December 2011 Archives

Have a video.

The Id is a part of Sigmund Freud's hypothesis on the structure of personality. There are three parts to the structure: The Ego, which is the rational part of a person's mind; the Superego, which is a person's sense of right and wrong; and there is the Id, a person's basic instincts and impulses.

The Id focuses on pleasure, on what a person wants to do for themselves. The libido, or sex drive, is the most commonly known drive of the Id, though there are many others.

Rocky Horror Picture Show is basically a 90 minute long explanation of this. One of the most prominent lines in the film/play is "Give yourself over to absolute pleasure," and the whole movie is pretty much one giant singalong orgy, so I thought posting a song from it would be a nice example.

Stress (Writing #4)

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I think five years from now I will probably remember what we learned about stress the most. I think this because it is something that is in your life all the time and it is hard to get rid of. Learning about all of the different stress reduction and relaxation techniques will come in handy and I will remember them down the road. You can find stress everywhere in your life, whether it be school related, work related, family related, etc. For me, I find it very difficult to escape stress. There is always a lot of pressure put on me for different things. For example, there is pressure to do well in school and I have expectations to live up to. These expectations are brought up by my parents and I want to please them. Also, school can be overwhelming at times and I get stressed when I have a lot on my plate.
Another thing I think I will remember five years from now is the concept of developing. It is a basic part of life and an easy thing to follow as I get older. All of the stages that are included and each step to growing up are things I will remember.


Five years

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Personally, as I read the textbook I think about every concept and apply it to a real world scenario that relates to me somehow. As i read more on each chapter I feel like I have a slightly better feeling about being as a whole. I can understand more of the little things that go on everyday like why i become so stressed at the smallest things and how to cope with that stress and how to reduce my reaction to daily stressors in the future all the way to why i end up buying food at mcdonalds when i had only intended on getting a drink.

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Over the course of 5 years i hope to remember most of what i can from this course, ill just sit back and hope it all becomes crystallized intelligence or perhaps as things go on from day to day basis's i will have situations that trigger recall of all these memories about psychology that i have. But if i have to choose one specific topic to remember i would go with calssical and opreant conditioning. This is a subject that sticks in my mind very well and no matter how much time passes im able to recall most if not all aspects of this concept. While reading about it this semester i remember everything about it from my highschool psychology class. Remembering this topic may not be especially important but its fun to relate it to day to day things, and to figure out why it is we do some of the things we do in our free time.

Groupthink

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Groupthink is concept where when people of a group need to come to a consensus on a topic they tend to work towards coming up with an idea thats favored by all instead of putting actual thought into the decision. This is very counter productive becuase the point of creating groups is to combine everyones knowledge and in fact it just dumbs everyone down.

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Personally ive experienced this a lot. It seems to me that when im in groups everyone seems to have much less input then if it where their actual opinion. Sometimes in group when we split the work amongst the group we can get more thoughtful input on each little bit and end up with a final product that reflects the groups combined intellect. I had more typed out but i just tryed adding a picture and it deleted this whole blog post and i had to do it over -_-

Physical Maturation

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The Power of Puberty

Our bodies usually start changing in our teenage years, changing in physical appearance and that is when hormones change we teenagers start puberty. Menarche is the beginning on menstruation which allows women to have children, usually starting around 13 years of age. According to Snopes.com, there is a record of the youngest mother, at age 5. Lina Medina, a 5 year old child gave birth on May 14th, 1939. This extraordinary story needs extraordinary evidence, and this definitely shows that sometimes there are rare things that are real even when they sound extremely unbelievable. The scientific principle, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence proves that some times there are cases that are not what is commonly known.

In this article, it also says that Lina had to have a cesarean section at 7 months and 21 days. Her body was not matured enough to keep a baby safe for the full 9 months, typically associated with the amount of time needed for the baby to mature fully in the mother's stomach. Even though her body was not able to keep the baby for the full time, she had already started puberty. She started her menarche when we was 3 years old. This just goes to show that there are extraordinary cases that people would not believe if there was not cases that showed that a 5 year old could have her puberty and have a baby.

Snopes article: Lina Medina

Hair and Fingernail Growth After Death

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http://www.snopes.com/science/nailgrow.asp

For this blog I will be evaluating a pseudoscience claim that hair and fingernails continue to grow after their death. I found this article on snopes.com and it is easy to evaluate without even having to use any of the principles of scientific thinking that it is false. However, if someone couldn't tell this just by reading the article they could use the principle of "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence". This principle states that whenever we evaluate a psychological claim, we should ask ourselves whether this claim runs counter to many things we know already, and if it does, whether the evidence is as extraordinary as the claim. Obviously this claim is very extraordinary, considering that when a person dies so does everything in their body and they begin to decompose. However the article does claim that the body does appear to do strange things after death, but all of them are because of the decomposition process rather than extraordinary or supernatural forces (such as continuing growth of fingernails). It is actually an optical illusion that our hair and nails continue to grow after death because our flesh dries out, and pulls away from the nails and hair making it look like the nail or hair is longer than before, when actually it is just the skin around it that is shrinking. It is just a misconception in the way that we perceive it, like many pseudoscience claims. Although this claim wasn't to hard to decipher untrue, it is always helpful to know the scientific principles when faced with a skeptical claim.

Missing discussion - DS Per:

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High Openness to Experience: Lady Gaga
Behaviors: She dares to do things that no other people would do. Her performances and songs always push her limit and express her willingness to take a risk. She is open to new experience and adventures.
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Low Openness to Experience: Grumpy Dwarf from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Behaviors: He dislikes and disapproves Snow White once he sees her. He refuses to talk to her, let her stay at their house, wash his hands, or sing with the rest. He sees everything as boring or annoying, which shows that he is not so open to new experience.
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High Conscientiousness: Barack Obama
Behaviors: He is responsible and trustable, that's why he was elected to be the President. Not only people of the United States, but also people around the world believe in him and support because he seems to be careful and responsible about what he says and does.
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Low Conscientiousness: Lindsey Lohan
Behaviors: She is known for being a bad girl. She is seen as one of the worst role model for young girls. Her behaviors and acts are not appropriate and responsible.
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High Extraversion: Oprah Winfrey
Behaviors: Everyone likes her. She is the type of person whom you want to hang out with after work and talk about all the craziness that happened to you that day.
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Low Extraversion: Computer Science students
Behaviors: This is a typical stereotype toward computer science students. They see to spend all their time playing computer games and writing source code for useless programs and most of them have no social interactions due to lack of time and interest. However, I believe it's false because I have a cool computer science friend who likes adventures.
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High Agreeableness: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
Behaviors: People like her. She is one of the rising female executive out there. Everyone wants to work with her, because she can turn her work enjoyable and effective. People who worked with her in McKinsey&Company, DC, and Google say about her nothing but good things. They still want to work with her if there is a chance.
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Low Agreeableness: Gordon Ramsay from Hell's Kitchen
Behaviors: Anyone who has seen the show would agree with me. He is arrogant, unfriendly, and tempered. Once he was told as a second-rate human being.
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High Neuroticism: Donald Trump
Behaviors: He is aggressive and energetic. Usually, ambitious and driven people like him tend to be moody and tense. They get upset when something goes wrong and get happy when things go their ways. Even though I don't know him personally, he looks to fit in this category.
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Low Neuroticism: Dalai Lama
Behaviors: He is calm and genuine. He believes in piece and compassion. He tries to spread his words even though some people or countries do not support him. He never gets mad or frustrated. Millions of people believe in what he says and support his efforts to make the world a better place.
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Dealing With Stress

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http://www.helpguide.org/mental/quick_stress_relief.htm

Everyone has stress in their lives whether it's from school, work, children, family etc. Chapter 12 in our psychology book talks about some stress reduction and relaxation techniques. I also came across an article online that I attached that also talks about ways to relieve stress in your life. The textbook states that the methods of stress reduction and relief differ for every person and require us to make changes in our lives. In my opinion I think that the best way to relieve stress is to gain control of the situation or stressor and to always try to stay optimistic about whatever it may be. The article that I found online says that some popular and effective ways are to talk to someone about it, take a break from technology, use your senses; such as smelling something energizing like lemon, or savoring a favorite treat, and even using memories to calm you down. I think when it comes down to it, it's just whatever works for you individually. The article also states to make quick stress relief a habit. Which obviously takes lots and lots of practice, but the article laid out a series of steps to help one through the process. The steps are as follows: Start small, Identify and target, Test-drive sensory input, Make "have fun" your motto, and Talk about it. I know in my position being a college student, especially at a time like now when finals feel like they are taking over my life, this series of steps could definitely come in handy. So just remember when dealing with stressful situations, you can overcome it and nothing is impossible.

