December 2011 Archives

Bystander Effect

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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 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.


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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.

IQ Testing

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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:

The Power of Adolescence

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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.

Grandmother's Cookies

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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,, 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.


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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.

What I Will Remember Best

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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.

Facial Expression

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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.

The Power of the Mind

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Of all the things that I have learned this semester I believe that out of all of them I will remember how the interplay between different parts of the brain play together to create a sense of self. The idea that a collection of densely packed nerve cells connected together can produce all of the functions of the brain is simply amazing. The amount of information the brain processes at any given moment is incredible. Even now as I am typing this my cerebellum ensures that I remain upright and still in my chair. My motor cortex takes signals from my temporal lobe and ensures that my fingers strike the right key on the board. Meanwhile my Occipital lobe takes in all of the visual cues around me, and catches mistakes in spelling. Most of this occurs without any conscious thought besides what word should I type next.

When it comes to computing power the brain is unrivaled in many areas. Compare a human driver and a roboticaly driven car. A human can easily drive a car in even the most difficult traffic with out collision and still get to their destination. Compare to the first DARPA grand challenge in 2004 when a set of robotic cars raced on a 150 mile course through the Mojave desert, the best car only went 7.32 miles, although the next year they did considerably better, aka finished the race. Even with the exponentially increasing computational power we are still no were close to a computer with the computational ability to simulate a human mind. This is what I will take away from this class a greater appreciation for the human mind and its multitude of different components that work together to give us the ability to appreciate it in the first place.

A Pragmatist's View

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It has been said that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, " and I tend to agree with this sentiment. Following this same logic, I believe that failing to use what I now know about behavior, thinking, social tendencies, and the rest, will lead me into many of the pitfalls discussed throughout the class. Hopefully, these lessons stick with me for the long haul. I don't ever want to be the person who fails to help someone who is dying, or to not speak up against something I know to be wrong, or be duped by somebody using good old-fashioned psychological ploys. So the part of this class that I hope will stay with me is the ability to think critically about the situations I find myself in throughout my life, to assess these situations without the naivete that once enshrouded me, and to evade the snares of stereotypes, mental shortcuts, and conformation. As interesting as some of the physical mechanisms of psychological processes were, and as prestigious as the psychologists whose names we learned were and are, I'm not a neuroscience major, nor am I a history major. My memories of these will fade, but hopefully I can hold on to the useful concepts that lead to prosocial behavior (Thank you chapter quiz).

Nature vs. Nurture

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I have learned many useful concepts in Psychology throughout the course of this semester, and I do not doubt that I will remember the majority of them. One that I am sure I will remember years from now, however, is nature vs. nurture. Nature vs. nurture has always been fascinating to me. Nature vs. nurture's main debate concerns whether one's development is influenced more by their genetic inheritance or environmental factors that surround them. Additionally, others believe both nature and nurture have an effect. Each side of this debate has valid explanations to back up their opinions.

I think this information will stick with me for years to come because it is easy to find examples of in everyday life and because I am very interested in this topic. I have found that I tend to remember pieces of information better and for longer periods of time when they are more captivating to me. A few examples of nature vs. nurture in real life are twin studies, adoption studies and family studies. One that relates to us college students is intelligence. Are intelligent people born with it due to genetics, or is it primarily caused by their upbringing?

In five years...

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Five years from now, I believe I will remember the story about Paul Ingram and how easily people will believe events that never happened. I think that is it amazing that Paul's daughter could believe a story about how her father sexually abusing her when she was younger. Then later add to her story by saying her father is a murderer and buried bodies in their yard. Also, how Paul ended up confessing in the end because he created memories of these events, but the truth is none of these events ever happened. I think it is fascinating how false memories play a part in people's lives. False memories allow a person to create vivid memories about events that never took place leading the person away from the truth of the event. People are usually unaware that these memories are false because they seem so real. From learning about the Paul Ingram case and false memories, it makes me wonder if I have any false memories I am unaware of.



Fallacies & Heuristics

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Ever since a critical thinking class, I have been fascinated with the numerous fallacies and inconsistent ways in which we think, depending on our situations. After this class of psychology I feel even more equipped with the tools I need to take a step back from conversation, relationships, media and life in general, and take a good scientific and skeptical look. Evaluating my own behavior and thoughts is something that always deeply interests me.

I think I will always have the six fallacies of our textbook ingrained on my brain, or should I say wired into? More sppropriate, considering the extensive long term potentiation of those new neural networks. :)

Using these fallacies I feel that I can now also help others in pointing out all of the pseudoscientific nonesense out there. Every time I come across a situation now, I think of alternate reasons/explanations (ruling out rival hypotheses) instead of resting on my first conclusion. Most especially, while shopping for various products do I keep these fallacies in mind.

This way of thinking has changed the way I make decisions and evaluate everything around me, and they will be with me for the rest of my life.

Behavioral Psychology

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When it comes to psychology there were a few concepts and studies that really stuck out in my mind. One of these concepts is behavioral psychology. The reason that the concepts surrounding behavioral psychology stuck out in my mind is because the theories seem to show just how important the nurture side of the nurture vs. nature debate really is. Behaviorists believe that we are strongly influenced by immediate consequences that follow our actions. I believe that our environment has the largest impact on the people that we become. Because of this, I believe that behavioral psychology is the most practical and useful area of psychology.
The effectiveness of behavioral psychology, including classical and operant conditioning, can be shown through the study involving the participant know as "Little Albert". In this study, John B. Watson showed how classical conditions can have an effect on how we learn to fear things. He presents a nine month old baby with a white rat, that the child previously had no fear of. When he presents the child with the rat he pairs it with a loud noise that makes the baby cry. he does this several times, until he presents the child with the rat an the child immediately starts to cry. This shows the process that happens to human beings when they begin to fear something. This study gives evidence of just how important behavioral psychology is, and important to understand how humans develop and learn (Lilienfeld 208-209).

To Love, Be Loved

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My favorite love movie of all time is Moulin Rouge, it isn't a classic (yet), but it really does some justice to defining love. The movie's tagline, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return," has so much truth and meaning to it that I have found in my own personal life. It has so much meaning to it for me that I have it tattooed onto the side of my body. I really do believe one of the best things you can learn and experience in life is to love someone and to have someone love you back. This quote lays it all out in the most simplest terms. Simplicity at its finest. Moulin+Rouge+MoulinRouge.jpg

Now when this quote or my tattoo come up in conversation, many times I am asked, what kind of love do I think is the best to experience? This is when I get stomped and unsure of what the answer is. Well......what kinds of love are there?

After reading Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love, it helped to put my uncertainty into more perspective. Sternberg believes that there are 3 major elements of love: intimacy ("I feel really close this person"); passion ("I'm crazy about this person"); and commitment ("I really want to stay with this person"); (Lilienfeld P. 448). When each element is coupled with another element, it creates one form of love; there should be a total of 7 forms. When all three elements are combined, they make the most perfect and complete form of love. Picture 1.png

I don't like to use the word "perfect" to describe things, but I do agree that having a combination of those 3 feelings about someone and someone having all 3 of those feelings for you back really touches my quote right on the money.

After learning about this theory, I am able to answer the question I never really could before; what love is the best to experience? It isn't the only answer out there but it is one that works for me.

