Ch.2 First Impression- Neuroscience

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

The brain is a very intriguing topic, therefore picking a TED talk to watch was difficult. There are so many instances in life when you and another person may say a sentence or word at the same time. The TED talk I chose was “How we read each other’s minds” by Rebecca Saxe. I thought learning about reading other’s minds was an interesting topic, along with hearing how someone would address and explain reading people’s minds. Throughout this TED talk, Saxe gives examples from the experiments she conducted related to the RTP in the brain, which is used when reading and thinking about other’s feelings. As we get older our RTP develops, which gives up the ability to think about other people’s thoughts. Saxe shows an illustration of a mother looking at her baby and another of a man jumping off of a cliff, which from looking at the pictures we can come up with ideas of what the people in the pictures are thinking. During this talk I found it interesting when Saxe mentioned that we have the same brain cells as monkeys, mice, and sea slugs. I also thought the video Saxe showed of her getting a magnetic force to a certain part of her brain was fascinating because the force given gave her hand a reflex and made her drop the coin she had in her hand. I found this presenter trustworthy due the proof she gave with videos. To show an experiment Saxe conducted involving the thoughts of children she showed videos of children ages three, five, and seven. With the videos Saxe was able to prove her point, and give solid evidence that the RTP works differently depending on the age. I would conduct an experiment that shows how difference in age affects our perspective on concepts. For this experiment ages, en, sixteen, eighteen, twenty-one, and twenty-five look at pictures and determine what they think the person in the picture is thinking. Before looking at the pictures the people will get their brains imaged to see the amount of brain activity, as well as after looking at the pictures and deciding what each person is thinking in each picture. I think it would be interesting to see between what ages is there a big difference in the thoughts and how the picture is perceived.

First Impression Ch.1- Myth Busters

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

Myth Busters: “Do Beer Goggles Really Exist?”

I chose to watch one of the short clips of “Myth Busters”. The short clip I watched was testing the myth that drunk people tend to find others more attractive than when sober. To go able this test, Adam, Kari, and Jamie all went through headshots of people and rated them one to ten on how attractive they were. The computer then totaled the score of each person. The next time they rated headshots of different people after they drank some beer. Adam’s score went up by 25, Kari’s score went down by 65, and Jamie’s score went down by 11. The group thought they should try it again but this time after they drank scotch. The third time they rated headshots Adam’s score went up by 13, Kari’s score went up by 63, and Jamie’s score went up by 6. The group came to the conclusion that when drunk people find others more attractive than when they are sober.

During this experiment I think that a strength was that they all three participated and rated people while sober, buzzed, and drunk. Adam and Jamie are males and Kari is a female which helped the diversity of the experiment. After each trial each result was slightly different, but overall they came to a conclusion that when drunk people find others more attractive. I also think a strength during this experiment was they were originally going to stop after drinking regular alcoholic beverages, but to actually get a full representation of rating people’s attractiveness while drunk they drank scotch also. Their scores were all different after the third trial, which helped clarify that Adam’s results were at a steady incline and Kari and Jamie’s results were a little up and down.

Some issues I had when watching this clip was the large range of numbers that they had to rate each person. The numbers were one to ten so if I were to rate a person’s headshot a five, and I saw the same person later I may rate them a six next time because to me a five and six are too close. If the scale was one to five that would help clarify how attractive the headshot is because there are less numbers to pick from. Another weakness was Adam, Kari, and Jamie had different headshots to look at for each trial. If they had to rate the same headshots each time, they could compare what they rated each person for each trial. Since everyone was different Kari could have received a lower score because the people she was given for the second trial were overall less attractive than the headshots in the first trial.

Overall, this short clip of “Myth Busters” was very interesting and gave me some insight on whether or not someone who is drunk finds people more attractive than they would when sober. The Myth Buster team went about this experiment very well and I like how they all participated in the experiment to receive ultimate results.