Social Facilitation vs. Social Disruption

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http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/003193849290409U

Something that I thought was worthy of discussion and further thinking was the differences of social facilitation vs. social disruption. By definition social facilitation means the mere presence of others can enhance our performance in certain situations. On the other hand, social disruption means a worsening of performance in the presence of others. The article that I have atatched talked about a test that some psychology students conducted. In this experiment, they wanted to see the effects that eating had on either social facilitation or disruption. The subjects ate either alone or with other people for five days straight. Interestingly enough, the subjects ate more when they were in the presence of others. Using scientific principles I can say that correlation doesn't equal causation, so there could have been other factors contributing to this finding, but this study shows a casual arrow between the number of people that you eat with and the amount that you consume. I would have thought that in the presence of others, people would demonstrate social disruption because they don't want to out eat their peers, and look like a pig. Maybe people eat more in groups because they get caught up in conversation and don't pay attention to how much they are consuming, or maybe it's because they see others eating more and feel they should continue eating with them to be polite. Whatever it is, my hypothesis clearly was proven wrong. I also thought that this finding could be beneficial to people on diets or trying to lose some weight, to try and refrain from eating with groups. With the obesity rates in our country, many people could find some benefit from this finding.

Hold the Supplements?

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Many people swear by their natural supplements and daily vitamins. They are so concerned for their health that they will almost try anything to make sure they are getting the nutrients that their bodies need. This is shown by how much money is spent per year, close to $20 Billion dollars. Recently Jaakko Mursu, a researcher in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, conducted research on whether or not these natural supplements are actually effective or even harmful.

Interestingly enough he found that most of these supplements do little or nothing to help you. He found that there is evidence that these supplements have no benefit to its users. The only real good place for these supplements is when you are actually lacking a vitamin or mineral such as when one becomes pregnant.

Its very surprising to see that common supplements such as your daily multivitamin has a 2.4% higher absolute risk for death compared to those who take no supplements. It gets as high as 5.9% for those who take folic acid supplements.

There seems to be some type of connection that people make with these alternative forms of medicine or CAM's (Complementary and alternative medicine), that even though there is warning against them the fact that they are "Natural" makes them impossible to be dangerous, even though that is very much not the case.
Link to story
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Sleep Paralysis

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Although not one of the most spectacular findings of psychology, I know that sleep paralysis one of the things I've learned in this class that I'll never forget. The main reason why I'll remember this concept is that it explains one of the supernatural beliefs in my culture.
Sleep paralysis goes along with REM sleep. It can occur when a person is aware(awake) while the body shuts down or when a person wakes up(becomes aware) before REM sleep ends. Most of the time the person cannot move because their body is still in REM sleep although more frequently their eyes can still move. One of the more interesting things about sleep paralysis is that it is sometimes accompanied hallucinations or a sense of danger from the lack of control over the body.
In my culture and like many other cultures, sleep paralysis is interpreted in many bizarre ways. Some cultures use many supernatural explanations such as abductions, demonic meetings or ghostly encounters. Well in my culture, it is interpreted by a ghostly encounter which the ghost sits on a person who is experiencing sleep paralysis. This ghost then will refuse to move until interrupted by another person or when the ghost decides to leave.
People educated in psychology would be skeptical to think there's any truth to this interpretation and I honestly think sleep paralysis is a more feasible explanation.

Extra Credit: Group Brainstorming--beneficial or not?

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Many of us have worked in groups throughout our education and careers with the idea being to come up greater ideas than what we ourselves would have come up with. We've been told time and time again that groups work better than individual thought for a few reasons. One, more people equals more ideas. Two, more people equals more creativity. And three, a group allows for better chemistry among group members. These are just a few advantages of group brainstorming. However, group brainstorming can cause some problems.
The first of these problems, and probably the most important of them all is social loafing. Social loafing is when individuals do not feel the need to put forth all of their effort because of the number of people in the group.Most would call these group members "slackers". We've all been part of groups where one or two people keep straying off track or maybe we ourselves have been this person a few times. Social loafing may be influenced by culture. People in more individualized cultures like those of the U.S. and Europe may be more likely to "slack off" than members of other collectivistic cultures like China, because these cultures pay more respect to group harmony, success, and failure (textbook 516). One way to prevent social loafing from happening is to make sure that everyone in the group evaluates everyone.
Another disadvantage to group brainstorming is that not everyone may participate because they may feel uncomfortable or inferior sharing their views. This is especially true if there are a couple domineering types in the group who keep talking and don't want to hear anyone's opinion but their own.
Overall, I think it depends on the type of person you are when it comes to groups and group brainstorming. If you are a more introverted person, groups may make you uncomfortable and inhibit your ideas or if you are a very authoritative person, group members may not like you. However, I personally think that groups are beneficial to everyone because of the social aspect they provide and group bonding that hopefully results. Groups provide us with social skills that will be used throughout our lives and our careers such as dealing with people whose views we may not share and learning to compromise.

Brain: free will and stress

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Is every action you take predetermined, or are your choices truly your own? If our behavior results from chemical reactions in the brain, how much freedom do we have? Research suggests that even if free will is a lie, we may be better off believing in it. People behave more selfishly and dishonestly if they're led to believe that humans don't control their own actions. Check out this article from New Scientist (free registration required) to learn more about what scientists have to say about whether you make your own decisions.

It's no secret that meditation has many mental and physical health benefits. Now, researchers say meditation may even make people behave more rationally in their decision-making, USA Today reports. Scientists did brain imaging of people who practice Buddhist meditation and others who do not, and found that those who meditate used different parts of the brain when faced with an "unfair" choice.

Want to beat stress before it hits you? Scientists at Leicester University in the United Kingdom are working on a treatment that would do just that, the Medical News Today reports. A study published in the journal Nature focused on a protein called neuropsin, created by the amygdala, the brain's fear center. When the amygdala ramps up production of neuropsin, that leads to chemical reactions that result in feelings of anxiety. In mice, at least, researchers showed that blocking such proteins could reduce the stress response. This could lead to treatments for people with anxiety disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder one day, but bear in mind that these are only preliminary findings in animals. They used mice in mazes to measure stress reactions (and how often do you find yourself feeling stressed in a maze?).

Also intriguing for mental health treatments, but only in mice, MyHealthNewsDaily via MSNBC reports on a new study showing that antidepressant medications may help brain cells grow and survive after a trauma to the brain. The drugs may even result in enhanced memory and brain function, the study authors found.

Speaking of brain injuries, a high-calorie, high-protein diet may improve the outcome for some military service members with brain injuries due to battlefield explosions, we at CNN reported. The Institute of Medicine report released a report Wednesday calling for changes in nutrition - namely, providing more energy and protein to traumatic brain injury patients early after the injury.

Finally, in case you missed it, doctors are suggesting a new definition of Alzheimer's disease. They recommend having a "spectrum" of symptoms that range from early signs of dementia to severe impairments.

Critical Thinking

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I grew up with two scientists for parents. My father was a genetics professor at UW Madison, and my mother is a genetics counselor at the UW hospital. I was raised with critical thinking, and even though I do not have much interest in science I have realized the impact of critical thinking on my life.
Critical thinking guards individuals from falling prey to biases and natural human errors. Scott Lilenfield argues that critical thinking is unnatural to human beings. I find this compelling because I think of it this way: Humans are naturally selfish and self serving, for survival purposes. Critical thinking, in essence, is your mind playing devils advocate, and monitoring your thinking. This is the curse of human consciousness, the fact that we are aware of our consciousness. Anyway, a critical thinker is much more likely to make a good decision because they are able to look at questions from multiple perspectives and make a decision that is based off of reason and fact rather than emotion and gut response. This way of thinking does not come naturally, and you often cannot reason with people who do not think this way, because they can always find ways to defend their point of view due to personal biases. Instead, critical thinking must be taught from the bottom up so that people can see for themselves their flaws in thinking.
Critical thinking has been beneficial to my life in many ways because I feel like I can separate my decisions from my head and make a well informed choice. It is easy to fall into biases, but with practice we can all use reason to make the world a better place!

Understanding Introverts

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Introverts are regularly seen in a negative light, often because their way of behaving is misunderstood. About 25-30% of the population exhibits introverted qualities. These include territoriality, conservation of energies, concentration, solitude, and etc. Because most people are extroverted (they have opposite qualities of introverts), there are many misconceptions surrounding the behavior of introverts. The first one is that introverts are anti-social. In reality introverts just prefer engaging in solitary activities such as reading, daydreaming, because that is how they're wired. I'm sure there is a biological explanation to why they prefer solitary activity over social ones. The second misconception is that introverts like small talk. If you meet an introvert, there won't be much conversation between you two, so you feel the best way is to engage in small talk to break the ice. However, because introverts tend to be alone most of the time, they spend a lot of time thinking about, well anything, so engaging an introvert in a deep conversation is actually better. The third misconception is that introverts do not like socializing. Humans are social creatures, and everyone likes socializing at some point. Introverts just like to do it for shorter time periods because they need time to recharge, another misconception that introverts spend time alone because they want to. The last misconception is that introverts are socially aloof. The only place where this is true is in Hollywood movies, but in the real world, introverts are aware of conducting themselves properly in social gatherings, have manners (to the extent they're instilled by parents), and customs of their region. Understanding the false assumptions surrounding introverts can make extroverts more tolerant towards them.

