Assignment # 5: November 2011 Archives

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.

Multiple intelligence

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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. article-page-main_ehow_images_a00_0h_ul_teach-kid-ride-800x800.jpg
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. 616954-close-up-of-the-hands-of-a-child-learning-to-play-the-piano.jpg
Can you think of an example when your parents had to help support you before you could be independent?

The Big Five Traits

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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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits.

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.

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There are many personality tests out there, but here is one that I found right off of google.


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

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.

Attachment Theory

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http://psychology.about.com/od/loveandattraction/a/attachment01.htm

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.

TAT Standardization

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(http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.minddisorders.com/images/gemd_02_img0100.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Thematic-Apperception-Test.html&h=322&w=497&sz=17&tbnid=B90GWM_YpR1qQM:&tbnh=73&tbnw=113&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dtat%2Btests%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=tat+tests&docid=NUYuh91NWIifBM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=atvJTqmzNerciQKZ1ZHdDw&ved=0CDUQ9QEwAQ&dur=406)

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.


(http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Thematic+Apperception+Test)

Video Games and Violence

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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.

Article: http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/anderson.aspx

Intelligence and Personality

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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.
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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.Flaws.jpg


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.
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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".

Positive Psychology

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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!

Similarities in Separated Twins

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You may not be shocked when you hear that many siblings share similarities, such as similar intelligence levels, occupational styles, and psychological behavioral traits. You may conclude that these strong similarities are due not to similarity of genes but because of how those siblings were raised in the same family household. However, research has shown that genetically identical twins share stronger similarities than generic siblings, and while some believe that this could be due to the fact that twins are generally raised more similar than other siblings, separated twin studies have shown that much of the similarities found in siblings is a result of genetics rather than external environmental factors such as childhood upbringing.

These separated twin studies allow for psychologists to disregard external factors because of the fact that the twins were raised in separate households. Because of this researchers are able to isolate genetics and their effect of life outcomes in twins. The findings are astounding, and there are numerous stories of twins who were separated at birth yet have extremely similar lives. For instance, Gerald Levey and Mark Newman were both separated at birth, and when they reunited they discovered that they were both firefighters, and shared similar personalities. Such research is difficult to conduct because it requires for a situation in which separated twins can be analyzed many years later, yet whenever the research is properly conducted, similar and astonishing findings are seen.

I personally know two older twins from high school who were raised under a similar household, but then were sent off to different colleges having external experiences during a time of great personal development. Despite the great differences in their physical experiences and mental experiences, both twins still have very similar lives, and even now as they are separated I expect their lives to progress in a similar fashion.

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Have you ever wondered if intelligence or personality is more influential in job performance? Based on the article, http://www.divinecaroline.com/22276/107604-which-traits-predict-job-performance, Joyce Hogan, psychologist from the University of Tulsa, believes that personality plays a major role in creativity, leadership, integrity, attendance, and cooperation. These factors are important to have success in future jobs and are also associated with the Big Five. The Big Five Model of Personality does not focus on intelligence but on various dimensions of personality such as Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism; these traits are crucial in predicting success in job performance. For example, if an individual is high in Agreeableness and low in Neuroticism, this could correlate with getting along well with others by not being tense or moody to other employees. Intelligence used to be a key factor in job performance, but researches, stated in the article, believe that the focus has turned to personality.

In the future, the Big Five will be an important assessment in order to get a job as a nursing student. This relates to my life because employers will be looking for high in Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion through their hiring process. These traits determine if individuals can interact with various patients and also get along with their employees.

It is still unclear if personality or intelligence is more influential, but based on the article previously stated, researchers believe that personality may be more important in some cases. Is it possible to determine which one is more crucial? Will researchers and psychologists ever have an answer? These questions will continue to linger after learning about the Big Five Model.

While reading Chapter 14 on Personality, I was very intrigued by the section discussing birth order and its effects on personality. According to the text, birth order as a nonshared environmental factor on personality has been a topic of debate for decades. The book The New Birth Order Book described firstborns as goal oriented, middle-borns as negotiators, and the later-borns as risk takers. These very specific claims were found to be inconsistent when tested, with researchers not finding any strong correlations between birth order and the ascribed personality traits. Frank Sulloway, a science historian, momentarily revitalized the theory about the importance of birth order on personality with his 1996 study involving correlations between birth order and revolutionary scientific theories. The results of his experiment seemed to support the idea that birth order does, in fact, affect personality; it was found that later-borns were between three and five times more likely to favor revolutionary ideas than first borns. However, the boost his study gave to the birth order theory was quickly criticized based on several factors, one of them being that the scientists he was using to help evaluate the people may not have been blind to their birth order. His results have also not been replicated by other studies, which further calls into question his findings.
I was interested in this section on birth order and its effects on personality because it made me think about my own birth order situation and those of people I know. I am the middle child, with an older sister and younger brother, and I do not think that my siblings and I fit the traits that are described for our birth orders. However, I do feel that birth order may have more subtle effects on personality than what has been laid out in this textbook. For the Human Growth and Development course that I'm currently enrolled in, we discussed how birth order may influence personality based on how parenting styles may change as a couple has more experience when raising a second, third, etc., child.

This video is interesting because while it does talk about birth order, it also shows what the textbook brings up a few times: how popular media often oversimplifies psychological concepts and provide single-cause explanations.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YstSLxQQqDw

One important concept in Psychology is the invention of the IQ test, a diagnostic tool designed to measure overall thinking ability. The first intelligence test was created in 1905 by Alfred Binet and Théophile Simon to determine which French school children were too slow to follow "regular" instruction by teachers. In discussion a few weeks ago, we discussed if IQ tests should be used solely to hire applicants for certain positions. I feel that intelligence tests should not be used in any way to choose one candidate from another. Although the correlation between job performance and interviews is only +0.15, IQ tests should not be used to fill that gap because Intelligence tests have many downfalls. For example, they cannot be applied to the general public, specifically those who do not speak the language that the test is in. If the test is in a language that is not native to the speaker, then it will inevitably be more difficult for them, regardless of how the test is written. Furthermore, intelligence tests evaluate how smart one is, but does not test how they process information, or their critical thinking skills. The way someone process information and think critically is extremely important in any job, but that is not assessed through an intelligence test. Also, IQ tests cannot account for other factors such as job performance, social ability etc, factors that are necessary in any type of job. Also, SATs and Acts are types of IQ tests that are supposed to forecast the performance in undergraduate courses. Yet the correlation between these tests and college grades are less than .5, and in some cases, close to zero. If SATs and Acts are poor predictors of academic performance, similarly, IQ tests will be poor predictors of job performance.

The most controversial model Freud has made is his theory on psychosexual development. He believed that the development of our personalities begins all the way back to when we are born. As we grow older, we go through stages called psychosexual. He believed at each stage we are sexually aroused by a specific body zone or erogenous zone. Freud felt strongly that we experience sexual pleasure even from when we are babies. If we were deprived of any "sexual pleasure" during a stage, then we linger in development in that stage a little longer than what is normal.

STAGES
Oral - birth to 12/18months - sucking & drinking
Anal - 18months to 3 years - expelling feces
Phallic - 3 years to 6 years - genitals
Latency - 6 years to 12 years - dormant
Genital - 12 years & beyond - renewal

I think it is important simply for the fact that his theory is hard to grasp with the way we have been raised. The ages of 12 and younger should be of innocence, there should be no relation to sexual pleasures. It's a bad thing to us. But his explanation of each stage is quite appropriate and seems applicable. It is relatable in a way because it really is how we are raised. The parallel connections between our body zones and the sexual name makes sense.

Example from our textbook: Anal - children want to alleviate tension by moving their bowels, but we learn we cannot whenever nature calls. Instead, we learn to control our bowels to where we only alleviate when it is socially appropriate at the appropriate place; toilet. If the toilet training is too lenient or too harsh then the child will regress back to this stage when hit with anxiety. They tend to grow up and have stubborn, excessive neatness personalities. (Lilienfeld P.551)

I know when you're lying!

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The idea that body language can help you figure out how a person really feels has been popularized and exemplified in the FOX TV show Lie to Me in which Dr. Lightman runs a company that specializes in determining whether people are lying or not through examining a person's body language and "micro-expressions".

Although this method is controversial and many people find it to be unreliable (as the show itself points out), our textbook points out, nonverbal leakage can be a very "powerful cue that we're trying to hide an emotion". There are however, several studies that provide evidence for micro-expressions revealing when a person is lying. For instance, work done by social psychologist Mark Frank at the University of Buffalo has identified conscious and unconscious cues that can suggest that someone is lying. His research is being used by investigative bodies around the world to detect these almost impossible to control micro-expressions.

