December 2011 Archives

General Concepts

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I think that the psychology concept that I am most likely to remember in five years is just the basic concept of being skeptical and thinking scientifically. Such concepts as hindsight bias and confirmation bias are two that specifically stand out to me. Since learning these ideas, I have already noticed myself and others unintentionally seeing only what we want to see and ignoring other information. I think that just being aware of this phenomenon can help to prevent it. If I can keep this concept in mind, I feel that I will be a better scientist and make fewer mistakes. Hindsight bias is a concept that I immediately felt the importance of. I think that I will remember this concept because of its great practicality. Every day we all hear of people who "knew that was going to happen" and "could've told you that was coming". After learning of this concept my reply is simple: "Hindsight is 20/20>". The general skepticism I learned such as falsifiability, reliability, and Occam's razor will also be remembered.
These concepts are simple, yet crucial to any logical approach. Many scientific theories hinge on these concepts. The healthy skepticism that these concepts bring can make or break a theory.

Bystander Effect

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In the next five to ten years, I will remember the bystander effect. I never realize that I was too, a bystander. The bystander effect is when there is somebody not feeling so well and you do nothing about it, because maybe you thought that somebody else around is going to do something about it. So, basically you ignored that ill person and waited to see if anyone is going to do anything about it. There were a situation where I became a bystander for an ill stranger in the park. As I was walking, I saw a sick man having a seizure or some sort of illness and I thought he was just fooling around, so I stood about 30 feet away from that man observing him. I was sort of laughing at him, but I feel bad afterwards. After about 8 to 10 minutes observing him, there was suddenly a man who came and ask if that sick man was okay. He didn't look well, so the guy who came to help called for ambulance and that was when I went and approach those two men.
I regretted so much, because I thought the sick man was just fooling around and if he was not than there will be someone around to help him. It did took a while before someone helped him. I WILL remember the bystander effect forever because where ever I go, if I see somebody not feeling so well out in the streets or anywhere I will step up and see if that person is okay.

Classical Conditioning

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When I was asked the question about what I'm going to remember about psychology, the answer was easy, like it should be. The concept that I'm going to remember is Pavlov's experiment with classical conditioning. One reason to why I picked this was because it was something I had already heard about coming into psych, and I can tell just by talking with family member's that Pavlov too is what they remember. Another main reason why I'll remember this is because all of the examples that I could use to help myself understand the concept better. I'll always remember the bell, the dog, and the meat powder, but being able to relate my own examples to make any scenario is what helped this concept stick to my brain. Thinking back to the discussion section about how we had to make our own advertisement by using the unconditional response, unconditional stimulus conditional stimulus and conditional response, that helped me distinguish between the for different responses.

Pavlov Photo

The Science of Love

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Many topics in Psychology 1001 are interesting but the one topic I won't forget is the science explanations of love and attraction. The science side of love explains that there are three things that fuel attraction; proximity, similarity, and reciprocity.

Proximity refers to the physical distance between people. One statistic that I found extremely odd, yet makes sense, was the fact that you're more likely to marry someone you've gone to school with since kindergarten than you are someone you meet later in life.

Similarity is exactly what the word means, how much you are alike to the other person. This makes sense because the more you have in common with someone the more you have to talk about. Although this makes me wonder how the old saying "opposites attract" came to be. Maybe it's peoples minds coming up with an explanation to show why they do something (in this case why they like someone that they have nothing in common with) like in the experiments with people who had their corpus collosum severed.

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Reciprocity is a little more complicated and refers to how each person in a relationship gives up some things in order to work together and stay together into old age like the couple pictured above.

The main reason this will be a topic that I will remember is because it's relevant to my life. This is the first class I've taken that's looked at love or attraction as more than serendipity and I find it interesting.

The start of a new path...

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Psychology 1001 gave names and background to many of the concepts that I have been interested in for a long time now. I tried to learn more about the subject in high school but was limited by the small curriculum of my school. Although, I've learned that there are far more branches in psychology than I could have named before the beginning of the semester. I've learned about concepts that will stay with me much longer than five years.

Some of what I'm sure I'll remember for many years to come includes almost all of what I learned this semester. I have started to think about what I've learned in my daily life, by attributing some behaviors of people and even myself to certain concepts I've learned about in psychology lecture. I've even decided that maybe what I want to spend my time on here at the university is learning more about psychology. I've wanted to go on to medical school for a very long time now but I'm considering declaring Psychology as my major, so that I can enjoy what I learn about while preparing myself for Medical school.

Behavioral Psychology

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The most influential topic for me that we have covered in Psych 1001 has been Biological Psychology. Biological Psychology can be defined as "a neurophysiological perspective on human consciousness" (Peterson). During this unit, we talked a lot about the brain and its functions, such as the left hemisphere of the brain being responsible for the right side of the body, and vice versa. We also covered learning and the brain's ability to adapt, such as Pavlov's classical conditioning compared to Thorndike's instrumental conditioning. Along with learning, we also discussed the different types of punishment and reinforcement, which are both key to absorbing new information.

I personally enjoyed this unit because it seemed very relevant to everyday life. All of the concepts discussed in both lecture and the textbook can easily be applied to my own life, as well as any common situation. I was really intrigued to learn about how the brain works and why people think the way they do, and I thought this was covered very well in lecture. I thoroughly enjoyed lectures for this unit, as I found them very intriguing and easy to follow. Also, there were many visuals and videos presented during lecture, which made for a better understanding of the different topics, as well as provided me with a strong visual of each. For example, when I think of the Split-Brain Phenomenon from now on, I will always think of the videos of the subjects who could not explain their actions or thoughts, such as the man who drew the orange because he saw the word orange, yet could not make the connection between the action and the word.

http://considermoon.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/mercedes-benz-left-brain-right-brain-paint1.jpg

Liar, Liar

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The brain is an incredible thing that I feel I will never fully understand, but many concepts will stick with me. One particular concept I think I will remember five years from now is the concept of pseudologia fantastica, or pathological lying. What makes this psychological concept so memorable and especially evident is because my roommate was a pathological liar. She essentially could not be honest about most things in her life and dug herself into a hole she couldn't get out of. I originally blamed this on her being inconsiderate, insecure and generally kind of crazy. However, I came to realize the more I talked to her about it - after she forcibly admitted many of her lies - that she really thought that was an appropriate way of handling things. Our brains are the best storytellers there are and her brain was moving at incredible speeds to make up all of the lies that she somehow had started to even believe herself because she was in such denial of the truth and this is how her brain coped with it. This also exhibits the concept of false memory formation, which was very common for her also. She didn't seem to have any control. Her brain was telling her that her lies were right and true and she had developed some sort of double life since this had been manifesting itself over her whole lifetime. While everyone else was hurt and confused by her lying tendencies, I used the knowledge I had about how the brain works psychologically and referred it to the inner workings of her brain, contributing it to fear or a need to hide the truth, although yhe lies are all based on an element of truth. This made it easier to understand that she was not doing any of this intentionally, that it is a mental illness, and that it was not just to certain people, but she lied to everyone. The brain is so incredibly complicated and capable of doing so many different things to different people and the concept of pathological lying is something that will stick with me for a long time.lying.jpg

Odd Behaviors When in Love

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According to Som Sommers, author of Situations Matter, we make different faces when we interact with our loved ones. This is only one example of how humans act out of the norm when faced with their loved ones. As we have learned in class, humans have a tendency to conform to behaviors of those around us. When we see others smile, our own soon follows. When we see others frown, it is very likely that we will also frown. However, all these reactions are context-dependent. Sommers explains the conformity phenomenon through the example, "[Why] for a brief period of time, adults who could afford actual shoes instead voluntarily ventured out wearing plastic clogs with swiss-cheese holes."
Despite our mimicking nature, Sommers points out that, "[the] mimicry of frowning faces disappears when the face looking back at you belongs to your partner." Rather than frowning back, in a Dutch study, participants start to smile when shown frowning pictures of their partner instead. Sommers explains the reason why the participants smiled is because they regularly make sacrifices for their partner's well-being. The smile was an automatic effort to, as Sommers states, "soothe their loved one's distress."