What's Gonna Stick?

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There are so many things that I have learned throughout this class but of course there are a few that have had a more profound impact on me and thus will be remembered better. One thing that stuck out that I think I will remember in five years is the concept of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning was something I had known a little bit about previously but my knowledge on it was deepened by this course. I think I will now remember this concept for a long time because of this deeper knowledge and also the various applications of it that I learned.
One way my knowledge increased on this topic was in learning what higher order conditioning was in relation to classical conditioning. This really expanded my knowledge because it has great application, especially in the world of advertising. The textbook used the example of how just hearing the word coca cola on a hot day can make us thirsty. This example really helped clarify things for me and now I can think of millions of examples of higher order conditioning. This great application of it in my daily life is why I think I will remember it.

Five Years From Now: What I Will Keep in Mind

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In the course Psychology 1001, I will always be impacted by the way one's mind processes thoughts. All of the fallacies and theories that surround our perception of thoughts that turn to opinion have made me very curious since the first time that I read the Psychology 1001 textbook. I find it so very interesting that the mind can be so biased; it has effected me to acquire the knowledge of how my mind works. Now, every time I receive new information, I am constantly considering my own personal confirmation biases, or I instead find myself thinking of an alternative explanation for the cause and correlation of a set of data.

Not only do I question new information, but I am even more skeptical of pseudoscience now. Five years from now, I know that because of this course I will never be able to view an advertisement from a pseudo scientific source again without questioning it over and over again. I need tests, experiments, results, replication, and theories! I did not know very much about pseudoscience previous to taking this course, so that is definitely something that will remain in my head. I think that because we are faced with pseudoscience so often on a day-to-day basis, it is very important for one to learn how to analyze it. It is especially common in our society for biases and opinions to surround statements made by popular media. Those statements are almost always automatically interpreted as true simply because they are being stated by the public media. I have learned not to trust "facts" or "data" (or at least to question these things repeatedly before trusting them) just because the general population believes it to be true. I am very happy that I have taken this course; I feel much more prepared to face reality now!

The Things That Make Me Awesome

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I feel like I've learned about myself since I got to college. Between the Strengths test that we took for Welcome Week and the Big 5 personality test for Psy 1001, a lot of labels have been given to me. My top 5 strengths are adaptablilty, empathy, futuristic, includer, and ideation. On the Big 5 personality test I scored highly in extroversion and agreeableness, and incredibly low in conscientiousness. I realize that the results of these tests are not set in stone or complete truth, but I think they will help me realize how my brain works, and figure out the best things for me personally to do to be successful and happy in life.
For example, being incredibly low in consciousness, I'm not going to try to organize everything in my life and try to stick to systems or schedules, because that doesn't work for me and it's discouraging to consistently fail at any kind of organization. Instead, i embrace my flexibility, or adaptability, by giving myself lots of time to be late, and not committing to solid plans that I might change my mind about, or forget. I find myself much happier when I go with the flow.

Cognitive vs. Behavioral Spectrums of Psychology

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An important concept learned from this course is the difference in the approach of understanding what is psychology. The two most influential approaches that I personally believe influence our understanding today are the Cognitive/Psychoanalytic and Behavioral spectrums. Why? Because of the amount of influence both spectrums have distinguished. Particularly the large contributions made to the study of psychology have been of these two spectrums, which include B.F. Skinner, Watson, and Sigmund Freud. While these men have without a doubt contributed to the field either during or after their lifetime, they could not have been more divided on the approach. On one hand, many argue that behavior largely is the result of learning, and on the other side many point to innate thought processing out of our control. While this may sound like somewhat of a cliche, these two approaches can create astounding differences in the way of approaching psychology. The large divide remains to this day over large issues such as ethics of medical treatment, diagnosis, classification, and even recognition.

This concept of psychology will stay in my mind for the future, because I believe it asks a certain question to each individual. "How should I view certain psychological sciences?" Though obviously not pertaining to these exact words, it addresses something important to me. That is how I should think about people and behavior. To what extent should I label this behavior to that person? Should I be thinking this way?

These questions and thoughts will remain in my thinking as long as I will be conversing with people, friends, family. They point out the need in our society to be educated in the approach and science of today's psychology.

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Five years from now, the concept I will remember most from this class might simply be classical and operant conditioning. Classical and operant conditioning, whether we know it or not, tend to influence our daily lives by shaping the decisions we make, as we are conditioned both positively and negatively by the environment, as well as family and friends who we frequently interact with. Operant conditioning can be as simple as receiving joy from scoring high on an exam from studying lots, so I am more likely to study harder to receive high scores again. We see classical conditioning in advertising, when a product is paired with a stimulus which is elicits a favorable response, the theory being the product will at least partially elicit the response, resulting in the consumer purchasing it. From taking this class, I now have an explanation for this simple, yet incredibly common concept.

Conditioning is often referenced in pop culture as well! Although the idea of 'negative reinforcement' is not portrayed quite correctly in this video, it is a funny representation of operant conditioning: Big Bang Theory Example

Favorite Bathroom Stall

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Five years from now, I will remember the mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effect is the phenomenon in which repeated exposure to a stimulus makes us more likely to feel favorably towards it; this term has stuck with me ever since learning it because I can recall so many events where this has affected me, especially with moving away from home to an unfamiliar place. Many new college students can also relate to it. For example, most of us acquired our favorite places right away from things like the table to eat at, the path we walk, to even the shower we use. We do all this just because we have used it before, and it has worked. We are now accustomed to it, so we use this same place over and over again because why mess with a good thing? I believe that it applies to almost everyone who feels uncomfortable being in a new place and the easiest way to adjust is to think of things as our own.
I am sure all of us will experience another time again out of college in which we will choose another "favorite place," perhaps a favorite chair in the break room to a favorite stall in the bathroom. Either way, it is safe to say we all have one object, place, or path that we use over and over again because it is familiar to us.

5 years from now

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The thing I think I will remember the most about this class in 5 years is classical conditioning. Specifically Ivan Pavlov's experiment involving dogs and meat powder. I will remember it because I tried a similar experiment on my roommate as a joke, and I was the subject of a similar prank involving him whistling and shooting me with a nerf gun when I turned towards the sound I heard. Eventually I learned not to look that direction.
The funniest example I have seen of this, though, was in an episode of one of my favorite tv shows, The Office. In it, salesman Jim Halpert uses his computer and mints to do it to his co-worker, Dwight Schrute. This video shows the hilarious antics that follow.

http://www.spike.com/video-clips/0jnov0/the-office-the-jim-trains-dwight

Persuasion

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There are many different ways to describe the social influence topic of persuasion. Most generally it is defined as the process of guiding or bringing oneself or another toward the adoption of an idea, attitude, or action by rational and symbolic means. There are two main ways to persuade others, these are labeled as the central and peripheral routes to persuasion. The central route is based on informational content. A good example of this is when deciding on a college to attend; both schools want you to attend their universities and they give you all the information you need, and plenty of time to decide. The other route is peripheral, which is persuasive arguments that are based on snap judgments. When using this mode, people only see the outermost facts. This route is usually much less effective as it only effects our short term choices.
Along with the routes to persuasion, there are also many different techniques that are used. The first technique is called the foot-in-the-door technique. This is when somebody makes a small request before making a bigger one. An example of this is when asking for money from somebody, you want to start low and get them to agree, then they will be more inclined to give you a little bit more since they already gave you some. Another technique is the door-in-the-face technique that involves making an unreasonably large request before making the small request we're hoping to have granted. So this is completely opposite the last technique. If using the same borrowing money scenario, if you start off asking someone for an outrageous amount of money, chances are that they will say no, but they will be more inclined to give you a smaller amount of money.
These are the main ways to persuade somebody. Personally I found this topic to be most interesting because it is something that everybody does. Everybody wants things and most people will do what it takes to get them. Persuasion is also done consciously and unconsciously, which does not happen very often.

Scientific Thinking Principles

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The most important concept I have learned in Psychology 1001 that I will remember in 5 years are the scientific thinking principles. When I am looking at an advertisement, magazine article, or newspaper headline I now will look and think about it in a different way.

Specifically, the thinking principle of correlation versus causation is the one that I will help me the most in assessing different situations. Many headlines in the newspaper tell you how a study was conducted and try to prove that one thing causes another. But in a lot of situations, the variables are just correlated and one doesn't cause the other. One example is the debate between if playing violent video games causes violent behavior. In some findings, the two variables are shown to be correlated with each other, but that doesn't necessarily mean playing the violent games causes the people to act in violent ways. In this example, I would evaluate it using the third variable problem. Maybe there is another variable in this situation that is causing the violent behavior, like where the subjects that are being evaluated live. If the kids that play violent video games come from a background where they are surrounded by violent behavior such as living in a bad neighborhood or are beaten by their parents, they are more likely to show violent behavior later in life because of this factor, not because of the video games.
All in all, learning the scientific thinking principles will help me when evaluating studies, advertisements, and headlines. I will constantly be using this concept for the rest of my life, and that is why I think I will still remember these principles 5 years from now.