Frank spent much time studying under the world's foremost expert in reading facial expressions, Paul Ekman, who conducted research that found many universal facial expressions that correlate to specific emotions. Each emotion is tied to specific movements of muscles within the face and they can be recognized across many cultures. So in a way, Mark Frank IS the real-life embodiment of Dr. Lightman. Of course it could be that Frank and his work were the inspiration for the character and show.

So next time you tell a lie, which statistically will be sometime VERY soon, you better hope who ever you're telling the lie to isn't a master at detecting micro-expressions.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060505161952.htm

The Big Five

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Throughout all of the chapters that we have read in this section so far, I have found the Big Five model of personality to be the most interesting subject. I find it fascinating that we are able to sum up one's personality in five characteristics: Openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. In short, the Big Five is five traits that have "surfaced repeatedly in factor analyses of personality measures" (Lilienfeld 562). What I take this to mean is that these are the five most prominent characteristics that we see in our everyday lives and they predict many real-world behaviors (Lilienfeld 562).

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I think that the Big Five is an important concept because it can tell us a lot about ourselves. I took a personality test to figure out how I ranked on these 5 characteristics and found that I ranked as follows:
Openness to experience: 24
Conscientiousness: 28
Extraversion: 25
Agreeableness: 34
Neuroticism:25
I definitely see a lot of truth in these findings. It was very interesting to go to the lecture and discuss these findings and see what they meant and how I compared to the general population. I found this link of youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm2vafSHf_U) of a group of three people talking about the Big Five, and they tried to identify how certain celebrities would rank in each. I found it very interesting and a bit humorous! It really made me think about the people in my life and how they would rank in comparison to myself and if there is any correlation. All in all, I found this to be a very interesting topic and I will definitely keep it in mind as I go forward in life and encounter new people.

IQ and social environments

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An important concept that I found to be the most interesting was among the twin studies. In the lilienfeld text Twin Studies is to compare correlations in a trait in two types of twins: identical and fraternal. It is found that identical twin studies are much more interesting because they share two times more the genetic makeup than fraternal twins. This comes in handy when measuring intelligence because it can be known as to whether or not it is passed down through your genetics.

I found this interesting because I can apply this to my own life. I have two older brothers. We all have a considerable amount of time between our births. I have always wondered which one of us has the higher IQ and which parent passed their intelligence onto us. A major factor that I was always aware of was that each of my brothers grew up in different social environments. Does growing up in different times and having different friend groups alter IQ? I have concluded that it is nearly impossible to make this information all be known, but I did find that intelligence heavily relies on genetics. Through the testing of twin studies. in the future it could all be known!

The link below contains an article about twin studies. I found a very interesting aspect of this article. It claims that identical twins raised apart were very similar to identical twins raised together. Furthermore concluding that the social environment does not greatly influence IQ.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/200810/straight-talk-about-twin-studies-genes-and-parenting-what-makes-us-who-w

IQ Testing and Standardized Testing
IQ is a measure of relative intelligence determined by a standardized test. The first intelligence test was created in 1905 by Alfred Binet and Théophile Simon to determine which French school children were too "slow" to benefit from regular instruction. The way in which is it determined is by Mental Age/Chronological Age = Mental Quotient.
Though I have never taken an IQ test I have taken standardized tests like the SAT and the ACT and I find them to be very inaccurate in the achievements of others. It has no way of predicting how great a person's work ethic is or what their college achievement will be in the future. Knowing people like my parents or friends who did not score high in these tests to do extremely well in high school and higher education. I am not trying to say that these tests do not provide somewhat of the knowledge learned by a student and what their success may be in college but it should not be the ultimate decision maker. It should not be the first thing that colleges look at or make their final decision on when choosing a student.
It is important because these tests should not be the ultimate factors in any situation whether it be a college decision or a job. Some questions I still have about these types of tests is who creates them and how do they ensure that they are completely non bias.

Everyone has a different personality. There are no two people who are exactly alike, and there are loads of diverse ways to describe someone. You're exuberant, quiet, shy, excitable, enigmatic, detailed, controlling, aggressive, optimistic, nagging, opportunist, and so on and so forth. While there are many adjectives to explain what a person is like, there is a model in which many people have come to accept as a way to determine how a person is. It is the Big Five Model.

The Big Five Model measures out five different traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The Big Five Model is based off of a lexical approach, meaning that if there is a personality trait that is really important to people, it will be used more often in conversation, and there will be more synonyms for it. Everybody scores differently on each level of each trait, and different combinations make for different people. I personally score rather high on all of them except for Neuroticism. I was able to find out my scores through the Berkley Personality Profile.

The Berkley Personality Profile is just one way that people can test themselves though. Another test that is used is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), which is the most extensively researched structured personality test. (Lillenfeld, pg 567) While this test is not exactly used to determine how extraverted or open you are, it is most commonly used to assess mental disorders and their symptoms. If you wanted a test that was more for the layman, the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) would be much more appropriate as it is primarily used to test traits such as flexibility, sociability, and dominance.

There are many other ways that one can determine the sort of personality they have. While many are inaccurate, they exist, and many people like to take them as truth. If you search for it on Google, you can easily find many links to hundreds of various personality tests. Chances are many of them have been based off of the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a type of personality test that puts takers into four different cateogories: Introversion-Extraversion, Sensing-Intuiting, Thinking-Feeling, and Judging-Perceiving. That makes for a total of 16 different personality types that one can be placed in. I have taken many of these tests in the past, mostly due to boredom, and many times, I have gotten ENTJ as my personality type. While I may have gotten the same result many times over an extended period of time, that does not apply to many people. This type of personality testing is actually not very valid because most people do not score the same personality type when they retake the test months later. (Lillenfeld, pg. 570)

However, none of these tests can claim to be absolutely accurate of being able to determine the type of person someone is. Despite that though, while some (or one) of these tests can not be completely valid, they all give a good general idea of who you are. What my question is though, is are all of these tests necessary? As a human being, do we need to be able to figure out who we are exactly? Or is it better to let it be, and to try to understand ourselves on our own without numbers, explanations, and figures telling us things that could possibly only be restricting?

Standardized testing is a controversial test style for many people. Usually someone will either love it because of the way it is formatted or hate it because of the stress levels. I came across an interesting article that suggests because of both positive and negative aspects, standardized testing can play an important role in the advancement of students' education when used effectively.

Positive aspects:
1) Teachers are guided as far as what to teach students, resulting in better time management
2) Parents can see how their children are doing compared to other students of the same age locally and nationwide
3) Students' progress can be traced over the years
4) Since all the students in a school are taking similar tests, it is easy to compare members of the group (ex. boys compared to girls)

Negative aspects:
1) Teachers might be just teaching the test, that is, teaching the knowledge and/or skills necessary to do well on this one test rather than a complete subject
2) Some schools have cut away recess time in order to prepare for these tests (increased pressure to raise their test scores)
3) Stress on students and teachers, which can result in poor health and a negative outlook towards school
4) Extremely difficult to eliminate all testing bias

For me personally, I am not a fan of standardized tests simply because I feel they don't truly assess a student's knowledge. There are kids that are just better test takers than others and it doesn't necessarily mean that they deserve to go to a certain school more or will have more success in their future schooling. Standardized tests should not be abolished because they do offer some positive feedback, but changes need to be made so a student's and school's progress isn't based solely off of one test. For your viewing enjoyment here is a clip from the Simpsons about standardized testing!

Beach with Kim 013.JPG I was reading along in the textbook and was instantly drawn to the Misconception #4, in chapter 11, where the book talks about what makes us happy. Misconseption #4 says that 'People on the West Coast are the happiest". I guess now is an important time to mention that I am a true Southern California Girl, born and raised for 18 years an hour from LA, the beach, and Hollywood. So now you're probably wondering what the heck I am doing at the University of Minnesota?
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Story of my life. I get that question from just about anyone who finds out that I am from California. Then I have to explain that California isn't all about hot surfers, glamorous actresses, and sunny skies. It is actually incredibly dirty and disgusting, and super expensive to live in. University of California schools increased tuition 32% last year, and have already increased it 8% this year! There is a statement in the book that says, "Southern Californians are no happier than anyone else, including people in the chilly upper midwest" (425). I think this is extremely important as far as life happiness goes! It doesn't matter where you live or what you live by. There are so many other aspects in life like friendships and college, giving, and exercise that make us happy. I am currently having the time of my life freezing my butt off in the midwest at the University of Minnesota! Happiness is so much more than the location of where we live!

