Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I woke up today with a free schedule and full intentions to get a lot of school work done. It's now nearly 8pm and I'm sitting here wondering where my day went. I haven't gotten much of anything done, and the day is almost over. What was supposed to be my Productive Wednesday has fallen victim to procrastination - lost in a sea of excuses, magazine articles, TV reruns and internet joke sites. Computers have become the central aspect of our lives as Americans, and while they have made it possible for us to be more connected and more productive than ever before, they have made the art of slacking off far more enticing; with endless hours of pointless entertainment and distractions (not to mention Facebook) calling out to us when we seem at our most determined.

So how can the internet be used to combat all of its own distractions? It definitely takes a lot of self control from the user. Or if, like me, you are lacking in that department, thankfully there is a solution. There's a computer program called SelfControl that came out a few years ago that I swear by. You select a list of websites you wish to temporarily block (goodbye Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) and how long you want to block them for, and you're set to go on and focus on your work without your traditional distractions. It's a great tool and has managed to get me through many situations - I practically worshipped it when I was writing my novel, and it's great for essays and research paper. So there is a way out of the endless sea of distractions the internet holds for those with the tendency to procrastinate, but you still have to contain the drive to remember to use the program in the first place. I sure didn't today.

That desire to still do your work, to sit down and commit to completing a project, is truly what is at the heart of motivation. It's something that must be self driven, that no computer program or pill could possibly provide. Yet as elusive as it seems, that type of drive is deep within all of us, and it comes out when we do truly find something we are passionate about and makes us unstoppable. I just wish it was as easy to find that as it is to find a bunch of mind-numbing, time draining YouTube videos.

Final Post!

Out of all of the psychology classes I have taken, motivation has been one of my favorites. I have learned so much from this history of motivation, to the different types of motivation, and even the economics of motivation. This class has been extremely informative to me.

I never knew that there were three categories of arousal or that behavior depends on the interaction between the internal motive and an external incentive. I have learned so much including; how personality , moods and emotions, stress, homeostasis, and arousal are all related to motivation. I did not even know that motivation was connected to most of these things until taking the class. It is crazy just how much affects motivation.

To be motivated is to be moved by an action, behavior, or change in an action or behavior. Motives push a person into action toward an end state. One thing that I really enjoy about motivational psychology was that it was easily related to my former pseudoscience class. One of the articles I posted about was "The Luck Factor." The beginning of this article talks about different superstitions and myths that have been around for centuries and that so many people believe in. This was always a major topic in pseudoscience. It also talks about how many people carry good luck charms like rabbits' feet and how they believe that things like breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder will bring them bad luck and misfortune. However, through this class, I have learned that we actually create our own luck. When we are motivated and strive to succeed we can reach our goals. Having a positive attitude and living life to the fullest is what makes you feel lucky and fortunate. If you have a negative attitude and treat every little issue like it is a disaster then you are going to feel like you are unfortunate and unlucky and that nothing good will ever come your way. Through learning about emotions, moods, and stress related to motivation, my outlook on luck is that being truly lucky is loving and living life to the fullest and having a positive and appreciative attitude. It is just so interesting how motivation is so easily related to so many aspects of life.
Link 1 - This link is more related to what my new beliefs on luck are.
Link 2- This link is much more entertaining.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"The Luck Factor"

This article was about a man named Barnett Helzberg Jr, he was a lucky man. He owned a highly successful jewelry store chain, that had an annual revenue of around $300million. He recently just turned sixty years old and was looking to sell his business. One day he was walking down the street and heard a lady yell "Mr. Buffet," someone who also was very successful. Helzberg went up and had a conversation with him, one year later Buffett bought Helzberg's business.
Helzberg's story illustrates the effect of luck in business, but good fortune also plays a vital role in all aspects of our lives. Luck and good fortune occur beyond a person's control, without regard to someone's will, intention, or desire. Luck is supernatural and deterministic concept that is a force which prescribes that events occur. There are cultural views of luck that vary from perceiving luck as a matter of random chance to attributing to luck explanations of faith or superstition.
I found this article to be very interesting.


Prejudice is defined as an opinion formed before hand or without knowledge, unreasonable, hostile attitudes regarding a group. This is where individuals high in openness-to-experiance sought more contact with minority group members. Also, in agreeableness had positive attitudes toward minority group members from quality of contact. Prejudice could be very harmful because it is stereotyping.
A couple of examples of prejudice are as follows:
It is general perception that people with mental illness are prone to violence. This has developed from the stereotypes portrayed in movies or written in books, where a mentally ill person becomes violent and goes on a rampage. Although, there are a few isolated cases among mentally ill people, who have a tendency towards violence, but if the statistics are looked at, they show that mentally ill people are no more violent than the average person.
If someone is walking in a secluded area at night, and a couple of senior citizens with canes in hand, come from the opposite side, the person will not feel threatened. However if instead of the senior citizens, three teenagers dressed in jeans and t-shirts with lots of metal chains around their neck are approaching from the other side, the person might feel threatened a bi, even without any kind of provocation from their end.
These are two examples of prejudice, it does not always have to do with race and ethnicity.

Introvert and Extrovert.

I feel that individuals display both introvert and extrovert tendencies. I would consider my best friend to be an extrovert for the most part. She loves meeting new people, trying different and new things, is a social butterfly and always willing to go out and do something. While I would consider her to be an extrovert she does have some qualities of an introvert. There are times where she would rather be alone and not be the center of attention. Personally, I would consider myself to be an introvert and an extrovert depending on the situation. I am typically a shy and quiet individual but there are times when I want to have all eyes on me and I am extremely sociable. I don't feel that any one person is completely an extrovert or an introvert. The amazing thing about humans is we don't fit into just one category. Our personalities, qualities, beliefs, passions, and behaviors do not fit into one simple rigid category but rather flows into several, and sometimes opposing, groups.

The Luck Factor.