Get er' done!

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As this course is coming to a close (sigh of relief) I began to think of what topic really stuck with me and that topic is attraction. Human attraction (as you can imagine) has been a part of my life since I was in kindergarten. Always eyeing that cute girl in class and hoping she'll talk to me, but what factors played into my actions? As we learned there are three main factors (aside from physical attraction) that cause someone to start having feelings for another, one of them is proximity. The more you are around the other person, the more drawn towards them you will become. For example I'm more likely to fall for someone who I see everyday than someone who I run into maybe once or twice a month. Secondly, is similarity. As humans, we like those who are like us. The "opposites attract" phrase is a common misconception, and I personally believe it to be an excuse for partners to use when in a relationship and they appear to be much different from each other, but the couple may not realize what they have in common. For example, a "tough-guy" and a "sweet/innocent girl" may use this saying, however they may be similar in the sense that they both seek approval and they give each other that. However, there is no data (that I know of) that proves this, just a hypothesis I have which might be worth looking into. Thirdly, there is reciprocity. If we find out that someone likes us, we will more-likely-than-not be more drawn towards that person. It acts somewhat like an ego boost that we feel inclined to respond to by acting more likable in return. Again, I will say that these are three factors that generally relate to a deeper level of attraction, but they are at much less effect when physical attraction is not present. If you're wondering what it looks like when physical attraction is there, it's something like this. So to sum everything up, when you believe you just encountered love at first sight remember proximity, similarity, and reciprocity, then leave the rest to fate.

5 Years From Now...

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Five years from now I will remember bits and pieces of information that mostly deal with who we are and relationships. I've always been fascinated with why people act the way they do. Partly because I have experienced relationships that don't make sense and could never figure out whether I'm just one of a kind or there are just some things that I'm missing.
One of the things that I have remembered is the five characteristics of personality lecture and how these traits affect how people behave. Even though it doesn't change the weird behavior of people, I was satisfied with knowing why they act that way.
Also by talking about them, it helped me figure out more about why I obsess about little things or why I act the way I do. For example, even though I'm an extrovert and can usually make friends quickly, I'm also neurotic. This explains why I'm scared of losing friends because I think that they can just as easily make other friends and forget about me. From psychology I learned how to deal with this and have already applied it to my life. For example not thinking about "what if" situations and just letting things happen as they do.
Psychology helped me untangle people's behaviors and gave me scientific proof, which always helps keep a level head in stressful situations.

Classic Conditioning

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Principles of Classic Conditioning

Five years from now, I probably won't remember much, unless I need to use it. But the one thing I will probably remember is classic conditioning. It is used for experiments to see what people would do, having two variables be related to each other and how the person reacts to the choices, with a pleasurable choice and a regular choice. There is the unconditioned stimulus and the unconditioned reaction, then with the neutral stimulus, there is a change and the neutral stimulus is then the controlled stimulus and the conditioned response related to the new controlled stimulus. I find it a bit hard to remember, there are so many steps and confusion with the acronyms being similar, but it makes sense how everything pans out.
It is easy to remember classic conditioning because we have it in our every day lives. Ads, promotions, and just being able to see how it affects people. There are positive influences on the item they are trying to sell, so when using it the buyer has a urge to buy something that makes them feel good while having the item. Alcohol usually has a beautiful model or a key slogan that makes a buyer feel good about themselves while drinking, so they keep going back. Clothing has beautiful models, to draw people in, leaving them with pleasure when wearing the clothes because they feel the same as the model in the ad. Hollister for example, a shirtless guy with only jeans on, does it really promote their clothes? Not really, but it does make the buyers want to wear the clothes because they feel as empowered as the model. Classic conditioning in advertising is something that is always drawing people in, it creates the impulse buys and the happiness people feel when they are experiencing the same feeling as, drinking of buying clothes that makes them happy.

What Will I Remember Years From Now

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Could you imagine confessing to a crime you did not commit just because superiors around you replaced your thoughts with false memories in your mind that you did not actually do? This is why the case of Paul Ingram and the implantation of false memories will stick with me for years after this psychology course. During this part of the semester when we were learning about memory I found it very interesting in how our brain works to keep things 'safe and protected' but when we got to the creation of false memories I realized that what I thought should be protected by my brain could be controlled and distorted by other people. In Paul Ingrams case he was manipulated by many people in his town and even his own children to confess to a crime he did not commit and a crime that never even happened. The people around him got so deep into his mind that they could give him a scenario that he would first deny and then go 'pray' about it and come back with a even more detailed description on the already fake scenario that was implanted into his mind. Although these false confessions he would make up were used to help his innocence he was sentenced for the crime that never took place in the first place. This really makes me wonder how many other people have been committed of a crime and also been fed false memories to make them feel as though they did commit the crime. False memories do not only take place on a high scale they can happen in every day life. For example the last time you and your friends went for coffee or lunch and you try to think about every detail that happened, I could say something that never happened but sincerely assure that it did and my friends could believe me because they trust me, but really I would be feeding them a false memory. False memories can be as innocent as telling a white lie in a story that does not have an effect on anything or anyone OR it could be as cruel and extreme that it could send someone to jail or have a person believe they have been through a horrific experience. False memories could be taking place in crime that does not have legitimate evidence every day and we as a society would never even know about and that is why years from now I will always remember what false memories are capable of doing.

Conformity

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I feel that conformity is a topic in psychology that I will remember for years to come. I feel this way because conformity is evident in many aspects of my life, especially in school. I have always wondered why I change an answer in math, even though I am extremely confident that I am right, when my classmates have a different answer. I assumed that I was just being anxious, however conforming to others is natural human behavior. Many studies, like the Asch Study, have been conducted to prove that this is true. I have wondered why when at the end of class, when one person starts packing up preparing to leave class, everyone is the room begins to put their stuff away also. Now I know that the unsettling feeling in your stomach, sweating palms, and anxious feelings you feel when you have different ideas than others are nothing to be concerned with. As I learned in psychology, everyone wants to be like everyone else. The feeling to conform is natural for all humans. The social influences experienced by people everyday change the way you act and think. The idea of conforming in order to be similar is no different. I will definitely remember this topic of psychology for a long time, along with many other topics in psychology.

Back to the Future

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In five years, when I'm walking up and down the aisles at the grocery store and I see some kid acting like he/she had just been shot in the leg, I'll more than like think to myself, "what is up with this kid? Whey is he/she acting this way?". And then the concept of Nature vs. Nurture will come to mind. I will wonder whether or not that child was born with some sort of disorder that causes the child to flail around and scream like that, or was it just simply the lack of discipline on the parents part? Chances are that the child was raised in a way that made them think/know that if they acted that way they would be treated differently as a result. As I come to this conclusion I will simply shake my head and quickly escape the frenzy happening in front of me, and remember that is why I don't need kids yet!!

Children & Language

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abc-language-4710.jpgAfter a semester of taking Psych 1001, the thing I will take away most from lectures and discussions is the unit on Child Development and Language. I will remember this topic 5, even 10 years from now because I plan on having children when I am about the age of 27-30. When I have kids, I want to remember the fact that children learn the most at a young age, and that they are able to distinguish languages. I am a first generation Korean American and knowing the Korean language is pretty important to me. I know other kids who have parents come from different language speaking countries and they were never taught how to speak their native language. No matter who it is I talk to about this topic, most of them wish they were taught how to speak. I learned English at the age of 6, which is when I moved to the US. Learning English was fairly easy for me, but not as much for my brother, who was 12 at the time. When I am having kids, I will reference to this topic that we learned in psych class and always try to keep language around them. Because language helps with learning about culture too, I think knowing two languages, maybe even two, will be very helpful.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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I believe that in 5 years the psychological concept i will remember the most is posttraumatic stress disorder. My long term boyfriend is currently enlisted in the U.S. Army and this concept is frequently occurring in many soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. My boyfriend will be deploying to Afghanistan next July and there is a unavoidable possibility that he could develop this disorder. Knowing the symptoms of posttramatic stress disorder will help me to recognize if this could be a possibility and make sure to get him the proper help. Many soldiers tend to avoid the possibly, saying that they can prevent it. This disorder is not preventable, but it is treatable. If my boyfriend reenlists after his deployment next year, 5 years from not this disorder could be something he is faced with and i will feel much more comfortable knowing that there is help. Hoping to become a psychologist myself, I am very interested in the military psychology subject and this could potentially be somewhere i take my career.
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Scientific Thinking Principles

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I believe that I will remember the Scientific Thinking Principles the most out of everything that I have learned in Psychology 1001. It is one of the most important things we have learned because we can apply it to every day situations. We can use it to analyze things or facts that are presented to us and not have any biases towards them. Ruling out rival hypotheses can be used when we are presented a statistic that doesn't seem entirely true and we can look to other hypotheses about the subject that could possibly change our view of it and look for other plausible explanations. We can use correlation vs. causation when looking two things that could cause one another. We should make sure to look at confounding variables and other outside factors before we conclude if it is correlation vs. causation. We could also looks to Occam's Razor to give us an explanation. Look for the simplest explanation because that is most likely going to be the one that will be the best option. All of these principles can guide us into making correct decisions about psychological claims that we come across in future years. These will stick with me because the course has put such am emphasis on how important they actually are.

