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Hello Clarice...

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Maybe all Hannibal Lecter needed was a hug and a friend...

Chapter 16 gives a rundown of the many different biological and psychological approaches to helping people who experience psychological disorders.

One of the most interesting sections (albiet short) that I found in chapter 16 describes a type of therapy called, "Person Centered Therapy." What sets this type of treatment aside from others is that the therapist doesn't try to define/diagnose the client's problems or even suggest a treatment. Rather, the therapist fills the role of a genuine person, that reacts to what the client is relating. The therapist, has to show "unconditional positive regard," expressing empathy and understanding of the client's perspectives and emotions. In other words: the therapist has to be the client's best friend no matter what.

For what classifications of psychological disorders is Person-Centered therapy successful? Where might it fail to produce positive results- or possibly even endager the therapist or client?

So, the next time you come across someone who may have any combination of paranoid schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder etc., and may have just eaten someone's liver- they might just need a hug and a friend- some good ole fashioned acceptance.

One really important topic covered in chapter two is the idea of conducting research in an ethical way. Research can almost always be considered a good thing because it results in knowledge. However, there are both good and bad methods of research.


Little Albert's story is one example of an experiment with a poor method of research.

The story found at says

"The participant in the experiment was a child that Watson and Raynor called "Albert B.", but is known popularly today as Little Albert. Around the age of nine months, Watson and Raynor exposed the child to a series of stimuli including a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey, masks and burning newspapers and observed the boy's reactions. The boy initially showed no fear of any of the objects he was shown.

The next time Albert was exposed the rat, Watson made a loud noise by hitting a metal pipe with a hammer. Naturally, the child began to cry after hearing the loud noise. After repeatedly pairing the white rat with the loud noise, Albert began to cry simply after seeing the rat. "

This experiment took place in the 1920, and would not be considered an ethical experiment today. The main point of the material covered in the book on this topic is that there are ethical guidelines, especially for human research, that must be followed. This may cause researchers the need to spend more money or to completely redesign an experiment if it does not follow these guidelines. However, these guidelines are extremely important because while research and the pursuit of knowledge is good, the well-being and safety of human beings is much higher valued. In the case of Little Albert, he was a child and did not have a choice in the experiment. The research may have been psychologically damaging to the child and overall, it was not a pleasant experience for the baby. So while Watson and Raynor truly had legitimate questions they wanted to find the answers to, they did not go about it in an ethical manner. Keep in mind that any and all experiments conducted today must be run through an ethical filter. It would certainly be a pity for any other unethical studies to be conducted in the future!

Chapter 5 is all about consciousness versus unconsciousness. It talks about how our bodies work when we are in a deep sleep, and some of the problems that can arise. Now, I know we all know about sleepwalking; from movies, if not your own personal experiences. I, myself, have been told countless stories of walking into my parents' room as a child and saying things I can merely laugh about the next morning, because I don't remember them ever happening. Well, what I found in our text, were not things to laugh about. What struck me the most was a controversial case of a man who claims to have sleepwalked to his mother-in-law and father-in-law's home, killed his mother-in-law, and seriously injured he father-in-law. He was found innocent. His defense was that he was asleep the entire time and wasn't responsible for his behavior. I was very surprised that this was a valid argument, as it was so extraordinary. Relating back to Chapter 1, there must have been undoubtedly strong evidence to back-up that sort of claim.

Although that was an extreme example, there are many smaller cases of people hurting themselves during one of their dreams or night terrors; which is actually a brief moment of consciousness and confusion before falling back into a deep sleep. One classic example is of Bizkit the dog, who is having a night terror and, well, see for yourself...

Reading over this chapter made me wonder if I have sleepwalked with no one to see it, and therefore no one to tell me about it the next morning. Maybe the saying, "Don't go to bed angry" is really warning us so we don't hurt the ones we love while unconscious.

Same meaning-Different words

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To explain the meaning of the title of this specific blog, I was assigned to look into chapter 8 of the psych textbook which covers language, thinking and reasoning. I personally find this topic interesting as I have enjoyed taking classes in other languages such as Spanish, French and American Sign Language.

