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The End of Psych 1001

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The photo above is what I remember most from this class... just kidding. It's almost difficult to try and think of something because we learned so much over the past 16 weeks! One concept that probably sticks out most in my mind-as of right now-would be our segment we did with behavior. I think about this one quite often actually, because I'm quite the dog fanatic and it was cool to learn about classical and operant conditioning... Ok, ok it was more fun to learn about Pavlov's dogs.26938_384152195682_531510682_4363538_7837628_n.jpg
So, when I start training my other dogs, I think I'll be able to dub myself master dog trainer, since Psych 1001 has informed me on some new ways to obtain behaviors I want! I could even use the information we learned in class to probably help me learn some new habits, or rid myself of a few undesirable ones ;)

The topic I believe I will remember most in 5 years is the Big Five personality traits. I was initially surprised to find out that psychologists believed there were such a limited number of crucial features of the human personality. In case anyone needs a reminder, the Big Five personality traits are as follows:
Openness to experience-open people tend to be intellectually curious and unconventional
Conscientiousness-tend to be careful and responsible
Extraversion-tend to be social and lively
Agreeableness-tend to be social and easy to get along with
Neuroticism-tend to be tense and moody.
When we took the survey for class to find out which traits we ranked high or low in, I had no idea where I would be ranked. I was pretty sure I would be highly ranked in extraversion, because I usually am on other personality tests, but otherwise I had no idea. I found out that I am low in neuroticism, high in extraversion and openness to experience, and somewhere in the middle for agreeableness and conscientiousness. I realized that I thought this was actually really accurate for my personality, and was impressed by this fact. If anyone wants to retest themselves for these five traits, here is a link to a test online.
http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/
I've also included a video that talks about the five traits, as well as a discussion of the traits celebrities possess, such as Tom Cruise and Paris Hilton.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm2vafSHf_U

What traits were you ranked high or low in? Were you surprised by the results?

Scientific Method

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The thing will stay with me the most from psychology is the scientific method. Using all of the different modes of the method such as falsifiability, correlation versus causation and replicability are not only extremely useful in psychology, but also when assessing other arguments in everyday life. I have found myself drawing on this knowledge when I am in everyday conversation, and I have won several arguments as a result of my knowledge in of the scientific method.
Relating to my major, I have learned that the scientific method can be used in the business world as well. When you are making a purchase or assessing advertisements, the scientific method can come in handy as to if you should make that purchase. If a claim on an advertisement is used that uses anecdotal evidence, for example, I would rely on my knowledge of the scientific method not to buy that product. This knowledge makes me a much smarter purchaser.
Lastly, knowledge of the scientific method would help me validate arguments made my candidates running for political office. In debates, especially, there are many arguments made that, to the general public, seem very valid. In fact, however, many times the politician's arguments are very weak below the surface. Being informed puts me ahead of the general public in this area as well.

Panic disorder

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We have learned many interesting and useful topics in this class but the most interesting topic that I will remember is the one about psychological disorders. I don't have any psychological disorders but I once had panic attack. It was only 6 months ago and it was first time that I had a panic attack. Fortunately, I didn't have any panic attack since then, but I can't forget the feeling of it. The panic attack came out of the blue like the textbook describes and it made me to want to kill myself. I was so scary and fearful and I couldn't sit still. I told my roommate I feel heavy in the chest and told him to call ambulance. But he said no and just told me to calm down. It was 3 in the morning so I couldn't go to Boynton. I really wanted to die at that moment. I had to live with the worry that panic will occur in any moment for almost a week. I am thankful that it was only a one-time thing. I can't imagine how people with panic disorder will feel like. It is so horrible that they have to live with the fear that panic will occur in any moment. Psychological disorders are much painful than people think. I will help people who have panic attack when I see them. I am not gonna see them as a crazy person like my roommate did. The textbooks says that about 20-25 percent of college students report a least one panic attack in a one-year period. Be careful! You might be the one.

