Recently in Assignment 5 Category

assignment 5

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The Big Five model consists of five different traits that emerged from factor analyses of measures of personality, terms in dictionaries, and works of literature. The Big Five model was discovered by using a lexical approach to personality. A lexical approach suggests that the most important features of human personality are embedded in our language. Paul Costa and Robert McCrae labeled the five traits of the Big Five model. These five traits are as follows:
o Openness to Experience ("Openness") - Open people tend to be intellectually curious and unconventional;
o Conscientiousness - Conscientious people tend to be careful and responsible;
o Extraversion - Extraverted people tend to be social and lively;
o Agreeableness - Agreeable people tend to be sociable and easy to get along with; and
o Neuroticism - Neurotic people tend to be tense and moody.
Two well known acronyms for these five traits are OCEAN and/or CANOE, which is also known as a helpful mnemonic for remembering the Big Five model. Each person falls into one or more of these five traits, which is why the Big Five model is important; it helps us learn more about our neighbors, friends, and family and what kind of people we're surrounded by. This could be a useful tool when trying to figure out the right way to talk, or acknowledge, someone. Let's say you were to walk up to a complete stranger and just randomly start talking to them about something. If this stranger is a neurotic person, then you may want to be a bit more careful in how you express yourself to them, or around them. This is just one example, but there are trillions of people in the world and every single one of them is different. Not everyone fits neatly into each category, but this model is a good indicator as to the main 5 type of traits people posses.

blog 5

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Over the last couple weeks we have covered numerous topics ranging from cognitive development to intelligence and emotions. The topic that I happened to find quite interesting was intelligence and the way it has been progressing over the last 80 years. When the graph was shown depicting the evolution of our intelligence and how an IQ of 100 today translates to an IQ of roughly 125 back in the 1930's, I was astonished. How is it that our intelligence is progressing so rapidly? Knowing that intelligence has been trending steadily upwards makes me wonder as to how an exceptionally intelligent person like Einstein would fare in todays fields of study. Einstein was considered one of the most evolutionary thinkers of his time. When looking and figuring that his intelligence is only relatively higher than those of us today poses questions such as how would the geniuses of today have fared in the 1930's and 40's. Overall this seems like a stretch in the findings of intelligence, that is the way that we our progressing. I find it hard to believe that an above average thinker from today would be able to have made some of the break throughs that Albert Einstein made in the past. Another interesting fact that I heard in lecture was the fact that intelligence was positively correlated to brain size. Meaning that a bigger brain is usually better. The funny thing is that Einstein actually had a below average sized brain.

Assignment 5 Graphology

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The topic I chose for this blog is graphology. Graphology is the psychological interpretation of handwriting. I think this is important because many regard this as a pseudoscience while others use it to detect employers who are potential to deceitful behavior. What evidence is out there to tell us whether graphology is a reliable source or not? According to our book others have even said to cure psychological disorders by changing people's handwriting. I have always been curious why everyone has different handwriting. Do girls generally have neater handwriting than boys? Is there a genetic influence in handwriting? Sometimes I swear my grandma, mom and I all have the same handwriting. I found a video that gives examples of all the different styles of handwriting and how to analyze them. The video has a disclaimer saying, "Please don't believe everything you see here 100% It does not always work, but for the majority of the population it is true." My first instinct after watching the video is that I fit into multiple categories and that I certainly hope that they weren't all correct. I think it's important to realize that graphology shouldn't be heavily weighed upon while hiring someone and it may provide some insight but graphology interpretations have low reliability. According to our book many graphologists rely on representativeness heuristic. This is another problem that I came across while researching graphology. While on the other hand my research lead me to find that there are actual dedicated to handwriting analysis. This topic is very interesting to me because there is so much controversy surrounding the topic.

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Assignment #5-Piaget's Stages of Development

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Over the last two weeks of psychology the concept that I found to be most interesting was Piaget's stages of development. Piaget's stages of development consisted of four separate stages consisting of sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operations each marked by a specific way of looking at the world and a set of cognitive limitations. This concept helps us understand exactly how a child's view of the world differs from ours and when certain mental tasks that come easily to us will appear in younger kids.
In the sensorimotor stage, which is from birth to about two years, a child's focus is on the here and now. During this stage the main source of knowledge, thinking and experience are their physical interactions with the world. Children in this stage lack the understanding of object permanence, which is the understanding that objects continue to exists even when out of view. A really good example of this concept is in an online video from Youtube about object permanence at The next stage is the preoperational stage, which is about two to seven years, where children acquire the ability to construct mental representations of experience. Children in this stage have now grasped object permanence but lack the ability to see the world from others point of view due to egocentrism. The following stage is the concrete operational stage marked by the ability to perform mental operations but only for physical events and finally the last stage is the formal operations stage achieved during adolescence where children can perform hypothetical reasoning beyond the here and now.
I think this a very important concept because by researching just how children think and develop we as adults are better equip to understand how a child thinks and therefore provide a better learning environment and realize they might lack some of the cognitive abilities we take for granted. If we didn't fully understand why children think the way they do we might have trouble seeing things from their point of view and expect things of them that we shouldn't. Before learning about Piaget's stages of development a couple years ago I was at a family gathering and my baby cousin Andrew was playing with his new toy incessantly and if anyone would take it away from him he would get upset and reach out for it. Eventually I saw Andrew drop the toy out of his view and he looked confused but this time he didn't reach for the toy and after a little while just went about his business. At the time I was very confused why he would reach for the toy when it was in sight but ignore it once it was out of view. Now that I learned about Piaget's stages I have a better understanding of his behavior and it makes perfect sense.
After studying this interesting concept I am left wondering exactly why things like object permanence occur and if it is an issue with physical development or if it just usually takes an infant two years to fully comprehend the idea of objects out of view still existing. Either way I think Piaget's stages are incredibly useful for understanding and raising children.

The Use of Projective Tests

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Projective tests are used to "interpret ambiguous stimuli such as ink blots, tell a tale (TAT), or even signatures" (Lilienfeld). These tests suggest how people think unconsciously. Projective tests are an interesting and important topic because they are used all the time yet lack reliability and validity.

The Rorschach Inkblot Test is one of the most interesting projective tests and is also one of the most used. These cards are used in the same way as when we look at clouds in the sky and see a bunny and are used to see projections from our unconscious (Personality). Inkblot tests have shown to have a low validity resulting in it not being able to accurately identify most psychological disorders. On the other hand, they have been effective in the diagnosis of illness such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.


The tell a tale (TAT) technique is used by showing the patient a picture of a situation and then in return they interpret that photo. Using this method can reveal a person's past such as if the patient was raped or how they feel about themselves. This test shows some validity in the way that TAT correlates positively with a person's occupational success (Lilienfeld).

Signatures or "graphology" is also an interesting way of evaluating psychological disorders as well as characteristics of a person. Graphologists use the representative heuristic, matching the features of people's handwriting with certain personality traits such as I's being dotted and T's being crossed being interpreted as disciplined (Lilienfeld). However, this test has very low reliability and almost no correlation between handwriting style and personality characteristics.


Projective tests come with some benefits but come with even more downfalls. Projective tests are generally given in a therapeutic environment but patient's answers can be easily variable with the examiner's attitude and the environment. Scoring these tests are also quite subjective, resulting in different interpretations of answers from each examiner.

"Projective Tests", Lilienfeld, page 570-572
"Personality Synopsis",

Writing Assignment #5

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The humanistic models of personality provide an interesting and original perspective of psychology. I have encountered these concepts in a counseling psychology course and they seem to have some beneficial implications for a therapuetic environment and relationship. It allows a person to be accepted for who they are and promotes the individual's ability to achieve their greatest potential (self-actualization).
The basic assumptions and concepts of the humanistic approach are that individuals are innately positiive and have the ability to achieve self-actualization, although there are various factors that can impede upon that achievement. Self-actualization is the aquisition of one's greatest potential, which according to Roger's, is innate and inherently constructive and positive. Carl Roger's model proposed that there are 3 factors at work. The organism, our biological make-up; The self, our beliefs about who we are; and the conditions of worth which are expectations we place on ourselves for appropriate and inappropriate behavior. It involves us internalization of external social factors. When conditions of worth conflict with our self-concept in-congruence emerges.
Carl Rogers humanistic approach is a refreshing alternative to more deterministic views adopted by pschyoanalysists and behaviorists. It's an empowering perspective that reassures us that we have the ability to achieve a fullfilling life no matter what our circumstances. There is much room for criticism though, since the concepts associated with the humantistic approach are vague and abstract and have little strong empirical support compared to other theories. It's also arguable that it's a little overly optimistic to assume that everyone has this innate ability and to assume that everyone's potential is innately peaceful.

This video explores the idea of innate morality. The study shown works with babies and displays the tendency of babies to gravitate toward the "good" puppets over the "bad". The concept of innate morality is closely associated with Carl Rogers' view of e the inherent abilities of people to become self-actualized and "good".

I Want It And I Want It NOW!!!

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There are three basic parts that Sigmund Feud argued made up the human mind and that these parts together are what account for the different individual differences in personality:

The ID: A primitive part if the personality that pursues only pleasure and instant gratification. Freud believed this was mainly an impulse fore sex and aggression.
The Ego: A part of their personality that is aware and is in contact with the reality of situations in the outside world. It is very conscious and it considers all possibilities including consequences of an action. The Ego also has to deal with the demands of both the ID and Superego.
The Superego: This is basically our sense of mortality. This is why we experience guilt and anxiety when we do something wrong. But it also is what guides us towards socially acceptable behavior.

In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation. Not an easy job by any means, but if the id gets too strong, impulses and self gratification take over the person's life. If the superego becomes to strong, the person would be driven by rigid morals, would be judgmental and unbending in his or her interactions with the world. Here are two short clips to show you exactly how one might over power the other:

I believe this concept is important because while the ego negotiates with the id, trying to prevent another tantrum, the superego judges the performance. Superego is another name for your conscience. It expects your ego to be strong and effective in its struggles against the libido's force. Usually, our conscience comes from our parents or a parental figure. As we grow, we internalize their standards, those same standards that make us feel so guilty when we tell a lie, cheat on our spouse, or steal. But the question remains, does everyone have a conscience? The answer may never be clear but I believe Freud was on to something!

Contact Comfort or Food

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In lecture we watched a short clip of an experiment that explored whether contact comfort and affection are in any way helpful to a young child. This experiment was performed by Harry Harlow and it really caught my attention. Before this experiment was performed many believed that affection had no real purpose.They believed that the attachment formed between mother and child was just due to the fact that the mother provided food and nutrition to the baby. Some such as behaviorist John Watson, even went so far as to say that love and affection can spread disease and psychological problems. This was a falsifiable theory, therefore, it had the ability to be tested and proven wrong. And that is exactly what Harlow did. He raised rhesus monkeys from birth in a laboratory setting. They were separated from their mothers from the minute that they were born. The only mother figures that these monkeys had were artificial ones. There was a wire monkey "mother" with a bottle that supplied food just as a real monkey mother's nipple would do. There was also a soft terrycloth mother. When left to be raised by these to fake mothers, the baby monkeys more often than not went to the soft more affectionate mother for cuddling and support. Therefore, his results show that love, affection, and contact comfort are very important in forming that attachment between mother and child. Food is not the only factor.

In a later experiment he would place the young monkeys in new environment (room) with there soft surrogate mothers. These monkeys would use their artificial mothers as a secure base. That is they would use them to feel more comfortable exploring the new room. When he removed the mothers, the monkeys no longer explored because they did not have the secure base they needed to feel comfortable in such a new situation.

This experiment is very interesting to me because it takes an idea that is now very well accepted in society and proves that its true. It's very hard for a person growing up in present time to think of this experiment as something bigger then just common sense, but back than it actually was.

Strange Situation

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Strange Situation is a test created by Mary Ainsworth to explore childhood attachment patterns. Mary did this by a child and his/her mother is in a room. While the child is able to play within the room, a stranger enters and interacts with the mother. Eventually, the stranger will approach the child while the mother leaves the room. After a short period, the mother returns as the stranger leaves. Throughout the procedure, Ainsworth observed her play behavior, reactions of the mother leaving and returning, and behavior when the stranger is around. There were three attachment patterns that were observed they are secure, avoidant, and anxious-ambivalent. A toddler who has secure attachment will be frustrated when the mother leaves and happy when she returns. A toddler who has avoidant attachment will avoid the mother when she returns and show little emotional response. As for one who has anxious-ambivalent attachment shows distress when the mother leaves, but upon return the child has mixed feelings about her mother. Strange situation is important because studying childhood patterns shapes how they're going to react when they are adults.
I would consider myself more of an avoidant attachment than secure attachment. I feel uncomfortable when I'm close to others this explains why I only like to be acquaintances with my friends. I find it hard to fully trust most of them and to depend on my friends in situations such as meeting me at a certain restaurant or being on time. This sense of feeling uncomfortable also illustrates why I never had a close boyfriend. I just felt uneasy being so close to someone. Even when I was younger I would show little emotion to my father coming home when he was working for a month. He was always working when I was an infant and today I tend to ignore my father compared to my mother.. < > < >.

