April 2012 Archives

Personality is forever...

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The thing that I will remember most from this psychology class, will be the emphasis and time spent on personality. Everyone is different in some way, and that is what I have always found so interesting. Why people do what they do and getting a better understanding of why they do what they do because of the knowledge I have gained from this class will help me in the future. No matter what area or field of study you go into after college, you will most likely have to work with other people. The more you know about personalities and how to cope and coexist and even bring the best out of each other, the better and happier you will be with your career. The importance of personalities in my life has been something that has always been of interest to me. I have always found people's separate personalities an interesting thing to observe. I like to watch how people act around others and I like to analyze them. The information I have learned from this class has just made everything more interesting. In order to remember stuff, especially five years down the road, it has to be something that is interesting to you. This was a section that was interesting to me and I will remember much of the information because of it.

Greetings bloggers,

Today we were asked to reflect on what we will take away from psychology. In response to what will I still remember 5 years from today, ironically I will remember the chapter on memory. Whether it is facts about short term (10 to 15 seconds and 7 plus or minus two items), long term, how we remember, or how our memory network works, I will never forget these interesting facts.
The chapter on memory is also very applicable to our academic careers and lives. I learned many ways on how to improve my memory during psychology. First and foremost, do not cram. I have always crammed for my tests, and although people have told me it was bad, I never truly understood why it was bad so my habits continued. Now that we have learned how our memory network works, I have a greater understanding of why not to cram. Another way that memory is applicable to my life moving forward is I now know that we remember things better that we can symbolize or visualize. I try to attach meaning to items that I want to remember, and it helps me remember them later. These are the reasons why memory is something that I will never forget.


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The most interesting part about this class was learning about how I work as a person. I've learned a lot of valuable things that help me understand why I do what I do and can maybe help curb some not so good habits I have. One of these habits is procrastination! While I did procrastinate writing this blog post and write all of my comments, after learning about what type of studying is conducive to successful learning I am definitely more interested in investing more time in things such as studying for tests. I work better under pressure but it was interesting to learn how to make effective use of that time through context-dependent learning, distributed practice vs. mass practice, and elaborative rehearsal. Using all of these tactics I was able to ameliorate my broken study habits. Studying is a lot more satisfying when you have the skills to optimize efficiency.

What I will remember

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I have learned so much this semester in psychology that hopefully I will remember everything, especially since psychology is such an interesting topic and things that have to do with your everyday life. But if I had to choose one concept that I will definitely remember forever it would be from Chapter 12, Stress, coping and health. I have really bad anxiety problems so I can really relate to this topic. Of course I have researched a lot about anxiety and stress, plus my doctor has told me many things but after learning about it in psychology it really taught me the most i'm ever going to know. I can now see how to deal with stress before a big exam etc. It also taught me that i'm not completely crazy for being so stressed all the time, and it happens to people just as much as it happens to me, even worse. So i know for the rest of my life I will think back to this semester of psychology and remember how to deal with all of my stress and anxiety.

What will stick with me

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What shocked me the most were the conformity section and the shock test (Pun intended). Most people would say they are not influenced by others but through these studies, are clearly lying. What's more, the fact that people of authority have more influence than should be necessary. In the shock test, because the guy was wearing a white coat, he was always right. Essentially he got sixty percent of people to "kill" another human being because it was for "a study". That fact alone will stick with me for a while. Some of the people were not even broken up about applying a shock that they knew to be incredibly painful to another person. I guess if I were in that situation, I would really hope that I would not conform and be able to stand up to someone in a situation where I was knowingly harming someone. Another thing that surprised me was how easily people can be manipulated into conforming. The group of people in an elevator all standing in the same direction and causing someone to conform and change their behaviors so quickly was quite frankly astonishing. I think this happens because people do not like to create waves and fitting in to feel more comfortable.

What I'll Remember

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I have learned so many things throughout this Psychology course. However, just like any other semester-long course, it is impossible for me to retain all of that knowledge. While many things will slip from my memory, I know there will be a few psychological concepts that I will definitely be able to remember in five years. The one concept that I believe I will be able to recall most clearly in five years is the concept of love and intimate relationships, and how psychology influences them. In five years I will be almost 25, the age where many people start to settle down with someone that they believe they can spend the rest of their life with. To find this person, attraction and the psychological influences come in to play. There is a good chance that I will be attracted to someone that I see on a regular basis, and according to our textbook, I will find someone with the most "average" looking face the most attractive. And if I am already in a relationship with someone, I will know about the triangle of love, and I will be able to categorize how my relationship is based on passion, intimacy and commitment. Hopefully it will be all three!

Sparked Interest

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When we were asked to think about the concept that we will remember the most in 5 years, my mind went racing. I have learned so much over the semester! A few things that come to mind are personality differences, psychological disorders, and differences between cultures. I have always been interested differences between people and what actually makes them different, and I have loved learning more about these things this semester. I would have never thought that collectivist cultures would interpret and value things differently than an individualistic society, such as our own. I have some close friends that would be considered part of a collectivist culture, and I never understood that it would make such a difference between how they and I think. Something I found interesting this semester was how similar we all are in basic brain functioning and thinking, but then how different we can interpret and view the world. Taking this course this semester has made me curious, intuitive, and has changed how I view others around me. I think that will be what I remember most after 5 years; how my way of thinking about others completely changed over the course of this semester. My mind has been opened.

Please pardon my title, and I'm sorry if you were forced to read it more then once. If you did you might have even encoded it into your memory, for which I am also sorry took up your valuable cranial real estate (just in time for finals as well). Even imagining how the brain can accomplish something like this still baffles me. By going through this class i have learned just enough to avoid my brain overheating while thinking about thinking. Although I am still far from comfortable with my understanding of the mind, i feel content with my grasp of the human mind. 5 years from now I feel that not only will I remember how I remembered this unit, but will be actively seeking information in this field to satisfy my curiosity. I look forward to the day when scientists have unlocked more secrets of this process, as I am still waiting for answers to a lot of my questions.

Before taking this course, I thought psychology is just talking about how we feels. While in fact it is only a part of psychology, and now I would say learning psychology is discovering the way we think. Although we are thinking at any time, we can't realize how we think. I feel psychology is the subject teaching people the fundemental ways of how our brain works, from how we see the world to how we learn things and think. But we don't have to know any psychology, it is not like other courses if we don't know that we can't do that. Isn't it ridiculous if I say you can't learn because you don't know the classical conditioning.
Also psychology is not like math or physics which has some basic rules and we can combine those rules and got more. It has hundreds of seperated knowledges and each of them explain only a small part. Just as what our professor said in the first class, we are not able to estimate what would a person do next. Maybe because our brain is too much functional, we just can't keep ourselves on some rules everytime. And the sad thing is that we have to remember so many points before a psychology exam. I wish that one day someone could find a theroy to explain all of these points, and that will be a great breakthrough of psychology.

What I Will Take With Me

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We have learned so much through the semester, when asked what I would I remember five years from now so many things came to mind. I thought about conditioning, development, personalities, and much more. When I really thought about all I have learned and how it will change my thinking from here on out, I thought of the six scientific thinking principles and everything they can apply to. Learning about those, remind me to really think about information you are receiving and analyze it like a scientist, instead of taking everything you hear as gospel. Although we have learned so much, these six principles really relate to everything. Basically, the most important thing is to really think for yourself and investigate further before believing everything you hear. It's not that we shouldn't trust anyone we meet, but healthy skepticism is great way to find out the truth and not be fooled with nonsense. I will take that message with me most of all, however I will try to remember all the other psychological knowledge I have acquired throughout the semester.

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Social Psychology

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While we have studied several concepts, ideas, and experiments in psychology 1001, there is one that sticks out the most to me; The Milgram Experiment. This is the experiment where Stanley Milgram studied subjects obedience to authority figures by administering voltage shocks to another person. What fascinated me the most was the large percentage of people who went past the lethal amount of voltage for a human. What scares me about this experiment is that it could be very plausible for someone like me, who doesn't get satisfaction from seeing other people hurt, to go beyond that lethal voltage dose. It's no surprise that these findings caused a stir in the psychology world. While it doesn't help to explain why we are so obedient to authority figures, it does help to explain some historical catastrophes like the holocaust. I will remember this experiment for years to come because it can be seen in everyday situations in all of our lives. Whether it's at work where you are following the orders of your boss even though you think they are wrong. Or it could be at school with your group leader. This also raises the question of believing someone or something because of its status. I believe that understanding the basis of this experiment can help anyone be more confident in respectfully questioning certain sources and being able to evaluate the outcomes and other alternatives.

We've learned so many things this semester, but I think one thing that will stick with me quite a bit is how important and crucial development is. Working with a lot of young children through volunteering, as well as with my nephews has really showed me how important development in all forms is in the growth of a child. What stuck with me is how much I influence the younger children I am around, how important nutrition is, and how important it is to have a healthy and safe environment for children to grow into excellent adults. The ideas provided within the development chapter have reminded me how to be a good aunt, and Amplatz volunteer and I think that chapter will really have a lasting impact on me. This course also helped teach me about myself, and helped me to further realize my interest in child psychology and development. Since taking this course, I am now considering a future in neonatal or childhood development or nutrition which I find interesting, because I hadn't thought much about that before. Hopefully, I'll continue to learn more and be able to help make a difference with my newfound psychology knowledge!

Sugar's Dog Treat on my nose contest.jpgOne psychological concept that I will always remember is the different forms of conditioning. I found the idea of making something completely neutral into an object that stimulates and automatic response to be extremely interesting and actually relatable to everyday life. You can use conditioning to teach your dog or cat to do something specific when seeing a bell, reward your kids in ways without treats, and even teach yourself to respond in a certain way to a neutral object. For me, the studies just made sense. If you present the object of desire with a neutral stimulus, eventually that stimulus will elicit an automatic response. But over time extinction can occur if the neutral stimulus is not accompanied with the object of desire. Conditioning also seemed to be one of the more prominent topics that we learned over the course of this semester, making it even more likely to stick into my mind for more than five years. Even though we do not realize it, conditioning is used in everyday life. Being one of the concepts I understood the most, and since I understand how applicable conditioning is, I have no doubt that I will remember if five years from now and beyond.

Throughout this semester their has been many different concepts that we have covered, all of which have been important. However one of the concepts that I believe will stick with me for some time is what we covered in Chapter 9 on Intelligence and IQ testing. While we were going over this chapter in lecture we also covered this topic in discussion. The conversations that we had in discussion have stuck with me thus far and I believe that it will continue to stick with me far into the future. Although I have always found IQ testing and intelligence interesting I find it even more interesting now due to the ideas about how it could be used in hiring processes.


I had never really thought about how IQ testing could be used as part of an interview process. In ways it makes sense as many jobs require certain type of people and as the jobs become more important IQ's can show how one may perform in that job. However I also found it disturbing that people would be tested in such a manner to determine whether or not they are fit for the job. Many people struggle with testing under pressure and many people have qualities that make them suitable for jobs besides their intelligence. Therefore this will stick with me because as I go further into schooling and later into a career I will work hard to express my thoughts and make sure that everyone looks at more than just a cover.

One of the most interesting aspects about Psychology that I will surely remember later on in life is what to ignore. Specifically, the six scientific thinking principles and how we can apply them to our everyday lives. It the most common theme in the book because it appears in every section of every chapter, and I believe it was one of the easiest concepts to understand.

While watching television or perusing through advertisements it is almost comical how often one of these six principles are violated. An obvious example is a tv show about UFO sitings. Somehow, someone compiled enough information to babble on about some UFO they saw for an hours worth of a program and we surely know now by Occam's Razor, that there was much likely a more reasonable explanation for what they saw.

After a semester of Psychology and hundreds of examples of applications of the six scientific thinking principles, finding them in the real world is easy. I suppose that I have created a misleading title. In fact, I now find myself paying more attention to advertisements and obscure eyewitness accounts just for the sake of being able to point out their scientific flaws. This being said, though I pay more attention to them, I certainly discredit them much more often.

Throughout the course of Psychology 1001, we have learned about the 6 Principles of Psychology: Ruling out Rival Hypotheses, Correlation v. Causation, Falsifiability, Replicability, Occam's Razor, and Extraordinary Claims. The principle that I have used the most in my everyday life is the Extraordinary Claims rule. For a long time I have been fascinated by television shows like Paranormal State on A&E and A Haunting on The Discovery Channell. In fact, these types of shows used to keep me up at night because they seemed so real! However, after learning about the principles of psychology, I have come to realize that many of these shows are staged and their "evidence" of paranormal activity usually goes unsupported. For example, in the show A Haunting they have people narrating their terrifying experiences and have real actors and actresses portray the scene for the episodes. This seems highly unreliable because many times TV producers exaggerate information in order to attract viewers. What one needs to think about is if these extraordinary claims have extraordinary evidence to back them up. In most cases, the evidence is not strong enough.