What I'll Take From Psych 1001: Big 5 Personality Traits

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Through taking Psychology 1001 at the University of Minnesota, I have learned many useful concepts that have and will apply to my life. The concept that stood out to me the most, and which I will remember for years to come, is the concept of the Big 5 Theory. This theory consists of five traits that have appeared repeatedly in factor analysis of personality tests. The five traits consist of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These traits are easy to remember as the acronym spells out OCEAN. The Big 5 traits are important because they allow each and every person to know exactly what kind of personality they have. Knowing the kind of personality one has can help in a variety of settings including academic and career. By knowing your personality traits, you are able to know which people you will work well with and get the most accomplished.

As a college student, it is important to me to know my strengths as well as others strengths. There are many times in life where I'll have to work in group to accomplish tasks. If there are a variety of people with different personalities, it might be easier to get each task accomplished more efficiently because each talent will play a different key role in the outcome of the project. This group collaboration based off of the five personality traits will transition into careers and help me to be successful in whatever I have to accomplish in the work field, no matter the size.

In addition, the traits will allow me to find the people that I am compatible with and in which I'll work the best with. I personally have high openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. I work well with people who are friendly, willing to listen and have a collaborative and cooperative mind set.

The Big 5 Personality Traits will always be important and will never be forgotten because they apply to everyone's lives and even throughout cultures. Just remember OCEAN and you'll remember the personality traits.

Conformity & Authority: Milgram's Experiment

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"When you look at the dark and gloomy history of man, you will find that more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion." --C.P. Snow


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Five years from now, I think that one of the things I'm going to remember most is the effect authority has on conformity and what can be done to avoid conforming in unethical situations. Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment in the 1960s that involved testing people and conformity in a situation where an authority figure is present. He found that 62% of the people being tested showed complete compliance and obeyed the authority up to the last measure of volts offered. These people were unaware that they were not hurting the individual in the other room. The fact that they would have killed another person by shocking them with 450 volts shows how easily people are manipulated by people in power.
Realistically, this happens all the time in day to day activities. For example, though unethical, powerful businesses may produce their goods in sweatshops or inhumane factories in other countries just to reduce costs and gain profit. Another, less extreme example, may occur at a job when your boss asks to do something that may go against your values. If you don't obey, you may be putting your job at risk. There are many other examples of day to day choices that we conform to because of authority. We can avoid conforming to unethical decisions by: distancing ourselves psychologically from authority figures, avoiding situations that we don't want to be in, and finding others who will side with us against the majority.

Final Blog Post

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I think the concept in psychology that I will remember the most will have to be dealing with the critical developmental stage involving infants. I think it is fascinating how much they can be shaped by their first few months of age and how it can affect them for the rest of their life. I thought it was very fascinating when we were talking about how they can pick up on verbal cues from just about any language at eight months old. That is a remarkable trait to have as a human being, it is even more amazing that they have this feature, and that it goes away once they get older. To top it off even very intelligent fully mature adults cannot hear the difference that is simply amazing to me.

I think this concept will stick with me because I am at the age where many people that I know will begin to have children in the next decade or so and it will be fascinating to think how bright these small children really are after just coming into this world. There will be many things that will stick with me but I think some of the most prominent ideas will be those that shape or development.

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I Be Diggin' On Dat Social Psychology!

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The area of psychology that I found most interesting was probably social psychology. This was probably because it is the most easily observed beyond the classroom, in the real world. Nearly everything that we went over in the chapter I had either experienced myself or I knew someone that had. I also found the studies in this chapter to be the most interesting. Especially the experiments having to do with deindividualization and authority. I was shocked and even appalled at some of the findings. Even though some of the studies had confederates, I was still very surprised with the things humans will do just to fit in with the group or keep others happy.

I know for a fact that this will be put to use in my life because I find it hard not to think about it in normal life situations. This is something that I use literally every day. And I learned from this course, repetition helps encoding! This information will be with me for a long time weather I want it to be or not. The knowledge learned in chapter 13 can be put to use in almost any situation. It is an easy thing to do too! Just sit down on a bench at the local shopping mall or park and people watch. You'll be amazed with how many social psychology terms will come to mind!

Attachment Theory

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I predict five years from now the concept that will be remembered is the attachment theory. The attachment theory is the emotional connection that we share with those to whom we feel closet. It can also be used as a term to describe our first interactive love relationship - the one we had with our first caregiver, usually our mothers. Psychiatrist John Bowlby originally established the theory of attachment, and he believed that the earliest bonds formed between children and their parents or caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. The bond between mother and child shapes the baby's brain, influences self-esteem, form the ability to maintain successful relationships as they grow up, strengthens the ability to focus and the ability to bounce back from misfortune. Mothers who are attentive to their children and responsive to their baby's needs establish a sense of security in the their child. This creates a safe haven and secure base for the child, allowing him/her to explore the world.

There are four kinds of attachments: secure, insecure-avoidant, insecure-anxious, and disorganized. Research shows that a successful, secure relationship attachment, between mother and child allows them to sense the other's feelings and emotions. They have found that successful mother/child bonds also form successful adult relationships, based on the person's abilities to manage stress, stay in tune with emotions, be playful in a mutually engaging manner, and be forgiving. If parents and caregivers are educated about how important it is to establish good relationships with their infants it would create a better learning environment for the infant.


Milgram Experiment

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The Milgram experiment was one concept we learned about throughout the course that stood out to me and grabbed my attention. The study amazed me and the results were unbelievable. It's shocking to know that 65% of the individuals who participated in the experiment delivered the maximum shock to the "learner." It's unreal what a person will do just to follow the orders of an authority member. It's one thing to follow the orders of your parents or while in the military, but following the orders to hurt someone while conducting a scientific experiment is a completely different thing. The results and the procedure of the Milgram experiment will always be embedded into my mind.
In this experiment, the researcher brought two individuals into a room and gave them a role, the learner or the teacher. The learner was always an actor while the teacher was the individual who agreed to participate in the procedure. The teacher was told to ask questions from a list and each time the learner gave the wrong answer to give them an electric shock. Each wrong answer also heightened the level of the electric shock. Just like it was stated earlier 65% of the participants continued to give the electric shocks until the highest level was reached.
This experiment measured the obedience of the individuals toward an authority figure. The high results could have been a factor of the fact that the shocks were said to be painful but not dangerous, assuming the experimenter was an expert, and the experiment was conducted by Yale making the study seem safe. This study was very shocking to me and made me wonder who people could go through with such a thing.

Lemonade with Pavlov

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Forget five years from now. When I'm 50 I will remember that Pavlov engineered the field of classical conditioning. It's also something that's been taught to me, in class and in life. Junior year of high school in psych class my teacher, in the process of teaching us what Classical Conditioning was, conditioned every member of our class to salivate at the mention of Pavlov by using dry lemonade mix. The TV show Big Bang theory has several episodes in which the characters trade off trying, with various amounts of success, to condition the others in various behaviors.
The idea of being able to train something or someone is something that sticks with you. It's always interesting to think about how applicable that is to real life. If the subject must be unaware of the process, then only really creative parents must be able to condition their kids to like school. Has it ever been done? Can we train people to do certain things? How much of what we go about and do every day is taught to us by either someone or society? It's a topic that makes me want to do the research myself.

Encoding

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As we have moved through this course, I have learned many interesting things. There were many times that I learned something that I knew would be useful for me in life, but perhaps the one thing that has stuck with me the most deals with encoding. Encoding or the process of getting information into our memory banks. I know that in my future I will have a career that involves some form of public speaking. I ultimately hope to go into business, so chances are that I will be doing presentations. While learning about the process of encoding, something particularly caught my attention - the method of loci. I took speech in high school and I am not sure why this specific method was never mentioned. I really believe it can offer serious guidance for pubic speaking. The method involves thinking of a path that you take regularly and that you have memorized and then to apply certain locations along that path to points in a speech or presentation you are giving. Then while you are speaking, think of that familiar path and you will be able to give your presentation very precisely. I have already used this method in one presentation this year, and it was very helpful. Here is a video better describing the method: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdfBK1L6blE
It's a bit cheesy, but you get the picture.

