Author Archives: Christian Micaiah Duncan

Taste Aversion

Christian Duncan

Psych 100.003

4/9/14

 

The psychology concept that I will be talking about is taste aversion. Taste aversion states that humans are apt to have an aversion to a food if they become sick afterwards. Now I understand some may think to themselves why this would be a psychology concept. Well to keep it simple it’s because a mind game played with oneself. Taste aversions are also a great example of the fundamentals of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is the type of learning in which an organism learns to associate stimuli. In the scenario, the person is associating the food with the illness followed after eating it. Although the food and the illness have no actual correlation, one will still avoid the food because it reminds them of the sickness. I have actually had a couple experiences in my life that describe this perfectly. I remember back when I was around eleven and I was at home eating Nabisco’s Nilla Wafers on a weekend. At the time, these cookies were one of my favorite snacks to eat and I always enjoyed eating them. Oddly enough, on this particular day I became sick after eating them and I threw up. I still to this day won’t eat these cookies. I understand that it wasn’t the cookie that made me sick but the thought of eating one somehow leaves a distasteful flavor in my mouth. Another is when I was on my school bus and I was chewing some generic gumballs that you might get as a crappy Halloween treat. As odd as it sounds, I could only compare its nauseating taste to that of old Chinese food. This resulted in me refusing to order Chinese food restaurant for years. Now that many years have passed I can now consume this type of meal with no hesitation. I do find it truly interesting though as to why we make the food we ate the “bad guy” as if it was the reason we became ill, resulting in us avoiding it for an extended period of time. It’s just another incredible concept of how the human mind works.

Monocular/Binocular Cues

Christian Duncan

Psych 101 100.003

3/14/14

 

The psychology concepts that I will be talking about are binocular and monocular cues. These cues are what help us judge distances. Binocular cues are simply the information taken in by both eyes. Convergence and retinal (binocular) disparity are the two binocular cues we use to process visual information. Convergence states that our eyes move together to focus on an object that is close and that they would move farther apart for a distant object. A simple example of this would be holding your finger in front of your nose and moving it toward and away from your face. Retinal disparity states that because we have two eyes there are literally two images combing to form one, giving us our depth perception. If you were to cover one eye, you may find trouble catching an object tossed in your direction or even grasping objects close by. Knowing what a binocular cue is, it is evident that monocular cues are those where only one eye is involved. One of the most common six is called relative size. It states that when two objects are similar in size, we’ll perceive whichever casts a smaller retinal image as farther away. Interposition states that when one object is blocking another, the blocking object is closer. Arial perspective is based off of light passing through that atmosphere. If an object is further away it will appear hazy as opposed to the clarity of a closer object. Linear perspective is a cue used within art showing how parallel lines that converge show distance and depth. Texture gradient, also used in art, is a cue stating that we see less details of an object when it is further away. Although animals use it more than humans, we have the motion parallax. It states that closer objects appear to move faster rather than objects that are farther away. These are all ways that we perceive everyday life without even realizing it. They are what help us function in everything that we do from the simplest to the most complex of activities.

Illusory Correlations

Christian Duncan

Psych 100.003

2/5/14

 

 

The psychology concept that I will be writing about is the illusory correlation. An illusory correlation is the experience of identifying a relationship between two variables, generally people, events, or behaviors, even when no such relationship is present. Stereotypes and superstitions are great examples that show this phenomenon. For example one stereotype may be that all lawyers are corrupt. Now as simple as this may appear, let’s observe this claim. We see on television shows, movies and other media how lawyers are shown and depicted as sneaky or deceitful. We know it isn’t impossible for one to be crooked but to say that all of them are is an empty claim. I’m sure there are lawyers out in the world who handle their job in an honest manner. Other stereotypes such as “all people who wear glasses are intelligent” or that “all blondes are brainless” are also empty claims. Although when we watch media the illusion is given that these two variables depend on each other, but they truly don’t. The title of being a lawyer doesn’t automatically make them deceitful or a liar. Glasses don’t make people become geniuses and blonde hair doesn’t make anyone unintelligent. Superstitions play the same role. People say that breaking mirrors, walking under ladders and all other sorts of things bring bad luck. I think that we all understand how these claims are absolutely false. Knocking the salt shaker over does not have anything to do with that puddle you accidently stepped in. None of these things result in something unfortunate happening to you. Chances are it would’ve happened without the superstition being present. Even the “good” superstitions signify the illusory correlation. Certain athletes may have pregame rituals in which they believe helps them perform better. Although they believe it gets them in their “zone” or the correct mindset, one has nothing to do with the other. The athlete is still physically capable of the performance he or she is known for. I think it’s all based on expectations after experiencing an event for the first time. If a man goes to a city that he has have never visited before and he encounters nothing but nice people during his trip, he will assume that the city is filled with people just like the ones he met. However, this could have been completely by chance. The man could return to the city months later and only encounter rude individuals. There is no direct correlation between kind or rude people and the city. The illusory correlation only gives the illusion of a relationship and it can never be proven.