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Throughout the course of Psychology 1001, we have learned about the 6 Principles of Psychology: Ruling out Rival Hypotheses, Correlation v. Causation, Falsifiability, Replicability, Occam's Razor, and Extraordinary Claims. The principle that I have used the most in my everyday life is the Extraordinary Claims rule. For a long time I have been fascinated by television shows like Paranormal State on A&E and A Haunting on The Discovery Channell. In fact, these types of shows used to keep me up at night because they seemed so real! However, after learning about the principles of psychology, I have come to realize that many of these shows are staged and their "evidence" of paranormal activity usually goes unsupported. For example, in the show A Haunting they have people narrating their terrifying experiences and have real actors and actresses portray the scene for the episodes. This seems highly unreliable because many times TV producers exaggerate information in order to attract viewers. What one needs to think about is if these extraordinary claims have extraordinary evidence to back them up. In most cases, the evidence is not strong enough.

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Over the past semester, I found the unit on personality to be the most interesting. I myself, am a people person, therefore I love being around different people and their personalities. Reflecting on myself, I tend to associate with people who have similar personalities to me. These people are outgoing, speak their mind, spontaneous and have a good sense of humor. The reason I enjoyed this chapter so much was because it was very interesting to see how our personalities affect one's lifestyle. I also found it very interesting to learn that how someone is raised can greatly alter their personality causing them to be reserved or extraverted. Also, before this chapter, I never really thought that genetics can play a large role in how someone's personality is perceived. Something else from this unit that I thought was the strangest was learning about ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. After learning about how your body type can affect your personality I thought of people I knew, and there body types and could see a connection. I will remember the concepts from the personality unit five years from now because I found it interesting to learn more about my own personality and how it has affected who I am today.


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Technology is destroying our personalities. We are so focused out our texting and Facebook and Twitter, that we can't make connections with the people that are right in front of our faces. Everybody has a personality, and in whatever you do, you will have to interact with people, so it only makes sense to really learn how different personalities interact with each other, and what types of personalities work well together. No two people are alike because of their personalities. Personality is the distinctive characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior that uniquely define an individual. Some people may have similar personalities, but there is always one trait that sets two people apart.
Five years from now, personality will definitely still be looked at in Psychology. In fact, I believe that personality is something that will always be looked at in everything we do. Everybody needs to interact with people to create our society. People are not making the direct personal contact that is necessary to create relationships, because they are glued to their phones and to Facebook. If we do not take a step back from technology, we will forget the feeling of interacting with each other, and we will ruin our society.

Should we be censoring what our children see? Does violence on television, video games, and media sources lead to violent behavior in children? Do children respond to violence with violence? The answer to all of the questions is simple; yes. When young children are exposed to violence, they tend to mimic those behaviors, as they do when they mimic our speech or mannerisms. This is exemplified by Bandura's Bobo the Doll experiment, where parents were aggressive towards an inflated doll, and the child watched. When the parent left the room, the child then moved toward the doll and mimicked their behavior, also being extremely aggressive to the doll. This is also showcased in higher rates of aggression in children that play violent video games. Children, when shown behaviors, tend to absorb and behave in the same manner, especially when shown by trusted adults. Therefore, I think it's extremely important to prevent children from witnessing violence. Some ways to prevent having children exposed to violence includes limiting violent video games, having non-violent age appropriate television programming available, and behaving appropriately in front of young children. These things can help prevent violence in children, which can lead to extreme problems as the child grows.

This is a make up blog for the discussion section on intelligence that I missed.
One thing that really caught my attention in the intelligence chapter and in one lecture was the concept of eugenics. I actually didn't used to know what eugenics was. The eugenics movement was found by Francis Galton, and it was a movement that encouraged people with "good genes" to have more children than the ones carrying bad genes, such as people who score low on IQ tests or people who are a race that at the time was unwanted in some ways. Eugenics, although favored by many great scholars and psychologists, was a very ethically bad movement. Surgeons would tell people with bad genes that they had to have emergency appendices removal, and would sterilize them instead. This is ethically wrong in so many levels. Without any knowledge to the person who was undergoing surgery, surgeons sterilized them, thus stopping them from reproducing more. People thought that reducing the reproduction of people with lower IQs would increase a population's quality. The eugenics movement was very unethical and it is unbelievable and disturbing that it actually went on for a while.

Our memories are so reconstructive that with continuous suggestion of false memories, we may believe its true, and even recreate untrue events based on what we think we remember. With detail, suggestion, and false reasoning, people have been convinced that they have committed hideous crimes which they have not committed. This is what happened in the Paul Ingram case. After his daughters accused him of sexually abusing them, investigators pushed him to confess. Though he didn't remember it, after several suggestive techniques and pressuring him to "look back into his repressed memories", he confessed to a crime he didn't commit. The police were able to persuade him that he had repressed the memories of harming his daughters, and that if he delved deep enough, he would remember what he did. They told him that he would feel better once he "admitted to what he had done". After being isolated, he eventually wrote a full description of what his daughters accused him of doing, and even added in graphic details of what he thought were repressed memories. After his confession, they put the evidence together, realized that it was literally impossible for him to have done this, and he was proven innocent. His daughters later confessed to making the whole thing up. The power our brains have in reconstructing memories are extremely powerful, and at times dangerous. Be careful what you think you remember. Think to yourself, "did that actually happen," before you tell someone about a memory you once thought you had.

One concept in Psychology that I think I'll remember 5 years from now is the development of the mind. This is because I've already spent so much time outside of class applying the ideas of nature v nurture, attachment styles, class/race differences, etc. in the context of others' behavior. This class has provided me with an interesting lens through which to observe how others behave. If somebody is acting in a manner that I am totally baffled by, it's fun to try and look at the world through their eyes and empathize. Basically this class has taught me that there's a somewhat "logical" reason for everything that everyone does. Something that somebody else does that may seem stupid, or irrational, or downright crazy to me would usually seem like a rational thing to that person.
A second concept that I'm going to remember is Kohlbergs theory of morality. The entire morality unit has made it so that I strive to achieve post-conventional morality for important decisions, and not just stop at conventional. This is hard, but I believe that this idea will help me make better decisions throughout my life.

There are many interesting knowledge that I learned about in this psychology class, that will help me a lot in the future. If I have to decide on one, I would say that one of the most useful things I learned in class was in the lectures about Memory. In class, we learned about different mnemonic techniques such as visualizing, the key word method, method of loci, and narrative technique. All the mnemonic techniques were pretty useful, but the method of loci (locations) was the one that I think will especially help me in the future. Method of loci is good for remembering a speech you have to do. First you memorize a sequence of objects, and then think of somewhere you know very well. And then imagine walking through the roads, and put the objects at places in the road/street/room. Visualize that image such as a window and correlate it with the point you want to make. This technique, I think will help me very much in the future, in presentations and speechs. Next semester, I'm going to be taking a public speaking class, and I'm going to use the method of loci all the time!

Final Blog Social Psych

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The one concept that I will take from psychology this year would probably have to be one of the more recent chapters. In chapter 13 they discussed social psychology and how it applies in real world. How something that as we read seems like something we would never do but everyday people who think like that fall to conformity and other things that just seem absurd to me. I believe in being an individual is important. If you stand out don't think of it as something bad but more unique. Something I will always remember is to be me regardless of what other people say. I guess it is tough to say since I haven't been in the situation but I feel that I would be able to stand out and be my own individual. Also an interesting concept was right towards the end. When they talked about foot in the door or other terms like that. I previously knew about sale gimmicks like that. Learning tactics to not have sales people do that to you is probably something important. Barging and making sure you are not being scammed seems like important tools to have.

What I Will Remember

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The thing I am probably most going to remember from Psychology is the effects different diseases have on the brain. My mother was diagnosed with memory problems most often related to Alzheimer's this past fall. While I already knew what I should expect down the road I found the explanation and image in the book of what actually happens to the brain extremely helpful. Its hard not to get frustrated with my Mothers problem, I think this has to do with the nature of not knowing what exactly to expect and how to respond to it. Learning about the brain has allowed me to better understand what my mom is going through and also what is going through my own head in response. The brain is extremely complex and to have a better understanding of what can happen to it because of different diseases is an important first step to coming up with a way to stop them. Seeing numerous different diseases and there effects has also calmed my fears not necessarily because I feel my mom's could be worse but because I know there are many many other families dealing with neurological diseases and knowing that gives me some hope that in the future there will be a breakthrough that helps treat Alzheimer's and all the other diseases. Often I have heard people refer to Alzheimer's as the long good by, but with the help of medication and further research I think that reference will be a thing of the past and hopefully one day become forgotten itself. I am grateful for what I have learned in Psychology 1001 and as I am going into a career in education I think what I have learned will become evermore useful at home and in the classroom.

One of the main psychology sections that I will remember five years from now is the lesson about the Biology of Sleep. I had never studied the sleep cycle before and I thought it was really interesting to learn that our bodies have their own biological clock and it's not necessarily my fault if I start to get drowsy in psych lecture ;) because it's my body's natural response! I also was interested in this topic because I talk to so many other people that have such a hard time falling asleep and they wake up a lot during the night but I can fall asleep within 5 minutes of laying down. It always seemed so weird to me that I would never wake up in the middle of the night and it was interesting to read that section in the book and figure out that it's not that I sleep different than those people, I just don't remember my dreams and I go into a deeper stage of sleep that some people might. I was also interested to find out that we go into REM sleep multiple times in one night and I will never forget that because sometimesstudent sleeping.gif I remember dreams from these different stages. Overall I just thought this was an interesting topic and I don't believe I will ever forget the Biology of Sleep.

Personality at its finest

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I found Psychology to be a very interesting and extremely benefical class for me to take. I am going to school to have a career in counceling and many, many things that we have learned in class can in some way pertain to my career. I found the chapter on personality to be one of the most interesting subjects, and found that much of the information will be helpful in my future career. In lecture we learned the definition of personality is distinctive characteristic patterns of
thought, emotion, and behavior that uniquely define an individual. There are two concepts of personality, nomothetic and idiographic. Nomothetic talks about how everyone has certain traits that are similar across all people to some degree, and idographic is talking about unique attributes that you cant compare across people. This topic really drew me in and got me thinking. It makes perfect sense what these two topics are saying because there has to be some similarity in traits among people or we would never be able to function as a society. On the same note though we are, in fact, our own self and everyone is an individual. We may all have some similar traits, but it is also very obvious that many people are extremely different from one another. This gets me interested in looking farther into it.

Years from now, I will still remember the psychological aspects of males and females. I found learning of biological and evolutionary psychology to be the articulation of concepts I had already observed in relationships, family life, and society. Innate personality differences, maternal and paternal tendencies, reproductive behaviors, and many observable behaviors from human biological history are extremely prevalent, even more so upon learning more in-depth why there are prevalent.
One example is a females "picky" behavior when selecting a mate. The nine month gestation period creates a biological drive to select an appropriate mate who will remain with the woman bearing child. Other traits factoring into a woman's picky behavior include physically appealing traits. Physical size and build appeal so a male could serve as protection from predators. Physical attributes also appeal, because there is a biological drive for both males and females to seek out the best desirable traits to pass along to their offspring.
Another aspect of the psychology of gender differences is the way that infants are treated. Gender stereotypes are applied to infants early in life, before gender characteristics have hardly developed. Language and tone of voice used when addressing an infant greatly reflect gender stereotypes, and gender expectations.
Awareness of these psychological topics is important to me. I think sexism starts at a young age, and deeply imbedded psychological aspects of genderism and sexism greatly impact the perpetuation of stereotypes and societal norms of female and male.

In five years from now, I will most likely remember the concept of classical conditioning--especially as it pertains to business--from PSY 1001. Advertising accounts for a large percentage of business today. What do you do when you have a product you need to sell? You advertise. Classical conditioning--specifically, higher-order conditioning--provides advertisers with the knowledge to make their ads "stick" with the viewer. By using classical conditioning, advertisers attempt to pair their brands with positive emotions so that consumers purchase more of their products. And selling more products, as we already know, equals more money. As a future businessman myself, who may or may not work in advertising (that remains to be seen), I believe that this concept is the one I will remember the most. It is, perhaps, the concept that is most applicable and most useful in my future.

That being said, I'm sure I will remember other concepts from Psychology this year. For example, I will probably remember persuasion techniques, which I found extremely interesting and useful, and I will probably remember some stress-management techniques that I learned in Chapter 12.

