Special Sub-Topic: Psychology, The World, and You
|You wake up in the middle of the night and you have a craving... a jalapeņo pepper craving! Upon burning your mouth from the spicy veggie, what neurotransmitter does your system release to help ease the pain?|
Substance P. Substance P is released for intense pains and glutamate is released for all pains, including mild ones.
Capsaicin is a chemical that stimulates receptors that respond to painful heat and thus causes the release of substance P. The jalapeņo peppers contain capsaicin.
Epinephrine is adrenaline, it is released when the sympathetic nervous system is aroused.
Olfaction is the sense of smell, that one was a freebie.
|If you were in a room with no windows and no clock, and had no idea at all what time it is or whether it's day or night, you are still going to go to sleep/wake up at about the same time that you normally would. What is the cause of this?|
Your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a rhythm of activity and inactivity lasting about one day. Sunrise and sunset provide cues to reset the rhythm each day. If you're closed off from the outside world, you will continue to follow your set circadian rhythm, unless for some reason you put up great effort to resist sleep by inflicting harm upon yourself or other rather drastic measures.
The moon illusion is an illusion that the moon looks larger when it is closer to the horizon than when it is farther up, it has nothing to do with your sleep cycle.
The repair and restoration theory does have to do with sleep, in that if you are deprived of sleep, your body will take longer to "restore" the functions that your body does during sleep (such as protein synthesis).
REM sleep stands for rapid eye movement sleep, and the literal definition is self-explanatory. It is also during this stage of sleep that people report most frequently remembering a dream (if they are woken up during this sleep).
|If someone who is in charge of you said to you: "If you don't break any more windows today, you're going to get dessert tonight.", what kind of operant conditioning would it be?|
Omission training. Omission training is when don't you do the response (breaking the window), you get reinforcement (the dessert). Inverted, if you do provide the response (breaking the window), you don't get the reinforcement (dessert).
Positive reinforcement is the presentation of something that makes the wanted behavior to increase. An example would be: "If you study for your exam, I'll buy you a sweater."
Passive avoidance is, in essence, punishment. It is considered learning, however, because once you have been through the punishment, you avoid your initial mistake from then on out. An example would be: "If you stare at me, I'll bite you!"
Finally, active avoidance is if your response leads to escape from something you don't want. An example would be that you get out of the way of a speeding truck.
|You are told to memorize a list of the following items:
Carrot, celery, strawberry, television, pudding, crackers, and chocolate.
Thanks to good old psychology, you definitely remember television better than any other item. What is the cause of this?|
the von Restorff effect. The von Restorff effect is the tendency to remember unusual items better than common ones. In the example in the question, television is the unusual item because it is the only one that you cannot ingest... I hope.
Free recall is simply the ability to produce a response like one that you would be expected to give on an essay or short answer exam.
The sensory store is also known as iconic memory. It is a very brief storage of sensory information (such as sight, sound, etc.).
Finally, proactive interference is when old information interferes with the memorization of new information. An example would be if you forget where you parked your car at a busy shopping mart, and you falsely remember it being where it was the last time or time before that you were at the mart.
|You have a mammoth size tumor on your brain and you must get it removed, surgically. After the surgery, you notice that you cannot remember a thing that happened within one year before the surgery. You are suffering from ___________.|
retrograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia is the loss of memory for everything that happens before the brain damage.
Anterograde amnesia is the inability to acquire new long-term memories.
Korsakoff's syndrome is a condition caused by the chronic deficiency of Vitamin B1. Many alcoholics develop this illness.
Finally, the hippocampus is a large forebrain structure in the interior of the temporal lobe. In layman's terms, it's part of the brain.
|You spent $2000.00 for reserved tickets to go see Disney on Ice. You also spent $3500.00 for reserved tickets to go watch the Knicks game, in person. Alas, as you look on your calendar, both are scheduled for the same day and both tickets are non-refundable. Even though you REALLY wanted to go see Disney on Ice, you decide to go watch the Knicks game. What is the psychological reasoning behind this?|
the sunk cost effect. The sunk cost effect is when you decide to do something you otherwise wouldn't choose to do because more money has been invested in it.
The framing effect is when you answer a question differently if it has been framed (asked) in a different way. An example is: would you rather gain $700 or risk a 25% chance of winning $2000 (a 75% chance of winning nothing), as opposed to would you rather lose $700 or risk a 75% chance of losing $2000 (a 25% chance of losing nothing).