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-small-talk/201112/what-the-face-love-looks

Children Are White Papers

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I am interested in majoring in Early Child Education and becoming a child educator. I have been always in love with babies and kids because they are so innocent and adorable. They are like white papers, so I can draw anything on them. They are also like sponges, so they absorb incredible amount of what they learn every day. Because adults are in charge of children's education and development when they are young, they possess various colors of crayons to fill the children's white papers.

Since I can exert such a huge influence on kids as an educator in the future, it is important for me to understand that they don't know what I already know. According to Piaget's four stages of cognitive development, the preoperational stage of two to seven-year-olds is governed by egocentrism. It is not that they are selfish, but they simply lack ability in thinking in others' shoes. Young kids also sometimes don't understand that an object is still there even when it disappears, which is called object permanence. Seven-year-olds or under in average either don't know of conservation or are confused of it. As an example, those younger children don't know that the volume is conserved when the same amount of liquid is put in a different container. Even more, three-year-olds or under normally don't pass the False Belief Test, which means that they don't know that others might have different representation of fact than they do.

Learning these concepts and the characteristics of children helped me a lot to understand them. I know they are learning new things and that sometimes they just don't get it right away. However, I had thought that children sometimes act too selfishly and unthoughtfully. It is true that they do, but now I fully understand that they should behave so if they are "normal" kids and so that we should correct them. I will keep in mind what I have learned about child development and always try to remind them.

Identity

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I will never forget the concept of identity.
Do we ever stop changing our concept of self? The concept of identity will continually be intriguing to me because I see no end to its transformations. The compilation of all our experiences and memories define who we are at each individual point in time. Erikson's theory of development seems to be in accord, as it suggests that our identity is continually changing as we develop throughout our whole life. However, this is not the only reason that I will never forget the concept of identity.

The concept of identity is so fundamentally captivating to me because it begs the question of to what extent we are able to influence ourselves. How much of a role does our environment and seemingly inconsequential events play in shaping our actions and development? It is impossible to know. It leaves us with the mystery of ourselves and how we came to be who we are.

That is the essence of why the concept of identity is so intriguing to me. My sense of self will continually change and be reevaluated and I see no end. For now, I will live in the moment and continually crack at the mystery of who I am and how I came to be through the introspection of my experiences and memories.

What Is Love?

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This semester, Psychology 1001 has been quite demanding of my time. Out of all the time I have devoted to this course, I am happy to say that there are multiple things I will remember. However, five years from now, my reminiscence of psychology terms may not occur as often. There is one concept that I am not worried about ever slipping my mind; the concept of LOVE.
Love is part of human nature, a natural need. It is something we all desire, whether it is to be loved, or to love upon. Sadly, in our day in age, love has become a skewed concept for some. Love is no longer a desire to be with one, and only one person for the rest of your life - but instead has turned into a physical attraction between two people resulting in a detached emotional outcome.
According to Psychology, to be involved in a successful romantic partnership your love must consist of three things: Intimacy, Commitment, and Passion. A relationship that is lacking even one of these areas, is laking true love. True love is more than just a feeling, it is committing your whole heart to another person. In order to make a relationship succeed, you need to master the art of reciprocity. This means that each partner contributes an equal amount to the relationship.
The topic of love seemed to be overused and under explained. To anyone that has ever told me that I cannot know love until I experience it, now I can. I may not posses the feelings I intend to have when I find my soulmate, but I now know the basic rules and guidelines to a successful, happy and love-filled life.

Over the course of this class we have discussed everything from Pavlov to Darwin. Many theories were already familiar or sounded like something that was mentioned once during this class or that. New obscure ideas were presented and learned about our own ability to learn. Five years down the road it is hard to predict what I will remember or won't. Maybe the ideas will cloud but I'll remember sitting down to write this blog post, or the fact that I chose this topic to write about will be the singular reason it stays in my memory. However, the lectures and reading on false memory touched me the most and I can say with some degree of certainty that I will be recalling this subject for many years to come.

Everyone has favorite stories they tell about their childhood, and as the youngest sibling sometimes mine have become more foggy than I think. I have sat down to ask tell friends a story only to have my sister interrupt that it was in fact her that had that particular toy, that particular scrape, that particular classmate. Not to say these memories are completely false, but they fall under a similar category. Another example would be waking up from a dream and that 30 seconds where you're unsure if what happened in the dream happened in real life. Sometimes, that thirty seconds lasts days so what's to stop it from lasting years?

This video about a young woman that was affected by the revelation of psychological studies in false memories was incredibly fascinating to me and coincides with everything we discussed on the topic.

My Lie: A True Story of False Memory from Indy Graphics on Vimeo.

It is not to say that I won't know what an out of death experience is when I'm 24 and out of college. It's not to say I won't think of Skinner's box if I see a rat at a pet store. Yet, if I'm thinking about my intro to psychology course that I took the first semester of my second year, I believe I'm most likely to think about false memories. Someone may mention a psychology topic to me at a cocktail party and I'll create my own false memories about a professor lecturing on the topic. I might remember my test score being significantly higher or lower than in truth they have been this semester. False memories like many psychological topics affect us more in our day-to-day life than we tend to realize and whether I remember correctly or not, I think the important part is that I remember at all.

Training for Dummies

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The concept of psychology 1001 that I will remember most and that will be part of my life in the future is classical conditioning. Our class spent an abundant amount of time learning about this topic and definitely mastering the details of classical conditioning. According to about.com, the idea of Classical conditioning was engineered by Ivan Pavlov and it is one of the most influential and well-known learning theories. It involves associations between a naturally occurring stimulus and an environmental stimulus. When a certain stimulus causes a natural response, and you pair that natural stimulus with a previously neutral stimulus, the previously neutral stimulus alone can begin to produce that response. There are four components to classical conditioning. The unconditioned stimulus is the stimulus that automatically produces a response and the conditioned stimulus is the stimulus that eventually produces the response after being paired with the unconditioned stimulus enough. The unconditioned response is the response that occurs automatically from the unconditioned stimulus and the conditioned response is the response from the conditioned stimulus that is learned. One thing that does block this process somewhat is a concept called extinction. Extinction is when the conditioned stimulus is presented without the unconditioned stimulus many times and the response eventually stops occurring. In the future, I will use classical conditioning to train my pets to respond to other things other than the unconditioned stimulus. For example, I will use this type of learning method to teach my pets to come for dinner with a certain sound. According to killology.com, Pavlov did a similar study when he used dogs to show classical conditioning. He would bring the dogs food and when he did they would salivate. Pavlov began to pair the food with a bell sound and the dogs started to salivate from the bell sound alone. The food was the unconditioned stimulus and the salvation was the unconditioned response. The bell noise was the conditioned stimulus and the response of salivation to that stimulus was the conditioned response. This concept is definitely one that will always stay with me after I have completed the psychology 1001 course.classical conditioning.jpg

http://psychology.about.com/od/classicalconditioning/a/pavlovs-dogs.htm
http://www.killology.com/art_trained_classical.htm

Child Geniuses

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One common misconception about smart children is that they will grow up to be socially isolated, ridiculed, or develop mental disorders. However, this thought process ignores the facts because according to Terman's studies, 92 out of the 1500 of those students scoring in the top 1% went on to earn doctoral degrees and many others became equally successful (Lilienfeld 336).

