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Birth Order doesn't mean anything towards personality

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There is a theory in psychology books concerning birth order that shows first borns are wired to achieve, middle borns seek diplomacy, and later borns are risk takers. Based on observation of my personality and my sibling's personalities, I feel these assumptions are not true. Even though these assumptions have no substantial correlation with birth order and personality, many popular books suggest these findings according to our textbook. My sister, who is the oldest sibling of us three, is quiet and not incredibly outgoing. However, she is not independent too often and enjoys not being alone. The biggest personality problem I see with her is that she can never make important decisions. She tends to let others make decisions instead amongst groups even if they let her decide for fear of making a mistake. I feel this hinders her ability to achieve and decreased her chance of graduating college in four years because she could not decide for a few years what she wanted to with her life. With myself being a middle child, I feel I do have a good sense of diplomacy because I am an easy-going, type B personality. However, I do not see diplomacy as a "character label" for myself and I have other qualities that define me better than diplomacy. My younger brother is the youngest child of our family and he is definitely not a risk-taker. He is still maturing and trying to become independent as well. I think independence correlates with risk taking to a certain degree.

Through the Eyes of Katniss Everdeen

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Having recently read The Hunger Games in an admittedly obsessive fury, I can see how the successful portrayal of a complex character by an author can truly draw the reader into their world. This novel was written from the first person perspective of Katniss Everdeen, so the portrait painted of her personality was through her own eyes, relying on the reader's interpretation to put a name to her traits. If examining her character through the Big Five theory of personality, one of the first things one could note is her low level of agreeableness. Throughout the novels, she legitimately makes her own rules to thwart the plots of any and all authority figures to accomplish what she wants or deems morally right. She also was low on extroversion, preferring only to converse with those she knew and loved. Even then she didn't completely open up and tell them what she was truly thinking or feeling. The reader begins to sense a relatively high amount of openness to experience in Katniss' personality when she volunteers as tribute in place of her sister and is whisked away to the capitol. She faces all the knowledge, culture and challenges she can with an open and ready mind, even though her heart is still with her home in district 12.
Katniss had relatively high levels of neuroticism to begin with, but as she continued through the games it essentially skyrocketed as an adaption when the odds didn't seem to be in her favor. Another personality trait that strengthened over the course of the games was Katniss' somewhat high conscientiousness. Her conscientiousness mostly applied when she was breaking the rules to hunt, early on. She had to be neat, prepared and careful to not draw negative attention toward her illegal activities. As she had to hide her presence for the sake of survival and remember the qualities of different berries to avoid poison, her conscientiousness increased for the sake of survival.

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Do Horoscopes affect everyday life?

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One thing I found particularly interesting in Chapter 14 was the P.T. Barnum Affect. Astrology is a great example of the P.T. Barnum Effect, which is the tendency of people to accept high base descriptions. About a week ago, a friend of mine had tweeted how "freaky" it was that her horoscope always seemed to fit her perfectly. This was a golden opportunity to show off what I had been learning in psychology so when I was with her, I changed her Astrology sign from Aquarius to Pisces. A few days later I told her that she probably exaggerates how well her horoscope really fits her, so she proceeded to list off examples from the past few days of things that resembled her horoscope really quite well! Once I told her I changed it and she saw for herself that any horoscope can be applied to someone's day, she was not too happy with me for "ruining her horoscope". After thinking about horoscopes and this situation, I was wondering whether or not people spend their day subconsciously trying to fit the horoscope without even realizing it. For example, if a horoscope says that something unexpected will happen today if you take a chance, it would be interesting to see whether or not that person is more outgoing and open to new things after reading it.

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I'm Gay and I'm Proud of It!

