Writing 4: November 2011 Archives

Big Five Traits

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This website I found has all the information about the Big Five Personality Traits, Extraversion, Openness to experience, Contentiousness, Neuroticism, and Agreeableness. It explains what they are and how people get assigned to these traits. It also explains the difference between the terms Big Five, Five-Factor Model, and Five-Factor Theory. It explains many other ways on how to find more information about the big five, but i mostly focused on reading about the Big Five and what it was all about. It explains the big five as as ranging of more specific traits. "The Big Five structure was derived from statistical analyses of which traits tend to co-occur in people's descriptions of themselves or other people." It goes on to say how they correlate to everyones personality. It then goes on and gives a few examples. "Talkativeness and assertiveness are both traits associated with Extraversion, you could imagine somebody that is assertive but not talkative (the "strong, silent type")." This was a very useful website and helped me see what my big traits were. It should me where i fit in on the scale and i found many other information through this site.

Effect of Divorce on Children

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Over the past half a century, the rate of divorce has been increasing, but what effects does divorce have on children? Some claim that it is traumatic to their development and can hamper their ideas of a functional family, while others hypothesize that it really has minimal effect on children but their ability to cope can make them stronger if the parents still do an adequate job raising them.
Many researchers propose that the effect of divorce on children's development really depends on the father. If the father was originally a figure of authority in the family and is no longer present, children can often run wild per-say. People often say that people with security issues and other social problems have "daddy issues." This claim isn't far from the proof provided by some psychologists. These psychologists claim that the father role model provides a emotionally secure environment which in turn helps make kids into emotionally secure adults.
i dont know how to make the links followable


One of some of the interesting topics in chapter 10 Human Development it's the Social and Moral Development in terms of parenting. Parents (tutors) play a key role in developing personality of their child. That's why parents need to be aware of what is right and what is wrong in parenting styles. I think it's a very interesting topic, almost all of us want to be parents one day and we need to be aware of the style of parenting and its consequences to our child behavior.
The book talks about 4 parenting styles identified by Baumrind: Permissive; lenient with their children, giving freedom inside and outside the house, using discipline sparingly and often show affection to the child. Authoritarian: strict parents giving little opportunity for free play or exploration, punishing when the child doesn't respond and showing little affection to children. Authoritative: combine the best features of both permissive and authoritarian. Giving support to the child but setting limits. The forth one the uninvolved that tend to ignore the child, paying little attention to them.
According to the resulting correlation of Baumrind study in children from middle-class Caucasian American families the best parental style for developing best social and emotional adjustments and lower behavior problems was the authoritative. Children with permissive parents and authoritarian parents far between authoritative and uninvolved, with children with uninvolved parents tend to fare the worst. This study was with only middle-class Caucasian American families but with the study we have an idea of the resulting consequences according to the different parental styles. The balance between permissive and authoritarian styles will be the best option for better emotional and social adjustments.
It's a great topic because beside the importance for psychology students and researchers in development psychology, it is very important and interesting to anyone else who is related to a child and wants to enhance a good behavior.

In honor of the new Call of Duty game coming out on November 8th, I am going to have that be the topic of my blog for this week. This game series has turned into the biggest gaming franchise in the history of video games. This is one of the most anticipated, as well as most pre-ordered video game of all time. This game is very prominent especially in the age group of young teenagers. Needless to say, Call of Duty is a very violent video game. Last game they came out with, had a warning before you play the game that said something to the effect of "This game has some very offensive and graphic material, do you wish to see this content?" They were referring to a level in the game where you are in an airport in Russia and you are told to unleash on innocent civilians. Like I mentioned earlier, young teenagers and children are a very popular audience for this game. Their brains are not fully developed at this age, and they are constantly learning things like a sponge. The question is, does this extreme violence affect what their behaviors are going to be? In my opinion, if young children are exposed to this violence, they begin to develop a resistance to the horrific effects of violence. They see it as something "normal," and tend to not think much of it. I think this may cause children and teenagers to be more likely to act aggressively in certain situations. I am not saying that just by playing violent video games, children will go out and kill people. I am just saying that it will increase the chance that if a child is put in a certain situation, he or she will act more aggressively without thinking anything of it.

In our Lilienfeld text, a topic that was covered was the development of g or general intelligence. This concept was first introduced by Charles Spearman, who believer that the positive correlations among intelligence test items must be related by a single factor. The basic concept that tho book gives of g, is that is has to do with an individuals "mental energy". This brings up a lot of controversy among intelligence researches, because it implies that some people are smarter than others. I agree with this completely, I think everyone has varying levels of intelligence, because if everyone had the same level of intelligence and understanding, then every concept ever thought up by humankind would be universally understood. This is, however, not the case at all. Imagine if everyone had the same amount of ability as everyone else. The world would be a very boring, melancholy place to live, because everyone could do everything that anyone could. I think that Spearman was very on track with his concept of g. He also goes on to discuss the s factor. This is our specific ability to excel in a certain area. For example, some people are very good at math and manipulation of equations, but could be bad at understanding various psychological or philosophical concepts. This entire model that Spearman came up with is a very sound one, in my opinion. It explains how everyone is good at something and lets us celebrate the diversity of abilities that make up humankind. imageseveryone-is-a-genius_small.jpg

source: Lilienfeld text

In the article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16099971/ns/technology_and_science-games/t/does-game-violence-make-teens-aggressive/#.TrdoaXZQqtQ it discusses a recent study done at Kansas State University that finds violent video games to cause less control in adolescents. The article claims that after doing an MRI 30 minutes after a teen was playing "Medal of Honor" (A vicious killing game) that showed a decrease in activity in the brain where the self control and attention part of the brain functions, the cerebrum. The psychology textbook discusses this topic as well and suggests that there are studies that prove both that video games do cause some kids to be more violent but there are some studies that prove it does not play a factor. I lean towards the side believing that violent video games do in fact play a role in a child's behavior. During the ages up until adolescents Piaget theorized that our cognitive development does not think abstractly. Therefore, if kids cannot think beyond the facts of what is violently happening in the video game, who says they won't be stuck in a mind set, and develop thoughts that are like what they are doing. I do not believe that adults 18+ are affected by violent video games because they are not developing still in the cognitive stage, whereas adolescents and younger are. Violent games bring out a defensive, lack of control emotion to the player. The players don't necessarily do the exact same thing as what they are doing in the game, but I myself after playing a shooting game have felt an aggressive superior emotion (Also like what we found after watching aggressive shows in psych discussion class). From the credible article with a replicable study, it provides evidence that in fact violent video games can play a role in behavior of young adults.

The Mozart Effect is a psychological phenomenon that I found especially intriguing. My question is can listening to Mozart really make you smarter? It was found in a study in 1993 that participants who listened to Mozart would have a higher IQ than those who did not. However these increases in intelligence were of short duration. This study has created much controversy about the effect of classical on learning.
Mozart's music helps with spatial-temporal reasoning, so participants in studies would be better at doing things such as mazes with paper and pen. The participants would make fewer errors and would finish them more quickly.
This article talks a lot about how Mozart's music works in the brain and in what way it makes people "smarter". It's not as much in terms of IQ, but has more to do with logical reasoning and problem solving. There are also not many long-term effects that were found. I think that the music makes people more attentive and more able to focus and that's why, when paired with something that requires reasoning, people tend to excel more. The classical music opens the brain and the listener isn't distracted by lyrics so it's easier for them to focus, therefore making them "smarter". However, in terms of IQ, I do not think that listening to Mozart, in the long run, will have a great effect.

Role of a Father

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The head of the household and arguably the most influential member of the family is, in most cases the father. The relationship between a child and their mother is vital, but in reality, studies have shown that fathers play a unique and crucial role in nurturing and guiding children's development.

First, the role of father's with babies. When fathers spend more time with their babies, they get to know exactly what each of their baby's signals mean. This familiarity allows fathers to respond sensitively, meaning that they know when their baby is hungry rather than when he just wants a change of scenery. Also, fathers tend to provide more verbal and physical stimulation, by patting their babies gently and communicating to them with sharp bursts of sound. As babies grow older, many come to prefer playing with their fathers who provide unpredictable, stimulating, and exciting interaction. In later years, young children look to their parents to learn how to interact with people. This not only means it is crucial for a father to interact appropriately with his child, when interacting with his wife, the mother, he acts as he would like his child to. A child looks to its mother for emotional support, but in many cases a father is more looked to for guidance in life skills and future planning from their father's.

All of these things are thrown off when a father is not relevant in the growing process of a child. Studies have shown that things such as educational achievement, self-esteem, responsible social behavior, and adjustment as adults have all been negatively affected by the lack of a father or father figure in the nurturing and development process of a child. There is no question that the relationship between a mother and a child is crucial to the quality of life of a given child, but, as recent studies have shown, the relationship between a father and a child is equally as important to the development of a given child.

The Strange Situation

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Remember getting lost from your parents when you were little in a enormous store and panicking like hell? well, I do. Now I laugh at it. But back then it was pretty scary. When children are growing up they develop a great bond with their attachment figures, usually our mothers. Where when we get separation anxiety so to speak when we get separated from our mothers. There is a name for this. The Strange Situation is a major procedure in social development in infancy and childhood. The Strange Situation was established by a psychologist named Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues in 1978. They conducted an experiment involving an infant and her mother in a room filled with toys. The child plays with the toys for a certain amount of time until a stranger comes in. This is when the mother leaves and the separation anxiety kicks in. The child becomes uncomfortable and acts in 1 of 4 ways:

Secure attachment: the child becomes upset when it's mother leaves but then greets her with joy upon return.

Insecure-avoidant attachment: The child acts indifferent when it's mother leaves and shows little reaction on her return.

insecure-anxious attachment: The child acts in a panic when its mother leaves but then shows mixed-emotions upon return. Reaching for her yet squirming to get away at the same time.

disorganized attachment: The child acts with inconsistent and confused responses upon her mothers departure and return.

The following is a video showing the Strange Situation procedure in action. The baby portrays a secure attachment reaction when reunited with her mother.

Are our personalities the result of parental influence or peer influence? In 1995, Judith Rich Harris published papers claiming a child's peers are an even greater influence on a developing personality than his or her parents. Her theory, called the group socialization theory of development, has raised many questions as to its validity.

I'm not sure I agree with Harris. Our personalities are the result of a number of factors, that's true, but I would have to say a child's parents play a greater role. Children learn all sorts of behaviors from their peers when they are away from their caretakers, whether at a daycare, school or just out with friends, but if those behaviors were to carry over to the child's home life, they would either be encouraged or discouraged by his or her parents.

