It's taught me...

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Type A Personality: The American Dream. CEO Of some huge corporation. Drive the jaw dropping sports car into work every morning. Drive back every night to the beautiful spouse waiting for you in the multimillion-dollar mansion. Have the kids running up the front steps just in time for supper and stories of their days. Right?


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What I learned in Psych 1001 is that this could not be more false. While this may be the American Dream for some, others have completely different views. Psych hasn't just taught me to hate love having to memorize who William James or Sigmund Freud is and what they did; rather it's taught me an entirely different thinking strategy. It's taught me that people are completely different. It's taught me that diversity is a beautiful thing.


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When I'm graduated and off in the working world, I'll still be able to use my Psych 1001 days. While this class was a mere brush over everything that the field of Psychology actually is, it's taught me to remain open about thinking. It's taught me to never jump to conclusions. It's taught me to explore all options before I think I've found the perfect solution.

The very commonplace phrase entitling this blog is actually a pretty interesting one to stop and think about. While we as Americans like to claim we know it all and nothing is uncommon territory, we couldn't be more wrong. For many people, the thing they don't know the most is themselves.

I would be hypocritical if I didn't take a second to say I am just as guilty of this as any Average Joe. I wasn't quite aware how guilty I was, however, until I took a couple Implicit Association Tests. The main point of these tests is to see how well you relate to either side of the experiment - Side A or Side B. The tests do it in a rather unique way, however. They measure how well you relate good and/or bad things Sides A and B. From this, it is determined which side you correlate with most and how much so.

I realized after I took a couple of them that I honestly don't know myself as well as I thought I did. It was, however, an eye opening experience that has made me open up my thoughts as I go about my daily activities and helped me to realize that we definitely don't know all that we think we do.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the story of Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski, two lovers who decide to erase all memories of their relationship after it goes sour. We go through the erasing with Joel as well as the realization that giving up all the painful memories isn't worth giving up all the good, happy, beautiful ones. But hakuna matata - by the end of the movie, Joel and Clementine get a hold of tapes that explain the erasing and they decide to restart their relationships even though things might get just as sour as they did the first time and it's all happy glory yippy cute except a little too indie for me.

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Urgh.

The targeted memory erasure that Joel and Clementine go through is a fictional procedure. It supposedly erases a person from your memory by tracking the places in your brain that are stimulated when you think of things related to that person.

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In real life, this procedure is impossible; memories are not stored in set places in the brain, but are rather the result of a countless number of connections, stimulations, and chemicals. We know that certain organs - the hippocampus, the amygdale, etc. - are definitely involved in retaining memory, but we could never zap a certain part of them to erase a certain memory. The closest we've gotten is the drug propanolol, which blunts the memories of trama.

Poor Joel and Clementine. All that drama for a procedure that shouldn't even exist.

First, I just want to make all potential readers go read the "Understanding Love" blog in that British Psychological Society article. Go. Now. I'll even link it below:

http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2011/11/robert-sternberg-understanding-love.html

Ahhhh so cute. And now you're in a better mood so you'll like this post better!

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This blog is hard because there are just so many completely different topics in psychology. I think the most enjoyable part of the class for me was just looking at how diverse and all-encompassing the subject of psychology really is - from personality and social behaviors to child development and memory. I positively devoured all the new terms and vocabulary. However, I think the concept from this class that will stick with me the longest is the six scientific thinking principles. After reading an entire textbook with those principles dispersed throughout, I've started asking myself those questions as I read other textbooks and articles - Is the evidence as strong as the claim? Can we be sure that A causes B? Have important alternative explanations been excluded?

These principles teach you to be more than a fat nerd devouring fact food. They teach you to examine the information you are presented and THINK about what it means, what it's excluding, what biases it contains, etc. The terms and vocab might fade from my memory (I mean, be replaced by other memories), but I think the scientific thinking principles will stay with me for a while.

Upside Down Obama

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Our textbook starts off by addressing the most prominent stereotype of psychology: it's all just common sense. The authors argue that psychology is actually quite challenging, thank you very much, and there are many instances where our common sense will trick us. This is why pssychology is the science (keyword SCIENCE).

Next, the textbook delves into the dangers of pseudoscience and explores a list of logical fallacy, which I find entertaining because I come across so many of them in daily conversation. Some days I'll even go so far as to use a few myself. ;)

After this, Lilienfeld debriefs us on six scientific principles for ensuring that psychology remains a SCIENCE. A brief-ish history of psychology follows and leads into a discussion of psychology today - the professions, the debates, the applications.

In conclusion, Chapter 1 is a pretty typical introduction to introductory psychology.

As for a visual to support what I have written, I think this picture does a pretty quality job:
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...or maybe I just think it's way too funny.

