piaget's stages of cognitive development(page 373-374) and try a conservation experiment with him or her. Alternatively, consider "egocentrism" or the research on the "theory of mind."Can you find examples of these?

I work at a Lifetime Fitness child center, so I am constantly around kids ages 3 months to 12. It is so interesting to see how the behaviors change in just a few months, especially the babies. From the initial babbles to the first words, it is so incredible to observe. It is also fun to see the difference between three and four year olds. Between that small age difference the personality growth is immense. They are able to form a conversation and are beginning to be less egocentric. Also they start verbalizing favorites and like and dislikes. I think the old television show "Kids Say The Darnedest Things" is a great example of the stages of cognitive development. The host poses a question that an adult would find a 'no brainer' , but the kids give elaborate answers that make complete sense to them.

Watch this clip: http://youtu.be/JoBxFfz4Dko

For me, the real-world applications of psychology are what really stick. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the information I learned in the social psychology segment of this course on persuasion techniques (foot-in-the-door, door-in-the-face, and lowballing) will probably be forever engrained in my memory. The information I learned about these techniques will allow me to recognize them when they are utilized by people in my life in the future, and will make me more able to resist.

For example, when someone asks me to do a small favor for them and later successively requests favors of increasing magnitude, I will recognize the foot-in-the-door technique and only continue to honor their requests if I sincerely wish to do so. As another example, I will be very careful to not fall into the lowballing trap of sleazy car salesmen when I save up enough money to purchase my future Smart Car. "No, Mr. Waxyhair, I'm not willing to pay $3,000 extra dollars for the iPod dock."

Conversely, if I need something from someone, I may be so inclined to practice the door-in-the-face technique myself. Perhaps this will work with respect to my study abroad wishes; maybe first asking my parents to fund a 10-day $5,000 trip to the Galapagos before downsizing to a $3,500 6-week trip to Argentina could be a good strategy.

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image from: http://gandalwaven.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/doorinface_1.jpg


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Personality is a very interesting topic; it's nice to see how different we are from each other and what makes us unique. But I always wondered how you would find out someone's personality when there are a plentiful amount of traits. This topic in class simplified basic personality traits for each individual.

I have always liked categorizing and comparing people's interests and mine. It's cool to see how different or similar I am to others. The self-assessment test we took during this topic very much showed my personality in depth. It was also very strange how accurate it was. I would think to myself of how I gained a certain score on one of the big five; the longer I thought about it, the more it would make sense to me.

O.C.E.A.N. has changed my way of thinking about personality; I now use the big five whenever trying to categorize someone's personality. Occasionally, I think about how much extroversion or agreeableness my friends and families have. I also do it to fictional characters for fun.

Now, instead of saying a person is outgoing, I'll say oh he's extroverted.

I'm a frequent user of mnemonic devices, and when "OCEAN" was introduced during discussion section, I knew that I wouldn't forget it. I found the study of personality very interesting, especially the concept of factor analysis and the Big Five. Part of what intrigued me so much about this approach to personality was the stipulation by the researchers that everyone possesses each trait to some extent. I found this point of view very refreshing compared to everyday evaluations that people sometimes give one another. It's common to hear assertions that someone "is not an extrovert at all" or that conscientiousness is an all-or-nothing personality type ("neat freak" or "total slob"). Also, I found the lexical approach- the distillation of thousands of personality words to five overarching traits- very fascinating. I find it even more interesting that these five traits translate to many other cultures beyond our own. In the textbook, there was a brief reference to "dimensions in addition to the Big Five" in other cultures. I would really like to learn more about this: I love learning how cultures are similar to one another, but also am intrigued to see larger personality traits that exist among different groups of people.
In summary, five years from now, I'll remember the Big Five: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism.

Five years from now when I look back on my first year of college and think about my first psychology class the topic that will stand out most to me is social psychology. Not only did I think of chapter 13 as the most interesting one in the book, its toughest competitors being chapters 14 and 15, but the lecturer for this section, Professor Gonzales, is also pretty memorable as well. This chapter explained so many horrific happenings of history that it has ingrained itself into my mind. I never understood how people could walk past or ignore someone being attacked, or how Hitler could have formed such a large following and have his soldiers obey every command, or how a cult could be lead to suicide by their eccentric leader, but social psychology really shed some light on all of these topics and how, from a psychological view, they ever could have happened and could end up happening again. Social psychology looks at the bigger picture not concentrating on the individual human body, brain, or personality but how the operating of individuals in society can create a population that becomes an entity all on its own. Besides that the chapter provides a kind of defense mechanism by providing enough information about the topics, like mass hysteria, groupthink, even obedience if it's necessary, that someone who understands the information can figure out how to avoid them.


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Something that we've recently been talking about that I think is very interesting is the study done by Asch. Conformity is very relevant in everyday life. The test done by Asch is very interesting because we'd all like to think that we wouldn't conform but in reality, that pressure can really get to someone. I would like to think that if I was in the study I wouldn't conform and stick to my beliefs, but that really would depend on the number of people and the people involved. If it were some of my very good friends, I know for a fact that I would feel them judging me and I would be much more likely to conform.
It was also very interesting how the older guy really thought that he was more mature and didn't think he was going to conform, yet did much faster than most the other people. The three social influences that make the biggest difference for what Asch say's are unanimity, difference in the wrong answer and size. I definitely agree with all of these, especially the difference in the wrong answer because if everyone gave the same wrong answer it increases the pressure by a lot, creating the appearance that you're wrong, but when one person answers with the correct response, the level of conformity decreases by three fourths. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy hearing about this study because it is so relevant to society today and trying to fit in.

Psychology in the Future

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Looking ahead, I think that there are two areas we have learned about that will be prevalent in my future. The first of these would be all that we have learned about memory. Throughout my life, I have felt like a have a pretty good memory, but I think many of the strategies and ideas that we learned about have explained to me how memory works and why it works better at some times more than others. Learning about "chunking" I fell will help me because I now know a way to commit things to memory more permanently. Also, I felt reinforced when we learned that studying earlier and more often is better than cramming everything in the night before.

The second concept I think will stick with me would be the parenting styles. As I read through that part of the chapter, I looked back at my own childhood and appreciated even more the way I was raised. While some may say that these styles are subjective and that you can't say one way is better than another, I think that these styles do lead to people who are either more or less equipped to enter and be helpful to society.

The world of advertisement has always intrigued me so the topic of Pavlovian conditioning was extremely interesting to me as well. Before this class I never knew why the Coke commercials with the attractive, swimsuit clad models, running around on the beach drinking cola made my mouth start watering for that overly sweet, carbonated refreshment. Ivan Pavlov found that when presenting an unconditioned stimulus (i.e. a beautiful girl), you will produce an unconditioned response (i.e. arousal). Now if you pair the unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus (i.e. bottle of Coke) you continually associate the two together so now the image of Coke will create arousal. I think this is a very important aspect of marketing and I hope to incorporate this in my future profession. Classical conditioning is the aspect of psychology which I will remember for a long time.

Heuristics and Judging

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Living in Minneapolis I have had the pleasure of experiencing many different cultures and religions. It has been such a joy to be exposed to others so different in thinking, customs, and dress. However, in a country where everyone is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs, i find it a bit stressful at times (a bit like walking on egg shells) to keep my foot out of my mouth. What i mean is that sometimes having your own opinion and expressing it is seen as judging. Judging is always looked down upon. In this class I found the discussion around heuristics of the human mind to be very interesting. Through studying the ways that humans think and learn i've found that our brain is actually (to a point) programed to judge a book by it's cover and make assumptions of people based on their outward appearance. While there are still times when this kind of judgements are unacceptable, heuristics provide somewhat of an explanation. This is what I will remember 50 years from now.


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The concept that I will remember five years from now is the chapter on stress. After reading this chapter I felt that I had a lot of insight into the topic of stress and learned a lot of things that I didn't know previously.

