Social psychology has always been interesting to me. There have been at least a couple situations in my life where I have seen something bad happen to someone and everyone in the area either ignored it, or just stood there like deer in headlights. I now realize that I too was one of those bystanders who didn't do anything because I didn't know what to do. Most people don't realize they're doing it which is what creates danger in numbers. The book explains that this effect is sort of a "psychological paralysis" in which people in an emergency situation want to help or intervene, but they just find themselves frozen. I never really knew why this phenomenon occurred until the topic came up in this class. Some possible explanations are pluralistic ignorance which is the error of assuming that no one in the group perceives things as we do; that we are the only ones who interpret the situation as an emergency, but since nobody else does it must not be. Another is the diffusion of responsibility: since we're not the only one around, we feel less responsible for the outcome. I think this concept will stick around with me just because it's so shocking and even a little disturbing. I hope that now that I am aware of this effect, I will be able to be the one to step up and help out when faced with an emergency situation in a group.
I have learned a lot in psychology 1001 this semester. Out of everything I have learned, I think the one concept that I will remember five years from now would probably selective attention. One main reason I will remember selective attention is because of the video we watched and discussed in our discussion section http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo. The first time I watched this video I completely missed the gorilla that walks across the screen. But, after knowing that there is a gorilla, my attention is toward looking for the gorilla. Selective attention is a part of our everyday lives which is another reason I will remember this concept. Every time I am focused on something really hard and completely blind to the fact something else is going on around me or some else is trying to talk to me and have no idea that they are talking to me. Even when I am at a party talking to someone and I hear my name in the distance, after turning my head towards the direction, I will remember this is the cocktail party effect in effect. That is why I believe the main concept I will remember from psychology would be selective attention.
What I would remember in 5 years to come is the personality of psychology. The effects and the factors that cause certain types of behaviors. It's an interesting subject to me because being in the midst of two cultures it has impacted me greatly. Such as the argument of the nurture vs. nature. What really affect the way a person act and why they do it? I've always believed that nature causes someone to act a certain way, however nurture also took a big role in the behavior change. Where you live is just as important as who raises you. Just as the experiment with the chimps and the fake mothers, it was important that the nurture was there to endure even a harsh environment. This experiment really surprised me and showed that even though we are fed well and clothed well as long as the warm contact is not given we lose hope. Maybe that is the reason we tend to find groups who we fit in or join gangs. Personality has alway interested me and have always opened a bigger view to how someone acts or why they do certain things. It's one of the most intriguing concept which we continue to search for and find a way to see why we do what we do.
Although this class has been a challenge, I have really enjoyed all of the things that I have learned. I had never taken a psychology class before, so leaning all of these new ideas was very cool. I think that out of all of the concepts, the one that will stick with me even five years from now is probably the concept of IQ testing. Before this class, I never realized how much this test is used in the real world, and how big of a controversy it is. I was shocked to see how high the correlations between a person's IQ and things in their everyday lives were. Before leaning about the IQ test, I thought that I would be very against using this test in hiring new employees, but after seeing how good of a predictor it is, I am very for it now. It has the potential to save companies a lot of money by hiring the most qualified person the first time around. I am very curious to see what my IQ is, and hope to take one of these tests one day! I'd like to hope that it would be on the higher end of the bell curve seen here:
One of the most important times in our lives is our childhood and adolescence. While we are in the process of growing up, we take little time to notice or reflect on how everyday occurrences could be shaping and preparing us for the rest of our lives. We tend to not appreciate the little things that are forming us into what we will one day be. But these years are crucial; our brains are constantly changing, developing, and adapting to new situations that help us function at a higher level.
This will be one of the things that I remember the most from psychology; that our childhood and adolescent experiences and relationships help form the foundation of what and how we will be as adults. I will use this to make smart designs throughout the remainder of these years, as well as encourage others to do the same. Childhood and adolescence are times to try new things, take risks, and build relationships. Even the most minute experience can change our future; for instance, the relationships that we have with our parents and the way that they support us throughout these crucial years, largely effects how we turn out, and in turn how we will treat our own children. I will use this knowledge to accompany the decisions that I make, as well as to be more cognizant of the effect that I can have on others.
Whenever you smell freshly baked cookies, does the smell rekindle a specific memory? This scenario is an example of classical conditioning that is covered in the area of psychology. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian scientist, originally researched digestion in dogs. He unexpectedly found that the dogs salivated not only to the meat but when footsteps were heard to present the food. This demonstrated that the dogs paired a previously neutral stimulus with another stimulus that created an automatic response. In the video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpoLxEN54ho, Ivon Pavlov's discovery of classical conditioning is further explained.