When does genius start? Below is a video of a two year old that was recently accepted into MENSA, the organization for individuals with IQ's higher than 140.

In this video we don't learn the IQ of her parents, which Lilienfeld speculates contributes to the average IQ score (Lilienfeld 336). Also, since she was 2 in 2009 there hasn't been longitudinal studies on whether or not her intelligence has been retained or negatively affected her socially. Perhaps not because she is smart but because her intelligence has been widely publicized, the effects will be different than other MENSA children. Beyond that, is a three year old who can play a piano concerto less of a genius than one who can name all the world capitols? How can varying degrees of intelligence be compared at such a young age?

These are questions that I hope science continues to explore as the idea of "genius" is studied. Parents will certainly continue to look as stumped as these:

I can honestly say that Psychology 1001 will be one of those courses that I will remember forever. It was a true challenge for me at the University but, above all, it was my journey into the scientific study of how we, as humans, work. I enjoyed the vast amount knowledge that our professors shared and the variety of the topics that were covered through out the class. Early on in the semester, we were introduced to the six principles of scientific thinking. Having been foreign to the world of Psychology at the time, learning these concepts was new to me. However, one stuck out to me more than the others, Correlation Vs. Causation. If only I would have known that this idea would be so apparent in my life, even outside of the classroom. After applying this principle of scientific thinking into real world situations, it became clear to me that this was a vital concept in the understanding of the human mind. It taught us that just because something may seem to cause the other, it would not always be as simple as we may think. "Every action must have a reaction," sure, but this principle makes us understand the reaction process and to give it more thought then to simply assume. In five years time, Psychology 1001 will be a distant memory, but the categories covered in the time we shared, such as Correlation Vs. Causation, will stick with me forever, whether I want them to or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FGMvClgUyQ:
Here, a man defines Correlation VS Causation into a real world situation- his daughter's new found ability to summon snow! This reminded me of how this concept will stay with me, because it applies to so many different things and to so many different people.

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

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Correlation Versus Causation

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cvc.jpgThe most important concept in psychology that I think will stick with me in five year is a scientific principle but is one of the most important things I have learned nonetheless. It is similar to the other scientific principal of ruling out rival hypothesis but not quite the same. The concept is correlation versus causation. This concept has made me look at the world in a much different analytical way. Instead of just accepting research findings and looking at how they supposedly affect the world I now look at how they look at first glance I have started to look at how other reasons could explain what is going on instead of what supposedly is the cause. I have learned that just because you find that one thing is true across a group of people it does not explain why it is happening because it could be explained by a number of reasons. Unless your research involved manipulating only one variable it cannot be used to explain why something is happening. I hope I continue to use this useful information in the future to help me continue the thought process I am now using while I look at research in the future.

5 Years From Now...

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Psychology 1001, my favorite class this semester, is the class I learned the most in. Not only did I learn a lot I also had fun learning about the cool and interesting studies. Besides the crazy amount of readings we had to do, I'd say it was overall a great class. The concept of psych that I believe I will remember 5 years from now would be the 6 principles of scientific thinking, which are, ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor. Ever since these principles were brought up in chapter 1 I have been using them in everyday life and still am. They are very use full in day to day situation, for example when you see an ad for some incredible new "work out plan", instead of simply believing it, you try to figure out if these claims can be backed or be falsified. I also learned that replicability plays a huge part in pysch, if and experiment continues to get the same results, it is very reliable. The most memorable scientific principle would have to be the correlation does not equal causation, because it was the one I used the least before. Before learning about Correlation vs. causation I always use to believe that A usually causes B. I never bothered to check if it worked both way or even had a connection. After learning about it, I never think that way now. Another reason I will remember this 5 years from now is because it was mentioned in every chapter, experiment and test :)

Concepts of love

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The one psychological concept that I will remember in five years is the concepts of attraction and love. The concepts of attraction are that people you are near for a good deal of time are going to be more attractive to you, if you and the other person have similar interests you are more likely to like them, the rule of reciprocity which states that if you both contribute equal amounts to the relationship the relationship will be stronger, intimacy, passion, and commitment. I think the reason this concept will stick with me is because you can see it in practice where ever you are. If you are watching a romantic comedy, such as The Proposal, you can see how the two love interests interact then apply the concepts of attraction. Knowing these concepts also allows you to make sense of the couples that don't seem to make any sense like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. Another reason is to help friends if they are having love related problems. If a friend is in a passionate relationship and is about to do something drastic like get married you can warn the friend that getting married may be a bad idea due to the nature of their relationship. It will also make you the go to friend and improve your social life!baby-heart.jpg

Concepts of love

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The one psychological concept that I will remember in five years is the concepts of attraction and love. The concepts of attraction are that people you are near for a good deal of time are going to be more attractive to you, if you and the other person have similar interests you are more likely to like them, the rule of reciprocity which states that if you both contribute equal amounts to the relationship the relationship will be stronger, intimacy, passion, and commitment. I think the reason this concept will stick with me is because you can see it in practice where ever you are. If you are watching a romantic comedy, such as The Proposal, you can see how the two love interests interact then apply the concepts of attraction. Knowing these concepts also allows you to make sense of the couples that don't seem to make any sense like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. Another reason is to help friends if they are having love related problems. If a friend is in a passionate relationship and is about to do something drastic like get married you can warn the friend that getting married may be a bad idea due to the nature of their relationship. It will also make you the go to friend and improve your social life!baby-heart.jpg

The Milgram Study

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In the Milgram study, Milgram wanted to know what factors effect destructive obedience. He hypothesized that people were more likely to conform to the requests of authority figure, even when they were told to do bad things. He used a single subject design where he had participants administer what they thought were shocks to a confederate, when they were told to by a man dressed like a scientist. He found out that participants were much more likely to administer shocks to the confederates, even at dangerous levels. He found that subjects with high levels of morality were less likely to be overly obedient.
This is the most incredible study I have ever heard of, and because of that, I believe that this is the one thing in Psychology 1001 that I will remember after five years. It was an incredible discovery that because of the way civilization was brought up, we will do almost anything that authority tells us, even though morally we know it's wrong. One major example of this was World War II, during Hitler's age. He brainwashed an entire culture to believe in something, and because of his rank in power, could basically control them into doing anything he wanted, like the Holocaust.