Best blog ever.
My personality analysis of the lover of Lily Evans, the victim of the Marauders, the saver of the wizarding world, the object of my affection, and "the bravest man" Harry Potter ever knew:

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Look how agreeable he looks!

Openness: At first glance slash meeting, the average human being would not describe Severus Snape as particularly "Open to New Experiences." However, by the end of The Half-Blood Prince, we readers have realized that Snape is an intellectually curious, inventive, and powerful wizard/. After all, a Closed wizard could hardly have attained a vast enough knowledge of the Dark Arts to win a duel against three Hogwarts professors; save Albus Dumbledore, Katie Bell, Draco Malfoy, and countless others' lives; and successfully pull the wool over Lord Voldemort's eyes.
Conscientiousness: If Severus Snape is anything, he is careful (aside from situations involving Harry, Sirius, or a challenge of cowardice - in those instances, reckless might be a better adjective). Only an intensely vigilant, calculating, and conscientious individual could have successfully earned and kept the trust of both the goodest and the evilest wizards in the wizarding world (AND kept his true loyalties a secret) until the very end.
Extraversion: I'm sure by now that you've sensed a very defensive pattern in this analysis. That ends here. Snape was one introverted dude.
Agreeableness: "Sociable and easy to get along with." ...BAHAHAHA. Snape, easy to get along with. That's a good one.
Neuroticism: I lied. If Severus Snape is anything, he is neurotic... though perhaps only on the outside. It's true that he's eternally depicted as tense, moody, and socially maladjusted, but there are only a handful of times in the series where Snape is beset by feelings of anxiety, compulsiveness, or obsessiveness. He would view such feelings as weaknesses and refuse to be hindered by them.

Ever since when I was a little boy, I knew everything happens for a reason, maybe a lot of the times they are hard to see or they are way too complex for me to understand, but the answers are out there. Later on I had this thought about Determinism when I was in 11th grade in high school, even before I've read anything about Determinism. It is not really surprising for me to form this idea all on my own, the idea which existed for centuries. Because I have some fundamental knowledge regarding Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. In addition I was able to think freely since I did not believe in an obsolete answer to everything. This idea is determined to form in my brain. Have you ever wondered about why we think the way we think? Why do we make certain decisions? Why did we see the squiggly lines arranged in certain pattern or so called words on our computer screen and make sense in our heads? As you're reading this, you are forming meanings in your head, maybe you will comment, or keep reading the next blog, perhaps you want to pee, or now you want to pee after I mentioned the word "pee". Where am I getting at? I guess I'm saying, that what you do, think, and feel, or will do, will think, and will feel are predetermined! Wait what? How? As I type this, I touch the keyboard, the signal is put into computer as electronic pulses meaning 0 and 1. They are arranged in a way so they will make since inside of a computer, and then the data is transferred via internet. The data gets to the server, stored in magnetic arrangements inside the server hard-drive. You go up on the website, the server sends a copy of the data to your computer. Your computer translate those data into light waves shooting out of your screen. Your eyes catches them and transfer the signals into your brain for processing. You then form a thought based on your brain structure and previous knowledge acquired. This thing will happen, and you will think the way you think right now. The next thing you do, you will do it, there is no way to avoid what you do next. Or what really appears to be free thinking is not really free, you are on a path of getting this piece of thought. Everything happens for a reason. I guess it is really hard to explain it with words. If you get what I said, now consider this, maybe the universe calculate at light speed, if you go closer to light speed, the time slows down, it might be due to the fact where the universe is having a harder time to calculate you! We can never calculate our future because we can't calculate at light speed. But the universe can. Well this blog seem random enough, probably it's because I haven't got much sleep. I'm luck this is only a blog, not a paper. :PFreewill_vs._Determinism.jpg

False Stimulation

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Classic condition was first discovered by Ivan Pavlov. The idea is simple: pair two stimuli together to create the same reaction. The most famous example of this is his experiment with dogs. He paired to stimuli, food and a bell. He would ring the bell and shortly after give the dog food. Eventually the dog would hear the bell and think this means I'm getting food and would cause the dog to salivate.
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This made me think, what stimuli make me react falsely like the dog to the bell? Here's one that came to mind: picture yourself in the shower. When the water gets too hot you step out from under the shower. Seems simple right? Now you hear a toilet flush and if you're smart you'll step out of the water. This seems unnatural though. Why does a toilet flushing make me step out of the water? It's simple. Just like the dog learned that the bell meant food humans have learned that a flushing toilet means hotter water.
Next time you react, no matter how simple, I challenge you to consider and question why you reacted in the manner you did.