Bonus Blog Post- Miguel

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

“Miguel has been struggling with his coursework lately. He has felt very tired in recent weeks and has found it difficult to focus on his studies. Even though he is always tired, he has trouble falling asleep at night, is irritable during the day, and picks fights with his roommates. He is a bit of a perfectionist and gets mad at himself when he makes even tiny mistakes. It’s gotten to the point where he doubts his ability to do anything right.”

From a psychodynamic approach, Miguel seems to have had trouble in the past, and due to his unconscious mind he is having trouble falling asleep and irritable during the day. If something dramatic in his past happened, he could be thinking about past experiences or having memories which distract him. Miguel’s unconscious mind is uncontrollable, making it hard for Miguel to overcome his behavior. Certain instances during the day may trigger memories or thoughts about his past.

From a behavioral approach, we learn that Miguel is a perfectionist. Since Miguel is a perfectionist, people can physically see the way he reacts to failure or mistakes. If someone was watching Miguel they could observe that Miguel gets angry when he feels what he did is not perfect. Miguel gets mad at himself after messing up, which is something someone can see on the outside.

From a humanistic perspective Miguel needs more sleep and he attempts to get more sleep, but has no luck. Due to his lack of sleep, Miguel has trouble controlling his anger and how fast he gets irritated. Miguel’s studies are also hard for him because he is not getting the sleep he needs to focus academically.  sleep is an important role in a human’s life, and without much sleep Miguel’s behavior does not improve.

From a cognitive approach on Miguel’s behavior, we discover that Miguel gets angry quickly and over little things. Miguel does not take the time to think instances over to react the way he should. Cognitively, Miguel does not have good concentration and struggles with school work so he may not interpret certain subjects the way he should. Miguel also gets in fights with his roommates possibly because he does not think before he speaks and says stuff to make his roommates upset.

From a the neuroscience perspective, Miguel seems to have a short temper and quick to react to certain instances. For example, Miguel gets angry when he does not do things the way he thinks he should. Miguel’s emotions show when he does not do something the way he should, so he doubts himself and that causes him to not try. If someone feels that they cannot do anything right, they start to think they are not good enough. A possible reason why Miguel reacts this way may be because Miguel was always praised for doing such a good job when he was with his family, but now without the encouragement, one little mistake could make Miguel feel like a failure.

From a social-cultural perspective, Miguel’s anger that he shows in public due to not achieving everything could possibly be taken differently depending on someone’s culture. Miguel does not hide his emotions and lashes out on his roommates making it look as if he does not know how to approach a problem like most humans. The way Miguel acts could represent what he saw as a child and he may not see a problem with the way he talks to his roommates, and his roommates take what he says the wrong way.


Starting College

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

28 August 2018

Hey, my name is Gracie Brubaker! I am currently a freshman majoring in Occupational Therapy at Elizabethtown College. I am excited to take psychology because I never took this specific class in high school. I was originally put into a HUM Peace, War, and Nonviolence class, but I felt like I should take a class that would benefit me in the field of work I would like to undertake in the future.

I do not have any background in psychology because like I said I did not take it in high school because my schedule was already full. When I hear the word “psychology” I think of the brain and how it works. I also think of psychology as finding reasons why people’s personalities are so different from one another and why reactions of people are so different.

The three topics that look the most interesting to me are “psychology then and now”, “how to improve memory”, and “how to get good sleep”.  The topic about psychology then and now interests me because I feel like it will be interesting to hear how much information has been discovered over time and how people discovered it. I always feel like I have a terrible memory, therefore learning how to improve memory is something I am looking forward to. The topic about getting a good night’s sleep also catches my attention because sleep is so important and there are probably tricks to sleeping better.

One topic that sounds the least interesting to me is the “attachment theory” because anything with “theory” in the name sounds boring. Another topic which sounds the least interesting would be “observational learning” because this topic sounds like we have to just observe something then learn from visuals, and that does not sound too intriguing to me. The last topic that does not sound interesting is “classical conditioning” because I am not sure what type of “conditioning” the topic is referring to.

The one question that I would like to answered by the end of this class is: How does someone improve their memory and what makes someone have a bad memory?