In psychology there is a very fine line between "normal" and "abnormal" behavior. Some Psychologists believe that just because your not exactly like them or you have a disorder your not "normal". But who is to decide whats considered "normal" or not. To me I don't think anyone should be considered normal, whether you have a disorder, phobia, etc.. I read an article where some Psychologists tried laying down a base line for who could be considered normal depending on the traits and personalities you have. How is that fair? Most of those traits and personalities that they were depending on were most likely relying on ones that him and his family carried. When I read articles like this it makes me wonder where they got their frame of mind. Who was the first one to tell them to compare who they thought was "normal" or not. When psychologists and scientists have been doing research on "normal" vs. "abnormal" they have had many factors that could help consider which category you fell in, some including IQ, personality traits, phobias and genes. I don't know if I'll ever be able to grasp these statitistics as to who is normal or not. This is a hard thing to read about because I don't understand who the first person to be able to decide what "normal" and "abnormal" is or how they got these "rights" to decide this.

What I will remember...

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Thumbnail image for Men are from Mars.jpgThere are two things I will most remember from this class, the dangers of popular psychology and the importance of the six principles of scientific thinking. I have learned that popular psychology is not to be trusted or weighed too heavily as it may skew actual psychological research and in some cases may be completely false.
I have always been a bit of a skeptic when it comes to popular psychology, but I have generally thought of it as an issue in popular non-fiction literature, especially the "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" brand of popular literature. Recovered Memory.jpgHowever, through this class I was able to see how very harmful some popular trends can be, extending far beyond one's dating life and into matters of the law.
Specifically, I think of the satanic sex abuse scandals of the 1980's and the idea that psychology can be misused to accuse innocent people of terrible (and sometimes absurd) crimes.
I will remember the six principles of scientific thinking when I read stories in the news that involve new psychology theories and ways that psychology is being applied to everyday life and I will be better able to evaluate the validity of the claims made.

I will Remember

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Psychology 1001 had truly opened up my minds. I gained many new knowledge during this course that will not only help me in my everyday life and help act as a base to my future educations, but it also have increase my ways of thinking and reasoning. Because of this course, I have more approaches to problems. I learned that there are more than one credible explanations for things that happened and that one definite answer may not explain it all. We have to consider every possible aspects and hidden variables to actually have an accurate solution to things, ranging from everyday problems to scientific research. I also acquired a bigger "knowledge bank" that I rely on when for other classes or any situation that it is called for.

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What really left an impression on me and I will remember its concepts for a long time is pseudoscience. I've seen it many times in my life, but not til this course that I learn what it's really is. This course gave me better understanding and more knowledge of what pseudoscience and all the warning signs associate with it so that I can better detect it in real life. With this new knowledge about pseudoscience, I will be able to distinguish claims that are not back up by scientific findings like ads that say " will help you lose weight by just sitting on a chair."Of course, I know that is an impossible claims now. A lot of money will be saved by everyone if they know what pseudoscience really is so they won't fall prey to those fad diet adds and other impossible claims.

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In 5 years I think the two concepts that will still stick out to me the most will be "Personality" and "Memory".

Personality:

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I know that what I learned about personality will stick with me for a long time. Especially after the lab we did, where we were separated into 4 groups based on our personalities. It was so strange how spot-on we were to the "norms" for each group type. I even remember calling my mom later that night and telling her about lab because I thought it was so interesting. It is really astonishing to think that we can be put in these groups and because of our personality we will act a certain way (with some variation because everyone is different and it is more complex than that). It was also really fun to learn about each type of personality and see where I fit in.

Memory:

I feel that the other big concept I will remember is Memory, just because it has always interested me. It may not be the easiest subject to learn about, but by far one of the most interesting. How the brain remembers lists, schedules, etc. is so fascinating and the fact that you can only usually remember 7 things in a list plus or minus a couple is absolutely crazy. When we did the lab with the lists, I found that for each list I could only remember 7 things without fail. Also, the fact that your brain will add words to a list that are similar to the other words is very interesting.That MUST explain why when I go to Target for one thing, I end up with a cart full of random stuff. :)

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Overall, even though Psychology isn't the easiest subject to learn about it is really one of the most interesting subjects I have had at the University of Minnesota.

What I will remember...

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There is so much information that I have learned from Psychology 1001. The thing that I think i will take with me for the rest of my life is the scientific questions. Throughout the semester the textbook has constantly brought up the point of do things meet the criteria of the scientific questions. These seven questions can answer a lot of questions when dealing with different theories and phenomena. I will always remember that when dealing with different theories that sound hard to believe that I should remember the scientific approach of Occam's Razor, meaning that if people are making specific claims there is usually a much simpler answer to the question then they are accounting for. Also when people are making claims that you believe to be false you should use the scientific approach of falsifiability, because if theories can not be backed up by scientific evidence and be falsified then someone should not believe it. These seven questions have helped me to develop a better understanding to Psychology and also to science in general. They have taught me to use science when dealing with questions with many answers, and have also taught me the concept of correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Many people believe that just because two things have some correlation it means that one caused the other, when in reality most of the time their is a third lurking variable that causes some influence on the situation.
Once again i would like to say that Psychology has taught me much that i will need for the rest of my life and I'm sure that there is more than one thing that i will remember in 5 years, but the one that will stick out the most is how to use the scientific questions to answer many things when dealing with science.