I found Richard Wiseman's article "The Luck Factor" interesting. The article stated that "Fifty three percent of people said that they were at least a little superstitious, and 25 percent admitted to being somewhat or very superstitious." I think the majority of people are a little superstitious in some way. My friends and I constantly knock on wood and we hold our breathes when we drive by cemeteries. We know that knocking on wood won't make something good happen to us or make something bad not happen but we do it anyways. I really enjoyed reading about chance opportunities and how "lucky" people are more open to them and therefore are more likely to experience situations where they can call themselves lucky. Doing something out of the norm and meeting new people can be exciting and people should be more willingly to put themselves in new situations. You'll never know what will happen or who you will meet. The experiment done with the newspaper and those who consider themselves lucky and unlucky was fascinating. The lucky and unlucky individuals differed in personalities and how they went on with life. The best part of the article was that people are not born lucky or unlucky and I feel that people need to realize this more often. You can be more open to opportunities that can change the outcome of your life by engaging in various new situations. If we are so wrapped up in our routine, thoughts, beliefs and expectations we can missing out on life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Maslow's theroy of needs is well known to those in the field of psychology.  Maslow's theory can be applied very well when talking about motivation in humans.  The needs begin in providing basic life essentials such as food, water, and shelter.  After the basic life essentials are met the person can meet more individual needs such as love and a feeling of belongingness.  This way of thinking about how humans go about meeting needs can be seen as a great way of motivation by people.
Maslow's theory offers a great way to see two types of motivation fuctioning within the same theory.  One part is biological motivation while the other is psychological motivation, while humans get motivation from both sources throughout their life Maslow's theory tends to believe that the biological motivations are stronger than the others because people can not survive without the bilogical nesecities and therfor no others sources of motivation matter until the first are met. 

Luck and Superstition

I found this article very interesting, because I for one carry a good luck charm with me at all times.  The most interesting this i found from this article is the difference in nerves between people who considered themselves luck to those who considered themselves unlucky.  A way to look at this is people make their own luck by making the most of the current situation, while the unlucky are far to nervous to take advantage of the situation. 
The other interesting part of Wiseman's article was the effect that people felt that lucky charms had on them because I have carried one for almost my entire life, and very rarly if ever have it away from me.  What I found interesting was that people found no positive difference in holding the charm as compared to when they were not holding the charm.  The oposite effect was far more likely and people felt that the charm had been bringing bad luck if it was bringing any luck at all and were relieved when they could return the charm and no longer had to wear it. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I really enjoyed reading this article. I think the stories in the beginning of the article about luck were intersting because it doesnt seem too far off from reality that those things happen often. I think luck is a very broad word though because the same thing could happen to five different people: they could think that the situation as luck, by chance, just ironic, faith, or God brought the situation together.
As the article states, 72% of Americans have a good luck charm- meaning they are at least somewhere superstitious. I am part of that 72%. I will not talk about a car accident when Im in the car, I get nervous when a black car runs in front of my car, and I think butterflies will bring good 'luck'. I know that these things arent going to significanty alter my life but its still a thought that runs through my head. I think its crazy when people truly alter their entire lives based on their superstitions.
The article also talks about people who are constantly lucky and people will constant misfortune. They generate their own good fortune and I was glad to read that in the article as well. People may think they are unlucky because they have been playing the lottery for years and still havent won. That doesnt mean you are unlucky whatsoever. The people who consider themselves lucky are the ones who make up their own luck (like jack in the Titanic:-)) If you believe that life is a gift and you dont want to waste it, you will receive that good fortune and good luck.
The newspaper study was really interesting. I suppose that the people who are lucky, who have a high opinion of themselves and life, are able to stop and smell the roses, or read the pictures in this case.
I still believe in luck but in the sense that I may find a 20 dollar bill on the ground and my day would be great the rest o the day. If I shatter a mirror (which ive done numerous times) my life will not be over.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I found this article to be very interesting. Over the years I have always thought I had bad luck when really it was anxiety making me unlucky. I agree with this article because I am aware that I worry about this too much and this article was able to prove that anxious people often miss opportunities. It is interesting to see that if somebody was able to put their anxiety aside they would be open to more opportunities, which would increase their luck. I think that luck school sounds like a helpless idea, however I feel that it would most definitely work and it is a simple concept to help people with bad luck.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Luck Factor

I really enjoyed this article because it had some very interesting ideas on luck. Many times I have questioned why some people are more lucky than others. I have some friends who have bad things happen to them and just seem to be unlucky all the time. On the other hand I know people this is not true for. Also if I had to . I always wondered why this was so and if it has to do with behavior or thinking. I liked that the article talked about superstitions and where some of them came from. It makes sense that superstitions have been alive and passed on from generation to generation. They are a way of trying to control luck. Then Wiseman went on to talk about the four basic principles for generating own good fortune. I liked the experiments he conducted, especially the one with newspaper. It was crazy that the unlucky people missed the big writing on the page when the lucky people saw it. Even when it said stop and you will receive money that unlucky people missed it. The experiment really points out the correlation with luck and chance opportunities, specifically the ability to spot out such opportunities.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Counter-factual thinking is an interesting part of the Luck Factor discussed in Richard Wiseman's article. Lucky people looked at what terrible result might have happened and are grateful that it didn't. They have a more positive attitude about their future and that increases the likelihood that outcomes will remain positive. Unlucky people moan about the bad experience and see nothing positive. That attitude creates more bad luck. This article was great and really explains the luck factor well. Keeping his four principles in mind through all experiences in life will pretty much guarantee success in whatever you do. I always have wondered why my life has been so "charmed" Reading the article made it so clearer; my life has not really been any easier than anyone elses. The choices I made and attitude have helped me. Other books to read that also speak of "Luck" and positive thinking are The Secret and The Four Agreements. Both are inspirational, enlightening, and helped me get through some rough times. To re-read parts of the books helps to recenter positive thoughts. My husband has a simple method that he uses at times. He carries a small stone, calls it his "Gratitude Rock" in his pocket. he reaches for it when discouraged or sad and remembers all that he is grateful for in his life. That simple action changes his attitude, his behavior and his "luck"

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Luck Factor

I found this article to be extremely interesting and very informing. I was always a believer that some people were just born lucky while others were born with no luck at all. I am also one to "knock on wood" and I never knew that it dated all the way back to pagan rituals. I also never knew that the reason the number 13 was unlikely was because that how many people attended Christ's last supper. Or that walking under a ladder breaks the trinity so that is why it is so unlucky. I thought it was fascinating that an individuals luck comes from their own thoughts and behaviors, and the more I think about it now, the more I believe it. "Lucky people" are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, listen to their intuition, have positive expectations, and have a resilient attitude, and it all makes more sense to me now. I have always considered myself to be an unlucky person but now that I think about it, it probably is because I tend to be a negative thinking person. It reminds me a lot of being pessimist and an optimist. Optimistic people seem to be more lucky, while pessimist individuals seem to be unlucky.

