Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Report: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely

                                                                Book Report: 
      The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves 
                                                           Author: Dan Ariely






             "There's one wat to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says "yes", he is a crook". 
                                                                  -Groucho Marx
                                   
                                                                       
                                                            General Overview
     The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone-Especially Ourselves, written by a Duke University Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Dan Ariely. Ariely is also a New York Times bestselling author. Ariely's book caught my attention do to the fact that eveyone plays the part of Pinocchio at some point in their lives. All Pinocchio wanted was to be a real boy, but ended up telling lies along the way. Do we have the same perception? Do we feel the need to lie or stretch the truth to feel like a real person, to feel liked, or to feel as we fit in? So, thinking about a childhood movie, such as Pinocchio made me think how people are in their everday honest and dishonest lives. This lead me to be intrigued by what Ariely had to say about the topic. 
  
      Ariely breaks the chapters up by introducing different motives for individuals to be dishonest. Each motive is an action or reasoning we have seen someone in our lives, perhaps even ourselves portray. May it be we were dishonest to receive more money, or cheated on an exam for a higher grade, the motives are endless. Most of the time we feel that little white lies won't hurt anyone. We do not see being dishonest as being bad. Ariely writes about how being dishonest in fact can hurt you in the long run or hurt others. He also touches base on what may cause an individual to be more honest, such as religion. With this day and age of social media, individuals are always trying to look more exciting or desirable to millions of others (some being complete strangers). So, why are so many individuals dishonest and looking for the approval of others, causing this dishonesty? If this is something that has crossed your mind, then Ariely's book is a great read!

                                                                   Favorite Part
    Ariely's book was a page turner, not a chapter left me disappointed. I loved how on page 106, he named the section. "Dead Grannies". He talked about how professors encounter the phenomenon of a close loved one dying right before an exam or an assignment is due. This caught my eye, because it is so true! I couldn't imagine how many times a professor must get that excuse. He mentioned that about 10% of his students go to him asking for an extension because of a death in the family, especially a grandmother. It got me thinking that these students must have a lot of grandmothers for them to be dying off left and right, semester after semester. Or their grandmothers are like cats and have nine lives. For some reason this part of the book actually made me laugh. Since it was something easily relatable and I have seen before, I find it to be extremely interesting. I related to the topic on a few levels. One, while I was getting my first bachelors degree, my mother actually passed away during the end of my very last semester of college. I still did my work because all she wanted was to see me graduate. I never told my professor what I was going through, due to the fact of this book. I thought how many other people are telling him they lost someone. On a another level, I coach girls soccer at a high school. It is amazing when their is a big party happening, or I hear that a bunch of the teens are going away for the weekend, that out of nowhere a player of mine lost a family memeber and will not be at soccer on Saturday (yes, for some reason they make a lot of the high school games on Saturdays, horrible I know!) or during pre-season they have as the book would call it, "dead grannies", especially the day they are suppose to run the mile and take the fitness test. 

                                                                    Related
       Chapter 6: Cheating Ourselvs in Ariely's book it talks about self-deception. It mentions that seld-deception is a useful strategy for believing the stories we tell, which will leave individuals not even flinching when they are claiming they are anything other than what they are pretending to be. Reading this part of the book made me think back to the lecture slides. Especially, the collection of slides on drugs. During the slides it talked about addictions. Many individuals that suffer from addictions, live in denial. They live in denial so much that they actually themselves believe they do not have an addiction or a proble, This made me think of how the book mentioned self-deception, because they are seeing and believing themselves to be what they want to believe they are. Addictions can come in all forms; drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, caffiene, use of cell phones, etc. For example, someone may think they do not have a shopping problem, however, they can not leave a store with out buying something. They might not even had a need for the item, or even the finanical ability to afford it, yet they feel they need it and will leave with it. They will justify their actions to make themselves feel like their choice was not a bad choice. Their self-deception is off from what is really going on. 

                                                                     Creative


This is a picture (not the best and old), of myself in London at Platform 9 3/4. This is also a picture of being dishonest, to go along with the Ariely's book. My friend that I went to London with loves Harry Potter. I have actually never sat through a whole Harry Potter movie or read any of the books (I know hard to believe). However, knowing she was a huge fan, I told her I had seen the movies and wanted to go see this movie location while we were in London. Reality, I could of careless if I saw it or not. Sometimes being dishonest is just to try and make someone else happy. I felt bad pretending I wanted to be there, but at the same time it made her really happy. 

                                                                 Extension

Do you lie more than the average person? Check out this link to find out! 





 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Zones of Optimal Functioning

                                           Zones of Optimal Functioning

     According to our class slides zones of optimal functioning is an idea in sports psychology that each individual has his/her own inverted U-curve. I found this to be interesting because I coach a girls high school soccer team. So, anything related to sports psychology catches my attention. I have to some how be in control of all the girls as a whole, but at the same time remembering that each of them have their own methods. Their own methods on what helps them perform better or what motivates them compared to what will do the opposite. 

