Main Psych 101: Psychology Facts, Basics, Statistics, Tests, and More!
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CONTENTS INTRODUCTION IVAN PAVLOV B. F. SKINNER SIGMUND FREUD ANNA FREUD LAWRENCE KOHLBERG STANLEY MILGRAM ALFRED ADLER BASIC THEORIES ON GROUPS PHILIP ZIMBARDO SOLOMON ASCH JOHN B. WATSON HERMANN RORSCHACH VISUAL PERCEPTION GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY DRIVE REDUCTION THEORY HARRY HARLOW JEAN PIAGET ALBERT BANDURA CARL ROGERS ABRAHAM MASLOW THEORIES OF INTELLIGENCE KURT LEWIN CARL JUNG HENRY MURRAY LEFT AND RIGHT BRAIN LOVE KAREN HORNEY JOHN BOWLBY ATTRIBUTION THEORY EMOTION PERSONALITY LEADERSHIP THEORIES DREAMS ART THERAPY HYPNOSIS ALBERT ELLIS COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY HEURISTICS HARRY STACK SULLIVAN THE MAGICAL NUMBER SEVEN, PLUS OR MINUS TWO ERICH FROMM THE GOOD SAMARITAN EXPERIMENT PERSONALITY DISORDERS DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS THE ROSENHAN EXPERIMENT DAVID KOLB’S LEARNING STYLES ANXIETY DISORDERS MARY AINSWORTH AND STRANGE SITUATIONS MOOD DISORDERS LEV VYGOTSKY SOMATOFORM DISORDERS FALSE CONSENSUS AND UNIQUENESS EFFECTS STRESS SELF-DISCREPANCY THEORY IVAN PAVLOV (1849–1936) The man who studied man’s best friend Ivan Pavlov was born in Ryazan, Russia, on September 14th, 1849. The son of the village priest, Pavlov originally studied theology until 1870, when he abandoned his religious studies and attended the University of St. Petersburg to study physiology and chemistry. From 1884 to 1886, Pavlov studied under renowned cardiovascular physiologist Carl Ludwig and gastrointestinal physiologist Rudolf Heidenhain. By 1890, Pavlov had become a skilled surgeon and took an interest in the regulation of blood pressure. Without the use of any anesthesia, Pavlov was able to almost painlessly insert a catheter into a dog’s femoral artery and record the impact that emotional and pharmacological stimuli had on blood pressure. However, Pavlov’s most influential research with dogs—classical conditioning—was yet to come. From 1890 to 1924, Ivan Pavlov worked at the Imperial Medical Academy as a professor of ; physiology. In his first ten years at the academy, he began to turn his attention towards the correlation between salivation and digestion. Through a surgical procedure, Pavlov was able to study the gastrointestinal secretions of an animal during its life span within relatively normal conditions; and he conducted experiments to show the relationship between autonomic functions and the nervous system. This research led to the development of Pavlov’s most important concept, the conditioned reflex. By 1930, Pavlov had begun using his research on conditioned reflexes to explain human psychoses. Doctoral Definitions CONDITIONED REFLEX: A response that becomes associated with a previously unrelated stimulus as a result of pairing the stimulus with another stimulus normally yielding the response. Though he was praised and supported by the Soviet Union, Pavlov was an outspoken critic of the government’s Communist regime and even denounced the government publicly in 1923, following a trip to the United States. When, in 1924, the government expelled the sons of priests at the former Imperial Medical Academy (which was then known as the Military Medical Academy in Leningrad), Pavlov, the son of a priest himself, resigned from his position as professor. Dr. Ivan Pavlov died on February 27th, 1936, in Leningrad. The Many Accolades of Ivan Pavlov During his lifetime, the research of Dr. Pavlov was met with great praise. Here is a sampling of his achievements: Elected as a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Science (1901) Awarded a Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine (1904) Elected Academician of the Russian Academy of Science (1907) Awarded honorary doctorate at Cambridge University (1912) Received the Order of the Legion of Honour from the Medical Academy of Paris (1915) CLASSICAL CONDITIONING—LEARNING BY ASSOCIATION Classical conditioning was Ivan Pavlov’s most famous and influential work, and it laid much of the groundwork of behavioral psychology. In essence, the idea of classical conditioning is simply learning something by association. Pavlov identified four basic principles: The Unconditioned Stimulus: A stimulus is any act, influence, or agent that creates a response. An unconditioned stimulus is when the stimulus automatically triggers some type of response. For example, if pollen makes a person sneeze, then pollen is an unconditioned stimulus. The Unconditioned Response: This is a response that is automatically triggered as a result of the unconditioned stimulus. In essence, this is a natural, unconscious reaction to whatever the stimulus might be. For example, if pollen makes a person sneeze, the sneeze is the unconditioned response. The Conditioned Stimulus: When a neutral stimulus (a stimulus that is not related to the response) becomes associated with an unconditioned stimulus, thus triggering conditioned response. The Conditioned Response: This is a response that was learned from the once-neutral stimulus. Confused? Don’t be. It’s actually very simple! Imagine if you flinched after hearing a loud sound. The sound triggered a natural response, making it an unconditioned stimulus, and the flinching was the unconditioned response because it was something that you did unconsciously as a result of the unconditioned stimulus. Now, if you repeatedly witnessed a certain movement happen at the same time as, or a little bit before, the loud noise occurred—for example, a person swinging their fist to slam it on a table—you might then begin to associate that movement with the loud sound, flinching whenever you see a fist move in a similar manner, even if there is no sound. The movement of the fist (the conditioned stimulus) became associated with the unconditioned stimulus (the sound), and made you flinch (the conditioned response). PAVLOV’S DOGS Dr. Ivan Pavlov was able to establish these ideas by observing the irregular secretions of nonanesthetized dogs. Pavlov initially began studying digestion in dogs by measuring the amount of saliva that the animals had when both edible and nonedible items were introduced. Eventually, he began to notice that the dogs would begin salivating every time an assistant entered the room. Believing that the animals were responding to the white coats the assistants wore, Pavlov hypothesized that this production of saliva was actually in response to a certain stimulus, and that these dogs were associating the white coats with the presentation of food. Furthermore, Pavlov noted, the production of saliva that occurred when food was presented to the dogs was an unconditioned reflex, while the production of saliva that was a result of the dogs seeing the white coats was a learned, or conditioned, reflex. To dig deeper into his findings, Pavlov set out to create one of the most famous scientific experiments of all time: Pavlov’s dogs. EXPERIMENT FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS: CONDUCTING THE CONDITIONED RESPONSE EXPERIMENT BEFORE CONDITIONING [image: ] DURING CONDITIONING [image: ] AFTER CONDITIONING [image: ] PAVLOV’S DOGS EXPERIMENTAL PROGRESSION The test subjects in this conditioned response experiment are laboratory dogs. First, an unconditioned stimulus must be chosen. In this experiment the unconditioned stimulus is food, which will evoke a natural and automatic response: salivation. For a neutral stimulus, the experiment utilizes the sound of a metronome. Observing the subjects prior to conditioning reveals that saliva is generated when the dogs are exposed to food, and no saliva is generated when the dogs are exposed to the sound of the metronome. To begin the process, the subjects are repeatedly exposed to the neutral stimulus (the sound of the metronome) and are immediately presented with the unconditioned stimulus (food). Over a period of time, the subjects will begin to equate the sound of the metronome to the delivery of food. The longer the experiment progresses, the more deeply ingrained the conditioning will become. After the conditioning phase is completed, the neutral stimulus (the metronome) will cause the subjects to begin salivating in anticipation of food, regardless of whether or not food is presented. Salivation has become a conditioned response. Even though he is most well known in popular culture for his famous dogs, the importance of Pavlov’s research goes far beyond the production of saliva. His revelations on conditioning and learned responses have played a major role in understanding behavioral modification in humans, and in advancing the treatment of such mental health issues as panic disorders, anxiety disorders, and phobias. SOMATOFORM DISORDERS Feeling the pain but not knowing why Somatoform disorders are mental illnesses where an individual suffers from actual physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a physical medical condition. For something to be diagnosed as a somatoform disorder, it must adhere to certain criteria: The physical symptoms can’t be the result of a medical condition, use of drugs, or from another mental illness. The diagnosis cannot be malingering (when a patient exhibits physical symptoms so that they can have an external gain, often in the form of money) or a factitious disorder (where an individual exhibits physical symptoms for an internal gain, like wanting others to feel bad for them). The symptoms have to greatly impair the functioning of the individual’s occupational, social, and daily life. There are seven types of somatoform disorders. They are: Somatization Disorder (otherwise known as Briquet’s syndrome) Somatization disorder generally presents itself before the age of thirty, and is found in more women than men. Symptoms include pain in at least four distinct areas of the body, problems with the reproductive system, like erectile dysfunction or a lack of interest in sex, gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea and vomiting, and pseudoneurological symptoms like blindness or fainting. Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder This is a type of somatization disorder where an individual has only one of the symptoms from somatization disorder, and the patient experiences it for a period of at least six months. Conversion Disorder Symptoms of conversion disorder generally occur after an individual has experienced a stressful or traumatic event, and the condition typically affects the voluntary motor and sensory functions. Common symptoms include paralysis, numbness, blindness, and being unable to speak. For example, if a man is riding a horse and falls off of it, he may experience leg paralysis following the fall, even though in all reality his leg is completely fine and unharmed. Many believe that the physical symptoms of conversion disorder are the person’s attempt to resolve the conflict inside of him or her. Pain Disorder A person suffering from pain disorder will experience chronic and severe pain that could last for several months. Unlike malingering, where an individual will fake the sensation of pain, when a person suffers from pain disorder, they are in an extremely large amount of pain, which has a dramatic effect on the individual’s daily life. Hypochondriasis Hypochondriasis, or hypochondria, is when an individual is preoccupied with the fear of having a very serious disease. By misinterpreting their own symptoms, people will determine that their symptoms are much more serious than they actually are. Even after being seen and evaluated by a doctor, the preoccupation with and belief in the symptoms will continue, or go away for a short time and then come right back. Unlike malingering, people that suffer from hypochondriasis are not simply making symptoms up. Instead, these people cannot control their feelings and are convinced that any type of symptom is a sign of a serious illness. Individuals can be said to have hypochondriasis when they have been exhibiting this type of behavior for at least six months and their symptoms cannot be explained by other conditions, like panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder. Body Dysmorphic Disorder When a person suffers from body dysmorphic disorder, they become obsessive over a deformity or physical imperfection that may exist, or may not exist at all. This type of somatoform disorder features a preoccupation with physical defects that are either trivial or completely nonexistent, and this obsession creates distress socially, occupationally, and throughout the individual’s daily life. An example of body dysmorphic disorder could be a woman who always wears gloves because she has a small scar on one of her hands. The woman fixates and obsesses over something very trivial. In order to classify a somatoform disorder as a body dysmorphic disorder, none of the symptoms can be explained by other disorders. For example, when a person is concerned about his or her weight, this is usually the result of an eating disorder instead of body dysmorphic disorder. Somatoform Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) When a person suffers from symptoms characteristic of a somatoform disorder, but does not meet the conditions related to any one specific disorder. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS OF SOMATOFORM DISORDERS Researchers believe that cognitive and personality factors play a large role in the development of somatoform disorders. Cognitive Factors The cognitive factors that researchers believe contribute to the development of a somatoform disorder include: Having a distorted notion of what good health is, and therefore expecting a healthy person to never have discomfort or ever have any symptoms Focusing too much on bodily sensations Coming to very extreme conclusions when experiencing only minor symptoms Personality Factors Many believe that people with histrionic personality traits have a greater chance of developing a somatoform disorder. These people behave in particular ways to get the attention of others, are very emotional and dramatic, are very open to suggestion, and are self-focused. The combination of these factors seems to increase the likelihood of falling victim to a self-generated somatoform disorder. ERICH FROMM (1900–1980) Fundamental human needs Erich Fromm, the only child of Orthodox Jewish parents, was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 23rd, 1900. Fromm described his childhood as being orthodox and incredibly neurotic, and his religious upbringing would have a great impact on his work in psychology. During the beginning of World War I, Fromm took an interest in understanding group behavior, and at just fourteen years old, he began studying the work of Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. In 1922, Fromm graduated from the University of Heidelberg with a PhD in sociology and began working as a psychoanalyst. As the Nazi party came to power, Fromm fled Germany and began teaching at Columbia University in New York City, where he would meet and work with Karen Horney and Abraham Maslow. Fromm is considered to be one of the most important figures in psychoanalysis during the twentieth century and had a great influence on humanistic psychology. Like Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and Erik Erikson, Fromm belonged to a group known as the Neo-Freudians. The group agreed with much of what Freud claimed, but were also very critical of particular parts and incorporated their own beliefs into Freud’s theories. Fromm’s work combined the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. While Freud placed emphasis on the unconscious and biology, Marx emphasized the role of society and economic systems. Fromm believed that there were times when biological factors played a large role in determining the outcome of an individual, and there were other times when social factors played a large role. However, Fromm then introduced what he believed was the true nature of humanity: freedom. Fromm is most known for his work in political psychology, human character, and love. In 1944, Fromm moved to Mexico, where he would eventually create the Mexican Institute of Psychoanalysis and work as director until 1976. On March 18th, 1980, Erich Fromm died from a heart attack in Muralto, Switzerland. The Neo-Freudian Disagreements While the Neo-Freudians developed their own theories, they shared similar problems with Freud’s work. These included: Freud’s negative view of humanity Freud’s belief that an individual’s personality is mostly, if not entirely, shaped by his or her childhood experiences Freud’s failure to include the impact that social and cultural influences can have on personality and behavior FREEDOM Fromm stated that freedom—not to be confused with liberty or political freedom—is something that people actively try to flee from. But why would someone try to avoid being free? While Fromm agreed with the common belief that in order for there to be individual freedom, there must be freedom from external authority, he also claimed that there are psychological processes within people that limit and restrain freedom. Therefore, in order for an individual to achieve a true form of freedom, he or she must first overcome these psychological processes. According to Fromm, freedom means being independent and relying on no one but your own self for any sense of purpose or meaning. This can lead to feelings of isolation, fear, alienation, and insignificance. In severe cases, the truest form of freedom could even lead to mental illness. Fromm eventually concluded that because freedom is psychologically difficult to have, people will try to avoid it. He postulated three main ways that this can happen: Authoritarianism: People will join and become part of an authoritarian society by submitting their power or becoming the authority. While Fromm noted that extreme versions of this were sadism and masochism, less extreme types of authoritarianism can be seen everywhere, such as with the teacher and student. Destructiveness: This is when people will destroy anything around them in response to their own suffering. It is from destructiveness that humiliation, brutality, and crimes are created. Destructiveness can also be directed inward; this is known as self-destructiveness and the most obvious example is suicide. While Freud believed that destructiveness was the result of self-destructiveness being directed onto others, Fromm believed the opposite to be true, claiming that self-destructiveness was the result of being frustrated with destructiveness. Automaton conformity: In societies that are less hierarchical, people have the ability to hide in mass culture. By disappearing into the crowd—be it how one talks, dresses, thinks, etc.—a person no longer has to take responsibility, and therefore does not have to acknowledge his or her freedom. The choices that people make in how they will avoid their freedom can depend on the type of family they grew up in. According to Fromm, a family that is healthy and productive is one where parents are responsible for providing their children an atmosphere of love when teaching about reasoning. This will enable the children to grow up learning how to take responsibility and acknowledge their freedom. However, unproductive families also exist, and these are families, Fromm reasoned, that promote avoidance behavior: Symbiotic families: In this type of family, the personalities of members do not fully develop because other members of the family “swallow them up.” For example, when a child’s personality simply reflects his or her parents’ wishes, or when a child is so controlling over his or her parents that the parents’ existence revolves around serving their child. Withdrawing families: In this type of family, parents expect their children to live up to very high standards and are incredibly demanding of their children. This type of parenting also involves ritualized punishment, usually paired with the children being told that this is done “for their own good.” Another form of punishment found in this type of family is not physical but rather emotional, with the use of guilt or removal of any type of affection. Fromm believed that parenting was only one part of the equation, however. He claimed that people are so used to following orders that they act out these orders without even realizing they are doing it, and that the rules of society are embedded into our unconscious and hold people back from truly attaining freedom. He called this the social unconscious. FROMM’S HUMAN NEEDS Fromm distinguished between “human needs” and “animal needs.” Animal needs, according to Fromm, are the basic physiological needs, while human needs are what help people find the answer to their existence and signify a desire to reunite with the natural world. In Fromm’s conception, there are eight human needs: Relatedness: The need for relationships with other people. Transcendence: Because people are put into this world without their consent, we have the need to surpass, or transcend, our nature by creating or destroying. Rootedness: The need to create roots and feel at home in this world. If done productively, this will result in growing past the ties between mother and child; however, if not carried out productively, this can result in being afraid to move past the security of one’s mother. A sense of identity: Fromm believed in order for one to remain sane, a person needs to have a sense of individuality. This desire for an identity can be so intense that it can cause a person to conform, which will not create an individual identity but rather will make someone take and develop an identity from others. A frame of orientation: A person needs to understand the world and how he or she fits into it. People can find structure in their religion, science, their personal philosophies, or anything that helps provide them a reference angle from which to view the world. Excitation and stimulation: Actively trying to accomplish a goal instead of just responding. Unity: The need to feel united with the natural world and the human world. Effectiveness: The need to feel as though you are accomplished. Erich Fromm is considered to be one of the most important and influential psychologists of the twentieth century. He played a key role in humanistic psychology, and viewed humanity as a contradiction. Life, according to Fromm, was a desire to be both a part of nature and separate from nature, and freedom was actually something that people actively try to avoid. LOVE Listening to your heart Love may be one of the most complex human emotions, but also possibly the most central too. There are many different theories regarding love, and while psychologists agree that love is a central human emotion, they are still unsure exactly why it happens, or how. At present, there are four primary theories that attempt to explain love, emotional attachment, and liking. RUBIN’S SCALES OF LIKING AND LOVING Psychologist Zick Rubin was one of the first people to create a method of empirically measuring love. Rubin believed that romantic love was composed of three elements: attachment, caring, and intimacy. Attachment: The need to be with another person and be cared for. Important components of attachment include approval and physical contact. Caring: Valuing the happiness and needs of the other person just as much as you value your own. Intimacy: Communicating your private desires, feelings, and beliefs. Rubin then created two questionnaires that would be able to measure these elements. According to Rubin, the difference between liking someone and loving someone can be seen in how we evaluate the other person. Rubin’s questions were then created to measure feelings of liking another person and feelings of loving another person, and then these results were compared. When Rubin gave the questionnaire to a group of participants, he told them to base their answers on how they felt about a good friend and how they felt about their significant other. He found that, while the scores about the good friends were high on the liking scale, only the scores regarding significant others rated high on the loving scale. Thus, Rubin was able to successfully measure feelings of love. ELAINE HATFIELD’S PASSIONATE AND COMPASSIONATE LOVE Psychologist Elaine Hatfield claimed that there were only two forms of love: passionate and compassionate love. Passionate love: Feelings of intense sexual arousal, attraction, affection, emotion, and a strong urge to be with one another. Passionate love tends to be short-lived, lasting from six to thirty months, but can lead to compassionate love. Compassionate love: Feelings of attachment, respect, trust, affection, and commitment. Compassionate love lasts longer than passionate love. Hatfield also differentiated between reciprocated love, which leads to feelings of elation and fulfillment, and unreciprocated love, which leads to feelings of desperation and despair. She believed there were certain key factors that had to exist for compassionate and passionate love to occur. These include: Timing: When an individual is ready to fall and be in love. Similarity: A person has the tendency to fall passionately in love with an individual that is similar to him or herself. Early attachment styles: Long-term and deeper