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Psychology Today

Published by: Rosa Devora and Emili Gonzalez


41 52 63 74

History of Psychology Thinking Critically with Psychological Science Neuroscience and Behavior Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity

8 5 Developmental Psychology

96 Sensation 10 7 Perception 11 8 States of Consciousness 12 9 Learning 14 10Memory


11 Thinking and Language 16 19 Intelligence 12 20 13 Motivation 21 Emotion 14 22Stress and Health 15 23 Personality 16

17 24 Psychological Disorders 25 Therapy 18 26 Social Psychology 19 Careers in Psychology 27 20

History of Psychology What is Psychology? Have you ever wondered where our thoughts and feelings come from? Are our actions predisposed by our genes or environment? To what extent? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one questioning how to explain the actions of humans and other species. The study of psychology is as old as our species. Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes (Meyers 2). What do you think, did we come into this world with knowledge or with a blank slate? Not sure? You aren’t the only one, so did our ancestors who lived in the B.C. era. The biggest debates in prescientific psychology was the relation of mind to the body and how ideas were formed. The Hebrews, Aristotle, and Augustine argued that the mind and body were connect. However, Socrates, Plato, and Descartes argued that the mind and body were separate; the mind continued to exist after death (ideas were innate). On the other hand, John Locke believed that the mind was a tabula rasa (blank sheet) at birth. Do you have something new to offer the world of psychology? Are you afraid of your theory being rejected? Well don’t be afraid to put it to the test! In its attempt to describe and explain human nature, psychological science welcomes hunches and plausible sounding theories (Meyers 2).


When entering the mysterious world of psychology you will learn how the game is played. Whether you’re a scientist or an ordinary person curious about psychology you will discover who in fact is smarter. As you can see, the study of psychology encounters various perspectives such as: the humanistic perspective, psychoanalytic perspective, biopsychology perspective, evolutionary perspective, behavioral perspective, cognitive perspective, and social-cultural perspective. Psychologists today continue to debate Charles Darwin’s nature versus nurture theory. Psychology is more than one branch, there are many related fields in psychology that may work or collaborate with others.

Thinking Critically with Psychological Science

Ladies and Gentlemen today you will learn how to conduct your own psychology experiment. Follow me and you will see a world of pure experimentation. Step 1: Getting Started 1.Conducting your first psychology experiment can be a long, complicated, and intimidating process. It can be especially confusing if you are not quite sure where to begin or which steps to take. Like other sciences, psychology utilizes the scientific method. a) Ask a question that can be tested b)Design a study and collect data c)Analyze results and reach conclusions d)Share the results with the scientific community e)Replicate the results Step 2: Find a Research Problem or Question 1. Investigate a commonly held belief: For example. Many students believe that Ms. Mitchell’s class is the hardest class they’ll ever take. You can conduct a study in which you compare the student before taking Ms.Mitchell’s class, versus after taking her class. 2. Think about everyday problems: Explore various problems that the student is facing each day, and then consider how you could research potential solutions. Step 3:Define your Variables 1.Variables are anything that might impact the outcome of your study. An operational definition describes exactly what the variables are and how they are measured within the context of your study. For example, if you were doing a study on how Ms.Mitchell’s class impacts sleep deprivation on driving performance, you would need to operationally define what you mean by sleep deprivation and driving performance. Step 4: Develop a hypothesis 1. The next step is to develop a testable hypothesis that predicts how the operationally defined variables are related. In our example in the previous step, our hypothesis might be: "Students who are sleep deprived will perform worse than students who are not sleep deprived on a test of driving performance in Ms. Mitchell’s class." Step 5: Conduct Research 1. Once you have developed a testable hypothesis, it is important to spend some time doing some background research. What do researchers already know about your topic? What questions remain unanswered? You can learn about previous research on your topic by exploring books, journal articles, online databases, newspapers, and websites devoted to your subject. Step 6: Choosing your participants 1. When conducting your experiment, you do not need to test every individual in a group. Instead, you can select a random sample of participants from the classroom. Step 7: Collect data 1. After carefully designing your study, now is the time to actually conduct the experiment. Administer your testing procedures and then collect the data from the participants. Step 8: Write Up and Share Your Results 1. The final step in conducting your psychology experiment is to


Neuroscience and Behavior


What is the Nervous System? While neurons are the building blocks of the body’s communication system, it is the networks of neurons that allow signals to move between the brain and body. These organized networks, composed of up to one trillion neurons, make up what is known as the nervous system. The human nervous system is made up of two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system What is the Central Nervous System? The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The primary form of communication in the CNS is the neuron. The brain and spinal cord are absolutely vital to life and functioning, so there are a number of protective barriers surrounding them starting with the bone. Why are the brain and spinal cord so Important? Think of these structures as the center of the body’s communication system. The CNS is responsible for processing every sensation and thought you experience. The sensory information that is gathered by receptors throughout the body then passes this information on to the central nervous system. The CNS also sends messages out to the rest of the body in order to control movement, actions and responses to the environment. What is the Peripheral Nervous System? The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is composed of a number of nerves that extend outside of the central nervous system. The nerves and nerve networks that make up the PNS are actually bundles of axons from neuron cells. Nerves can range from relatively small to large bundles that can be easily seen by the human eye. The PNS can be further divided into two different systems: the somatic nervous

system and the autonomic nervous system. · Somatic Nervous System: The somatic system transmits sensory communications and is responsible for voluntary movement and action. This system is composed of both sensory (afferent) neurons, which carry information from the nerves to the brain and spinal cord, and motor (efferent) neurons, which transmit information from the central nervous system to the muscle fibers. · Automatic Nervous System: The autonomic nervous system is responsible for controlling involuntary functions such as certain aspects of heartbeat, respiration, digestion and blood pressure. This system is also related to emotional responses such as sweating and crying. The autonomic system can then be further subdivided into two subsystems known as the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. · Sympathetic Nervous System: The sympathetic system controls the body’s response to emergencies. When this system is aroused, a number of things begin to occur: your heart and breathing rates increase, digestion slows or stops, the pupils dilate and you begin to sweat. Known as the fight or flight response, this system responds by preparing your body to either fight the danger or flee. ·Parasympathetic Nervous System: The parasympathetic nervous system functions to counter the sympathetic system. After a crisis or danger has passed, this system helps to calm the body. Heart and breathing rates slow, digestion resumes, pupil contract and sweating ceases.

Nature, Nurture, & Human Diversity Have you ever wondered if there was an individual who was exactly like you? What makes us unique? What makes us similar? Keep that in mind while you read the rest of the article. What makes us the same? We are all leaves of one tree. We all share common a biological heritage and a similar brain structures. Humans throughout the world share a biological heritage; cut us and we bleed. We all have the same set of chromosomes. Our bodies are similar biologically because our organs and body function the same. We also have a shared brain structure which predisposes us to sense our surroundings, develop language, and feel hunger. Universally, individuals prefer sweet tastes to sour. Another characteristic we share universally is feeling drawn to behaviors that produce and protect offspring. We develop stranger anxiety at approximately 8 months. We prefer to spend time with those who share similar attitudes and attributes. All individuals throughout the world can speak a language and smiles share the same meaning across the world. What makes us unique? We all look different, sound different, vary in personalities, interests, and cultural and family backgrounds. Genetic abnormalities may make us different. Our organs and body functions may change during development. The asymmetry of the brain if different across genders. Our growth depends on environment. We all speak different languages. What is the Nature-Nurture debate? In your opinion, what is more influential, nature or nurture? Are we born with these differences or do we acquire them based on our external influences? What is it? Examples


Nature Nature refers to an individual's innate qualities. Examples of nature are our genes; genes determine our physical and personality trait. Genes stay the same, no matter where you were born and raised. Biological and family factors

Nurture Nurture refers to our personal experiences. Examples of nurture include: parental influences, peer influences, gender roles, stereotypes, and child-rearing practices. Social and environmental factors


Developmental Psychology Developing Through Adolescence The most obvious way in which people develop is physically. We all transform from helpless babies into more or less capable adults. Is there set pattern? The answer is no, thanks to the findings of developmental psychologists, we are able to predict the effects of early experiences on later behavior. Developmental psychologists study how our behaviors and thoughts change throughout the course of our lives. What is Adolescence? Adolescence is defined as the link between childhood and adulthood. Adolescence is typically portrayed as a negative stage of life due to media's emphasis on the problems that derive during adolescence. Despite the mood swings, adolescence can also be a time of vitality without the cares of adulthood, a time of rewarding friendships, of heightened idealism and growing sense of life's exciting possibilities (Coleman, 1980). Physical Appearance and Body Image During adolescence, teenagers are known to spend hours worried about their appearance. Teens are constantly concerned about no fitting in with the group norms that they identify with. Adolescents should spend less time trying to another's copy; they should express their unique style. Adolescents are extremely concerned about several aspects of their appearance. The majority of adolescents worry about acne, bodyweight, facial features, or their clothing. As puberty takes its toll on an adolescent's life, eating disorders are likely to develop. Puberty is often associated with weight gain, which cause many adolescents to be self-conscious of their changing bodies. Western cultures glorifies being thin, which causes the majority of girls to be preoccupied with achieving or maintaining a thin body. In order to reach or maintain their goals of a thin body, teens develop eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Eating disorders are not only limited to female victims; 10% of eating disorder cases were male. Symptoms are usually detected during adolescence but they become more evident throughout early adolescence. Risk Factors The risk factors that contribute to eating disorders during adolescence are low self-esteem, poor coping skills, physical abuse, sexual abuse, poor coping skills, or childhood abuse. We Usually Get Along but‌


Families today can take many forms- traditional dual parent, single parents, shared custody, adoptive, blended, foster, to name a few. Through your infancy and childhood your family has shaped your initial self concept, self-esteem, and attachment. However, adolescents in Westerns cultures seek to find their own identities and separate from their families. During adolescence, parent-adolescent conflict tends to increase because conflict is a necessary part of gaining independence. Even though increased levels of conflict with parents is normal during adolescence, one should try to limit conflict because positive relationships with parents supports positive relationships with peers.

Sensation What Do You Really See?


What our eyes perceive as color are actually pulses of electromagnetic energy. Light is perceived through wavelengths, which determines the hue and intensity. The amount of energy in light waves which influences brightness. Do you wonder how we transform physical energy into color and meaning? If yes keep on reading!

Brace yourselves everything you see and ever will see is a lie! Color, doesn’t reside on the object it resides in the theater of our brains. Still haven’t figured it out? Well am here to tell you that COLOR DOESN’T EXIST! Shocker right! #sorrynotsorry For those of you who don’t believe me let me give you a quick lesson explaining why color is false. The color of anything depends on the type of light sent to our eyes; light is necessary if we are to have any perception of color at all. An object is "colored," because of the light it reflects—all other colors are absorbed into that specific object. So then, an apple appears red because it reflects red light. Still don’t believe me? Well here’s an example:

The Eye In order to understand how we perceive color we first have to look at the different parts of the eye. Cornea protects the eye and bends light to provide focus. Light then passes through the pupil, regulated by the iris adjusting light intake. Beyond the pupil is the lens, which focuses on incoming rays. Retina is the eyeballs light sensitive inner surface where rays focus in multilayered tissue. Rods are necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don’t respond. Cones detect detail and give rise to color sensations. The rods and cones activate the neighboring bipolar cells, which activate ganglion cells, which form the optic nerve. Optic nerve carries information to the brain. Now that we know the basics let’s get to the fun part!