What I will remember most

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Out of all the concepts and and all of the theories I have learned over the past semester only one sticks out the most. Regardless of where my academic career leads me I will always remember the six principles of scientific thinking. These principles (Occam's Razor, Falsifiability, Replicability, Extraordinary Claims, Correlation vs. Causation, and ruling out rival hypotheses) lend themselves to more than just psychology. In the future, each of these principles can be applied to my every day life. They will help me make decisions about what I read and hear in the media and to evaluate that information objectively. Our textbook says to keep these words in mind "Insist on evidence". Not all of the information we hear in the media is accurate, and there is some information that is flat out wrong. Common sense is not always useful as it is inherently flawed by our own cognate biases that most of the time go unnoticed. That is why it's important to use these principles not just in science but in our day-to-day encounters.

What I'll Remember

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There are many things that I will remember from this class, but there were only specific things that will have caught my interest from the class as a whole. Many of the things were aspects of the class that i could relate to my life. A major aspect of my life is music and so the things like perception of sound and the way sound affects our moods and lives is amazing. I see music as something that can connect people despite differences in language.

I find it amazing how natural and instinctive music is and how it connects us in more ways than one. One of the mains reasons for this is because of how we mentally process music and how it enters our primary auditory cortex. We all sense it the same, but perceive it in our own individual way.

Classical Conditioning

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When looking back on my life, I can think of plenty of times when psychology has either helped me or was important to me. Most of the time I use my knowledge of psychology to help me understand why I behave the way I do. A lot of this is looking back on my childhood. I look back and try to figure out why certain have impacted the way I act and think today. One specific concept of psychology can generally explain why I behave the way I do. This concept is the idea of classical conditioning. A lot of the time I am classically conditioned to react certain ways to certain stimuli. I am generally a person that tends to flinch when I am around people. I always wondered why I always did this, the concept of classical conditioning explained why perfectly. I grew up with two brothers and one sister. My brothers and I acted like typical brothers would; we fight from time to time and did a lot of roughhousing. This has resulted in the amount I flinch around people. My brothers and I would walk around the house and just take random shots at each other's arms. This meant that I had to walk around my house always on guard. I was conditioned to flinch when I saw my brothers. Due to this, I have become a pretty flinchy person around other people. I have generalized the stimulus to fit with a lot of other people. roughhousing-295x300.jpg


One major concept from PSY 1001 that I hope to remember five years from now and make use of in the future is the fundamental attribution error. I have always thought of myself as an understanding and empathic person, but until we discussed this topic in lecture and discussion, I never realized how many times I have fallen prey to the false attribution error. I have been guilty of thinking that the guy speeding down the highway was crazy or that someone I'm working with on a group project isn't pulling their own weight. While these assumptions may sometimes be true, it is certainly unfair to automatically attribute any personality trait(s) to a person solely based on a single situation without considering how that situation or previous situations affected that person's behavior.

Remembering to avoid this error would not only be useful to me by probably making me a more compassionate and understanding person, but it would serve as an interesting topic of study in the future for me as I am planning on majoring in psychology. From last week's lectures, I have become very interested in the field of social psychology, in particular, the topics of the fundamental attribution error and racism and discrimination. I find those topics to be very interesting and hope to take what I have learned in this class as a foundation to possibly learn even more about them in the future.

Social Psychology

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In five years I think will remember the teaching from social psychology more than any other part of Psychology because it has the most influence in my life. The parts of social psychology that I perceive as being important to my future is prejudice and discrimination. This I believe this dis the most important section in social psychology for me or at least the one section that has the most impact on my future.
Being a black man in America bring with it a lot of issues, all of which connect back to the two concepts of prejudice and discrimination. I believe that once I am an adult he realities of the world will slowly be realized and I will figure out the limits of prejudge and discrimination in the United States. On example would be when I look for a job, finding a job in the economy we are in is difficult, but finding a job while being a black individual is going to be that much harder and I don't believe that this is going to change in five years.
So, I believe that when I am in these situation such as looking for a job and finding a neighborhood to live in I will always go back to the concepts learned in this part of psychology. I will be evaluating how far the American society has come in area of prejudice and discrimination by looking a the type of stereotypes that still exists especially toward blacks since I am in that specific minority group. I most likely for the rest of my life I will have to look at weather racism still exists in American society also since that is what drives stereotyping and discrimination.

If a random stranger were to come up to me and ask me what the most important thing was that I learned in psychology 1001, I would tell them all about the emotion of happiness and the several realities and situations that can cause an individual to be happier, in general. I would also tell them all about the surprising things that don't affect happiness, because after all, happiness is extremely important for leading an enjoyable and fulfilling life.

Based on statistics, individuals who are married, have many friends, graduated from college, have religious beliefs, a strong political affiliation, exercise regularly, are grateful, who are philanthropic, and who experience "flow" are generally happier than individuals who don't share these traits. Five years from now it is difficult to predict which of these traits I will have, some more than others, however I will hopefully be able to say that I graduated from college. Although all of these traits are not always at the forefronts of our minds, it is important to remember that these things are important to thoughtfully seek out in order to be happier individuals.

I will also remember the many myths about happiness. The idea that money makes us happy is largely a myth, and studies have shown that money only attributes to ones level of happiness if that individual is making under 50,000 dollars per year. I will also discuss the fact that happiness does not always decrease with age, and that often, the elderly are among the happiest of individuals. Finally I will discuss the positivity effect, which causes us to remember more positive information than negative information, thus causing us to believe that we have up to this point had fairly fulfilling lives.

Through out the course of the semester we covered a massive amount of material. We went over everything from research methods and memory to different personality traits. The concept which I find to be the most memorable is the big five model of personality. I learned allot about myself in this test, I score very high in agreeableness and conscientiousness. I also fell into the average range of neuroticism, openness to new experience, and extraversion. All of these things can be remembered by the acronym OCEAN.

Through these testing's I found that I would be an "average" sales person, concluding that sales isn't the best occupation for me. I found that due to my high levels of conscientiousness I will live a longer life span. This is concluded because I am more likely to keep up to date with my doctor visits and such.

Aside from the valuable information I learned amongst myself it's a great tool to use when evaluating others. I plan to begin my occupation amongst the business world after graduation. I am now aware that these traits could easily be tested in the work force so I can be prepared. These traits can help work environments become more efficient by placing the right workers together.

Link to article on big 5 in jobs...

Long Term Potentiation

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Long-term potentiation (LTP) can be described as a long lasting changed in the synaptic connection between neurons caused by stimulating the neurons simultaneously with either a large magnitude or large frequency. It's summed up by the quote, "Neurons that fire together, wire together" a thought proposed by Donald Hebb. Many scientists believe that this process plays a key role in learning because it alters the synaptic connections between neurons, therefore changing your brain as you learn.


This is an interesting concept to me because it suggests that everything you learn physically alters your brain and physically alters who you are. If you generalize learning to not only school but social interactions it also suggests that every person you meet and learn about has an impact, whatever the size, on the structure of your brain. That idea I think makes me feel closely connected to the people I care about. I may be extrapolating a little too far, but it also makes me think twice about most of the things I do because everything you do has the slightest impact on who you are. This is an idea that people have come up with in the past, but its appealing to think that it has some scientific background.


