gron0167: October 2011 Archives

Did that really happen?

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As we learned from the Lilienfeld text, researchers have come up with existence proofs, demonstrating that it's possibly to create memories in someones mind that actually never happened. Before starting the experiment, they ask the family members about an event that never actually happened during the subjects life, so that they know this event is made up. Then, they sometimes make fake evidence (a fake photograph of them as a child on a hot- air balloon ride) and they show it to the participant. In this experiment, over 50 percent of subjects recalled at least some of this hot-air balloon ride that never occurred. Some even went into elaborate details about what they saw, smelt, felt and who they were with. In another study they showed subjects an ad with Bugs Bunny promoting Disneyland. When they were asked about their childhood Disneyland experience and who they saw, 16 percent of subjects said they saw Bugs Bunny there. The experimenters knew from this that they could implant false memories into their brains because bugs bunny isn't a disney cartoon. These findings demonstrate that suggestive memory procedures can affect not only our recollections, but our behaviors. After reading about this I always wondered how these people could just believe that this event actually happened and start to "remember" and tell stories about these events. It just seems crazy to me how they make up a memory, because someone told them it was true.
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Salt water= free soda!?

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In psychology there are six scientific thinking principles that we can use to help us overcome our own biases. For this claim, I will first be using the first scientific principle, ruling out hypothesis. With this principle, we can ask ourselves is this the only good explanation for this finding? We need to think about other explanations and not rule them out right away. Do we really believe that pouring salt water into a vending machine will give us free product? Wouldn't we see a lot more people walking around with free soda and goodies if that were a true statement? With this claim, we can also use the fourth principle, replicability. Someone may get lucky if they try and pour in salt water and miraculously get free food, but could someone somewhere else have the same luck with this test? We can use replicability to see if the experiment can be duplicated, if it can't, then it increases the odds that the claim is false. The last principle that I will use for this claim is the sixth one, occam's razor. This principle state that with claims, we should generally pick the simpler one. In this case the two claims you can choose from are that salt water will give you free product, or it will not. If we would apply occam's razor, the simpler or more logical claim would be that salt water would not do this for us. We use these claims to help us generate the real claims vs. the false ones. In psychology this is a very useful tool to have because we are faced with these claims on a day to day basis. If we apply these principles, we may be able to decipher scientific claims and also ones from everyday life.

Can you imagine that there was time when we weren't aware of ourselves? One man tries to uncover the details about when we first become aware of who we are. He first visits an experiment where babies are the ones getting tested. In this experiment the babies first are just able to walk around and look at themselves in the mirror. Then the babies are turned away and the parents pretend to wipe their noses with a tissue, but really place a dot on the babies face right below the nose. Then the babies are allowed to go back the mirror, when looking at themselves they may or may not notice the dot on their face. If the babies do notice the dot, then they are self aware. This test represents that self awareness comes about when we are 18-24 months old. This man went and talked to another experimenter about an experiment kind of the same. This man does a mirror test, except with usually animals. The only animals that have shown remarkable results are chimpanzees, orangutans and humans. Through this test animals and humans almost go through "mental time travel". Where we can see things from our past, present and possibly future. Example: How we used to look, how we look now and what we will look like when we get older. Although this is great for learning more about self awareness, we also learn that death awareness is the price we pay for self awareness. We now can recognize who we are and what we look like, but we now can recognize that we will some day die.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by gron0167 in October 2011.

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