Sunday, May 3, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
As far as this blog goes for the Jame's Scholar assignment, I liked it a lot. It allows for a great deal of flexibility, which is nice when you have so many other things to worry about. Also, I feel that delving so deeply into one specific topic really does give you a more thurough understanding of the subject than if we were to blog about, say, a different topic every week. All in all, I feel like I have gained a great deal of knowledge on the topic of aggression, and would not change anything about the assignment if i had the choice to.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
The researchers used 15 men faces that were visually altered so they all presented a degree of hairiness. They used 5 different types of facial hair including clean shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, light beard, and full beard. Then they researchers asked 76 women to rate the men are masculinity, aggression, dominance, attractiveness, age, and social maturity. And they desirability for a short term or long term relationship. Overall, men that were clean shaven were rated the lowest out of every group while men with light stubble were rated overall highest.
It is clear that women find certain facial hair attractive. I found that this was somewhat surprising because I would have thought that women would be more attractive to men with a clean shaven look. I thought that they also would present a higher rating in the terms of relationships since they would seem to be more mature, organized, and active. But, I found that the research was able to prove my theory wrong.
I would like to look further into this research and see if they have more studies on this subject. I find this extremely important and am excited to see what I might be able to find. Hopefully I will be able to see other studies that prove this study wrong (I have no facial hair)!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Within this study 45 women were asked to read short descriptions of themselves compiled by 20 men, 10 which were scored very funny and 10 scoring slightly funny. Then, the women were asked how intelligent and honest the men perceived to be. Then on top of this they were asked how likely they were to go into a long lasting relationship with the men.
This study resulted in funny men to be significantly rated higher in intelligence compared to the slightly funny descriptions. On top of this they were also rated to be more honest and were said they would be more likely to become friends with the people who had a funnier description. An interesting aspect of this study was men were less attracted to funny women when the study was reversed.
I thought this article was very informative. I consider myself funny and is always great when you see that women perceive you as being more honest and intelligent. I was extremely surprised that men find funny women less attractive. But, now that I think about it, I am not attracted to girls that can tell a good joke. Usually, if I am laughing with a girl it is because of my own joke.
Next week I think I will try and continue this research and maybe find out what other factors go into what women find so attractive about a certain guy.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Not only should we be worried that our own children watch this, but also that their pees watch too. It is not a stretch to say that these children may watch wrestling programs and not only emulate the speech that hear, but also the violent actions they observe. What if one child decides that he wants to "tombstone" or "pile-drive" your son or daughter one day? Scary thought huh? Sadly, this had happened before, in the case of Lionel Tate, who at twelve years old killed a six year old girl while immitating the wrestling moves he saw on TV. Now Tate's life is ruined, as he was sentenced to life in jail at the age of fourteen. Who's fault is this? A young boy's who just wanted to be like the "heroes" he saw on TV?
Wrestling used to be a wholesome sport in which rough housing was OK, but no one would cross the line into hateful violence. How can we allow our children to be exposed to such violent speech knowing that they will, most likely, go out into the world talking to others as though they were enemies? How can we risk the possibility that our children may turn into violent heathens as a result of the sometimes psychotic television programs that we allow them to watch? How can we sit another day as the findings of Tamborini and associates go ignored and the World Wrestling Entertainment continues to polute the minds of our children?
Tamborini, Ron, Rebecca M. Chory, Ken Lachlan, David Westerman, and Paul Skalski. "Talking smack: verbal aggression in professional wrestling.(Report)." Communication Studies 59.3 (July-Sept 2008): 242(17). Academic OneFile. Gale. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The researchers received very conclusive results when analyzing their data. They first began by measuring the attractiveness of an individual on a 5 point scale. 5 being the highest or most attractive and 1 being very unattractive. Then the individuals were asked to guess the person in the photos IQ. Females were slightly harsher in their graded while they had a net different in IQ of about 7 from 5-1 in attractiveness while males rated about 6 in IQ difference. But, this may be due to the fact that women seem to be more inclined to view men’s ability to provide and support a family, so it is logical that females would be slightly pickier.
This concept helps prove, to some degree, that you can judge a book by its cover. People prefer more attractive individuals because from me previous research shows the individuals the quality of genes the individual has. This is why people have so many prejudices toward other individuals involving intelligence because we attribute intelligence from our first impression.
But, I found it fairly funny when women rated men to be consistently lower in IQ as attractiveness dropped while men rated women in a consistent drop until reaching very unattractive to where they rated slightly higher then the previous set. Ugly chicks must be smarter than not so ugly chicks according to men.