relationships are often the result of people who are strongly attached to one another, while people who fall in and out of love often generally do not have a strong attachment or connection. JOHN LEE’S SIX STYLES OF LOVE John Lee believed the different styles of love were similar to the rules of a color wheel. Much like the way a color wheel features three primary colors, Lee believed that love could be broken down into three basic primary styles. These are: Eros: Loving the ideal of a person both physically and emotionally. Ludos: A type of love that is played like a game or conquest (and might result in many partners at one time). Storge: Love that stems from a friendship over time. Just like the primary colors of a color wheel can be combined and create complimentary colors, so too can the primary love styles. The result is three secondary styles of love: Mania: A combination of Eros and Ludos, Mania is a style of love that is obsessive. This includes emotional highs and lows, jealousy, and very possessive feelings. Pragma: A combination of Ludos and Storge, Pragma is a love that is practical. Lovers go into the situation with the hopes of reaching their final goal. Expectations of the relationship are thought about practically and realistically. Agape: A combination of Eros and Storge, Agape is a love that is all-encompassing and selfless. ROBERT STERNBERG’S TRIANGULAR THEORY OF LOVE In this 2004 theory, Robert Sternberg proposed that love could be broken down into three parts: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Intimacy: Closeness, supporting one another, sharing with one another, and feeling loved. Passion: Feelings of sexual arousal and attraction, and euphoria. This is what drives two individuals together. Commitment: The desire to remain loyal to another person and stay in a long-term relationship. From these three components, seven different combinations can be created. The easiest way to understand this is by looking at it as a triangle. In the triangle, intimacy, passion, and commitment are the vertices, and the seven combinations are the connections between these vertices. Alternatively, here is another way to look at it: [image: ] VISUALIZATION OF STERNBERG’S THEORY OF LOVE Liking or Friendship: This represents a friendship where there is closeness and a strong bond, but there is not any passion or commitment present. Infatuation or Limerance: This is what a person feels when he or she experiences “love at first sight.” Because there is no commitment or intimacy, infatuation can be fleeting. Empty Love: This is when a love has lost intimacy and passion, but there is still a strong commitment between the two people. Romantic Love: Romantic love features intimacy and passion, meaning there is sexual arousal and an emotional bond, but there is a lack of commitment. Companionate Love: This is a type of love where passion does not exist or no longer exists, but there is still a great commitment and deep affection for one another. This type of love is found among family members, close friends, and can even be found in marriages. Fatuous Love: This is a type of love that only features passion and commitment, but lacks intimacy. An example of fatuous love is a brief or impulsive marriage. Consummate Love: This is the ideal form of love, and it features intimacy, passion, and commitment. Sternberg claimed that once consummate love was achieved, it would be even harder to maintain and that it may not be permanent. If, for example, passion becomes lost with the passage of time, then the consummate love would turn into companionate love. During the lifespan of a relationship, Sternberg believed that the balance between intimacy, passion, and commitment would shift. Understanding the three components of love and the seven types can help couples recognize what they need to improve upon, what they should avoid, and even when it might be time to end the relationship. JEAN PIAGET (1896–1980) The development of children Jean Piaget was born on August 9th, 1896, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, to a professor of medieval literature and a mother Piaget would later recall as neurotic, whose behavior would eventually stoke his interest in the field of psychology. Following high school, Piaget received his PhD in natural sciences from the University of Neuchâtel. While spending a semester at the University of Zurich, he became very interested in psychoanalysis and soon moved to France. It was while working at a boys’ institution created by Alfred Binet that he began performing experimental studies on the developing mind. Prior to Piaget’s work in cognitive development, the common belief was that adults were simply more competent thinkers than children. While working at the Binet Institute, Piaget became interested in the reasons children provided him when they answered logical-thinking questions incorrectly. Piaget then set out to create a systematic study of cognitive development, and would become the first to do so. In 1923, Jean Piaget married Valentine Châtenay, and they would have three children together. Piaget—who was already fascinated by mental and emotional growth—began informally studying the development of his children. These observations would lead to some of his most important and renowned work: the stages of cognitive development. With more than sixty books and several hundred articles published, Jean Piaget left his mark not only in the field of psychology, but also in education, sociology, economics, law, and epistemology. Jean Piaget died on September 16th, 1980. PIAGET’S THEORY OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT When Piaget began working on his theory of cognitive development, there were some very big differences between what he was doing and what had been done in the past. Rather than concentrating on all learners, Piaget focused on children. Piaget’s theory did not discuss the learning of a specific behavior or the learning of information, but rather his theory looked at overall development. Instead of the common notion that cognitive development was gradual and the amount of behaviors grew and became more complex, Piaget proposed a series of discrete stages that were evident by qualitative differences. Piaget believed that instead of being less competent than adults, children are actually born with a basic mental structure that is the result of genetics and evolution, and that this structure is what knowledge and learning is derived from. From this assumption, Piaget attempted to explain the processes and mechanisms infants and children develop that eventually lead them to think with reason and with the use of hypotheses. Piaget believed that children create an understanding of their environment and experience discrepancies between what is already known and what will be discovered. His theory of cognitive development can be broken down into three different components: Schemas: Schemas are the basic building blocks, or units, of knowledge. Each schema relates to one part of the world, such as actions, objects, and concepts. Each schema is a series of linked representations of the world that are used to understand and respond to a particular situation. For example, if a parent shows their child a picture of a dog, the child will create a schema of what a dog looks like: it has four legs, a tail, and ears. If a child can explain what he or she perceives with existing schemas, this is known as being in a state of equilibrium, or mental balance. Schemas are stored so that they can be applied later on. For example, a child might form a schema about how to order food at a restaurant, and so the next time that child is at a restaurant, he or she will be able to apply what he or she has learned to this new and similar situation. Piaget also claimed that some schemas are genetically programmed into children, such as a baby’s impulse to suck on things. 2. Processes that allow one stage to transition into another: Piaget believed intellectual growth was the result of adaptation and the need to always be in a state of equilibrium. Adaptation of knowledge occurs in two ways: • Assimilation: Using a schema that already exists and applying it to a new situation. • Accommodation: Changing an existing schema to take in new information. To better understand how assimilation and accommodation work, we can look at the earlier situation of the parent showing their child what a dog looks like. The child now has a schema of what a dog is: four legs, a tail, ears, etc. When the child is approached by an actual dog, the child now faces new characteristics that were not originally part of their schema. The dog is furry; the dog licks; the dog can bark. Because these were not in the original schema, there is disequilibrium and the child begins to construct meaning. When the parent confirms that this information is also for a dog, assimilation occurs and equilibrium is regained as the child incorporates this information into the original schema. But what if the child saw a cat? The cat has some similar features as a dog; however, it is a different animal. It meows, has the ability to climb, and moves and acts differently from a dog. As a result of seeing the cat, the child is placed in disequilibrium and must accommodate this new information. A new schema is formed and the child returns to a state of equilibrium. 3. The Stages of Development: Piaget believed that cognition develops in four stages. These stages occur in every child and follow the same exact order, no matter the child’s culture or the part of the world they live in; though, some children may never reach the later stages. • Sensorimotor (birth–two years) This stage focuses on object permanence, where a child comes to the realization that objects will continue to exist even if they are not seen or heard by the child. • Preoperational (two–seven years) This stage focuses on egocentrism, meaning that from two to seven years old, children are not able to understand the point of view of others. • Concrete Operational (seven–eleven years) This stage focuses on conservation, meaning that children are still not able to understand concepts that are abstract or hypothetical, but can begin thinking logically about concrete events. • Formal Operational (eleven years and older) This stage focuses on the child’s ability to manipulate ideas in their head, or think abstractly. It is during this stage that deductive reasoning, logical thought, and systematic planning emerge. CRITIQUES OF PIAGET’S THEORY The majority of criticism is based on Piaget’s research methods. Not only did Piaget study his own three children, but the other children used in his study were of a higher socioeconomic status, meaning a wide sample of the population was not used, making the results hard to generalize. Some studies also disagree with Piaget’s claim that children automatically move from stage to stage, and many psychologists believe environmental factors also play a key role. Lastly, researchers believe that Piaget actually underestimated the abilities of children, and that children as young as four to five years old are much less egocentric than Piaget claimed and have a much more sophisticated understanding of their cognitive processes. Nonetheless, Piaget’s hypothesis ushered in a new focus on the mechanisms of childhood intellectual development and served as an important building block of many of the theories that have come since—even those that rebut his conclusions. PHILIP ZIMBARDO (1933–PRESENT) The man who created a prison Philip Zimbardo was born on March 23rd, 1933, in New York City. In 1954, Zimbardo earned his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, where he triple-majored in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. He then attended Yale, where he earned his MA in psychology in 1955, and his PhD in psychology in 1959. After briefly teaching at Yale, Zimbardo taught as a psychology professor at New York University until 1967. He then spent a year teaching at Columbia University; and in 1968, he became a faculty member at Stanford University, where he remained until his retirement in 2003 (though his last lecture was given in 2007). It was at Stanford University that Zimbardo’s most important and influential work, the Stanford Prison Experiment, was performed in 1971. While the Stanford Prison Experiment is what he is most known for, Zimbardo has also conducted research on heroism, shyness, and cult behavior, and has published over fifty books. Zimbardo was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 2002 and is the founder of the Heroic Imagination Project. The Project aims to inspire heroic behavior