One of the things that I found interesting in this chapter was the Social Readjustment Rating Scale which ranks life events on terms of their stressfulness. Some of the items beings death of a spouse number one and divorce number two. Another aspect that I found interesting was the information on the immune system and how that can affect the possibility of getting a cold. I am very susceptible to getting sick, so now I may have an another explanation to why I am sick--which also may be due to the lack of sleep and eating non-nutritious foods that goes along with stress. Which leads into the next interesting aspect of stress that I learned was the importance of exercise and how it can be used to reduce stress, even if it is only exercising 30 minutes a day!

I feel that this chapter gave me a lot of information on stress and some coping methods that I may be able to apply to my daily life in the future! Also, it made me aware of health risks that I may be posing to my body by certain actions that have been encoded into my memory. This section was so memorable to me because I can relate it so closely back to my own life!

Chapter thirteen was the most interesting and engaging chapter for me to read thus far. This is mainly due to the fact that the information included is evident and relatable to people everywhere in life! For example, reading about groupthink, conformity, and deindividuation helped me realize that those situations in life are studied in social psychology. Much of the world made better sense after reading this chapter.
From my life, I can explain these terms through several examples. In particular, groupthink and social loafing were very evident throughout my high school experience. When in a group for a group project, I always got stuck doing the majority of the work while the other group members laid back and watched, contributing very little. At first I did not realize it was happening, but as school years went by, my fellow classmates knew me as the "girl who gets things done." After reading about social loafing, those situations from high school made perfect sense. I am not saying social loafing is acceptable just because it is in a psychology book, but it just got me thinking more about how people interact in social settings.
In addition, there were other times where I too did not feel like achieving much in a group. That is when groupthink emerged. Groupthink is the emphasis on group unanimity at the expense of critical thinking. So instead of really racking my brain for the best solution or idea, I simply went with the flow, even if it was a bad idea. I never realized how dangerous this could be in a demanding situation, such as in politics or major business corporations.

Looking down the road

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Although I have learned a lot from psychology 1001 I think the thing I will remember the most is the six principles of critical thinking. These principles have been pounded over and over in our heads throughout the entire book. Although it seemed rather annoying I think it really had a lasting impact. The principles have helped me examine the media. I am now more aware when reading newspaper articles, and listening to the evening news. Titles like "Eating blueberries can help you loose ten pounds in two weeks", or "Watching late night TV increases sexual activity among teenagers" can be seen in almost every paper. Because of the six principles I am now more critical towards the articles. Correlation vs. causation is the big one that has stuck with me. Can I be sure that A causes B? I think these principles will stay with me for the next five years and even longer because they help me evaluate information I am given and ultimately help me determine my decision about whether the article or news cast is correct or reliable information. I think it is also important for everyone to be aware of these principles so as a community everyone can be well informed and have a critical eye.


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The concept in psychology I think I will remember 5 years from now would have to be the section about language development. I think it is very interesting the different stages of learning languages that babies go through. They start with very simple words and sound to being able to speak a whole language a lot of the time, before even reading a book or learning about grammar at school. There are also the concepts like when children can learn two or more languages at once when a baby. I'm sure they begin by mixing them up, but they are able to develop the two totally different languages and able to speak them both. I am sure that it is a little bit easier considering they all have similar grammar structures. But I find it would be very difficult to differentiate between the two languages considering there would always be two words for the same thing.


"Why do you like cheese cake?"
Because it tastes good..?
"Yes...but why?"

These are the questions that lead us to riveting discussion of evolutionary psychology. As presented by Professor Simpson, the series of evolutionary psychology broke down the very basic functions of the human race and how and why they are present. The above question seems pretty basic, because come on, we all love cheese cake. To delve deeper, we are simply designed to crave foods high in calories, which our bodies need to survive. Though this innate biological trait might seem like a curse in today's world of Big Macs and Krispy Kremes, in the Africa Savanna, food was not something easy to come by. In addition, the portion mentioned why humans innately fear snakes, heights, and can identity "cheaters" is evidence to show that we are more adapted to nature, but the aforementioned items are fearful triggers that could produce potentially fatal outcomes, especially for our ancestors who encountered these items frequently.

Though we covered a mecca of topics in this psychology course, the item that will forever be imprinted in my long-term memory is series on Evolutionary Psychology. The topic can be touchy for some, and before I came to college I had never considered or even had interest in the topic. Professor Simpson did an excellent job of breaking down the commonalities and sure-found connections that have descended from our ancestors.

I think that for me, the most memorable topic we have learned in psychology this semester is in fact the topic about learning and teaching children. I always found it a fascinating subject wondering just how it is that we come to know as much as we do. Learning happens all around us all the time and even now when I see something similar to one of the styles of learning, be it observational or one of the different types of conditioning, I think back to our lectures and remember how it works. Through taking time to notice everything that is happening around us, we can clearly see how psychology plays a big role in our everyday lives, we just have to take a second to reflect.

I found the studies about birth order are really interesting. Alfred Adler was one of the first theorists to suggest that birth order influences personality. He argued that birthHe argued that birth order can leave an indelible impression on an individual's style of life, which is one's habitual way of dealing with the tasks of friendship, love, and work. According to Adler, firstborns are "dethroned" when a second child comes along, and this may have a lasting influence on them. Younger and only children may be pampered and spoiled, which can also affect their later personalities. Besides, Frank Sulloway suggests that birth order has strong and consistent effects on the Big Five personality traits. He argues that firstborns are more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, and less open to new ideas compared to laterborns.
For my personal experience, firstborns tend to be more responsible and wise. They have younger brothers and/or sisters, so they need to help their parents to take care of brothers and sister. Their parents will tend to pay more attention on younger kids, because they think older kids is more mature. And I think it is more obvious in my culture, Asia. In history, first boy must inherit the family. As a result, the parents will demand that the first boy is the best. Although, it's not like what in the past, many people still think that the firstborn should be the best. People believe that first kid must be a good example for younger brothers and/or sisters.
I also found a website that has a lot of information about firstborn.
Here is the website.

Chapter 12 of our textbook discusses different ways of coping with stress. On page 459 of our textbook there is a test we can take to determine our level of stress. After taking the test, the results are not surprising. I was in the "moderately stressed" range. I assume that most people are at least in the "mildly stressed" range and perhaps a few people are in the "major stressed" range. What this test demonstrates is that almost everyone is stressed which means that we need to find health ways to deal with that stress.

The problem-focused coping strategy is when we solve problems by directly confronting the issue and working through the problem. The problem-focused works hand-in-hand with the emotion-focused coping strategy which is when we try to change our thought process to view our situation or problem in a more positive light while engaging in behaviors that solve our problems and reduce emotional stress.

These coping strategies are great ideas and they are useful to incorporate into our lives. But how exactly do we utilize these coping strategies? What I mean is these strategies are easier said than done. In a stressful situation how do you change your thought process to view a situation in a more positive light? Do you all have certain tactics you use to help minimize stress?

Regression is one of the Major Freudian Defense Mechanisms that humans use in order to minimize a memory. Regression is when one returns psychologically to a younger age. People often do this because a younger age is often thought of as when life was much less complicated. People do many different things when using this defense mechanism but the most common example is when people hold onto items that remind them of their childhood for a long time. I find myself using this defense mechanism often when listening to music. Different songs will bring me back to different memories in my life and I can sometimes find comfort in these memories by recalling a happy moment in my life. Some songs subconsciously make me feel like a kid again and I often listen to them still today. There are also many things that I keep with in my room that remind me of different moments and memories throughout my life. I feel that this is an incredibly common defense mechanisms as many people like to savor things that take them to a younger age and memory for the past.

(People may enjoy movies from childhood such as the Lion King cause they subconsciously are brought to a time when they were a kid.)

Emergency? What emergency?

