One very popular myth, especially in elementary level classes, is that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the moon by the naked eye. The claim originates from a book written in 1938 and was based on the projections of the author, not actual observations from space since that was not possible at the time. So at the time that the myth was actually created there was no way to falsify the claims made about being able to see the Great Wall from space or the moon. The rumor further persisted since it was a very easy visual tool to use for teaching when describing the size of the wall. Once satellites and spacecrafts were put into use in the 1950's this claim was very easy to disprove. Actually according to the snopes article, some of the astronauts actually had trouble distinguishing the Great Wall at high altitudes, not even as far away as the moon. However I had not actually heard that this claim was false prior to reading the snopes article. This shows the high prevelence of popular rumors, despite the claims being falsified. It also shows the importance of claims being able to be falsified at the time they are made instead of at a later period in time when they have been able to be spread and thought to be true.
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Psychologists argue that there is the existence of multiple intelligences. The book defines that, as having different domains of intellectual skills. General intelligence (g) only defines one component of intelligence. I would say that having multiple intelligences is important because a human's brain has room for many different skills. I am a junior in college with all the education I went through, I have yet to know what other types of intelligences I can acquire. Experience can also contribute to intelligence in my opinion because you learn things from it. Gardner explains it as "frames of mind", is like how people think differently about the world. I can be example of having multiple intelligences; I usually score high in mathematical, interpersonal, and naturalistic intelligence, but the fact that I haven't experienced life in the real-world trying to test my abilities I have more things to learn. I wonder if intelligence has to do with how much information can a person intake and be able to excel in? Can intelligence just be defined in as only one's mentioned through the chapter? Can there be intelligence we are not aware of that exist?
Some of my most vivid memories from when I was a child deal with learning new skills like riding a bicycle, learning to roller blade, or even learning to play piano. All of these tasks required a lot of help and guidance from my parents before I could develop and proficiency of my own. For the bicycling, I needed training wheels, on roller blades I needed a parent to keep me balanced, and for piano I needed the kids' piano bench so I reached the keyboard properly.
All of the devices are examples of what is referred to as scaffolding. A term borrowed from building construction, scaffolding is defined as the process for constructing a learning environment for a child in ways that guide them to behave as if they've learned before they have. This structuring of the learning environment is done by the parents or caretakers of the child and is strongly based on social and cultural factors of the family (Lilienfeld 375). Historically, this theory of cognitive development was developed by Russian researcher Lev Vygotsky right around the same time Gene Piaget was developing his theory (Lilienfeld 375). Basically, the theory explains that as children become older and more experienced with their environment, more and more of the parental support or "scaffolding" can be removed. Thus, with the example of training wheels on my bicycle, the training wheels eventually came off when I got good enough to not require them anymore. The same is also true for roller blading and my piano practice.
Can you think of an example when your parents had to help support you before you could be independent?
Recently in discussion and lecture we discussed the Big Five traits. The Big Five traits consist of openness to experience, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. If you want a description of each of the traits, here is a link.
A person is not just one of these big five traits, everyone is a combination of each of the traits; more or less of each of the traits. It seems to be this combination is what makes everybody unique.
There are many personality tests out there, but here is one that I found right off of google.
I believe the big five traits are important to psychology because without them we would have a difficult time organizing people with different personalities. Obviously these big five traits can not describe everything about everyone, but they are very helpful understanding the main differences in personalities among different people.
I have not take this personality test i have provided a link to, but I would say I would score high in conscientiousness and agreeableness. I am organized and like things structured and well planned out. I also am very laid back and try to avoid arguments at all costs, therefore I tend to be very cooperative with others.
Everyone experiences a degree of attachment. The strength of such bonds is very subjective depending on the individual and environment, but nonetheless present. The attachment theory is in regards to the bonds that children form with their caregivers and the impacts of that bond throughout the individual's life. The variations in level of attachment are secure, ambivalent, and avoidant; the degree to which infants and children display these levels is very dependent on the relationship that they have with their parents. The main caregiver provides the child with a sense of security and this solidifies the attachment because it creates a secure base. This is important because we can use what we know about the degree of attachment people have to predict, to some extent, their relationships later in life and could help us gain insight into how critical the role of a parent is.
I can apply the attachment theory to my life, because as a kid, I was very afraid of the dark. My parents were made well aware of my fear when they heard me yelling out at night because I heard a noise outside the house or something like that. Quickly, my parents would run into my room and lay with me until I fell back asleep and I wouldn't be afraid anymore because I knew they were there to protect me. The attachment theory holds true in my situation because I came to rely on my parents more and more for protection and relief from things that were frightening because they made me feel safe, and provided a secure base and a safe haven; and I would strive for proximity maintenance and would demonstrate separation distress if they didn't come. Because my parents were there for me, I was able to learn how to form meaningful and caring relationships, and they also provided me with a sense of reassurance that I would be ok, and these things have helped me greatly with forming past and current relationships with others.
