BBC Milgram Replication // Extra Credit

The BBC Milgram Replication replicated Milgram’s study on obedience using the learner and shock generator. Milgram’s study found that while most people believed they would not generate electric shocks to the point when the learner cries for release, the results showed that 65% of participants administered shocks to the highest level. The replication experiment was very similar to the original experiment and included the “researcher” who was actually an actor and the participants (the “teachers”) who believed they were participating in a experiment about learning. The video showed the participants to gradually become more reluctant and even refuse to continue generating the shocks, but most of them still continued as the actor tells the experiment requires for continuation. In the end, 9 out of the 12 participants went all the way to the maximum shock of 450 volts. The researchers of the video pointed out most people continued to generate shocks because people have the impression that scientific experiments are supposedly beneficial, despite the lack of knowledge the participants had of the “researcher”. The percentage of people who administered shocks to the highest level in the BBC experiment was 10% higher than the percentage of people who did the same in the original experiment.

I was not surprised at the high percentage of people who continued administering the shocks to the highest level as I was expecting a similar turnout to Milgram’s experiment. While I was watching the video, I felt very frustrated with how easily the participants were influenced by the actor’s statement that the experiment required for continuation. I ended up realizing, however, that the obedience of the participants was largely caused by their positive view on scientific experiments and being “caught up in the moment” and not thinking about what they were doing. Watching and observing the BBC experiment and Milgram’s experiment have influenced me to be more questioning and skeptical in various situations and also to not be easily influenced by the statement of others.


Week 14: Hoarding

I, personally, am not interested in these types of shows because of how they exploit people’s behavior. Some seem to demonstrate their actions not because they actually have an issue, but because they want the attention of being on television. However, others actually do suffer from a mental illness. I have mixed feelings about these shows because in some aspects, they can be an eye-opener to people but only if they are shown in the appropriate way. The ethnics are essentially there considering the person has to O.K. for them to be shown on television, however, it does raise concern about the effectiveness of their treatment to actually get better since it exploits their disorder on a T.V. show. After watching the TLC clip “Inside Hoarding: Cleaning Up For Love | Hoarding: Buried Alive”, my thoughts and comments still remain the same. It is sad to see a person exploited for whatever struggles they may be going through, especially so because someone from the outside may not understand what is going through that individual’s mind or what issues they may be dealing with. Shows like these exploit individuals and expose them to a lot of ridicule without any chance to acknowledge their side of the story in order to get them actual help.


BBC Milgram Replication

In class we discussed Milgram’s Obedience study, which was conducted in 1963. In Milgram’s study, he had chosen a random volunteer (assigned to be the “teacher”) and then a person that is a part of the experiment (assigned to be the “learner”) that the teacher believes to be another volunteer. The learner was given electrical shocks all the way up to 450V by the teacher if they had answered the question given incorrectly; the teacher believed that this experiment was to test memory. The teacher was in the room with an authoritative figure (scientist conducting the experiment), which had continuously reinforced that “the experiment insists that you must continue” whenever the teacher would have any doubts about the experiment being conducted. ABC’s replication did not allow for the teacher to go all the way up to the max of 450V, claiming that it was too much stress for the teacher to endure. However, BBC’s replication of Milgram’s experiment allowed the participant to go all the way up to 450V. Surprisingly, results did not vary much — BBC had ~75% of their volunteers finish the experiment. Milgram’s original experiment had around 65% go until the very end of 450V. The numbers of volunteers involved does make a difference, however the data was still consistent to say that if someone has another person that they believe is an authoritative figure telling them they must do something they are likely to follow the instructions. It is sadly surprising of the findings within the experiment, yet I am not too shocked because I think that it is difficult for many people to stand up against an authoritative figure.

