Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dreams of Mega Millions

I always have the same goal fantasy about winning the mega millions. Almost all my friends are very poor and some even homeless. In my fantasy I always buy a block of houses and build my own community. I let my friends live in these houses but only the responsible ones and ones with kids. Then I make them pay rent and put it in a college fund for their children.

This fantasy is really my wish that I could help them all but I don’t have the money to do that. If I win the mega millions I could help so many people and that would be my main goal in life, to help people. That is why I am a psychology major. I hope that I can help as much people as possible but I know that I could help them greater with the right funding and that is why I dream of winning the mega millions.

I think that not having money hurts a lot of people and leaves good people homeless and with out hope.


Every time I have a paper, exam, or project due I am the biggest procrastinator. I will spend a few weeks to a month stressing about what is due but I never really do it. Instead I try to do relaxing things and put it off until the end.

Then the day before my paper or project is due or my exam date I will finally do my work or start studying. It seems to me that I can only study or do my work under this extreme pressure. I am able to do things like write a ten page paper in three hours and still get an A but sometimes I wonder if I didn’t wait until the night before could I reduce my stress levels.

Stress leads to many things and for me it mostly leads to a bad immune system so when I stress a lot I get really sick. If I didn’t put of all my work until the end I would not stress out as much. Also I take off a lot of work to finish projects that are due if I have to do them over the weekend while I work. My boss does not mind but this also affects my pockets which also cause stress.

The best solution for all of this would be to do my work in a timely fashion and not procrastinate but every one knows that that is easier said than done.

They would have done it anyway

Many people say that weed is a gateway drug but I do not feel as if this statement is true. The people who use other drugs were more likely to use them in the first place. It should be legal to benefit our country. In addition, if it were so horrible it would not be used for medical reasons.

If it was a gateway drug then everyone who has tried it would try harder drugs also but some people have only used weed. That does not make it a gateway drug. The fact is that the people who use other drugs would have used them anyway; they just started with weed because it is the easiest and earliest drug accessible to them. If this were true then a person would have to say that alcohol should be illegal because it is a gateway drug. Most people try alcohol and tobacco as their first drug of choice and that can lead to using other drugs also.

If weed was legal, the hemp plant could be used for food, medicine, building material, paper, jewelry, fabric, water and soil purification, fuel, and much more. This could stop the deforestation and help save the rainforest. This could also help stop the war on oil, which is killing so many of America’s youth. Harry Anslinger got congress to pass the bill to make it illegal because he spoke of the negative racial effects it had. For example ‘it makes black men brave enough to step on a whit mans shadow or look twice at a white women’ or ‘murders kill because they are on marijuana’ so the reasons of it being illegal are just plain stupid. A country can come so far in race discrimination but still have things that were made illegal on racial terms, it is really sad for our country.

Weed is a great drug and can be used to boost this drowning economy. If people would look at the facts about it and stop thinking it’s a form of the devil our country could stop doing things like destroying the earth, killing for oil, and paying all of our taxes to imprison people for the sale of a harmless plant. It could better society altogether, maybe even keep more people docile and have less killings(who knows).

Venting = Bad?

For those of us looking to become psychologists, it has long been our belief that we and those around us should talk about whats bugging us. Bad day at work? Let me hear it. Why are you crying? Tell me all about it. My mom's in the hospital, can I ring your ear? But a survey conducted by Seery has found some interesting results. On September11, 2001 Seery sent out an invitation to participants already inrolled to recieve surveys to vent on their feelings of the event. The report was set up to mimick a therapists session with a patient and follow up reports were sent outover the next two years to track progress. What was determined was that those who initially responded to the survey were more likely to suffer from PTS (post traumatic stress) than those who did not initially respond. It is hypothesized that those who did not initially talk are more resilient than those who felt the need to vent, but what if talking about it makes us relive it over and over again? What about those sent to therapy after tragic events, are we doing more harm than good?


Tanning Addiction

While everyone knows that things like drugs and alcohol can become addicting, very few know that actions can have similiar affects on the body. Wagner et al have found that many people are being what he has dubbed "ultraviolet light (UVL) tanning dependence". Researchers went poolside to ask sun bathers tweeked questions from an alchol dependence survey regaurding their tanning habits. They found that many people continue to sun bathe knowing it's dangers and that if UVL tanning dependence were listed in the DSM-IV (using similiar criteria to alcohol dependence) that 53% of those interviewed would be diagnosed. My question is, what will the tanning rehabs be like?


Procrastinating a Post on Procrastination. Hmm.

I am jealous of anyone who can honestly say they are not a procrastinator. I don't know how or when I necessarily started procrastinating so much, but I seriously need to kick this habit. I may just have no regard for time, or just an awful way of prioritizing what needs to be done, or I just have a really bad problem with avoiding distraction. Whatever the case may be, I find myself completing assignments minutes before the class period they are due. That's a problem.

The book explains a perspective of procrastination as "to delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay". Over the years, I found that procrastination hasn't always resulted in a situation that left me 'worse off'. I actually feel that I work better under pressure most of the time. The more time that is allotted, the less motivated I feel to complete what I have to do. I constantly find myself searching for available time in the future so I can postpone things until the last possible minute. Deadlines end up becoming the day I decide to actually do. I guess I enjoy self-induced stress and anxiety. However, it's the only way I can become entirely motivated to finish anything, as strenuous as that is sometimes.

Procrastination definitely reflects the amount of motivation a person possesses. It also displays what accomplishments people value over others. Of course if I have all week to go to the mall or do my essay, and tomorrow I have off, I'm going to choose to go to the mall. As you can see, I may value new clothes over writing a paper, even though that isn't necessarily the wisest decision. I think in order to conquer procrastination, people need to look at the long-term goal in front of them: I should write my paper, not go to the mall, because I'd rather graduate college in a month then have a new outfit to wear the next day. It just takes a matter of putting your responsibilities into perspective, and having the discipline to actually push yourself to achieve what you need to, even if it's not the most desirable choice at the time.

I'm trying to get better with my procrastination, however I haven't had to suffer any major consequences from being this way, so I haven't learned my lesson or felt a need to change. I always tell myself that I need to stop being this way, and to learn to be more responsible, and prioritize my time better... maybe I'll wait until tomorrow to start that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I would consider myself a procrastinator.  I would say that I started procrastinating in high school.  It started in high school because during that time I had a very busy schedule.  I would only get the things done that I needed to get done simply because I didn't have a lot of free time.  Procrastination is defined as it is to delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay." (Steel, 2007, pg. 66)  Procrastination depends on the temporal distancfe of the important activity and the state of being "worse off".  An example would be that an essay is due in one week.  It has a high positive utility and being "worse off" is also high.  By not writing the essay, in this case, would be the esult of procrastination.  There are several different ways that a person can procrastinate.  Some ways are by watching tv, sleeping, talking, playing, eating, or working.  Procrastinators can be defined by using psychological scales.  An example of this would be the General Procrastination Scale designed by Lay in 1986.  Procrastinators can predict that they will study less for an exam and do so.  This also means that they are more likely to cram by squeezing more of their study time into the last day before the exam.  Also, studies show that students identified as procrastinators had lower GPA's for the semester, delayed taking self-paced quizzes, and had more anxiety or anxieted-related symptoms that accompined their procrastination.  Procrastinators are also more likely to turn in their papers later or late, earn lower scores on their papers, and earn lower exam scores in the course.  In addition to that, procrastinators face a lot of difficulties at the end of a semester.  They reported having more stress, more symptoms, and more health center visits than the non-procrastinators did.  All the studies conducted all came to the same conclusion.  Procrastinators overall are "worse off" then non-procrastinators.  After learning about procrastination and its negative affects, I've decided I am going to try my best to stop eing  procrastinator.  It may take some time (as you can see this post is a little late) but hey Rome wasn't bult in a day! =]

Saturday, November 20, 2010


The act of procrastinating is something many of us do each and every day. Sometimes we are aware of it and then other times we are not. I for one procrastinate especially when it comes to school work and other important things that should be covered certainly ahead of time. There are even circumstances where it seems where that task will not be done and then I prevail at the very last second. Talking with close friends and students it appears to me that it gives us a kind of adrenaline rush in a good way.

This 'rush' does not necessarily take place with everyone but with some it surely does. With other people procrastination can take place due to depression, having a bad or off day, or it is simply a dreaded task that just keeps getting put off. Something interesting to note is when we really want to achieve a goal or want the final result we will rush to do it, again only applying to certain individuals. It has been said that right before a task should be done and over with the fight or flight kicks into gear.

Yes procrastination can be overcome but it takes focus and many other factors need to fall into place. Our stress levels need to be low, motivation needs to be high, being in a good mood certainly helps as well. It is never too late to be proactive with getting ones act together for future success.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P785j15Tzk

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Will You Do For A Thrill?

People go to all different kinds of extremes to find some sort of adreniline rush to get you through the day. Some people read a book or go to the gym, while others need something way more adventerous. The video above shows these people flipping off buildings, jumping throw windows, etc. These thrill seekers do this just for fun, but it is also life threatening at the same time. I feel as though it depends on your personality trait. Since extroverts are more outgoing and seek out new oppurtunities all the time, I think these are the type of people you see in the video. Introverts, on the other hand, are more shy and keep to themselves. I think of myself as more of an introvert. Never in a million years would you find me flipping from building to building. Thoughts have crossed my mind about jumping out of a plane. I think it would be something fun and thrilling, but then again I have been talking about this for years now. I am much too scared to do it, although the thought of it is enticing. Maybe if I was an extrovert, I wouldn't have waited years, I would have just gone for it, but for now, I will keep talking about how cool it would be, rather than talk about how cool it actually is.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kill Procrastination with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

I'll Stop Procrastinating... Tomorrow.

Procrastination is something we have all experienced at some point in our lives. Everyone has different reasons for putting of cleaning a room or waiting til the night before to study for a test, or even waiting til 11 pm to do a site post that is due at midnight. Some people believe procrastination is pure laziness and others believe it is due to emotional and psychological issues. Emotions and life can tend to get in the way and cause us to be avoid particular tasks. Incentives have a hand in procrastination. People are more likely to procrastinate in they don't have an interest in what they are trying to accomplish. They also procrastinate by doing things that are less difficult and more interesting to them in order to avoid that particular task. Unfortunately, procrastinating by doing other activities can cause more stress on someone when it comes down to it.

Extroversion and Self Esteem

According to the book, extravert's are easier to put into a good mood rather than introverts. My brother and I are a good example of the extravert/ introvert comparison. My brother is very extraverted. He was always on prom court in High School and still continues to have a large circle of friends. He also enjoys participation in physical activities often because he is a physical education major. He is also into partying and having poker or game nights. He loves to try new things and excel at them. I am opposite because I would much rather hang out with one person rather than a group. I also do not like to party much because I do not like alcohol. I love to travel and experience and learn new things, but will not go out of my way to make new friendships. I am a friendly person and will be talkative only if I feel comfortable around a person. I enjoy relaxing and letting my mind be at ease when I have the free time. With out my relaxation I can not function. My brother can be out all night and then go to work early in the morning. I could never be able to handle restlessness like that.

In a sense, I believe what the book states about success and happiness according to extroversion. As people age, it is important to have friendships because social support leads to resilience. Having a close trusting friend to share our fears, goals, and struggles helps us to release negativity and move on in our lives.

Test your extraversion:

The Attractiveness of a Smile

Krumhuber, Manstead & Kappas studied whether the speed of one's smile can affect how s/he is percieved. A group of 100 participatns (half male half female) were shown synthetic faces smiling at a rate of either .1 of a second or .5 of a second from onset to full smile. The faces would also be male, female, looking straight, tilted to the left orn right. The Participants had to rate these faces on attractiveness, dominence, flirtatousness, fake and trustworthiness. The long onset smile (.5 second) was found to be more flirtatous, trustworthy and and attractive; if the head was tilted to the right the trustworthiness and attractiveness ratings were higher. Mens faces were seen as more dominant than the womens faces while smiling across the board. Apparently, if a woman is looking for a date she only needs to tilt her head and smile in order to get the message out there. This could mean trouble for those of us that are naturally smiley women.