and to understand what makes some people turn towards acts of evil while others turn towards acts of heroism. THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT In 1971, Philip Zimbardo created an experiment to understand abusive behavior within the prison system and to learn how situations can impact human behavior. He posed the question: what would happen if dignity and individuality were stripped away from individuals? The result was the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment: one of the most telling experiments produced in the field of psychology. Zimbardo and his team transformed the basement of the Stanford University psychology department into a mock prison. He advertised in the local papers for participants, offering $15 a day for a two-week study. Of the respondents, twenty-four male subjects were chosen that were deemed to be emotionally and mentally sound, and were mostly middle class and white. The twenty-four men were then randomly divided into two groups: twelve prison guards and twelve prisoners. Zimbardo was to act as warden of the prison. Dressed for the Occasion The prison guards were dressed in military-style uniforms and sunglasses (to prevent eye contact), and were each given wooden batons to establish their status. The prisoners were to wear stocking caps, uncomfortable smocks, no underwear, and were only allowed to go by identification numbers, not names. They also wore a small chain on one leg as a reminder that they were inmates. Inside of their prison cells, they were only given a mattress and plain food. Before the experiment began, the prisoners were told to go back to their homes and await further instruction. When home, without any warning, their homes were raided by actual local police (who had agreed to help in the experiment), and they were each charged with armed robbery. They were then read their rights, had fingerprints and mug shots taken, and were stripped, searched, deloused, and brought into their prison cells, where they would spend the next two weeks. There were three prisoners to each cell, and prisoners were required to stay in the cell day and night. The prison guards, however, did not have to stay once their shift ended, and they were given free reign to run the prison however they wanted, with the only exception being no physical punishment. THE RESULTS The Stanford Prison Experiment was forced to stop just six days into the two-week study. By the second day, prisoners in Cell 1 used their mattresses to blockade the door. Guards from different shifts volunteered to work to suppress the riot and used fire extinguishers on the prisoners. The guards then decided to create a “privilege cell,” where prisoners not involved in the riot would be given a special reward, such as a meal that was of better quality. The prisoners in the “privilege cell,” however, refused to eat the food and stayed in solidarity with their fellow inmates. A mere thirty-six hours into the study, one prisoner, #8612, began screaming wildly, cursing, and got so out of control that Zimbardo saw no other choice but to release him. The prison guards began punishing the prisoners by making them repeat their assigned numbers, forcing them to exercise, and confiscating their mattresses so they had no choice but to sleep on the hard, cold concrete. The prison guards turned the use of the toilet into a privilege and frequently denied bathroom access to the prisoners, instead giving them a bucket in their cells. They also made the prisoners clean the toilet with their bare hands. In an effort to humiliate the prisoners, some were forced to strip completely naked. One-third of the prison guards showed sadistic tendencies, and even Zimbardo himself became immersed in his role as prison ward. On day four, there were rumors that the prisoner who had been released was going to come back to free the remaining prisoners. Zimbardo and the guards moved the prison to another floor, and Zimbardo waited in the basement in case the prisoner returned, where he would tell him that the experiment ended early. The prisoner never showed, however, and the prison was once again rebuilt in the basement. When a new prisoner was introduced, he was given the instructions to go on a hunger strike in response to the treatment of his fellow prisoners. Instead of viewing him as a fellow victim, the other prisoners saw this new prisoner as a troublemaker. The prison guards put the new prisoner in solitary confinement and gave the rest of the prisoners an option: they could give up their blankets to let the man out of solitary confinement. Everyone except for one prisoner decided to keep their blankets. Surprisingly, none of the inmates wanted to quit early, even when they were told they would not get the money for participating. Zimbardo concluded that the prisoners had internalized and adopted their roles, becoming institutionalized. After six days of the experiment, a graduate student was brought in to interview the prisoners and guards, and was absolutely shocked by what she saw. As a result of this outside perspective, Zimbardo ended the experiment. He noted that of the fifty visitors, she was the only person to have questioned the morality of the experiment. The Stanford Prison Experiment is one of the most important and controversial psychological experiments to ever have been conducted. Under the current Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association, the experiment could not be replicated because it does not meet many of today’s ethical standards. However, Zimbardo successfully showed how behavior could be influenced by the situation a person is in, and there are numerous real-world examples that prove Zimbardo’s work, including the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq. LEFT AND RIGHT BRAIN Thinking from your side The left and right sides of the brain have specific functions and are responsible for different types of thinking. Most interestingly, these two sides of the brain have the ability to operate practically independently of each other. In psychology, this is referred to as the lateralization of brain function. In the early 1960s, psychobiologist Roger Sperry began conducting experiments on epileptic patients. Sperry discovered that by cutting the structure responsible for connecting and communicating between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, known as the corpus callosum, seizures could be reduced and even eliminated. Once the corpus callosum was cut, the patients—who originally appeared normal—began experiencing other strange symptoms. Many patients found that they could name objects that had been processed by the left hemisphere of the brain, but could no longer name objects that were processed by the right hemisphere. From this, Sperry deduced that the left hemisphere of the brain was responsible for controlling language. Other patients struggled with the ability to put blocks together in a prearranged way. Sperry was able to successfully show that the left and right hemispheres of the brain were responsible for different functions, and that each hemisphere also had the ability to learn. In 1981, Roger Sperry was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in brain lateralization. [image: ] LEFT BRAIN AND RIGHT BRAIN DIVISION RIGHT BRAIN DOMINANCE The right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for the left side of the body, is more capable in tasks that are expressive and creative—also known as visual construction tasks. These include tasks such as expressing and reading emotions, understanding metaphors, discriminating shapes (like picking out an object that is camouflaged), copying designs, and making music. LEFT BRAIN DOMINANCE The left hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for the right side of the body, is more capable at tasks such as language, critical thinking, logic, reasoning, and the use of numbers. [image: ] DETAILED EXAMPLE OF LEFT AND RIGHT BRAIN SPLIT THE SPLIT-BRAIN EXPERIMENTS In Roger Sperry’s split-brain experiments, Sperry had a split-brain patient (someone with a cut corpus callosum) sit in front of a screen that would hide his or her hands. Behind this screen, Sperry placed objects that the split-brain patient could not see. The patient would then focus their eyes to the center of the screen and a word would appear on the screen in the patient’s left visual field. This information was then received by the right hemisphere of the brain (the nonverbal part). The result was that the patient was actually unable to tell Sperry the word that he or she had seen. Sperry would then ask the patient to use their left hand to reach behind the screen and choose the object that corresponded with the word. Even though the patient was not aware of even seeing a word, the patient was able to choose the correct object. This is because the right hemisphere controls the movement of the left side of the body. Through this experiment, Roger Sperry was able to successfully show that the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for controlling reading and speech, and that the right hemisphere of the brain does not have the ability to process verbal stimuli. [image: ] VISUALIZATION OF THE SPLIT BRAIN EXPERIMENT So I Know My Dominant Side … Now What? Understanding which hemisphere you are more dominant in can actually be incredibly useful when it comes to thinking of better ways to approach studying or learning. For example, if you are more dominant with your right hemisphere, you may have a harder time following verbal instructions, and might benefit from improving your organizational skills or writing directions down. SOLOMON ASCH (1907–1996) The power of social influence Solomon Asch was born on September 14th, 1907, in Warsaw, Poland, to a Jewish family. When Asch was thirteen years old, his family uprooted to the United States to reside in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Asch earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of the City of New York in 1928. From there, Asch attended Columbia University, where he would study under Max Wertheimer and earn his MA in 1930, and his PhD in 1932. Asch then became a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, where he stayed for nineteen years and worked with fellow Gestalt psychologist Wolfgang Köhler. In the 1950s, Asch gained widespread attention for his research on social psychology and his groundbreaking series of experiments known as the Asch Conformity Experiments. These experiments helped thrust him into the academic spotlight and established several longstanding theories about social influence. From 1966 to 1972, Asch was director of the Institute for Cognitive Studies at Rutgers University. He was an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania starting in 1979, and professor of psychology there from 1972 to 1979. Solomon Asch died on February 20th, 1996. He was eighty-eight years old. EXPERIMENT ASCH’S CONFORMITY EXPERIMENTS In 1951, Solomon Asch created an experiment to understand how social pressures from a majority would make a single individual conform. Asch’s Conformity Experiments are some of the most famous experiments in psychology, and are incredibly easy to replicate. [image: ] SAMPLE CARD FROM THE ASCH CONFORMITY EXPERIMENTS Have six to eight people participate in the study. All but one of the people will be confederates, or accomplices, but they will not make this fact known to the one test subject that is not a confederate. The accomplices should seem like real participants to the test subject. There will be a series of eighteen simple visual questions, where the answer should always be obvious. All of your participants will answer each question in the presence of each other. Sit the participants in a line, and have the test subject sit at the end and be the last or second to last to give his or her answer. Show the participants a card with a line on it, similar to the card on the left in the above illustration. Then show them the card on the right, with the three lines labeled A, B, and C. Have each person say out loud which one out of A, B, or C is most similar to the line on the left. The first two answers should be correct, so the test subject feels comfortable. On the third answer, the confederates should all start giving the same wrong answer. Out of the eighteen trials, the confederates should answer twelve of them with the same incorrect answer. These twelve are the “critical trials.” The goal of this experiment is to see if the test subject will begin giving the same answer as the rest of the group even though it is the wrong answer. THE RESULTS Amazingly, Asch found