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The Bystander Effect. When asked if you would respond to an emergency if it happened in front of you most people would say that they would without hesitation. But is this true? Studies by Darley, Latané et al showed that people are much more likely to seek or offer help during an emergency when they were alone than when they were in a group. Darley and Latané define two major factors that explain this bystander effect (or bystander nonintervention); pluralistic ignorance and diffusion of responsibility. Pluralistic ignorance refers to a person assuming that they are the only person to perceive an event a certain way, such as an emergency. Diffusion of responsibility refers to feeling less responsible for the outcome due to the presence of others. When considering these two factors it is easier to see just why individuals who would ordinarily help without hesitation during an emergency choose to ignore someone in need if there are many other people around at the time.


This subject of the bystander effect (or situations where the bystander effect does NOT occur) became very much reality for me this past weekend. After attending an event several of my friends and I witnessed an accident. Before describing what happened I will preface this by saying that NO ONE was seriously hurt and police and an ambulance were on the scene within minutes.

A girl was j-walking across the street with her friend and she was clipped by an oncoming car (who had a green light). Neither my friends or I actually saw her get hit but we heard it and saw her fall to the ground. Immediately after she fell, several bystanders ran into the street to help her and to block/redirect traffic. One of my friends immediately called the police (who were close by due to the event we had just come from) and the rest of us waited until they, and the ambulance arrived. In this case, the negative bystander effect was not present. There was no hesitation on the part of anyone who rushed to help the girl; some people tried to comfort her, people brought jackets for her under her head, one woman ran over with an umbrella (it was raining), and others redirected traffic. This group of people worked together to take care of her until she was attended to by the paramedics. In this case, I would argue that the bystander effect was minimal and, instead, that the situation was recognized as an emergency by bystanders and they reacted positively by helping the girl until the paramedics arrived.

An interesting side note: one woman who arrived about a minute after the accident happened was attempting to help (it seemed like she might know the girl) but her actions were actually endangering herself. Even though the girl she was trying to help had just gotten hit by a car, the woman was running back and forth through traffic, weaving in and out of cars and even almost got herself hit by the ambulance. Could there be a psychological explanation for this dangerous and irrational behavior?

Sherlock Holmes: the greatest detective of all time. Using the Big Five traits to analyze his personality, it's easy to get a grip on what makes his character so riveting.
He would score very, very high for Openness to Experience. His curiosity, quick thinking, and use of logic are what make him such a talented detective.
On the other hand, he is also famous for his misanthropic behavior. He insults and demeans most people he meets, so naturally he would score extremely low in Agreeableness.
On the same note, he would also score very low in Extraversion. He hates dealing with people (besides when it's necessary to solve a case) and much prefers to be alone.
As far as Conscientiousness (the trait of planned behavior, impulse control, and tidiness) goes, our boy Sherlock gets pretty much a zero. One need not look further than 221 Baker Street to know this. In the words of John Watson, "...every corner of the room was stacked with bundles of manuscript which were on no account to be burned, and which could not be put away save by their owner."
Finally, Holmes would likely score very, very high in Neuroticism. His behavior shows signs of Bipolar Disorder, judging from his intense mood swings and deep bouts of depression.
In all, Sherlock Holmes would score very high on Openness and Neuroticism, and very low on the other three traits. This polarized distribution on the Big Five hints at why his character pervades the public consciousness so. He is a man of extremes, and that has fascinated audiences for centuries.

The famous love story, The Notebook, the portrays the tragic tale of how Alzheimer's disease affects the relationship of a once, passionately in love couple. Throughout the movie, Noah, is reading the story of their lives to Allie, his wife who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She comments on the story as if it was completely foreign, and didn't even realize until later on that they were the details of her life. Even after she realized, she seemed comprehensive for a short while, and then relapsed and forgot everything again, even the face of her husband. She will never again be able to fully recognize her husband or the faces of her children, who she treats like mere strangers.
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. It can worsen to the point where the individual loses the ability to carry a conversation and interact with their environment. There's currently no cure for Alzheimer's, but there are many medications to help temporarily slow the worsening of the disease and improve their quality of life. Alzheimer's is a serious disease that affects 1 in 8 older Americans and is the sixth-leading cause of death.
The severity of this condition is often not made aware to the public, and awareness should be spread through word of mouth as well as through the media. Awareness alone is a step closer to helping the victims of Alzheimer's

Love is portrayed as this unstoppable, ever-coveted force that only the truly lucky can find. There's the typical story of boy meets girl which grows into something much more. A dramatic beach scene unfolds where the couple runs towards each other in slow motion and pull themselves into an embrace which leads to a passionate kiss just as the sun is setting. An elaborate plan unwinds as a man goes down on a knee and you can only hear a soft gasp as his lover sets her eyes on the glittering diamond ring, followed by a chorus of excitement, tears, and infinite joy. These are the types of images we pull up when we think of love. However, is it possible that this highly publicized emotion actually falls short of its expectations?
A study was done by Hatfield on a group of college students, where they paired together students based on personality, attitude and interest measures. Their objective was to see which variables played a part to predict whether the partners were interested in a second date. It was found that, the only factor that significantly predicted attraction was the level of physical attractiveness as rated by their partners (Hatfield et at., 1966). Preferences also seem to vary based on gender as well. David Buss conducted a study which found that men consistently put more weight on looks than women, and also prefer women that are younger. Women, however, are found to prefer those with a high level of financial resources and social status. Women also seem to be pickier, and pursue a mating strategy that maximizes the changes that the man they mate with will provide well for their offspring.
It seems that this one universal concept of love is actually made up of a series of terms and conditions. Choosing a partner based off of a list of preferences and future security shatters the illusion of being destined to meet your soul mate. So at what point does the line blur between personal preference and love?

Been seeing lots and lot of articles like this lately:

or the whole Invisible Children meme.

Sadly lots of terrible horrors and atrocities happen in the world and they have very little to do with pop culture appropriation or facebook. People lash out at women dressing in Indian garb, performers in blackface, and any and every seemingly culturally, sexually, or racially offensive thing. More and more seem to hop on the bandwagon of "equality" in order to oversimplify emotionally complex and thought provoking issues. For example: it's easy to schlep problems like the George Zimmerman case into a race issue instead of the complicated and tragic event that it is. It's easy to click "like" or change your profile picture to match your friends than it is to do research on a trend before re-posting it like crazy.

It might seem easier and safer to conform to the ideals society has given us, to point fingers at the problems we see others committing. People say that being PC protects us from evils like colonization and genocide and rape. Those words get thrown around to get our hackles up, to blind us with rage, to make us feel defensive and scared...to threaten our ability to think critically.

Of course the atrocities in the above article and events are all horrific and unforgivable--everyone knows that. But not everyone deals with hurt and horror in the same way, and that's when conformity becomes dangerous.

Nobody wants to be heartless or to be the outsider against something that seems so obviously evil.

I think a lot of this kind of stuff comes from pain and fear, but I also feel like some of the frustration comes from seeing something you love and value getting altered....and it doesn't matter to what extent or for what purposes (good or bad!)....on a EXTREMELY marginalized level it's like when your favorite band gets popular and it doesn't seem like it belongs to you anymore...you suddenly have to share it...and then...then it gets watered down, over simplified and changed so totally it's nothing but a shadow of what it once was. It happens with trends too, and people, and cultures, and heck...even religions. It's frustrating because all these things aren't tangible, but when they are perceived as being taken away or corrupted we feel defensive, angry, and sad. There is a really intense feeling of loss and anger...and I get it. I don't know what to do about it because I support appropriation. I think it has the potential to be harmful when mob mentality sinks in and we loose the ability to analyze and think critically about the situation instead of just raw feelings.

Unfortunately most people cannot sit down and dissect the world around them (there's so much going on!). Which is why seemingly offensive things must continue to be in our collective conscious....bring on the Borats and South Parks and more! Lets celebrate Bakhtin's carnivalesque, let's walk in the foot-steps of Al Jolson and Roseanne Barr and Josephine Baker and others who take the unfortunately limiting roles they've been given and make them into something more. They take the offensive and hope to heal, like taking a gun and making it into something else. It might still have the ability to hurt, but maybe someday there will be so many options seeing it as a weapon will be thought of as novel and ridiculous when sized next to it's much larger limitless constructive force....and maybe that is hopelessly optimistic?