I'm wondering if the developments of the attachment styles are based on the environmental influences only when the child is an infant. Could an event change their attachment style between their care givers when they are older?

The Big Five

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The Big Five are the 5 main personality traits. These 5 are Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. These 5 define the majority of a persons personality. It is really important for finding out about people whether they have a chance of having a problem. I learned that these can really show a lot of what I do, such as when I am working on a project. I can really see that I am very agreeable as when we have to decide on something, I am very will to compromise or agree with someone else's ideas.

The Duel of the East and West Emoticons.

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One of the topics in Chapter 11 of the text Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding is our nonverbal expression of emotion in our eyes, bodies, and our cultures. In a ScienceDaily article titled "Facial Expressions Show Language Barriers, Too", the University of Glasgow found very interesting reads for East Asians and Western Europeans.
In this experiment, a standardized face map called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) was used to construct the expression by contorting the muscles that are typically used in an automatic response of the emotion. The researchers found that of the "Easterners" (East Asians) and the "Westerners" (Western Europeans), the Easterners tended to rely on what they could read from the eyes more as opposed to the eye brows and mouth. This is important to note because it is evidence for missed nonverbal cues that could alter the perception and understanding of the emotion.
They linked this finding to Easterners and Westerners use of emoticons. In this part of the correlation/causation effect, the researchers claimed that Westerners use the : ( and : ) to convey sadness or happiness, whereas the Easterners used ;_; and ^_^. The claim that the University of Glasgow makes to strengthen this so-called cultural construction seems to be "extraordinary" in the sense that it does not take into consideration the actual media source from where these were constructed. It is a too loosely based claim that cannot be half of the account for the complete findings of one experiment. If there were a way to find out why Easterner and Westerners use either eye brows/mouths or eyes to decode facial expressions, it could potentially help to support their claim more that these culturally different emoticons can actually be used as a cultural signifier for why either facial feature gets used.
PS, in what way does this show a language barrier? I don't believe I actually read any of that.

Criminal Profiling

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Criminal profilers' job description at the FBI and other law enforcement agencies includes drawing detailed inferences about perpetrator's personality traits and motives from the pattern of crimes committed. Criminal profilers go beyond the widely available statistics such as the typical murderer being a male between the ages of 15 and 25, and who suffers from psychological problems. Instead, criminal profilers claim to use their unique expertise and years of experience to do a better job of describing a criminal's personality, compared to the available statistics.

The YouTube video below is a short video of officer Beau Bapkin, who works at the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. He explains that, "a criminal profiler usually has a little bit of experience in the criminal justice field. Criminal profilers could be anywhere from a criminal investigator with the police department, or sheriff's office, or a state agency; to an educated criminologist or sociologist." Bapkin concludes that if someone is going to be a real criminal profiler, having experience in the field is essential, along with some education to back it up.

Although most criminal profilers do a decent job in producing accurate profiles, even they fall victim of the P.T. Barnum effect; the tendency of people to accept high base rate descriptions as accurate. They simply use general descriptions that any person could come up with as a criminal profile. Researchers have even found that professional profilers are no more accurate in determining the personality features of murderers, than are college students with no training in criminology.

A criminal profiler usually has training and experience, but really, according to studies a criminal profiler could be any one of us. So why are criminal profilers still popular in crime investigation? The answer is unknown. Even though average people seem to do just as well in estimating personalities of criminals, the FBI and other crime organizations remain in full-time business of training criminal profilers.

Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, by Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy, & Woolf


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Humans have a great need to create long-lasting and stable relationships with others and become psychologically unstable in isolation, when they cannot talk or interact with others. Because of this need they from attachments with others, typically among parents and lovers. These attachments have three basic functions: proximity maintenance, safe haven and secure base. Proximity maintenance allows us to gain a sense of comfort with an immediate threat or danger, safe haven provides safety and secure base provides physical attachment.
These attachments are very important as they allow us to venture out into the world without fear. Attachments also help to diminish anxiety and fear when formed securely. They can allow a child to be more confident with the mere presence of a person they are attached to. Children with secure attachments are able to use the attachment to reduce anxiety while insecurely attached children either try unsuccessfully to calm themselves down internally (avoidant attachment) or are inconsolable externally (anxious attachment). Without secure attachment humans have less effective ways of dealing with stress and anxiety and cannot explore as effectively.
One of the most important and anxiety reducing aspects of attachments is the contact comfort they provide. Harry Harlow proved this with a famous monkey study. Hallow wanted to prove that a bond to contact comfort is stronger than food. To do this he separated baby monkeys from their mothers, then he place them in a cage with a wire monkey-mom with a bottle of milk (food) and terry cloth monkey-mom (comfort). As Harlow expect the monkeys turned to the terry monkeys when they were anxious or afraid, proving the importance of contact comfort. This comfort derived from contact was also very important to me as a child. When I was feeling anxious I would hold on to my parents' sleeves or shirt. The comfort I gained from this allowed me to reduce my stress and the confidence to venture out in social situations or other stressful environments. I used my attachment to my parents as a secure base to explore my world.

Attachments in action:


secure base

exploring with attachments

Ability vs. Performance. Who Wins in the End?

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We are all familiar with the typical movie scenario of the teenager who is fresh out of juvie or grows up on the wrong side of the tracks that turns out to be a secret genius. Does this happen all the time in real life? According to an article on Psychology Today, it's unlikely. Many people nowadays relate what they get on the ACT or SAT on how smart or successful they will be in the future, and I even admit to think this way. The article states that standardized tests have a strong correlation on student's grade point averages and also shows how well they'll perform on future occupations. Through these tests we can almost rate the ability someone has to perform or accomplish tasks in the future.
Arneson proposed a hypothesis that states: "If ability is only important up to a certain point, then a graph of performance as a function of ability should not be a straight line; it should level off once the pertinent threshold is reached...but if ability matters at all then the graph should be a straight line."
He came to the conclusion that SAT scores do measure future performances by gathering data using a longitudinal approach. He observed data from education and employment. Using the scores of an earlier SAT score, he later measured people's performances in a later time after the test taking.
We have to remember that the results weren't perfect; therefore we can't assume that SAT scores are the cause for good job or educational performances (correlation v. causation). Other factors could have helped with these results such as environmental influences on school work, test anxieties, what types of classes the students took, what kind of jobs were being observed, etc. The article also points out that the data does not measure talent and other factors such as opportunities, perseverance, or practice. Although the results show that SAT scores can predict success we have to keep in mind that it doesn't necessarily mean that the results will hold true 100% of the time.

The Attachment Theory

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According to Dr. Simpson "Humans have a strong need to form and maintain stable relationships, and if your thwart this need and keep them in isolation, it's very psychologically painful" Solitary confinement is a method of punishment penal system, where you put somebody in complete isolation. A perfect example of this situation, is the case of Genie.

As the video above says, Genie was in completely isolated from everybody, and everything. She was in a room strapped to a potty chair with nothing but walls to look at and nobody to talk to and form bonds with for over 10 years. Her parents even beat her for talking, giving the the impression that talking was bad. When she was rescued and taken to a hospital, psychologists hoped that they would be able to nurture her back to normality. When she first arrived at the hospital she was basically mute, and walked almost animal like, with her hand in the front, clawing, spitting and sniffing; giving her the name "the wild child". With the care of the hospital staff and psychologists, Genie began to express her feelings through nonverbal communications and later on she even started speaking and had a strong command of vocabulary. She even became more sociable to adults that she had familiarity over and started acquiring an attachment to them. She was making tremendous progress but the funds for the experiment lessened therefore she was sent to more foster homes, one of which the foster father beat her for vomiting. She went into a state of fear and once again isolated from the world. In this case of Genie, the three states of separation distress as talked about by Dr. Simpson is most likely apparent. Stage one: protest, is the persistent attempt to re-establish contact by crying or other means. Genie probably cried many times in the beginning, however getting beat for it made her conditioned to not cry. Stage two: despair, prolonged inactivity and helplessness. Genie was tied to her potty chair for over 10 years, meaning it was 10 years of depression, helplessness and no social connections. She was basically treated as if she didn't exist, only given food and shelter to. The last state is detachment which was less apparent in this case because it's the withdrawal from a figure and finding of another. Genie never really had anybody to withdraw from since she never had anybody in the first place, however the closest example to this would be the staff at the hospital that looked after her. She become attached to him and her first foster parent, but when she was moved on, she once again lost the will to live. The case of Genie, the wild child, is a great example of how important the attachment theory is.

Assignment #5

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Personality is a topic that has been explored throughout human history. What comprises it at its most basic level has only been recently discovered by psychologists in the elegant theory of the Big 5. The big 5 consists of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Each of these traits is measured by a test, such as the Berkeley Personality Test, that places the test taker on a continuum where they are compared to the average across all people. The different traits were determined by several different sets of researchers analyzing many different rubrics of measuring personality and factor analyzing all those into five most common and fundamental traits. This is only a recent development in the field of psychology, but it is a crucial one. It is, however, easily misconstrued, as this article in the Huffington Post shows. Every single person falls somewhere on the scale for each of the different five traits, it is not a test that measures which of the traits most describes you. The article also doesn't take into account that while the trait is called Extraversion, the test is actually measuring where you fall in between Extraversion and Introversion. A low score in Extraversion means you are more associated with the behaviors of an introvert instead of only using that measure to describe extroversion. This theory is a crucial, if sometimes misunderstood, step forward in understanding human psychology.

Before I became a Personal Care Assistant, I believe I took for granted the ability to analyze a person's personality and how they go about in life. On top of that, I rarely thought about the reasons as to why they had the personality they did and what factors would make their personality show itself more. Now that I have the opportunity to work with others as their personal care assistant, spending hours with them at a time, I greatly appreciate seeing someone's personality as they are and as I become to know them better, the puzzle pieces start to fit together to create an image of what they went through in their environment and what they were set with as far as their heredity and gene makeup to make the bigger picture of who they were. When looking at all my patients' personalities, I can think of one patient in particular that was the most interesting to analyze. After studying the different personality theories such as Freud, Adler or Maslow, the theorist that seemed to be the most appropriate for analyzing this patient's personality was humanistic theorist, Carl Rogers. Roger's model of personality fit perfectly with helping me analyze this specific patient's personality because my patient shared the same optimism as Rogers believing that we could all achieve our full potential for emotional fulfillment if only society allowed it. Also from what I have seen, my patient's personality is completely in sync with the consisting three components of how Roger explained personality. Rogers three components were the organism, the self and conditions of worth. My patient's components of personality fit as follows:
1. The Organism: My patient had a genetically influenced blueprint that made up her unconscious mind. (or as Freud would call it, her id) She had been diagnosed with schizophrenia as well as a few other personality disorders. As it is hard to say, that could have made up her organism.
2. The self: My patient, just entering her early senior years, now has a strong sense of self and self-concept. Getting to know her I could see that she was growing to know who she was and what her purpose in life was by portraying confidence in her opinions and strength in her personal beliefs.
3. Conditions of worth: My Patient placed numerous expectations on herself for appropriate and inappropriate behaviors for years all throughout her child and adulthood. My patient grew up with an emotionally abusive mother so anything she did, her mother would find something wrong with it. Without getting too detailed, her mother made her acceptance of my patient conditional on many behaviors and as a result, my patient only learned to accept herself in certain limiting ways for years.
I can't help but think about the components and influences my patient had influencing her personality in the end. Was it her mental disability of schizophrenia that caused her to grow and approach her environment with a specific personality or was it her environment that caused her mental disability to trigger her approach to going day by day? These questions may never be answered, but one thing I know is that no personality is ever going to be the same and as much as we try to analyze 99% of it, there is still always going to be at least that 1% that makes every single human being different from one another.

Is Standardized testing accurate?

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Standardized testing such as the SAT, ACT or IQ scores have become a big part of todays education and College Admissions. Standardized tests are given to high school students looking to go onto a college career and continue their studies, and are intended to predict overall intelligence and grades their freshman year in that college. Over the past couple of years, Standardized tests have become a much bigger factor in deciding the acceptance or not of a applying student. In reality, though, the correlation between these tests and college grades are often below a 0.5 and in a few cases close to zero. On top of that, they don't do well in predicting to overall success of the student in four years, but may predict first-year grades at reasonable levels.

Though these tests will have their flaws, they are very important today in finding the overall intelligence of someone. They are also very consistent, so they do have reliability backing them up. On top of this they are universal, and replicable. Though I have not taken an IQ test or the SAT, I did take the ACT and found, while talking to others who took it, that it is very uniform and straight-forward. It doesn't measure how smart or knowledgable someone is, I feel like it measures how well we do at taking tests and solving problems.

Though a little far-fetched and obscure, there is a lot of truth behind this humorous Simpson's clip. Do standardized tests have this much impact on our lives? Can our college and employment career be made or broken by one or two tests?

What I wonder about is whether or not they will change up the standardized testing? Or will it stay the same? Is there something better and more efficient that could be done to judge intelligence for college applications?

