May 2012 Archives

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

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

Alcoholics Anonymous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DS makeup- Bio & Con

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

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

Blog #4- 5 Years Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dealing with Stress

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

The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies (it's not better than Batman Begins, despite what some say say). While I was watching it the other day I realized how closely the Joker's social experiment could be related back to the concepts we have learned about in psychology. For those who haven't seen the movie this is the Joker's 'experiment': there is one boat filled with inmates from a prison and the other boat has ordinary citizens from Gotham on it. The Joker tells both boats via loudspeaker that they each have a box with a detonator and that they have until midnight to blow up the other boat, and if they don't both of the boats will blow up at midnight. Spoiler alert: neither of them press the button and Batman stops the Joker from pressing the button to detonate them both. And now my question to you is, would you trust the other boat not to blow you up if you were an ordinary citizen? What if you were an inmate? Based off of what we have learned in psychology I would not trust the other boat to not blow me up whether i was the inmate or the regular citizen because they are so many things that can happen in stressful social situations like that. One example would be group polarization: the tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the original inclination of its members. Also, if social polarization did occur it is very likely that they would get worked up and deindividuation would occur causing someone to overreact and hit the button. I personally would not press the button in the hopes that there was someone else thinking the same thing as me on the other boat. But who knows!

Upon reviewing this chapter for the final exam I found a few interesting concepts to consider. One is the continuation of the nature versus nurture debate. A term coined nature via nurture appeared in this chapter because humans create or seek out an environment that best matches what they want according to their genetic disposition. This segues into my next important concept of the chapter: correlation vs. causation.
Nature via nurture and the post hoc fallacy both exhibit principles that allow us to question which caused what, or demonstrate correlation vs. causation. Nature via nurture is fairly self-explanatory in this column because what causes our development, nature or nurture. The post hoc fallacy also relates to this subject because it is a logical error of assuming that because A comes before B, A must cause B. This can yield problems when analyzing situations and it is important to remember correlation vs. causation.

During week 6 we were focusing on behavior specifically how we are effected by adds through the use of conditioned stimuli and unconditioned stimuli. Seeing as we had an exam that was mostly based on the conditioned/unconditioned responses and stimulus' it is obvious that this section is a big part of Psychology. What I did not realize is why it is such a big part of Psychology until I had more time to analyze this information.

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I found it very interesting as to how much putting an attractive person or an exciting/thrilling environment with whatever is being sold will make someone want that add. Most of the time when I watch adds I don't really think about what is making me want whatever it is I am seeing. However after this class I have found myself looking at adds much more often and discovering the different stimuli that are there to create a feeling (an unconditioned response), which in turn turns into a feeling for whatever is being sold. Through this discussion section and the psychology course I have learned a great deal about how are behavior can be manipulated in different ways and find a lot of it very interesting.

A few months a go I read an article in the New York times that was urging parents to limit the time their young child watches tv. Their reason was that it has been studied that it affects children's development if they watch a lot of tv before the age of 2. The article also said that it's bad for the parent to watch tv around the child. Even if the child is playing with toys at a distance, the child glances at the tv about 3 times a minute. I'm not surprised to hear this because in fact I've heard it a lot and I know of parents who don't allow their young children to watch tv. But what surprised me is that the article said video games are okay. Games on consoles or smart phones do not pose the same threat because it forces the child to interact versus passively sit. This is what peaked my interest. I know everyone has seen that child who is just too young playing with mom or dad's smart phone or tablet. Considering these devices are relatively new and available more than ever before, it makes me think that there are few if any studies looking at how children's brains develop with the constant interaction with these phones. Or even if these studies see a difference between smart phones and video game consoles. While this article may be right about limiting children's tv viewing, I feel there isn't enough empirical evidence to say video games are okay at such a young age.

For a typical description the Western view of IQ, look no further than the game show "Jeopardy!". In the show, three above-average people compete in a trivia showdown to amass the most cash, and for a chance to compete again on the next show as the champion. Many Americans would be quick to call a daily winner very intelligent, but when considering the truth of IQ, they may not be smarter than the average viewer.

The main factor behind this point is that, for the most part, "Jeopardy!" is merely a game of trivia. Questions (well, answers) from it, though phrased quite variably, are similar to those that you'd find on a typical "Trivial Pursuit" card. While an IQ test such as the WAIS inventories many different aspects of intelligence, like arithmetic, puzzles and patterns, trivia shows like "Jeopardy!" deal with only one: information. Therefore, many people who score average, or even worse, on an IQ test could be successful on a trivia show, where the only necessity is general knowledge and, well, trivia. Without taking many different standards into account, we can not look at game show winners and immediately describe them as intelligent.

Abnormal is normal

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I think the concept of psychology that I am most likely to remember for a while is the wide variety of psychological disorders, vast differences between them, and their prevelance. I've always found disorders to be the most interesting area of psychology, yet I still didn't know as much about it as I thought. The readings gave me an especially good insight into the troubles of some close friends and relatives.

After first hearing of my close friend going through panic attacks, I had little clue what could cause them, nor did I think know how common they were. Reading about it not only gave me information about the problem, it gave me ideas as to how to help my friend through these attacks.

With some of these disorders, such as depression and anxiety, becoming increasingly common, it is important to think about how they are diagnosed, how they can be helped, and what puts a person at risk for them, because one or more could afflict us later in life. And, again, by keeping in mind that these things are common, we can put aside misconceptions and seek the help that is needed.

One important chapter that I read was chapter 12. It talked about being able to cope with stress. In the chapter they provided a lot of different ways to overcome stress. They also talked about a lot of ways stress can creep up on you and the different forms it can come in. Stress is defined as tension, discomfort, or physical symptoms that arise what a situation, called a stressor. The important thing that I will remember is to never let it get the best of me. Stress can cause many severe problems such as peptic ulcers or even suicide. Now I may not have that much stress at the moment but even the thought of it is kind of scary. Trying to remain calm and handle one thing at time seems to be the best way to do it. Finals just passed and that was a very stressful time especially when you are on the borderline of passing or failing a class. Worrying about one final at a time is the first thing you can do. You can even narrow it down further to just one problem at a time. Over complicating a problem or having a negative attitude just causes more stress. You dont want to bring more stress upon yourself if you dont have to. Managing all of this is something I will remember and continue to do.

