November 2011 Archives

Studies have observed that watching violent television can lead to more aggressive behavior. In the effects of "The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" children were significantly more aggressive after watching power rangers. This is referred to the "Bobo Doll" experiment that showed that children imitate aggressive actions of a model. Therefore after watching the power rangers fight of evil young children will then want to fight and pretend that they are Power Rangers.

This discovery is important because young children in general spend the majority of their free time engrossed in their favorite television show. Since the more violent and action packed shows are often more popular, television for children is often violent, exciting and action packed. My younger brother spends the majority of his time watching Nickelodeon in which the shows including Avatar are based on fights and battles between good and evil. After he watches these shows I observe that he is more easily agitated and aggressive. Since adolescence is the time period in which children learn their values I think that television should focus on instilling good morals in children instead of an aggressive attitude.

I think the solution to this problem would be restriction on television by parents. Parents know their children the best and they should be able to decide how to raise them. Although they should have this power it would be ideal if television shows encouraged kindness and good social skills.

http://facstaff.unca.edu/tlbrown/RM1/VideoGamesAggression.pdf

Truth About Happiness

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I've always been a goal-oriented person. From the time I was little, putting sticky notes on my bathroom mirror the week before gymnastics meets, until now, trying my best to achieve what I want to so badly. From the time I was little I knew I wanted to be a doctor. I fell in love with helping people, and psychology became my passion in high school. Freshman year I asked for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM Fourth Edition for Christmas. I knew that I wanted to be a psychiatrist, and to this day that is what I'm striving for.

Since I will be taking more psychology classes and somebody will be a psychiatrist, I'm sure there are many things that will stick with me. At this point in time I've noticed myself thinking about psychology throughout my daily life. As my mom and I were talking one day, I knew the name of something that I just couldn't think of at the moment. I even told her out loud that I was having the Tip of the Tongue phenomena.

As we were going through the chapters I found certain things so interesting, but then when we got to the chapter about Emotion and Motivation, it pulled me in. It is all so interesting to me. The myths and realities about happiness are something that I think I will remember years from now. My goals are for the key points of happiness, such as marriage and giving, to come true. It seems like in our society today that all people care about is money. Many people give up their true passions for money. They believe the false idea that money is something that determines happiness. I believe that if you aren't doing something that you truly love; money has no factor in happiness. Which, is exactly why I want to be a psychiatrist. It's something I'm truly passionate about, and when I look back someday I will remember the true sources of happiness that we learned about in this class.

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After learning about psychology these last few months, I believe that I will use non-verbal emotions and my knowledge about communication a lot in my lifetime. We learned much about how much of our communication is non-verbal. We also learned that you are able to really tell how someone feels through their hand motions and the facial expressions that they have, rather then only listening to what someone says. You can already experience this type of things early in life because if you are at a mall people-watching, you can look across the store and tell what type of emotions someone has by the way they are moving their hands and how loud they are talking. You are also able to tell even though they are different nationalities because across the world, Ekman claimed that there are about 7 facial expressions that are universal. When I am older and into a profession, I will now know when I am talking to someone, that it is just as important to watch the way they talk non-verbally with their expressions and hand or body movements. I took a lot away from this because I always wondered why my mom would always notice non-verbal movements when she would talk to one of her friends. I feel I will be a more socially well-rounded person by having knowledge about the different types of communication, whether it is with your voice or with your hands.

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The cloth monkey

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Honestly, I can remember very little of the dates, names, leaders, and formulas that I learned in high school classes. The details blur as time continues but overall messages do stay with me. How to write a logical paper, how to effectively lead a group project, and how to understand business statistics are still with me. I think that although many facts about Psychology are interesting, the probability I will remember or use them in life are low (unless I end up doing marketing relating to Psychology). The one overall message I will come away with, however, is that child rearing is very important.

I'm only 18 so children are currently a distant thought, but I know someday the time will come when I will become a mom. In our many lectures, multiple statistics and experiments were used as examples to show how important the rearing of children is. Although I may not remember the small facts, the overall idea of a parent who is able to give a lot of time and attention to a child will stick me. The small baby monkey clinging to the cloth monkey just shows how important it is for a child to have a secure base that they are able to always rely on. The good parenting I have been raised with should not be taken for granted, but instead used as an example for the day when I become a mom.

Out of all of the concepts and ideas that we have learned in Psychology 1001, the one concept that will stick out most in my mind is critical thinking and its principles. It would be hard not to remember these. The authors of our textbook use them in their analyses on almost every page after it is introduced in Chapter 1. Already in my everyday life when I'm confronted with something that sounds fishy, I ask myself if there is extraordinary evidence to back up a claim that extraordinary! One of my friends from the dorm is also taking Psychology this semester and as we're sitting with each other in our rooms, we find ourselves telling each other that correlation doesn't equal causation. We also remind each other of Occam's razor and try to figure out if there is a simpler explanation. Throughout the semester, these principles have been emphasized in our book, in lecture, and in section to the point where it has been ingrained in my brain. I definitely know that I will remember these principles in the next five years, and maybe even for the rest of my life.
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Sleep

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A psychology concept I will remember five years from now is the four stages of sleep and REM sleep. I found it interesting that that our brain experiences different waves in each stage of sleep, starting with theta waves and then moving into sleep spindles, K complexes and then to delta waves in stage 3 and 4. I was surprised that REM sleep is where all our vivid dreams take place and that after 15-30 minutes of REM sleep our brain starts the cycle all over again. What I found most intriguing while learning about sleep is that in order to feel fully rested in the morning we need to experience stages 3 and 4 of sleep and by having several drinks before bed it can make us feel more tired in the morning because alcohol suppresses delta sleep. I had always wondered why kids had more energy and seemed overall less tired than adults, I found out children spend 40 percent of their sleep in deep sleep whereas adults only spend one-quarter of their sleep in it. For years I have struggled with sleeping at night and I found it compelling to learn about the different levels and processes my body goes through in a night of sleep.

Sexual Dimorphism

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similar-dimorphism-cock-hen.jpegSexual Dimorphism is a physical difference between males of females of the same species. These differences can range in coloration, size, and morphology and behavior.

Sexual Dimophism is exhibited in many vastly different species and some examples include the most notable Peacock and peahen, the Gorilla, some species of angler fish, and insects such as beetles and butterflies. Even Humans exhibit multiple instances of sexual dimorphism.

Some easily noticeable examples are the regions of the upper chest and areas between the waist and the knees. Internally, Males convert more food into muscle while females convert more into fat, Males lose body heat faster through sweat glands and females retain more heat, Males have a higher oxygen-carrying capacity within their blood and interestingly females seem to have a more adept immune system than the males.

I found this very interesting as it almost seems as though our species has evolved specifically so that the male is better suited to perform the role of leaving the habitat to search for food and necessities and also be better able to heal in case of a potential injury while gathering(with more suited clotting factors and higher peripheral pain tolerance. While Females are more adept to stay within the dwelling and fight off infectious agents while caring for offspring or maintaining a pregnancy.

Much of my information came from This article or Wikipedia to fill in the cracks a
and lead to my own original hypothesis about the human evolution of sexual dimorphism(as far as I know)

IQ Testing-Why or Why not?

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The IQ test was designed to help determine the level of a person's intelligence by using Stern's Formula. To figure out the IQ of someone they would divide mental age by chronological age and multiply the resulting number by 100. After using this method for awhile, they came to find out that this formula only worked well with children. It's estimated that by the age 16 we start averaging the same score on the IQ test, which results in low IQ scores the older we get. Because of this, they've come up with using the statistic deviation IQ. This is what helps us calculate a more precise score, by instead of basing you're IQ on your mental age in comparison to you're real age, they just use the statistics that are the norms for you're age group. When we did the debate in our discussion groups, I was on the side where we were supposed to give supporting details as to why we shouldn't use IQ scores while hiring someone. Because the IQ tests over a huge range of material, I believe it can be a deceiving test. Just like the ACT, if I were to be judged only by my ACT to get into the U, I probably wouldn't be here. There are so many areas that can qualify you for a job that no IQ test can show. Therefore, I would have to say that the IQ isn't at all a useful tool and that i'm glad that I don't ever have to deal with it.

Just one of my takeaways

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One thing relating to psychology I know I will never forget is the idea of "better dating through science", both the biological and emotional implications of the psychology behind attractiveness and relationships.

I saw this great documentary, The Science of Sex Appeal (which can be found here or here.) on the Discovery channel last summer, which is all about, you guessed it, the science behind what makes someone sexy and why some people find others more attractive. Being the nerd I am, I was completely engrossed with the findings, material, and social experiments in the program (I seriously recommend it to everyone). So when chapter eleven came, I was really happy to find out I already knew that portion of our textbook and discussion section.



I know I will remember this five years from now, because ever since I saw that documentary, I haven't stopped making really sarcastic comments when my friends are watching romantic comedies (such as how the female protagonist only finds her opposite attractive because his face is symmetrical, thus meaning he has good genes, or because he happened to meet her when she was having a hectic morning, so the rush of dopamine forever influenced the fate of the movie).
But in a more useful and less cynical sense, I've been using this area of psychology to try and look at my own and other's relationships more scientifically. Human behavior sometimes makes a little more sense, now.

So thanks for all of the tips, Psychology!

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My two youngest, half siblings (we do not share a father) are very outgoing and loud; they'll do anything for attention. Yet, I am extremely shy and prefer to stay in the background. Since I learned about genetic vs. environmental effects on people, I could assume that most of this difference is due to the fact that my younger siblings and I only share half of our DNA. It was hard for me to believe that these polar opposites formed over 50% of our DNA however, then, I learned of the attachment theory.
The attachment theory explained many things about how my personality could have risen. The type of parenting I received and my personality correlated with that of the avoidant attachment theory, but my younger siblings seem to have a very secure attachment. I wondered how this could occur since we had grown up in the very same environment, or so it seemed. Since, my biological father had died when I was 8, I had grown up with a step father in a very different environment than my younger siblings who had their biological father living in our home. We were raised very differently, despite the fact that we lived in the very same house. Then, recently in lecture we were shown powerpoint slides of how much more likely signs of abuse result in a family with a step parent.
I will always remember the attachment theory because of how it has affected my life. It helps me explain and sometimes correct my responses to certain situations. However, most importantly, I know I will always remember this theory because it will remind me of how I can one day affect the lives of my own children. I will now hold my future parenting to a higher standard than my parents did.

Is it really possible that a doctor would let an organ donor die so they can harvest his organs? According to extraordinary claims it isn't likely. This myth originated by e-mail. In these e-mails the senders say things like "I heard..." and "my wife told me that..." which is hardly concrete evidence. One major problem is the lack of non-anecdotal evidence. As we have learned, anecdotal evidence should not be taken very seriously or taken over concrete evidence. Another problem with this myth is that if the doctors do not provide their best medical care to the patients the family of the patient can sue. In addition to being sued, these doctors could be charged with homicide according to the law. The third problem with this myth is that, according to the United Network of Organ Sharing, organ donation can only be considered once the patient has been declared brain dead. While the myth implies that this has been a recurring problem there is only one documented case and that is the case of Ruben Navarro. What the myth also fails to mention is that the doctor who let Navarro die had criminal charges brought up against him that would have resulted in him going to jail for a maximum of four years. According to extraordinary claims there needs to be extraordinary evidence to support extraordinary claims. In the case of doctors letting patients die in order to harvest their organs there is a substantial lack of extraordinary evidence. Therefore, this myth is most likely untrue.
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Lying

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When perceiving emotions, we rely on the universally recognized facial expressions of happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear, and contempt. When shows a picture displaying one of these emotions, almost everyone can easily label it. We rely similarly on polygraph/lie-detector tests to determine the truth of a person's statement based on heart rate, sweat, etc. Between these two methods, it seems that people would be completely transparent. However, it is not quite so. The templates for basic emotions are hardly accurate in everyday life; these facial expressions can mix and are subject to variations depending on the exact emotion or the biology of the person. This can make faces difficult to read, often obscuring a person's true feelings. Also, not everyone will portray a "classic" facial expression because they are liable to cultural variations. As for the polygraph tests, all these really measure is the level of anxiety the person is experiencing. Anxiety or signs of nervousness do not necessarily denote guilt in an individual. According to chapter 11 of the text and journalist Steve Elias, polygraphs have a reputation for yielding false positives. After all, if an innocent person took a polygraph test knowing that the result could be a catastrophe for them, wouldn't they rightfully feel stressed?
Thus we can conclude that, due to inconsistency and error in physiological signs of emotion, lying is easier than you may have believed. Don't always believe what you see.

SAT Cheating

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Standardized testing has been apart of our society for quite sometime. There are many different types of these exams, and they are mainly used to test intelligence. Aptitude tests, such as the SAT, can act as transitional exams for high school to college students. The SAT is intended to assess a student's readiness and comprehension for college level studies. It was first introduced in 1926, and its name and scoring have changed several times. It was once called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, then the Scholastic Assessment Test, but now SAT does not stand for anything.

The SAT is a very challenging exam and with a great score on one, the test taker would propel to greater opportunities. The test remains as something many high school students fear and loathe. It is the gatekeeper to your college dreams, and sometimes people will go to drastic measures to ensure themselves a solid score on a standardized test as importance as the SAT.

Recently Sam Eshaghoff, a former senior of Great Neck North High School in Long Island, had started a scam that involved surrogate students taking the exam for others. The price would change depending on the student, but the amount has reached near $3500 for a surrogate student to cheat and take the exam for someone else. His scam has expanded to three different high schools and a total of two dozen students.

After reading this article about Sam Eshaghoff, I couldn't believe someone had actually pulled that off. While in high school, my friends and I would joke about having someone else take the ACT or SAT for us. We would have a better life if we did and our scores would help out in the future, right? I guess instead of actually trying, like my friends and I ended up doing, these idiots, I mean students, in Great Neck North seem to ignore the actually significance of these exams in the first place. The SAT is a standardized aptitude test. It is designed to measure intelligence, and everyone's intelligence is different. However lazy one can get, if you don't want to take the test to see if you are ready for college, then why would you want to go to college?

http://www.examiner.com/headlines-in-new-york/long-island-sat-cheating-scandal-spreads-to-3-more-high-schools

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT

Food, Sex, and Danger

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Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

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Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

Food, Sex, and Danger

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Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

Food, Sex, and Danger

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Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

Food, Sex, and Danger

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Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

Food, Sex, and Danger

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Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

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1.jpeg
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Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

Food, Sex, and Danger

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Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

Food, Sex, and Danger

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Vote 0 Votes

Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

Food, Sex, and Danger

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes

Food, Sex, and Danger

Susan Weinschenk talks about the brain in her book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? She argues that as humans, we have three brains: the new brain, the mid brain, and the old brain. While the "new brain" is the part that controls consciousness and reasoning, the "mid brain" is the part that process emotions. Lastly, the "old brain" is the part that looks over one's survival. Weinschenk propose that our old brain constantly scans the environment and answers the following three questions:
-Can I eat it?
-Can I have sex with it?
-Can it kill me?

All three of these questions are crucial to our specie's survival. Without food we will die. Without sex we will go extinct. Lastly, if we die, well, we are dead. Since the old brain is always on the lookout for our survival through these three questions, we cannot resist noticing food, sex, or danger.

We see this idea play out not only within ourselves, but also the advertising world as well. The business people have long since notice our attention to the three categories. Here are some examples that fully supports Weinschenk's idea:

Book: Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?
By Susan M. Weinschenk

In examining the psychological aspects of personality, some of the most controversial studies stem from the psychoanalytic views of projective testing. In such tests, examinees are asked to interpret otherwise ambiguous pictures in an application of the projective hypothesis that individuals will project aspects of their personality onto such a stimulus. This freudian idea then allows interpreters to work backwards from such interpretations to examine particular personality traits.
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Proponents advocate for such testing on the basis that it allows psychologists to examine mainly unconscious (and hence uncontrollable) responses to stimuli, allowing them an otherwise impossible view into a subjects innermost personality. However, the reason such tests remain controversial is due to their refuted reliability in terms of the scientific method.

The best known of these projective measures is the Rorschach Inkblot test, in which subjects interpret 10 symmetrical inkblots. The results are then scored based on numerous characteristics supposedly associated with personality traits. The interesting part of such a test is that despite its criticism and doubts, it is on of the most commonly used of all personality measures. (Lilenfield p. 570) In addition, excluding extreme psychological cases (such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), the test has little reliable validity in terms of predicting behavior. This raises the question, why would it still be used on a widespread basis? Especially due to the fact that respondents could potentially fake such disorders on tests quite easily.

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Based on my reading and analysis of the Rorschach test, my main question is why? Why would psychologists still use it? Though I understand that it's prominence is receding, it still makes me question the overall studies of personality. If we are still employing a method that has almost certainly been proven ineffective, how can we ever truly understand the inner workings of the mind?

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In lecture, I was incredibly interested with the Projective tests and how they are able to tell so much about the character of a person. Although I was interested, I didn't know how to make a blog post about it. Going to faithful Wikipedia, I saw one of the headings was uses in marketing which is exactly what I plan on majoring in. Match made in heaven. I looked up scholastic articles about projective tests used in marketing and found the perfect one (linked below). It first summarizes what we were taught: some information can not be gained simply by asking. Because we are intelligent humans, there is always a bias in our answers because it comes from us. The article talked about how sometimes questionnaires about products do not truly measure the market but instead measure how people want to be seen. The subjects, being human, respond in a way in which they are viewed favorably. Saying you drink diet, exercise more than you do, or, in the case of this article, drink light beer is a natural "white lie" that many tell but that screws up the data.

The article used an example of the projective test used by researchers of Nescafe. When subjects said they didn't like the product, the main response was, "I don't like how it tastes." Puzzled by these vague responses, they switched to a projective test. They made two grocery lists, one with Nescafe and the other with regular coffee then asked subjects to write a little about the woman buying everything on that list. The findings show that the woman who bought Nescafe was lazy, stingy, and a bad wife. They concluded it was not the product itself, but rather what the product did to the social custom of coffee. It's the complete act of making a pot of coffee which is seen as womanly, a good wife, and active in the kitchen. Obviously, no subject could pull that information out when asked why they didn't like the product. It wasn't that the taste was bad, it was that instant coffee meant the woman was abandoning the traditions of caring for the family, guests, or neighbors. Women would not buy the coffee because they did not want to be seen as a negligent wife.

The article concludes with the reminder that products affect the private circle and customs of everyday life where traditions and social norms are incredibly important. I found this research not only interesting, but also insightful about the everyday life of an average human and the bias we all carry. The same techniques and general rules used in Psychology can be used in the business world to know and understand the customer. Although these tests can be pricy to implement, the knowledge gained shows the hidden bias of the customer base which can make or break a product on the market. I would like to see other cases where projective tests were used in marketing to see if it always has the same type of response. Where do projective tests fail? Is there a line where people won't express their feelings, even in a projective test?


http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/1246942.pdf?acceptTC=true

Knuckles 2.jpg Arthritis.jpg

Many people, at some point in their life, have been told that they will develop arthritis as they age because knuckle cracking causes arthritis. Children who have stumbled upon knuckle cracking oftentimes turn it into a habit, just to be told that they will have joint pain and suffering because of it. Arthritis is one concept that is generally scary for children, who oftentimes have a hard time stopping their new habit, which causes even more fear for the child. The claim that knuckle cracking causes arthritis has been prevalent throughout the world for many years, but how truthful is this statement?
Through some of the principles of critical thinking, this statement can be evaluated. The most important principle for this claim is principle #5, which states that extraordinary claims must have extraordinary evidence. Since this claim does not have a high replicability, meaning that it would be hard to test and get results that can be duplicated, there have not been many experiments testing it. Due to the lack of evidence suggesting that this claim is factual, the positive correlation between knuckle crackers and arthritis victims has brought up arguments and provided some backing to the claim, however the second principle of critical thinking states that correlation doesn't equal causation, so we can not say that the positive correlation between knuckle cracking and arthritis victims is enough to prove this extraordinary claim true. People with confirmation bias often times will even use this correlation as a guideline to deny, dismiss, or even distort evidence to fit their theory, that knuckle cracking causes arthritis. Due to the lack of extraordinary evidence backing the extraordinary claim, the fifth principle of critical thinking is the most useful way to evaluate the claim.
Recent studies on the cause of arthritis has given doctors reason to believe that knuckle cracking plays no role in the development of arthritis, however it can lead to ligament and tendon damage over time! Some people still stand by the extraordinary claim though; these people have belief perseverance, the tendency to stick to their idea even when evidence contradicts them.

Learn more at http://www.hopkins-arthritis.org/arthritis-news/2007/knuckle-cracking-and-arthritis.html, and http://oregon.providence.org/patients/programs/medical-group-arthritis-center/Pages/askanexpertlanding.aspx?TemplateName=Ask+an+Expert%3A+Knuckle+cracking+and+arthritis&TemplateType=AskAnExpert

Birth Order

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Birth order has long been thought of as a non-shared environmental factor in determining personality traits in kids. This concept states that through environmental influences in family life, children's personality can be determined by their birth order. The way children are treated based on their birth orders is based on how parents raise their kids based on when they are born. Generally, birth order books say that firstborns tend toward achievement, middle-borns toward diplomacy, and later-borns toward risk taking.
Being from a family that has four children in it, birth order has been a major influence on my family. While reading about birth order, Frank Sulloway's findings and the generalizations surrounding a lot of the theories, I found a lot of similarities between the theories and the affect birth order has had on me and my siblings. It is said that the first born has a lot of pressure on them from the parents. I see that in my family because my brother is considered as the "responsible" one. He manages the house hold when my parents can't or are just too lazy to do so. My two middle sisters also somewhat fit the persona of a middle child. Although they might not think they don't have a place in the family, they are peacemakers and at times can be secretive. And with me, the last born, I relate to the birth order because I am the most social out of all my siblings, and unfortunately the most financially irresponsible.
While reading about this concept and relating it to my family, I wondered if people who have the same birth order relate and connect better than ones with different birth orders. I also wondered about some of the possible psychological disorders that could arise from birth order. For instance, because the first born receives a lot of the pressures and responsibilities from the parents, is he/she more susceptible to depression? And since the middle children feel neglected are they more prone to self-esteem issues? This would be an interesting relationship to sstudy and see if there is any correlation.

