Laura’s Psychology Blog

One Professor’s Observations of the World of Psychology….   

January 29, 2014

readings in psychology for 29 january 2014 @PsychScience

A puppy makes all the difference!

A puppy makes all the difference!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Humans are very social. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had neither fearsome claws or teeth, so posed little threat to other species. Groups of humans working together, however, can be formidable. We defend our groups, sometimes viciously, against the threat of “them.” Distinctions as trivial as the sports team for whom you cheer have been the basis of killings.”

“”Our group has been fascinated with circadian rhythms for over 10 years now, as they represent a marvelous example of robust control at the molecular scale in nature,” said Frank Doyle, chair of UCSB’s Department of Chemical Engineering and the principal investigator for the UCSB team. “We are constantly amazed by the mechanisms that nature uses to control these clocks, and we seek to unravel their principles for engineering applications as well as shed light on the underlying cellular mechanisms for medical purposes.””

“The study, led by Professor Daniel Freeman at the University of Oxford, tested 60 adult women from the general population who were prone to having ‘mistrustful thoughts’. The participants experienced an underground tube ride virtual reality simulation. They experienced the same ‘journey’ twice, with the only difference being a reduction in height of about a head (25cm). In both instances, the other virtual passengers were programmed to be ‘neutral’, and not a cause of fear in the participants.”

“During his lifetime, Henry G. Molaison (H.M.) was the best-known and possibly the most-studied patient of modern neuroscience. Now, thanks to the postmortem study of his brain, based on histological sectioning and digital three-dimensional construction led by Jacopo Annese, PhD, at the University of California, San Diego, scientists around the globe will finally have insight into the neurological basis of the case that defined modern studies of human memory.”

“Star Trek’s food replicator may soon become more science fact than science fiction. Back in May, 2013, NASA — as it sets its sights on manned missions to Mars — revealed that it was teaming up with Systems & Materials Research Consultancy (SMRC) on a 3D printer that can produce… food, and more specifically, pizza. SMRC actually won a six-month, $125,000 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from NASA to explore the feasibilty of utilizing 3D-printed food for lengthy space operations.”

Rosie Ensor, Claire Hughes, and their colleagues at University of Cambridge tackled this question by testing children over the course of eight years. They first visited the homes of two-year-olds during a family meal and recorded how often the mother and child used ‘thought words’ such as know, forget, think, idea, interest, and understand. One year later, they administered standard false-belief tests and a verbal comprehension test to each child.

“Principal Bruce McLachlan rid the school of playtime rules as part of a successful university experiment.

“We want kids to be safe and to look after them, but we end up wrapping them in cotton wool when in fact they should be able to fall over.”

Letting children test themselves on a scooter during playtime could make them more aware of the dangers when getting behind the wheel of a car in high school, he said.”

8 Responses to “readings in psychology for 29 january 2014 @PsychScience”

  1. Ali G Says:

    It is so hard to believe that the 3D printer was able to make that pizza. I remember when I was younger, I would always see those food replicators in Star Trek and I always wanted one but I always thought that it would be impossible, but it seems that we are already halfway there. I wish the article was a bit longer that way I could know more about the details, such as the nutritional components of that pizza. If that pizza had all the same nutritional components of a regular pizza, then that would even be more impressive because we could potentially end world hunger, and this could be one step closer to living in a world where we do not have to worry about paying for food. After scientists successfully replicate food, they should find a way to replicate clean and drinkable water, that way the greatest resource in the world will never run out.

  2. Ali G Says:

    At first when I watched the no rules school playground video, I did not think that it was that great of an idea because some of those kids looked like they were really getting hurt out there. But then toward the end of the video, one of the school supervisors made me think about it a different way after he talked about how if the children test themselves when they are younger, then they wont have to test themselves for the things that they will have to do in the future such as a driving test. This really stuck out to me because this concept makes a lot of sense. If they test their limits on the playground without following the rules, then they will be more self aware of what they can and cannot accomplish. It is interesting because this reminded me somewhat of Calpoly’s “learn by doing” quote. However, we follow the rules and learn by getting hands on experience, taking risks and completing different tasks and testing ourselves, that way when we face the real world, we will be better prepared for the tests that our future employers may have for us.

  3. wesleychoy Says:

    Learning about the origins of groups from our hunter-gatherer ancestors shed a lot of light of the necessity of groups back in both ancient times for facing other species and in today’s world where humans face other harsh tasks. As two heads have always been said to be better than two, I thought this made perfect sense of why humans like to associate with others and also further highlighted the benefits of associating with one another. As I read in another study where adolescents were more confident and took more risks when with peers versus alone, the benefits of associating could be seen. As for the sports example where team rivalries have often led to violence, the intense nature of in-groups and out-groups was also explained as the intense and at times dangerous rivalry of the Giants and Dodgers came to mind.

  4. jnlui Says:

    The reason behind why we form groups is very true, our society is very in touch with the “I help you, you help me” idea. Often the reason why we create groups or circle of friends, is because they do help us in one way or another. The people we are close with offer us something, such as emotional, social, or physical support, and that is why we feel in touch with them. At the same time I don’t completely agree with this too, because our society is a constant moving forward society. We are always trying to strive forward, which causes use to always try to one up or move up. Many times, that leads us to compete against one another, and that can’t always be done in groups, especially since in the corporate world, trust is so weak, and everything has to be written out.

  5. BonnieBurns Says:

    At first when I read that a school had implemented a no rules playground, I thought it sounded unrealistic and dangerous. While after reading the article I still find the concept of no rules on the playground a bit dangerous and could result in problems, I can see why the school implemented this and how it is successful. It makes a lot of sense that allowing children to take more risks on the playground will help to develop their frontal lobe (which is involved in risk taking behaviors). Today, it seems like a lot of school are so strict, which really eliminates the ability for the child to take chances and explore the unknown. Having no rules at the playground would definitely stimulate creativity and help kids learn from their mistakes and behaviors that they chose to commit to, and serve them in their future as learning experiences. While I think it is good to cut back on the rules so that children can experience more risks, I definitely think some rules are necessary just due to the nature of children getting hurt and teachers and schools being liable for their injuries.

  6. Luke Simon Says:

    It is definitely a high risk move to abolish all playground rules, going against the norms of society. I can’t imagine how parents of children who attended this school first reacted when they got word of this. The idea is brilliant. All children want to do is play. Rules do not really do a developing child much good. One of the best way for a child to learn and grow is to experience things for himself or herself, letting their mind run free without having to be constricted by rules all the time. The well-known motto at Cal Poly, “learn by doing,” can attest to that.

  7. christinahenning Says:

    making a food replicator: Reading something like this, where a printer can actually make food is fascinating. To think technology has come this far is mind blowing. I think it is a great advancement, especially as the article stated for astronauts in space. We have all tried “space” food and can all equally agree that the astronauts will appreciate “real” food in space at an easy convenience.

  8. christinahenning Says:

    there are no rules on the playground: At first when i saw the title I immediately disagreed, however when I kept reading I agree that there should be no rues on the playground. I feel like when children are restricted it is more likely of them to rebel, where as if there is nothing to rebel against they are more civilized. I also think since children do not get enough time outdoors these days it is important that they are free to use their imagination to its full extent. Being a RA in the dorms has showed me how much students love to rebel against the rules, where as schools with less strict rules, see less rebellion.

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