Animal training, huh? What's the purpose of making good old Sparky learn to fetch your slippers or the newspaper, besides avoiding getting off the couch? Well, while the newspaper or slippers may not seem too substantial, retrieving an object on command for a dog can be crucial to some humans' lives. So why is animal training important? Animals can be trained for many purposes that not only make lives more convenient for people, but also increase our safety, independence, and give the animal tasks that allow them to feel accomplished. Dogs can be trained to detect drugs or dangerous objects, find missing people, warn humans of seizures other health risks, and aid people with disabilities in their everyday lives. From helping out the blind, to making people with PTSD feel more secure, service animals that are specially trained are changing thousands of lives a year. Now you're probably wondering, "What does this have to do with Psych, and why am I still reading this?" Well, animal training is a perfect example of operant conditioning. Training uses punishment and reinforcement in order to encourage or discourage behaviors to achieve necessary behaviors from the animals. Training may involve using the animals' natural instincts to the advantage of the trainer, and the trainers often focus on what will motivate the animal in the best manor to encourage desired behaviors. Some often training includes training animals to ignore certain stimuli (for seeing-eye dogs), bonding to individuals for special needs dogs, and using a dog's desire to retrieve to help people get items with the assistance of their dog. Without operant conditioning, and the psychology of animal training, many people with special needs would need other forms of assistance and may be robbed of their independence.

DS Bio-Make up

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One thing that I found very interesting in the biological psychology chapter was the story of Phineas Gage and his severed prefrontal cortex. It got me thinking, are there way to reverse these kinds of injuries? And if not, are there ways to adapt? When looking for this information, I came across a scholarly article on Pubmed.gov about a study that showed that damage to your prefrontal cortex can actually increase your utilitarian moral judgements. The six patients that were observed during this study showed complete functioning between right and wrong, and an increased awareness of why they made their decisions. Considering brain injuries are devastatingprefrontalcortex1.jpg, I think this study could really lead the way for other studies observing brain injuries and creating ways for people to deal with them.

Intelligence and IQ were something I hadn't thought much about before reading the chapter. There sere several things the chapter pointed out that I found interesting. I had heard the nature v. nurture debate on IQ/Intelligence but had never fully explored the multitude of factors that affect IG/Intelligence.
I was surprised to learn that birth order and being a "later born" child would affect anything with IQ/Intelligence. I was not surprised to learn that education plays a huge role in IQ/Intelligence.It showed that IQ lowers during summer vacations, which I think is exceptionally relevant as there was just discussion about the University of Minnesota considering switching to a full year schedule. Would the Intelligence/OQ benefits outweight the costs of a grueling full year schedule? Even though students would still be able to opt out of certain semesters for a break, if we ran on a full-year schedule I think most people would feel like they had to commit to a full year. I think a full year could potentially raise intelligence but I feel like there would be a high burnout rate, as well as less time for other activities and opportunities that primarily take place in the summer now. Would it make that much of a difference ro would it just be like now, except taking a semester off, instead of the summer like the majority of students do now?

For some, sleepwalking is a reasonably regular occurrence. 4 to 5 percent of adults and 15 to 30 percent sleepwalk occasionally. While some do mundane things like walk to the kitchen and ope the fridge or go to the bathroom, others go so far as to get in a car and drive or even to have sex with another person. This phenomena is referred to as sexsomnia.
I first heard about sexsomnia at the beginning of this semester when we read about in my criminal justice class. The article, "Sleep, Sex and the Law" by Jesse Bering was informative as well as intriguing. It brought up incidents where that had been rape or sexual assault that had allegedly occurred while asleep, and left the courts to deal with it. The most interesting case was of two French men. A straight employee had invited his homosexual boss over for dinner and after a gratuitous amount of wine, they both went to bed separately, the boss on the sofa and the employee to his bedroom. He woke up in the morning with anal lesions that suggested penetration and no recollection of anything happening. The boss said it was consensual, and after he spent two years in jail, the court agreed with him and he was released. What do you think? Is something like sexsomnia a farfetched scapegoat or a legitimate issue?

I think that one of the things that will stick with me after this semester is the concept of responsibility diffusion. I commute to the U every day from Champlin, so I spend a little more than 2 hours on the bus every day going to and from campus. One of my biggest pet peeves on buses is when young healthy individuals don't offer to give up their seat to elderly, handicapped, or people with some other condition that would prevent them from being able to stand on the bus comfortably for the duration of their ride. I always make it a point to be the first one to offer up my seat to anyone that looks like they would need it more than I would, but all too often after I give up my seat, there are still others in need of seats and all the other riders just pretend not to notice. Maybe in the future I should ask individuals if they would give up their seats to make them feel more responsible and eliminate the diffusion of responsibility. If anyone reading this has the opportunity to give up their seat to someone else in need please do so. I sustained serious back injuries in combat in Afghanistan and am a card-carrying Disabled Veteran, if I can give up my seat, so can you.Pregnant-woman-standing.jpg

The most interesting part of the social psychology chapter to me was the section on prejudice and discrimination. I had always thought that prejudice and discrimination, especially based on race, ethnicity and whatnot, was something that children learned from the people around them over a significant period of time.
Jane Elliot's classic Brow eyes v. Blue eyes study put that notion to rest. Almost immediately after outlining the new hierarchy that whichever eye color was better, the children were hooked. They took almost no time at all debating whether to believe her or challenge it and started to treat it as fact. I was surprised at how easily the blue eyed children stepped up into the dominant role, but I was even more surprised at how passively the brown-eyed children fell into the submissive role. They put up no fight and accepted their "fate." It was also unsurprising, yet still very important to not the difference in performance of the two groups, with the dominant side performing better.
This makes me extremely concerned for the people who still face discrimination today. If we continue to treat some groups as second class citizens who are "lesser" than the white, privileged heteronormative ideal citizen, they may be hindered in their development and success throughout life by way of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we continue to shame certain people instead of encouraging them, who's to say that they have an equal chance at anything?