In five years from now, I will probably remember many general concepts from this Psych 1001 course. The things I will probably remember the best, however, are the things we learned about child psych and their development and behavior. The concept of object permeance will definitely be something I remember, especially as I am a student working toward a nursing degree and could be working with children one day! And if not, it will be a concept I remember when I am raising my own children. It will also be beneficial to remember how children's brains work, and what their perceptions are at certain ages and how they see the world. I now understand why children are often selfish and upset if things do not go their way - they are egocentric! It will also be good to remember how their language skills develop. I'll be interested, one day, to watch my own children slowly learn to speak - first using small repetitive sounds (mama, dada, baba, etc.), to words, to sentences, and eventually to the point where they can hold a short conversation.
Child psychology was probably one of my favorite units because it made so much sense and the concepts are definitely ones that I will remember in the future, whether I'm working with them as part of my career, or identifying these behaviors among my own, future children!

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article-new-ehow-images-a06-t3-q5-toys-social-cognitive-physical-development-1.1-800x800.jpg I have always been interested in how our minds work, and why we all differ from each other. It is clear that we all learn at different rates, and I found the different theories of cognitive development very interesting. I think the biggest difference in these views is where our principle source of learning comes from, whether from physical experience, social interaction, or biological maturation. Jean Piaget's model emphasizes physical interaction, i.e. how being introduced to new situations and and objects affects our learning progression. On the other hand, Lev Vygotsky emphasized social interaction, i.e. how people and cultural factors influence learning. This website does a good job of describing both theories: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_development . The reason I am interested in cognitive development is I am surrounded by children all the time, whether it's my niece, cousins, kids I nanny, or kids from my mom's elementary school class. Each child is entirely unique in every way, and I love watching them develop and grow. But, I also wonder how they become different and where they acquire their individual styles of learning. Chapter 10 of our textbook touches on many different theories regarding learning, memory, and cognitive development in general. I will definitely remember everything I learned and apply it to my every day interactions.

One of the things that stuck out to me the most during psych 1001 one was when we talked about where the consciousness resides "what makes you, you" self-awareness has always been an interest of mind. The idea of consciousness amazes me, how does it happen? Why is it unique to everyone? In 1001 we watched a short film "The Secret You" from BBC with Marcus de Sautoy. The film asks very scientific based questions and showed us the modern approaches we use to solve these big questions. "The Secret You" tries to explain where consciousness resides and explains that the cortex, located on the outer part of the brain, allows us to be self-aware. As far as evidence the show did a great job because they had and actual brain which was really interesting to see, also kind of creepy (which is another reason why the information stuck). But my interest wasn't quite satisfied; I wanted to go more in-depth because there are so many interesting theories and questions and the fact that there isn't a direct approach or solution to this. I've attached a couple videos of people exploring the philosophical side of consciousness what do you think of some of the questions they are asking?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoR0bMohcNo&list=PLE3048008DAA29B0A&feature=plpp_play_all

We have covered many interesting topics in psychology but one subject that I will remember from psychology in the years to come was the study of conformity. I found this to be a very interesting subject and at first when I was reading about conformity, I thought that I would never conform to other people's ideas. I couldn't believe that people would give the wrong answers just so they wouldn't be the only one answering with a different but right answer. I changed my mind on conformity when I saw the videos from our discussion section. We watched how people in elevators would turn all the way around just so they wouldn't be the only one faced a certain direction and how people didn't want to be the only one answering with a different answer than the rest of the group even when they knew it was the right answer. I realized that even I have conformed to different ideas throughout my life, even when I didn't want to. I think everyone conforms to other people's ideas at some point in their life because it is sometimes easier to conform than to fight for your own beliefs. People want to fit into groups and some people will do whatever it takes to fit in, even if it means changing their own beliefs.

The chapter and sections that I will remember five years from now were the ones on the intelligence and IQ testing. I have always found Intellect and IQ to be very interesting. Growing up it amazed me to see how certain intellects and behaved in our society. I was always fascinated to see that many of my friends who were intellectually brilliant were often socially awkward. Even so, that was not always the case. I also had friends who went to MIT, Harvard, and West Point who were very socially intelligent as well. By observing them and taking this coarse one I have found that one really can't make assumptions based on outward appearance or intellectual capacity. Like the ex-bouncer described in chapter 9, he may not have been identified as intelligent while working in the bars, yet he was one of the sharpest people in America.
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I was also really struck by the use of intelligence test by companies. Initially I thought it might be a good idea, but as I thought about it, there would be some awful ramifications if it were the sole deciding factor for jobs. I had never thought about how the IQ test discriminated against certain groups. If jobs do start using IQ test they would have to make sure there were other factors considered as well.