I believe that the concept of classical conditioning will be remembered in the future because it relates to various life situations. For example, if oatmeal raisin cookies are being baked, this smell will always be linked to the happiness I had with my grandmother when we baked cookies. Originally, baking cookies with my grandmother was my unconditioned stimulus because every time we baked together I was happy which was my unconditioned response. Now whenever I smell oatmeal raisin cookies, which is my conditioned stimulus, I feel happy, and therefore it conditioned my new conditioned response. This situation illustrates an example of how an individual can become classically conditioned. This specific smell of baking cookies presented the feeling of happiness which was linked to memorable moments with family members.
Lilienfeld, Scott. Psychology. 2nd ed. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. 265-266. Print.
Imagine an individual who lives on the West Coast and has an endless amount of money, and then an individual who lives in the suburbs of Minnesota with their spouse whom they met while at college. If you could choose, who do you think is happier?
I was very surprised at the psychological concepts of happiness. So many people think that money can buy all the happiness in the world. But realistically, what if the person who has all the money in the West Coast lives in an empty mansion, doesn't have any genuine friends, and never needed to go to college? The concepts of happiness demonstrate that the materialistic things in life aren't what make us happy. This is a concept that really stuck in my head simply because it is so easy to get caught up in all the materialistic things in life and people forget what truly matters. The myth regarding the correlation between money and happiness in the book created such a revelation for me.
Five years from now when I am all graduated from the University of Minnesota and just beginning my life, I'll remember these concepts of happiness; simply because the list of what makes us happy in the textbook will be jumping out at me. I will be a newly college graduate with no money, but with awesome friends, and ready to give back to all who have helped me; and that is the true meaning of happiness.
There are many things I learned about myself and also in understanding others during this class. A lot of which I know I will be able to think back to and reflect on. One thing that really did leave a huge mark and really made me think about what I would be doing if placed in the situation was the Milgram study, I have never really been in a position where I would have to intentionally place pain upon some one, I hope not many people have. In our discussion we watched a video of a study that was meant to mimic the Milgram study, and that video is what really made that thought set in. I was very surprised with the amount of people that were willing to continue to send the electric shocks simply because they were instructed to. There are a lot of things that people are instructed to do in a daily life, but I do not feel I would be able to do something like that even if told. Watching the study made me question more of what people in my life would do also, and if the would stand up for how wrong it is to do that to someone. It also made me think about if I knew that it was going on, even if I was not participating, what I would do. It was one of the thing that I do not feel I would be able to keep my comments to myself about. A lot of people do not stand up for what they feel is right and what is wrong mainly out of fear that they will be looked at differently, or seen as abnormal, but when it comes to something like this I do not feel like staying quiet is the option I would take. Over all this study, in some way, made me think more about what I am doing and how it will effect others, and also my reasoning behind why I am doing it and if I am doing it for myself or if I am simply doing it because I have been told to even if I do not agree with it. That lesson is something that is important to reflect on and I feel is a huge positive take away from this course.
My motivation for taking this class was Dr. Carl Lightman, the fictional character from the television series 'Lie To Me.' I was amazed by how mush information our faces can unconsciously reveal about our thoughts and feelings. And so when I realized we will be having Dr. Gewirtz talk about Emotion with particular emphasis on facial expressions, I was sold!
The concept of emotion is one topic that I will remember years from now given their practical application. I will be able to at least recognize the moods people are in using my knowledge of the six universal facial expressions namely happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear. I am not a very trusting person, and it helps to know that one's face is enough to confirm my initial impression.
Another concept that I enjoyed was the effect of society on conformity. I particularly enjoyed the Ashe experiment because even though we may all think we are perfect, we all as humans have innate tendency to be a part of a group or to be accepted even though it sometimes might involve socially deviant norms. This experiment made me think of the many times I have participated in behaviors simple because everyone around was doing the same. My time in Psychology 1001 has been a thrill, and I hope I can use the knowledge I have acquired to educate others and also recommend the class to other students
The concepts that have made a lasting impact on me throughout the semester were the bystander effect and the Milgram study. I believe people face decisions in every day life that could be somehow related to these two topics.
We can run into someone on the street who is not feeling well and needs help. We make a choice of either ignoring the person or helping them. I would like to think that I will be the person who will be willing to help in a situation like this. If I am the only one who happens to notice someone who needs help in a crowded place, I will not be afraid to help him or her. I now understand all of the other people who decide to walk by minding their own business. It's easier for them not to get involved and continue with my day. I also learned not to rely on the crowds too much because the people from who I might be seeking help in a difficult situation might simply ignore me and keep walking away.
The video we viewed in our discussions about the Milgram study was very powerful. I thought that in the 21st century more people would drop out of the study/show and not forget their own values and morals. To me this study demonstrated the fact that it is never toolate to ask questions and stand up for what you really believe in. In real life people try to manipulate each other and often this manipulation causes people to become blindfolded. I think being aware of these powerful effects of authority and directions will help me not loose my voice, remember my own personal beliefs, and not give up common sense in any situation.