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Psychology is Everywhere
Transcript of Psychology is Everywhere
Development and Conditioning
Disorders and Syndromes
One Flew Over the
Medical Model of Abnormal Psychology
Psychology, the study of the human mind, can be traced into almost every faction of life on Earth. It defines our lives, giving us insight into the behavior and mannerisms of the human condition. We see psychology in our movies, books, culture and history; our species has become obsessed with learning as much as possible about this introspective field. Take a look at some examples of psychology in everyday life, popping up in places you’d least expect!
This American classic novel and later movie portrays an in depth look into mental wards in the 1950s-60s. The story follows a patient, Mack, as he enters into the world of mental health with a judgmental eye.
Mental hospitals during this time subscribed to the Medical Model of Abnormal Psychology, in which most mental disorders were treated with physical action. Drug treatment, illustrated in the movie and book, was highly recommended and utilized. Electroconvulsive Therapy, first introduced in 1938, was also thought to be effective in mental treatment during this time. It occurs when an electric shock is sent through the patient in order to induce seizures thought to aid in mental health. The movie of One Flew is famous for creating a negative connotation for ECT in the public’s eye. The movie/novel also featured a controversial surgery popular at the time of a prefrontal lobotomy. This surgery was created by Antonio Moniz in 1949, and consists of cutting or scraping away most of the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain.
Criminal Psychologist and Profiling
Criminal Minds, a popular television show on CBS, follows the storyline of a FBI team of criminal profilers who use psychology to locate murderers, terrorists, or serial killers.
A criminal psychologist is looked towards to study and understand why a person commits a crime. Their main duty, as portrayed on the show, is that of offender profiling, or criminal profiling. The practice started during the 1940s during World War II. Today, the FBI and other crime fighting organizations utilize offender profiling to help apprehend violent criminals.The goal of criminal profiling is to provide law enforcement with a psychological assessment of the suspect and to provide methods based on the profile that can be used in the interviewing process or to locate the suspect. The criminal psychologist gets inside of a suspect's head, using introspection in an innovative way to fight crime.
Catcher in the Rye
Erikson's Identity Crisis
The classic novel Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger follows Holden Caulfield as he wanders New York City after being expelled from his prep school. Holden goes through an adolescent identity crisis, motivated by intense feelings of alienation and angst.
The term identity crisis was coined by Erik Erikson as a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. This occurs in the Identity Cohesion versus Role Confusion stage of psychosocial development, during adolescence. As a person begins experiencing physical growth, sexual maturation, and adult responsibilities, self-image and identification come into effect. This can lead to a young person feeling lost or depressed, unaware of who they are or what they want out of life. Holden is experiencing this exact crisis, and the novel takes the reader on an in depth journey through an adolescent's mind at this developmental stage.
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Over-Achieving: Motivation and Stress in Adolescents
The novel, and later movie, It's Kind of a Funny Story follows a teenage boy in the recuperative stage after an attempted suicide. The novel places emphasis on teenage stress in the face of grades, in particular that of over-achieving students/perfectionists.
The personality traits of perfectionism and over-achieving have been analyzed by psychologists for decades. As the perfectionist sets out to accomplish goals, the motivational drives of approach and avoidance incentive leads an overachiever to adopt an almost unhealthy perspective on the importance that success be met.They create a new category called performance-approach goals, which are focused on competition with others and predictive of strong performance. Perfectionism is a key feature of compulsive overstriving and being driven to achieve. Painfully high self-standards may compel overachievers to obsessively pursue success. These people often suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety, leading to depression. This is a rising issue in adolescents, as the book shows, who are feeling pressure to get into top notch schools and achieve a 4.0 GPA.
Brave New World
Brave New World, written by Aldous Huxley in 1932, details the story of a dystopian future in which technology has been corrupted in order to control the masses. The novel includes a detailed description of methods used for brainwashing children based on Pavlov's classical conditioning.
“Till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adult's mind too-all his life long. The mind that judges and desire and decides-made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions... Suggestions from the State."