In our books and lectures, we learned that the IQ of a person is strongly correlated with genetics from the many twin studies (where identical twins raised a part had more similar IQs versus non-related children raised together). This makes plenty of sense, but I was curious to find out if there was any evidence depicting the environmental effects on a person's intelligence.

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In this article, researchers and graduate students Christopher Eppig, Corey Fincher and Randy Thornhill looked at the global diversity of intelligence, because there indeed is variations of average IQ across the world, even across nations. There are several explanations as to why this is, such as difference in education or perhaps that harsher, colder climates require more intelligent people to inhabit them (which must mean we Minnesotas are truly smart).

However, Eppig, Fincher and Thornhill provide a different explanation: infectious diseases. According to them, since humans spend an exhausting supply of energy building the brain as children, if they get really ill, a lot of that energy which should have gone to promoting the brain now goes to fighting the disease. Thus, the children have lower intelligence in the future.
There were many different trials conducted to support this hypothesis, such as finding lower IQ with people who were infected with intestinal worms as children, or areas in Mexcio had higher IQs if they underwent malaria eradication. This was also seen among different states in the US, with the "smarter" states having less infectious childhood disease.

Now this is good news indeed! This could be another explanation for the Flynn Effect (finding that average IQ scores have been rising at a rate of approximately three points per decade). This could also be the gateway for helping decrease the disparity between people's overall intelligence.

IQ Works

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IQ testing is a question that many researchers and people have pondered over the years. Should it be used to determine if certain individuals are capable of obtaining certain jobs and occupations? According to our Lilienfeld Psychology textbook, intelligence quotient (IQ) is a systematic means of quantifying differences among people in their intelligence. There are pros and cons to using IQ testing as a way to determine which individuals receive which jobs; overall I do believe that IQ testing should come into play when deciding who should get the job position more than one person is competing for. The Lilienfeld Psychology book also states that people who receive a low score on their IQ test might lack some of the cognitive abilities that allow them to obtain and keep well-paying jobs. It is important to understand and know how to do your job well, and I think lacking the cognitive abilities you may need would definitely affect your job performance. There is an organization called Mensa that individuals qualify for if he or she scores in the top two percent of the IQ range. A majority of the population that did fall in the top two percent of this range obtained occupations as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and college professors. The studies that have been done regarding IQ testing have shown a positive correlation between high IQ scores and life achievements. The Lilienfeld psychology textbook states that individuals in the top .001 percent attended graduate school at 50 times higher of a rate then people who did not do as well on the test. Also, people with higher IQ's have shown to put more time and effort in whatever they do. It is very important to have the mindset when starting a job that you need to always try your hardest and put effort in until the job is complete. I believe people have received high scores on their IQ tests because they have put in a lot of effort throughout their lives to gain the intelligence needed to earn a high score. According to Wikipedia on intelligence quotients, the military has a minimum IQ of 85 for enlistment standards. They have experimented in lowering the IQ to 80 multiple different times, but when they have done this the individuals could not master soldiering well enough to obtain a position. I believe a similar situation to this one would occur if hiring managers did not use the IQ's of potential employees. The argument in my Lilienfeld psychology book as to why IQ testing should not be used to help decide who to hire for certain jobs, is because people coming from other countries struggle with this test due to language barriers. This argument does not make sense, because if they have trouble on the test, then those struggles will more than likely come up when working in a certain position as well. I believe IQ testing should be used to determine the individuals who obtain certain jobs because higher IQ's lead to higher levels of success.IQ.gif
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_quotient

The use of projective tests to assess personality is highly controversial. Many people question it's reliability and validity because of the nature of the test. A projective test is one that presents ambiguous stimuli such as that in the Rorschach Inkblot test to the examinee who has to say what they see.


Take a look at the image above. What do you see? Is it a lady carrying a basket on her head, a very mean looking face, or is it something else? Be careful of the answer you give to the examiner. Any specific detail you focus on is supposedly associated with a personality trait. In the Lilienfeld textbook it gives two examples: if you focused on the tiny details in the inkblots you have many obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and if you focused on the color in the inkblots you are said to be emotional. Just because you see the smaller things in the picture doesn't mean you have obsessive compulsive tendencies, you may have been unable to focus on other things because the picture is so ambiguous that you can't make any other kind of sense of it. There could be other rival hypothesis to explain the reason you saw a certain image in the inkblots. One reason could be influences from earlier in the day, like seeing a monkey on tv and picturing that same monkey in the inkblots in front of you. The Lilienfeld text points out that there are very few results which are replicated between Rorschach scores and mental disorders. It also says the test-retest reliabilities are unkown. The associations given from each response may have some surface plausibility, but that doesn't mean it's the cause of the response; a mistake in correlation vs causation.

Overall, to me the Rorschach test isn't very reliable and for each answer the examiner gives an interpretation to, there are many other simpler reasons the subject gave that specific response. These tests don't have test-retest reliability, and the lack of evidence for its incremental validity.(Lilienfeld)

Chapter 14 Lilienfeld Psychology textbook

Polygraph Testing

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mri-lie-detector-1.jpgPolygraph testing was created in 1915 and still remains popular today. Many polygraph examiners in the United States say that these tests are extremely accurate. However, there is proof that theses tests can confuse arousal with guilt. People may react to the thought of being convicted of a crime, even though they are not guilty of the crime. This can cause the polygraph test to convict innocent individuals. It can also lead to people who are guilty of the crime to be declared as innocent. Polygraph examiners also claim that polygraph test is often effective for eliciting confessions, especially when people fail the test. They believe that suspects who failed the test and didn't confess to the crimes must be guilty. However, without evidence against the suspect, they cannot prove them to be guilty. There seems to be a lot of flaws in these tests.

A huge factor in why polygraph tests should not be used, in my opinion, is because there are many countermeasures, methods designed to alter people's responses to control questions. In other words, people can learn how to beat these tests. They can be taught how to do this in a relatively short amount of time, so it is easy for people to learn how to appear as if they are telling the truth, when I reality they could possibly be lying.

When you search "how to beat a lie detector" on the internet there are hundreds of thousands of results. It is proof that there are ways to easily find ways to beat polygraph tests. Although not all of these websites are completely credible, they are still influencing people and showing how these tests are not always accurate.

Here is a link to an anti polygraph website:
Antipolygraph.org

Do you think that mankind will ever be able to replicate the human mind? This is a question that is far from being answered. Artificial Intelligence is a relatively new field of computer science and still has a long ways to go to replicate the capacities of the human mind. Here is an example of some of the more recent efforts to take advantage of the structure of the brain: "A Computer Chip that Emulates the Human Brain"

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It is currently an issue of debate on whether or not it is even possible to "recreate" the human mind. It is argued that since the brain is just a biological machine, it would be feasible to copy the brain directly into hardware and software and that such a simulation will be essentially be identical to the original. On the other hand, we don't even know if the brain follows predictable operations since there are an infinite number of paths for a signal to travel.

Even if it were possible to recreate the human mind, would it be capable of emotion and abstract thinking? Human intelligence is partly defined by our ability to think abstractly. It sets us apart from every animal. Most AI researchers sum up their position with this phrase: "Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it." However, this would not be the same as the human mind. The machine would not really be thinking, but acting like it is thinking since it is just simulating how specific features of intelligence are described to it.

This article explores further the philosophy of artificial intelligence and addresses the question of whether or not a machine can display general intelligence: "Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence"

Overall, intelligence must first be defined for us to determine if it can be replicated. Psychologists and scientists are continually exploring how the brain works and what constitutes are thought processes to answer this question. It is very well possible that we will never fully understand the mind.

In the opinion of Sigmund Freud, literature's purpose is to reveal the unconscious fantasies of the author, critic, reader or character. His tripartite model of the human psyche can be seen in the characters of nearly any piece of literature or film. These "characters" are known as the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the predominantly passionate, irrational, unknown and unconscious part of the psyche. It follows impulses that seek gratification and acts in a very irrational manner. Contrarily, the superego makes moral judgments and acts as the censor of inappropriate desires, working through punishment in the form of guilt and fear. The third component of Freud's theory is the ego, which is the predominantly rational, logical, orderly and conscious part of the psyche. It tries to decipher a compromise between the two extremes of the id and the superego. The ego is in a constant state of conflict.
If you were to apply this psychoanalytic theory to your own life, you may do so in terms of this upcoming psychology exam. The id would look for distractions and ways to procrastinate your studying. According to Freud, your id is the character that causes you to get sidetracked on Facebook for multiple hours instead of reading your textbook and filling out the study guide. Oppositely, your superego is the voice inside your head telling you to hunker down and concentrate. Your superego is the one that tells you to close your laptop and isolate yourself from distractions until you have completely finished studying. The ego listens to both sides of the continuum and decides what the best compromise will be. Most likely, your ego will agree with the superego that you must study hard, yet at the same time have some fun with the id. Your ego might tell you to study without distractions for a certain amount of time, but then after that specific point is reached, you have earned yourself a brief break before resuming to your studies.

Two Factory Theory of Emotion

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The two factory of emotion states that after encountering an emotion provoking event one experiences a state of alertness also referred to as arousal. The second part of this theory states that one seeks to explain this arousal and therefore we label the arousal with an emotion. Emotions are therefore explanations we attach to arousal. This is an important concept because it explains how one's emotions can be interpreted, which enables us to better understand our actions and those of others.

Dutton and Aron did an experiment that supports this. An attractive female approached young men to take her survey and then went on to give them her phone number if they had any questions. This experiment was done on a sturdy bridge and then was repeated on a swaying bridge, 30% of the males called her back from the sturdy bridge and 60% of the males called her back that she approached on a swaying bridge. The swaying bridge caused the males to be aroused and therefore they were more attracted to the female that conducted the survey, which supports the two-factory theory of emotion.

Although this experiment supports this theory, other research supports that arousal intensifies emotions and can occur in the absence of arousal. The problem of replicability is shown through the research that arousal is not necessary for all emotional experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-factor_theory_of_emotion

The Big Five

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The Big Five Model of Personality is five traits that have surfaced repeatedly in factor analyses of personality measures. O.C.E.A.N describes all people, including those with psychological disorders (Lilienfeld 562). Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism are the five dimensions described in O.C.E.A.N. With each dimensions, their are common traits that repeat in them. "Open people tend to be intellectually curious and unconventional. Conscientious people tend to be careful and responsible. Agreeableness is self explanatory, easy to get along with. Neurotic people tend to be tense and moody," (Lilenfeld 562). These traits, like high conscientiousness and low neuroticism are associated with good grades in school, as well as successful job performance.
Within the United States, the Big Five traits differ across geographical regions between states. Not only in the United States, but around the world these traits have a pattern. People from largely individualistic cultures, like the United States, tend to focus on themselves and their personal goals, whereas those from largely collectivist cultures, primarily in Asia, tend to focus on their relations with others (Lilenfeld 563). Even being able to tell if one is a "cat person" or a "dog person" can be predicted by the Big Five. I know environments have an effect on peoples traits and who they are, but if someone were to move, would that affect the person's traits and would they change within the new environment that they are placed in. Has their been a study to where one person's traits changed so drastically that they are a completely new person over time?

Plantation-Hospital-Overcoming-Obstacles-to-Breastfeeding.pngCanada's McGill University has found in a longitudinal study that breastfed babies ended up performing better in IQ tests by the age of six. However one of the six principles of critical thinking; correlation vs causation comes into play as researches do not know if it was the breast feeding that enhanced the babies IQ's or rather the bond that was formed between the mother while breastfeeding. The researchers also stated breastfeeding may increase verbal interaction between mother and child, which could enhance their development. Also this study has been replicated 14,000 times with a positive correlation between breastfeeding and IQ. The evidence has proven that babies who breastfed for the first three months through 12 months scored an average of 5.9 points higher on IQ tests in childhood. Further research that has been conducted, has struggled to discover whether the findings were because mothers from more affluent backgrounds were more likely to breastfeed or as learned in lecture, that more affluent families tend to possess higher IQ's.

I can relate this to my own life. I was breastfed and my younger brother was not. This is because doctors had discovered early signs of breast cancer in my mother around the time of his birth and had to partake in surgical procedures to prevent the spreading hence disallowing my brother from receiving the nourishment provided by breastfeeding. I never realized that that would cause such drastic affects as on his recent aptitude test I scored five points higher then he did. Breastfeeding can increase IQ's and in England, the government suggests that moms breastfeed for the first six months. Mothers will not only increase their child's IQ but also grow a bond with their child that will last a life time.

psych blog #5.jpgRegardless of language and culture barriers, people can read each other's emotions through facial expressions. This article, referred to a study from a journal of the American Psychological Association. The study concludes that "perception of emotional signals is not driven by language". Rather the study shows that emotions are "biological evolved mechanisms".

The actual study involves two groups: Yucatec Maya speakers and German speakers The Yucatec Maya speakers were chosen because they have only one word to describe both anger and disgust; the German speakers have a word for each expression. The two groups were shown pictures of facial expressions and asked what they thought each person was feeling emotionally. The Yucatec Maya speakers obviously spoke the same word for the pictures of anger and disgust, while the German speaker differentiated. But here's the quoted procedure--the author stated it best--of the important part of the study:

The participants from the two language groups were also asked to perform a task using photographs of people showing mixed emotions. The photographs were digitally manipulated to control the mix of emotions in the faces so that the two photos were always equally different across all pairs. Subjects were shown a photo of a mixed-emotion face, which was then replaced by a pair of photos. One of the members of the pair was the original photo, the other featured the same person, but with a slightly different mix of emotions. In some pairs, the dominant emotion in the two photos was different, while in other pairs, the dominant emotion was the same. The participants were asked, for many pairs of photos, which of the two pictures they had just seen. (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)

The study showed that both the German and Yucatec Maya speakers had difficulty with the mixed-emotion pictures that contained similar emotions, and were better with the pictures where the emotions were substantially different, like anger and disgust. Thus the Yucatec Maya speakers were able to differentiate between anger and disgust--although they use the same word.

People are social, and emotions were probably the first form of communication, before the onset of vocal communication. If we look at our closest cousins, the primates we can see similar behavior. Primates also communicate with facial expressions such as showing teeth to show fear or anger.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111102093045.htm or LINK!

The Barnum Effect

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The Barnum Effect is named after P.T. Barnum, who is known to have the ability to separate gullible people from their money. Barnum once said "there's a sucker born every minute." The Barnum Effect, according to Chapter 14 of the book, is described as "the tendency of people to accept high base rate descriptions". High base rate descriptions refers to descriptions that apply to almost everyone. This is why it is named the Barnum Effect, or also known as the P.T. Barnum Effect. People are too gullible. Examples of Barnum Effect descriptions would be....

-You have a great need for other people to like and admire you.
-You have a great deal of unused capacity, which you have not turned to your advantage
-At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.

The Barnum Effect accounts for the popularity of horoscopes, crystal balls, palmistry, tea leaf, and tarot card readings. However, there's no evidence for their validity. In 1983, Susan Blackmore did a study that resulted in clients' inability to pick out their own tarot card readings from nine other readings. Each card contained general statements that apply to everyone. This result also applies to horoscopes. A study done by Dean in 1987 showed people couldn't pick out their own horoscope from other ones at better-than-chance levels. Astrology makes extraordinary claims, but there is no evidence for these claims. People fall prey to confirmation bias, and once they read the horoscope, they believe it fits them well. If everyone read all of the horoscopes, they would realize that each one applies to the just as much as the others. Due to studies done by people such as Blackmore and Dean, it's obvious that horoscopes, tarot card readings, among others are all not valid and none of them can confirm what they are said to confirm, which means their not valid.

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http://cdn7.droidmill.com/media/market-media/com.handmark.express.horoscopes_0.png
Chapter 14 of the book
http://psych.fullerton.edu/mbirnbaum/psych101/barnum_demo.htm

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It has been long said that your personality is based on the order in which you were born into your family. When most people hear this news, they are not surprised. However, it is not only which number child you are, but how big the size of your family is that can determine your attitude and characteristics.

SIZE MATTERS.

It is one thing to be the only middle child in a family of three children, but to be one of many middle children, makes a large difference. Families with more children have less resources. Less parents, less attention and less money to be equally divided between their offspring.

SPOUCE CORRELATION.

It has always been said that opposites attract. Although this statement may be partially true, when searching for a spouse, people tend to migrate towards someone with similar personality traits as their own. If personality correlates with birth order, than shouldn't spouses correlate on personality? From recent studies, it has been proven that birth order helps determine not only our spouse but our friendships. Firstborns are more likely to associate with firstborns, middle-borns with middle-borns, last-borns with last-borns.

WHO HAS WHAT

So when it comes down to it, which siblings posses which of the five factors to their personality traits? According to the study from Sulloway in 1996 and 1999 the conclusions came about easily. The first born child tends to be higher in Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Extraversion, and lower in Agreeableness and Openness. First borns are typically responsible and competitive, unlike their later-born siblings who try to distinguish themselves by being playful, and rebellious. Later-borns tend to rate themselves high in agreeableness and high in openness to experience.

Of course no one likes being compared to their siblings, and maybe this is why we distinguish ourselves from each other. All Humans are different and personalities will vary no matter what, however the evidence correlating birth order and specific traits is reliable and helpful information when trying to understand why we are the way we are.


href="http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2003.BirthOrder.pdf?spnCategory=525&spnDomain=17&spnContent=23&spnContent=28&spnID=41021">

We Need Great "MOM"s

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Most parents do not merely give a birth to their baby, but they also take care of him. Since babies themselves cannot feed or wash, nor can teach themselves how to do things, it is fairly important that "parents" do so for them. If genetic parents are under the situation where they cannot raise their own child, there should be other(s) to take the place of parenting. Those other care-givers could be the child's grandparents, adoptive parents, and so on. Before entering kindergarten or elementary school, primary care-giver plays significant roles in shaping the child's personality, sociality, and other abilities.

Since such an affable personality and other abilities are needed to successfully and harmoniously fit one's life into a society, a care-giver should do a great job in attachment parenting. Attachment is the strong emotional connection between one and whom the one feels closest; that is, the connection between mom (or other care-giver) and the baby in my argument. "MOM"s should be able to form a strong emotional connection with their babies by providing comforts ─ such as eye contacting when breastfeeding their babies. Moms should also be able to find the problem and solve it right away when babies are unsatisfied with something; moms should not ignore when babies cry because babies cry for reason.

When these childcares are not so successfully provided, the child might become having difficulties in regulating their emotions, behaviors, and attention. They tend to easily get anxious and distressed. They might also have problems in getting along with their peers. What is worse is that a child might fear her own care-givers when she does not receive enough "love" from them who she feels closest. Who else could you feel comfortable being with and get along with when you have grown up failing in having a good attachment with your closest one(s). Therefore, attachment parenting is not only important for children but also in terms of forming healthier relationships in our society and making a better society.

Here is a video clip of What Happens When Attachment Doesn't Happen.

A projective personality test is a test that involves the participant responding to indistinct stimuli, such as scenes, words, or images. These tests are intended to uncover thoughts, fears, and desires of the unconscious that are hidden from conscious awareness. Projective tests differ from objective tests in that they are very unstructured and therefore open to interpretation, while objective test are much more rigid, consisting of multiple choice and true or false questions that are scored in a very basic manner.
One of the most common projective personality tests used today, is the Rorschach inkblot test. This test consists of the individual freely responding to ten ambiguous inkblot covered cards. Their response, including dialogue, tone, movements, et cetera, is diligently recorded and later scored. This practice is controversial.
The scientific thinking principle of replicability is one that proves the Rorschach inkblot test is flawed. (http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1989-14153-001) The Rorschach has extremely low "inter-rater reliability". Inter-rater reliability refers to the degree of agreement among raters. So, two tester's scores when evaluating the same individual do not match with great consistency. This makes results poorly verifiable and brings into question the tests' validity. Scoring responses rely on normative scores for various populations, which many have been unable to replicate. This makes this test unreliable and I believe invalid.

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While reading my psychology textbook" From Inquiry to Understanding", I came across the section that talked about Happiness, I agreed with our book when they mentioned that Money, wealth and other similar things weren't the source of happiness. I like, many other people believed that happiness declines with old age or that people on the west coast are a lot happier, but these are all misconceptions. Our book states that there are many other things that are positively correlated with happiness, such as Marriage, educations and happy families, but we most always remember that correlation does not equal causation. As I was doing some reading about happiness, I found an article that talked about some other things that leads people to be happy. It said the happiest of people spend the least time alone; they always try to surround their self with family and friends. I also read that to be happy you should learn to forgive others easily and try to remember happy positive times in your life. The article also talked about how happiness is half genetics and not all environments. It shared a how we all have a set point in happiness just like we do with weight. We don't control everything around us, but we can control if we chose to deal with things in a positive happy way 
Article

Criminal profiling is "the act of drawing on prior research and knowledge to create a psychological profile of an unknown criminal offender." How does one go about profiling a case? A detective or special agent looks at these four aspects to gain insight on the personality of the suspect: antecedent (what caused the suspect to act when they did?), method and manner (what type of victims were chosen, and in what manner were they treated?), body disposal (did the crime and disposal take place in one scene, or multiple scenes?), and post-offense behavior (does the suspect try to put himself into the investigation?). It is thought that a suspect will unconsciously leave clues due to their very own psychology. Because of this, profilers tend to also look for which gender would be more likely to commit the crime, any fantasy that seems to be involved, a ritual the perpetrator may have used, a signature left at the scene, and whether a "trophy" (something from the victim) was taken. The answers to all of this can provide details to the suspects inner thoughts which gives those investigating the case a better chance at catching the offender.