Gender Differences

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I have long been fascinated with how the human race's two genders relate and differ from each other. In psych 1001, I was very interested in things such as parental investment and how each gender takes on certain roles naturally. The information really helped to make sense in why each gender does certain things and also has helped me (being a male) to recognize certain behaviors of women and better understand how to react to them. Growing up and experimenting with the dating game certainly raised some questions that I longed for answers to. Psych has helped answer some of these for me.

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I still am interested in and hope to pursue research in the field of interaction between males and females. Why women want certain guys more or things such as how some men are naturally good at winning over women. Being a psych major and someday hopefully a psychologist, I will continue to search for exactly what part of psychology I want to study. Potentially social psych or maybe even study emotion in some way or another. Whatever path I may choose, It will surely include research on the personally fascinating subject of gender differences.

In 60 months....

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In five years from now, or 60 months, I think the most applicable thing to my life that I will take away from my Psyc 1001 class will be the information on parenting and kids.
Here are certain aspects that have been engrained in me:
-The different types of parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. I'd like to be the authoritative.
-How these parenting styles can influence children later in life.
-The language development and knowing how important the 8th month mark is for hearing different sounds in languages, (universal adaptability).
-The best types of reinforcement, positive or negative.
-The different types of attachment: secure, avoidant, and anxious-ambivalent.
I think that these subjects caught my eye because I could see how they related to my life and my parents. I never realized how crucial childhood is. So many things take place so fast, kids are constantly absorbing. I'm very glad that I have taken this psych course. I have no doubt that it has made me see the importance of psychology and view it as a "hard science".

In the Future

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Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior. It attempts to delve deep into the underlying causes of actions and give reason to them. Perhaps one of the most memorable traits for me would be the study of relationships and the various aspects that create attraction between two people. I feel that as the years progress and certain memories start to fade the idea of relationships and physical attractions will remain one of the stronger memories learned in my Psychology 1001 course. Although there are many components of psychology that are quite relavent to my life, in 5 years from now I foresee myself in a committed relationship and the knowledge I learned earlier will be quite useful. The idea of proximity and similarities will become a key component when in search for potential suiters. Finding someone that has interests like myself will help form a relationship that will remain strong in the long run. The debate of "Opposites attract" may hold true for some relationships, however most of them tend to be short lived. Also, the idea of physical attractions and who we find attractive is an idea that I not only found interesting but made me think of myself and who I am physically attracted to. The debate between whether nature or nurture has the strongest impact on physical attraction is still up in the air. However, while many of my previous relationship have been with boys who were older than myself in age, that did not always hold true. Still though, as the book notes, people such for a partner who is debendable and intellegint and those are both qualitites I search for.
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In the comic cartoon, the author jokes with the idea of proximity. Proximity focuses on the idea of phsycial nearness and that people find others more attractive when they are nearer. Although the cartoon makes it seem like the proximity is the only reason keeping them together, being that they are trapped on an island together, the idea of distance does play a key role in relationship. While long distance relationships don't always fail, having a significant other close within reach helps form a stronger relationship I have seen. Not only that, but it plays a role in jump starting a relationship as well. If you find yourself next door neighbors with someone you might find attractive, that urge to be with them grows stronger the more you see them. While distance may make the heart grow fonder, close proximity makes the heart yern for someone. I find this true in my previous relationships, and feel it will continue in the future as well.

Memories

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israel-125year-old-man-laughing-300x295.jpgFive years from now I'll probably remember the concepts on memory--more specifically the "seven sins of memory"--suggestibility, misattribution, bias, transience, persistence, blocking, and absentmindedness. I personally love movies such as the Matrix, Memento, and Inception where our reality and memories are in question, so it is only natural that I find false memories fascinating. Five years from now I probably won't remember each and every one of the "seven sins of memory", and will probably fall prey to most of them, but I will always think about the possibility of having false memories of my own.

These "seven sins of memory" are not without purpose. I'll remember this concept of memory five years from now because of its adaptive purpose. Life is riddle with hardship and we tend to only keep good memories. When looking back, I'll always remember the good memories and thank my brain for erasing the particularly difficult memories.

False Memory Implantation

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The concept that I learned this semester that was most influential upon me was false memory implantation. False memory implantation is the ability of a person to alter ones memory of an event or to implant a false memory in one's mind. The concept of altering someone's memories is fascinating to me, and the case of Paul Ingram left an impact on me. This case demonstrated that memories can be created and altered to an extreme extent and that the effects can be life changing.


I will remember this throughout my studies because often times it seems that I alter my memories of an event to change how I feel about the event. Before I studied psychology I never gave false memories any thought, but now as I look back upon an event I am able to realize that present events often affect my past memories. For example if I ran into an old classmate that I did not get along with during high school and if they were nice and friendly I might think differently of their character and look back upon my memories with this classmate in a different light. Now that I have studied this concept I am able to realize the effect that false memory implantation has.

http://www.skepticalanalysis.com/reports/ghosts/false_memories.html

One of the concepts we have learned this semester that I hope to stick with me five years from now is the principles of critical thinking. The six principles of critical thinking are sets of skills used to evaluate all claims with an open mind and to overcome our own biases while assessing our own lives.

One of the reasons I think this concept will stick with me the most is because these principles have showed up on all of our quizzes and tests throughout the whole semester. I have memorized what each of them mean and can distinguish which principles are being used in certain situations.

Another reason I will remember this concept later in life is because we not only use them in psychology but in everyday life as well. It helps me to remember to keep these claims in mind when evaluating things like the media, internet, or books. Instead of assuming everything we hear is correct, we need to think more critically and evaluate it because we don't know if other findings have been excluded, we can't be sure A causes B, we don't know if the claim can be disproved or if the results can be replicated, we don't know if the evidence is as strong as the claim, and we don't know if there is a simpler explanation.

If you want to know more about the 6 principles of critical thinking go to this LINK.

The Science of Love

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Throughout this semester, Psychology 1001 has easily been my most demanding class. Good thing it's interesting. Going into a psychology class, with no prior knowledge of anything about psychology, I thought it was going to be just about why people act how they do, and why people think the way they do. Well, I was wrong. Psychology is so much more than that. It goes into depth things that should be common sense. To be completely honest, I have forgot most of what we have learned about already (I know, not good, seeing as the final is coming up). One thing that stuck out to me was the love theory, which stated that there are three types of love: intimacy, passion, and commitment. If you are in a relationship that contains all three, I would say you were in pretty good shape. If not, you probably feel like there is something missing. It is vital to have all three characteristics to have a healthy, loving relationship.

One of my favorite movies of all time is "The Notebook." Yeah, I know, probably the corniest love story out there. I'm not one for corny love stories, but the first time I watched it, I cried. I don't cry often during movies, but there was something about their love that was so strong and so amazing, it's only one's dream to have a love like that. I apologize for this cheesy blog, but the two main characters Allie and Noah are so in love, it's easy to be envious. They obviously have all three, intimacy, passion, and commitment, which results as a consummate love. Later on in life, far far far down the road, when I am done with college and have a steady job, I will be looking for a consummate love, and if it doesn't have intimacy, passion, and commitment, then I know, because of Psychology, that I need to move on and find someone else!

To show how much these two are truly in love, here is the trailer to the movie.

