schm3270: October 2011 Archives

While looking online, I recently found an article about how false memories affect behavior. First of all, false memory is the act of recollecting an event that did not actually happen. I think that it is so interesting that this memory technique can have such powerful affects. In the article, psychologists did a study on students where they falsely told them that they had gotten sick from eating an egg sandwich when they were younger. In an experiment, they offered different types of sandwiches to the students, one option being the egg salad sandwich, and asked the students to evaluate the sandwiches. When observing students in four and eight month increments, research showed that the ones who had been told they had gotten sick still had a distinct change in attitude and behavior toward the egg salad sandwich. These results go to show that false suggestions about events can impact the way one acts in the future, hence why the students still believed that they had a negative experience with the food and therefore gave it lower evaluations than the other sandwiches. Also, I found it interesting that these psychologists said that using this false memories technique could help reduce obesity in people, by falsely leading them to believe that they had negative experiences with unhealthy foods in the past (steering them away from wanting to consume them in the future).

Here is the website for the article:

Amber Schmidt
When most people think of sleepwalking, they picture the typical cartoon like figure with their arms up in front of them, walking like a zombie down a dark hallway. Sleepwalking, the act of walking and performing tasks while asleep, is something that is not uncommon. For some of us, we find it rather amusing to laugh at our siblings as they sleepwalk down the stairs and grab an apple from the fridge. This extent of sleepwalking is almost completely harmless. But for others, sleepwalking can turn into something a lot more dangerous. In this article (, I read about a boy who proceeded to sleep walk right out of a two story window into a dark alley, receiving injuries that were potentially fatal. Also, in this article, I read about people driving their cars while sleepwalking, disregarding traffic lanes and signals. So, what is there to be done that can help control the extent to what people are capable of doing while asleep? According to the Psychology 1001 textbook, sleepwalking is most frequent in childhood. So, if adults are concerned for their child's safety, or their own if they are the sleepwalker, doors and windows can be wired with alarms. With this being done, it can help inform both the sleepwalker and the others in the house. Also, contradictory to what lots of people may think, it is completely safe to wake a sleepwalker up.

Heritability. It's that thing that we get from our parents, right? When most people think of heritability, they think of it as being something that is passed to us from our parents. However, heritability, in simplest terms, is the percentage or extent to which genetic differences contribute to individual differences. For example, take a mom and a little girl. They look a lot alike. The mom has red hair and hazel eyes and so does the little girl. Would you believe me if I said that they weren't related? Probably not because it is evident that this little girl's red hair and hazel eyes were traits that were inherited and displayed from her mother. Now, take a mom with straight blonde hair and brown eyes and a girl with curly red hair and brown eyes. Would you believe me now if I said they were related? You would probably have a harder time with this one. However, it is very much possible that they are related and the little girl just had a weaker heritability of the blonde hair.
The whole heritability thing is something that is very evident in my family and greatly seen through our phenotypic makeup. In fact, people call my brother and I mini images of our parents. It is important to understand the concept of heritability and it is very interesting to be able to relate it to everyday life.

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