Overall, I have learned a great deal of information from this class and, honestly, it's been a complete joy!

According to our textbook, some psychological disorders are specific to certain cultures. For example, amok is usually found out in Malaysia, the Philippines, and some African countries. Also, even confronting with the same disease, people from western and eastern countries express in different ways. Social anxiety is a typical example.
The authors conclude that since western people focus more on "externally" thoughts, they are more sensitive to psychological problems. While eastern people pay more attention to "internally" thoughts, and hence more sensitive to somatic symptoms. I don't totally agree with this idea. I think another factor may also play a critical role. Psychology is relatively new area in many Asian counties, and people do not know much about psychological disorders and their symptoms. Some people are still worrying about food and clothing. In addition, the eastern society generally does not provide essential knowledge and information in everyday life. However, western countries have a longer history dealing with metal problems, so people are more exposed to information related to psychological disorders.
I don't know why some eating disorders are more pervasive in United States and Europe since I don't think people in America are exposed to more and thinner models. From my perspective, Asian media is filled with super skinny girls, and Asian girls pay more attention to lose weight all the time. I think maybe self-esteem is a reason why eating disorders are more common here because people from western cultures generally have higher self-esteem.

Signing up for classes, I was somewhat skeptical on what Psychology 1001 would be all about. I honestly never dreamed that it would be so in depth, and would be able to explain nearly everything a living organism does. I appreciate what we have learned in the class greatly, because I know that I will find it useful in the future. I'm am currently attending school for Retail Merchandising, and hope to land myself a job as a buyer for clothing store. Until taking this class, I never actually realized how closely related my major, and psychology are.
As a buyer, you are responsible for selecting items to stock a store with, based on your predictions of how popular you think that item will be amongst consumers. In this process, it is extremely important for a buyer to observe the behaviors and tendencies of the consumers that shop at the store they are buying for. When a buyer is able to do this, he or she is able to provide items for the store, which will satisfy the consumers wants and needs. It is also a Buyer's responsibility to to forecast fashions that will surface months or years down the road. In order to do this, a buyer is required to study past and present fashion trends, while always keeping in mind the persona their store is aiming to please.
In order to excel in this type of position, it is crucial for me to take into account the psychology of humans, specifically when they shop. I am excited to dig deeper into my major and uncover other ways psychology plays a role in the retail buying process.

It may sound boring that the concepts that I think I will remember from PSY 1001 are scientific thinking principles. They run through the whole book and remind me thinking in a critical way at all times. Even the major Freudian defense mechanisms are problems related to occam's razor and ruling out rival hypotheses. I will probably be a psychology major student in the future five years, and hopefully I will get opportunities to do psychological researches. When I draw conclusions, I think I need to keep these scientific thinking principles in mind. Maybe the variables are not correlated with each other.
Another impressed concept is discussed in Chapter 13. Conformity and obedience. Right before I studied this concept, I watched a great movie called The Wave. It is based on a true story that a high school history teacher did an experiment of dictatorship in order to teach fascism. Things then turned out to be out of control. Fascism is pervasive among students. They all rushed to join the group with discipline and followed the teacher's order under any circumstances. When students all wore white shirt at school, they are very likely to pose pressure on the girl who refused to wear white shirt and jeans. If she surrenders herself, it is an example of conformity. The group members learned to whatever the teacher said, which is obedience. It is so easy for spectators to point out that some instructions from authority are unreasonable, but people who are inside just can't help resisting the power of authorities. I think there will always be alternatives instead of simply following instructions.


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One of my favorite concepts we covered this semester was that of hypnosis. It wasn't a huge portion of our reading but there were about 3 pages on the topic. Earlier in the year, actually during welcome week I had the opportunity to be hypnotized myself. It was a very cool experience and I can't wait to try it again. When I found out our psych book had a section on hypnosis, I was very intrigued to gain a deeper knowledge on the subject and see if my thoughts and ideas on the topic matched up with the book's. In our book one of the common myths associated with hypnosis is that the people are unaware of their surroundings. I was a believer of this myth until I experienced it for myself. While hypnotized I was aware of the audience and could even make out my friends in the crowd. Another myth that was mention was that hypnotized people forget what happened during hypnosis. I never knew the truth to this statement until I experienced it for myself. I was able to recall every event that took place. Overall this section is a great overview on the topic of hypnosis and is a very interesting read. The facts on hypnosis will for sure stay with me for a long time.

You know you sang the title of this blog and the rest of the lyrics :)

But really, what is love?
lensheart.jpgI know that I haven't really figured it out, but many psychologists such as Robert Sternberg
believe that different forms of love can be classified under three categories: Intimacy (liking), Passion (infatuation) and Commitment (empty love). These categories then overlap in Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love, where intimacy + passion = romantic love, passion + commitment = fatuous love, and commitment + intimacy = compassionate love.

What happens when you have all three forms of love? You get consummate love, essentially the ultimate form of love (yay!).

But why is this theory of any significance? Aren't we suppose to determine what love is through our own personal relationships? Not through a theory some random man with a degree made up? Well, the theory can come into play when determining where our current relationships stand, and possibly identify any "missing gaps" to achieve the total package of love. Or, we may use the theory to possibly sort out our emotions and determine what kind of love we're even looking for. For example, say you're feeling too young for a committed relationship and all you really want is to be with someone you care for and do the horizontal boogie (sex) at times — then you would strive for romantic love (intimacy + passion).

I feel as five years down the line, I would remember a psychological concept like this. Because when it comes down to it, love is a psychological emotion that becomes conveyed into action (hopefully). Emotions never escape us, and love is something that we naturally fall into at some point in life. The theory can help us find out where we are now, and in turn where we want to be. But love isn't just some cookie cutter process that the theory makes it out to be. Love is felt and shared in different ways in which understanding what it really is becomes a unique experience for everyone.

Psych + nursing = <3

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I think that in five years, one thing from psychology that will be applied often and remembered will be Maslow's hierarchy of needs. In five years, I will hopefully have by BSN and working as an RN. According to the hierarchy of needs, there is a pyramid shaped classification of needs. The hierarchy from bottom to top classifies: physiological/ biological needs (e.g. water, food, sleep) safety needs (e.g. sense of security, danger prevention) love and belonging needs (e.g. acceptance, giving and receiving of love), self esteem needs (e.g. independence, gaining respect, and doing something worthwhile), and self-actualization. The textbook defines self-actualization as "the drive to develop our innate potential to the fullest possible extent". The pyramid-shape symbolizes both how the farther up the pyramid you get, the smaller number of people who reach that level (hence the narrowing at the top), and that the lower levels are supposedly needed to be reached before the upper levels can be reached (hence the building upon each other). Here lies a criticism that the book has with Maslow's theory, the authors say that a starving artist can make beautiful art, fulfilling higher up needs without achieving the physiological need of food.
A nurse's role includes what is called whole person care. If your patient is having medical issues, such as high blood pressure, but they don't have a physiological cause for this, it would be a good idea to ask if they are stressed. It is possible that one of their other needs has not met, perhaps they don't feel safe or they feel their family is neglecting them. If this need is found, it can be resolved, by possibly calling up the family to come visit or figuring out the source of the fear.

True Learning

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It was when I was in junior high school that I first learned about Pavlov's classical conditioning. I memorized that reflexes mostly dependent on autonomic nervous system such as knee jerk is unconditional response and salivating when thinking of the sour taste of lemon is conditional response. And that was it. It wasn't until I took this course when I learned how widely the concept could be applied. We first learned how classical conditioning is commonly used in commercials to make the consumers response to a conditional stimulus, the advertising product. And classical conditioning can also explain acquisition of phobias and fetishes. Distinguishing from classical conditioning we also learned operant conditioning and its real life applications. We saw a video depicting how B. F. Skinner trained a pigeon by shaping by successive approximations. And Professor Peterson showed a very interesting video about treating autistic children. The video was so remarkable that I had to watch it again. I never knew that operant conditioning by reinforcement can lead to a dramatic improvement on those children.
The most important psychology concept I learned through this course is classical and operant conditioning, not the concept itself but how it can be applied to our daily life. I don't think I truly learned classical conditioning when I memorized the salivating dog is conditionally responding to the metronome. When watching how autistic children learn to make eye contacts with others and speak was the true moment that I learned what operant conditioning is. I learned through this course that concepts or theories are valuable when they bring real life differences.

Remembering PSY 1001

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Psychology is a very interesting subject. Social psychology was my favorite topic. It showed some real world applications of psychology. Although my major has nothing to do to do with psychology it was a class worth taking. The part about psychology I will remember the most five years from now is memory. I was not expecting to learn about memory in this class but I am glad I got the chance to. I gained knowledge of short-term memory and long term memory. While short term memory is a lot shorter than most would think, long term memory can be stored for decades. I also learned great encoding and retrieval methods. For example learning new information in a mnemonic device helps encoding. Also context-dependent learning is another example of a retrieval method I learned a good way to study is to self-test. I learned to be critical of drugs that improve memory. I also learned to be aware of false memories and the misinformation effect. It really shows how human can be manipulated by their own memories and other people. I think the biggest gain from the memory section was to be aware that memories can be reconstructed and changed. Although many people think personal memories never change, they do.

Imagine yourself in this situation: You work in the human resources department of a large corporation. A proposal has been made to move to a hiring process for managers and executives based exclusively on IQ test scores, and you are meeting to discuss it. As a hiring manager, you will need to take a position for or against this proposal. Should IQ tests be used to make decisions about a individual's potential to do well at a job? Would this be an effective approach? Would this be a fair procedure? (From Kate Briggs)

According to our textbook, "IQ scores predict performance across a wide variety of occupations, with the average correlation being about .5" (Lilienfeld 333). The textbook also points out that, "the correlation between IQ and job performance is higher in more mentally demanding occupations, such as physician or lawyer, than in less mentally demanding occupations, like clerk or newspaper delivery person" (Lilienfeld 333).

In my opinion, I think that it is fair to require IQ tests for mentally demanding occupations because there is a pretty strong correlation between IQ and job performance, although I do not think that it would be fair to base hiring strictly on an IQ test. There are many other factors that go into whether a person is right for a job than their IQ scores. A doctor who scores extremely high on IQ tests and has horrible people skills would not be a good fit for primary care.

Recently, I applied to a nursing home to be a nursing assistant, someone who helps residents with their daily living activities like bathing and grooming. Before I could be interviewed I had to take a career readiness test that was written by ACT. This test was not the sole decider on whether or not I got the job, but it did allow the employer to be sure that they were hiring someone who could do basic math and problem solving. I think this is very important because people who work as a nursing assistant do not necessarily have to have even graduated from high school, so those standardized scores give them some idea of the mental capabilities of a future employee.



With all the tests and homework we students get during our years in college, it can be hard to manage the most effective way to solve a problem. Many of us encounter obstacles in problem solving.

Our textbook gives three obstacles to problem solving. One of these is salience of surface similarities, in which we look at surface characteristics of a problem and compare them to other problems that exhibited similar surface characteristics in order to solve the problem. Another is mental sets, when we are stuck using one problem-solving strategy and unable to generate different strategies. The last is functional fixedness, which is when we have difficulty conceptualizing that an object typically used for one purpose can be used for another. (Lilienfeld, 309-310).

To overcome these problems in school I like to break-down complex problems into smaller pieces. So on a complicated word problem in math, I think of an outline of what I need to do to get the information that I was given to a final answer. Then, I will complete each step, one-by-one, and put them together to get my answer. This allows meet to avoid the obstacle presented by salience of surface characteristics.

Make-up for Week 8 - Cognition

The psychology subject I think I'll remember most about five years from now would probably the various times we covered drug addiction. I never understood how or why people got addicted to drugs.

I thought it was really interesting how operant conditioning works in addiction and how taking a drug again escapes withdrawal and is thus maintained by negative reinforcement. It is also facinating how the body has a compensatory response to drugs and so users experience the opposite of what they were trying to experience by taking the drug.

drug cr.png

I would say this is important to my life because I am planning on going into nursing and possibly public health nursing so I am sure that I will stumble on more than a few people who are addicted to drugs or were once addicted to drugs and dealing with the adverse health effects.