But I do think individually we're all much smarter than we give ourselves credit for...too bad that mob mentality thing just throws that all out the window. But maybe the internet will help remove that...make us more independent...so that the next time you see something "horrible" on the internet or news you can do your own research?


Angel vs. Devil

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While I was reading about Sigmund Freud's theory about the structure of personality, it really intrigued me. I was always curious about how we make moral decisions and what parts of our personally controls the different parts of the decision making process. The concepts of the id, ego, and superego fascinated me. The ego is like the person making the decision, it;s the psyche's executive and principal decision maker. It's governed by the reality principle which is the tendency to postpone gratification until the ego(person) can find the right decision. The id is like the demon because it's what holds our primitive instincts and is governed by the pleasure principle, the tendency to strive for immediate gratification. And the last part is the superego, angel, which is our sense of morality. With so many competing forces, it is easy to see how conflict might arise between the id, ego and superego. Freud used the term ego strength to refer to the ego's ability to function despite these dueling forces. A person with good ego strength is able to effectively manage these pressures, while those with too much or too little ego strength can become too unyielding or too disrupting.According to Freud, the key to a healthy personality is a balance between the id, the ego, and the superego. Freud had created this theory in the early 1930's and I think it's still relevant today. It's played up in movies and TV shows that we watch. Most people feel like this when they are faced with a tough moral decision. It amazes me that he was able to discover something like this and for it to still be relevant today.

Middle is First

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When exploring studies and findings on birth order, I was intrigued on how well it reflected people I know. Psychologists and others have found some common characteristics and traits that go with each birth position. First borns tend to be responsible, conscientious, perfectionists, and natural leaders. Looking at the first borns I know I would agree with most of these traits. They seem logical since being they have to help their younger siblings they develop responsibility and leadership. Middle borns are harder to peg and vary more then other positions. What is pretty consistent is that middle borns (in a 3 sibling house) tend to be the exact opposite of their older sibling. Again I can relate, but on more of a personal level since my sister and I are very different. Apparently there is nothing that says middle children are the best, I'm still waiting on the research. Finally, last borns are the most sociable, finically irresponsible, and just want to have a good time.
All of these findings are obviously generalized and I do not mean to pigeon hole anyone, but it is very interesting that psychologists continue to replicate the results. This shows that there is some science behind birth order and it is not just coincidental. Birth order is quite interesting and I encourage anyone to look further into it as there is much more cool findings!

Middle Child Syndrome

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I am a middle child, and my dad used to always say the cause of my behavior was because I am a middle child. My little sister was always the one who got the most attention, so I was not happy with that, and I always got told why am I not like my older sister. That confused me and I always wondered why did I have to be the middle child.
The importance of birth order has been known and suspected for years now, but is it really true? Some people think its your genes that makes you either a chemist, brain surgeon, actress, or even a star athlete, but in case study after case study the simple fact that you were a middle child has a power all of its own. In studies that were done in Norway, the first born seemed to be more intelligent, and then followed second and third born. Frank Sulloway, a psychologist on birth order, states, "the first-born is going to get into Harvard, and the second-born isn't." That is a pretty powerful statement, and many people would believe this is true.
Another difference in the birth order is the size of the siblings, older siblings tend to weigh more and be taller than their younger siblings in the Philippines. This fact brings question to me because my little sister has passed me up on height and weight, and my older sister is about the same height and weight as me.
The fact that the first-born is the heir has been around for thousands of years. Also families believe that the first-born is more intelligent, keeps the younger siblings in line, and also when the parents get old, the first-born is usually the care-taker.
Birth order does not just occur in humans, but also in other mammals, have you ever heard that runts of the liter get left behind? The runts get the short end of the stick, and are pushed aside where food is not available.
Families in poverty are also affected by the birth order. When couples have their first child, money is not too tight and they can support it, but after the second and third child are born, food can become limited and everybody suffers.
The birth debate will probably never be settled, families are a complex thing, and birth order is not the only reason why behaviors occur.

I have always had an interest in psychological disorders. I find them very interesting to learn about and to see just how differently they affect different people. I watched the movie Rain Man a while back and was able to see how autism affected one of the main characters, Raymond. The movie was made in 1988, and the in the movie it followed around Raymond and Charlie Babbitt who were brothers. Raymond was autistic and his brother Charlie is not affected by a disorder. When there father dies they are given their inheritance and Raymond received the fathers fortune and Charlie was left with a pittance, a much smaller amount of money. They then follow them on their travels as they grow closer as brothers.

Autism is a developmental disorder. It usually shows up within the first 3 years of life and it affects the way that the normal brain develops. People with autism have a hard time with the social perspective of life. The brains social and communication skills are not fully developed, and causes autistic people to have a hard time making relationships and also just communicating with others in general. This was seen in Raymond in the movie, he was the long lost older brother of Charlie. They had no brotherly relationship and he was not married and had no friends. Although he did excel in other areas. They traveled around and grew closer as brothers and Charlie found out that Raymond was an expert at counting cards, he was good with numbers and many other things because of his weakness with communication and social skills. He made up for these weaknesses with other areas in his life. It was a very cool and informative movie. I always love psychology related movies, they are always very interesting and have cool twists.


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Our human being are social animals. Therefore, we can not just live alone.

I like to observe people wherever I go. As an international student, it's natural for me to look for similarity and difference among people here to compare with my home country. One thing common everywhere I realized is that people instinctively like to be with the people who is similar to them when they are new to some situation. Think about you are totally new to a country, are you willing to stay with your countryman or local people?

I guess countryman is the answer in majority. Here is what I see. Foreign people from all over the world in Shanghai tend to form different circles of their countries although many of them keep a good balance. At the same time, this, to some extent, explains the association naturally formed by different countries' people in US, one of a famous example is China Town.

It's understandable. People are nervous, anxious and stressed when they are in a strange place alone without any support. Consequently, being a member of some groups deindividualize them and bring them a sense of safety and comfort. The concept of conformity also somewhat explains it. Most of the people doing conforming in order to comfort themselves. Without doubt, the feeling of comfort is nice.

For my own, I prefer with the people who is not that similar to me, no matter where they come from and what their personalities are. I believe diversity makes the world more enjoyable. Difference doesn't always bring anxiety. It also means unique and brings surprise. Similarity doesn't necessary mean comfort. It also tends to be limited and stays monotonous.

Most of the concepts in psychology up to now are impressive to me, especially for social psychology and personality part, because they reveal the true face of individual difference and individual similarity.

We can find two concepts of social psychology in the clip above. Door-in-face technique at the beginning and social lofting later.

Eric's eight thousand dollar seems too far away from the real price, fifteen dollar, while his making use of door-in-the-face technique, one of the persuasion techniques helps them get the final deal. In the real situation, when people negotiate, in order to achieve the target price, they normally offer a larger one before they get real price they want. It is a widely used technique in business world, especially during the big negotiation.

Eric makes the deal, but he doesn't real seriously treat his job. When Stan, Kyle and Kenny are doing their job, Eric's behavior fully reflects social lofting phenomenon, when someone become less productive in group works. Normally, people in groups work feel less responsible for the whole team's work. This is also associated with their diffusion of responsibility, which makes people tend to rely on others rather than themselves. I guess that's one of the reasons why we all don't like group project, since we can't not control others attitude even though we sincerely treat our job.

Working environment requires compromising, cooperation and coordination, so, some techniques as well as positive attitude is necessary.

