Dream On

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One of the topics we studied in Psych 1001 that I find most interesting is dreams and their interpretations. For example, last night I had a dream that 100 kittens showed up in my house somehow. I woke up thinking, where did that come from? It is interesting to think about what your dreams mean and if your mind is trying to uncover something deeper. The best is when the most random people you haven't thought about in ages also make a guest appearance. I wish there was some way we could record dreams and watch them on a television screen the next morning.
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This is why I think movies about dreams, like Inception, are so successful. There is a whole other world in dreaming and it makes for an interesting story. Not as cinematically acclaimed, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is also about a boy's made up dream world where people in his life make appearances as heroes and villains. Kids enjoy that movie because again, the setting can be so unlike the real world. People can spend hours talking about the strange dreams they've had and different meanings they have heard of common dreams. I feel bad for people who don't dream because they are missing out on such a unique experience that originates from your memory yet you can't control it. Unconsciousness and dreams is such an interesting topic that I will always think about and remember from this course.

I will not give in!

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I believe that the area of psychology that I will most remember from here on out, along with the area that I most enjoyed would be social psychology. I believe that one of the biggest reasons that I truly will retain the most of the subject was because the way that professor Gonzales presented to us all in lecture. Areas on the subject like proximity and how social situations influence the behavior of individuals. I think it is also interesting about the concept of mass hysteria. It is just like playing a game of telephone where things can get screwed up so easily. I think that I can relate very easily to this subject because it is just so evident of all the meanings and ideas behind social psychology, so it is very easy for me to compare or see myself in similar situations. I also thought the videos from my discussion section was interesting with the experiment with the different lines and the people part of the study purposely giving the wrong answers to see what the candidate of the experiment would answer and how they would react. It is so interesting to me because I saw how so many people would conform and how many people actually do in real life, but I am so different and unique that I would see myself as being the one that would be the outlier and go against the entire group or be the one to face the people in the elevator when they are in fact standing the wrong way.jpg

Watching the video clip of the anorexia model shared in the psychology discussion, I suddently realized the reflection of myself. I grow up in an international city with East Asian cultures where significant number of girls tried to keep their weight below three digits. I myself was also used to be a high-protein Dieter for two months, though my weight was already medically defined at the border line of the normal weight and under weight. I suffered dry mouth for a while when I was on the high-protein diet. Even worse, since I totally cut fruits and starchy food, I sometimes suddenly felt craving for certain high-carb food and could not help to consume a whole bag of chips by a sudden. Even though I did lose some weight and was able to fit into the smallest size most of the time, I did rethink and come back to normal diet with regular work-out on daily basis.
The review of the passed anorexia model remind me of my own experience. At the same time, it invoked my thinking of what I could help others with the same problems when I finally start my practice in health care profession in the next five years. I think as a future doctor and health care promoter, it is my responsibility to help my patient establish a right attitude towards real beauty and to boost their confidence and self-esteem. That is more important than simply providing them with medication prescription. I may also show the videos from real life that would have a positve effects on their future paths.

I myself am a very deep thinker; a passionate person in every aspect. This class has been helpful to me on so many levels. Whether it be the understanding that thinking in reason explains only a very small aspect of the causes of our emotions and behavior, or the understanding of the brain and its learning process, the things I have learned are invaluable to me when looking upon my future life and career.
Not only has this class helped me to understand myself, it has helped to understanding others and enhanced my ability to be a leader in my future; and even further it has helped me to be an effective and valuable member to whatever corporation or company I become a part of in my future.

Five years from now...