Classical conditioning is is a kind of learning that occurs when a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus. Ivan Pavlov tested this theory famously by training dogs to salivate in response to sound stimuli. The World State of Brave New World conditions the members of society from children to have ideals and fears that they attempt to control. The experiment they perform occurs all throughout infancy and childhood in which they shock the children at the sight of grass, literature, and or anything else detrimental to the State. Like Pavlov conditioned the dog to salivate, The World State has conditioned children to hate nature and books.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Memory formation and storage
Eternal Sunshine is a 2004 movie dealing with the fabricated concept of a medical procedure, similar to plastic surgery, that can erase specific, unwanted memories from your mind. Though not true, the concept used in the film is based on the real process of memory formation/storage in the brain.
Memory is is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved.The movie Eternal Sunshine demonstrates a theory based on how the brain forms memories, particularly memories about intense emotional experiences. In Eternal Sunshine, memories are portrayed not as raw data but as emotion based. This emphasis correlates with current theories on memory recall and remembrance. Scientists now know that the brain stores emotional memories differently from unemotional ones.Particularly traumatic memories appear to be captured by two separate parts of the brain: the hippocampus, the normal seat of memory, and the amygdala, one of the brain's emotional centers. The movie’s portrayal of memory is entirely based on emotion, in which the events are strung together in his mind by mood, emotional attachment, and similar stimuli.
Perks of Being a Wallflower
The novel and movie of Perks of Being a Wallflower follow the story of Charlie: a quiet freshman in high school. Later in the plot, it is revealed that Charlie has serious repression and cannot recall the memory of his late aunt molesting him as a child.
Repressed memory is a condition where a memory has been unconsciously blocked by an individual due to the high level of stress or trauma contained in that memory. Though the person may consciously forget the event, they may be unconsciously affected. The concept was originally proposed by Freud in 1896. Though a controversial topic in psychology, memory repression is thought to occur occasionally in the case of sexual abuse as a young child. In the novel, Charlie has no recollection of his aunt molesting him, and only remembers her fondly before she died in a car accident when he was 10. Subconsciously, Charlie was seemingly affected by the act, in that he was introverted and shy of physical contact, exhibiting symptoms of rape victims.
Big Bang Theory
In the popular television show, Sheldon Cooper is able to recall numbers or images with great precision and is almost always correct.
Eidetic memory recall is a very rare and controversial trait. It seems to be unrelated to a person’s intelligence level and often appears in early childhood. Like other memories, these are often subject to unintended alterations. The ability usually begins to fade after the age of six. Persons identified as having a related condition known as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory are able to remember very intricate details of their own personal life, but this ability seems not to extend to other, non-autobiographical information. Possibly because of these extraordinary abilities, certain individuals have difficulties in social interactions with others, and may additionally suffer from depression stemming from the inability to forget unpleasant memories and experiences from the past.In the television show, Sheldon can remember incredibly long equations, detailed moments from his life, and huge chapters from novels. He often attributes it to his highly evolved brain, clearly taking a jump away from actual science to give himself a confidence boost.
The Shining, written by Stephen King and adapted into a major motion picture, is a horror film film containing psychological fundamentals. The concept of cabin fever occurs in the plot, in which Jack- a recovering alcoholic- takes a job with his son and wife tending to a hotel during its off season. Jack is driven crazy, ultimately attacking his wife and son.
Cabin fever is a concept, first coined in 1918, that embodies a claustrophobic reaction when a person is isolated from the rest of society. It is brought on by restlessness and irritability. Sever cases of cabin fever may be motivated by an intense phobia of isolation. Though not all cases lead to violence, cabin fever can heighten qualities already present in a person's nature. This reaction is founded on humanity's fear of being alone. Company has been proven necessary for proper mental health.
The 2010 film of Shutter Island portrays the story of Teddy Daniels, a US Marshall investigating a missing person on an island isolated from society in order to house and rehabilitate the criminally insane. The end of the movie reveals a plot twist in which it is revealed that Teddy is actually a patient on the island who suffers from severe delusions caused by PTSD.