Furthermore, studies have shown that parents are the biggest role models in children's lives; they take their cues from the people they look up to most: their parents. Parents are the first people to teach a child right from wrong.

There is also evidence that many behaviors and personality traits are genetically inherited, which goes a long way for the argument that a child's parents, not his or her peers, play the biggest role in the development of personality. As stated in the Lilienfeld text, studies have found that "twins who share many of the same peers are only slightly more similar in personality than are twins who share only a few of the same peers."

Overall, it seems unlikely that a child would develop his or her personality without some influenc e from peers, but to me it seems clear that parents would be the greater influence.

Kids Need to Drink Cow's Milk

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Myth: Kids Need to Drink Cow's Milk.
Parents often insist that there children drink milk, but why? Kids who don't drink cow's milk are just as healthy as those children that do, studies show. In fact research suggests hat milk-free kids may be at less likely to develop colic, ear infections, and asthma. That was the article that CBS news had in its 15th Deadliest Food Myths. I believe milk is a substance that can help nutrient the bones in our bodies, but I don't believe it's the only nutrient that can replenish our bones. Scientific Principle #2: Correlation isn't Causation. Correlation designs don't permit casual inferences. A being milk could lead to an increase in bone health. B being bone health could possibly be influenced by drinking milk. But possibly C equals B meaning beans, green leafy vegetables (except spinach), fortified juices, soy milk and many other foods can also increase bone health. Another scientific principle I find to be useful under these circumstances is scientific principle #5 Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence. Meaning is the Evidence as extraordinary as the claim itself. Stating that milk is an essential substance needed to influence bone health means without milk you will not have strong bones. There is no evidence other than the fact that milk provides calcium. Stating that milk is the only substance that can provide calcium is extraordinarily outrageous but not extraordinary within it self. Many other nutrients provide calcium to the body which in turn provides bone health/strength (some nutrients/ substances stated earlier in this blog). Being that the only evidence milk has is that is it provides calcium is not enough to be given the title extraordinary evidence. I feel the scientific thinking principle #2 Correlation isn't Causation is the most useful for evaluating this particular claim.

Claim: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-204_162-10004624-2.html?tag=page;next

The Right Way to teach kids

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The way in which people parent is a very controversial in this day and age. The trick is not to be permissive or authoritarian but to be authoritative. I believe that my mom was a little more permissive and my dad was a little more authoritarian but with the combination of the two I think that they were the perfect mixture. Then again I am part of an Caucasian American family where as there is some evidence that suggests that in certain collectivist cultures such as China it is better for the parents to be more Authoritarian. The best way to parent seems to be just to give the children an environment that provides the basic needs for affection and appropriate discipline, and usually this will be enough for their children to turn out fine. Although the role of the father and mother are important research shows that children that are part of nontraditional families will usually fare just fine. It is also shown that the majority of children survive their parents divorce without long-term emotional damage. Here is an article that shows how to be a more assertive parent and how to say no to your child. http://www.empoweringparents.com/saying-no-to-your-child-how-to-be-a-more-assertive-parent.php?&key=Effective-Parenting This is an interesting article because it shows how to set limits for your kids and to make sure that your kids don't get whatever they want but at the same time it makes sure those parents are not over authoritative on their children.

The Right Way to teach kids

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The way in which people parent is a very controversial in this day and age. The trick is not to be permissive or authoritarian but to be authoritative. I believe that my mom was a little more permissive and my dad was a little more authoritarian but with the combination of the two I think that they were the perfect mixture. Then again I am part of an Caucasian American family where as there is some evidence that suggests that in certain collectivist cultures such as China it is better for the parents to be more Authoritarian. The best way to parent seems to be just to give the children an environment that provides the basic needs for affection and appropriate discipline, and usually this will be enough for their children to turn out fine. Although the role of the father and mother are important research shows that children that are part of nontraditional families will usually fare just fine. It is also shown that the majority of children survive their parents divorce without long-term emotional damage. Here is an article that shows how to be a more assertive parent and how to say no to your child. http://www.empoweringparents.com/saying-no-to-your-child-how-to-be-a-more-assertive-parent.php?&key=Effective-Parenting This is an interesting article because it shows how to set limits for your kids and to make sure that your kids don't get whatever they want but at the same time it makes sure those parents are not over authoritative on their children.

Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide

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Hoax/Claim: Dihydrogen monoxide is dangerous and should be banned.
Dihydrogen monoxide also known as water, H2O is "colorless, odorless, and tasteless" chemical compound that is essential to all organisms in our ecosystem. The human body is composed of 60% water and the human brain is composed of 70% water.
This article claims that dihydrogen monoxide killed thousands of people each year. Majority of those accidental deaths are cause by inhalation of the water in liquid state. In the solid state, water is also known as "ice" which can cause tissue damage. Dihydrogen monoxide is a major component of acid rain, contributes to global warming, greenhouse effect, can cause severe burns in its gaseous state, and much more.
All these statements are true and scientifically proven. All the claims against dihydrogen monoxide are true. Every year there are thousands of accidents where water is the main perpetrator, water cause many death by inhalation or drowning, it is a major component in not just acid rain but rain, and so much more. Hence, this claim is replicatable and there were extraordinary evidence proving this statement.
This hoax may have such a high impact on the readers due to the somatic marker theory. The somatic marker theory proposes that we use our "gut reactions" to help us determine how we should react. Dihydrogen monoxide sounds like very complicated word which sounds similar to the word carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is also a colorless, odorless, and tasteless compound if ingested, can cause death. Hence these characteristics should not be correlated and labeled as harmful compounds because dihydrogen monoxide is the key component of our biological composition and our survival.

Link to Hoax Article:

Death is a common event for all of mankind. It strikes us at all times and is the eventual end for us all. But for some, death strikes in such a way that it causes severe damage and pain for those around them. No one knows this concept better than soldiers. Take for instance an American soldier named Joe (Last Name Not Disclosed) who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning from duty in 2005. Joe witnessed his friend Gary die a horrific death at the hand of a land mine. When he came home from duty he was changed. He recalled grisly memories when he smelled gasoline. When he heard loud sudden noises he was instantly ready for combat. He remembered scenes of battle during work and he had trouble remembering things. (source) PTSD has so many harmful symptoms it sounds nearly hopeless to try and recover from. But there is hope. Exposure Therapy is the answer to the problem. According the Lilienfeld text exposure therapy works by using systematic desensitization which lets clients confront what they fear to eliminate the fear. It utilizes countercondtioning to which means to pair relaxation with an original anxiety stimulus. The two can't mix so the fear is dropped. A technique that falls user this category is something known as "flooding". Flooding involves a large sudden exposure to the fear inducing stimuli. Both of these methods are used to treat horrible conditions like PTSD which can be very debilitating. This is very relieving to me personally as I have family serving in the military and in active combat zones. I don't want any of them to have to deal with PTSD but if they have to, they can at least be helped.

Detecting Lies

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People lie everyday. Lying has become part of our daily lives, whether we lie to make up an excuse for why we are late to class, or if we are omitting the truth in order to keep a secret. Even the most honest people lie, or choose not to tell the truth, in order to protect others feelings. Obviously, there are more serious lies as well such as claiming innocence to a crime that one actually did commit. We begin to lie at a very young age (4 to 5 years old), and continue to do so throughout our entire lives. As some of use learn how to become better at the fine art of lying, we can also become better at detecting lies from others. Oftentimes we state that we can "just tell" when someone is lying, but aren't able to exactly pinpoint the reason why we think that way. Our detection of lies usually results from evaluating the liar's behavior. This behavior includes the words that they are saying, what kind of words they are using (descriptive, generic, etc.), and their body language and other nonverbal cues that they use when delivering a lie.

There are many website and articles that offer "the key" to identifying lying behaviors and they claim that focusing on body language and eye movements can help us detect lies. These keys to lie detection often do not account for the whole situation and are often very unreliable. Nonetheless, some individuals, including law enforcement and judges, are slightly better than average at detecting these lying cues and catching liars. This could be due to the fact these professionals encounter people who frequently lie in their daily work. The television shows "Lie to Me" and "The Mentalist" feature special detectives that use their extraordinary sense of lie detection to bust the criminals. This extraordinary sense of lie detection is not quite realistic. Scientific research has shown that even professionals such as detectives have very high error rates in detecting lies (Ekman & O'Sullivan 1991).

It seems that if detectives and law enforcement officers have difficulty detecting lies, then others will too. The linked Psychology Today article explains a case where a young man lied on his application and scholarship reports all the way to Harvard. It shows that many people can be fooled by lies. Although becoming an expert at lie detection may help you solve crimes and cases of fraud, would we always want to know when someone is lying to us? Would we want others to know when we are lying to them?

Psychology Today Article


In a recent study from North Western University, researchers found that people who feel powerless may feel the need to eat larger portion sizes in an attempt to boost their social status. Researchers also discovered that those who were told that they were supposed to eat less at a high-end restaurant actually ate less. This shows how important social status is to many individuals. It also shows how heavily food effects our lives and the way we think people perceive us. People who suffer from bulimia nervosa, mainly young women, binge on food, and than vomit in after in order to maintain weight. This is usually accompanied with the fear of gaining weight, and the regret of having eaten so much. Likewise, people with anorexia nervosa feel are afraid to gain weight, so much that they starve themselves. This also mainly effects young women. These diseases, along with the portion control, are all ways in which people can make themselves feel better, whether it's too boost their image, or to make them feel less guilty and more beautiful.

Here is the link to the article

Skinner's Box

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Link: http://www.snopes.com/science/skinner.asp

The famous psychologist, B.F. Skinner was once accused of raising his daughter, Deborah, in one of his famous Skinner boxes. This issue arose when an article was published about Skinner's baby tender, and people who did not read the article fully or those who did not understand it accused Skinner of raising his daughter in a Skinner box. The truth of the matter is that Skinner had built a special crib (baby tender) for his daughter to keep her in a climate controlled environment so that she could avoid being wrapped in layers of blankets and also avoid the rashes that accompany the cold Minnesota winters. Skinner, in reality, was trying to protect his daughter and keep her safe. He was not trying to operant condition her. Deborah did not receive rewards or punishments in crib, but was able to remain a clean healthy baby, who was free to move about as she pleased without the restrictions of blankets. Skinner did want to study the effects of operant conditioning on humans, but he did not study it on his own daughter. He stuck to animals (mostly rats and pigeons).

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.