I can definitely relate to the management techniques used in the U.S. that are sometimes ridiculed by other countries because of the quickness of the decision made. In the military there is a saying that we practically live by: "Hurry Up and Wait". Though there are incredible amounts of time and effort put forth to prepare for missions or training evolutions, like intelligence, reconnaissance, logistics, etc. for the other daily decisions, there is often hardly any thought that goes into them. From a leader's standpoint the goal is to get the job done as quickly as possible and to the highest standard as possible, not taking into account the general welfare of some the poor lower ranks. Why make 100 people do a job that could be done by 10 people? because then what would the other 90 people do? Don't get me wrong, everyone in the military goes through this experience throughout their career, but it does get old. There have been many times in my career that I was ridiculed for utilizing the least amount of my Marines necessary to complete the task at hand instead of just going with the flow. I can definitely understand that it may be more difficult to sit down and analyze a problem before jumping up to solve it, but I believe that it can attribute to a more efficient solution.hurry-up-and-wait.jpg

I'm very interested in the importance of REM sleep and what kind of effect it has on the body when it's restricted. Rats restricted of REM sleep seem to die within a few weeks, which would point towards it being an essential step in sleep. When humans are deprived of REM sleep, we tend to have an REM rebound--a noticeable increase in the amount of time we spend in the stage when sleeping.
When in REM sleep our bodies are basically paralyzed, and our minds are very active. Why is this so important to our survival? Why do our eyes flutter about? It has been related to the dreaming within REM sleep, one example being someone who's eyes were moving back and forth and later described his dream to be that of a ping pong match.
I've also read that some drugs such as marijuana inhibit REM sleep, and therefore chronic marijuana users should have a lack of REM sleep especially in consumption before bed. What kind of health effects does this have on those people? I do know that those users also have REM rebound after long periods of marijuana use, which isn't surprising.
Maybe someday we'll have a better understanding of how REM sleep functions.

Memory

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Memory is one of the greatest mysteries still to us. The full capacity of the human brain is something that humans do not use. We just a small fraction of its full potential. To think about what we could do and remember if we used 100% of our brains in crazy. Some people use more and have memories that remember everything they have ever done. While these are rare cases, even regular people that can experience, make sense of their experiences, and then store them in your mind is amazing to me. Memories react and behave in a way that can have physical and emotion effects on us. We remember things that we want to remember, but also things that we wish we could forget. There are things one can take to prevent bad memories from creating a larger more severe problem for people. Another very interesting thing is that people can create false memories. Just like the movie Inception, you can actually implant false memories into people. Not in the way the movie does, but people do it all the time with their childhood. In fact, most memories we have of our childhood are recreated and not really our own memories. Memories are fascinating and our understanding is constantly evolving.

As far as sensation and perception goes, only one outstanding example of optical illusion stands out to me since the unit: the Tupac "hologram" at this year's Coachella festival, where Dr. Dre and a team of techies created an incredibly realistic and three-dimensional image of the deceased-for-fifteen-years Tupac Shakur. Though this isn't too similar to any of the illusions we discussed in lab, it is based off another illusion; the Pepper's Ghost illusion. Here's how it works:
You know how when you look out a window, and on the other side is a sunny day? You can see everything outside, and nothing is really reflected back to you (unless you really look for it). However, if it is dark on the other side of the window, chances are (especially if you are in a well-lit area) you will be able to see your reflection. Pepper's Ghost is an old illusion that plays off this idea. There is a hidden room with a person in it, and a thin sheet of glass between you and an empty room, angled so that if it were a mirror, you would be able to see the person in the hidden room. When there is only darkness in the hidden room, you just see the empty room in from of you. However if a light is shined on the person in the hidden room, voila, you perceive a "ghost" of that person in the actually empty room in front of you.
This is pretty much exactly how the Tupac hologram worked. Producers created a tupac performance using digitally remastered footage of Tupac concerts with additional 3d technology, and played it on a 2d screen out of sight from the audience. When the footage was played, it reflected off of a large angled piece of glass that was on the Coachella stage, providing the audience with a 3d rendering of Tupac!
I think this is an outstanding example of sensation versus perception, and what a classy way to re-introduce a classic illusion.

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Have you ever thought about how much your actions relate to what your gut is telling you to do? Well until I read chapter 11 about emotion I hadn't thought about it either. There is a theory known as "somatic marker theory" which is a theory proposing that we use our "gut reactions" to help us determine how we should act. When your nervous for something, such as when your on a date with someone and you start to sweat and your heart rate goes up, apparently that means its a signal to help you determine what to do next. Such as asking the person out on another date. The somatic marker theory help us make decisions, but aren't necessary for wise choices.

Social Loafing

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Don't you hate when your doing a group project and there is those two girls in your group that don't do anything and gossip the whole time? Well, that is an example of social loafing. A topic discussed in chapter thirteen, Social Psychology. It's not fair when the teacher announces that everyone in the group gets the exact same grade, but then you and one other person end up doing everything in class, going home to work on it and then talk during the whole presentation. Then of course the two stupid girls who didn't do anything get the exact same grade as you. It isn't fair, but in reality there is nothing that we can do about it. If you go and tell the teacher that you did everything, all they are going to do is ask the girls if they helped out, or what they did. Which those girls can just make something up. It is very frustrating but if happens to the best of us.

The topic of Eugenics is a very interesting one. I really enjoyed that it got brought up in lecture. A lot of people do not really know much about it. People in Minnesota especially do not know the history of Minnesota's contributions. Dight who was ahead of the programming of the Eugenics agenda in Minnesota was actually a University of Minnesota graduate. Knowing that it is kind of scary thinking that such horrific ideology can come from a University such as this one. But when you take a step back and think about it you realize it is not as unreasonable as you previously believed. This massive 45,000 student Liberal university may or may not have a greater chance of being infected by putrid ideas depending on how you look at it. Many thoughts flow through the university and are shot down by peers or professors. But that one idea that sticks into the community and if most of the intellectuals jump aboard that idea can become wide spread. Almost as a living organism the idea/s can change into something it was not intended to be. So being what I ask is for people to be open minded and critical with everything at every point. Once you agree to an idea it does not mean you have to stick with it all the way through. Build your morals and make proper decisions.