I have done some research and found many interesting things about birth order and only children. For only children it says the child is pampered and spoiled, the center of attention and self-centered. I have known some kids that are an only child and I would have to agree. However, this would probably be an example of an availability heuristic for me because I only know a few and I am sure there are many only children that do not follow.
Another group this website talks about is first-born child. It says that the first-born child believes that they must gain and hold over superiority over other children, be right and controlling, strives to please, sometimes strive to protect and help others, and have responsible behavior. I am a first-born child I do like to be right, controlling, responsible, and stick up for my sisters. However, I disagree that first-borns' try to gain superiority over other children. If I ever say that I am the best child, I always am joking and not serious.
On the website, I think there are points people could agree with and also points people could disagree with. I think it's interesting but I think this information isn't completely reliable because it is impossible to have general traits for everyone just based on birth order. On the website it even says that the following characteristics will not apply to all children in every family so not extremely reliable.
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I've grown up having two of the most strict parents ever! I couldn't hang out with boys (if you're a guy, you're automatically considered a boyfriend), go out late on a weekend (even when I turned 18), still have to ask permission to do things today (although they want me to I don't), and should cook and clean (because of the gender roles in my culture). According to the three different parenting styles, I believe my parents have the authoritarian parenting style. An authoritarian parenting style is strict and the parents show little affection to their child. Although, my parents were strict, they showed me lots of affection! One might say that they're parenting style is authoritative then, which are parents who let their child have freedom, but with certain limits. Based on my personal experience with them though, I'd have to stick with authoritarian.

When I starting expressing how I felt about my parents to friends, I became aware that a lot of my asian friends felt the same and a lot of my non-asian friends didn't. From what I know from my friends, I'd say that most Caucasion and African American parents fall under the authoritative type of parenting. I was jealous.

To this day, I still wish my parents were less strict on me. I know I still would've made the right decisions. Some parents are too overprotective.

How are your parents?

From the title of my blog, you were probably able to tell that I was going to blog about sleep paralysis. This is described as a strange experience of being unable to move just after falling asleep or immediately upon awakening. The authors of our psychology book say that it is caused by a disruption of our sleep cycles, fear, and or nervousness. The one idea that caught my attention the most was about the different cultural interpretations of sleep paralysis. It says that in Thailand this experience is interpreted as a ghost like figure or demon sitting on top of the person sleeping.


It was shocking to me because my parents are from Thailand and though we are not Thai, they still had the same beliefs about sleep paralysis. My mother has experienced this numerous times in her life. She says that it's the same ghost every time and it only occurs when my dad is not in bed with her. I even walked in on her once when this occurred. The door to her room was slightly open and I heard her making little noises so I came in and she looked like she was struggling so I woke her up. It scared me to see her like that, but she was so used to it that it did not bother her as much as it did me. It also happened to my brothers when they were younger. They got into a fight and came back very shaken up. That night, they experienced sleep paralysis and according to the book it must have been because they experienced terror and anxiety. They too, said that it was a demon figure sitting on them and they couldn't move.

I guess the only question I have is why does it only happen to my mother when she's alone? Nowhere in the psychology book does it address this.

Think about your favorite criminal justice TV show, when the detective thinks the suspect is lying and wants to incriminate him, what does he do? Gives him a lie detector test! The lie detector test, also known as the polygraph test, has been a socially acceptable way of detecting lies in the 20th century. But is it really valid? The polygraph test is based off of lie detection tendencies such as the Pinocchio response; a physiological/behavior indicator of lying. Statistically it does better than chance but yields a high rate of false positives. This is due to the fact that the polygraph test doesn't specifically detect lies, it detects arousal. The suspect could be experiencing arousal because he's nervous of being wrongly convicted of the crime, and this would create what looks like a "lie" on the test. This happens more often then not. Well if the polygraph test isn't as reliable as expected, is what about human instinct? Most of us are pretty confident of our skills at detecting lies. Although we are also better than chance most of us only achieve a 55% accuracy rate and it's shown that there's little to no correlation between our confidence of detecting lies and our abilities. Both personal instinct and the scientific route of the polygraph test are better than just flipping a coin, but they are nothing to fully rely on.

As a member of the U.S. military, I am beyond aware of the former "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. I myself am straight, but I have absolutely no problem with those who want the right to be openly homosexual. In fact, many of my friends are homosexual. They are not any different from you and me other than their personal preferences. From a military standpoint, it is our job to always place the mission first; as long as the mission is completed and orders are carried out correctly, what does it matter what a soldier's sexual orientation is? Sexual Orientation does not affect performance out in the field nor does it threaten national security; seriously people, we have bigger problems to worry about. If you're one who opposes it because of your religion, I completely respect that, but keep in mind: separation of church and state. Again, I understand this is an extremely controversial issue, but I am merely presenting my views. Here is something I found (that the APA stated) that might make this viewable from a psychology standpoint:
"In July 2004 the American Psychological Association issued a statement that DADT "discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation" and that "Empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment and retention." It said that the U.S. military's track record overcoming past racial and gender discrimination demonstrated its ability to integrate groups previously excluded."

*I'm going to request that if anyone posts a comment, it be carefully worded so as not to be offensive, please. I'm more into a healthy expression of opinions rather than slurs, accusations, or disrespect..AGAIN, so as to not offend anyone being this is a touchy subject. Thank you :)

Incase the pictures don't show up, check out the links below; they're political cartoons.




Say YES to the Dress

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Say Yes to the Dress is a popular show on TLC that focuses on helping brides and bridezillas find the "perfect" dress for their "perfect" guy. Every episode features different brides who tell a blurb about their "love" story. Many of the women have dated their fiance for many years before taking the plunge into marriage, which seems to be more and more popular in American culture. In some cases though, the bride was the one who was ready to get married before the groom was, where one show featured a woman searching for a dress who wasn't even engaged yet, but was hoping to be soon!

What is the criteria that makes for good relationships though?
One bride states that her fiance is "smart, funny, and makes her laugh," this statement goes along with the the rule of reciprocity of giving and taking in a relationship because her fiance possesses qualities that in return make her happy. One bride even met her fiance on an online dating site, which in many cases match couples through similarities. And another large aspect that plays into many of these brides relationships is proximity, or physical nearness. People are more attracted to others that they see on a regular basis or are nearby. Many of the brides met their fiance at the same university that they studied at or through a mutual friend. Reciprocity, similarity, and proximity work together to create lasting relationships, and to one day search for the dress of your dreams.


When seeing this prompt, initially I wanted to respond with the stereotype that men are portrayed smart and girls are shown as bimbos. But once I thought about it more, my realizations changed. Granted, I don't watch a lot of TV & movies, or read any magazines, so I might not be the best expert on the topic - but I'm entitled to an opinion nonetheless and I'll write about it here!
I think more and more television shows are starting to create female characters that are more intelligent. Obviously there are some cases to refute this - Penny from the Big Bang for example, but I am starting to see a general trend. More and more women are playing lead roles in medical dramas and criminal justice series. These women obviously need to be intelligent to do their jobs. On the topic of men, I don't think there has been too much of a change. Men has played their consistent role of the educated professional.
My question is: What will the next shift be? Will women surpass men as the intelligent role? Will kids start to jump up past adults?

Well, according to the psychology book, there are a few major roles that pertain to where we find this person. We look at things like proximity, similarity, reciprocity as in if they like you, and then you are more likely to like them back. Then crazy things that some might think are fictional like passionate love. I feel like in some of the TV shows we see today, these things do actually take place and play a major role.

Take the bachelor or the bachelorette as an example. A man or woman is presented with a large group of potential mates that they could end up with and in the end they eliminate people till there is just their one mate left. The role of proximity plays a big role because they are with these people all the time as to get to know them well and try to find the perfect mate, so essentially it has to be one of those people. Then take similarity into account because I'm sure that the people that are chosen to be their potential mate would work well with them because of similarities. And of course take in reciprocity, so if they like you, you're more likely to want them back.

Some of the most outrageous beauty standards are portrayed in Body Piercings, ranging from simple rings or studs to extremely bizarre and painful items (such as barbed wire or chair legs). Piercings are also done to almost every portion of the body in various cultures, as well as done into patterns to reflect various cultural practices or beauty standards.