The method of loci is being used by educators of all different subjects, not just speech. Apparently the method is very versatile and applicable to a wide range of items. I suppose if you think about it, you could apply it to just about everything that involves processes with different steps. This is an article that displays that educators are using this method as a valid way of getting students to obtain information.
http://www.education-acceleration.com/memory-techniques-the-method-of-loci/

I'm glad that I have learned about the method of loci and I know that it will be very useful to me in my future.

We are devil. We are angel

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When I was really small, I often do whatever I want to do: I did not like a friend of mine, so I just "screw" him or her over; I wanted to get a toy, so I just told my mom that I like the toy and I must have it. These were my own desires, when I was doing those, I never thought about other people; I did not care how my friend would feel, I did not care that I already had a bunch of toys at home and I still wanted to buy more toys to satisfy my vanity. As I got older and learned more from school, textbook, and interpersonal relationships, I realized that those little "selfish" thoughts can no longer be "achieved" or to say, satisfied by myself, and those selfish thoughts are just so tiny and meaningless that only satisfied my personal needs. As I learned, id,which is reservoir of our most primitive impulses, provides the driving force of my childhood behavior. However, since I am half-grown-up now, I have gained sense of morality, which is superego, according to Freud, to help me to do the right thing and guide me to the moral behavior. Ego, is often balanced between id and superego. Now I am no longer a "devil" that only want to achieve my own desire, but a "angel" that will consider everything reasonable and I believe that since we all realize that we need to consider about the moral issue, we all can be the angel to other people.

Scientific Thinking

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We are in an era of information explosion. With the development of Information Technology and the accessibility to information source, we are overwhelmed by numerous claims. I think one main difference between a rational man and a gullible man is that the former can use the scientific thinking properly. Scientific Thinking is the most important concept I learned from psychology. It is a rigorous methodology that can help us escaping from being fooled by crafty claims. "Ruling out rival hypotheses" teach us to consider another alternative explanation for some scientific findings. "Correlation vs. Causation" warn us that correlation isn't causation. "Falsifiability" tell us that good claim is usually capable of being disproved. "Reliability" reminds us that one claim can't be scientific if it lacks of the other scientific studies reporting the same findings. "Extraordinary claims" requires us to query if there is rigid logic and abundant evidence to prove a relatively extraordinary claim. "Occam's razor" teach us to choose a simpler explanation when we encounter some complicated ones. These six principles of scientific thinking are very useful for us to recognize accurate claims. Psychology as a science requires us to judge every claim rigorously. Although some claims seem to be very reasonable at the first glance, even you are advocates of those claim, we still need to deliberate them cautiously. Truth always develop with fallacy, the only way to get close to truth is do scientific thinking!

Ghost Adventures

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I love learning about things that I can apply to my own life; Psychology is definitely that class that lets a person apply learned knowledge to the real world. There are many things that I learned in the Psychology that I have been using in my life such as positive and negative reinforcement but the two concepts that I'm sure will stick to be until the day I die is the scientific thinking principle called occam's razor.

I am very superstitious and I always freak myself out over nothing. During one summer, my brother and I stayed up every night watching this show called Ghost Adventures. The show always freaked me out because it is about like spirits that still lurks around and communicates with people. I got addicted to the show to the point that I couldn't even sleep anymore because I would get too scared. Being in Psychology, made me realize that the show is not as reliable as it seem if I clearly thinking about it using occam's razor. The spirit's voice they get in the show is not very clear; it is more like that unclear scratching noise when a person is talking to someone on the phone with a bad reception. The Ghost Adventure's crew just debunks the audio and makes up phrases to what they think the spirit voice is saying. This made me think of occam's razor and that the "spirit voice" can be explained in a much more simple way such a like equipment malfunctions. Sometimes on the show, they also claimed they see like a black apparatus and the show confirms it to be a spirit but then using occam's razor made me realized that it could just shadow's the other people in the room.

The scientific thinking occam's razor is the principle that I will continue to use in my life to eliminate my superstitions about things in the world.

The Big 5 Personality Traits

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One of the important concepts that I will remember for years from PSY 1001 lectures is the 5-factor model of personality traits. The five personality traits include extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. (OCEAN) It is important to realize that none of the five personality traits is positive or negative. They are simply characteristics that individuals exhibit to a greater or lesser extent.
I did the personality traits test, and it really helps me to analysis and identifies myself. I possess extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness in a greater degree. I am sociable and prefer to hang out with friends, like to cooperate others with complex tasks, and organize my life in a perfect order. However, I possess neuroticism and openness to experience in a lesser degree. I have less negative emotionality and relax in most of the time, but I don't think I am an imaginative and creative people. I like to make things simple and easy to follow.
Recently, personality tests are widely used in the recruitment and position selection process among companies. Therefore, the Big 5 model is very important for my future career selection. It identifies my personalities in high or low score that I can introduce my personality professionally to the company I select. For example, I get high score in extraversion and agreeableness. I will be a good team member, which others can trust and cooperate with.
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The Concept That Will Stick With Me Forever

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The concept in psychology that I will remember five years from now: Correlation V Causation

Honestly, the one concept that I learned in this class that has been stuck with me since the beginning of the semester is Causation Fallacy. Whenever something happens, I used to believe that the previous events or occurrences caused that particular event. It's of course not just me. This is a common way that people explain things that are happening around them. We always say "A caused B. So, pay attention to A." I came up with two reasons that we're fooled by Causation Fallacy.

1. Making a common sense - it just makes sense to explain things in this way. Not much thinking is required.

2. Easier to prove - it's also provable. A happens, and B shows up. A and B are correlated in some ways, and one causes the other one.

This is why the fallacy attracts people to explain things simply. However, doing so, we omit one of the most important concepts of the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior. It makes us ignorant toward things that are not obvious to us. We overlook the third variable that results both A and B.

Knowing and learning this concept, I become more skeptical and open-minded about things that happen to me. I will remember that correlation is not causation no matter what I do.


Correlation - Causation Fallacy:

Error of assuming that because of one thing is associated with another, it must cause the other


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Attach V.S. Detach

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The concept that will stick with me the most is The Attachment Theory and the sub concept of this which is, the 3-Stage Pattern of Distress. This theory was a very familiar one to me, and interested me a great deal. I have been around children my whole life; I have babysat for family members and friends, and also worked a youth center for 3 years. I observed the way kids would interact with their parents and more importantly how they would act when their parents left. Prior to taking Psychology I never knew there had been proposed theories on this topic. It made perfect sense to me when I read about the three different attachment styles, like secure, anxious/ambivalent, and avoidant. I had seen all three of these styles first hand. From learning about these attachment styles and how it is possible that it can affect the child throughout their life, I hope when I have children I can raise them with contingent and responsive care. Also the your attachment style to others can be different depending on who it is and your past experiences with that particular group of people. I personally have different attachment styles with my mother and my friends than I do with romantic partners and this is due to my past experiences. Another concept that intrigued me was the 3-stage Pattern of Distress, because these stages truly do happen when you lose someone you love. But what interested me the most about this is, if you do not detach you cannot create a new bond. This had never crossed my mind before, but maybe this is why people who do not truly get over their ex- significant other cannot create a new connection with another person.

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Milgrams's Experiment

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The thing that I will remember five years from now is Milgram's experiment on obedience to authority. In this Experiment, psychologist Stanley Milgram wanted to see how normal people would react and obey to an authority figure when they were told to do something that conflicted with their morals and conscience. The subjects played the role of "teachers" and were supposed to shock the "student"(who was a fake participant that wasn't really being shocked) when they got a question wrong. The shocks would progressively increase until it was a lethal and final shock of 450 volts. Milgram and the other researchers thought that only around 1% of people would administer a the lethal shock. I guessed that only around 10% of people would.

As we saw in the video, most people became concerned for the student because they heard the screams and agony. When they questioned the researcher about it they were told that the damage was not permanent and to continue with the experiment. Shockingly, most obeyed the researcher and continued. I would have thought that the screams and people's morals and ethics would have them rebel against the authority and stop the experiment. The results showed that 65% of participants administered the final shock, which would kill a person. It showed that a normal person, not a sadistic person, would do terrible things because an authority figure told them to. I think that I will always remember this experiment.

Persuasion Techniques

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Throughout the semester, I was able to form connections from psychology with situations in my own life. However, I was largely influenced by aspects of social psychology. More specifically, the chapter's discussion of persuasion techniques will stay with me for five years from now. First, we examined two routes to persuasion, the central route and the peripheral route. In the central route of persuasion, we concentrate on the informational content of the argument. We take time to consider or assess all features of the argument. Where as in the peripheral route, we focus our attention on surface aspects of an argument. We tend to make snap decisions in the peripheral route, mainly due to the presence of superficial factors. In addition to these routes, I learned numerous persuasion techniques used by people in sales or business. Primarily the textbook explained three techniques, the foot-in-the-door technique, door-in-the-face technique and the low-ball technique.