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Five years from now, I think that I will remember the concept of conformity and Asch's study. I feel like it isn't a super important concept to know, but there are random things I remember and lately this concept seems to be one of those random things. Conformity isn't a totally useless theory to know about. It is the tendency to alter behavior as a result of group pressure, so it may be a good thing to know about if you are ever in a situation where your friends want you to go in on a bank robbery with them. Then, you may think back to intro to psychology, remember conformity and realize you actually considered it because of the pressure from your friends because they were all doing. Lately, I have been seeing examples of conformity everywhere I go. For example, walking into the doors at school there are eight doors, but everyone goes through the same door. Also, when you are in class and the teacher ask a question, no one wants to be the first person to raise their hand, and when someone finally does more people raise their hand to through in their opinion. I think that conformity is one theory that will stick with me, just because I see so many examples of it every day.

What I'll remember.

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There has been an abundance of intriguing concepts that I am bound to remember for many years to come, but the concepts I am most likely to remember five years from now would be concepts falling under the category of consciousness, particularly those related with drugs. This is because I focused especially on that section to shed some light on misconceptions a few of my friends had. With scientific research backing the claims made in the text, they were an effective tool of evidence that were difficult to argue with. That section of our study assisted me in clarifying the effects and consequences of certain drugs and using that knowledge to educate friends who lacked it. Since I employed the consciousness/drugs section in real world applications, I am confident that it was encoded in my long-term memory.

Also, as a college student, substances like the ones discussed in the text aren't as foreign as one would like to believe. Studying this section also provided me with a much deeper pool of knowledge to base my own personal decisions off of when I am placed in troublesome situations. Knowing this gives me motivation to keep such concepts in mind for my own benefit.

The Big Five and its Value

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When I look back at this year and think about all of the things we have covered in Psych 1001 (which is a lot of information), the section that sticks out in my mind and that I believe I will remember five years from now would have to be the section on personality. I particularly enjoyed reading about all of the various perspectives on personality such as Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality, Behavioral Personality, Social Learning, Humanistic Models, and specifically, The Big Five Model of personality - consisting of Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The Big Five Model was interesting to me because although I have recognized these different personality traits and many people all my life, I never really discovered until now that there are specific explanations and generic "categories" that describe different kinds of people. I want to emphasize generic because I am a strong believer in the individual image, and it is my understanding that not one person is the EXACT same as another. That being said, I do think that the Big Five doesn't necessarily violate this thought; rather, it is intended to act as a reference for personality explanations.
I have a relatively strong passion for psychology and its value, along with business as well. I think knowing about the different types of personality traits that exist is crucial in a business. Knowing who and what types of people you are working with will only benefit your business and customer satisfaction. This can be applied to your personal relationships as well, whether that is friends, family, or your intimate relationship.


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One the concepts I will remember most was demonstrated in the Milgram Experiment. The concept that was explored was obedience to authority. Stanley Milgram's parents were Jewish and he grew up during World War II. As a result, he was keenly interested in how the Holocaust happened. He was very dubious of the simple explanation that it was simply a large group of evil people. Milgram began to conceive of the idea that it was blind obedience to authority. To test this hypothesis, he developed a paradigm that involved an experimenter and a learner, both of whom were confederates of Milgram. The third person was the teacher, who was unaware of the experiment. Under the direct guidance of the experimenter (who represented authority), the teacher asked the learner to perform a paired-associate task, and for each incorrect answer, the teacher was to deliver a shock. Forty psychiatrists were asked to predict the outcome. They believed that there would be a .1% compliance rate for shocks up to 450 volts. Unbelievably, 62% of participants complied, even after begging and pleading with the experimenter to stop! The participants felt bound to the experimenter because he was in a position of authority. Milgram found no evidence that participants that complied with authority were more sadistic than those who did not. Milgram's experiment illustrates the power differential that occurs when a person is entrusted with authority. To me, this is important to be aware of because we all will be on both ends of authority, for example in an employment setting or as parents. Someone will have authority over us, or we will have authority over others. It is important to remember this and act accordingly. When someone has authority over you, remember to maintain your morals and ask questions if something does not feel right. When you have authority over someone, don't abuse it.

I have come across many topics throughout this semester in PSY1001 that I feel I will remember for many years to come. However, one topic that really jumped out at me is from Chapter 11 on Emotion and Motivation. There is a section near the end of the chapter titled "Social Influences on Interpersonal Attraction" where three major principles that guide attraction are discussed: proximity, similarity, and reciprocity. Proximity is simply the principle that you form an attraction towards someone that you are often physically around. Similarity is the principle that attraction will develop between two people that share the same interests and beliefs. The last principle that guides attraction is reciprocity, which is vital once a relationship moves to deeper emotional levels. Reciprocity is the rule of "give and take", which means that a successful relationship includes maintaining equity in the relationship by giving what one receives.
I feel like I will remember this in years to come because relationships are very important to me so understanding how and why they develop is vital information. Also, the information is not very complex and is rather intuitive so that will help in remembering it. These three principles that guide attraction will be useful to remember because they are quite concrete and are not likely to change in light of new research or something of the sort.

Although we have learned a substantial amount of information in psychology and much of that information will stay in my memory, there is one thing that I believe I will remember for many years. I don't know how I could forget watching the Milgram Experiment in discussion. Even though this experiment was just a reenactment from the original experiment they still found similar findings. The reason I believe that I will remember this is because the results were so shocking. The two things that disturbed me the most was that all participants had given at least one shock, and that over 60% of the teachers continued the experiment even when the learners did not respond. I am disgusted that so many people went on with the experiment and went all the way to 450 volts. The psychiatrists that Milgram had asked to forecast the outcome were shocked to find that their predictions were far from correct, as am I. I honestly thought that the majority of participants would not even participate or at least stop shortly after beginning the experiment. To me, the thought of harming another person is wrong on so many levels, and I would like to think that other people would believe that as well. This experiment made me ask myself how I would react to this experiment. I know that for myself, that I have strong morals and that I would not do this but it frightens me that a majority of people who say that they would never do something to harm another person, would actually participate in this study. I know I will remember this experiment for a long time because I have already questioned whether or not which of the people in my life would do this experiment. It really makes me reevaluate what some people are actually capable of doing.

The video link is:

Blog post #6

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Post 6
Becky Selander

I've learned a lot of interesting things this semester in Psychology. I think that because I want to be a high school teacher, I will use a lot of what I learnt on a daily basis when trying to understand why my students act the way that they do so that I can better teach them. I really liked Bruce Hood's 200 word article called "Storytelling," because I think it really relates to my own ideas of how psychology will affect my life. I agree with him that the best public speakers know how to turn information into a story. I think that professors that are good at doing that are the most effective, and I hope I am able to use what I've learned in this class to be a more effective teacher someday.
I by far found the social psychology aspect of this class the most interesting, and I learned a lot about how my development as a child has affected my romantic relationships.
Even though its more of a general and broad topic, I think that what we learned at the beginning of this class will probably effect my life the most often, because I have already noticed it doing so, such as noticing conformation bias or recognizing extraordinary claims.

