--Original published at AlyssaM

I was first drawn to the TED talk: “Rebecca Saxe: How We Read Each Other’s Minds” because it seems like with two people I know, it happens very frequently. It was about how people try to understand what another is thinking in order to understand them and rationalize certain aspects. She described a section of the brain dedicated to this process and that novelist use it often when creating characters. She explained the tiny magnetic pulses that could be used to slightly influence reactions in the brain. I found most interesting that there is a small part of the brain that specializes in such procedures, as compared to woven into another function of the brain. The presenter, Rebecca, I thought was mostly trustworthy compared to other sources. She had a lot of charts to demonstrate her point, although it is unclear how many participants took part in the making of the stats. She also had several examples in an experiment and displayed the videos from different ages. However, she did not point out if she studied more than the few in the videos. I would do a research project similar to what she did with the young children, to see how others see different situations. I first would write various stories that makes a person think deeply about another’s actions. For example, good versus evil and if the evil is justified because of their broken past. Should the good be allowed to destroy the evil, when they were only hurt, or should they try to heal the evil; would be part of the study I would analyze.


--Original published at AlyssaM

Parenting is one thing every couple likes to do their own individual way, yet there are some common terms for certain styles like “Tiger moms”. My parents both were very laid back and hardly had rules for my brother and I to follow. One of my friends, Oliver – a sibling of five – was raised completely the opposite, their mother was extremely strict (I never met their father, since he lives in Washington state). Seeing both different types of parenting styles and how the two of us grew up to be, I form my ideas of what I believe to be the best way to raise children to be successful. It may be surprising, but I pick Oliver’s mother’s technique. My mom never required I do simple chores like the dishes or wash, but his did. As a result, Oliver is more hardworking than I am. Any free time, he would find in school such as a study hall, or during theater rehearsal, he was working on homework. If I had a spare moment, I would not be doing my homework, but reading or writing. Once at the end of a youth group meeting, his mother instructed him and his sister to help the staff, with the trash. From then on, it became a habit to take out the trash every week. Oliver’s manners are more well-build unlike mine. The easy way to describe our manners is to say, I was raised in a barn and him in a palace. He carries himself about his days, as regal as a prince, but not prideful, all because of his mother. She always made sure her children upheld the best posture at all time of day, which reflects his entire character. Her strict guidelines shaped him into a wonderful young gentleman and he could easily survive on his own, but me not so much. I never had to do chores, so I do not know very basic skill, like cooking (minus microwavable meals). Having a flexible style being raised, left me wobbly as I now try to learn to walk on my own. Oliver, on the other hand, will have no trouble sailing onward towards the sky. His characteristics are very closely mirrored in his siblings as well, so I was able to conclude it was all how our parents, specifically our mothers raised us.

Research Methods Critique

--Original published at AlyssaM

I watched the Mythbusters one, “Are Women Better Than Men at Reading Emotions?” For starters, in their experiment, they did well timing it from the very start. They were not testing response time in men and women, so it was not a necessity for the study, yet they did. In the end timing it, proved useful because it showed that women are quicker to answer than the men regarding reading emotions. The organization of the experiment also was beneficial. They knew what they were doing in keeping each subject separate and doing the test individually, which kept the subjects from influence based off the others. The Mythbusters also did well having a diverse group of contestants take place. However, there always is room for improvements and way studies can be done better. From what I could see in the video, it did not seem they had more than seven to ten subjects take the test. The more people that partake in a study, the more strong and accurate the results will be. Their average would be better off if they even had 50 volunteers helping out. They could take the study farther and see if age affects the outcome; such as how fast people react when they are young versus an elderly person. They could also test something like are middle-aged people and older more accurate due to perhaps experience, compared to a teenager or young adult. Their test was fine, but they could have extended it and discovered far more than one tiny fact. I feel it was too simple and did not go as into it as they could have taken it.

Introduction Blog Post

--Original published at AlyssaM


My name is Alyssa and I am from Hamburg, Pennsylvania. In class I mentioned some people call me Maggie and that I answer to both names, so here is why. During sophomore year of high school, I assisted the librarian with sorting, cleaning out the old, and organizing the magazines in a storage room. After working on the task for several days, the librarian came to calling me Maggie and it stuck.

I chose this psychology class because my intended major is psychology and this is the basic structure to begin on that path. I do not have a lot of background in psychology because my high school hardly offered any course. The course they had was very general and basic lasting only a semester. When I hear the word “psychology” a lot comes to mind, but I often think of my one book character that is a psychologist. Looking at the schedule of events, one I am interested in is improving memory because it makes me curious to see the way memory can be controlled, in a way. Another I look forward to is the unit on sleep because it is so fascinating, especially when it comes to dreams. Lastly, the topic that interests me most is mental illness, for it captivates me learning about the various disorders. On the flip side, there are some I am not as enthusiastic for, but that does not mean not completely interested in. One section is the one on conditioning, only because that is the topic covered most in my education history. The other is stress, for basically the same reason that it has been touched upon multiple times previously. By the end of the semester I want to learn more about the topics within psychology, and do not have a specific question I would like answered.