But how reliable is it? Since it's start in 1940 by Dr. James A. Brussel, criminal profiling has been subject to scrutiny. A study done in 2002 by Kocsis, Hayes, & Irwin, showed that chemistry majors produced more accurate profiles of a murder than experienced detectives and officers did. Many myths surround profiling as well. Popularized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes, it is thought that criminal profilers are born, and cannot be taught. This is not true, and the book "Criminal Profiling" by Brent Turvey points out that criminal profiling is a systematic process that can and should be taught to law enforcement officials.

Popular TV series, like Criminal Minds, show criminal profilers at work. In this clip we see Agent Emily Prentiss show another unit's detective what profiling is all about.

Despite its flaws, criminal profiling is a process that the FBI and other law enforcement organizations continue, and will continue, to use.

Criminal Profiling

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Criminal profiling is mainly used to track down suspects that have been difficult for law enforcement to find. Ever since a psychiatrist helped lead investigators directly to George Metesky by analyzing pictures and notes, police continued to work side by side with psychologists around the country in order to create profiles of criminals. This field of psychology has developed into what is now called forensic psychology. While there tends to be some disagreement between law enforcement and psychologists about how they should go about profiling and tracking down the suspect, it always comes down to the basic idea of finding the criminal and putting them in jail.
Investigative psychology was founded in the 1990s and also focuses on criminal profiling by coming up with characteristics of the criminal based on their behaviors during the crime. Personal characteristics can come from analyzing little things like how the crime scene is laid out and other "organizational" things.
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The TV show Criminal Minds focuses a lot on the criminal and their behavior to solve crimes, rather than the crime itself. Criminal Minds shows one perspective on criminal profiling and how it can be used to develop a suspect description. People's behaviors can say a lot about their personal characteristics and small intricacies of their personalities.
By examining behaviors of criminals and the crime scenes they leave behind, psychologists and law enforcement can develop profiles of suspects that tend to be very accurate and help lead directly to arrests of unknown offenders.

PersonalityBook

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The other day I was going through the well known website for college students called "College Town Life" and came across a funny article dealing with what a facebook profile can say about a person. It made fun of a lot of stereotypes toward people that all of us have, that were hilarious, yet definitely true. Talking about guys taking their shirts off taking a mirror picture, girls making kissy faces, the people with 3,000 friends. Even though their making good fun of it, a lot of this is actually true.
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An article in the Washington Post wrote about a recent study at the University of Maryland that shows that a person's score on a personality test is approximately within 10 percentage points just by the words they use that are posted on facebook. This personality test is a standard psychological exam that measures the "big five" personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
They found some odd, but interesting correlations. People who tested as extroverts tended to have many friends, but it's sparse so not many of the people would know each other. People who were neurotic had a more dense group of friends, meaning they probably knew one another and shared the same interests. Neurotic people generally used a lot of words like "nervous", and "worried" on their posts. Another really interesting thing they found was that people with long last names tended to have more neurotic traits. They believe that it's possibly because "a lifetime of having one's long last name misspelled may lead to a person expressing more anxiety and quickness to anger". A funny correlation they found for neurotics was also that they used a lot of words describing ingestion like pizza, dish or eat. They weren't able to find any reasoning for this one except some hypothesis but think it's more of an underlying answer.

The Bachelor: A Psych Lesson

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I have never been a fan of The Bachelor, but even in watching one episode you can see psychology at work. Every season there are some main themes:
The bachelor is a handsome young man who has a pocket book full of cash. Typically the majority of the girls are a few years younger than him, have looks above average, and come from similar backgrounds. The dates they go on have some sort of thrill factor, whether it be skydiving, off-loading, driving Nascar cars, or bungee jumping. One date the bachelor gets to choose, the next the girl gets to choose. At the end of the show there is an elimination ceremony, which eventually leads to a proposal ceremony.
How do all these themes relate to psychology though?
To begin with, the show uses the basics of attraction: men like younger women, and women like older men with money to spare. All of these people are beautiful, so their isn't anything to worry about when it comes to physical attractiveness. Next the show uses the three major principles in guide attraction and relationship formation: proximity, similarity, and reciprocity. The proximity principle is fulfilled through the constant dates that occur. The similarity principle is fulfilled by everyone having similar economic backgrounds. Finally the reciprocity principle is satisfied by the trading off of whether the male or female picks and hosts the date. To help the love process along the way the Dutton and Aron's bridge study is constantly used for the dates- having them be some sort of thrill, the two factor process theory. Another aspect of psychology that is used is the approach- avoidance pattern of conflict, and is the most important part of the show. The proposal. The bachelor has to choose who to propose to and once he does he has to wait to see if he's been rejected by the girl he has chosen.
With all this play with emotions, no wonder why this show is such a hit and a guilty pleasure to watch.
Womack

ABC's The Bachelor Website

IQ Tests and the Workplace

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IQ tests have been debated being used to find new employees of various occupations for a number of years. Some argue that IQ is a perfect test when trying to find the best employee because it will result in the hiring of the best possible applicant. They will be the smartest employee possible and the most beneficial to the company. This doesn't seem to be the case. There are a number of other attributes that people may or may not have that a single test of knowledge could possibly overlook. These attributes may include wisdom and the ability to perform under pressure.

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Wisdom in many cases may be a more crucial attribute than overall knowledge. Wisdom allows the individual to make the best decisions for the company where as a less-wise but more knowledgeable employee may not have the experience to make the best decision. IQ tests also do not cover the ability to perform under pressure. This attribute may be one of the most important qualities that an employee must have depending upon the type of job. This ability will allow the employee to make the crucial decisions for the company when there are needed the most. In some cases, the decision could be the result of the company's existence. With this being said, IQ tests are not a good way to test an applicant's ability to do their job. They are simply too broad to be used for a distinct job and they overlook many important attributes.

The Id, Ego, and Superego

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Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, developed a structured model of the sectors of our personalities. The three components are as follows; the Id, the ego, and the superego. The Id is driven by our most primitive impulses such as sex & aggression. If our desires are not fulfilled within that moment it will result in an increased level of stress and anxiety. The power source of the Id is our pleasure principle which wants to relieve the feeling of anxiety immediately. The Id is completely unconscious.The ego on the other hand is the central control system and is the lead in making decisions. The ego is driven by the reality principle which combats the Id in holding off immediate urges so as to relieve itself in the proper setting. The superego is our contact with keeping good ethics and morals. It allows us to have good etiquette and behave properly.
I can recall a time where i was pretty frustrated and irritated at someone for lying to my friends in front of my face. Instead of blowing up in their face i took the time to think about it and decided to stay quiet until they had left. Afterwards i ended up smashing a light bulb on the ground to relieve my stress. I believe it was my ego that allowed me to control myself in that situation as to where my Id wanted to do the exact opposite.
These three psychic agencies interact with each other throughout every single day of our lives and form who we are as people. It's essential that we understand why we act a certain way and what drives us to do certain things whether it'd be a sexual desire or refraining kicking a door in, For information on the Id, ego, and superego refer to the following link.id-ego-superego[1].gif

The Id, Ego, and Superego

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Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, developed a structured model of the sectors of our personalities. The three components are as follows; the Id, the ego, and the superego. The Id is driven by our most primitive impulses such as sex & aggression. If our desires are not fulfilled within that moment it will result in an increased level of stress and anxiety. The power source of the Id is our pleasure principle which wants to relieve the feeling of anxiety immediately. The Id is completely unconscious.The ego on the other hand is the central control system and is the lead in making decisions. The ego is driven by the reality principle which combats the Id in holding off immediate urges so as to relieve itself in the proper setting. The superego is our contact with keeping good ethics and morals. It allows us to have good etiquette and behave properly.
I can recall a time where i was pretty frustrated and irritated at someone for lying to my friends in front of my face. Instead of blowing up in their face i took the time to think about it and decided to stay quiet until they had left. Afterwards i ended up smashing a light bulb on the ground to relieve my stress. I believe it was my ego that allowed me to control myself in that situation as to where my Id wanted to do the exact opposite.
These three psychic agencies interact with each other throughout every single day of our lives and form who we are as people. It's essential that we understand why we act a certain way and what drives us to do certain things whether it'd be a sexual desire or refraining kicking a door in, For information on the Id, ego, and superego refer to the following link.id-ego-superego[1].gif

Criminal Profiling

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Criminal profiling is used all over the world as a way to narrow down subject pools in investigations. Criminal profiling has worked, but some argue that could be because of the broad descriptions that are created that encompass more than just one suspect.
When creating a criminal profile, psychiatrists use evidence from the crime scene to put together what type of person the police should be looking for. They use things like how organized the crime was to help determine the personality of the killer. When identifying the suspect, the psychiatrists use very broad descriptions. This way the description can be interpreted to fit any of the suspects they later convict. They use tactics like the Rainbow Ruse which is identifying both a personality trait and its opposite. This means that the description will have to fit because it covers both personality traits. Sometime the FBI is completely wrong about general details, but is correct with specific details. The general details are more important in allowing police to identify a suspect. The specifics come after. The FBI developed a criminal categorization. Killers either fit into organized or unorganized. Profilers used this for many years. It was then disproved because killers don't just fit into one of the categories. Each is unique and can't be classified as just one thing. While criminal profiling does work sometimes, it also has its faults.

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Criminal profiling, also known as criminal psychology, is controversial to it's validity. Criminal profiling is the process of making an assumption about the criminal by looking at the details of the crime scene, the way he/she committed the crime, and possible motives. Shows like criminal minds have made the idea of criminal profiling popular. They portray the process as straight forward that produces accurate details about the suspect. In reality there is no clear cut way to analyze the information about the criminal. This makes criminal profiling more of a guessing game than a science, contrary to common belief. However in 1956 psychiatrist James Brussel came up with a detailed description of the suspect of a bomber: "He would be unmarried, foreign, self-educated, in his 50s, living in Connecticut, paranoid and with a vendetta against Con Edison--the first bomb had targeted the power company's 67th street headquarters." This description turned out to hit the nail right on the head. This makes it more of a science than a guessing game.

Criminal profiling has been extremely helpful and correct in a few instances, but has been wrong quite a few times. The risk of leading an investigation astray is high. For example, Pinizzotto conducted an experiment and found that out of 192 profiles, only 17% were actually helpful to identifying the suspect. This is why criminal profiling is not a hard science and is something to be skeptical of. In a 1990 study published in Law and Human Behavior, profilers trained by the FBI did no better than nonprofilers at identifying some characteristics of a murderer. However they were more correct than any other group for identifying characteristics of a rapist. This contradicting finding creates more of a question of science or myth.

Currently criminal profiling is seen as appropriate for only some types of cases and should be used with caution. Also, it is seen as a last resort and is not used in most cases unless all other options and investigations have given no leads. Future experiments and cases that use criminal profiling will help to clarify the debate.

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Intelligence testing often plays a large role in college admissions as well as career choices. The rationale behind this is that intelligence tests are highly reliable in predicting future outcomes. Individuals with higher IQ scores frequently have higher mental processes including the ability to better reason, understand and judge. Higher IQ scores, very stable in adulthood, are often positively correlated with success. With this being said, it is apparent why intelligence tests are used as a measure of performance across a wide variety of affairs.

Intelligence tests are often incorporated into college admissions tests which are essentially used to determine a student's potential. Admissions tests are widely accepted as these tests contain high validity. They are able to almost accurately predict academic success however; this is not always the case. Many students report experiencing testing anxiety which can severely impair a student's ability to perform well. In these cases, how can we account for inferior test takers? Many of these students know the material and can understand the concepts however, are weakened by the pressure to perform well. If admissions tests cannot account for testing anxiety or any other troubles that may arise, can it still be considered valid?

Because college admissions tests are similar to intelligence tests, is it possible to train or prepare for these tests? Many companies like The Princeton Review seek to improve scores through training and practice. In fact, these courses teach students how to take the exams. In my experience with ACT practice courses, I was told that one should not read the passages but skim the text for answers. If there are methods to performing better on college admissions tests, can these same methods be applied to IQ tests? Are intelligence tests the best way to determine one's potential?

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Standardized Tests- Enemy?

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As we read in the book, and also heard in lectures, there has been a great debate on standardized tests. I know when I was in the midst of taking the ACTs that I wasn't too fond of them. I have always been the type of person that sets the highest possible goals for myself. I do everything that I can to reach them. When it came to college, I didn't stop setting high goals. I wanted to get into the best schools, and the only thing that I saw stopping me was the ACT. When it was time to take the test I was so stressed and nervous. I didn't want it to be the reason why I didn't get into where I wanted. I think that my situation is one of the stresses that most high schoolers that are going onto college face.

Me, along with the people that relate to this, probably saw the ACT somewhat like an enemy. I know at the time I would have been quick to agree with the many criticisms there are about these standardized tests. One of the criticisms is that these tests don't predict learning and future outcomes. A hard working, dedicated student could have a better outcome, because they might be willing to put more effort and time compared to someone with a higher intelligence that received a higher score on their test. Some other criticisms are that what's taught in schools might differ from the content on standardized tests. Some students may be at a disadvantage for this reason. Also, receiving low test scores on tests could ruin kids self esteem. It may lead them to think they aren't good enough compared to other students. They may stop trying so hard on their schoolwork. They are said to be socially biased in some ways. Race and ethnic background should be acknowledged when scores are looked at. This leads to the question are standardized tests really good to determine colleges for students?

I previously would have answered no, but I believe after all that we've learned and what I have read that it's fair. I don't think that it should be the main concept looked at. I think grades in high school and involvement should have a higher impact, but standardized test scores show some important things. Since everybody is tested on the same basic skills, and there is only one way to score it, it saves the student from bias. Also, it's valid and reliable, since the tests can be repeated and has the same basic concepts. There is definitely a correlation between how well kids do on the ACT or SAT and how well they do in college. If ACT and SAT scores weren't very effective, I don't think colleges would use them.

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This article is about a recent study
that provides new evidence that emotional signals are not understood through the words used in a certain language to desribe the emotion. But rather, like we discussed in lecture, "emotions have evolved from a set of basic human mechanisms," regardless if there's a word in one's language to describe it. Like we talked about in lecture , emotions are an universal and instinctive tool that promotes the survival of species. There's evidence that emotions are innate and provides adaptive value in both humans and animals. We talked about a study done asking people from new Guinea and the US to identify photos of people making varies facial expressions. In general people across cultures, ages, and genders can correctly identify happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise. What's different about this study is, what if there wasn't a word in a language to desribe a certian emotion. Does that emotion end up lost in translation? This recent study provides insight that it does not. Two photos were shown to native Yucatec Maya speakers, one of anger and oen of disgust. In the Yucatec Mayan language, the words for anger and disgust are interchangeable. So when presented with the two photos, Yucatec Maya speakers identified the emotions with the same word. However, when shown a picture of someone with mixed emotions (in this case anger and disgust) and then pictures of people with only one emotion, they were able to identify the difference between anger and disgust without the use of words. This study proves that people are not socialized through language to understand emotion. Rather, like mentioned many times, there's a innate classifcation of emotions within us we can dig into regardless if there's a word for it or not.

Conditions of Worth

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Conditions of worth are discussed in Chapter 14 of our textbook, which covers personality. This concept was developed by Carl Rogers, a theorist who follows the humanistic model of personality. Rogers defines conditions of worth as rules we make for ourselves to distinguish correct and incorrect behaviors. We tend to create these conditions in childhood and continue to follow them as we grow older. The behaviors we engage in are based off of how others view our decisions. If we are made fun of for doing something, we don't feel worthy and therefore are less likely to continue that behavior. If we are praised or acknowledged in a positive way as a result of another behavior, we do feel worthy and are more likely to continue that behavior. I have definitely developed conditions of worth in my life, as have everybody else. I would much prefer to feel socially accepted and viewed as a generally good person than to be judged and looked at as weird and an awkward person based on how I act. However, I do feel as though since I have gotten older, I don't care as much about what others think of my behaviors. I don't take it too personally anymore when somebody makes fun of me for something I like to do that may be odd. I would be interested in learning whether or not conditions of worth decrease as we age and become more comfortable with who we are as people. I believe that this concept is beneficial to understand the reasoning behind why people behave the way they do and all of the factors that contribute to our personalities.
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Walking Through a Doorway Wipes out Memory

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An experiment done by a Notre Dame psychologist named Gabriel Radvansky shows that there really is a correlation between walking through a doorway and forgetting something that you were thinking about in the room you were in earlier.

This experiment gives an explanation for the times that you walk into a room and forget what it is you went in there for. Radvansky says our thoughts become "compartmentalized." This reminded me of the Method of Loci in which you can remember things really well if you associate the memory with an object or place. This sort of relates the compartmentalization that Radvansky describes. When you think of something, then leave the room, you are leaving the place that is associated of what you just thought of, and therefore, could forget it.

The experiment was done in two ways. Firstly, it was done virtually, and then again, physically. In the article it says the results or the "finding was replicated" in both cases. This dismisses the scientific problem of replicability.

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EFT Marriage Therapy

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According to Professor Jeff Simpson, the attachment theory explains that humans need to form and maintain stable relationships. Feelings that keep parents emotionally attached to their children may also keep romantic partners bonded, because whichever attachment pattern one has experienced in their childhood they will expect to experience in relationships later in life.
Generally, if a child is observed to undergo the attachment pattern of "secure" with their parents, they will find relationships later in life easier, and will be comfortable depending on people. In this pattern, parents most likely had very responsive care, which led to their child becoming secure. However, if a child undergoes an "avoidant" relationship, they will be more uncomfortable being close to others and will find it difficult to trust them completely. If parents are relatively rejecting with care, children become avoidant. Between these two stages is that of "anxious/ambivalent" in which one would worry their partner doesn't love them or might not stay with them. When parents are inconsistent with their care, children become anxious-ambivalent.
Jennifer De Francisco of Newport Beach claims that her EFT marriage therapy can help couples get their marriage "back on track." In the World News Report, it is briefly explained people in relationships who are "shut down emotionally" can be changed by this EFT marriage therapy. Although inspiring, one must wonder how this can be possible in consideration of the attachment theory. If a person's comfort level in relationships is developed so early in life, how can one claim to alter which attachment pattern they practice? Simpson would say hierarchical organization explains this. Although relationships with parents explain most of people's relationships later in life, including those with romantic partners and close friends, they are not always parallel. Based on experience, one could easily have a "secure" attachment with their parents, and an "anxious" attachment with romantic partners.
Although EFT marriage therapy seems it should be false, relationships patterns are not always the same. Jennifer De Francisco could be onto an important psychological discovery for dysfunctional couples.
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Personality At A Glance

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Personality can be defined as people's typical ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. In recent efforts, scientists and psychologist have attempted to identify the reason behind a person's particular personality. Why does one behave in a particular manor, and more importantly can a given personality be measured? There are multiple different types of Personality Tests that work to define someone's personality. One category that is well known in the world of personality tests is a projective test. Projective tests are tests that incorporate the use of ambiguous stimuli that the test subject must interpret and make sense of. The most well-known use of the projective test is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. This test was developed by a Swiss psychiatrist named Hermann Rorschach. Rorschach's test consists of ten symmetrical inkblots that the subject is asked to interpret. Among many personality tests one receives a score and or feed back on how they answered the test or interpreted the given stimuli. Rorschach includes four main areas in which he categorizes his scores. The first being Pair response which is typically interpreted as Self-centeredness. A response to this form of thinking might be, "The top middle part looks like a pair of lungs." However, these responses are only paired up with the particular image one is viewing. The image above is not in response to the lung interpretation. However, someone who displays a self-centeredness type of personality would find a form of pair response with the particular inkblot. Other scores that are found in Rorschach's tests include Unusual detail response, Space response and Human movement. Rorschach developed this test by analyzing 300 patients in a mental institute. However, it makes one wonder whether his tests are subject to those with mental illnesses or can also pertain to an average every day person. Many of the inkblot interpretations are centered around a behavior that is not typically ideal. I would be curious to see how people respond to this projective test that are not typically categorized as mentally ill. Rorschach's test however have been noted to be faulty because they lack incremental validity and are not often easily replicated. It would be interesting to see how responses to these tests might vary if the inkblot images varied throughout time. Instead of the ten initial images, what might one experience when viewing a new type of inkblot. Could the responses to the inkblots shift over time, and with that could the interpretations be found as postive ones as opposed to more negative personality types. While many tests have been known to produce results that aren't typically what the test entails, they are still a very popular form personality measurement today.

Science Daily reported a study led by Sam Gosling at the University of Texas at Austin that examined whether people's Facebook personalities present a genuine, accurate view of themselves, or whether people tend to embellish and manage impressions of themselves by projecting an idealized virtual identity.

buy-facebook-fans-small.jpgThe study involved 133 Facebook profiles. Participants were students at the University of Texas at Austin. Participants were broken into groups of 5 people who knew each other. To determine actual personalities, they each completed a Ten-Item Personality Inventory, which rates the Big Five personality traits, about themselves and each of their four friends. The survey also measured each person's "ideal" self - how they wished to be. To make certain that Facebook profiles weren't altered, researchers saved the profiles prior to informing the participants about the nature of the study. Nine undergraduate research assistants who did not know the participants independently rated the personality traits of the 133 based strictly on their Facebook profile. The research assistant's assessments were then compared to the self- and acquaintance reports of the participants, each rated equally. The results? While the researchers expected to discover that the Facebook profiles matched the idealized version of the participant's personality, there was agreement that the profile actually communicated the real personality. This held particularly true for the traits of extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Consensus for agreeableness and neuroticism was weaker. Gosling notes that neuroticism is hard to identify without face-to-face interaction.

jmp080818l.jpgThe researchers aren't sure whether people are just being themselves on Facebook, or whether they're trying to seem idealized and just not succeeding.