The concept in psychology that I feel I will remember five years from now is the Big Five personality traits. I really enjoyed the section on personality and am very interested in individual differences. Just the other night my roommates and I went through and analyzed each other's personalities (using OCEAN of course!). We discussed at some length about how being able to understand that we have varying degrees of each trait and that influences how we act and how we interact with others.
Understanding the big five personality traits definitely can help you predict someone's behavior and help understand why people do what they do. I am a psychology major and I am sure I will be surrounded by a lot of the information that we covered in this class. I want to be a counseling psychologist and I am sure I will use the big five personality traits at some point in my counseling career to help better understand a patient's pattern of behavior. Also, knowing how a person will react to certain situations given their openness to experience or neuroticism, for example could be a good way to help understand how to treat mental illnesses like depression or anxiety and panic disorders.

We are all familiar with the idea that expressing your stress and anger in any way that you can is always a good thing to do and is beneficial to us in the long run it is for the most part, but not when it reinforces something bad, opposite to what it is suppose to be doing. The scientific term for this is referred to as catharis which means coming up with different techniques and problem solving strategies to fix the problem. The popular norm for psychologists are to tell their clients to get things off their chest or express themselves in any way they feel possible, but little do they know that they are causing them more harm than good. The problem with catharis arises when our anger is voiced out to something we cannot change or choose not to change because we feel that the situation is helpless or nothing can be changed about it. Researchers have shown that engaging in activities like these does not reduce the long term stress, but only brings a temporary feeling of contentment until it returns again. Sometimes they can even evoke more of a feeling of anxiety or anger that we acquired to begin with because it turns into a vicious cycle because when we are distressed about a particular event or thing when become more distressed because of the mere fact that we were distressed to begin with.

The Moody Me

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I have always been told that I am a very "moody" person. On one hand I can be very jolly and upbeat and on the other hand I can be very quiet and calm. Those who see my extroverted side worry when I am calm and silent, thinking I am probably in a blue mood or coping with some sort of tension. Those who see my introverted side are taken aback by the excess amount of energy and enthusiasm I show in certain situations. For far too long I had come to believe that I am in fact moody, until I attended PSY 1001. For starters I learned that even though we can have certain dominant personality traits that stand out and our scores in certain personality test inventories (such as Berkley Personality test) can determine certain common and dominant traits in us compared to a large population, it still is not the only factor that determines how we behave in certain situations. Thus our personality and the situation we are in shape the way we may behave. Thus an introvert can be very extroverted while meeting new people with their usual group of friends. And an extrovert can be considerably shy while meeting new people in small or large groups. Thus it's not really my volatile and ever changing emotions that might cause my extroversion but the situation I am in. Thus most of these people are victim to fundamental attribution error which is the tendency of people to overestimate the impact of dispositional influences on others' behaviors. Because of this we judge people too much by who they are failing to understand the impact of situational influences on others' behavior. Thus it might be something to do with the situation and nothing to do with them. Thus maybe this time I can proudly say hey it's not me, it's the situation.


Social Psychology

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In lecture I learned about prejudice which is defined as any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable, (according to Webster Dictionary). There are three components that go into prejudice which are: Affective or Emotional which is fear and distrust, Cognitive Component which is inaccurate generalizations, and Behavioral Tendencies which are avoidances or discrimination.
The reason why I found this section of Psychology so interesting and important is because it has affected the United States greatly throughout history. Being that I am of Mexican descent and have lived in Mexico, Canada and different states in the United States I have seen how prejudice is different is many societies. Whether it be religion, race or sexual preference every society and group of people have their stereotypes and ideas about other groups as well as themselves. I find this section of Psychology because it aides in explaining why people think the way they do towards others who appear different but also what we could do to unite groups of people from different backgrounds.
Some of the questions I have are what other studies have psychiatrists done in the past to test human prejudice. How much has it changed throughout the years and what were the reasons that society has changed.

I have been around babies and small children my entire life. I am the oldest of three daughters and my parents were always offering me as a free babysitter to all of their friends. I didn't mind though. There was something about babies that calmed and fascinated me; the way that they attached and seemed to feel everything I was feeling even though there was no biological or blood connection between us.

When I was reading the section in Chapter 10 of our text about social development in infancy and childhood, I realized how much I truly learned about kids and how they develop by spending so much time with them. I have dealt with babies with every type of temperament one could imagine - calm, withdrawn, colicky, fun. I've also seen first-hand how babies build bonds between themselves and their caregivers, whether that may be mom, dad, grandma or a babysitter. Another thing I've observed is how a child's bond between themselves and their primary caregiver (generally mom), translates into their ability to form like bonds with other caregivers. Babies with secure attachments to their mothers can attach easier to other people, making them easier and more fun to look after. Children with insecure-anxious or disorganized attachment styles are more challenging. I think Mary Ainsworth's hypothesis was brilliant and it was very interesting to learn about.

I will definitely remember this concept in five years; one reason being that I find it extremely fascinating and applicable to real life. One day, I hope to have children of my own and I think that knowledge like this may be helpful in raising secure, independent and happy kids.

Correlation vs. Causation

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Throughout my learning in psychology one concept I find will stick with me is "correlation vs. causation." Since I am a thoroughly logical person who enjoys mathematics I like approaches that can be proven with statistics or otherwise disproved with the same data. Most concepts in psychology surpass me in terms of relating them to my life. In relation, since I am also a Muslim I feel like many of the misconceptions are based on correlation instead of causation. An example of this is when people say, "Muslims are terrorists." Many events that are recorded and spread in the media are of terrorists claiming to be Muslim. This label is now put on the entire population of Muslims and their faith. However, if we were to use this technique we would find that even though these people claim to be Muslim, there is no causation. If we were to expand our data and statistics we would find the correlation is extremely weak as well because a very few outcastes of the faith are the "terrorists" in reality. All in all, this concept in psychology is something that I've come to use naturally and easily. I feel like if I were to remember any concept that it would be this one.

I'll remember conformity

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I think the thing I will most remember about psychology five years from now will be what we've talked about concerning conformity. I've always thought of myself as a big nonconformist, but we talked about in discussion the different types of conformity, and how even standing at a crosswalk and waiting for the light to change could be an example of conformity. If I had been in the Asch study, and heard people calling out the wrong answer, I likely would have doubted myself and probably would have conformed to the group at least some of the time. I think a lot of conformity has to do with the idea of safety in numbers, where we feel more comfortable within a group, and the natural desire of human beings to belong. In order to feel like we belong, we feel like we need to agree, or "conform" with the group standard, and maybe we're willing to sacrifice a bit of individualism for it. It's kind of interesting that our society is said to be so individualistic, and yet at the same time we're striving to conform with one another. I think I might conform to a group, to some extent, but not at the risk of doing something I think is wrong. But even if we think we don't, we all conform to something, even if it's just waiting for the green light to cross the street.

One concept I won't forget

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After taking this Psychology class, I really liked how we were able to cover so many different topics. I have learned a lot of new material throughout the past semester, but one concept that I believe that I will remember in five years would be classical conditioning and Pavlov's discoveries. Classical conditioning is when animals respond to a previously neutral stimulus that had been paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response. Pavlov researched dogs and was able to have dogs salivate to a random object or sound (a neutral object).