After taking this psychology course, I have learned much about the filed of psychology that I would have never otherwise thought existed. I never knew how in depth psychology could get and how there is such a broad range of information and facts that all comes back to the psychology of humans and their behaviors. Being in school for Interior Design, I have been told that taking many psychology courses can be very useful. Throughout my career, I will have to deal with a variety of clients and it is crucial that as their interior designer, I will need to learn and observe them and the way in which they live in order to provided them with the best living situation possible. Not only has this introduction to psychology course been helpful in understanding humans and the different ways we function, but psychology courses discussing matters such as color psychology can also be very helpful for my future. There is so much psychology in the filed of design from the psychology associated with designing a home properly for someone who may suffer from depression, to designing a medical facility for patients who struggle with a variety of disorders. Personally, I find color psychology to be very interesting, knowing that something as simple as the color of a space can have a dramatic effect on one's mood. With the knowledge that I have acquired from this psychology course, as well as the information I hope to attain from future psychology courses, I believe that I will be very well rounded and informed in the filed of psychology which will be very beneficial for my career in Interior Design. I hope that I can learn even more about different categories of psychology such as color psychology and much more so that I am fully aware of the impact that human psychology has on our everyday lives.

Psy 1001 and my future

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As a person who is a marketing major, I need to know a thing or two on how to appeal to others. By taking Psy1001, I learned how people tick. I learned internally, what a person is, why we are like and what is the most desirable in situations. This information is perfect for a future in advertising. Classical conditioning is such an important aspect of advertising. People tend to relate certain items, personalities, art, etc with certain products that they want to buy. By learning this I enhance my knowledge on what people think when they see my product, and how to pair it with another stimuli for the best response.
High-ordered conditioning is a very important aspect in having people becoming appealed to your product without seeing the results of what your product will do for them. People want to associate your product with a positive feeling, regardless of the product and what it does. When your product has the power of suggestion, that was because it was marketed correctly.

After watching the BBC Horizon "The Secret You" I really began to think about our mind and body, and how every person has her or her own conscious. Mark de Sautoy sits in on a study testing whether or not babies are fully aware of themselves and their conscious. This study proves that it is not until we are between the age of 18-24 months until we become self aware. Watching the baby looking in the mirror and examining himself, but not noticing that it was really him or that something was different on his face, such as the sticker on his face, shows that the baby doesn't fully recognize who he is. This is extremely interesting to me because babies can see, hear, smell, move, and respond before this time, however, they cannot recognize themselves and who they really are. It is fascinating to think that everyone, for a small part of their lives, was unconscious of who they were. Although I cannot remember that time as a young child when I was unaware of who I was, I wonder what it was like and if other people have had an experience like this that they can remember. Also, I would be interested to know what it is that changes in our brains, from the time we are unconscious of our selves to that time when we become fully aware of our self and our conscious? With the technology and resources scientists and doctors have today, I think it is very probable that we can find an answer to this question, and further investigate complex concepts such as how one's conscious works.

Believe it or not, I believe that I will be able to apply a lot of my new knowledge to my future career. My goal, as of right now, is to work in the Marketing/Advertising/Sales side of a sports organization. If this goal is accomplished, I believe that my knowledge from this course will be used frequently. Some of the concepts that revolve around sensation and perception could be used in my advertising/marketing campaigns. It is nice to have some knowledge as to what people see or hear in an advertisement and how they are going to respond to it. I could also apply the concepts of classical conditioning to my career. Classical conditioning would allow me to to associate one of my products or teams with a highly enjoyable stimulus. There a lot of other smaller concepts, theories, etc. that can be applied to the field that I am going in to; however, I feel like sensation, perception, and classical conditioning will be of the most importance. Overall, the knowledge gained from the course will help me significantly no matter what route I decide to take in my life.

Psychology 1001 has been a very enlightening class. It has shown me many different fields of psychology that are interesting in their own way. The field that stuck out the most to me was the Biological Psychology section. The brain fascinates me in how it operates and allows all sorts of unconscious and conscious abilities to work. It is interesting that so much of our bodily functions are automatic thanks to our autonomic system that is part of the peripheral nervous system. Then it is interesting how the brain is broken up into separate parts that have been distinguished as lobes because of the abilities that they promote. A question I have about this field, which is probably a big reason why I will remember it, is how did scientists figure out what all the separate parts of the brain did especially when the brain doesn't look like it is separated in all the areas? Did we use human subjects that were unwillingly volunteered or was it all based off animal testing? This question is not a fun idea to think about. Psychology has given me the ability to look at events and little occurrences around us and analyze them to try and understand it in a rational way

A fascinating part of psychology is the idea that safety in numbers is just a myth. I was astounded to learn that it doesn't help to have more people near you in the scene of an accident. Three factors transforming witnesses into oblivious bystanders are the bystander effect, pluralistic ignorance, and diffusion of responsibility. The bystander effect describes the feeling of being frozen in place despite a desire to help. Pluralistic ignorance causes a person to believe that he or she is the only one that sees the situation in a frightening way. So when a person with pluralistic ignorance sees an emergency when nobody else is reacting to it, he or she thinks that there must be nothing amiss. The final factor, diffusion of responsibility, describes the feeling that one is less responsible for another person's misfortune if others are around to share the blame. This is troubling but true, that even I am less willing to help another just because I am less likely to be blamed if I don't. It seems like people should help others regardless of whether they will be blamed if they don't. The fact that this isn't true shows the laziness in human nature.


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I think that about of all of the things that I have learned in this past semester and when I do I think that five years from now I will remember the part about cognition. Specifically, the aspect of free will and the fact that we think that we consciously make our choices, when in all reality we assign cognitive thoughts after we have made the choice or done the action. I think that the reason I find this so interesting is because the idea that we aren't consciously in control of our actions and choices is not really something you want to think about. It seems like it would be such a scary world to live in where everyone is just doing things and making choices without being aware of why until after we've done them and made them. However, if there is anything else that I've learned from this class it's that the way we think about the world is not always the way it is. Our fantasies show us a world without free will is a scary place and that may even make us think that clearly the research can't be true because our world isn't that scary. So, here is my big light bulb, our fantasies are what really is wrong; not what the research. Our societies have so strongly relied on this idea of free will that we think that a world without it would be unbearable, but in reality we do live in a world without the free will we always think that we have and, shockingly, it's pretty bearable.

The Yerkes-Dadson Law

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The Yerkes-Dadson Law is defined in the text book as, "inverted U shaped relation between arousal on the one hand, and mood and performance on the other" (429). What this law is getting at is there are two curves, one for simple tasks, and one for complex tasks. Each curve has a relative maximum point, and it is at that maximum point where output optimized. This means that for simple tasks, a higher arousal leads to a better output, and for a more complex task, less arousal leads to better output. For many people this many not translate to everyday life, but when growing up my coaches always tried to get me in the zone to play sports, and in school my teachers would try to get me in the zone for class. I never knew what that zone was. I had always assumed in sports you should be really pumped up, and in school you were expected to be calm and complacent. Due to my new understanding of Yerkes-Dadson Law, I know that each zone is a little bit different. In school, when engaging in large class participation discussions (simple task) it is ok to be a bit more excited, but when it comes to tests ( complex tasks) it is time to calm down and relax. As for sports, depending on what sport you're playing, and what position or role you have there are different levels of arousal to aim for. A quarterback in football, goalie in hockey or soccer, and the pitcher on the baseball team have complex tasks and need to be more relaxed. Whereas a linebacker, lineman, or running back in football or wing in hockey has the ability and leeway be more excited relative to the previous positions. This is important because I hope to coach sports at some level, whether it be my kids someday, or something more competitive. The Yerkes-Dadson Law is something I hope to remember five or more years from now. Does this have any impact on your life, or can anyone relate to this growing up?


Mood disorders

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"Over the course of a lifetime, more than 20 percent of us will experience a mood disorder" --psych book

This is the kind of comment I've always a little bit of a hard time understanding. What is meant by mood disorder, and does that infer that those who have them have some sort of minor mental disability--not to think outside of their pessimism?

Who is susceptible to mood disorders and why do they occur to only about 20 percent of us? If so many of us have a chance to be effected by a mood disorder, then it can't be the lack of something crucial in the brain: at least not a chronic shortage. So then what causes a mood disorder?

I've never fully trusted statistics like the one above because the concept of a "mood disorder" a bit vague, and because it's a bit vague I wouldn't even trust someone to be able to discern whether they've really had a mood disorder or not.

Many people are put through all kinds of stress. Different kinds of stress can have different kinds of effects on different people. This stress, whether it be to get good grades in school, how attractive someone wished they were, what type of guy/girl/friend someone wishes they would meet, or something else entirely I forgot to mention, one thing is the same: whatever stresses someone out, they must value. To be stressed out be something one must value something, because if someone didn't care about what they were stressing about, why would they be stressing about it?

I see mood disorders as a byproduct of this concept of values versus conflict with those values. At least, this kind of statistic would have to support mood disorders coming from someone having some kind of dissatisfaction in their life.

Where I'm going with all this is perhaps mood disorders are actually some sort of defense mechanism--that since some sort of conflict is coming between a person and what would satisfy them, they might as well give up? Is it a fear of hopelessness that can cause mood disorders?

The definition of mood disorder, to me, is much to vague.

Many employers like to use IQ test scores as an indicator of how well an individual will do for the job they've applied for. Is this right or wrong? I think that though IQ testing can be a useful tool for selecting a new worker, it should not take priority over other methods to predict quality job performance.

IQ testing, at first glance, seems like a very good way to decide on who to give a job. There's a slightly positive correlation between IQ score and job performance.

Though there is a positive correlation between IQ score and job performance that doesn't mean that it's a perfect correlation. For all the people that have a higher IQ than someone else and does better at a job because of it, there are some with lower IQ's that would have done a better job. It's similar to those who know how to look themselves good in interviews versus those who get too nervous to do so--just because some people get nervous for them doesn't mean that they wouldn't be good at their job, the same as the person who knows how to make themselves look good wouldn't necessarily do a good job.

IQ scores should be used as one of many methods of predicting job performance. IQ score isn't perfect at predicting a future worker's performance, which is why that error must be balanced out with other methods of prediction.

I decided to research further whether birth order within a family actually has effect on personality or behavior. It has long been believed that the first born in a family tend to achieve more, middle borns tend towards diplomacy, and later borns tend to take more risks. However, when I did more research, I found that most of these claims were exaggerated.

I read the article "How Birth Order Affects Your Personality" by Joshua K. Hartshorne on ScientificAmerican.com. To first address the claim that first borns tend to achieve more, he gave the widely used evidence that 21 of the first 23 astronauts were first borns. He digs deeper on this fact, actually finding that birth order only really creates personality differences among siblings in they are from a very large family. 21 of the first 23 astronauts may have been born first, but, for example, coming from a small family where there are only two kids, those astronauts had a 50% chance to be born first, whereas a child from a five kid family has only a 20% chance to be born first. Family size also affects personalities because of how the resources of the parents must be spread out. More children means more resources need to be used, and each child may not receive the same benefits that children with only one sibling receive.

Personality has less to do with birth order, and more often can be attributed to family size.

I Need to Belong

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Greetings bloggers,

Today I would like to discuss the need to belong. This "need" comes from our biological need to have interpersonal connections. We seek to socialize, and receive negative emotions when we can not. Stanley Schater's study showed us the people can not stand to be lonely (some quit the study just 20 minutes in!). Because being lonely brings so many negative emotions, us humans are met with this concept of needing to belong. People satisfy this need everyday. Social interaction is sought after by society.
The "need to belong" has played a role recently in my life. Coming in to college, I wanted to be very uninvolved so that I could optimize my academic performance. Shortly after arriving to college, and being uninvolved, I felt as though something was missing. Without even noticing that I was lonely, I quickly joined a few clubs to become involved in campus and boost my social interaction. This differed from my original goal. Joining clubs was going to hurt my academic performance, but my "need to belong" is stronger than my desire to do well in class. So, here I am today, as involved as ever, and I am not lonely for a second of the day. Have you bloggers had similar experiences since arriving to college?

Perhaps by my peers I am considered a skeptical person. Yet in reality I'm not some party pooper who just won't believe anything he is told. I'm in fact a scientist. Just like most people, I don't like being tricked or fooled into believing false stories. So I defend myself with the power of Scientific Thinking Principles! Armed with the abilities of ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and occam's razor I will be hard pressed to be fooled.
Knowing these techniques is an extremely helpful in both everyday life as well as in school. Psychology has taught me to ask questions. Perhaps some tricky events can be explained by simpler means. Or maybe some effects are actually from a different cause than I originally thought. However, it is important to keep reminded myself to use them, because it is very easy to completely ignore scientific thinking and fall back into perhaps blind acceptance. I will always keep these scientific thinking principles in mind for years to come.

