Monthly Archives: November 2016

By George, I think you’ve got it!

It may just me… But I truly enjoy those proud moments when I finally get to “OH!” or “AHA!” Those eureka moments definitely come with a little boost to the self-esteem and confidence. But getting there can be a long and strategic road of problem-solving to get across that threshold of uncertainty.

Gestalt theories to get to an “Aha!” moment it boils downs to a two-step process. To start, you must “represent” the problem in the mind. Then reorganize the representation you first created. This can involve, mentally forming and reforming different representations of a problem until the right form is chosen. Adding these mental pieces deciphering out the parts of the problem is the Gestalt process to problem solves the most reasonable way to you. Once this method is finally figured out it becomes an “AHA!” moment.


Goldstein, E. B. (2015). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience, 4th Edition. [CengageBrain Bookshelf]. Retrieved from

False Memories and Crime

False memories and interrogation strategies have become an ethical debate in our courtrooms. There have been many instances of innocent people pleading guilty to a crime they haven’t committed. This has led researchers to conduct experiments that will hopefully change the way detectives question suspects.

In one study 30 students with a clear criminal background volunteered to be apart of a psychological experiment. The researchers started by gathering information from the students families. Then the researchers told the students individually a story containing one fact and one piece of false information about the students past. For half of the students the false information was a crime they committed. For the other half the false information was an emotional event. The researchers then asked the students to explain the event in detail. By the end of the experiment the researchers were surprised to find that 71% of the students whose false event was crime had created a false memory of committing that crime.(Guy,2015) Of the students who were told an emotional event 77% had created a false memory.(Guy, 2015)

These statistics are very scary, it shows how easy it is to implant false memories. These studies were believing that they committed crimes within a few hours. These students did were not threatened or did not have any scare tactics used on them. It is not uncommon for detectives to use tactics similar to this experiment. Officers have tactics that involve true facts and false information about evidence.

In one situation a 17 year old man woke up to find his mother stabbed to death and his father unconscious. When the police arrived the man was in shock, the officers found it suspicious that he was the only family unharmed.  He was put through a 5 hour interrogation were detectives made suggestions about the crime. So of which included telling the man that his father saw him murder his mother. After the interrogation the man began to question himself and not to long after confessed to the crime. He spent 17 years in prison until the real criminal was found.

In conclusion false memory tactics are very complex and using these techniques should be used with caution. Law enforcement should have regulations on these types of tactics. Possibly if a trained mental health worker is present in the interrogation. Moreover there have been so many occurrences that there are now organizations created to help victims of wrongful conviction. some of these organizations include The Innocence Project, AIDWYC, and Center for Wrongful Convictions.

Association In Defense of the Wrongfully Accused. Retrieved November 19, 2016, from

Guy, F. (2015, October 15). Implanting False Memories Of Crime | Crime Traveller. Retrieved November 19, 2016, from


Verbal Fluency

Since epilepsy is the thing that I have been writing about this semester, I figure I will stick with it. I know I have already addressed some of the adverse effects of the medications used to treat the disorder, but now I am going to delve deeper into the side effects poly (multiple) therapy versus momo (single) therapy. Specifically, how they differ in the side effects. For example, often times the more medications a person takes the greater number or more severe side effects.
Witt, Elger, and Helmstaedter (2015) conducted a retrospective study on the effects of the number of medications patients take as treatment. The cognitive assessment used by all of the studies that they looked at used EpiTrack, which “assesses response inhibition, visuo-motor speed, mental flexibility, visual motor planning, verbal fluency and working memory” (p. 1955). Through the assessment of the data collected from the other studies, it was determined that the number of medication a person takes does tend to increase side effects. The dosage of the medications also have an impact.
My experience with this just happens to be with verbal fluency. As I may have mentioned earlier, I have issues with keeping what I want to type in my mind long enough for me to type it. I also have a great amount of difficulty conversing with people. In my opinion, it is the most frustrating side effect that I have experienced thus far. Actually, just today I told my husband something that he told me that I had already told him yesterday! As Witt, Elger, and Helmstaedter (2015) state, “With regard to the cognitive side effects of antiepileptic pharmacotherapy, the presented data indicate that each additional drug matters” (p. 1959). If I failed to mention this earlier this semester, I am currently on four antiepileptic medications. On a final note, one of the medications was just recently increased, so I am still adjusting to it. I am just hoping I can tolerate it.