A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.They are of particular diagnostic importance in psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, manic episodes of bipolar disorder, and psychotic depression. There are many different types of delusions, most commonly delusions of grandeur in which the person believes they have been chosen by a higher power or are significantly more important than they previously conceived themself. This is what Teddy has, who has elevated himself to the position of a US Marshall. Teddy’s delusions are brought on by his PTSD after WWII and his suicidal wife drowning their three children before shooting herself.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is portrayed through the character of Adrian Monk on the hit television show Monk. Obsessive-Compulsive disorder affects nearly 6 million Americans in the USA today. These obsessions are characterized through impulse and patterns that are intrusive in everyday life and cause anxiety. Obsessive rituals often form around cleanliness, pattern forming, phobia avoiding, hoarding, repeating actions, and many more issues. In the television show, Mr. Monk’s OCD prohibits him from re-joining the police force he was once the star of. It hinders lives in many ways, obstructing natural thought and standing in the way of everyday desires.
House Rules, a novel by Jodi Picoult, tells the story of young Jacob Hunt: a teenager with Asperger syndrome who can barely interact socially with his own mother- let alone other students.
Asperger Syndrom is a disorder on the autism spectrum that is characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication, with obsessive-compulsive tendencies.The syndrome is named after Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills and demonstrated limited empathy with their peers. The modern conception of Asperger syndrome came into existence in 1981. Many questions remain about aspects of the disorder There is doubt about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism, though, and often gets misdiagnosed because of their similarities. In the novel, House Rules, Jacob is accused of murdering his babysitter/social tutor by accident. This conclusion was drawn because of his lack of social understanding and obsessive tendencies. Due to his Aspergers, Jacob was unable to properly defend himself in court, however he was found not guilty at the novel’s end.
Psychology Behind Revolutions
A revolution can easily be the most dangerous and unstable time in all of a country's history, yet it is a constant reoccurring pattern all over the world. What is the motivation behind this phenomenon?
In desperate economic times, when the citizens are unable to get their basic physiological needs, revolution can occur simply and without much onset. For ordinary people, in a failing government, the moment of crisis is both thrilling and terrifying. Adrenaline increases, preparing the body for an instinctual fight, raising blood pressure and increasing tension. The mob mentality gives revolutionaries safety in numbers. Most citizens are less likely to strike if they don’t feel a good chance of survival. The more support they have, the more secure they feel. Emotions run high and can change swiftly when in a crowd or protest. The concept of how a person will act in a group has been studied extensively since the nineteenth century. Mob mentality was first introduced by Freud and Wilfred Trotter, author of Herd Instincts in Peace and War. Theories on Crowd psychology include: deindividualization theory, convergence theory, emergent norm theory, and social identity theory.
Psychology Behind Hitler's Rise to Power
Arguably the most influential political leader of all time, Hitler has become the source of intrigue for historians and psychoanalysts alike. What psychological devices did Hitler employ to gain control of Germany?
Hitler was a master of the psychology of coercion. Through the use of his speeches and propaganda, he convinced millions of people to throw away their preconceptions of what is right and adopt his philosophy. Similar to that of cult ideology, Hitler’s formula for coercion of a group of people was very simple. He discussed it at length in his book Mein Kampf: By appealing to the people’s attraction to logic and linear thought, shrouded in emotional response, Hitler’s simple, straightforward propaganda reached far and wide.
Most of Hitler’s inspiration came from a social psychologist by the name of Gustave Le Bon, who published several works on the psychology of crowds. Le Bon stated that once individuals came together to form a group, the individual’s will was surrendered to what was perceived to be the will of the group. Their faculties of reasoning were impaired or destroyed, and they entered into a more suggestible state. The larger the group, the easier it was to coerce. Hitler utilized mob mentality, as discussed earlier, to his will. He preyed on the emotions of fear and anger, invoking a higher power and calling for action.
The Psychology of Dictators
Since the very first civilizations arose, a powerful ruler attempted to take control. From every unstable government, history has observed a dictator rise up to take control. What character traits link these perplexing individuals? How is it that they came to rule a nation with an iron fist?
Historical experts have been analyzing personality traits of dictators for quite some time. By using the standard DSM-IV to discern symptoms of psychological instability. It appears that in dictators there are elevated scores on several personality disorder scales: paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic, and sadistic. Many also suggest schizophrenic tendencies, such as excessive grandiosity and aberrant thinking. These qualities lead to violence and aggression, giving these men the ability to instate fear in their followers. A new psychological theory has arisen coupling these dictatorial qualities in a new form. The dark triad theory couples together narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy to form what would be the perfect storm for a political figure rising to power as these famous dictators did.