The gender and ethnic backgrounds of the study participants were diverse. It would have been interesting to see a broader range of ages. In particular, I'm curious as to whether older people would have shown the same results. Based on this study, it appears that people - at least college-aged students - project accurate views of their personalities and are using Facebook for genuine social interaction. It seems plausible to me that offline personality would mirror online Facebook personality. For something like an online dating site, one would probably try to convey an impression of their more "idealized" self, because these people don't know you in real life. But many of your connections on a Facebook site are friends who already know the real you. There's less incentive there to make false claims or exaggerate, because you'd be called on it.

Here is a video clip of Gosling discussing the study.

What do you see?

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Have you ever watched a t.v. show that showed the psychologist talking to the patient on the reclined couch? Inkblot test shows the personality and emotional function, it allows the psychologist to assess the patient. The test is used to find out the underlying thoughts and it allows it to describe the thoughts through the picture.The test is also used because there is no biases towards the test. It is also very hard to replicate the tests norm and the tests are normal. During the test the instructor shows the patient series of inkblot pictures, and the patient says what he or she think the inkblot looks like, the psychiatrist then uses the responses to analyze what the person is thinking. The test is very hard to redo so the test is very hard to validate, because of the test being hard to validate the mental measure of the patient is very difficult to do. There is also no way to tell the best answers or if there is even a correct answer.

Humans Raising Birds

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Each year hundreds of animals are taken into care by humans for various reasons ranging from oil spills to injuries from barbed wire fences to non-deadly car incidents. As Konrad Lorenz discovered, certain animals experience the process of imprinting, meaning that an animal becomes largely fixated on (Generally) the first thing it sees. However, the time that imprinting occurs can range from a few hours to a few weeks, such as the case in large birds of prey. Incidentally, when some birds are taken into care, their offspring may become fixated on a human being that steps in to care for the animal.

Imprinting is not entirely bad though, when it happens in a natural environment. It helps prevent young being separated from their mother, consequently helping them learn and observe important survival techniques. Imprinting may help explain those crazy stories of ducks following zebra's around like they are their mother at zoos.

One important thing to understand about imprinting is that it's irreversible . Once an animal, usually a bird, fixates on something it will never change. If an animal imprints on a human, it will always prefer humans over animals of the same species. This is why it's tricky releasing animals from zoos or rehabilitation facilities.

Another problem with imprinting is that birds look to their siblings for examples of behavior. This later on in life, influences mate selection. If an animal imprints on the wrong species, reproduction doesn't look too good.

Take this as a warning, if birds hatch in your yard either A) Don't interact with them or B) Bring them into a wildlife care center. As described in this article, it would be awfully sad to drop of a bird and a wildlife care center while it thinks you are it's mother.

Sometimes we can get some humor out of imprinting, such as this fad of marching ducks that's sweeping (Rather marching) across Europe.

Click here for more on imprinting, and here for more Geese parades.

Going Through Stages

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In chapter 14 of our psychology textbook, the chapter dealing with personality, we read about Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality. As our book points out, "no aspect of Freud's theory is more controversial than his model of psychosexual development" (550). Freud claimed that ones sexuality began in infancy and that personality develops through a series of psychosexual stages. According to Freud, the success with which a person resolves each stage affects their personality. One interesting aspect of this is that if one does not successfully resolve a stage, fixation can occur.

There are certain habits and traits that Freud believed accompanied a persons fixation at a given stage. Here is an example of a person who exhibits the behaviors and/or traits Freud believed would accompany a person being fixated or "stuck" in a certain stage.

Ex. Brenda is twenty years old and still sucks her thumb. Although she is embarrassed about it, she won't quit because she gets immense comfort from it and often feels relaxed while doing it. She's also been known to bite her nails when bored and chew her pencils during an exam.

Can you guess which stage Freud would claim Brenda is fixated on? It is the oral stage.

Freud believed that becoming fixated in each stage would lead to a specific set of behaviors and/or traits. But looking at this one example and using the scientific thinking principals we can see why Freud may have been wrong. Freud is assuming a causation relationship between the behaviors Brenda exhibited and her experiences during what Freud deemed as the oral stage. We know that correlation does not equal causation and therefore unless Freud did systematic experiments to prove otherwise, he should not assume that Brenda becoming fixated in her oral stage has caused her to suck her thumb, bite her nails, and chew her pencils. Furthermore before assuming correlation-causation, Freud should do experiments to rule out rival hypothesis. It's plausible that all of Brenda's behaviors stem from a third variable.

So, while Freud's theory may be interesting it is important to remember that many have criticized it as pseudoscience and do not share Freud's view. As always keeping in mind the scientific thinking principals will allow one to analyze Freud's theory thoughtfully.

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Mere exposure effect

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Do you have the experience that the image of yourselves in the mirror is more attractive than the image we appear in photographs? That's an example of mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effect is the phenomenon in which repeated exposure to a stimulus makes us more likely to feel favorably toward it. From the example above, as we may see ourselves in the mirror every day, we are more familiar with the image of ourselves in the mirror, so we prefer to see the image in the mirror.
Obviously, the companies always wish to apply the mere exposure effect in their advertisements and it enables the consumer to buy their products more. But the mere exposure effect does not always work on advertisements, sometimes high level of media exposure will let people become unfavorable. The following video is a TV advertisement during Olympics sport competition.
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This advertisement just repeats the name of its brand 12 times without anything else. Nearly all the audiences feel boring and disgusting when watched this advertisement. Finally, this advertisement has been banned by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television of China. As it mentioned in textbook, "The more frequently we encounter a stimulus without anything bad happening, the more comfortable we feel in its presence." Because when audience watched the advertisement, they arouse some negative feelings, the repeated exposure cannot make consumer become favorably toward it.
In my respect, novel advertisements which people are unfamiliar with are more attractive and easier to apply the mere exposure effect. And there may exist an ideal level of exposure that nobody become unfavorably toward the advertisement. That's just kind of idealization.

Graphology

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The phenomenon of graphology is defined in the textbook as the psychological interpretation of handwriting. What this means is that some psychologists say they can understand a person's personality and traits by just looking at their handwriting. For example take the signature of Wolfgang A. Mozart.
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According to Graphology Research Cent-re, This man carries the scales of balance with him. Every thought, every idea, every emotion is balanced to perfection. He easily overcomes every dilemma, and beats any unfavorable situation. He seldom speaks his mind, keeping most of his ideas and opinions to himself. His decisions are set in concrete and so is his confidence. In a crowd, he clearly stands apart. His life and his career are eventful and exciting. However, people shouldn't be so fast to accept this. Lewis Goldberg and many other researchers conducted many studies that contradict graphologists proving there is little to no validities in graphology. The reason why the technique used by graphologists seems right was most likely due to the representative heuristic: Because certain handwriting features bear a superficial resemblance to certain traits, graphologists assume they go together. However the field of psychology now knows that graphology, although interesting, is not valid.

Most people agree that the way your parents treat you as a child affects your personality as an adult. How? article-page-main-ehow-images-a07-j6-al-degrees-jealousy-800x800.jpg

Two major contributors to this idea are Dr. Ainsworth and Dr. Simpson. Ainsworth conducted a study known as the strange situation test. In this study, a mother and her baby are put in a room in the lab. After a while, the mother leaves the room and the baby will cry. Ainsworth was interested in how the child reacted when his or her mother came back. If the baby had a secure attachment style, they would seek comfort in the mother and be successful in calming down. With an avoidant attachment style, the baby would cry until the mother came back and pretend not to care. They try to self-sooth and are not very successful in calming down. An anxious-ambivalent child wants to he held but also pushes away. They need the comfort from their mother but the baby is mad at her.

How are these behaviors created? If parents drop what they are doing to comfort their crying child and try to help them calm down, they will create a secure attachment baby. If the parents are emotionally rejective and leave the baby to calm down on his or her own, they will create an avoidant baby. Finally if the parents are inconsistent and sometimes comfort the child while other times ignoring the cries, an anxious-ambivalent child will result.

How does this affect our dating lives? Your parents create what type of attachment style you will possess as an adult. However, due to experiences in an individual's life, this style can change. Parents aren't the only factors that form attachment style but I think it is interesting they can have an effect on it. If you exhibit a secure attachment style, you will trust your partner and be able to provide love and support. If you are an avoidant individual, you will be defensive and withdrawn from your romantic partners. If you are anxious-ambivalent, you will tend to smother your partner because you are afraid of abandonment.

As you can see, being in a relationship with a secure individual is the ideal situation. The other two attachment types tend to cause problems and be frustrating. I think this is an interesting study because the way parents treat their babies can have huge effects on how they deal with romantic relationships. Your parents could potentially mess things up for in regards to your love life. Keep in mind other thing that happen in your life can alter your attachment style, your parents can't take all the blame in most situations.

rorschach.jpgThere are many ways to assess personality. Most often, personality is measured with different types of tests. One such test is called a projective test. This type of test is heavily influenced by the psychoanalytic theory proposed by Freud. When we attempt to find shapes in the clouds or on sheets of wood, we are essentially doing the same thing done in a projective test. A projective test measures a person's personality by having the individual interpret ambiguous stimuli.

One of the most popular projective tests is the Rorschach Inkblot Test, created by Hermann Rorschach in the 1920s. It is the most widely distributed and the most popular of the different personality measures. People who participate in this test are asked to examine a series of inkblots and to say what they think the inkblot most resembles. The test distributor analyzes the responses and makes conclusions based on what the individual said and which parts of the inkblot the individual focused on.

Even though this test is very widely used, the test's abilities to accurately and consistently measure personality is controversial. There has been trouble duplication this test and there is little evidence to say that it can detect mental disorders. Another problem with the test is that it takes a long time to administer and interpret. Despite its drawbacks, there are situations where it has proved useful.

After WWII, the Nazis were tried for the war crimes they committed. One such who was convicted was Heinrich Himmler. While trying to assess his personality, they used many different tests, but his results showed he had a normal personality. However, once they gave the Rorschach test to Himmler, they found he was a very anxious and paranoid man. The reason the Rorschach test was helpful was because Himmler knew how to "cheat" on all the other tests because he knew what the acceptable answers were, but with the Rorschach test, there was no way to tell what was an acceptable answer.

Even though the Rorschach test has little validity and reliability in most cases, there are times when the test has proven to be useful. The Rorschach test should not be relied upon, but should not be completely thrown out either.

Click here to see a brief history of the Rorschach Test

Displacement

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One of the concepts in the Lilienfeld textbook that I have a strong connection with is "Displacement". Displacement is basically when you place your anger on a more acceptable target instead of placing it on a person. For example, one of your friend got you so mad, but instead of punching or kicking your friend, you wait till later and start hitting your bed. By doing this, you released out the anger you had with your friend. You have saved your relationship with your friend.
As for me, I used displacement every time I played soccer when I was young. Everyday from after school, my dad would take me and my brothers out to play soccer. We were then split up into two teams with other kids who came to the park. I always stayed on my dad's team, because I feel safer. The other team had to many big kids, so it intimidated me to play soccer. During the game, the big kids would be shoving and pushing me around like nothing. This is what caused me to be angry every time we play soccer. The thing was that I would go out of the field and stayed at the sideline and start pounding the floor like a crazy kid. I did not want to start beating up the other team because it shows no sportsmanship and also I would be the one getting beat up. I am too small to kick their butts so I pound and hit the floor until I get sub in again. Since I have read the Lilenfeld textbook, displacement sure seemed to be the concept that fits this situation well.
I suppose I knew how to use displacement even when I was young, although I did not know that it was called displacement. I was thinking that maybe I could use displacement during school, but this seem to be hard to include it in school. Although, when I took the two previous exams and got really low on it, instead of yelling right in the exam room, I waited till I got out of the building and yelled at my friend who was taking the exam with me. He did not mind at all because he was doing the same to me. I guess that was how both me and my friend used displacement. We yelled in a more appropriate place.

John Bowlby, M.D., a British psychologist who is considered the father of the attachment theory claims that the process of attachment which occurs very early in our life, will affect us our whole life. As stated in this video troubles or failure to find an attachment to some sort of parent, more often than not the mother, will result in troubles or difficulty finding attachment or ability to connect with someone in a more meaningful relationship later in life. This would be like friendships or romantic relationships. As in chapter 10 of our text book, we know that parental attachment usually occurs in a "sensitive period" which is during the time through which an infant will learn to trust others as they explore and examine the world around them. By learning to trust a parent, they will learn to trust anyone in general once they develop more mentally and feel the same kind of emotional connection they have with a parent with someone else, like a friend or partner.
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In today's society the IQ Test is used to determine our knowledge based on general information (g) as well as specified (s) in which I am referring to such topics as math, reading comprehension, etc. However, if one were to do poorly on this test and was applying for a job that as a secretary but that particular person scored low on the IQ test should he or she be denied that job? I say no. The reason being is that jobs such as a secretart, or and assistant have little if to nothing in their job requirements. When being a secretary you must have good social skills as well as other key factors that the IQ test can not test for. Therefore, the IQ test may in turn be against those who wish to apply for these types of jobs. Granted though the IQ test can be used in jobs with a more substantial intellectual responsibilty such as a doctor or lawyer, however, since these jobs don't make up the majority of the job market the IQ test should not be used to determine job placement unless absolutely required. rde0362l.png

What is your personality?

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In class and textbook readings on behavior and personality we have learned that the definition of personality is "people's typical ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving." This definition, taken from the textbook, indicates that a person defines his or her own personality depending on his or her internal thoughts and feelings. I was researching more on the meaning of personality and came across the definition on dictionary.com that explains personality to be "the visible aspect of one's character as it impresses others." This definition is different from the textbook definition because it relies on the opinions and beliefs of others as opposed to the person of interest themselves. So which definition is correct? It is a matter of the critical thinking principle of Falsifiability. The true definition of personality is extremely hard to decipher because it can't necessarily be proven wrong. A person may have a certain thought about what kind of personality they have, but a family member may have a different perception of the person. A friend would also have a different perception of what the personality of that person is. Additionally, people are not always 100% one personality all the time. Certain factors could affect one's personality or a person could have a mixed personality. The main point to take away from this post is to consider the factors that contribute to one's personality and know that other people may have a different perception of what that person's personality is, and know that no one is right because it is very difficult to be certain.

You can find the definition and more at Dictionary.

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Many businesses have had debates on whether or not to include an IQ test in their hiring process. Some businesses have even considered making certain scores a strict requirement in order to even apply for a job. There are many pros and cons to this controversial idea. For starters, there are many things positively correlated with high IQ scores. High IQ scores have predicted job performance across a wide variety of occupations, with an average correlation of about .5. Also, high IQ scores have been shown to be positively correlated with health in people. Healthy people take less sick days and are more productive while at work. Another reason businesses and job employers may consider incorporating IQ scores into their hiring decision is that IQ scores remain relatively stable over time. Job applicants who possess high IQ scores shouldn't experience decay in intelligence over their years working. On the other side of things, there are reasons why employers shouldn't take into consideration their applicants IQ scores. IQ tests have displayed biases against certain cultures, most likely due to vocabulary. A biased test is not a good indicator of what it's designed to measure, some great applicants could be excluded due to this. Also, the correlation between job interviews and IQ scores is only .15. This is a very weak correlation and if the job in question requires confidence and strong people skill, some great candidates might be excluded due to IQ scores. Overall, I don't think that IQ scores should be used in the hiring process or at least definitely not the sole indicator of whether or not the person should be hired or not. There are too many things that IQ does not measure like people and creative skills and the biases it may contain are too risky. I think interviews and thorough applications are the best way to go.

IQ Testing Being Changed

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Intelligence testing was first used to back in the early 1900s among children to see who was not at the same level as their peers, but today much of that has changed. It has evolved from only testing children to now testing adults too. Its measurement allows people to see the level of their intelligence. One of the main groups that the testing has helped the most is the U.S. Military.
The downside though is that many people agree that there are many biases to the intelligence tests. According to the article the test has "been accused of unfairly stratifying test-takers by race, gender, class and culture; of minimizing the importance of creativity, character and practical know-how; and of propagating the idea that people are born with an unchangeable endowment of intellectual potential that determines their success in life" (Benson). Many researchers have tried to change the test to make it fair, while still trying to keep the usefulness of it. They have changed up the tests for diverse groups and people of different linguistic abilities by improving Stanford-Binet system and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. This has allowed many of the biases on the tests to decrease.
The test has always been questioned because of the differences every test taker brings to it. I believe that there will always be biases to the test. Not everyone will agree with their score and everyones score will fluctuate at various times. Many people have their opinions on whether IQ tests should be given or not given. According to APA President-elect Diane Halpern, '"We're not all the same; we have different skills and abilities. What's wrong is thinking of intelligence as a fixed, innate ability, instead of something that develops in a context"' (Benson). I agree with this that everyone is different and unique in some way and were all changing. Intelligence testing shows how intelligent you are at that point in time, but when you take it again later your score is somewhat likely to be different. At the end of the day, IQ tests will change, but will there be a perfect IQ test, it is unknown.


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Multiple Intelligences

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Howard Gardner came up with the theory of multiple intelligences. Multiple intelligences are the idea that people vary in their ability levels across different domains of intellectual skill. Gardner hasn't developed tests to measure his intelligences. So how are we sure that multiple intelligences are truly independent?

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The first intelligence is linguistic or the ability to speak and write well. These people tend to learn best by reading, taking notes, or listening to a lecture.
Logical-mathematical is the second intelligence. These types of people would use logic and mathematical skills to solve problems, such as scientific questions.
Spatial is another type of intelligence. People who think and reason about objects in three-dimensional space are most likely to have spatial intelligence. They are good with judgment and are able to visualize things.
The fourth intelligence is musical. People with musical intelligence perform, understand, and enjoy music. They sometimes use songs or rhythm to learn new things.
Bodily-kinesthetic is the fifth kind of intelligence. These people are able to manipulate the body in sports, dance, or other physical activities.
Interpersonal is also considered one of the intelligences. This included people who understand and interact effectively with others.
The sixth intelligence is Intrapersonal. This intelligence refers to people who understand and possess insight into self. They have a deep understanding of their own weaknesses and strengths are.
Naturalistic is the last form of intelligence. Recognizing, identifying, and understanding animals, plants, and other living things is considered naturalistic intelligence.

I would consider myself to have linguistic intelligence. I can learn well by reading, writing, or listening to information. Discussing and recalling what I learned also help me to achieve higher grades in classes. However, sometimes I can use bodily-kinesthetic intelligence as well. When I'm learning confusing information it helps me to physically do it.

To learn more about multiple intelligences go to this Link.

Men vs. Women

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who.jpgBoys rule and girls drool! The battle of genders has been around since grade school. Due to commonly accepted stereotypes there is a belief amongst the population that there are specific situations in which certain genders excel; gender roles. However, one study claims to prove that men are in fact smarter than women. The researcher of this claim may go too far by inferring that in actuality there is no discrimination in the workplace; the glass ceiling effect is a hoax; the reason men play higher roles in society is based on the claim that a man's intelligence is simply superior to that of a woman.
These controversial views are based on the aptitude tests taken by 100,000 male and female students between the ages of 17 and 18. The results showed that the average IQ of a male was about 3.63 points higher than that of a woman's. Since there are many variables, morals/values, upbringing, priorities, etc., in any study of this kind it is impossible for results to be falsifiable. Out of these many studies, "proof" has been offered in support of both men and women superiority. Therefore, the studies cannot rely on replicability to solidify their claim. Studies have also shown that women achieve higher grades in high school and at the college level. intelligent-men.jpg
One factor can be agreed on; men and women differ in their ways of obtaining knowledge. Which means, that the correlation of men having a higher IQ score may not be caused by men having higher intelligence? Furthermore, this claim has not ruled out any rival hypothesis; there is still support for both sides. Occam's Razor would suggest a simpler explanation; men and women have similar intelligence levels and each excel in different situations. In conclusion, no outstanding evidence was presented to support this extraordinary claim therefore it remains only an extraordinary claim.men-vs-women-jpg.jpeg

Genetics Vs. Environment

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IQ depends fully on the genes of a person and their hereditary. This is a common myth concerning IQ but now scientist know this myth isn't true and they're able to prove this by replicating studies involving genes and the environment. The most common used test to study genes and the environment is by studying Monozygotic and Dizygotic twins. Monozygotic twins result from the fertilization of a single egg by a single sperm, sharing 100% of their genetic material. Dizygotic are fraternal twins who are non-identical, they result from the independent fertilization of two eggs by two sperm and share on average 50% of their genes. Studies have found that if genetics is important than Monozygotic twins will be 100% similar in IQ and Dizygotic twins will differ in IQ because they only share 50% of their genes. If genetics in not important than both pair of twins will be affected by their environment by 100%. Also the correlation for IQ for Monozygotic twins is strongly correlated with a result of .82, where Dizygotic twins have a correlation of .51, and Adopted siblings with a correlation of .18. Adopted siblings are genetically unrelated individuals reared together in the same environment. This study proves that genes and the environment are very important to an individual concerning IQ. According to the Link provided, IQ is a combination of genes and our environment. If genes affect 40 to 80 percent of our IQ than the remaining percentage comes from our environment. The misconception that IQ is solely based on genes is incorrect. Also many people assume if a child is born having parents with a low IQ they will also have a low IQ put we know now that this is incorrect. With the power of replicability scientists now are aware that both genes and environment are two important factors that influence our IQ.

