Archive | March, 2012

A Figment of Your Imagination

31 Mar

Eric Ronald Pagdanganan

Mr. John Hudson Go

General Psychology

30 March 2012

 

A Figment of Your Imagination

 

An optical illusion occurs when your brain makes the wrong assumption about what your eyes perceive. Sometimes you’re fooled into thinking you see things that aren’t there. Optical illusions make objects seem to move, change color, or appear farther away than they are. Optical illusions called afterimages occur when your eyes get tired after they have stared at something for an extensive time. Sometimes you don’t see things that are actually there. Each of your eyes has a blind spot, a place that does not see anything. You are not aware of your blind spot because your eyes are usually moving. Not everyone sees the same optical illusions. The optical illusions you see are based on the experiences you have had. Your brain tries to see familiar objects and group the objects into familiar patterns. Examples are the Muller-Lyer illusion, the moon illusion, the horizontal – vertical illusion, the Ponzo illusion, and the Devil’s fork.

However how far will our eye take us to perceive anything that we see as an illusion or specifically an optical illusion? In this article I shall attempt to tell you a story of what may have been just an illusion or may have been reality. Do you believe in ghost stories? Have you ever experienced any supernatural occurrences? Well not everyone in our world believes in the supernatural, they only believe in two things life and death.

It was on the summer of 2010 my friends visited me here in the Philippines from Malaysia, we’ve been planning the trip for a long time and finally it has happened. My other friends around the Philippines who were for the summer also visited me in my place. They stayed here for two weeks or so and guess it was fair to say we had a lot of fun; conversely there was this one event though that occurred that we would never forget.

We went back to my mom’s province Lumban, Laguna and our initial plan was to stay at some property of my uncles acquaintance but that did not happen, so instead we went to a resort called Lake Caliraya. When we arrived in the place we checked out the room and once we got there my mom exclaimed and pointed out at a bed, it was the bed she’d like to sleep on.

Throughout the evening we did our activities and had dinner, to be honest it wasn’t that great but it’s all good, it filled our stomachs. And that’s all that counts. When it was time to sleep after a tiring day we all took a shower, and got ready for bed. As everyone was getting ready to sleep and just relaxing, I with my friends laying down and just chatting and listening to music, my mom’s brother snoring already and my mom on her individual bed sleeping silently. As we were all about to drift off and fall as sleep we heard a cry, and it sounded like a lady. She cried either “Umalis na kayo!” or “Tulongan nyo ako!” which translates to “Get out!” and “Help me!” We all got startled and obviously woke everyone up. My mother waking up instantly called “Who the hell shouted?” and none of us said anything. After all the commotion we just ignored it and slept it off, and the next day we couldn’t help but talk about it. During the conversation my mother explained what she had seen in her dream, she saw a lady laying down her arms. Now would you consider that as an illusion or just an imagination? Something that not only one person has heard but a number. What do you think?

 

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Social Psych

30 Mar

My friends are always my shock absorber whenever there is an issue between my parents and I or vice versa. Both my friends and my family are the ones who know everything about me. There are quite some points that i’d like to share in this entry. I’ve experienced being in a group several times already in both positive and negative way. First, being a parasite. I’ve been a social loafer quite alot actually. Honestly, I hate reporting in class that’s why in cases like this, I always make sure to get the easiest topic or better yet, just to compile everything and not do anything at all especially on those subjects that I don’t really like or it depends actually. There was this one time when I almost did the whole work for my group simply because I love my group mates. It motivates me to do something more because i’m comfortable with my group. In terms of decision making, im the type of person who just goes with the flow. I don’t really acknowledge my own decision and just let my group decide because i have this notion of not being able to defend and explain my own decision. There was this one time when I really wanted to go somewhere but my friends don’t want to so I decided to join them instead of explaining and debating things with them. Another thing about social psychology that I could relate to would be stereotyping and prejudism. My whole world just turned upside down when I first entered Enderun. From pollution, street foods, jeeps, traffic jam to a peaceful, elite, comfy environment and of course, socialites. The first thing I said when I entered Enderun was that all students don’t know how to speak tagalog and so they are all conyos. The second one, I don’t know if it’s considered as stereotyping but, I first thought all Koreans are nice and cute and friendly but after a week I realized that they’re the other way around. Well, most of them. I rarely see Koreans who interact with other race. Majority of the Korean population in Enderun have their own little worlds. From the negative things, let’s move on to the positive ones which is Love and Attraction. Love for me? Please, I have no time for that. Or even if I have, it’ll be for my family or if there would be someone, maybe just because of the concept of companionship. As we’ve discussed this topic, at first I thought that difference would be more important so that you’ll know each other more but based on experience, it’s the similarities that counts. As an introvert, I prefer those people who has the same personality as I am, maybe not a replica, but atleast a percentage if his/her personality and since I’m the person who always fits in, being friends with someone who’s partially my replica would be awesome.