that over the eighteen trials, 75 percent of participants conformed at least once to the clearly incorrect answer given by the majority of the group. After combing the trials, Asch concluded that 32 percent of the participants conformed. To make sure that the individuals accurately understood the length of the lines, Asch had them write down what they thought was the correct match, and 98 percent of the time, the participants chose the correct match. This percentage was higher because the pressure from being in the group was no longer an issue. Asch also looked at how the number of people that were present affected conformity. When there was only one other person with the test subject, there was practically no impact on the answers given by the test subject. And when there were two other people present, there was a small effect. When there were three or more confederates, however, the results were much more significant. When the comparison lines were harder to judge because their lengths were very similar, Asch discovered that conformity increased. This demonstrates that when people are unsure about something, they are more likely to turn to other people for a confirmation. The more difficult the task is, the greater the chance of having conformity. Asch also discovered that if only one confederate gave the correct answer while the rest of the confederates still gave the wrong answer, conformity was dramatically lower (only 5–10 percent of the test subjects conformed). This shows that social support can play a key role in fighting conformity. THOUGHTS ON CONFORMITY When the experiment was over, the test subjects were asked why they had followed along with what the rest of the group was saying. Most of the time, the test subjects replied by saying that they knew the answer was incorrect but they did not want to risk being ridiculed. Others responded that they actually believed what the group was saying was true. What does the Asch experiment tell us about conformity? Conformity occurs for two main reasons: either because people want to fit in—this is known as normative influence—or because of informational influence, where people believe the group must be more informed or understand more than they do. Both types of influence can have powerful impacts on individuals within a group setting. While many psychologists may have suspected that group dynamics could influence individual perception, it was not until Asch conducted his famous experiment that the world finally understood just how much perception could be altered by outside pressure. Copyright © 2012 by F+W Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher; exceptions are made for brief excerpts used in published reviews. Published by Adams Media, a division of F+W Media, Inc. 57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322. U.S.A. www.adamsmedia.com ISBN 10: 1-4405-4390-9 ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-4390-6 eISBN 10: 1-4405-4393-3 eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-4393-7 Printed in the United States of America. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. —From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their product are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book and Adams Media was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed with initial capital letters. Interior illustrations by Claudia Wolf. This book is available at quantity discounts for bulk purchases. For information, please call 1-800-289-0963. FALSE CONSENSUS AND UNIQUENESS EFFECTS Everything I do, you do … right? The false consensus effect is the phenomenon that occurs among people where the tendency exists to think that our opinions and beliefs are the common opinions and beliefs amongst everyone else. Similarly, the false uniqueness effect is a phenomenon wherein people underestimate just how common their abilities and desirable attributes really are. The false consensus effect and the false uniqueness effect are examples of cognitive biases, which are flaws in judgment caused by the mind so that the brain can process information at a faster rate. LEE ROSS’S FALSE CONSENSUS EFFECT EXPERIMENTS While there is very little experimental evidence that shows the false uniqueness effect in action, there has been more substantial work with regards to the false consensus effect. In 1977, Stanford University professor Lee Ross created a series of experiments to look at how the false consensus effect works. Ross’s First Study In his first experiment, Ross began by having a group of participants read about situations that involved some type of conflict. He then gave the group of people two ways to respond to the situation, and asked them to do three things: Guess the option that the other people in the group would choose Say the option that they would choose themselves Describe the qualities and characteristics of the type of person that would choose the first option and the second option The results from this experiment showed that the majority of the subjects believed others would choose the same option as them, no matter which option they chose, thus validating the false consensus effect. Interestingly, when responding to the third part of the experiment, the qualities and personalities that the participants associated with those people that chose the option that wasn’t their own were very extreme. To put it bluntly, they took the mindset of “if you don’t agree with what I have to say, then you must be wrong.” Ross’s Second Study In Ross’s second study, a new group of participants was asked if they would willingly walk around the college campus for thirty minutes while wearing a sandwich board that said, “Eat at Joe’s.” As a means of motivation, Ross told the test subjects that by the end of the experiment, the participants would learn something useful. He also informed them that they were free to say no if they wanted. Ross then asked the group of people the same questions as he did in the first study. Sixty-two percent of the people who agreed to participate in the experiment believed that others would do the same, and only 33 percent of people who did not wear the sandwich board thought that other people would wear the sandwich board. Ross’s second study confirmed the results from his first study; and much like the first study, the subjects made extreme predictions about what type of person would choose the answer they did not choose. THE IMPACT OF ROSS’S EXPERIMENTS Lee Ross was able to successfully prove the existence of the false consensus effect and show that people have the tendency to judge how everyone else should make their decisions based on how they, themselves, would make a decision. Ross also showed that if someone else makes a decision that the individual does not agree with or would not choose, then the individual tends to view that person in a negative light, and see him or her as unacceptable or defective. PROVING FALSE UNIQUENESS While there is very little empirical evidence for false uniqueness, in 1988, Jerry Suls, Choi K. Wan, and Glenn S. Sanders published an article looking into the phenomenon of false uniqueness with regards to how individuals perceive their own health-related behavior. To conduct the study, the researchers used a group of college-aged men as their subjects. They first hypothesized that false consensus effect would occur where people would perceive their own healthy behaviors (such as exercising) to be common among those that also performed healthy behavior. They then hypothesized that those people who performed in ways that were undesirable (like not exercising) would overestimate the number of people behaving the way they behaved, and that those who behaved in a desirable way (those that exercised) would underestimate the amount of people behaving in this way. The results of their experiment found strong evidence supporting the first two hypotheses, and some evidence suggesting the third hypothesis to be true. It is believed that the people who displayed undesirable behavior resist any sort of intervention and don’t practice healthy behavior by overestimating the consensus of their behavior, and that some may even believe there are few health risks involved for them. While this does show some proof of the false uniqueness effect, further research is needed. The bias created by false consensus effect can have a very dramatic impact on society and has very real implications. One of the most startling examples of the false consensus effect can be seen in the negative viewpoints found in fundamentalists and political radicals. While these people do not necessarily think that most people have their radical viewpoints and beliefs, they do overestimate the number of those that do, which further twists their perceptions of the world around them. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my family and everyone at Adams Media for their continued support, and all of the great thinkers of the world, without whom this book would not be possible. ALBERT BANDURA (1925–PRESENT) Learning by observing others Albert Bandura was born on December 4th, 1925, in the small town of Mundare, Canada. Bandura’s father laid tracks for the trans-Canada railroad, and his mother worked at a general store in the town. Bandura attended the only school in his town—it employed just two teachers—and as a result, Bandura had to take his own initiative when it came to education. Following high school, Bandura attended the University of British Columbia. While originally majoring in biological sciences, Bandura stumbled upon the subject of psychology through happenstance. Because he arrived at the university much earlier than his classes began, he decided to take “filler classes” to pass the time. After thumbing through a course catalogue one day, he ended up choosing a psychology course. In 1949, Bandura graduated from the University of British Columbia in just three years, majoring in psychology, and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa, where he would also get his PhD. After he earned his PhD in 1952, Bandura was offered a position at Stanford University, where he continues to teach today. Bandura is most known for his social learning theory, which showed that not all behavior was lead by rewards or reinforcements, as behaviorism claimed to be the case. Instead, he offered an alternative and somewhat more nuanced view of the social pressures that contribute to learned behaviors—a more modern approach which is still valued. SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY One of the most influential learning theories in psychology, Albert Bandura’s social learning theory of 1977 states that instead of acquired behavior being strictly a matter of rewards or reinforcements, it can be brought about through observational learning. He states that people grasp how to behave based on the behavior of the people around them. People are surrounded by models that can be observed, be it a person’s parents, peers, teachers, or even characters on a TV show. These models provide both masculine and feminine behaviors that can be observed or encoded, and then later imitated or copied. A person will be more likely to imitate a behavior of someone who he or she feels more similar to. Often, this means a person of the same sex. There are three main concepts to Bandura’s social learning theory: A person can learn behavior through observation: This can be from a live model (an actual person performing the behavior), a verbal model that provides instructions (an explanation or description of a particular behavior), or a symbolic model (behaviors portrayed in books, television, and film). The mental state is an important aspect to learning: While environmental reinforcement is one aspect of learning a behavior, it is not the only one. Satisfaction, pride, and feelings of accomplishment are examples of what Bandura called intrinsic or internal reinforcement. In other words, internal thoughts can play an important role in learning a behavior. Learning does not mean that a behavior will necessarily change: Behaviorists believed that learning a behavior led to a permanent change in the individual’s behavior, but Bandura shows that with observational learning, a person can learn the new information without having to demonstrate this behavior. Conversely, just because a behavior is observed does not mean it will be learned. For social learning to be a success, there are certain requirements: Attention: To learn, one must pay attention, and anything that diminishes attention will negatively affect observational learning. Retention: One must be able to store the information, and then at a later