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Whenever I have been asked the question five years from now.... I never thought that I could or ever would apply it to what I learned in a class. Now that I have to answer this question it has me thinking about everything else I have learned and taken with me in my day to day life for the last five years. For Psychology it is honestly really hard for me to pinpoint just one thing that I will remember above all else five years from now. I think I have to say that I will remember what I learned about conformity the most. Not only was I shocked at the studies and videos we watched on the Asch study and the Milgarm Study, but I found it so hard to believe the staggering number of people that went along with the group or followed a man because he had a lab coat on. Learning about conformity has made me realize that I do tend to be quite agreeable, but I am not sure that I could ever conform as whole heartedly as the people in these studies did. These studies will always remind me that it is ok to do what I think is right no matter what or whoever tells me that I should do something else. I will always remember to ask questions when I am not sure of a situation and for that I thank you Psychology!
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For my blog entry, I decided to complete the Implicit Associations Test (IAT). I completed a study about a fake type of laundry detergent where the level of trustworthiness of the product had been manipulated by a high-trust source. I was asked to image that a consumer protection board wrote the passage I read about the product. This manipulation was supposed to make me acquire a high trust for the product; but what I found when reading that passage was that it didn't seem reliable. For one, the wording of the passage wasn't very convincing, it just didn't seem that someone from a well-known public relations firm had written it, but instead it seemed someone without a lot of public relations experience had written it. So as a result, I decided right then and there that I most likely wouldn't by the product, and if I were to buy the product, it would be because it was significantly cheaper than the laundry detergent I normally buy.
When reading my results, it was found that because the product was demonstrated as being a highly trusted product, it was easier for me to correlate the detergent with positive words or images. But, that wasn't accurate to how I really felt about purchasing the product. This being said, it is unclear to me whether the IAT measures prejudice as much as awareness of stereotypes. I feel I am a fairly unprejudiced person, but my results correctly perceive what the IAT's perception of what much of American mainstreams society would perceive; but that makes me question how accurate the IAT's perception of America's mainstream society is.
This being said, I think this test could be used for purposes that are more basic. In addition, it would probably be most accurate when used on young citizens who aren't yet very "aware".

I think my favorite topic of the semester was one of the most recent topics about conformity just because I think it has to do with the real world every day. Conformity was very interesting to me because everybody thinks they are different when they see people doing "stupid things". The media is filled with news of groups of people committing crimes or just doing things that are not smart at all. We all think that there is something wrong with them but the truth is most of the time they are perfectly normal people. They probably got caught up at one point or another in conforming to a group or a single person. There were multiple studies that caught my attention but one thing that I loved the most was the Candid Camera elevator scene when everyone in the elevator turned one way and the person just automatically turned as well. I wrote my last post on "stupid diets" that people do and I also think this has a lot to do with conformity as well. People see others taking part in these ridiculous diets so they do as well regardless of how stupid it may seem. This just shows that conformity is and always will be a major part of our lives!Elevator Candid Camera.jpg

I think one thing that will really stick with me for the next 5 is a topic we just covered very recently. Beauty and what people perceive as beautiful. Even though we just covered this topic, it has been something studied and discussed for years. In places like the United States, our perception of beautiful and fashionable changes like the wind. One day natural color skin is beautiful, the next, it is seen as far too pale and now the expectation is to be tan year round...sometimes almost orange. This is greatly seen in the "model woman" from back in the day and the "model women" of today However our perception of what is beautiful lasts only inside the borders of our country. In other nations, what they see as the ideal person is drastically different whether that be an extra long neck or a very well fed woman. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. kate-upton-si-40511.jpg

Clowns are scary

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Clowns are scary. Examine the picture below. He may look colorful and cuddly- but he's a murderous one.

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Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns. Some people consider this an irrational fear, and as rare as it is, I have a friend that panics and has an anxiety attack whenever she sees a clown or an image of a clown anywhere. Reading about phobias in chapter 15- it interested me that this is the most common of all anxiety disorders. Agoraphobia is surprising common, occurring in one in 20 people. This is the fear of social embarrassment. Social phobias are commonly experienced in the milder form- where you are afraid of speaking in public or presenting in front of a small group of people. Magnified by several times would bring you to experience a social phobia full scale. Showing up in public is difficult for people like this as they are constantly surrounded by people and feel the pressure of people watching them. Reading about phobias makes me exceedingly grateful that I live a relatively fear-free life.

But this opens up many other questions like whether phobias can be genetic and the different ways to deal with them. Genetic phobias could be connected to the evolutionary 'mild' fear most people experience when faced with spiders of snakes- as they could pose a threat and be dangerous to ones well-being.

Clowns are scary

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Clowns are scary. Examine the picture below. He may look colorful and cuddly- but he's a murderous one.

images.jpg

Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns. Some people consider this an irrational fear, and as rare as it is, I have a friend that panics and has an anxiety attack whenever she sees a clown or an image of a clown anywhere. Reading about phobias in chapter 15- it interested me that this is the most common of all anxiety disorders. Agoraphobia is surprising common, occurring in one in 20 people. This is the fear of social embarrassment. Social phobias are commonly experienced in the milder form- where you are afraid of speaking in public or presenting in front of a small group of people. Magnified by several times would bring you to experience a social phobia full scale. Showing up in public is difficult for people like this as they are constantly surrounded by people and feel the pressure of people watching them. Reading about phobias makes me exceedingly grateful that I live a relatively fear-free life.