I had a great year in PSY 1001

Yesterday i was thinking as i walked back from class about just how much of my personality came directly because of my genetics. More specifically I pondered how can my musical tastes be determined by chemicals in the brain. Does it have something to do with my experiences that associated the music? Possibly my parents attitude or lack thereof to my preferences? Or did it really all come down to whether my predisposed attitudes toward agression chose what types of music I would enjoy. And this lead into an even broader thought. How much of our morals can be attributed to genetics? Sure, close your eyes and ears for a second and you can still hear childhood lessons echoing and bouncing around your skull, but what of the kids raised in good homes who end up being criminals, or worse, lawyers! Or in the case of one of my cousins, a young girl who grows up completely despite her parents with seemingly innate morals.

This growing up despite bad parenting leads into the question of are others standing up for this girl and taking the place of surrogate parents? Is there a social obligation to do so? All are very puzzling questions, and I doubt there are any non-puzzling answers.

Oh and as promised http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/index-e.html
That site has a ton of cool visual brain twisters.

Way to Happiness

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I am interested to positive psychology, so I want to write about researches on positive psychology. Positive psychology focuses on human strengths and help people live better lives. One of popular Harvard open courses is Positive Psychology and I like how the professor discussed happiness. Positive psychology help people pay attention to good parts of human beings as psychologists usually focus on psychological disorders. For example, according to the textbook, people can be recovered even after suffering from severe psychological disorders and terrible events. At present, positive psychology has been a young but popular field. Various self-help books are selling all over the world and they tell people to consistently repeat positive self-help statement, such as "I am smart!" and "I did well!" However, some researches show that positive psychology is not so effective sometimes. A research done by University of Waterloo shows that people with high self esteem did not feel better about them after repeating positive self-help statements while the statements make people with low self esteem feel worse about themselves. So, I think topics related to positive psychology is worth researching. Maybe positive psychology is not so magical.
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Much like the TV drama, The Mentalist, real life mentalists depend upon sensation and perception to draw conclusions from their environments, as well as different memory techniques to remember minute details at any given time. A mentalist is a person who demonstrates highly developed mental or intuitive abilities.
Mentalists will perform "cold readings" on individuals to determine a person's own characteristics and motives, often with unknowing help from the individuals themselves. By using techniques similar to the "sleight of tongue" they combine this with watching the physical cues of a person to determine when they've made an accurate assumption. For example, when asking about general item such as an illness in the family, when guessing through family members, they wait to see which family member mentioned illicits a physical reaction of some sort, like an involuntary facial reaction. However, one would ponder, what would be the difference between mentalists and fake psychics who use similar techniques to create fake psychic readings on an individual? Possibly the biggest difference is deception used on the individual.
While there are different ways to remember what you've seen or experienced, many "mentalists" are actually gifted with an exceedingly rare phenomenon of eidetic imagery, a form of iconic memory called "photographic memory." People with photographic memory can supposedly hold a visual image in their minds with such clarity that they can describe it almost perfectly. Many who call themselves mentalists have such memories and can keep much more information about minute details than the average person, which allows them to interpret such information that the average person wouldn't have picked up on.
Since the idea of having expanded mental capacity amazes and interests many people this concept has been used over and over again in entertainment. From shows like The Mentalist, Psych, and Mindfreak, mentalists have appeared in pop culture even as far back as Sherlock Holmes. I think the mental abilities of these people is amazing, but it makes one wonder, is it a double edged sword knowing all sorts of things the average person doesn't simply by looking at someone or something?

Kitty or Tiger?

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From our textbook, there are three major parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian and authoritative. Permissive parents give their children almost absolute freedom and praise children very often. Authoritarian parents are extremely strict with their children, punish them frequently and barely praise their children. Authoritative parents are combination of the other two types. They respond properly to their children. Also, some people believe there is one more style called uninvolved, which refers to parents who do not pay much attention to their children.
One limitation of the theory is culture differences. China's "Tiger Mother", Amy Chua, wrote a book titled "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." This controversial book gives rise to a debate to western and eastern parenting styles. It is true that American parents have diverse and less harsh parenting styles. As a girl grown up in typically collectivist culture, I agree with the authors that the differences of three major parenting styles are not so obvious in my home country. Most Chinese parents are very strict with their children. Physical punishment is very common, especially when children are in primary school. Luckily, my parents are authoritative. But their parenting style is controversial among their friends. I think the reason is that Chinese population is huge, and we have one child policy. Therefore, parents always want their children to be the best and win out the competition. Also, obedience to parents and older family members is strongly encouraged as a tradition. So, I think most Chinese parents are authoritarian and authoritative, or the combination of both.
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In the past few years, a new light has been shed on the Nature Vs. Nurture debate, the discovery of Epigenetics. The idea behind Epigenetics is "the expression of any one gene is embedded within a biological system influenced by a multitude of other genetic and environmental influences." Basically, instead of focusing on Nature or Nurture separately; these two ideas are being seen as combined and correlate to each other. An example of Epigenetics is someone that is born with a high level of intelligence (Nature) but not given the ample attention and educational resources (Nurture) needed to reach their full academic potential. Therefore instead of arguing which is more prominent, psychologists and scientists have mostly agreed that there is a very delicate balance between Nature and Nurture. I find this new information very interesting and agree with the idea behind Epigenetics. There is almost never only one answer in psychology, there are many factors that influence people and it's important that each factor is considered in order to obtain the best results.

Although very much off topic (because I need to cover two discussion sections), I am going to discuss what a supertaster is and list criteria for everyone to see if you have this amazing trait. Everybody tastes things differently, this is due to the number of taste buds each person contains on their tongue. The more taste buds a person has, the more intensely they perceive tastes, especially bitter ones. If you're A. Female and B. from Asia, Africa, or South America, you have a better chance of being a supertaster. Do you not like fruits and vegetables? Flavanoids that are found in these foods taste unpleasantly bitter to supertasters so they tend to shy away from them. Lastly, if you tend to stay away from super fatty, sugary, and salty foods; it could be a sign you're a supertaster. After looking at these traits, I am not a supertaster. Are you?