Click Here for the Article

lie.jpgI am confident that the majority of us have seen a polygraph test at some point, whether it be in a movie, a talk show episode or in person. In chapter 11 of the Lilienfield text it discusses the polygraph test, or more commonly referred to as the lie detector test. It explains how the test relies on bodily reactions, such as blood pressure, respiration, palm sweating, and overall anxiety, to tell if the victim is lying or not.

Although the largest organization of polygraph examiners in the United States claims the test is 98 percent accurate, it still presents a high rate of false positives. In simpler terms, the test labels innocent people as guilty and therefore cannot be administered in most of the U.S. courts for obvious reasons.

Along with the polygraph test, there are other lie detecting tests that agencies administer, including the guilty knowledge test and the integrity test. These two types of testing are more widely used compared to the polygraph test because they cover for some of the polygraph's short comings, such as its reliance on the pinochhio response. I think that the idea of these lie detector tests are important because they have always seemed to hold a notable amount of power in proving innocence. I also believe that society in general should become more familiar with the tests and how they work to hopefully become further educated about a somewhat critical aspect of the justice system.

In conclusion, I am still wondering about how many innocent people were pronounced guilty because of incorrect conclusions drawn by the polygraph test, or how many guilty people got off unscathed? Are any of the lie detector tests undoubtedly reliable? Should the court systems be allowed to utilize these questionable methods?

Click here to watch a video on the polygraph test.

A survey in 2009 suggested that kids who watch television shows such as Power Rangers, Ben 10, and Hannah Montana are forced to grow up too quickly. The survey questioned 3,000 parents about their children's behavior and the television shows that they regularly watch. The claims made from the results of the survey violate the scientific thinking method of causation versus correlation. Television shows such as Hannah Montana and Power Rangers do not necessarily force children to grow up quicker, but instead children who naturally grow up quicker may have more a more mature taste in television shows, so they choose to watch these programs. The children who seemed to grow up quicker could have been the effect of a third factor, and not the television shows that they watch.
The same survey also stated that shows such as Power Rangers and Ben 10 cause children to have nightmares. The survey observed that parents reported their children to have nightmares after watching such shows. Researcher Kathryn Crawford uses Occam's razor to prove this claim false. Children under the age of 7 experience elevated rates of nightmares, and that "all children suffer from nightmares at some point". This claim shows that children naturally experience nightmares when they are young, so the television shows do not necessarily cause them. Again using causation versus correlation you can see that a third factor, such as nature, may be the cause.


The Mozart Effect

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All parents hope and dream for their children to some day grow up to be smart and successful adults. Most of these parents try to ensure their children's future intelligence by enrolling them in good schools and making sure they do their homework. However, many new parents try to get a head start on the process of learning, starting before their child is even out of infancy.
In 1993, a publication reported that college students who listened to 10 minutes of a Mozart sonata showed a large improvement on spatial reasoning tasks compared to students who listened to a different tape for ten minutes. This discovery started the fad of 'The Mozart Effect', wherein there is an increased amount of intelligence after listening to classical music.
Despite the study being only done on college students, and saying nothing about long-term effects of spatial intelligence, toy companies and parents ate The Mozart Effect right up. CDs and cassettes filled with classical music suddenly started being marketed more to babies than their adult counterparts, in parent's hopes that these classical tunes would increase their baby's intelligence.
A few years later, studies unearthed the discovery that these tapes didn't actually do that much to improve intelligence or spatial reasoning. However, it was hypothesized that this effect could be due to emotional arousal that may simply increase alertness, making performance on the spatial reasoning tasks better. In the end, while having your children listen to Mozart at a young age is a great way to introduce them to music, which has been shown to help children in areas of math, it is not likely that it will make them baby geniuses.

A few primary schools in Merseyside, England have been using the widely popular, and highly controversial video game Grand Theft Auto, and other violent cartoon television shows, to teach children about violence. The theory that has been presented by the Merseyside Police Department, who are the main backers of the program, believe that images from both the cartoons and video game can be used to teach children the difference between right and wrong, and what is real and what is not. This idea is an interesting form of teaching for the obvious reason that the television shows and video game being presented to the students, have been widely criticized as being extremely too violent for a child in primary school.


The reason that I believe this scheme can possibly work is that the video game and television shows are so popular that as the children get older they will most likely see them anyway. When a child is young, and in this situation they are young, they are still absorbing a lot of new information and have highly shapeable minds. Using such popular examples makes the material extremely relevant, and reinforces to children what they should and should not see as right and wrong. Using these examples of media with excessive violence for children lends an alternative to the largely debated issue of whether the television shows and video game should be legally regulated. With this teaching mechanisms children will already know that the game and television shows depict and know what is real and what is fake. Under this theory children will not react to violent television and games because they understand that they present images that are both false and not the correct manor of behavior. This would eliminate a lot of argument about violence in television and video games if the theory were to work effectively because children would have prior knowledge when playing video games and watching television that include excessive violence. This will hinder children from violent imitations like the ones depicted in the video shown in class of children watching Power Rangers.


Does money bring us happiness? There's that cliche phrase, "money can't buy happiness," but I still think a majority of people would say that yes, money can correlate to being happy and can make you happy. When people have enough money, they are able to live easier and don't have to stress about their next meal, buying school supplies, keeping up with bills and the mortgage, etc.

The psychology book says that money can't buy long term happiness. Someone who wins the lottery will be temporarily very happy, but after a few weeks, they will return to their usual state of happiness. People with more than 50,000 dollars do not really have a correlation between money and happiness, because they have enough money to survive and live their live. People tend to forget that more money can bring complications such as working harder and being busier and working longer hours, and the stress that comes along with working too much definitely will not make you happy.


The article I read about takes a stab at the opposing side, disagreeing with most people and lots of research that money does not buy happiness. She states that happiness is many emotions, rather than just one. Feeling financially secure, being prideful and proud of the children you sponsor in a different country, and the joy from an expensive vacation, are all parts of being happy, and all cost money. The article was very interesting to read and I enjoyed reading about someone who told the truth about money and how it affects their life.

I don't know how to make the link show, I will ask you in class on Tuesday.. Sorry!!

Does money bring us happiness? There's that cliche phrase, "money can't buy happiness," but I still think a majority of people would say that yes, money can correlate to being happy and can make you happy. When people have enough money, they are able to live easier and don't have to stress about their next meal, buying school supplies, keeping up with bills and the mortgage, etc.

The psychology book says that money can't buy long term happiness. Someone who wins the lottery will be temporarily very happy, but after a few weeks, they will return to their usual state of happiness. People with more than 50,000 dollars do not really have a correlation between money and happiness, because they have enough money to survive and live their live. People tend to forget that more money can bring complications such as working harder and being busier and working longer hours, and the stress that comes along with working too much definitely will not make you happy.


The article I read about takes a stab at the opposing side, disagreeing with most people and lots of research that money does not buy happiness. She states that happiness is many emotions, rather than just one. Feeling financially secure, being prideful and proud of the children you sponsor in a different country, and the joy from an expensive vacation, are all parts of being happy, and all cost money. The article was very interesting to read and I enjoyed reading about someone who told the truth about money and how it affects their life.

I don't know how to make the link show, I will ask you in class on Tuesday.. Sorry!!

Reed Kotz

Can sexual orientation be changed? This has been an interesting question for many decades now. Over the past few decades much research has been done according to the article above to figure out if sexual orientation can be changed and it turns out that it is most likely a genetic factor that plays into ones sexual orientation. According to this article and our psychology textbook there is extremely strong evidence of one's sexual orientation being determine before even birth. These findings are pretty remarkable and should help the movement against the oppression of gay people. The popular misconception that gay people choose to have relations with people of the same sex has been eradicated with the findings by Simon LeVay and the research reported by the LA Times article. These findings are extremely helpful to those who deal with problems associated with homosexuality. Now they can have clearer thoughts about how to cope with the confusion that is brought about by homosexuality. This will also help to bring more light to those who oppose homosexuality, showing that it is not a choice, but a genetic factor like hair color. Hopefully these findings can offer some insight to people who aren't sure whether homosexuality is a choice or not. This is something people are born with and should not be persecuted for their sexual orientation just because it happens to differ from societal and religious norms. Society has always seemed to persecute those who are different, and why is that?

We might characterize adolescence in the words of Charles Dickens:" it was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
In the movie, Bruce Wayne's parents were killed when he's young. He blame himself for their deaths. He feared bats when he fell into a carve, bats have become his worst nightmare.
we've all asked ourselves " who am i ?" at some point. indeed, one of the central challenges of adolescence is to get a firm handle on our identity, our sense of who we are, as well as our life goals and priorities.Bruce Wayne realize what he wants to do is to become a man who protects innocent people and fight the evils.
there's good reason to believe that we can trace the roots of our moral understanding to fear. in infancy and childhood, we associate right with reward and wrong with punishment, so we learn not to do bad things to avoid punishment. over time, our fears become internalized. Indeed, one of the best predictors of the strength of children's sense of morality is their level of fear years earlier. Bruce Wayne overcame his fear and turn them into his strength against his enemy.
Bruce Wayne has became and gone beyond the Bat man he wanted to become, but he has not realize it. His morality leads him to carry the frame and be hunted by the police. The Dark Knight, what more do I have to say.

The bonding between primary caregivers and their children is one of the most important aspects of healthy human development. If these bonds are weakened or nonexistent, a child could seek a connection or relationship with some other source. This source could be an unhealthy obsession with body image or a fixation on food and diet, and could ultimately lead to an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the two major eating disorders affecting people today. Anorexia nervosa is a disease that is characterized as extremely limited eating with a relentless desire to be thin. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and then vomiting to compensate for it.

Research is currently being done to find the genetic, biological, psychological, and social causes of eating disorders. Recently neuroimaging studies have been conducted to examine the differences of brain activity in women with bulimia nervosa and healthy women. Using fMRI, researchers could see the differences in brain activity while the women were asked to perform a task that involved self-regulation. Women with bulimia nervosa did worse on the test because they were more impulsive and inaccurate with the task. The brain scans also showed that bulimic women had less brain activity in the brains areas involved with self-regulation. Although conclusions cannot be drawn from this test alone, these findings could help to development more successful treatments for both bulimia and anorexia.



Assimilation and accommodation.