Rethinking Intelligence

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College Prep U states that the top four most important factors in college admissions are GPA, test scores, course rigor and extracurricular activities. In terms of very selective schools, namely any Ivy League Institutions, being a great student may not be enough. With so many high school students planning on continuing to college, competition is higher than ever. But according to Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory, those with exceptional intelligence in some areas may be somewhat deficient in other areas.This may mean that the best students, having exceptional linguistic and logico-mathematical intelligence, may lack musical or bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, often needed to do well in extracurricular activities.


This fact raises some questions. Do the most selective schools really end up having the most intelligent students? If you measure "intelligence" only in terms of how successful one is in the classroom, the answer may be yes. However, if you consider all the ways in which one can be intelligent, it is likely that these schools will lack the most successful athletes, artist, musicians along with many other talented individuals. Some colleges have observed this trend, and are taking steps to ensure that they admit a variety of well rounded individuals. The Washington Post asked admissions counselors from across the country to describe what they looked for in applicants. Although all of their answers were very different, they all touched on the fact that they prefer "well rounded" students. This doesn't mean the person who was in every club, but rather the person who was successful academically in addition to being very involved in their interests outside the classroom.


Although academics are the main focus of most colleges, it is important to remember that academic success is not the only measure of intelligence. We can all think of a number of cases where someone was an amazing athlete or musician, but was only a mediocre student, despite the countless hours they spent studying. Our culture puts so much emphasis on academic success that we often fail to recognize many talented individuals. Although having college majors where one is graded on their sprinting times or how well they communicate seems absurd, this may be the way to create a balance of all areas of intelligence, and move forward as a society.

The Id, The Ego, and The Super Ego

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The Id, ego, and super ego are all parts of what Sigmund Freud believed to be at the heart of the human psyche. The id is our basic instincts, what we want to do. It contains all of our drive to receive pleasure, but it is entirely unconscious. The ego is our decision maker. Our ego has touch with reality, and unlike the id, will wait until we can find a socially appropriate outlet for our desires. The superego is our moral standards. Our superego, according to Freud, looks down upon our ego and let's us know if what we are doing is right or wrong.

I think that this is a very interesting theory on human personality, because it offers an interesting view on how and why people act the way they do. According to Freud, how these three agencies interact determines our personality. Although we should be wary of Freud's claims because they lack falsifiability, these interactions could possibly describe why when we see an attractive individual, we don't "Holla" at them all of the time. This video, obviously jokingly, would be an example of a guy with little control over his ego.

One thing that I would like to know more about the id, ego, and superego would be how often it is used in Psychology today. I am wondering if it is still influential and studied today, or if it is just an important theory from the past.

The Id, The Ego, and The Super Ego

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The Id, ego, and super ego are all parts of what Sigmund Freud believed to be at the heart of the human psyche. The id is our basic instincts, what we want to do. It contains all of our drive to receive pleasure, but it is entirely unconscious. The ego is our decision maker. Our ego has touch with reality, and unlike the id, will wait until we can find a socially appropriate outlet for our desires. The superego is our moral standards. Our superego, according to Freud, looks down upon our ego and let's us know if what we are doing is right or wrong.

I think that this is a very interesting theory on human personality, because it offers an interesting view on how and why people act the way they do. According to Freud, how these three agencies interact determines our personality. Although we should be wary of Freud's claims because they lack falsifiability, these interactions could possibly describe why when we see an attractive individual, we don't "Holla" at them all of the time. This video, obviously jokingly, would be an example of a guy with little control over his ego.

One thing that I would like to know more about the id, ego, and superego would be how often it is used in Psychology today. I am wondering if it is still influential and studied today, or if it is just an important theory from the past.

Stages of Separation Distress

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In lecture last Friday, Professor Simpson discussed the three stages of separation distress in relationships. Whether they were between a mother and a child or romantic relationships, I thought of the movie, "The Notebook." I couldn't find the individual clips as videos, so I will describe why the characters, Noah and Allie, represent the three stages of separation distress.
The first stage is protest. This is the persistent attempt to re-establish connection. Protest is seen in the movie after Noah and Allie break up. Noah writes Allie letters saying how he is sorry everyday for a year. However, her mother takes and hides the letters so Allie will never receive them. Even though Allie doesn't receive the letters, she also does something to reconnect with Noah even though it is not as direct. Allie volunteers to help the hurt soldiers in the war so she feels like she is connecting with Noah.
The next stage is despair. Despair is the prolonged in activity and helplessness. Noah represents this stage by fighting in the war, and when returning, building the house he promised Allie he would make. In doing this, he also built the house with the rooms she wanted, the color she wanted, and the style she wanted.
The last stage is detachment, or withdrawal from or coolness towards a parent or lover. This is seen in the movie when Allie first decides to date, and then marry Lon. The decision for her to start dating again is what 'detaches' her from Noah. Noah also tries to withdrawal from his feelings for Allie by having a relationship with Laura.
I see these stages in many romantic movies, but they are not only seen in fiction, they are seen in real life as well. I found "The Notebook" as a good example of these stages, but there are many ways people do this in real life, especially while grieving.

Assignment 5

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One important concept i found interesting in these past couple of weeks is the big five traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These concepts has made me relate my peers to which trait they are. I find this very interesting because knowing these traits i can know more and more about their personalities. To those of you who know very little about the big 5 traits, i will briefly explain them. Openness to experience is intellectually curious and unconventional, Conscientiousness is someone careful and responsible, Extraversion is someone who is social and lively, Agreeableness is someone who is sociable and easy to get along with, and neuroticism is someone who is tense and moody. I have found a video where you can see examples of each trait listed here:http: //
with the big 5 traits we always need to remember that behavior involves an interaction between a person's underlying personality and situational variables. The situation that a person finds himself or herself in plays a major role in how the person reacts. However, in most cases, people offer responses that are consistent with their underlying personality traits. Personality is a complex and varied in each person and may display behaviors across several of these dimensions. So when trying to figure out peoples personalities, these 5 traits are just a guideline and a first step to trying to figure another human being out.

The Big Five explanation of personality gives a realistic approach to categorizing various traits that make up an individual. This approach is more developed than a simple organization of likes and dislikes, due to the complexity of the traits said to be related to every aspect defining what we call personality. The Big Five are said to be the predictors of human personality traits using measurements on openness, positive acceptance to experience, conscientiousness seen through the ability to be responsible, meticulous, and dedicated, and the ability to be extraverted based on social interactions. The principles of the Big Five are also shown and measured through an individual's tendency to be agreeable or open-minded in social situations while for contrasting views of a personality an individual's preferences may be seen through tenseness or aggressive feelings towards certain situations, categorized as neuroticism. While there are multiple factors influencing every personality complex every single second, the implicit desire to stick to the basics reflexes of how to react in situations ultimately depends on the feelings of the individual and the tendency to place more value on past experiences or recently acquired knowledge. From the textbook, proven research regarding this idea is able to help possibly successfully predict the probability of outcomes based on an individual's set of reactions to the various categories of personality. Although there are flaws to generalizing a broad outcome of a fellow human based on personality characteristics, there is also prevalence to be highly accurate and influential to determining the outcome of certain individuals in possible work place settings.
I read an article practicing ideas of the Big Five personality model in the business world, specifically in terms of personality traits, both positive and negative, applied to the differences manifested through stereotypical genders. This article claims, "Pertinent to the current research, Lippa (1995) found that sociability, openness, and low levels of adjustment were the factors most linked to "masculinity," while agreeableness and conscientiousness were linked to "femininity" (note: not all males in the study measured as "masculine" and not all females as "feminine")." The ideas of the Big Five characteristics are dangerously accurate at times to a point leading to stereotypes, which although could potentially be verifiable, should not be used for negative reasons. Contradictions to typically attributed characteristics to certain individuals may be defining factors in specific personality traits influencing social interactions and automatic responses to stress or less than pleasurable situations. Individual differences can seem to be simplified when seen through concepts of basic categories of personality defining typical behavior in a structured social environment, like a workplace or learning institution.

Sources Cited: The textbook and

Assignment 5

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After attending lecture and discussion about the Big Five personality traits, I gained an immense interest in the topic. There are many ways to go about when it comes to differentiating people from one another, but this approach can be used to describe all people. I think this is an important concept because these traits can help predict many important real-world behaviors.The five traits are: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Openness to experience are people who tend to be intellectually curious and unconventional. Conscientious people tend to be careful and responsible. Extraverted people ted to be social and lively. Agreeable people tend to be sociable and easy to get along with. and Neurotic people tend to be tense and moody.
I think that this is an excellent way to figure someone's personality out because it covers a broad spectrum. During discussion, I was placed into the 'Entertainers' group. So that means I have high extraversion and agreeableness, and I definitely agree. Obviously this isn't spot on because i'm not always outgoing and agreeable, but I think that it's pretty accurate. But I am curious if the personality traits change often within a person?
In this video, the creator does a good job with defining the characteristics of each trait and providing example pictures to go along with them, but she kind of portrays the pros and cons of each trait; thus, making it look like having a high score of a certain trait being a bad and negative thing. But that certainly is not true.

Also, in the book, it talks about how it's possible to have a Big Three as an alternative to the Big Five. I am just slightly curious as to which three traits would contribute to that? I think that the Big Five is perfect the way it is right now.

Twin's Behaviors

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When I was in high school there were a pair of twins on my baseball team. They were raised together, by the same parents. They were identical twins with similar personalities, however they expressed their personalities very differently. For instance, one would "pout" when he struck out and the other would shake it off and try again next time. They both were extremely competitive, outgoing, rebellious, yet nice guys. In their sophomore year, one of the brothers had to go to rehab for drug dependency. A year later, the other brother was in rehab as well.
Their father was a strict former Army officer who tended to hold high standards for his sons. Since he was also a coach, we saw this on the field. We always felt that it was because of their father's strictness that caused them to rebel and begin taking drugs. However, stories like these girls, show that certain personality traits can be genetic, thus being activated at birth.

We could assume that it could be possible that if my friends had been separated at birth they would still be rebellious and potentially still do drugs. Hopefully that wouldn't be the case. On the bright side, the chemical dependency treatment center they attended, (at different times) worked. Both are now chemical free and attending college. This could also show another trait they share.

Projective Tests, all about the inkblots.

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We recently learned about projective tests. A projective test is a type of personality test in which the individual offers responses to ambiguous scenes, words or images. I find these particularly interesting because they are intended to reach into the unconscious thoughts and feelings of person and uncover desires that are otherwise hidden from the conscious mind. Projective tests are well known in therapeutic settings. Therapists often use this type of test to acquire qualitative information about a patient. This type of test can prove to be very important; they can aid in helping troubled people figure out why they are troubled and they can even help in diagnosing mental disorders.

One form of projective test that interests me the most is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. I believe that inkblot tests are almost like a symbol of the field of psychology; they are all about examining the mind. If not a symbol, inkblot tests are definitely very well known. This test consists of 10 different cards that each have an ambiguous inkblot. The patient is shown one card at a time and then asked to describe what he or she sees within the image.

The inkblot that I included at the top of my post is called "plate I" in the inkblot test. After researching, I came up with some possible interpretations and explanations to this inkblot. Some common interpretations include bat, butterfly, moth, and even a female figure (in the center). Some interpretations, such as a mask or animal face, are said to represent some paranoia. A bad response is said to be anything that interprets the female figure in a bad way. The female figure is said to be a projection of one's own self image.

I would like to know more about what situations projective tests are used and how much of an aid they really are.

Assignment 5

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One theory from the lectures during these past few weeks that really caught my attention was taught in Professor McGue's lecture on gender differences. His lecture was about the theory that biological gender and psychological gender can differ, but both are determined prenatally. The idea is that biological, or genetic, influence on gender is much greater than social influence. In fact, McGue's personal belief, which he stated in his lecture, is that biology is the only thing that affects gender. The evidence that he showed was the story of a boy who was accidentally circumcised at an early age and was raised as a girl because his parents didn't want him to "suffer." The boy ended up going through lots of depression because he was never psychologically feminine, and didn't fare better until his parents revealed that he was, in fact, male. So the differences between the psychological male and female genders lie in prenatal hormone levels in the brain.

I'm a member of GLBTA and am a gay rights activist, and a lot of the discussions I've been having in my groups have to do with gender and sexuality, which go hand in hand. Professor McGue's lecture got me thinking quite a bit about transsexuality, and McGue's arguments about gender make perfect sense.

However, today's society is shifting towards a more uniform definition of both gender and sexuality alike. This may seem odd because society still seems pretty divided and there's a lot of homophobia and the like, but in being part of GLBTA and having been part of the GLBT community openly for the past year or so myself, I'm seeing more and more people come out as what society has labeled as "androgynous" or "gender nonconformist." Basically, some people are beginning to realize that they don't really fit into either gender category. Some do not fit into either, and some fit into both. This kind of ambiguity has placed a lot of confusion in society and in my own personal opinion, there will eventually be no such things as gender labels. My idea is based on the fact that there are already various gender labels out there: cis male and cis female (traditional gender roles), butch (masculine female), fem (more feminine female than cis), transgender, agender (neither gender), androgynous (both genders) and more.