Self Esteem

In chapter eight, self esteem is described as feeling that one is as worthy as others. This, however, is not the case for many people, especially young teenagers and adu lts. Obtaining positive self esteem can be a very difficult thing to do, especially in a society that is completely obsessed with being perfect. An overwhelming amount of advertisements and pictures focus on outward beauty. From this overconcentrated depiction, beauty thus becomes distorted. In our society, beauty for men and women differ, however, each depict them as being sculpted and statutets. Their bodies are in peak shape, full head of hair, clear skin and the list continues. The message of perfect beauty goes beyond pictures of models. Even the words that go along with the advertisement proclaim being perfect. It is an unattainable beauty, simply because many of these models are digitally remodeled themselves. In the video that we watched in class, of the model being photoshopped, is a great example of how the media distorts beauty. Companies use sex appeal and physical attractiveness to lure in customers, making them believe thier products will make them beautiful. The saddest thing is, is that our society has completely forgotten what true beauty is and because of it, many young people, especially girls, are fighting to try and acheive this model perfect image, however, they do not realize that even the models themselves have flaws! Every person, no matter how thin, chiseled and gorgeous has flaws and that is okay! That is what makes each of us unique. Every one of us is an original and can never be recreated. Even Disney is guilty of advertising perfect outward beauty. If you look below, you can see that these princesses' waistelines get increasingly smaller! They are waistelines that are simply unacheivable!

One of the only Disney movies to depict what the majority of women look like is with Lilo's older sister, in the movie Lilo and Stitch. As you can see, she has curves and hips.
Most advertisements are false and it is vital to make sure that our younger generations understand the difference. If you look deep beyond what the product is trying to sell, one can see that they are pushing perfectionism. Even in thier slogans. L'O'real's, for instance, is "Because you're worth it." What are they really saying? That wearing makeup makes a woman worthy? That covering one's self up with makeup is worthy? With such adverstisements surrounding us, it can be difficult to break free from the never ending cycle of achieving perfectionism. Negative self esteem can truly take a toll on someone. Eating disorders and other body distortions can arise from negative self esteem. Acheiving positive self esteem can be difficult, but once there, one's inward beauty glows far beyond anyone's outward appearance.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Selection Hypothesis

In the book, the selection hypothesis is defined as, "an individual's personality determines the type of contact sought with members of other groups"(Deckers, 2010, p.227). Jackson and Poulsen conducted a study in 2005 to determine whether there is a relationship between the Five-factor model personality traits and ethnic prejudice. These men also assessed the participants' past contact experiences with African Americans and Asian Americans. In the past prejudice has been studied as a function of personality, and situation. Jackson and Poulsen hypothesized that people who had a high openness to experience score would be more open to contact with minority group members, as well as people who are more agreeable. They hypothesized that these individuals would be more likely to initiate contact with minorities. The results were that those with a high openness and agreeable scores had positive attitudes toward those groups as a result of their contact experiences, and were more willing to interact with minority group members.

When I read about this study, I expected these kinds of results however, I thought that Jackson and Poulsen should have incorporated other ethnicities such as Hispanics. Also Caucasians should have been included in this study as well to determine how these participants would interact with these individuals as well. Also I don't believe personality is a big determinant of whether a person will be racist or prejudice toward a certain group of people. A person may be open to new experiences and meeting new people, but if they are taught to hate, or taught to be prejudice against certain individuals, then those beliefs are sometimes very hard to break through, especially if these things are taught by people we love and respect. I believe that racism is learned primarily from the family and through other interpersonal relationships. The media also plays a role as well. As human beings, it is in our nature to judge and see difference. Before we get to know an individual personally, we will see their skin color, or their facial features, their eye color and hair color and immediately judge based on our preexisting schemas. This is why I believe racism, prejudice, and stereotypical preconceived notions will never cease to exist.

Parent and partner violence in families with young children

The physical and emotional damage caused by family violence is massive. Some people see spanking a child as a form of abuse because it can cause a tremendous amount of emotional trauma. I recently read a journal article that had some astonishing results regarding family violence. They found that physical aggression was highly prevalent in families who had young children. Only 30% of the families reported at least one type of severe aggression; 59% of the children had experienced aggression from both parents. They also found that parents were more likely to engage in physical aggression towards their children than their partner; however, parents use more severe acts of aggression against partners than children. Women were more aggressive to their partner and children than men were. The extent of partner aggression stemmed from previous aggression on them from their partner. Younger parents are expected to have higher levels of aggression present in their families because of the lack of parental experience.
There are several motivators why abuse takes place in a home. Parents are abusive for several reasons. Stress, frustration, anxiety, cruelty, power struggle, accidentally... and it also depends on the type of abuse. Lots of parents have children way too young, and don't know how to take care of themselves, let alone a child. Some parents are on drugs which alters their mental state... or they abuse alcohol. Occasionally you will even see a parent who doesn't seem to have any natural affection for his or her child. None of this to say that child abuse is excusable. It is not. But in general, those are some of the reasons behind it. When you grow up in an environment that is unstable and emotionally or physically abusive, it is hard to stop the cycle.


We all have done it, whether we meant to or not. It is that evil thing that eventually comes to bite us in the butt when we have waited too long. That evil thing I speak of is procrastination. I know I am probably queen of it because I always seem to wait till the last minute when I am crazy busy with everything else to decide to get a project finish.

Doing this post I have done just what I am talking about. This weeks homework is so easy to get done I just do not have the motivation to do it. This week I had to study for a quiz, read a chapter, write two posts, and start my rough draft. Compared to all the other weeks in school this week is the simplest but I guess because it is so easy I can not get it done. I find myself nonstop on facebook or watching T.V. and even going out when the last three things I need to get done can be done in a matter of 3 hours. While trying to get this even done I realized even Ellen DeGeneres has the same problem I do!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Personality and Me - Final Motivation Blog Post

Motivation is an aspect of the human condition that is universal to all…it evolves not only through our shared histories but through personal history as well, the latter being a unique experience for each culture, society, and individual that ultimately shapes how we react to the world around us. Motivation as we have learned entails simplistic and primitive components such as the need for food, water, shelter, and the need to feel loved and accepted. However, there are complex aspects such as the addiction process, which involves genetic dispositions that are heritable (i.e. sensation seeking or impulsiveness), psychological components that include opponent processing or classical conditioning, and the environment one is exposed too. These combing factors are fascinating to examine; especially for me personally considering I come from a family that has struggled with addiction (at least on my father’s side). Throughout the course, we also reviewed what drives an individual to act; have it be intrinsic (physiological or psychological) or extrinsic (incentives and goals). These aspects of the human condition are very real and inescapable to each and every one of us and because of this very real fact motivation is worthy of study and I am glad that I was able take part in a class such as this.

