Some mental disorders tend to be fairly heritable while others seem to be developmental. Among those that are categorized as highly heritable is bipolar disorder. A mood disorder causing the patient severe depression and manic episodes, bipolar disorder is very difficult to treat and to live with.

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No parent would want their child to be at a heritable risk of this, and yet the chances of heritability are heartbreaking. If one parent has been diagnosed with bipolar, the chances of any of their children inheriting the disorder is around 15%-30%. If both parents have bipolar disorder, the odds jump to 50%-75%. The 2003 study that revealed these results showed why bipolar disorder tends to run in families; it is carried in our genes, so to speak. A twins study showed that if one identical twin had bipolar disorder, the other twin had an 85% chance of having it as well. Even if an adult manages to control their own bipolar disorder, the odds are against them when they have children.

Alcoholics Anonymous

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I thought the stats on AA that were in the book were interesting. More specifically, I thought it was strange and somewhat depressing that only about 30% of people stay with it for three months, meaning that the vast majority of alcoholics don't get help long term. I also thought it was interesting that only 13% of addicts try to get help, meaning that a total of about 4% of addicts get help in a longer term sense (with 3 months being a pretty lenient measure of long term). The stats that the book gave made me curious about a few things: how many people in AA first tried and failed at staying sober with psychiatric help? How many people tried preventative medicine? What's the long term (let's say 5 year) percent of people that stay sober through AA compared to other methods? How many people counted in the AA statistic were people forced to attend for court? I'm probably looking too far into it, I just was interested in thinking about the overall correlation between psychiatric help and a self-help group.

I believe what I will remember most from Psychology is the Fundamental Attribution Error. It is not because it was any more interesting that anything else, almost everything I learned is memorable, but I have been able to apply the Fundamental Attribution Error to many situations in my life.

On particular example is my friend who has been raised very American. Has a standard family: Mother, Father and two children, middle class, owns their own home; Very "American Dream" family just without the white picket fence. What I have realized is that my friend likes to make the fundamental attribution error by explaining things by generalizing someones personality. A situation would be during a friendly game of RISK where I was losing and to explain why, his argument was "You are just not good at strategizing". Well No. I was losing because I had the two larges empires attacking me at both sides!!! Okay, this might be a bias example.

Another example is when a friend of mine dismissed an Asian girl as stuck up and shady because she did not respond back in conversion. Not taking in the fact that the Asian girl recently immigrated her from Korea.

I was shocked that I kept finding this Error wherever I looked. And unfortunately it was more prominent in more westernized cultures. Whereas in people from eastern heritage, I was not as able to spot the fundamental attribution error.

I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that is before I read about physical attraction in the psychology textbook. We "judge books by their covers" and this is shown through research and science. We also are attracted to those who are similar, close and "average". But still, there are places around the world that do not exactly adhere to the findings from the book. The women in some tribes in Ethiopia scar their bellies and chest area as a from a beauty. These scars attract husbands and mean that the woman is ready to be married. Unlike the textbook, the Ethiopians perception of beauty is not about waist size or averageness in the face. It does not even say that it relates to the face. They put the focus of beauty on the torso area.

I find this type of beauty very intriguing. I believe that it is beautiful because it has a lot of cultural meaning. It also symbolizes puberty in the woman. Regardless, I have also had a negative opinion on beauty if it ever has to harm the one that it beautifies. I wonder, why do you think people in general, regardless of the culture are willing to harm themselves to appear more beautiful?

DS makeup- Bio & Con

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I am going to try and combine the two sections as best as possible into one plot post to make up for points. Something that I wanted to look more into when I was reading chapter 5 on consciousness, was if (and how) psychological mental disorders were somehow correlated with sleep. I have heard several times that depression symptoms can either be loss of sleep of excess amounts of sleep. I wanted to know if some chemical imbalances in the brain causing types of mental disorders could be helped if sleep patterns were regulated. Sure enough, on health.harvard.edu, I found an article talking about this exact question. It talks about how sleep problems might contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders. So, treating a sleep disorder might also "reduce symptoms of a mental health problem." This is dependent on the psychiatric diagnosis of course, but I found this all very interesting. In high school, getting adequate amounts of sleep is stressed. People tend to not take it seriously, because it's something we do every night and there will always be another opportunity for more sleep. But, without regular sleeping patterns, our brains will not have enough time to recuperate and get ready for the next day. I could see how after time, this would exhaust the brain and possible cause some type of disorder, biologically.
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Mental Sets