The lucky and the unlucky

This great article by Richard Wiseman speaks the truth in terms of how lucky and unlucky people differ in their ways of perception. Wiseman's experiment clearly showed that the everyday, common superstitions we believe in to produce good luck are false ideas that do no contribute to the emergence of luck within one's life. Rather, luck stems from how that individual perceives a situation; is the glass half-empty or half-full? Wiseman's study seemed to indicate that the less lucky, or unlucky people perceived their situation as being half-empty, while the more lucky, or lucky individuals perceive their situation as being half-full, making this a clear difference into how our own brain psychology comes into play in producing favorable or unfavorable circumstances.

I could not agree more with Wiseman's message; one who is determined to alter their luck into something more positive must focus on positive outcomes and positive remedies to their current situation if it is in need of improvement. Relying on superstitious beliefs is not only unreliable in terms of luck, it is an ancient, non-contemporary view of how luck was originally perceived to be obtained, something that has been proven to be untrue by today's standards. In essence, with a good mindset comes good luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Luck Factor

After reading this article by Richard Wiseman, I find myself having a slightly different perspective on the idea of luck. As the article described at one point, “some people look at luck in a magical sense”, this is something I am guilty of. Now this article is not going to completely change my life or my opinion on the topic at hand but it will make me think a little bit. While reading through, I thought about something that came to me, it seemed to me that Wiseman was essentially trying to say that only positive people tend to be lucky. This is a point that I disagree with. I am sure that there are plenty of pessimistic people in the world out there who fully enjoy their fair share of luck. Another angle Wiseman played was the idea that if you have a routine, you are less likely to make a chance encounter with either someone or some event that may occur; I am not buying this either. For example, he used the idea of meeting a potential spouse during a chance encounter, just because you have a routine this does not hurt your chances to meet a romantic partner. I don’t believe that if you visit different places that you have never been to then you are destined to meet your partner; you could meet your partner at your job, which blows this theory out of the water. But on the other hand, I did enjoy reading this article in whole, and did take away a few different aspects that I will keep an open mind to. Good luck!

THE LUCK FACTOR: by Richard Wiseman

Wiseman’s article was very informative and interesting. I personally believe in superstitious things only because is part of life. I knock on wood when I say something bad, I sometimes do certain things because I believe they can change my circumstances but I know is not guaranteed. The article makes complete sense in terms of lucky and unlucky people; I used to think that certain people are just meant to be successful because they were just lucky. Luckiness is more than just a mere fortunate circumstances, it has everything to do with how an individual acts or behaves. The way they take life and deal with it. To lucky people, life is full of many opportunities; they don’t waste their time on things they cannot change. They spend their time exploring all that life brings their way. I absolutely believe in this article because I know a lot of happy people, people who take life less seriously, very optimistic and they are always happy. They tend to not focus on the bad, and could have been or would have been; they focus on what they do have and they are in content with whatever comes their way which make them seem lucky in life. When a person is always focused on what they don’t have, they fail to enjoy what they do have which makes them miserable.

The Luck Factor

I thought the article 'The Luck Factor" was very interesting. It is interesting to see why people believe things to be superstitious. I never had a "lucky charm" and I still in some situations would consider myself lucky and in others I would consider myself unlucky. After reading this article I would say I have new way of looking at "luck." The one experiment that I thought was interesting was the one with the newspaper. I thought it was very interesting to see that the unlucky people didn't notice the half page of writing that told them how many pictures were in the newspaper. It says in the article that unlucky people are generally much more tense and anxious and that anxiety disrupts peoples ability to notice the unexpected. I agree with this. I can see how "lucky" people can be more relaxed about things because they are not always worried about how unlucky they are and what bad things may happen to them today. Lucky people notice the unexpected and do things about it. Unlucky people are always stuck on looking for one great thing and cant see a few good things around them. I think the experiment with the newspaper is a good example of how unlucky people are focused on one thing and miss other things around them. I would have never thought being lucky had anything to do with attitude. I think this article gives me and new way of looking at luck and that i could be a lucky person if i changed my attitude towards certain situations.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This article was very interesting to read. I never really thought of luck in this sort of way. I always thought that people are just lucky or unlucky. I never really thought your attitude had much to do with it. I kind thought luck just happened. Personally, I do not have an luck charms or anything of that sort. But at the same time I won’t walk under a ladder or open an umbrella inside. I liked how he opened up a “luck school” for everyone. And the fact that it actually worked. This article also made me think of my friend. She is a very positive person and she always looks at the bright side of things. I would always think to myself man, she is really lucky. And she always tells me to be positive. After reading this article, the whole luck thing makes more sense to me. I now want to try to see if I follow what was said in the article if my luck will change. It makes sense that having a positive outlook on things will increase your luck in a way.

The Luck Factor

The issue of luck has always been a motivating factor in why people do certain things.  For example, wear a lucky stained up t-shirt or carry around a dumb looking keychain.  Many consider luck to be something that can either make or break you. We all wish we could be one of those people who bought the winning lottery ticket or played the winning slot machine at the casino, but sadly many of us are the ones who find themselves at the wrong places at the wrong time.  
Many people are also very superstitious and think things like walking under a ladder can affect their luck. I don't happen to be one of those people and I have been yelled at numerous times for petting black cats, dropping a mirror, and opening an umbrella in the house.  Concerning the concept of luck, I  agree with the statement and research findings by Richard Wiseman that states, "Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self ful-filling prophesies via positive expectation, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Overall I thought the article was very interesting. I never knew the reason the superstition about 13 or walking under a ladder were created. But more within the article; I didn't think the cat experiment held too much weight, it didn't really seem to do too much to the idea. I liked the newspaper experiment, but feel that the "lucky" people may have just been more observant than the "unlucky" people, or it could be that the luck really did make a difference in if they would spot the ad. I think it's cool that he came up with exercises that are intended to help enhance luck in people, and that it seemed to work for Patricia. I don't think I'm overly lucky, or overly unlucky, but it makes me want to find out what these exercises are to try them, seeing if it will enhance my luck.