1. All the" invisible" colors of sunlight shine on the apple. 2. The surface of a red apple absorbs all the colored light rays, except for those corresponding to red, and reflects this color to the human eye. 3. The eye receives the reflected red light and sends a message to the brain. Test your knowledge of the major eye structures. Use the word bank below to label the human eye diagram. (Answers on next page)



B. D. E.

H. G. F.

Fovea Cornea Lens Iris Optic Nerve Pupil Blind Spot Retina



Human Eye Diagram Answers A.Pupil B.Lens C.Retina F.Blind Spot F.Cornea


E.Optic Nerve


Is Everything What It Seems? Things are not always what they seem and marketers and artists rely on this to make you see things the way they want you to see them. You can meet someone and they can tell you everything you want to hear without any hint of truth. Anyone can give off any perception they want. The world we see is a reflection of who we are and what we believe. For example, we both see a bee. I see a terrifying insect and want to run. YOU see a wonderful sign of nature. What is an Illusion? Do you see what I see? Do we perceive the same thing? Is your definition of white and gold my definition of black and blue? When we witness an illusion, we perceive something that does not correspond to what is actually out there or what exists in the real world. Illusions fool us. They convince us of things that are not true. Today you will read about perceptual illusions. Movie Illusions Warning: You’ll probably hate us after this but its time you learn the truth. An illusion we all take for granted is motion picture where two illusions are involved. When you go to the movies with your boyfriend or best friends you’re probably to busy drooling over Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling to notice this illusion. I suggest you get comfy and get ready to learn the ugly truth. First there is really nothing moving as we experience the film. What is moving is a series of still photographs on a reel of film. Each is exposed for only a very short time and our eyes and brain do not see the separate still shots but see figures on the screen moving quite naturally. The second part of the movie illusion is the sound. When an actor or actress speaks we fully accept that the words are coming from his or her mouth. The fact is that the sounds are actually coming from speakers


well off to the side of the screen and possibly even in back of us. Yet as the actor walks across the scene we accept that the words are coming from his or her mouth from a different spot on the screen—a misperception, and therefore an illusion. Distortions in Perception You come home from school. Mother talks to you about not having done your share of the chores and skipping out early to school. You "misperceive her words" (A Distorted Perception) as an attack on you and respond with one classification, of about 12 different kinds, called "Black and White" thinking. You perceive a personal attack and scream back at you mom, "YOU ARE ALWAYS AFTER ME AND ON MY BACK FOR SOMETHING." "ALWAYS" is clearly a distortion of your mother's behavior. She may sometimes be on you, but it is almost inconceivable and impossible for her to "ALWAYS" be on your case. This is only one example of a Distorted Perception. The proper term in Psychology is called "Cognitive Dissonance." First comes "perceptions" or sensory input to the brain. Secondly the brain processes the "perceived" information received. Thirdly feelings come next. Finally the response of behavior.

States of Consciousness The Use and Abuse of Psychoactive Drugs The use of drugs for both medical and social purposes is widespread in America. The majority of people believe that every problem has a chemical solution. For example, many turn to caffeine for fatigue, sleeping pills for insomnia, and alcohol and drugs to reduce levels of anxiety and boredom. However, the majority of the users don't realize the serious consequences that psychoactive drugs have on their consciousness. The drugs most associated with abuse are psychoactive drugs; they induce an altered state of consciousness. Commonly abused psychoactive drugs include: depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and opiates. Psychoactive drugs altar the chemistry of the brain and the rest of the body by mimicking neurotransmitters, the brain's chemical messengers. The most serious consequences of psychoactive drugs are abuse and addiction. Psychoactive drugs can cause intoxication (a state in which unpredictable physical and emotional changes occur), serious changes in physical functioning, and profound physical, emotional, and social effects. Caffeine is one of the oldest and most popular psychoactive drugs. Caffeine is considered a central nervous system stimulant because it speeds up the nervous system, causing the heart rate to accelerate and blood pressure to rise. The use of caffeine is widespread because it is found in coffee, tea, cocoa, soft drinks, and headache remedies. In ordinary doses, caffeine leads to greater alertness levels by decreasing feelings of fatigue or boredom. However, higher doses may cause nervousness, increased anxiety, reduced appetite, disturbed sleep, irritability, gastric irritation or peptic ulcers. Although drinks containing caffeine are rarely harmful, one should

avoid its withdrawal effects by simply decreasing their daily intake of caffeine. Behavior Change Strategy Do you rely on caffeine to get through your busy schedule? Yes? Don't worry you're not alone. The majority of habits often begin in high school. Fortunately, you can still break your habit before its tolerance becomes enriched as a lifelong dependency. A few behavior change strategies you should to cut down your caffeine intake is: self-monitor by keeping a log of the amount of caffeine you eat and drink. Set limits for yourself; by restricting your caffeine intake. For example, if you normally drank 6 cups of coffee a day try to limit yourself to 4 cups of coffee. However, if you experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms, you may want to cut your intake more gradually. We also recommend that you find other ways to keep up your energy. Instead of reaching chocolate bar loaded with caffeine, fill up on complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain bread or crackers. Remember