In my humble opinion the most important topic discussed in this class as it relates to everyday life was personality. Personally I can see myself using what I now know about personality in the future as it comes in handy whenever you meet someone new. When you first meet someone often you try to find out who they are, ie. their personality. Using the tools like the Big 5 can help draw out ones personality so one can understand them better. Knowing how the different personalities also allows one to know better how to handle someone and what makes that person tick.

Along with knowing personality, knowing the Attachment theory is something that can come in handy in the future when dealing with people. With the attachment theory it allows one to better understand a boyfriend/girlfriend and why they may act the way they do. Knowing this will put us in a better position to deal with that person and how to handle them when they may be acting a certain way.

So in conclusion knowing more about personalities and the Attachment theory will be something that we can use in the future as it helps up understand the people in our lives.

DS Makeup- PER

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I found this unit to be pretty crazy with the big 5 personality traits, the concept that all of everyone's personalities can be more or less summarized with only five traits. Since I learned about this idea, it's been fun to try and pin numbers onto people. For example, at my work, there are a few people who are routinely late to work--they probably are low in conscientiousness. However, one of them gets yelled at regularly for it and doesn't really protest; whereas the other gets away with it just fine. This could be a fault of my employer, or it could represent the relative agreeableness of the two co-workers. Perhaps the reason one of them doesn't get regularly yelled at is because he has a higher agreeableness than the other (something I would not at all be surprised to see confirmed).

Since these factors are concrete, and have been shown to be relatively consistent across the span of one's life, this idea has also helped me to be more accepting of others, even if they might have some irritating traits. After all, if somebody is pretty much pre-programmed to be low in agreeableness and neuroticism, well, I might not be their best friend, obviously. However, this unit has shown me that there's more to that person than those traits, and what goes on in their heads is completely different than what is going on in mine, so I may as well just accept it and try to get to know that person on a deeper level.

Our body can't pick up outside signals in their pure form but it must receive these signals (perception), encode the external stimulus into an electrical signal (transduction), and finally the brain must interpret the signal. So surprise, surprise, we may be exposed to 10 different external stimuli and only really focus on 3. The others will not be interpreted by the brain at all. This is the essence of inattentional blindness. This adaptation helps me in my life in so many ways. I live in a busy home and the constant hubbub would be detrimental to my schoolwork if I was unable to focus on studying. It is really a terrific phenomenon that occurs when we are able to filter so many stimuli so that we can focus on a tedious task. On the other hand however, we may miss important signals because we are focused on something else. This can prove to be problematic when we have offended those around us by merely forgetting about them when something like a final is taking up most of our attention. This can lead to emotional damage. Although we may have only forgotten, the cognitive theories of emotion show that the emotions of others will be determined only by their mental interpretations. So regardless of the reason, our friend may be severely offended because it appears to them that we simply don't care about them.

Caffeine might have been proven to help prevent memory loss in people who have neurodegenerative diseases. In an experiment in which lab rats were given caffeine over a long period of time, results showed that these lab rats displayed better memory than those that did not receive this treatment. Although the results from this experiment have not been proven to be the same with humans, the results could still be considered a medical breakthrough. It has to be extremely difficult to have even the slightest form of memory loss. If caffeine, which is widely available, is able to prevent memory loss in humans, many other things could be possible. And, obviously, the people with those neurodegenerative diseases will leave better lives.

http://www.science20.com/catarina_amorim/caffeine_may_prevent_memory_loss_diabetes-89734

The broaden and build theory discusses the following; happiness predisposes us to think more openly, allowing us to see the "big picture" we might have otherwise overlooked. They tested this theory by using candy and doctors. Doctors who received a candy bag made more accurate diagnoses on patients with liver diseases than doctors who didn't have any candy. While the book didn't go into detail about the study, for all intents and purposes we will assume that the study was done with equally competent doctors on both parties and that the candy made them noticeably happier. I can believe this hypothesis. I will go as far to say that the happier I am the more clearly I can think and project my thoughts more clearly and with more ease than I would be able to if I would be unhappy or under any kinds of stress. I'm not saying that someone can't be a depressed genius, but I think someone is more capable if they are happy. That may be because they see more of a point to it, or just because that is how our brain is wired. Your thoughts?

There is not a great way to incorporate the three chapters for 3 make up points so I will just segue as best as I can. First talking about consciousness, one of the things that I find most fascinating is lucid dreaming. I have always been able to remember my dreams with a decent amount of detail and frequency. There is one dream in particular where I believe I experienced a lucid dream. I was able to be aware of the fact that I was dreaming but at the same time was not able to control everything in the dream, just what I did. I remember it vividly because I was able to fly and that was probably the most exhilarating experience I've ever had. However, I did find that I woke up not feeling as rested and refreshed as a good nights sleep usually entails.
Continuing from that, when I was younger, I had bad dreams a lot. I am sure my parents were not happy but every time I would wake up I would go into their room and wake them up. Logically it is a weird notion to consider because their room is a short walk down the hall yet I felt exponentially safer and much less afraid when I was in there. This coincides a little with the developmental theory of contact comfort.
There is no correlation with either of the two previous topics but another thing I found interesting was the Stanford Prison Study. Before I actually read this in the textbook I had watched a movie called, "The Experiment" with Adrien Brody and it focused on this study. It brings to light some of the more sadistic and power hungry impulses that humans possess even though they stay dormant in everyday life unless provoked. What surprised me most about this study is that in only took the people in the prisoner's place two days before they revolted. It would be interesting to see what I would do in that situation, I would like to think that I would be able to be the guy that does not stray from his morals and ideals but in high pressure situation sometimes your Id takes over.