I believe that I will remember this concept because when I first read about it, I was very interested in it. I find it very interesting how someone can condition an animal or a person to react to a neutral stimulus. Pavlov was able to get dogs to salivate to a metronome. Because the metronome was paired with food, the dog believes when he hears the metronome, he will get food so it begins to salivate to the noise. With some of the other topics in the book, I didn't seem to understand them as well and got confused; however, when I read about classical conditioning and Pavlov, it really caught my attention. I find it fascinating how this process works and I believe in five years I will still remember the concept of classical conditioning.


How we view the world has such a large impact on our thoughts and actions. For me in particular, the fundamental attribution error is very present in my life and biases me against others unfairly, while allowing a (possibly unreasonably) positive view of myself. Something memorable I've taken from Psych 1001 is that I do fall prey to this error and should take precautions to avoid it.

A useful example of this shows up when driving. There's a common saying that "everyone driving faster than you is an idiot and everyone driving slower than you is a moron". If I gave all drivers the benefit of the doubt when it came to their intentions and character, I wouldn't make as many enemies while driving.

road rage can get ugly...

This error affects other areas of my life than merely driving, though. When working within a group, it's easy for me to assume that someone not pulling their weight is lazy when in fact they may merely be quite busy with other schoolwork. Or perhaps they are in the midst of a personal crisis I have no knowledge of.

Overall, being aware of the fundamental attribution error and how it affects my judgment is something I want to be constantly aware of. Hopefully this knowledge will help me be a more understanding and sympathetic person.

How we view the world has such a large impact on our thoughts and actions. For me in particular, the fundamental attribution error is very present in my life and biases me against others unfairly, while allowing a (possibly unreasonably) positive view of myself. Something memorable I've taken from Psych 1001 is that I do fall prey to this error and should take precautions to avoid it.

A useful example of this shows up when driving. There's a common saying that "everyone driving faster than you is an idiot and everyone driving slower than you is a moron". If I gave all drivers the benefit of the doubt when it came to their intentions and character, I wouldn't make as many enemies while driving.

road rage can get ugly...

This error affects other areas of my life than merely driving, though. When working within a group, it's easy for me to assume that someone not pulling their weight is lazy when in fact they may merely be quite busy with other schoolwork. Or perhaps they are in the midst of a personal crisis I have no knowledge of.

Overall, being aware of the fundamental attribution error and how it affects my judgment is something I want to be constantly aware of. Hopefully this knowledge will help me be a more understanding and sympathetic person.

Oh Snap.jpgSomething that I'l remember for the rest of life from Psychology 1001 will be inattentional blindness and memory illusion. For one, I will remember this because I have experienced it first hand. Thus, when reading about these two concepts in the book, I thought that it didn't apply to my life but sadly I was wrong, and that was all it took for these two concepts to stick with me. It shocked me beyond my own imagination.
For inattentional blindness, we had an experiment in psy discussion, where we were to do what the video asks us to do which was to count the passes of the ball, then later the video asked us if we saw a ape sky walk across, at this point, I was confused. Then, when we watched the video again, everything made sense to me. After going through all this, I was so stunned, there weren't any words to describe how I felt. It was like a wake up call. This lesson taught me that even the littlest things missed can make a big difference. It is that easy to miss something as little as an ape sky walking across the floor. For example, in situations where inattentional blindness can make a big impact would be texting while driving. We may think that there won't be any harm done since we think we are good at multitasking, but we're not because if multitasking was true then how come inattentional blindness exist?
Next, another lesson that I will remember for years to come is memory illusion. For the same reason as inattentional blindness, I will remember this. The reasons to why I think I will remember this concept for many years is as mentioned earlier that it was due to experience. For example, in psy discussion class, we had an experiment where we had to recall what we heard and write it down. To my surprise, I recalled some words that wasn't even read by the section leader. This error occurred multiple times. When I found out about this, I was what they called it "confirmation bias". I couldn't accepted it at first but eventually, I strayed away from confirmation bias. I think that being aware of memory illusion is important because in crime cases, it could make a big difference. You could send an innocent person to jail or accused a person of what you "thought" they said when they didn't say what you "thought" they said.
Overall, because of my first hand experience with inattentional blindness and memory illusion, I will forever remember these two concepts throughout my life. For each concepts, it has taught me a valuable lesson.
What will you remember for the rest of your life from Psy 1001?

In five years i believe that one of the most important concepts that i will remember from having taken this psychology course is the aspect of attachment styles and their resulting affects on peoples lives and relationships.

After attending that lecture on personality, the assessment of three types of attachment styles struck me as incredibly accurate for my own self-evaluation. Whether people are secure, avoidant, or anxious ambivalent, those personalities have shown to go forward into adulthood, and ultimately affect their relationships.


Whenever I review a relationship with someone from now on, i think that i will take into account the type of relationship that is forming based off of these styles and asses how they go together. for example, if someone is secure and the other person is anxious ambivalent, maybe the secure person will be a good influence on the anxious person. if a duo consists of someone who is avoidant and someone who is anxious ambivalent however, the contrasting views on personal space may cause the couple to not function correctly or just cause them to separate all together.

Either way, these three styles of attachment should prove to be a valuable asset that not only myself, but also everyone in my opinion, should take into consideration when trying to be part of a successful relationship.

5 Years From Now

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Thinking back on this semester, I cannot believe that I learned so much! It is crazy to me to think that after reading the entire textbook, and attending every lecture and discussion, we have only touched base on most topics in Psychology. Five years from now, I hope to not forget anything that I learned in this introductory course, mostly because I plan on majoring in Psychology.

There were so many important and fascinating subjects that I learned this semester, but a concept that I think I will always carry with me though, especially five years from now, will be correlation vs. causation. To further explain, it is the idea that even though something can be related to a situation or circumstance, it does not always mean that it is the cause of the situation or circumstance. I learned a bit of this when I took a statistics course last year, but it was not until I took this course did I really get its full impact. correlation-vs-causation.png It is a very important concept that can be applied to many different things, and at least for me, comes up in conversation quite a lot. It is very handy when it comes to making a point in a discussion, or even making jokes.