A great example of an androgynous person is musician Bill Kaulitz:


Watch the first minute of this video - it sums up how I feel about androgyny and the movement of today's society to more properly define "gender."

Notice how this person says that the reason for this shift and scramble to come up with new words to define sexuality is because people are becoming more "complex." One thing I wonder is why this is happening and whether people were this "complex" back in the 70's as well, but just weren't comfortable enough to express it.

After Professor McGue's lecture, I went up and talked to him about androgynous/gender nonconformist people and what he thought about them, because the idea of gender nonconformity completely goes against his notion that there is a distinct psychological difference between the male and female genders. He looked like he was unfamiliar with gender nonconformity and told me that it's "probably just a fad or a phase."

I tried not to get offended, but I know that androgyny is not a fad; it's an addition to the movement of society towards a fluid definition of gender.

I guess the big question I am left with is that if there is such substantial evidence that psychological gender is determined prenatally by hormone levels, then how does gender nonconformity fit into the equation? I think that the department of psychology should extend their studies of gender to androgynous people in order to answer this question.

What a "Strange Situation!"

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The Strange Situation is an experiment first done by Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues, which developed an organized way to determine infants' attachment styles.The experiment examines the reactions of one-year-olds when they are separated from their mother. Each infant is left alone with a stranger, and their levels of anxiety are recorded upon the departure of their mother, and the relief upon their mothers' return. The findings were organized into four categories : secure attachment, insecure-avoidant attachment, insecure-anxious attachment, and disorganized attachment. The most common attachment style among infants in the US is secure attachment. An infant is securely attached if he/she is upset by the mother's departure, and is joyful over the mother's return. Secure infants use their mothers as a secure base as soon as she returns, and depend on her for comfort. This finding is important, and is used presently by researchers to determine an infant's attachment style. This finding can also be used to predict the type of person an infant will likely grow to be. For example, securely attached infants tend to feel loved as they continue through life, and typically are most stable in a relationship.

This concept makes perfect sense to me. I see Ainsworth's findings more often than most of my colleagues and coworkers. I say this with so much confidence because I come from a family much larger than the usual. I have 11 brothers and 1 sister, and 10 of the bunch are younger than me. The youngest just turned one, so there has always been an infant in the house as long as I have lived. It is very clear that the majority of my siblings were securely attached as infants. As soon as Mom left the room , especially when strangers were around, the infant instantly would burst into tears. Just tonight I was watching my youngest brother while my mom bathed the toddlers. I stepped out of my room for a moment, and the moment I did, Jeb started whining and came crawling my way. Although I am only his sister and not his mother, he still has a bond with me and uses me as his alternative secure base when our mom isn't around. When I returned to my room, Jeb held his hands towards me, begging me to scoop him up and soothe him. It did not take long for Jeb to calm down, and shortly went back to his play.

What I wonder the most about this topic is how much it can predict future behavior. Even more specifically, I am curious about the connection with relationships. At my age, I think about serious relationships more and more, and the lecture on relationships really caught my interest. I consider myself to be a secure person just like the majority of my family, and it comforts me to know that a secure person is more stable in relationships. I definitely do not want to see any of my siblings go through divorce or any problems in relationships and marriage. I just wonder if the chances of that are slimmer given they are secure people currently.

Here is a sample of Mary Ainsworth's study:

The Big Five of Personality

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I have become very interested in the Big Five after lecture and discussion over last week. In psychology, the big five personality traits are the classification of a person's personality into the categories of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. The 'Big Five' are five broad factors or dimensions of personality traits discovered through empirical research. The big five are a descriptive model of personality, not a theory, although psychologists have developed theories to account for the big five the big five personality traits can be summarized as follows:
Openness to experience: Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas; imagination and curiosity (vs. conservatism)
Conscientiousness: A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement.
Extraversion: Energy, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others.
Agreeableness: A tendency to be compassionated and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others.
Neuroticism: A tendency to easily experience unpleasant emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability
These traits are sometimes referred to as the OCEAN model of personality because of the acronym composed of their initial letter.

I read one interesting article which explains the relationship between personality and grade. It said Extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness were found to be personality traits favored in instructors, whereas neuroticism was not. A significant correlation was found between the students' expected grades in the course and student evaluations of the course, but not the evaluations of the instructor. When the effect of students' perceived amount of learning was taken into account, no significant effect of grades was found on teacher ratings. Personality explained variance in teacher and course evaluations over and above grades and perceived learning.
Big Five.jpg
I found one video which explain well about the each concept of the Big Five Model. It was very helpful to understand the concepts easily.


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There are several ways to describe a person: shy, quiet, loud, crazy, chatty, extroverted, crazy, and kind. But is there any way to narrow down these words into a few categories that can be generally applied instead?

Over the years, understanding the structure behind personality and its general categories has become a main goal of many personality psychologists in order to understand some of the main traits that encapsulate a person. Through the examination of several possible traits, trait theorists have used factor analysis as a way to statistically minimize the diverse number of traits that exist into a manageable number of underlying traits. With repeated factor analyses and a lexical approach (a belief that language is what gives us the most crucial parts of our personality), these efforts have resulted in the Big 5, also known by the popular acronyms OCEAN and CANOE.

The Big 5 traits are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These are five factors describe personalities at the broadest level possible, and everyone's personality contains each of these 5 factors (to some extent). Under extraversion, those who are on the high end of the spectrum are friendly, assertive, social, and chatty, while those on the low end are silent, passive, and introverted. Most extroverted people seek for thrilling experiences and want to be the center of attention. With openness to experience, those on the high end are imaginative, curious, creative, and unconventional versus uninterested, unimaginative, "tried and true," and consistent for people on the low end. These behaviors are associated with liberalism and political attitudes.

For neuroticism, those on the high end are generally moody, tense, aggravat ed, anxious, and vulnerable, versus relaxed, poised, steady, calm for those on the low end. Behaviors for this category are generally associated with overreactions to stressful situations, anxiety, depression, and negative emotions. Under agreeableness, those on the high end of the spectrum are empathetic, kind, easy-going, cooperative, and trusting versus suspicious, cold, aggressive, unkind, and untrusting on the low end. Generally, behaviors for this trait are related to early temperament and interpersonal connections formed with other people. The last trait is conscientiousness, and those on the high end of the spectrum are organized, disciplined, diligent, and dependable, versus careless, negligent, and unreliable. Behaviors under this category are associated with constraint and, surprisingly, longer life-spans. Those who have OCD are also people who tend to be highly conscientious. Below is a video from the TV show FRIENDS showing Monica's high conscientiousness.

The idea of having the Big 5 is very important for psychologists, since it gives them a way to observe different people's personalities. The Big 5 also allows psychologists to build a character based on a person by looking at their overall personality through each of these five factors. Having the Big 5 also allows similarities in personalities to be found across different cultures, but it also allows for some heritability to be found in the personalities between family members.

The Big 5, on a personal level, is something I find particularly interesting because it allows me to understand (in a general sense) the qualities a person has by comparing them to the scores they get on a Big 5 personality test and how I can relate to them based on my own scores. The fact that the Big 5 also lets you see heritability within personalities among family members is also very interesting for me, because my family on my mom's side and I joke about only being a Devanur (a part of our family) if you share 5 characteristics: 1. a passion for sleeping 2. a passion for music/ dance 3. being a foodie 4. being a chatterbox 5. enjoying the familial atmosphere.

Seeing the commonalities between our personalities makes me wonder: to what extent is the heritability? How is the correlation when looking at heritability? And is there any way to see how the Big 5 may change over time (especially during moments of great change)?

Personality is developed from Sexual Pleasure? What?

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As I read Chapter 14: Personality, Freud's personality development stages caught my attention the most. I would never associate personality with sexual behaviors. According to Freud, these stages focus on erogenous zones - sexually arousing zones of the body. Personality develops in five stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital.


The oral stage focuses on the month and sucking and drinking is the source of pleasure. If the infant does not successfully receive gratification, it may lead to overeating, binge drinking, or smoking in the later years.
Anal stage is the toilet training stage of development. If toilet training was too harsh or too lenient, the child may develop excessive neatness, stinginess, or stubbornness.
Phallic stage is when the genitals become the primary source of pleasure. During this stage, boys develop Oedipus Complex - boys supposedly love their mothers and want to destroy their fathers. Girls develop Electra Complex - girls develop penis envy to be just like their fathers.
Latency Stage is when the sexual impulses submerged into the unconscious. This is the stage in development when boys have cooties and girls are yucky.
Genital stage is the final stage and sexual impulses are awaken and romantic relationships are formed.

This theory is important because even though it is unfalsifiable and created more questions than answers, it influenced the present thoughts on personalities. If Freud did not establish this theory, psychologists today may not think deeper into personality because they would not have a theory to test, but this is just a false correlation versus causation because this is just my belief.

I remember talking to my mother about my behaviors when I was younger. She said I breast fed for only three months. If I followed Freud's developmental stages, I would now overeat, drink a lot, and smoke, but I do none of that. So my anecdote falsifies the first stage. I personally do not find pleasure in pooping, but that is my conscious speaking since I do not know what my unconscious is thinking. If I remembered correctly, I did not have penis envy during my early years. I did not want to destroy my mother either; therefore, I did not develop Electra Complex. I do remember during my elementary days, I did believe boys have cooties. I would rarely go near them. According to the timeline, I am in the genital stage right now. I am in a mature relationship right now.

I believe there were certain aspects of Freud's theory that make sense in the modern world while others are outrages. After examining this theory a couple times, my question is how would these stages explain the different personalities? I feel like this theory is either one side or the other. There is no middle terms.

Below is a cute video going through Freud's Theory

Guilt Trip

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On one of the episodes of The Experiments, Derren Brown goes into the psychology of false confessions and explores how guilt makes people commit to crimes that they haven't didn't even commit.

Derren picks a subject who believes he will be doing something else other than the experiment. He is the only one involved who is not an actor; he's totally oblivious to what will happen. Throughout the episode, Derren instructs the actors to create situations where the subject will feel guilty and then instructs the actors to anchor that feeling of guilt to him being touched on the shoulder. For example, every time they make him feel guilty, an actor would touch him on the shoulder. Eventually, that anchor is powerful enough that, when he is touched on the shoulder, he will feel guilty regardless of what he is doing. Derren also creates situations that confuses the subject and makes the subject question himself on what he truly remembers. For example, when eating, he is distracted by an actor, and then the other actors switch his plate with something else.

Not only this, but after all the confusion and "guilt trips" that Derren made the subject undergo, Derren also set up a false murder to see if the subject would fess up. Initially, the subject was far too confused to be sure about anything, but after a while, after everything seemed to click in his head, he confessed.

The experiment ended there and Derren explained everything to the subject.

This is truly an interesting experiment done by Derren and reminds me of the many stories of false confessions made by people even though no physical evidence linked them to any crime. An example that we discussed was the case of Paul Ingram, a man who confessed to doing some pretty terrible things to his daughters, even though no evidence substantiated that claim and even though his daughers' stories didn't add up. As Derren brought it up in the episode, guilt can make us confess to things that we had no part of . This also was partially the case with Paul Ingram, due to his religious beliefs. Also, Paul Ingram was subject to hypnotic suggestions, just as the subject of Derren Brown's experiment. Sometimes, hypnotic suggestions can be powerful enough to convince people to do things that they normally probably wouldn't do.

Criminal Profiling

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Is criminal profiling an urban legend or expertise thinking? The pictures of Silence of the Lambs and Criminal Minds shown above have one thing in common: criminal profiling. I will now go into detail of what criminal profiling is, the outcome of using criminal profiling, and why I believe this technique should be put to rest.

Criminal profiling is the analysis of the crime scene and crime patterns to assign relevant characteristics to a perpetrator in order to aid law enforcement in narrowing the field of suspects. Criminal profiling is often used in cases where law enforcement officers have no suspects for a crime. A criminal profiler is the person responsible for creating a character or personality sketch of the perpetrator. Criminal profilers go beyond the average available statistics. They typically claim to possess unique expertise and are able to harness their years of accumulated experience and outperform statistical formulas.

These 'professionals' center their conclusions on nothing more than P.T. Barnum statements. Some researchers are now describing criminal profiling as a largely useless exercise that often relies on unverifiable and ambiguous language. Others have found that professional profilers perform similarly to untrained individuals suggesting that they are no more accurate in gauging personality traits of criminals. Although some researchers have found that profilers sometimes perform better then untrained individuals in identifying criminal suspects, others have found that professional profilers are no more accurate in gauging the personality features of murders than are college students with no training in criminology! As you can see in this graph below the correspondence with correct I.D. and the correspondence with profile show little correlation.


This being said, criminal profiling is still being used today! As our psychology book states, "tradition dies hard, and the FBI and other crime organizations remain in the full-time business of training criminal profilers." This topic is important to me because I have had friends who have been a victim to robbery. If criminal profiling is showing these statistics, why is it still being used today? Personally I believe criminal profiling is not reliable and I believe should be technique put to rest.