Beth, the "Child of Rage"

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I came across this documentary while I was searching for interesting videos on contact comfort. The videos below do not describe contact comfort, but something I find much more interesting, if not disturbing. The documentary is about a child named Beth who was abused at the age of one (and most likely deprived and abused before that as well). She was adopted into a family along with her brother and they were both described to the family as "normal and healthy." Unfortunately, the family was in for a nightmare.



This case brings up several different topics we have encountered so far in class, but I want to focus on the developmental myths: infant determinism and childhood fragility. For an average person viewing these videos it's extremely easy to say that very early experiences in a child's life are almost always more influential than later experiences in shaping us as adults and that children are delicate little creatures who are easily damaged. It's cases like this that make people believe these myths. However, if you watch all three videos until the end and look for follow-up information you will see that through intensive therapy, Beth has become a "normal" woman. The little girl who at first showed no remorse in her face or voice in the first couple videos finally learned what was right or wrong and at the very end, she was crying. This is not to say she was undamaged by the abuse; clearly she was, but this gives support that these effects can be lessened by intensive therapy and later experiences.

In the 1920's (everyone's favorite psychologist) Sigmund Freud developed a theory of personality. In this theory he employs the ideas of psychic determinism or the assumption that all psychological events have a cause (pg. 547). In his 1923 book The Ego and the Id he described the psyche as having three parts: the id, ego and super-ego. The id is impulsive and seeks pleasure without taking possible consequences into account. The id operates off the pleasure principle or the tendency of the id to strive for immediate gratification (pg. 547). The ego is rational and tries to balance out the irrational thinking of the id. The ego then tries to balances the id by postponing gratification until it can find an apprpriate outlet for a certain behavior, this is called the rality principle (pg. 547). Finally, the super-ego is the moral compass out of the three and bases it's thinking with the ideal in mind.
The author of our book mentions that much of the time the id, ego and super-ego interact harmoniously and only sometimes to the wills of these entities within us collide.

I also found this cool 1990's video on YouTube that details Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfP9AIJA72E

Intelligence Testing

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Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests have many uses. They can be used to predict educational achievement, help diagnose learning disabilities, identify academic strengths and weaknesses and aid in school placement. One of the best uses for Intelligence tests is to determine the presence of a learning disability. Many people with learning disabilities will display a variance between their Verbal and Performance IQ scores. This is one way that Intelligence testing can be very beneficial.

While Intelligence tests are very useful in certain scenarios, they are also misused quite frequently. Many people assume Intelligence Quotient tests will predict if someone will be able to work in a certain field, get accepted into a certain graduate school or even have a good quality of life. This is one of the downsides to IQ testing. Sometimes, people begin to read too much into the results of a test. In reality, no test is detailed enough to fully predict someone's life. One example of this misuse is when certain races are deemed to be less intelligent than others based on the broad results of IQ tests. In reality, these tests do not take other factors such as poverty into consideration. Additionally, IQ tests do not measure creative ability. Creativity is an important aspect in many jobs.

Article: http://bsnpta.org/geeklog/public_html//article.php?story=Use_Misuse_IQ_Testing

Many of us have either heard of the show or seen the show called "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" and have had the thought, "well of course I'm smarter than a 5th grader..." are you really? Think back to the topics you covered in elementary school, how many of you can still match all of the capitals to all of the states, how about most of the countries in the world and their capitals? As we know, intelligence and memory begin to decline as we get older, varying in degrees depending on the individual, some more so than others. Much of the retention has to do with how well it was encoded or if it was encoded at all, in addition to hereditary and environmental factors as well. In Kelli Picklers case, lets just say she is not smarter than a 5th grader.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqi0DwNLJdM

Multiple Intelligences

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Very often students compare themselves to other students and say that someone is else is "smarter." Is that really the case? According to Howard Gardner he doesn't believe that. Students all have different ways of learning that works for them but may not work for other students. In this video he says that "education which treats everybody the same is actually the most unfair education." He believes that students should all be able to learn in ways the benefit the students learning. Some students can read material and understand it but other students need to be very hands on. He goes on to say that the teacher should find material and other resources to help with a student's learning style. Something he emphasizes on is that "everything can be taught in more than one way. And everything that's understood can be shown in more than one way." In the book Howard's multiple intelligence types are: Linguistic, Logicomathematical, Spatial, Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalistic. In the video he also says that teachers don't need to try to teach students all 8 different ways of learning but they should keep in mind that just because some students are understanding, it's possible other are not. I agree with Howard because for me to just read something and hear it in lecture is not always enough. I need to find videos or examples of what I'm learning so it is more likely to stick in my head.

http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-howard-gardner-video#graph3

In discussion a few weeks ago, our class held a sort of debate about whether or not we think that someone's IQ will determine if they will be good for certain jobs. This has been a standing debate in psychology for many years. There are a ton of news articles out there that either agree or disagree with the use of an IQ test. For example, this article talks about how a new study shows that high IQ in childhood may actually lead to later drug use. The article does not explain why this may be true, but just that it has shown correlation in some research tests. This forces me to question the validity of this specific article, but there are still many other articles out there that talk about bizarre IQ correlations.
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Based on what our group discussed, I believe both sides of the argument have some truth to them. For example, IQ fails to score creativity, which is essential for some jobs. On the other hand, high IQs have shown to positively correlate with work performance (Lilienfeld et al. 333). Depending on the job and situation, IQ may prove to be a great measure of job performance, especially in high knowledge-demanding jobs. For occupations such as an artist or construction worker, IQ may not matter quite as much and to test IQ would be a waste of time and money.

The Science of Love

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We may think that we fall in love by coincidence, or perhaps fate, but lately scientists have another explanation as to why we fall in love with the people we do. They say that there are three major components to attraction and love; proximity, similarity, and reciprocity. Proximity refers to physical nearness, which allows for intimate relationship formation. Similarity is the extent to which we have things in common with others (like attracts like). And reciprocity is the rule of give and take, if we like someone and they like us back. This is an interesting concept, and probably holds a lot of truth, but there is another idea that came about by the best selling author Gary Chapman. His theory is that we all have a certain "love language" or a way in which we express our love to others. Those with love languages that match, or that know their partner's language and cater to it are more likely to survive in the long term. He has books upon books about his theory. You can take the quiz even online and find out your language. The quiz is a series of about 30 questions that vary from "I like to be touched" to "When someone helps me with my chores I feel loved." The quiz is measuring five basic ways people show love; words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gift giving. At the end the things you score highest on are the things you value most in the relationship. The whole idea behind the theory is that those of us who value and show our love the same way typically will feel loved when someone else shows us that way, so the relationship is more solid. Take the quiz! It's an interesting insight into your personality and the way you and your partner express yourselves.... you may be surprised! http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/

Birth order is something that hardly comes to mind when considering intelligence or personality, but with more studies being done on the subject, is there really a possibility that birth order influences such integral parts of our psychology? Many scientists pose the questions of, is there an impact on a person's IQ or personality by the number of siblings that precede them? In the past, data from such research had been inconclusive, but recent studies have found measurable effects of our position in the family on our IQ and personality. An article which delves deeper into these studies can be found here:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ruled-by-birth-order

It's natural to first respond to these studies with skepticism. There are so many variables, such as family size, social status, and environment, which could play a part in skewing such data. It's important to keep in mind though, that these results aren't concrete, they simply display what the data suggests based on its interpretation.

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The data only implies that there is only a small negative correlation between the birth order and IQ/Personality. This by no means destines a person to have low or high IQ or a particular sort of personality. A few questions that were inspired by these studies for me are: What are the rival hypotheses? Does the correlation carry throughout cultures? How much should birth order be weighed when evaluating an individual's IQ or personality? My personal conclusion is that the link between birth order and IQ/Personality isn't quite near worth weighing too heavily.

Defense Mechanisms

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Defense mechanisms are an important concept to know in psychology. It is essential for psychological health, because they are the unconscious ways to decrease anxiety. There are also many different types of defense mechanisms, such as, repression (motivated forgetting of bad memories), regression (returning to a younger age), reaction-formation (opposite of anxiety), and projection (acknowledgment of negative characteristics of others).
I believe that defense mechanisms are so important to learn about so we understand why we use them. For example someone who is too old to such their thumb may regress back to it when they are under a stressful situation. Another great example of regression is the movie "Step Brothers," two 40 year old guys that like with their parents and they act like they are children. For projection one with paranoia may deep down want to hurt someone and because they don't want to act on these impulses they start to think that other people want to hurt them.