Witt, J., Elger, C. E., & Helmstaedter, C. (2015). Adverse effects of antiepileptic pharmacotherapy: Each additional drug matters. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25, 1954-1959.

Get that Thesaurus out!!

As a young girl, I have always loved language, especially new words and I was extremely fascinated with words that had the same meaning.  Which at a young age, I wanted a dictionary and a thesaurus and loved learning new words and formulating complex sentences.


Our book, By Goldstein, in Chapter 11, covers many areas of language, which only added to my desire to know and learn words and process language.  As stated, it discusses “lexical ambiguity”, I mentioned above, that “words can have more than one meaning”.  Which as we all might recall one of the classics was:  they’re, their, and there.  (Goldstein, p.. 303)


I also loved listening and grasping the context of the word being used.  Words always fascinated me.  Without knowing the context though, there would indeed be great confusion or misunderstanding. Things would become misconstrued!


For me, I loved to study the words and their meanings.  I would write, which would be practice, as well utilize so I clearly understood and properly used the context of the word correctly.  When formulating the sentences with the proper syntax, things can be understood!


To this day, I STILL love words and language!  I enjoy writing and getting the context of new words.

I enjoyed learning much more in that chapter on language and the different processes like lexical priming, and syntax first approach.  It showed me a deeper side to what I already loved. I appreciate that!

Even the article, “The difference between Lexical Ambiguity and Structural Ambiguity in English language, it refers to “ambiguity” itself as a “word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways”, which makes the English language one of the most difficult to learn.  (scrib’, 2016)

This is also why as our book says, and goes into the Human language IS special, which I completely concur!  The way we learn and process words alone, to create use-able language, and being to communicate is fascinating!

I even love my husband because he loves “words” and learning them and using and applying them, especially to formulate and be careful of the syntax of the sentence structure so others can understand what it is you are trying to convey.  We both very much enjoy that, but as I mentioned, I truly appreciate this course, especially the chapter on language for other factors that I had not known previously! Made it even more fascinating. 🙂

~~Yes, call me a “word” junkie! LOL

Did I Really Do That?

My first dog was a blonde Pomeranian who was named Scooby after the show I was horribly obsessed with as a child. I got him when I was very small and up until about five years ago I felt that I remembered the day I got him perfectly. I remember going to a friend of my mom’s house and seeing all these adorable pom puppies. They were all so cute but I saw one that I instantly felt madly in love with. I desperately wanted to take him home and I told my mom. Upon further conversation with the woman who had the puppies, we came to find out that he was deaf and unfortunately born without eardrums. This little munchkin had never been able to hear a thing. That was no problem for me however and we decided to take him home.

After telling this story to many people and explaining why he wouldn’t respond when someone called him, it was revealed to me that the story went a bit differently. As a puppy Scooby was in immaculate health. He had eardrums and they were perfectly intact. One day however, when I was very small, I was playing with him and either dropped him or threw him down a couple of stairs. I cannot remember this in the slightest and I feel that I must stress that I absolutely love animals and I would never harm an animal. I don’t even eat meat and haven’t for over six years now so this realization has burdened me with so much guilt. Apparently that drop caused serious injury to both ear drums and he was never able to hear again.

I am not sure whether I was told this by my family to take the guilt off or if I switched the truth in my own memory subconsciously. False memory is such a scary thing. We value our memories and hold on to them and usually see them to be the truth with zero uncertainty. I don’t remember that drop but I can almost vividly imagine my scenario as I have remembered it for years. It is sad to think not even our own memories are reliable and how easily they can be influenced. How much do you really know what you think you know?

Preveyet, menya-zavoot Jayme (Hi, my name is Jayme)

Initially, I thought I would write about how much of a space cadet I can be and tie that in with false memory, and my inability to properly reiterate just about any story. However, after reviewing some posts, you all helped me feel insanely normal, thank you. So I have decided, seeing as I happened to have attended a rather intensive military language course, I might write about that. So, nu-ladna (anyways, okay..).

My first intended assignment was to be a Russian linguist, didn’t happen, I don’t know any secrets, so no worries with breaking any crazy laws. I did complete the year long course however. And if you have had the chance to take a year of a language, you can appreciate how challenging that really is. This is a tiny bit different, its a college, we learned history, writing, grammar, so on, but it was all in Russian, we were not permitted to speak English, classes were 8 hours, and usually around 4 hours of homework that was designed for you to not be able to finish, but if you left a blank it was moosoar (garbage). It was a lot, but it was really putting us in the same spot we were in as children. Need a bathroom break? You had better pay attention to what Gaspasha (Ma’am, term of respect) says before she leaves.