To make up for missing this week's discussion session about research I looked into some current research that is going on in the field of psychology. One thing I thought was very interesting is the current research going on regarding eyewitness misidentifications. The Innocence Project has efforts to prove wrongly convicted prisoners innocent through DNA testing. University of Oklahoma psychology professor Scott Gronlund is conducting research that compares eyewitness identifications of simultaneous and sequential lineups. Scott Gronlund shows mock crime videos to participants who then must pick out the person who committed the crime in a lineup. Groglund believes that simultaneous lineups are more effective in identifying the guilty party. The basis for his opinion lies in the fact that when an eyewitness looks at a simultaneous lineup the eyewitness is able to compare features of the suspects and make decisions based on this. Simultaneous lineups are better at actually identifying someone who committed the crime but sequential lineups are better at protecting an innocent suspect from being accused of the crime. I think that through continued research experiments, Scott Gronlund will be able to develop a better idea of which lineup is better. Both lineups have their advantages but through this research we may be able to decide which lineup type will be more effective in the US court system.

Alcohol vs. Food

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Today I saw a very interesting thing on the social networking site twitter. A person on it said that it's the most ridiculous thing that our society is so appalled that a minor would drink a beer, but do not think twice about people eating excessive amounts of fast food or food in general. And that got me thinking....is that a legitimate argument, that eating too much is worse than drinking? Should it be a crime to go to a fast food restaurant too much, like it is for consuming alcohol under the age of 21? As i looked up the facts about both, in chapter 12, a person could make a case that it indeed should be. First of all, you have to look at why alcohol is banned for people under the age of 21 in the first place. It is because alcohol has bad side effects, like brain shrinkage and liver problems, while also trying to dissuade people from becoming alcoholics. But as it shows in chapter 12 on page 477, being obese has side effects just as bad or worse. Obese people are at heightened risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, some types of cancer, respiratory problems, and diabetes. If that is not enough, a study showed that individuals that were overweight were less wealthy, didn't progress as far in school, and were less likely to be married. Although alcohol has some very bad side effects, and make people make horrible decisions like drinking and driving, food has just as bad of side effects, if people do not eat moderation. So although I believe fast food or over eating should not be banned, I do believe that people should worry a little less about minors drinking, and a little more about the obesity problem that effects 1/3 of all adults. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment

Dev Mozart Effect

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Growing up, my parents did nothing out of the ordinary to help enhance my intelligence. I brushed my teeth, and went to bed. As I got older, I started to babysit for family friends. I assumed that I would put the kids to bed the same way my parents put me to bed. However, not long after I was born, a study came out saying that parents said that they would play Mozart and other classical artist as the kids went to bed. There were rumors that playing the music for them as they went to bed helped to increase their intelligence, so the parents asked me to play the music for the kids as well.
There were some setbacks that came with these findings though. There was no measurement of long-term enhancement, it applied only to tasks administered directly after listening to the music, and the findings were solely based on college students.
So who knows, maybe I am better off without being raised with listening to Mozart, or maybe I'm not, but with the evidence that has been shown, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.
Researchers have found, for the future, that babies learn better from playing actively than they do from videos, which may also contribute to a more active population in the future.

For this 3 point make up, I will be focusing a few different sections that we have gone over throughout the semester. Seeing as I couldn't come up with a particular way to unite all three sections in a smooth and impressive blog, I will instead be writing about a part I found most memorable from each section. The three sections are biological methods, sensation and perception, and social psychology.

The main part that stood out to me in the BIO section was the entirety of the nature vs nurture debate. I find it fascinating how both aspects of life can play a vital role in an individual's life. It is also quite interesting that there is still so much more to learn. Nobody knows for sure how both the way someone was raised, as well as their genes, truly affects them. Perhaps it will always remain a mystery, only time can tell. I found the illusions in the S&P section to be very entertaining. Our brains are always trying to make sense of our surroundings, often without out us even realizing it. This is very noticeable in the Necker Cube Illusion. The image is a bistable figure and our brains do the best they can to make sense of what is going. However, there are two possibilities for the position of the cube, and when we are attempting to decided what position it is in, it can often instantly change into the other one! The last section is SOC. The most interesting and (pardon the pun) shocking topic in this section was the Milgram experiment. It was almost scary seeing how willing a person is to obey orders just because they are coming from an authority figure. The fact that people would be willing to essentially kill someone just because a guy in a lab coat told them too, was quite startling.

As most of Freudian theories are difficult or impossible to refute, scientists see little importance of the theories when describing human's behaviors or thoughts. However, it is irrefutable that Freud is one of the most influential people in the field of psychology. His suggestion of the existence of unconscious state was so fascinating that many people were attracted and especially popular culture seems to love explaining people's deep, inner need or desire by using Freudian theories. Freudian Defense Mechanism is one of the most popular theories and I'd like to suggest one example of them in real world.
Ted Arthur Haggard is an American evangelical pastor and he was the founder and former pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was also the founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches and leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). His career tells you how he was an active, influential person in the religious world. However, in November 2006, escort and masseur Mike Jones insisted that he had paid him to engage in sex with him for three years! The reason why Jones decided to reveal this was because Haggard publicly condemned homosexual, while he was engaging sexual relation with him at the same time.
This kind of case is not the only one. We often see a conservative politician, who assails homosexuality openly, being involved in gay scandal. A Freudian would explain this by adopting Reaction-formation, transforming an anxiety-producing experience into its opposite. People, who reproach homosexuality so badly that seem to be a homophobia, are actually experiencing sexual desire toward homosexuals but transforming the desire into opposite feelings, because they are afraid that their unconscious desire would not be accepted in the society.

In our chapter on Human development, we focused mainly on the works of Jean Piaget, and failed to deeply analyze the works of many other psychologists. One person who was briefly mentioned in the book was Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky was a Russian researcher who developed a theory of cognitive development that and was able to greatly influence his field before he died at the young age of 37 due to TB. The book focused on Vygotsky's theories on scaffolding and zone of proximal development.

Another concept that Vygotsky purposed was that every function of a child's development appears twice: once on the social level and then later on the personal level. This doesn't sound like it is a big deal because it follows along with the common phrase, "monkey see, monkey do," however with this theory Vygotsky paved the way to emphasize the importance of teachers and parents and their role in the development of children. Vygotsky's main points were that children would first experience something within their social level, which refers to the people around them, and then they would then analyze, breakdown, and interpret this new information on a personal level. Since are parents and our teachers are often the ones who expose us to new information, they have the ability, according to Vygotsky, to greatly influence the development of children.