Defense Mechanisms in Movies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnRBAU6Yg2A&feature=related

Graphology is one of a widely used projective tests and it is analysis of handwriting in relation to human psychology. This concept is very important because we do handwriting everyday no matter when you sign a receipt or a document. There is the old Chinese saying that :" The writing style is the man." Chinese Calligraphy is an important component of its culture and graphology is easy to be confused with it. Here are some of the examples:
Cursive Hand:
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A man of a hasty and careless handwriting style is often good at logics and extrasensory.

Official Script:
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A man of neat and tight handwriting style is usually quiet , eccentric and idiosyncratic.


Regular Script:

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Those who write simple and straight words are often honest, fair-minded, and upright. They often make good friends but they are reserved and quiet in most cases.

Most Chinese people believe we can judge personalities, motions and even can differentiate genders according to various types of calligraphy. However, according to the video:
The Relationship between Chinese Calligraphy and Graphology
We can prove again the flaws in Graphology. Professor Tian in the video points out, when people learn traditional Chinese styles of calligraphy, people tend to copy handwriting from Chinese predecessors, resulting in the letters they write have feelings of their predecessors rather than themselves. After constant repetition of the exercise, people will get use to a certain style of handwriting which is hardly to reflect any aspects of themselves. In conclusion, according to my research of Chinese calligraphy, graphology is pseudoscience and have low reliability. The question that I am still wandering about is whether a language which has less traditions and constraints on handwriting, such as English, may reflect some aspects of people to some extent?

We have all heard of the myth that money is the primary reason for our happiness in life. Though money makes us happy researchers have stated that we don't endure long term happiness from it. Before we examine the things that makes up happy we first need to look at the misconceptions about happiness. The first misconception is that things in our lives are what makes up happy like our jobs or income. Researchers have found out that these things are not correlated with happiness, but the quality of sleep or if someone was prone to depression or not was a better indicator. Another misconception is that as we get older we are less happy. Studies have shown that in the sixties and even seventies happiness increases. Also as people age they have a tendency to remember, which is called the positivity effect. The last misconception is that people who live on the west coast seem to be happier than other regions of the United States, considering that they have beaches and warm weather. In reality those areas suffer from higher rates of crimes, traffic congestion, and the price of living is higher.


The first thing that makes us happy is marriage. Replicated findings have shown that people who are married are happier than people who are not married. Having more friends increases our happiness than having fewer friends. Having a college degree also increases our happiness than those who don't have one. Religious people have a connection to a higher power and bigger communities, which make them, see life differently. People that are actively involved in excising exhibit more happiness considering that exercise is an antidepressant. People that have more gratitude about life and the things that they are thankful for improve short term happiness. Researchers have found out that when we engage in the activity of giving towards other people it brings us more pleasure.


Nancy Woolf, Laura Namy, Steven Lynn, Scott Lilienfeld.Psychology: from inquiry to understanding. Massachusetts. Jessica Mosher. 2009. Print.


The Structure of Personality

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While reading the Lilienfeld textbook, on page 547, I came across the structure of our personality from the thoughts of Sigmund Freud. According to our Freud, our personality is made up by three structures: id, ego, and the superego. The differences in these three cause the differences in individuals.

The first component of the personality structure is the id. Id is the pleasure principle because it looks for an instant sense of pleasure. Id is, according to our text, the "reservoir of our most primitive impulses, including sex and aggression." The id includes many drives like sex and aggression, and these are completely unconscious. Since the id looks for pleasure and is unconscious, the text suggests that the id is the "demon" on your shoulder.

The second component is the ego. Ego is the "psyche's executive and principle decision maker." The ego is conscious because it is your contact with people and situations. Your ego will "delay gratification until it can find and appropriate outlet." This is the means of the reality principle. An example of this can be shown when a significant other breaks up with you. Your id will tell you to act out with aggression, but your ego will make you delay your aggression to another time.

The superego is the last component to Freud's structure of personality. Our book says that the superego is our "sense of morality." The superego is the "angel" on your other shoulder. It helps us to distinguish what is right and wrong. Both the ego and the superego help to suppress the id. devil+and+angel+homer2.jpg

Easy 5!

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devil.jpg High 5 Yo! The Big Five Model of Personality which are the five main themes that can be found in a majority of people. The Big 5 consists of O.C.E.A.N or C.A.N.O.E (Lilienfeld 562). To be more specific, it's Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Etraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. To break the OCEAN down for easier understanding and remembering, just remember key words. For example, O the definition is within the Openness to experience= OPEN; then as for Conscientiousness= CAREFUL and when your careful, you're RESPONSIBLE; for Etraversion= EXTRA which you could conclude to the fact that it's not normal behavior (calming & relating) meaning behaviors are more LIVELY & SOCIALABLE; then as for Agreeableness= AGREE concluding that people who are more agreeable tend to be easy going and sociable; and lastly, Neuroticism, think of this as the ugly duck because it's definition doesn't sound favorable. Neuroticism is tense & moody= ugly duck!moody.jpg

I think that understanding the Big Five helps you understand yourself better in terms of psychologically. For example, during discussion section, I found out that I was low on extraversion and high on conscientiousness. I was pretty surprise at first and later, I understood why and how the results were like that. Thus, I believe that by understanding the Big Five, you can improve yourself if you want to.

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Here is an example of some of the big five traits of personality; in order to see this example, please copy and paste this link into your browser: http://youtu.be/UMfjDt3QQ1E

After watching the example, which of the big five could you identify and with whom does it correlate with?

We're All Precious Snowflakes

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In Chapter 14, we learned about Personality. Personality is defined in lecture as "Distinctive, characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior that uniquely define an individual" (Simpson, lecture, 11/14/2011). The textbook describes 3 broad influences on personality: genetic, shared environmental, and nonshared environmental factors (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy & Woolf, 2010).

Genetic factors are basically the genes an individual inherits from his parents. Environmental factors are experiences of the environment that an individual lives in and what makes him similar to his family. For example, if a family really enjoys sports, then they may require all of the children to participate in sports. The members of the family may be more competitive and aggressive than a family that is not as involved in sports. Nonshared environmental factors are those experiences that make him less like his family. For example, in this same sports centered family, one child may not be athletic. This child may feel left out of family activities or perhaps even not a part of the family. This could cause lower self-esteem in that child as compared to the rest of the family.

An interesting aspect of the nonshared environmental factors is the influence of birth order on personality. Many popular books claim that firstborns tend toward achievement, middle-borns toward diplomacy, and later-borns toward risk taking (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Namy & Woolf, 2010). Research has not supported an association. But the media has produced many reports that support (or perpetuate, depending on one's perspective or birth order) this idea. I have read that almost all of the U.S. presidents were either firstborns or firstborn sons. It has also been reported that firstborns had higher IQ's than their siblings and most CEO's are firstborns. The theory is niche partitioning. It is the idea that firstborns are more likely to be substitute parents for their younger sibling(s) (Reinberg, 2007). This makes them more independent and responsible. The other siblings must also find their own niche, and they will choose a niche that is a unique addition to the family. As a firstborn, I can relate!

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Reinberg, S. (2007, June 21). To the first-born go the smarts. The Washington Post, Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06

Behavioral Genetics

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Behavioral genetics investigates the nature, origin and consequences of individual differences. Scientists use natural experiments to explore this topic, finding that science is imperfect but generally corrective. In other words, the debate of nature versus nurture applies to behavioral genetics because it examines the influence of nature versus nurture on psychological traits, such as intelligence. Behavioral genetics primarily examines the role of genetics in human behavior. This means that scientists study the effect of the traits in people that were passed down from their parents. However, behavioral genetics is misnamed because it looks at the roles of both genes and environment in behavior.

Behavioral genetics estimates the heritability, the percentage of the variability in a trait across individuals that is due to genes, of a trait. Scientists estimate the heritability using family studies, twin studies or adaption studies. Family studies examine how characteristics run in families. This information can be helpful for estimating the risk of a disorder among the relatives of people affected by the disorder. Twin studies examine how traits differ in identical versus fraternal twins. A single sperm may fertilize an egg to produce a zygote, but sometimes the zygote splits in two. This yields two identical genetic copies, which researchers refer to as monozygotic. In another case, two different sperm may fertilize two different eggs, resulting in two zygotes. Scientists refer these twins as dizygotic, or fraternal twins, because they are not completely identical. Adoption studies measure how traits vary in individuals raised apart from their biological relatives. Children adopted into another home share genes, but not the environment, with their biological relatives.

All of this information is important. Behavioral genetics help investigate the studies that involve why people doing certain things, as well as where these traits have been passed down within individuals. Heritability is most easily measured through family, twin or adoption studies, and these help us study the effects of behavioral genetics.