In my group of other Russian linguist-to-be’s we caught on quick, learned jokes, watched movies, and found a whole new world and culture. So naturally we want to share it. We watch a funny youtube clip, and even if you don’t know Russian, they use “SO MANY COGNATES” you’ll get it. It was always very frustrating that they couldn’t catch the cognates. How did you not hear the blatant English words in this foreign language? So when our lesson went over Speech perception, specifically segmentation, I felt pretty silly. If you don’t know the grammar, you don’t know the adjectival endings, you don’t know anything about the language, how would you possibly know that the word ‘pause’ which is pronounced with a heavy Russian accent and slurred through with whatever was being said is actually your English ‘pause’.

Learning languages is a difficult task, for just about anyone. So it astounds me that children are so able to pick up so many at once, and I was tasked to learn one additional language at twenty-one years old, and it was a struggle. I did it, but I dedicated a year of my life to it, no hours of play time, and cartoons, no playdates. But their little brains are just more open to the possibility that ‘Nala’ (my pup) can be a sobka and a dog. We are all still capable of this, it just takes more persistence to add in that additional wiring to whats already there.

So, my year in an intensive military language program left me fluent in Russian, I still mix up my words, sometimes I have a hard time putting my Russian thought into English because Russian had a much better word or phrase. Never in learning Spanish, French, or German in a traditional classroom setting had I learned so much. I love language, I love culture. And I hope those of you with families keep those languages alive, for your family, your history, and your health.



Sunday Brunch Struggle

Who does not like Sunday brunch? Well, in our household it is a staple and a great way to ring in a Sunday (last day of the weekend)! This Sunday, we were having homemade biscuits and sausage gravy with soft boiled eggs. Well, I looked up a recipe and it required a cookie cutter. I am no baker so naturally, I have no cookie cutters. After some time of not being able to reach a solution, my boyfriend suggested using a cup, a glass cup that we drink out of. It was immediate insight for him. As for me, a few things stood in my way, such as fixation, function fixedness, and mental set. These three things contributed to my Sunday brunch panic.

“Fixation: people’s tendency to focus in a specific characteristic of the problem that keeps them from arriving at a solution” (Goldstein, 2011). To apply this to my Sunday brunch, I was so concerned with not have a cookie cutter, I was unable to work past it. I spent so much time being focused and digging through old boxes of cooking objects, I did not think outside of the box. I actually did not even think of anything that could imitate a cookie cutter.

My next thinking road block was function fixedness. The last thing crossing my mind was something that is like a cookie cutter, even the same shape. Function fixedness is when you limit the use of an object (Goldstein, 2011). I never looked at a glass I drink out of and thought about the other uses of it, such as a cookie cutter. The function of the glass was for me to drink out of, not make biscuits.

Growing up, I only really baked anything at my Grandma’s. My Grandma had every kitchen gadget you could ever think of. I never had to improvise. I never had to think out of the box for how to achieve a certain look of a dessert. The fact I was so stuck on not having a cookie cutter, I attribute to mental set. Mental set is “a preconceived notion about how to approach a problem, which is determined by a person’s experience or what has worked for them in the past” (Goldstein, 2011). That fact I never used anything else other than a cookie cutter really inhibited my ability to approach the problem at hand.

Not being able to work outside of what I knew was a solution really made this brunch stressful. I consider myself lucky that my boyfriend was there to provide insight. Insight is ‘the sudden retaliation of a problems solution” (Goldstein, 2011). He provided an immediate solution to my problem at hand. Needless to say, using a cup was perfect and did exactly what was needed of a cookie cutter.



Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


False Memories

Out of all the topics we have learned during this course, I have to say learning about false memories was one of my favorites.  “A false memory is when you create a memory inside your mind that actually never occurred in real life (Goldstein, 2011)”. This is completely relevant to my life and I am sure anyone else’s by the nature of it, but this is a subject that brings up a lot of arguments between my parents and I on how my childhood had really went.

