Author Archives: Elizabeth Maria Negron

Does the Media Curve our Heuristics? B3

Does the Media Curve our Heuristics?

Lately the news has been filled with violent crimes, murderers, protests, and police brutality. How much of our perception to the media change our heuristics and create our stigmas. People are protesting the way news reporters display victims of different races. Availability heuristic states that people are guided by what we remember in the past (Goldstein, 2011). When watching the news or reading the newspaper perception might be altered from what we experience. Descriptions like Ala. suspect brilliant, but social misfit and  Montgomery’s latest homicide victim had history of narcotics abuse, tangles with the law can effect it (Wing, 2014). The first post was about a caucasian who committed murder the second post is about a black individual who got murder in police brutality (Wing, 2014). Although this may not seem that it alters your stigma and stereotypes, seeing constant portrayal of these groups of people changes perception. This can especially happen when you do not get a chance to meet other cultures and races. In that situation it is easy to make assumptions and stereotypes. It is similar to the effect of when people are asked which deaths occur more on airplane accidents or automobile accidents. Most people believe that more people die from airplane accidents rather than automobiles. This is because our memory is not perfect. We easily remember events that are tragic like 9/11 but don’t really remember all of the auto accidents that happen on the news. We also do not hear about every auto accident that happens. In addition, as humans we also wrongfully assume that some small samples can represent for a larger groups or populations (Goldstein, 2011). This does not make it any easier to ease stigma and stereotypes. Some people may take a stigma across a whole group of people. People also tend to use causal interference. This happens when reading a headline like Ala. suspect brilliant, but social misfit. Reading this my perception of the sentence can be, this tragedy happened because he was brilliant, but a social misfit so he must have a mental problem.

Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology. Belmont, Canada: Cengage Learning .

Wing, N. (2014, 8 14). When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims. Retrieved from Huffington Post:


Do Goldfish Only Have a 3 Second Memory? L8



It is the age old myth of believing that goldfish only have the memory span of 3 seconds long. With further research and experiments we now know that goldfish have a memory that last at least 3 months long (Harfield, 2014). If the myth was true, this would mean that the goldfish is never given enough time to process information to the long term memory. Short term memory is described as memory that can hold at least 5-7 items for a period of at least 15-30 seconds long (Goldstein, 2011). Long term memory happens to be a little different as we transfer information through repetition and rehearsal the memories can last for years, well for a goldfish only months at a time. With this understanding we would think that goldfish wouldn’t even make it out of the short term memory stage either.

We can easily test a goldfish memory by conducting our own science experiment. It can be as simple as using a lever for the fish to receive its food (The Goldfish Tank, 2016). It is a very similar concept to operant conditioning. When a goldfish presses on the lever and food is released the goldfish is able to remember the next day that when the lever is pressed food is released. If the gold fish was unable to make that connection, then the memory span of the goldfish would be shorter. Because the goldfish is able to make that connection we can conclude that a goldfish’s memory is much longer than what the rumors say. We can also learn when the memory span ends when we realize that the goldfish no longer goes to the lever for its daily feeding. Another experiment that was conducted to test a goldfish’s memory was similar to Pavlov’s famous dog and saliva experiment to test classical conditioning. The same was done for goldfish in which they learned that it was feeding time when a certain sound was played. This was proven to be true when the sound was played five months later and the goldfish still correlated the sound to feeding time.

In conclusion, memory is an important aspect of all of our lives. In the case of goldfish memory is a necessary tool for survival when it comes to remembering feeding or even remembering predators in the real ocean. We should all experiment on all of our pets to see how long they are able to remember things.

Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology. Belmont, Canada: Cengage Learning .

Harfield, D. (2014, February 4). Why goldfish having a three-second memory is a myth…. Retrieved from How It Works:

The Goldfish Tank. (2016). Goldfish Memory: Is 3 second goldfish memory a myth? Retrieved from The Goldfish Tank:

Elizabeth Negron

Are We Unconsciously Prejudice?

I have recently taken an implicit test that was designed to perceive your unconscious thoughts about European people and African Americans. The test was meant to uncover your implicit belief of certain stereotypes. This test evaluated your association with good words such as love and peace to bad words such as failure and clumsy. Upon evaluating the words as good or bad it then made an association with Europeans and African American faces. The test evaluates how long it takes you to respond to each stimuli and the faster the test is done the less likely you thought about your answers that you keyed in.

I honestly believe that this test is more than just testing our implicit thoughts. I believe this test also test our perception of things unconsciously. Let’s begin with the bottom-up processing begins with our sensory perception, a way to get information to the brain. These sensory perceptions are hearing, seeing, touching, and smelling that emit energy (Elbich, 2016). An example was given in Goldstein’s textbook with a tree. When we perceive the visionaries of a tree neurons are fired off, giving you what corresponds to certain features of a tree (Goldstein, 2011). I believe that the same happens with hearing. When we hear certain things about certain groups we begin to assimilate these to be true, like what we hear on the news and on the radio. This is when top-processing comes into play. This information that is received is processed by present knowledge, expectation, and also the experiences that we are given in the world (Elbich, 2016). The reason this is important to a test like an implicit test is because stereotypes are taught from our expectations from a certain group of people. We also begin to believe those expectations through media, our own interpretation, and our own experiences.

Someone who has not been exposed to many types of people and live more in a suburban area is more likely to follow such stereotypes. My results ended up being that I slightly prefer African Americans over Europeans. I can conclude that these results are so because of my experiences, my environment around me, and the society I have grown up with. I wanted to take this blog outside of the book and relate it to something I believe to be important. If you’d like you are more than welcome to take the test there are many to take including gay vs straight religious vs non religious and so on. I would love to see peoples results.

Elbich, D. (2016). Lesson 3. Retrieved from Canvas/Angel :

Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology. Belmont, Canada: Cengage Learning .