There were several areas reviewed in this course that captured my interest; these including addictions, achievement motivation, fear as a universal motive, and personality and self in motivation. However, for the sake of discussion, I will be focusing my attention on the latter and how testing methods such as “The Big Five” and “Sensation-Seeking Analysis” apply to me personally and if such tests are accurate or inaccurate. “The Big Five” is made up of five categories: Openness to Experience/Intellect, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Before taking this particular test, I had hypothesised that I would score high on Neuroticism and Extraversion, but was unsure where I would rank on the low end of the spectrum. The results proved accurate in regards to my level of neuroticism (my percentile was 80%) and as for being and extravert I again rated fairly high (with a 64 percentile score), which categorised me as relatively social. As for the other three areas I found that I ranked lower on the scale of openness which describes me as being more traditional and that I prefer familiar experiences; and fairly high in the area of conscientiousness where it deems me to be a well-organised and reliable individual. Finally, I was rated very high on the scale associated with agreeableness, which maintains that I am good-natured, courteous, and a supportive individual. Therefore, the question of the day is did the scale nail my personality?

Overall, I would say yes most definitely. I am a person who most certainly worries over just about everything; especially my scholastic performance, and with such worry comes fear which has worked for me and against me in regards to motivation. In my younger years, my fears of failure drove me to avoid activities where failure was a possibility, but as an adult, I find that this very same fear actually pushes me to strive for the best possible performance I can offer. I have always regarded myself as highly extroverted and open to relationships, so the results in this area also proved accurate. In the areas of conscientiousness and agreeableness I scored high as well; these areas defining me as an individual that is reliable, good-natured, supportive, and courteous which I believe to be true, however, I do not consider myself to be very organised, on the contrary, I would say I am all over the place more often than not. Therefore, it seems that there is something to this “Big Five” scale, but it should be noted that it is not a perfect method of measure; in fact, there are many critics who insist that there are limitations to the construct of the “Big Five” as an explanatory or predictive tool. It is argued that “The Big Five” does not explain all of human personality and I agree, but it does offer an introduction into the examination of human personality.

As for the area of “Sensation-Seeking” which, as we have learned, is a personality trait expressed in behaviour as a tendency to seek varied, novel, complex and intense sensations and experiences and to take physical risks for the sake of having such experiences. I scored very low (14 out of 40), which I was somewhat surprised about only because of my family history and because of its association with alcohol and nicotine use (the latter used more frequently then the former), but again I believe my high level of fear and worry are at play in regards to this. This being because I have in all honesty been guilty of thinking about doing recreational drugs in the past, however, my fear of dependency, overdose, or any other aversive effect steered me away from even trying… proving that fear can be a positive influence in some instances.

I truly enjoyed reviewing the area of personality with all its idiosyncrasies…because, as Deckers explains, “such personality traits help to explain why people are motivated by different incentives, situations, and activities.” However, what I appreciate most is the fact that there is always room for change…our personalities are never completely set in stone, which leaves room for growth in areas we may feel weak in while also allowing for the ability to perfect areas where we excel. This concept is a liberating one that encourages and motivates me to continue to be the best that I can be as I move and evolve in this life.

Enclosing I leave you with a quote that I find poignant: “We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die.” ~ Albert Camus.

Opposites Attract

We talked about personality test. When I had my personality class two years ago we took all types of tests to look at what our personality types were. I tested an an introvert and intuitive. We were told that we try to balance ourselves out and are attracted to the opposites of us when we are trying to reach our balance point. This means that I would be attracted to anextroverted sensing person. This test was extremely accurate for me and it made me curious to take the Big 5 test. I found out that my strengths are how calm I am, agreeable, and conscientious. This is great to me. I feel like these are things I am proud of. However it rated me as conventional instead of open minded which is upsetting. I wonder if this means that I am drawn to people who are the opposite of what I rated. Does this mean that opposites attract? That is what everyone is told their whole lives. Maybe there is some truth to the matter. Maybe people search for their opposites so that they can feel whole.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sensation Seeking And Personality

Earlier this semester, in my personality class I took a (fittingly enough) personality test - the Myer-Briggs test. After taking the test (two different ones actually, just to see if they would correlate with each other) I found that my personality is characterized as introverted, intuitive, judging, and thinking. Essentially, this means that I keep to myself, predict patterns in order to attend to the future, plan out details or actions ahead of time, and analyze data objectively, and use logic or data in order to make a decision. Looking at the characteristics associated with my personality, I feel that they fairly accurately represent who I am.
One interesting point is that while I thought that they were accurate, I did not show a strong correlation with one particular personality trait. This may be because, in taking the test, I thoroughly thought about each question, and imagined situations in which I would behave differently, where my personality would shift a little bit to adapt to my surroundings. I wondered how this would translate into sensation seeking, so I took the test that is linked in our slides.
Before taking any tests, I knew I would not be an extremely high sensation-seeker. It's just not me. Looking at the data from the Myer-Briggs test, I register as an introverted person who plans out many things in advance, not typical of the sensation seeker.
Sure enough, I scored low on the sensation-seeking assessment. I scored a 15 out of 40. I don't believe that the test was the most accurate assessment available; it was only 40 questions compared to the 72 on the other personality test and for several answers, I did not believe there was a right or wrong choice, if I had the option, I would have selected both choices as answers. Overall though, I felt that the test was fairly representative of me; there are some high-sensation activities I would absolutely love to do, and others that I would not do even if someone paid me. Upon further reflection, I do have to state that even though these online personality tests may not be the most accurate, the data revealed between the two tests tend to correlate with each other, giving merit to certain online personality assessments.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Craziest Thrill Seekers

As we were discussing thrill seekers, the first thing that came to my mind was Jackass. They perform crazy stunts and don't care if they offend anyone. They were popular when they first came out on MTV and then they started making their movies.