Learning What is Conditioning? Classical and operant conditioning are two important concepts central to behavioral psychology. While both result in learning, the processes are quite different. First lets look at how these techniques differ from each other. What is Classical Conditioning? Classical conditioning is a type of learning most associated with Ivan Pavlov and his experiment on salivating dogs. Classical condition is the process of training an animal (including humans) to react to certain stimuli with a desired response. It involves pairing the stimulus with an otherwise non-stimulating object. Pavlov did this when he rang a loud bell every time he presented food to this group of dogs. He found that after pairing the sound with the food many times, he was eventually able to get the dogs to salivate to the sound of the bell even when no food was present. Let's say there's someone you dislike who wears a certain perfume. Generally you wouldn't have a problem with smelling this perfume, although whenever you see this person, you smell it, and so your mind starts associating it with this unpleasant feeling. So from then on out, whenever you smell it, you immediately get this feeling without any seemingly rational probe. 
 In other words:
 Before conditioning: 
 Perfume (Neutral stimulus) = No reaction 
 * During conditioning: 
 Perfume (NS) = See person you dislike (Unconditioned stimulus)=Unpleasant feeling (Unconditioned response) 
 After conditioning: 
 Perfume (Conditioned stimulus) = Unpleasant feeling (Conditioned response)


What is Operant Conditioning? Operant Conditioning is a method for modifying behavior through consequences for responding. The two categories of consequences are reinforcement and punishment and these can each be divided into positive and negatives types. Reinforcement is focused on increasing the likelihood of a behavior occurring. Positive reinforcement is the adding of something that will increase a behavior for example, Ms. Mitchell praising you for doing a good job on your essay. Negative reinforcement is subtracting something to increase a behavior. For example, Those nights when

Learning (continued) you have a never ending amount of Mitchell homework that cause headaches so you an aspirin to remove the headache, which will mean you will be more likely to take an aspirin again when you next have a headache. Punishments focus is on reducing a behavior. Positive punishment is the adding of something to reduce the behavior for example, spanking a child for misbehaving. Negative punishment is the removal of something to reduce a behavior, for example taking away a child's allowance for misbehaving. So What is the Difference Between Classical and Operant Conditioning? One of the simplest ways to remember the differences between classical and operant conditioning is to focus on whether the behavior is involuntary or voluntary. Classical conditioning involves making an association between an involuntary response and a stimulus, while operant conditioning is about making an association between a voluntary behavior and a consequence. In operant conditioning, the learner is also rewarded, while classical conditioning involves no rewards. Also remember that classical conditioning is passive on the part of the learner, while operant conditioning requires the learner to actively participate and perform some type of action in order to be rewarded or punished Classical Conditioning: In animal training, a trainer might utilize classical conditioning by repeatedly pairing the sound of a clicker with the taste of food. Eventually, the sound of the clicker alone will begin to produce the same response that the taste of food would. Operant Conditioning: Ms. Mitchell utilized operant conditioning by offering extra credit as a reward for bringing tissue. Students can use this extra credit to raise their grade.


Memory Memory What causes us to remember what we remember and forget what we forget? Memory is essential to all our lives. Memories allow you to remember where you were yesterday, what you had for breakfast, and who you've talked to last week. Our memory is the glue that binds our life together. Memory works in a way that is difficult to understand. What is memory? Your memory is the mind's storehouse. Memory is any indication that learning has persisted over time. In other words, it's our ability to store and retrieve memory. Memories are categorized into episodic (memories of specific events), semantic (general knowledge/facts), or procedural (memories of skills and how to perform them). Memories are also categorized as explicit (conscious memories of facts) or implicit (skill memories).

The Seven Deadly Sins of Memory 1. Absent-mindedness- when your attention is disrupted an produces encoding failure. 2. Transiencethe decreasing accessibility of memory over time. 3. Blocking- inability to recall a piece of information that we previously knew (tip of the tongue). 4. Misattributionattribution of memories to incorrect sources or believing that you have seen or heard something you haven't. 5. Suggestibilityeffects of misinformation. 6. Bias- belief-colored recollections. When your current feelings are influenced by past memories. 7. Persistence- remembering things that we don't want to recall.

Memory capacity Sensory memory is brief information presented to your body based on your senses. It encodes what you touch, feel, sense, taste, and see but it is only stored in your memory for milliseconds. Your working memory capacity limited to what you're working on right now. It has a limited capacity of about 7 plus or minus 2 items. This explains why we can remember a phone number but can't remember a 16 digit credit card number. Long-term memory has an unlimited capacity to store in memory. Memories are difficult to recall and retrieve because they can decay from long-term memory.


How to improve your memory 1. Study repeated to boost long-term recall. 2. Rehearse and actively think about the material 3. Make the material meaningful. 4. In order to remember unfamiliar list, use mnemonic devices. 5. Activate retrieval cues. 6. Recall events while they're fresh. 7. Minimize interference. 8. Test your own knowledge. 9. Schedule spaced study times.

Memory (continued) Time Management Tips ❖ Schedule tasks for peak efficiency ➢ schedule tasks when you are most productive (day or night) ❖ Set priorities ➢ complete more important tasks first ❖ Set realistic goals ❖ Break down long term goals into short term goals ➢people who make more smaller goals and achieve them are more likely to achieve long term goals ❖ Do your least favorite task first ❖ Take a break ❖ Write tasks down ❖ Avoid personal time sinks ➢ social media