Luck Factor

Richard Wiseman's article, "The Luck Factor" was very interesting. It makes you rethink all of the times that we've been considered "lucky." In cheerleading, I would blame a loss of the fact that I didn't have my good luck charm, and oppositional to that, I'd thank my good luck charm for a win. When my mom won $10,000 at the casino, we thanked her good luck charm that she always has on her. Much emphasis it put into these superstitious things, often material objects. Our minds tend to forget about that times that our good luck charms have failed us.

The article's example of a bank robbery is a perfect example of how different people would perceive a certain situation. Some people may view this as lucky or unlucky. For example, if I survived the robbery with no injury, I would consider myself lucky. Others would view the entire situation as unlucky, whether they left in a healthy state or not.

After reading the after, I have a different view on luck. When I look back on situation, I wasn't as "lucky" as I thought. My team won competitions because of practice and hard work, not because of luck. Any situation that we deem as lucky, can be evaluated; We can most likely evaluate these situations and define why a certain outcome happened-without using the example of luck.

Attitude Determines Luck

The Luck Factor article by Richard Wiseman was very interesting to read. Many of us still use old superstitions in our everyday lives. Personally, I still use "knock on wood" all the time. It lowers my anxiety and makes me feel better. If I say something that has never happened to me and if I don't "knock on wood", then I will blame it on the fact that I didn't "knock on wood" if it does happen,so it is my fault.
I found it very interesting that attitude can determine luck, but it all makes sense. A persons outlook on life and their reactions to events in their lives determines the type of person you are and how lucky you feel. Instead of being negative about an event in your life, you can always say "It could have been worse". Whenever I am disappointed about something in my life I say that and it makes me feel better. Wiseman also talks about changing routines may open doors and give you more opportunities. Change is good every once in a while and you never know what could happen. Also, the more open minded a person is seems to give them more luck because they notice other opportunities. Having an open mind for different things to happen is better than expecting just one thing to happen because you are less likely to be disappointed. I love this way of life and I hope to be able to live a positive life and be able to be more open minded. It is better to feel luck for the things we do have, rather than feel unlucky for the things we do not have.

Levels of Luck

Richard Wiseman's article about luck was really interesting. It was interesting to consider how different people apply good and bad luck in their lives. My interest was mainly geared towards the beginning of the article when Wiseman first discusses the superstitions and how people use these to enhance their good luck or avoid bad luck. For instance, when someone does something bad and just merely gets away with it, they consider that lucky. On the contrast, if they get caught, they consider themselves in that situation as unlucky. However, some believe that you make your own life choices and how they pan out is according to your own actions and reactions. While I don't know whether I truely believe in luck, there is part of me that believes people simply use it as an application of something they cannot explain. When something bad happens and they do not believe they deserve this, they explain it with seeing a black cat or walking under the ladder. Considering yourself lucky is just a way to say you got the desired outcome without exactly being able to explain why; and vice versa for being unlucky.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's all in our thinking

The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman was a great read! I am currently taking Positive Psychology with Professor Spinella and everything from the article translates into the science of Positive Psychology. Luck is nothing more than our outlook on life. In positive psych we have discussed the practice of benefit finding. Benefit finding is a technique that people use to find the good parts of every situation. It is a practice that can dramatically alter your life, if you implement it into your daily routine.

Benefit Finding is looking for the positive aspects in any situation. In the article, Wiseman describes a bank robbery scene and asks "lucky" and "unlucky" people to explain how they would react: "they were waiting to be served in a bank. Suddenly, an armed robber enters
the bank, fires a shot, and the bullet hits them in the arm. Would this event be lucky or unlucky?
Unlucky people tended to say that this would be enormously unlucky and it would be just their bad luck to be in the bank during the robbery. In contrast, lucky people viewed the scenario as being far luckier, and often spontaneously commented on how the situation could have been far worse." This is a perfect example of benefit finding. People who are considered "lucky" were looking for the positive aspects in the situation and therefore would have been "luckier" than others if they had been in that situation. People who practice benefit finding look for the good in every situation and therefor are not upset and traumatized by situations. They are able to think clearly and benefit from every situation.

If we can all begin to practice this art, then we would see a dramatic change in our "luck". We all have the power to be happy and enjoy life. This article proves that with the right tools we can all make those changes to be "luckier".

The Luck Factor

Richard Wiseman's article, "The Luck Factor," was my favorite article so far. How many times do people blame good or bad luck for outcomes in their life? I know I do it all the time. For example, last week I had a horrible weekend. My car that I just finished paying off had to have a seven-hundred dollar repair, I accidentally stabbed myself in the hand with a knife, and I had a problem at work. I instantly blamed my luck. However, none of these things really have to do with luck. My car was preowned and this issue would have happened sooner or later, I was in a rush and was not being careful when I cut myself, and the issue at work was not my fault in any way. Everything that happens usually has an explanation, but it is just so much easier to blame it on bad luck.
If you think about it, luck is all based off of superstitions. People are always looking for ways to improve their luck. This has been going on for centuries. Have you ever known anyone that carried around a "lucky" rabbit's foot? How many times have you knocked on wood? These are nothing but silly superstitions that have been passed down through our many generations. They make us feel better about ourselves, maybe even a little safer. A lot of people believe in these superstitions. My own mother still gets upset if a black cat runs our in front of her car. There have been many tests done to prove that these superstitions really do not have any effect on our luck.
Wiseman talks about a test that a high school student, Mark Levin, conducted. He had to people test their luck in a coin tossing game. Then he persuaded a black cat to cross their path and tested their luck in this game again. Levin even had a different color cat cross their paths to see if it had any effect. This experiment concluded that neither cat had any effect on the participants luck.
Breanne Bryson