But this opens up many other questions like whether phobias can be genetic and the different ways to deal with them. Genetic phobias could be connected to the evolutionary 'mild' fear most people experience when faced with spiders of snakes- as they could pose a threat and be dangerous to ones well-being.

Clowns are scary

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Clowns are scary. Examine the picture below. He may look colorful and cuddly- but he's a murderous one.

images.jpg

Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns. Some people consider this an irrational fear, and as rare as it is, I have a friend that panics and has an anxiety attack whenever she sees a clown or an image of a clown anywhere. Reading about phobias in chapter 15- it interested me that this is the most common of all anxiety disorders. Agoraphobia is surprising common, occurring in one in 20 people. This is the fear of social embarrassment. Social phobias are commonly experienced in the milder form- where you are afraid of speaking in public or presenting in front of a small group of people. Magnified by several times would bring you to experience a social phobia full scale. Showing up in public is difficult for people like this as they are constantly surrounded by people and feel the pressure of people watching them. Reading about phobias makes me exceedingly grateful that I live a relatively fear-free life.

But this opens up many other questions like whether phobias can be genetic and the different ways to deal with them. Genetic phobias could be connected to the evolutionary 'mild' fear most people experience when faced with spiders of snakes- as they could pose a threat and be dangerous to ones well-being.

One thing in this class I really picked up on was conformity. I am a PSEO student and I remember seeing people conform all the time in high school. I have always been interested in how personalities or answers change with other people as a factor. I also wonder if conformity can change someone's personality. I will never forget watching that video where college students would purposely give something they know to be a wrong answer just because everyone else was giving that wrong answer. What goes through your head when that happens? Would you sit there and try to justify their answer over yours? I think that is what happens when people conform to fit in in high school. It is easy to conform when you are trying to fit in to a clique. I also think the concept of conformity is strange because there are times when people want to stand out for attention. Where do you draw that line I wonder? I also think that there are good times to conform. Such as when you are dealing with an expert on something and your viewpoints clash, it is probably smarter not to stick to my guns and agree with the expert. I am sure that this concept is something that I will continue to wonder about and observe for the rest of my life. I also think that understanding this concept more because of this class will help me in my social experiences so I can identify the good and bad aspects of conformity.

I used to think that personality was directly a product of one's experiences. Despite the fact that I took a biology course in high school, not once did the role of genetics in determining personality come up! Although the book clearly states that the role of genetics in personality is indirect, it is fascinating to me to think that my extroverted-ness or openness to new experiences is somehow related to my parents having those same tendencies. It's also a relief, seeing as i'm sure i will one day be a parent, knowing that babies come into this world with a predisposition to certain personality traits, meaning you can't screw your kids up too much! Also, I have always been a firm believer in the myths about birth order and having a "first born" vs. "second born" personality because I see a lot of those stereotypical tendencies in my sister and I. But the book has convinced me that it isn't true!

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Two-Factory Theory

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The concept from psychology that I will remember five years from now I think is the two-factor theory. I still find myself thinking about it and realizing its existence in my every day life, from watching TV/movies to things characters do in books. I almost feel like a person who is aware of this theory could use it to their advantage. Say they really like someone but the feelings aren't necessarily mutual. They could take them on a roller coaster, to see a scary movie, skydiving or bungee jumping, anything to get the person to associate their feelings of arousal to them. Just getting the person to hang out with them once and experience the two-factor theory could create an attraction that might not actually be real. Besides using the two-factor theory as a tool of manipulation, it could also be used as a way to keep things exciting in a relationship where things have become "routine" and "boring." It would be a way for couples to strengthen their connection and enhance their relationship.
After learning about this theory, I realized just how prevalent in every day life it really was. After taking the test where one of the questions asked about it and had watching a scary movie as an answer for being a way to utilize the theory, I realized that it didn't have to be an activity as grand as bungee jumping or flying in a helicopter, any activity that caused arousal would do. So fellow classmates remember, if you feel attracted to someone after watching a scary movie, and you didn't feel it say before during dinner, you might not be attracted to your date, it might just be the movie you watched causing your feelings of attraction.