Science, as defined in the dictionary, is systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. But how do we know we are right? In text books there is an answer key for every problem. There is no answer key for life. I was recently pondering this idea: most of science is based off of models of reality, not reality itself. For example, let's consider the science of economics. In a simple example, if there is more demand than supply in theory that should drive up prices. My question is why?
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Most people would start to talk explain that because of scarcity, the determining factor in who gets the resource is determined by who offers the most compensation, which logically to most people makes sense, and accepts it as true. But does it need to be true, or is it even true? While this question may seem difficult, the answer is simple: it's the only way humans know how to solve the problem of scarcity, at least the way the majority believes it to be. Most have come to accept this supply and demand model because science says it to be true. This brings me to my final point. How much do we, as humans, let these representations of reality(science) influence our behavior?

baby2.jpgIn the coming years I think that Piaget's principle of stages and debate that surrounds around it is what will stick with me the most. Growing up my parents talked about the stages of development and that my cousins were "just in that stage." Through learning about the controversy with Piaget's principle I have learned that development is much more continuous than when I grew up. This is obviously important to know as my friends and siblings are having children of their own. This controversy is something that will affect many, even without having children of their own.

It's amazing that the idea of babies developing "in their own time" is not a new concept. I know especially with some of my friends that have children that they start to worry when their children aren't where they should be in development. With the concept of development being continuous, using this information will greatly ease the worries of those in my life that some may call "Nervous Nellies".

Like most adolescents, I fought to stay awake as late as possible, and nap time was the last thing I wanted to do. Now that I'm in college, I certainly have learned to appreciate a good nap. Sleep is something that I have never thought much about, and learning about it in Psychology has definitely piqued my interest. From the different stages of sleep and when we are most likely to dream, to the disorders of sleep that many people suffer through, I never realized that so much happened while we were in this restful state. It will be years before I forget what REM sleep is, when our brains shift into high gear and we experience rapid breathing. Dreams fascinate me, and it is in this stage that we dream the most. What I will remember most vividly, however, is when I experience REM-rebound and had some of the most intense dreams I can remember, filled with detail and excitement. I have my college workload to thank for that experience, but it definitely helped me remember and understand sleep more than any textbook could do. This is an interesting article from Scientific American which discusses REM-rebound and some different circumstances which may bring about these intense nights of sleep. (thumbnail.aspx.jpghttp://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-less-sleep-means-more-dreams)

Five years seems like such a long time, but it'll be here before you know it! Many things will be different from advances in technology to the way everyday life is lived. Technology might take over every aspect of life, however relationships will still remain "old-fashioned". Five years from now, when I look back at Psychology 1001, I will remember the "Rules of attraction" which are the basis for relationships. These rules include: proximity, reciprocity, and similarity.
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Looking at the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast, we see that these rules apply perfectly. In this movie, the lead male character and the lead female character fall in love from being with one another for extended periods of time (proximity). They also find that they have more in common than first assumed (similarity) and do give compliments, words of encouragement and support throughout the films (reciprocity). Considering that I grew up watching this film, it's safe to say that the "Rules of attraction" will stick with me.

Overall, it's safe to say that other aspects of psychology may change, however the premise relationships are built off of will not. For a relationship to last forever, proximity, reciprocity, and similarity are necessary.

As Psych 1001 draws to a close, one topic stands out to me among all the concepts covered in the course. That topic is how our memory systems work. The human memory system is conceived of 3 different systems, sensory, short term, and long term memory.The most interesting part of the memory systems was how it was affected by long term potentiation, or LTP. Memory grows stronger as the neurons in our brains fire more. This is due to the strengthening of neural pathways over repeated usage. As a prospective medical student, this intrigues me due to the possible consequences in the clinical field. This could aid in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's or dementia. The degeneration of long term memory is a hot topic in the current medical climate due to its harmful affects on the quality of people's lives. A possible treatment for this degeneration could involve repeated exposure to stimuli that trigger activity along weakening neural pathways. Obviously much more research would be necessary before anything substantial is achieved, but the topic bears keeping in mind for the next 5 years, if not longer. psych blog pic 4.jpeg

The Science of Arousal

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I had never really stopped to focus on the science behind many of the successful advertisements for large companies. In the next 5 years I will remember our discussion on the study of behavior, stimuli and responses, and how advertisements become so effective.
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Our discussion section looked at how the beer product associated with a beautiful woman creates arousal, which motivates people to buy the beer; not because they want to roll around in beer bottle caps, but because they want to experience the excitements and arousal that they associate with that product.
Plastic Surgery Ad
By using an image of an attractive woman with a "perfectly constructed" nose, people who looking for a way to adjust their physical appearance feel a drive and desire to look "more attractive" and will go out and use the plastic surgery service to achieve a happy response that they think will result in a higher self-esteem.
While not all ads use attractive men and women to create arousal or excitement in the people viewing these ads, the science behind advertisements' use of stimuli to result in conditioned and unconditioned responses is fairly basic and spans across most successful ads. I will remember our study of behavior 5 years from now because even if the sources and forms that ads come in will change, the science behind their images will not.
Click here for more interesting ads