They are so popular because they go to extremes to get a thrill and most of us wouldn't dare to do the stunts they do. They are so popular because of their crazy stunts, and their fans find what they do to be intriguing. A lot of people try and emmulate them and their crazy antics, but so far, they hold the top spot for being the craziest people on Earth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Triplets Separated at Birth

After watching the video clip of Paula and Elise, identical twins separated at birth, and hearing of the the triplets they wrote about in their book, I decided to do a little more research on the triplets. There names are Robert, David, and Eddy and were separated by Louise Wise Services. The chief psychiatric of the agency, Viola Bernard, was the person who decided to conduct the study. They were all placed in Jewish homes, but obviously the study was abandoned, because they were never interviewed afterwards to make any observations.

Robert and Eddy met at Nassau Community College in Long Island, and soon after that David recognized the boys in the newspaper. Once the three reunited, they all shared many similarities: smoke Marlboros, enjoyed Italian food, like older women, talked alike, had similar IQ, and lost their virginity at age 12.

The three boys were separated at birth as an experiment on nature versus nurture, as were Paula and Elise. This was very unethical, because there was no consent. Although unethical, it did provide a lot of insight into the issue of nature vs. nurture. Even though the triplets did not know the others existed until they were in college, they behaved similarly and had similar personality and intelligence traits. This shows that nurture is more powerful than nature.

Together they ran a restaurant called Triplets in NY, and is now ran solo by David. In 1995, Eddy committed suicide. I am not sure about the other two men.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What drives human behavior? Human behavior is motivated primarily by four main principles. These principles are survival, status, mating, and material resources. Most if not all behavior can be explained by one of these motivators.
Survival is the number one driver of behavior. The other reasons don’t matter if you’re not living. Other individuals are more likely to understand when criminal behaviors are committed, if the criminal does it out of a need for survival over greed or anger.
Resources are another motivator for human behavior, students like us for example. The main reason we are college students, is to obtain a degree and make money, to obtain more resources. Robbery is another, illegal means, of obtaining resources.
Many of us can also admit to certain behaviors we have engaged in order to get the attention of a member of the opposite sex. Mating is a reason that is important not only for reproduction but also for a sense of belonging and love. Impressing another motivates many of our behaviors, especially as young adults.
Status is the final reason one is motivated to act. Everyone wants a title and some feeling of importance. No one wants to be a loser one would do anything to gain status, especially since; usually status can also be gained by the one with the most resources or mates.

Just laugh your stress away.

I have always been considered to have a good "sense of humor" by everyone that knows me relatively well. I always took that as complimenting, and I always took that as something I saw in myself as well. I'm the type of person that's just always laughing at every single situation (when appropriate of course). I am RARELY ever upset, miserable, depressed, unhappy... I just find ways to make light of bad situations and find ways to just laugh things off. I'm that person that's always joking around, laughing, just overall happy, and if I were to ask any of my friends what they like most about me, I think thats probably what they'd say. In turn, I find that there's never a day that goes by that I don't have fun, or that I really regret. I don't consider my life to be that stressful or hard, even when they may be, because my outlook on it is that everything is going to work itself out if you just look at everything in a positive light.

The book describes the Situational Humor Response Questionnaire as a set of questions that are scaled from 1-5. An example question would be "You are eating in a restaurant with some friends and the waiter accidently spills a drink on you". It's those little things that many people may find themselves so angry over, but really, it's just a drink, and spilling it on someone is definitely humorous. Laugh it off. It will make life a little less stressful, and you a little less tense. There are so many situations I come across day to day that I know many people would turn into frustration, but it's not worth it. Why not just be happy. Life is meant to be spent that way, at least I think so.

I have made so many friends by just keeping a positive, humorous aura around me at all times. People like being surrounded by others who are always smiling and willing to brighten the mood. So whenever anything just seems like it's not going as planned, or you're stressed, or you're fighting with someone you care about, or you lost someone you love, look at life through a more humorous positive perspective. It will lessen the negativity that's present, and life will just seem so much more exciting and worthwhile.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Randy Pausch is a man who has reached the top step of self-actualization in Maslow's heiarchy of needs. He uses his "last lecture," when dying from cancer, to teach everyone that "if you live properly, the dreams will come to you." If anyone can give you the motivation to reach your dreams and live your life with dignity, it would be him.

In the world we live in today, it can be hard to keep your focus on what truly matters. We must appreciate the simplicity of life in order to receive the true goodness of what it has to offer us. Randy Pausch understood the true meaning of life and shared his experiences with the world.

He explains dreaming throughout his childhood. "It was an easy time to dream. When you turn on your television set and men are landing on the moon, anything is possible, and we should never lose that spirit." He understood from a young age, that opportunities were there and it was up to him to make it happen.

When being rejected several times to do what he wanted to do in football and in Disney, he never gave up. "If you don't achieve your dreams, you can still get a lot from trying for it." Eventually, he ended up being able to work on Aladin's magic carpet ride after developing a particular skill that was valuable to Disney. "The brick walls that are in our way are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out, they are there to give us a way to show how much we want it."

The first time I listened to Randy Pausch's lecture, I remember feeling inspired by his strength and by his messages. Although we live in a different time, these messages are vital for people everywhere, at all times. His messages give us the motivation to live our lives by having fun and being dignified people.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Final Motivation Project

Motivation is such a crucial issue in everyone’s life. Having a class that is devoted to learning and striving to understand it was just what any college kid should take. Many people use motivation every day in order to keep up with their lifestyle, needs, and desires. The want to achieve is something that can not only be affected by motivation, but can be altered when it is missing or a lack of motivation. Horrible side effects can occur when someone is not as motivated anymore to do something. This could be problems at home, school, and work which may result to the use of alcohol and other drugs which can completely destroy one’s life. Another of the most important topics are Maslow’s hierarchy of needs allows you to understand exactly where you are in the pyramid of life. Starting at the most basic needs and desires, the physiological needs (thirst and hunger) you then are able to move through the next level. At the very top is your peak experience and outlook on life which is self actualization. There are few people that actually receive full satisfaction of life. My goal is to be able to reach the top and this class is definitely one of the reasons why I have a good shot at it.