I would love to see this research broken down in to different ages. I would love to see what college students perceive to be intelligent compared to what children or the elderly. I absolutely loved this article and am going try and find more on it next week.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Researchers also found that individuals that work with someone that is physically attractive create a benefit to both the individuals that were working together. Also, by reversing this researchers saw that individuals perceived the other much differently in many aspects of their personality. Also within that article attractive male graduates had higher salaries even after controlling the initial salaries of their jobs.
These concepts are then narrowed down to giving alcohol to underage individuals. Researchers used the anchoring effect by using older and younger photographs of individuals and saw that they perceived the individuals much closer to the previous stimulus. These tests were used on store clerks, which scored similar results. An interesting aspect of this research was the environment also stimulated people in their beliefs upon someone’s age. If an individual had an infant they perceived the person to be 2.5 years older than their actual age!
Researchers then used these observations in an experiment which manipulated how likely you would ask for identification when it came to alcohol consumption. From the results they received that attractive individuals had a much lower chance of being carded.
Personally, I thought this was an extremely interesting article. The reason that researchers believe they allow them to buy alcohol is to increase the chance of interactions with the individual.
I would have liked to see what images these researchers used. Personally since I am a college student I can’t perceive the age that well between girls. This is why I would have loved to be a test like this. I want to see how bad/good I could possibly do.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Now that you have each explored a number of aspects of each of your topics I have some more specific things for you to do for the next couple posts.
For your next post would like each of you to find a popular press article about a journal article that you are interested in and read both the press article as well as the primary source. You should give a general summary and then discuss what the press article gets right & wrong (or misrepresents). For the primary article find something that the press article has missed that you think is important and discuss it.
If you have problems finding something checkout The New Yorker, the NYTimes science section, LATimes, Salon, The Atlantic, anything by Malcolm Gladwell or Oliver Sacks (though they usually write about more than 1 article). I'm also here if you need any help.
For the post after that I would like each of you to attempt to write a short popular press article about another cool journal article (preferably one that doesn't have something already written about it). Try to find something 'sexy' (well at last as sexy as science can be). This doesn't have to be any longer than your usual posts.
Finally, for your last post of the semester (Friday April 24th - or really anytime during that following weekend) I would like you to write a summary post of what you've learned (overarching themes, as well as specifics). It would also be great if you'd offer any suggestions as to what would have been a more valuable experience for this James Scholar project.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
From the data that they collected, they received results which were expected by many of the experimenters. The females that were dressing in more attractive attire were perceived to be more positive compared to women that were dressed in unattractive attire.
This is a very interesting find because even though some people may be more or less attractive than others they can use clothing to help give them an edge in society. But, I believe that clothing can only take you so far. From my earlier findings you can see that there are many factors that deal with attractions between humans. Clothing seems to be more of an initial response to the individual. From the article you can see that many people simply perceive the women being viewed as more easily approachable/friendly.
I was not surprised in the fact that attractive dressed women would be considered more attractive to men. Initial attractions are more than just facial. It is important to wear clothing to help show others your physical physique because you can see multiple points make up a whole.
I would like to see what images they used in this research. They never showed the images that were used which made me fairly frustrating. I would very much like to see what images they used. Also, I would like to see them use a larger range of models and clothing types to possibly pinpoint as being most attractive.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
There was a moderate amount of aggressiveness found throughout the years in both male and female participants. One finding that I found particularly interesting was that the stable rate of aggression amongst the different age groups was due to the highly aggressive people remaining highly aggressive and the less aggressive people remaining less aggressive throughout the years of the study rather than the individuals fluctuating in aggressive behavior.
The study concluded that, in comparison to those with low levels of aggression, those with continuously high levels had less desirable outcomes. For instance, people who displayed higher levels of aggression were significantly more likely to partake in criminal activities, violate traffic laws, have spousal problems, and act violently than those with low aggressiveness. the outcomes for the people who showed moderate levels of aggressiveness throughout the years did not differ greatly enough from those who had low levels to be statistically significant. Also, those who began to display highly aggressive behavior in early adulthood had more negative outcomes, although not quite as bad as those who displayed the behavior from childhood.
I know from earlier readings that aggressive behavior is mostly caused by a lack of serotonin or serotonin receptors in the brain. This article made me wonder if there is a way to overcome the genetic predisposition for aggression. The study did not start until the kids were eight years old, and had undoubtedly been exposed to many different things, so I think it would be interesting to observe a group of newborns who's parents show highly aggressive behavior being raised in different environments. There is a clear nature vs. nurture battle here, and I'm guessing both play a role, but I think tweaking the study in the article would enlighten us a bit more on the issue.