    I also take into consideration they are high school girls, they have a lot of stress and anxiety going on. My goal is for them to use that and help them perform better. The high school I coach at is a catholic high school, so they believe in saying a prayer before each game. This concept is to help them come together and get their mind set for the game. I found this article and thought it was interesting;


http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865684921/Will-prayer-improve-your-athletic-performance.html



Food

                                                   Food

                  While studying the class slides on food, it caught my attention. The section that I felt I could relate to was the slide on food neophobia. Food Neophobia is the tendency to avoid foods and to prefer familiar foods. I experienced this on one of my travels, which was to Peru. While I was in Peru the markets had all types of animals butchered up and just laying out on tables in the heat. Such as the whole head of an animal. I opted to not purchase anything to eat from the markets. Later on during the trip, there was a lady selling food on the streets. She was selling guinea pigs (the whole thing) on skewers. Again, I opted to not try it. I have included my own photos that I had taken while I was in Peru.
                 This experience and reading the section on food made me think that how food appears defiantly affects the way we feel about it. However, if I was brought up eating or being around those type of foods then I may feel different about eating them. For example in the slides there was a video about cooking and eating spiders. For some they may find that to be normal, for me...I will pass.





Addiction

                                                               Addiction

  As our class slides mentioned, addiction is an intense craving, seeking out and use of a particular drug. As many know there is a huge controversy over if it is a disease or a choice. I am not one to judge, nor want to place blame on either side. This is because part of me never had the urge to try drugs, nor even a cigarette. So, I personally do not understand what individuals that do choose to use a substance feels. Another part of me has watched friends fall into drugs and even to the point of addiction. I do feel that addiction does lead to hurting more than just the individual with the addiction. Their loved ones suffer too. They become concerned and want to help. However, you can only help those who want help. The loved ones are afraid of pushing them away or not being able to "save" them.

   When individuals hear the word "addiction" the first things that come to mind are drugs, nicotine, or alcohol. All substances that are easy to abuse. Many are quick to pass judgement, which I find rather ironic. I find it to be rather ironic because those are not the only things that are addictions. For example, how many people feel naked or lost without their smartphones?! Some individuals can not go a short period of time without their phone. To me that is an addiction too. So, before one passes judgement on others, they should take a step back and see that they too may have their own issue. Everyone makes a poor choice at times, we would like to hope it doesn't end poorly.






Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nonverbal Communication

Ever have that "ability" to communicate with a really good friend of yours without actually saying anything? Some people claim that they share a sort of "telepathy" with a specific person and can relay messages without saying a single word to them. How does this happen? We find that this form of communication is stronger with those we have a good relationship with, mainly because those we appreciate more share the same behaviors as we do. That sort eye shrug followed by rolling your eyes can say so many different things without verbally speaking. This is what we call nonverbal communication, and is a learned social behavior.

Nonverbal communication is essentially the language technique used to convey meaning and information to others by way of facial expressions, gestures, eye gaze, nodding your head, appearance, and a large number of things. These forms of communication vary as many of us use them differently. For example, if we are sad and want someone to know about it, we may frown or cry. If we want to get someones attention, we may wave our hands, snap our fingers, or wink at them. Me and my best friend usually have a way of communicating when certain people walk in the room, where one of us will shoot the other a look and we automatically know what were saying. But the beauty of it is we are on the same page almost all the time. To me, this is largely due to our ability to share the same behaviors.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Extinction


We have been learning about ways to strengthening operant behavior through reinforcement. Like we already learned behaviors can be strengthened through reinforcement. But what we did not touch on is that a behavior can be wakened through extinction. Extinction is the non-reinforcement of a former reinforced response; the results of this process is a decrease in the strength of that responses strength. For example, a child learned that every time he whines he will receive candy, he will continue to whine every time he wants candy but, if you switch it up and withhold the candy the frequency of the whining will decline. This is an example of a gradual weakening of a conditioned response that resulted in the behavior decreasing or disappearing. When you stop rewarding the behavior will eventually stop. This is something that is important for everyone to know, it is a useful tool that we will all come across as adults whether we are dealing with a child or an animal.


Extinction in operant condition
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_YobQy3wxA

Positive Punishment

 As we have learned previously, reinforcement is a procedure that strengthens a behavior, and punishment is a procedure that weakens behavior. When dealing with positive punishment it can tend to get a little confusing. The work positive means that a behavior is followed by the presentation or addition of something “positive”. In this situation, the word positive when it is paired with punishment, does not refer to good or pleasant, it just means that the response resulted in something being added or presented. Resulting in the delivery of something the person or animal hates, this will result in them being less likely to behave that way in the future. When dealing with word negative, this is referring to the removal of something, this scenario would be the subtraction of something from the situation. In simpler terms, the word negative does not refer to something bad, it is referring to a response resulting in the removal of something. For example, if a child is acting bad their toys will be taken away. To sum this all up, in this situation when dealing with the word positive punishment the word positive only means that the behavior has resulted in something being added, and the word punishment means that the behavior will decrease in strength. If a situations consequence weakens the behavior this would-be punishment.  




Positive Punishment broken down in examples from popular children’s movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeNGYdUZFQI