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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.
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

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.
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.

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 ( 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

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.

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

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...

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 college students, we are going to get married in five years. Consequently, I would not forget three major principles that guide attraction and relationship formation: similarity, reciprocity, and proximity. boy-girl-holding-hands-ka_large.jpg
Similarity means we are attracted to people who are similar to us. Thus when we begin relationship with other, it is important to find similarities and common between two. More they have similarities, better their attraction would be.
Second principle is reciprocity, which is the rule of give and take. When we get something from one, it is important to give back something that has similar worth in order to maintain equity in a relationship.

The last but not least principle is proximity. Proximity means we are most likely to be attracted to and befriend people nearby, who we see on a regular basis. Therefore it is important to keep one's lover near.
By remembering these three major principles, I would be able to attract my future wife relatively easily!

There were a lot of useful psychology concepts that were taught in the introductory psychology course such as language and behavior developments as well as intelligence and emotions. One of the most useful concepts that I would remember even five or ten years later was the effects of emotions to formation of memory.
Many researches provide the evidence that people tend to remember events better when the events were related to emotions (caused emotional changes). For example, people tend to remember scary and sad moments better compared to the fact-based knowledge indicating that the emotion related moments would stay longer in our memory.

With this knowledge people can remember what they learn more effectively by manipulating their emotions. Moreover, people can forget what they don't want to remember by isolating the emotions. This also applies to the relationship in which a person is more likely to forget his/her boyfriend or girlfriend when the person did not have much emotions attached.

Psychology is becoming more useful in everyday life; therefore, it would be appropriate to learn psychology to improve our lives. There are also more useful psychology concepts that could improve our lives.

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The concept that I still cannot seem to get my head around is the control the unconscious mind has over us. Even when we truly believe that we are consciously making decisions, we are not. A recent PSY 1001 student blog post "Wait, I Thought What" highlights this phenomenon. In the blog the student discusses taking a test regarding laundry soap. She specifically chose answers that were unfavorable, as she had an unfavorable rapport with the laundry soup. However, the results showed that the student "showed little or no opinion" towards the laundry soap (

How does this happen? I have always believed in the controlling of thoughts, decisions, and mentality in order to obtain a productive and mentally healthy life. While this concept could still hold true in some situations, the fact is our minds control us. Although it makes complete sense, to think about it and give acknowledgment to the rank of biology over individuality it is bit disturbing to me. If we're not fully aware of why we are making certain decisions, how are we supposed to improve certain aspects of our well being? How does our unconscious mind make decisions? What influences the unconscious and how can you alter its influences? Also, does the unconscious affect the nature verses nurture debate?

For years to come I will be wondering what led me to make certain decisions, and which I made without awareness. It's just an odd reality that I may never get used to.

A very interesting concept, the bystander effect, is a concept I will definitely remember 5 years from now. It is the idea that the greater number of people present, the less likely people will be willing to help someone in distress. People feel that they are less responsible to help someone because there are many others who will lend a helping hand. When everyone in a situation has this mindset, unfortunate things can happen.bystander.jpg

The information on the bystander effect has made me become more aware of my surroundings. Living in a big city, it would be very easy for the bystander effect to occur. Because I have knowledge about the possibility of it occurring, it will make me more willing to ask someone in distress if they need help. I do not want people being hurt just because I didn't want to lend a hand.

Being aware of the bystander effect has also made me research more on how to reduce it. In order to reduce the bystander effect, the bystander needs to think that the victim is dependent on them. If the victim personally calls out someone walking by, they are going to feel more responsible, and will be more willing to help. It also helps when witnesses have knowledge of the bystander effect. If more people learned about it, many more people would be saved from harmful situations.

Visit here to learn more about the bystander effect and how to reduce it.

Struggled with academics, I was a normal student until I figured out the application of time-management. In college, with the help of the Psychology 1001 course, I am able to improve my academic performance by applying the encoding skills in chapter 7 for memorizing information in other classes. Thus, this knowledge will stay in my head at least more than five years from now on for the reason.


The first type of skills is "Mnemonics", a learning aid, strategy or device that enhances recall. Basically, the idea of this skill is the associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that are to be remembered. The common type of mnemonic is "first letter mnemonics" in which an easily remembered acronym, or phrase with an acronym is associated with the list items. For example, one is "HOMES" to help people remember the names of all of the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior). This skill enhances my ability to memorize a list of a topic in a faster way. See more information

Another type is "Keyword method" in which an English word reminds an individual of the word an individual is trying to remember. This skill works well in the learning of second language; for example, a Spanish word, Casa, meaning "house" can be easily memorized with thinking of an English word, "Case" in the "house".

Again, a proper application of these skills in learning will help people to reduce the stress for finals

Principles Imprinted

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This intro to psychology course has taught me a wide range of things. Some of the things I've learned have seemed like common sense, while others have really surprised me to be true. The one thing that I will remember five years from now is what helps me understand how some of the seemingly wrong things are true, the Six Principles of Critical Thinking.

principles.jpgSo maybe I cheated a little and picked six things instead of one, but I think the principles are always something I'll have in the back of my mind when analyzing something new. The reason I'll remember these principles for so long is probably because they've been pounded in my head all throughout the course. I think they've been repeated so many times for good reason, though, for they really help to overcome possible biases when deciding what you think about a new subject. I've frequently found myself referring back to Occam's Razor when debating with people, and I am now much more skeptical towards things with extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence. Basically, I think the principles are important because they can be put to use in almost any situation in life. Five years from now, I might not be able to impress a date by explaining the processes of each part of the brain, but at least I will be able to properly evaluate everything she, or anyone else, tells me.

Something that I found extremely interesting and what is very prevalent in today's world is social conformity. Conformity is changing one's behavior as a result of group pressure. This occurs in people of all ages throughout the world.

conformity_experiment.jpgSolomon Asch's study on conformity in the 1950s produced some shocking results. As seen in the picture, participants were presented with the original line and asked to match it with the correct corresponding line (A, B, or C). About 4 confederates would intentionally answer incorrectly. The participant would then be asked to give his answer. Surprisingly across the 12 trials performed, participants conformed to the wrong answer 37% of the time.

For me, and I'm sure almost all of you reading this, it seems obvious that "A" is the correct answer in the picture. We may feel that we would indeed answer "A" if presented with this task, but is this really the case? Group conformity is a truly powerful thing. It's power seems to come from the biological need for humans to belong. It is shocking what some people are willing to do in order to become part of and stay within a group to fulfill their biological desires. Studying this topic has really given me new perspective on my life and the choices I make among friends. As our friends may be saying "B" or "C", will we have the personal willpower to resist social conformity and confidently say "A"?

Think scientifically.

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What does "Think scientifically" mean? To answer that, first we have ask ourselves: "What is Science?" Science to the general public, are often seen as the combined name for three subjects: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. It's not hard to see why, because these topics are taught in school as science classes. However, Science goes far beyond these three topics, and science is everywhere. According to Wikipedia, "Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe." If one read this definition carefully, one could note that not all knowledge can be scientific, and yet science provides the most valid and reliable knowledge one can obtain. If science is this "systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe." then science should apply in every aspect of our lives, and it does.(see picture) science
Science is the way to understand our universe based on evidence, tests, and rational reasoning. To think scientifically means to follow the scientific thinking principles such as: "Ruling out rival hypothesis", "Correlation vs. Causation", "Falsifiability", "Replicability", "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence", and "Occam's Razor". Of course you all have heard of those, I assume. Unless you really hasn't study for this class at all. (HA! HA! Bless the curve! Wait there isn't a curve?!) Now how many of you have thought about applying those principle outside of when taking PSY101 tests? My guess is, not many of you do, certainly I don't, at least not all the time. Why should we think scientifically? We should because it separates us from ignorance. Next time when you hear a claim, you should ask for the evidence before you believe it. When you see an apple fell far from the tree, maybe you should pick the simplest explanation such as a person passed by and moved the apple, rather than believing an invisible being placed it there just to show you a sign that you should not follow your father's footstep. It also helps you to avoid making misjudgement about a race group based on the data of the percentage of criminals of that race compared to other race in a city, because there are a lot more variables go into it.(correlation vs. causation). In general, think scientifically makes you to reason rationally, it sets your mind free. Maybe you would find science much more interesting since the "known" in your old thinking became "unknown", so you feel the need to discover the unknown world, to obtain new knowledge. Once you became more knowledgeable, you gain the obligation to educate the ignorants(ignoramus? not sure which word to use :P ). And this is how humanity improve! Thank you for your time! Until next time! Good Night!

Go Ahead and Try to Lie

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Imagine you're in a room with a lie deception expert, and you have to lie to him about why your friend didn't come home last night. Do you think you could fool him? I will remember Paul Ekman's research on illustrators and manipulators for at least the next five years. Ekman once said, "Gestures come in a seemingly endless variety of forms." There are certain ways to tell if someone is lying. Illustrators are gestures that highlight or accentuate speech. An example would be that you force your hands forward to make an important point when you are trying to lie to the deception expert. On the other hand, manipulators are gestures in which one body part strokes, bits, or otherwise touches another body part. For example, when you are trying to lie to the deception expert, you may twirl your hair, bite your fingernails, or have some other nervous reaction.
I think the work that Paul Ekman did on microexpressions and nonverbal gestures is astonishing. To think that it is possible for someone to completely understand what you have done in the past or what you're currently thinking based off of your body is unbelievable. If you find this information fascinating, try watching the show Lie To Me. The entire show is based off of Ekman's work in the past and how it could be applied. So after reading only a little about this topic, do you think you could deceive the lie deception expert?

Seriously Stressed Out

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I'm a junior in college preparing to apply to medical schools in a month and dealing with the workload of three majors. Stress is pretty much the definition of my life. Over the last half of this semester, I actually participated in a REP study on stress and coping, and I found it very fitting, albeit ironic, to read the chapter in our textbook on stress, coping, and health as the last week of the semester approaches. This year has been particularly grueling for me physically and mentally, so I think that I will remember this area of psychology the best five years from now.

The textbook was really good at underlining how stress is affecting my body physiologically. I already have high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease, so I'm probably shortening my life span by not doing more to lower my stress or deal with it effectively. Some suggestions the textbook gave were lowering alcohol consumption and improving diet and exercise habits, all of which I could definitely improve. The REP study I participated in also emphasized the importance of thinking about what we can and cannot control in stressful situations, which can improve how we mentally react. The Mayo Clinic has a large selection of links for coping with various types of stress if you have a specific situation or just aren't sure how to deal with stress effectively.

Don't Go To Bed Angry

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Many concepts from psychology stick out in my mind; however, the most significant one is relationships. Relationships are an important part of everyone's life. From Professor Jeff Simpson, we learned about attachment theory and that is not only plays a role in children, but also in adults.

Dr. Angela Hicks performed a study involving 39 participants to investigate the "link between romantic relationships and long term emotional and physical well-being." First, the individuals' attachment styles were assessed based on anxiousness and avoidance. Hicks documented the affects of conflict on sleep disturbance and mood. She conflict was assessed in bedtime journals and the mood was assessed in the morning.
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It was found that the most anxious individuals lost the most amount of sleep. On the other hand, the individuals who exhibited the most emotional avoidance had the least sleep loss. Also, individuals who had trouble with emotional attachment had worse moods than those who were comfortable with attachment.

Dr. Hicks noted that it was already known that happy marriages are correlated with better health. Her research shows "that individuals who are in insecure relationships are more vulnerable to longer-term health risks from conflict than are others."
For more information about her study, here are two websites that describe it: ScienceDaily and PsychCentral.

Psychology has such a wide variety of topics that it covers, ranging from a biological standpoint to a social psychological standpoint. I've learned so many things that I had never even heard of before taking this course. All of the behaviors and learning techniques were fascinating to say the least. There was one topic, however, that sparked my interest completely. That topic was Personality. Personality is such a unique thing, and by being able to quantify it into surveys and traits is amazing, and can help every single person understand themselves and the people that surround them better than they ever could imagine.

Looking more closely into the personality aspect of psychology, I believe that the "Big 5" character traits will stick with me the most as I continue on. Jeff Simpson lectured us and gave us the opportunity to explore ourselves by taking the Berkeley personality profile test. This test revealed a persons degree to which they were extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, neurotic, and open to new experiences. I feel that it is extremely helpful to know which qualities are most prominent and most lacking within us, because it helps to understand why we do the things that we do. One can grasp their actions and emotions by accepting these traits, and eventually use them to their benefit.

One of the things that I will remember from my psychology class will be advertising and classical conditioning. While most everyone enjoyed the advertising component of class, I feel like five years from now it will especially stick with me as I choose to pursue a career in marketing. The idea of transcending an emotion from an image to a product is so brilliant and simplistic that it will be a good base for developing more elaborate ads. Furthermore, I believe that by having knowledge about advertising, it has made both my classmates and I better consumers and viewers of media.
I now play a game with myself when I watch television to see what kind of behavior the advertisers are trying to arouse out of the consumer. This game becomes seemingly easier all the time. One of my favorite commercials to use this with is the Kia Optima commercial where the man dreams of racing his Kia and being flagged by a scantily clad women. Since advertising has yet to fully steer away from this way of marketing, the future of marketing will be interesting as students such as myself are still taught this method of promoting.

This semester of Psychology 1001 has taught me about many things that I think are applicable to my everyday life, and of course my future as well. One of these topics is the affect that authority has over us. The Milgram study, and others similar to it, displayed the extremes people are willing to go to, so to speak, to follow the "rules" of someone in charge. What was even more surprising were the factors that affected their compliance, such as proximity to the authority figure, proximity to the learner, and whether or not there was soimages.jpegmeone working with them. It was found that people were more likely to stand up if they were not alone, or if the authority figure was further away from them.
So although respecting authority is a very good thing, if there is a situation that you may no feel right about, or comfortable with, you need to stand up and say something. Although there may be consequences or punishments initially, it is most likely for the better in the long run. This message, among many others, will stick with me as I move forward in my college years, and beyond them as well.

To catch a criminal

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I was a fan of the show Criminal Minds ever since it aired on NBC in 2001. For those of you who haven't heard of the show it's about criminal profilers at the FBI and how they draw clues from murders, make a personality profile of the perpetrator to try to predict his next move and catch him.
While taking this psychology course (especially during the personality chapter) I learned that interpreting personality based on behavior is often an amateur skill. Studies often show that untrained individuals can make just as an educated guess about criminals and their behavior than a criminal profiler can (even though Criminal Minds presents the exact opposite).

Criminal profilers' assessments sometimes reflect the P.T. Barnum effect which our book defines as "the tendency of people to accept the high base rate description as accurate." So in most cases presenting obvious analysis that the average person could make.
However, on Criminal Minds about 33 percent of the time they get the profile wrong and have to re-think their strategy showing that not all personality assessments can be accurate.
Criminal profiling is still being used in the FBI. Not only does it use psychology but also criminology. If I didn't have my heart set on a different career this would definitely be my second choice.
What do you think about criminal profiling and the show? Do you think FBI should still be using criminal profilers?

Senstation and Perception is something that really caught my eye. Optical Illusions have always been something that blew my mind and it was nice to be able to learn about why. Sensation and perception are the underlying processes operating in visual illusions (124). The way to describe what happens when looking at illusions the book explains it as a perceptual process called filling in. Most often times filling in is adaptive, as it helps us make sense of our often confusing and chaotic perceptual worlds. But sometimes it can fool us, as in the case of visual illusions.
This picture is a great example of how we can be easily fooled- saxophone illusion.jpeg
This picture shows a saxophone player. Right when you looked at it that's what you saw right away correct? But what if I said "look at this picture of this woman"... This is due to top down processing which is a concept of processing that is influenced by certain beliefs and expectancies. You had initially expected to see a saxophone player right away, and that is what your mind saw due to a certain expectancy and belief that you had in your mind.

Overall though, what we learnt about ovulation was very interesting to me. As odd of a topic this was it is something that stuck with me. Women are more attractive during ovulation. This is something that I never had heard of. The video clip we watched in our discussion section was incredibly interesting! When ovulating, a female's features are more profound. Such as her lips may be more full, have more pigment in their cheeks and their face, their faces may be more round and overall just a more appealing look. Ovulation may even make someone less tired and give them a "glow".

Another interesting fact I found was about attractiveness and what draws a male more into you...pupils. As stated in the book on page 137, research demonstrates that men tend to find the faces of women with larger pupils more attractive than those with smaller pupils, even when they're unaware of their reason for their preference.

Overall, chapter 4, sensation and perception, is something that I will take with me from Psychology 1001 and most likely remember in 5 years. Although we were asked to write about one thing we will take with us 5 years from now I couldn't choose just one!!! All the topics that I mentioned are so interesting, and effect people like us! I would have never thought that a females face can look more attractive when ovulating, or that men were more attracted to women with larger pupils! I learned so much more that I didn't even mention about illusions that I will always remember and still be drawn to. It is truly amazing how the mind works!!

Needles in your back?