Thinking and Language Problem Solving In thinking, the term problem solving refers to the mental process that people go through to discover, analyze and solve problems. This on involves all of the steps in the problem process, including the discovery of the problem, the decision to tackle the issue, understanding the problem, researching the available options and taking actions to achieve your goals. What Strategies Can I use to Solve a Problem? 路 Algorithm: An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure that will always produce a correct solution. A mathematical formula is a good example of a problem-solving algorithm. While an algorithm guarantees an accurate answer, it is not always the best approach to problem solving. This strategy is not practical for many situations because it can be so time-consuming. For example, if you were trying to figure out all of the possible number combinations to a lock using an algorithm, it would take a very long time! 路 Heuristic: A heuristic is a mental rule-of-thumb strategy that may or may not work in certain situations. Unlike algorithms, heuristics do not always guarantee a correct solution. However, using this problem-solving strategy does allow people to simplify complex problems and reduce the total number of possible solutions to a more manageable set. 路 Trial-and-Error: A trial-and-error approach to problem solving involves trying a number of different solutions and ruling out those that do not work. This approach can be a good option if you have a very limited number of options available. If there are many different choices, you are better off narrowing down the possible options using another problem-solving technique before attempting trialand-error. 路 Insight: In some cases, the solution to a problem can appear as a sudden insight. According to researchers, insight can occur because you realize that the problem is actually similar to something that you have dealt with in the past, but in most cases the underlying mental processes that lead to insight happen outside of awareness. What Are Some Problems and Obstacles in Problem-Solving? Of course, problem solving is not a flawless process. There are a number of different obstacles that can interfere with our ability to solve a problem quickly and efficiently. Researchers have described a number of these mental obstacles, which include functional fixedness, irrelevant information and assumptions. Functional Fixedness: This term refers to the tendency to view problems only in their customary manner. Functional fixedness prevents people from fully seeing all of the different options that might be available to find a solution. Irrelevant or Misleading Information: When you are trying to solve a problem, it is important to distinguish between information that is relevant to the issue and irrelevant data that can lead to faulty solutions. When a problem is very complex, the easier it becomes to focus on misleading or irrelevant information.


Assumptions: When dealing with a problem, people often make assumptions about the constraints and

Thinking and Language (continued)

obstacles that prevent certain solutions. Mental Set: Another common problem-solving obstacle is known as a mental set, which is the tendency people have to only use solutions that have worked in the past rather than looking for alternative ideas. A mental set can often work as a heuristic, making it a useful problem-solving tool. However, mental sets can also lead to inflexibility, making it more difficult to find effective solutions.

Left Brain VS Right Brain For those of you who are considering taking psychology (which you should it will make you a better person.) you’ll probably hear students say they rend to be more of a right or left brain thinker. Is it Real or a Myth? According to the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. Additionally, people are said to prefer one type of thinking over the other. For example, a person who is "left-brained" is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a person who is "right-brained" is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective. In psychology, the theory is based on what is known as the lateralization of brain function. So does one side of the brain really control specific functions? Are people either left-brained or right-brained? Unfortunately, in the mysterious world of psychology this is considered a myth there isn’t a definite answer. That said one of you lovely readers should conduct research on this theory and contact me with your results! Quiz time!:Which one are you? The Right Brain According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include: • Recognizing faces • Expressing emotions • Music • Reading emotions • Color • Images • Intuition • Creativity The Left Brain The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language and analytical thinking. The left-brain is often described as being better at: • Language • Logic • Critical thinking • Numbers • Reasoning


Self-medication can put your life in danger. Always consume medicines only after consulting your doctor.

Intelligence What is Emotional Intelligence? Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions. Being emotionally intelligent is being able to recognize what you're feeling and what others are feeling. One's EQ can be strengthened over time and it is not dependent on intelligence or any other factor. However, emotional intelligence is dependent on the work you're willing to put into it. You can train yourself to understand your emotions better and to understand others' emotions better and how to respond to those emotions. Why You Should Improve Your Emotional Intelligence Individuals with high EQs perform better in school, perform better in their careers, and have a wide, varied, and strong network of friends. Those with moderate emotional intelligence succeed more in their transition from high school to college. Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence Manage your emotions Recognize what emotion you're feeling in any given situation, you will better counteract those emotions. Recognize what others are saying when not speaking. Reading someone’s body language Successful non-verbal communication depends on your ability to manage stress, recognize your own emotions, and understand the signals you’re sending and receiving. Focus on the person If you daydream or think about something else, you're certain to miss non-verbal cues. Make eye contact Eye contact communicates interest, maintains the flow of conversion, and helps gage the other person's response. Resolve conflict in a trust building way When you stay focused in the present you’re not holding onto old hurts and resentments. Therefore, you can recognize the reality of current situation and view it as a new opportunity for resolving old feelings about conflicts. Choose your arguments Arguments take time and energy, especially to resolve them in a positive way. Consider what is worth arguing about and what is not. Know when to pick your battles Forgive Forgive other people’s hurtful behaviors in the past. In order to resolve conflict you need to give up the urge to punish and seek revenge. This is very difficult for people to do, especially if you’ve been hurt by someone else. It takes time of hard work in order to forgive someone but it’s part of moving on and improving your emotional intelligence. End conflicts that can’t be resolved It takes two people to keep an argument going, you can disengage with a conflict even if you still disagree. End conflicts by saying “I agree to disagree, lets move on with our lives”.


Motivation Adolescent Sexuality You’re probably thinking about how uncomfortable this page makes you or how gross it is. Well ladies and gentlemen TOUGH! Sex is a part of life. A study showed an increase in adolescent pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted infections. I suggest you put on you adult clothes and GET OVER IT! Because believe it or not what am about to tell you may help stop you from getting pregnant or sexually transmitted infections as a teenager. Teen Pregnancy As a teenager, it’s easy to enter a potentially risky situation and think, “well that could never happen to me.” And, unfortunately, many adolescents approach the subject of sex with this same mindset and become pregnant each year. As a teenager, it's easy to enter a In one survey, 72 percent of 12 to 17 year old American girls who have had sex said they regretted it (Reuters, 2000) Parents must promote an open and accepting home environment for teenagers to voice their concerns in order to provide teenagers with accurate and effective sex-prevention information. Without an open environment, a teenager might learn most of his or her sexual information from conversations with friends information that might prove inaccurate. Despite the awkwardness of the conversation, talking about sex with teenagers is one of the most effective ways to inform them about pregnancy and the emotional and physical consequences of sexual activity. When the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy polled 1,008 teenagers about sex and pregnancy, 46% said their parents influenced their decisions about sex the most, and that having conversations about sex helped them to delay sexual activity and avoid pregnancy. Sexually Transmitted Infections Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major health problem affecting mostly young people, not only in developing, but also in developed countries. Condoms reduce the risk of contacting HIV but they offer no protection against skin to skin STIs.


