benxx001: October 2011 Archives

The Secret Language of Twins

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The majority of us who has surfed YouTube to waste time may have came upon this video of two adorable twins talking to each other. Perhaps they were arguing if they should raid the refrigerator or do something about the mess on the kitchen floor. Whatever the case may be they seemed to have a language of their own that they can only understand- known as cryptophasia (Lilienfed, 2010). However, the secret is out. For those who believe that this bond helps them invent secret, they are wrong.

Although, around 40% of twins have this phenomenon, it usually disappears later on (Bakker, 1987). This babbling between siblings is not limited to twins; Bakker suggests that children who grow up together during the language acquisition period use each other as model to practice their language skills. However, this can result in long-term language impairment. If they are only talking to each other, they are using language with significant amounts of error. Additionally, the twins can't correct each other because they tend to make similar kinds of errors so that speech is only understandable to them, but not to us. Therefore, encouraging them to play with other kids and correcting them on their speech helps develop their language skills.

As for their funny hand gestures, the twins may have picked this up from their own parents or other adults by observational learning- learning by watching others. Even though this video may have provided us with two minutes of mindless entertainment, we have to remind ourselves to take a step back and realize that they don't have a secret language. We have to evaluate these extraordinary claims using our knowledge about learning, language and reasoning to help us understand what is going on and why it occurs.


Source:
Bakker, Peter. Autonomous languages of twins. Acta Geneticae Medicae et Gemellologiae: Twin Research, Vol 36(2), 1987, 233-238.

Lilienfeld, Scott, Steven Lynn, Laura Namy, and Nancy Woolf. Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. Custom Edition for the University of Minnesota ed. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2010.

Blinded by Our Emotions

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One of the concepts from the sensation, perception and consciousness chapter involves ESP, extrasensory perception. ESP is the ability of perceiving things or events that are outside of the known channels of sensations; it does not use any of the five senses. The three major divisions of ESP are precognition- the ability to predict things before they occur, telepathy- being ale to read someone else's mind, and clairvoyance- being able to detect things that can't be seen. Although, scientific testing has not shown that these phenomenons hold true, there are some that still claim and believe in it. Perhaps, one of the major reasons why many people believe in ESP is their tendency to believe it, in order to make sense of things they can't explain. This in turn helps fuels illusory correlation in which we tend to remember events that are coincidences and forget about the rest.

Understanding that ESP has not been proven to be real is important so that we are not fooled by those who try to take advantage of us, especially during a time when we are most vulnerable. There are many shows on television that have hosts who claim they can talk to there dead loved ones by doing cold readings. Additionally, there are also magicians who claim to have telepathic powers and can predict the card in your pocket. We have to understand that as humans, we are prone to intentional blindness because we are so focused on other things, like believing how the psychic so much about your dead grandmother, but we forgot that they asked us similar questions earlier, or try so hard to remember our card that we didn't realize that the magician switched the cards he initially had to make "your card" disappear. By diverting our attention and being consumed on another task we allow our chances to be fooled. Some can be harmless, but other phony deceptions can cost us time and money- as with phony psychic readings that charge money. Dateline's Chris Hansen exposed some of these so-called-psychics. When it came time to confess that and that the legal implications might be involved, these psychics changed quickly denied they were psychics and that it was all just for fun and entertainment. Learning to think critically and knowing that we are prone to, we can better analyze situations so that others can not fool us by our own blindness.


For many of us who have siblings, there is no doubt that our parent favors one child over the other. Although, they may deny it, is there some logical explanation as to why they have a favorite? One of the reasons mentioned in the article pins favoritism on nature, stating that parent has a survival need to "replicate themselves through succeeding generations" so, they favor the child who "will be more reproductively successful and get more of the family's gene into the next generation." This explanation is similar to that of a functionalist perspective. Whether is biological or psychological, we have to sometimes take a step back and analyze what we read and compile our own thought so we don't have a belief that is skewed to one side.

There are many different types of theoretical perspectives that have developed over the decades that try to explain human behaviors and actions. These perspectives not only help us make sense of other people, but it also helps us understand ourselves. The five perspectives, structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, cognitivism, and psychoanalysis, although different in their own way, give us insight into why we do the things we do. However, we must be careful to not accept only one perspective, as it will lead us to have a bias opinion. The article involving a question why parents has a favorite child, contained many explanations that were similar in thinking to one or more of the perspectives. Although, we may not agree with certain explanation, these perspectives are important because they help us keep an open mind to possible explanations, but it's up to us to think critically and whether we should decide to accept it.

http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20111003,00.html

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