Sunday, December 19, 2010
Without going into unnecessary detail, it would be an understatement to say that my life has been strongly impacted by the effects of addiction. Decisions made by certain family members which seemed to be illogical and detrimental have now been cast in a new light. The fear of withdrawal symptoms combined with a growing tolerance and a genetic predisposition have proven to be much stronger than the inexperienced individual might consider. The argument of "why don't you just quit smoking?" is much more complicated than previously considered.
The funny thing is, after all of that time begging her to stop, I eventually grew up to be a smoker myself. Although I was fully aware of the benefits and costs that were associated with cigarettes, I chose to do it anyway. Why? The answer is part psychological, part physiological. The psychological aspect was the social acceptance that was gained, along with the immediate satisfaction that each cigarette produced. On top of that there was the genetic predisposition toward drug experimentation and addiction.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
The technique of "reading" people is used frequently. For example, the idea of mirroring body language to put people at ease is commonly used in interviews. Mirroring the body language of someone else indicates that they are understood.
Body language signals may have a goal other than communication. Both people would keep this in mind. Observers limit the weight they place on non-verbal cues. Signalers clarify their signals to indicate the biological origin of their actions. Examples would include yawning (sleepyness), showing lack of interest (sexual interest/survival interest), attempts to change the topic (fight or flight drivers).
Physical expressions like waving, pointing, touching and slouching are all forms of nonverbal communication. The study of body movement and expression is known as kinesics. Humans move their bodies when communicating because, as research has shown, it helps "ease the mental effort when communication is difficult." Physical expressions reveal many things about the person using them. For example, gestures can emphasize a point or relay a message, posture can reveal boredom or great interest, and touch can convey encouragement or caution.
One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest. This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person's arms are cold, which would be clarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is amicable, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright hostility.
Consistent eye contact can indicate that a person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. It can also mean that the other person doesn't trust the speaker enough to "take their eyes off" the speaker. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. On the other hand, individuals with anxiety disorders are often unable to make eye contact without discomfort. Eye contact can also be a secondary and misleading gesture because cultural norms about it vary widely. If a person is looking at you, but is making the arms-across-chest signal, the eye contact could be indicative that something is bothering the person, and that he wants to talk about it. Or if while making direct eye contact, a person is fiddling with something, even while directly looking at you, it could indicate the attention is elsewhere. Also, there are three standard areas that a person will look which represent different states of being. If the person looks from one eye to the other then to the forehead, it is a sign that they are taking an authoritative position. If they move from one eye to the other then to the nose, that signals that they are engaging in what they consider to be a "level conversation" with neither party holding superiority. The last case is from one eye to the other and then down to the lips. This is a strong indication of romantic feelings.
Disbelief is often indicated by averted gaze, or by touching the ear or scratching the chin. When a person is not being convinced by what someone is saying, the attention invariably wanders, and the eyes will stare away for an extended period.
Boredom is indicated by the head tilting to one side, or by the eyes looking straight at the speaker but becoming slightly unfocused. A head tilt may also indicate a sore neck or Amblyopia, and unfocused eyes may indicate ocular problems in the listener.
Interest can be indicated through posture or extended eye contact, such as standing and listening properly.
Deceit or the act of withholding information can sometimes be indicated by touching the face during conversation. Excessive blinking is a well-known indicator of someone who is lying. Recently, evidence has surfaced that the absence of blinking can also represent lying as a more reliable factor than excessive blinking.
Some people use and understand body language differently, or not at all. Interpreting their gestures and facial expressions (or lack thereof) in the context of normal body language usually leads to misunderstandings and misinterpretations (especially if body language is given priority over spoken language). It should also be stated that people from different cultures can interpret body language in different ways.
Body language comes in clusters of signals and postures, depending on the internal emotions and mental states. Recognizing a whole cluster is thus far more reliable than trying to interpret individual elements.
Aggressive body language: Showing physical threat.
Attentive body language: Showing real interest.
Bored body language: Just not being interested.
Closed body language: Many reasons are closed.
Deceptive body language: Seeking to cover up lying or other deception.
Defensive body language: Protecting self from attack.
Dominant body language: Dominating others.
Emotional body language: Identifying feelings.
Evaluating body language: Judging and deciding about something.
Greeting body language: Meeting rituals.
Open body language: Many reasons for being open.
Power body language: Demonstrating one's power.
Ready body language: Wanting to act and waiting for the trigger.
Relaxed body language: Comfortable and unstressed.
Romantic body language: Showing attraction to others.
Submissive body language: Showing you are prepared to give in.