 

 


Mental Health

Do you know what schizophrenia is? Schizophrenia is defined as a mental disorder that affects how an individual thinks, feels and behaves. This week I had to watch a video about looking through the eyes of a person with schizophrenia and how he may perceive things in everyday life. I was shocked when I watched the video, because it was like I was looking through the eyes of a man who was living in a horror movie. The man in the video, whose eyes I was looking through, had voices that were never there constantly telling him what to do and other voices telling him to do the opposite. The man also kept thinking that he did a crime and that people were after him because of it, heard voices telling him not to trust anyone, illusions telling him he was worthless, and the food that he had in front of him was toxic and would kill him. Overall, the man kept hearing and perceiving things that were false, the house he was in was kept dark to make the situation more frightening when it was a bright and sunny day outside. At the end of the video, a woman came into the house and erased the tension that was built up during the video. She told the man that he forgot to take his medicine and to let sunlight enter the house, and once that happened the house did not seem frightening any more.

This video frightened me because I am not a fan of horror films. Though I am not an expert on individuals who have schizophrenia, this video reminded me of numerous cases that I see in fictional television shows and movies. Compared to how I typically see schizophrenia in the media, this video portrays my viewpoint on them really well. By this I mean a dark room, voices from people that are not actually there telling the man many different things, constant negative comments being directed at the man telling him he is worthless, and someone else in the film saying that the schizophrenic individual forgot to take their medicine. Yes, this video shocked me but the reason why it truly shocked me was because at the beginning of the video it said that the symptoms that I will experience in the video represents a compilation of a range fo sensory occurrences as reported by actual patients, meaning that people with schizophrenia could be living in a horror film every day.


Schizophrenia in the media

I had a childhood friend with schizophrenia, we lived next door to each other and spent quite a bit of our summer together, we would play in the park together until he moved when I was 15. When I first met him I was 13, he seemed to have something causing him some distress and wouldn’t tell me his name. My parents had invited him and his family over to have dinner with us to welcome them into our neighborhood. I had never really known what schizophrenia was before I met him. Once him and his family came over I could tell there was something off before the meal even started. He looked as if he didn’t trust anyone and he could barley stomach the sight of his food. Half way through our meal he shot up out of his seat and screamed “I’m not with them.” after that he started breathing really heavy and his parents and my parents went into another room and talked. Him and I sat at the table alone together. He slowly started whispering something to me over and over again, I could not understand what he was saying. I asked him to speak up but he wouldn’t. I decided because he was in my house I should do more to make him feel more settled. so I got out my seat and walked over to his side of the table. I don’t think he took my attempt to calm him down as a kind gesture. As I got closer his eyes lit up with what I assumed to be fear. I placed my hand on his shoulder and just as I was about to speak he grabbed the butter knife we had been using to butter rolls and slashed through my arm, and his whisper grew to a scream. I could understand what he was saying now. “you’re one of them, I know” He wouldn’t stop yelling after he cut me. I was shocked to say the least. I couldn’t understand why he had hurt me when I was trying to ease him. The commotion startled my parents and his. I was surprised to see that no one was upset with him. They left right then. later that night my parents explained to me what he was going through. Apparently he had recently been diagnosed and the new medication wasn’t going over very well, still I had no idea the ins and outs of what a schizophrenic person is actually experiencing. I think this video does a good job at illustrating the perception of some one with this illness. I was able to forgive him once I learned he didn’t actually want to hurt me, he had no choice he is schizophrenic, he is sick. I think the media does a good job at portraying the difficulty of living with this illness, but at the same time the media harms the perception of these mentally ill people because more often than not they are portrayed to be dangerous and hopeless doomed to be lost in their mind.


Week 14 First Impression Prompts

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the three prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag “Mental Health.”

Option 1

Schizophrenia is often depicted dramatically in the media, and has been the subject of many major films like A Beautiful Mind, The Soloist, and Donnie Darko. Less frequently, however, do people get the chance to think about the daily life of someone who experiences hallucinations and delusions. Watch this video which simulates the experience of a person with schizophrenia, share your reactions, and compare this to how you typically see schizophrenia in the media.

Option 2

People often associate schizophrenia with the homeless population or mental hospitals, but rarely do we think about people who are professionally very successful. One person who is thriving despite her schizophrenia is Elyn Saks, who received her law degree from Yale and is a professor at the University of Southern California. In her TED Talk, she describes how she struggled with her disorder and was eventually able to manage her condition and take control of her life. Share your reactions to the video, discuss how her story compares to the “typical narrative” of schizophrenia, and discuss why you think she turned out differently than other people with this disorder.