Huesmann, L. Rowell, Eric F. Dubow, and Paul Boxer. "Continuity of aggression from childhood to early adulthood as a predictor of life outcomes: implications for the adolescent-limited and life-course-persistent models." Aggressive Behavior 35.2 (March-April 2009): 136(14). Academic OneFile. Gale. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
These chemicals can be detected from up to 36 meters away. Mosquitoes have chemical receptors which are stimulated by such chemicals. But, there are also factors besides these chemicals. It has been cited that body temperature and moisture serves as an attractant. Also, floral fragrances from perfumes, soaps, lotions, and hair-care products may also contribute to the attractiveness to mosquitoes. Lastly, mosquitoes are more attracted to males and least attracted to children.
Overall, I find this clinical guide very informative. I can definitely see why I rarely am bitten by mosquitoes now. It does not seem that I am excreting some magical chemical, it is probably the opposite. I am excreting a small amount of other chemicals. Also, I am not personally a very sweaty person and usually stay on the cool side of things, which overall decreases that probability of being bitten.
I believe that next week I will research species that may be specifically attracted to certain humans. I find it extremely interesting if certain humans may be mentally pointed out.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The results were not all that surprising. For the 3 younger groups, over aggressiveness was the number one cause of enmity towards other males. For young adults, however, the number one factor in disliking a peer was aberrant behavior, which is the number two reason in the primary schoolers and preadolescents and the third reason in preschoolers. Although these factors were common throughout, each group also had reasons for disliking peers that were specific mainly to themselves. Rule violation and lack of play were factors for preschoolers, non-help was a factor for primary schoolers, negative evaluation was a factor for pre adolescents, and lack of genuineness, a more abstract reaason, was one for young adults.
I found the study somewhat interesting in that it brings to light reasons we like or dislike people. I found it pretty obvious that aggressive behavior is an undesireable trait in a friend, but never thought about the more abstract reasons such as lack of genuineness or loyalty. The results fit in well with the theories of development that say that more complex thought comes with age. We can see that the reasons the younger boys had for disliking their peers were much more concrete and obvious than the reasons the young adults had. Aggressive behavior seems like a gift in some situations, and a curse in others.
Hayes, Donald S, Elaine S. Gershman and William Halteman. "Enmity in males at four developmental levels: cognitive bases for disliking peers." Journal of Genetic Psychology. v157. n2 (June 1996): p153(8).
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The first experiment used 4 sets of 6 beads which were handled for 10 minutes then allowed to age for 0,15,30, and 45 minutes. Then they observed the attractancy of the beads. Each test was then replicated 16 times. Linear regression analysis was used then to correlate the data.
Next, they tested if they could removed this “attractancy” of the beads by washing them with solvent. They followed the same procedure as before and allowed the beads to drip dry before testing. They replicated these tests 4 times.
The third experiment combined both clean and touched beads which were washed with 10mL of one of five solvent. These samples were tested three times a day with a new population of mosquitoes.
The forth experiment bead were handled and later washed respectively to 100%,50%,25%, or 12.5%. These samples were used for a total of eight test and data points.
In the first experiment they found a direct correlation with the attratancy and the time of aging. The long the beads were let to rest the less attractive they were to the mosquitoes population. Within the second experiment we saw that all five of the solvents were extremely effective by reducing the attraction to the mosquitoes. Which they found similar results in the third experiment as well. Lastly the correlation which they found in the last experiment was what was expected and received a very nice slope to the graphs/data.
I was actually very surprised by this experiment. I thought that it is a very good study because I do want to know why pesky mosquitoes are always there to annoy me. Personally, attractions within any species are fascinating to me. In a case such as this I have noticed that many mosquitoes are not as attracted to me as other people. I never wear bug spray and always seem to be perfectly fine on the hot muggy days in the summer. Personally, I would love to see if certain people are more attractive to mosquitoes. Maybe I am just repulsive to them!
I would like to see research which was based on skin types or colorations. Maybe there is something in people’s genetics that deter such small insects from finding them a tasty meal. Maybe such things as freckles or moles are genetically helpful. Or maybe our psychology and moods help attract mosquitoes. Maybe stress and pheromones send out the dinner bell for such species.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
However, a father figure is often needed in the life of a young mammal, and since giving birth is specific to females, there must be a way to keep the male around in some cases. This can perhaps be seen most clearly in prairie voles. These rodents are known to form such strong bonds with the opposite sex, that even if one partner died, the other would not find another mate. Studies have shown that the chemicals responsible for this are oxytocin and vasopressin. Vasopressin is more prevalent in males, where as oxytocin is more prevalent in females. Furthermore, studies done on human subjects have shown simular results. When a person was asked to talk about their first date with their significant other, there was found to be an elevated level of oxytocin in their blood.
Another interesting finding is that the formation of these bonds, through oxytocin, also triggers dopamine to be released. Dopamine is the reward system in the body, and its production is commonly stimulated by addictive drugs. So, "love" may actually be addicting.