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Empty-nest Syndrome

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Since this is my first year at college, and possibly is for many other people in this class, I thought the empty nest syndrome is a very interesting topic. Our mother's are said to go through a period of depression once their children, or us, move out of the house and start their own life away from their parents. My parents, for example, are still very sad that I am gone, and I can tell this by the way they hug me and talk to me when I go home. I have never seen my parents so happy to see me after being away at school for two weeks. It suggests that mother's are the parent that go through this type of crisis in their lives, but I also believe that dad's go through the situation the same way mother's do. I believe it all depends on who the child is closest to growing up, or whether they are very close to both parents growing up. I am equally close to my parents and I wouldn't want it any other way. I really enjoy going home and seeing my parents now on the weekends. I just think that it is very interesting that they think that mother's are the ones who go through this mid-life crisis. Would they compare this feeling to the feeling that single dad's go through when they are parenting the child? I also believe that in the few years before high-school ends, parents are used to letting their children out of their wings. For instance, my last few years in high-school I was working and going to school activities so much that my parents were used to me being gone when it came time for college. I also would like to argue that if parents have multiple children, that it gets easier and easier every time one of the children leave. I think by the time the last child leaves that the parents are not hit so hard by the mid-life crisis. I would also like to point out that if parent's are very organized and have everything figured out about their child starting a new chapter in their lives, that they have probably mentally prepared themselves for the children or child being gone. I believe this topic is very controversial and there are many aspects that can affect the claim that mother's go through the mid-life crisis called empty-nest syndrome. My biggest evidence for claiming that father's are just as affected by this crisis is that my dad and I were very close, and I can tell by the way he acts that he misses me just as much as my mother does.

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I have had the phobia of spiders and bugs for quite a while. I don't know when I developed these phobias, but just like anyone else I experienced my fair share of fear episodes.
For instances, whenever I see a spider or a bug I become a paralyzed on the spot and I lose ability to speak. Or sometimes, I do the exact opposite, if I realize that the bug/spider is on my body, I would scream and start jumping around crazily.

Like most people, I know how limiting phobia can be. It often effects our lifestyle and stresses us. For example: Whenever I go camping, I always end up not enjoying the experience as much as everyone else. I would worry about what I eat, where I sit and constantly check if the bugs/spiders are not on my body. Also, I don't get much sleep during the night because I feel like the bugs and spiders might start crawling on my body without my knowing if I fall asleep.

So how can I and how can you overcome this phobia and avoid the anxiety, stress and fear that it brings us? According tot eh arcticle posted on helpguide.org, the best way to overcome a phobia is to face your fears, one step at a time. Exposing yourself gradually and repeatedly to what you fear is the most effective when it comes treating phobias, because you learn to ride out your anxiety and fear until inevitably passes away. However, exposure must take in a safe and controlled way. Also overcoming your phobia takes time, planning, patience and of course practice.

Here is an sample ladder example of dog phobia treatment:
Facing a fear of dogs: A sample fear ladder
Step 1: Look at pictures of dogs.
Step 2: Watch a video with dogs in it.
Step 3: Look at a dog through a window.
Step 4: Stand across the street from a dog on a leash.
Step 5: Stand 10 feet away from a dog on a leash.
Step 6: Stand 5 feet away from a dog on a leash.
Step 7: Stand beside a dog on a leash.
Step 8: Pet a small dog that someone is holding.
Step 9: Pet a larger dog on a leash.
Step 10: Pet a larger dog off leash.

Make a list, Build your fear ladder, Make your way up the ladder and Practice!

The two most commonly occurring eating disorders are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia is characterized by a pattern of bingeing and purging, while anorexia by extreme starvation. Both disorders, however, share several aspects, including; obsession with weight, low self-esteem, and irrational perceptions of their bodies. These eating disorders are much more common among females than males, and often begin during adolescents.
I myself am very interested in the social psychological factors contributing to such disorders. Our text explains that many bulimics are perfectionists with low self-esteem and a strong need for approval. Additional research shows that eating disorders are often results of many psychological factors. Some of the most common include; depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness, and a quest for perfection. Social factors include; cultural pressures that glorify thinness, narrow definitions of beauty, and the growing cultural norm that values people on the basis of physical appearance. The media has been proven to also play a large role in "causing" eating disorders. Like all other aspects of media, these social pressures are beginning to appear on the internet.
"Pro-Ana" blogs and websites are becoming more and more popular. These sites romanticize eating disorders and refer to anorexia as Ana, a friend who will accept you as long as you follow her rules. Tips for curbing cravings, foods with negative calories, pictures of celebrities for 'thinspiration', as well as praise for fasting and weight loss are the staples of pro-Ana sites. The rise of these sites led to an immediate backlash, with many protesters trying to get them banned. These sites and their impact on eating disorders is an area that will yield much research in the future.

Close your eyes, and think about your ideal guy/ girl. Who do you see yourself with? Looks are important but personality and how well you guys get a long is much more important. So do you see yourself with someone who is different or similar to you? Recent article published on Lifescript.com confirms that people who have similar interests tend to last longer in relationship because their connection is based on emotional aspects rather than superficial ones. For instance, you're both college students and you are majoring in same career, and you have similar hobbies, then you will get to spend a lot of time with your boyfriend/girlfriend while making your bond stronger and also get to have a good time.

similarities attract -both short track speed skater, both got an olympic medal, both extremely fit, both competitive, ....

With this being said, there can be a drawback. For instance, if you're an athlete and you are competitive in nature, you might find the similarities too alike. What I mean is that if you're both competitive and won't admit defeat in argument, it's hard to continue the relationship. Instead, someone who is less competitive and understanding might be a well suit. So take this into consideration when dating someone who's much like you.
Also, another thing to take into consideration is that you might change over time. Interests and personalities don't always stay the same so make sure that you really like the person and who he/she is.

similarities attract - both young, both rich, both famous, both singer,...

Besides, few setbacks that may occur, similarities-attract theory is spreading wide and more and more people are dating those who are similar to them or have similar likings.
For me, I apply the similaraties-attract theory when it comes do dating quite often.
For instance: I love food, sports, dance, music etc. So I am interested in someone who also appreciates those things. Also it's very helpful to be with someone who understands what you're going through. So dating someone who is in college is easier for me than dating someone who's not. That way we understand our work load and schedule.
As you can see similarities can bring many benefits to the relationship and also help it develop further.

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From chapter 9 in our books we have learned that a persons IQ remains stable in our early years of life. But recent studies seem to prove otherwise. According to an article that I found online, it claims that it's possible to increase your IQ by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, diet and mental exercises. The new study that was published this month in the journal Nature claimed that a fifth of children during their adolescent years could gain or lose as many as 20 points in IQ. Also they found out that the children who do increase their IQ experience a strong correlation with an increase in the volume and density of their gray matter in the brain.

As stated before nutrition, exercise of the brain and learning are all effective ways of boosting your IQ. Instead of wasting time away with social networks or reality TV shows try to learn a new language, challenge yourself with an interesting book or puzzle, strengthen your social life and exercise regularly. Along improving your lifestyle, taking supplements can help make up for deficiency of nutrition and enhance brain performance. Studies show that the two best supplements to enhance brainpower are colloidal gold and phosphatidyl serine. More common supplements that also have the same effect are vitamin C, E and magnesium. Eating a balanced diet along with some power foods are vital to retain a healthy brain function and increase IQ. The brain is just like any other organ in your body, it needs to be treated with the right amount of nutrition and care in order for it to perform at it's highest potential, benefiting your performance. Power foods that can help aid enhanced brain performance are salmon and other fatty cold-water fish, nuts, berries, carrots, organic beef and eggs, green tea and citrus fruits.

I found this article interesting because everything that it suggests is simple and can be done through out your day-to-day life. By making enough small changes to your diet, lifestyle and mental exercises you can achieve a gratifying outcome of raising your IQ.


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From chapter 9 in our books we have learned that a persons IQ remains stable in our early years of life. But recent studies seem to prove otherwise. According to an article that I found online, it claims that it's possible to increase your IQ by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, diet and mental exercises. The new study that was published this month in the journal Nature claimed that a fifth of children during their adolescent years could gain or lose as many as 20 points in IQ. Also they found out that the children who do increase their IQ experience a strong correlation with an increase in the volume and density of their gray matter in the brain.

As stated before nutrition, exercise of the brain and learning are all effective ways of boosting your IQ. Instead of wasting time away with social networks or reality TV shows try to learn a new language, challenge yourself with an interesting book or puzzle, strengthen your social life and exercise regularly. Along improving your lifestyle, taking supplements can help make up for deficiency of nutrition and enhance brain performance. Studies show that the two best supplements to enhance brainpower are colloidal gold and phosphatidyl serine. More common supplements that also have the same effect are vitamin C, E and magnesium. Eating a balanced diet along with some power foods are vital to retain a healthy brain function and increase IQ. The brain is just like any other organ in your body, it needs to be treated with the right amount of nutrition and care in order for it to perform at it's highest potential, benefiting your performance. Power foods that can help aid enhanced brain performance are salmon and other fatty cold-water fish, nuts, berries, carrots, organic beef and eggs, green tea and citrus fruits.

I found this article interesting because everything that it suggests is simple and can be done through out your day-to-day life. By making enough small changes to your diet, lifestyle and mental exercises you can achieve a gratifying outcome of raising your IQ.


The Mozart Effect

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preg.jpgSomething I remember from my Childhood was my mother telling me why she believe I was so smart. She told me that while she was pregnant with me she would clamp some headphones around her belly and play classical music, similar to the included picture. I was much to young to understand the reasoning behind this but even today I still have a taste for Classical piano pieces. Today, I understand that what she was doing is known as the "Mozart Effect" and was discovered by Rauscher, who actually first saw this effect displayed in adults who listened to a specific piece by Mozart and who had increased spatial reasoning skills for some time after listening.

Now the effects were not permanent and only increased spatial/Temporal skills by a certain amount. The study was plauged by controversy and some other researchers were unable to reproduce the effects of the study. There were Impressive Results, Therefore, equally impressive evidence was necessary.

Some disputers of the study suggested that the after-effects depended on enjoyment arousal, meaning the subjects had to enjoy this genre of music to be able to get the effects. Other studies have proven that humans can perform mental tasks with more efficiency when a stimulus is present, such as enjoyable music. This is a possible rival Hypothesis to this study. To combat this, some studies were done with Mice. Mice were exposed to Mozart and several other genres of music and even white noise or Silence while in utero, and 60 days after. When the Mice were tested on completing a maze, the Mozart group finished significantly faster and with less errors. This makes enjoyment and unlikely factor.

Sometime after, The long-term effects of this music were studied in children. Musical Instruction was given to the children along, while another group learned computer skills and yet another had no training at all. The group who received musical instruction for six months got a 30% higher score on a spatial reasoning test calibrated for their age than the children who learned computer skills, and this remained unchanged for 24 hours, effects after that were not tested.

These such studies lead to the explosion of the popular "Baby Mozart" trend. Many CD's containing classical music meant for fetus' and infants were produced. I have found many conflicting results of these products, some saying they were effective and some saying that this is pure myth. In either case, I am thankful my mother took the initiative and tested it out. No harm done but it very possibly gave me an advantage over the other preschoolers. :D

memory- problems.jpgAccording to this Article The commonly held belief that, with age, our memory and cognitive function begin to decrease substantially may be untrue. Many of us have the notion that, once humans go "over the hill" and reach the ripe old ages around their Sixties, they will show a sharp decrease is the ability to remember facts and daily routines of their life. This is known as the start of being "senile", but this research suggests that the start of this process occurs much earlier than most of us think.

The Study of about 350 people between ages 20 and 90 shows that cognitive function starts to decline as early as mid-twenties. The gradual decrease is just so faint that it is hardly noticeable until it affects us enough to disrupt daily activities when we are older.
I found this very interesting as sometimes, even now, I find myself taking longer to learn new things than I ever used to.

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One major hoax in the media today is that violent behavior is highly correlated with children that play violent videogames. After discussing this issue in class, I decided to further investigate this claim. We read two articles in class that were both for and against this issue. The articles that were for this claim, stated that there is a correlation between aggressive behavior and violent videogames, but it does not necessarily cause violence. Saying that videogames cause violence, is violating one of the principles of psychology, which is correlation does not necessarily cause causation. So just because a child plays a certain violent video game, he or she will not necessarily become violent because of the game, but it could happen. The articles that were against this claim, stated that violence and videogames are not connected, but it could be due to other factors, such as the level of depression in teenagers that can cause aggressive behavior. I found this video on this study by Dr. Lawrence Kutner that surveyed a large number of teenagers that play violent video games, and found that videogames may not cause violence, but it could be because of other factors, such as violent children are attracted to violent games, and are already violent prior to the games.
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Many people claim that eating disorders are a direct cause of the pressure media puts on us, especially young women. However the Lilienfeld text claims that eating disorders are present in countries that have little to no exposure to western media. So what is causing eating disorders?
There are many different things that could cause an eating disorder, each individual is different. However, I would like to discuss a particular situation. For Mexican singer and actress, Anahi, the reason was the recent passing of her grandmother. Now, it's true that she was constantly under the scrutiny of the media -- she was in the process of filming a very popular television show when her disease first started. She was only 16 years old and had filmed many scenes in nothing but a bikini.
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Many times Anahi has claimed she is a perfectionist and this may have led to her eating disorder. After her grandmother died, she wanted to fix things, she needed something to control. The only thing she could think to control, was her weight. The actress went for days without food, then would go on extreme binges before purging all of it. Her conditioned spiraled so quickly out of control, that she ended up in the emergency room after passing out. While in the emergency room, her heart stopped beating for 8 seconds, as a result of what she had done to her body.
She dedicated the next 4 years of her life to getting healthy and undergoing treatment. She states that she will forever battle with anorexia and bulimia, but that she is now healthy. She has even created a foundation where young girls and boys can go to talk to somebody who has gone through the same things she has. Her foundation, Salvame (Save Me) runs commercials in Mexico, urging people to get help for their disease and to not be afraid to talk about it, like she hasn't been since undergoing treatment.
She now looks healthier than ever, having battle a serious psychological disorder and attributes her physique to eating well and getting plenty of exercise.
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Sir Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, was a highly respected scientist and inventor. He proposed a hypothesis stating that intelligence is the by-product of sensory our sensory capacity. In other words, Galton claimed that people with highly sensitive capacities, such as better eyesight and hearing, acquire more knowledge than others. Although Galton's hypothesis was later disproved, with the help from cases such as Helen Keller and how great of a scholar and successor she was, this hypothesis is important because it gives a relationship between biological factors about our sensory system and intelligence. It also initiated research about the correlation between biology and intelligence and excavated our understanding about the relationship between the two.
There is a correlation vs causation issue that goes along with this hypothesis that could explain a 3rd variable that I thought of when reading this section in the textbook. In earlier times, where poor eyesight, hearing, taste and other senses couldn't be fixed with the technology we have now, people with poor senses may have been less motivated than others to learn. Now that we have ways to adapt, such as glasses and hearing aids, people with poor senses can bring in more information and have the sensory capacity of a normal person.
This is particularly interesting to me because my sister, one of the smartest people I have ever met, has very poor vision. Although Galton's theory was disproven, new research suggests that although sensory capacities and intelligence don't go hand in hand they do have some relation to one another. From this, I wonder if she was born in a different time without the technology we have now, would the third variable I stated above cause her to not fulfill her intellectual potential? Again, there may be some correlations but there are always cases such as Helen Keller (blind and deaf), Ray Charles (Blind), and Beethoven (deaf) proved to be very successful in their practices.

Salut! Comment s'appelle tu?

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Why is it easier to learn a second language as a kid? Scientists argue that it is because the neural substrate need for language acquisition cease to be fully available after a certain period. The actual age of this critical period, however, is still under debate. The lost of easy language learning ability is due to the physical change in the brain where the Universal Gammar (UG) is lost. According to wisegeek.com, UG is the theory of universal grammar that believes that, "there are certain fundamental grammatical ideas which all humans possess, without having to learn them." The loss of UG disables the language learner to never reach a native like level. In Beverí's 1981 study, he found that linguistic acquisition requires the speech production and speech perception to work simultaneously. However, with the lack of use, the two systems grow to work independently of one another in adults. Smith's article provides an excellent example:

If [she] was in front of a class of grade schoolers learning Spanish and said, "Sientense y abren los libros a la pajina diez," the child's mind would lead them to think, "Awesome, I know that libro means book. So she said something about a book and page ten. She must want us to open our books to page ten. And why would we do that standing up?" The child would then proceed to sit down and open their book to page ten, which is exactly what I had asked. An adult on the other hand, would not think that way. Because of the maturation of their brains, they would be more likely to focus on the exact words. They would become so hooked on the fact that they didn't know what 'sientense' and 'abren' meant.
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The Mere Exposure Effect

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There are certain things in life that would never think about, but once someone brings it up it makes so much sense. An example is the Mere Exposure Effect. I would have never thought of that on my own, but once it was told to me, it explained a lot and reflected to be fairly true. The Mere Exposure Effect states that the more you see a person or thing, the more attractive or preferred they will be to you simply because they are familiar to you. In the rules of attraction, this plays out to be very true. The more you see someone the more attractive and pleased you are likely to become of them. Therefore, first impressions cannot be a deciding factor all of the time and love at first sight may be true, but someone you do not find to be initially very attractive could become more and more attractive with further exposure to them. In dating this is important because first dates will not necessarily tell the whole story of what could come about in regards of attraction to each other. In regards to attraction, this effect is exemplified in the link below. The Mere Exposure Effect also works in advertising, being that the more you are exposed to an advertisement for an item, the more likely you are to want to have that item. I am much less likely to go to a store and buy an item that I have never heard of because I probably have the intention of going to purchase an item I have seen advertised or have a familiarity with. As humans, we simply tend to choose the things we are familiar with rather than the unknown or unfamiliar. It is interesting to become aware of this effect because it rings true in our lives more than we realize, but we rarely consciously witness this effect.

Link:

In our most recent lecture, we discussed the idea of the drug, D-cycloserine, aiding in people's ability to overcome fears. This idea of a drug being able to speed up the learning process and counter our natural human instincts of fear is amazing. Some say science goes against human nature and that anything that tampers with our natural reactions shouldn't be used but I think differently. A finding like this could allow major developments in numerous fields, one which I thought of was military training. If the drug can decrease fear in those suffering form acrophobia (as seen in experiment with virtual glass elevator), then perhaps it could also be applied to a virtual battlefield. Being able to control yourself and think clearly in the middle of high stress and fear situations could mean the difference between life and death for a soldier. Although basic training does instill the same type of calmness in stressful situations, perhaps that level of calmness could be increased or reenforced even more with the use of the drug. It would make training faster, more effective, and have higher results. Although this may be controversial and may be opposed in politics, perhaps it would be worth the outcome. The overall idea is intriguing and could be expanded on even beyond the use in the army and I just found it incredibly interesting. US-soldier-in-Afghanistan.jpg

Eating Disorders

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Eating disorders are one of the biggest problems in America. Many people think that they are overweight, because of the picture above. I always wonder, if there are so many American's and people all over the world that have eating disorders because of unrealistic views of how humans should be, why doesn't the media, modeling, and fashion industries stop making their girls so skinny? If so many people are overweight, why don't they try and find a way to control how much each American eats considering we have the biggest population of obese and overweight people? I think that it is very scary that some people starve themselves to death, or eat so much that they become so obese that they don't even want to leave their house? Some people who are obese get stuck to their couches, and cannot move even if they tried. I think that this is a major issue in society today and somebody needs to do something about it. I hate seeing my friends think that they are to fat, because of some super model that they see on television. My friends are average size and should not be worrying about their weight, yet I see them eating grapefruit everyday at lunch. This is a sign that America needs to do something about the big eating disorder situation. I think that obese people should get extra help, because there is a big chance that they are depressed. When people are depressed they stay at their house and eat, considering food is a huge comfort to them. I think that there are way too many people with mental issues and we all need to figure out a way to help them.


The five second rule?

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Almost every person at some point in their life has been told about the five second rule, where a piece of food that has been dropped on the ground, stays germless for five seconds. That means that you would have five seconds to pick up your dropped piece of food before it would become "bad to eat", but how much truth is in this statement?
Through some of the principles of critical thinking, this statement can be evaluated. The most important principle for this claim is principle #5, which states that extraordinary claims must have extraordinary evidence. A correlation, between the amount of time a piece of food has spent on the ground and illness rate after consumption, has caused people to believe that the five second rule is true. However, since correlation does not equal causation, there needs to be more evidence, because there could be an unidentified third variable that is the foundation of the correlation, the third variable problem. Studies have also shown that bacteria diffuse at an almost set rate, so the longer something is on the ground the more bacteria it will pick up. These studies bring up arguments that lead to confirmation bias, where the researchers unknowingly support their views by denying evidence, dismissing evidence, or even distorting it to fit their own theory. In this case they often times say that the food is safe, because the bacteria count is negligible. This extraordinary claim, however, requires extraordinary evidence that is more meaningful than a correlation, with no further data, and an open ended study to prove it true, and that is why this principle of critical thinking is the most useful way to evaluate the claim.
Recent experiments have shown that there is some truth to the five second rule, but if the piece of food is dropped on a site of E. coli or salmonella bacterium, it will diffuse at a rate that would make the food very dangerous, therefore, if the food spends anytime on the ground, it is unsafe!