...then you die.

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I think that will bug me the most in 5 years will be same, the debate on determinism; determinism gets to me in the way where I have to ban myself from thinking about it. The illusion of control over my life will probably forever have me questioning it, but it also begs more questions too, like, is it then wrong to judge people based on the lifestyles they live? Say a heroin addict or those really obnoxiously obese people - was Hitler really just a guy who got a bad shake at life? - Who's to say - I vote yes. It would make me feel better about my entire life, albeit in the kind of way that requires me to give up all the freedom I thought I had. But no, sadly I'm too masochistic to ever be able to accept something like that; I know denial isn't just a river in Egypt, but, again, who's to say, life's a beach then you die. I choose to accept what's most beneficial for me because it's true that perception IS reality. Or do I?

Psychology in the Future

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This semester of psychology has been really interesting to me and addressed many issues I always wondered about. Already when I sleep and dream I think about why dreams are the way they are and the sleep stages. When watching T.V. I try to find the stimulus and the reactions that the ads are trying to create. Most importantly though, the chapter that will most likely affect me the most down the road in the chapter on intelligence. Not necessarily the information on intelligence but the issue of whether I.Q. tests should used to hire people for jobs. I'm an economics major and I hopefully want to be a manager or the head of a company down the road. I want to be in the position to be able to hire people and it's important to known things about the I.Q. tests and their place in the work place. What I got away from that activity is that I.Q. tests are important but not everything. I would never use them to strictly hire someone, but I would use them in the hiring process. I think I.Q. tests have good things to take away from them that would be useful to judge on while considering to hire someone. I believe there will be many things I remember from this course that will be useful in the future.

Babies and Syntax

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Something I'll remember five years from now that I have learned in Psych 1001 is that babies can recognize differences in sounds from all different kinds of syntax. Until about a year in age, babies can be taught to hear differences in sounds that might sound the same for someone who is not used to the syntax of that language. The video shown during lecture showed an experiment in which a baby was placed in a room with speakers playing a recording of one sound (for ex: ke) and another similar sounding sound (ex: khe). There were toys that would light up on each side of the room and the sounds indicated which side would light up. The baby would, in response turn his head toward the side that the sound indicated. Older babies were unable to differenciate between sounds and did not turn their heads in the right direction in response to the sound. I found this to be amazing because the sounds sometimes sounded exactly the same and the babies were able to distinguish a difference in the sounds without a problem. It was also really fascinating to see that a baby just a couple months older could not distinguish the difference between two sounds that the younger baby could. I'll definitely remember this five years from now and probably until I have a child of my own.

The Triarchic Model

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One concept that I found very interesting that I will remember in five years is the Triarchic Model. This model shows the existence of three types of intelligences. The first one is analytical intelligence. This is known as "book smarts". This type of intelligence is the ability to reason logically. Many believe this is the most crucial of the three. The second is practical intelligence, also known as "street smarts". This intelligence is very close to social intelligence, or the ability to understand other people. The third and final intelligence of the Triarchic Model is creative intelligence. This is one's ability to be creative. This type of intelligence helps us find new solutions to problems.

This year I will be joining the working world with my first full-time job. It is important to know this model because it will helps me figure out what type of intelligence I possess and what my other coworkers have. Knowing this will aid me in making decisions at work. Whether it is assembling teams or knowing whom to approach when needing advice the Triarchic Model can help. An example would be when you need to ask someone at work how to complete a mathematical problem. You would probably bring the problem to a person with high analytical intelligence before a person with high practical or creative intelligence.

Nonverbal Communication

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One concept in psychology that I will remember in five years, mainly because I use it every day is the importance of nonverbal communication. If you were to ask a college student ten goals that they want to achieve before completing college, I could argue that getting a job would be on the list of most. People don't always confess their true feelings on their mind or what they are honestly thinking but subconsciously through their nonverbal communication they may show what their true nature is. Giving off the right impression of yourself can be hard but even more challenging if you are unable to control body language. For example in a job interview the position of your arms, eye contact, the pitch of your voice, and posture can all effect a stranger's impression. Keeping eye contact is good; having too much can be perceived as offensive or intimidating but too little suggests insincerity. One problem with nonverbal communication is that gestures are not universal to all cultures; one socially acceptable gesture may not be in another culture. This is not an uncommon event in the world today, in fact in 1990's on a visit to Australia, George Bush Sr. accidentally told an entire crowd to go screw themselves because he tried to signal peace. This helps illustrate the importance of practicing proper body language to protect from misunderstanding or miscommunications among potential friends, co-workers, or complete crowds of strangers.

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