The Eugenic Movement

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Sir Francis Galton first coined the phrase, Eugenics meaning good genes. He advocated for positive eugenics which was the sexual reproduction of two individuals deemed to have "good genes" as determined by an IQ test. Against Galton's wishes thou the movement began to take hold and included negative eugenics, the ideas the people with "bad genes" should not be able to reproduce.

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Sir Francis Galton

Beginning in the early 1900's and lasting until the second world war, Eugenics became a popular movement in the United states. However there were many problems for Eugenics itself as many of the IQ tests given to determine a persons intelligence were bias in some way. Some individuals were given the test when they came from other countries to the united states not knowing English at all, which was culturally bias.
The importance of Eugenics thou should not be undermined as it was a very important moment in the history of the United States and it shows just how IQ tests can be used immorally. Although Eugenics is in the past it is still important to our future as it is no doubt a movement that can quickly capture the imaginations of people and lead them down a path that we have already seen before. Even with the stigma of Eugenics being the way it is there is still a chance that eugenics can play a role in the future of this world especially with all the new technology available.

Personally I don't have experience with eugenic, however being an immigrant to this country I often wonder if they made take this test when I came to the U.S., would I pass it? That is a question that always sticks with me as I look at how it was used in the early 1900's to test new immigrants that came to the United States. If that sort of thing existed now would I find myself back in my home country instead of here in the United States. I would find it very hard to believe, but with eugenics, since it was very culturally bias and unfair in testing the IQ it is definitely possible that I would of not come to the United States.

The Big Five

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The Big Five, I believe, is a breakthrough in defining a part of psychology that is very mysterious and hard to define; defining a person's personality. Every person is unique in some way; different people act differently in the same situations. This is a subject that psychologist have been trying to define for many years.
Languages have thousands of words just to describe personality; many of them describe the same type of emotion. The Big Five put thousands of describing words, of many languages from many cultures, into five categories. The five categories may slightly alter among different cultures, and/or includes more categories. The Big Five, in the United States, consist of: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. In other cultures, openness to experience isn't always used and may be removed; other categories such as religiosity, manipulativeness, sense of humor, motivation, and honesty are just some other examples.
Each of these five categories consists of sub groups formed of other describing words. Ones which we use on a daily basis such as shy, conceited, and tidy are all included.
The Big Five has been implemented in job, schools, and on the internet for personal use. Even the simplest test consisting of true or false questions, with as few as twenty questions, is capable of showing a small aspect of one's personality. An interesting aspect of the Big Five is even if four of the five categories are defined, the one category which is undefined allows for a tremendous amount of variance in the personality of the person who is being described. The Big Five helps categorize peoples' personalities, but there will always be an exception to the rule.

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Many tests have been evolving to test for personality over decades. Projective tests emerged as popular tests which experimenters asked participants to interpret ambiguous stimuli like inkblots, drawing of social situations, incomplete sentences. Project tests are influenced by Freud's notion of projection. The tests used projective hypothesis to assume that when people interpret ambiguous stimuli, they incorporate their personality with projection about these stimuli. Test interpreters can later analyze people's response to find clues about their personalities. The Rorschach Inkblot Test is project test developed by Swiss psychiatrist Herman Rorschach in 1920s. The test consists of ten symmetrical inkblots, five in black and white and five in color. The test is widely administered throughout the world each day.

The testers ask participants to look at each inkblot and tell what it means to them and what it resembles to real life situations. Testers then score participants' responses for many characteristics to associated with their personality traits. Testers divide score into four categories including pair response as self-centeredness, unusual detail response as obsessive compulsive tendencies, space response as rebellious, anger, human movement response shows impulse control and inhibition. The test is also useful to detect people with emotional issues in their life or to be narcissistic. Many interpretations of tests seem plausible which can make Rorschach Test to become more popular nowadays.

Despite popularity of the test, there are still controversial issues about the test. The reliability of test scores is unknown. There is also not enough evidence for validity of the test to detect features of most mental disorders or predict criminal traits or behaviors. There are few studies has replicated the relationship between Rorschach test's score and mental illness. There is not consistent association between test score and personality traits. Respondents can also fake the results of the test. Rorschach test has no incremental validity beyond more easily collected data. Even though the test seems fault but can we somehow combine this test with other test such as graphology test to give us better prediction of personality trait of one person? How can we improve the test to not only predict personality trait but also to diagnose and differentiate between mental disorders (schizophrenia vs. bipolar disorder)?

Source: Scott Lilienfeld Textbook (Page 570, 571)

Chances are high we've all religiously watched at least one crime-solving-related television show--whether it's CSI, Law & Order, Castle, NCIS, or, as the link shows, Criminal Minds. It certainly makes for riveting TV: watch the crime unfold, the clues come together, and at the end of an hour, the suspect is found and justice is served. But just how realistic is this crime-solving process?
Since it's Hollywood, we would all do well to take anything they show us with a grain of salt. But in the case of shows like Criminal Minds, there are real FBI profilers whose job it is to crawl into the minds of dangerous criminals. But just how accurate are they?
In the clip from Criminal Minds, Prentiss is demonstrating the art of profiling. Let's take a look at some of the things she says. She first remarks that the police officer is likely a former military officer because he doesn't like disrespect to the chain of command; she notes that although he is right-handed, the marks on his left hand suggest he has a toddler at home; finally, he behaves like a "player" but is ultimately loyal to his wife and wouldn't cheat.
Clearly, the guy she's profiling is impressed. But let's evaluate those conclusions again. Go ahead, take a closer look. When you're watching it on TV, it might be impressive. After all, if he doesn't wear a wedding ring, how does she guess he's married? But taking a second look and breaking down what she says, we can see that while these statements may sound impressive, they aren't as specific as we first may have thought.
First of all, it isn't a shot in the dark to guess that a police officer might have a military background. Secondly, it isn't exactly an impressive feat to point out someone's dominant hand; any one of us can notice that about anyone else just by sitting next to them in class. Finally, throwing out the idea that a thirty-something cop is married with a young child is getting a little more specific, but it still seems like a fairly generalized statement. A lot of what Prentiss is demonstrating here is good attention to detail, but is it really a result of fancy FBI training? Many psychological studies suggest that untrained people can be just as successful at profiling criminals as trained profilers. So why does Prentiss sound so convincing?
The answer is that she was using what's known as the "PT Barnum effect". This is where people tend to accept descriptions that could apply to nearly anyone, or base rate descriptions, as correct. Any one of us could take a stab at profiling a serial killer by saying he's someone with anger and control issues, and likely grew up in a fractured home situation, and we'd probably be right. We're making vague, generalized descriptions based on what we already know about serial killers, and thanks to the PT Barnum effect, the general population accepts these predictions as true because they most likely are. However, they're so general and vague they could apply to pretty much any serial killer in history. But technically, they're "right", simply because they're so vague, so we take them as truth.
So next time you settle in with that bowl of popcorn to watch your favorite crime-solving TV show, see if you can profile the bad guy as well as the police can. No, it's not TV magic--it may very well be a psychological phenomenon based on the words of a circus guy.

The video would make Jean Piaget proud, as it is a clear example of part of his stages of development that he invented. This video clearly demonstrates the idea of Object permanence which is "The understanding that objects continue to exist even when out of view"( Lilienfeld 373). In this video you can clearly see this baby is lacking object permanence because when the women hides his toy, the baby seems lost and confused about where it went. He also seems to not really care and acts like he had no idea the toy even existed anymore. Based on Piaget, we can infer that this baby is in the Sensorimotor stage of development and is between a couple months to two years old. This is the stage that Piaget states babies are lacking object permanence(Lilienfeld 373) which in this video you can clearly see. Had this baby acquired object permanence at this time, when the women hid the toy under the blanket, the baby would have known the toy was under the blanket and would have looked under it to find his toy again. This however clearly doesn't show in the video.

The eugenics movement in America was so consequential to world events and the history of the United States that it's a bit frightening and confusing as to how few Americans are familiar with it. The majority of American citizens have never run into the term, probably as a consequence of its absence from the average high school curricula. It is essential that all critical thinkers have a basic understanding of this movement as it grossly misused science to further racist ideology and influenced a worldwide phenomenon.
Eugenics

The real danger of eugenics stemmed from the fact that it gave powerful people a pseudoscientific rationale to carry out the population control programs they so desperately wanted. Under the guise of "science" state legislatures could pass laws to uphold their racist beliefs. The beginning of the 20th century in the United States was a time of great social upheaval. Many impoverished eastern European immigrants were migrating to America; their mass arrival threatened the notion of America as a purely Aryan race. The eugenics movement allowed policymakers to severely limit the influx of immigrants into the country.

