Friday, June 05, 2009

Representative heuristic

When you see this young gentleman in a suit, what floats your mind? Doesn't he look successful or more likely attending some famous university? This is called representative heuristic because a man in suit (prototype) usually represents all of the samples of men in suit out there that are college professors, doctors, or lawyers. This isn't always true because he could just be wearing that suit for fun (Halloween) or going to the prom in it.
Representative heuristic: people assume the common characteristics/jobs of a person or object that they represent, a prototype.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Double-blind procedure

In this procedure, a group of patients are given the real drug and another group with the placebo, or just sugar pills. The patients given the placebo usually get better from their illness by believing that they were given the real drug. This effect is called the placebo effect.
Double blind procedure: used in drug therapies, the patients and group of assistants are given placebo pills instead of the real ones so that patients shouldn't always rely on pills when they get sick. Make believe that positive results will happen because you think it's real.

PET scan

PET scan (Positive emission tomography) images here show the differences between a normal brain patient and a patient with Parkinson disease. This type of scan is used to diagnose brain disorders before they progress.

PET scan: small amount of radioactive sugar is injected into a vein that show up in the patient's brain in the machine. Different colors show what is happening in the brain

Phantom limb

This man is experiencing the phantom limb phenomenon. By placing his intact hand in front of a mirror and the amputated hand beside it, the reflection of his intact hand will actually be felt like the hand of his amputated hand. This is because of dendrites in his amputated hand still signal the missing part and "thinking" that it's still there.
Phantom limb: the illusion that a limb still exists after it has been amputated

Light exposure therapy

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression caused by lack of natural light during winter. Light therapy is proven effective in treating this type of depression because the patient is exposed to as much light as possible indoors when light is minimal outdoors.
Light Exposure Therapy: treatment for SAD by using indoor extra bright lighting

American Sign Language

This form of language is widely used by the hearing impaired population. This is useful since those who can't talk or hear well can communicate to each other using universal signs by the hands.
ASL: visual language for the hearing impaired.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Animal Language

Bees use the waggle dance to indicate that nectar is nearby to their fellow bee workers.
Animal language: use of sounds or movements to signal others in species of danger, mating call, indicate foodsource is nearby, or fend of predators (ex. rattlesnake)


The 13 colonies must join together to create a more powerful force by having similar ideas to complete the snake. These colonies are not allowed to be on their own to form new ideas or they will die
Groupthink: situation where people think alike and new ideas are not tolerated.

Functional fixedness

Apparently Ariel in Little Mermaid has no functional fixedness because she can use a fork as her comb too :).
functional fixedness: inability to think of other uses for one object but just the typical everyday use for it.

Skinner box

In order to get food, the rat has to cross an electrical field which gives them shock. To avoid the shock the rat has to push the lever. The lights will indicate whether the rat will get food or not. If he doesn't he will constantly be shocked until he gets it.

Skinner box: used for operant conditioning, isolated from outside conditions to study animal behavior. Designed by BF Skinner.

Hindsight Bias

Ok, looking at this problem you have no idea how to solve it. After listening to your teacher telling you how to do it, you'd say "I knew the answer was that all along". If you knew it then why couldn't you do it on your own? The answer is that you couldn't see the answer coming so you'd make up a reason to mask your "stupidity". This also applies to 9/11 when the people thought they could have seen it coming.
Hindsight Bias: tendency to believe, after learning of an outcome, that one could have foreseen it.

Operant Conditioning

This pictures show a mother giving candy to a child which implies that she probably wants the boy to stop crying/whining/bothering her so the candy is the positive reinforcement to have a decrease in his bad behavior.

Operant Conditioning: use of consequences (punishment or reward) to reform a certain behavior.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Journey to find the own self. This would be the motto of Siddhartha, where he went out to find the truth of who he was by experiencing the world. I heard my English teacher said that this is Atman in India, which is the same concept.
Self-actualization: Abraham Maslow's term in hierarchy of needs to develop as a person as one lives up to his potential. Acceptance of self and lack of prejudice. To find identity in the world by doing purposeful things a person loves doing.


This man is demeaning his wife, who's less threatening than him and maybe his boss at work who yelled at him for messing things up. He needs an outlet of his anger so he chooses a weaker subject to be it. "It's your fault I got yelled at work." He's expressing displacement.
Displacement: shifting aggressive impulses toward a less threatening object or person. One of the defense mechanisms.

Need to belong

This couple feels really happy when they're together, which boosts their self-esteem and emotional level. Humans are social animals so they can't always live alone but have to have somebody to be with.
Belongingness: need to be part of a group (friends, family, career, school)


Found in temporal lobe of the brain that controls memory and personality.

Hippocampus: a horse with dolphin tail. Jk... the part of the brain in limbic system that controls memories


Catch a rabbit by a.... carrot! This is the incentive, or push for the hungry rabbit to keep chasing the carrot even though he's going to fail catching it.
Incentive: Needs that push to reduce our drives (hunger). Positive motivational influence. Without incentives, people wouldn't feel the need for working. In this case, money.


"It's all about me" is the psychology behind this term. Young children usually associate worldly things with having benefits to themselves not to anyone else. Also happens with adults (ex. barging into someone's house at odd hours without calling them first would be egocentric)
Egocentricism: tendency to understand and interpret the world as to self.

Sensory Adaptation

This shirt stands for sensory adaptation because after a while putting on our clothes, we don't feel them anymore on our body. They're kinda just there but we don't notice them 24/7.
Sensory Adaptation: Diminished sensitivity to stimulus after long period of being exposed to it

Opponent Colors

This American flag represents Opponent colors, because after a while staring at it then switch to a blank white piece of paper then you'll start to see the opposite colors which are red, white, and blue.
Opponent Colors: processing of colors using rods and cones to see the opposite colors corresponding to the colors being presented