Emotion What is this thing called emotion? Emotion a response of the whole organism, involving physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience (Meyers 513). Emotions are what make up our daily lives. Our decisions are based on whether we are angry, sad, happy, or bored. Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, trust, disgust, surprise, and anticipation are all emotions that can be combined in several ways. For example, happiness and anticipation can combine to create excitement. Now to understand what emotions are, let’s take a look at three key elements. The Subjective Experience Psychologists can all agree that there are a number of emotions that are experienced by people all over the world regardless of their background or culture, psychologists can also agree that the experience of a certain emotion can be subjective. For example, anger. Is my anger the same as yours? Your experience of anger can go from mild to blinding rage. Mixed emotions over different events in our live happens more than you think. When going out on a date you may feel both excited and nervous. Getting asked to prom might be marked by a variety of emotions from joy to anxiety. Emotions can occur simultaneously. The Physiological Response Before taking a test in Ms.Mitchell’s have you felt your stomach lurch from anxiety or your heartbeat with fear, then you’ll realize emotions cause strong physiological reactions. Many of the physical reactions you experience while taking one of Ms.Mitchell’s tests such as sweating palms, or racing heartbeat are controlled but the sympathetic nervous system, a branch of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary body responses such as blood flow and digestion. The sympathetic nervous system is charged with controlling the body's fight-or-flight reactions. When facing a threat, these responses automatically prepare your body to flee from danger or face the threat head-on. The Behavioral Response Last but not least the final element and probably the one all of you are familiar with is that actual expression of emotions. You’d be surprised how much time you spend interpreting the emotional expressions of people around us. The ability for us to understand these emotions is what psychologists call emotional intelligence, which play an overall major part in our body language. Psychologists believe that many expressions are universal, such as a smile indicating happiness or pleasure or a frown indicating sadness or displeasure. Cultural rules also play an important role in how we express and interpret emotions. In America, for example, people tend to mask displays of disgust and dislike when in the presence of someone they hate.


Stress and Health Have you ever encountered a stressful event? Wait, of course you have, you're in Ms. Mitchell's AP Psychology class. Stress is one of many terms that people use without understanding its precise meaning. Stress can a very nebulous term because it is typically stress portrayed as uncomfortable response to a negative event. Many don't realize that stress can also be positive and that stress is different for everyone. Stress vs. Stress Response Stress is any situation that riggers a physical and emotional reaction. On the other hand, a stressor is the actual event that triggers the physical and emotional reaction. Examples of stressors include: a first date, final exam, or being in front of a camera. The stress response is the reaction to the stressor and it is important to remember that everyone has a different response to stress. One's response depends on how one perceives the event. Examples of a stress response include: sweaty palms, pounding heart, or butterflies in your stomach. Our stress responses are behavioral, emotional, physical changes that may occur over the short term and long term. Short term responses are insomnia and sweaty palms. Long term responses are changes in personality, decreases immune system, and susceptibility to disease. The physical and biological responses to stressors are caused by the nervous system and the endocrine system. However, the emotional and behavioral responses to stressors are known as the psychological responses to stress. These responses vary from person to person and situation to situation. A certain amount of stress can help promote optimal performance and behavior.


Psychoneuroimmunology Psychoneuroimmunology is the link between stress and specific conditions; people who handle stress poorly are at risk for a wide range of health problems. Those under stress are more susceptible to the cold and flu. Over the long term, the problems become more severe. Stress may lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, impaired immune function, and accelerated aging. There is also a link between stress and psychological problems. For example, stress can lead to depression, panic attacks, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Common Sources of Stress The most common of stress include: major life changes, daily hassles, college/jobrelated stressors, interpersonal stress, time pressures, financial concerns, and worries about the future. How to Manage Your Stress One way you can manage your stress is with social support. Social support can provide a critical counterbalance to the stress in our lives. It can also develop and maintain a network of contacts we can count on for emotional support, feedback, and nurture. Getting involved in volunteer work can enhance your spiritual wellness.

Personality What is Personality? A brief definition would be that personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make a person unique. In addition to this, personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life So What Makes Up a Personality? As described in the definition above, you would expect that traits and patterns of thought and emotion make up an important part. Some of the other fundamental characteristics of personality include: · Consistency - There is generally a recognizable order and regularity to behaviors. Essentially, people act in the same ways or similar ways in a variety of situations. · Psychological and physiological - Personality is a psychological construct, but research suggests that it is also influenced by biological processes and needs. · It impacts behaviors and actions - Personality does not just influence how we move and respond in our environment; it also causes us to act in certain ways. · Multiple expressions - Personality is displayed in more than just behavior. It can also be seen in our thoughts, feelings, close relationships and other social interactions. Theories of Personality Psychodynamic theories of personality are heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud, and emphasize the influence of the unconscious on personality. Psychodynamic theories include Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual stage theory and Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. Behavioral theories suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and the environment. Behavioral theorists study observable and measurable behaviors, rejecting theories that take internal thoughts and feelings into account. Behavioral theorists include B. F. Skinner and John B. Watson. Humanist theories emphasize the importance of free will and individual experience in the development of personality. Humanist theorists include Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Now time for the million-dollar question can I change my personality? NO! But there are things that psychologists believe you can do to make real and lasting changes to aspects of your personality. If you’re shy or insecure then I HIGHLY suggest you read the following tips: • Focus on changing your habits. Psychologists have found that people who exhibit positive personality traits (such as kindness and honesty) have developed habitual responses that have stuck. Habit can be learned, so changing your habitual responses over time is one way to create personality change. Of course, forming a new habit or breaking an old one is never easy and it takes time and serious effort. With enough practice, these new patterns of behavior with eventually become second nature. • Change your self-beliefs. If you believe you cannot change, then you will not change. If you are trying to become more outgoing, but you believe that your introversion is a fixed, permanent, and unchangeable trait, then you will simply never try to become more sociable. But if you believe that your personal attributes are changeable, you are more likely to make an effort to become more gregarious.