Recently, I was a victim of a scam on our campus and across other universities in the country. As I read about the persuasion techniques, I debated which technique the scam artist used on myself and other college students. Moreover, I questioned whether I would have been scammed if I had known this information prior to the incident. I think that knowledge on these persuasion techniques is incredibly important when making important decisions. Whether you are purchasing a house or deciding on a college, it is important to be aware of your decision making process.

Groupthink and the Devil's Advocate

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Five years from now, I believe that I will remember the passage in the book about Group thinking, and the devil's advocate. Groupthink is the emphasis on group unanimity at the expense of critical thinking. I can easily imagine being in meetings 5 years from now, where the group is struggling to come up with a good idea, so we decide to go with a lousy idea simply because none of us can think of a new one. Now, I'm not sure what type of job I'll have or where I'll be, but since the majority of people work in offices now-a-days complete with business meetings and group collaborations, I can imagine that I'll probably be in a meeting eventually in my life.
Groupthink can be a real problem, since it gets rid of critical thinking and clearly causes people to be lazy. One solution to this is appointing someone to be the Devil's Advocate, and basically find all of the cons to the group's idea. This will cause more people to think critically, and may even start a lively debate. Although the idea of Groupthink and Devil's Advocacy may not be the most exciting topic to remember, it is one of the most relevant. I don't plan on becoming a boring office worker, so not falling into lazy thinking with Groupthink might help boost my brainpower.

6 Principles to Scientific Thinking

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There are various concepts in psychology that have made a huge impact in how I think about daily life and how I can approach issues. The concept that I've made the closest connection with was the "6 Principles of Scientific Thinking." They are at the very basics of psychology and are used throughout all levels and branches to scientifically think about multiple problems, tests, solutions and etc. The six principles of scientific thinking are: Ruling out rival hypothesis, correlation versus causation, falsifiability, replicability, extraordinary claims, and Occam's razor. Those scientific principles can be used both separately and in conjunction in almost any situation imaginable ranging from logically thinking about the pro's and con's of each option to analyzing a product advertised on TV to even ruling out false rumors read in a an article or on TV. The six Principles of Scientific Thinking are an amazing set of tools that are easy to use, but hard to master. But when mastered and used effectively, they can help distinguish fact from fiction, encourage critical thinking, and greatly improve one's life by causing the user, to stop and think about what he/she is hearing, reading, and seeing in today's society.

The Big 5

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The concept in psychology that I will remember five years down the line will be the model of The Big 5. The big 5 model consists of five traits that have surfaced repeatedly in factor analyses of personality measures. The big 5 taught me a lot about myself and gave reason to how I act due to my personality traits. The big 5 predicts many important real-world behaviors.

I learned that I am high in openness to experience. I love to try new things and if somebody confronts me with a challenge that I haven't done before, I make it my goal to complete that challenge. I also learned that I am high in conscientiousness. I tend to be really careful with things, am very responsible, and extremely reliable. I'm a guy you can trust will get something done if you ask me. It turns out I'm low in extraversion. This makes sense to me because I can be shy at times and have trouble starting a conversation with somebody I've never met. Since I've arrived at college, I've been working on being more social and lively. I'm above average in agreeableness. Once someone gets to know me, I'm outgoing and am pretty easy to get along with. It takes a lot to get me mad. And last but not least, I'm low in neuroticism. Neurotic people tend to be tense and moody. I try to live a stress free life by staying on task. And I try to make the best out of the worst situations. If I had to compare myself to someone from popular culture, it would be Dwight Schrute.
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As you can tell, the big 5 made me look at myself from a different perspective, from a different light. It made me realize how I can improve on my weaknesses and why my strengths are my strengths. If I only take one thing out of Psychology 1001, it will be the big 5. Thanks for reading

The Bystander Effect

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The concept that we have learned in psychology that I feel I will remember for years is the theory of the bystander effect, the phenomenon that people become completely frozen and helpless in times of emergency. When reading about this I was really taken back and wondered of all the times that people could have been saved if someone would have just stepped up and done something. I thought that this idea was really mind blowing because of the fact that people actually freeze up in times of emergency and that people are more likely not to something when more people are present, which I predicted would be the opposite.

This theory really stood out to me and I feel will stick with me is because I think that when witnessing a crime we should not just stand and watch, we should do whatever we can to intervene and help. I think that this idea will really stick with me because if I ever witness a crime or emergency I will remember this effect and be sure that I do what I can and call 911 immediately. I will not just be one in the crowd to just stand and watch, not matter how many other people are around me.

Conforming to the Majority and Authority

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I think one of the most important concepts that I will take away from psych 1001 is the idea of social influence and conformity. Conformity is something that affects everyone at some point in their life, and can be extraordinarily harmful in its scope. One of the most devastating examples of social conformity occurred during the Holocaust, as the world sat on the sidelines while a madman did his best to irradiate an entire race of people. During the 50s and 60s, social psychologists did their best to understand how a mass genocide like this was possible. Through Asch and Milgram's work, it became clear that people are hesitant standing up against the majority or against authority.
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In five years I'll probably remember the likelihood of people going along with the crowd more than any other concept because there have been so many times in my own life where I've unintentionally conformed to others. One of the best examples of this is in class. There have been quite a few times where I haven't asked questions because I'm afraid of what others will think, or I've been afraid to disagree with the majority. Although I don't like admitting it, I conform to a lot of different things. Hopefully the knowledge that I gained through psychology can help me be unafraid to stand out in the crowd and be my own person.
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Bystander Effect

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I believe five years from now I'll look back at taking Psychology and still remember the bystander effect. I volunteer every week in a nursing home in my neighborhood. I gather the residents and help them play bingo. We usually have a group of about fifteen residents that play. One day after the game was over and everyone was heading back to his or her room, one resident named Gregory had a spill. He had moved too quickly trying to get out of his chair and just fell down. The other lady who helps me assist the residents with bingo just stood there frozen. She wasn't doing anything. In my Psychology class I had recently learned about a term called the bystander effect. The bystander effect is when someone is helpless in emergencies. They just stand there. Maybe since there were other people around she felt that she wouldn't be responsible for what happens. Because I had the knowledge of the bystander effect I knew I had to do something, I couldn't just stand there like the other lady. I quickly called one of the nurses from the main desk for help. She immediately dropped what she was doing to come help Gregory. She helped him get up and sit back in a chair. Gregory ended up being just fine, just a little startled from the fall. Having learned the bystander effect in Psychology class and having this experience at the nursing home is the reason why I believe five years from now I will still remember the bystander effect.

Remembering the Big 5

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I predict that 5 years from now I will be most likely to still remember the Big 5 Personality Traits. I have always been interested in how others behave and also in accessing my own personal traits. I found this section of the lecture and discussion very interesting because it gave me insight into categorizing people's personalities. Obviously there is much more to a person's character than just the Big 5 traits, but these traits are very memorable and an easy means of analyzing a person, not to mention that the pneumonic device "OCEAN" is very helpful in recalling the five traits.

From a young age I have been intrigued by how others dress, act and interact with others. I love analyzing social situations and this psychology information is very applicable to doing so. Interacting with others and analyzing their behavior is something I will be doing for the rest of my life so I'm sure these five traits will be stored in my noggin for a while. I also enjoy using these as a means of accessing my own behavior and noticing what my personality traits are. The Big 5 traits have infiltrated my means of analyzing others and they will most likely still be very present in my brain five years from now.

Conformity and Obedience

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Five years from now and even for the rest of my life I will probably remember the topic of conformity and obedience. I never knew how much of a toll these topics can change a person mentally. As exampled from the Holocaust, for many years and even today there are people who hate Germans in general for this tragic event. As a German myself, I always wondered how people, including my own kind, do such a horrible thing. After reading about obedience I finally understood that this can happen to anyone. It is merely the act of obeying a person of a higher status as you. And because these actions are taken because someone else told you to do so, people don't reflect themselves as responsible for the action. In some cases, this can get extreme, as mentioned the Holocaust. Now for conformity, people change their behavior from group pressure. I see this every day, friends pretending to be friends with someone, acting different with certain people, etc. I now understand why through this class; everyone wants to be liked and feel wanted. These two topics are very similar. In the end, people will change who they are for someone else, not really knowing or understanding consciously why they have done so. As always remembering these themes throughout my life, I will be able to accept and understand why people have acted in certain situations, and not wonder why, but know why.

The Threat of Conformity

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From a young age, our parents, teachers, and role models always tell us, "Just be yourself." These three words carry a heavy meaning, and our young selves become excited with the possibilities of jobs, goals, and dreams that we could achieve by following this simple advice. In a perfect world, to just be you would be easy.

