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How do we talking?

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When we see something you never seen before, you may talk to your friends, "It was amazing" or "it was so interesting". Have you ever think about how your brain acts when you talk to others using your language? Or have you ever think about why you can use language to express your emotion exactly´╝č
In the chapter 8, scientists divide language into four levels: Phonemes, Morphemes, Syntax and Extralinguistic information. Simply, phonemes are the sounds of the language, and the morphemes are the smallest units of a meaningful word. Syntax is rules to construct a sentences and extralinguistic information provide more information to make a sentence more meaningful.
Even a simplest sentence needs collaboration of different complex processing areas of the brain. The picture below marked all language processing areas of the brain.
brain funcation
Also I found two picture can make us easily understand how the brain works when we say the words we heard and when we say the words we read.
When we see some words on book, the message first send to primary visual corte, then deliver to language area on the back including Wernicke's area. Wernicke's area deals with the words to let the person understand the words. After that, the messages are send to Broca's area, which main function is let brain to compose a correct sentence. Finally, the massages arrive primary motor cortex to command the muscle around mouth move and people can talking.

Who Are You?

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Chapter 14 discusses the different structures and theories about personality. Theories such as where our personalities come from, what makes up our personality, differences in personalities, and many other theories. An example is if our personality traits are heritable and in our genes or influenced by the environment. To study this, researchers studied the correlation between fraternal and identical twins who grew up together and those apart. Researchers also address the different kind of tests people take that that claims to tell more about ones personality. This I found very interesting, especially the psychological interpretation of the handwriting (graphology). Many companies rely on this information to identify employees that may be prone to dishonesty and other behaviors, even though investigators have found this method of reading personality trait through handwriting invalid. Participants that wrote brief autobiographies revealed some of their own personality traits through the content, rather than writing identical passages where no personal stories can be read by the graphologist. If a participant wrote a brief autobiography opposite who they are, what would the results yield about his personality? Will the graphologist base the personality traits by the handwriting style or on the fake story's content?

Chapter 7 is completely dedicated to our memories, and if they are actually as effective as we believe them to be. Unless you're Kim Peek, who was said to be a "real life Rain Man", it is easy to admit that we can't remember everything that has happened in our lives. In this chapter, the author discusses many reasons why we remember, and many reasons why we forget. The most interesting part of this chapter to me is when they talk about our brains' great abilities to distort memories, most of which are extremely subconscious. The book deems these qualities the seven sins of memory. This list includes: suggestibility, misattribution, bias, transience, persistence, blocking, and absentmindedness. I thought this was extremely interesting because, while reading through the seven sins, I realize that I am guilty of these actions more than I thought I would be. It's crazy to me that your brain can make these decisions for you, without you even consciously knowing it until after the fact. Below, I have added a cartoon that represents the act of misattribution, which is when suggestions lead us to distort memories.

PSY1001 Memory Pic.jpg

My chapter is about Since 1970, psychopharmacotherapy has become more popular as the pharmaceutical industry has started to develop and produce more medicines for psychological treatments. In 2005, antidepressants were the most prescribed drug in the US causing quite a debate among psychiatrists and researchers alike. Some argue that it is encouraging to see the increasing number of people seeking help for depression while some critique the effectiveness of these antidepressant medications. As a biochemistry major, I am really curious about the mechanisms of the drug on our nervous systems as well as the side effects. Antidepressants have been reported to cause several adverse effects, ranging from headaches or nausea to increasing behavior and thoughts or psychological withdrawal symptom. The interesting thing I found about antidepressant is that the fake happiness it has created. Even though the medicine tries to alleviate the unhappiness for the patients, it doesn't solve the real problems they are facing. The patients will have to reply much on antidepressant and do not try to fix the problems themselves.


Chapter 15 discusses physiological disorders, and the one that caught my attention is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is a condition marked by immersing in obsessions or/and compulsions repeatedly for at least an hour a day. Most of the people with OCD tend to think that something is wrong with them and feel that they are "crazy". Most of them also experience compulsion, which is marked by repetitive behaviors for a lengthy time; for example people that have this condition can be washing checking door locks, washing hands, or counting doors repeatedly for lengthy periods during the same day.
I do have this condition, however, I learned to control it without receiving treatment for it. However, sometimes I cannot resist checking things over and over again. But I do not consider this a bad thing, because that helps me never forget any task assigned, and since being a surgeon is my career goal I am sure that OCD will help me to never forget an instrument inside a patient.
What concerns me is that the family dog, has the same condition and cannot stop licking himself. I wish I could get on his little head and see if he realizes that he is "crazy."

From Numbers to Behavior

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Research design is a fundamental basis of many studies, including psychology. Chapter 2 mainly talks about the needs, different types, and arising issues of research designs in the field of psychology. In addition, at the end of the chapter, the textbook shows how data and results obtained from studies are analyzed and evaluated.

Before I read the chapter, I thought that research study in psychology is all about generating surveys and compiling the responses, which are then analyzed statistically. In my opinion, psychology is the study of behavior. It has never crossed my mind that the research design might include quantitative measurements. How can behavior be interpreted with numbers?

A type of research design mentioned in the chapter then answered my question. Correlational design is one of the research methods, which utilizes two variables that are associated with each other. Correlation of the two variables means that they relate to each other statistically but not interpersonally. With correlational design, psychologists are able to suggest one's behavior by correlating it with other related factors.

I found an interesting video, which gives a good example to plan a research design. In here, two researchers are debating on the approaches to study children with ADHD.

Isn't it ridiculous how often the bandwagon fallacy affects our society? People shift back and forth between trends, favorite sports teams and beliefs all because their peers' opinions. I thought this part of the first chapter was the most interesting because it has the most impact on our lives. The Detroit Lions of the National Football League is a great example because they used to be an awful team, but this past season they made a drastic turnaround and everyone jumped on their bandwagon, but jumped off when they lost in the playoffs.
Psych Blog 1 Pic Detroit Lions.jpg
Most of chapter one focused on the different theories and theoretical perspectives of the psychological world. The five perspectives were explained in explicit detail and learning about their components and founders brought further clarity and created a sound foundation for the teachings of this class.The chapter also included the history of psychology which was interesting as well because it helps explain almost every human decision ever made.
Psych Blog 1 Pic William James.jpg

Chapter 4 talks about our sensations and perceptions, or in other words, "how we sense and conceptualize the world. In this chapter, the book addresses talks about our visual system, our auditory system, our sensual senses (taste and smell), and our body senses (touch, body position and balance) and explains how they work. One thing that stood out as super interesting, for me, was when this chapter addressed extrasensory perception (ESP). I've always wondered whether or not stories of ESP were true. Additionally, I enjoyed this chapter because it reminded me of the importance of our senses, and how much we use them each day.

After watching the animated movie Monster House, I started seeing houses as giant faces. After watching American Express' "Don't Take Chances" commercial, it is pointed out to us that we are surrounded by smiley faces everyday!

What I found really fascinating about Chapter 1 is section about noticing patterns in things where no pattern exists (apophenia), and seeing figures places where none really exists (pareidolia). As a retail major, my course load requires us to take a number of design classes. Although I have only taken a couple of introductory design courses, each of them have taught me to look at things with more attention; to look at the finer details in things.

After taking these classes, I would lie in bed at night, looking at the little bumps on my ceiling and make shapes and figures with them. I look at holes and bumps on the walls and create images that clearly do not really exist. Although this chapter shows that noticing these things aren't necessarily the best thing in a scientific point of view, to a designer, it is ways for us to find inspiration. Without apophenia and pareidolia, American Express would not have been able to creat the commercial, and Monster House would never have been produced.


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Jim Halpert from The Office shows Ivan Pavolv's findings in a hilarious way. My chapter was about learning and how nurture truly changes us. Pavlov's dog experiment interested me most in the chapter because it showed the complete basic instincts that nurture can change with in us. In his experiment he started with a dog and a stimulus that did not create any reaction, a metronome. Next evey time he started the metronome he put meat powder behind a sheet, which caused the dog to salivate. Eventually when Pavlov would start the metronome, which originally caused no response, the dog would salivate even if there was no meat powder. Jim recreated this in his altoid experiment with Dwight. Every time Jim played a tone on his computer he would offer Dwight an altoid eventually when Jim would play the tome Dwight would expect an altoid even if Jim didn't offer him one. I think that Pavlov's findings are extremely interesting and they go to show that nurture can change even the most innate responses in anyone, which asks the question does nature even matter?

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