My favorite part of the class is when we covered the topic of impulse and self control. This can be related to numerous topics which are why I feel that was the most useful and thus favorite part of the course. For example self control is when you give up the bigger, larger reward that takes more time then to smaller, quick reward. One of the videos that we saw demonstrates this phenomenon with marshmallows. Not only were those kids really cute but it really did help you understand that when something is in front of you and you can reach and grab it, it is harder to resist and wait for the larger reward. Therefore, those children who resisted the temptation of eating the marshmallows received two where as those who were unable to do this task only ate the one.

I can extend my learning experience to apply it to myself. I feel that self control can be related to me right now because I am in college. There are many opportunities to seek out the fast and more than likely more fun decisions right away rather than to wait. But I can really see how certain things are just not worth it. For example; getting completely smashed during the week when I have homework and studying to do. While I will hate feeling left out and missing out on all the fun while I stay home suffering with work, I know that when it comes down to test time, my grades will reflect my good decision. You can even push it further to explain that better grades will let me graduate, get a great job, hopefully raise a healthy family and live an amazing life. This is what matters to me more than going out and getting drunk everyday in school so that I have fun now rather than having my larger, bigger reward in the long run.

I chose to have one of my most influential songs that have made me become the person who I am today. While I have had some struggles as everyone else has too, I strive to always do the best I can and I refuse to give up. My parents always told me to do my best, that way if it was not equal to what someone else thought the “best” was, I gave it my all and need to be proud of myself regardless. The song is “How bad do you want it” by Tim McGraw. I used to have it playing in my car and Ipod when I was getting ready for my cheerleading competitions that I did for about 12 years of my life. It motivates me and makes me pumped up. The picture that I have posted is my friends and I when we took home first place in Nationals. Hope you all like it :)I choose the video that had the lyrics so that you can sing along!

Can Oxytocin Improves Autism Emotion Recognition?

Every culture varies in experience, but one thing that is shared between humans is facial expressions that reveal specific emotions (i.e. happiness, anger, sadness, disgust, surprise, and fear). Studies have been conducted by anthropologists and scientists that provide support for this universal experience; the greatest agreement being the identification of happiness and the least agreement being in the identification of anger or fear, however, individuals who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are unable to decipher, understand, or reciprocate something as simplistic as a smile or a furrowed brow. However, this does not mean that researchers have given up on finding away to treat such deficits; on the contrary, studies are continuously pursued in the hope to better and improve the lives of such individuals.

One study in particular revolves around a hormone known as oxytocin, which has effects on brain functioning and is associated with facilitating labour, delivery, and breast-feeding, it is also important in promoting trust, love, and social recognition. This study which was published in Biological Psychiatry by Elsevier and highlighted, Australian autism experts who recruited adolescents with ASDs. Using a rigorous study design, they administered a single dose each of oxytocin and placebo via a nasal spray, which was received one week apart. Both times, the subjects were asked to complete a facial expression task that measures emotion recognition.Compared to administration of the placebo spray, the subjects' performance on the task was improved when they received the oxytocin spray (Elsevier, 2008).

These findings provide the first evidence that "a brief and simple intervention can improve emotion understanding in autism, or in fact any clinical disorder associated with social dysfunction. It is also the first to show the benefits of oxytocin nasal spray in young people, suggesting potential for earlier intervention where there may be greater opportunity to improve development," explained author Dr. Adam Guastella. "This study, therefore, makes an important advance with the longer-term hope that oxytocin could be used to improve social function in everyday settings for clinical disorders associated with social dysfunction" (Elsevier, 2008).

Note: Since this was a relatively small study, additional research is still needed to confirm these promising findings and further evaluate oxytocin as a potential treatment.

We need Motivation

Motivation is what alters are behaviors to achieve certain goals. But what happens when there is no more motivation in one’s life? While everyone at some point suffers from a hard time in their life, it is important to take adequate care and measures to make sure that your back to being yourself as soon as possible. For those who are less fortunate to bounce back into a happier self and who do not seek medical or emotional health, depression or loss of motivation may occur.

Those who suffer the most from losing their motivation are teenagers. The majority of teenagers who have a lack of motivation and drive to achieve an important role in life usually take the wrong path of life. With a lack of motivation, a teenager will typically suffer with relationships with their parents, friends, and other people close to them. School work will also suffer, and when grades go down, the ability to graduate and move into a higher education or work field is very difficult. When they lack motivation the majority of these people will turn to the use of drinking and drugs. Due to the fact that drugs are easily accessible nowadays and alcohol found even in their own home, the use of these drugs will increase.

Math and drive

We all have embedded needs for survival included hunger; thirst, shelter, and the avoidance of harm and pain against one self. These special needs are also called primary reinforces. Clark Hull believed in the 1930’s in the concept of homeostasis, in regards to having the balance of body parts and how they work and react with one another. His theory was that these homeostatic reactions and parts may have the scientific explanation for motivation:

Excitation potential = S H R [D x K x J x V]...where....

S H R was the number of reinforced training trials

D was the amount of biological deprivation or drive

K was the size or magnitude of the goal

J was the delay before the animal was allowed to pursue the goal

V was the intensity of the stimulus that set off the behavior

While this mathematical equation is intense and complicated to those who are not math experts. In a simpler form, he believes that they are based upon your needs. An example of this is when you are sweating and when you’re hot; your motivation will let you remove your sweatshirt or a cooler place to regulate your body temperature. This drive of energy was powered by behavior. His idea of these drives (to get cooler when body temperature is hot) you would repeat any behavior to reduce that drive. This theory is thus explained as the drive-reduction theory of motivation.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Hull's Drive Theory

S.A.T. - is - Faction

Preparing for College

We go to school to get good grades, because higher grades represent a hard working student. Most of us did well in high school to attend an accredited college, Right?