time be able to pull it back up and use it. Reproduction: After paying attention and retaining information, the observed behavior has to be performed. Practice can lead to improvement of the behavior. Motivation: The last part to successfully learning an observed behavior is that a person must be motivated to imitate the behavior. It is here where reinforcement and punishment come into play. If an observed behavior is reinforced, one might wish to duplicate that response; while if an observed behavior is punished, one might be motivated to not do such an action. THE BOBO DOLL EXPERIMENT To show that children observe and imitate behaviors around them, Bandura created the famous Bobo doll experiment. In conducting his experiment, Bandura found that children who watched the aggressive models generally imitated a good deal more of the responses toward the bobo doll than the children in the control or the children in the group who watched the nonaggressive models. He also found that girls who watched the aggressive model expressed more verbally aggressive responses when the model was the woman, and more physically aggressive responses when the model was the man. The boys imitated physically aggressive acts more than the girls did, and they imitated the same-sex model more often than the girls did. Through the Bobo doll experiment, Bandura was able to successfully show that the children learned a social behavior, in this case aggression, by watching the behavior of someone else. With the Bobo doll experiment, Bandura was able to disprove a key notion of behaviorism that stated that all behavior is the result of rewards and reinforcement. EXPERMIENT CONDUCTING THE BOBO DOLL EXPERIMENT This experiment utilizes thirty-six boys and thirty-six girls ranging from three to six years old. The control for the experiment is a sub-group of twelve boys and twelve girls. The role models in the experiment are one adult man and one adult woman. Twenty-four boys and girls are allowed to watch as the man or woman aggressively attack a toy called the “Bobo doll.” Among other things, they hit it with a hammer and throw it in the air while screaming things like, “Pow, boom,” and “Sock him in the nose.” Another group of twenty-four boys and girls are exposed to a model who is nonaggressive toward the Bobo doll. Lastly, the control group is not exposed to any model. COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY Fighting yourself In 1957, psychologist Leon Festinger suggested in his cognitive dissonance theory that every person has an inner drive and desire to avoid dissonance (or disharmony) in all of their attitudes and beliefs (cognitions), and that they ultimately wish to achieve harmony (consonance) among their cognitions. If a person has feelings of discomfort due to conflicting, simultaneous cognitions, this is known as cognitive dissonance. In order to reduce the discomfort and restore balance, a cognition has to undergo an alteration of some sort. Festinger began investigating his theory while studying participants from a cult. The people he observed believed that the planet was going to be destroyed by a great flood, and some members went to extreme lengths for the cause they believed in, selling their homes and leaving their jobs in anticipation of the coming calamity. When the great flood they had spoken of never occurred, Festinger wanted to observe their reactions. While some recognized that they had been foolish and left the cult, members that were more committed to the cause reinterpreted evidence to support their story, claiming that the earth was saved because of the cult members’ faithfulness. When the cognitions were inconsistent, the members of the cult sought to alter their beliefs to restore consistency and harmony. Doctoral Definition Cognition: A part of knowledge in the form of an emotion, behavior, idea, belief, value, or attitude. For example, the knowledge that you caught a baseball, the knowledge that a song makes you happy, and the knowledge that you like the color green are all cognitions. A person can have many cognitions going on concurrently, and cognitions will create dissonant and consonant relationships with other cognitions. THE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE EXPERIMENT Dissonance can be created when a person is forced to do something in public that in private they would not want to do. This creates a dissonance between the cognition, which states, “I did not want to do that,” and the behavior. This is also known as forced compliance, which occurs when a person does something that is inconsistent with what he or she believes. Because a past behavior cannot be changed, the only way to reduce the dissonance is by re-evaluating and changing the person’s attitude towards the behavior. To prove forced compliance, Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith conducted the following experiment. EXPERMIENT COGNITIVE DISSONANCE BOREDOM EXPERIMENT Divide your test subjects into two groups: Group A and Group B. Group A should not be provided any introduction about the tasks, and Group B should be given an introduction that presents the activities in an enjoyable and interesting manner. Start out by having the participants perform a series of incredibly boring and repetitive tasks. For the first half hour, ask the subjects to place twelve spools on and off of a tray with one hand. For the next half hour, have the subjects turn square pegs clockwise on a pegboard in quarter-turns, again only using one hand. Once the cycle has been finished and all forty-eight square pegs are turned the subjects will have to start turning the square pegs again. Once completed, interview the subjects on how enjoyable they found the tasks to be. Let around one-third of the subjects go at this point. This is your control group. Prior to being released, these people should discuss in their interview how the project could be improved for future studies. Everyone else remaining will be given the option of becoming the experimenter. All they have to do is tell the next group of participants about the tasks they are about to perform in a positive manner. Half of the group will be offered $1 for their contribution, and the other half will be offered $20 for their contribution. Interview the subjects once again and ask them to rate these four parts of the experiment: whether they feel the tasks they had to perform were enjoyable or interesting (on a scale of -5 to +5); whether this experiment allows them to learn about their own skills (on a scale of 0 to 10); whether they believe this experiment was measuring anything important (on a scale of 0 to 10); and whether the participant would want to do another study like this in the future (on a scale of -5 to +5). The Results In Festinger and Carlsmith’s original experiment, eleven of the seventy-one responses were deemed invalid for a variety of reasons. Of the remaining responses, the scores were as reported below: [image: ] Festinger and Carlsmith believed the answer to the first question was the most important and that these results showed cognitive dissonance. Because the control group was not offered any money, this was how the participants truly felt about the test (rating it a negative 0.45). The dramatic difference between the group that was offered $1 and the group that was offered $20 can be explained by cognitive dissonance. The subjects involved in the study were conflicted between the cognitions “I told someone the test was interesting” and “I really found it to be boring.” When offered a single dollar, the participants began internalizing and rationalizing their attitudes into thinking that it was actually enjoyable because there was no other justification to be had. Festinger and Carlsmith believed that the group that was offered $20, however, had the money as a justification for their actions. Therefore, the group that was offered $1 had insufficient justification for their actions and experienced cognitive dissonance. DAVID KOLB’S LEARNING STYLES Learning by experience In 1984, philosophy professor David Kolb developed a new model of learning styles and a theory of learning. Kolb’s learning theory can be broken down into two parts: a cycle of learning that is made up of four distinct stages, and four distinct styles of learning. Kolb defined learning as when abstract concepts are acquired and have the ability to be applied within an array of situations, and when new experiences motivate new concepts to arise. KOLB’S FOUR-STAGE LEARNING CYCLE In Kolb’s theory of learning, there are four stages of a “learning cycle.” When a person is learning, they go through all four stages. Concrete Experience: A person faces a new experience or reinterprets an experience that has previously existed. Reflective Observation: This is the observation of any new experience. Inconsistencies between understanding and the experience are particularly noteworthy. Abstract Conceptualization: From reflection comes a new idea. This can also pertain to the modification of an abstract concept that already exists. Active Experimentation: The individual then applies this idea to the world and sees what the end results are. KOLB’S EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING STYLES From these four stages, Kolb maps out four distinct learning styles. According to Kolb, different people prefer different learning styles, and this is influenced by numerous factors, including the educational experiences, cognitive structure, and social environment of the individual. No matter what the influences are, an individual’s preference in learning style is the product of two choices. Kolb expressed these choices, or variables, as an axis. On opposite ends of the lines are conflicting modes: Feeling (Concrete Experience, or CE) vs. Thinking (Abstract Conceptualization, or AC), and Doing (Abstract Experimentation, or AE) vs. Watching (Reflective Observation, or RO). [image: ] INTERSECTING AXES OF LEARNING STYLES The east-west axis is known as the “processing continuum,” and it deals with how a person approaches a given task. The north-south axis is referred to as the “perception continuum,” and it deals with the emotional response of an individual. According to Kolb, an individual cannot experience the two variables on a single axis at once. With this information, Kolb then identified four learning styles that people use depending on where they fall on the continuum: accommodating, diverging, converging, and assimilating. While every person uses the different types of learning styles, some are preferred more than others. To better understand how these learning styles work, consider the following diagram and chart: [image: ] MORE DETAILED LOOK AT KOLB’S THEORY Accommodating (CE/AE): Doing and Feeling This type of learning style depends on the use of intuition instead of logic. Often, people employing it will follow their “gut instinct.” When a person has an accommodating learning style, he or she will commonly depend on other people for information and then analyze this information on his or her own. These types of people enjoy seeing plans through, and are attracted to new situations and challenges. Diverging (CE/RO): Feeling and Watching People that have a diverging learning style prefer watching instead of doing, and solve problems through gathering information and using their imagination. Because of this, individuals with diverging learning styles have the ability to look at situations from different viewpoints, and are most adept when placed in situations where the generation of ideas is needed. Individuals with diverging learning styles tend to also be sensitive, emotional, and more artistic, and they tend to enjoy working with others, getting feedback, gaining information, and listening to what others have to say with an open mind. Converging (AC/AE): Doing and Thinking Individuals that have converging learning styles are more technically oriented, and prefer to solve problems to practical issues instead of interpersonal issues. People that have this type of learning style are most adept when solving practical problems and making decisions by finding answers to questions. As a result, people with a converging learning style enjoy experimenting, simulating, and working with real-world applications. Assimilating (AC/RO): Watching and Thinking In assimilating learning styles, emphasis is placed on taking a logical approach to abstract ideas and concepts, and there is less focus placed on people or practical applications. Individuals with a preference for an assimilating learning style can understand a wide range of information and have the ability to assemble the information into a logical format. For this reason, an assimilating learning style works best in a scientific field. People that have assimilating learning styles also prefer being able to think through a situation and examine analytical models. Having a firm understanding of one’s own learning style and the learning styles of others can be extremely important and have very real-world applications. Individuals can understand how to communicate information to others in a way that will be the most effective, and understand what they themselves need to improve upon. MOOD DISORDERS When emotions take over Mood disorders are when disturbances in an individual’s emotional state are so extreme that they affect his or her thinking processes, social relationships, and behavior. These tend to be episodic, meaning the symptoms will come and go. There are two major types of mood disorders that can be broken down into several sub-types. They are depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS To be diagnosed with major depression, an individual has to experience a major depressive episode at least once. Major depressive episodes last for a period of two weeks or longer, and the individual will suffer from some, if not all, of the following symptoms: An overwhelming and consistent feeling of sadness or irritability Feeling guilty or worthless A loss of interest in doing anything, even previously enjoyable activities, and a lack of interest in being social Having very low energy Being unable to focus or make decisions Experiencing a change in eating patterns, either not eating well or eating too much Experiencing a change in sleeping patterns, either not being able to sleep or sleeping too much Experiencing recurrent thoughts of suicide or death Interestingly enough, individuals that are extremely depressed will usually not commit suicide because during their major depressive episode, they feel too apathetic and unmotivated to create a suicide plan and follow through with it. Instead, it is during the recovery process, when the individual has more energy, that suicide becomes more prevalent. More women suffer from major depression than men. While more women also attempt suicide than men, men are more successful with following through with their suicide than women. In addition to major depression, there are several other types of depression that share these symptoms: Dysthymia disorder If a person experiences major depression symptoms for at least two years, then they have what is known as dysthymia disorder. It should be noted that people who suffer from this do not experience depressive symptoms at all times. There are moments when they do feel completely normal. Seasonal affective disorder Appropriately referred to as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is when a person suffers from symptoms of depression because of the time of the year. The majority of people who experience the condition do so in the wintertime. Psychotic major depression This is when an individual suffers from symptoms of major depression and also has hallucinations and delusions. Postpartum depression Postpartum depression occurs when a woman experiences depression following childbirth. This may be due to shifts in hormone levels, a lack of sleep, bodily changes, and changes in the woman’s social or work relationships. Atypical depression This is a type of depression where an individual has many characteristics of major depression, but not enough symptoms to truly be classified as major depression. Symptoms in atypical depression usually include a gain in weight and increase in appetite, excessive sleeping or always feeling tired, and feeling very sensitive to any type of rejection. Catatonic depression This is a very rare type of depressive disorder where a person will become motionless for an extended period of time, or move in a violent or strange manner. People who suffer from catatonic depression will sometimes decide not to speak, or may even imitate the actions or speaking pattern of another individual. Melancholic depression This type of depression is characterized by losing interest and pleasure in many, if not all, activities. Individuals also find it very difficult to react positively when something good happens. Symptoms are generally worse in the morning, and early morning awakening can occur, where an individual wakes up on his or her own at least two hours too early without an external source causing the person to wake. Individuals suffering from melancholic depression also experience a very strong sadness that is obvious because of how different the person seems. BIPOLAR DISORDERS When an individual suffers from a bipolar disorder—once referred to as manic-depressive illness—they experience extreme mood swings between depression and mania. The symptoms of mania include: Feeling irritable Being extremely energetic Feeling high Feeling grandiose and having a very large self-esteem Feeling agitated Speaking in a fast manner Not needing to sleep as much or seemingly at all Having more interest in doing activities that bring pleasure, even if that means these activities can have harmful consequences Being impulsive Possibly having paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations There are several types of bipolar disorder. These include: Bipolar I Disorder In bipolar I disorder, manic episodes or manic and depressive episodes last for at least seven days, or an individual will have such a strong manic episode that hospitalization is required. When people suffer from bipolar I disorder, they will generally also have depressive episodes that last for two weeks or longer. Bipolar II Disorder This is a milder type of bipolar disorder where episodes of hypomania and depression are not as severe. Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) This is when an individual suffers from symptoms of bipolar disorder—exhibiting symptoms that clearly stray from how the individual normally behaves—but does not meet the criteria needed to be diagnosed as having bipolar I or bipolar II. Symptoms in BP-NOS may last for too short an amount of time, or the individual may have too few symptoms. Cyclothymia This is a less severe type of bipolar disorder. While a person with cyclothymia will experience the same symptoms of bipolar I disorder, they will never be in a total manic state or have a major depressive episode. In order to be diagnosed as having cyclothymia, an individual must have these symptoms for at least two years. [image: ] THE FIRST RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE SECOND RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE THIRD RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE FOURTH RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE FIFTH RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE SIXTH RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE SEVENTH RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE EIGHTH RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE NINTH RORSCHACH BLOT [image: ] THE TENTH RORSCHACH BLOT STANLEY MILGRAM (1933–1984) A truly shocking psychologist Stanley Milgram was born on August 13th, 1933, to a Jewish family in New York City. His father was a Hungarian baker and his Romanian mother took over the bakery following his death in 1953. Milgram had always excelled academically and, while attending James Monroe High School, he became active in the school theatre productions. This theatrical experience would prove influential to Milgram, who utilized his background later on in life when creating the realistic experiments he is now most famous for. In 1953, after graduating from Queens College, New York, with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Milgram applied to Harvard University to earn his PhD in social psychology. Though he was initially rejected for having no academic background in psychology, Milgram was finally accepted to Harvard in 1954 and earned his PhD in social psychology in 1960. In his professional career, Milgram had a strong focus on social issues. From 1959 to 1960, Milgram studied under psychologist Solomon Asch, who was famous for his disturbing experiments on social conformity. In 1961, Milgram would begin his famous obedience study, which remains one of the most infamous and influential psychological experiments ever performed. In the fall of 1960, Milgram worked as an assistant professor at Yale, and from 1963 to 1966, he was an assistant professor in Harvard’s Department of Social Relations. In 1967, Milgram became a lecturer at Harvard; however he was denied tenure, which was likely the result of his controversial Milgram Experiment. That same year, he became a tenured professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. On December 20th, 1984, Stanley Milgram suffered from a heart attack and died in New York City. He was fifty-one years old. MILGRAM’S OBEDIENCE STUDY Stanley Milgram is perhaps most well-known for his famous, yet extremely controversial, experiment on obedience. Milgram was fascinated by the effect that authority had on obedience, and believed that people would nearly always obey orders out of a desire to seem cooperative or out of fear, even if this meant going against their better judgment or desires. Fitting Milgram’s Experiment in History Milgram began his obedience experiment in 1961. Shortly before, the world had been captivated by the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who, among other things, was charged with ordering the deaths of millions of Jews. Eichmann’s defense in the case was that he was just following instructions. Milgram conducted the experiment at Yale University, where he recruited forty men through newspaper ads. The participants were informed (falsely) that the study they were joining was focused on memory and learning. They were told that one person would take on the role of teacher and the other would take on the role of student, and that these roles would be chosen randomly. Each participant drew a supposedly random slip of paper. In reality, however, all of the papers said “teacher” on them. The only “students” were actor accomplices of Milgram’s. Thus, all of the unknowing participants were intentionally given the role of the teacher, while believing it to be a random assignment. EXPERIMENT MILGRAM’S EXPERIMENT [image: ] A VISUALIZATION OF MILGRAM’S EXPERIMENT Each participant “teacher” is paired with one of the accomplice “students.” The teacher watches as the student is strapped to a chair and has electrodes attached to him by laboratory assistants. Following this, the teacher is then brought into a separate room, where he can still communicate with the student, but they cannot see each other. The teacher is placed in front of a “shock generator” that starts at 30 volts and increases—in increments of 15 volts—all the way to 450 volts. The switches are labeled “Moderate,” which is 75–120 volts; “Strong,” which is 135–180 volts; “Danger: Severe Shock,” which is 375–420 volts; and the two highest levels are labeled “XXX.” The “shock generator” does not produce actual shocks, but rather makes a noise when switches are pressed. The teacher is told that he will teach word pairs to the student and that if the student makes a mistake, the teacher will punish the student by administering a shock. For every mistake made, the teacher must administer a shock 15 volts higher than the last. To show that the experiment is real, the teacher is given a 15 volt shock. This is the only real shock administered in the entire test. The word pairings begin, and the student will eventually begin to make planned errors. At each error, the teacher increases the voltage of the shock that he gives to the student. When the fake shocks reach 75 volts, the “student” will grunt. At 120 volts, the student will complain that the shocks are painful. At 150 volts, the student will scream that he wants to be released. The student will then plead more and more as the shocks are “administered” and complain that he suffers from a heart condition. If at any time the teacher questions the process, the experimenter will tell him things like “please continue,” “it is absolutely essential that you continue,” “the experiment requires that you continue,” or “you have no other choice, you must go on.” At 300 volts, the student pounds on the walls and exclaims that he can’t stand the pain. At 330 volts, the student remains quiet. The experimenter informs the teacher that a lack of response is a wrong answer, and that he has to shock the student. The experiment ends when the highest level on the shock generator is reached. MILGRAM’S FINDINGS Milgram asked a group of