As the semester comes to a close one lesson I can't seem to forget was our discussion of the principles of attraction, Similarity, Proximity, and Reciprocity. The debate surrounding how those principles affect our relationship choices is one I will ponder long and hard in the future. Why you ask? Because like most humans my relationships, romantic or otherwise, are the most central things in my life, and will continue to be of great if not greater importance in my future.
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Though I fully expect my opinions on which principles have the greatest effect to change in the future, I shall outline how I feel now at the moment. In class we learned that similarity in terms of education level, values, interests etc. plays a very large role in who we like. I agree with this, especially on the values level, but also have had experience with the opposites attract theory, and do not think similar interests are essential. Reciprocity struck me as obvious, why waste your time with someone that does not return your interest? But what I found most interesting was the principle of proximity. Never before had I considered how my romantic relationships and major friendships had come from those seated near me in class or simply involved in multiple activities with me etc. As I move forward from this class and college itself I hope to test my current opinions and weigh them against my experiences to see how great of an effect these principles actually have. Five years from now I expect to be surprised at how they have effected my most lasting relationships.

Phineas Gage was a railroad foreman who survived a traumatic accident in 1848. He was filling holes with gunpowder when an explosion caused a tamping iron to shoot under his cheekbone, out through his skull. This accident destroyed a good majority of Gage's prefrontal cortex. It was incredible that he survived and was able to walk within minutes after the accident. After he found a doctor to treat his wounds, fungus began to form in his wound, which is why many expected him to die. Fortunately, he recovered within weeks and lived a normal life. It's often argued whether he was the same man as he was before. I can't see how it would be possible for him to live the same life he was living before the accident, considering the fact that the prefrontal cortex was damaged so severely. After all, it is the part of the brain that is responsible for a person's thinking, planning, and language.
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This is a concept that I will be able to remember very well over the next five years. I believe this to be true because I am so amazed that anyone could survive such a terrible accident and still be able to live a "normal" life. Also, the picture of Gage's skull with the tamping iron sticking out of it is a nauseating visual that I don't think I'll be able to get out of my head. Nonetheless, I still find this story to be very intriguing and a great one to share with people who are unfamiliar with it.

For more information and details on the story click on this link below.
http://neurophilosophy.wordpress.com/2006/12/04/the-incredible-case-of-phineas-gage/

Most parents strive to be the best parents, but they all have different ways of parenting. Based on Diana Baumrind's work, she described three major styles of parenting, permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. Permissive parents are the nice parents. They give them considerable freedom, show a lot of affection towards their kids, and they rarely discipline their children. Authoritarian parents are the opposite of permissive parents. Authoritarian parents are strict, give their kids little freedom for play and exploration, show less affection, and they punish them when they do not respond appropriately to their demands. Lastly, authoritative parents are mixture of both permissive and authoritarian parents. They support their children, but also set clear boundaries. Baumrind found that children with authoritative parents have the best social and emotional adjustment and the lowest levels of behavior problems. I completely agree with her findings because I believe parents should allow their kids to have freedom and explore, while also setting boundaries from harmful things. I feel that by allowing your child to explore and have freedom, they will learn and develop skills that will benefit them in the future. These skills would include social, emotional, and interests. Freedom will also allow your child to pursue tasks and grow passionate about certain aspects of their life. Having passion is something that companies look for when they interview you. Also, I believe that setting boundaries on certain things is crucial to parenting. I believe that there are aspects of your children's life that needs strict boundaries at a certain age, and aspects where they should have fewer boundaries. I think that parents have to restrict inappropriate items, until their child is mature enough to handle it. An example would be restricting your kids from playing violent video games until they are at an age where they do not act everything they see, or until they are able to control their emotions (http://articles.cnn.com/2008-11-03/health/healthmag.violent.video.kids_1_violent-video-video-games-game-genres?_s=PM:HEALTH). A lot of why I believe that authoritative parents develop the best kids is because my parents were the complete opposite. My parents were the definition of authoritarian parents, except they showed affection at times. They allowed me very little freedom until my senior year of high school. I was not allowed to hang out with friends more than once a week, they set strict times of when I have to do homework or study, and they grounded me for every little thing I did wrong. From these restrictions, I developed a more rebellious attitude towards my parents and I always wanted more freedom. So once I got freedom in college I had to learn how to manage my time, because I always want to do whatever I want since I wasn't allowed to for my whole life. I think that being too strict has no benefits, just disadvantages, because once a kid has freedom, they will just do whatever they were restricted from. I would like to know if having permissive parents can also develop rebellion in kids, because I think that it would be harder since they are more used to accepting authority and their parents. I find the topic of parenting styles very interesting and I have thought about it long before I took this class, because of my past experiences.Parenting.png

The area of psychology that I believe will prove to be most useful for me in my future is the effect of alcohol on the human brain and also the lasting implications that go along with alcoholism. After reading about the effects that alcohol has on the brain I have enough knowledge to make an informed decision on how much to drink or even whether to drink at all. Some of the immediate effects of alcohol on the brain are sleepiness, slower thinking, and impaired concentration. Knowing that these effects will result from drinking alcohol will help me to judge whether a certain time or place is appropriate to drink. functioningalcoholicbusinessman.jpg
Also knowing that alcoholism has many negative long-term effects will further prepare me to good decisions with regards to alcohol. One of the serious long-term effects of alcohol is liver cirrhosis of the liver. In conclusion I believe that the knowledge that I have gained on the short and long-term effects alcohol has on the brain will ultimately prove to be very valuable in my future when deciding whether or not to drink.
If this topic interests you than I suggest that you read this and this

Anorexia.jpgIn five years I think what I will remember most about our psychology class will be bulimia and anorexia. Although we can say that society is starting to realize that models and actresses who are tiny are not healthy, I believe that the societal norm will be pressurized towards being skinny. Young girls are going to try to be skinny in any which way as well. Even in five years girls and boys will struggle with weight and in trying to be perfect to stick with what beauty is as viewed in society. Anorexia and bulimia are sever illnesses and even though we do have a lot in the world explaining the dangers, unless there is a view saying that "normal" women and men are beautiful, there will always be young children trying to become beautiful by starving and hurting themselves. I believe that society will still be thinking the exact same as it does today in regards to beauty and how models have to be a size 0. It definitely is not at all healthy and is taking a toll on millions of girls and boys all over the world.

Finding my inner Zen

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One thing that I'll remember from this psychology course is how to better handle and acknowledge stress. Stress itself is hard to define, but it is typically used describes a negative concept that can have an impact on one's mental and physical well-being. As we all know college, and life in general, can create a great amount of stress that we need to properly manage in order to reach our full potential. This course taught me that stress can have lasting negative effects on both our physical and mental health.Some people turn to behaviors such as smoking, drinking too much, and over/under eating. These behaviors can obviously also be detrimental to health and put you at risks for diseases.Stress increases our risk for things such as cardiovascular disease, which still ranks as the number one killer in the United States.zen.jpg


I learned that much of our stress can be reduced through coping methods and with practice we can even learn to predict and prevent some stress. One method I use to deal with my stress is through exercise. Stress is always going to be around us, so the sooner we can learn to properly manage our stress levels the better. To learn more about healthy ways of coping with stress click here

Psych 1001 Words of Wisdom

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Many find psychology interesting because it's just like a quiz in a girlie magazine. Lots of people love talking about themselves, and we also find it interesting to learn about ourselves. Psychology 1001 has been one of those classes that I have brought up very often in my daily conversations throughout the semester. The last thing I remember saying was when I told my best friend that you don't sleep as well when you're drunk. I also brought up correlation vs. causation when my mom told me that weed makes you late. I don't think she quite understood the concept. I just spoke with some women on the bus today about language and told them that the American school system is terrible with language because the best time to learn a language if you want to speak it like a native is before age 7. Beyond the random facts, the idea that most psychology questions don't have a yes or no answer has really translated into other areas of my life. Mainly in the book's section about development, I have learned that the baby's behavior affects the parents' behavior, and the parents' behavior affects the baby's behavior, and most social problems don't have one cause.

Feeling Groggy?

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From all of the topics I learned in Psychology this year, the topic I will remember five years from now is the sleep and the sleep cycles. In college sleep is one of the most important things for the body, and learning about it has helped me become much more understanding of the topic. After a night of eight or more hours of sleep, your body is able to perform and process information at much higher rates. Without the eight hours of required sleep needed, your judgment, mood, and your ability to learn is hurt. I have personal experience with this through the first year of college coming to a close. If I do not get the certain amount of sleep, my work ethic is nothing near what it is if I get an adequate amount of sleep. I will always remember to get the correct amount of REM sleep so I can be productive the following day. Overall, it is important for everyone to keep in mind the correct amount of sleep needed for them to be productive and successful. If you would like to learn more about the sleep cycles and why sleep is so essential to us click here.homer-sleeping.jpg

Why Do I Do What I Do?