 

-Jackie R.

Learning

30 Mar

First, let’s define the topic. What is learning? How to do we learn? Basically, it is a skill we naturally have and permanently changes our behaviour through experience and sometimes we connect those experiences which we call associative learning.

There are several types on learning, namely and it’s up to us which type we are comfortable with or which is the most effective one. For me, I’ll consider observing as the best way of learning especially with all my previous sports, Figure skating and Wushu, they require a lot of observation and mimicking. Right from the start I knew that it was the best way for me to learn since I’m good in mimicking things and from that, I improve my skills and try to learn new ones by myself like for example adding new routines or sometimes, redo everything. Observing another person takes time and so what I usually do is to watch, do it, watch, do it and do it over and over again until our session ends. After, I extend for another hour inside the rink or for wushu, the dancing room and practice by myself.  There was this one time that I even asked someone to record my moves for me to see what I did wrong.  As lame as it seemed, it did help me anyway.

Having said that I improved my skills through observational learning, I demand and expect for rewards quite a few times therefore, considering operant conditioning. Being an only daughter, I’m used to being the centre of my parents’ attraction. Give what I want, let me do what I want, and so on. I was once a brat until I reached 5th grade. They started bargaining with me and bribing me stuff to improve my grades since they knew that I was turning into a happy-go-lucky student so they found a way to change my attitude and one of those ways would be reinforcement. Reinforcement for me is more like bribing. By down side of this would be expectations. A kid would only excel just because he/she expects something in return. I’ve been on of those kids way back then. Dad always promises me a new Barbie doll everytime I get a perfect score in an exam. Another way would be punishment where in you stop someone’s habit by somewhat threatening them.  Well for me, punishment is part of being a kid and as a matter of fact, the worst case scenario of this would be traumatizing the kid depending on you action and in most cases, kids rebel or even become worst.

 

-Jackie R.

 

Memory

30 Mar

                    Do you still remember your first few steps as a kid? Your first heartbreak? Your first poem to memorize or even your lines for your skit? Can you imagine all those information inside your head and still remember maybe not all, but at least some of it? We gain info each and every day but as we know, not all would be retained because we basically have 3 memory stages, The sensory memory, the short term and the long term memory. Sensory memory usually holds original information for only an instance. An example would be a person you just passed by as you walk to school. You may remember them as a police, a nurse or a secretary but you wouldn’t really remember all of this person’s facial features. The next type of memory storage would be the short-term memory. This usually holds information for only about 30 seconds. This only allows limited information and fades away quickly unless the information is rehearsed just like what I usually do. The third and last type would be the long-term memory. This is of course, the most important type of memory for it stores a huge amount of information for a long period of time.  For me, it’s harder to retrieve something from my long term memory because I prefer rehearsing things for only a period of time and usually, I end up forgetting things or should I say, not retrieving it. For example, our skit for our oral French exam, I have memorized my lines for half an hour and then get done with the exam.  After that, I simply let go of all the info I just inputted and don’t care at all. I can maybe remember it partially but it depends on the topic because for me, it’s better to memorize everything than to really understand something especially if the topic is way opposite of my interest so if don’t like the topic, most likely, all the info will pop up like a bubble after it using it but if it’s the other way around, it would automatically be retained.  Some few examples would be our crushes and heartbreaks. Even the teeny tiniest info about your crush is worth remembering, right? But after a while, you saw your crush with another person and your heart was pounded into million pieces and as much as you wanted to forget everything about them, you just can’t especially when you start to associate things with that person. It fades eventually but after a long period of time. I would probably consider again, strangers I pass by when I go out as part of my sensory memory, cramming and memorizing for my tests as part of my short-term memory, and prolly my crushes and heartbreaks unfortunately as part of my long term memory.

 

– Jackie R.

“Mga Kababayan Ko” by: Matthew Ocbina (B.I.N.S.)

30 Mar

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“Pilipino lang ako kapag nananalo si Pacquiao”- Loonie

 

              Mga kababayan ko or my fellow countrymen is a famous song by Francis M in  the 90s.  I thought that this would be the perfect title for this piece because it is about my introspection on nationalism.  Just a few weeks ago, a video became viral in social networking sites.  It is about an American who has been living in the Philippines and the 20 things he dislikes about our country.  It has raised controversy on how he showed his straightforward views about the negative things in our country.  Many people were offended and started blasting him with negative remarks on the net.  When I first watched the video, I told myself “damn, an American dissing our country.  I wanna whoop his ass”.  The first reaction that one gets when he views this video is anger towards the American but I realized that it’s not the white guy who has a problem but the narrow minds of our countrymen which is plagued with colonial mentality and it somehow lacks a sense of national pride.