Assignment #5: THE BIG 5

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There are countless ways of differentiating people, many of which can be examined using a very "black and white" approach. Such group distinctions are not very difficult to determine, like what race someone is, or whether you're a boy or a girl. Still, determining some differences can get a bit more technical, such as differences in athletic ability. However, there are still human differences that can transcend the review of an instant replay. It is one's personality. Psychologists have done there best to gauge this crucial aspect of human life by creating 5 main personality categories known as "THE BIG 5". "THE BIG 5" include openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Peoples differing levels of each of "THE BIG 5" categories is what gives human so much variation in personality. When studying "THE BIG 5", it is important to note that they are not requirements for people to follow, but instead "THE BIG 5" serves as a measurement of ones already existing personality. What makes "THE BIG 5" so interesting is endless amount of variation it offers. Think if we were to measure each aspect of "THE BIG 5" on a binary scale, meaning each category either receives a high or low rating. Assuming I did the calculation right, that offers 120 different "THE BIG 5" scores. That's a lot of possibilities. But when looking at an Earth filled with 7 billion people, you quickly realize there are a bunch of others exactly like you out there. So instead, "THE BIG 5" is more often measured on scales ranging closer to around thirty or forty. That leaves an awful lot of variation within each "BIG 5" category. Now when you conjure "A BIG 5" score for a given person, they may truly be one in 7 billion instead of just one in 120. The latter method for "BIG 5" analysis certainly makes me feel much better about who I am as an individual. "THE BIG 5".

Horoscope and The P.T Barnum Effect

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Every morning I wake up and pick up my phone. I lie in bed and click on my horoscope application, and immediately go to Virgo. I read it to myself and every day I am amazed at how dead on it is. I have right then and there fallen to the P.T Barnum effect.
The P.T Barnum effect is the tendency of people to accept high base rate descriptions as accurate. Or in other words predictions or descriptions that can be applied to almost everyone, but we fail to see this because we are amazed at how the prediction or results of a test fit us almost exactly. A horoscope is a perfect example; we accept these general predictions as true because we believe they were written specifically for us. Each horoscope is written to apply to each person based on their day, month, and year of birth, which makes them so convincing.
Horoscope predictions are widely accepted, and they can change a person's expectations and confidence towards expected outcomes of the day. But the problem with these predictions is that they are highly inaccurate or invalid. They generalize the predictions to fit almost any situation or person. Looking at the horoscope site that has been linked to this page, first read your own horoscope. It may be surprising at how accurate and relevant it is to your life. Now click on another character, does it also apply? Chances are it is just as accurate and relevant. This is an example of the P.T Barnum effect. Now every morning I no longer read my horoscope, because I have learned that it really has no relevance or validity.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Fetal alcohol syndrome (also known as fas) is a very serious danger that has always been interesting to me. Fas occurs when a pregnant woman engages in the use of drinking alcohol, which then passes through the placenta and into the unborn fetus. A number of symptoms are then passed to the baby. Fas babies often have learning disabilities, physical growth retardation, facial malformations, and behavioral disorders. Obviously the amount of alcohol the mother drinks affects how serious the syndrome can be, but even the smallest amounts of alcohol can have permanent lasting effects on the child. Almost all babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome have abnormal brain development and they often have heart defects. A recent study found that up to 30% of pregnant women have admitted to drinking alcohol while they were pregnant. Women who drink alcohol often should join alcohol treatment groups when they become aware that they are pregnant to help reduce the urge to drink. The picture below shows the different facial defects that may occur in fas babies.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is especially touching to me because one of my mother's friends had an alcohol problem while she was pregnant. I was still very young when she had the baby and I didn't understand why her child was different. Now that I know more about the effects of drinking while being pregnant, my heart breaks thinking of how selfish that woman was to her baby. I hope more pregnant women become aware of the effects that drinking alcohol has on their baby, which will in turn result in less fas babies.

In the video at the bottom, children are thanking their parents for not drinking and they tell about the different defects they would have if their mother did drink.

The Id, Ego, and Superego

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Freud's theory of psychic determinism is quite the bold claim. Almost every idea or theory in psychology has some disclaimer, such as " we cannot be that.... because ___", or there is only a correlation of .3 or .7. It seems there are little to no absolutes in psychology, which is probably why it is not regarded by all to be one of the hard sciences. This is why I find Freud's theory of the Id, Ego, and Superego interesting.
One of Freud's most notable theories is his idea of the Id, Ego, and Superego. The Id is the reservoir of our most primitive impulses, such as sex and aggression. The Id is entirely subconscious. According to Freud, the Id operates by means of the pleasure principle, which is the "the strive for immediate gratification.The word no isn't in the id's vocabulary. The Superego is our sense of morality. It contains our internalized decisions about right and wrong based on interactions with society. Freud believes people with over-developed superegos are guilt-prone, while those with under-developed superegos may develop a psychopathic personality. The Ego is the boss of personality, its principle decision maker. It's main job is is interacting with the real world, and finding ways to try to satisfy the demands of the Superego and Id. It is supposedly governed by the reality principle, which strives to delay gratification until it can find an appropriate outlet.
The idea of the Id, Ego, and Superego are important because they provide an explanation for those moments of impulsive behavior that we can't explain afterwords, or on the other end of the spectrum, moments of true bravery and morality . The Id would be the reason for "impulse buys", while the ego would be the reason some people run into burning buildings to save people. The Superego is the explanation for our average behavior, which is controlled and normal.
If these concepts are correct about our behavior, I can think of a few examples of them showing in my life. My Id was the reason I stayed up an extra two hours wednesday night to watch a bad movie. My Ego was the reason I returned the sweatshirt I found in my room Saturday morning.
A video that provides a good explanation of these concepts can be found on youtube:

The only question I have about the Id, Ego, and Superego is how can we prove that they exist?


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In the psychology text, I found the section regarding multiple intelligences extremely fascinating. As opposed to standardized scores, IQ tests and other academic measures, the theory of multiple intelligences goes above and beyond the regular tests that measure academic knowledge. Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist who is a professor at Harvard University, defines nine different types of intelligence. Gardner describes these different types of intelligence as: naturalistic, musical, logical-mathematical, existential, interpersonal, bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic, intra-personal and spatial. I find these explanations for different types of intelligences perfect for describing all sorts of people around the world. Everyone that we know has some of these intelligences at high levels, and unfortunately sometimes low levels; this description of IQ provides an all-encompassing explanation for everyone's "smarts".

Different Angles On Intelligence

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In Chapter 9, there seems to be many different angles on intelligence. Going from general intelligence and specific abilities, to fluid/crystallized intelligence, multiple intelligences, and the triarchic model, it seems to be confusing of which theory is correct. In a way, I think that each of these are correct in some way shape or form. The first theory, consisting of general and specific intelligence, it seems very broad that general intelligence includes everything. But in contrast, later researchers thought that Charles Spearman (the guy who came up with g or general intelligence) was wrong and believed that his findings were incorrect. But I think that these researchers were inaccurate and completely misunderstood what he was talking about. The researchers who thought this were Louis Thurstone, Raymond Cartell, and John Horn. All of these researchers talked about fluid/crystallized intelligence and said that intelligence contains two capacities: crystallized and fluid. But, Spearman's definition of g, or general intelligence, is as follows: hypothetical factor that accounts for overall differences in intellect among people. In other words, it is just intelligence in general. If Thurstone hypothesized that general intelligence was wrong and that there's more to it, isn't crystallized and fluid intelligences both within our general intelligence? Since general intelligence is just our intelligence in general, any certain intelligences within that are included in our general intelligences. It just seemed a little confusing to me when I read this, and interested me to think that maybe sometimes researchers can misunderstand each other.
I believe this topic is important because if researchers misunderstand each other, than they would be coming up with theories that are ineffective and thus give us results that can't help with anything. An example could be one scientist finds that giving a plant more fertilizer will help it grow and develop, but one other researcher understands this as that this is the ONLY way for a plant to grow and develop. So he tends to disagree with this scientist and says he's wrong, trying to come up with a different way for the plant to grow and develop. So it seems as if the first researcher's theory was completely ineffective and did nothing because the second one totally disregards his idea. Instead of building off of each other's ideas, researchers can tend to misunderstand them and try to come up with different ones. It is like saying that a psychologist isn't a scientist even when they are, they are just more specialized within an area of science. That is why I found this topic interesting and it leaves me with questions such as, "I wonder if scientists misunderstand each other all the time?" "What do they do if they misunderstand each other?"

Here's a video on a highly controversial topic right now in physics about neutrino particles traveling faster than the speed of light. This disagrees with Einstein's theory of relativity which said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. I hope this supports my idea that sometimes ideas in science can be misunderstood and found to be controversial later on:

Here is a link for a picture of a neutrino particle:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment widely used among the business world. Nearly 2,500,000 Americans take the test annually, and 89 of the US Fortune 100 companies require employees to have taken the evaluation. The test itself is based upon Carl Jung's psychological beliefs that people can be characterized into one of three categories including extraversion, sensing, and thinking, as well as judging, which was introduced by Isabel Briggs Myers. Primarily used in the business world as a recruiting tool, I believe the MBTI has several negative proponents associated with its use.

Much like the StrengthsFinder assessment incoming freshman took at the beginning of this year, the Myers-Briggs classifies employees based upon dominant traits. According to the matrix created by crossing the four dimensions, sixteen specific personality types are generated. Of the people who retake the Myers-Briggs assessment a second time, seventy-five percent are regarded as a personality type that differs from the original categorization. Not only does the reliability of such a test waver, but so does its validity. According to the National Academy of Sciences committee, only the extraversion dimension presents construct validity. From installment into businesses in 1943, the MBTI has continued to be used, though its legitimacy has been questionable.

Though the MBTI can be beneficial in constructing teams of compatible personalities or locating areas in need of personal growth, it should not be used as a hiring component. As a prospective business student, I would much rather be judged on my interpersonal skills and ability to apply knowledge to relative situations rather than a general personality predictor.

Personality Matrix

68 Years of Use

IQ's and the Presidents

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Though I don't agree that an IQ score can completely determine one's intelligence, or even their potential, I found it interesting that U.S. presidents had between a .3 and .4 correlation between their IQ's and the quality of their leadership. While I think that determining the quality of leadership in a president is difficult to quantify, I still found it interesting that there was a correlation. Upon looking at the table provided in the text, I noticed that John Quincy Adams had an estimated IQ between 165 and 175, the highest of any on the list. Not remembering JQA as a president that really stood out, I took to youtube to see what I could find out about this supposedly intelligent man, and more importantly, his leadership qualities.

I found this somewhat childish video that actually contains a lot of good information about John Quincy Adams. Apparently, he was a Harvard grad and fluent in seven languages, clearly indicating his intelligence. While he was president, he would get up at 5 AM every morning to read the bible to further his spiritual education.
Yet, from what the video indicates, it seems as though he had difficulties convincing others of his viewpoints. He seems to have been a very self-righteous and stubborn individual who lacked power in persuasion. Though this doesn't relate perfectly to the paradox of expertise, I think that perhaps being so intelligent maybe inhibited Adams' ability to relate to others, and help them see his ideas in a positive light.
Yet, nonetheless, John Quincy Adams seems to have been a good diplomat, being able to speak many languages, and was able to display a proper, respectable image. In fact, after his term ended, he became a successful congressman in the years that followed.

Conclusively, while it appears that John Quincy Adams possessed some good leadership skills, there were also areas that were lacking, which provides evidence that even though he had the best IQ in the table, he may not have been the finest leader. I also would like to know a bit more about how leadership qualities were quantified. Did it have to do with their personality, or actions they took while in office? On the other hand, two presidents, George W. Bush and Warren Harding, notorious for having been poor presidents, are at the lower end of the list, which would confirm the theory. Yet, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, two of our finest leaders, sit in the middle at the 125-150 range. It definitely isn't a perfect system, but certainly was interesting that researchers found a moderately strong correlation.

Assignment 5: Intelligence

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Even the most intelligent psychologists cannot come up with a definition for intelligence. As discussed in lecture, when a group of psychologists gathered and tried to make a definition, they could not come up with one that they agreed on. Instead, they they ended up defining what people who are intelligent do. They defined it as being able to understand and use complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience and to engage in abstract reasoning. Another interesting point made is that different levels of intelligence exist. For example, one person may have a high intelligence in musicality, while another may have low musical intelligence yet high linguistic intelligence.


This is important to me because growing up, my oldest sister got a perfect score on the ACT and my dad is a chemical and bio-chemical engineering Professor. I found it hard to live up to that standard of intelligence as I worked hard to earn good grades, but never loved math or science like my dad and sister and couldn't achieve as high of scores on standardized tests as I wanted. However, during high school I found that I had a higher intelligence for athletics. I then found that though I may not achieve the same standards of excellence as my sister or dad, I could succeed in an area that was my own. I have continued with my sport in college. Learning that there are different types of intelligence that are scientifically acknowledged made me feel that my intelligence didn't have to be measured solely on by others successes. It has been important for me to learn that intelligence isn't only the image of someone who is only "book smart", gets all A's on every assignment and can seemingly memorize everything they read effortlessly. However, I would like to know if there is a specific intelligence that leads to a more fulfilling life or a higher level of happiness?