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High school was an awesome time! I was captain of the soccer team, I played on a basketball team that went to state, I was in choir and band, I was a part of the student council and the National Honors Society, and I managed to maintain a pretty good GPA. However, there was one part of my life that I was not satisfied with; my sexual orientation. During my seventh grade year I started to realize that I had feelings for other guys. All throughout my junior and high school years, my sister was the only person that knew I was gay because I was too afraid to tell anyone else. I tried so hard "not to be gay" and tried to "pray the gay away," yet that was just hopeful wishing more than anything else. I even tried getting into a relationship with another girl, but broke it off right away because it just didn't feel right to me. As much as I tried to fight those feelings away, I just knew that I was not going to change my sexual orientation. However, during college I have done a lot more research and have become a lot more accepting of who I am as a person. Since then, I have told my family and friends and have fortunately received a lot of support from them!

This brings me to my argument about whether a person can change their sexual orientation. There have been many studies conducted concerning this issue and there is support for both sides, so I feel like bringing in evidence would contribute little to this argument. If I found evidence that supported the fact that someone can not change their sexual orientation, I'm sure someone could just as easily find evidence that people can change their sexual orientation. All I know is that through my own experience I believe that people can not change their sexual orientation. However, I can not speak for everyone; maybe some people are able to change their sexual orientation which is totally fine. However, one piece of information I found to be very interesting is that far more homosexuals become heterosexual than the other way around. Is this because homosexuals are more able to change their sexual orientation than heterosexuals or is it because more homosexuals are being pressured by others to change that part of their life even if they can't? Either way, I don't believe its right for people to force others to change who they are as individuals! In the end, I don't really care if people are able to change their sexual orientation or not, but I do care that people are being true to who they are as individuals and not feeling pressured by others to be one way or another. People just need to figure out who they are for themselves.


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She's just not that in to you

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During Dr. Simpson's lecture on evolution there was one slide in particular that I thought pertained to current life. This slide presented the idea that humans are not always able to attract and/or retain mates who are good providers or and have "good genes" so they are forced to make trade-offs. More specifically the trade-offs for men who lack high attractiveness, vigor, or health, so the best way for them to attract and retain a mate is to offer good provision and invest heavily in one relationship. After some thought, I came to the conclusion that a very good example of just this is when they are simply trying too hard. This type of situation occurs so often in life that there is even a website for it. This website contains numerous accounts of females and males making efforts to attract others. These efforts, however construed, just don't seem to have to result intended. From tattooing a proposal onto your back to the awkward self photos, this website has seen it all. The same can be said for a majority of college students. We are all familiar with those who don't know where to draw the line.

http://tryingtoohard.org/page/2

Civil Equality

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The fight for gay marriages to be equal to heterosexual marriages has been going on for a while now. The argument is that everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, should have the same, equal rights. However, this is currently not the case with homosexual couples. Currently, the most that homosexual couples can get in most states is a civil union. In a civil union, the couple do not share all of the rights that a heterosexual couple do in a marriage. For example, civil union couples do not get a tax relief, the power to pull the plug if their partner is very ill, or the right to decide what happens to the body if their partner passes. There are a lot of other things that civil union couples do not get that heterosexual married couples get, but this is only a couple examples. The people that are fighting for gay marriage and equal rights say that it should be legal because America is supposed to be the country where everyone has equal rights, but the people that are fighting against it are saying that it is "dangerously sinful to describe a relationship between two persons of the same gender as a marriage." The argument here is that God, not humans, created marriage and in God's definition of the word, marriage is a "faithful partnership between a man and a woman." I personally believe that homosexual couples should be allowed to get married because I truly believe that everyone should have equal rights. I believe that it is really not fair that there is discrimination just because of sexuality. I do not think that it is American to discriminate because of how someone lives.
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Attraction in the Film "The Vow"

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Psychologist have tried to determine what draws people to each other, sometimes so strong they vow to spend the rest of their lives together in front of hundreds of people. They've questioned where it's just "chemistry" and chance or is there some other significant driving factor? Many studies have been done and many of them can be traced back to the idea of natural selection and gender roles. Men have been found to weigh more heavily on physical appearance. Some psychologist have suggested this could be because they're looking for the most healthy and fertile women to reproduce with. Women on the other hand have been suggested to put more importance on financial resources. This could be because they're looking for men who can provide well for their off spring.