Throughout all that I have learned so far in psychology, one topic stands out that is very relevant to my family and myself. Both of my parents suffer from anxiety. My father suffers infrequent panic attacks in which he usually feels he can't breathe. My mother on the other hand is an excessive worrier and often experiences panic attacks while driving. I haven't been present during one of my dad's panic attacks but I have viewed many of my mom's. In the past I thought her fears were just silly and was never very helpful during these situations. After what I have learned in psychology, I am more understanding and sensitive of my parents' anxiety. I know realize that even though my mother's fears may seem completely irrational, she can't help it. And although I haven't seen any of my father's panic attacks, I know that difficulty breathing is common of anxiety sufferers and am better prepared to handle this kind of situation. This class has informed me about anxiety and prepared me for any future panic attacks my parents might have. The textbook has also taught me that genetics can influence anxiety disorders, so it's possible that I might even develop anxiety just like my parents. If that happens, I feel my knowledge as a result of this course has better prepared me for this possibility.

Not-So Prosocial Behavior

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After looking at the chapters surrounding social psychology, i found the most interesting topic to be prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior is behavior that involves helping and cooperating with other people. Researchers often look at why people help others, as well as why they sometimes refuse to help or cooperate. The bystander effect really stood out to me as an interesting "social phenomenon" involved with the subject. The bystander effect is the phenomenon that refers to situations where individuals do not offer any sort of help in an emergency situation to a victim when other people are present. One would imagine that the more people that are present in a given emergency situation, the more likely that someone would help.

After reading more about this effect, i found that the presence of other bystanders greatly decreases any sort of intervention. This happens because as the number of bystanders increases, any given bystander is less likely to interpret the incident as a problem, and less likely to assume responsibility for taking action. The following youtube link is a study conducted by a news station showing the true colors of the bystander effect. They have an actor lay on the ground in a very public place acting like he is really sick. Hundreds of people pass this man with only a sympathetic look while he lies in pain asking for help. Eventually after 20 minutes have passed, someones came up to him and offered help. I find it really disheartening that humans aren't concerned enough with the well being of our own kind to reach out and offer help because it would be an inconvenience.


Urban Legends

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Since I missed my discussion on social psychology I've decided to look into urban legends and see what they are all about. There are many urban legends out there on just about any topic. It is fun to read through some of them because they almost always sound like they could be true. Urban legends though are of course false, they are just repeated so much in society people tend to start believing them. There were a couple of examples in the book but I wanted to look some others up and share them.
First there is one of the vanishing hitchhiker. "One of the oldest and most often repeated urban legends, the vanishing hitchhiker story comes in many forms. The most popular version involves a man who picks up a young hitchhiker (usually a girl) on a deserted country road. He drives her to her house, but when he turns to say goodbye he finds that she has inexplicably disappeared from the back seat of the car. Confused, the man rings the doorbell of the house, whereupon he learns that the girl has been dead for years, killed in a car accident on the very spot where he picked her up that night. There are a number of variations of this story, and it dates back so far that earlier versions take place on horseback or in covered wagons." I got this from .

"The most ubiquitous and persistent urban legend, "the kidney heist" story has been immortalized on the internet, TV shows, and even a few movies. It supposedly dates back to 1997, when an e-mail started circulating warning people of a new and frightening crime that was catching on in some cities. In most versions, a business traveler is relaxing in a bar when a stranger strikes up a conversation and then offers to by them a drink. After taking a few sips, the traveler becomes woozy and then blacks out, only to awaken in a hotel room bathtub covered with ice. There is a phone next to them, and a note that says to call 911 immediately. When the paramedics arrive, the person learns that their kidney has been harvested by people who hope to sell it on the back market. This story is completely false, but it has been circulating for years, and its appearance on the internet is one of the oldest e-mail hoaxes. In order to quell the rumor, The National Kidney Foundation has even asked supposed victims of the crime to contact them, but to this date they haven't had any takers. A scary tale, but still an urban legend." This also came from .

As you can see most urban legends have some sense of horror behind them. I personally find them interesting and fun to read even though I know they aren't real.

Chapter 11 - Intelligence

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When I visited the website reportermag.com and read the article "Beauty in Different Cultures", I learned that every culture finds beauty in very different forms. According to our textbook, our culture correlates averageness to attractiveness. That is, we find beauty in faces that appear average to us. However I learned that in countries like the Philippines, Mexico, and India, where the natives have very dark skin, those with a lighter skin complexion are viewed as more attractive than others. The opposite is true in countries with natives having lighter skin; a darker/tanner complexion is more "beautiful". I was also stunned to find out that the women of the Kayan tribe in Thailand in Burma believe that their attractiveness is related in the length of their necks! In fact, they wear metal rings around their necks at a young age to push down their collarbones to give the appearance of a longer neck.

According to my research, while our society finds beauty in the most average looking of faces, other cultures find exotic or rare things attractive. Our society may find beauty in what seems normal and comfortable to us, but other cultures may find beauty in that which is new and unusual to them.

Social Facilitation

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Nobody really thinks about themselves being affiliated with social facilitation. But when you are at work, such as a retail store you might be lazy and not talk to customers or be folding clothes, but when your boss comes around then you start talking and helping all customers as well as fold clothes and make it look like your doing a lot and have been working the whole time.Which is what social facilitation is, when you do better on simple tasks in the presence of other people. Doing well in front of a boss, or playing a sport better in front of people is also the same thing.

The Powers of Persuasion

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I have always thought of myself as a rather persuasive person; that is, when I need to be. I don't find it necessary to always get what you want and I see the value in everyone doing there own thing. However, when the time comes, and you need to convince people to follow you, there are specific techniques to use. When an organization is trying to get donations from people they can use a couple techniques. They can ask for a little money at first, and then later, when you are apart of their organization, they can ask for more because you will feel more responsible because you are apart of this. Another strategy is making people feel a bit guilty if they do not donate a large sum of money. This strategy would be for a company or a political figure that will need a large amount from many people. If you want me to do what I say I can do, I need to get into office first. This makes people feel guilty if the person loses and will make people donate, in theory. Anther is where you tell the person a super low price, and then when they accept, you start convincing them to add on things. This happens a lot with political campaigns. As soon as you donate, they will keep sending things to you, or when you do decide to donate, they will ask if you would like to donate more, or sign up to donate every month. These persuasive techniques play at peoples minds and can be scary to think about how vulnerable some people are.

After the reading the chapter on Social Psychology there was one thing that stuck with me the most: is there such a thing as genuine altruism? First off I would like to define it as the book does, "in some cases we help others in discomfort primarily because we feel empathic towards them" (pg. 516). In the book they based the outcome of studies on this definition by saying that, "I some cases we seem to help not only to relieve our distress but to relieve the distress of others" (pg. 516). I think that this is a contradiction in itself because a person who is empathetic is one that pretty much feels what the other person is feeling which drives them to help. None of the experiments seem to control for the fact that people may be helping others not because they feel bad for the other person but because they want to stop feeling bad themselves. By the books definition I feel comfortable saying that there is no such thing as genuine altruism becasue although we may feel bad for others we will always be helping them partially to relieve guilt or our shared feelings with them. That's not saying that people aren't inherently good people. There are some who have learned that helping people will benefit them in some way but I don't think that makes the fact that they helped someone any less awesome.

The Young Guns

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Although many of us would like to believe that birth order has to do with intelligence and personality it isn't that simple. Since researchers have yet to find a strong correlation between the two we are forced to to come up with a simpler hypothesis.

There are many reasons a first born would strive towards achievement namely because they are they are always the first to do anything so they strive to achieve at that and set an example for younger siblings.

Middle children would seem to be diplomatic not because of genetics but because they are often in the middle in fights between the youngest and the oldest. Therefore they must take a diplomatic approach barbecue they are not as big as the older sibling nor are they the "baby" of the family.

The youngest sibling may come off as a risk taker but there are also several reasons for this, the least being genetics. The younger siblings may seem as risk takers but this can be attributed to being the youngest and therefore seeing the older siblings do everything so they know what they can and can't do. Knowing this, it allows them to jump right to the edge because they know from watching their older siblings where that edge is.

And so there are several much easier hypothesis's as to why certain personalities arise based on birth order. It can be easy to say that birth order causes these differences it is much more of a correlation and therefore not genetic.

In the age of the Renaissance, many scientists start to deny the old faith while few of them are accepted. When Darwin discovered the natural selection and writed a book about that, most people still believe in god created animals, and many people still believe that now. The same thing happened when Einstein discovered Relativity, many scientists can not understand that as they believe Newton's theory must be true.It seems that those people are stubborn, while in fact they are just defending themselves. Altering attitudes is much more harder than saying "It is right, and I was wrong.", because you have to understand the new attitude first before accpet it. If we meet a conflict between two cognition, we might consider the old faith more to defend ourselves and do not take the risk. While only if the new concepts keep proving it is ture, our belief could change step by step, and finally agree with the new concepts.Sometimes the peer pressure may help us to change the attitude, but the changing of our attitude is combined with stress confusion, that is why we hate that.

Billy Madison

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In class we have discussed the Big Five personality traits quite extensively, comparing how each of the five trails looks when examined on its own and when several of the traits are mixed together. We have looked at fictional characters in the cartoon, The Simpsons, to examine each of their personalities. It was after doing these activities that I began to think of other fictional characters to test the Big Five on. In one of my favorite movies, Billy Madison, the main character, Billy says, "No I will not make out with you. Did ya hear that? This girl wants to make out with me in the middle of class. You got Chlorophyll Man up there talking about God knows what and all she can talk about is making out with me. I'm here to learn, everybody, not to make out with you. Go on with the chlorophyll." This quote may be seen as funny to those who know the movie, but if you have not seen the movie, Billy is sitting in class next to a girl, when he disrupts the class hoping to lighten the mood. Through this quote we can infer that Billy has an open personality (he is unconventional in his action disrupting class), we can also tell Billy scores high in neuroticism (care free and relaxed) and Billy may be an agreeable person (he is easy going, yet comes off as disrespectful). Furthermore, it is obvious Billy is high in extroversion (very social and talkative) and also low in conscientiousness (not caring what others think, disrespectful to the group). Bases on this quote, it is apparent that Billy is an unusual character, but as we learned in class, one's personality can change over time, and Billy is one fictional example of extreme personality traits and changes.

Personality tests galore

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There are many tests created to measure personalities and preferences. One thing that can become difficult as more tests are created is to determine which tests are valid and which tests are not. An example of a test that has been created is the IAT test (implicit association test) created to measure implicit prejudices or prejudices that one is unaware of. The test that I took measured how someone felt towards African Americans (black) and European Americans (white). It categorized good words such as happy and bad words such as angry with the people and then switched them to see the results of how many words of each I would categorize correctly. Supposedly the test will determine how someone feels about different races.
After taking this test I was told that I had a strong automatic response toward white people over black people. I believe this was due to the amount of times I put the good words with the white people instead of the black people. However I found the mistakes were due to the categories locations being moved. Although I could have some unconscious beliefs due to media and what goes on around me causing my responses I feel that these tests are not very accurate and that although they could have a some validity they need a lot more refining to be an accurate, reliable test.

Some major ethical dilemmas that are related to genetics are the issues of 'designer babies', genetic testing in the workplace, insurance provided based of genetic information, having kids if genetic diseases are present and terminating embryos with genetics "flaws". These are not the only ethical problems but these are the most relevant within our culture. I am only going to touch on a couple of the genetic issues.
Genes that we inherit from our parents make up every biological aspect of us. For example Intelligence is 40 to 80 percent inherited which is an interesting concept in itself. But the parts of our brain are formed based of the genetic material we are given. This leads to the formation of all four lobes including the smaller parts such as the amygdale, hippocampus and hypothalamus. In a study done by Yaling Yang of University of Southern California shows that pathological liars have less white matter in their prefrontal cortex. This information is astonishing because the lack of white matter is a malfunction in their genome that they had no control over. They are genetically predetermined.
Hopefully in the future we can connect every genetic disorder/disease or biological problem to a particular gene so we can eliminate them from the human genome. But wait lets think about that the repercussions of that. If those particular genetic codes are so detrimental why have they been able to survive within our genome for so long? An answer to that could be that those genes helped prevent diseases that killed many of our ancestors in the past. An example of this is sickle cell anemia which is a genetic disease. People who have sickle cell anemia are resistant to malaria which is a life threatening disease in Africa. If we would eliminate a particular gene in our genome there is a high probability that a disease will come about that could kill many if not all people because we would not have that particular gene that makes us immune to the hypothetical disease.
We must be careful before we start messing around with our genes because dangerous and life threatening situations can arise. Either new disease can kill us, or our insurance companies/court systems can come down on people who might be predisposed to mental/biological issues. Much consideration needs to be given to insure we are making the best decision for humanity.

Hannibal Lecter--the brilliant psychiatrist/cannibalistic serial killer from Thomas Harris's series of horror novels--is a very vivid character who can be analyzed through the lens of the Big Five personality principles.