Friday, November 11, 2011


This article “The Luck Factor” by Richard Wiseman was very informative and interesting. It gave great examples and covered a lot of material. I especially liked how Mr. Wiseman talked about many factors such as superstition, opportunities, and counter-factual thinking. Mr. Wiseman also explained or bebunked some old superstitions such as knocking on wood and black cats. It makes sense that “how you deal with bad luck” is also important.I did not really like the experiment with the white and black cats, but thought the newspaper one was clever. Mr. Wiseman stats “lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. (1) they are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities,(2) make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition(3), create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, (4) and adopt resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.” I feel that is a perfect way to put it. Whether you a skeptic or a believer, pay attention to every opporunity you get.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Luck Factor

I found this article very interesting to read. I must admit I do somewhat believe in luck and superstition so I enjoyed hearing how the author basically changed people who believed they were unlucky to lucky. I also agree that behavior and attitude really affect your lifestyle, so I wasn't surprised when the people who believed they were unlucky saw dramatic changes in their lifestyle after attending his "luck school". Basically all he did was talk them into thinking like a lucky person and just like that their luck increased. I thought his experiment about the newspaper articles was pretty wild because all of the lucky people read his message, while all of the unlucky didn't even notice it because they were so caught up in counting the photographs. With that experiment in mind, there is evidence to support that lucky people are open to notice more opportunities which many people do consider lucky. Unlucky people are more anxious leaving them less likely to notice the unexpected. I think this has a lot to do with the mindset of the unlucky. If a person is constantly thinking about how unlucky they are then I feel they are almost setting themselves up for misfortune. Even if they did notice a new opportunity they would just think, "I would never get to experience that new opportunity because I'm not that lucky." This article just proves that a positive attitude about life can greatly increase your quality of life along with your "luck".
This article also brought up an interesting point which I related to our class discussion. The author noted that Olympic athletes who win the bronze medal are actually happier then those who win the silver. Those who win silver tend to think if only they did a little bit better then they would have the gold. But on the other hand, those who win silver think, if I had done a little worse I wouldn't even have a medal. Even though the author relates this to luck, I thought about the grade analogy. If a student receives a B, they might be more upset because if they had done a little better the would have gotten an A. But if a student receives a C, they may not feel as badly about it.
Overall, I enjoyed the article and found his methods of measuring luck very interesting. I am glad that his luck school helped out those who felt extra unlucky. I am even going to keep this article in mind next time I find myself thinking about an unlucky event. I just have to turn it around and find out the good that came from it; just like the bank robbery example.

Sensation Seeking

Sensation seeking is a personality trait. It is about risk taking for sensations. High-sensation seekers take more chances. A high sensation seeker will seek thrills and adventures. They will engage in activities like rock climbing or white-water rafting. These activities are sure to have their adrenalin flowing. High-sensation seekers will experiment with drugs. They're seeking an intense sensation. Sensation seeking is divided into four areas. Thrill and adventure seeking, experience seeking, disinhibition, and boredom susceptibility. Low-sensation seekers would be experience seekers. They're looking for stimulation through art and culture, and exotic foods. Their desire for sensation is low-keyed compared to high sensation seekers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Amygdala and how Motivation is involved!


The Amygdala is a major component of the limbic system. It is located in the rostra aspect of the temporal lobe.

Major functions of this structure help regulate behavioral, visceral and affective processes that deal with the hypothalamus and the PAG in the midbrain. It is a pathway that includes the stria terminals which directly targets the medial hypothalamus from the medial Amygdala.

This structure can get damaged in seizures activity that involve the temporal lobe. I can produce olfactory hallucinations of unpleasant or unsatisfied smells.

The Amygdala is an almond shaped collection of nuclei. It is gathered deep in the temporal lobe. It is involved with many emotions and motivations that deal with survival. The Amygdala deals with processing emotions that deal with fear, anger and pressure. This structures other important job is dealing with determining what and where certain memories are stored in the brain. It is based on the size of the emotional response due to the occurring event.

The Amygdala has a thick larger known as the pyriform lobe which supports and supply’s a heavy input to the Amygdala and is functionally involved.

This structure also known as the Amygdala Complex is broken down into two components, the corticomedial group and the basolateral group. The corticomedial consists of cortical, medial, and an area of the basal nuclei which is located in the dorsal and medial view. The basolateral group consists of the lateral, central and the basal nuclei as well, except the lateral aspects is what is seen.

The Amygdala is said to be closely related to the pyriform lobe. The Amygdala has a afferent connection in which it is like the hippocampus formation, in which is receives input and information via the monoaminergic system. The afferent connection consists of the fibers sending arousal to the Amygdala and is linked to transmission of signals that deal with both olfactory (smell) and taste.

If the Amygdala is damaged for example is the Amygdala exerts potent non-balanced control over the visceral process of the hypothalamus a disease called Kluver-Bucy Syndrome can arise. Kluver-Bucy syndrome is a behavioral disorder that occurs when the right and left medial temporal lobes of the brain malfunction. The Amygdala in this case had been a damaged brain region in the pathway of the syndrome ( Heinrich Kluver and Paul Bucy).

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Self-esteem is needed in everyone’s life. We all love to feel needed and wanted by the people around us. We grave for that respect from other people, which makes us feel important. People with low self-esteem are usually, not confident about any decisions they make. They also tend to make bad choices based on what they think others may like not what they like or want for themselves, is almost like they live for other people. They grave for attention and a sense of belonging from the people around them; especially the people they respect look up to or want to be like. Even though we don’t like to admit it, we all love attention or some kind of recognition from others. This makes us feel like we are worth something or have self-importance. Self-esteem is really important as part of the human need because of its great impact on our lives every day. Without it, we are not confident neither do we feel worth of anything or anyone. It has caused people to feel less than, therefore living their life as if they are not as human as everyone else. I personally know a lot of females who sleep around with a lot of men just to feel worthy because they do not feel this need within themselves, therefore they try to feel it by doing other things.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

introvert and extrovert

I took the same quiz that Tara took regarding being introverted and extroverted and I actually had the same results. I am 60% introverted and 40% extroverted. I feel like these results are pretty true for me personally. The results said, "You're a bit outgoing but also a bit reserved. Like most people, you enjoy being social but you also value the time you have alone. You have struck a good balance!" I definitely enjoy being social and around my friends but there are times i would rather be alone.
I feel like having a combination of both extroverted and introverted traits is best because it gives a person a well-balanced personality. Someone who is 100% extroverted may come off as having an overwhelming personality while someone who is 100% introverted may seem impossible to build a relationship with. I think most people would fall in between the two categories as most students said. This also allows for people to get along well with others who may be opposite of them, because they compliment each other well.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Extra = Type A ?

