DS make-up writing: April 2012 Archives

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.

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.
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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.

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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


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.

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSsPfbup0ac


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.

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.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050121100142.htm050121100142.jpeg

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.

http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.


References:
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.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the DS make-up writing category from April 2012.

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