In the eyes of society, being you is not always enough. Psychology shows us that conformity is the tendency of people to alter their behavior as a result of group pressure. It seems remarkable that a few comments from a group could cause a person to change who they are in order to fit in. As a result, the pressures of conformity have caused some of the world's most major evils, like the Holocaust, bullying, etc. Although most people would say, "I wouldn't do that," the results of psychologically tested findings have shown otherwise. The results of the Asch study shows people will change obviously right answers in order to belong to the group, who said wrong answers. Conformity can also lead to deindividuation, which can result in uncharacteristic behaviors.

The thought of conformity can be frightening. It is hard to imagine ourselves changing whom we are in order to fit into a leader or group's beliefs or expectations. I believe I will remember this subject partially because of its unpredictable consequences. Although conformity can be good (running out of a burning building when everyone else is), the negative aspects can lead to doing terrible things. In order to avoid conformity in the future, I will have to remember to think critically about what I would be conforming to and evaluate the pros and cons. Most importantly, I will have to remember my own morals and characteristics in order to avoid being sucked into something that could be dangerous.

Maybe our parents and teachers were right, being you is the best way to be. Although it can be hard, it is the only way to ensure you are in control of your life, which is a happy life indeed.

Mere Exposure effect

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One night some friends and I were sitting in my dorm room talking about songs. We brought up the fact that there are songs that get played on the radio so much that they annoy us but when they come on we know all the words to it and catch ourselves singing along even though we aren't a fan of the song. I then remembered we learned a concept like this in psychology. It is the mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effect is that when we are exposed to a repeated stimulus over time and will eventually become very comfortable with the stimuli. Researchers found this to be turn because the more often we experience something the easier it becomes to process. We as humans like thing that are easy to process so we become more drawn to those things that we can process easier. Though this is not always the case many times it is true. I am not sure why this concept stuck with me so easily that I was able to remember it when I was hanging out with friend. I think I will be able to remember it 5 years from now because it is a simple concept that is easily relate-able to real life.

Taylor Swift

Addictive Personality

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A topic that we touched on briefly in class that I will always carry with me is the topic of the addictive personality. According to the text, this is defined as "one's predisposition to abuse alcohol and other drugs." The book argues on one side that there is no singled out personality profile that suggests there is an addictive trait, and on the other side that there are certain traits within an individual that make them more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Some of these personality traits are impulsivity, sociability and those who tend to have more anxiety and express more hostility than others. Though these traits may cause abuse, they may also become more prevalent in someone who misuses drugs and alcohol rather than abuses it. You can see where pinpointing an addictive personality is very unclear.

People use drugs and alcohol for many reasons. One of the most common is to relieve anxiety or to relax. Because alcohol and other drugs affect the dopamine levels in our brains, it acts as a reward to us and therefore results in continued use. We like the way it makes us feel. (I am definitely guilty of this at times). This moves toward the idea that our expectancy of what will happen influences our choice to drink or use drugs.

When it comes to genetics, alcoholism does tend to run in families. this has been proven through a twin studies. Even though the correlation is there, it is not known exactly which genes are inherited, and how large of a role genetics, shared environment, or both play in one having an addictive personality or alcoholism.

The reason I will always remember reading this, is because before reading about this in class, I had my own opinion on this topic. My opinion was, that having an addictive personality isn't necessarily genetic or environmentally influenced, but that it is also affected by the choices you make and your conscious awareness of what you do and who you want to be. To further explain what I mean, I will let you into a little bit of my personal history. I grew up in a family with an alcoholic father and a very codependent mother. Also, there is more than just my father on his side of the family who struggles with alcoholism. Through the struggles of coping with living in this challenging environment, I often wondered if I would become struggle with alcoholism. I decided to make a promise to myself; that I would never get stuck in a relationship like my parents had and that I would never let myself lose sight of the person I strive to become. Before you make any assumptions, both of my parents are amazing people and were both extremely loving to my sister and I. I wouldn't be where I am today without them. I did however, make the decision to move away when I was 19 and I started my own life, independent from the environment in which I grew up. That was 6.5 years ago. I am now 25, and have definitely had my share of partying and drinking days. I still do, but I have never lost sight of that path I am on. I live on my own, have my own townhouse, a dog, a steady job, and a Bachelors of Business, and am now working on my second in Psychology. I feel that the decision I made years ago is why I have not struggled with the questionable, 'addictive personality.'

Scientific Thinking

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In five years or so from now I will most likely remember the psychology concept of using the scientific approach to evaluate claims. Each day I am surrounded by hundreds of claims, most of which are untrue, however it can sometimes be difficult to tell which ones are true and which are false. It is important in life to be able to distinguish this and not fall prey to claims that could potentially cause problems. For example, many people believed in the Mozart Effect and ended up spending lots of money on CD's and other various supplements in order to make their children smarter. Also, thousands of people waste their money each year on miraculous weight loss drugs. If these people had only scientifically evaluated the claim they would have realized that the claim was probably too good to be true, and thus could have spent their money on better things. Another common claim I particularly fall prey to is the inability to be able to falsify a claim. The scientific approach can help realize this and hopefully help me to make better decisions when choosing which claims to believe. In the next five years I will certainly encounter many claims where it will be helpful to use the scientific approach when evaluating them.

Scientific Thinking

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Five years from now I think one of the things that I will most remember learning about in Psych 1001 are the six principles of scientific thinking. The first principle, "ruling out rival hypotheses", suggests to ask ourselves if we have ruled out other important competing explanations for a claim. The second principle is "correlation isn't causation", and this principle is pretty self-explanatory meaning that even though two things may be correlated, it doesn't necessarily mean that one causes the other in all situations. The third principle is "falsifiability", which means that all claims must be capable of being disproved, otherwise there is no way to go about testing them. The fourth principle is "replicability", which means that a study's findings can be duplicated consistently. Principle five, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", states that whenever we evaluate a psychological claim, we should ask ourselves whether this claim runs counter to many things we know already, and if it does, whether the evidence is as extraordinary as the claim. The final principle is "Occam's razor" and it states that in most instances, the simplest explanation is the one that does the best job of accounting for evidence. All of these principles are equally important and memorable to me. I will remember these not because they were on every test, nor needed for every writing assignment, but because they are applicable in everyday life, whenever evaluating tough situations.

The six principles of critical thinking is the thing that I believe has been stored in my long term memory and will remember five years from now. I think this because I want to become a better critical thinker, and these principles are important to becoming a successful critical thinker. The six principles are: Occam's razor, ruling out rival hypotheses, correlation vs. causation, falsifiability, reliability, and extraordinary claims. I have to make sure to have a simple explanation, make sure I take into account others' hypotheses, don't confuse correlation with causation, make sure it's repeatable, make sure my thoughts can be proven wrong, and have extraordinary evidence to back all my thoughts and claims up. These principles will guide me through my college career and into my adult life to become more knowledgeable in the world. I believe I have become a stronger critical thinker because of Psychology 1001 already, but there is always room for improvement. As an adult, I will need these principles to make important life decisions. In the near future, these principles will help me decide who will be the best fit for president of the United States. critical-thinking.jpg

Evaluating Claims

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If I had to guess what I will remember from this class five years from now it would be the five critical ways of evaluating claims. These five things to think about when evaluating claims are falsifiability, correlation vs. causation, replication, Occam's razor, and ruling out rival hypothesis. I will remember these because they have followed us through the class. We were first introduced to them in one of the first chapters and we are still learning about them and applying them to claims even now in the last chapters of the book. They are one of the biggest themes in the textbook, and come up on nearly every quiz and exam.

The five ways to evaluate claims will remain relevant to everyday life by applying them to pseudoscientific ads to help determine how factual a claim is. This will come into play in the future when I am making purchases, but more importantly it will play a role in my future schooling when evaluating other scientists theories in higher level classes. Though there are many other useful theories I have learned about in PSY 1001, I have had the most practice using these methods of evaluating claims, and they will probably stick with me for a very long time.

Learning Styles

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In the future, when I look back to taking Psychology, I think the concept I will remember most will be learning styles. I feel like we spent the most time on those in class and we also watched a number of videos explaining it. Because of that, I know I learned those concepts well. In addition, they were also my favorite because I found it interesting that a person could teach an animal almost anything as long as there was a stimulus. I remember one of my favorite scenes in The Office was when Jim tried to classically condition Dwight to eat altoids whenever he turned off his computer. I've included a clip of this scene.

Clip from The Office that shows classical conditioning

Learning styles will be important in my future life because it can help me form good study habits and also help me train my dogs. If I start rewarding myself every time I get productive studying done, it won't be as horrible when I do it. Then I will start to enjoy studying, I hope. The same can be said about my future job. If I reward myself after a hard day of work, hopefully working hard won't be as stressful as usual. Therefore because we spent a lot of time learning conditioning techniques, we watched clips of examples, I was able to make a connection with it to outside material and it will be useful in the future, learning styles will be the one thing I remember in 5 years.

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