What is interesting however is that piercings are something that is placed within the realm of beauty standards in many different cultures around the world. This leads us to question if there is some basic aspect of body piercing which humans find attractive, something that is governed by genetic programming and perhaps modified in variety and appearance based on cultural practice. In essence, there seems to be a strong correlation for an instinctual behavior behind why we may find body piercing attractive. Items that are used in piercing or gauging, as well as where on the body they are located would then be dependent upon parts of the body which are accentuated by the culture.

This can demonstrated by examples such as the one below
Obviously the idea is that the piercing appears as the back of a corset (corsetry as well being a more extreme beauty practice). This can also be seen in other cultures in which it becomes a competition for who can have the largest gauges or most ridiculous or painful items as possible.

This is a prime example of the nature-nurture debate that occurs in developmental psychology, as well as the basis in which drives out attraction for mate acquisition.

It is widely seen in movies and television programs today that our cultural views on love and marriage are progressively changing. It seems to me that our culture once viewed love as special feeling we reserve for one special person, and marriage as a sacred vow to be faithful. But popular movies today like Friends With Benefits and others like it seem to be portraying a different set of standards. These movies seem to be telling us that we can love many people and that marriage is only a temporary thing. They seem to be telling us that it is normal to 'sleep around,' get a divorce, and cheat on our partners. I personally believe that this is the wrong message to be sending out to people in our society; that we are setting a trap for ourselves in making us think that these things are ok. As the text might put it, our society seems to be falling out of consummate love, and into more of an infatuation.


After watching the movie You, Me, and Dupree for about the one-thousandth time this weekend (personally I relate to Owen Wilson's character Dupree very closely), it is hard to argue against Carl and Molly being a perfect match. While even they have their struggle early in their marriage due to outside factors, they were meant to be and nothing was going stop that. Not even the end credits.

Looking at the topic of guiding relationship principles, I was easily able to find three that fit these two newlyweds perfectly. First and foremost physical attraction is very present in the relationship. Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon (the actors) are very good looking people meaning they clearly were brought together by these looks.

Second, Reciprocity allowed the two to find love. They both treated each other very well and sacrificed a lot to show each other the attraction. When this disappeared and the two saw conflict in each others interests, the relationship didn't work like it was supposed to.

Last but not least, Social Role Theory is a driving factor in the relationship of Carl and Molly. Carl was up and coming in his career and heading for success, while Molly was a elementary school teacher molding the young minds of her pupils. Who couldn't ask for a more perfect couple? With a beautiful house in the suburbs, these two had a perfect life and a perfect love.

Every culture has a definition of beauty. Some countries (including Mexico, India and the Philippines) where "natives have a naturally darker complexion, skin whitening products litter convenience store shelves; while in countries where natives have a naturally fair complexion have tanners and bronzers all over their supermarket's beauty aisle."
The women of the Kayan tribes of Burma and Thailand believe that their attractiveness is related to the perceived length of their necks. They start wearing rings around their neck at a very young age that gives the illusion of having a longer neck. Maybe this definition of beauty is what makes Kiera Knightley and her long neck seem so attractive.
Women in Japan find it very important to have smooth and soft skin without any marks. They eat a lot more collagen- glue like protein - to keeps the skin elastic and strong and keep it from wrinkling. Having clear and wrinkle-free skin is also a mark of beauty and youth in the western cultures. That's why there are so many people getting Botox and face surgeries to look young. Acne medications are also one of the most marketed products in the US. They are targeted towards teens and young adults since they have the highest tendency to get acne.
The textbook states that physical attractiveness is especially important to men. This may explains why women feel the pressure to look more presentable than men do. The text also states that women tend to be picky when they choose a partner. One very important qualification to them in a man is the amount of financial resources he can offer. That's why men in some culture, such as the Maori people of New Zealand, get tattoos in certain parts of their body to signify their wealth and prosperity.
The definition of beauty varies with every culture, but research shows that men in many cultures put more emphasis on physical attractiveness, while women put more emphasis on financial resources. Therefore, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and depending on what motherland you've dug your heals into, the defining factors for attractiveness may be different."


Liar liar

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There was a story about a little wooden puppet whose nose grew every time he told a lie. As the number of lies continued to grow so did his nose. This little puppet was named Pinocchio. As the story of the little puppet spread throughout time so did the myth that lie detector tests (also known as polygraph tests) measured the perfect indicators of lying through physiological and behavioral responses like how Pinocchio had shown through the growth of his nose. People are all too familiar with the lie detector tests, the media uses them constantly in their movies and television shows. The problem with this is that polygraph tests aren't 100% accurate when it comes to determining a guilty person from an innocent person. These tests measure the blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductance of the person that is being tested. There is a heightened autonomic activity in the body due to anxiety and the people being questioned are asked a series of questions that are relevant or irrelevant to the crime, and controlled. When a person is asked a question that is relevant to the crime and their autonomic activity level is high they are then labelled as deceptive because their autonomic response to the other questions were low, where if a person's activity level after a relevant question came up low they would be labelled as truthful.

Research studies have found that the polygraph test yields a high rate of false postives, meaning that a high number of innocent people are often labelled as guilty, and that the test often confuses responses of arousal with evidence of guilt. Researchers have made the comment that the detector has been misnamed and should be called the "arousal detector". Not only does the polygraph yield a high false positive rate but it also yields a high number of false negatives. People that are guilty have learned to beat the test, and therefore are labelled as innocent. The people who have learned to beat the test have done so by using countermeasures - methods designed to alter their responses to control questions. Finally, researchers have stated after proving the confusion of arousal and evidence of guilt that there is no such thing as the Pinocchio response.

This past summer I spent a month in New Zealand on a volunteer trip. I was surprised to see so many people with tattoos. I found this interesting because although tattoos are popular in the United States, what surprised me was many men and women had tattoos covering their faces. We later learned from our tour guide that in New Zealand the tattoos represent stories and are considered beautiful markings on women. In America if someone has a tattoo on their face they are considered out of the norm, but in New Zealand it is a sign of honor. I find it interesting that cultures around the world consider different appearances to be beautiful. I think these differences show that beauty truly does reside in the eye of the beholder. In America the definition of beauty is blond, blue eyed and thin. Women in Brazil are also considered beautiful if they are skinny. However in Africa the opposite is considered beautiful. Men prefer women who are slightly heavier. They believe that this means a woman is ready to have children. In southern Ethiopia scars on women's bodies determine beauty. When they are young children their elders cut them in patterns creating unique scars across their skin. In Iran facial features determine beauty. Because it is the law to cover your hair in Iran many women focus on their facial appearances going to extreme measures to make them beautiful. Iran has the highest rate of nose jobs in the world, performing about 60,000 a year. Not all beauty is determined by facial appearances. In France women are considered beautiful by how they present themselves such as what they wear. When reading the textbook I found it interesting people tended to rate the most average looking women beautiful. I found this interesting because when I think of beautiful people I think of celebrities. They don't seem to look average to me. It is important to recognize beauty comes in all forms, and to appreciate the beauty in other cultures and to not become so obsessed with appearances. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Food In Perspective

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As an American I reflect on our nations unique obsession with food. Although the general population is not struggling to feed ourselves and families, there is a strange obsession with food. We extensively research where are food comes from, what these foods do to our body, what will sell and what will not, and many more aspects of food. Eating disorders are widespread across America plaguing the lives of teens growing up constantly bombarded with food advertisement. Countless documentaries are made about food politics and controversies. While it is always a strong part of culture in general and enjoyment in life, the danger is in over emphasizing food. While I in no way condone the diets that force participants to practically starve themselves, I think there is value in putting food in perspective. I propose a challenge to my peers and fellow Americans to fast for one 48 hour period... not repeatedly or for weight-loss, but to put food in it's place. I have found this to be a freeing experience because it forces you to see food as a necessity, and nothing more. If you allow it, i believe that this can free you from the silly notions that you must constantly be worried about what and how much you are eating. Food is meant to be enjoyed, but it is fist and for most to support your bodies vital functions and should not consume you life.