Option 3

Television shows like My Strange Addiction, Intervention, True Life, and others have turned some mental illnesses into entertainment. In particular, the shows Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive showcase people with hoarding disorder trying to get their lives, homes, and relationships back in order. What do you think about this type of show? Is it ethical to do? Does it exploit people with mental illnesses? Answer these questions, then watch this clip from Hoarding: Buried Alive and share your reactions and if any of your perspectives changed. Then read the comments and again share your reactions and perspectives.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator
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Happiness

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After watching Dan Gilbert’s TED talk about how we sabotage our own happiness I was interested to look back at my day and analyze it based off of what he had mentioned. I really liked when he talked about people are as happy as they make it for themselves, and when I looked back at my day I felt that I needed to stop making it so miserable and try to, not necessarily force but, to have a more positive and happy outlook on whatever I was working on. Also, I thought that the idea of accepting how the day is going is very important, to not put so much emphasis on the word ‘love’ and ‘happiness’. I feel this because the more I try to think that my day is unhappy or unloved, the more unhappy I become, so when he talked about how just the simple word happiness has so much weight on everyones lives is very correct and we just try not to think so much about the word and just try to embody the word in a sense. I liked when he mentioned that even when people do not get exactly what they wanted, they end up accepting what they have and grow to be happy with that. They embodied what they had and grew to accept it and be happy with it. All in all, I thought this talk was a good lesson to be learned and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.


Social Psychology // Implicit Association Test

For this week’s blogpost, I took two Implicit Association Tests. I took the Asian American and Sexuality IATs, which measured for racism and homophobia. The tests called for associating words with a certain group of people, in these tests Asian Americans and homosexuals, by pressing “i” or “e” for the appropriate associations the tests call for. When I began taking the test, I went very slowly to make sure I was getting each answer right. As the test progressed, however, I became more confident in taking the test which caused me to make several mistakes. The results did not surprise me too much, but it was interesting to find out whether I had a preference for a particular group of people or not. The results definitely opened my eyes to some slight biases that I had thought did not exist.

I believe taking the IAT could be useful for college and the workforce, but people who have trouble with coordinating their hands to things may no be very successful on these tests. Despite the mistakes I made on my tests, I think the IAT can reliably measure if someone is inherently racist, sexist, or homophobic. I believe the IAT can reveal our hidden biases and slight preferences that are likely shaped by the environment we grew up in. By reviewing these results, we will be more aware of ourselves and form less automatic negative associations and assumptions with a certain group of people.


Stress

After watching Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk over stress, I was motivated in my own life. Kelly came prepared to the talk with a ton of evidence and hours upon hours of research to present to the audience. She seems very credible in the fluidity of the presentation and the factual statements backed up by numbers and research from her team. In her talk she discussed how the human being could eliminate stress by adjusting to it, not only physically but emotionally as well. If we could eliminate the factor of stress and treat it as a positive factor rather than a negative factor we can turn the negative side effects of stress into positive ones. The numbers that Kelly brought to show just how real of a factor stress is were incredible and completely changed my mind on what stress is and just how much of an impact it has on every day life.

In r


Social Psychology

After taking the IAT test I am very convinced to the results I have experienced. I know that these test are designed to discover my inner feelings and thoughts so I should not know right away if these test are correct but after taking 3 test I feel as though these test have predicted me to a T. Without disclosing my test results, I did take 3 test that all involved race or ethnicity, and got the same results for each one. During all three test I could feel myself answering the questions honestly and I could even tell when the test had made me doubt myself. Overall I believe this test is very good in not giving you a way out, or in other words allowing you to cheat the system. In multiple occasions I wanted to answer in one way but got the question wrong and before I could answer fast enough the system had already recognized I had hesitated.

After getting the results I can’t argue that the results are not right. Everything was accurate regardless of what I wanted the result to be. I knew in my heart that I wanted the results to lean one way but in reality they lead the other and with this I believe this test is one of the most accurate ones I have ever taken.

With this test taken to the college level, I feel the test could be accurate in helping students understand what they really want. With the test not allowing you to lie, it could be good to show the student what really lies beneath. In terms of career amplitude and what their work ethic is