Social psychology has always been interesting to me. There have been at least a couple situations in my life where I have seen something bad happen to someone and everyone in the area either ignored it, or just stood there like deer in headlights. I now realize that I too was one of those bystanders who didn't do anything because I didn't know what to do. Most people don't realize they're doing it which is what creates danger in numbers. The book explains that this effect is sort of a "psychological paralysis" in which people in an emergency situation want to help or intervene, but they just find themselves frozen. I never really knew why this phenomenon occurred until the topic came up in this class. Some possible explanations are pluralistic ignorance which is the error of assuming that no one in the group perceives things as we do; that we are the only ones who interpret the situation as an emergency, but since nobody else does it must not be. Another is the diffusion of responsibility: since we're not the only one around, we feel less responsible for the outcome. I think this concept will stick around with me just because it's so shocking and even a little disturbing. I hope that now that I am aware of this effect, I will be able to be the one to step up and help out when faced with an emergency situation in a group.
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I have learned a lot in psychology 1001 this semester. Out of everything I have learned, I think the one concept that I will remember five years from now would probably selective attention. One main reason I will remember selective attention is because of the video we watched and discussed in our discussion section http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo. The first time I watched this video I completely missed the gorilla that walks across the screen. But, after knowing that there is a gorilla, my attention is toward looking for the gorilla. Selective attention is a part of our everyday lives which is another reason I will remember this concept. Every time I am focused on something really hard and completely blind to the fact something else is going on around me or some else is trying to talk to me and have no idea that they are talking to me. Even when I am at a party talking to someone and I hear my name in the distance, after turning my head towards the direction, I will remember this is the cocktail party effect in effect. That is why I believe the main concept I will remember from psychology would be selective attention.
What I would remember in 5 years to come is the personality of psychology. The effects and the factors that cause certain types of behaviors. It's an interesting subject to me because being in the midst of two cultures it has impacted me greatly. Such as the argument of the nurture vs. nature. What really affect the way a person act and why they do it? I've always believed that nature causes someone to act a certain way, however nurture also took a big role in the behavior change. Where you live is just as important as who raises you. Just as the experiment with the chimps and the fake mothers, it was important that the nurture was there to endure even a harsh environment. This experiment really surprised me and showed that even though we are fed well and clothed well as long as the warm contact is not given we lose hope. Maybe that is the reason we tend to find groups who we fit in or join gangs. Personality has alway interested me and have always opened a bigger view to how someone acts or why they do certain things. It's one of the most intriguing concept which we continue to search for and find a way to see why we do what we do.
Although this class has been a challenge, I have really enjoyed all of the things that I have learned. I had never taken a psychology class before, so leaning all of these new ideas was very cool. I think that out of all of the concepts, the one that will stick with me even five years from now is probably the concept of IQ testing. Before this class, I never realized how much this test is used in the real world, and how big of a controversy it is. I was shocked to see how high the correlations between a person's IQ and things in their everyday lives were. Before leaning about the IQ test, I thought that I would be very against using this test in hiring new employees, but after seeing how good of a predictor it is, I am very for it now. It has the potential to save companies a lot of money by hiring the most qualified person the first time around. I am very curious to see what my IQ is, and hope to take one of these tests one day! I'd like to hope that it would be on the higher end of the bell curve seen here:
One of the most important times in our lives is our childhood and adolescence. While we are in the process of growing up, we take little time to notice or reflect on how everyday occurrences could be shaping and preparing us for the rest of our lives. We tend to not appreciate the little things that are forming us into what we will one day be. But these years are crucial; our brains are constantly changing, developing, and adapting to new situations that help us function at a higher level.
This will be one of the things that I remember the most from psychology; that our childhood and adolescent experiences and relationships help form the foundation of what and how we will be as adults. I will use this to make smart designs throughout the remainder of these years, as well as encourage others to do the same. Childhood and adolescence are times to try new things, take risks, and build relationships. Even the most minute experience can change our future; for instance, the relationships that we have with our parents and the way that they support us throughout these crucial years, largely effects how we turn out, and in turn how we will treat our own children. I will use this knowledge to accompany the decisions that I make, as well as to be more cognizant of the effect that I can have on others.
Whenever you smell freshly baked cookies, does the smell rekindle a specific memory? This scenario is an example of classical conditioning that is covered in the area of psychology. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian scientist, originally researched digestion in dogs. He unexpectedly found that the dogs salivated not only to the meat but when footsteps were heard to present the food. This demonstrated that the dogs paired a previously neutral stimulus with another stimulus that created an automatic response. In the video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpoLxEN54ho, Ivon Pavlov's discovery of classical conditioning is further explained.