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I found conditioning, both classical and operant, to be one of the most interesting and useful topics covered in this course. Pavlov used dogs, meat powder, and a metronome to prove that a previously neutral stimulus can be paired with another stimulus to elicit an automatic response. Known as classical conditioning, this idea has been seized by advertisers, who have found that by pairing their product with enjoyable stimuli, such as attractive men and women, they can increase desire for their product. Operant conditioning refers to learning controlled by consequences of the organism's behavior. B.F. Skinner proved it with rats where he used what came to be known as the Skinner box, but operant conditioning runs much deeper than this. skinner box.jpgThrough the use of punishment and reinforcement behaviors of animals and humans alike can be controlled. Operant conditioning is the basis for our our prison system (punishment) and job salaries (reinforcement), especially those that are incentive based. Conditioning is constantly occurring, but often goes unnoticed. For example, simply being told "good job" is operant conditioning in progress. And as the following clip from The Office shows maybe humans are as susceptible to classical conditioning as Pavlov's dogs are.

Jim Trains Dwight

A few days ago, my parents and I began discussing the latest episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice", a reality show that features two teams of celebrities competing in business related tasks in order to raise money for charity. As with any reality television show, most of the entertainment comes from contestants clashing with each other for any number of reasons. Every one of the contestants take a different approach in how they deal with people, some act loud and controlling in order to get their point across while others play it low, not wanting to draw attention to themselves.

Continuing with the story, my parents and I were talking about one contestant in particular, Aubrey O'Day, someone known on the show as being very controlling and a "shady" player in general. Both of my parents commented that they think she is a sociopath due to her behavior on the show and that she probably acts that way due to a traumatic experience she had in the past. While I do agree that she acts very cut-throat on the show I reminded them of one of the most important things I've learned in psychology, there's never a one reason explanation to something. Firstly, I'm not sure if someone could become a sociopath through one traumatic experience alone. Secondly, there are a number of alternative explanations that could explain her behavior such as the idea that she only acts this way on the show because she is trying to win, she might be in an unfamiliar setting and doesn't know how to react, etc. I think everyone should try to consider issues from multiple points of view and not fall prey to simplistic explanations for human behavior.


If you'd like to find out more about "The Apprentice", visit www.nbc.com/the-apprentice/


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Becoming a Parent

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Many interesting concepts were discussed in Psychology 1001 this semester. Among them, I think the concept of parenting style is what I will remember the most five years from now because at that time, I might be a parent also! 1BrianBen.jpg
To recall what we have learned...
There were three parenting styles permissive, authoritarian and authoritative. Permissive parents tend to be lenient with their children and authoritarian parents tend to be strict with their children. Authoritative parents combine the features of both permissive and authoritarian parents.
I guess that like many people say, authoritative which is the combination of permissive and authoritarian will be the best way to raise a child. I believe that when the parents are too nice to their children and allow their children do whatever they want, children will more likely to lack self-discipline and be self-involved and demanding. When the parents are too strict to their children, the children will probably have lower self-esteem and show more aggressive behavior (learned from their parents). So balancing the two parenting style would be the best way to raise children.
Even though I will probably remember that balancing the two parenting style is the best, it will not be easy to really balance the two parenting style. I wish I can practice being a parent before I really become a parent...

Separated at Birth.

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As I thought back on all we had learned throughout the semester I kept catching myself being concerned with the studies done to test nature vs. nurture. Certain researchers would separate identical twins at birth and study their behaviors identifying which case held true. A specific case looks at Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein who were unaware of the fact that they had a twin until they were in their mid thirties. They were a part of a secret research study unbeknownst to both women.

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I find it very disturbing that these two women were unaware of the fact that they had not only a sibling out there but a twin. I know a twins bond is very strong because I have identical twins for sisters. They have always been very close and I know that without one another they would be lost. It was said in the article that this type of research would never be allowed in this day and age which is comforting to a degree. Overall I feel horribly for whoever was put through this type of study as it would have huge life changing outcomes.

Our Selective Memory

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Throughout the semester, we have had our ears filled with information on the broad field of psychology. Though all the information was interesting in its own specific way, I was intrigued by a simple concept that psychologists have developed on memory. I found it astonishing that our memory has its own pecking order.filecabinet.jpg Basically our brain determines what is most important in our lives and tends to remember those events more vividly than others. I see it as our brain being a filing cabinet with only so much space. As we age, the amount capacity of our cabinet grows and we are able to access more information. However, as we grow old, our brain tends to filter the information that is most important and hold onto it. Since we cannot hold all the information we have absorbed at one time, our brain filters the information and gets rid of the facts that appear to be useless. To me, this process is astonishing. This information will undoubtedly not be erased from my memory within the next 5 years.

