eduar005: October 2011 Archives

False Memories

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False Memory.jpgOne of the topics I like the most so far has been the false memories: when good memories goes bad topic. Soon as days ago I was studying for another class test using an old test provided as reference by the instructor. While I review the practice test I notice that some of the questions were not covered in class. I keep studying and reviewing the test while moments later I imagine the professor lecturing about the topics 'not covered in class'. I said: "yeah she covered but I was distracted and I don't copy any notes". False Memory! Later at the week the instructor email the class noticing that the practice test was a guide of the format of the test, not the topics the test will be about. I was right, the topics were not covered yet, but I have the false memory that they were..
Like in my recently case, our brain creates false memories that appeared to be 100% real. What cause or produce these false memories? Schemas and memory mistakes; "schemas can sometimes create problem for us, because they lead us to remember things that never happened"(Lilienfeld, 2010).
In other different cases of false memories we can have other factors causing it. In summary, are memory mistakes, we need to be aware that our brain is very powerful but it can have some mistakes including false memories. To know more about the imperfection of memory we can study the seven sins of memory and being aware of what can happen to us one day.

Learning: Trial and error

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As we discussed in class this week the researcher Edward L. Thorndike believed learning occurred through trial and error. This means we humans (and other species) learn trying, if our try is an error we learn something too, we learn to not follow that method that results in error. That's why people said that there are no bad experiences, there are good ones and not too good ones. The not too good ones don't result in what we expect but teach us something new. That's why they are not bad experiences because we learn something positive from them.
The researcher Edward L. Thorndike creates a puzzle box for animals and studied the responses that animals make. Many of the responses were wrong or ineffective, and eventually the animals learned to repeat those that got desirable results. This is an example of trial and error. The animals try some strategies for escaping the box, many of their first strategies became ineffective (error) but eventually found a desirable result and learned to repeat those desirable results for escaping the box.
I think this study is very important because daily we are involved in a type of puzzle box and we use trial and error for these moments. For example simple things like how to turn on an unknown TV, how we make a call in a new cell phone and much more moments that we have to try and respond to the event. Using our experience with phones in the example of making a call with a new cell phone becomes the try, if we can't make the call at the first try we have error, but that mistake gives us the experience of not following that method again. We keep trying just as the animals at Thorndike puzzle box until we have desirable results. Then we know how making a call using that new phone thanks to the experience we have gained in the trial and error event. As this example, we encounter with bunches of 'puzzles' that we don't know how to solve them at a glance but we discover how to, using trial and error.
Now a question I am asking myself is if we humans transmit this knowledge through genes or is it totally experience knowledge. I think this is the same case as the behavior case, nature and nurture. We need the intelligence for solving these dairy 'puzzles' (nature) but we need to encounter these 'puzzles' first, to try them and learn (nurture).

In the past few years the pit bull terrier breed has developed the fame of a very aggressive and dangerous dog. A lot of tragic deaths caused by these dogs temperament have been reported. As the debate of nature and nurture in humans, we can study and ask ourselves what causes the temperament and behavior of these dogs, that tend to attack people-(cases that attack their own owners)-unexpectedly.
It can be the nature of the whole breed but, do all pit bull terriers tend to attack unexpectedly? Is the pit bull terrier born with that temperament of an aggressive dog? Or is Nurture is the key for developing this dangerous behavior? It's the owner himself who teaches the pit bull terrier how to be brave and how to attack people, looking for his own protection or for owning a dangerous dog?
As we study the key roles in human behavior, we can use the same designs for studying these dogs behavior. For example we can have a group of five or six puppies from the same dog and raise them together trying to teach them the same manners and behavior; treating them good and giving no reason for them to be raised as an aggressive dog. When they grow up we can study how the behavior varies on these six dogs. If the temperament and behavior of the dogs vary significantly we can say that nature is a key factor because they were raised almost(because some can vary) on the same environment and treatment.
Another study to search key roles in the pit bull terrier behavior and in my opinion the best we can do would be raising two puppies from the same dog(looking for some similarity in their genetics) apart with extremely different treatment. The first one, treating him good, making them feel loved, the second one without attention, low food for example. Years after this different treatment, if we observe a different behavior between the dogs, we can say nurture was a factor in these dogs temperament and behavior.
As our debate of nature and nurture, that it's not over yet, we can say the behavior of these pit bull terriers is a combination of nature and nurture. In my opinion their nature, it's being a strong dog, and depending on the combination of nature and the environment they grow in, they will be raised as an aggressive, loving, defending or friendly dog among others. All of these depending on nurture and nature. Just like human behavior.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by eduar005 in October 2011.

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