Thematic apperception tests are a type of projective tests that allow a person to look at an ambiguous situation and interpret them, and then theses answers can be measured and analyzed. A lot of the time these tests are used to determine which psychotherapy treatment would be bests with people who are already diagnosed with mental disorders. The only problem with these tests is that the way they are measured and analyzed can be varied. This is because of the lack of standardization. There are many factors that play into the testing situation some include sex, race, and social class which all affect one's personality. Although this lack of standardization for the TAT test can be bad when judging a more typical case of mental illness, it is better when people are trying to fool psychologists. Since the TAT tests have no normal standard, people are unable to lie about the situation they see in order to give a normal answer. So although the tests lack standardization it does not always a mean that it is bad, but instead it gives this test an advantage to other projective tests. I do believe that TAT tests should become more standardized in the psychology community.
There are different opinions as to whether or not children who play violent video games are more likely to be more violent and/or commit violent crimes. The people that say that exposure to violent video games makes the players more likely to commit violent acts argue that real life acts are rendered less meaningful because they are said to be "okay" in the video game. For example, in games like Grand Theft Auto the player regularly commits horrible acts such as robbing banks, evading police and generally just being a menace to society. In addition, players are actually rewarded for these acts.
Those who argue that playing video games does not have an affect on real life violence typically bring up the fact that there are many extraneous factors that are better indicators of violence in children. A few of these are mental illness, a stable or unstable home life and parental influence. Kids learn a lot about what is okay and acceptable in life from their parents, more so than from video games. If they are exposed to or witness abuse on a regular basis they may begin to think that such behavior is acceptable. Undiagnosed mental illnesses could also be a factor in violent acts.
In one of the recent discussion sections we had a debate about why Intelligence Tests should or should not be used in consideration of people for certain job positions.
I believe that a general IQ test should not be used alone for these measures. Instead I am in favor of companies using specialized tests that measure certain knowledge for the specific position and personality tests.
First of all, when the IQ test was created, it was intended only to help identify students with special needs in education. The results of the tests would only benefit the students and help them succeed. However, today one score basically can put a big label on someone's forehead and determine their status as a job applicant.
Every company has different demands and expectations of their employees. Because different positions require different personalities, skills, experience and prior accomplishments, the employer can look at those in addition to considering IQ scores.
I've never taken an IQ test, but I have taken the ACT multiple times. Out of the three times I took the test, I got different scores every time with variability in every subsection of the exam. I believe that none of the standardized tests show a full profile of a person.
I believe that personality is also an important factor that can predict success in many jobs. The Big 5 can very much determine success in any job position. For example, if a job requires focusing on details and high social skills, an employer would look for someone with high conscientiousness and extraversion. If a person has a personality that would not match that environment, the probability of success and satisfaction is low.
In the textbook, the author discussed about the undermining effect of extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation. When people receive the extrinsic reinforcer other than their original intrinsic motivation, they tend to lose the original one.
This undermining effect remind me of my high school courses. At that time, all the courses I took were only for the collage entrance test in my country. They seemed so boring to me. And the whole high school years for me were filled with endless tests and miserable learning. However, after that, as I past the final test and enrolled in a collage, one day when I randomly picked up a high school textbook for killing time, I just found it was so interesting. For the following days, I reviewed all my high school textbooks, and found that they were all classic and full of fun. Why I didn't find that before? It would make my high school years much better.
Now I see, because at that time I was so focusing on the extrinsic motivation, the collage entrance test, which let me neglect the intrinsic interests of the courses themselves. The extrinsic motivation undermined the intrinsic motivation. After the rewards from the test had been removed for a long time, the intrinsic motivation just came back.
This experience drives me to think about the education today. The knowledge is defined as the tool to get money and reputation to motivate the students learning. As a result, more and more students tend to see courses as tasks for degree, but not the enjoyment of learning and beauty of the nature itself. It is alarming for this undermining effect, which in fact undermining our motivation for "Driven to Discover".
This is a concept mention in our text (pg 422) that emphasizing positive human characteristics. This concept has gained a lot of critisicm because, as some researchers say, it takes away from "defensive pessimis", which is a strategy of hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. They argue that this view is essential and that embracing simply the positive aspects of life and dealing with reality as it is.
In respect to this perspective, I am very supportive. I think that embracing the "rose-colored" view is very important and can have a dramatic effect on how we live and enjoy our lives. In my opinion, viewing things in a positive way and trying to find happiness in all things gives us a creative perspective and opens us to a lot of possibilities. I do understand that it is important to keep a realistic view of life, but I don't think that being happy and seeing the best in situations necessarily has to take away from a calculative approach.
Being happy is good for your health, you friends and your goals. I make it a priority to see the best and move on in life. I think Positive Psychology is not just a fad, it is a concept recognizing the amazing effect of a positive approach on life. Some have had this down for a long time, but only now do we begin to see what a positive attitude can do for us from a psychological perspective.
So look on the bright side! And please, be nice, it increases your happiness and others!