Lucy wakes up in the middle of night by a weird thing pressing her body. She tries to open her eyes but she can't. After several attempts, she finally sees what was on her; it is an old witch with wrinkled face and sharp nose. She tries to scream but she can't. On the other side of the world, Takayoshi experiences the same thing. When he opens his eyes because of a horrifying feeling, he sees a pale-faced ghost with long black hair staring at him. It's a ghost he often sees in Japanese horror movies.
What these two people are experiencing is called sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is caused by a disruption in the sleep cycle and is often associated with anxiety or even terror, feelings of vibrations, humming noises, and the eerie sense of menacing figures lose to or on top of the immobile person. This is a universal phenomenon, but why do people see different things during this experience?
I think the culture affects people even in unconscious state of mind, because people experience or dream different things during sleeping. For example, Lucy dreamed about a witch because she has never seen Japanese horror movies, and has heard of scary witch stories ever since she was little. On the other hand, Takayoshi is more familiar with Japanese ghosts than witches in western folk tales, which resulted in seeing a girl with long dark hair. As this simple example tells us, we know that we can't categorize people into groups psychologically. When one thing applies to one group, it may not apply to the other group because of cultural and environmental differences. That's why we need to focus on individual differences in studying psychology.
Writing 3: May 2012 Archives
Are there human lie detectors? That is what Dr. Cal Lightman serves to be in the TV show, "Lie to Me." As cool as some TV series may be, I think we can all agree that one shouldn't take TV to heart.
So how much truth is there to this ability to "read" a person's face and detect a lie?
I found it surprising (and awesome) that federal officers were best at detecting lies among others such as federal judges, sheriffs, and academic psychologists. Even they, however, have an average accuracy of only about 72%. (With Mixed law-enforcement officers coming in last at just over 50% or chance accuracy)
Meanwhile, others like Dr. Paul Ekman still advertize "micro-expression reading" techniques as a legitimate way that anyone can detect lies.
Also, good to note was the finding that there's typically little or no correlation between one's confidence in their ability to detect lies and their accuracy. So, even though you're probably more likely to take someone's word and believe them when they say "I know he was lying..." "I could tell, I'm really good at it," "I'm positive," etc. you shouldn't confuse confidence with correctness.
Have you ever had a time when you "could have sworn" someone was lying and then were proven wrong? or right?