While eugenics had a consequential impact in America, it also had implications for other scientific communities as well. Some of the main proponents of eugenics in America were in correspondence with and gave advice to Adolf Hitler. It's unlikely the Third Reich would have been as successful at its aims as it was without the example set forth by the American eugenics movement.

Discussing eugenics raises some interesting questions regarding power. Who should have influence over public policy in America? What factors should be considered when deciding rights such as voting or even birth control? Being ambivalent towards issues of this sort can lead to disastrous results.


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Personality is one such field in psychology that I find very intriguing; analyzing, understanding and inferring someone's personality through tests and observations sounds not only interesting but also a very complex task to perform in the field of psychology. Traits are considered to be the bases on which personality is designated. Traits are the characteristics that are enduring and predisposed in nature and influence our behavior across many situations. The three major influences on the development of personality are:

•Genetic factors
•Shared environment
•Non-shared environment
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Much of the studies done on this field involve twin studies and adoption studies as it is easier to check all the three factors in these two kind of situations. In twin studies and adoption studies researches found out that both genetics and environmental factors influences the development of a child's psychology.

Twin Studies: Monozygotic twins (maternal) are much more alike than dizygotic twins (fraternal) due to the shared DNAs and physical attributes. However as seen through studies conducted monozygotic twins who have the exact physical attributes do not have the same personality traits even when raised in the same environment. Another study conducted showed the "non-likeliness" of twins who were raised in different environments or were raised differently by the parents thus developing the associated traits through learning and experiences. This type of situation is applied in ABC's popular TV series The Lying Game. Emma and Sutton are maternal twins who were separated at birth, they look exactly alike with the same physical features and attributes but however their personalities vary incredibly. Sutton was adopted by a wealthy family as a baby and thus was given a lavish lifestyle with all the resources a child may wish to have. Thus she had excellent schooling, expensive accessories, and a personality that was nurtured in this rich background. While Emma was given in foster care, running from one home to another and living in poverty and destitution. Sutton is portrays the common high class family girl, spoiled, inconsiderate, "popular diva", mean and irresponsible. She has always been given what she has asked for thus making her incompetent to make a living on her own. However she is very shrewd, smart and callous and makes her way in finding their birth mother. Emma on the other hand is soft spoken, shy, innocent and kind-hearted girl. She cannot take risk like her twin sister and does not have the quality of manipulation like her sister. They can be regarded as complete opposites however complimenting to each other. Furthermore are the experiences of these two girls since childhood which may have caused the development of their personality traits. Sutton being reared in a home with all the necessities in life and being treated like a princess had developed the traits of being bold, getting what she wanted, and manipulating to accomplish her goals, because these were the tricks she had to learn. While Emma always on the run and living in dangerous neighborhoods, had developed a fear of authority and already being a shy girl also could be bold and manipulative as her lifestyle has been coded with being subjugated. Her kindness and considerateness towards others might be a result of her own suffering and thus her ability to understand other's pain.

Apart from these environmental factors, the role of genetics is also shown in this show through Emma's ability to draw incredibly well just like her biological mother. She is unaware of the heritance of this trait but through the TV series this is highlighted showing this dominant trait she had got from her biological mother.
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Therefore twin studies and adoption studies are both applicable in this TV series, as the story of these two twins, Emma and Sutton unfolds. So what are your thoughts, does environment factor plays a key role in personality development? Or is genes the answer? Or are you like me, a believer that both these factors play a crucial role in development of personality.

IQ within intact families

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In a family study, researchers are able to examine the extent to which a trait runs or goes together in intact families. Intact families are families where all members have lived together for a duration of their life. Francis Galton studied family studies and he conducted the first family study. Galton discovered that a very smart individual had many first-degree relatives that were also very smart, but fewer second and third degree relatives that were that intelligent. Research has shown that there is a .5 correlation of IQ between brothers and sisters raised in the same family, but only .15 correlation of IQ between cousins. This finding proves that there is a positive correlation with IQ and families. This is interesting because it shows how an environment which you are raised in or even genetics may affect ones IQ.

This applies to my life because even though it has not been tested, I believe that I have a very similar IQ to my brother. My brother and I both were raised together, in the same environment for our entire life. We now both attend the U of M. My brother and I had very similar high school GPA's and ACT scores. This is interesting to me because I think its crazy that two separate people can have such similar intelligence. We were raised in the same environment and have the same genetics so it is evidence that IQ runs within families.

I used the Psychology text book, page 337 to research this topic

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EQ VS. IQ

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Is EQ as important as IQ? A large majority of people would say no, because we have never learned this subject. In contrast, as we have learned a lot of courses to increase IQ, people usually think IQ is more important.

When Dan Goleman came up with the word of "EQ", which means the emotional intelligence of reading personal and other's minds and apply this information, people started noticing EQ. In fact, EQ is as important as IQ. Not only EQ is applied to promote relationship management, but also it is applied in the daily life. For example, a lot of American companies train their employees for increasing their emotional intelligence. The training is trying to help the employees understand what their own emotions are, and listen to their own emotions when they make decisions.

Most research advocates that emotional intelligence can predict job performance better than general intelligence, because high emotional intelligence can reflect personality traits of extraversion, agreeableness and openness to experience, and decrease the possibilities of psychological problems.

As we all know, the characters in the big bang theory. Sheldon, who has 187 IQ, is definitely a genius, but his EQ is pretty low. He does not know how to communicate and build a relationship with others, which set a lot of obstacles in his life.

While studying this ideas, there are questions occur to me that whether IQ and EQ could be exist together on one person. As high EQ makes people use emotion to think too much, emotional thinking affects rational thinking.

Defense Mechanisms of Anxiety

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A defense mechanism is an unconscious action that is done to minimize anxiety. There are several different types of defense mechanisms. Repression is the most critical defense mechanism, and it is defined as motivated forgetting of emotionally threatening memories or impulses. In contrast to repression, there is denial. Denial is the motivated forgetting of distressing external experiences. Regression is another defense mechanism, and it is defined as the act of returning psychologically to a younger age. Reaction formation is when a person takes an anxiety provoking emotion and transforms it into the opposite emotion. Projection is the unconscious projection of our negative characteristics to others. For example, people with paranoia attribute their unconscious hostility onto others. Deep down they don't want to harm others, and since they can't accept these impluses, they perceive others as wanting to harm them. Rationalization provides a reasonable sounding explanation for our thoughts, behaviors, or failures. Identification with the aggressor is the process of taking the characteristics of individuals we find threatening. The last defense mechanism is sublimation. Sublimation transforms a socially unacceptable impulse into an admired goal. All of these defense mechanisms can occur in our daily life, and most of us don't even notice it. Also, these defense mechanisms appear in a lot of stories on television and in movies. This video shows examples of all the defense mechanisms in many different movies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKDGFZ2urfk

My mom told me, that the more frequently I use my brain, the better it'll be. It seems that over these years I used my brain a lot, and I feel good about it. We saw many people around us who are idle came to be somewhat less intelligent, but as those principles of critical thinking suggests, the causation can also be vice versa.
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Things can be really interesting and worth debating concerning the issue of intelligence. On the one hand, as the authors in the textbook demonstrate, various researches prove that a great amount of intelligence is due to the heritability, that is the genotype. The data of correlation between identical twins and fraternal twins and even those twins separated and adopted after birth and their IQ clearly suggests this idea, that the genotype is fairly dominant. However, on the other hand, various factors concerning environment of growth also have great impact. The deprivation of enough nutrition, the abuse in the family, the discrimination of peers, teachers and even society, can cause serious physical and psychological trouble to individuals and have obvious influence on their intelligence, let alone those situations in which people contact with materials toxic to their brain like lead and even consume them due to drinking contaminated water and so on. So it seems quite obvious, that the mechanism is about to be genotype supplies a fundamental basis for individual's intelligence, and if the environmental condition is above a certain healthy level for people to grow, the IQ will largely depend on that individual's genotype.
But the thing I'm really curious about is that, how large can we change (mainly means increase) due to the environmental factors for a certain individual. In China, a famous poet and reformer called Anshi Wang in Song Dynasty once wrote a prose telling a story of a genius. That child's forefathers were all peasants without much knowledge, but the child were born with extreme intelligence, as he cried out to his father to order for brush pen and paper and made an poem at age 5 even without exposed to learning literacy. His family was proud of him and showed off the child's compositions everywhere instead of letting him be educated further. When this child, call Zhongyong, grew to adolescence, his advantage over his peers still existed but not as large as when he was an infant. And when he finally grew up, as Anshi Wang wrote, he was just a common people. Though this story might be anecdotal, it does shed light to our understanding about the effect of postnatal factors on individual's IQ development. This is just a tragic example of how large environmental deficiency can draw back individual's intelligence. However, there are also quite a lot examples of someone with okay intelligence finally manage to make great progress due to their consisting diligence, conscientiousness and so on. As we usually consider every person who finally succeed to be of high potential and intelligence at first ( and they won't deny that, -- after all, no one see themselves as fools, normally), it's extremely hard and embarrassing to point out someone famous or successful and say that he or she is a fool. But needless to say, the diligence and a great variety of other virtues do play an essential role in building up someone's intellectual intelligence.
So, mother wins! We should study hard to make ourselves more intelligent. Just joking, but things are certain that, even almost nothing is absolute when we talks about intelligence, we can make our effort to make it better or worse. Despite our capacity to change it is limited, things will go better if we try our best.