 

              One negative value that is present in many Filipinos is colonial mentality.  What I mean by this is that we are too eager to follow foreigners and patronize their products.  This also escalates into our failure to recognize national interests in order for our nation to succeed.  I am saddened by the fact that most of the Filipino minds are led by foreigners and large corporations(mostly foreign owned).  I am also disappointed with the fact that it was an American that pointed out the nasty things in our country.  Even though most of his points are shallow ex. Filipinos are obsessed with whitening products and roach problem in the streets.  Hey, I know that Americans are obsessed with getting a tan and ever heard of the rat problem in New York’s subways.   It would be smart enough to dismiss it and not make a big fuss about it. 

 

            What I think lacking in today’s Philippine society is our sense of nationalism and cultural identity.  We Filipinos should help each other out in order for us to get a sense of excellence and camaraderie.  This in turn should uplift the current situation and harsh realities the country is experiencing right now.  What happened to the teachings of Jose Rizal?  Whatever happened with the ideas that Francis M. fought for?

Aside

Learning

30 Mar

Learning is and will always be part of our lives. If we don’t learn, we would not be where we are now. Everyone, however, is different and has different ways of learning new things. Some are more able to absorb new things when things are repeated and some learn better with use of visual aid.

Personally, I learn better with the use of visual aid and personal experience. Whenever I learn things hands on, I find it easier and faster to learn because I absorb knowledge better that way compared to simply using my imagination. It allows me to remember what I’m learning better.  From experience, I also realize how much willingness to learn and interest in the topic can play a very big role in learning. Without these two, it would be very difficult for the learner. For example, in the field of culinary arts, one may have difficulty in learning or excelling if one does not have the interest or the willingness to learn the topic. Whether the teacher makes the lesson or discussion fun, it really depends on whether the student puts in effort to learn. This is especially important in culinary arts because time, hard work and dedication is very important. Being a chef will require a lot of tiring hours in the kitchen and a lot of focus on what you are doing. Without willingness to learn, interest and an open mind, it would be hard for one to work in the kitchen and to learn new things. I realized this when I started working in the lab for my CA101 class. All we did at the start of the semester was to mince onions and turn or shape vegetables for three hours. After this, I realized that there is so much dedication and work put into every component one makes in a dish.

On the other hand, distractions can also hinder us from learning. One particular distraction that almost everyone may know nowadays is 9gag. Because of funny posts online, I find it hard to look away and stop scrolling down while reading. Sometimes, I find it annoying how glued I am to the website because I know that it is a waste of time to read the posts, but I read them anyway. Another distraction is Facebook and other social networking sites. Most people nowadays are now connected via Facebook and post their whole life stories online with the use of pictures and letting people know every single thing about them by updating their Facebook statuses. Some people even have urges to check their facebook every minute just to see if anything new comes up on the news feed. It all depends on how you can control yourself while studying or learning.

Everyone is unique. We all have our own ways of learning, however, in everything we do, it is most important to have the willingness to learn and to be able to love what we are doing because these two play a very big role in gaining knowledge and excelling in life.

– Dana Ang

Why do we need to sleep?

30 Mar

We need to sleep because it helps us function better. If we do not get enough sleep this will cause us to preform less efficiently it directly affects growth and limits our memory.
When we get a good night’s sleep it allows us to have more energy which later proves to be more precise and on the dollar about the things we need to get done. It allows our mind to become almost restored and ready for the next day. If you do not sleep enough then you might feel sluggish and unwilling to exert effort and efficiency. Have you ever felt as if you could not get the energy to roll out of the bed for class or an event in the morning? It is probably because you did not get the minimum needed time for sleep. Typically the average human needs about 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night so that they can perform for the next day’s tasks. If one sleeps between those periods of time they should feel more energetic. What’s really going on is that their brain is being restored. During our deep sleep it allows the cells and proteins in our bodies to produce more cells and break down proteins. Sleep also helps promote cell repair and gives neurons that we need for us when we are awake to shut down and recuperate. If we do not get enough sleep this can cause the neurons to deplete and malfunction. If this happens then it is possible that a stroke or other disorders may occur. Aside from the other benefits of sleep it is also perceived to be an adaptive staple throughout the evolution of many animals. One such belief is the fact that it is a lot safer for animal to survive during the day by looking for food and water and the night time gave them refuge to hide from predators and recuperate for the next day. If we never slept we would not accomplish much of anything very easily. Quite in fact we would be living in a world of catastrophe and low efficiency. We would probably be stuck in the dark ages if ever. I guess then the model t would never had been invented and the wheel as well. But how does sleep affect us if we sleep in? if one sleeps in longer than the required time for our bodies to charge so to speak then we typically feel sluggish and tired until normal body functions return. But is it bad to sleep in? Sparingly, no, it is not bad to sleep in but all the time can result in slower reaction time less accomplished in a day and a higher cell reproduction. Because you have so much energy stored it can cause one to become lazier and can boost the production of cells now if your cells go into a high yielding production then it can cause them to mutate which usually can cause disease. So it is best to get the correct amount of sleep and not to max yourself out.

 

-Christian Valdes