Although I knew the definitions of each word previously, i never really thought about the true meaning of each word until we discussed it during class. Another term that I wanted to continue further was Type A personality. Are extroverted people always Type A? Are introverted individuals always calm and held back? I wanted to get some answers. Once thinking about it, I consider myself Type A personality, minus a few traits.

"The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, aggressive, business-like, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, andtightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence."

So because I am ambitious, aggressive, impatient, etc., does that mean that I am also an extravert?

I have found that more often than not, I am friends with extroverted individuals that also have a Type B personality so that theory was proven wrong before I even had to think about it. While many of my friends are Type B personality, they seem to be more extraverted as well. I also noticed that although I am more about multi tasking and dead lines, my friends are more assertive and seeking external stimulus. I dont even know if this is making sense in words but what I mean to say is that there is no definitive 'type' a person has to be in order to fit the description of extrovert or introvert.

Just another side note, someone I know is very introverted and Type B. He is very quiet, antisocial, relaxed, and easy going. But, if you bring up golf to him, which is his favorite sport, you would never know he is that type of person.

Overall I dont really like this labels for people because they never seem to fit perfectly most of the time.

The Adderall Us

Foer's article on Adderall was very insightful, but I believe the statistics are dated. He mentions at one point that 1 in 5 college students have taken Adderall - in reality it is much higher. Most students I know have taken or depended upon Adderall at some point or another in their studies. When I went to University of Maryland, taking Adderall was about as common as drinking coffee; something to be discussed just as openly as well. In fact, one of my professors held a class one day strictly about the benefits of Adderall, to which practically every student in the room had some type of personal experience to contribute to the discussion.

Personally, I've always had a love-hate relationship with Adderall. I took it for several months in 2009 in order to finish my novel, but the long affair with the drug, combined with my insomnia, turned me into a zombie for the duration. To this day there's still a lot of days I spent 12+ hour Adderall-induced shifts writing that are a total blur to me. I'll reread chapters I wrote, and for the most part the quality is only slightly watered down to where it would be if I had written it sober (a task which only allows for me to write about 2-3 hours a day if I really push myself). However, there's still a lot of the writing that I will read three times over before asking myself, "what was I thinking when I wrote this?"

But that's the idea - you aren't really thinking. Taking Adderall when you do not have ADD/ADHD turns you into a productivity machine, and your individuality suffers. For this reason I believe Adderall to be better used when trying to lay the groundwork for a project - I'm sure Kerouac didn't submit that 120 foot long paragraph to his editors without plenty of sober editing, after all (or at least as sober as Kerouac could manage). The process also seems ideal for anyone stuck in a dead-end 9 to 5 office job. If the CEOs of big business could convince the proper authorities to let them pump Adderall into all of their employees in the aforementioned unfortunate position, they would have themselves an army of endlessly productive super servants. For that reason alone I think it's a blessing that Adderall is a prescription-only drug. That, and the fact that staying up for days on end completely shot out hasn't done any favors for anyone I've ever met.

Extroversion vs. Introversion

Regarding the idea of extroversion vs. introversion, I had found an interesting article talking about how "creative" people are more likely to exhibit both introversion and extroversion in their lives as opposed to anyone else. According to the study, "creative" individuals, consisting of professions such as actors, comedians, and musicians, are prone to display both personality types "simultaneously," while the everyday person is more likely to exhibit either one or the other at one time. This stems from the notion that those considered "creative" display extroversion when on "center-stage" and introversion when behind-the-scenes, both within the same time-frame.

I can personally relate to this article, as I feel that I too exhibit both introversion and extroversion at given moments in my life. The concept of displaying the two "simultaneously" may seem questionable to some, but I believe it makes perfect sense for those whom this refers to. I am comfortable being sociable and full of octane as an extrovert as well as being quiet and deep-thinking as an introvert. I believe that both can be equally important to the functioning of a person, although it does not apply to every single person, nor should it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Introversion v. Extroversion

A major trait that is described in many human personality theories is the concept of being either an introvert or an extrovert. This whole idea essentially tackles the question as to whether or not a person is either shy or outgoing. Of course I will go on to define each end of the spectrum. Starting with the introverts, these are the shy, less sociable types. It would not be fair to say that if you are an introvert you have no friends necessarily, but it would not be too crazy to say that introverts are expected to have less friends than normal. On the opposite end there are the extroverts; these are the outgoing, friendly types that are not afraid to make their presence known. These are for instance, the popular types who you always see surrounded by a group of people, the ones who seem to have it all. These terms were coined by Carl Jung in his infamous theory.

If any of you are curious, which I of course assume that you could care less, I am clearly an extrovert. I love being outgoing, meeting new people, and playing sports with other people. I think we all (even the extroverts) may experience a phase here and there where we feel the need to be alone from time to time but overall I love being around people. People interests me. They provide great feedback and ideas that you may never have thought of yourself. Plus it never hurts if you have been fortunate enough to surround yourself with a group core group of friends. Quite frankly, I could not imagine myself being an introvert, I would not know how to handle it, but hey if that’s how someone likes to live then more power to them.


Self-esteem was identified and defined in 1892. Today, the theories of self-esteem evolve around the Domains of Contingency of Self-Worth. A person's self esteem depends on their own perceived successes and failures in areas that are relevant to them individually, The researchers identify seven areas of self-worth for most people. They are; others approval, appearance, competition, academic competence, family support, virtue, and God's love. These are developed through a person's life time and are often influenced by their relationships. Low self esteem comes into play only if the specific domain is important to the individual. A student's esteem fluctuates from high to low only if they care about the grades that they may receive, A student whom puts less value on the grade often has a steady self-esteem. I often see this in myself. I often think I can not do an assignment if I perceive that it's difficult. I struggle to get it started and question myself through it's entirety. My self-esteem is low at that time but often rises to a higher level when I receive my grade.