Food In Perspective

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As an American I reflect on our nations unique obsession with food. Although the general population is not struggling to feed ourselves and families, there is a strange obsession with food. We extensively research where are food comes from, what these foods do to our body, what will sell and what will not, and many more aspects of food. Eating disorders are widespread across America plaguing the lives of teens growing up constantly bombarded with food advertisement. Countless documentaries are made about food politics and controversies. While it is always a strong part of culture in general and enjoyment in life, the danger is in over emphasizing food. While I in no way condone the diets that force participants to practically starve themselves, I think there is value in putting food in perspective. I propose a challenge to my peers and fellow Americans to fast for one 48 hour period... not repeatedly or for weight-loss, but to put food in it's place. I have found this to be a freeing experience because it forces you to see food as a necessity, and nothing more. If you allow it, i believe that this can free you from the silly notions that you must constantly be worried about what and how much you are eating. Food is meant to be enjoyed, but it is fist and for most to support your bodies vital functions and should not consume you life.


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In The Happiness Hypothesis, the book explores the many levels of human actions and emotions. In the fourth chapter, labeled "The Faults of Others," the author spends time on how as humans we generally are hypocritical, and self-loving in nature. He gives a few examples of famous men being brought down by hypocrisy. For example, Congressman Ed Schrock, a man who spoke freely to the world about his opposition to gay rights, was caught leaving a recording on a sexline describing what he wanted to do with a gay man.

Most of us laugh at others getting caught being hypocritical. But the thing is, most of us have eaten our words. I know as younger preteen, I was against a variety of things; sex before marriage, drugs, and alcohol. But as I grew up, I found that it was much easier to go against these previous standards when given the opportunity to break them. I think it is easier to say you are against certain values in prospect. I also think hypocrisy happens when we want to impress people with our "moral" standards. Ed Schrock made his appearance to be homophobic to obtain followers and to please people. I know I have said things to friends to have a better appearance.

Do you know anyone who has been hypocritical, and did it upset you why they were? Why is it so easy to get upset at people who do things that go against their previous word? Is it a form of lying? Have you ever done things that went against your previous word?
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Hunger Games

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More and more of Americans are becoming conscious of what they put into their body, and as a result, how their bodies look and react to these food intake changes. Often, quick fad diets are the most popular way to shed 10-20 pounds, but are these really the changes the body wants or needs? The answer is usually no.

A few examples of popular fad diets include the master cleanser, where a person is limited to a concoction of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 15 days. Sounds great, right? Well at the end of the day you can look forward to a warm glass of salt water, in order to trigger bowel movements. Lovely. Another popular diet is the cabbage soup diet-- an age old diet started in the 50's in which you can eat as much cabbage soup as you want, and slowly new foods are reintroduced depending on which day you are on the plan. The grapefruit diet is quite possibly the easiest to follow, by eating a grapefruit with every meal, especially protein, in order to burn as much fat as possible. The problem? You're only allotted 1,000 calories a day. It's recommended that adult females consume at least 1,200 calories a day, so this diet could get pretty messy fast. Watch out for those hunger pains. As described in the book, most of these diets make extraordinary claims, prompting "revolutionary studies" and promoting ambiguous results.

What do all of these diets have in common? Plain and simple; deprivation. Sure, you are allowing some nutrients into the body, but for the most part these "diets" should be looked at as cleanses and cleanses only. Too much of the nutrient depletion could cause your body to go into "melt-down" mode, where each calorie consumed is stored as fat, as opposed to muscle. This happens because of the calorie depletion; the body does not know when it will get it's next meal, it's basically starving itself, so all of the energy consumed is stored as fat, just in case. Do your body a favor and treat it right by following a life-long diet, rich with fruits, leafy green veggies, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains...and say goodbye to that cayenne pepper.

Parenting Styles

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Diana Baumrind did interesting research on the parenting styles of Caucasian middle-class families. From her research, three major parenting styles were identified: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. Also, of these three parenting styles, authoritative parenting--not too strict, but not too lenient--was found to be the best. This result was based on social and emotional adjustment of children and levels of behavioral problems. But, how accurate are these results? Is authoritative parenting really the best? A major limitation in this research is that only Caucasian middle-class families were studied. If other types of families were studied, the results would most likely be different. Parenting styles change between cultures, socioeconomic status, and parenting styles have also evolved with new technology and media influences. However, new research suggests that parenting styles may not really matter! I find this very interesting and surprising, seeing as a there is a lot of research that takes into account a child's upbringing including parenting. Therefore, I do believe that authoritative, permissive, and authoritarian parenting styles do have some kind of effect on childhood development, but I do not think you can pick a "best" style. It would be interesting to see new research done on these three types of parenting styles, comparing not only the styles but also cultures, and economic status.

In our textbook we had to read about Diana Baumrind's work on different parenting styles. She came up with a theory that proposed three different styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. The different styles were marked by how involved the parents were in their children's lives and how strict or permissive they were.

For myself, I agree with her that the best parenting style is authoritative. Parents that are authoritative use a good mix of strictness and reinforcement. When necessary, they punish or scold their children so that they will model correct behaviors, but they also have no problem be encouraging and reinforcing the good things that the children do. I believe that this form of parenting raises children who will most likely be respectful, hard working, and who won't expect everything to go their way.

There are also reasons that I believe the other two styles do not work as well. In the case of authoritarian parents, they are very strict and try to keep the tighest rein on their children as possible. This sometimes even includes abusive behaviors. Children that are raised like this may not be as creative as other kids, and they may also not trust their own judgements because they are always being punished or put down. In the case of permissive parents, who reinforce their children all of the time and allow them to do anything that they want, these children may easily become spoiled. They then think that everyone will do things for them and will become upset when things don't go their way.

I think that understanding these different styles is important because they give us a framework from which we can learn. Understanding the effects of these styles can prepare us to raise our children in ways that will prepare them to be helpful and respectful in society.

Tests that measure intelligence are unneeded in our society. The IQ test might create a fair test of intelligence and is valid, but it only creates a system of hierarchy amongst people. As seen in the eugenics movement, a sense of superiority is established by those who score higher on the test. There is already enough comparison in our society in terms of judging success with a materialistic view; adding and comparing people's level of intelligence will just lead to more discrimination and judging. To think that the eugenics movement ever occurred is absurd; natural selection will and should play out by itself, not be forced. Similarly, the ACT and SAT tests are ineffective ways of evaluating college-bound mental capacity. Standardized tests lack factors such as creativity and are aimed more at students interested in concrete subjects such as math and science. Even the writing section offers no room for creativity as the topic is bland and demands a structured form of writing. Demanding students to place high scores in standardized tests alienates a large group of students that have different majors in mind than science or math. Overall, tests that measure intelligence are unneeded to evaluate people; they breed superiority and ineffectively apply to all avenues of knowledge. There will never be a true definition of genius because there are so many different interpretations of what a high mental capacity or intelligence is.

Contact Comfort

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Harry Harlow, an American psychologist, was well known for his maternal-separation and social isolation experiments on rhesus monkeys. The experiments showed the importance of loving companions on social and cognitive development. He took the monkeys and exposed them to two fake mothers. One with a wire casing which had the bottle and nourishment, and the other was made of foam rubber with terry cloth on the outside that had been heated by a light bulb. Observing the monkeys, he found that they used the wired "mother" to feed on the bottle but always otherwise gravitated to the more comfortable, terry cloth "mother." Moreover, when exposed to scary stimuli, the monkeys would always run to the more motherly model even though it did not provide nourishment. Harlow called this new phenomenon contact comfort. He defined it as the positive emotions afforded by touch. Following Harlow's research, we have begun to understand why enjoy simple contact and reassuring touches from others. Furthermore, Tiffany Field also showed years later that gentle massages help premature babies gain weight, sleep better, and form closer bonds with their parents than when just exposed to attention. This brings me to an interesting question. Do simple touches and contact with others make us, as adults, more healthy and provide additional benefits such as more restful sleep?