The superego

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What makes you tell the truth because you know it is the right thing to do? Freud would say that is your superego, or your sense of morality. The idea of the superego is that the superego is our morals, or what keeps us from doing things that we know to be wrong. I find this interesting because the superego can vary greatly among people. According to the Lillienfeld textbook people with an overdeveloped superego can become guilt ridden, but people with an underdeveloped superego are at risk for developing a psychopathis personality. I find this to be quite intriguing because the superego is a persons sense of right and wrong, so this definition can explain why some people commit crimes and others do not, for the simple fact you ma lack a superego.
This is an important concept because by using the idea of the superego we can analyze peoples personalities to find probabilities of whether or not people will commit crimes. The only question I have about this concept is, can someones superego change over the years?
The video below shows a clinical psychopath, who has no superego at all and does not have any sympathy or compassion for anyone. It should give you an idea about what the superego really is.

<a href='' target='_new' title='Confessed Serial Killer: I'd Kill Again'>Video: Confessed Serial Killer: I'd Kill Again</a>

The Big Five Model

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When we try to describe ourselves in terms of our personality, there are a limitless number of words that fit every individual in their own, unique way. The Big Five model of personality helps individuals to narrow down the amount of traits a person has based on how many times they reoccur in a multiple individuals. The Big Five are five personality traits that can be used to describe every individual in one form or another. The characteristics are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Openness to experience describes how curious an creative a person is; conscientiousness is how organized, dependable or diligent someone is; extraversion measures sociability and friendliness; agreeableness shows how sympathetic, trusting and cooperative an individual is and finally neuroticism displays a person's anxiety and vulnerability.
This concept based on personality is important to psychology because it can compare all different types of people with different personalities on the same scale of personality traits. It equally measures the level of one trait compared to another. For example, one person may be high in openness, but also low in neuroticism at the same time. The Big Five can relate a large group of people on the same basis for what kind of personality they exhibit.
The Big Five model can be applied to everyone, including movie characters. In the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann have completely different personalities especially when it comes to the Big Five. On one hand, Captain Jack Sparrow can be described as having high openness, low conscientiousness and low agreeableness. Being a pirate sailing across the seas, Jack Sparrow has a drive for adventure and curiosity. He can't get enough excitement out of coming face to face with sea monsters, looking for keys to treasure chests and sailing on his beloved black pearl. He does what he wants when he wants to do it and does not stop to think about if it is going to be the best plan. On the other hand, Elizabeth Swann is high in conscientiousness, high in extraversion and high in agreeableness. She is a very compassionate young woman and deeply cares for the people she loves. Swann is very friendly, but also very conventional. She is used to order and having a routine, but sailing across the ocean is a completely different story. Swann and Sparrow display a completely different personality which is why it is so entertaining to see them on screen together. With such diverse characters, there is never a dull moment.

Captain Jack Sparrow:

Elizabeth Swann:

Attachment Theory

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The attachment theory explains the relationship between an infant and their primary caregiver. An infant has a very close relationship with their primary caregiver. The primary caregiver is the person that an infant spends the most time with; therefore they form a bond. studies have shown that this bond can effect our future relationships and our ability to manage different situations. Many studies have been done on how infants react to their primary caregivers leaving them (either alone or with a stranger).

The video mentions that the baby demonstrates secure attachment. In a secure attachment the attachment figure understands the needs of the infant; they trust each other. In an insecure attachment the attachment figure fails to understand the needs of the infant, which stresses the relationship. According to John Bowlby there are four characteristics of attachment: secure base, safe haven, proximity maintenance, and separation distress. Secure base means that the child views their attachment figure as a security base while they explore the area around them. When a child views their attachment figure as a safe haven they return to the figure for comfort in a stress flu situation. Proximity maintenance refers to the desire to be near people we are comfortable with, and separation distress is the anxiety one experiences when their attachment theory is gone.

This video is another example of a study done. It explains more about secure and insecure relationships.

Psychoanalytic Theory

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As I was reading the chapter on personality one theory really stood out to me and that was Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality. The reason it stood out to me was not because of its hard evidence that backed it up, but by the extraordinary claims made that weren't being supported by evidence. Freud's theory of personality may be considered to be the most complete, but is it? While he may have accounted for many of the aspects of personality, he didn't support them with concrete evidence, leaving many gaps in his theory.
Freud was a firm believer in the fact that childhood experiences had a huge impact on adult personality, and therefore came up with the stages of psychosexual development. Freud determined that there were five stages of sexual development: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency and Genital, and if anything went wrong during any one of the stages then the adult personality would suffer. While this might make sense in theory, where is the concrete evidence? Freud obtained most of his evidence from his patients who were not psychologically well, and therefore it can't be an accurate representation of the population.
Freud also came up with the idea of defense mechanisms he felt people used when placed into high-anxiety situations. Freud's defense mechanisms include: repression, denial, regression, reaction-formation, projection, displacement, rationalization, identification with the aggressor, and sublimation. Examples of these defense mechanisms can be seen here: While defense mechanisms may seem to be a logical source for why we behave the way we do it certain situations, Freud still is lacking supporting evidence as to why they're true for all people.
It's important for people to understand that while Freud may have had a "complete" theory of personality; it is not based in hard evidence and therefore can't be taken as fact. In later studies it's been shown that difficulties during different psychosexual stages do not lead to long term issues in personality. Therefore, even though Freud's theory may be interesting to read, it is by no means one hundred percent accurate.

Rorschach inkblot test

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The concept of a projective task test is very interesting, the fact that researches are able to figure out a per. The test is derived from the concept of psychoanalytic which claims that humans have both the conscious and unconscious desires and attitudes that are away from their level of conscious awareness. The most famous projective tests known as the Rorschach inkblot test, which is ten symmetrical ink blots. These ink blots are ambiguous images with no right or wrong answers. The examiner asks the respondents to interpret these images and based on the response they give it will allow the examiners to determine characteristics that are associated with certain personality traits. However, their is still little evidence that this test is highly reliable or valid. Also, the test is not common because it is hard and time consuming to interpret these ink blots are relate them to a persons inner feelings.

I thought it would be interesting to try this test on myself and see what image I find in this ink blot. I looked and realized that I saw some sort human hand movement. In the text book I came across a table that listed some typical response of people for the Rorschach test. Interestingly enough my response was one of the common interpretations. The interpretation for a human movement response was associated with the characteristics of impulse control and inhibition. I thought this was interesting because I would never associate these characteristics with my personality. But then I realized that I looked at this image during my stressful week which was full of midterms and papers. Therefore, I assumed that because of my stressful week I may have interpreted the image differently as opposed to if I saw the image in a relaxed state. This is just a prediction of my not so elaborate experiment.

I am still wondering how psychologist have come upon a common agreement to labeling mental disorders with a person's interpretation of the image.

This is an really cool video of the Rorschach inkblots in action!

Happiness :D

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Before reading, Please view the following:

I think its an extremely fun way to start a happiness blog!
And doesn't it just make you happy?

According to the Lilienfield text happiness is an emotion that can be driven by many things, a few of them being: marriage, religion, giving, "flow," friendships, and success. I would like to talk however, about our facial expressions having an impact on our mood, especially happiness. Watch the coke video again if you didn't laugh the first time, but this time, whether you find it amusing or not, try to smile throughout. It's amazing that a simple smile makes your mood change and you seem overall happier!

"No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change."
- Barbara de Angelis

I suggest changing your facial expression. Try being "fake" happy for a day. See what happens.
Ever since the text had me hold a smile on my face for 15 seconds (page 415) I have used this tactic to make myself feel better- while studying, or in the middle of a stressful situation, or angry at my husband (If we both do it, then it's even better because we both end up giggling at each other).

I think its great, and I really have learned to appreciate the simplicity of a smile from a friend (or even a stranger). Smiles are contagious if you let them be, and they may even brighten your day, and mood.


Here's my challenge to you: Smile a little more. Maybe share it with a stranger.
It will encourage happiness!

Multiple Intelligences

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The idea of multiple intelligences states that there are many fields of knowledge. There is not one type of intelligence. There are many, such as linguistic, interpersonal, and musical for example. I believe that the idea of multiple intelligences is true because I see this play out in everyday life. One can't say that so and so is smarter than another because that person may be more intelligent in one field of intelligence but he/she may not be always more intelligent in the other fields. The general teaching style in the typical classroom does not accommodate this idea. The process of lecturing and giving tests based on material only helps students who are intelligent in certain fields, mainly the linguistic and logical fields. Yet, there are many schools that help students by giving a variety of resources to the students, such as study groups and allowing students to form clubs. This allows students who are intelligent in different ways learn about material taught in the classroom effectively. For example, people who have a high intelligence in the interpersonal field can benefit from learning in study groups because they are able to interact with others while learning the material. Naturalistic people can learn the material taught in a classroom by joining a club that allows that person to go out and apply what he/she has learned in the classroom to the natural world. Schools, such as the University of Minnesota, have helped many students with different types of intelligences by offering many choices of extracurricular activities. It is really great to see how schools are getting better at accommodating all the types of intelligences. Here I have a video with Howard Gardner, the founder of this theory, talking about the multiple intelligences and how to apply them to education. Yet, there are many more things that schools can do to accommodate people with multiple intelligences. There is no school out there that can accommodate every single student. So the question is, what more can schools do today that can maximize the quality of education that students with different intelligences receive?

Intelligence Is Intelligence, Right?

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I find it surprising to learn about the fact that there are multiple different types of intelligences. Which means that everyone is intelligent, in some way or another. For example, a person could be linguistically intelligent, advancing in the area of being able to speak and write well, but they might be lacking in the musical intelligence department. But that does not mean that they are no longer considered intelligent.

The existence of multiple intelligences is comforting in the way that everyone gets to be intelligent in some way. No one is really 'left out'. But at the same time, people want to know that they are unique in comparison to others, and well, that they're 'better' than others.

But there really isn't a reliable and necessarily valid way of measuring someone's level of intelligence, compared to the next person. For there isn't a 'set' definition of the word "intelligence", so there is no solid foundation of testing someone's level of intelligence.

Blog 5

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During the past few weeks, we have been discussing intelligence and the use of IQ testing. In our discussion groups we talked about using IQ tests as the only determinant in hiring for a job. I personally think that while IQ tests may be a good thing to look at when looking at potential candidates for a job, I do not think that it should be the only factor in deciding whether or not to hire someone for a position,
I think that it would be wise to look at an IQ test to get a feel for the potential that a job candidate could reach, but employers should take other factors into consideration like personality and job experience. If employers only hire based on IQ, they may be very intelligent individuals, but they may have no social skills. Depending on the job, having social skills may be a very important aspect of the job, and just having a high IQ may not be enough qualifications to perform the job well. Also, personality tests would be a good thing to look into because then you have a basic understanding of a person.
Interviews and talking to the candidates in a relaxed atmosphere also would be a good determinate of how they interact with people. During a face to face conversation you can start to get a better idea of who they are and what interests that person has.
Also, qualifications and job history are an excellent way to see how a person performed in the workplace.
IQ tests are only one factor in a broad range of things to consider when hiring employees. This site administers a test that supposedly helps students get a job after their education. According to this website, employers look at tests like these when looking at various candidates. So I think that using more than IQ tests is critical when hiring people for jobs.

Attachment Theory

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Attachment theory, as described in lecture, is the theory that humans have a tendency to want to form strong, stable relationships with other human beings. Along with attachment theory are attachment styles, which as Dr. Simpson described, can be categorized in three different ways:
The first style is secure: These people are generally stable in their relationships, and find it easy to love and be loved.
The second style is avoidant: These people have a fear of becoming too attached or having people be too attached to them, and are generally not reliable when their partner is in a state of emotional need.
The third style is anxious-ambivalent: These people fear their loved ones will leave them, and can be smothering in a relationship.

I have enjoyed learning about this theory, as it helps me to identify what kind of attachment style I have and what facets of my personality I can become aware of and try to fix or at least be conscientious of. Here is a great depiction of two people who definitely do not share the same attachment styles; see if you can identify each of their styles.

There are still questions I have yet to understand the answer to regarding this theory, such as what other things besides early parental care influence our attachment styles? Are there smaller divisions of each of these categories, exacting our styles to a further degree? Do these styles differ across cultures? I am curious to know all the answers to these questions.

The Big Five

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(Note: This is to be played while reading.)
Although it's already been written about many times I found the "Big Five" personality traits to be extremely interesting. The five factor model consists of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Although the five factor model is a good broad indicator of personality, the categories are so general that they are generally not as useful as many of the subgroups for predicting behavior. The creation of the five factor model was heavily influenced by the lexical approach, or a study of what words different languages have for distinct personality traits. One thing that I take issue with regarding the "Big Five" model is the tendency of different sources to define personality traits by their negative. For example, as an introvert I've always been a little peeved that extraversion is usually defined as something like this: "Extraversion is characterized by positive emotions, surgency, and the tendency to seek out stimulation and the company of others. The trait is marked by pronounced engagement with the external world. Extraverts enjoy being with people, and are often perceived as full of energy" (Wikipedia). This is fine, but introversion is often defined as simply the negative of extaversion; that is, an introvert would simply not exhibit the characteristics of an extravert. This is somewhat true but doesn't do introverts justice because they have their own set of strengths, which is something that I think has been focused on more in recent personality indicators. Incidentally, this show is extremely interesting and does a good job of showing how personality traits come through in daily life and even how they are possibly developed. As an added bonus it's hosted by a spectacularly mustachioed man, and yes, it's yet another BBC production. Incidentally the BBC is almost enough to make me want to move to the UK.