In a class as informative as psych 1001, it can be difficult to filter and comprehend the amount of information being taught, but even more difficult of an endeavor is remembering the knowledge one has accumulated. But from this individual's perspective, perhaps the most vital and memorable piece of information to take away from such a course comes in the form of Pavlov's classical conditioning, the form of learning in which animals come to respond to a previously neutral stimulus that had been paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response. Out of all the forms of conditioning, the one that vehemently resonated with me, personally, came from Pavlovian conditioning- whether from unconditioned stimuli, which elicits an automatic response-or a conditioned stimulus, which is the initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a response due to association with an unconditioned stimulus. The importance from all this knowledge comes from the ability to habitually learn, or in some cases, train someone to consistently do something, which can be a powerful tool. Although Pavlov conducted the conditioning on animals of lesser intellect, this process can be used on humans of all ages. And from my personal vantage point, it's an extremely useful procedure that can change the learning habits of even the most sophisticated humans. Whether you choose to take it or leave, there is no avoiding the value in Pavlov's classical conditioning, something that can resonate in the memories of students for years. pavlov.jpg

Disney in Love

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It is always hard to think where we will be in five years. Many things will change, from medicine to pop-culture. In five years I hope to be married to my fella and raising kids of my own, teaching them all sorts of things I have learned. When I look back on Psychology 1001 I will remember the "Rules of Attraction" including proximity , reciprocity, and similarity.
3._The_Lion_King_(1994)_(Platinum_Edition_2-Disc_DVD).jpg Although we may not realize it we were shown these ideas when we were little through Disney movies including The Lion King, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, and The Aristocats. In each of the films the lead male character and the lead female character fall in love from being with one another for extended periods of time (proximity). They also find that they have more in common than first assumed (similarity) and do give compliments, words of encouragement and support throughout the films (reciprocity). Considering we have been exposed to these "Rules of Attraction" since we were little I believe it is safe to say that these will stick with me.
Just as I was exposed to these ideas I will expose my children to them. Not only are they great films but they carry ideas you can apply to your own life. I hope that my children will use these "rules" to find an excellent partner in their life time.

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I have learned many different concepts from PSY 1001 class. However, the most significant concept is physical attraction because it relates to my current situation. According to the Attraction and Relationships article, there are different social attitudes such as, proximity, similarity, and physical attraction. I believe proximity is the most important factor in keeping a relationship prosperous. Currently, I am in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend. My girlfriend and I have known each other for four months, and have started a long distance relationship. Due to our academic studies abroad, we cannot see each other; therefore we use Skype and Facetime to keep in touch. Because of the 13-hour time difference, it is difficult to meet. For example, she would prepare for school while I prepare for bed.

According to the article, proximity causes attraction. Proximity portrays a type of connection between people but it also connects with the concept of the "Pavlovian" condition. As my opportunity to meet my girlfriend decreases, I would lose my interest with her, and in worse case, our relationship would cease to exist. Although meeting during the night or the early morning, there is too much of a gap in our relationship. Rather than having a relationship through cyberspace, I would wish for more of a physical relationship with her. Since it is not possible right now, my loneliness would only increase as the days goes by. Although, I really love my girlfriend, but if I knew about this concept before we started the relationship, I would not have started anything. In conclusion, this article has shown me attitudes toward having a real relationship and how it can be affected by the physical connection, we would call, "proximity". To read the article, Click here

As I pondered, "what will I remember from this class in 5 years" the only answer that came to mind is what will I not remember? The small details and facts memorized for a test may not make it to my long term memory, but the large concepts are lodged in there. So much of this class is applicable to daily life, and many times while reading I would have an Oprah "ah hah" moment.
For my thesis work, I am taking Abnormal Psych next semester, so in having to choose one thing I will remember from this class, it would be the information on disorders, from the physical reasons (genes, neuron transmitters) to the disorder descriptons and videos showing the disorder within people.
My thesis work is on the mentally ill population and the lack of affordable housing. The homeless population grows in the United States, and mentally ill individuals make up a large part of it. I volunteered at a phone crisis center, which is where I first listened to the issues the mentally ill have in obtaining and keeping housing. There have been strides made in the last ten years, but affordable, safe housing continues to be an issue. If a person doesn't have a safe base, it is hard to ascend Maslow's hierarchy of needs. If one doesn't know where they will sleep that night, how can they stay on a health regimen of taking medication and feeling a sense of stability? An article that highlights the difference a stable home can make to a mentally ill person is one by Padget that I have attached. The qualitative study allows the mentally ill person's voice to be heard, and share what having a secure home means to them, They are a vulnerable population with little voice in politics, yet are directly affected by the policies and budget cuts made in affordable housing and health care. wizard.bmp