Learn more at http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/dropped.asp, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/04/health/webmd/main1774287.shtml, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/science/01qna.html, and https://docs.google.com/a/umn.edu/viewer?a=v&q=cache:BrqynEsaiVYJ:depts.noctrl.edu/biology/courses/101/handouts/AR2.pdf+dawson+cox+black+simmons+journal+of+applied+microbiology+2007&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiNzTjLZtZf1gSr5sS8yQPVciuArzJabBpzPAWPqdf7_2atJiIFVAAEhZ-gLfk2h0Xe4UK043KWIHSW5P-7WEAmgIaVtOQE55XNNYja9Mgmr0K8OtV3aWq6cJNt63BWpdDXoicZ&sig=AHIEtbSVFJOOgBX7Fhd2p_WDzSL0NG4UnQ

During my time reading the chapter on Emotion and Motivation, I came across a section of information addressing proxemics-the study of personal space and measurable distance. According to Anthropologist Edward Hall, there are four levels of personal space, however the separations between these levels are not clear-cut. The first is Public distance, which is usually used for public speaking (12 feet or more.) The next is Social distance, typically used for conversations with strangers or casual acquaintances (4-12 feet.) Thirdly, there is Personal distance, the space used for conversations with close friends or romantic partners (1.5-4 feet.) Lastly, is Intimate distance, used for kissing, hugging, whispering or affectionate touching with a romantic partner (0-1.5 feet.)

The information is truly interesting as it brings a common, "real world" situation into our class with scientific thinking. Everyday, we all get up and bring ourselves into the world. With each step, we occupy space that many others do as well. However, this is not something we all think about and has become routine in our daily conventions as citizens in our society. Proxemics makes it clear that our distances differ depending on who ever we are speaking to or with.

The idea of proxemics reminded me of a video I once saw on Saturday Night Live with Steve Martin and Will Forte. In the sketch, two old friends bump into each other and decide to catch up. However, instead of speaking at a Social distance, the two old friends enter into an Intimate distance and carry on with their conversation. The sketch immediately becomes awkward and strange, as the audience doesn't understand why these men are so close to each other. One of them, Forte, comments on the very little space between them and decides to make some room, but nothing happens and the moment further adds to the comedy of the scene. The two decide to part ways but before they leave each other they share a goodbye. The audience is tricked to think the two are finally speaking at the normal, Social distance, but it is reveal at the end that the two are really much father away and at a space that Hall would label as a Public distance.

Proxemics will forever be a pivotal role in the functioning of humans. We must understand the appropriate distances and respect each other's personal space. I will never forget the time in Elementary school when the teachers called all of us students into a meeting to speak about personal space as our ragging hormones were just about to start to take over. They called it "bubble space" back then, but now I know they were just trying to explain proxemics. If only they had the SNL video to demonstrate it further...

Here is a link to the video on Hulu:
http://www.hulu.com/watch/1367/saturday-night-live-snl-digital-short-close-talkers

ppprogmozartmstitle.jpgIn this article, the author discusses the "Mozart effect," which is the belief that listening to classical music--such as Mozart's compositions--can lead to long-term improvement in brain function. The author argues that Mozart effect is just a common case of correlation, and not causation.

The Mozart effect dictates that people who happen to listen to classical music happen to be more intelligent, but studies tell a different story. Studies show that passively listening to music is has little to no effect at all. The author states that the measurable increase in brain function--like solving mathematical problems--are caused by the positive mood set by listening to music in general. She states, "positive mood, in turn, increases focus and attention, which improves performance on many tests of mental sharpness." Instead of listening to music, studies show, "learning to make music changes the brain and boosts broad academic performance."

This Mozart effect can be the result of the environment and the opportunities in which the kids are given. It could be that babies or children who listen to classical music happen to grow up in households where the parents/guardians rate education very highly. With this in mind, these children are most likely to learn how to play music because learning an instrument is part of a healthy education; learning how to compose/produce music is the real cause of brain development.

Link

Animated Aggression

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525151059.htm
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1723
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I believe playing violent video games and watching violent television programs led to a rise in aggression levels of the victims. Even though I think they both contribute to violence, I think video games cause more violence and aggression than television shows. The player is able to actually interact and simulate the violence. They become one with the game. Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between the violent nature of video games and the aggression levels of the players (Serendip). Our Psychology discussion group watched a study where kids at a daycare watched the friendly and calm show, Barney, one day, and watched the violent show, Power Rangers, the next day. The day they watched Barney the kids sang along and played nicely with each other. The day they watched Power Rangers, the kids got up and began hitting and kicking each other. They also all picked a power ranger they wanted to be and pretended to fight just like them. This study shows that watching violent shows goes hand in hand with aggression levels in the viewers. Also, if parents let their children play violent video games as much as they want, they would become accustomed to that behavior and it might make it seem like it's an okay thing for them to do. If they are young children, they might think the characters are cool and want to be "just like them". In an article we had to read for discussion from www.sciencedaily.com, it shows that the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, causing an increase in aggression. In this article it talked about a study involving monitoring how these games affected the victim's behavior afterward. Half of the players were asked to play nonviolent video games and half were asked to play violent video games. After they were done playing, they were paired with an opponent and got the chance to play a noise in their opponent's ear. The violent game players played louder and more aggressive noises than the nonviolent players. This study is another indication of how playing violent video games leads to aggression.

The truth of detecting lies

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I was really excited when our psychology textbook and Professor Gewirtz mentioned the Fox television show, Lie to Me in our unit of emotion. I absolutely love this show. It's well written, has many interesting and developed characters, and is based on science!
Now our textbook says that "even professionals with substantial expertise in detectng lies have high error rates", but the main character Cal Lightman, who almost never messes up a facial reading, says that "his" techniques are based on 70% science. The show is even based off the research of Paul Eckman, who worked as the scientific advisor. So I decided to dig a little deeper.

As it turns out, renowned psychologist Paul Eckman indeed did comment on every script of the show. While the show was running, he had his own blog about every single episode and the science used in each one (every dilated pupil, facial expression close-up, etc).

I also found some information about another character on the show, Ria Torres who was a "natural" at detecting lies (almost a 100% catch rate). In this study, The Wizards Project, psychologists found out that "naturals" do exist! According to Dr. O'Sullivan, "Of those 13,000 people we found 31, who we call wizards, who are usually able to tell whether the person is lying, whether the lie is about an opinion, how someone is feeling or about a theft".

So everyone should definitely look into this fictional tv show to pick up some tricks when it comes to detecting lies. I know I did!

Cracking Knuckles

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From a young age i learned that there are certain things you shouldn't do without being given an explanation that makes sense. One of these things was cracking your knuckles, and the reason being is that it gives you arthritis when you become old. Due to this explanation i refrained from doing such a thing. Joints are the bony parts of your body held together by ligaments that are able to bend. After taking this psychology course i realized that to learn things you must go and do some research,
Arthritis can be caused by crystal formation in the joints. Cracking your knuckles doesn't necessarily give you arthritis, but it does weaken your joints over time.
This is a clear case of how extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence and the evidence itself proves that there is not enough information to show that cracking your fingers gives you arthritis.


Here are two links that provide information on this link1 and link2
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One of the most interesting things that I happened upon in my reading of this weeks Chapter was the controversial studies looking at the differences between men and women in terms of mental ability.
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Although there are some studies that have presented findings to indicate that men may have a slightly higher IQ then women (Lilienfeld p 343), such results have been questioned in terms of replicability. What is far more interesting is the specific mental abilities that differ between the sexes and the implications of such disparities. I think that these specific attributes that separate the sexes play an important role in the formation of gender stereotypes. For example, in the Lilienfeld text it states that women are far better then men at recognizing and empathizing with the emotions of others. This could scientifically explain the cultural assumption that women are gentler and more emotional then men; whereas simultaneously explaining why males are glamorized for being tough and unsentimental.
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The age old cliche that women aren't able to follow directions could also be at least partially substantiated (though strictly on the basis of looking at numerical data and averages) by the fact that Men excel at tasks associated with geography and spatial representations.
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However, despite these findings it is important to maintain the principles of scientific thinking. Due to doubt surrounding the replicability of many studies, one must consider the other factors at work when dealing with such broad assumptions. For example, environmental components could play a huge role in the development of different mental skills in either gender. Also education levels and social class as well as family history could effect an individuals IQ in a much greater more profound way then is predisposed by their gender.
As a whole, I think that the results of studies that look into differences in sex could have weighty and very controversial implications, especially in todays world where some minorities are still fighting for equality. It is possible that discovering a genetically predetermined strength in either men or women could widen the gender gap and fuel discrimination.

Emotion and Choice

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What role does emotion play in our concept of choice? Wouldn't it be easier if we could get emotion out of the way and use rational analysis to make our decisions? I recently listened to a podcast from Radiolab on choice that explored the answer to this question:
Radiolab: Overcome with Emotion
Also, for the full podcast on choice:
Radiolab: Choice

You would think that choices would be made easier if emotion did not conflict with our ability to reason, but Radiolab concludes that this is not the case. They wonder if a "Spock" or "vulcan" like person who is completely logical would actually be beneficial. They bring the question to a neurologist and psychologist named Antoine Bechara. Antoine then tells the story of Eliot who is a completely normal man, but had a tumor in his orbitalfrontal cortex that was removed. This part of the brain plays a key part in decision-making and emotion.250px-OFC.JPG After it was removed Eliot was still relatively normal but took a long time in making the most simple decisions. He couldn't even decide what color pen to use at work. It would take him half an hour to decide. Eliot eventually visited a neurologist who realized he spoke normally but had no emotion to it. So the neurologist presented him with disturbing images and saw that he had no emotional responses in the brain.

As a result of all of these effects, we can see that Eliot is pathologically indecisive. The answer to the original question of whether it would be beneficial to be completely logical is no. The only way to cut down to a choice is to go with a feeling. The feeling of emotional yeses and nos is what allows us to make a decision. Without emotion we would be stuck. This could be supportive evidence for the evolutionary basis of emotions. If we always got stuck on making simple decisions, it would be an evolutionary disadvantage.

The podcast also discusses how emotion plays other key roles in choices with how emotions are attached to past experiences and then affect future decisions.This is essentially the same concept as classical conditioning, although Radiolab does not make this comparison. It also discusses how emotion affects our decision of whether or not to keep gambling in a casino and how this is exploited through loyalty cards.

Overall, I highly recommend that you listen to this podcast. I attempted to relate it to what we are learning in psychology, but it is very interesting to explore what we are learning through a different perspective: how emotion plays a role choice.

Article by Dr. Phil

In discussion this week, we watched clips from Power Rangers and Barney. We were then asked to rate what we felt to four questions, after watching each clip. This activity and studies also show, that more violent television shows/video games make your child more aggressive. Dr. Phil also supports this theory in his article in the above link. I find this theory to be true in children because of their young age and how they are at a stage in their lives where they absorb knowledge like a sponge. They haven't matured enough yet to know all the difference between right and wrong. We also see that at a young age they tend to mimic their peers and other influential figures in their lives. This is supported by the video we watched in discussion, where the kids sat in a nice circle and were calm while watching barney, but when they were watching Power Rangers they were up and about physically hitting or kicking each other. So it seems to be true that the more violence children see, the more aggressive they are.
What I don't find to be true is that children will stay aggressive for the rest of their lives. As we grow older we learn that things are fake like television show and video games. We learn that physically aggression towards one another is not acceptable in society. We can't expect to go around shooting people and think that it would be acceptable. I have heard from many of my friends that video games don't make them anymore aggressive. They can take all their anger out on a fake video game rather than a real person. That may sound atrocious and wrong, and I know how bad this can sound, but at least it's not a real person. Studies may show that violent television shows/ video games make children more aggressive, but I believe that children will grow out of that phase.

Body Image & Eating Disorders

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anorexia.jpgMany people suffer from eating disorders, namely bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia is the most common eating disorder, afflicting 1 to 3 percent of the population (Lilienfield). Anorexia is less common, with numbers ranging from 0.5 to 1 percent of the population. Either way, these eating disorders are scary and can be traumatic to the health of those suffering. For example, women who suffer from anorexia who continue to sustain a low weight can result in having a loss of menstrual periods, hair loss, heart problems, and fragile bones. These disorders are likely to be triggered by sociocultural expectations of what people's body image should be. Many women that are featured in the media typically weigh 15 percent less than women's average weight. This shows how women that are exposed to these images can feel that this is what they are supposed to look like. If they do not look like these extremely slim women, many feel that society will not accept them. Therefore, they acquire these eating disorders to fit this distorted image of what is "beautiful." Women who already are concerned about their body image may lean towards media that features these distorted images of women, so the media may not completely cause these disorders to be triggered, but there is still evidence that there is some causal effect of the media on eating disorders. Women aren't the only ones that suffer. Men suffer too. They are faced with images of muscular, in-shape men and feel that the only way that a girl will be attracted to them is to obtain this body image. This is unrealistic, but it is what a lot of media today portrays. In my opinion, airbrushing and Photoshop completely distort our views on what we should look like. The real question that people should think about is this: why should we try to look like these men and women in the media, when in reality, they are not even real themselves?

Here is a video targeted towards parents to help stop their kids from obtaining these negative body images from the media:
The Psychology of Beauty - Media affects body image

The Mere Exposure Effect

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The Mere Exposure Effect, as discussed in Chapter 11 on emotion and motivation, can be described as having a more positive view on something after it has been in our presence and affected our lives in numerous occurrences. It seems obvious that we would prefer to be associated with things we enjoy rather than things we despise, but studies have been conducted using objects that the majority of us had no prior association with. Over time, those who participated in the studies developed more of a fondness with these previously neutral objects, faces included. Studies on the Mere Exposure Effect have also shown that most people believe they look better in the mirror than they do in a photo, whereas we believe the opposite for other people. I have definitely experienced this theory and always feel as though I prefer how I look in the mirror since I spend a significant amount of time looking at myself each morning. I often believe other people tend to look better in photos than they do in person. The Mere Exposure Effect is an important concept to analyze when exploring how people develop likings of stimuli and reasons for these likings. I would be interested to know whether this phenomenon applies beyond faces to the actual like or dislike of a person, as well as if changing our minds from totally despising something to totally loving it can be accounted for by the Mere Exposure Effect. I am also curious as to how gradual this process is and the time frame of development.
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Growing up in liberal Madison, Wisconsin my neighbors Chris and Paul lived in a pink house across the street and my sister's best friend, Caitlyn, had two moms. One of my mother's favorite anecdotes to tell about my childhood was my telling her "I didn't know if I am gay yet, I have to grow up and find out" when I was five years old. Honestly, from birth I never viewed homosexuality as a choice, but merely something that couldn't be controlled and did not need to be. Shortly after I (supposedly) made this remark to my mother, my family moved to a smaller more conservative town in Wisconsin where I discovered for the first time that not everyone saw homosexuality the way my family and I did.

The debate about differences in "gay" and "straight" brains is long running. LeVay's research found measurable differences in the size of the hypothalamus between the two sets of subjects, but as his research included mostly corpses of AIDs patients his results would need to be replicated to come to any even preliminary conclusions. All sorts of myths have spread about what "causes" homosexuality, but scientists have yet to discover a dependable biological marker of sexual orientation.

Below is a clip from the Canadian sketch comedy "The Kids in the Hall" and their movie "Brain Candy." The context of the clip is that the father character has been told by his doctor that he is in denial that he is, in fact, homosexual. The doctor prescribes him "Gleemonex" to extinguish any denial and the father proceeds to blame the drug for his "gayness."

Results are inconclusive to show whether or not being gay can be caused by any one specific factor, including any one difference in the brain. Yet, as people continue to place a gap between homosexuals and heterosexuals and continue to distinguish between the two, this is certainly a concept that will continue to be explored. In my opinion, it all has much more to do with an Occam's razor... The simplest explaination is to just let everyone who is gay--- BE GAY!

One of the most interesting concepts to me discussed in Chapter 10 was the idea of imprinting. It can be easier observed in animals suck as ducklings as explained in the textbook or in pigs or geese as explained in the article I read about newborns imprinting on not only their mothers but other "mothers" of a different species Link. Konrad Lorenz, Nobel Prize recipient work his work with imprinting, discovered that imprinting only happens during a specific window of time in a newborn. So when the mother is not around during this critical period, animals automatically imprint on the closest moving thing in front of them. Though humans don't actually imprinting like the ducklings in this picture here, 93406898_a1ee3e9a2a.jpg
there has been argument that even human infants bond with their mothers or anyone else that takes care of them at a very young age. Many experiments have been conducted that show babies have a preference for the face and voice of their mothers. And there has been proof that separation from attachment figures can lead to detriments in psychological adjustments. Researchers have claimed the development has something to do with protein synthesis and changes in synaptic transmission. Whether these claims are true or not, I believe the possibility of animals bonding to their mothers or anything else that it grows accustomed to during the critical period is a crucial adaption for all animals. Because most baby animals are born helpless, the fact they can grow used to another mother is very important to secure its survival.

Do Diet Pills Really Work?

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There are many products out there that claim to help you lose weight and body fat fast, but are these extraordinary claims true?

Lipozene is a diet pill that makes such extraordinary claims. The fact that it's an infomercial that plays on tv all the time makes me question its reliability in the first place. It also says that you will lose weight or they'll send your money back. The website claims that Lipozene really works and says clinical studies have proven the effectiveness and point to "success stories". These testimonials don't take into account other confounding factors such as if that "successful" person started their own heavy workout routine, or had an illness that caused the weight loss. There are other claims that push you to think it's a legitimate claim, "Lipozene is 100% Natural" made from natural roots that are a source of dietary fiber. Just because a source claims to have natural ingredients that have a long name, doesn't mean the product is effective.

The product puts a gold seal saying that millions have bought the product and has been labeled a "product of excellence" by the Obesity Research Institute. The most questionable claim is that "Lipozene is safe" because they say there are no known side effects when taken as directed. They don't say their intensive testing or long term studying of the side effects show no side effects, but rather there aren't any side effects as of now.

Overall, I wouldn't trust this product to work effectively, or safely for that matter. There are too many claims against it's legitimacy, and no support or research studies showing that the product is in fact safe or effective.

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Is it really true that applying generous amounts of Vick's VapoRub to the bottom of one's foot with a sock can stop nighttime coughing? The lack of concrete evidence points towards no. This myth originated in an e-mail stating that the Canada Research Council discovered that putting on Vick's VapoRub on the soles of your feet can stop even the worst nighttime coughing better than any medicine. It also mentions that this method works better with children than adults. The first problem with the myth is that whoever wrote the e-mail used the improper name for the National Research Council Canada implying a lack of true evidence. The second problem is how the myth has varied since its origin. One variation is putting Vick's VapoRub on your feet to stop coughing but it originated on a weekly show of NPR instead of the National Research Council Canada. The Vick's usage instructions say to apply the solution to one's chest and throat to make a cough due to a common cold subside but say nothing about feet. The part about wearing socks was only mentioned to protect people's sheets. The third problem with the article is the idea that it works better with children but this may be dangerous for children. Some major health agencies have said that camphor-containing products should not be used with children. The New York City Health Department said that products with camphor should be kept away from children as it can cause seizures. Finally, the fourth, and most important, problem with the myth is that the National Research Council Canada has denied ever doing any type of research or study having to do with Vick's and its effects on nighttime coughing. Due to the fact that the National Research Council Canada has denied all claims and that the New York City Health Department says it's unsafe for children to put Vick's on their feet, when children supposedly respond best to this treatment, proves that the myth is most likely false.

Link
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Are Credit Scores and Personality Linked?
The article states that many employers now use credit reports as a screening tool before hiring. This goes back to a myth that many employers believe. They think that there is a correlation between poor credit scores and bad behaviors, including theft around the office. Contrary to this belief, the article states that researchers found no correlation between the two variables. There was, however, some other interesting results.

Sixty percent of employers perform credit checks on their potential employees. Jeremy Bernerth, an assistant professor at Louisiana State University says that agreeableness is negatively correlated with credit scores. Berneth says that "that suggests easygoing individuals actually have worse credit scores than disagreeable and rude individuals."

This is an obvious issue of correlation vs. causation. Despite the popular belief that poor credit score means bad employee, the recent research says otherwise. This means that a high credit score does not necessarily mean that they will be a good employee if hired. Also, bad credit scores has no connection with theft as well. It's also possible that Occam's Razor applies in this situation. The employers could look at credit scores as the simplest quantitative method of determining if an employee will be good and righteous. With the given research, we now know this is not a good assumption to make.

Down Syndrome

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After reading and learning about human development in the text book and in lecture, I was happy that Down Syndrome was mentioned. It was only mentioned in one paragraph, but it was mentioned nevertheless. My mom, who is a para-professional at the elementary school in my hometown, has had experience working with kids with Down Syndrome. When I was in high school, I would go to her class room after school and spend time with the kids. One kid in particular, Kathy, had Down Syndrome. Let me tell you, she was a joy to be around. She was always spunky and upbeat and always had a smile on her face. After spending time with Kathy, I realized that even though some kids may have a disability, they are kids, just like us. The only difference is that they have specific facial and body malformations.

Here's a little background information about Down Syndrome: it occurs when people have three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. That's it. There really isn't any precautions that mother's need to take when pregnant, it just happens. The extra chromosome causes facial malformations, and alters the course of development. It's amazing how one little thing can cause something that's sometimes so detrimental. Living with Down Syndrome can sometimes be difficult, but in society today, it is more widely accepted. In my opinion, people with Down Syndrome always live life to the fullest and never take anything for granted. They are the most inspiring and energetic and happy people I have ever been around.