Yale students to predict how many people they thought would administer the maximum shock level, and they estimated three out of 100 people would do it. Surprisingly, Milgram found that 65 percent of the participants in his study administered shock levels of 450 volts! While people did show signs of internal struggle through groaning, nervous laughter, and trembling, most of them obeyed the experimenter’s request to continue with the experiment. When interviewed after the experiment, Milgram asked the participants to rate how painful they believed the shocks actually were, and “extremely painful” was the typical answer. Milgram even found that the participants—in an effort to justify their behavior—devalued the student during the experiment, saying the student was so dumb that he actually deserved the shock. Milgram was able to successfully show that under certain circumstances, everyday people who are considered “normal” have the capability to cause intense pain and suffering. Milgram was able to explain such high levels of obedience in the following ways: Compliance was increased because of the physical presence of an authority figure (the experimenter) Many participants believed the experiment was safe because it was sponsored by Yale The selection process of who would be teacher and who would be student seemed random It was assumed that the experimenter was a competent expert The participants were told the shocks were painful but not dangerous Ethical Concerns Milgram’s obedience study drew fierce criticism regarding its ethical procedure. The subjects involved in the study were led to believe that they were causing pain to another person when, in reality, they were being duped by an actor pretending to be in pain. The experiment caused great stress to the subjects, and the fact that they believed they were hurting a complete stranger could have traumatized them. SMALL WORLD EXPERIMENT Despite being most famous for his obedience study, Milgram also participated in several more benign experiments. Have you ever heard of the term “six degrees of separation”? If so, you can thank Stanley Milgram for that. In the 1950s, political scientist Ithiel de Sola Pool and mathematician Manfred Kochen posed several questions: What would be the probability of two complete strangers having a mutual friend? What if there were no mutual friend? How long would that chain be for them to reach each other? Approximately a decade later, Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment known as “The Small World Experiment” in an effort to answer these questions. Milgram gave 300 letters with instructions to people in Omaha, Nebraska, and Wichita, Kansas, and set up one “target” in Boston, Massachusetts. The 300 people were told to mail the letter to a friend that they thought was close to the target (and that they knew on a first name basis), and this friend would get the same instructions, creating a chain. Milgram received a postcard with each forward and recorded the relationship between sender and receiver. Milgram discovered that within almost all instances, the chains had approximately five or six links that connected any two people. Stanley Milgram brought great—and sometimes scary—insight to humanity in ways that many had never seen before. While his controversial (and now classic) obedience study showed the rather negative side of what an individual could be capable of doing, his small world experiment was able to show the interconnectivity and closeness that people share. To this day, his work continues to be incredibly influential and extremely important, and he is firmly planted as one of the most discussed psychologists in the history of psychology and experimentation. INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY? psyche—The Greek word for “spirit, soul, and breath” logia—The Greek word for “the study of something” Psychology is the study of mental and behavioral processes. Essentially, those who work in the field of psychology try to give meaning to the questions, “What makes you tick?” and “How do you see the world?” These very simple ideas encompass many different and complicated topics, including emotions, thought processes, dreams, memories, perception, personality, illness, and treatment. While the roots of psychology date back to the philosophers of Ancient Greece, it wasn’t until 1879, when German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt created the first laboratory completely devoted to the study of psychology, that the field really began to take off. Since then, psychology has expanded exponentially into a truly diverse science, often overlapping with other types of scientific studies such as medicine, genetics, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, biology, and even subjects like sports, history, and love. So put on your thinking cap, make yourself comfortable (perhaps recline on a couch), and prepare to be enlightened; it’s time to start learning about yourself in ways you never knew possible. Whether this book is a refresher course or you’re learning all of this for the very first time, let’s begin. Welcome to Psych 101. STRESS The science behind the pressure Stress is when a physiological response is elicited from external stimuli. The stimuli can be both psychological and physiological, and stress can be long-term or short-term. Despite the way we speak about it, stress is not simply a feeling; it can actually affect a person’s biological and psychological state. When we think of stress, we tend to think of it as being equivalent to worry, but stress is much more than that, and it does not always have to be bad. There are actually two types of stress: distress and eustress, which occur from negative and positive events, respectively. Clinical Definitions DISTRESS: Stress that occurs from negative events. For example, the stress that occurs from experiencing the death of a loved one, getting hurt, or losing a job. EUSTRESS: Stress that occurs from positive events. For example, the stress that occurs when watching a scary movie, going on a roller coaster, or getting a job promotion. THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE In the 1920s, American physiologist Walter Cannon described a theory about how animals handle stress based on behavior. He called this theory the fight or flight response, otherwise known as acute stress. According to Cannon, when an animal is under intense stress (even if the stress is not real), a psychological and physiological reaction is triggered. There will be a sudden release of chemicals including adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol in the body. This will create an increase in heart rate, an increase in breathing, a tightening of the muscles, and a constricting of blood vessels, resulting in the energy necessary to react by either fighting or fleeing. This involuntary response is regulated by three bodily systems: the immune system, the endocrine system, and the central nervous system. HANS SELYE’S EXPERIMENTS WITH RATS The effect that stress can have on the body was first described by Hungarian scientist Hans Selye, in 1936. Selye theorized that chronic stress creates long-term chemical changes in the body, and therefore, stress could be a prominent cause of diseases. Selye had actually stumbled upon this conclusion while working with rats as an assistant at McGill University’s biochemistry department. He had been working on an experiment that involved injecting rats with ovarian extract, hoping to discover a reaction that would lead to a new type of sex hormone. The rats did react: their spleens, thymuses, lymph nodes, and adrenal cortexes enlarged, and they had deep bleeding ulcers in their duodenums and stomach linings. As Selye adjusted the amount of extract, these reactions would increase and decrease accordingly. Hans Selye was under the impression that he had discovered a new hormone. However, he then tried the experiment with placental extract and pituitary extract. To his surprise, the rats had the exact same responses. Still under the impression that this was a new hormone he was dealing with, Selye then tried the experiment once more with the extracts of several organs, including the kidney and spleen. The same reactions occurred every single time. Confused by these results, Selye tried one last thing: he injected a type of formaldehyde into the rats. This too brought about the same results. HANS SELYE’S GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME Considering his experiments with the rats to be a failure (because, after all, no new hormone was discovered), Hans Selye began looking into other possible causes for the symptoms he had discovered. A few years later, he recalled an experience he had had while studying as a young medical student in Prague. Patients would come in complaining of intestinal issues, as well as general aches and pains. Upon further examination, the patients would also end up having a fever, an enlarged liver or spleen, a skin rash, and inflamed tonsils. It wasn’t until later on that diagnosable symptoms related to particular illnesses began to appear. Selye also became intrigued by the notion that doctors always ordered patients to perform certain treatments no matter what they were suffering from—treatments including rest, eating easily digestible food, and avoiding rooms that varied in temperature. From his lab work with the rats and his memories of medical school, Hans Selye identified what he referred to as the general adaptation syndrome, which describes the body’s reactions to stress. According to Selye, the general adaptation syndrome can be broken down into three stages: Alarm Reaction: This is when homeostasis is disturbed by a stressor or external stimulus and the body first notices this stimulus. It is in this first stage that Cannon’s fight or flight response comes into effect and hormones are released to provide the individual with enough energy to handle the situation at hand. If the energy that is released from the fight or flight response continually remains unused through a lack of physical activity, it can actually have harmful effects on the body. Too much of the hormone cortisol, for example, can damage muscle tissue and cells, and can even lead to gastric ulcers, high blood sugar levels, and stroke. If there is too much adrenaline in the body, blood vessels of the brain and heart can be damaged, and this will increase the risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack. Adaptation: This is when the body begins to counteract the external stimulus and restore homeostasis through recovery, renewal, and repair. This process is known as resistance, and it occurs almost immediately after the beginning of the alarm phase, and will continue until the stressful condition desists. Should a stressful condition continue, the body will remain in its state of arousal. A person will begin to face problems when this process begins repeating too frequently, leaving little to no time for recovery to set in. If this occurs, the individual will move into the next stage. Exhaustion: This is when the body has been depleted of the energy, both physical and psychological, required to fight off the stressor. This is particularly true for chronic stressors, because when fighting short-term stress, a person may not be entirely depleted of his or her energy. With the energy lost, the individual can no longer resist the stressor. As a result, stress levels go up and remain high. The individual may experience adrenal fatigue, burnout, maladaptation, overload, or dysfunction. The result of chronic stress on the body and mind is also quite striking. Nerve cells of organs and tissues can become damaged, memory and thinking can become impaired, and a person will be more likely to have anxiety or depression. High levels of stress can also contribute to rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. SELF-DISCREPANCY THEORY The impact of fulfillment (or lack thereof) From 1987 to 1999, psychologist Edward Tory Higgins created a concept that attempted to explain the source of all dejection and anxiety; he called it the self-discrepancy theory. According to Higgins’s theory, an individual will experience dejection when he or she feels his or her hopes and ambitions have not been fulfilled, and an individual will experience anxiety when he or she feels as if a duty or obligation of his or hers has not been fulfilled. The self-discrepancy theory states that throughout an individual’s life, he or she will realize that achieving goals and aspirations can lead to certain secure rewards, like approval and love. The aspirations and achievements merge to