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Everyone's personality is distinct to his or her own self, as is mine. I have always been confused and/or frustrated at some aspects of myself that I didn't like, but I couldn't figure out what was causing my behaviors and how I could change them. All I knew is that it was just how I was. feelings_about.jpegAfter we learned about personality in this class, I realized that all these things I didn't like about myself were simply aspects of my, well, personality. For example, I had never really come across the word "neurotic", or at least knew what it meant, until I took the Big 5 test administered in class. Turns out, that one of my most expressed personality traits (farthest standard deviations out) was neuroticism. After looking up the definition, I saw that it did describe me to a T. I also read the section on defense mechanisms in the textbook, and was so shocked to see that there are psychological terms for what I do. All in all, I will remember these things years from now because I have learned that they are not weird or out of the ordinary. By understanding my personality better, I can accept it or change it, but at least now, I am a little bit more knowledgeable of it than I was before and can make informed decisions in regards to it.

5 years from now...

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This will be our very last blog entry for PSY 1001 and I must admit, it is a bit heartbreaking to know that the school year is almost to its end (which means I am that much closer to having to declare a major--yikes!). We are asked to write about a concept in psychology that we think we will remember five years from now and why. Though it's difficult for me to choose just one thing (since everything we talked about this semester was so interesting that I doubt I will forget about any of it) one of these things that has surely engraved its self in my mind is the concept of classical conditioning.

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This is one of the most basic fundamental concepts of psychology but also one of the most intriguing, in my opinion. It can be used to train animals for anything from lifesaving purposes to childish entertainment. It also shows some of the more basic functions that go on in the human mind, giving us a more simple idea that we can completely grasp as opposed to some of the more complicated things that are not yet entirely understood.
In addition to the concept itself, the way it developed was a good example of how many scientific discoveries arise-- through testing of theories, a few accidents that expand on the knowledge and lots of research.

Between it being a basic fundamental idea of psychology, as well as something I could perhaps attempt someday, I doubt that 5 years from now I will forget what classical conditioning is.

Reinforcing for the Future

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When I think about what I will remember about psychology 5 years from now I have to think about why I would remember that certain concept. In order to do that I think about what I will be doing in the future and how that affects what I am going to remember. Therefore I think that I will most likely remember the concept of positive and negative reinforcement as well as punishment. This is because by remembering these things I will be able to attain my goals easier as well as know how to make something more likely to happen or not happen. This will always be useful in life as I deal with other situations such as raising my kids, having animals, and being in relationships. In order to really get what I want in life I will practice the things I've learned about reinforcement and punishment and when it is appropriate to use each different type to reach my goals. That is why I will remember that concept five years from now and well beyond that.

Throughout the past 4 months, I have learned a lot about the field of psychology. Combined with my first year of college, something I will most likely remember in five years would be related to the mere exposure effect. The theory that familiarity brings comfort. Throughout my experience at college, I have seen this theory go to work within my group of friends. Whether it is games, friendship, or different situations they are put in, the more often they are exposed to it, they become accustomed to it. For example, the dialects and slang used with some of my friends is somewhat out of the ordinary. Another friend comes down from time to time and he has begun to use the wacky language, kind of strange. It will be easy for me to determine in 5 years whenever someone ponders why they have grown to like something, I can simply refer them to my first semester of psychology, and explain to them the mere exposure effect...if it applies.

Through my experiences in Psychology 1001 this semester, as well as a keen interest in Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science," it is likely that I am most apt to remember the six Scientific Thinking Principles. From chapter 1 and beyond, these principles (ruling out rival hypothesis, correlation vs causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and occam's razor) have played a key role in learning and understanding how psych studies, as well as principles and theories are examined by others. By learning the concepts behind these terms, I have grown keen to critically analyze advertisements and other things in our daily lives that may not hold 100% truth. Like reading the fine print before signing a contract, these principles have opened my eyes to the potentially misleading information present in our society.

Five years from now, I will never forget the chapter on psychological disorders. Since many people throughout the world will at some point in their life experience this, it is important to be sympathetic and considerate to the conditions they face.
Because I currently have many family members as well as friends of mine have some sort of psychological disorder, and I work at a treatment center just off campus with children who have autism, I find that I can be much more sensitive about the language people use when referring to these conditions. So I thought it might be helpful to leave this class by passing on some of the correct terminology to use. It is important to not define the person by the mental disorders by using the disability before the person.