Openness to Experience:

Hannibal Lecter is very open to new experiences. He is very well-read in many different fields and loves to acquire new knowledge whenever he can. Once could say that Lecter takes this particular principle a bit too far. Lecter's cannibalistic ways, for example, were probably a result of his high openness to new experiences, which in this case is obviously an unattractive and horrifying personality trait.


Hannibal Lecter is a very conscientious man. He is very well-kept and organized. He is also incredibly thoughtful, especially when communicating with others. His murders are also very calculated and well-planned. He is certainly not sloppy when he commits them.


It's hard to judge whether or not Hannibal Lecter falls on the high or low end of this category. He can be extroverted when he needs to be--he is a psychiatrist after all; his job revolves around talking to others and getting to know them--but he can also be very quiet and reserved. I would probably place Lecter in the middle of this category as he is very flexible when it comes to extroversion.


In my estimation, Hannibal Lector is very disagreeable. When you think of the atrocities he commits, it's very clear that his actions are simply not agreeable. At the very least, I certainly think his victims would agree.


With it's meaning in this sense, I would not consider Hannibal Lecter to be a neurotic character. He is very secure and confident when it comes to his emotions and it is very difficult--nearly impossible--to cause him have a break down. He seems to be very desensitized to the things that would cause others a great deal of emotional pain and stress.

Do you agree with my assessment of Hannibal Lecter? Comment below.

DNA_thumb.jpgImagine you are expecting a child, and genetics could tell you if your child has a gene for criminality or a gene for novelty-seeking. Would you want to know? Now genetics today cannot tell us if a certain person has a gene for a certain trait, but it does bring up ethical issues. Genetics can be used in powerful ways, from detecting if a child has a disorder to determining paternity. However, if genetics could tell us what behavioral and personality traits we possess there are some implications. Access to this personal information would be important, also how employers, insurance companies, and even universities would react to this information. This type of genetics would lead to many ethical issues of discrimination and abuse of knowledge. Society has access to personal aspects of our lives, but would this type of genetics cross the line? I believe if genetics could ever tell us if we or our children have a gene for criminality or any other trait that information should be kept private between yourself and the doctor. Our genes already shed light on personal information, but I would not care nor want to know about these types of genes. What do you think?

As someone who attended high school in a rural setting and then College in urban settings I have come to really appreciate the benefits of a diverse population. My high school was probably 90% white and it never bothered me, I didn't think I was discriminatory, and at the time would have loved to live the rest of my life in that same setting. That all changed when I started College at NHCC in Brooklyn Park MN. I truly realized how sheltered I had been all of my life. NHCC is a community college with a large minority population and at first this somewhat frightened me. I had believed that I had been raised to be very open towards other races and cultures and compared to some of my high school class mates I really was, but the initial fear I had which took the form of minority stereotypes showed me otherwise. Being compelled to work with people different than myself in classes however showed me how much I liked and now value diversity. I really appreciate the different ideas and views of society that are brought to diverse settings, it has allowed me to expand my own thoughts of how I view the world and what needs to be done to make this country a more equal place to live.

The American Psychological Association report "Dual Pathways to a Better America: Preventing Discrimination and Promoting Diversity" http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/promoting-diversity.aspx gives examples of the problems of Discrimination and Diversity and how to attempt to fix them. Two that really strike me are economic disparity which has in many ways kept racial groups separated in this country, and also workplace diversity in which certain businesses and industries have disproportionate amounts of minority workers. It is my belief that Economic Disparity is the biggest problem in regards to discrimination and diversity. Evidence of this can be seen everywhere especially neighborhoods. For example some of the poorest areas of the Twin Cities such as North Minneapolis and to a lesser degree South Minneapolis have far larger minority populations than places like Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. The fact of the matter is that places like Minnetonka and Eden Prairie require larger amounts of money to live there and places like North and South Minneapolis don't. Yes there is always exceptions and each city has its poor and rich neighborhoods but population wise wealthier cities have larger white populations and smaller minority populations like African Americans and Latino Americans. This separation can also be linked to workplace diversity. Better jobs usually require a better education which often requires lots of money which many minority families do not have. Even though things like scholarships and grants are created to help minority groups it is not enough, proportionately even Schools like the U of M have far fewer minority students than whites. More needs to be done to support diversity and extinguish discrimination but I am doubtful if the country will ever be completely equal to all people. Also as the report shows even those of us who say we are not discriminatory tend to still harbor stereotypical beliefs, why do you think this is and can it be completely answered by Psychology. If anything I am saying makes sense please leave a comment its a subject that is important for everyone in this country to realize is still very much alive, especially with recent incidents like Trayvon Martin.

Birth order seems to be a universally interesting topic. People tend to believe that firstborns are smaller, youngest siblings are much more likely to depend on others, those in between are mediocrities, and the only children are selfish. In my hometown, women prefer boyfriends are the first born children and men like girls who are the youngest of the family. According to recent results of Norwegian researchers, firstborns' average IQ is three points more than the next child of the family while the smallest children are more likely to be more humorous. It seems that the research partly confirms the common believes. However, important alternative explanations do exist. The firstborns enjoyed a period of time to be the only children of the family, and their parents focused solely on them. In addition, the firstborns are usually tutors of their younger brothers and sisters so they may learn better by teaching younger siblings and explaining problems more than once. Also, if the firstborns are doing well, they become role models of the youngsters. As a result, later-borns are under much more pressure when they grow up while their elder sisters and brothers are encouraged and do even better. Furthermore, firstborns are the only children have the chance to go to school and be educated, and as we have studied, education contributes to higher IQ. More researches should be done to make sure birth order, not interaction among children or children and parents, influences personality. Otherwise, the correlation between personality and birth order is an extraordinary claim. Since few scientists replicated Sulloway's finding, the evidence of birth order impact is not enough for now.

Birth Order

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Many psychologists find the study of birth order in families to be extremely interesting, and therefore continue to do case studies on the topic. Over the years, it has been hard for psychologists to find consistent evidence proving that birth order really does have an effect on personality. However, according to the article "The Power of Birth Order" by TIME Magazine, research done in Norway and the Philippines have been showing progress in proving that there is a correlation between the two. In the study in Norway, birth order seems to have an effect on IQ and intelligence, showing that first borns generally have a higher overall IQ, about 3 points higher, than that of the next oldest sibling (TIME). In the studies done in the Philippines, scientists discovered that siblings who are born later on typically weigh less and are ask shorter in height (TIME). These are just some of the examples of the differences found between older and younger siblings which scientists are working on correlating with the order in which they were born. There are also the more well known correlations between birth order and personality such as the oldest siblings being smarter or more of a leader, while the younger siblings are more creative and comical. Personally, I can compare a lot of these findings to my own family and the different characteristics I have versus my other siblings. Being the youngest, I tend to relate to if not all, most of these findings associated with the youngest sibling in the family. Is it just coincidence that this happens or are scientists actually starting to find more and more correlations that can be repeated in studies to seem legitimate?


In this video, the author talks about his theory behind birth order. In sum, he said that the first born children tend to be more reliable, conscientious, list makers, don't like surprises, etc. while the youngest in the family tend to be the jokesters. He then said that the first born tend to seek powerful positions, like President, doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc. I found this very hard to believe. I am the second born and youngest in my family and I would say my sister is more conscientious and a "list maker", but I am more ambitious and have been more of a leader in the community and school than her.

Our textbook says, "Many popular books...claim that firstborns tend toward achievement, middle-borns toward diplomacy and later-borns towards risk taking. Yet virtually all of these claims are exaggerated, because most researchers have failed to uncover strong or consistent associations between birth order and personality."

Please watch the above video and let me know if you generally agree with his statements or not.

Although IQ scores show a fairly even range of scores among the sexes, there are distinct gender differences concerning male and female intelligence strengths. Trends show that women have a greater verbal and emotional intelligence, while men have a greater spatial intelligence. Mathematically, men are stronger with geometry and mathematical reasoning, and women are stronger with arithmetic calculation. Infants do not demonstrate these verbal and spatial differences. Psychological research does not conclude if intelligence differences result from environmental conditions, biological gender differences, or social norms. Perhaps there is not simply one reason behind male and female intellectual distinctions. A person's biology is the starting point of their intelligence, environmental factors cultivate the shaping of the development of their intelligence, and social norms constrict the overall shaping of a person. All factors have a psychological impact that result in visible, measurable gender differences.
According to a study at the University of California- Irvine, intelligence differences result from biological differences in men and women. The results of the study showed differing amounts of white matter and grey matter in males and females. Male brains have more grey matter, about 6.5 times more than women. Women have more white matter, about 10 times more than men. The researchers view these varying distributions of grey and white matter as explanations for male and female intelligence strengths. For example, the distribution of white matter in the brains of males supports the local processing required for mathematics.

While reading chapter 11, I found the topic of eating disorders to be the most interesting. Some people may think that eating disorders are rare, however, they are much more common than we think. I found myself questioning what causes an eating disorder. After thinking about this for awhile, I concluded that possible causes for an eating disorder could be a genetic predisposition of a gene, peer pressure, the influence of the media and/or a combination of both. I believe that someone with an eating disorder must start out with having low self esteem, which therefore could be caused by a genetic predisposition. Also wanting to "fit in" and look like the celebrities in Hollywood could all add to influence this genetic predisposition. But is there a way to know for sure? anorexia.jpg

Unconsciously Immoral?

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In Chapter 14 there is a section about Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality. I found the concept of what he called Id extremely interesting. According to Freud, we all really do have an unconscious part of us that tells us to make “bad” decisions, or a devil on our shoulder. It’s true that what our Id wants us to do, or our urges and desires, may not always be “bad decisions” depending on what our superego tells us in moral or not. This made me think about the differences of “what is moral” among different cultures and people. I have seen the metaphor with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other many times in the media, but when I read this chapter I was really able to understand how it related to the actual battle inside our brain. There has been more than one time I have wanted to do something crazy - like that urge in the back of your mind to strangle somebody who’s really annoying you - but my ego tells me to hold that thought and filter out my aggression in a way that makes the superego more happy. I wonder how many times I’ve had this battle in my head - but I’m pretty sure something like it happens everyday.

Big 5 Personality test

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Since I missed our discussion about personality, I decided to take a personality test online and look at those results. I found one that is directly connected to the "Big 5" that we read about this week. The test consisted of about 30 to 40 questions and asked me to respond on a scale of 1 to 10. At the end of the test it gave me results on the "Big 5". After I answered all the personality questions I was asked to answer basic info about me and my parents. I understand that they are trying to get an idea for what may cause certain personalities but there were some questions that didn't make sense. For example where I live, does where I live actually matter? I get that someone's surroundings may influence them but I don't know that it will correlate to where you live.
As for my results I got that I was closed-minded, conscientious, introverted, in the middle for agreeable and disagreeable, and more towards the calm and relaxed side. I would agree with most of them. I don't think I'm as close-minded as it says, I like a routine for things but I am not totally against new things. I really agree with the conscientious, I am a very organized person. Overall I think the test fits me really well, if you want to take it too I'll put the link below.


Hello bloggers,

For this blog I would like to dig into the concept of functional fixedness. Because our brain often times identifies objects as having one single purpose, we can fail to see the alternative uses of that object. This is what causes functional fixedness; we have difficulty conceptualizing that one object's purpose can be used for another. The book yields an example of functional fixedness by providing the following scenario: you need to pound a nail in, but you don't have a hammer. Well, the answer is simple, why not just pound it in with your shoe? When our brain processes our shoe, our brain sees it as an object that is used solely (no pun intended) for walking when in fact it could do a perfectly fine job at pounding in the nail.
Because of functional fixedness I am intrigued as to what we miss everyday. Are we using our daily resources to their full potential? It makes me think about what different uses of objects we miss in daily situations. What problems remain unsolved? Even though the answer could be right in front of us. It is a strange concept to think about, especially because we are in the intelligence part of psychology. Is our ability to avoid functional fixedness correlated with intelligence? What do you guys think? Also, can you think of any alternative uses of objects in your life that you missed because of functional fixedness?

Who's your daddy?

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A mother and father are both very important for the development of a child. Most adults if they could choose would like both mother and father involvement in their childhood. Research has shown the positives of father involvement and the negatives of father absent households. However, over 29 million children in the United States do not live with their fathers. This statistic is very surprising to me. I have always known some children do not grow up with a father, but I never knew these children amounted to over 39%. A father present in a child's life has many benefits for example involvement in school which leads to better academic performance, discipline, and encouragement to be independent. While a father absent in a child's life increases the chances of teen pregnancy, crime, violence, and drug abuse, it is certainly not the only agent that influences these children's behavior. Research has shown a father plays a crucial role in the development of a child and I believe society should place a higher value on the role of fathers.