1. a characteristic of a person that is represented, i.e., the signified;
2. a visual configuration that represents this characteristic, i.e., the signifier;
3. the physical basis of this appearance, or sign vehicle, e.g., the skin, muscle movements, fat, wrinkles, lines, blemishes, etc.; and
4. typically, some person or other perceiver that perceives and interprets the signs.
Facial expressions are an important channel of nonverbal communication. Many animal species display facial expressions, but expressions are highly developed particularly in the primates, and perhaps most of all, in humans. Even though the human species has acquired the powerful capabilities of a verbal language, the role of facial expressions in person-to-person interactions remains substantial. Messages of the face that provide commentary and illustration about verbal communications are significant in themselves. To see examples of such nonverbal communication, see the FAQ. Other types of expressions provide another, different mode for understanding the private, hidden side of the inner person, a side which may not be accessible in the form of verbalizations. For example, the facial behaviors related to emotion can reveal part of the feeling side of a person's private life. Such emotion indicators range from stereotyped, full-face expressions that are obvious to fleeting, partial-face movements that are hard to see.
The videos below are about facial expressions! I hope you enjoy them!
These three videos below are very helpful in describing addictions of drugs and the symptoms:
Drug Addiction Facts
Here are some facts that may surprise or sadden you about drug abuse. As with most issues about addiction, there is much that is unexpected; the costs or much higher than expected and the causes are very sad. That fact that child abuse is such a strong predictor of abuse speaks volumes about the problem. See what you think:
Drug Addiction Facts 1:
Drug abuse and drug addiction, according to the National Institute of Health, impacts all Americans, because we all pay the cost for it.
Drug Addiction Facts 2:
Statistics show that drug abuse and drug addiction cost Americans over $484 billion annually. This figure includes healthcare costs (and abuses of that system), lost job wages, traffic accidents, crime and the associated criminal justice system costs.
Drug Addiction Facts 3:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10 to 22 percent of car crashes involved drivers who have been using drugs.
Drug Addiction Facts 4:
Drug use and addiction is linked to at least half of the major crimes in this country, as at least half of the suspects arrested for violent crimes, such as homicide and assault, were under the influence of drugs when they were arrested.
Drug Addiction Facts 5:
Stress is a major factor in drug use and abuse.
Drug Addiction Final Fact 6:
Sadly, nearly two-thirds of people in drug abuse treatment report that they were physically or sexually abused as children. Child abuse is a major contributing factor to drug addiction.
More Facts on Drug Addiction
Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Family Services concerning drug abuse and addiction:
-- In 2006, an estimated 20.4 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 8.3 percent of the population aged 12 years old or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.
-- In 2006, there were 2.4 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older, which was the same as in 2005 but greater than in 2002 when the number was 2.0 million. However, the rate of current cocaine use remained stable between 2002 and 2006.
-- Hallucinogens were used in the past month by 1.0 million persons aged 12 or older in 2006, including 528,000 who had used Ecstasy. These estimates are similar to the corresponding estimates for 2005.
-- There were 7.0 million persons aged 12 or older who used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically in the past month. Of these, 5.2 million used pain relievers, an increase from 4.7 million in 2005.
-- In 2006, there were an estimated 731,000 current users of methamphetamine aged 12 or older.
-- Among youths aged 12 to 17, current illicit drug use rates remained stable from 2005 to 2006. However, youth rates declined significantly between 2002 and 2006 for illicit drugs in general and for several specific drugs, including marijuana, hallucinogens, LSD, Ecstasy, prescription-type drugs used non-medically, pain relievers, tranquilizers, and the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana.
-- The rate of current marijuana use among youths aged 12 to 17 declined from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2006.
-- Among persons aged 12 or older who used pain relievers non-medically in the past 12 months, 55.7 percent reported that the source of the drug the most recent time they used was from a friend or relative for free.
-- In 2006, there were 10.2 million persons aged 12 or older who reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Some of our motivations come from individual differences, and others are shared. Our personality and temperaments would contribute to our individual differences and a universal motive (one that is shared) would be our need for happiness in life. Motivation is an interesting type of psychology because there are so many factors that estimate what we do and why we do it. This class has opened by eyes to the many aspects, and has answered my question, “What is motivation and where does it come from?”