Bigger isn't always better

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For Americans in today's world, most would agree that bigger is better. Everything in our world is getting bigger including cars, houses, buildings, paychecks, and food portions to name a few. This is not always a good thing. According to our textbook, Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, the portion sizes of the food served on plates in restaurants has increased by 25 percent from 1977 to 1996 in the United States. (Pg 434) This is a ridiculous amount, which is most likely the driving force for our society's obesity problem.

One question that could come up is why would increasing the portion sizes and the sizes of utensils in restaurants cause people to eat more? If you were full, wouldn't you simply stop eating? The answer to this question comes from the internal-external theory proposed by Stanley Schachter. His theory says that the reason that people tend to eat more when there is a larger portion of food present or from larger utensils (bowls, plates, cups, etc) is because they are motivated to eat more by external cues, like portion size and the size of the utensils, rather than internal cues, like the feeling of being full. A great real life example of this can be seen in this video.

As you can see by this video, the people from both groups said they ate enough ice cream to be satisfied, even though they ate different amounts. The reason for this is because they were motivated by the external cues, the sizes of their bowls and spoons, instead of listening to their internal cues from their bodies. So there you have it, bigger isn't always better. If you are trying to watch how much you are eating the bottom line is this, eating small portions from smaller utensils will lead you to eat less.

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In PSY 1001, we have read about or discussed two exceptional phenomenons concerning our views of objects. One is the Mere Exposure Effect, defined as "phenomenon in which repeated exposure to a stimulus makes us more likely to feel favorably toward it". (Lilienfeld et al, 414). Another is "proximity"-- physical nearness, a predictor of attraction. (Lilienfeld et al, 444)

Although these seem to be presented as completely separate concepts, is it possible that they have great influence on the other? Watch this video to see an interesting take on this question. Gretchen Rubin, of the Happiness Project, encourages viewers to "Show Up". She mentions both the Mere Exposure Effect and Proximity, as evidence to her claim that seeing others more often, and letting others see us more often will increase our own (and our friends) likability.

In reflection on this concept, these two phenomenon actually seem to run together in an endless cycle. For example, we sit next to the same students each day in class, and are thus very near to them ( proximity). Since we always sit by them, we are exposed to them frequently. Based on these theories, due to our proximity and exposure, we would tend to like these students. In the same way, the students surrounding us would be more inclined to like us.

In conclusion, it seems that the Mere Exposure Effect and Proximity both have great influence on the other. They both heavily affect our tendency to like people, places or objects that we are frequently exposed to and/or near to.

Guilty Knowledge Test

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The guilty knowledge test (GKT) was designed by David Lykken. According to the Lilienfeld textbook, this test is an alternative to the polygraph test that relies on the premise that criminals harbor concealed knowledge about the rime that innocent people don't. The GKT measures suspects' recognition of concealed knowledge, not lying. Furthermore, the guilty knowledge test uses multiple choice questions to test for knowledge only a guilty person could posses.

For example, authorities are interrogating a man they suspect of being the killer of a murder case. When using the guilty knowledge test, they would ask the man a control multiple choice question to find the man's normal physiological response then they would ask a multiple choice question such as "what was the murder weapon?" Then the interrogator would read off the choices. The idea of the GKT is that the man will show increased physiological response such as breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and galvanic skin response when the correct murder weapon is read. If the man does show increased response when the real murder weapon is read, he is most likely guilty of the crime.

In conclusion, the guilty knowledge test in an effective method used by interrogators to get suspects to subconsciously admit to crimes by using multiple choice questions while measuring increases in physiological response.
Below is a picture of David Lykken, who invented the guilty knowledge test.

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The bigger the better? This statement might not be true when it comes to family size. According to the Lilienfeld textbook, the claim that older siblings may have higher IQ has yet to be completely proven, but there may be some semi valid proof involved already.

When a couple has their first child, this child does not have to "compete" with other siblings for any attention. Therefore, they have the advantage to grow both physically and cognitively and expand their knowledge without restriction. However, when another baby shows up in the picture, not only does the first child have to start competing for attention and opportunity for growth in their respective stage of growth, but the new baby must receive the blunt of the first child receiving attention when the baby needs an equal amount of attention, and therefore is set back developmentally, even if ever so much. The more children a family has, the more likely the younger children to not receive enough attention and suffer the effects via mental development (IQ, social skills, language onset).

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The textbook states that couples with a lower cumulative IQ do tend to have more children and so, this may be an ongoing cycle where low IQ parents have lower IQ children (both from environment and genetics), and those children, being raised in typically large families, find it socially acceptable to have large families, and continue the cycle. Although the correlation between IQ during the early years of life and adulthood is quite low, the resulting competition of older siblings in later stages of life may stunt those children in more important stages of life and so, this debate has yet to come to completion. Older siblings may very possibly be the ones getting the short end of the stick.

Another topic that involves birth order is the claim that where you are in the birth order lineup contributes to your personality traits. The textbook only touches on this concept and then dismisses it due to some lacks of reliability in experiments. None the less, the concept of birth order determined personality is intriguing and may still be correct or incorrect, so for now, I will still discuss some proposed differences in personality. How do you measure up to the "findings"?

First-born children are said to be "natural leaders", and are picky, precise people. They like seeing things done right. Some first-borns take an alternative route and are known as the "nurturers". They like to take of their siblings. On the downside, they are also known as "bossy", "intimidating", and "know it alls".

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The middle-borns are typically claimed to be the "rebels" of the family. They may try to be the exact opposite of their older sibling. They lean toward their peer groups more than family because they feel they " do not belong" in the family due to the claim that their older sibling gets all the glory and the younger sibling gets away with whatever they want, yet they seem just...average. They tend to be secretive as well and not share what they are feeling with just anyone. Being a middle child myself I can actually relate pretty closely with these claims. My two brothers do seem to always be attracting more attention than me and sometimes in my childhood I did feel "lost and forgotten".

The youngest of the family (whether it be the second born or the twenty second) are usually the most social and outgoing. They are less likely to have financial security due to "frivolous" tendencies. They are usually "spoiled" and can twist their parents by the ear and get whatever they want. As mentioned before, even if a second child is technically the middle and last child, they may gain some tendencies from both groups, just as an only child may develop attributes from all three groups.

Although these profiles have not been completely proven to be true, the media and celebrities in the spotlight have backed up these claims by portraying personalities similar to the stereotypes. Only time and advances in technology will be able to tell, if ever, if these statements are actually true, both IQ and personality claims.

Sources: Lilienfeld textbook chapters 9 and 14

http://www.ivillage.co.uk/how-your-birth-order-shapes-your-personality/82286
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/10/earlyshow/living/parenting/main511694.shtml

She felt insecure..

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0009motherandbabyportrait.gifI have a niece; she only wanted to be hold by her mother. She cried if her mother left her with strangers but she also pushed and kicking her mother away when her mother tried to hold her after leaving her for a while. Her mother started to feel worried by her daughter attitude.

At first, I do not know how to explain her behavior as most toddlers did not react like her thus I assumed that she has a sensitive personality. However, after reading the textbook about the attachment theory by, I realized that my assumption is not right. My niece is showing an anxious-ambivalent attachment. This kind of attachment is also known as insecure-anxious attachment in the Psychology textbook. Based on the Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding textbook, insecure-anxious attachment happened when the children reacts to her mother's departure with panic and then showed mixed emotion reaction on her return, simultaneously reaching for her yet squirming to get away after she pick her up. She is preoccupied with her mother availability and always seeking contact but resisting angrily when it is achieved. This explained why she is not easily calmed by stranger as she only wanted the attention of her mother. In this relationship, the child always feels anxious because the caregiver's availability is never consistent. Thus the insecure-anxious attachment fit the description of my niece attitude perfectly since her mother is not always around as she is a working causing my niece to be left alone repeatedly.