I believe that the concept of classical conditioning will be remembered in the future because it relates to various life situations. For example, if oatmeal raisin cookies are being baked, this smell will always be linked to the happiness I had with my grandmother when we baked cookies. Originally, baking cookies with my grandmother was my unconditioned stimulus because every time we baked together I was happy which was my unconditioned response. Now whenever I smell oatmeal raisin cookies, which is my conditioned stimulus, I feel happy, and therefore it conditioned my new conditioned response. This situation illustrates an example of how an individual can become classically conditioned. This specific smell of baking cookies presented the feeling of happiness which was linked to memorable moments with family members.
Lilienfeld, Scott. Psychology. 2nd ed. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. 265-266. Print.
Imagine an individual who lives on the West Coast and has an endless amount of money, and then an individual who lives in the suburbs of Minnesota with their spouse whom they met while at college. If you could choose, who do you think is happier?
I was very surprised at the psychological concepts of happiness. So many people think that money can buy all the happiness in the world. But realistically, what if the person who has all the money in the West Coast lives in an empty mansion, doesn't have any genuine friends, and never needed to go to college? The concepts of happiness demonstrate that the materialistic things in life aren't what make us happy. This is a concept that really stuck in my head simply because it is so easy to get caught up in all the materialistic things in life and people forget what truly matters. The myth regarding the correlation between money and happiness in the book created such a revelation for me.
Five years from now when I am all graduated from the University of Minnesota and just beginning my life, I'll remember these concepts of happiness; simply because the list of what makes us happy in the textbook will be jumping out at me. I will be a newly college graduate with no money, but with awesome friends, and ready to give back to all who have helped me; and that is the true meaning of happiness.
The concepts that have made a lasting impact on me throughout the semester were the bystander effect and the Milgram study. I believe people face decisions in every day life that could be somehow related to these two topics.
We can run into someone on the street who is not feeling well and needs help. We make a choice of either ignoring the person or helping them. I would like to think that I will be the person who will be willing to help in a situation like this. If I am the only one who happens to notice someone who needs help in a crowded place, I will not be afraid to help him or her. I now understand all of the other people who decide to walk by minding their own business. It's easier for them not to get involved and continue with my day. I also learned not to rely on the crowds too much because the people from who I might be seeking help in a difficult situation might simply ignore me and keep walking away.
The video we viewed in our discussions about the Milgram study was very powerful. I thought that in the 21st century more people would drop out of the study/show and not forget their own values and morals. To me this study demonstrated the fact that it is never toolate to ask questions and stand up for what you really believe in. In real life people try to manipulate each other and often this manipulation causes people to become blindfolded. I think being aware of these powerful effects of authority and directions will help me not loose my voice, remember my own personal beliefs, and not give up common sense in any situation.
Of all the things that I have learned this semester I believe that out of all of them I will remember how the interplay between different parts of the brain play together to create a sense of self. The idea that a collection of densely packed nerve cells connected together can produce all of the functions of the brain is simply amazing. The amount of information the brain processes at any given moment is incredible. Even now as I am typing this my cerebellum ensures that I remain upright and still in my chair. My motor cortex takes signals from my temporal lobe and ensures that my fingers strike the right key on the board. Meanwhile my Occipital lobe takes in all of the visual cues around me, and catches mistakes in spelling. Most of this occurs without any conscious thought besides what word should I type next.
When it comes to computing power the brain is unrivaled in many areas. Compare a human driver and a roboticaly driven car. A human can easily drive a car in even the most difficult traffic with out collision and still get to their destination. Compare to the first DARPA grand challenge in 2004 when a set of robotic cars raced on a 150 mile course through the Mojave desert, the best car only went 7.32 miles, although the next year they did considerably better, aka finished the race. Even with the exponentially increasing computational power we are still no were close to a computer with the computational ability to simulate a human mind. This is what I will take away from this class a greater appreciation for the human mind and its multitude of different components that work together to give us the ability to appreciate it in the first place.
It has been said that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, " and I tend to agree with this sentiment. Following this same logic, I believe that failing to use what I now know about behavior, thinking, social tendencies, and the rest, will lead me into many of the pitfalls discussed throughout the class. Hopefully, these lessons stick with me for the long haul. I don't ever want to be the person who fails to help someone who is dying, or to not speak up against something I know to be wrong, or be duped by somebody using good old-fashioned psychological ploys. So the part of this class that I hope will stay with me is the ability to think critically about the situations I find myself in throughout my life, to assess these situations without the naivete that once enshrouded me, and to evade the snares of stereotypes, mental shortcuts, and conformation. As interesting as some of the physical mechanisms of psychological processes were, and as prestigious as the psychologists whose names we learned were and are, I'm not a neuroscience major, nor am I a history major. My memories of these will fade, but hopefully I can hold on to the useful concepts that lead to prosocial behavior (Thank you chapter quiz).