My most favorite part in this class was learning about the motivation in Addictions and Addictive Behavior. Learning that caffeine was a category with alcohol, nicotine, amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates was surprising. So many people drink tons of coffee and don’t think about the effects it can take. It is a psychoactive stimulant, even if it is legal and widely used. Learning that made me think twice about the next coffee I touch. Also, the information on each type of psychoactive drug was informative. Comparing drug addictions to food addictions was also interesting because the only difference is that people can react to the thought of food before seeing it (classical conditioning). There is also a genetic and personality disposition that made me think of the people I knew who were addicted to alcohol, drugs or coffee. They all had the addictive type of personalities (impulsiveness) and people in their family, somewhere along the line, had the same disease. The way the brain responds to addictions is the most interesting because the brain controls 100% of what people think and feel about their addictions. The chemicals, neurons and neurotransmitters make it that much harder for people to quit their addictions. Addictions are hard to control, and they can consume one for all that he/she is worth. It may take a higher motivator to pull one out of the motivation for addiction. Either way, it is a long road which encompasses more strength than some can even imagine.
“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.”
We all have the feeling of giving up, but there is always something that keeps us going. Motivation is apart of living. It’s what keeps us going as human beings. It’s what keeps us individual, while climbing up some of the same ladders to get to the point of “Self Actualization.” It makes me think of our world leaders, instructors and celebrities, which most of us look up to. They’ve climbed some of the same ladders, but what makes them so different? Ultimately, if we let our motivations lead the way; we can overcome our circumstances, no matter what tries to get in our way. Our individual motivation will lead us to the top, whatever that might mean for the each of us.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
My favorite part of the class I would have to say was the section on procrastination. I chose procrastination because I am an admitted procrastinator. I could relate to that section the most out of any others. The book says that it basically means "to put off until tomorrow, what you could have done today". I know that I procrastinate and I know that I could be doing something that needs to be done but I just put it off. I find everything else that needs to be done before I do what really needs to be done. The fact that I actually read it in this book and had to say it out loud (or type it out loud rather) makes me feel that I need to make a change. Stress levels are higher when "crunch time" comes around and it's all unnecessary. Procrastination is not a positive effect on motivation and I must reach the goals that I set, big or small.
There is no motivation without a motive and an incentive. Those are the must ingredients for the mixture of motivation. Many things I didn’t realize play are important factors regarding motivation. Motivation is made up of many different sources such as psychological, social, biological moreover, intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Self-regulation and self-control are closely linked to the super ego; the super ego is something psychological. Socially, we all want to be liked. So often we get motivated to do things to meet the social norms and expectations. In a biological aspect, the body asks of you to meet certain goals. The motivation to complete these goals can be internal sources such as hunger. The other motivation is extrinsic which is to attain the food.
I found it amazing learning of the influences evolution has on motivation. It all goes back to our human history. It is quite interesting to see how the past motivations have developed into common incentives and common desires across the world and have ultimately, become the current motivations. Sometimes we experience unconscious motivation when we don’t know the sources of our motivation but can be traced back to the past motivations. One common desire that we all have is to pursue and the access of pleasure. Hedonism is in all of us, we all want and seek satisfaction from doing things. In addition, there other universal motives that are shared due to evolution such as money, sex, and love. Even sexual interactions such as attraction is motivated by universal motives that are dated back to the past. The way we select our mates can coincide with the good gene hypothesis. The hypothesis states that we search for beauty because it signals good genes therefore, can produce healthy babies that can survive in the world.
Other things I found interesting during the course were how our internal factors are regulated in our bodies. We have a set point that regulates things in our body such as, temperature, calories, fats, and level of hydration among other things. Physiologically, our bodies are always running and at one point one may receive a negative feedback such as trembling because it is so cold outside. The trembling is your body trying to go back to the set point was your body temperature should be. When such changes in the body system occur from unpleasant to pleasant is called Alliesthesia.
Overall, the course on motivation was enlightening. So many factors are tied in to motivation, and it shed some light on how we all make decisions or goals, how we achieve them, and why those goals and motivations occur.
Each and one of my Chihuahuas have different and similar temperaments. The oldest, Blaze “the daddy” is likes to furiously bark at people from the other side of the fence, or window. It all changes when the people are inside the house, he turns more friendly. Lola “the wife,” was given to us about a year ago (without her puppies would not be multiplying right now) and she behaves in such a rare way. I think Lola was abused because she is super shy and does not like anyone other than us in my house. Lily “little girl” is not shy but she would let you know she does not like you by staring at the person and making growling noises. The last puppy, Soly, is quite a little spitfire. She is very energetic and very playful. She likes to bark a lot, and likes people; mind you she is four and half months old.
Lily and Soly
When I am viewing how each of these dogs behave, it becomes noticeable how the puppies have their temperament passed down from their parents. Blaze and Lola are the parents of Lily and Soly. Blaze and Soly are similar with the warmness they display to the visitors; these two also have in common that they do not listen, they tend to misbehave a lot more. In contrast, Lola and Lily are not very friendly and tend to stay away from newcomers. Lola and Lily are great with commands and listening.