In an attempt to combine the two discussion sections of "research methods" and "Biological Psychology", i took a closer look at the biological reasoning behind why we form heuristics. The mind is a wondrous thing. It is faster than a mighty computer and allows us to size up situations and take action in very short amounts of time. Because heuristics are split second short cuts, they can also lead us astray by not interpreting all information. According to scientists, they have discovered hundreds of heuristics used by our brains. Based on the brain's tendency to like to stick to known pathways, heuristics make decision making easier. Scientists have been studying those quick mental calculations for years and have found they work both to benefit us but may also fool us. But what part of our brain is responsible for this?

After looking more in depth, i found that there are different parts of the brain that are responsible for the difference between using a heuristic or using more of an analytical approach. Brain scans performed while people ponder problems indicate that using a heuristic device triggers different neural pathways than using these more analytical approaches. It is believed that heuristic thinking uses the left temporal lobe, and analytic thought activates the right lateral prefrontal cortex. I found this interesting that there is a certain part of our brain that is the main contributor in looking for shortcuts. Being the lazy kid that i am, i am beginning to more and more love my left temporal lobe.

I have always been a fan of Budweiser beer commercials, especially those that are aired during the Super Bowl. Usually my favorite ads are funny, but as I browsed through ads on Google, I noticed that there is a very common theme throughout the ads: The Budweiser girls. Budweiser is taking full advantage of the sex appeal factor that proves to work time and time again in all different forms of advertising. The use of the attractive, sparsely clothed young women in their ads appeals to men, which are the main audience targeted by the Budweiser Company. Another tactic that Budweiser uses in their ads is a phrase claiming that Budweiser is the "King of Beers." This claim is another tactic that speaks to the masculinity of men. If you drink the king of beers, you will be the king. This creates the illusion that drinking Budweiser beer will make you more powerful among your peers. I have always wondered how much time and money goes into the advertisement tactics beer along with a number of other products. According to the Pacific Brew News, Budweiser spent a little under 500 million dollars in 2007 on advertising. Maybe advertising in a major brewing company is the job to have.budweiser-king-of-beers-small-99879.jpg

Out of everything we learned in this course, the stuff that sticks in my head the best is the basic scientific method concepts. I have been able to apply these to daily life everywhere I go. This includes noticing pseudoscientific claims in stores and on tv. I am a PSEO student, and in my Junior English class we learned about rhetorical strategies, I was able to connect a lot of these with the terms from psychology like falsifiability and ruling out rival hypotheses. I learned so much from this course that I will be able to take with me for the rest of my life. It was a really good experience and I met a lot of great people!

Make up points

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Everyone encounters problems in their lives. It could be something trivial, such as a bad grade on a test. Or something major, possibly a death in the family. We all have our own ways of coping with these minor and (hopefully not) major problems. But what happens when you are too overwhelmed and the amount of problems are building up in your life? Some research suggests that becoming involved in group therapy sessions could benefit you.
I chose to look a little more deeply into the workings of group therapy sessions and the positive and negative benefits given from them. The popularity of group therapy has lead to an increase in demand for psychological services in the general population. They are efficient, less costly, and possibly more effective than some other individual treatments. But what exactly do these treatments work best for? After finding out more about it, i discovered that group sessions work best for situations in which the problem is somewhat embarrassing for the "patient". With anything that is embarrassing, it is extremely reassuring that there are people out there that struggle with a similar problem.

Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most widely known and successful "group therapy"
sessions in the world with about 1.7 million members. They use a twelve step program along with an extremely valuable support system. There are some critics of this particular group therapy. Those in opposition raise the fact that approximately 68% of participants drop out within the first 3 months. This is a number that Alcoholics Anonymous is dramatically trying to reduce. On top of this, some argue that Alcoholics Anonymous destroys the social lives of those involved in the program. What is your opinion on Alcoholics Anonymous and the benefits/consequences that it provides to participants?

I found a youtube video from a talk showing one side of the debate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n86JKqA8o4w

Everyone encounters problems in their lives. It could be something trivial, such as a bad grade on a test. Or something major, possibly a death in the family. We all have our own ways of coping with these minor and (hopefully not) major problems. But what happens when you are too overwhelmed and the amount of problems are building up in your life? Some research suggests that becoming involved in group therapy sessions could benefit you.
I chose to look a little more deeply into the workings of group therapy sessions and the positive and negative benefits given from them. The popularity of group therapy has lead to an increase in demand for psychological services in the general population. They are efficient, less costly, and possibly more effective than some other individual treatments. But what exactly do these treatments work best for? After finding out more about it, i discovered that group sessions work best for situations in which the problem is somewhat embarrassing for the "patient". With anything that is embarrassing, it is extremely reassuring that there are people out there that struggle with a similar problem.

Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most widely known and successful "group therapy"
sessions in the world with about 1.7 million members. They use a twelve step program along with an extremely valuable support system. There are some critics of this particular group therapy. Those in opposition raise the fact that approximately 68% of participants drop out within the first 3 months. This is a number that Alcoholics Anonymous is dramatically trying to reduce. On top of this, some argue that Alcoholics Anonymous destroys the social lives of those involved in the program. What is your opinion on Alcoholics Anonymous and the benefits/consequences that it provides to participants?

I found a youtube video from a talk showing one side of the debate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n86JKqA8o4w

There are many things that i have learned in psychology that i believe i will remember in 5 years. Psychology is extremely important to our everyday lives because it makes us who we are. It allows us to grasp concepts and understand more about humans and they way the we think and perceive things.
The thing that has had the most impact on me through this semester would probably be prosocial behavior. This is something that we have recently gone over, and i cant seem to get it out of my mind. Every time i walk down the street and see someone trip or fall, i can't help but ask if they are ok, or if they need some assistance. This also goes the other way as well. As part of prosocial behavior, i believe that doing simple stuff, such as holding doors open for people, can have a dramatic positive impact. If someone see's you hold the door open for them, they might go out of their way to hold the door open for someone else. It is a simple, yet contagious way to impact society in a positive manner.