Psychological Disorders American Horror Story is filled with mystery, suspense and guess what else? You guessed it! Psychology. It is a small challenge to talk about the show in detail because of the season-to-season differences, but for the sake of psychology lets get to it! Pepper: Asylum Pepper is one of the best characters in American Horror Story: Asylum, especially after she is finally able to speak her truth after the aliens abduct her. She is framed for a murder she didn’t commit simply because she has microcephaly. It is a birth defect resulting in a smaller head and brain. It can severely limit brain function. People born with this condition had very little prospects in life. They were limited to wasting away in institutions or traveling with sideshows. Shelley: Asylum Being an overtly sexual woman used to be considered a mental illness. And that’s exactly that they labeled Shelley with. Nymphomania. Some doctors thought it was a physical illness connected to the reproductive tract. These issues would then affect the brain. Later on it was linked to bipolar disorder. A sexual appetite of any kind was frowned upon. Even having sexual dreams or masturbating could be considered evidence for nymphomania. Shelley represents a nightmare to these physicians, out of control female sexuality on the loose. Violet Harmon: Murder House Violet is a pretty, clever and highly sardonic teenager. She is described by her mother as "fearless". She possesses a strong intellect and a sharp, witty demeanor. Violet is portrayed as suffering from major clinical depression and is seen in several instances engaging in acts of self-mutilation such as cutting herself. Oliver Thredson: Asylum Unlike most of the staff at Briarcliff, Dr.Thredson was stoically calm and clinical around patients at the beginning of the series. He also had a less barbaric outlook towards treatment, saying that more compassion would greatly improve conditions for the patients. He was willing to look at the patients as more than just insane criminals in comparison to the sadistic treatment of Sister Jude. However, in his alter ego as "Bloody Face", he reverted to his darker side - an unhinged, sadistic murderer with deep-seated maternal abandonment issues. An important aspect of his personality is the fact that being an abandoned child from an early age, he can't stand the idea of his own child being aborted or abandoned. The abandonment syndrome is deeply rooted in his personality. Tate Langdon: Murder House To talk about Tate’s full psychological condition, we also have to talk about his siblings. I’ll only briefly go over this. Beauregard Langdon is Tate’s brother. He is afflicted with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a respiratory disorder and seems to suffer a mental disability as well. Adelaide is Tate’s older sister and was born with Down Syndrome, she was also kept at close quarters in the house, though seems decently high functioning. The fourth Langdon child was not revealed in the show, only mentioned briefly. In the pilot episode, a miniature vision Tate has of himself covered in blood with his hair slicked back as it is in his “Noble War” vision, suggests what some in the fandom call the Dark Twin Theory. This theory holds that in some cases of twins, one of the fetuses in the womb is stronger than the other and the weaker is absorbed by the stronger and ceases to exist. In the Dark Twin Theory, that would mean that Tate was a twin and absorbed his brother and therefore his spirit lives on in Tate giving him a form of dissociative personality disorder.



Warning if you are currently watching season two of American Horror Story then stop right here because this article contains spoilers. But if you haven’t watched it then you’re missing out! Seriously. If you haven’t seen the final episode of AHS and you don’t want it spoiled for you don’t read ahead. Even though this is a little bit of a lesson on psychological disorders psychology ties very well into the show and will definitely contain all kinds of surprises. Did you ever wonder, “what the hell are those baths?” or “why is she even in here? That’s not really a mental illness is it?” We are going to take a very geeky journey back through time to the middle of the 1960s. It was a very dark time in terms of mental health treatment. Though up until very recent times all mental health “treatment” fell under the label of The Dark Ages. In The Sixties we hadn’t moved much beyond Bedlam in terms of how we were treating people with mental illness. And as we saw in American Horror Story: Asylum, some people were still convinced mental illness was caused by sin. People had no concept of brain chemistry. They tended to pathologize socially unacceptable behaviors. Mental health professionals often did the best they could, but many times they were understaffed and working without basic necessities. What is lobotomy? Before we go into this, remember the time period we are discussing here. People were absolutely desperate to find cures for mental illnesses. And the idea that people could be cured of mental illness was a huge leap forward from an age when people assumed you were possessed by demons. So they did their best. They had no understanding of how the brain works (or that its best to keep most of it intact). The lobotomy they performed on Anne Frank (one of the characters in the show) is called a transorbital lobotomy. It was the quickest and most efficient way to perform this surgery which was, at one point, very much in vogue. Sure it only helped about 1/3rd of the people it was performed on (1/3rd didn’t change and 1/3rd got worse) but that was better than anything else they had. We are going to describe what happened, basically they take what looks like an ice pick and a hammer and hammer the ice pick behind your eye and make a nice scrambling motion in your brain. This was a widespread practice until better options came along. Like… What is shock treatment? Today we call “shock treatment” electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. And both Lana and Jude get the privilege of being shocked. In both of these cases it was used as a form of torture. Which is unfortunately very close to reality. Though it was meant to treat mania, depression and other mood disorders, it was also a reliable threat and punishment if patients got out of line. During ECT an electric shock is sent through the system, causing convulsions. They imagined it would help restart the brain in a way that would alleviate the symptoms of mood disorders. Sometimes shock treatment would result in the dislocation of bones. Often it resulted in short term amnesia, sometimes even long term amnesia. It is still used (although with many precautions and care for the patient) to treat severe depression and it has been found to help a great deal. Why did Jude fall apart in the Asylum if she was sane? It’s a process called institutionalization. Between sedative medications that can cause hallucinations, shock treatment, isolation and lobotomies a lot of people ended up more mentally ill than they went in. And that’s exactly what happens to Jude. Left without stimulation, care or interaction people will lose it. And that’s exactly what happens to Jude after she is left to rot in Briarcliff. Speaking of the scariness of sexuality, why exactly was Lana locked away? Sure, being Gay was unacceptable and illegal in many parts of the country. But was it a mental illness? Of course it was! And it was in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) until 1974. Think that Dr. Threadson’s therapy methods are a little harsh? They’re pretty close to the truth. Aversion therapy was very common, as doctors tried to convert “inappropriate” homosexual feelings into “appropriate” heterosexual feelings. They would also do their best to teach young women how to be feminine and how to “be” women. And it wouldn’t have been unusual for Lana to be trapped in the institution. Men and women would be reported by their families and then picked up in the middle of the night and taken to an institution.


