Common sence psychology

This is a summary of the pretest from the course of Introduction to Psychology as a Science by Dr. Anderson D. Smith, accompanied by this and some other (look inside the post) sources.

1. The right side of the brain is creative while the left side is analytical. 
There's a lot of pop psychology talking about left brain and right brain. And it is true that the two hemispheres of the brain are lateralized that is some things happen on the left side like language and some things happen on the right side like special abilities. When you come to complex kinds of behaviors like creativity or analytic decision making, the whole brain in involved, they're not lateralized, so there's no such, there's no really truth in the notion of being left brained or righted brained.
So it's false.
[Read more about this myth]

2. Psychologists study behavior in the mind, but not biology. 
Well if we study the mind how can we not study the brain where it all takes place. So there's a lot of interest among cognitive nuero-psychologists to understand how the brain translates into behavior, and how the mind works. In fact, with some of the techniques this is one of the most exciting times for psychologists and bio-psychologists.
It's false.

3. To see an object more clearly at night, look directly at it, focusing the object on the most sensitive part of the eye, the retina, the phobia. 
It is true that phobia is the most sensitive part of the eye. It contains cones however and cones require highlighted intensity. Cones of a receptor cells that receive color information. And that's how we see bright colors and bright light but at night we don't see bright colors because the cones which require high levels of light are the ones that see color. So actually you should'nt focus it right on the fovea which you would get if you just looked directly at an object. You should look just away from the object so now you're focusing the object on the rods which are located outside of the fovea and you can see it better.
So again, false.

4. For a person who is blind in one eye cannot see depth and therefore cannot fly an airplane. 
It is true that the, if you only use one eye, you lose a very important depth perception cues but there're plenty of depth perception cues left, in monocular vision. So, it's not true that you lose all depth perception, when you don't have two eyes.
[Read more on this topic and here]

5. Some people don't dream. 
Well, in fact, everybody dreams. It occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. We all experience REM sleep. If you don't think you dream, it means you don't wake up, when you're dreaming. I've seen examples of people that think they don't dream. They go into a sleep laboratory. Then you'll wake them when they're experiencing REM sleep. And I've waved my hand, because in REM sleep, the eyes sort of jiggle around under the eyelids, and they will report a dream. If they fall asleep, when you wake up again, you might remember that you dreamed or not. Sometimes you have to show them a film before they'll believe that they actually reported a dream.

6. Punishment is called negative reinforcement. 
Now punishment is applying a negative stimulus to remove a behavior. Negative reinforcement is for a positive stimulus to keep a behavior from occurring. So, reinforcement is different from punishment. Punishment is an attempt to lead to extinction about behavior.
[Read the related article]

7. All memory declines with adult aging. 
In fact one kind of memory, called semantic memory, or world knowledge, continues to increase well into late adulthood, into the 70s. It's, world knowledge, it's information that you learn, but you don't remember where or how you learned it. What does decline is episodic memory, the memory that, about your sort of internal diary remembering things that happened to you in the past. That does decline with aging. Semantic memory does not.So it's not true that all memory declines with aging.

8. In order to be creative one must have high levels of intelligence. 
According to psychological researchers like Howard Gardner, Robert Sternberg, Daniel Goleman and others, there are multiple forms of intelligence and many different to your traditional “IQ” measures of intelligence. Being “creative” is a form of intelligence considered to be “separate” from your traditional “IQ.”

9. Genius is related to mental illness. 
Well, even though movies like the beautiful mind talk about. Of people who are very smart and also have psychotic behavior. There is no correlation between intelligence and psychosis, or mental illness.
[Read the busted myth here]

10. The more motivated and aroused you are, the better your performance will be. 
False, because there's actually an inverted U shape function. Motivation and arousal will lead to better behavior up to a certain level of motivation and arousal, then it's arousal and motivation continues to increase, performance will go down. So it's an inverted U shape function. It's not a linear function based on motivation and arousal.
11. Much of human behavior is instinctive. 
No, we have very few instinctive behaviors there are some reflexes that young infants have like for example the reflex to suck if you put something in their mouth or if you tickle the bottom of their feet their toes will spread out those are reflexes that go away as the child gets older. We certainly have genetic predisposition to do things in a certain way. But, instinct, species specific behaviors. That, that lower animals have. Are very rare in human behavior.

12. We only use about 20% of our brain at any one time. 
Well, false.
We use our brain is, is active at all times. Different parts of the brain might be more active than others. But the brain is actually charged fully all the time.

13. Shock treatment is now used for people with severe anxiety. 
Shock treatment is a treatment method that's used only for the people who are very, very psychotic, usually with very severe depression. It's not used for anxiety disorders, even if it's severe.

14. To better control behavior, reinforcement should be applied consistently, every time the behavior occurs.
In fact, behavior is controlled better if you only use partial reinforcement. We'll talk about schedules of reinforcement, how you can schedule reinforcment use very high levels of behavior but. If you reinforce it every time it leads to a pretty low performance rate increase.

15. A person with schizophrenia has a split personality. 
Split personality is called a dissociative disorder, and there's some controversy about whether that dissociative disorders actually exist or not. Schizophrenia - severe psychosis where the person is sort of, seperated themselves from reality, they have their own reality so not the fact they have different personalities.

16. Opposite types of people attract each other. 
In fact if you look at attraction in humans, there tends to be more likes then opposites in, in terms of attraction.
[Read the appropriate myth-busting article]

17. Psychologists are trained to be therapists.
Psychology is a very broad field, and it has many different types. Some of them Psychologists are trained to be therapists. Others are not.

18. Old people become senile, if they live long enough. 
Well, senile, I assume you mean something like Alzheimer's disease or severe dementia. And, in fact, senile dementia is a disease. It occurs only in a fraction of the people. No matter how old they are. In fact, people that are very, very old like centenarians tend to be fairly cognitive to the attack. They're sort of survivors if they live to be 105 or 110.

19. People who talk about killing themselves will never do it. It's a way of letting off steam. Those who kill themselves don't normally talk about it. They just go ahead and do it.
Most people either talk about it or do something to indicate that they are going to kill themselves. There is no need to blame yourself if you didn't see it coming. If you are worried about someone you know, make sure you read all about the warning signs of suicide. Look for the signs you may see before a suicide attempt, and also find out what you could do to help.  Ambivalence is a marked feature of a suicidal person. Many don't want to die, but simply want a way to escape an unbearable situation. The number one cause of suicide is untreated depression.  Most individuals who show a desire or interest to end their lives, do so because they are unhappy and depressed. Most of these individuals are suffering from “learned hopelessness” and mood disorders like depression or other psychological illnesses and need professional help. People who want to kill themselves are "suicidal" only for a limited period of time. During this time they either move beyond it, get help or die.

20. Most cases of color blindness can be cured by diet. 
Cases of color blindness due to deficits in certain kinds of cones and diet really doesn't help that. So eating carrots might help your vision but it won't cure color blindness.
[Here you can read about colour blindness]


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