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It is interesting to think about mental sets, we do one thing or similar things so many times that we become fixated on having only one way to come to the solution of such problem, but when a curve ball is thrown, we have trouble figuring it out. The more I began to think about mental sets, the more I see how it can be connected to short term memory. In both cases, the process is repeated and encoded into your mind, but the process does not stick with you forever. If you were to stop the process and take a break, it would be easy to see that a different path needs to be taken to reach the desired goal. This could be seen as similar to not transferring short term memory to long term memory. An example in the book gives us an algorithm that can be used to find the volume of different glass sizes, we get this stuck into our heads in the short run, and when we get to the last problem, the answer we get do not match the actual answer. When we take a break and the algorithm is not embedded in our minds we can easy see the new pattern, it is all about memory and what has worked in the past. To overcome the idea of mental sets, we need to cognitively think and work out each problem, avoiding the pattern and the possible down falls that may follow.

Blog #4- 5 Years Time

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There were a lot of lessons in psychology that are applicable in everyday life now, and will be in the future. When thinking about the concepts we talk about in discussion and lecture, I often to relate them to my own life experiences, particularly my experiences with horses. My family has owned horses since the 60s and I've been riding since before I can walk and competing since I was 2. Through the years I have spent a significant amount of time training both horses and other riders.
There were some concepts from the learning, particularly operational as well as classical conditioning that I found applicable to training horses. Sometimes it's difficult to be patient, and easy to get frustrated and resort to punishment. According to psychology however, it's better to reinforce than to punish. Even though this is something I already knew from experience, it helps to see it laid out as fact in a textbook. I also enjoyed the social psychology portions concerning social facilitation as well as social disruption, which could be useful when giving lessons and knowing when it's best to take someone aside to learn something privately or when people may benefit from showing a skill in front of others.
Horses will always be a part of my life, as well as training horses and riders, so these are lessons that will absolutely still be remembered and relevant in my life 5 years from now.

I have always found biology and memory very fascinating, this could be because my Grandfather died of Alzheimer's and I always wanted to understand how the brain, this amazing organ, could fail on someone.

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According to Lilienfeld, "The memory loss begins with recent events, with memories of the distant past being the last to go." This was the case for my grandfather. He realized that he was having difficulty at work and navigating around town and eventually he did not even recognize my mother. Lilienfeld also wrote, "These abnormalities (senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) contribute to the loss of synapses and death of cells in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex." The fact that, early on, my grandfather had a lot of difficulty navigating could be due to death of cells in the hippocampus, which, according to Lilienfeld, "plays crucial roles in memory, especially spatial memory".

The horrible deterioration of my grandfather's memory was a mystery before taking PSY 1001 and I find it very beneficial to understand the disease that killed him.

*I was missing one point from each of biological psychology and memory so I am doing one post that brings the two subjects together! If you can only give me make-up points on one, that's okay.

When reading the final chapter in the textbook on psychological treatments, I came to find out that not all psychotherapists are actual licensed professionals. This brought me back to an episode of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, where the main character, Larry David, sees a therapist in an attempt to get his estranged wife back. Larry coaxes his therapist into playing a robber who Larry catches in front of his wife, as an act of heroism. The therapist gets arrested by the authorities and ends up in jail. I come to wonder how an unlicensed therapist comes to that occupation? What kind of qualifications makes that person an actual therapist? Wouldn't they just be a listener?

Dealing with Stress

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When I was was reviewing for the final exam, I came upon the chapter about stress. I read this chapter with great interest, because lately I feel extremely stressed in my everyday life. I learned that everyone deals with stress a different way, and everyone lets stress affect themselves in a different way as well. Learning that stress can lead to many different physical health problems gave me a scare, and I now encourage myself to look at stress as more of an annoyance rather than a burden. Learning that stress can be one of the paths to heart disease inspired me to deal with stress a more efficient way, as well as inspiring me to watch what I eat! Stress also has been very prevalent in my family, as my dad had an extremely stressful job that eventually lead to major health problems. I am now more aware of what stress actually is, and now know how to combat it.