Mint, Dwight?

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By now we are all familiar with Pavlov's model of classical conditioning. This is one topic I will probably never forget due to the fact that there are so many good examples in television and movies. In lecture, we saw an example from the Big Bang Theory where Sheldon uses chocolate to condition Penny to behave as he deems fit. In The Office, Jim uses mints as the unconditioned stimulus and the sound of his computer as the conditioned stimulus which leads to Dwight salivating to the sound of Jim's computer, even when no mint is offered.
Initially, this was a difficult topic for me to grasp. I had trouble trying to decide which was the unconditioned stimulus, conditioned stimulus, etc. I believe that seeing examples in television shows helps to solidify this concept in my mind. I find it very fascinating that someone can condition another person into doing something or feeling a certain way. The little Albert example is especially interesting. It amazes me that someone can condition another person to fear something they once had no problem with.
Watch this clip from The Office to see how Jim uses Pavlov's model to condition Dwight! Can you think of any more examples in movies or television where characters use Pavlov's model?

As an athlete, I found I could really relate to the information presented by the Yerkes-Dodson Law. The basics of this law are shown in the figure below that plots performance versus arousal level. The inverted "U" shape of the curve suggests that there is a middle level of arousal that results in the highest performance in both simple and complex tasks.

Recently, we had a girl join our soccer team who had been playing only basketball for the past four years. She was a goalkeeper in high school, but now she was preparing to play in her first college-level soccer game. I talked to her briefly before the game, telling her to be not too high and not too low, and immediately realized that I was regurgitating psychology class information to her. I figured if I could get her to be in a medium state of arousal, she would be most likely to have a good performance out on the field.

As Minnesota residents, I bet most of us remember the 2009 Semi-final of the NFL playoffs. This was the game where the Vikings basically had their tickets to the Super Bowl booked, but then Brett Favre threw a game-changing interception. The Y-D Law can be used to explain this. Brett Favre was likely so highly aroused by the high-pressure situation, that his performance was low. Can anybody think of other situations where we can apply this concept?

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It's All Around

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Psychology has been long, tough, and full of information. That is why it is so difficult to choose just one concept that is most memorable for me. But if I had to choose, I would probably pick classical conditioning. Why? For two main reasons: the first, is that it is all around us, the second, is the sheer power of classical conditioning. So how is classical conditioning all around us? Commercials, magazine adds, billboards, and just about every other type of advertisement work on the basic principles of classical conditioning, it's that simple. Often times ads use attractive people, or humor, to make the viewer feel longing, or joy. This longing, or joy, from the stimulus is often paired with the product of which is being marketed, in turn, making the consumer like, or have longing for, the product without even knowing it. It is incredible to see the power of classical conditioning at work. It can make dogs salivate to the sound of a bell, children fear white rats, and adults buy a certain type of beer. Can you think of any more examples of classical conditioning? Check out the attached video to see classical conditioning at its finest!

Long Lasting Sleep

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There has been a lot that I have taken away from this psychology course over the last few months. I feel that the subject that will stay with me for the longest is the five stages of sleeping. I found this topic to be extremely interesting from the second I started reading it, because I never knew that there were different levels of sleeping. Before taking this class, I always assumed that the human body acted in the same process throughout the entire night of sleep. This is why I was shocked to learn about the variance of conditions within the five different stages. The stage that I found to be the most intriguing was stage 5, often associated with Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This is the stage where people are in their deepest sleep and have the majority of their dreams.
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Every time I have dreamed since learning about this in class, I have woke up wondering if I was just seconds removed from the REM stage of sleep. I am excited to see what future research will further reveal about the topic of sleep. I also wonder if we will ever develop an advanced enough technology to record peoples' dreams.

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