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Five years from now a concept that I think I will remember is that of alternative or contemporary medicine and specifically the discussion on acupuncture. When I was a freshman in high school I injured my shoulder and one of the treatments that was done on it was acupuncture. I found the process to be intensely painful. images.jpgHowever, in chapter 12 it is discussed as an energy medicine, a practice of medicine that is becoming increasingly popular. I think I will remember this concept because it, along other alternative and contemporary medicines are becoming increasingly common; and it is likely I will encounter this treatment option in the future as I am an avid athlete. For many of these treatments there is controversy as to if they actually are beneficial to one's heath. Thanks to the discussion on them in our psychology book however, I feel I am much more equipped to make sound medical decisions on my own regarding them and can understand what they are and how they may be helpful to an individual's health. For a detailed list of some other alternative medicines including acupuncturehere.

Crazy Cat Lady

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Five years from now, the majority of us will be done with this chapter in our life, and potentially have moved on to the years where we may begin to settle down. If you don't want to be that crazy cat lady, I think it will be helpful to remember these concepts about attraction. Potential mates are often first feeling the attraction thanks to physical attraction based on symmetry, youth, healthiness and an average face. Other factors that play a large contributing factor are reciprocity, similarity, and proximity.
Proximity is the physical nearness factor that affects attraction. This may seem like common sense, as it is difficult to foster a long distance relationship. Who knows, that guy you sit next to in Psychology discussion may turn into the guy working out of the cubicle next to you. The-office.jpg
Similarity is also a solid predictor of attraction. Having things in common leads to similarity. For example, shared interest in the Gophers now may continue throughout your adult life, or possibly ten years down the road you will become an avid Vikings fan and meet the mate of your dreams there.
Proximity also plays a role in attraction. Nobody likes a moocher, so equal give and take is necessary in any healthy relationship.
These are a brief overview of a few concepts that I think I will remember 5 years down the road. You too should remember them, and they just might be the reason you find the person of your dreams!

There are few things in this world that I love more than sleep. A concept from this class that I will remember is what I learned about the biology of sleep. A major problem I have is getting a sufficient amount of rest (as I'm sure a good percentage of my classmates know all about). Although psychologists have different ideas regarding why we sleep at all, they do agree that it is necessary for survival. The demands of school or work may require one to skimp on sleep, but doing so can have drastic effects on many different aspects. Lack of sleep can result in decreased effectiveness of memory consolidation, hindering learning. It can take a toll on your mood and stress level while also throwing your weight and immune system off balance. The average healthy adult needs between 7.5 and 9 hours of rest each night. For some it just isn't going to happen but one useful fact to remember from this course is to work with your REM cycle. If you find yourself groggy in the mornings, try sleeping at a 90 minute multiple, for it is said to make you feel more wakeful. For tips from Mayo clinic on getting quality sleep click here. It is important to know about sleep in order to function better in everyday life. No doubt it will help me in the future!Jjkybd3nS8y289fdKGkgSz85_500.jpg


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The concepts that we learned about in this psychology class that I feel I'll be able to remember the best in five years are the ones regarding relationships and how we maintain them. I consider this to be the most personal topic pertaining to my life that I learned about, and I feel like a lot of the people in this class would agree with me.friends-tv-show.jpg

A big problem for me in regards to starting college was how I was going to be able to stay in touch with all my friends back home. Seeing as how proximity plays a major role in maintaining relationships, I had good reason to worry. I was no longer going to be able to see my friends and boyfriend every day in school. They weren't going to be just a 10-minute drive away. Going to college two and a half hours away from my friends and family definitely put on strain on our relationships.

I learned a lot from reading the chapter in the book that talked about the components of relationships and what keeps them strong. It helped me understand the issues I'm going through a little better. I'm not going to forget this immediately after the final because relationships will always be a huge part of my life.

Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? Well according to social facilitation this may not be a bad thing. Social facilitation states that people perform certain tasks better when they are in the presence of other people. It is important to consider in social situations, because it implies that people's performance does not rely solely on their abilities, but is also impacted by the internal awareness of being evaluated. This is true for simple tasks, tasks people are good at already, or already learned tasks, but not for difficult or novel tasks.

Whenever I think of social facilitation the first thing that comes to mind is the pacemaker or "rabbit" in track. The job of the pacemaker is to lead the initial laps of a mid-long distance race to ensure fast times and avoid excessive tactical racing. Pacemakers are frequently employed by race organizers for world record attempts with specific instructions for lap times. It is not clear when pacemakers first made their appearance of the running scene, but they gained much usage after Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway successfully paced Roger Bannister to break the four-minute mile for the first time in 1954.


I believe that just the presence of someone motivates our competitive nature. I know that I personally get a much better workout when I'm with someone. They help me keep my dreaming at bay and focused on the task at hand. More about social facilitation as well as findings by Norman Triplett can be found here.

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