In the child developmental process assimilation and accommodation play a vital role. These stages of developments confirm a state of harmony between the worldly experience and mind of the child, also called equilibration; maintaining a balance between our experience and of the world and our thoughts. In Piaget's process of development assimilation is refers to the captivation of new experiences into our current schemas or knowledge. For example, when a child learns the word fox for the time, they will start to call all four-legged (or similar) animal foxes. In this case, assimilation took place. Consequently, according to Piaget, accommodation takes place through modification of the belief to make it more compatible with previous knowledge or experience of the world. Going back to our fox example, when people start to tell the poor little child, no, that's not fox, its lion. The schema for fox then gets altered to restrict it to only certain (fox) four-legged animals. . In this case, the process of accommodation took place.

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When I was young, because I was always around people who Muslims, I thought everybody in the world were Muslims before moving to Kenya to find out that was a bewildering childhood knowledge (assimilation). When I asked why people do things that were forbidden by Islam. My uncle told me not everybody beliefs in Islam. Essentially, I learned that roughly one-fifth of the world's population is Muslims compared to my previous that of the entire mankind (accommodation).


Mouakoon Yang
Writing 4

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In Psy 1001 we learn about the somatic marker theory. This theory states that we people decide how we act or should act from the use of our reactions or "gut reactions" as they have said in the text books. This would be kind of an animal instant that we have, like an animal who strikes out of instant to defend itself from danger. An example is a snake who strikes at an object in which it feel threatens from, a skunk who release a liquid with strong foul odor to when it feels threaten. These are good example of the somatic marker theory because like the animals who strikes we to also strikes, having a faster heart rate and sweating in a situation leads us to instantly take an action and just go with that action or decision.

I believe in the somatic marker theory because it is kind of true in a way. Where I can use this theory to illustrate decision making in sport, when a player feels the pressure they make just make a fast decision or a gamble like and animal just taking a strike at something that you have no idea what it is and how that decision can affect you. I want to use sport as life aspect of myself to support this theory, I have played flag football before and was lucking enough to earn a spot as an quarter back which is one of the biggest and toughest job on a football team. It is really easy to feel the pressure of the other team when you don't have a good offence line to help protect you. So as stated by the theory I took an "gut reaction" decision to run out of the pocket trying my best to get a first down but I ended up losing yards. As stated from the theory is that my gut reaction helped to determine what I thought I should do which was to run. From learning about this theory makes me wonder if this theory applies to all human behavior decision making skill or just to those who are gut reactions.

Right and Left Brain

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The above youtube video does not describe exactly what each half does, but rather what each hemisphere specialize: a generalization.

The video does an excellent job in pointing out the linearly popular approach to problem solving and thinking.
In America, the linear way of thinking and problem solving (or the "faithful servant" model) is praised, while the non-linear way (the "intuitive mind") is ignored or discarded.

The advantages of the clip lie in the credentials of the man presenting the ideas: a psychiatrist.
However, the weaknesses lie in the lack of evidence or empirical data.
Although his claims may be true, it seems that much of what he is saying is based on philosophical claims: going into the world of "what the world should be" rather than a purely scientific "what the world is."
Of course, ironically, this approach is linear in itself.
He even addresses said point:
"Pascal - 'The endpoints of rationality is to demonstrate the limits of rationality.'"

In other words, although his claims involve logic and reasoning (thus making them valid), they are not presented with evidence, making the credibility of the video lose some of that value.

Another logical fallacy examined here is the confirmation bias. Obviously, this presentation is a personal voice of the speaker ("I", "me", etc.), so we can safely say that what he discusses is a personal opinion, and not necessarily a scientific claim. He does not rule out rival hypothesis, either, so we can say that this clip is an instance of where someone is interested in saying what they wanted to say: not actually search for truth.

On a side note (just for fun), here are a few lines that I enjoyed:
"For imagination, you need both hemispheres; for reason, you need both hemispheres."
Left - denotative language; abstraction yields clarification; general in nature; lifeless (fixed, isolated, static)
Right - by contrast, offers changing, individual, implicit, incarnate, living, etc. (within the context of the real world)
Pascal - "The endpoints of rationality is to demonstrate the limits of rationality"
Left brain model - "This model is entirely self consistent partly b/c it's made itself so."
Einstein - "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant"

Recently in class we have discussed the impact of violent television shows and violent video games on young developing minds.

This link will bring you to an article discussing the topic of violent video games and their effect on adolescents. The article says that repeated violent actions on the game acts as a reinforcer, causing the adolescent to be more prone to be aggressive. The article also discusses that by playing "first-person" games, the adolescent begins to think like the character they are controlling and therefore they become more aggressive.
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The article makes valid points. A child playing a first person shooter gets to feel like they are character. Whatever decisions they make cause the player either harm or reward. Because of this, if in the game the child causes harm to someone, but is rewarded because of it, if he/she is faced with a similar situation in real life, they may decide to cause harm again because they believe it will bring reward.

Although there are many studies showing that aggression and time spent playing video games go hand in hand, these results are merely correlational. The correlation vs causation scientific principle tells us that although these two things are correlated, it does not mean that video games cause aggression.

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In class, we discussed whether violence in the media caused children to misbehave. The general consensus was that it did in fact have an affect on children, but what about music?

If music has suggestive lyrics, then will it cause an increase in violence. The article points out that in a survey, only 30% of the teens actually knew the lyrics and they all interpreted them differently. It also states that people function normally outside of music and that they only start to notice a difference with music videos. Depending on my mood at times I will listen to music that talks about violence, but it never really affects my life and the way I function. Sometimes if I listen to a song that is full of energy, it will get me excited like before hockey games, but rarely do I take the meaning of the lyrics into account. I agree that people do not really take lyrics too seriously, but why is it that videos and movies have a greater affect on society?


Attachment Styles

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As a nanny, I have seen every type of kid imaginable. Every child is attached to their parent in a different way, and you need to know this before the parent actually leaves (this could cause some serious problems if you don't). Psychologists have come up with this classifying as "The Strange Situation." These procedure studies how the child is actually attached to their parents and they came up with four different types of classifications. The first one is secure attachment, this is when once the parent leaves the child is upset but when the parent returns they are joyus and happy again. The second is insecure-avoidant attachment. This is when the child shows indifference to the parent leaving and coming back (the type of kids I love to babysit!). Insecure-anxious attachment is another where the child starts to panic when the mother leaves and then showing mixed emotions when she returns(reaching for the parent yet squirming to get away after they are picked up). And finally disorganized attachment, they react inconsistently to their mothers departure and return and may seem confused. I think these stages are important to know as a parent, babysitter, sibling, family member and even friend. Knowing these will help with the process of the parent leaving and returning and could possibly help out a lot of people. These classifications really help me when I am babysitting because then I am prepared for what I need to do to make sure that child is very comfortable with the process. I wonder how children can possibly break these habits? I'm sure that most just grow out of it and get used to their parents leaving and they realize eventually they will return. But, what should you do if your child never grows out of this phase?
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Food. Friend or Foe?

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When someone says the word bulimia, it brings about a sort of taboo that most people are afraid to talk about. In reality, bulimia is the most common eating disorder affecting one to three percent of our population. It is described as a pattern of bingeing and purging. Someone with this eating disorder may eat up to 10,000 calories in one sitting and then use a variety of means to exit the food from their body including vomiting or abusing laxatives. This disease appears most often in adolescent girls faced with society's pressure to feel thin. The media plays a large role in this pressure by showing the glamorous lifestyles that characters on T.V. shows like Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, and The O.C. portray. Every character looks more beautiful and thinner than the last giving yourself next to impossible standards to compare yourselves too. The media isn't the only factor that may lead to bulimia though. Genetics, trauma, family among others are all factors that contribute to the disease.
Bulimia is far more common than we think. American Idol runner up, Katherine McPhee, told the world that she suffers from the eating disorder bulimia. McPhee became obsessed with her weight at age thirteen, and it has been an uphill battle for her ever since. Through auditioning for American Idol, she has had to learn to cope with multiple triggers including stress. She continued to lose weight throughout the season, and it became evident that McPhee wasn't healthy. She's now open about her condition and is advocating towards healthier lifestyles. It was really brave of McPhee to be so open about her personal life on such an open televised show. It opens the door for parents to talk to their children about eating disorders and the pressures that can cause them.

The link below tells about Katherine McPhee's bulimia struggles.


Eating Disorders are the extreme attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in which an individual looks at food. The most common forms of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa, or anorexia for short, is where an individual will starve him or herself or eat very little. Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia, is where an individual will binge eat and then purge it up so they do not feel guilty about eating so many calories in one sitting. Binge eating, is when an individual cannot control their urge to eat and can gain excessive amounts. An eating disorder does not only affect women, but men as well. However, it is more commonly seen in women with the percentage being 95 percent. A battle with any of these can be life threatening. For some, it is a life long battle. In a lot of situations, an individual will go through treatment and seemingly do not get better. See
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/general-information.php - seeking-treatment
for more information regards to eating disorders.

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As research suggests, when you stimulate the ventromedial part of a rats' brain, the brain looses its appetite to eat. The ventromedial part is the lower middle brain. If you lesion the same area, the rat becomes large. The ventromedial part of a rat's brain plays an important part of eating and appetite. My question is, is that the same for humans? If so, wouldn't one solution to eating disorders be a procedure on the ventromedial part of the brain? For those suffering from anorexia or bulimia they could make a lesion where as those suffering cases of binge eating they could stimulate the area. Of course this isn't a cure but merely a possible solution.

Eating Disorders:

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This article describes what eating disorders do and how they affect the body. It compares males to females and is full of statistics. Some which include: 226 college students (98 males and 128 females) concerning weight, body shape, dieting, and exercise history, the authors found that 26% of the men and 48% of the women described themselves as overweight. Women dieted to lose weight whereas men usually exercised. 1,373 high school students revealed that girls (63%) were four times more likely than boys (16%) to be attempting to reduce weight through exercise and caloric intake reduction. Boys were three times more likely than girls to be trying to gain weight (28% versus 9%).

This article relates to me because I am a full time college student and i realize what would happen if i decided to make these certain choices and obtained an eating disorder. I do my best to eat healthy and this helps me see the affects it has on people who have them. This is a very helpful article to see how dangerous an eating disorder can become.


This theory shows that babies form attachments to their parents not because of the nourishment they provide but the physical contact which they have with their babies-leading them to feel positive emotions. Contact comfort is the substitute for imprinting in some mammals, the young will form attachments to whoever (or whatever, in the case of rhesus monkeys) provides them with the most comfortable physical touch.
They will be more inclined to seek the person (or thing) that provided them with this comfort when faced with a scary stimulus. In rhesus monkeys, Harlow showed that this need was greater than the need for nourishment.
In addition to this, it is also essential for good physical and emotional health and development. Children who grow up in orphanages are sometimes seen to have poor weight gain, infants tend to sicken and die if they don't have any physical contact. More information can be found on this hypothesis here.
It has also been found that premature babies can be helped by gentle massaging and other physical contact with their parents. This is a way of ensuring their survival and also making sure that they grow up healthy.

