pilke002: November 2011 Archives

Does my nose grow?

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According to the Lilienfeld text, the infamous "lie detector" relies on the assumption that the human body experiences a physiological or behavioral change when lying known as the Pinocchio response. If the test relies on this naturally occurring response, then what exactly is it measuring?post-23599-043113800 1299275862.jpg

In laments terms, the Pinocchio response is a concept where our body changes state while we engage in telling a lie. This generally has deals with things like blood pressure levels, respiration frequency, and an involuntary increase in the amount of sweat that we perspire.The test generally measures the amount that these processes fluctuate while answering questions, generally saying that these will fluctuate greatly when a lie is told.

To me, this idea can and has been utilized very well when it comes to the use within law enforcement in order to keep society running smoothly. Unfortunately, this response is not a fool proof way to detect lying due to differences in everybody's responses, and the fact that one can train to control these responses at their own will. Even so, I know that I for one do get a little short of breath when I lie, and I can feel my heartbeat rise out of being nervous.

I personally think that this is a fascinating natural phenomena, and I'm very curious how well the polygraph test actually does for detecting lies based off of this criteria. As the text states, this does yield a considerable amount of false-positives so I don't think that it should be used as a fool proof way to come up with a verdict on somebody being guilty, however I do believe that it can at least give an idea on how truthful somebody is.

Does my nose grow?

It is a very controversial study in the present day regarding the effects of violent video games on a person's aggression level in the real world. However, Dr. Brock Bastian decided to investigate a new area in how violent video games effect lifestyles: human qualities and intelligence levels.

According to the article reported by "Byron Shire News", Dr. Bastian (of the University of Queensland) carried out a study where people's levels of "humanity" were measured after playing a popular violent video game; Mortal Kombat. According to the results found, players started to see themselves and opponents to be lacking in human qualities such as intelligence, open-mindedness and warmth towards others. As quoted "... given the findings, concerns about the effects of playing violent video games were not surprising, especially when they appeared to reflect changes in behavior, emotions, and cognitions in ways consistent with a loss of humanity."

When looking at the information from this study, it makes me consider a few things. Even though this isn't directly measuring aggression/violence levels in participants, the qualities that it is measuring are generally associated with how violent somebody tends to be (the less "human" somebody is, the more violent the generally are.)

Another idea that really came to my attention was the debate of "Correlation vs. Causation"; do the violent video games cause the inhumane qualities, or are people with inhumane qualities drawn to playing violent video games?

Finally, I also am curious what exactly the basis for humanity is in the experiment. It's not as if there is an actual definition for what humanity is down to a period, so are these just normal varioations in personality, or is there truly something "inhuman" being observed from people who play violent video games?

Luckily, the idea of video games effects on the human psyche is a very popular topic. I'm sure that with on going research on whether or not violent video games should be regulated for the greater good some of my questions regarding the topic will eventually be answered... It's just a matter of time.

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