Out of all of the topics that were taught in Psychology 1001, I think I will remember Francis Galton's topic of Nature vs. Nurture the most. This topic can be applied to many different situations and debates, like the Psychology 1001 textbook has shown us, which is why it will be very useful and memorable five years from now.
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The Nature vs. Nurture debate is one that will never be given a definite right and wrong answer. Humans have been debating over this for years, and will continue to do so well into the future. The debate focuses on whether the contributions of genetic inheritance or the environmental factors a person experiences will have a greater impact on human development. Many well-known philosophers, such as Plato and Descartes, suggested that certain things are inborn and will be acquired regardless of environmental influences. Other well-known thinkers, such as John Locke believe that the mind begins as a blank slate, or tabula rasa. According to this belief, everything that we are and all of our knowledge is determined by our experiences and the environmental influences in our lives. A great example of the Nature vs. Nurture debate that was illustrated in our textbook and is extremely fascinating to me is how monozygotic reared together twins, monozygotic reared apart twins, dizygotic twins reared together and dizygotic twins reared apart compared in terms of intelligence. No matter which side of the argument a person is on, they will have an opinion about which one has a greater impact on a human, nature or nurture. For more information on the Nature vs. Nurture twin/adoption intelligence studies, visit this link.

The Power of Learning

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For this blog, I immediately thought of a couple concepts that we were taught about learning, which I know will help me in the years to come. For almost every college student, one of the biggest struggles for doing well academically is figuring out how you learn best. For me, during my freshman year I always went with the "I'll pull an all-nighter the day before and be fine for the test," philosophy. As I have learned, that is a really bad philosophy to go with for your classes. In this course we learned the power of massed distribution when studying, along with learning aids that help us remember information. These things are essential for college students to know because it only helps you succeed and really understand the information you learn so that it will be worked into your long-term memory. As I have incorporated better study habits and have used the things I've learned through this course, I have seen much better results when it comes to taking tests. Also, being able to get a good nights rest before exams really helps your anxiety during the test to keep yourself calm and assured that you know the information, and just have to prove it through taking the test. I know that these strategies will really help me throughout the rest of my college experience and also when I get my job after college.
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Pick Your Battles

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The study of human psychology has greatly impacted my life at times. One particular instance involved one of my uncles at a family gathering. I think most people can relate to having an uncle or two in their family that designate themselves as the "funny uncle", and usually you'll find them tickling and joking their way through the house on holidays. But making jokes at the expense of others sometimes runs the risk of offending. One particular time that my knowledge of psychology helped me was a time that my uncle was poking fun at my then-new diet (of only plants). He was giving me trouble about it around the family dinner table. Eventually he asked me why I didn't feel bad for murdering all those plants. When I started to explain that trees don't suffer the same way that dogs, pigs, cats, cows, and chickens do, and that eating them actually kills more plants than just eating plants because of how much we have to feed them, he instantly interrupted me. He enjoyed mocking me, but never opened himself for an actual answer. Earlier in my life, I might have been very angry with him. But after what I've learned about human psychology, I took a more complete look at him, his history and his current situation, and I remembered that he was in the middle of a terrible, ugly divorce likely to be very depressed. I decided to not make a scene, as I have flaws of my own and would appreciate being treated kindly if I was in a similar situation, and over time I've come to realize that this was a much better decision for me in the long run. The nicer I am to my family, the more they like having me around and cooking food for me. Remembering that everyone has a complex psychological story helps me pick the right battles and avoid the wrong ones. Things can escalate quickly, and may lead to unwanted and unhelpful fights.
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One of the concepts I will remember the most from Intro to Psychology is operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a form of learning that is controlled by the consequences of the organism's behavior. These consequences consist of either reinforcement or punishment. Reinforcement increases the target behavior, while punishment decreases the target behavior. On top of this, reinforcement and punishment can be either positive or negative. Positive refers to adding a stimulus, while negative refers to removing a stimulus.
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I was intrigued by operant conditioning because of its strong influence on animal training. As an owner of two dogs, I was curious about finding ways to better train my dogs. I learned that positive reinforcement is the best methodology. The basic premise of positive reinforcement is: dog performs behavior and as a result, dog gets rewarded. When training a dog a new trick, you should reward him every time he performs the behavior. After the desired behavior is consistently occurring, you should decrease the payment of the behavior, only focusing on the dog's best behavior. Once the behavior is learned, you should reward your dog intermittently. Your dog won't know for sure when he'll get a reward so he's going to offer his best effort all the time. Once you understand the basics of operant conditioning, the better you can train your pet. For more information about dog training using operant conditioning, visit this website.