As technology increases in prominence, more and more social media sites become popular. This intrigue has to have originated from some human psychological trait, but what?
The science of social media lies in the psychological attraction it triggers that is the same(innate) in every person. In fact, it all comes down to portions of the brain that are stimulated by the fundamentals of Social Media. The Temporal Parietal Junction is the part of the brain that is activated when someone considers whether or not to share something.The TPJ is located on both sides of the brain, just behind the ears. Its job is to effectively connect us with the beliefs and thoughts of others. It is a ruling force behind empathy. This is part of the reason why social media works so well, we have a psychological desire to connect with others on an empathetic level. Our motivation behind sharing specific videos, pictures, or quotes stems from how the viewer perceives others might enjoy the image or idea. Therefore, social media sharing has a lot to do with intuition and understanding.
We are all scared of something. whether it be snakes or spiders or simply the dark. Why, then, is our culture obsessed with introducing more horror into their lives in the form of scary movies?
There are many theories having to do with the psychological components of scary movies. Many of them have to do with the fictional stories rich in tension and intensity offer physiological arousal that stimulates the person. The Excitation Transfer theory, by Dr. Dolf Zillmann, argued in 1978 that the negative feelings created by horror movies actually increase intensity in contrast of the positive feelings when the hero triumphs in the end. Noël Carroll says that horror films are the product of curiosity and fascination. Horror exists outside of the everyday existence of normal behavior, thus creating intregue. Studies by Tamborini, Stiff and Zillmann have shown that there is a significant correlation between people who are accepting of norm-violating behavior and interest in horror movies. An enjoyment of the punishment of those that deserves it makes up the Dispositional Alignment Theory. Another theory put forth by Marvin Zuckerman in 1979 proposed that people who scored high in the Sensation Seeking Scale often reported a greater interest in exciting things like rollercasters, bungee jumping and horror films. Finally, DJ Skal theorizes that horror films are a reflection of our societal fears.
Admit it, you're obsessed. It doesn't matter what its with, but no matter who you are in today's society, there is one thing that really gets you excited like nothing else. From sports to sagas, our culture is reliant on fixations and fandoms
The concept of fixation is one that has been studied in poet-freud times. Fixation is the state in which an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another person, being, or object. Today, that would be the television shows, app games, or sports teams that become a part of our everyday lives. It seems that fans get more pleasure out of the event or object the more they get involved with it. The amount of obsession seems to stem directly from the increase in seratonin and adrenaline, depending on the fixation. Sports fans have been known to experience a similar rush as the athletes during the game. This physiological and emotional response makes fans feel a connection. This is why the loss of their team hits them so hard, even when they are only the spectator.
Several years ago, Mormons all across the country were gathering together to support a contestant on American Idol who they knew was a Mormon as well. The weird part? The contestant was indeed Mormon, but never released that publicly. What is the psychology behind the phenomenon of the 'Mormon glow'?
When it comes down to psychoanalysis, the Mormon glow is nothing more than perception of people. The term"Thin-slicing" describes the ability to infer something about a person's personality, character, or other traits after a very brief exposure. The brain network is very involved in making inferences about another person. This network would include the fusiform gyrus, which perceives faces, and the amygdala, which filters that information for anything that might be useful or threatening to survival.Faces can tell a significant amount of information about another person, without even meeting them. Over evolutionary time, humans have been able to predicting character and behavior traits from reading a person’s face. The percentage of accuracy for making snap judgements about people based on their faces, though not perfect, is above average (60%). The mormon glow can actually be attributed to their skin care and health due to life style choices for religious purposes.
50 First Dates
In the movie, Drew Barrymore plays a young girl who was in a tragic car accident and had significant brain damage, causing her to suffer from anterograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is a loss of the ability to create new memories after an event, primarily brain damage, that caused the amnesia. This leads to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event can be recalled. The main area for damage that would cause such a reaction would be in the hippocampus region of the brain. Most people affected by this disorder live in hospitalized settings and rarely regain memory ability.