Anytime my brother and I are talking about our childhood together, he really only remembers about two things and I would be able to remember a whole list of what was really going on. I realize that I have great long term memory but not so much as short term. Anyway going back to the arguments between my parents and I. There is this one scenario that we see differently. My parents had refinished our basement and put both my brother and I bedrooms. They decided to close off my bedroom and turn it into a one bedroom apartment because I apparently did not sleep in it, and from what I remember I had no choice but to move out of that bedroom because of their decision. As you can see I am still holding a grudge over it because we both have different memories of the situation.

Is it possible for me not to remember sleeping in that bedroom anymore and rather sleep upstairs in the bedroom that I originally slept in. Or did my parents just make that up so it would seem believable rather then looking like mean parents kicking me out of a bedroom.

According to our text, “Implanting memories are extremely easy (Goldstein, 2011)”. “Most of our memories can seem accurate, but are actually false (Goldstein, 2011)”. This news is mind blowing. So I guess I will never really know how I felt about that bedroom. Maybe I really didn’t like it because of the “ghosts” living down there in the dark.



Goldstein, B. (2011). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research and everyday experience (3rd ed.). Wadsworth, Inc.

Can We Trust Our Memories…

Memories are what we carry with us throughout our entire life. We have some that’s good and some that’s bad, but memories are what makes our life unforgettable. However, the question is how certain memories can actually be false memories. While reading the specific topic about false memory and the different designs that was used to show whether or not it is possible for us to actually implant memories. Well, from my perspective definitely, I feel memories can actually be implanted and can be changed as well. Reason being, a close friend of mines lives for the great memories that he creates throughout his life. However, being his friend for quite awhile, hearing different stories some that he didn’t necessarily partake in are memories that he has implanted as if he was there. This brought me to think back to lesson for the example with Carl and Jim.
So with that being said, I took him as my own experiment and actually began observing and did the same test that was used in the lesson. The results were basically identical and I found it to be hilarious. Although we have many memories together, there were some I knew we weren’t together for, which I used to my advantage. So one day, we were talking and I mentioned a specific time that he wasn’t there. Two days later he came back to me and stated he remembers. A week went by and I asked again and this time details were given. One thing I can say with this is that the same way a person can implant a memory is just as easily to change or even forget the memory in general. In this aspect, I can say memories can happen where you can simply forget. Those memories become strictly of what the stories that were being told to you. You begin to build a memory off the different versions of the stories from friends or family. Now the biggest question is can we really trust our memories. If it is possible to create your own using memories or stories that someone is telling you then how accurate can we really say we lived in our own memories.

Remember That Time When……? Nope.

That awkward moment when someone I know asks me, “Remember that time, like 10 years ago, when you and I were hanging out with [insert two familiar names here] and [one of those familiar names] fell off of [insert some random object] and you laughed so hard that your drink came out of your nose?”. It makes me laugh but I shake my head and tell them that I do not remember that happening at all. The person will then continue to explain more about that day to try and spark my memory. “Remember…. You were wearing a white shirt and said something about how your drink would stain your shirt, but that the laugh was definitely worth it.” I still shake my head and tell them I really do not remember it.  Things like this happen to me quite frequently. I have friends that remember something like it happened yesterday and I have absolutely no recollection of the memories. Every once in a while, when they try to trigger my memory, I will remember something basic about the situation, like the fact that I was there, but definitely not anything specific.

To add to it, studies say that someone can remember their first memory at around 3 years old, and I do not remember anything that early. The first thing that I remember is when I was 5 and I broke my arm. I may have a few scattered memories here and there that could be from when I was younger but I cannot recall how old I was specifically. I remember most of the things that influenced my life emotionally, like when my mom and I moved to Colorado or when I started a new school. I do not have what our lesson referred to as flashbulb memories that are super vivid or detailed from before the age of about 20, just the general memory. I have no issues learning anything for school, or remembering conversations I had with someone about things like work, I remember the day my daughter was born, or first day of basic training but there are so many other memories, especially autobiographical memories that just aren’t there. For those that have seen the movie “Inside Out”, those memories have turned grey.

I believe that my lack of memory or my lack of recall on memories is simply my personality. There is nothing that I have gone through that was physically, mentally, or emotionally scarring that I would have subconsciously tried to block out parts of my life.  I have a healthy relationship with my parents and had a very nice childhood. I just think that I make and keep my memories based off things that have affected me emotionally rather than just memories in general. Some of the memories that I do have are memories that I can picture simply because I have heard the stories so many times. Hey…if I can’t remember them and really enjoy them – at least there is someone else that can.