Have you ever ran into people who will never see two sides to a story, or believe that their beliefs apply to everybody, and most of all people who can't see the world from another perspective. This perspective shows us that even though the preoperational stage emulates clear thinking, Jean Piaget believed children in this stage were prone to egocentric views. Although this is evident in children, this eventually diminishes, and as adults, most children learn to accept the world through their views along with others. Although this may the case for most people as they age, there are others in the world who seem to hold on to their egocentric ways of living. The Taliban in Afghanistan are a perfect example of this. They feel as if modernized ways of living should be banished, and people should live how they did when Islam started to rise. I've witnessed this, because I'm from Afghanistan as well as my family. Women were oppressed, became widowed, and 10 million children became orphaned. If they learned to adopt other ways of thinking, they would open their minds, and possible their hearts to the people they've hurt throughout these years. It's a very important concept in Psychology, and LIFE. In this video, we see a child who has a brother and a sister. He is then asked if his sister's have only one brother, he says yeah because he doesn't think about himself being their brother as well, therefore exemplifying egocentrism.

Egocentrism also relates to belief conservation. They are 2 different ideas, but both relate to ignorance, and lack of information from other sides of the story.
Here are pictures that elucidate the meaning of egocentrism, and that also show one of Jean Piaget's test of egocentrism within children.
piaget.jpg egocentrism2.jpg

We need to understand why some adults til this day are still egocentric, and the effects it will have on all of mankind in order to create a better society, and have a better understanding of the psychological effects it has to the cognitive development of all people.

Online Dating

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A New York Time Article written by Natasha Singer helps explain why online dating site are fast trends in helping user find their compatible mate. According to "Better Loving through Chemistry" , many website actually implement a scientific structure in matching their clients with potential suitor. One of the most outrageous is calls ScientificMatch.com. This site actually uses DNA testing to determine romantic chemistry base on the individual genetic make -up. The ideas for this web site actually result from research which suggested women are more attracted to smell of men who are different from their own. Unfortunately, the sites charges user $1,995.95 for a lifetime membership, granted they actually provide cheek swabbing kit, DNA processing, background check and verification of age and marital status. The Today Show elaborates how the processes work. First DNA is collect and the Major Histocompatibilty Complex immune system genes are compared. If all 3 pair of the alleles are different a couple is consider a perfect match. This is an expensive solution, but don't worry. Sites such as Chemistry.com and it founder Match.com provide a reasonably price range that try to get to the heart of attraction. Instead of using DNA testing they base on traits of temperament. Here, the ideas similarity such as values, family background and social styles strongly accounted for a match. This upheld the Lilienfeld's claims that similarity paves the way for mutual understanding in the long run.

On October 31st, Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from husband Kris Humphries just after 72 days of being married. Was Kim and Kris meant for each other? Popular psychology about love and compatibility would say otherwise. Similarity is a big factor in attraction. Kim and Kris came from totally different worlds. Kim enjoyed shopping and living the high life, where Kris enjoyed outdoor activities and living a practical life. Kim was used to spending lots of money on herself and buying the highest quality of everything, Kris was not so used to this. Since these two are complete opposites, there marriage was not meant to last. Proximity is also an important factor. Kris first lived in Minnesota and currently lives in New York, where Kim has lived in California her whole life. They were never close to each other, which in the end put a strain on their relationship. Reciprocity is one of the most important factors in making a relationship last. Kim did not want to move and neither did Kris. Kim also did not want to give up her last name and take his. She also did not like dogs, where Kris did not want to give up anything to accommodate to his new wife. Since the two of them were not willing to give or take, their relationship would not last. Looks is obviously not the only thing that makes a relationship. Kim is one of the most beautiful women in the world, so Kris was automatically attracted to her. Since Kris is a little bit more old-school, he believes that the men should have the jobs and be financially secured. Kim makes more than he does and was not willing to give up her job. Due to popular psychology, the two were never meant to last for a very long time. If they would have considered these statements before, they would have lasted longer.

In class we have talked about the effects of different types of media on children. We saw that after watching violent programming the children mimicked the moved they saw. Most were able to take this evidence and conclude that violence should be taken out of media available to children.
This is not an easy task when trying to make laws. In the United States a law involving the infringement of any amendment in the bill of rights must undergo what is known as the "strict scrutiny" test, in which the state must show compelling interest in removing a right. This topic came before the US Supreme Court in June, and it was decided that a law that had been put in place that made attaining violent video games the same as attaining pornography was unconstitutional.
Supreme Court Ruling
The vote was 7-2, with the majority saying there was not enough proof that these games lead to violence later on in life. The Justices reviewed material which showed that the games clearly caused a raised aggression level in the children. The link between causation and correlation is undeniable, but the majority opinion states that this correlation only lasts for a few minutes. There is no way to tell if these few minutes of increased aggression, with no real violence shown, could lead to committing crimes or an aggressive adulthood.
The majority also stated that violence in children's media has always existed; just look at the endings of most fairytales. This goes to show that even if we as psychologists can see evidence, vast amounts of research are needed before laws can be changed to best put that research to use in society.

In our text book, 4 different styles of parenting are brought up. They are: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative, and uninvolved. Permissive parents us discipline sparingly and often shower their children with attention. Authoritarian parents are super strict and show little affection for their children. Authoritative parents are the best of both worlds; they give their children freedom but set firm limits and rules. Uninvolved parents as you guessed it are just not involved in their child's life and just ignore them. Because these styles of parenting only show correlation and not causation Heinz Hartmann came up with the term average expectable environment. Average expectable environment is an environment that provides children with basic needs for affections and discipline. That basically means that as long as a parent's parenting style falls within this their children will turn out just fine. But what if it falls outside of that area? An example we can use to show what happens is with Regina George from the movie Mean Girls. Her mom is permissive. She gives Regina permission to do whatever she wants, and does not discipline her for any of her actions. By her doing this Regina, is a bully at school. She bosses people around, thinks she can get whatever she wants, and has to be the center of attention. By not having discipline more than likely led to Regina being this way. She never got the right balance of love and discipline. Now, I'm not saying that this caused her to be this way, because some kids have moms like Regina's and they are just fine. Regina is just an example of what can sometimes happen when children do not experience the average expectable environment.

Placebo Buttons

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This article addresses the effectiveness of buttons we use in our everyday lives. Many of the buttons we use every day are nothing more than placebos. The three main culprits are walk buttons at crosswalks, thermostats, and the "close door" buttons on elevators. Most of the time, these types of buttons only positively reinforce the behavior of pressing the button. The elevator will eventually close and the stoplight will eventually turn whether we press these buttons or not. In fact, most elevators installed since the early 1990's have non-functioning "close door" buttons.
According to this video, the main reason behind the non-functioning crosswalks is the expense to remove them. The former Traffic Commissioner, Sam Schwartz, said, "90 percent of them do nothing, except the psychological benefit of pressing the button". As for thermostats, larger companies with office buildings don't want their employees messing with the temperature constantly. To prevent complaints and to give the employees the impression that they are in control, the companies install fake thermostats, and sometimes even white noise generators to trick the employees.
I can understand why it makes sense for the crosswalk and thermostats to be placebos, but I can't think of a good reason that the "close door" button shouldn't work. It makes sense that pedestrians should not be able to alter traffic flow and that companies want to save money by controlling the temperature in their building, but what harm could the "close door" button have? Isn't the worst case scenario that the elevators become slightly more efficient? Either the person doesn't press a functioning "close door" button and there is no difference, or the person does press it and they save an average of 2 seconds (according to the video). The only explanation I can think of is that the companies want to save the money it takes to make the button functional because almost no one can tell the difference.

Fathers and Children

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From the Lilienfield text, the role of the father is discussed on page 389-390. The text presents differences in parental involvement with children between fathers and mothers. Fathers do not appear to pay as much attention to nor do they seem as loving of their babies as mothers. Fathers do not spend as much time with their babies as mothers (Golombok, 2000). Also, fathers engage with their children in physical play more often than mothers (Parke, 1996). Finally, boys and girls have a tendency to choose their fathers as playmates rather than their mothers (Clarke-Stewart, 1980).
Of particular importance, is how attentive and affectionate fathers are in comparison to mothers as well as how much time fathers spend time with their children. Overall, society says that mothers spend more time with their children than fathers. This societal belief is even more strongly imbedded in certain cultures. It was found that sons with poor relationships with their fathers were more likely to have poor relationships and parenting for their own sons (Doherty, 1991). Thus, strained relationships between fathers and sons may carry onto future generations through father-son interactions. It is important for fathers to be involved in their children's lives despite what societal and cultural norms dictate. Such endeavors are beneficial to the development of the children as well for society and culture.

Source: Doherty, W. J. (1991). Beyond reactivity and the deficit model of manhood: A commentary on articles by Napier, Pittman, and Gottman. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 17, 29-32.

Daddy's Little Girl

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Does the Nose Know Best?

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Most women have had the mysterious experience of being turned on by a partner's smell. Though personality and looks definitely play a part in initial attraction, smell may play a larger role than we suspect. Studies have found that how a person smells gives us clues to their genetic make-up, and thus, their potential to be a compatible mate. The first study to indicate this was conducted by Claus Wedekind. 44 men wore the same t-shirt for three days. They refrained from deodorants and scented soaps to keep their natural smell. Women then smelled the shirts and recorded which ones smelled the best. By comparing the DNA of the women and men, it was found that women didn't just choose randomly. They preferred the scent of man whose major histocompatibility complex (MHC), series of genes involved in our immune system, was most different from their own. From an evolutionary perspective, choosing a mate with a different immune system makes survival sense. Kids of parents with different immune genes are more likely to be disease-resistant and are therefore more likely to survive. An interesting exception to the MHC attraction is for women taking the pill, who responded the opposite than would be expected. Because the pill tricks your body into thinking it is pregnant, it chemically alters your sense of attraction. Instead of finding the scent of genetically dissimilar men attractive, women on the pill found the scent of men with MHC's similar to their own to be attractive. This may be because when a woman is pregnant, she isn't looking for a new mate, and may benefit from being around those with a similar genetic make-up. Though certainly the scent of a man can be a powerful indicator of genetic compatibility, it certainly doesn't dictate everything. If a woman falls in love with a man, and then begins the pill, she's not likely to lose interest. And there are certainly other factors at play than just scent. Our noses may help us find the mate most suited to us, but it's ultimately up to our minds to decide whether or not we like what we've sniffed out. So in my opinion, use your nose, but make sure you don't only depend on scent.


Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that consists of a cycle of bingeing and purging. A bulimic person may eat excessive amounts of food containing many calories, followed by a form of purging. Purging is a means of eliminating the mass amount of calories consumed by means of vomiting or taking laxatives. Guilt, anxiety, and loss of control are common feelings associated with bulimia because it often feels like one cannot stop eating. Purging acts as a negative reinforcement by taking away the negative feelings that revolve around eating and gaining weight.

Less common, anorexia nervosa, is a very serious eating disorder that often begins in adolescence. Those who suffer from this disease often become extremely emaciated and are repulsed by the thought of becoming obese. Anorexia has been named one of the most life-threatening psychological conditions, with a death rate of about ten percent.


The photograph above shows that those who suffer from eating disorders often perceive their body differently than others. She see's herself as having more body fat than desirable; though, realistically, she image in the mirror is probably of a healthy body mass index (BMI) and her body looks like that of a skeleton. If an individual denies their body from the nutrition it needs to be healthy, it has several consequences.

As a portrayal of these consequences, Isabelle Caro, gives the public and honest image of anorexia nervosa. She took a stand against her disorder through an Italian ad campaign against anorexia and the negative influence of the fashion industry. She posed as a model, showing off her boney physique and explaining how the lack of nutrition has damaged her hair and caused her to lose several teeth.


Eating disorders are very serious psychological conditions that greatly impact the body. The damage done to the body is life threatening to those that fall victim to the condition. With the media portraying skinny models as a social norm, it is important that individuals, like Isabelle Caro, share their stories to show how serious eating disorders are.


Like many of my peers, I enjoy tuning into the Public Radio International program, This American Life hosted by Ira Glass. Last week's episode was focused on the Middle School Experience, largely reflected on as one of the most brutal parts of a person's life. Middle school is prime time for much of the learning and development we've been discussing in lecture and recitation so it was a bit shocking (and yet hysterical) when the first person interviewed, actually a producer on the show who had taught previously taught in a middle school, says, "I don't know that they actually learn anything..." His stance is that so much mentally (Erikson's "identity crisis" for example), physically and socially is going on that facts and figures simply don't stick. Another interviewee, a middle school principal disagrees and believes that middle school is a very important environment because it's largely where kids are learning how to properly socialize and become adults. She seems to take an approach I believe in, that it's how the parents, teachers and other adults in middle schoolers' lives react to the kids' thoughts and feelings and changes their going through, because "We can't help what's biologically going on with them." Nurture, rather than nature. Each act depicts trials and triumphs of middle school life with the final act containing an unexpected twist- the power of peer pressure for good; a teacher using her students' newly developing empathy to assist a classmate with anger issues by talking through his problems and finding solutions rather than bickering back and forth.
The episode was awesome because of how easy it is to relate to it. I don't know that I know of anyone who claims that middle school was an enjoyable experience; however, looking back and especially with further knowledge on adolescent development, I find it hard to not appreciate middle school for the experience.

Blame Your Parents

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baby-headphones.jpgDon't you wish you were a little smarter? Who doesn't? You can only blame your parents for your lack of intelligence. If only they would have had you listen to Mozart as a baby, then you would be getting an "A" in psychology and finding cures to cancer.

An article that was published in the journal Nature declared that college students who listened to Mozart improved their scores on spatial reasoning tasks. This became known as the Mozart Effect, and companies went wild. They made CD's for babies and claimed that listening to classical music would boost their intelligence. One website that advertises such products is HowToLearn.com.

However, more recent research has revealed that there is no such "Mozart Effect". The original finding in 1993 was used on college students and did not imply that the effects could be generalized to babies. It also did not say that it would result in the long-term enhancement of intelligence. This can be further explained here.

The Mozart Effect can be evaluated using the Six Principles of Scientific Thinking. First, the principle of Replicability can be used. Researchers had a difficult time replicating the original findings of the study in 1993. Many couldn't find the effect, and others found that its effects were trivial or were of short duration. So because the results of the original experiment could not be duplicated, its findings cannot be considered reliable.

The second Principle of Scientific Thinking that can be used to evaluate the Mozart Effect is Occam's Razor. This principle looks for a simpler explanation of the data. Researchers have suggested that the Mozart Effect may be due to a greater state of arousal found after listening to the music. Anything that boosts one's arousal or alertness, will likely increase his/her performance on a mentally demanding task.

Because the original findings of the Mozart Effect cannot be replicated, and because a simpler explanation fits the data, we can declare the claims of the Mozart Effect to be unreliable. We can no longer look to blame our parents for failing to play Mozart for us; they knew all along that listening to classical music wouldn't help us in the long run.

Picture taken from:

"Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding" Textbook

People who knew John Wayne Gacy would describe him as a loving, hardworking, and giving man. In his spare time, he posed as a clown for sick children, and helped out in the community. Even after convicted of 33 murders in addition to several accounts of rape and torture, those who knew John Wayne Gacy stood by him. But how do you stand by a man convicted of all of these crimes?

Gacy was born in 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. As a child, he was beat and taunted by his alcoholic father. Many reports believe that his father's role in his life led to Gacy's violent behavior. Because his father robbed him of his childhood, it could be said that Gacy's obsession with clowns later in life was his way of redoing his childhood. When Gacy was on death row, it was reported that he would only draw clowns in his jail cell.

The first report against Gacy appeared in 1968 when he was arrested for raping an employee, and paid that employee to keep silent about the incident. Unfortunately, this incident was the first of many to appear. In just three years, John Wayne Gacy killed over 30 adolescent boys from the ages of 9 to 27 years old. Although few were let go after being tortured and sexually assaulted, most were buried in the crawl space of Gacy's small Chicago home. According to an article of Clark Prosecutor, Gacy told detectives "'There are four Johns.' He later explained that there was John the contractor, John the clown, and John the politician. The fourth person went by the name of Jack Hanley. Jack was the killer and did all the evil things."

Even though at the time of the arrest Gacy admitted to the murders and drew up a plan of where the bodies were buried in the crawl space of his house, Gacy refused to admit to the murders 13 years after being sentenced. In an interview with Walter Jacobson, Gacy changes his story and believes he did not commit any crimes.

John Wayne Gacy was put to death by lethal injection in 1994. Before his injection, he was allowed a private picnic with loved ones who still stood by him and believed he was innocent.

Violent? Or no?

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This article, published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, talks about how TV violence can make children be more violent themselves. It states that television violence can make children immune to violence, help them accept it as a form of problem solving, and cause them to imitate the violence that they see on TV.


In discussion sections, we have also gone over these same findings, and have generally concluded them to be true. However, we were also given articles to read that maintained that violent television and games had positive attributes as well; one even claimed that this violence helps to decrease violent behaviors in adolescents.

Overall, I feel like this is an issue where the correlation doesn't equal causation principal applies well. We are not sure whether aggressive children, are more likely to watch violent shows, and therefore are simply more violent because they already had the tendency to be more aggressive. It could also be that children who grow up in more violent environments have parents who do not care what they watch, so they are able to watch more violent television. These children may grow up to be more violent, even though the television they watched may not be to blame.

Therefore, before judgments are made, more controlled experiments are needed to determine the cause effect relationship. That can be seen in the video we watched in class, because they compared children's reactions to Barney and the Power Rangers. The video showed that the two shows brought about completely opposite behaviors, suggesting that the Power Rangers did in fact invoke violent behaviors.

In the end, however, we cannot conclude from these studies if these behaviors correlate into long term effects on the children or not. So, more information is definitely needed to report the cause effect relationship to be confirmed.

Human Attraction in Animals

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So I read carl4266's blog , wich explained research that claimed that there is a deep biological need for human attraction. As our textbook has pounded into our heads, research needs to be replicated if were are to accept its claims. In my opinion, a good way to support an evolutionary/biological view is through animal research, because animals are more inclined to only follow their basic reproductive instincts than humans, almost creating a control on variables involving human personal preference. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota, on lion manes, provided very similar results as the one on human attraction. Female lions clearly prefer males with darker manes, opposed to those with lighter ones. A darker mane indicates more testosterone in a male lion--much like a more masculine face in a male human--than a lighter mane. These findings demonstrated that certain, more attractive, physical features conveyed the presence of good genes and fertility--much like a symmetrical face to humans--giving more support to the claim that much of attraction is biologically rooted in the need to pass on the most desirable genes to a lions, or humans, offspring.

I recently found an article from Psychology News titled "Perception of Facial Expressions Differs Across Cultures." In this article, a group of researchers from University of Glasgow are using falsifiability to refute what has been presented to us in our Lilienfeld textbooks of Psychology 1001. According to them, East Asians and Western Caucasians differ in how they interpret angry, happy and sad faces. Prior evidence has been presented that all humans entail the 7 primary emotions of fear, anger, disgust, happiness, sadness, contempt and surprise. According to our textbook, these primary emotions are cross-culturally universal. These emotions are the biologically based emotions from which other emotions arise, even though the negative emotions may be harder to interpret. However, the Glasgow researchers used statistical image processing techniques to examine how 15 chinese and 15 caucasian participants viewed the facial representations. Neutral based images were altered and shown to the participants and they were instructed to categorize the facial expressions. This study found that the chinese tend to rely on the eyes and caucasians tend to rely on the mouth and eyebrows when classifying facial expressions. These distinctions could lead to misinterpretations across cultures, which is different from what has previously been thought. This study does not go against the Discrete Emotional Theory, which states that humans experience a small amount of emotions that are biologically rooted. This is because this study only researched a total of 30 participants which can not be enough to conclude much. Overall, it is important to take into account this study, and others, when understanding the cultural differences in communication.

The process of lie detection is pretty self explanatory; it is the act of determining whether a person is lying or not. Polygraph tests are what are used to detect lies. But are they really effective?

The polygraph test measures blood pressure, respiration, pulse, and skin conductivity. During the time when the person being tested is hooked up to the polygraph machine, the examiner is asking questions to the person being examined. The more of the four previously stated symptoms that are shown while the accused is answering a question, the more likely it is that he/she is lying in their response to that certain question. When humans lie, we have a tendency to breath faster, have higher blood pressure, faster heart beat, and we tend to perspire; especially in the hands. Click this link to see a video on how a polygraph machine works.