Recently, I was at a blood drive organized by one of my friends who is a homosexual male, and he was not allowed to donate blood due to his sexual orientation. Is this discrimination? Why is he not allowed to? Is that fair? In order to make a decision, one needs to see both sides of the argument to make an educated decision. The reasoning behind not allowing homosexuals to donate blood (according to blood banks) is that those who engage in homosexual relationships are at a higher risk of being infected with HIV or AIDS. However, after researching statistics of Americans with HIV, overall, heterosexual men that have unprotected sex with women are equally at risk (about 1 in 5). With this being known, I have to say that discriminating against homosexuals based on the risk of HIV alone seems unjust, because the blood is screened before being donated and used. If the risk of infection was the only reason, why would it matter if the risks are the same? I questioned this myself, and wondered why. Rather than questioning about the gender of their sexual partners, I think the questions should also be asked about if they have had unprotected sex and how many partners they have had to evaluate the risks, rather than using sexual orientation as a basis. Thoughts anyone?

Page 447 of the text states that people prefer faces that are more "averaged" and symmetrical. This goes for more than just how we see people. According to a study of 86 heterosexual, sexually active couples, women have less orgasms is their partner's face is asymmetrical.
So as odd (and maybe slightly awkward) as it may be, women are more likely to have an orgasm with a male partner who has a symmetrical face.

There may be Biological and Evolutionary explanations to this phenomenon.
As I learned in one of my Biology courses, the female orgasm assists with transportation of sperm (via muscular contractions inside of the vagina) so that they have better access to the egg they need to fertilize.

As mentioned in the book, we sometimes see asymmetry and other facial imperfections as clues that our partner's genes are inferior.
We want to mate with people who have good genes so that our offspring will have a better chance of survival. So if women are with a mate who they think posses those genes because of their facial symmetry, then the women are more likely to orgasm and get those sperm over to the egg.

Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/000334729580014X

In the ever popular movie, Bridesmaids, the main character Annie meets a cop by the last name Rhodes, who she eventually falls in love with by the end of the movie. In the book there are three major principles that guide relationships, and each of these can be spotted in Annie and Rhodes' relationship. The first of which is proximity, they may have met because Annie was driving recklessly but they ended up hanging out again and seeing each other a lot because Rhodes lived right down the road from her. If she hadn't lived in his area, they would never have met again and wouldn't have ended up falling in love. The second principle is similarity, in the book is says "we are attracted to people that are similar to us". Annie and Rhodes are both fairly equal in attractiveness, they both enjoy humor, and seem to have a lot in common with what they like to do. The last principle is reciprocity, the rule of give and take. We tend to feel obligated to give what we get and maintain equity in a relationship. Annie tells Rhodes a lot of deep hearted information about her relationship with her best friend and how Helen is ruining it. Rhodes tries to tap into Annie's baking world when he goes to buy her all the baking supplies one morning. In the end, Annie and Rhodes end up together like the movie had foreshadowed in the beginning.

The three principles that guide relationships can be seen in many other ways throughout the movie and many other movies as well. Can you think of more examples for Bridesmaids? Or is there another movie that comes to mind?

Famous IQ's

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Something I found interesting from the readings was the table with some president's and their IQ's. It was interesting to me to see some numbers for famous people. Now I wish in knew my IQ so I could compare, but that's not the point of this blog. I got interested and decided to look up some other famous individual's and their IQ's. I found a good list which I attached using a link. I had a good time looking at the numbers seeing who was smart and who wasn't. Not surprisingly the highest IQ's belonged to scientists and philosophers. One that I did find surprising is George Washington at 118. It's amazing to think about someone you learned as a great leader all through school isn't very smart at all. In general a lot of the presidents have low IQ's compared to others on the list. Leads on to think why they are leading our country, maybe we should look at IQ's more in the presidential race. I noticed there weren't a lot of athletes on the list and now I want to see some of their scores. I would guess that they would be a lot lower but it's something else to look up. I also want to find my own IQ...


In our textbook, there is a whole section dedicated to romance and love. There is also a section preceding it that is discussing what starts it all: attraction and beauty.
Biologically, we are all attracted to members of the opposite sex who seem to be healthy and physically able to take care of our offspring. In my biology class, I have come to discover that we are more similar to animals than we may think. We talk about how males (in any species) produce many sperm, are very eager to mate with as many members of the opposite sex as possible to pass on their genes, while females only produce a limited amount of eggs, so are more choosey with who they allow to fertilize that egg. Our psychology book talks about this in humans as well, how males are not very picky and seem to be more sexual than females. Females invest so much into their offspring, it's no wonder they need to be picky. Socially, we are attracted to many different types of people. This is all dependent on our sex, culture, and personality, but more often than not, we end up reverting back to the biological attraction without even thinking about it. Men like women who have a small waist, with larger hips. This may be somewhat of an indicator of fertility in women. Women are attracted to men who are strong, because they are looking for someone who would be a good caretaker of their future family. Across cultures, "beauty" is usually associated with health, social status and acceptance, and being "rare and unattainable". People want to be with someone who would be considered acceptable, and they would want their children to be acceptable and successful as well. Being beautiful would secure a person in having a lifelong mate, and successfully reproducing. It would be almost a guarantee, that you would be "set." As far as beauty goes across cultures, there are certain traits that are viewed as more attractive than others in certain societies. In America, it is attractive for women to be thin and tan. In some other countries, it is attractive for them to be more full-figured, showing that they are able to birth many children. Sometimes, being full-figured is a sign of wealth. In Burma, some tribal women wear many rings to elongate their necks. In their culture, long necks show elegance and social status. In China, women used to bind their feet to make them as small as possible. Here, we may few these traditions as strange or unusual, but it is important to keep in context and remember that they might find it strange that we would starve ourselves from the cornucopia of food available to us, just to be thin. They also might find it strange that we lay out in the sun or in strange bright beds to make our skin darker. Across all cultures, there are a few things in common. One is that average faces tend to be more attractive than "exotic" looking people. This may be because average faces are more symmetrical than others, and might show lack of disease or genetic mutations and would make a person seem suitable to be another's mate. Another thing is that seeking beauty requires some sort of risk, whether it be skin cancer from exposure to sun, weakening of bones in the shoulders, or breaking the bones in your feet. The chase after beauty is a dangerous one, but almost all of us are willing to risk these downfalls for the ultimate prize of being viewed as truly beautiful.

Stupid Intelligence tests

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Intelligence, and how we measure it, is very controversial. There are those who think that intelligence can be measured by a simple score on a math, science, reading or english test. This type of testing really hits home. It is a key contributor to the reason that we are currently attending this University. ACT and SAT testing is a major part of college admissions these days. But do these tests really tell us how "intelligent" a person is?

After reading chapter 9 and getting a little more information on the topic, i found that there are some better methods for analyzing someone's intelligence. The method that i found to better access someone's intelligence was the Triarchic Model. This model measures knowledge past the cramming and regurgitation that standard IQ, ACT, and SAT tests require. On top of factual knowledge, it gives proper representation to practical (street smarts) and creative knowledge. Practical knowledge is also called "tactic intelligence", which means it is knowledge about how to do something rather than knowledge about something. This is extremely important in applying factual knowledge to everyday situations. The 3rd wheel to this model is creativity. This is important to the intelligence model in that it accounts for the intelligence we need in order to find new and effective solutions to problems. All 3 are important factors in determining a persons intelligence, and without one of them, i don't think that all "knowledge" is accounted for. Do you think that colleges should change their admissions process in a way that tests for all 3 types of knowledge?

Stupid Intelligence

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Intelligence, and how we measure it, is very controversial. There are those who think that intelligence can be measured by a simple score on a math, science, reading or english test. This type of testing really hits home. It is a key contributor to the reason that we are currently attending this University. ACT and SAT testing is a major part of college admissions these days. But do these tests really tell us how "intelligent" a person is?

After reading chapter 9 and getting a little more information on the topic, i found that there are some better methods for analyzing someone's intelligence. The method that i found to better access someone's intelligence was the Triarchic Model. This model measures knowledge past the cramming and regurgitation that standard IQ, ACT, and SAT tests require. On top of factual knowledge, it gives proper representation to practical (street smarts) and creative knowledge. Practical knowledge is also called "tactic intelligence", which means it is knowledge about how to do something rather than knowledge about something. This is extremely important in applying factual knowledge to everyday situations. The 3rd wheel to this model is creativity. This is important to the intelligence model in that it accounts for the intelligence we need in order to find new and effective solutions to problems. All 3 are important factors in determining a persons intelligence, and without one of them, i don't think that all "knowledge" is accounted for. Do you think that colleges should change their admissions process in a way that tests for all 3 types of knowledge?

Paul Ekman's findings in universal facial expressions and emotions have always intrigued me not only because I'm interested but because of personal reasons too. My grandfather William Ayhan LeCompte was a psychologist and a colleague of Paul Ekman, and he helped Ekman in his research on the universality of expressions. I've always known this, but I decided to do some research on it, and I found an article that William LeCompte and some other psychologists wrote with Paul Ekman. The article is called "Universals and Cultural Differences in the Judgments of Facial Expressions of Emotion." In the lecture and the textbook, Paul Ekman's research in New Guinea to see if facial expressions are cross-cultural is mostly mentioned as a very important finding. However this article I found, further investigates this question and emphasizes in which ways the New Guinea research had problems.
The New Guinea research was not duplicated in other studies, and the expressions were artificial. The New Guineans were told to look sad like their child died, or look happy as if something good happened. The expressions weren't very accurate.
That's why Paul Ekman and my grandfather William Ayhan LeCompte and more psychologists further researched the universality of emotional expressions by showing 18 pictures to people from 10 different cultures and countries: Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Sumatra, Turkey, and United States. The majority of people agreed on the expressions. This study is actually a lot more accurate and well-planned than the New Guinea study. This research provides a lot more evidence for the universality of facial expressions, and it actually proves it.

Here is the link for the article in case anyone wants to check out: http://www.paulekman.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/Universals-And-Cultural-Differences-In-The-Judgment-Of-Facia.pdf

Divorce between two parents can be an extremely hard and stressful time. Not only is it traumatic for the adults in the situation, but it can be especially trying for the children. In the past, reports have claimed that the long term damage on kids with divorced parents is very high. However, recent reports have shown that this is not completely true. As a child whose parents divorced at age 4, I can say that the negative effects that I have experienced are minimal. Both of my parents were adamant about keeping their conflicts under the radar, so it did not upset or distress my sisters and I. Therefore, I think the actual reason children are affected negatively does not have to do with the divorce itself, rather the conflict between the parents before the divorce. However, one thing that could come into play is if the divorce results in one parent becoming uninvolved. This could do major damage to a child's emotions, because both parent's play major roles in a child's development.


According to the textbook, it is an undeniable truth that physical attraction is important when choosing our romantic partners, but it's especially important to men, as a survey suggests that they pay more attention to looks in women than women do in men. Perhaps this is the reason why we can think of the fairest beauty in history such as Cleopatra of Egypt or Yang Guifei of China, but none comes to our mind when thinking of the most handsome men in history. Instead men, who are recorded and adored through history, are the bravest men who conquered and ruled the world. So when we talk about beauty standards, mostly the focus is on women.
Although beauty standards seem to converge into one big criterion since the impact of western culture expanded over the world, there are still unique and intrinsic beauty standards left within ethnic minorities. They can be very strange but I want to point out that the reason why I'm introducing them is not to judge or compare them with today's criteria or ethics. Karen, an ethnic group of Myanmar, is well-known for the women stretching their necks by putting on several metallic rings around their necks. So the woman with the longest neck is considered the fairest. As cervical vertebrae are detached from one another because of those thick metallic rings, women can't move their heads around. They can only look forward. So those women are expected to maintain chastity, as they can't look elsewhere. In China, women used to wear foot-bindings, because those who have small feet were considered beautiful. Foot-bindings, which prevent women's feet from growing, also seem to be related to chastity. Women wearing foot-bindings are unable to run away, so they have no choice but to stay with their husband for life.
Beauty standards are not fixed but change depending on the society's value. For it is a reflection of the society, it gives lots of information about what people wanted and expected.

Just Your "Average Joe"

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Contrary to the popular belief, people around the world find "average-looking" people to be the most attractive. According to our psychology textbook, these "average" faces have more symmetry, which is a strong indicator for psychical attractiveness.

Although it is hard to go against scientific evidence and the results of experiments, I still am undecided as to whether this information is true or not. To a certain point, I think that many people can agree on who is and who isn't attractive. Specific qualities, such as a good smile, good skin, or muscularity, all help people appear more attractive...and I wouldn't consider any of those as "average" qualities. I also like to think that, for the most part, I do find the unique-looking women more attractive. I have had many debates with my friends on whether or not a certain girl is attractive, and I usually find myself having largely different viewpoints on these women. So, I still lean towards the "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" belief.