In conclusion, now that I know the source of my niece's bad attitude, I will advise my aunt to spend more time with her child as her child is feeling insecure by the separation. On top of that, I will also tell her that the behavior that my niece's had shown is caused by the attachment that she felt with her mother.
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Imagine this. You come to America from a foreign land in search of a brighter future. You speak only some words in English, but are only fluent in your home language. Upon arriving in the United States a man approaches you and says, "mandatory IQ testing. Please follow me." You take the IQ test and a man approaches you and tells you two strange words that you have never heard: mentally retarded. You are then taken to a room and sterilized because the immigration officials say that you are, "of bad genes." You learn much later in life that what has been done to you is known as eugenics.

Eugenics was, "the movement in the early twentieth century to improve a population's genetic stock by encouraging those with good genes to reproduce, preventing those with bad genes from reproducing, or both" (Lilienfeld 328). The scenario above was the sad fate for not only many immigrants, but many citizens around 1908. Eugenics was used in the early 1900's as a means of creating a fit population. The fit produce the fit, and the unfit do not produce at all. This was believed to be effective in creating a mightier and brighter population in the United States. It was proposed to be so effective that many states upheld laws allowing for the sterilization based on mental retardation and low IQ scores.

The sad truth about the eugenics movement is that it is seemingly similar to the Nazi's extermination of the Jews in Eastern Europe in the 1930's and 1940's. The sad fact is that the eugenics movement in the United States and in Europe are all to similar. The Nazi's wanted Europe (and eventually planet Earth) to be completely Arian. At the reigns of this movement was Adolf Hitler. He convinced millions of people that the extermination of the Jews, and therefore eugenics, was highly acceptable. Hitler was utterly convinced that the Jews were far too inferior to live on this planet, just like the United States believed that mentally retarded people were inferior. This is the sad fact about the eugenics movement.

So, how could Americans in the 1930's and 1940's have opposed extermination of the Jewish faith when the fact is that eugenics was practiced a short twenty years previous?GERgoebbels2.jpg

For assignment five, I would like to focus on the concept that suggests schooling makes individuals smarter. This makes perfect sense to me because I was always taught to do well in high school, attend a well-respected college, graduate with a useful degree, and finally, go on to get a good job. Schooling was made to make us smarter, right? After reading this concept in the Lilienfeld text, I learned that it could be possible it's the other way around. The text mentions that people with higher IQs enjoy classes more, which could make them more likely to stay in school throughout college. My education has always been a top priority in my life and I was always expected to do well. I would argue that this theory is inaccurate. If I relate this concept to my life, I did well in high school and I plan to do the same in college. If this theory were true, I would have had a high IQ and enjoyed my classes. The problem with this theory is that I didn't enjoy my classes in high school but I still received good grades. The correlation between number of years of schooling and IQ scores is about .6, which is fairly high. I would like to know the correlation between people with higher IQs that go on to extra years of schooling. The book also claims that children's IQs tend to drop by significant amounts during the three months of summer vacation. I know that in some countries summer vacation is only a few weeks long, has America ever thought about looking into a shorter vacation for children?

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Why is it that when we see a young girl playing with toy cars, or a young boy playing with Barbie dolls we automatically wonder why they are acting 'unlike their gender?' To what extent does society influence how we see the roles of men and women? The textbook identifies two important concepts: gender role and gender identity. Gender identity is the sense of being male or female, while gender role "refers to the behaviors that tend to accompany being male or female." As I was reading, I liked to refer to this as the stereotypes surrounding men and women. blog 3.gif The book talks about children enjoying playing with different types of toys depending on their gender. What was especially interesting to me was that "investigators have observed these preferences in nonhuman primates including vervet monkeys. When placed in cages with toys, boy monkeys tend to choose trucks and balls, whereas girl monkeys tend to choose dolls and pots" (Alexander & Hines, 2002). blog 2.jpg

That seems pretty interesting to me! The book states how this might suggest that these differences are the result of biological predispositions. I totally fit that stereotype when I was younger; I liked to play with dolls, I didn't enjoy toy cars, and I was more interested in what I would now call 'feminine colors.' However, as I was growing up, I was definitely influenced by my more aggressive friends! One of my friends was an extreme tomboy and whenever I was around her, I was much more aggressive, and much more into "guy sports" (i.e. football). The same thing would happen when I was around my brother often! Does this suggest that not only are we biologically predisposed, but that being around certain people influences our behavior?

blog 1.jpgThe more interesting finding to me is how we treat children! Do we have a certain menu of actions that we order for certain genders and events? Interestingly enough the book states that "teachers also tend to respond to boys and girls in accord with prevailing gender stereotypes. They give boys more attention when they exhibit aggression and girls more attention when they exhibit dependent or 'needy' behaviors" (Serbin & O'Leary, 1975). And what I have run into more and more often is the tendency of American society to be more strict with boys than with girls; "parents tolerate and may even encourage cross-sex 'tomboy' behavior in girls, like playing with both trucks and dolls, more than in boys, who tend to be stereotyped as 'sissies' if they play with dolls" (Langlois & Downs, 1980; Wood et al., 2002). I've run into this perception quite a few times in my life; even certain actions and objects and styles are stereotypically classified as 'feminine' vs. 'masculine.' Do you guys have any thoughts as to why? And how society encourages these gender roles? Or why? And what do you guys think--is this more attributable to genetics or the surrounding society? Personally, I believe that we're more inclined to reinforce and align ourselves with these stereotypes as a result of the environment and society we live in.

One, Two, Three, Four, FIVE!

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Kind, outgoing, funny, caring, or smart; these are traits that may come to mind when asked to describe the personality of yourself or someone else. Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism; these traits probably are not the first characteristics that come to mind when someone asks you to describe your personality. According to Paul Costa and Robert McCrae in our Lilienfeld text, these five aspects of personality are known as the Big Five. The Big Five are said to have an effect on many facets of life including things like grades in school, job success, and possibly type of job.

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The Big Five may also have an effect on relationships. In the article "Do Your Personality Traits Affect You?" the effect of personality on relationship is discussed. Some believe that opposite personalities attract, while others say this just is not true. This article discusses couple's happiness based on their personality types. It goes on to talk about how similar or different personalities may affect relationships differently at different points in life, this could be because of different goals at different points in life. According to the Lilienfeld text personality can change over time, but does not usually change after the age of 30 and has an even lower chance of change after 50.

1..2..3..4..5.. What is your Big Five relationship score?

Mental Retardation

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What comes to your mind when you hear the word mental retardation? Many times we said this word without knowing what really is. Mental retardation is a condition, not a disease, also termed as "intellectual disability". People with this condition have an IQ below 70 approximately, have difficulties with dressing, feeding oneself, communicating and other daily life skills. Because mental retardation is a condition and not a disease, there is no cure.

There are about 200 different causes of mental retardation, but one of the most common condition is Down syndrome. This condition is also called Trisomy 21 because is a chromosomal condition caused because of the presence of an extra 21st chromosome. People with Down syndrome are considered to have moderate retardation. The IQ of moderate retardation is from 35 to 29. Some physical characteristics of this condition are flat nose, upwardly slanted eyes, short neck and protruding tongue.

Below is a video that talks about mental retardation, but what I wanted to point is the last part in which says that we need to remember when we say to someone the word retarded because it hurts. These people can have mental retardation, but are as human like us with feelings. We need to be aware to be nice and treat them normal without any kind of fear. I consider them as special humans. What you think about that?

The Big Five.jpgThe Big Five model is used to propose that there are five basic personality dimensions which tend to be reoccurring during the analyses of someone's personality. These dimensions are very broad and can range between two extremes depending on the individual. The five dimensions are extraversion: being social and assertive, agreeableness: showing trust and easy to get along with, conscientiousness: very goal-directed and mindful of detail, neuroticism: emotionally instable and tense, and openness: having a broad range of interests and insight. (Lilienfeld)
This method may be a good predictor of many real-world behaviors which could aid in choosing a job, how healthy you are or will be in the future, or how well you are able to get along with others. The Big Five models has been a useful way of regarding personality structure but it has its' flaws. We have to remember that personality is extremely complex and will vary from person to person across these five dimensions. Also it is not universal among different cultures, and additional or different dimensions may be used when looking at personality. An example of how these dimensions are relevant to our personality across cultures is individualism-collectivism. In the United States we fall under the individualistic category which says we focus on ourselves compared to a collectivist culture, like Asian countries, which will focus on relations with others changing their personality traits. (Lilienfeld)no-personality2.jpg

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