Perhaps the ability to continue to do well at any particular College or University?

Standardized test-taking classifies and evaluates students upon their academic ability. And yes, the S.A.T. ( of satisfaction) above is a typical 4 hour long test for prospective college students. Some Community Colleges don't accept them but four year Universities will. It's usually given on any given SATURDAY!

Get off YouTube.com

And learn on


We can relate our motives to do well in school in a variety of ways. But first, we must learn the core concepts of our bodies drive to satisfy a goal or incentive. There will always be stimuli in the environment that causes an internal drive.

According to the Hull's Drive Theory, our drive energizes behavior towards need satisfaction. In YES's case, the acceptance letters would resemble an external incentive for students. This school has great success rates because of their ability to meet the needs of each student. These students spend extra long hours preparing to meet application requirements. The families role is big to YES, because they understand that the students studying atmosphere at home can impact their ability to achieve.

In the end of the YES clip, I enjoyed the unique poster speeches. This allowed each YES High School graduate to prove to the younger students that their hard work paid off. These feelings of achievement can be extremely rewarding, hence, our vase growth in Education.

Incentive Value of Task Success

A few semesters ago when browsing through the list of classes, I was trying decide what professor I wanted to take for a particular class I needed for major to graduate. Many people told me one professor is really easy and to take them because I would definitely get an A but probably not learn much. The other teacher who taught the class was known as being more difficult, which meant I wouldn't be receiving that "Easy A." I decided to take the harder professor because I obviously needed this course and wanted to really understand what was being taught to me. I worked really hard and ended up finishing with an "A" but now looking back, I realized how high the incentive level was. I knew I could have finished with an "A" in the other class but chose to challenge myself and give myself some type of incentive to actually work toward the grade I deserve and actually process what was being taught.
Many times in school I have come across many situations similar to this one. I have always struggled with receiving good grades in school and always worked very hard for what I have received. I love giving myself a challenge and working towards the goal. Losing weight is also another huge challenge. I know a lot of people who do crash diets and drop 10 pounds in a week. I love having the incentive to work towards something over a long period of time and actually achieving what I really want. Sometimes that means that I can't eat or drink something I want, but when I am motivated towards achievement, I give my absolute best. I do this because I know how strong the reward is in the end.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stress and illness

Everyone experiences some form of stress at some point through out their lives. The typical college student has a mountain of stress. Most students are dealing with work, deadlines, studying,papers,tests. Not to mention the stress of figuring out your future, bills, a career,living on your own, and any other personal issues in addition to everything else. According to research done in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, a significant amount of stress can cause your immune system to weaken. Stress can cause many things to occur in a person's body, such as, hormone responses, nervous system responses, and behavioral responses. All of these responses can affect the immune system, which will make a person more susceptible to illness, cold, flu, or disease. I recently became sick with an upper respiratory infection and found out that a lot of people have been getting sick lately. Considering that the last couple weeks were midterms for most people, I wonder if everyone's immune system was down by the stress?

Mindfulness and Motivation

The practice of mindfulness is the training of the mind to focus on the present. Many studies have shown the positive effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in helping patients with ADHD, OCD, and depression.These disorders have a profound negative impact on ones motivation, and can be transformed with simple meditation techniques.

John Teasdale hypothesized that teaching mindfulness to patients with depression would decrease susceptibility to relapse. To test the theory scientists John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Mark Williams randomly assigned half a sample of 145 depressed patients to receive mindfulness based therapy with the other half of depressed patients to receive usual care. Teasdale, Segal, and Williams developed a program in which depressed patients would meet weekly for eight two hour sessions of mindfulness training. The training included a technique in which the patients were taught to focus intently on sensations of various parts of the body. They then learned to focus on the breath without becoming frustrated by the minds tendency to wander. They were taught to view despairing thoughts as transient mental events that did not reflect reality.

After a year of observing both groups of depressed patients, it was reported that 34% of the usual care patients remained relapse free while 66% of the patients taught mindfulness remained relapse free. Surprisingly the preventive effect of mindfulness was only effective on the most serious cases of depression in which the patients had suffered three or more past episodes of depression.This among other studies show the plasticity of the brain in dealing with stress.

Source: Begly, S. (2007). Train your mind mind change your brain how a new science reveals our extraordinary potential to transform ourselves. United States: The Random House Publishing Group.

Reaching the Top

Self actualization is something that not many people achieve. Perhaps the difficulty with achieving self actualization is the fact that most people have a difficult time achieving self esteem. In the society we live in today we are constantly told we are not good enough which makes having self esteem difficult. If we can not reach this level then reaching self actualization which comes after self esteem is impossible. People who are totally self actualized are usually people we would admire because they are steadfast in their beliefs and know what they want out of life and where they want to go. Someone I think is self actualized is my Aunt. She knows her life, she understands where she wants to be and go. She believes in herself which means she has realized her self esteem and self worth. I hope that one day I will be self actualized and know what I want to do with my life.

Predictability and Controllability

Throughout my life I have never been a fan of surprises. After reading about predictability and controllability I learned that most other people aren't fans of negative surprises either. Badia's experiment about this subject showed that most people like to know what is coming. Most people avoided the shock and were also more comfortable when they knew that it was coming. This experiment is usually tested on animals like rats, who also prefer knowing when they will be shocked. This experiment reminds me of scary movies. I like watching a scary movie much better the second time because I can prepare myself for when the parts where things jump out at you. Once the "shock" part happens I am fine but I am very uncomfortable when I do not know when it is coming.

The preparatory response hypothesis says that a signal preceding a biologically relevant event allows the organism to prepare for that event. This shows that even our bodies prefer to be prepared for a shock. By knowing when the event is coming we can avoid it and if we cannot avoid it we could at least prepare for it and reduce the stress that incurs. The book uses an example about exams as the exam being the stress. The days that we do not have exams are considered "safe" days because we do not have to worry about these stressors.