The polygraph machine consists of a computer(or a machine recording the data), a blood pressure cuff(to measure blood pressure), galvanometers(to record skin conductivity), and pneumographs(to measure rate of breaths taken).

Sure, these tests do provide us with some information as to whether the person is lying or not; but we can't be sure that this information is credible. Most scientists consider lie detection to be a pseudoscience. It is said that the polygraph tests are entirely correct only about 5-10% of the time. This is a prime example of replicability and falsifiability; replicability because after the first test with the suspect, they may learn how to fool the test, as there are many ways that are thought to deceive the polygraph machine. And falsifiability because the tests have been proven to be false representations of the truth, but also have been proven to work as well. Here are a few ways that people claim to beat a lie detector. Try as they might to deceive the test, a skilled polygrapher can detect these attempts. Check out this video to get a better idea of how polygraph tests are administered and how lies are detected on them.

Although these articles and videos prove that lie detector tests do work, I would like to know a few things about them. First off, why, if they work so well, don't we use them more often? Are there other reasons for why some people truly believing in the tests, while others are on a drastically opposite side? Do the tips on beating the test actually help, or do they fail, like in the video?

IQ scores

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What exactly is an IQ score? An IQ score is derived from how well a person does on an exam measuring their "intelligence quotient." This exam consists of several different standardized tests and is justified as a scholarly way to gauge intelligence.

Over someone's adulthood, no matter how many times they take the IQ test, their scores are always consistent. This shows that the IQ test is extremely reliable in the sense of test-retest reliability.

IQ scores are associated with many important real-world behaviors outside the classroom and workplace too. They are associated with health-related outcomes including sickness and car accidents. IQ scores are also associated with crime, the lower the IQ score, the higher chance of criminal tendencies. The politics behind IQ scores hold true. There is barely any difference in the IQ scores of men and women. On the other hand, there is a huge difference in IQ scores in the sense of race. White people on average score 15 points more than black people do on IQ tests, but they do show substantial overlap.

The correlation between IQ scores and life achievements remains essentially identical even at extremely high levels of IQ, which doesn't make much sense to me because I feel as though Stephen W. Hawking and Albert Einstein have achieved so much more in their lifetime than a standard employee at a company.

Genetic and environmental influences on IQ are very consistent. Through family studies, IQ scores run fairly consistent, but we don't know whether it's for genetic reasons, environmental reasons, or both. Twin studies on the other hand have strongly suggested genetic influence.

In my opinion, IQ scores can be used to gauge intelligence to an extent. Test taking ability plays a huge role in IQ scores and just because someone gets a lower IQ score than me, I do not consider them any less intelligent than me.

children_imitading.jpg >:(
The mystery of how video games truly effect children remains varied, however research all points to fairly immediate aggression directly after encounters with repeated, elongated amounts of violence. After viewing the video recording of children's behavior after watching Power Rangers vs. Barney, it should be obvious that there is some effect violence has on people. This study done by Gentile & Anderson (2003) states how their study indicates that repetition of violence in video games where children are repeating violent behaviors as they play has strong effects on a child's aggression. Repetition of the game is key, because repetition increases learning. However, all research cannot apply to each individual as they are. As conjured up from the articles provided in class as well as the textbook and additional research, it is all correlational at best. That being said, it could be very well possible that a third variable would be a child's genes, or maybe the environment they grew up in (or both...?). From personal experience, I have many friends who grew up watching and playing violent video games, however they are all varied across the horizon on their aggression levels. I wonder how a longitudinal study done on children from different backgrounds aligned with studies on possible aggression genes (as this article states) would reveal more information? Could the gene-environment interaction illustrate the idea behind the correlation between aggression and violence in the media? More studies will have to bring us closer to a conclusion.

Sex Appeal in Humans

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Often times we find ourselves attracted to people at first sight, but have you ever thought of why this really is? Yes, it's obvious they're attractive to us, but what truly drives attraction? Researchers are finding evidence that attraction is a biological concept rooted deep in our mind that we subconsciously perceive. The Discovery Channel did a television series called the Science of Sex Appeal, which analyzed many different ways in which we perceive beauty, one of them being the Golden Ratio. In the video below there is an excerpt from this series talking about the Golden Ratio and talking about the software that can be used to calculate the beauty of someone's face using this ratio. A perfect score being a 10, about a 5 is average when rating a person's face and anything over a 6 is usually considered attractive. Our mind subconsciously computes this with every person we meet, rating their general attractiveness. Another way we calculate beauty without thinking (also shown in this video) is by the masculinity or femininity of the face. A face a female perceives is usually considered more attractive when it's masculine and has a wider and longer jaw, and thicker eyebrows. For men it's the opposite when they're attracted to women.
So why are these rules of attractiveness important? Our brain calculates beauty because the more beautiful a face is, the more likely it is that their genetics will also be good, so this is an Evolutionary trait that's been forming so that the human species can benefit from reproduction. If every person in the world was found attractive, some bad genetics would be passed down, causing negative consequences for the species over time.
So now next time you see a person who you find attractive, you can now know exactly why this happens. Maybe think to yourself about the masculinity of femininity of their face, or how symmetrical they were. Things like this are very important in person to person attraction, and there is a deep biological need for them.


Binded, Tortured, and Killed

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In the beginning, Dennis Rader's neighbors referred to him as an "ordinary, unassuming man." To his family, the wThe BTK Killer Speaks (2005)1.jpgords "soft spoken" and "family man" were all words perfect in description. After a shocking investigation, however, both family and friends of Dennis Rader would come to realize that this ordinary member of society was also classified as a notorious psychopath, often referred to as the "BTK" because he binded, tortured, and killed his victims. Seemingly identical to the majority of the population, Dennis Rader and other serial killers like him, differ substantially in certain physiological functions. In an interviewwith the infamous BTK killer, the killer refers to the drive inside of him to murder as the "Factor X." He describes it as a feeling of a loss of control; he thinks he might have been dropped on his head as a child because the feelings inside of him are unnatural. Unintentionally, the BTK killer is suggesting that there is indeed a biological difference between the psychopathic brain and a typical brain. This idea is supported in an article written in Crime Times. The article suggests that most psychopaths differ in their reactions to fear-provoking stimuli. In addition, the fear-potentiated startle reflexes of psychopathic individuals is minor in comparison to non-psychopathic. Personality traits such as self-confidence, impulsiveness, and aggressiveness also play a crucial role in the make-up of a psychopath. So while Dennis Rader, may seem like a calm and collected individual, the "Factor X" inside of him may actually exist.

video-game-kid.jpgIn my opinion, playing violent video game can't contribute to aggression. Looking across all the articles I read, I think I am most convinced by the third article which is called "Violent Games Not To Blame For Youth Aggression, Study Suggest" (ScienceDaily Dec. 14, 2010). 302 mainly Hispanic youth between the ages of 10 and 14 years were in the experiment. After 12 months from the beginning of the experiment, they were interviewed the second time for collecting the data. The experimenter found out that depressive symptoms were a really important reason for aggression. At the end of the experiment, the experimenter Christopher Ferguson concludes:" current levels of depression may be a key variable of interest in the prevention of serious aggression in youth". The second article convinced me the least, because it did consider other reason for people aggression but only find the information they were interested in. In my opinion, current depression is not only a big reason for aggression, but also there are some other important variables. For instance, violent movies or music also may cause people's aggression. We can see violence news all the time on TV. People even can watch real crime around them. For those things I mentioned, they are more realistic than those fake pictures violent video game. So they might are important reasons for people being aggressive. On the other hand, according to one of the six scientific thinking principles: extraordinary claims, we need some scientific design experiments to approve those views. If I were a experimenter, I would design the experiment for approving more crime rate around individuals can cause more aggression. First, I will find as more participants as I can. And randomly select them from both high crime rate area and low crime rate area as the control group. Second, I will find participants from each different areas as experiment groups. Using the longitudinal design to follow each individual for years and compare them with other people for other grounds at the end of the experiment. Then, I will give a reasonable conclusion about my research.

The Mozart Effect

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In the Lilienfeld textbook, the Mozart Effect is discussed. The Mozart Effect is the idea that listening to classical music increases intelligence.

(image taken from google images)

The above image is of the cover of a CD sold for babies. The CD contains classical music. Notice the caption "From Playtime to Sleepytime." This suggests that the babies can listen to the music while playing or sleeping and the music will have the same effect to improve intelligence. According to the textbook, the Mozart Effect did not last long term. In tests, it was shown that it had short term effects but no long term. Without the long term effects, it does not help intelligence.
Also, parents tend to buy "Baby Einstein Toys." These toys are said to improve intelligence in babies but have no evidence to back them up. It is scientifically proven that children that participate in physically active activities have higher intelligence then those who watch videos such as "Baby Einstein." The reason for this is the children that are active experience the lessons first hand rather than watching someone else experiences them through a video. When someone experiences something on their own they are more likely to remember the lesson learned from it. For example, I read countless children books about kids falling and scraping their knees from tripping over their shoelaces. Until I experienced falling a scraping my knee after being too lazy to tie my shoelaces, I had learned no lesson. After my firsthand experience, I was always certain to tie my shoes.

Thumbnail image for MomDadand-Baby.jpg
Parents are a huge part of a child's life. However they act, whatever they say, anything that they do largely impacts a child's development from the moment they are born. According to psychologist Diana Baumrind's research, she found that there are four types of parenting styles (Parenting Styles in Psychology, Brittany Olivarez). Through naturalistic observation, parenting interviews, and other research methods, Baumrind identified the following four parenting styles:

  • Authoritative: democratic style of parenting, parents are attentive, forgiving, teach their offspring proper behavior, have a set of rules, and if child fails to follow their is punishment, if followed their is reward/reinforcement

  • Authoritarian: strict parenting style, involves high expectations from parents but have little communication between child and parents. Parents don't provide logical reasoning for rules and limits, and are prone to harsh punishments
  • Permissive: parents take on the role of "friends" rather than parents, do not have any expectations of child, they allow the child to make their own decisions
  • Uninvolved: parents neglect their child by putting their own life before the child's. They do provide for the child's basic needs but they show little interaction with the child

Each of these different parenting styles impacts and influences the development of child. Through Baumrind's observations she found that the most ideal and balanced style that leads to the child being mature, independent, and socially responsible is the Authoritative style (Parenting Styles in Psychology,Olivarez) Baumrind also found that the style commonly leads to children becoming delinquents is the Uninvolved style because of the lack of parenting, affection, and care from the parent leads the child to act out badly for attention (Parenting Styles in Psychology, Olivarez).