Lawrence Kohlberg's thoughts on morality had many facets, including his scheme of moral development. According to Kohlberg, the three levels of morality are preconventional morality, conventional morality, and postconventional morality.

While Kohlberg received more than his fair share of criticism for his work, (including issues with cultural bias, sex bias, low correlation with moral behavior, confound with verbal intelligence, and causal direction) I have my own problem with the reasoning of Lawrence Kohlberg.

The reason that Kohlberg rates the thought process of morality instead of the decisions themselves is because morality "[doesn't] have clear right or wrong answers." However, in my opinion, he then goes on to rate how 'correct' their thought process is. He does this by labeling certain stages of moral development. By saying some moral decisions are more developed than others, he is essentially arguing that some answers are more correct than others. This creates a massive contradiction with his work and therefore can be difficult to trust. And for him to even make the claim in the first place that certain responses or thought processes are more "developed" than others, Kohlberg would first need to test it through an experiment like this one, that starts with an unbiased view of what is correct or developed reasoning. Yet this would be impossible to falsify.

Essentially, Kohlberg's experiment design does the exact opposite of what he intended to do.

YOLO: You only learn once

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This title obviously has nothing to do with the motto rapper Drake has recently made famous, but it probably got your attention. My play on this motto has to do with a section in our book on page 391 dealing with learning the inhibition of impulses, also known as self-control. Some of us learned this at a very early age, while some of us still need some help with the concept. One researcher, Walter Mischel, has done studies with kids to test what he called "delay of gratification." He and his colleagues would leave a child alone with a cookie and a bell. They would explain that if the child could wait long enough, they would get a bigger reward such as two cookies instead of one. If they could not wait long enough, they could ring the bell and receive the cookie, or simply munch on the cookie and deal with consequences. What Mischel and his colleagues predicted was that if children could wait for the larger reward at the age of four, they could more easily handle frustration later in life. While Mischel's finding's don't necessarily prove that self-control at an early age means coping with frustration later in life is easier, it does serve as an early indicator of the capacity to restrain impulses which is rooted in frontal lobe function. In conclusion, if you were one of the kids who took the cookie right away and didn't display self-control as a four year old, don't worry. There's still hope for you learning some self-control soon enough.

Say What?

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Text messaging has exploded over the last decode. From 2006-09, the amount of text messages sent and received went up 450%. Texting now dominates over phone calls, or even personal interaction altogether now. It's much more simple and a quicker way to communicate with each other. But anyone who has texted knows of on of its major woes, and that's the difficulty in reading emotions, as well as picking up non-verbal cues. These things can be very necessary to understand during conversations, and if misinterpreted, then many problems can arise. This is due to the fact that we take theses cues for granted, we think people know what we mean, and can understand the emotions we do or do not convey. Instead of portraying them non-verbally, we have to insert the cues themselves within the text message. A "haha" or "lol" shows that the person is joking or not serious about what was said. Without them, the meaning would take on a totally different one and cause a big mess. Texting may be an easier way to communicate, but it comes with risks, although they can be avoided. Just make sure the other person in the conversation will fully understand what you are saying, otherwise be ready to explain yourself.

Peers vs Parents

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Our book contains a paragraph regarding the Peers vs parents argument, referencing a study done by Judith Harris. Harris proposes a group socialization theory, a theory that claims that an individual's peers have more influence than one's parents. This study, though questioned, deserves a more in depth look. Though most core influences are from our parents, the transition from childhood to adulthood can cause teens to purposely stray away from parental influences in order to obtain values and norms more socially acceptable by peers. If you think back to your pre-teen and early teenage years, you may be surprised how influential peers can be, at least I did. For me, even as a relatively young child I found myself spending a lot more time away from home, so much in fact that my parents once made "house rule" for my siblings and I to spend a designated amount of time at home each day, especially during the summer. Thinking back to the influences of my friends, though some fell by the wayside, a great deal of how I live my life today is a product of those peer influences, for better or worse. In this video, Dr. Gordon Neufeld discusses his book and ideas on the influence of peers, and even goes as far to say an individuals friends should not be near the top of the list of emotional needs. Though somewhat extreme, these idea are worth analyzing and applying to your own life. By all means, no need to watch the whole video, but do watch the first few minutes of the interview. Very interesting.


I feel like especially nowadays moral dilemmas are very evident in everyday life, whether their issues are large or miniscule. As a teenager and young adult I feel like peer pressure leads to most moral dilemmas. Many teenagers are faced with choosing between what is right or their morals and their friends. One of the most frequent and major issue, in that sense, is drugs and alcohol. When you have a really close friend that has been there for you for many years asks you to underage drink or do drugs with them, as a teenager, you feel like you are caught in a moral dilemma. Friends are extremely important in a teenager/young adults' life so what do you do? If you don't, you feel like you might lose your friend or be an outcast, but then you don't have the possibility of getting in trouble. Yet if you do drink or do the drug, you feel like you aren't the outcast but you could possibly get caught. This is the first level of Kohlberg's work, preconventional morality. As far as the second level, conventional morality, which is marked by societal values, teenagers can be confused by the messages media puts out. For instance movies and shows portray drinking as acceptable. Now this example may not be as extreme as Heinz and the drug but it is very relevant in today's world.

The area of child development in psychology especially fascinates me. Because I am majoring in nursing and minoring in child psychology, I was excited to begin this portion of the class. One part of chapter ten that grabbed my attention was learning about Piaget's Conservation Tasks. In particular, the test observing a child's ability to tell which glass has more water. You begin with the same amount of water in identical glasses. The child should clearly say they are equal to each other. But when the experimenter pours one of the glasses of water into a much taller and thinner glass, the child says that taller and thinner glass has more water. I didn't believe this at first until we watched a video in lecture showing the experiment exactly how it happened. I wanted to prove this test wrong, so over one weekend while I was visiting home, I tested my 5-year-old niece. Natalie is very bright for her age and usually nothing gets by her. I thought she would be the perfect candidate. To my dismay, Natalie failed the test just like the other children! I was shocked! Nonetheless, it was cool to perform the experiment outside of class. It was also hysterical talking to Natalie about it because she didn't understand how they were the same amount of water! We were both having fun with these tests, so I performed the test using the coins in a line and spreading them out but still using the same amount of coins. Not surprisingly she failed that test, too. If you have a younger sibling, cousin, etc., do this test because it's hilarious.



Yalda T. Uhls' article, entitled "Cheers! What Kids Learn from the Media About Drinking," opens with the lyrics to a popular Rhianna song, "Cheers to That." A song about nothing other than drinking and having a good time doing it, this excerpt epitomizes the view of the author; that drugs and alcohol have become increasingly glorified in the media, and the effects can be seen in the youth of America.

The article argues that media coverage of drinking, more specifically in a positive manner, is becoming more popular in America. There were three areas that the author focused on; they were music, television, and social networking.

In an analysis of song lyrics, it was found that references to drugs or alcohol increased to 30% in 2008 from 12% in 1888. In twenty years, the amount of music containing references to drugs or alcohol has almost tripled!

Concerning television, the article touched on various shows that promote poor choices, such as drinking, like "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and "The Bad Girls Club." As well as the fact that 2/3 of primetime television shows contain about 8 acts of drinking per hour.

The final medium it presented as a source of alcohol glorification was social networking sites. It gave the number that 50% of age 17-20 underage drinkers either had at least one message or photo containing a reference to alcohol. This disturbs the author, because she finds the relationship between peer influence to be stronger than that of media influence.

The article closes by urging parents and teachers to act against underage drinking, telling them to help find positive role models and to talk to them about their conceptions that "everyone else is doing it." I would disagree with the latter statement, because the article sited that 50% of people 17-20 have reported consuming alcohol on their social networking pages; but how many more individuals have not posted about it? Are the majority of teenagers really abstaining from the use of alcohol?

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