It’s quite interesting to see the temperament differences in my dogs. It’s funny to actually see how their emotionality is actually genetic base-inherited.
Whale war's is a dramatic television series on the discovery chanelle that begian my interest in captive marine life. As we think about our goals, morals, and ethic's; I thought it would be intersting to post about something personal to me. I may love to surf, swim, and row in the ocean ,but I am always on the look out for a shark attack.
Motivation is such a broad term. It's basic definition is "the driving force that causes us to reach our goals". In this class we learned that the simple word can be used in so many different ways and have so many different meanings. There is also so much that it entails. Motivation can lead to an action or change in behavior. It can also lead to a motive. A motive is an internal disposition to approach or even avoid an incentive. Incentives are environmental stimulus that attracts or repels. An incentive can be a source of motivation. Incentives are what pulls us while motives are what pushes us to that incentive or goal. Incentive can be positive and negative. A positive incentive, like a good grade, can motivate us to study. A negative incentive, such as losing a loved one can motivate us to avoid getting close to someone.
Life seems to be full of incentives and motives. Some times event can cause people to lose their motivation. Those incentives, though important can sometimes change or lose their appeal as well. I'm sure most people go through similar situations, but this semester has been one of many that that haven't been the easiest for me. I dealt with relationship issues, friendship issues, family issues, lost a couple close relatives, and watched other family members get older and sicker. In the midst of everything thing, keeping up with my job and school seemed to get harder and harder. I seemed to lose my motivation. My goals now seem unclear and emotions seemed to put a damper on my motivation toward everything. Like we also learned in class, I seemed to show avoidance toward my school work and relationships with others. With all the negative things going on around me I guess I let fear take over. I became easily overwhelmed and was afraid of either failing to not achieving anything.
It may sound like a corny cliche, but as we got into the later chapters I began to relate a lot more to the class. I am the type of person that may over think. I want to learn and understand each situation, which I learned is called the "need for cognition". However, in order to cope, I began to realize that some things I may never understand. I recognized my autonomy, I am responsible for my own actions and I can not use bad things happening as an excuse. I know I am competent, capable to do whatever I put my mind to.
Emotions,motivation,behaviors toward different events, incentives,motives, and goals are all a part of human nature. Understanding that helps me realize I am not alone. I am now working on my self-esteem and trying to figure out my long term goals again. My dreams and goals have changed every time something happens in my life. Like most, I have not had it easy, but I know there are people worse off then me. I can use my experiences and understanding as motivation. They will be my push to get wherever I decide to go. One of my goals has always been to help whoever I can in any way I can. I look forward to getting back to working hard toward some of my original goals. This class actually helped motivate me to figure everything out again and be the person I know I can be.
I am so lucky to have such wonderful people around me who love and support me and have stuck by me since day one. I have had many great professors, as well. Including Professor Berg for 2 classes.
I really enjoyed learning about all the aspects of motivation. I mean, who knew there were so many topics to learn about!? This class was very helpful in learning how to deal with various events that can occur in anyone's life. I would recommend this for anyone who wants to gain a better perspective and have a better attitude towards their life.
Motivation is a process apparent in the lives of everyone and taking this course really gave me a chance to take the many different explanations and apply them to my own life. One topic in particular that was interested me was the economics of motivation. This section looks at the paradox in motivation; humans value high-level goals but try to achieve them with minimal cost or energy. It describes the evolutionary adapted inclination of animals and humans to expend the fewest motivational resources while attempting to achieve the highest goals possible. This idea of a principle of least effort leads to the intriguing debate over the question, are we lazy?
Many people believe that humans are becoming lazy as our technological advancements allow us to exert less and less energy to achieve goals as we go about our lives. After learning in class about the evolution of the conservation of energy as a survival technique of our ancestors I have come to believe that we are naturally lazy. Now that we have moved into the new modern era there is no need to worry about conserving our energy for survival so people that still engage in such acts are deemed lazy!
This topic really relates to my life, I am a mater in the art of “conserving energy” or just being lazy. It takes a lot for me to become motivated to achieve my goals and I tend to slack off and lay around in bed instead of being productive. I feel this “conserving energy” or laziness debate applies wonderfully to the issues we are currently facing as a nation. The US is regarded by many to be a “lazy” nation filled with overweight people only concerned with fulfilling their needs while exerting as little effort as possible. Scientific advancement is a crucial part to progress and success of a nation but many feel technology is making people become lazy.
In the past few years, a large amount of new technology we’ve created is based on the attempt to enable us to achieve goals and accomplish tasks without even having to leave our homes let alone get off the couch. I will however mention the opposing view that is best stated in an article I read by Frank Bowes entitled, Is technology making us lazy?, he believes that,
“it is not the technology that makes us lazy, rather, it is our laziness that necessitates the technology. The human race has always sought out the easy path; and technology has merely served to provide us with one.”Before reading this I had not previously considered this argument for technology. I hope that I have provided some people with food for thought as I end this final post having given an overview of motivation and I more extensive look at laziness, its origin, and its application to issues outside of class.
Several spects of the class were very interesting, for example, all the videos you put into the power points, but I am not going to lie when I say there were several not so good aspects, for example, the chapter on evolution and motivation. But it goes to show that what was taught to me, I now know that this was a valuable course where I learned a lot about myself and who I really am.
It took me a while to think about what I wanted to do on my final project. I had so many ideas on what to write and ione topic especially took an interest in me. And that topic is addictions. I come from a family of addiction, whether it be alcohol, smoking, or drugs. I have several family members that are alcoholics and are addicted to drugs. Many have ended up in prison and on a more personal note I had an aunt who passed away last february from drinking vodka and taking the pain killer oxycotin. She never awoke that next morning. The two depressent affected her repiratory breathing and her death was ruled as an accidental overdose. My brother on the other hand, was addicted to oxcotin, himself. I can say with great pleasure that he has overcame his addiction and is working on his recovery.
I have had my ups and downs but never to the point where I had the problems that my family member had. Life is not so easy growing up with the addictive behaviors that are still currently in my family. I am a mother of two beautiful girls, and a wife for twelve years to the most amazing husband in the world. My life today is pretty hectic and I have overcome a lot of obsticals. I don't have any videos to post about addiction since it is a horrible thing, but what I have already written, who would want to see the devistation that I went through? Not me!!
Overall, I am so gald that I took this course from you, Dr. Berg becasue like I said before it has opened my eyes to a wondeful journey that will guide me down the path to success. I want to thank you for your time and patience. Keep up the good work and continue to be good at what you do!! My goal is to work in the psychology field and get a better understading of how the mind really works.
This is my "Goofy" family
Perhaps justified as part of our right to the pursuit of happiness and self-fulfillment, rooted in our emphasis on individualism, and nourished by our belief in self-improvement and material success, self-esteem is a notion that seems here to stay.
In addition, it has a certain common sense appeal and validity, if not a scientifically verifiable one. Given a choice, most people would rather have high self-esteem than low because they link it to personal well being and effectiveness.
What can be seen is,self-esteem can have significant impact on relationships. It generally seems that family members are more prone to act badly toward each other when they are feeling bad about themselves. The worse they feel about themselves, the worse they often treat others, the worse they get treated in return, the worse they end up feeling about themselves, the worse they treat others, and round and round the cycle of unhappiness goes. In low-esteem families, relationships can become mutually destructive.
In high esteem families, however, the reverse seems more likely to occur. The better family members feel about themselves, the better they treat each other, the better they get treated in return, the better off everyone tends to become. In high esteem families, relationships can become mutually affirming. Members seem more inclined to bring out the best in each other, not the worst.
So positive self-esteem is not some kind of popular fad or new-age frill. Upon its existence, the happy and healthy functioning of individuals and families partly depend, particularly during children's teenage years.
One topic I found particularly interesting was the state of arousal and affective valence. This topic covered the reason for a preference of an aesthetic stimulus based on its complexity and your exposure to it. Generally people find music most enjoyable when it is not too boring and repetitive and not too complex and different. If you are exposed to a new type of music that you are unfamiliar with and it is comparably more complex than the music you are use to listening to (different time signatures/more instruments), then you are more likely to find the music undesirable. If you were to listen to this same music multiple times it would begin to become more enjoyable as you are exposed to it more. I found this to be true in my own personal taste in music by which I listen to bands primarily in the progressive rock genre. Progressive rock is known to use unusual or complex time signatures and mix different genres, particularly jazz and classical with rock. Many times when listening to a new album I will not enjoy it because the sound is different, but upon repeated listens I will begin to appreciate and enjoy the sound.
This state of enjoyment goes beyond aesthetic preference and can be applied to ones immersion in sports, reading, and problem solving. An example of this is in which one is beginning to learn to play tennis. It is better for the beginner to play against someone of equal ability than a professional or someone even less skilled. A professional would likely frustrate the beginner and be too challenging, while someone of lesser ability would likely be a bore. This is the state of flow or optimal performance and it can apply to any state of full immersion. By understanding the motivation of this state one can better themselves in finding and maintaining their enjoyment.