What I find most disappointing is the fact that physical attractiveness does have a strong correlation with success (Jobs should hire those who are the best-suited for the job; not the best-looking! ugh..)

In my mind, there are two main reasons backing this correlation.

1) People who think, or know, that they are good-looking will have more confidence. People always prefer those that have confidence over those that don't.
2) People who are attractive will have a better chance at getting hired for jobs that require them to be seen. Media-related jobs will obviously want someone who people want to look at. For example, many professional sports interviewers are young, good-looking females. The head managers know that males are watching and will pay attention more to the interview if the female is good-looking.

These are my personal opinions, and I am no expert. But by the brief research I just did on Google, I would say that scholarly articles agree with me more often than not.

average looking cartoon.jpg

Although I don't think it's fair that people get hired based on their physical attractiveness, I do think it makes sense.

What do you think?

Do lie detectors...lie?

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We humans would like to think we have a firm grasp on the truth. Unfortunately we do only slightly better than chance, about 55% of the time we are correct, when it comes to deciphering whether or not someone is telling the truth. Perhaps even as you are reading this, you are thinking to yourselves, "This can't be right, I'm excellent at deciding whether or not someone is lying!" Unfortunately though, "there's typically little or no correlation between people's confidence in their ability to detect lies and their accuracy" (Ekman, 2001). Have no fear; the polygraph test is here to save the day! Or is it?

lie detector.jpg

The polygraph test, more commonly referred to as the lie detector, is supposed to be able to tell whether or not people are lying. It's an excellent concept that in the end falls short. By gauging levels of arousal, such as blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductance, it ends up doing better than chance at detecting lies. Better than chance is alright, yet it often times convicts innocent people, and occasionally will let guilty people go free. In fact, an individual can be trained in less than half an hour on how to "defeat" the lie detector test. Results show that half or more of these people end up actually being able to deceive the polygraph test. Perhaps we will never be able to know 100% whether or not someone is telling the truth or lying. Were you surprised by how poorly people are able to detect lies, or perhaps by the fact that the lie detector isn't the fail proof method that pop culture makes it out to be?

Having gone through high school and my first year of college, i've realized that group work is an important aspect of learning. We have all experienced that group member who doesn't pull their own weight. It adds stress and frustrates group members who are actually doing work. I always thought this was due to a lack of effort or laziness on their behalf. When reading about the cognitive section, i found that this "laziness" is scientifically supported by psychology research. It's called "Social Loafing". Social Loafing is the phenomenon when people put in less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group rather than when they work alone. This is seen as one of the main reasons that groups are sometimes less productive than the combined performance of their members working as individuals.
I found a research study conducted on the performance of tug-of-war participants. They found that individual's performance (the force exerted) was higher when compared to the individual's performance when paired up with other team members. This goes to show that we shed responsibility - force in this case - to our other team members thinking that they will pick of the slack. Do you think that this is always the case? or do you think that some group environments encourage participation?

Just a fad?

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Since the turn of the 21st century, there has emerged a new, exciting branch of psychology called "positive" psychology. The basis of this psychology is that focusing, honing, and changing a person's outlook on life, in a positive way, will make people healthier mentally and physically. Proponents stress that is long as a person has a good outlook on everything, their life will be good. But is this just a fad? Many other psychologists argue that this it is, according to the book, and that it can also hurt some individuals. These psychologists say humans are complex creatures, and there is not just one fix for everybody, because everyone is different. I tend to agree both ways. I think it is always healthier, and better, to have a positive outlook on life. A person is happier, and it seems that people that have this outlook always do better and achieve to their highest potential, while being happy which is the most important part. On the contrary, sometimes having too good of an outlook makes a person unrealistic at times, even to the point of being delusional. Without having a realistic outlook, a person can be living a lie, or very bad things can happen; even if they are happy and think everything is ok. But thanks for reading, hopefully i can get some comments, appreciate it.


facial emotions

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Have you ever been forced to pretend a smile somewhere? Well, studies say that if you are forced to smile you will actually find the place or event more enjoyable. In 1989, Charles Darwin came up with a theory known as 'Facial feedback hypothesis' saying that blood vessels in the face feed back temperature information in the brain,altering our experience of emotions. I thought this was really interesting because at my work for instance, I have to always be smiling and laughing, so on days when i'm tired and crabby I am still forced to smile which automatically makes me have a way better time. In the end, smiles become conditioned stimuli for happiness and frowns become conditioned stimuli for unhappiness.

A Motherly Touch

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While reading Chapter 10 I found the various parenting styles to be quite useful to learn, and they all were very understandable. I especially was interested when reading about contact comfort. We are told that the reason children are attached to their mother more than their father is because the primary basis for the attachment bond is nourishment like milk and food. In most cases it is the mother that provides these nourishments, therefore, that is who they are more attached to as a child. After reading this i found it to make perfect sense, and figured it was a big reason why i am so much more attached to my mom than dad.But then we later go on to read about Harry Harlow and how he overturned the assumption. Applying his findings from his research study on human primates and how a simple touch can be reassuring was very intriguing to me. Growing up whenever something bad happend the first thing i would do was turn to my mom, and i believe many of us can say they did the same thing. If my mom was on the couch watching tv or in her room laying down i would always just go cuddle next to her and that simple action would make everything better. Half the time my mom didnt even ask because she knew i just needed her next to me. I always thought it was just because she was my mom and her presence alone was what did it, but now i realize it was her motherly touch.

psych1001.jpgMany of us know this famous song lyric from the intro of Sir-Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back (or in part of Drake's The Motto). But, have we ever noticed that we make these kind of judgements all the time? As mentioned in our psych textbook, we all have been guilty of people-watching at least once in life, you know, to pass the time while we're sitting around.1 And we conjure up statements like "Wow, look at that guy's hair," or, "Dang, that girl has some cellulite!" Most of the time we get pretty mean (admit it) because we know that the passerby will never hear us, but, do we ever consider that these people know that they are being judged? That their self esteems have been dropping, causing them to take high-measures to fight battles against the views of their peers — and sometimes only creating new battles for themselves? For example, many struggle with weight gain and obesity and at times can lead themselves down the path to bulimia nervosa (bingeing and purging to lose weight) or anorexia nervosa (excessive weight loss and irrational perception that one is overweight).2 Some research has shown that these disorders of extreme weight loss and weight gain can be blamed on genetics, but is that really the case? Other research states that we are highly influenced by the media, looking at images of insanely thin celebrities or looking at websites that provide "Thinspiration."3 So who are we to blame? Our genes? The media? Both? Neither?
Ready, set, discuss.

(1) Lilienfeld, Scott. "Chapter 11: Emotion and Motivation." Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. 2nd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2011. 433. Print.
(2) Lilienfeld, Scott. 436.
(3) Lilienfeld, Scott. 434-437.

Deadly Thin

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When reading the part in chapter 11 of the textbook that describes eating disorders, I couldn't help but think instantly of an episode of Dr. Phil that I had previously watched. The episode is called "Deadly Thin" and I've attached a link to the first part of the episode. Aimee is anorexic and bulimic and weighs in at only 60 pounds. She has suffered from an eating disorder for sixteen years. This is a very severe case of anorexia and bulimia. Aimee constantly restricts her caloric intake, but when she does eat, she binges and purges, often purging up to 150 times a day.
Watching Aimee's episode really opened my eyes to how severe eating disorders can get. I had a family friend who was once hospitalized due to her anorexia, but I have never before seen anyone as thin as Aimee. I can't imagine living my life the way she does. All of her thoughts are about food and calories, planning out what she will eat and how she will get it out of her body. It would be so miserable to eat a few bites of food only to purge it a minute later and continue to do this several times throughout just one meal. Eating disorders are very serious and I think that this video really depicts the emotional toll that disordered eating can have on those who suffer from it.


I bet you did not know, that Americans spend about $750 million a year on self help books, as well as a whopping $1 billion a year on motivational speakers, all in hopes to boost happiness levels. You would think that with how much money we sink into this cause, Americans would be the happiest, and most positive humans on the face of this earth. However, there is still a large portion of our society that chooses to create excuses which block their journey to complete happiness. Some common sayings that people have come up with are "people on the West Coast are the happiest, because of the warm climate", "happiness declines with age", "if I was rich, I'd be ten times more happy" or "I haven't had the opportunity to have a job like that, where I am able to travel to Europe". It seems to me, that with these excuses, people are trying to make it seem like they have a disadvantage compared to others when it comes to happiness. In my opinion, happiness is available to everyone no matter where you live, how much money you have, how old you are, or what experiences you have partaken in, in your lifetime. Being happy is a state of mind that you, and only you are in control of.


Your body said whaaat?

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Makeup blog for Week 9: Emotion

129102076382313599.jpgHave you every noticed that you can tell a lot about a person based on their body language? Humans tend to give off many signals such as non-verbal cues that can let us tap into what the other person is feeling or thinking.

For instance, say you are on a date with someone you like (but you are not quite sure if they like you back) there are some things you can look out for: If you're a male pursuing a female, pay attention to how she is sitting (if you are sitting). If her legs are crossed and her outside leg is directed towards you, she is engaged in you and the conversation. This as well goes for her upper body and posture. If her frame is facing you and is upright and attentive, take that as a good sign. Many of these examples thus far are representative of non-verbal cues, which can be conveyed though posture, gestures, haptics (touch), and even appearance.

Facial feedback is another common form of non-verbal cues that can represent our emotions. It can be something as simple as a smile to convey happiness, or a frown to display happiness. Back to the dating scenario, say you're female this time on a date with a male, here are some examples of facial feedback that can clue you in on what he's thinking: If your date raises one of his eyebrows, he may find you intriguing or mysterious and might want to get to know you a little more. Or, if his lips are slightly parted and eyes are in a gaze, chances are he's mesmerized by you (or at the very least interested).

Body language can help us out a lot when words are of absence, or especially cases such as the the dating game. Simply read the clues and act upon the opportunity, your success rate will surely increase. If you take these tips to help you land your next boyfriend or girlfriend, you're welcome.

Lilienfeld, Scott. Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. 2nd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2011. Print.
"IVillage." IVillage.com: Health, Beauty, Pregnancy, Entertainment, Women's Community and More. Web. 01 Apr. 2012. http://www.ivillage.com/18-body-language-clues-say-hes-interested-definitely/4-a-283709.

The best parenting styles

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When you read the textbook it talked about how there are three main parenting types, authoritative, passive, and authoritarian. In the book, it described the three as just right, too soft, and too hard, but my question is whether or not the parenting styles have as much of an effect on their children's personalities as much as the children's innate temperment? For example, my brother and I were brought up in the same house, with the same parents, and the same parenting styles, but we have completely different personalities, ways of thinking about things, and doing things. For example, I am very organizied, want to go to law school, have done well in school, and am able to keep track of my own financies, appointments, etc. My brother, on the other hand, is extremely unorganized, is going into theater, has done well enough in school, and has a hard time handling his own financies and appointments. So, if parenting styles have such an effect on the child's temperment, then why do children brought up in the same parenting style grow up to have such completely different personalities? Clearly, the child's temperment must play a bigger role in the child's personality development than the parent's parenting style. Obviously, there are exceptions to everything and maybe I've had the exception experiences, but I'm interested to see if my experience is similar to other people's experiences.chickenparentingstyle.jpeg

I have watched the show "Lie to Me", and have found it really interesting. The book talked about its basis in Paul Ekman's work and its inaccuracies. The basis is the idea of body language and micro-expressions. I personally am a terrible liar, so pretty much anyone who knew me would be able to tell. According to Ekman's work, most people have certain split second expressions that show what they are feeling. The study of micro-expressions can be valid at times, but others, especially with people on drugs, with certain psychopathic disorders, or those who have had facial surgery, even the best trained readers have trouble. Due to what the book calls, barely better than chance accuracy, I decided to look into a more scientific way of lie detection. After reading in the book about the use of fMRIs to test for lie detectors, I went looking for myself. I saw a video about the use of fMRIs. The speaker said that across the board, there is more mental activation when lying. One of the areas of the brain that is activated is the prefrontal cortex. The speaker said that the technology his company uses is for sure effective for people from 18-50 (older than 50 have not been tested). One of the things that I wondered about was how accurate this test was for people under 25, since we learned in class that 25 is about when the prefrontal cortex of the brain (site of thinking, planning, and decision making) fully develops. Many tests are difficult to judge the validity on due to human ability to manipulate and rehearse what they are going to say.

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