Conformity

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In my opinion, the concept of conformity is one of the most interesting things that I have learned so far in Psych 1001. It was something that I have always wondered about, but never had any real evidence to back it up. I used to wonder just how influential a group of people can be on an individual, and now I see it can have a remarkable impact. The effects of the people you surround yourself can not really be overstated. Like the man in the video says "humans are social creatures, and we will conform."

I think this type of conformity is a main reason that people do drugs in high school. I find it hard to believe that everyone that does a drug is just "trying it out", as they say. I think it has more to do with them being influenced by the people they are around. It just goes to show that while often times groups that unanimously decide something are usually right, they still make mistakes. Following your gut may be just as good of a decision, maybe even a better decision that following a group. This is something that I will try to emulate in my life in the future.

If I had to pick one concept from Psychology 1001 that I will remember five years from now, I think it would be Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment. Out of every topic that was discussed this semester, Milgram's experiments are the one's that affected me the most emotionally. It has always been a huge question in my mind about how people can do such horrible things and claim that they were only taking orders. The results of Milgram's experiments were unpredictable to everyone, including psychiatrists! Over 50% of participants went all the way to 450 volts during the experiment. I believe that in five years I'll remember this experiment because of the emotional impact it had on me. I was completely disturbed that people were unable to stand up and question authority when it came to something that was potentially life threatening to other people. This also puts another question into my mind. If I was asked to participate in a similar experiment to Milgram's, without any prior knowledge of psychology, would I be one of the few percent that questioned authority or would I go along with it? I would like to think that I would not have been a part of the 67% that went all the way in a more recent replica of Milgram's experiment. It is amazing and scary to imagine the things that completely normal people will do just because an authority figure tells them to.

Many years from now, I think the one thing I will remember the most from Psychology is the concept of flashbulb memory. Flashbulb memories are emotional memories that people can remember in vivid details like a photograph. I will remember this concept, because it applies to me all the time, even before I learned about it. Even today I still remember specific emotional events that have happened in my life, such as the first time I drove a car. The first time I drove a car, I was in the parking spot on the side of my house, and my brother was in the seat next to me, telling me to put the car in Drive and step on the pedal. The next thing I knew, the car was slowly beginning to move forward and head straight for my neighbor's garage! My brother told me to step on the break, and I did really suddenly. Right after I stopped the car, I remember my heart beating really fast, and me just sitting in a car only a few inches from touching a garage as I let out a sigh of relief.

When I'm older, I will always have vivid details of some emotional event in my life. Then, I will think of flashbulb memory. As everyday passes, and I experience more and more emotional moments, I know I will remember many of them because of flashbulb memory.

Chocolate and Stress

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Chocolate has been around for centuries and is a popular dessert choice among many cultures around the world. Recently, there has been research done regarding the affect chocolate may have on stress levels. The article "Dark Chocolate Takes Bite Out of Stress", summarizes research done at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland on the effects of chocolate on lower stress levels and what about chocolate causes this drop in stress.
The researchers found that eating one averaged-sized dark chocolate candy bar (1.4 ounces) each day for two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamine in highly stressed people. There are some flaws in this research, the research does not rule out a rival hypothesis; because the researchers performed this experiment on only "highly stressed people", the participants could have expected to improve, therefore skewing the results. There is also the possibility of a researcher bias in this study. The study was performed at the Nestle Research center, which we all know is a popular chocolate brand. The researchers could be biased towards proving the claim because it would be beneficial advertising for their brand and product.
While reading the study, I discovered a possible third explanation for the correlation between chocolate consumption and lower stress levels; the mere taste of chocolate could lower stress levels. Eating or drinking something sweet and satisfying is enough in itself to reduce stress. The claim that there are certain compounds in chocolate that reduce stress by itself is an extraordinary and hard to believe. It is possible that any food or drink that is satisfying repeatedly for two weeks lowers stress level.

Conformists

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Every day we conform to society's norm. We wear brand name clothes that people would think is "cool" or "hip". We conform to people's language, their diction, their slang. In Elementary school we always heard the saying "be a leader not a follower" because they wanted us not to be conformists. The one thing I will remember five years later is the Asche studies. The study was done to see if a volunteer would change their answer based on the first answers that other "volunteers" were giving. Many trials were given and in the end 75% of participants changed their answers because of the first few volunteers gave a different answer than theirs. This observation showed me that many people can be fooled by a majority of people. I will not forget this observation in five years because it shows me that I should not be a conformist, and follow what I think is right. In a different sense it would be safe to conform, because in a different environment where you know nothing, it would be safe to be doing what everyone else is doing. In the end, this observation shows that the majority of the people would conform, and it makes me think about how this study could be used in history.

Stanford Prison Experiment

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The concept of psychology I will remember five years from now is the Stanford Prison Experiment conducted in the basement of Stanford's psychology department basement. Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues set out to create an experiment that looked at the impact of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. By using 24 undergraduates the study looked at how prison conditions would affect an individuals behavior. The experiment was originally supposed to last 14 days but cut short to 6 due to problems such as a riot breaking out on day two. On the other hand the prison guards became abusive and aggressive towards the prisoners leading to their negative emotions. Some actions the guards demonstrated was using fire extinguishers on the prisoners and forcing them to simulate sexual intercourse with each other. The only reason the experiment was ended before the scheduled date is such that a graduate student urged Zimbrado to conclude his study because of the poor conditions the undergraduates were being put through. If she did not speak up, someone could have gotten extremely hurt. The Stanford Prison experiment demonstrated how the situation can effect human behavior. This experiment concluded that people change drastically on the situation they are put in. I find it surprising that the participants understood what the experiment demanded them to do because I do not think anyone would put themselves through this today in other words gave informed consent. I also believe this applies to much more places then prisons, as I can tell by when people put on a "face" at parties just so they can try and fit in with the people they believe are cooler then them. I have found it extremely interesting throughout all of psychology 1001 the effects of the different experiments.
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The Game of Memory

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I found this class to be a super interesting way to look deeper on a lot of things. My favorite chapter was easily chapter 7 on memory. It was really cool to see so many topics that have happened to me before be explained. Things such as tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, where you are so sure you know something but can't come up with it. Another one such as the flash bulb memories is something that has happened to me a lot. These are the memories that are extraordinarily vivid and detailed. Some of these memories I can honestly live moment to moment in them again, like when my father died. I would almost be able to recall every single thing about the day he died without hesitation.
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There were so many awesome subjects covered in this chapter and things that I can easily use and hold with me as I keep growing. As I grew up, I remember my favorite game being the game of memory, and me playing it almost everyday with my dad. Finding ways to memorize things is key for going through school. Being only a freshman, the section on easier ways to memorize things will be so helpful as I continue my education. I've already started using it ever since we read about it and have seen my test scores slowly moving their way up as they've been used. The keyword method is one that I believe I've used a lot in my past and has always helped me in remembering things. However, my favorite is probably the mnemonic method, just because I'm able to try and make up a sentence that is unique to me and easy to remember for myself. It's so crazy that it has been proved that memory tricks like this make memorization of things so much easier.