Self-Actualization: At Work And At Play

I, like countless other people, hate my job. I abhor it. A lot of my hatred for my job stems not only from being overworked and underpaid, but comes from the fact that I can almost feel any intelligent thoughts that were in my head prior to work melting out from my brain and dripping into an abyss where I will never again find my thoughts. I work at Walmart as a supervisor, but there is a single aspect of my job that I find challenging, and when there is no psychological challenge, there is no psychological reward.
Maslow's definition of self-actualization states that everyone has a need to "fulfill and utilize abilities and talents". There is no way I can achieve this working at Walmart, or working in any field in which there is no struggle. At least this is how I would define self-actualization in terms of the workplace; if I am confronted with challenges, overcome them and learn from them to better myself, I feel as though I would begin to experience self-actualization at work. This is precisely why I am going to school, so one day I will have a job I can thrive in, and have a career I am proud of. There is no pride, challenge, or reward in where I work now. In fact, often times I feel like Peter Gibbons in the movie "Office Space".
However, my hobby is music, and I love playing guitar. I play with a couple bands and whenever I play a show, no matter where or for how long, I am elated. Through playing music, I not only use my abilities and talents to their fullest potential, but through doing so I get to perform and interact with other people using their talents as well. Playing music virtually my whole life has developed my skills enough to the point where I feel comfortable playing almost any style with any group of people. I'm not nervous or afraid, and I try to be ready for just about anything. When I'm playing, I feel I have achieved self-actualization, because at that point, I am using my talents to the fullest.

Can we all really achieve it?

     According to Maslow and his pyramid of psychological needs I feel that he was right on target when it comes to the end and the ultimate feeling of self actualization. It seems to me that many people never reach the top of the pyramid at all in their lifetime. Many people may feel they are on the right track with getting all their 'ducks in a row' persay but then something always seems to happen. Catastrophes, I feel is a good way to put it when your whole view of the world falls apart and you are knocked down to picking up from the bottom again.

     Things causing this big set back could be a death in the family, job loss, rejection-resulting in low self esteem, cancer, a loss of house, and so on. There surely is a multitude of things that could take place. As I previously mentioned with the fact of few people ever reaching the self actualization mark at the top of the pyramid, I even feel that those who reach it had set backs in their lifetime at different points in time. Whichever the case for setbacks in life it seems appropriate to say that it takes a lot of motivation to strive for the top.

     I am wondering if many people stick to the bottom of the pyramid in the world in the sense that they can never really get out of that bottom tier. For some people it can be very hard to be able to have food and water every day. Those two features alone are important for our bodies to run. With the tier of belongingness I wonder also if many people move on from here with the respect of not being able to form good bonds and relations with friends and family. It seems like everyones world is different and it would be nice if everyone is able to move throughout the pyramid and reach the top at some point.

man-stressed.jpg   OR



Self-actualization. Do you have it? I feel I do! Don't know what it is? Well, I'll tell you. Self-actualization is to fullfill and utilize one's abilities and talents to the fullest in the area one chooses.

How do you fullfil self-actualization? Well Abraham Maslow has all the answers in his hierarchy of needs pyramid. What is his hierarchy on needs pyramid, you ask? Maslow created a pyramid with five different levels with the top having the most strength.

What are these levels you ask? The lowest level contains physiological needs. Physiological needs include food, water, sleep, and sex. Once you are able to maintain physiological satisfaction, its time to move on up to the next stage of the pyramid: safety needs. To fullfil safety needs, one must not have fear and anxiety. After safety needs are met, the next step to reaching self-actualization is belongingness. How do you establish belongness? By building strong relationships with with friends, family, and lovers. Next step is the need for esteem. This need can be met by respecting one self and others. Once you have complete all four stages, you are then ready to fullfil the ultimate goal of self-actualization. Now that you know the stages of the hierarchy, there is one question that has not been answered. How do you self-actualize? Well Carl Rogers has an answer. He believed that self-actualization can be reached through being genuine, accepting, and empathetic. So once you are ready to self-actualize, take those three qualities into mind.

If you want to find out how self-actualized you are, go to the following site:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stress at Work

This YouTube video is based on stress at work. It exemplifies some of the physiological and behavioral symptoms of stress. In the video the man shows anxiety when he is told he must complete hundreds of tasks within a certain time period and must also attend a meeting. He feels he cannot handle all the work that is laid out for him and so the symptoms appear. Because of this the man is irritable. He fills some time from the meeting by consuming alcohol and nicotine. In the end his feelings of hopelessness and helplessness lead him to jump out of a window. It is inconclusive if the man dies or just injures himself because of his distress.

Need for Affiliation and Intimacy

The need for affiliation and intimacy motive deal with responses to the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).  While taking the TAT a participant can respond in one of three ways, depending on their specific situation, in reguards to the need for affiliation.  Those three situations could be the person who is currently in a social relationship, they are desiring a relationship, or are feeling bad following the termination of a social relationship.  In specific, the need for affiliation regers to the motive to establish, maintain, or restore positive social relationships with other individuals or groups.  Also, the need for affiliation is latent until relevant environmental conditions arouse it.  An example of this type of arousal would be the presence of something or the availability of other individuals.  People with a need for affiliation do what the need suggests.  The person affiliates in order to satisfy that need.  Students who have a high need for affiliation tend to work harder and reiceve higher grades then students with a lower need for affiliatin.  Next, there is the intimacy motive postulated by McAdams.  The intimacy motive is used to emphasize the positive feelings that exist between the individuals in a social relationship.  The intimacy motive refers to a readiness for experiences of warm, close, and communicative interactions with other persons.  TAT pictures may also be used to explain and/or display the intimacy motive.  An example of this would be two people sharing an encounter that involved feelings of love, friendship, happiness, or peace of tender behavior.  Differences in the intimacy motive among individuals show up in terms of differences in their social behavior.  People who have a higher intimacy motive tend to experience a greater positive affect during their social interactions compared to those with a low intimacy motive.  Also, people with higher intimacy motives enjoy social interactions more than people with a low intimacy motive.  Higher intimacy motivation is associated with a greater frequency of interactions with friends, greater levels of self-disclosure, and higher levels of listening during conversations.  I agree with both the need for affiliation and the intimacy motive.  I agree with them because I have personally experienced both.  In reguards to my personal experience, what the book had stated was right on target.