Introversion and Extroversion

When we talked about introverts and extraverts in class I was wondering if someone can be both introverted and extroverted. In my opinion, a person will be one or the other but in certain situations they may act differently. Just because a person is introverted it doesn’t mean they will never be outgoing in a situation. An introvert may prefer to do less socially active things but doesn’t mean that’s all they want to do. At times they may want to be alone but this doesn’t mean they never want to be around people. In my opinion, introverted people may act more outgoing around certain people because they feel more comfortable around those people and not around others. This also applies to extroverted people. They may be extroverts, but it doesn’t mean that they never want to spend time alone or with a small group of friends. Most of the time they will be with a large group of people and act assertive, and that’s what makes then extroverts.


Personality can really make you love or dislike a person. In class we went over personality and how it can effect your motivation. We also looked over twins and how they may share personality traits and are related to one another; identical twins more then fraternal twins. I agree with this observation. I have twin best friends who are fraternal twins and they have totally different personalities. The one twin is so driven to do well in school, saves money, and prioritizes very well. The other twin is more emotional, she stresses about everything, and never seems to have her priorities on a good track. You can tell they have different personalities too with there group of friends and who they hang with. The one is in a sorority and the other one just loves to go out and party till the end of time; even with no money. The one who is in a sorority is the one who saves and does very well in school. She fits into the sorority live better then the other twin because the one who parties all the time, doesn't think she could put forth the effort to be in a sorority and she keeps to herself & her click of friends. The one who has her priorities straight, in her eyes anyway, thinks of living for the future more then living now for the present. She wants to achieve to make something of herself and doesn't complain about being in school one bit. The other twin doesn't seem to keen to being an overachiever in school. She just goes with the flow and says ill get to it when I get to it; meaning homework. Both have two totally different personalities and traits that come with it and motivation of both their personalities shows to. Especially with school; where one wants to do all she can and the other has no motivation to occupy herself with homework.

Personality and the Big Five

Personality is such a huge part of each individual. Every personality is different, which is what makes us all unique. I think to understand people, we first need to understand ourselves. It is important to know your personality type so you can make sense of your behavior. I love taking personality tests to see if they match my own opinion about my personality. Here is a great site to test your own personality. This site has a great test for determining where you lie in the Big Five Theory. Taking this test is fun and gives you some great insight into your own quirks. I know that I am very high in the Conscientiousness and Agreeableness scale, but lower in the extraversion portion. Knowing these things helps me makes sense of my feelings and behaviors and if I know that, then I can better control my actions. So knowing this, I know that if I am in a large group of people I might be uncomfortable, but I need to open up more and be outgoing sometimes. Personality is a great tool to motivate yourself to grow and get outside your comfort zone every once in a while.

Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?

In class we were having a discussion about introverted people and extroverted people. Introverted people are very kept to themselves, are not very outgoing, and don't speak up about things and extroverts are more 0utgoing and sociable. I feel that I am kind of in between because I have traits of both. If something is bothering me I do not always speak up. I do keep to myself sometimes, but I also like to meet new people. When I do meet new people I am still kind of quiet. As I have gotten older I noticed I speak my mind a lot more and love to go to sporting events and I am loud and outgoing in those type of situations. I took a test to see if I was an introvert or an extrovert and I was 40% extrovert and 60% introvert. So, I guess a person is not always one or the other. You can be a mix of both. Maybe, someone should come up with personality traits for people who are in between and not just classify a person as one or the other. Here is the link to the test I took for introvert vs. extrovert

Sensation Seeking in Men

The video we saw in class of the people jumping surprised me as did many others. I know that some people will do crazy things just for the thrill, and we would call them sensation seekers. I think I could be somewhat of a sensation seeker. This past semester when I was in Australia I bungee jumped and cliff jumped from water falls. The adrenaline and feeling I had just for those 3 seconds was amazing. However it is not something I would do all the time. I decided to look for information about sensation seekers and found something very interesting regarding men and how strong of a hand grip they have. Several recent studies have found relationships between hand grip strength (HGS) and particular traits. In one such study by Bernhard Fink and his colleagues, explored the relationship between HGS in men and sensation seeking. They tested the proposition that HGS and sensation seeking are positively correlated with levels of testosterone. They measured the HGS of 117 men, and then had them fill out Zuckerman's sensation-seeking scale. They found that HGS of the right hand was positively correlated with individuals over all SSS score. This is very interesting because it means that the stronger a man's HGS, the more likely he is to engage in high sensation seeking activities.

Extrovert v. Introvert

When we started talking about people being extroverts and introverts in class, it made me wonder, can people be either in different situations? Or is a person always an extrovert (or introvert)? The more I thought about it, the more I thought it possible to be either depending on the situation. Then I thought about myself. I've noticed that when I'm around kids my own age (that I don't know), I'm more of an introvert, but when I'm around older people, even if I don't know them, I'm more of an extrovert. I'm more outgoing, talkative, and actually take the time to talk to them and get to know them, as with kids my own age, I don't make an effort at all. I'm not really sure why I do this, but I have pretty much my entire life, and probably will continue to do so.

Sensation Seekers

On Tuesday in class we learned about sensation seekers. It was interesting to me to learn about the different aspects of this personality trait. According to the slides sensation seeking is, “a personality trait defined by the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences.” People that have this trait are more likely to have different life experiences. The four parts of sensation seeking are, thrill and adventure seeking, experience seeking, disinhibition, boredom susceptibility.

One of the questions that was brought up in class was whether males are more likely than females to be sensation seekers. Here is what I was able to find from an article.