Autism
Correct: "person with autism"
Incorrect: "autistic person"

Intellectual Disability
Correct: "person with an intellectual disability"
Incorrect: "person with mental retardation" "retarded person"

Person without a Psychological Disorder
Correct: "typical"
Incorrect: "normal"

Schizophrenia
Correct: "person with schizophrenia"
Incorrect: "schizophrenic person" "schizo person" "schizoid person"

Down Syndrome
Correct: "person with down syndrome"
Incorrect: "down syndrome person" "downy person"

Psychiatric Disabilities
Correct: "person with psychiatric disabilities" "person with mental disorders"
Incorrect: "crazy" "maniac" "lunatic" "demented" "psycho" "neurotic"

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If I had to count the number of concepts we have learned this semester in our introduction psych class, it would take to long. And to define each of these concepts?? Makes me realize how much studying needs to be done before our final exam. But the concept that is the easiest for me to remember and I believe I will remember in five years is the concept of confirmation bias and the idea that we believe what we have always wanted to believe. But this concept sticks out to me not with its name specifically but its definition. Our textbook defines confirmation bias (for those who don't remember) as "the tendency to seek out evidence that supports our hypotheses and deny, dismiss, or distort evidence that contracts them." This sticks out to me merely because it does directly apply with life and when people tell us things and we need to decide what it means and what to make from it. Here we learned that we need to be careful about changing what is told to us to fit what we want them to have told us. This I believe i will remember in five years.

REM for LIFE!

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One of the most interesting things I have learned in the Psychology 101 is the concept of consciousness; in particular the biology of sleep. As a busy college student and a soon-to-be busy engineer, I will be battling the constant struggle of balancing work, recreational time, and sleep. Like most people, I usually prioritize the first two over the latter. With the knowledge I have gained from the sleep cycles I will be able to understand my body's needs for sleep more thoroughly. It is better to take a twenty minute nap than an hour nap because of the way the REM cycles work. It would not be a good idea to wake up during the actual REM stage because it would make you more tired. I did a little investigation on how I could wake up during the proper times, and I found an iPhone app that apparently measures sleep cycles, and wakes the user up at a time that allows your body to feel most rested. I plan on trying this app out but I will keep in mind the principles of scientific thinking that I have learned from the text which may help me in deciding the validity of this claim.

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OCEAN

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The "Big Five" will stick with me for a long time after psych 1001. It was one of the topics that I found most interesting. It's great to know about the different personalities that people have and also to be able to tell what type a person might have. I also think it would be interesting to learn more about how those personalities relate to some traits that each person has. I also think that it will be useful in my day to day life in dealing with all the different kinds of people that I will meet in my lifetime. By learning about the Big Five I will be better able to figure out which category people fit into and how to go about talking to and dealing with them. It will also allow me to work better in groups because it will help with figuring out people's strengths and weakness and how to utilize those for the betterment of the group. Learning about the Big Five is going to be a great thing to carry with me my whole life and I am glad that I got the opportunity to gain some knowledge on it in psych 1001.

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One of topics that really stood out to me is classical conditioning, it is a part of psychology that I definitely will not be forgetting five years from now. Before taking this class, of course I knew the story of Pavlov and the dogs, along with a little more about classical conditioning; however, I did not realize just how regularly it appeared in my every day life. Specifically, the prevalence of classical conditioning in advertising was surprising to me. I will never look at an advertisement the same way again after discussing the way the classically condition the audience during lab. The unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus, and conditioned response are four labels that I will forever find myself assigning to different advertisements. These labels were especially interesting to me, because they showed exactly how the process of classical conditioning was broke down. To me, they were the explanation to how the creators of advertisements, persuaded us into wanting their product. classicaladvertising.jpg Classical conditioning will be something I reflect on for the rest of my life thanks to Psychology 1001.

Memories of Psych...

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One of the chapters I found most interesting this semester was Chapter 7, which was all about memory. I have used different tricks for memorization over the years in school. It was neat to read about why those tricks have worked, and to learn some other methods that people use for memorization. My personal favorite methods for memorization have been mnemonic devices, and the keyword method. Infantile amnesia was another fascinating topic addressed in Chapter 7, which is when we cannot remember accurate details of childhood events. I have found myself second guessing events that I think happened when I was younger! Before taking Psychology, I had never really thought about why and what I can remember. Now, especially after learning about memory disorders, I have a new appreciation for the intact memory that I have.

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