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Archive for the 'Social Psychology' Category

February 2, 2006

Marital Satisfaction : Recent Research

Marital satisfaction is sought, or expected, by most married individuals. Unfortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Census in 1992 reported that 52% of marriages end in divorce (Fowers, Montel, and Olson p. 103). This fact, along with other stimulants, has caused researchers to investigate the influences on marital satisfaction. Many predictors of stability and satisfaction in marriage do, in fact, exist. Among the various possibilities explored by researchers, conclusive studies have been done on the influences of past and present satisfaction with one’s spouse’s personality and living conditions, the effect of autonomy and relatedness on marriage, the Empty Nest Syndrome, as well as types of premarital relations and their effect on marital satisfaction.

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Marriage Math

In the world of relationships, the most important numbers to learn are: five to one. That is the ratio of positive interactions to negative ones that predicts whether a marriage will last or become one of the sad statistics of divorce.

It isn’t that you can’t argue with your spouse. But the couples that make it also manage to deliver positive emotional messages even when they don’t see eye to eye.

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Psych out: Psychology research experiments test students’ patience

Patty Canale didn’t know what to think when she signed her name to a list of participants for an upcoming psychology experiment.

“I thought maybe I was performing an experiment,” said Canale, a freshman in The College of Arts and Sciences. I didn’t know that I’d be hooked up to electrodes and have to fill out a waiver when I got there. I thought I’d be looking at pictures.”

Like Canale, many students taking PSY 205 and PSY 209 don’t know what the individual experiments they sign up for will entail and how researchers are able to take advantage of this student requirement. Students have questioned the extent to which their participation in other peoples’ experiments has educational value for them.

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Why I Hate Beauty??

Poets rave about beauty. Brave men have started wars over beauty. Women the world over strive for it scholars devote their lives to deconstructing our impulse to obtain it. Ordinary mortals erect temples to beauty. In just about every way imaginable, the world honors physical beauty. But I hate beauty.

I live in what is likely the beauty capital of the world and have the enviable fortune to work with some of the most beautiful women in it. With their smooth bodies and supple waists, these women are the very picture of youth and attractiveness. Not only are they exemplars of nature’s design for detonating desire in men, but they stir yearnings for companionship that date back to ancestral mating dances. Still, beauty is driving me nuts, and although I’m a successful red-blooded American male, divorced and available, it is beauty alone that is keeping me single and lonely.

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Emotional Programming To “Fall in Love”

Most of us emerged from childhood
believing that romantic love is a natural phenomenon.
When we ‘fall in love’, we seem to be possessed
by an irresistible passion, filling our hearts.
So, how could these romantic feelings be a cultural creation,
invented only 800 years ago?

Before the Middle Ages, some people probably experienced
exaggerated, fantasy feelings close to what we now call “romantic love”.
But such accidental eruptions of personal, deluded feelings
did not become the passion of the masses
until the French troubadours refined and spread the emotional game of love.

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The Love Hate Flip-Flop

One of Freud’s early disciples, Melanie Klein, took up the task of applying the techniques of psychoanalysis to children. She considered her work a natural extension of Freud’s theories, rather than any sort of innovation in psychoanalysis; still, she met considerable criticism from her psychoanalytic colleagues. And rightly so, for her work is characterized by speculative and fantastic explanations of, well, infant fantasy.

Nevertheless, Klein did bring to light the “ugly” side of infant development, for she saw in infants a mass of angry and hostile impulses toward the mother when the infant did not get its needs met. In essence, the infant constantly flip-flops between love and hate: love when its needs are met, and hate when its needs are ignored or frustrated. In her work, Klein tried to explain the process by which the infant seeks to repair the damage of its hostility to its mother. In fact, the titles of two of her most significant collections of works, Envy and Gratitude and Love, Guilt, and Reparation, tell the story almost as well as the writings themselves.

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Fear of Love

Believe it or not, most of us are brought up in modern culture to fear love. This is a radical statement, so pause a bit and consider it.

How often were you, as a child, criticized and laughed at for expressing your honest feelings? How often are you now used, in our culture of merchandising, as an object to be manipulated in order to satisfy some other person’s desire for profit and power? How often do you shape yourself—with diets, implants, workouts, jewelry, tattoos, makeup, hair dye, and clothing—to meet the expectations of someone’s desire?

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December 28, 2005

How alcohol works in the brain!

The gap where an electrical signal jumps from one neuron to another is called the synaptic cleft. This is a closeup of the cleft between one neuron and another.

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December 27, 2005

Psychiatrist Implicated in Nazi Atrocities Dies

VIENNA, Austria — Dr. Heinrich Gross, a psychiatrist who worked at a clinic where the Nazis killed and conducted cruel experiments on thousands of children, died Dec. 15, his family announced Thursday. He was 90.
Gross, who was implicated in nine deaths as part of a Nazi plot to eliminate “worthless lives,” had escaped trial in March after a court ruled he suffered from severe dementia. No cause of death was given in a brief statement issued by his family.
Gross was a leading doctor in Vienna’s infamous Am Spiegelgrund clinic. Historians and survivors of the clinic had accused him of killing or taking part in the clinic’s experiments on thousands of children deemed by the Nazis to be physically, mentally or otherwise unfit for Adolf Hitler’s vision of a perfect world.

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Stanford Prison Experiment

A Simulation Study of the
Psychology of Imprisonment
Conducted at Stanford University.
Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment, including parallels with the recent abuse of Iraqi prisoners. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University
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