I've learned a lot this semester in Psychology 1001; some concepts were simply refreshers on ideas I already knew of, but a lot of them were new. Some of ideas and concepts we were taught will stay with me for awhile, a couple will stick with me for much longer. One concept I will remember five years from now (and probably a lot longer!) is the idea of parenting styles, and how they can impact children for the rest of their lives. I plan on working with children one day (whether it be through teaching, or through child psychology), and I hope to one day be a mother. There are different types of parenting styles: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, and Uninvolved. This video shows a fun, accurate depiction of the different parenting styles.


I want to be the best parent I can be. I think all parents aspire to be that way. Learning about the parenting styles, and the way they can impact children is something that will definitely guide my parenting in the future, and is something I will always remember from this class. I will also remember how to best interact with children if I work with them in my future career.

Dysfunctional Relationships

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Before taking Introduction to Psychology 1001, I had always been confused with the science and origins of relationships and their problems. After learning about the attachment theory, understanding the problems between people has become easier. The attachment theory explains the relationship between babies and their caregivers and how it reflects on their relationships later in life. If a child's caregiver responds appropriately and consistently to a child's needs and the child uses the caregiver as a secure base, the child will grow to have a secure attachment pattern. If a child's caregiver has little or no response to a distressed child and the child has little or no distress toward their caregiver's departure, the child will grow to have an avoidant attachment pattern. If a child's caregiver is inconsistent with responses toward the child and the child is unable to use their caregiver as a secure base as and is distressed on separation, the child will grow to have an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern.
What does this mean for adults and their relationships? If a child grows to know secure attachment, they will be comfortable in relationships and have more positive views of themselves and their partners. Anxious-preoccupied adults need constant approval and reassurance from their partner and are often overly dependent. Avoidant adults want independence and usually do not want close relationships or feel uncomfortable with closeness.
This concept easily explains many (if not most) complications in relationships. Most say communication is the most important aspect to a relationship. If two people have different attachment patterns, they are unlikely to be able to communicate effectively and have a healthy and happy relationship. In the future, I will remember this theory and the people that are produced from each style of parenting. Not only are relationship problems possibly the parent's faults, but the problems can easily be explained by attachment styles.
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A concept that has caught my interest and applies to my daily life is that of Solomon Asch's conformity. Conformity is the tendency of people to alter their behaviors as a result of group pressure. In our discussion sections we were asked to work as a group to plan a dream vacation, the group all agreed very quickly to the idea of a tropical place, although some seemed hesitant to do so. Another example is when you are with a group of friends and trying to decide where to eat. If all of them except for you decide to eat at Wendy's, your likely to conform with their decision to avoid conflict and so as not to be the odd one out.

Conformity occurs in every day life in many different situations.It's not going to just suddenly stop happening in 5 years, and I'll still be subjected to conformity 5 years from now. Being able to conform to others answers or ideas can be a great thing, but it can also be a bad thing as well. If you were to conform on a group test to someone else's answer when you were pretty sure yours was right you would lose points. The good side of conformity is that it can make decisions in a group go much smoother without conflict.

Overall, conformity is something that happens everyday and will continue to happen in the future. It is something that I will continue to experience or notice in my life 5 years from now, and even after that.

Conformity: Would I give in?

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The idea of conformity is the idea that based on outside influences can affect one's decision even though he or she may already have their own personal answer in their minds.For instance, in the Asch studies participants were places into a room filled with confederates who were instructed to give the wrong answers to particular questions (Relativity in line length). By doing so participants would be socially influenced when all the confederates would answer "B" when the participant clearly knows that the answer is "C" and yet a majority of the time the participant will say "B". There are exceptions though when it comes to conformity. During the Asch studies participants were sometimes told to write down their answers, therefore, hiding what they truly believed from the confederates. This process showed increase in individuality of the participant but not entirely as he or she still selected answers that the confederates had determined. Another interesting thing to note is the change in answers compared to the difficulty of the subject. Compared to questions based on line length and to something more difficult such as mathematical problems one can see a decrease in individuality in the more difficult question category. So therefore, if I may be so bold, I would say that no I would not give in to conformity based on the simple responses such as line length or dot size, but when it comes to more difficult prone questions I would be more than likely to give in.270px-Asch_experiment.png

Reason Rules!

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puzzle.jpgI'm a business major. When my academic adviser gave me the printout of required courses, I was puzzled as to why psychology was included. Now I know why. For starters, being able to recognize when you're acting as a cognitive miser putting your brain on autopilot and perhaps "guilty" of mindless thinking by applying a heuristic is a valuable principle to understand. But most importantly, psychology has helped me develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to nearly every observation and claim in any discipline, whether made by yourself or someone else. I'm now very conscious of trying not to let any biases of my own influence my interpretation of data, as well as being constantly on the lookout for potential biases in the conclusions that others have drawn. And I've become a more careful examiner of evidence, always thinking about whether other explanations are possible and if so, might be more reasonable. I've already applied this approach to an argument paper. The statistics that I presented were relevant and supported my thesis. But approaching the topic with an open mind, I actively sought alternative opinions and data to determine whether all of the evidence available best supported my conclusion. This gave me a better understanding of the topic I was analyzing and also helped me construct a rebuttal. Critical thinking skills are essential not just for today or five years from now, but for a lifetime.

The concept in psychology that I will remember five years from now is the concept of conformity. The study was conducted by Solomon Ash in the 1950s. The study involved participants being asked to compare a standard line with three comparison lines. The other participants known as the "confederates were undercover agents of the researcher. A simple task as to determine which of three comparison lines matched the standard line can be the result of conformity just by having the participants say out loud their answers. In the end, 75% of participants conformed to the incorrect answers in 12 trails. Surprisingly, some even conformed even when the comparison line differed by more than six inches. I will remember this concept because I was surprised at how even when the the difference was by six inches the participants fell into the trap. Even though they were confused and questioned their answers they still conformed in the presence of others. This just shows that when people are around others they can be easy fooled compared to if they had to write down their answers. Also, even in a simple task participants conformed, what if the studied involved a more complex task participants would be even more likely to conform. Also, if I were a participant in this study and I was unaware of the purpose of the study I wonder how I would perform? I think I wouldn't conform to the incorrect answers but the results tell us that more than half will conform. Also, the elevator experiment in which a participant followed by other confederates share a elevator. The confederates all slowly turn and the participant also begins to conform and turn like the other confederates. The clip we watched in class I thought was really funny how people would actually change the direction they were standing because they were different than the other people in the elevator. This just show how we as humans are victims of conformity even when were unconsciously unaware of our behaviors.

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The Elevator Experiment from Miguel Paulo Flores on Vimeo.

Parenting Styles

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It's often hard to imagine the effects on environment on children. It can be frightening to understand that a rearing environment can play a critical role in not only shaping their personality but attachment styles and ultimately their life styles as well.

As a child, my sister and I were exceedingly close to our cousins of the same age. The similarities were profound. We were best friends, partners in crime, if you will. Our moms would coordinate our outfits, give us baths together, and have us play together. We would forever be the same people. However, little did I know that their decision to move would have lasting effects.

As time passed, it became apparent that we weren't as close. We weren't the same anymore. I had always wondered what made us different. Why couldn't we go back to being five years old and playing in Grandma's yard? Having taken this course, it is unmistakable that different parenting styles contributed to our differences. While my parents were more authoritative, their parents were more permissive. While my parents made us stay up late to practice our new vocabulary words, their parents opted to purchase game consoles. While we often heard "no," they often heard "yes." While we received good grades in school, they failed to do the same. It was clear their parents were more lenient which made us envious and resentful.