A few weeks ago, my mom posted this story on my Facebook page. It's about a girl named Katie, who has Down Syndrome, and she is on the swim team. She finishes last, every time. The crowd cheers, every time. When I was reading this story, I felt so inspired by her motivation and her sense of being. Regardless of her development issues, she lives life just like any other kid, and to me, that is truly something to look up to.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_19193468?nclick_check=1

Framing and Advertising

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Can the way something is worded change your decisions? Even if they're very subtle differeces? The answer is yes based on a psychological phenomenon called framing. In this video "How Framing Changes Your Decisions" an experiment is conducted to try to determine if the way a situation is presented changes your outcome. (Watch 1:27 to 3:58)

This video shows that the same situation with the same possible outcomes are not perceived the same by our brains when presented differently. The majority of people presented with a gain situation (just gained 20 for free) decided to stick with the money and not gamble. However the majority of the people presented with the loss situation (gained 50 then 30 taken away) decided to gamble to 'gain back' what they had lost. If our decisions can be manipulated by the mere wording of something, how many of our decisions are affected by the wording of advertisements?

I believe that how marketers present their product definately affects our decisions. A couple examples of this is in another video. (Watch 1:18 to 3:30)

This video shows how the stock market and graphs can be especially misleading. Advertisements and businesses take ahold of the psychology technique of framing to their advantage, so we must be careful. When making any decision in life it's best to evaluate the whole picture.

Child Development

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As a child it has been noted that one must travel through many different stages during their lifetime. The various "mile-markers" and landstones that one reaches has been marked by multiple psychologists. One in particular, a Swiss Psychologist, Jean Piaget was one of the first people to present an account of comprehensive development. His idea was that children have four different identified stages, The Sensorimotor Stage, The Preoperational Stage, The Concrete Operational Stage, and the Formal Operations Stage. Within these children are noted to think differently and percieve the world with limited functions. The first stage, Sensorimotor, the child virtually has no thought beyond physical objects that are clearly present. With this comes the idea of object permanence.
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As seen in the image, a popular game of "Peek-A-Boo" plays a key role in the sensorimotor stage, particularly object permancence. Despite the mother staying right in front of her child, when her face is no longer visible it appears that she has disappeared. Babies are unable to grasp on to the concept that they are still directly in front of them, despite not being able to see their face. The idea of object permance then clearly displays why children react in such an amused manor when the mother's face is finally revealed again. The common game of peek-a-boo leads us to believe that children going through the sensorimotor stage find it difficult to percieve images that are not in clear sight. Objects disappearing from sight however still exhist, which children soon learn as their brain begins to develop more. Following the Sensorimotor stage children enter the Preoperational stage. During this stage children have somewhat mastered the here and now idea but become very egocentric and are unable to perform mental tranformations.
"Preoperational Stage"
As seen in the children in the video one can note that children have trouble looking beyond the size or rearrangment of objects and are virtually unable to focus on quantities. In one scene in particular, the little girl watched the woman poor the same amount of juice in to the cup, however the young child was unable to look past the fact that the shape of the glasses made one cup look like the liquid was higher. Although the cups held same quatity of liquid, youth going throught the preoperational stage find it nearly impossible to grasp to realize that each glass contains the same amount of juice. These tasks, known as conservation tasks are quite difficult for children going through this stage to master. As we progress through Piaget's final stages one can not that children breeze through conservation tasks, and their ability to grasp on to various concepts increases more and more. While Piaget's stages have been picked a part carefully by other psychologists and theorists, it seems plausible to conclude that the four stages he has developed mark clear check points in the cognitive development of our youth.

Hope In a Jar?

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Over the years, there has been much dispute over the question of whether skin cream is a reliable solution to ones anti-aging desires. These creams claim to be "age defying" and some even say that by using their product, you would appear "ten years younger." But are these claims really reliable? Is this the investment one wants to make when deciding on a skin care product? When I watch commercials or read magazine ads of these "age defying" creams, it brings me back to the psychology principle of Extraordinary Claims. It was my desire to find the truth about these creams, and to determine if they were real, or in fact just extraordinary Claims. After doing some research, I discovered that most skin care creams contain collagen. When there are high levels of collagen in ones skin, it gives it a firm, youthful appearance. Some think that applying a cream like this over their entire face will help give them that look. What they don't realize is that this is potentially dangerous. Other skin creams work as to mimic the effects of Botox; they are designed to block the action of protein. An skin expert said, "Botox is a compound that clearly inhibits neurotransmitters, but you have to be very precise where you put it; isn't it a little frightening to think that you could get the same effect by smearing a cream all over your face? It really makes you wonder." The truth is, skin creams are made to work as an alternate to a medical procedure. The creams you choose to apply could eventually be more harmful than helpful. But when it comes down to extraordinary claims, making someone look "ten years younger" is a fact that could never be proven. It is a matter of opinion, which in turn makes it an Extraordinary Claim.

A recent research study called "Violent games lead to desensitization" has concluded that playing violent video games makes one more tolerant to other forms of violent imagery. Psychologist at the University of Bonn in Germany studied 21 hardcore gamers, playing violent games on average of 15 hours a week. Next they looked at how their brains reacted to a standardized emotion-triggering photos. Next they compared those results to how the control group fared in the experiment which consisted of 19 adults who had never played violent video games. The results showed that the video gaming players do not respond as strongly to the real, negative image material because they are used to it from their daily computer activities. However they cannot just relate the conclusions on video games as they psychologists have to factor in books, movies, and real life experiences as other factors of exposure to violence. Which is one of our six scientific thinking principles "Correlation vs. Causation." media_httpfarm3static_pIpip.jpg.scaled500.jpg

As a child I played violent video games but they were not nearly as graphic and realistic as they are today. Video games today make you feel as if your are actually murdering someone due to how graphic and vividly detailed they are as to video games when I was growing up where the characters were still animated. I think my brain today would would not respond as strongly to real imagery just as the video gamers in the study, because of resent games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto where the objective is to kill people. I believe I too have been desensitized by video games. This makes me think how much pre-teenagers will be desensitized by the time they our my age?Hollywood today is able to reenact death so easily it would almost seem normal to wittiness a death. We desensitize our society in ways we do not even know. Our society is becoming desensitized more and more each day, which is something that needs to change.

Anxiety and Exposure Therapy

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Red_milk_snake.JPGOn last Fridays lecture, on 11-4-11, about emotion there was an interesting segment on anxiety and how it is treated. What I got out of it was that they are treated by an interesting procedure called Exposure therapy. Exposure therapy involves having a person gradually be exposed to what they are afraid of in small steps. An example might be having a person, that is afraid of snakes, look at pictures of snakes at first then move on to videos of snakes. After that they might get the person to visit snakes inside of containers and lastly they might end up getting the person to hold the snake. The reason for doing all of this would be to inhibit the person's fear by reducing the conditioned fear responses to the snake. I found this article about a drug that helps speed the therapy up. It works by activating the mitochondria in the brain. It targets the mitochondria in the area of the brain that are active while the person is thinking about what they are afraid of. It keeps those areas more active to increase the inhibition of their fears with a lot less effort for the person with the anxieties.


Currently, there's a common argument that whether or not playing violent video games (or watching violent imagery on TV or movies) causes aggressive behavior in children. The video of this week's discussion showed that, when children watched the video "powerful rangers", they became aggressive and fought with each other but when they watched the video Barney dinosaur, they became happy and danced together.
It seems that violent TV shows are positively correlated with violent behavior. However, in my opinion, they just imitate the performance of the TV show but not actually have violent tendency. In my view, playing violent video game maybe cause the aggressive behavior to some degree, but the genes of the kids and the environment they grew up play a more vital part in aggressive behavior.
Why some people prefer to play violent games? I have two main reasons.
The first one is due to the environment they grew up. If the parents always punish their kids like punch or hit them at home and the classmates of the kids always tease them in the school, they will feel depressed and angry and need some way to let off steam. This kind of people will choose to play violent video games. Since they are not given enough love and care from their parents and peers, they become aggressive.
The other one is because some kids born to be aggressive and they just have aggressive genes. They choose to play violent games because they have aggressive personalities and they love those violent things.
Overall, I think in many cases aggressive people choose to play violent games so there's a positive correlation between violent games and violent behaviors. But we still have to design experiments to explore if playing the video games will improve the level of aggression of people.

What are you afraid of?

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Everybody has fears, but when that fear becomes so overwhelming that it prevents us from completing normal tasks it is known as a phobia. A phobia is properly defined as, "a persistent irrational fear of an object, situation, or activity that the person feels compelled to avoid." Phobias are often the root of an anxiety disorder, or based on a traumatic experience. Someone dealing with their phobia will most likely feel panic, dread, or horror, automatic uncontrollable thoughts pertaining to the thing they fear, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, and extreme measures being taken to avoid the object of fear.

Many people have similar phobias. Do any of these freak you out?
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If you felt any sort of anxiety towards these photographs you probably weren't alone.

One good thing about phobias is that they can be treated. Through behavioral and exposure therapy, one can learn to not be so afraid when they come in contact with their fear. The person becomes desensitized to their fear as the therapy progresses. Other methods of treatment include medication (to reduce anxiety) and hypnosis.

Fear is an amazing thing. Although it doesn't seem like it, it is astounding the way our bodies respond to dealing with fear. What is known as the fight-or-flight response is the "body's primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to "fight" or "flee" from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival". Our bodies release chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol into our blood stream. These nerve cell firings cause our respiratory rate to increase, our pupils to dilate, our sense of awareness to heighten, pain perception decreases, and impulses quicken; all of these changes act to protect and prepare ourselves against danger. This response is often experienced in people when facing their phobias.

The Mozart Effect

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According to this site about the Mozart effect, music can help stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function for a very short period of time, but does not have any significant, long lasting effects. Several studies have been done and they all show such small changes between the control group and the experimental group that no conclusions can be drawn to support the idea of the Mozart effect.
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There are many theories being developed in order to explain the large differences seen in some experiments. One of these theories is that music excites the brain, which in turn keeps neural pathways strong and stops them from deteriorating due to sensory deprivation. Brain efficiency dramatically decreases when deprived of a stimulus to each of the 5 senses. Therefore, adding in consistent stimulation from music would keep the neural pathways active and could even create new neural pathways.
This research claim appears to be fairly reliable, because it is unbiased and it also does not make any ridiculous claims about the idea of the Mozart effect. The site shows both sides of the argument-for and against the Mozart effect-and supports them with research and results from studies that were done.
While it is stated that the Mozart effect does not have any concrete evidence to support it as of yet, the author of the site does not say that there is no way music has an effect on the performance of the brain and cognitive functions.

The Mozart Effect

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The Mozart Effect is a claim stating that listening to Mozart's music may effect children's mental development by "making them smarter" or enhance people's intelligence and spatial reasoning. This has been a much disputed claim since it has been made. In Nature, it is explained that investigators randomly gave standard tests in relation to spatial reasoning after subjects either listened to Mozart, relaxing music, or silence. They found an enhancement in those who listened to Mozart, however all they have shown is that there is a pattern in neuron firing sequences. In addition, there were no long-term effects which could lead to an assumption of increased intelligence. After this hint of a possible intelligence booster was made public, the popularity skyrocketed.
Today, many expecting parents play classical music (especially Mozart) to their pregnant bellies. In the Washington Times, Brighid Moret discusses "Babies and Music". While playing classical music has had proven effects on short term memory, no long-term effects have been proven. Thus, Moret claims any type of music played to babies can improve their musical abilities. Musical abilities can later lead to improvement in hand-eye coordination and creativity.
This finding is important because while it agrees with the current Mozart Effect beliefs, some expecting parents may still believe their babies will be overall more intelligent with the aid of classical music. Although there could easily be a third factor in Moret's findings, parents may not be wasting their time by falling for the Mozart Effect. If children's creativity and coordination may improve due to exposure to music, they will be seen as better candidates for activities and indirectly judged as smarter.
While the initial Mozart Effect is proven false for long-term intelligent enhancement, these findings may not be far off.

There was a video clip that became extremely popular on the internet that sparked the question that there was a chance twins have their own language. There has always been a question in everyone's minds about twins having their own language. It certainly seems possible since twins are genetic clones of each other.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lih0Z2IbIUQ&feature=relmfu

The first time I saw this video, I thought it was adorable, and the idea that twins could have their own language was fascinating. Psychologists that analyzed the video claimed that the twins were imitating the way they observe their parents communicate, some even claimed that it is possible twins can be communicating in their own language. However, research has shown that the phenomenon known as cryptophasia is only a myth. Cryptophasia has been disputed by research that states it is only a result of phonological impairment and other types of language delay. Since twins are more likely to make the same mistakes in articulation and pronunciation, they will be more likely to understand one another than other people involved in their lives. Even after reading about this research in the Lilienfeld text, I am a skeptic. I still think it is a possibility for twins to form their own secret language. It would only make sense since they share the same exact DNA.

Eating Disorders

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There are two main eating disorders in the world, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is the eating disorder associated with a pattern of bingeing and purging in an effort to lose or maintain weight. This means that a person who is bulimic eats food then forces themselves to throw it up. Bulimia is the most common eating disorder, afflicting 1 to 3 percent of the population. Anorexia nervosa is the eating disorder associated with excessive weight loss and the irrational perception that one is overweight. Though 95 percent of bulimics are women, it affects both men and women in the world. In my opinion I believe eating disorders are centered around the "image" of a specific body shape of women that the media has set for people. It was stated in the Lilienfeld reading that between 1959-1999, Playboy centerfold models were below the average weight. Women are prone to eating disorders because they see other women portrayed in magazines or posters that are 5-11 feet tall and 117 pounds.
If the media would change the image of what they expect women to look like, and use average weight women with average height in their advertising, I believe it would lower the percent of people with an eating disorder. Within our reading, it states that "Anorexia is present not only in Western Countries, but also in regions that have had little exposure to Western Media," (Lilienfeld 437).

Sexual orientation has some foundation in biology. In a study conducted by Simon LeVay it was shown that gay men have a larger cluster of cells in their hypothalamus than heterosexual men. LeVay conducted his study blindly so not to bias the results. He examined the brains of patients without knowing which brains belonged to homosexual men, and which belonged to heterosexual men until after he examined all of them and recorded the results. The corpus callosum has been shown to be larger in homosexual men than in heterosexual men. This proves that genetics play some role in determining sexual orientation. It has also been shown that identical twins are more likely to both exhibit homosexual orientations than fraternal twins. This was demonstrated in a study done in 1993 by Bailey and others, and replicated by another study done in Australia by Bailey and others in 1997. The first study found that 52 percent of identical twin brothers of homosexual men were also homosexual, while only 22 percent of fraternal twin brothers were also homosexual. The follow up study concluded that 48 percent of identical twins were both homosexual while only 16 percent of fraternal twins were both homosexual.

Prenatal hormones have also been studied as a cause of sexual orientation. Some studies have shown that homosexual men have fingerprint patterns like those of heterosexual women. Homosexual women also have a more masculine ratio of the length of the index finger to the ring finger. Some scientists believe that when girls are exposed to more testosterone in the womb develop more masculine brains and that when boys are exposed to too little amounts of testosterone they develop more feminine brains.
Click here for more information

On April 29, 1999 the nation witnessed a school shooting that caught us all by surprise. There were 12 students and 1 teacher killed. Many wondered what could possibly drive these two young individuals to create such a massacre. After further investigation, it seemed that it had been a result of harassment from their classmates. However, investigators later learned that the boys had planned out the attack by using a violent videogame called "Counter-Strike". "Counter-Strike" is a video game in which the player uses realistic weapons to kill the opposing players before they themselves are killed. They created a map similar to their school, planned their attack, and rehearsed it time after time using this video game.
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Many argue that violent videogames are to blame for violent acts such as Columbine. I believe that this is not at all the case. "Counter-Strike" was used as a practice tool, it was not the boys' influence. We must consider that the boys had many other issues involving why they were influenced to do such a thing. They were stressed with the harassment from classmates, poor parenting (some argue), and a sociopathic personality. Video games alone are not enough to drive one person to murder another. A normal person would have the sensitivity to know the difference between what is acceptable in a video game and what is acceptable in real-life.
Video games are only helpful to those that are already violent, it does not create violent behavior.

What about the children?

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Many decisions we make concerned with the future focus on one important aspect; children are considered the future, and therefore we must consider their benefit when making decisions. One problem in particular concerns the role of violent video games leading to aggression in adolescence. Some research has shown that violent television programs and video games can prime the idea of violence as well as increase their overall arousal and energy. Children who have played violent video games also show less sensitivity to the negative aspects of violence. It is also plausible that these violent paraphernalia equip children with the strategies for becoming violent.

Contrastingly so, other research has put forward the idea that violence may be a result of a third factor. It is possible that a causal relationship between violent video game and aggression does not exist. One source states that depression may be a cause of aggression in children.

This matter prompts me to question the validity of tests. One researcher studied aggression by measuring how loud blasts were after playing violent video games however, how accurate are the measurements of aggression? How else can aggression be measured? Additionally, is it possible to have a participant play video games and not respond aggressively subsequent to the game? Are these participants further studied for other effects in response to these games? Furthermore, can parenting that includes reinforcement and punishment counteract the effects of violent video games on aggression?

Read more about video games and aggression here:
Violent Video Games Lead to Aggression in Youth
Video games do no harm to children

Theories of Emotion

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There has been much dispute over how our brains create emotion. As of today, there are two accepted theories of how this occurs, The James-Lange Theory, one of the oldest cognitive theories derived from William James but also accredited to Carl Lange who worked on a similar theory around the same time, and also the Cannon-Bard Theory developed by Walter Cannon and Philip Bard. The James-Lange theory depicts emotion as resulting from our interpretations of our physiological reactions to stimuli. In other words, we may hear footsteps behind us while walking in a dark alley, our hear rate quickens and our palms start to sweat, after that we experience the emotion fear. This theory is supported by evidence of patients who suffered from spinal cord injuries, creating less bodily functions, experiencing less emotion. However, this evidence could be biases because the researcher knew which patients had spinal injuries and the findings have not been replicated. According to the Cannon-Bard Theory, an emotion inducing stimuli simultaneously produces both the emotion and the bodily reactions. For example, you may be awoken by a loud crash of thunder and become frightened and start breathing heavily at the same time. This theory is less flawed that the James-Lange Theory in that most bodily functions take a few seconds to occur and emotion is experienced right away, also many of us are unaware of these functions making it impossible for us to interpret them. Neither one has been proven right nor wrong but they both help us begin to understand how our brain and body work with emotions.

harry harlow.jpgUnlike many animals, infant humans do not instinctively imprint to their mothers, however, they do develop a bond. For many years, psychologists believed infants bonded to the caregiver that provided them with food and nourishment, and this just happened to be the mother. Harry Harlow proved this assumption wrong.

In the 1950s, Harlow tested this assumption using infant rhesus monkeys. These monkeys have a close genetic similarity to humans, so they were desirable subjects to study. He took these baby rhesus monkeys and separated them from their mothers at birth, and kept them separate. They had limited contact with other monkeys.

In order to test if nourishment or comfort was more important to the baby monkeys, he created two "mothers." The mother that represented nourishment was a metal wired frame that had a bottle sticking out of it to provide food for the baby. The mother that represented comfort had a soft frame covered in cloth and was heated, but provided no nourishment.

After placing the infant monkeys in the cage with the two "mothers," he found that the assumption that baby monkeys clung to the mother that provided nourishment was wrong. In reality, it was the complete opposite. The baby rhesus monkeys clung to the mother that provided comfort, and only went to the mother that provided nourishment when hunger pushed them to. Not only did the baby rhesus monkeys cling to it under normal circumstances, they also tightly clung to the comforting mother when there was a frightening stimuli, showing that the comfort of contact with a mother provides reassurance.

This research is the basis of the term contact comfort. Contact comfort is defined as the positive emotions afforded by touch. This was an important finding in Psychology because it helps us understand why touch is so important to us, and that we have a desire and need for it. By looking at these animals that have a high genetic similarity to us, it gives us a greater understanding of why human babies create a bond with their mothers.

Click here to watch video footage of the experiment

Babbling Twins

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Video: Talking Twin Babies

This first time I ever saw the "Talking Twin Babies" I found it absolutely entertaining as well as fascinating, because there was a curious thought that maybe they were speaking their own language. The video has over 48,000,000 hits, as the world is just as entertained and fascinated as myself. The comments below the video are filled with different YouTube member's interpretation of the dialouge. After reading my psych book, I've learned that what we'd like to view as crytosphasia, an invented language, is rather an impairment and delay of language. Instead the twins are just babbling, in the attempt to use English. After learning about this, it takes some of the magic away from the video. Yet, the twins are more likely to understand each other's errors in speech while attempting to use English. So what we are experiencing is not a secret language between the twins, but a special understanding between the twins in what the other is trying to say in their native language. Even though my psych book has some what spoiled the curiousness of the video for me, I still find the video entertaining as ever.

spanking_0409.jpgSpanking is a long debated technique of parenting. Severity can range from a light tap to a few fierce slaps on the behind. Many people have a clear cut view on the issue, but what are the pro's and con's of each view? It's difficult to tell with all the ethics involved.

The most basic pro of spanking is that it likely stops the malbehavior and even that is debatable. Dr. Robert Lazelere of Oklahoma State University promotes the use of conditioned spanking in a light manner. Two open hand swats in a non-abusive way is what he advocates. This practice involves the use of operant conditioning. Spanking is the negative punishment of the situation. As pointed out by Lilienfield text (Pg 215) there are always a few negatives when it comes to punishment. These include, not showing the right thing to do in the situation and promotion of aggressive behavior. This must also be done within the appropriate age group for the punishment to be successful.