The Big Five Model

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The Big Five model consists of five different traits that emerged from factor analyses of measures of personality, terms in dictionaries, and works of literature. The Big Five model was discovered by using a lexical approach to personality. A lexical approach suggests that the most important features of human personality are embedded in our language. Paul Costa and Robert McCrae labeled the five traits of the Big Five model. These five traits are as follows:
o Openness to Experience ("Openness") - Open people tend to be intellectually curious and unconventional;
o Conscientiousness - Conscientious people tend to be careful and responsible;
o Extraversion - Extraverted people tend to be social and lively;
o Agreeableness - Agreeable people tend to be sociable and easy to get along with; and
o Neuroticism - Neurotic people tend to be tense and moody.
Two well known acronyms for these five traits are OCEAN and/or CANOE, which is also known as a helpful mnemonic for remembering the Big Five model. Each person falls into one or more of these five traits, which is why the Big Five model is important; it helps us learn more about our neighbors, friends, and family and what kind of people we're surrounded by. This could be a useful tool when trying to figure out the right way to talk, or acknowledge, someone. Let's say you were to walk up to a complete stranger and just randomly start talking to them about something. If this stranger is a neurotic person, then you may want to be a bit more careful in how you express yourself to them, or around them. This is just one example, but there are trillions of people in the world and every single one of them is different. As said in the video below, each person is not necessarily put into one of these categories and that's probably very unlikely. Every individual is most likely a subject of more than one of the personality traits.

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl

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The story of David Reimer is a tragic one. Professor McGue discussed this in his lecture on gender identity. Gender identity is an individual's sense of being male or female. David was an individual that struggled with this concept. He was born a boy, but due to an accident during his circumcision, his penis was destroyed and he was raised as a girl. When David was being raised, he always felt uncomfortable, like something was wrong with him. Even though his parents pushed everything that was girly on him, he resisted at all costs. This case is very important to psychology because it shows that nurture does not overrule nature in determining the sex of a person. That had been the ideology of society up until this time. After this case became public it changed most psychologists' views on the nature vs. nurture debate. We now know that both parts are equally important when raising a child.
I actually read the book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl last year in my high school psychology class. It is a very good book, and goes into depth about what David really went through growing up. I found his story sad, but also interesting. The attached video shows a more visual look into David Reimer's accident.
After reading this book and hearing what Professor McGue said in lecture, I still wonder if it is impossible for a child born one sex to be raised successfully as the other sex? David Reimer's case obviously did not turn out that well, but that was one case. Although producing more cases is very unethical, I still wonder if there have been successful cases.

The Big Five Method

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One of the most scientifically researched of identifying traits is the Big Five Model, which entails five traits broad dimensions of personality determined by factor analysis. The Big Five traits are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The Big Five Factors Openness is shown in people with the tendency to be intellectually curious and an inclination towards novelty. Conscientiousness is demonstrated in people who are responsible and disciplined. Extraversion is shown in people who thrive on socialization and liveliness. Finally, neuroticism is exemplified by emotional stability and anxiety.
Using these factors of personality, people's personalities can be described. People with psychological disorders can be detected by finding specific highs and lows in these dimensions. The popularity of this method has led to similar personality tests used to find your significant other on dating sites. Interestingly, in the well-known series of Harry Potter, the young wizards and witches are sorted into their houses by the sorting hat, who bases the decision off the personality. This personality test is quite similar to that of the Big Five Model.
I have always found a certain fascination for personality quizzes. It was interesting to know what kind of personality that I had. For my Introduction into Health Careers class, I took a strong interest inventory profile where I asked questions in detail about my preferences and personality. Instead of the Big Five factors, the inventory profile was determined by six factors: investigative, realistic, conventional, social, artistic, and enterprising. My quiz results were then generated into possible interest areas, occupations, and personal style scales. The results were surprisingly accurate and helpful in showing me strengths and weaknesses. It was also helpful in showing me possible career possibilities that would fit me best.
The Big Five Model can be an important means of determining a personality. Often, the model is successful in predicting behaviors or even job performance. For example, extraversion positively correlates with job performance for a job that requires high levels of sociability such as salespeople or public speakers. However, it is important not to generalize personalities. Does the Big Five Method adequately explain personality? Are there other personality factors that are not being covered in the model; if so, what other factors of personality are there? Personally, I believe that the Big Five Method covers only a portion of what the personality entails. Personality traits can be expressed differently throughout different individuals.

Lilienfield, Scott, Steven Lynn, Laura Namy, and Nancy Woolf. Psychology from Inquiry to Understanding Mypsychlab Student Access Code. Boston: Pearson College Div, 2011. Print.

Assignment 5: Lie Detectors

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One area in this section that I found to be iteresting was the subject of lie detection. Over the years, I have heard too many different tricks to catch someone in a lie. For example, someones voice goes up in pitch, their nose twitches, or they touch their face. I have never really believed these can actually do the trick, but I wanted to look into it.

Research studies have found that you can tell whether someone is lying just by noticing some body language clues they display. When most normal people are lying, they show signs of stress in their posture, movements and facial expressions. They also delay a few seconds longer when answering a question with an answer that is not truthful. Truthful answers come sooner then untrue answers. There are a few things to watch for when a person is lying to you face-to-face.
• Voice is higher pitched.
• Hand-to-face touching increased, especially nose rubbing and mouth covering.
• Nostrils may open wider ('flare').
• Shoulders pulled up and elbows pulled in to sides more. Body takes up less space.
• Forehead tightens up a little in area between eyebrows.
• Eye contact breaks away from you and eyes may squint or close.
• Heart rate increases.

I am also interested lie detectors and after reading in the book about polygraph tests, I was left wondering how they really worked.
My findings showed that when a person takes a polygraph test, four to six sensors are attached to them in which the multiple ("poly") signals from the sensors are recorded on a single strip of moving paper ("graph"). The sensors usually record the person's breathing rate, pulse, blood pressure, and perspiration. Sometimes a polygraph will also record things like arm and leg movement. This method is not always foolproof though because someone who is very good at lying or knows how to avoid becoming stressed over telling a lie can skew the data being recorded.

Assignment 5

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On July 22, 2009, there was a solar eclipse that occurred. There was a bold prediction that the eclipse would produce an earthquake which would make a devastating tsunami. This prediction is very risky and has to be classified with some extraordinary evidence to have such an extraordinary claim. This claim was made by a recall from a Russian who predicted that "The first major catastrophe with one of the continents will happen in 2009... will be connected with water". I believe that there is no way that an eclipse can be a way to start an earthquake. The way an eclipse is produced has no factor in how the earth will shake, making my explanation a part of the scientific principle of Occam's razor.
Going off of one person's prediction because he is "an unusually gifted" person is not a good way to make a very serious claim that could cause serious fear or anticipation in the world. You would need to have to do intensive research and have lots of information to back up the claim. There is evidence of deep research in how the force of the moon and sun pulling the tectonic plates away from the earth, but that is also part of extraordinary evidence that has to help an extraordinary claim.
If an earthquake would have happened on that day, there is also the possibility that something other than the eclipse could have caused the earthquake, making the claim also unable to infer correlation versus causation. Also if the earthquake would have happened, the majority of the population would have said that the Russian knew what he was talking about and would have believed that the earthquake was caused by the eclipse, but they would have fallen to the correlation versus causation principle.

Criminal Minds: BAU

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Have you ever heard of the show Criminal Minds? Ever wondered what the "BAU" in the title meant? BAU stands for Behavioral Analysis Unit, the members of this group on the television show work in this Unit for the FBI. The main jobs of these people are criminal profiling. Our book says that criminal profiling is no better than a guess, I disagree. However that is not the focus of this blog, my focus is how the "Big 5" play into this show through the main characters.
Aaron Hotchner: better known on the show as Hotch, he is the supervisior of the BAU. Hotch would score very high in conscientiousness, he is very careful with his team and making decisions when they are on cases. Their safety depends on him so he carefully thinks out possibilities before making the decisions. He is very responsible and reliable when it comes to his team.
David Rossi: he is a former Marine who was recruited by the FBI. He and Hotch work closely together on cases. They have similar personalities, however Rossi is more introverted. He keeps his personal life personal.
Derek Morgan: a former Chicago PD officer gone FBI. Morgan is more of an extrovert in the group. He has his quiet times too, but will be seen interacting with people more and is known as more of a "flirt" with the ladies. Morgan also shows slight neuroticism due to his past of abuse, but it does not interfere with his work! He works closely with Garcia.
Penelope Garcia: she is the teams computer tech. She is extroverted, very friendly with her team and has more of a "bubbly" personality. She maintains a flirty relationship with Morgan. She is also agreeable, and gets along with all members of the team. Garcia also has a touch of neuroticism, she is very anxious and a big worrier when it comes to her team.
Emily Prentiss: another agent in the BAU. She is one of the "newer" memebers even thought she has been there for four years. She, unlike Hotch is not as conscientious. She is know for sometimes letting her emotions get in the way of investigations which effects her reliability and decision making.
Dr.Spencer Reid: He is another agent, the only difference is he is a genius. He is by far the most intelligent member of the team, and also the most introverted. Reid is what we would call "socially awkward", he does not handle social situations well and just doesn't have any luck with talking to girls.
All in all, the majority of the members of the BAU are conscientious, their lives and lives of others depend on them being that way. The characters of Criminal Minds show a commonality in characteristics with those really in law enforcement. I have been around law enforcement my whole life, and the personalities of these characters hold true in real life. That is part of the reason I find this show so interesting!

The Big Five

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After reading about the Big Five and talking about it in discussion and lecture over the last week, I have become very interested on how such a short survey can determine our personality traits. I was also very fascinated with the five traits they rank us on; extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. I hear people talk about these traits every day, but I have never thought about using them to describe myself. I learned that extraversion includes characteristics of being social, talkative, outgoing and assertive. Agreeableness includes trust, kindness and affection. Conscientiousness meaning high levels of thoughtfulness, organized and having a goal-directed behavior. Neuroticism includes characteristics of being anxious, moody, and having emotional instability. Lastly, openness deals with your imagination and having a broad range of interests.

I was curious on how much the results of the Big Five personality test would differ through age and across gender. After doing some research I found that on average the levels of agreeableness and conscientiousness typically increase over time. On the other hand, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness tend to decrease. This definitely grabbed my attention because I would have thought the number for neuroticism would go up because of the stress and responsibilities one takes on when they get older.

When looking at gender differences through the personality test, I found that women seem to report higher scores in neuroticism and agreeableness, whereas, men often report higher scores for extraversion and conscientiousness. I believe the reason for these gender differences typically come from wealthy and equal cultures where women have just as many equal opportunities as to men.

When I took the personality test, I had the highest scores in agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. I believe these results to be true because I do find myself organized, reliable, agreeable, kind, and sometimes moody. I also agree that I am more of an introvert and do like to be as open and outgoing as others. Therefore, I found the Big Five personality test and the results to be very fascinating. After learning about it for the past week I was able to gain a better understanding of how personality tests work and what kind of person I really am.


Criminal Profiling

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Have you ever watched the show Law and Order or CSI? How about Criminal Minds? These two television shows depict a technique called criminal profiling. A criminal profile is used to provide investigators with information about unknown suspects that will aid in that suspects identification. The profiling process assist's the investigator by reducing the general public to a set of suspects with more unique characteristics. They often can determine certain traits and motives from the various crimes an individual has committed. However, these professionals base their conclusions on nothing more than P.T. Barnum statements. Some researchers have found that professional profilers perform similarly to untrained individuals suggesting that they are no more accurate in gauging personality traits of criminals. Criminal investigative analysis has been developed in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. However, it is also used by police departments all over the country. This is very important in our world today with numerous crimes occurring everyday. With law enforcement on the lookout for criminals, our world will be a safer and better place. Personally, I found this topic appealing because I know quite a few individuals who have been victim's of robbery. They went through the process of consulting the police and criminal profilers.

Repressing a Tragic Past

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Repression is triggered when a person experiences a traumatic experience that causes anxiety. The individual uses motivated forgetting because they want to forget the experience every happened. Freud believes that these scarring memories occur during childhood and we repress them to avoid the pain they cause. The idea of infantile amnesia -people can't remember anything before age 3 -has been proven implausible, but I do believe that a person can repress his or her memories from a childhood experience.
This concept jumped out at me when I was reading the textbook because my friend's sister, Mettie, was adopted from Kenya at approximately age 5. She only spoke Bantu when she first arrived to the United States and the adoption agency told their family that she her entire family had died in a village fire and a Kenyan woman who Mettie did not know brought her half way across Kenya to the orphanage. At first Mettie cried about her parents and siblings whose deaths she had witnessed, but after a while she stopped bringing them up. Ten years later she does not remember a single event from her experiences in Kenya and has no recollection of the Bantu language. I believe she was able to repress these traumatic memories from her mind because most people I know can remember big events that happened to them at age 5, but Mettie does not remember anything. I think this is a blessing for her, although I do wish she remembered aspects of her culture. I feel like Mettie had to have cut those memories out of her life, but I have no idea how. It was a miracle for Mettie, but the scientifically curious side of me really wants to know what happened inside her brain that allowed her to forget her tragic past.