“According to University of Delaware psychologist Marvin Zuckerman, a leading authority on "sensation-seeking behavior," women are far less likely than men to risk their necks for the heck of it. You can blame the male thirst for reckless living on chemistry, in part. A quarter-century ago, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health found that an enzyme in the brain called monoamine oxidase, or MAO, controls thrill-seeking behavior. The less MAO in your brain, the more likely you are to crave excitement and new experiences. As it turns out, men are more likely than women to have low levels of MAO.” -

Youtube Video-Extreme Base Jumping

The Big Five

The Big Five is a form of organization in examining human personality. These five categories include openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Tests are made to determine a person's range in these five categories. While I have heard about the Big Five in other psychology classes, I had never taken the time to actually take one of these tests. So, when I saw the link on the lecture slides, I was immediately intrigued. After answering the statements given on a strongly agree to strongly disagree scale about myself; I feel the results were incredibly accurate. It marked many attributes of my personality, not just giving really vague results as some would expect. I encourage everyone to take this test because, if you're honest, you might find out some things about your own personality. There is a link for one on the slides, or here is another one I found:

Sensation Seeking

All I can keep thinking about from the last class was the bungee jumpers who hit the ground when they jumped and this notion of sensation seeking. It got me to thinking what in life thrills me and gives me this intense sensation feeling. Now I don't think I would ever be able to bungee jump especially with hitting the ground, but I also don't think that it has to be something so drastic in order to get a thrill out of it. Over the summer I went on vacation with my family and we took a tour and walked inside a cave. It was one of the most amazing and beautiful experiences I have ever had and it wasn't exactly something dangerous. Things like this are sensation seeking because it is something new and adventerous. After we took the tour in the cave we then went out onto the top of mountain and looked over all of Tennessee. Another thrill seeking adventure was white water rafting because again it was something new and adventerous in my opinion. I think that sensation seeking is something that varies from person to person based on how adventerous the person is and something that I believe is thrill seeking may not be thrill seeking to someone else. I think sensation seeking could also be a good stress reliever to those individuals in high stress positions, like us college kids for example.

Temperament Behavior

Temperament behavior, the genetically inherited characteristics are often shown in dogs. Each breed of dogs has different temperament characteristics that are often defined in dogs that are bred together. An example of temperament characteristics would be the two dogs that I have. My older dog is a jack russell terrier and a miniature collie and he has the temperament of both. He likes to hunt things in the backyard which is a temperament of the jack russell. My dog is also intelligent like a jack russell, and he is very vocal. The temperament he has of a miniature collie is also the intelligence level and his appearance. The intelligence of my dog helps him to be capable of learning things through repetition that my dad teaches him. An example of intelligence is that he responds to the words "Do you want to go for a ride" by barking and running to the door. My other dog is a puppy that I got about a year ago and he is a Chorkie which is a Chihuahua and a Yorkie mix. My puppy has the temperament of a Chihuahua in the sense that he is very protective and he chomps his teeth when he is excited. My puppy is a fun loving, cuddly dog to the family, but he is resistant toward strangers. When it comes to appearance, my puppy has pointy ears that stand straight up which is a trademark of the Chihuahua. The appearance characteristics of the Yorkie is that he is built like a Yorkie, and has the same coloring. Certain things that each dog do are also examples of their temperament and we often find ourselves comparing each thing to the dogs that they are bred with.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Introverts and Extroverts

How a person reacts in a certain situation has a great deal to do with if the person is an introvert or an extrovert.  Extroverts are more outgoing, sociable, and enjoy working with others. Introverts usually like to be by themselves, are less sociable, and usually try to avoid confrontation.
 My friend is an introvert and she has a hard time working in groups, and would prefer to take classes with people she knows.  She does not enjoy meeting new people, and she tries to avoid confrontation and awkward moments at all costs.  She rarely ever complains and doesn't like drawing extra attention to herself.  Unlike my friend, I'm an extrovert and behave very differently than her.  When we are together I'm usually the one to speak up in situations, while she is hushing me in the background.  I also don't  have a problem socializing with people or getting to know new people.  I find it very interesting to see the differences between our personalities, and the way we behave when placed in certain situations.
Below is a test you can take to see whether you are an extrovert or introvert.

Sensation Seekers

I was very intrigued by the sensation seeker scale and I was curious to see what my results would be. I didn't really consider myself as much of a sensation seeker but I've also never really thought about it before. After the quiz my results told me my total sensation seeking score is 20 out of 40. When it comes to thrill and adventure I scored a 6 out of 10. This means I have some desires about engaging in sports or activities that involve some physical danger like scuba diving and parachute jumping. I scored 5 out of 10 for experience seeking. This describes the desire to seek new experiences through the mind by living a nonconforming life style with unconventional friends and through travel. I scored a 6 out of 10 for disinhibition and a 3 out of 10 for boredom susceptibility. It says that these scores will peak during the late teens and early twenties so it seems my inner sensation seeker is at its peak. It also said that people with similar scores seem to be more romantically compatible with each other. I thought that was pretty interesting so I had my boyfriend complete the scale as well. He scored a 22 out of 40, just 2 points different from my score.
Overall, I enjoyed taking a few minutes to complete the survey and I thought the results were very interesting.


Drives and needs refer to internal states that push a person into action to satisfy the drive or need. An interaction between an internal motive and an external incentive determines behavior. Psychological needs are a deficit of some psychological entity, while physiological needs happen when an internal body condition has deviated from a physiological set point. Drives are our internal pushing action of the physiological need.

Most humans are driven to defend ourselves. When we, ourselves, our loved ones, or our possessions are threatened... we are very quick to protect those things. It amazes me how there are people in the world who would not do whatever it takes to defend these things. There are those who sit back, and watch bad things happen all the time. What drives some of us internally to push for that physiological need of protecting others' feelings... and some people only want to protect their own?

Nine times out of ten it’s because of fear, not just the fear of the other persons reaction but the fear of their feelings getting hurt. Some people outweigh their worry of hurting someone else's feeling, and allow their own to be sacrificed. Maybe this is a matter of selfishness. Some people would rather protect their own feelings, than those of others. Selfishness is sign of weakness; It allows the person to protect their own feelings, rather than someone else's. The consequences of both can affect whether or not a person may defend himself or others. The overall problem is fear. Some of us fear a consequence will happen if they defend things they believe. Some people would rather take a personal hit to themselves, in order to protect others. External factors can force humans to alter their drive for protection in various ways. Some may call it selfishness, while others say that it is reality. This video below talks about the differences in the drive to defend yourself, versus defending others.