As expected there are many more reasons not to spank your child than to spank your child. Short term effects of one year-old's was showing more aggressive behavior at age two and performing worse on tests of thinking skills. However, these are merely short term effects and most definitely to not prove the emotional distress people claim of spanked children. Other studies have shown that there is a long lasting effect of spanked children in the form of antisocial behavior and being more likely to get into fights later on in life. This is a great example of correlation versus causation. Does the spanking really cause the aggression or is the child already being spanked because of aggressive behavior? Children who may need the corporal form of punishment may already be aggressively behaved children.

In short, the use of spanking is a personal decision, as long as it is used sparingly and non-abusively. Alway remember there is a fine line between abusive and non-abusive. The use of spanking will most likely remain controversial for a long time and it is unlikely one study will disprove or approve the use of spanking.

Police Ticket

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Have you ever taken a test and gone with the answer that is our gut reaction? Or have you ever chosen something because your gut reaction was to choose it? Every day we go through our day choosing something because our gut told us too. Antonio Damasio made the theory of somatic marker theory is the theory that proposes that we unconsciously and instantaneously use our "gut reactions"- especially our autonomic responses. For example, one day I was driving at night, and I had to get home as soon as I could. I had to get home on time before curfew, so I had the option to speed, but I had a bad feeling that I shouldn't speed. As I kept on driving, I saw a cop looking for people speeding. I went with my gut reaction that to speed would be a bad idea. If I didn't go with my gut reaction I would have regretted it later, by getting a ticket. Going with how you emotionally feel could pay off in the end. That our emotions play a big role in our decision making and how we respond to decisions.

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Facial expressions play a crucial role when expressing one's emotions or thoughts. People tend to smile or laugh to express their happiness, frown or cry to express their sadness, scowl to express their anger, and so forth. Like this, some emotions can be recognized by almost the same facial expressions of most people in the world regardless of their cultural diversities, growth backgrounds, and/or disabilities.

The claim that some primary emotions are cross-culturally universal has made by Paul Ekman, a psychologist who studies emotions and the facial expressions related to them. Those primary emotions are said to be happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear, and contempt. The reason why they are called "primary" is because they are based emotions, which means that other emotions arise from them. Ekman and his colleagues identified six of these seven primary emotions.

Since we all know which facial expression indicates which emotions, feelings, and sometimes even thoughts, it has been an important mode of communication. This mode of communication is especially useful when one is a mute or when one is trying to express his or her emotions to a foreigner. Like this, since facial expressions play such a big role in human society, I want to know if there is one that might display different emotion(s) in different cultures, societies, or countries so that I don't give anyone a wrong expression by mistake.

Here is a youtube video clip of Dr. David Matsumoto of San Francisco State, researching on
Science in Action: Facial Expressions

According to the study of Judith Wallerstein in 1989, divorce causes long-term damage to children. Wallerstein did a 25-year study of 60 different families. She claims that the children of divorced parents had trouble setting their career goals as well as maintaining stable romantic relationships. However, Wallerstein's findings are hard to analyze because they don't know if her findings reflect effects of divorce itself or just the general effects of stressful disruption in families. According to a study done by Amato and Booth in 1997, and Rutter in 1972, the amount of conflict between the parents before divorce can cause more or less effects on the children. According to their study, if the severity of conflict is greater between the parents, the less severe the effects are on the children. This is true, probably because the children are just relieved that their parents stopped their intense conflicts. If the conflict wasn't as severe, the children are more likely to be effected long-term.

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I myself have experienced what it's like to grow up with conflicted parents who later divorced. My parents use to argue a whole lot when I was young, and then they got divorced when I was 14. I don't know if all the arguing or the divorce even affected me at all, but I can see some signs of it. I'm currently an undecided student who hasn't established my career goals, so I kind of fit the mold with Wallerstein's findings of children with divorced parents having trouble establishing career goals and stable romantic relationships. After finding out about this claim, I wonder if there really is a correlation between divorce and children's futures.

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Source- Psych textbook chapter 10- page 391

Baby Einstein

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Walt Disney company is known worldwide. A lot of children have grown up watching Disney movies. Disney's main demographic is children. In the early 2000's Disney began marketing a product towards babies as young as three months old. This product, the Baby Einstein Dvd's, were purported to make babies smarter. It is clear that this is quite an extraordinary claim. Although on the current Baby Einstein website it is never directly stated that their products will make a baby smarter, it is heavily implied. Even the name, Baby Einstein, implies that should your baby use this product they will become a little baby genius. At the very least it implies that the Dvds are good for babies.

As we've learned all extraordinary claims should be looked at with a scientific eye. Parents and caregivers should do their research and look at the facts. They might stop and ask themselves, has the world been overrun by genius babies? Looking around they'll find that no, it has not. On a more scientific level however, they could talk to a pediatrician or do a little research and look at academic and scientifically reviewed sources. Take for instance, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). A study by the AAP found that electronic media for children under two is unhealthy. Furthermore they found that programing marketed at infants and toddlers as educational is not supported by evidence.

More parents are becoming aware that Dvds such as the Baby Einstein Dvds should not be used to replace actual learning interaction for babies and some have even filed a suit against Disney's Baby Einstein products. Because of this Disney has offered a refund on the products. While some see this as an admission of guilt Disney maintains that this is their way of showing they stand behind the Baby Einstein Dvds and likens the suit to a smear campaign.

Ultimately it is up to parents to decide whether or not the Baby Einstein Dvds are suitable for their baby. Hopefully through utilizing the scientific thinking principles by realizing that the Dvd's are making an extraordinary claim, they'll do a little research and be able to make an informed decision.

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giacomo-jaquerio-the-fountain-of-youth.jpegIn the 21st century, people are living longer than ever, and a greater percentage of the population is elderly than ever before. Unfortunately, some of the physical changes we experience as we age are a decline in muscle tone, diminished sensory processes, and decreased flexibility in motor skills. The good news is, by remaining physically and mentally active, we can potentially affect our biological and psychological age, if not chronological age. But soon there might be another way to slow down or even remove some of the effects of aging.

According to the New York Times, scientists at the Mayo Clinic have determined that senescent cells, or cells that have stopped dividing, are responsible for promoting tissue aging. Their study was published in Nature. Senescent cells accumulate in aging tissues and cause inflammation. The research team experimented with two groups of fast-aging mice and created a drug that caused the senescent cells to self-destruct. The first group of mice had their senescent cells destroyed right away, and they did not develop cataracts, did not experience loss of muscle tone, retained fat layers and therefore avoided wrinkling, and their activity level was higher. The second group of mice weren't given the drug until they were middle aged. Although they had already developed cataracts, the aging process was still delayed in their muscles and they retained their fat. The bad news is, the drug didn't appear to work on the heart or liver. Also, the mice didn't live longer - they just lived healthier. Next, the researchers will perform the same tests with ordinary mice to see whether their lives can be extended through the removal of the senescent cells.fountain of youth cartoon.png

Although mice and humans age differently, this research seems promising to me. It shows that perhaps some human, age-related problems could be avoided or delayed through the removal of senescent cells. I hope that others will attempt to replicate these results. But scientists would also need to determine whether senescent cells provide any benefits before simply destroying them. Additionally, they'd need to consider issues like how to safely remove the cells from humans, whether there would be side effects, how many cells would need to be removed, whether they should be removed once or over time, and at what point(s) in the life cycle to remove them. Someday this may prove to be the answer for those looking for a way to reduce certain effects of aging.

One way to study emotion in the psychological world is through the use of the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). In this study, the experimenter shows a series of pictures to participants. The participants are observed based on their Fear Potentiated Startle, which is a measure of how much fear a certain picture evokes. Participants are shown three types of pictures: pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant. For most people, the pleasant pictures evoke pleasure, not fear. The neutral pictures don't really produce either response. As expected, the unpleasant pictures evoke fear in participants. The interesting part; how psychopathic people react to the IAPS test?

This is a graph of the responses. The top shows psychopathic responses and the bottom shows the non-psychopathic people. psychopaths.png

I think this is an interesting concept because if the affect the pictures have on psychopaths. Psychopaths produce the same responses for the pleasant and unpleasant images as other people. The difference is in the unpleasant pictures. Not only do psychopaths produce no fear when they see disturbing images, they feel pleasure. People in pain are pleasurable to psychopaths, which is probably why they put themselves in those types of situations. They get pleasure from other people suffering and from dangerous situations that are scary to most people.

I have always wondered how somebody could actually kill another human being. How does your conscience not kick in and make you realize what you are about to do? Whenever I see any type of torture of another person I think about this. The answer is simple; it makes them happy. In some sick twisted way, their brains send signals of joy and good feelings when they see horrible stimuli. Maybe some day we will be able to find a way to correct this problem and make the emotions of psychopaths the way they are supposed to be.

While it is easy to conclude that violent video games cause children to become more aggressive, perhaps there are alternative explanations to these claims. One example that involves multiple causes of aggression involves the shooting that took place in Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado in 1999. The two shooters were high schoolers who suffered from bullying, depression, and the need of belonging. In other words, depression could be a cause of violence that is often overlooked. Eric Harris who was involve in the shootings suffered from depression, anger, and suicidal thoughts. As a result his psychiatrist proscribed him with medications that are known to increase aggression. The shooters also were both victims of bullying for many years and were struggling to feel accepted by their peers. Perhaps, violent videos are not to blame and the source of aggression lied in the choice of music the boys choose to listen to or even the choice of books they decided to read. "Research is inconclusive," emphasises Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England. "It is possible that certain types of video game could affect emotions, views, behavior, and attitudes, however, so can books, which can lead to violent behavior on those already predisposed to violence," he states. To conclude, violent videos games can cause aggression but the effect is extremely small. In addition, only certain individuals are prone to be strongly affected by video games. In the example involving the Columbine shooting there are multiple alternative explanations. Another could include gun control laws and the availability in firearms in the United States that allow under aged children to possess such weapons.

Somatic Marker Theory

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There had been many theories and concepts that I like, but there is only one that I feel is right. Well, to me at least. The somatic marker theory is the only theory I feel that it would fit me out of all the other theories. The somatic marker theory is when you go with what your gut is saying or feeling. If your guts feel like doing it than you do it, but if your guts do not feel like doing it than do not do it. In other words, I think it is trying to say that if you feel right or good about doing something, than you do it, but if you have a feeling that something is going to become wrong or does not feel good about doing something than do not do it.

It was a cold snowy day on the year of 2007. My friends and I usually go to Forest Lake, MN every weekend to hang out with our other buddies. This one snowy weekend, I decided not to go because I had a bad feeling about going, so I held back and my friends left. It was the next day when my friends called me and told me about what happened. I was interested in their story of what happened, so they continued the story. Long in short, their car broke down because it was too cold and they was stuck out in the cold for a good 30 minutes waiting for a towing truck to come. I was happy that I went with my guts because if I have not, I would have a similar story like my friends to tell to people what happened.

This made me realize that I better start going with what my guts want me to do or act. If I go with my guts, I tend to not regret my decision later on, but if I acted the way I did because somebody told me too, I might regret it later on. For this circumstance, the gut feeling saved me from having to stay out in the cold. I could use this gut feeling for when I am choosing a degree because there is always time for me to get another degree after the first one if I do not like the first one, so might as well go with how my guts feel like.

Kardashian Fairytale?

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To read more, visit Huffington Post


There is no "happily ever after" for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries who have filed for divorce after being married for only 72 days. This divorce was brought on by Kim, who claims she was motivated to make this decision by her 'intuition' and that she needs 'to follow her heart.' Unfortunately the sustainability of any celebrity marriage is questionable, but 72 days is extremely short. There were a lot of events that lead up to the marriage including: interviews, talk show appearances, reality show specials, and even a 4-hour wedding special. All of this hoopla surrounding the wedding and the relationship of the couple makes one wonder what went wrong.
During the interview, Kim was asked if she and Kris had taken measures to save the marriage like counseling, or talking to one another. Kim responded by saying that it was what she felt in her heart and she was just following her intuition. This statement is a suggestion of the somatic marker theory; she was following her "gut reaction" when she made this decision. However, not too long ago she claimed that she "married for love." The choice she made was solely based on her emotions.
During the interview, Kim shows one of the primary emotions of sadness that is also enforced with no facial movement or other expression of emotion. One hypothesis of why the couple did not last is that they did not know each other for a long enough time. This is supported by the mere exposure effect - they may be compatible but simply have not been around each other enough times to feel favorable to one another, especially because he lives in New York and she lives in Los Angeles. In all, the marriage was created from emotions and ended because of emotions.

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Everywhere you walk on campus, you'll see people with headphones listening to music. Who doesn't love music? It's a part of our society today. Luckily, it has been shown in research that being a part of making music and playing a musical instrument can be very helpful if started early on in adolescence. Key word is early in adolescence, emphasizing that it's much more beneficial for the parents to put their kids into music at a younger age. It has constantly been proven that starting music at a young age mostly affects success in science and math. A study done by The College Board shows that high school music students score higher on the math portion of the SAT compared to those who aren't involved with music. Neurological research also shows that piano students have 34 percent higher on tests that measure proportion reasoning. Music can do 60% of the teaching work in just 5% of the time. It was said that Ancient Greeks sang their dramas because they understood how music could help them remember easier. Think about it, don't most of you remember words of songs very easily? When both sides of the brain are being used to do this, it causes the brain to be more capable of processing information. It's also been shown that not only does playing music help the brain with learning, but if you listen to it while studying it helps. Studying with music relaxes muscles, causes brain waves to slow down, and decreases pulse and blood pressure. However it needs to be played at a soft level. Listening to a piece such as one of Mozart's Sonatas before taking a test has been proven to improve test scores, this is called the Mozart Effect. What could sound better then being able to play a musical instrument beautifully, and getting good grades out of it as well? Talent at it's finest!

Imprinting

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Proximity is taken a little over board with the phenomenon of imprinting. Imprinting, in psychology, a form of learning in which a very young animal fixes its attention on the first object with which it has visual, auditory, or tactile experience and thereafter follows that object. The man most associated for discovering and testing his Nobel winning break through, is biologist Konrad Lorenz. As the book says, 99 percent of the time, the first object that is imprinted on by the offspring, is none other than the mother. The time which imprinting occurs is called the critical sensitive period, and in birds such as ducks and geese, the time for imprinting is 24-48 hours after hatching. During this time, duck and geese offspring will imprint on anything from a human, a dog, bouncing balls, or even boxes on wheels. There are numerous learning methods in our world, but imprinting is the most irreversible, as it is least likely to be unlearned or forgotten. Although humans don't have a finite critical sensitive period of 24 hours like duck and geese offspring, recent studies have shown that in human babies, there is some connection to critical sensitive period and fear of strangers--which occurs at roughly the eight month range.
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The Mozart Effect

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- Can this music really have an effect on your intelligence?


As a society today, intelligence is something highly valued. The society is so competitive. Life, Education, Jobs are all places where IQ seems to be the most important factor, the make it or break it thing. Everybody wants to be as smart as possible, and if there are short cuts to increasing intelligence people want to know. But is the constant quest for easy ways to increase people's IQ just increasing the amounts of extraordinary claims?

The Mozart Effect is the claim that IQ increases after listening to classical music. Is there extraordinary evidence for this extraordinary claim? There are no definite results that this is true. The areas in the brain that are activated when listening to this type of music is the prefrontal and temporal regions. These regions are involved in music processing. Therefore, they suggest that this would prime areas involved in spatial reasoning. The enhancement at the most in studies lasts about 12 minutes. Many other studies there is no difference. Some studies have found that there's a temporarily increase of cognitive skills, but other studies have found no evidence of this effect. Since the replicable studies don't always have statistical evidence, there is no extraordinary evidence to back up the claim of the Mozart Effect.

Like many extraordinary claims, the media got involved and made up a pseudoscience. They made an industry out of it. They promote the unverified claims; yet continue to make a lot of money out of. It's not surprising that people are so quick to buy this though. Who doesn't want instant an increase of intelligence?


- An example of how this unproven claim is making money.


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Researchers have now found that violent shooter games including Call of Duty, Halo, Medal of Honor and many more, have shown an increase in brain activity of arousal and decrease of brain activity in the areas of attention and self-control.
Vince Matthews and a group of his researchers did a study on teens using two video games. One which was violent (Medal of Honor), the other game which wasn't (Need for Speed). They made two groups each with 22 teens in it and let one group play the violent game and the other group the non-violent game. Right after the kids were done playing they were given a MRI. The results were that there was a negative effect on brain areas of the teens that played the violent "Medal of Honor" video game compared to those whose played the non-violent "Need for Speed" video game.
It is unknown if playing the violent game has a permanent effect on the brain, but it has shown that violent games do cause increased brain activity in arousal. But it is shown that correlation does not equal causation.
I do believe that violent video games cause arousal in the brain compared to other non- violent video games, but it doesn't mean that people can blame the video game industry for teen violence in the real world. A lot of times for kids that are to young to play these violent video games they are allowed by their parents to play them.


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Interpersonal Attractions

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Interpersonal attraction is the attraction between people which leads to friendships and romantic relationships. Three major principles guide attraction and relationship formation: proximity, similarity, and reciprocity.

One of the major influences on interpersonal attraction is proximity. Proximity is a physical nearness that can be a predictor of attraction. For example, people who work together, live by each other, or are in the same classes would typically be more attracted to each other. The mere exposure effect helps play a role in this principle of attraction because our attraction to someone increases the more we see them.

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Proximity has played a key role in my current relationship. My boyfriend lives in my neighborhood which resulted in us hanging out every day. Because we saw each other so much and became really close, our attraction of each other increased.

Have you ever heard the saying opposites attract and likes repel? Well, this isn't necessarily the case. Similarity is another predictor of attractions. Those who are share the same qualities and like the same sorts of thing are more likely to become attracted to one another. Online dating services have caught on to the fact that similarity raises content which is why they try to match up people that have things in common.

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The last predictor of attraction is reciprocity. Reciprocity is the give and take in a relationship. We tend to feel obligated to give what we get and maintain equity in a relationship. It reflects the idea that people feel better about themselves knowing that they are likeable and they enjoy the company of those who give them positive feelings. So for example: if someone told you they liked you, your attraction towards that person would increase.

To get more information you can go to this link.

During this weeks discussion we debated the long time dispute of violent video games and their affects on behavior. While some say that violent video games are positively correlated with violent behavior I would have to disagree. Instead of the video games causing the behavior I would infer that it is the environment and the lifestyle of the gamer that affects behavior.
Those who play countless hours of video games lack the interaction with others unless it is done through gaming and the attendance of school. Those who play video games for a majority of their time also lack interaction with their family in which they may only see them at the dinner table or any other required family tradition. My point being is that the lack of emotionally pleasing interactions can lead to depressive and or self-destructive behavior which can then lead to violence.
However, this isn't necessarily the child's fault. The potential reason for playing video games in the first place is due to a hostile home environment where the parents either neglect or abuse the child when interacted with one another. Bullying may also be a cause in which the child continuously goes to a hostile school environment and the only way to cope is to stay home and play in his or her fantasy as a level sixty warrior in World of Warcraft. These hostile interactions can lead to self destructive behavior as the child has no one to turn to but only the gaming console that has always been there for them.
So with these thoughts in mind who could blame a child for showing aggressive behavior when they have no emotional connection in their life. Now granted I am not saying this occurs with every child who plays video games but I am saying that those who believe that video games cause violent behavior need to account for other variables. I myself am a gamer and yes even though I get angry like every other human being I have not been involved in any juvenile or violent activity due to the healthy environment that I was raised in. Therefore, violent behavior is not caused by the content but the environment in which the games are played in.


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weighing the chances

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According a myth found on snoops.com A woman over the age of 40 has a better chance of being victim of a terrorist attack than getting married. There are a few principles of scientific thinking that would prove this to be an unproven claim. Firstly, terrorist attacks are so rare and usually not specifically aimed at 40 year old women, so it would be hard to replicate any kind of testing to see which is more likely. Also this is a pretty extraordinary claim, and so it would require extraordinary evidence to prove. There's no real evidence that supports this other than maybe the number of women over 40 that get married vs. the number of women over 40 that are killed in an attack, but even then that leads to causation vs. correlation, meaning was it that those women were over 40 that caused the attack, or is it possibly that being over 40 is the reason they get married. Bottom line there's so much randomness and variables in either situation that this wouldn't be a scientific fact.
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A love addiction

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Elaine Hatfied and Richard Rapson emphasize that there are two main types of love: passionate and companionate. Passionate love is described as being a romantic and powerfully overwhelming longing for ones partner. Many people who've experienced passionate love know how hard it is to get over a long-term relationship. Evidence has proven such that dealing with romantic rejection is similar to kicking an addiction. One study that was conducted consisted of heartbroken men and women viewing pictures of their previous partner. Results showed that regions in the brain that were activated while looking at the pictures associated with rewards, addiction cravings, control of emotions, feelings of attachment and physical pain and distress. These findings could be correlated to why people find it hard to move on from the break up and in some instances people are propelled to act upon extreme behaviors, such as stalking and homicide, after losing love. The next study was similar to the previous one except it asked participants to think about events that had occurred with their partner while looking at photos of them. Following that the participants proceed to complete a math problem to suppress romantic feelings. Then they were presented with a familiar neutral stimulus, such as a picture of a classmate. Results showed that regions in the brain called the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex were activated during the study. These regions are correlated with intense cocaine and cigarette addiction. There was also show of increased activity in the brain's insular cortex and the anterior cingulated, regions associated with physical pain and distress. Even though there is no concrete causation from the studies, it still can be used to decipher why the end of a romantic bond can seem like enslavement to your partner. Although it seems as if it will never end, time is the only treatment. The more time that passes after the break up the less activity requested from regions in the brain associated to attachment.

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