Here is another study about Repressed Memory:

The attached video is about a man whose repressed memories affected his life even 50 years later. After therapy he was able to recover his memories and remembered his traumatic experience vividly. The video describes his experience witnesses the death of a friend.

A Positive Outlook Is Essential!

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Down Syndrome is a condition that is very close to my heart as I have a relative that struggles with it everyday. Down Syndrome is a condition that is the result of an extra copy of chromosome 21. The condition is usually described as a type of mental retardation which affects roughly one percent of United States citizens. Mental retardation is defined as a condition in which the individual has a low IQ score, and a decreased level of function in everyday life. The hardships that involve raising a child with Down Syndrome are incredible, so I wanted to learn more about how to approach the situation and make it manageable. I believe understanding ways that parents and family members can help their children grow up with the disorder is essential because it opens new opportunities for the child. I found a video of a young girl named Victoria who suffers from Down Syndrome. Her parent's outlook on life is truly inspiring and is the perfect example of the how the condition should be approached.

Victoria's parents were devastated when they found out that their daughter had Down Syndrome and realized that she would never be normal. But they chose to embrace her condition and have a positive outlook on her future. In the video, the father discusses how he will not be disappointed in anything that she does or doesn't do, and will celebrate her accomplishments. I also found it amazing that the parents sought out help for dealing with the new and strange condition that affected their daughter. I think that the father's message is very powerful and other parents should realize the advantages of positivity and optimism. After learning about the condition and how to properly approach it leaves me with a few more questions. Are there medicines that exist that can potentially cure the condition? Are there actual organizations or groups that parents can utilize to help educate themselves about the condition? Finally, since the video was produced in 2008, I am interested to know how Victoria and her family are doing today, and how the positive outlook has transformed their lives.

Assignment 5 Behaviorism vs Psychoanalysts

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The textbook presents both behaviorism and psychoanalysis as two different theories of personality on opposite ends of the spectrum, with Skinner and Freud representing each side respectively. This view is not uncommon and is highly represented in both psychology and the media as seen by the following animation representing Skinner and Freud in a rather extremist parody.

The Freud v, Skinner video first seems to present two opposing views that are at odds with each other. The video points out flaws in both theories, Freud saying "You have dark feeling and hidden feelings for your mother" and Skinner telling Freud "Feeling mean nothing." but comes to no resolution. Initially the two views seem as though they cannot coexist because they are are on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Psychoanalysis never even considering learning and behaviorism denying free will. This black or white view of personality is strikingly similar to another debate that raged in psychology both of which fell victim to the either-or fallacy. Years ago many people saw the Trichromatic theory and Opponent process theory as opposite ends of the spectrum. Eventually the two theories were found to be both partially right. I think that a similar approach to personality is the key to resolving the "Skinner v Freud" debate. Both theories compliment each others flaws and have overlap. It is very possible that Freud's defense mechanisms are byproducts of the two process theory of learning, and how else could someone explain ah-ha moments with out cognitive reasoning. In order to truly understand personality one must avoid the either-or fallacy and consider both psychoanalysis and behaviorism simultaneously

From Criminal Minds to Law and Order: Criminal Profiling

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Some of you may wonder what criminal profiling may actually be? Think back, have you ever seen the television shows such as "Criminal Minds" or "Law and Order"? Both of these shows use the practice of criminal profiling. Criminal profiling is a technique that is used by criminal profilers usually at the FBI or other law enforcement agencies. These criminal profilers draw detailed inferences about the suspects' personality traits and motives from the crime that they had committed in order to conclude what type of criminal they may be dealing with. I find this theory of criminal profiling very important because if we are able to narrow down what type of criminal that we are dealing with from a crime, the chances that we can find the criminal multiply substantially. My question is, does criminal profiling really work?

After watching television shows such as the two that I had mentioned above, I have come to believe that criminal profiling does work. An example of criminal profiling, or profiling a person that I have found on YouTube is attached. This video clip from the infamous show "Criminal Minds," shows two of the major detectives in the show discussing criminal profiling. Emily profiles her co-worker after minutes of being with him. This same technique is used for criminals and their crimes that they commit. Some may say that criminal profiling is bogus and is unable to be done just from some general and vague personality characteristics of a criminal. But, I believe that it is an acceptable way of finding a criminal with greater ease, and so do many others as there are many FBI and crime organizations still using this technique to this day.

The Mere Exposure Effect: How "Familiarity Breeds Comfort"

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The mere exposure effect states that familiarity creates comfort, reassurance and relief. Thus, after frequent and repetitive exposure to a stimulus one should feel better and more comfortable about the stimulus which can be both objects or people.

The reason I decided to chose this topic to blog about is because I want to know: can all of these findings be replicated? Do the outcomes and results always state that one feels better and more comfortable about the stimulus?

The Lilienfeld text states that as readers, we should not get confused or thrown off track because as human beings, we search for things that we are fond of.

The link below is a mere exposure effect test.

This test proved to me that the mere exposure effect does work, even though it may be unconsciously.

After taking this test, the mere exposure test was confirmed by me; I agree that as human beings, we search for things that we are fond of, and the mere exposure effect states that the more we see something (an object, picture of a person, a person, hear a sound) the more we come to like it.

BUT Below I listed links of objects, pictures of people/things and music/sounds that I personally find to be very annoying/gross/unpleasant. Not only do I find these these things annoying/gross/unpleasant but each time I see them I still feel the same way.

Thus, what I want to know is: if I keep listening to Rebecca Black's "Friday" music video, or keep looking at a picture of raw fish heads on a platter ready to eat, will i eventually want to listen or eat these things?

In conclusion, I don't think I will ever be in the middle of a workout and say to myself "I want to listen to Rebecca Black!" or "Let's have fish heads for dinner!"

So, what I want to know is: how enduring is the mere exposure effect? Does it only influence short-term emotions versus long term emotions?

Crazy Things in Life

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After reading chapter eleven the concept of somatic marker theory really stood out above the other concepts. Somatic marker theory proposes that we unconsciously and instantaneously use our "gut reactions" especially our automatic responses, like our heart rate and sweating to gauge how we should act. According to Damasio, if we feel our hearts pounding during a first date, we use that information as a "marker" or signal to help us to decide what to do next. first date.png
This past week my boyfriend of two and half years broke up with me. On Sunday when he text me asking if we could Skype and saying we just need to talk, my heart began to pound and my stomach immediately got upset. I knew at this point something was not right. I used those signals to hold myself together until we were able to Skype and actually talk. In this instance the somatic marker theory that Antonio Damasio proposed was exactly what I used. I just will never fully understand how our body or "gut" knows when something bad is going to happen? What triggers us to know or distinguish between something little that wont be a big deal and something that will be life changing?
The Ultimate Gift This video clip I have attached is from the movie The Ultimate Gift. This movie is all about a man who's grandfather passed away and in order to obtain his inheritance he needs to work and realize the many treasures in life. In the movie he meets a little girl and a mom in the park. It ends up the little girl has cancer and not even chemo will cure the disease. This video shows the point where the doctor tells the little girl's mom that nothing will cure her little girl. The mother is an excellent example of the somatic marker theory.

IQ for job placement

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During one of our discussion sections we were supposed to debate the use of IQ scores when hiring someone. Were supposed to decide whether or not to hire someone on their IQ alone. Our group decided no because you would be ignoring other key factors such as their job experience or their people skills. I completely agreed with this decision. Chris Langan, as we read in our books, is a great example of why IQ should not be the only factor when hiring someone. His intelligence didn't really help him in his life. He thought he was too smart to bother with college, he never applied himself and ended up a bouncer at a bar. People with lower IQ's may have more interest and experience in the specific field of the job they are applying for, and they may have better people skills than other applicants who have higher IQ's. Hiring on IQ alone would result in companies not hiring a person who may actually perform at a far higher level at their occupation once hired than someone with a very high IQ.

Secrets to Interviewing Success

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Interviews are a part of life. They are key factors in determining whether a candidate is qualified for a job or internship. They are generally no longer than thirty minutes, and often cause the candidate much stress. While the interview process is often nerve-racking, there are many ways to impress your interviewers with a few simple tricks. While the interviewers should take a candidate's intelligence quotient (IQ) into consideration before hiring him or her, another important element that the interviewer should look at is emotional intelligence (EQ). Our psychology textbook defines emotional intelligence as the ability to understand our own emotions and those of others, and to apply this information to our daily lives. In my opinion, EQ is more important than a person's IQ because research has shown over the years that those with a higher EQ are more successful than those with high IQs. Because of this research, many interviewers today look for candidates with strong emotional intelligence and will often form questions to elicit a response telling the interviewers whether or not the candidate has a high EQ. This video further explains why emotional intelligence is an important factor in the interviewing process and how it makes interviewers more impressed with certain candidates. I know it's a bit shaky, but the information that Rob Kaufman says is very interesting!

Because emotional intelligence is not quite as common as a person's IQ, many people are quite unfamiliar with it. I think this should change. The ability to read and interpret others emotions is a key factor to one's success in life. Why haven't people noticed this before? I generally tend to be a person that likes to really put my foot in the door for other people, but without at least some emotional intelligence, the foot in the door won't do much good. Being able to help people with dilemmas is important to me and the ability to read their emotions helps me to form solutions, whether permanent or temporary, to give the person some relief if they are facing a difficult conflict.

Emotion and motivation: body language and gestures pg416

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There are many terms, sayings, and phrases used today that just would not be understood by previous generations. For example, "just google it" was not something you said when you needed quick information pre-computers. Furthermore, the dilemmas of texting and emailing were not problems faced by society until the '90s rolled around.

Texting and email are notorious for creating awkward or misunderstood situations because there was a misinterpretation in intension due to a lack of body language and gestures within the conversation. This non-verbal form of communication comes in all different varieties with the three main forms being: illustrators, manipulators, and emblems. The illustrators are the form being lost in translation when looking at the written language.

Illustrators refer to the fluctuations in a person's voice when they want to emphasize or draw attention to a specific area of speech. They are also the hand movements and body motions highlighting key terms within a conversation.

The attached article brings together the importance of body language in everyday life and the question of whether these telling gestures are acquired through nature or through nurture.

Of course, like every other study we have read about in class, there is no definite answer. Rather, the authors of this article also believe it takes a mixture of both nature and nurture.
Body Language
It would also be important to note this type of non-verbal communication can be very different across cultures. For example, a simple peace sign in the United States can be misinterpreted as an extremely vulgar hand gesture in Australia (as learned by former President Bush).

I found this section of the reading to be very interesting as it relates to everyone every day. Texting is not a valid form of communication when looking to have a real conversation about an important topic with a person.

Rosenthal and Jacobson Studies

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Success Fortune Cookie.jpg
One of the studies which I found particularly interesting was conducted by Rosenthal and Jacobsen and outlined the importance of expectancy effects on IQ. Rosenthal and Jacobson Studies During this experiment, Rosenthal and Jacobson explored the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy, similar to a placebo effect. To do so, researchers gave teachers a list of students who were likely to "bloom" in the next eight months. However, these students were actually randomly selected by Rosenthal and Jacobsen. Twenty percent of the class was chosen and their initial scores did not differ from the class. After a year, Rosenthal and Jacobsen retested the same students and found that the students who were labeled as "bloomers" scored on average four IQ points higher than the students who were not labeled as "bloomers". The possibility that expectancy can affect how teachers treat their students is interesting because of the possible implications. If the actions used by teachers towards the labeled "bloomers" were used on the rest of the class, it is possible for the entire class to get more out of their education. Although replications of this study have not generated as large of an effect as the study by Rosenthal and Jacobsen, the possibility that small cues by teachers towards their favorite students due to the belief that the students are smarter can lead to huge differences in our education system.
Test Taking.bmp
As I researched this study, I wondered if this meant that teachers were prejudiced against some races of students or students who dressed differently than others. For example, would a teacher consider a child who dressed more professionally smarter and consequently give that student positive cues? This could happen in a variety of situations. As a child, I was placed in the ESL (English as a Second Language) program because Chinese is my first language. English as a Second Language Lesson Plan Guide When I was in regular classes, I did not truly feel like I was part of the class. As a matter of fact, my kindergartner teacher told my mom that she should stop speaking Chinese around the household because it was impairing my English abilities. Because of this, I wonder if she treated me differently from other students whom she thought were smarter. The actions by my former teacher could effectively outline the expectancy effect because she thought that I was not ready for elementary school. Therefore, the largest question which came to me when researching this topic was how it effects our current school system and specific types of people.

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