Recently in Writing #3 Category

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 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?

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.

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

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?

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

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

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

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

I Need to Belong

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Greetings bloggers,

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

Social Facilitation

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

The Powers of Persuasion

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

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

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