The availability heuristic is how a person assumes that it's easier to remember some kinds of events as opposed to others because of how common they are. An example would be: are there more words that begin with the letter "K" than words that have the letter "K" as the third letter? You'd most likely respond that there are more words that begin with "K", even though there are really more that have "K" as the third letter. Don't feel bad! It's easy to remember key, king, knuckle, knight, as opposed to like, ink, etc...
Finally, the Knicks do not rule. Sorry. Another freebie!
|Suppose you go back to psychology school and on exam day, your answers happen to match your friend's answers, who was sitting beside you during the exam. Shortly thereafter, the professor asks you why the answers are precisely alike, and you answer that your friend has ESP and he read your mind! What problem would your professor encounter in believing your testimony?|
Your testimony is not falsifiable.. If your experiments and research are falsifiable, then they make very precise predictions that can be easily questioned or challenged. Despite that this may seem like a negative, it is in fact a good thing! Theories are meant to be challenged (unlike facts) and you should always strive to make them falsifiable. Valid contradictions to theories provide further information in the field of psychology, because the answer is rarely simple.
Replicability is simply that the results from your experiment or research can be attained following the precise steps you took in attaining them. For instance, it is like a recipe. Anyone can follow that recipe and attain the exact same product.
If your testimony is not parsimonious, then it must be filled with exaggerations and assumptions and complex ideas. If your testimony is parsimonious, then it is simple and uses minimal outside ideas. In psychology, one wants to always use parsimony in all experiments and calculations, because one's research would be very hard (or impossible) to defend if it were questioned, not to mention seemingly ridiculous (such as this question).
Finally, of course your friend would read your mind, if he could! That cad! (Another freebie!)
|Imagine that you're Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Little does mean Lucy know that Charlie Brown is about to kick her! He kicks her in the back of the head and damages her occipital lobe. Poor Lucy may now suffer from all of the following except for which?|
Unilateral neglect. Unilateral neglect is caused by damage to the parietal lobe (usually the right hemisphere of the brain). This is when one neglects (or disregards) the opposite side of the body. It is not to be confused with a loss of sensation, but rather a loss of attention. If the right side of the brain is damaged, the left part of the body suffers the loss of attention, and vice versa.
Retinal disparity is the difference in the apparent position of an object as seen by the left and right retinas.
To lose the ability for color constancy means that you can't tell what the color of an object is, if it's shrouded in a different color of light. For example, you have a blue pen in your hand, but someone turns on a red light bulb. Normally, you would be able to tell that the pen is blue despite the red light, but if you're Lucy in this case, the pen will look red and you won't be able to distinguish the true color.
Motionblindness is the inability or difficulty in distinguishing moving objects (such as birds, planes, heck, even Superman). One can suffer motionblindness if one damages the motion pathway (temporal lobe, no less) or experiences severe damage to the occipital lobe which will in turn hinder the processes of the temporal lobe. It cannot be cured.
|Ever since you were but a wee child, you've had 20/20 vision. Unfortunately, now as a sixty-year-old, your vision has been slightly compromised. You go to the optometrist, only to find out that you have decreased flexibility in the lenses of your eyes, which results in difficulty focusing on nearby objects. What is this disorder called? |
Presbyopia. Myopia is the scientific name for nearsightedness, which makes it difficult to focus on objects far away. This is caused by an elongation of the eyeballs.
Hyperopia is the scientific name for farsightedness, which makes it difficult to focus on nearby objects. Although this may seem like Presbyopia, the difference is that Hyperopia is obtained due to eyeballs that become slightly flatter than normal (as opposed to decreased flexibility of the lenses).
Glaucoma is a serious disorder due to high pressure on the eyes. Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve and cause progressive loss of peripheral vision.
|You have decided to perform a Pearson's R correlational experiment on the amount of schooling completed and what salaries it yields. You have conducted a survey and found that there is a +5.94 correlation between amount of schooling and the amount of pay that workers receive. Thus, you have found the more schooling one has, the higher the salary one receives. Based on what is given, has this experiment been performed accurately? |
No, the strongest correlations possible range from +1 to -1. Pearson's R ranges from +1 to -1, with +1 indicating a strong positive correlation and -1 indicating a strong negative correlation.
In the example in the question, what is presented IS a strong positive correlation, but the correlation coefficient exceeds the -1/+1 range and is thus invalid.
A strong negative correlation would be, for example, the less food you eat, the higher chance you have of obtaining an eating disorder.
A correlation coefficient of 0 (or close to 0) indicates that there is no correlation between two variables. For example, the more ice cream you eat yields no effect on the amount of children you're liable to have.
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