Parenting is a large impact in a child's life and development. Most families have a blend of two or more of these parenting types because the mother and father tend to differ when it comes to parenting a child. What we know is that a healthy development leads a child to succeed not only in developing as a person but building a stronger bond to their parents.

v_tough_love_miami_3_09_11_394-1315323902.jpgMore likely than not, you have experienced attraction to someone. It is a part of human nature. So what causes attraction? Scientists have narrowed the major principles to proximity, similarity, and reciprocity. Proximity is how physically close you are to that person. For instance, having a locker next to someone puts them in close proximity to you and makes it more likely that they a relationship will develop. Similarity is how much you have in common. People are much more likely to find someone attractive who is similar to themselves. Lastly, reciprocity is how one person responds to another. For instance, if one person shows that they like a person, it is more likely that the second individual will begin the like the other person back. It is all about give and take.

I find the principles of attractiveness to be very useful because it is so common in our everyday lives. Attractiveness especially plays an important role in the lives of matchmakers. One such matchmaker has come out with a show called Tough Love Miami. In this show, several women are chosen to endure a "boot camp" where they go through challenges to find out what they are doing wrong or right when looking for a man. In psychology, it is said that people judge others by what they look like. Well, in this clip, Leilini is very open about her preference for handsome men. Is also makes a statement that she is looking for a man who is as good-looking as she considers herself to be. Steve, the matchmaker, yells at her for this. However, she is showing one of the principles of attractiveness, the principle of similarity. I am, however, still wondering which principle is used the most whenever it comes to being attracted to a person.


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In an article by David Womack, he focuses on smiling. He mentions how at the artificial intelligence lab at MIT, researchers are engaged in understanding the relationship between facial expressions and emotional states for the purpose of creating advanced robot interfaces. Ironically, the fact that computers do not have to feel the emotions they display gives them a big advantage. Smiles are not all created equal. A true or zygomatic smile requires the contraction of special zygomaticus muscles in the face that are directly linked to the cerebral cortex. The close connection between these muscles and emotion means that a zygomatic smile is very difficult to fake. Humans are also very good at detecting false smiles. We can tell from a young age when people are "faking it." According to the facial feedback hypothesis, you're likely to feel emotions that correspond to your facial features. So if you are smiling, then you are more likely to feel happy. One finding that supports the facial feedback hypothesis is the cartoon study that we did for psych discussion. People were instructed watch cartoons holding a pencil in their mouths, either between their lips or between their teeth. People with the pencils in their lips were therefore prevented from smiling. It turned out that the people with the pencils in their teeth, who could smile, rated cartoons funnier than those who could not. Although there are studies such as this one that support the hypothesis, it's not certain that these effects work by means of facial feedback to the brain. This is a problem with ruling out rival hypotheses- these effects can be explained by other things, such as classical conditioning.
link to article


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Dawt wage
Psychology writing#4
Date- 11/3/11
Emotion is a multiple range of observable behavior, expressed feeling, and changes in the body state .psychologists divided emotions in to two categories. These are primary emotions and secondary emotions. Primary emotions are those that we feel firs, as a first response to a situation. They are unconscious natural response that we have. The primary emotions include, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, surprise, and happiness. They are easily observable on our facial expression and universally similar despite the cultural specificity. The primary emotions do not tell the whole story of our feelings. The secondary emotions are the complex chain of thinking of the primary emotions that come through our experiences. Secondary emotions appear after primary emotions, for example we see a dangerous animal in our way that wants to threaten us, our first response is fear, that fear turns to anger that anger in turn prepares our body to fight back or run away from it.so to get the full picture of someone's condition, it is better to look at both the primary and secondary emotions together.
Some of our emotions take place in a specific region in our brain. For example fear is relatively specific to amygdala, disgust to insula- a region within the limbic system, anger to a region of the frontal cortex behind our eyes. There is no a single process for each of emotional feeling, multiple brain regions participates in all emotions. Is our emotion develops through our life stage? Yes, as we learned in previous lesson, emotional development starts since early age of childhood. Parents have a great influence on their children emotional development to be socially competitive in their future life. Especially, Authoritative style parents encourage children to be independent but still limit and control on their actions. Children of authoritative parents are socially competent, self- reliant, and socially responsible. What is so strike me is that how parents deal with their children determine the children future behaviors. For example, when they grew up, how they react with friends, school teachers, a spouse, and coworkers are depend on how families treat them since child hood age. This is what an authoritative parenting style looks like...An authoritative parenting style image.jpg

Some question the ability for same sex couples to raise children just as well as heterosexual couples. Many studies show that same sex couples are just as well likely to raise children. But the real question here is: Are gay parents more likely to raise gay children?
gay parents.jpg
From the stories of Rebecca Meiksin and Terrance McGeorge, you would expect that they turned out gay because of their gay parents. But in Terrance's case, he did turn out gay and he did have gay fathers but he claims it was all genetics. His father knew from the beginning that he was going to be gay. Rebecca on the other hand, is heterosexual and says that she has never been pressured to be gay by her mothers.
Research scientist Paul Cameron believes that Parents of the same sex influence their children's sexuality based on his research. But couldn't the children that did turn out to be gay from same sex parents, most like be from genetics? Their parents are gay and the genes may have transferred to the child. This is a case of nature vs. nurture. I don't believe same sex parents influence children's sexuality, but open their eyes to accepting the sexuality of others. Some parts of it may be due to genetics or environment. Think about the children who did turn out to be gay with straight parents. How do straight parents influence the sexuality of their children that turn out gay?

Check this article defending gay parents here!

Is Seeing Believing

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"Our brain picks and chooses among the types of sensory information it uses, often relying on expectations and prior experiences to fill in the gaps and simplify processing" (Lilienfeld, 2010). This automatic processing we do everyday of our lives helps us makes sense of the world, however this is also our downfall in that we can easily be fooled by our own brain. This is probably why we are so fascinated by magic shows and illusions. What we think we see and thus believe is dependent on sensation and our perception. Therefore, an illusion can deceive one or both of these to make you believe something that may or may not be real or possible.

Practically every stimulus around us goes through our main sense organs (vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste). From there it undergoes transduction into electrical signals that is sent to the brain, but this is the point where brain processing can go astray. What the brain "thinks" it sees, hear, feel, smell, and/or taste is based on our past experiences; it uses these experiences to interpret the information we can understand.

It is from that information that our perception can, in turn, physically change our response or make us feel or believe something that was caused by the stimulus/stimuli. In addition our perceptions results from multiple senses that affect each other, like our vision and smell, which can make food look appetizing or make us feel sick. Sometimes the brain's false perception could be a good thing. Other times, our perception can also fool us.

The concept of perception is important to understand as this can be used to fool us, such as in magic shows and optical illusions or in the vast amount of advertisements we are bombarded by every day. For those of us that have taken and intro psych. class or understand this concept, it can help us think more carefully and therefore, hopefully, help us avoid being tricked and taken advantage of.

For years, the idea has persisted that divorce has a negative impact on children due to conflict between parents and unhealthy situations. However, divorce may not be that cut-and-dry as previously considered to be. The impacts of divorce stretch beyond the realm of fighting to the decrease in contact between parents and their children as well as deterioration in financial situations.

First off, the conflict that is associated with divorce has commonly been known to cause problems with children. The arguments create an uncomfortable environment that feels insecure to children, causing them stress. Likewise, it can hinder the psychological development of children. The sons/daughters of divorcees are known to respond differently to these conditions based on their age and even their gender. Kids as young as 3 years old have come to think that the divorce was their fault while both children and teenagers are found to experience anger, loneliness, fear, depression, guilt, and resentment. These findings are associated with the conditions of children who have parents that are still married but continue to fight regularly.

At the same time, divorce (when one parent gets custody) can create impacts similar to those of a one-parent family. The contact between the noncustodial parent and their child is known to decrease in quantity/quality. Meanwhile, the custodial parent is most likely required to work more due to the changes with the divorce, taking away time/energy that could be spent with their child. The children who experience this absence of attention often turn toward misbehavior and have low self-esteem. Likewise, the divorce may lead to economic hardships for that family. The income of the custodial parent (especially if it is the mother) is likely to be low, generally being at about poverty level. These adverse effects are seen in children as well due to their lack of nutrition and inability to possess many instruments that would be helpful in their future growth.

Consequently, divorce can lead to consequences beyond the realm of conflict to the lack of attention and nutrition in children, hindering their development. However, there are other things still to be considered: How many children of divorce are actually left in these conditions? Are these conditions as harmful as they are presented? Although the severity alters, it is clear that divorce does have effects on children due to the major change in lifestyle ahead of them.


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Look at the right picture,do you think it is disgusting and shockingly repellent?If you say yes,that means you are a human because hating dense object is the basic instinct of man . In ancient times,serried thing is usually in contact with dangerous eggs,herpes virus infection,social insects and so on.These survival experience have accumulated in our mind for million years .It make us feel bad or even vomiting to escape as so
|on as possible.
But if you have the same feeling or let my scalp pins and needles when you looking the left one ,you may get a kind of Phobias called trypophobia.There are lots of reason can course the disease,the common one is that patients tied the thing he faced when he was hurt in the past and dense object together.The hippocampus remember the unforgettable experience and it will be recalled and replay the feeling when patients meet serried things.

orange juice.pngI recently found an article online discussing how orange juice creates a more positive outlook for people. The article discussed how surveys asked people about their thoughts and feelings towards orange juice and how it affects their lives. Most people responded by saying that it made them feel better about their lives and help them think more positively through out the day.
Later in the article it mentions how people shared positive emotions through analogies and memories about orange juice. However, it is important to note whether or not this study is replicable because of people sharing memories about positive emotions with orange juice one doesn't know if the misinformation effect was used. If the misinformation effect was used during this study it would the research invalid.
The article continues to discuss how this positive outlook caused by orange juice can be seen when 1,002 adults were surveyed nationwide. However because of obtaining information in this form it may not be reliable due to the fact that people can lie during a survey. In order to improve this research they could perform an experiment or do a naturalistic observation.
One thing that the article describes is how orange juice may not only be the cause for the positive outlook. It says that focusing on the simple things in life can also create a positive outlook. This makes orange juice an incorrect causation to this correlation. The article goes on to say that recent studies have shown that people who focus on positive thoughts live a healthier life, which rules out the hypothesis that orange juice is the cause of people living a healthier life. While it may help people live a better life it is not the only cause. To read the full article check out this link, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/research-suggests-orange-juice-evokes-positive-emotions-132995078.html.

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