In this chapter there will be much discussion on exactly how language came to be, how we learn language, and what makes language special-just name a few of the topics. What I hope that some of you will share interest with, however, is the language and reasoning section from this chapter. I just took a few glances on theories and examples, and I believe that learning about something we use everyday to communicate will let us appreciate our words and how they come about even more.

This chapter seems like it will be an interesting one to study and with that, I leave you, my fellow psych scholars with some language comic relief... I couldn't help myself since I'm not a "Minnesotan", and found that this can kind of relate to what this chapter will further entail. Just a head's up, please excuse the profanity-my apologies.

Social Comparison

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Ever find yourself sitting in a classroom before the lecture begins watching others come in and sit down? I also bet that after an exam you would find yourself comparing whether you think you did better them or not. Everyone compares themselves to others in some respect. I know that I have a hard time not wondering how I fall in the grade break down compared to my classmates.

There are two different types of social comparison. The first is upward comparison where we compare ourselves with someone who we view as superior to us. The other is downward comparison where we compare ourselves with someone we view as inferior to us. Both types of comparison have the ability to either boost or hurt our self confidence.

Sometimes social comparison can be motivating or inspiring. For example, say my friend that I consider to be fairly comparable to me gets a good internship, that could encourage me to find an internship as well.

All in all, social comparison will always be a part of our lives.

Lucid Dreaming

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Something that really interested in Chapter 5 was lucid dreaming. When someone is dreaming and known that they are dreaming, they are experiencing a lucid dream. In a study cited by the book, 72 percent of the participants claimed to be able to control their dreams (Kunzendorf et al., 2006-2007). This opens up the opportunity for someone to change the outcomes of their dreams, which could go a long way to make them happier in everyday life. There are entire websites dedicated to lucid dreaming, as well as techniques for when you are in a lucid dream. This link gives a lot of information on controlling your dreams and the benefits of lucid dreaming. Popularized by the Inception, the site claims that lucid dreams can answer questions like, "Where should I live?" and "What is my ideal career?" What is your ideal life like? When you dream lucidly, you might get the chance to find out! inception-shared-dreaming.jpg

Teaching a dog tricks

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I read Chapter Six and I found it really interesting. It was about how humans and animals learn. It was really interesting because there are so many ways of teaching material so someone will remember it. An example of this is when you have little kids and they are about to touch the hot stove, you yell at them to stop and try to explain to them it's hot. Even if they don't understand what you are saying, they realize with that tone you are using that they are doing something they shouldn't be doing. They also gave an example of teaching a dog to do a trick. When teaching the dog how to do the trick, you give them a treat to encourage them to do that trick or action. They realize that when they perform that action, they receive a treat. They then want to perform that trick so they will receive that treat. It is called positive reinforcement.

Chapter 6 focuses on the different ways that people learn. It talks about the development of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, cognitive models of learning, and biological influences on learning. I was most interested in the topic of classical conditioning, which was discovered primarily by the Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov. He knew that dogs would salivate at the smell of a meat powder, so he trained the dogs to associate the sound of a bell with the smell of the meat powder. By the end of his experiment, the dogs were salivating simply at the sound of the bell, without the smell of the meat powder also present. This type of conditioning occurs in three phases: acquisition, extinction, and spontaneous recovery. It can also be taken a step further using higher-order conditioning, which is learning to develop conditioned associations to other stimuli in addition to the original stimulus.
Classical conditioning can be seen in everyday life. One example is through advertising. Advertisers often pair pictures of the product they are trying to sell with photos of popular celebrities or attractive people to catch the attention of their audience. Specific examples include one from the book, that of Skyy Blue vodka, which includes a picture of a woman in a bikini holding a bottle of the drink, or the ad for Marc Jacobs' perfume Daisy, which shows a topless woman holding a bottle of the perfume over her chest. That kind of explains why Abercrombie is so popular, doesn't it?

Who Doesn't Love Babies?

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Development is a crucial part to the success of humans and many other creatures. But what is development? It is progression from one stage to another in any way shape or form. Many psychologists try to uncover the secrets of development; whether it be physical, social, emotional, or cognitive, the development process in humans is grandiose in both its scale and complexity. Chapter ten focuses on the development of human beings from conception to death. What I found to be most interesting about the chapter is the section titled "Infant Motor Development: How Babies Get going". I found it shocking that babies are born with several automatic motor behaviors. An example of an automatic reflex is the rooting reflex, where a baby has the natural instinct to find a nipple and begin sucking. Another strange phenomenon with infant motor development is the fact that all children acquire motor milestones in the same order. The answer to this occurrence is not yet proven, however, and remains as one of the many mysteries of human development. Overall, whether it be physical, social, emotional, or cognitive, the development process in humans encompasses a vast expanse of information and undiscovered secrets.


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memory36969112_crop (1).jpgThe chapter in the textbook that I previewed was chapter 7, which is titled Memory. The first thing that I noticed as I was flipping through the pages was that there are a lot of abstract art clips in this chapter. In addition, there are several vocabulary words scattered throughout the chapter that I am unfamiliar with right now. However, I'm sure that after I finish reading chapter 7, I will have a full grasp of these terms. I am excited to read the sections in the text about different aspects of infant memory. I am hoping it will mention something about why people retain no or very few memories from when they are infants. Furthermore, I am hoping that the text will give me some insight into how our different senses contribute to our memory, and which one has the strongest correlation. Another section that caught my interest was the section titled "The Seven Sins of Memory." I did not read past the title, but it sounds like it will be a very interesting and intriguing topic. After skimming through chapter 7 of the textbook and looking at the pictures, titles, and vocabulary, I am excited to read this chapter about memory.

Does Intelligence matter?

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intelligence_testing.jpgChapter 9 was the Intelligence and IQ Testing chapter. From what I skimmed over, the chapter is about different types of intelligence and the most effective ways to test intelligence using IQ Testing. What struck me the most in chapter 9 was Robert Sternberg's Triarchic Model. Triarchic Model is the existence of three largely distinct intelligences. The three intelligences are Analytical, Practical, and Creative. Analytical intelligence is the ability to reason logic or "book smarts". Practical Intelligence is the ability to solve real world problems, especially problems involving other people. Creative intelligence is the kind of intelligence we need to find new and effective solutions to problems. These intelligences do not go hand in hand, all of them are established individually.
This was interesting to me because this explains why somebody can have a lot of book smarts and not really have much common sense.

Thumbnail image for Stress-ZebraStripes-1.gifChapter twelve starts out about stress. The chapter explains what stress is and the different types of stress people experience. Stress is the tension, discomfort, or physical symptoms that arise when a "situation" Strains our ability to cope effectively. The chapter also discusses the creation of the Hassle scale, this scale is used to determine how stressful events are associated with poor health. How one adapts to stress and the challenges associated with change, discusses the different types of responses to stress. How the brain and body reacts to stress, stress can cause a weak immune system or diseases, such as coronary heart disease. An important section is about coping with stress and different strategies offered to help. Also explains how some ways of coping are better for some rather then others. (I've attached a video of how smiling can reduce stress) The chapter also describes how to live a less stressful life. The end of the chapter provides techniques to make living a healthy lifestyle easier. 
What interested me most when reading the chapter was the powerful effects of stress can be linked to physical health issues, like CHD. This caused me to view stress very differently, making me want to live a more stress free life. I also found it interesting how one can measure their stress. By using the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) one can see how stressful events have effected their life and if they are susceptible to illness or mental health problems. It was interesting to see how stressful events can affect the mind.
You can measure your own stress here ==>

Here is the video on smiling

fortune jpg

Something that caught my eye while looking through Chapter 9, was a section that analyzed the efficiency of college admissions tests in predicting the grades of future college students. This segment seemed to argue that if you take the entire range of all (ACT/SAT) scores from college applications and compare them to college GPAs there is an obvious positive correlation. However, the most interesting part of this section was that if you only look at the higher scores of a more prestigious college, there is close to zero correlation to their college GPA. To me, this information indicated that college admissions tests do a relatively good job of separating good students from students that might struggle, but when they create a pool full of good students, the respective GPAs are quite unpredictable. The book used a term for this called restriction of range, where the correlation decreases as the range of scores decreases. This made me think about my own ACT score and where my GPA is after 5 semesters. I would say an admissions counselor would have seen my score and predicted my GPA to be maybe a little bit higher than where it is now. How does your GPA compare to what you think an admissions counselor would have predicted based on your test score?

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