I have realized as of late that perhaps we did have the best of both worlds. Perhaps my parents combined the best of authoritarian and permissive parenting styles. Perhaps this was the best for us even if it meant staying up late to study and not having video games. I'm perpetually telling myself that my children will be raised in such a way that they won't be the ones throwing tantrums in grocery stores or failing school but I guess only time will tell.

Memory

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I will remember the memory tricks I learned in Psych 1001 in five years. The studying techniques I have learned that make sure that information is stored in long term memory have helped me already on the exams I have taken. I no longer try to cram right before the test because that doesn't allow for the knowledge to be stored. I now study throughout the weeks before the exam to make sure the information is really stored so I do well on the exam. I will continue to use this trick throughout the rest of my career as a student. Whenever I need to remember something that I can't write down, I know to repeat it to myself because rehearsal helps store the memory. I also use cues like where I am and what I was doing when the information was presented to me. I have also used the concept of chunking since it was taught. When I need to remember a phone number I break it down into smaller chunks so that it will be easier to remember. The memory tricks I learned in this class have already helped me and will continue to help me throughout the rest of my life.

Social Conformity

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conformity_115465.jpgThe concept I will remember the most and is most likely to apply to my life is from the Social Psychology chapter. When I was learning about social conformity, I thought about how hard people try to fit in and how most people live under the social norms. In the past, especially when I was in middle and high school, I did a lot of things that I shouldn't have in order to fit in. When I progressed my way into college, I learned a lot and became more of myself. Yet still, I sometimes tend to given into peer pressure even though doing it would have negative consequences. As a result of taking this course, I learned how social conformity can make you lose your individuality and what you stand for. I watched a clip in my discussion section where our instructor Julia Manor showed us a clip of social conformity. In the clip, there were four people in an elevator - 3 of them were told to turn to different directions by the experimenter and one of them was just a regular person who had no idea of the experimenter's plan. Each time the 3 experiment carriers turned, the individuals did as they did. It looked silly and I found it very funny, but I also saw the point that was being made. We, as humans, are afraid of voicing our opinion and going our way if we think that other people or the society do not agree with us. This course has taught me to be myself and do what I think is right even though if the society don't do as I would do. After all it's my life, being right doesn't always have to be majority!

Psychology is amazing

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This is the last post and final is around the corner. As is known to all, psychology is not easy to learn. That's why though many of my friends also interested in Psychology, they worried about their GPA and they don't brave enough to take this course. Anyway, I always interested in Psychology though I didn't do well in my grade. I don't regret because I learned a lot this semester. I am sure I will forget a lot of things I have learned during my university life. But my memory of a majority part of psychology I have learned will never fade out.
OK, here's the main body.
In my view, the most impressive concept is Magic number. Magic number is seven plus or minus two pieces of information referred to George Miller. That number is the universal limit of short-term memory, and it applies to just about all information we encounter. In China, unlike the USA (XXX-XXX-XXXX), the mobile phone number is just a series of numbers. And I found that people told their cell phone numbers (11 digits) to others in groups (always 3 or 4 numbers a group). At that time, I consider why people don't tell their phone numbers at a breath. Then I found that if I divided a long series of numbers into some groups, it's more efficient to remember them. What's more, if the group is meaningful, the effect is even better. For example, the phone number of my home is 88399129 and this number contains the date of my birthday. So I remembered this number the moment I heard those. I found this phenomenon but I can't prove it. When I learned psychology, I knew it is Magic number that we are able to memorize seven plus or minus two pieces of information a time and the tendency we can remember meaningful group of things is called chunking. Psychology assures my idea and tells me the number is 7 plus or minus 2.

p.s. Thank you, Julia. I know I have many grammar problems. It troubles you when you read my blog. Thank you for your suggestion and patience.

Memory

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Five years from now I probably won't remember much of what I learned in this psychology class. That is not because I didn't find it interesting, because this class definitely piqued my interest and made me think about people and why we do things and what makes us who we are. These are all things that I had never spent time to think about previously. Even though I may or may not remember general topics discussed in this class, I know that the information we learned about memory will have a strong hold in my mind. In learning about memory, I thought the section about false memories was extremely fascinating. Before taking this class, I definitely would have been fooled by the Loftus studies. But now after having some knowledge on false memories, hopefully I will be more aware of this in the future. I was so amazed by the Loftus studies in particular in how she could make someone believe they had seen something by just implanting a subtle clue about it. Additionally, I was shocked to hear of the innocent man who was implanted with memories, which lead him to believe he was actually guilty. Having this knowledge now is important in making myself aware that these situations can happen, and very easily.

Conformity

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Conformity seems to be a popular topic in society. People are always telling others not to conform to other people and to be their own person. People get criticized for being a "follower" or someone who copies what other people do instead of making their own decisions. The Asch Paradigm studies the conformity amongst people. The study asked people to participate in a vision study where they say which of the three lines (A, B, or C) match the reference line. All of the participants are confederates of the study and one of them is an actual participant that does not know anything about the study. The study is set so the confederates will all answer with the wrong line and see if the participant will conform to their answer, even though their answer is obviously wrong. Asch hypothesized that participants would not conform and answer the incorrectly when the confederates gave a wrong answer before them. Surprisingly, Asch's hypothesis was wrong. Participants provided an incorrect answer on a high proportion of the questions. Studies today still provide similar results to Asch's studies that were done in the 1950s. This shows that people are still just as likely to conform today as they were during the original study.

In discussion this week we watched a video on conformity. It featured an experiment with people facing towards the back of an elevator with a random person who did not know about the experiment. The person felt uncomfortable and would generally turn in the direction of the other people standing in the elevator. As a class we discussed reasons why people might feel obligated to conform. Some of the reasons were because they feel awkward being the only person doing or saying something different, so they conform so they do not stand out. The other topic that the class discussed was when it is safe to conform or when it could be dangerous to conform. It would be safe to conform when you are in a country where you do not know the norms. Following other people's lead would be smart so you do not offend anyone by doing something that is frowned upon. A dangerous time to conform would be conforming to the Nazi beliefs during the Holocaust. You would then be risking other people's lives and putting them in danger. It is interesting to think about all the times we conform without even thinking about it.

Here is a clip from Mean Girls that shows how people conform to what is "popular" at the time. It is very short, but it gets the point across:

Mean Girls: Army Pants & Flip Flops

In five years I hope that many of the things I learned in this class stick with me because Psych 1001 has really made me realize how applicable almost every aspect of psychology is my own life. Even if I forget everything else, drilled into my head I know the six scientific thinking principles will no doubt stick with me, especially number two: Causation does not equal correlation. This approach has literally changed the way I approach all new ideas and conceptions. I no longer accept everything that's handed to me without question. I stop and analysis situations for outside factors and speaker biases. I now ask myself, does A really happen because of B or am I oversimplifying the situation or losing sight of a third variable? It has allowed me to think much more critically and be more critically about what I chose to believe and not believe. It's so easy to want to example the world around us with heuristics, biases, or even flashbulb memories. And the idea of causation does not equal correlation is not only important when learning new concepts or ideas, I have found myself using it to help analyze my own habits and behaviors. Am I really mad because of something as mundane as misplacing my phone, or is there something else that's bothering me? Did I really do badly on this test because the professor is awful at teaching or did I just not study hard enough? The six scientific thinking principles were a heavily reinforced concept throughout this psychology course and the repetition has unsurprisingly paid off.