There are so many other concepts that are equally important, but this seems as if it will be the most memorable five years from now.

j.jpg One of the most interesting and fundamental concepts I have learned this semester is the role of social psychology. Specifically, I will remember the following three or four concepts: the fundamental attribution error, the person versus situation debate, and the role of conformity and obedience. Each of the these concepts has important implications on people's actions and teaches a lesson on the powerful effects of social situations, and direct and indirect social influences. The person versus situation debate investigates whether people behave a certain way as a result of their personality, or as a result of the situation in which they find themselves, while the fundamental attribution error is defined, by the book, as the tendency to overestimate the impact of dispositional influences on other people's behavior. The roles of conformity and obedience investigate how other people's actions, or other's authoritative roles, influence how we act. aye.jpgThese are important concepts for me because a lot of my work at church, especially in the service, involves working with other people and understanding their actions. My roommates, my mentors, and I have had many conversations about people as social beings because I tend to forget that people are more than just their actions; a person's thoughts, values, opinions, morals, etcetera may be poorly represented in a solution as a result of these social influences. This plays a fundamental role when one attempts to be a leader or attempts to do service, especially within a church. I think that another thing I can, and will, take away from psychology is the power of the fundamental attribution error. Many times I excuse/justify my actions, while I place judgment on someone else for their similar or identical actions. For example, there is a specific group of people from my church who is seen as "wild," so when I see them speeding on the highway, I attribute that to this trait and completely neglect the reasons that they might be rushing. I tend to do this a lot without even realizing it. One of the biggest things my church has always taught me as I was growing up was giving people the benefit of the doubt, and I think the ability to excuse and justify my own actions, as well as that of others, is a critical in my role as a leader and my work at church for the service. Sometimes, this just takes a little thinking outside of the box, and because I, as a cognitive miser attempt to use the least amount of effort, it's easier to just say "Oh well he is being rude because he's a rude person" versus "Well, maybe he's being a little snappy as a result of things going on, so I'll ask him about what's going on." creativity_cartoon.jpg The other concepts (the role of obedience and conformity) are important because, at times, I have to recognize that someone may have been influenced or pressured to do something. One of the mentors was talking to my friend and me, and he told us that we have to remember that there are disagreements as a result of different ideas/mentalities; he specifically told us to remember that just because a person acts a certain way doesn't mean they necessarily hold that belief or value, and because my church stresses the importance of morals, values, and ethics, it's important to remember to understand the person beyond their actions when working with them, leading them, or serving them. Sometimes, it's hard for me to understand this and I say "Well, I would never do that," but after having been taught the power of conformity and obedience, I see that, even in little things, I have, too, conformed and that I'm not above or more powerful than these direct and indirect influences. images.jpgfarsd2b.gif
Remembering these things will help me develop better, and less judgmental relationships with people! In addition, sometimes it's better to, rather than change a person, change how we see them instead! As we defined our leadership philosophy in my Dean's Scholars class, I placed great emphasis on my relationships with others and how that helps one become an effective leader, and the first place I hope to implement these thoughts and these levels of understanding of others is at church and in my service, and I hope that that will make me a more effective and personable leader!

Conformity is a principle that I believe is most important to the world of psychology. We see it everyday, many times not noticing it at all. My most prominent memory of group conformity was when I was in the third grade. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Erikson, telling us about how we were going to take a class field trip to the movie theatre. The problem was that we could only choose one movie to watch. The solution: put all of the movies up for group vote. Mrs. Erikson began calling off movies and to select a movie every student simply had to raise their hand. The list was eight movies long, yet when the votes were counted one movie had unanimously won. The reason for this was the group vote. Students influenced other students choices, even if some students didn't want to vote for that specific movie. Not only is this a great example of conformity, but it is a great example of understanding why people influence others. Humans, in particular, never want to feel like the odd one out. However, no human being wants to admit this. Most people say they will always take the road less traveled and that they are complete nonconformists. Yet, not all conformity is bad. Say that a friend is against smoking cigarettes. You go out with this friend and are invited to smoke a cigarette by someone else. Your friend denies it. You are more than likely to deny it as well because we conform to our peers. This can also be shown in real world examples, like the tragedy of September 11. All of these examples furthermore press the point that conformity is a huge principle of not only psychology, but life's well being.

This introductory psychology course is the best course I ever have, and will be one of the best courses in my life. As I've already told our coordinator, the science in psychology answered a great number of questions that ever confused me when I grew up. 200 words are too short to write all of them, and I'll just type the things that are easiest for me to retrieve.
People tends to say that time can dilute everything, and typically use it to console those who are jilted. I had my first girlfriend when I was in high school, and I loved her so much. But we broke up after four months because her father's forbiddance. I kept trying to redeem but came to be rejected all the time. The misery lasts for almost 2 years during which my heart got broken, and then finally I overcame myself and didn't love her any more. But I got strongly confused because if love can be dilute by time, would that still be called love? I felt the norm seemed to counter my belief in love. When I attended to the psychology class, I learned from the Pavlov's classical conditioning that our extinction in a certain behavior, like love, is different from the process of forgetting, but actually is a new behavior formed, and the new behavior is an inhibition. It seems that from the scientific perspective, I just learned to prevent myself from keeping trying and getting heart broken by such an inhibition, instead of the popular idea exaggerating the function of time.
However, time has its function in the process of diluting the pain we feel. We tend to have the durability bias, which means that we often believe that both our good and bad moods will last longer than they do. Still, from the attachment theory, there is a 3-stage pattern of separation distress when someone intimate leave us away, which contains Protest, Despair, and Detachment. In the Protest stage, we made persistent attempts to re-establish contact. In the Despair stage, there is prolonged inactivity and helplessness. In the finally stage, which is Detachment, we withdraw from our parent or lover. This 3-stage pattern justifies my behavior after I was jilted, and I feel happy that I could understand my behavior as much as I could.
These are only a few parts of my learning in this course. The science of psychology sheds light and wisdom to my dumb mind and refreshes it. Finally, thank you all, our coordinator, professors and instructors. Your kindness, help and knowledge brought me countless joyful periods of time.

Standford Prison Study

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What happens when we temporarily lose our typical social identities and are forced to take on different ones? Philip Zimbardo, the creator of this experiment, wanted to take a closer look at this question. Zimbardo knew about the conditions in prisons and wondered whether they stemmed from the dehumanizing circumstances stemmed from peoples' personalities, or from the roles they had to adopt. Zimbardo and his colleagues advertised for volunteers, and using a coin toss, he randomly assigned these 24 male volunteers to be either prisoners or guards. Zimbardo tried to make this study as real as possible. He made the basement of the Standford psychology department in Palo Alto into a simulated prison, complete with even jail cells. Real Palo Alto police officers arrested the would-be prisoners, the prisoners and guards were forced to dress in clothes that fit their assigned roles, and guards had to refer to prisoners by their numbers (not by their names). The results of this study were very shocking. Here is a video of many of the actual participants discussing their feelings during and after this study.

The first day seemed to pass without any incidents, but the guards did begin to treat prisoners cruelly and subject them to harsh punishment. By day two, the prisoners mounted a rebellion, and from then on, the guards became increasingly sadistic (even using fire extinguishers on the prisoner and forcing them to simulate sodomy). The prisoners soon began to show signs of emotional disturbance; depression, hopelessness, and anger being the major emotions. Zimbardo had to release two participants early because they seemed to be approaching a psychological breakdown, and eventually he ended the study eight days early. Most of the prisoners were relieved, but what is shocking is that some of the guards were disappointed after hearing this news. Although this study was not carefully controlled, Zimbardo seemed to be right. Once prisoners and guards had been assigned roles that took away their individuality, they adopted their designated roles more easily than any could have imagined.

Stress curve and phases 5_2.jpg

Many psychological concepts will stay in my long term memory for the rest of my life. Humans can suffer such emotional or mental stressors as the loss of loved one, the inability to solve problem, or even having a difficult day at work. I believed general adaptation syndrome will keep in my long term memory for five years from now. General adaptation syndrome (GAS) was founded by Canadian physician Hans Selye. GAS is pattern of responding to stress which include three stages of adaption: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. These three stages are interrelated to one another to generate our body's short term and long term reactions to stress.

