Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
A real life example I thought was interesting was the compensatory response model and how it relates to drug tolerance. Powell et al. (2009) defines compensatory response as a CS that is repeatedly associated with the primary response (a-process) that elicits a compensatory response (b-process). For example drinking a glass of alcohol in a fancy restaurant as opposed to bar will result in a person feeling more tipsy in the restaurant. Drug tolerance isn't only dependent on the amount of the drug ingested but also the environmental cues that will trigger the compensatory response someone has grown accustomed to. I found it interesting that drug overdoses sometime don't have to do with the amount of drugs taken. The familiar environmental cues aren't there to help the body maintain the correct homeostasis to survive.
In the beginning of this course I was unsure of what to expect. I wasn’t sure if the material was going to be interesting, boring, complicated, etc. However, once the course started and I began to read the text, I really enjoyed learning about how humans learn and behave. There were basic things I read about that we all experience almost every day unconsciously. Basically what I am trying to say is, the majority of the material mentioned in this book are things we already know or have done; it’s just given a “fancy” name. I enjoyed reading about items that I was already familiar with but were then broken down in simpler terms and researched in depth to get a deeper understanding.
The most fascinating concept I learned would have to be Classical Conditioning. Classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs between associations in environmental stimulus and naturally occurring stimulus. This type of conditioning involves introducing a neutral or unconditioned stimulus before a naturally occurring response. Classical Conditioning was one of my favorite topics we covered within the text. Unlike other topics, classical conditioning was the most appealing to learn about. Overall, this course has provided me with a better understanding of how we behave to certain situations and respond to actions. I would recommend all students to enroll in this course because it is full of very useful knowledge that can be used in every day life.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Have you ever tried a diet then during the process of healthy eating you fall into the temptation of eating junk food? According to the small-but-cumulative effects model, each individual choice on a self-control task has only a small but cumulative effect on our likelihood of obtaining the desired long-term outcome. The small-but-cumulative effects model readily explains how a self-control program can gradually deteriorate. Each temptation ahs only an insignificant effect on our long-term goal, individuals repeatedly are tempted to indulge themselves “just this once,” and easily indulge themselves attaining their long-term goal.
An example of this would be starting a diet. For the first few days or weeks you do great and eat healthy. But there is always that one person who brings that donut or brownie to a party, so you become tempted. You think to yourself, “Well… I have been eating healthy, one brownie won’t hurt right?” That one brownie turns into binging on pizza, cookies, and so on. (I’m not speaking of personal experience or anything!) But the question is, why do we then typically continue on that unfocused attitude for the next few days rather than going back on track with our initial goal? One possible explanation for this pattern is the choice between healthy and unhealthy eating has only a small but cumulative effect. A healthy eating program only makes sense if an individual sticks with it for a long time. The longer you remain on that same pattern of eating healthy, the more you are ensuring that you will make the same decisions in the future.
The video below illustrates the nature of OCD and how obsessive thoughts infest the mind of someone who suffers from it
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I found the learned helplessness phenomenon very interesting. Learned helplessness is basically when an animal or human makes no effort to help themselves due to a lack of control over situations in the past; they basically give-up. It was first found in an experiment with dogs (Seligman and Maier, 1976) but it applies to humans as well. Learned helplessness is a characteristic of many depressed patients and it is also salient in education. Here's an example of learned helplessness in the classroom.
The book says that people most vulnerable to learned helplessness are people who suffer a series of unfortunate events such as losing a job, becoming ill, or getting divorced. Research also suggests that learned helplessness is less likely to occur for individuals who have successfully overcome misfortunes in their past. If you're curious how "in-control" or "helpless" you think you are, you can take a free, quick, and easy test here: mindtools: are you in control?
Sunday, July 8, 2012
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Saturday, July 7, 2012
Aversion Therapy reduces the attractiveness of a desired event by associating it with an aversive stimulus. An ancient version of this treatment was suggested by Pliny the Elder, who treated this overindulgence in wine by secretly slipping the body of large spider into the bottom of the wine drinker’s glass. (Talk about cruel, wine can be expensive!!) The intention of this was that the feelings of revulsion elicited by a mouthful of spider would become associated with the wine, reducing the person’s desire for wine. I think this therapy can be associated with overshadowing. Now whenever that wine drinker sees a glass of wine, they will correlate a large spider just hanging out in the bottom of that glass. If you want to eliminate a habit, aversion therapy will definitely do the trick. However, if anyone ever put a spider in the bottom of my glass of wine, they better run extremely fast and get me a new bottle of wine!