In the movie "The Vow" these gender sterotypes are exemplified perfectly with attraction. The main woman character Paige is expected by her family to marry a successful businessman Jeremy and is discouraged to pursue her career as an artist because that's not how her family views she should be doing with her life. The other man in the love triangle is Leo. Leo is looked down upon by Paige's family because he's in the music industry, which they see as a dying business and as extremely unsuccessful. Leo also encourages Paige to be an artist. Although, because it's a Hollywood movie Paige ends up with Leo and they're passionately in love and all ends happily ever after! This still supports some studies that found that even though there's slight difference in preferences among the sexes, both still think intelligence, dependability and kindness are important characteristics in a partner. I always enjoy a good romance movie so I provided a link to the trailer incase anyone else wants to see what the movie is about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELg843Ot9CQ

Human Brains, Pelvises, and Love

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3. An old legend says that people are born with an invisible string tied to one of their fingers. This is linked to one other person on the Earth, with whom they are destined to be with. This old legend is highly unlikely to be true, but it illustrates that humans are not meant to be alone, that they are meant to be with someone else.

'Humans are the only creatures on Earth whose young are utterly helpless for years, and heavily dependent on adult care for more than a decade' (The Happiness Hypothesis). This is because humans, unlike other primates, are born before their brains have reached full development. 3 million years ago, humans began to be born before their brain was fully developed. This allowed for the brain to continue growing after being born. This allows for a more massive, evolved brain. The infants could not be born with this large brain because there was a limit to how big a head that a female could deliver while still maintaining a narrow pelvis to walk bipedally.

This period of brain development leads to strong bonds being formed while still young. These bonds formed at such a young age are similar to the bonds that people form with their romantic partners as adults. The humans still try to form bonds that they can rely on, just like when they were young, developing children. The legend of the invisible string is like the bond that all adults form with one another, looking for that person that they can rely on.
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Are You Lying to Me?

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Usually once we get to know a person, we can tell whether or not they are telling the truth. For some people we can always tell if they are lying, and some people can lie with a straight face and we never know if they are telling the truth. A common thing I have heard is to watch their eyes and see if they are looking up to the left, and if they are that means they're lying. But some people can look you straight in the eye and lie to you.
The text said to listen to how a person words something if we want to see if they are lying.

I found the different lie detector tests very interesting. I think in general they are a bad way to go about testing a person's innocence. As the text said, a person's bodily reactions to the test may be misinterpreted because they are anxious about a crime they didn't commit, and a guilty person could go free. It seems like its a hard way to determine guilt when there could be many other factors associated with your reactions or brain activity (an example of another test). Whether it is the case of an argument with a friend or the case of a criminal, it is usually impossible to know whether or not a person is lying, and so far there are no good ways to tell 100% of the time.

Liar, Liar

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Lying is something that everyone does. Whether our intentions are bad or good, we spend a fairly large amount of our lives lying to determine if others around us are or not. Most of the time, we use people's nonverbal behaviors as the basis of our reasoning. Before researching on the topic, I considered myself to be very good at catching someone in a lie. I pay close attention to a persons body language as well as their verbal response. It turns out that someones verbal cues are more reliable than their nonverbal cues and that despite what many people think, mostly of themselves, humans as lie detectors are not very accurate either. In fact, given a 50-50 chance of being right, most of us achieve only about 55 percent accuracy. Few people exceed 70 percent accuracy in the same situation. There are only a few groups of people that researchers have found to be exceptionally good at detecting lies. These groups include secret services agents, judges, and law enforcement officers. These are all groups of people who are constantly having to base decisions off of others honesty. This lead me to question whether detecting lies is something that can be improved over time with repeated exposure to people lying, or if it is a case of correlation vs. causation. Either way, we can't rely on anyone's nose growing to give them away.liar.jpg

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