Alarm stage involved excitation of autonomic system, the discharge of stress hormone adrenaline, and physical symptoms of anxiety. The cause of anxiety was rooted in our emotional brain, including amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus. When hypothalamus received signals of fear, the sympathetic nervous system activates adrenal land which releases stress hormone epinephrine and norepinephrine. In this stage, the fight or flight response also activates to help us cope or attack the stress or to escape the stress.

The second stage is resistance in which we adapt to stressors and find ways to cope with it. The hippocampus detected danger from the environment and it opened up a gateway to portions of the cerebral cortex to reduce the effect of stressors. For example, if person is hungry, they might want to reduce physical activity and want to have something to eat to fill up their stomach.

The final stage was exhaustion stage in which our resistance may break down and caused our level of activation to bottom out. The results can weaken our immune system, cause stress, anxiety, and damage to our organ system. For example, if a person experience long term stress, it might lead to high blood pressure and heart attack.

Before reading stress, coping, and health chapter, I didn't know how do we create stress easily. The chapter was really interested and fascinated. After reading it, I understand more underlying cause of stress. I learned more about the way that we can respond to stressful situation so that I can develop good method to cope with stress. I will balance my weight, don't smoke, don't drink alcohol, exercise regularly so that I can live healthy life and can reduce stress. With the society that we live in right now, it easily get stressed out so scientists still tried to figure out effective ways to control our stress. How do we combine different methods that we already know to control situations when we are under too much stress? How well can we cope with stress in different situations?

Source: Lilienfeld Textbook Page 461, 462.

While thinking about what I would remember in five years, I thought about living in the dorms, my first day of walking into a lecture of 700, and studying a lot more than I did in high school. When asked what I would remember about Psychology five years from now many newly learned terms came to mind, but perhaps the most obvious and important concept was the Fundamental Attribution Error. The Fundamental Attribution Error was discussed in lectures on Social Psychology. According to our Lilienfeld text the Fundamental Attribution Error is the inclination to overestimate the impact of enduring personality traits on others' behavior.

This critical term explains our sometimes harsh judgment of others' personality based on their actions. For example, the biker that almost hit you is a careless and inconsiderate person. But, if the scenario is reversed and you are the biker, it becomes the fault of the situation, there were too many people or the pedestrian wasn't looking. Knowledge of this error, which we all often make, means we shouldn't judge to quickly without knowing the whole story. The Fundamental Attribution Error is important; it reminds us to be empathetic to others. Essentially, the Fundamental Attribution Error asks, "What do you see when you look from someone else's point of view?"

Infant Language Development

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I believe that the concept I will remember the most five years from now is one we discussed during the Development of Language. Universal adaptability refers to an infants capacity to detect all speech sounds. In Werker's Procedure he found that language learners can best make use of certain input during certain maturational periods, and this ability decreases from 6-8 months to 10-12 months.

For some reason I always remember this being discussed and even told my parents about it. It seems amazing that infants begin with a universal sensitivity to phonemes of the worlds' natural languages. It might seem shocking to me because for me when I see an infant, I just assume that they will be English or Spanish speakers based on their ethnicity and upbringing. This may be the case, but at a very early point in infancy all infants are at about the same understanding of distinguishing speech sounds. This is remarkable to me, and something that I probably would have never known had I not taken Psychology 1001. I will remember this when I have kids of my own and when I will be interacting with other infants who are early language learners. It shows the early development and learning capabilities of humans during infancy.

The Milgram Experiment

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Psychology has always been one of the most interesting classes I've ever taken, which is part of the reason I actually took the class twice. I took psychology in 12th grade for one semester, and decided to take it again in college. In both psychology classes, we learned about the Milgram Experiment, and watched numerous videos about it. I found this experiment to be extremely shocking and fascinating, and it's a concept in psychology I don't think I'll ever forget. The experiment aimed to prove the extent to which people will obey authority figures.
Milgram had a confederate go in a separate room from the subject, and the subject had to act as the "teacher" to the confederate. The teacher has to deliver a series of shocks up to 450 volts whenever the confederate got an answer to a series of matching questions wrong. The point of the experiment was to see how far the subject would go when the confederate screams and shouts to stop and then eventually stops responding altogether. Surprisingly, an astounding 63 percent of subjects went all the way up to 450 volts just because the conductor of the experiment told them they must continue. The experiment shows us that people will do what they think they have to do, just because someone else tells them they must do so, even if it means harming another individual. I was very surprised at the results of the experiment, and I am unsure of what I would do if I were put in that situation.

Memories of PSY1001

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I know that there are many psychology concepts that I will never forget. However, a certain one is beginning to make me change how I think about the world, and other people. We recently learned about the "Fundamental Attribution Error", "the tendency to overestimate the impact of dispositional influences on other people's behavior" (Lilienfeld et al, 499). At first glance, we may brush this off, as just another discriminatory practice. However, upon further examination, we can easily see that we all commit this error, probably many times a day!

It most often happens when we (or someone else) do something poorly, or wrong. For example, when a classmate fails a test, we may think that he is lazy or stupid. However, from personal experience, when we fail a test, we answer with endless excuses. "The teacher didn't teach the material! It's her fault!" Or, "I'm so busy, I couldn't find time to study!" So when we fail, it's due to our situation, but when someone else fails, it's due to his or her disposition.

Why will this one random concept stick with me? I believe that if we can avoid committing the Fundamental Attribution Error, we would be much better people. Why? We would be better friends, classmates, and students, because we would try to put ourselves into our neighbor's shoes before making a hasty dispositional judgment. We would be more sympathetic and forgiving. And we would always remember that we can't really understand something until we've gone though it ourselves.

The Bystander Effect

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The Bystander Effect is the phenomoneon that the more people present, the less likely they are to help a person in distress.

Experiments by Bibb Latane and John Darley show this effect. Their experiments had three situations a subject was put into: alone in a room, room with two other participants, or a room with two people aware of the study. In each room, smoke began to fill the room. Their results were that 75% of participants reported the smoke when they were alone in a room. 38% of subjects who were in a room wth two other subjects reported the smoke. 10% of participants in the room with two others (aware of the study) reported the smoke (two others ignored the smoke). This experiment shows the Bystander Effect that people are less likely to report a distressful situation if they are in the presence of others.

Two theories try to explain the Bystander Effect. First, diffusion of responsibility. When there are other people present, individuals feel less pressue to react. Next, people don't react when in the presence of others because they feel it is socially inappropriate. If others don't take action, individuals feel it is not necessary to take action because no one else before them did.