We are all in this together, and i believe that is the mindset that everyone should have when they think about others. Maybe prosocial behavior will positively progress to the point where there is no such thing as the "bystander effect"

I think the subject that I will remember most from this psychology class is memory. I found it interesting how the mind works and how we remember things. I never knew how much there is to our memory, there are steps I never would have thought about. I thought the discussion activity was neat, trying to remember the different lists of words and sometimes putting words in that weren't even there. That was something that was fun and interesting in this class, I'll remember that drill for a while I'm sure. The thing I found most interesting is when I was reading I would think about the concepts and decide if I could relate them to my own life. Every time I would come across a term I would think about it and completely agree with what it was saying. Now I can't look at my memory the same way. I don't think I ever will be either; the memory unit just changed my thinking about memory. It is something I'm sure I won't forget anytime soon.

In five years from now, I plan to be teaching math in a classroom setting, preferably high school. While math was my favorite subject in high school, I know most other people hated math due to various reasons such as not understanding the topic or disliking the methods or their math teachers. Therefore, I know I will experience a lot of resistance when trying to teach math in the future, but understanding this fact is a very important first step to finding a solution.
Most of my students do not want to be there and could care less what I was saying. This is where I would apply the psychology I've learned about in this class. I can use methods like operant conditioning to help motivate my students to learn. For example, if while lecturing, I rewarded a piece of candy to any students who could answer my questions or did well on a test, this would be a form of operant conditioning using positive reinforcement. However, this can also act as a form of punishment to those who cannot or simply are not answering the questions. This can demotivate them and cause them to stop trying.
While I haven't quite determined a completely successful teaching method, I have quite some time and the use of the learning psychology I learned about in this class to help assist me to find a successful teaching method which will motivate the most students to doing well.

When people hear the term "anorexia," they typically associate it with negative opinions and disgust. We all consider this a type of psychological disorder, and those affected by it to have a problem, but while researching different dieting fads, I found many pro-anorexia sites, some giving tips on how to stay anorexic! These sites treat it like it's some difficult diet to maintain, not as if it's a serious psychological disorder, and give off a support-group feel.

http://www.anorexia10.com/anorexia/tips-for-anorexics-2/

On this site it gives 20 tips on how to be anorexic. At the bottom of this list were many mixed comments, ranging from those who claimed this list helped them stay strong and beautiful to those who yelled at these people, calling them idiots for thinking this was healthy and attractive, then those who countered these people saying they didn't understand and the haters were awful people for putting them down. This didn't surprise me when even in the textbook it states "Individuals with anorexia stubbornly deny the seriousness of their condition and resist pressure from family and friends to gain weight" and don't seem to understand that with a "mortality rate for anorexia at 5-10% [... this makes] it one of the most life-threatening of all psychological conditions."

It always shocked me to hear those with anorexia felt they were always fat, but I was in utter disbelief when I discovered such sites existed. One question to consider is, with such "positive" sites for maintaining anorexia, how would this affect an anorexic person's recovery or lack thereof?

A World of Grays

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The greatest and most important concept that I will take away from Psy 1001 is that there are no certainties in anything. The world of Psychology and our world in general is full of gray area. Its not simply nature or nurture, its the intricate balance between nature and nurture. There is no one specific chemical balance in the brain that causes a disorder, nor is it one specific event.

What this has all taught me is that there is rarely a right or wrong answer in life. There is never one specific cause to something happening. There is no one sure answer to the questions and challenges we face, which might not seem reassuring, but it makes life that much more curious and beautiful.

Make up blog assignment for the discussion on Memory.

Every year, Americans spend millions of dollars on "smart pills" in hopes of improving their memory. But do these pills really work? Can they help you remember where you put your misplaced cell phone or car keys? One of the most popular memory-enhancing pills on the market today is Ginkgo, an ancient Chinese medicine extracted from the Gingko tree. Because this medicine has been around for hundreds of years, people immediately assume that it must work, that it must improve their memory. If it didn't work, then why would it still be available today? Well, according to numerous studies, Ginkgo, as compared to a placebo, has little to no effect on the memory of normal individuals. Furthermore, studies show that Ginkgo does not have an effect on Alzheimer's either and does not reverse memory loss. In fact, Ginkgo can actually be harmful under certain circumstances. For example, Gingko interferes with blood-thinning medicines and can actually cause a person excessive bleeding. Yikes!

Perhaps in the future, scientists will be able to create a drug that improves memory, but, as it stands today, no such "smart pill" exists.

I know everyone in the two sections will make fun of me for this, because it is by FAR the most boring section and chapter in the whole book, but the most influential section and the one that will stick with me the most is the section about the six basic frameworks for scientific thinking. It might just because they are on every test, quiz, and mentioned in almost every lecture; but they are the bases of psychology and scientific thinking in general and very, very important. They are also very memorable because every time I see an argument or scientific data, I think about the principles. They make me question the validity of almost everything in life. This is very influential, and will make me question things for the rest of my life; which is good (I think). Of the six basic frameworks, I also have one that I like particularly well. The correlation vs. causation principle is my favorite principle, because many media outlets and people make too many inferences on data that they are not sure about. It is a great principle, and as my friends can attest to, I use that phrase almost every day. So although many students will not agree with me that this is the most interesting subject or one that will last with them, it will last with me and guide my thinking for a long time. Thanks for reading, comment with whatever you desire, thanks

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Something that we learned this semester in Psychology 1001 that will stick with me for a long time is the personality section. It was not only interesting to learn about, but completely true. I especially enjoyed the vacation activity we were given in our discussion and how we were separated by our personality types. It was really funny and interesting to see how the different groups planned their vacations and how they presented them to the class. I noticed right away when my group started speaking that we were the high extraversion and low conscientiousness group. Then when we had to present it to the class we all started talking loudly and were excited and added humor into the whole trip. The other groups were funny to watch because they were more quiet and carefully planned. I've always known I have a more outgoing and loud personality but it was most interesting to me to see the others that were classified in my personality group and see the people that didn't fit in mine. Overall, I will remember that discussion and activity for a very long time. It was fun, interesting, and really showed how everyone is different in so many ways.

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