Social Psychology What is Conformity? Conformity involves changing your behaviors in order to "fit in" or "go along" with the people around you. In some cases, this social influence might involve agreeing with or acting like the majority of people in a specific group, or it might involve behaving in a particular way in order to be perceived as "normal" by the group. Why Do We Conform? Researchers have found that people conform for a number of different reasons. In many cases, looking to the rest of the group for clues for how we should behave can actually be helpful. Other people might have greater knowledge or experience than we do, so following their lead can actually be instructive. In other cases, we conform to the expectations of the group in order to avoid looking foolish. This tendency can become particularly strong in situations where we aren't quite sure how to act or where the expectations are ambiguous. Informational influence happens when people change their behavior in order to be correct. In situations where we are unsure of the correct response, we often look to others who are better informed and more knowledgeable and use their lead as a guide for our own behaviors. In a classroom setting, for example, this might involve agreeing with the judgments of another classmate who you perceive as being highly intelligent. Normative influence stems from a desire to avoid punishments (such as going along with the rules in class even though you don't agree with them) and gain rewards (such as behaving in a certain way in order to get people to like you). Think of it as operant conditioning! Types of Conformity Normative and Informational influences are two important types of conformity, but there are also a number of other reasons why we conform. The following are some of the major types of conformity. • Normative conformity involves changing one's behavior in order to fit in with the group. • Informational conformity happens when a person lacks knowledge and looks to the group for information and direction. • Identification occurs when people conform to what is expected of them based upon their social roles. Zimbardo's famous Stanford Prison Experiemnt is a good example of people altering their behavior in order to fit into their expected roles. • Compliance involves changing one's behavior while still internally disagreeing with the group. • Internalization occurs when we change our behavior because we want to be like another person. Examples of Conformity • A teenager dresses in a certain style because he wants to fit in with the rest of the guys in his social group. • A 20-year-old college student drinks at a sorority party because all her friends are doing it and she does not want to be the odd one out. The bottom line you don’t need to follow what everyone else is doing just to “fit” in. I know as a teenager this is hard but would you rather people like you for someone that you’re not and have to put a fake persona everyday or have people like you for someone that you are and not have to worry about putting on a persona every day


Careers in Psychology Where Will a Degree in Psychology Take You? Are you considering majoring in psychology? Do you have doubts whether it's the right choice for you? Don't worry, you're not the only one facing this dilemmas. As a psychology graduate you will have insight on the basic principles of human behavior. Psychology covers various aspects, such as the humanistic, psychoanalytic, biopsychology, evolutionary, behavioral, cognitive, and the social-cultural perspectives. A background in psychology will prepare you in a variety of areas, such as business, mediations, health services, marketing, law, sales, and teaching. Each year there are more than 70,000 psychology major graduates in the United States. Whether you pursing a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or a doctoral degree in psychology, you can choose from a variety of occupations. The graph below shows the work settings for psychology degree recipients. Table 1: Work settings for psychology degree recipients (Fogg, Harrington, & Harrington, 2004) Work Setting

Types of Psychology



Biopsychology graduates study and conduct research on the brain and behavior. They also research on the impact of brain disease and injury on behavior. Clinical Psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat individuals suffering from psychological illnesses. Community psychologists research the impact of community on health issues. Comparative psychologists study the behaviors of different species. Developmental psychologists research the developmental from prenatal care to late adulthood. Forensic psychologists study the relationship between psychology and law. Social psychologists research how individuals behave in groups and how being in the presence of others influences behavior. What do Psychologist do? Psychologists conduct research. Psychologists study social development. Psychologists teach and provide services to students. Psychologists promote physical and mental health. Psychologists study the work and environment and performance issues.


Word Searches


Word Bank

P u z z l e s

1. treatment 2. norms 3. psychotropic 4. deinstitutionalization 5. private 6. positive 7. somatogenic 8. humors 9. moral treatment 10. abnormal treatment 11. asylum 12. eccentric 13. psychogenic 14. prevention 15. trephination 16. psychoanalysis 17. exorcism 18. multicultural 19. state hospitals 20. culture

Word Bank 1. narcotics 2. tolerance 3. benzodiazepines 4. abuse 5. cocaine 6. detoxification 7. endorphins 8. delirium tremens 9. dependence 10. flashback 11. withdrawal 12. aversion 13. reward-deficiency 14. sedative-hypnotic 15. relapse-prevention 16. barbiturates 17. synergistic 18. Korsakoff’s 19. Hallucinogen 20. antagonist


Works Cited

Meyers, D. (2007). Psychology (8th ed.). Worth.