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Last post

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From everything we've done this semester and all the topics we've covered, the one subject I will remember the most clearly and definitely five years from now is chapter 5 from our text book on altered states of consciousness, more specifically on sleep. If you were to ask me my top 3 favorite things to do during a day, sleeping would be in that list. Reading chapter 5 was the easiest chapter for me because i was interested in what i was reading and i could relate to a lot of those things and within a week I experienced 3 or 4 of them, such as REM rebound, lucid dreaming, and having much more vivid and memorable dreams when disturbed from REM. It was a cool topic for me because i could easily relate to it and so I remember the material because I linked it to my memory of those experiences. final blog pic.jpg

Object Permanence

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Five years from now the concept in psychology that I will remember most is the concept of object permanence.

Object permanence is when infants between eight and twelve months of age (some studies show that infants may be younger) acquire the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, heard, or touched. Although I do not find it to be the most interesting or profound concept in psychology, it sticks with me. The reason being that when I first learned about it I went home and tested it on my little brother who was a couple months old. I placed one of his toys in front of him and encouraged him to crawl towards it. While he was crawling towards it I covered it with a box and he immediately stopped crawling and looked confused. It was fun to see a concept I'd been studying and learning about be so clearly demonstrated. I showed my family and taught them about object permanence too. We tested it out with a couple different toys and a couple different ways of hiding the toy, like covering it with a blanket or putting it behind our backs. The most exciting part was when, after doing this a couple times, he grasped the concept. When we would hide a toy, he no longer looked confused and would push the box out of the way or crawl to where we'd hidden it. The fun of seeing this concept in real life will help me remember it five years from now.

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Correlation vs Causation

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One topic from psychology that I believe will stick with me over the years is the concept of correlation vs causation. This is something I will remember because its something that I have had to remember when I am trying to work through problems. For example, just because it makes the most sense to blame a friend for starting a fight due to the fact that they have been the one to start it the last 5 times doesn't mean that there is no way someone else sparked the fight. Just because two things are connected, it doesn't mean that one caused the other. I feel like this is where a lot of stereotypes come from. People assume that based on one action or behavior that someone exhibits, that they could be considered as a certain type of person. If you want to get away from everyday stereotypes, you have to remember the fact that correlation does not equal causation and that therefore you have to be more careful when making inferences based on people's behaviors. This concept has remained in the foreground of every topic we covered throughout the semester. This leads me to believe that correlation vs causation will stay ever present in my mind for years to come.
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Attraction

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To decide the part of psychology that will remain with me for at least five years, I look for the part that I would use most in my life from here on out. Considering this aspect, I would have to give the edge to the concept of attraction, more specifically, similarity, proximity, and reciprocity. Let's be honest, finding and forming a relationship takes center stage in college students lives, as this is the age, especially later in college, is when people start getting really serious in dating and even consider marriage. When people are looking for a relationship, they rely on the concepts of attraction with similarity, proximity, and reciprocity. According to the textbook, similarity is the extent to which we have things in common with others, proximity is physical nearness, and reciprocity is the rule of give and take. These concepts are the three major principles that guide attraction and relationship formation. With the knowledge of these phenomenon, I will be better able to direct my efforts to looking for datable girls. This in turn will save me from wasting my time on girls that I know won't work out because they do not have similarities, are not physically close, or are not attracted to me.

I think for me, something in psychology that I will remember ten years from now would be that correlation does not equal causation. I will remember it because between the two correlation variables one doesn't have to cause the other. I have found it to be a big part of psychology, since we learned it the first week. Reading all throughout the book, it is proved more and more that one variable doesn't cause the other variable. The reason that correlation does not equal causation is because there is most likely going to be a third variable. One example that is used very often is the relationship between someones shoe size and their reading ability. If they had a bigger shoe size then their reading level would be higher level and vice versa, but in true fact their shoe size does not cause what their reading level will be. Causing the statement correlation does not equal causation to be true. This is something that I learned beginning of the year and a statement that has been around all semester long through psychology and everyday life.


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I think that for me, one of the main ideas that I will remember from this psychology course will be the different types of heuristics that humans fall victim too. For starters, there's the availability heuristic. The availability heuristic is defined as a heuristic that involves guessing the chances of an outcome or occurrence relying on the ease with which the situation comes to our minds. An example of this type of heuristic would be that if asked, "Which took more lives each year, car accidents or heart disease?" Most participants would answer with car accidents simply because of how many crashes are featured on the news everyday, it came to their minds quicker making them think that car crashes are more prevalent even though heart disease claims many more lives. The other type of heuristic that can misguide us is the representative heuristic. This heuristic is defined as one that includes estimating the likelihood of an occurrence by its superficial similarity to a prototype. An example of this would be if while you're shopping at a retail store, and receive poor service from one of their employees, you may be inclined to think that all employees at all of the same retail stores will give bad service, even though you had just one experience with one employee at one store. The reason why these ideas will stick with me is because after reading about them I realized how often I personally have used them and how often they produce incorrect answers and notions. Now that I have studied them in many different cases in our text book, I'm becoming better at not relying on heuristics to generate answers.

One thing I think I'll remember from psychology is the lecture on relationships and attachment types. It really made me realize that you have to be comfortable with yourself before you can have a successful relationship. When I looked at the three descriptions of attachment types in relationships, I wanted to believe I was the secure type. I read it over and over again trying to convince myself it was the best description of me, but it wasn't. I had to admit the avoidant description had certain points that were totally like me. I do feel like I'm between the two types though, so I can't classify myself completely as secure or completely as avoidant. If you're curious about your attachment style, there is an online quiz at the bottom of this page with descriptions of all the attachment styles. Attachment Theory and Quiz

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The good news, it doesn't have to be permanent. I just need a couple things to change and I'll be able to say I am a secure individual when it comes to relationships. Sometimes things happen in life that make it hard to trust people. Just because I have a hard time completely trusting people right now, doesn't mean I'll be like that forever. This particular lecture made me realize I have to wait until I am over it. No good relationships will happen until I go back to being a secure person. I will remember this part of psychology in five years because it will always be in my thoughts when I make a relationship decision.

Of all of the things I have learned over the past semester in PSY 1001, I believe that the one concept I will most definitely remember five years from now would be the six principles of critical thinking. No matter what area of psychology we were studying, ranging from memory to the different stages of sleep, these principles were always used to evaluate each of the studies conducted or the phenomena discovered. Without the use of these six principles, results found may be neither reliable nor valid. It was guaranteed that at least one question on the principles of critical thinking could be found on each chapter quiz as well as each of the unit tests, so I have made sure I know these principles like the back of my hand. Another reason I believe I will always remember the six principles of critical thinking is the fact that these principles are not specific to the study of psychology. A number of other areas of science can benefit from the use of the principles to conduct accurate and credible research and to create effective hypotheses and experimental designs. I believe that I will be able to use these principles in other courses I enroll in, and I will be more successful as a result.
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