The Bystander Effect is an aspect of social conformity. Specifically, it relates to the phenomoneon that people are less likely to take action to a distressful situation if they are in the presence of others. This effect was proven by Latane and Darley when they performed experiements that showed the above results. Lastly, this effect is caused by diffusion of responisibility and social norms.
Below is a vido clip that further illustrates the Bystander Effect

One topic in Psy 1001 that I will recall five years from now would be the topic of personality psychology. This particular field interests me the most. One point I found interesting was the model of the Big Five traits of behavior. One memorable moment for me, was when during lecture, we evaluated different characters from the animated series: The Simpsons. What happened was we watched a clip of a certain character, like Bart for instance, then we evaluated their personality traits utilizing the Big Five model. For Bart, we found that he was high on Extravertion and low on Conscientiousness.
One research study that I found rather interesting, was Harry Harlow's study with the chimpanzees. In this study, Dr. Harlow provided two different surrogate mothers to the baby chimps. One was made of wire mesh and had a milk bottle beside it. The other was made of terrycloth. This experiment showed that the baby chimps when frightened, would go to the terrycloth mother for contact comfort and go to the wire mesh mother solely for the milk. We also looked at different levels of attachment in infants. It was found that those infants who exhibited anxious attachment grew up to be anxious and somewhat neurotic in their relationships as well. Those with secure attachments became secure adults, and those with insecure/avoidant attachments were uncomfortable with giving affection to their partners. With all this knowledge, I could not help but evaluate myself and where I stand in the Big Five model and other models of personality traits. I guess this is exactly why I will recall all this information five years for now.

I really like the concept of the big five model of personality, which is openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. According to Paul Costa, Robert McCrae, the big five personality predict many important behaviors in the real world. For example, as we did the experiment in the psychology discussion, the instructor asked us to imagine a trip, and not to worry about the money. In our group, we imagined to travel to Maui, Hawii and bought a beach house. We climbed the volcano, did the scuba diving and so on. However, we did not think about to prepare some things for the trip such as surfing board, ID, plane tickets and so on. From our imagination of the trip showed that our group members are high extraversion and low conscientiousness. Because we are more creative compared to other people, but we did not make a plan with details and structures.

The reason I think I will still remember it five years from now is that "OCEAN" as a handy mnemonic. In addition, I use the big five model of personality everyday. When I meet a new person, I can use the big five to tell the personality of the person, whether our personalities match or not.

Out of all of the things I learned through this semester in psychology I think the main idea that will stick with me is scientific thinking. It is an important topic I believe because it enables us to not only evaluate claims that are made in the scientific community but also in everyday life. Whether I read a claim in a magazine that listening to a tape while sleeping will help you learn a second language, or if I have a friend who swears he saw a UFO I will be able to use the six principles of scientific thinking to ensure that I look at the situation in the correct manner before jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

The six principles of scientific thinking that I will forever use for the rest of my life are Ruling Out Rival Hypotheses, Correlation vs. Causation, Falsifiability, Replicability, Extraordinary Claims, and Occam's Razor. Using these six principles I will be able to dissect all of the claims I come across by seeing if there are other hypotheses to explain it, or by making sure that I didn't make the mistake of confusing correlation between to variables and the actual causes of them. I could also make sure the claim has the possibility of being proven false. Additionally, by looking to see if the claim has been repeated and had the same outcomes. If the claim is extraordinary, then I could sure it has just as extraordinary evidence to prove it, or finally by ruling it out with a simpler explanation for the claim.

I will forever have a new attitude about approaching the world and all the claims made in it by using the six simple principles of scientific thinking that I have learned from this class.

For some reason I always remember this time in fifth grade during math class when my teacher put a problem on the board and told all of us to solve it. We all took out a piece of paper and started to solve it. For fifth grade math, this was a pretty tough problem. The teacher waited for us to complete it and read of some possible answers. We were to raise our hand when he read off the answer we got. The teacher shouted out an answer that I didn't get, but the entire class, besides my buddy and myself, raised their hands. I didn't want to be embarrassed, so there I was raising my hand for answer that I didn't get. It turns out the answer on my paper was the correct one, and my buddy got a lot of respect from the teacher for being the only one to get it right. stock-vector-one-enthusiastic-and-happy-person-raising-hand-in-a-pessimistic-crowd-46319911.jpg

This is exactly like the Asch study on conformity. Conformity is the tendency of people to alter their behavior as a result of group pressure, according to our textbook on page 500. It was a classic study where Asch wanted to test the influences on conformity, and it turns out there are three major variables: unanimity, difference in the wrong answer, and size. Unanimity says that if all confederates gave the wrong answer, the participant would also give the wrong answer. If one confederate gave the correct answer, conformity drops significantly. Difference in the wrong answer, according to our book, says "knowing someone else in the group differed from the majority made the participant less likely to conform." Size is the last variable that influences conformity. The size of the group influences the likeliness of conformity up to five confederates. After that, the likeliness of conformity stayed the same.

Conformity in all of us

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If there is one concept that I will remember five years down the road, it would have to be be Conformity. This relatively simple concept to understand becomes very apparent in everyday society and even in our own lives if we only stop to realize it. According to our Lilienfeld text books, Conformity is "the tendency of people to alter their behavior as a result of group pressure"(Lilienfeld 500). So basically, we do what others do. Whether we do it to avoid conflict, or not to stand out, no matter the reason, it is all around us. This will stick with me so much because after learning it, I can remember how many times I have actually done this same exact thing. I have done it in school, sports and sometimes when I am just out in public. I am a person who doesn't like to stick out in a crowd even when I feel others aren't right. It is not just me either. I witness others doing this same thing all the time. In fact the other day in my CLA class I saw it happen. All the groups were going around giving answers out loud to a game that we were playing. As we moved from group to group, the answers stayed the same. However, there was one group who answered differently and all the others groups stared at them. This quickly resulted in them changing there answer to the one that everyone else was saying. It is funny how when you are actually aware of it, how often it really happens. Learning this concept has opened my eyes to what I was doing and is a concept that I will never forget.


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Although it may seem ironic, I think that the chapter on memory is something that I will remember at least five years down the road. I found this chapter very interesting, and learning about the different types of memory really intrigues me.

Sensory memory, which sustains sensations for identification, has a very large capacity. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as "scenic." However, this type of memory has a very short duration, lasting about a half second to three seconds. There are different kinds of sensory memory, including visual, auditory, touch, taste, and smell. Attention is associated with this type of memory, as it selects information from sensory memory.

Short-term memory, its function to think and do conscious work, has a capacity of seven plus or minus two pieces of information. Although is significantly smaller than sensory memory, its duration is longer, with a duration of about 10 to 15 seconds. Encoding from short-term memory sends information to long-term memory.

The final memory stage is long-term memory. This type of memory has a duration that is essentially permanent. Long-term memory retrieves information and brings it to the working memory.

Memory is something that truly fascinates me. I think that it is interesting to note how learning and memory work together, and how everyone learns and retains information differently. Sensory, short-term and long-term memory all work together to make up the human memory system, and I am very intrigued by this subject. I believe this topic in psychology will remain in my long-term memory for many years.


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A concept in psychology that I think I will remember five years from now is habituation. This is the process of responding less strongly over time to repeated stimuli. Also, another definition is when a person tends to ignore the stimulus to which he or she has been exposed too many times. Habituation is present in both animals and humans. Not all repeated stimuli lead to habituation, like painful electric shocks. I will remember this concept mostly because is a common daily thing to get used to background noises while seeing TV or studying. When I hear the word habituation what comes to my mind is: "get used to something". A good example of habituation in humans is the changing response to a food as it is repeated during a meal.

The clip below shows a animal habituation example with a rat when she jumps at first with a loud sound. The rat shows a decrease of the response after repeated exposure to the noise. The X represents the noise. We can notice that the reaction after the first jump is different and more quiet. This means that the rat got used to the loud sound.

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