I found this article very interesting in that it explained something so emotionally confusing and seeming abstract in a concrete and scientific way. When one thinks of love, poetry and heart shaped boxes of chocolate usually come to mind, but never scientific journal articles. The article really shines light on why we feel how we feel about the people we love, and also explains why some people may have difficulty forming the social bonds in which these chemicals play a role. Its's also kind of funny telling your girlfriend that she stimulates an increase in your oxytocin receptors.
Debiec, Jack. "From affiliative behaviors to romantic feelings: A role of nanopeptides." FEBS Letters (2007): 2580-586
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
From the results the ideal female body composition was a heavier female with the lowest waist to hip ratio (65% and 71%). Then comparing these results with men they determined that they ranked the body compositions similarly to that of the females.
I was very intrigued with this experiment. I found that girl and guys actually think alike when they picture the “ideal” body composition. I have always believed that women always want to be extremely thin, while it seems that men are usually fine with their partner’s physique. I go to the gym frequently and always wonder if I am subconsciously working out to work towards my ideal or to become healthy. I always convince myself I am doing it to become healthy, as for many of my friends they would say the same thing.
Personally, I would like to see this study on males because, males have such a wide range of anatomical builds that it would seem extremely hard for women or men to have an “ideal”.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
It goes on to talking about a farm in Russia in which they have, since 1959, been domesticating foxes. The traits that were selected for were non-aggressiveness and non-fearfulness towards humans. After a few generations, they began noticing certain traits in the foxes, such as narrower jaws, smaller size, and increased sex-drive, similarly, traits like these have supposedly been seen to evolve in humans as civilization has advanced. There is speculation in the article that we have self-domesticated ourselves and that docility is a prerequisite for civilization, however there is no substantial proof to back up this claim.
Perhaps the most interesting component to this article, at least in my eyes, was that they actually determined what, biologically, causes this increase in docility in the foxes and in humans. Serotonin. The levels of serotonin in the blood of the domesticated foxes was substantially higher than that of the wild ones. This is also the case in humans. Aggressive people have less sensitive receptors for serotonin in their brains, and in turn, less serotonin in their blood.
I found this article especially interesting because it gives a biological explanation for the difference in temperament amongst animals. I always figured that things like temperament and emotions were simply acquired throughout ones life, and were not related to the biology of an organism. It was eye-opening to find out that how aggressive you are can actually be determined by how the receptors for such a small particle in your brain work.
One thing I found peculiar was the suggestion that we self domesticated ourselves. Not so much that we did, i guess, but more of the traits that we supposedly selected for. I have heard multiple times that some of the traits that a woman looks for in a man are the exact opposite of the traits that were seen in the population of foxes. I think it has been shown that men with broader shoulders and a wider jaw are more desirable, but these are traits that signify a higher level of testosterone, and in turn aggressiveness. It seems counter instinctive to select for narrower jaws and smaller proportions.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Twenty registered voters, 10 Democrat and 10 Republican, from Los Angeles participated in the original experiment. There were 5 females and 5 males in each group and they were matched for age. The experiment consisted of the participants having their brain scanned while viewing images of George Bush, John Kerry, and Ralph Nader. After the experiment, the participants filled out a “feeling thermometer” where they rated their feelings on each candidate from 1 to 10.
According to the UCLA clan, there were interesting results. For instance, Republicans felt more positive after viewing George Bush than Democrats did. Another big surprise showed that Democrats felt more positive after viewing Kerry’s face than Republicans.
In anticipation of the 2008 election, the scientists did their experiment again with swing voters. More interestingly, they “found” that when they showed the participants the words “Republican,” “Democrat,” and “Independent,” the amyglada, which relates to anxiety, lit up. Mit Romney also seemed to excite some nerves among the participants. John Edwards had a problem- he caused peoples’ insulas to light up which means that they were downright disgusted. The group couldn’t make up their mind when they saw Hillary Clinton. Their anterior cingulate cortex’s, which aid in decision-making, were aflame.
Sometimes my mom used to reprimand me because I would only hear what I wanted to hear. If she said she would take me shopping, it didn’t mean that she would take me right then. Now, I know what she meant. Obviously, these psychologist’s mothers forgot to tell them that they need to pay attention to everything and not just what they want to hear.
The amyglada, which the men claimed related to anxiety, also relates to anger, happiness, or sexual excitement. How do we know that the group got nervous when the saw Romney and not sexually excited? Maybe the swing voters got all heated up to the words “Republican” or “Democrat,” too. Also, John Edwards might have been able to run for presidency again (had he not been involved in the affair and all). People might not have been disgusted when the saw his face; the insular cortex also relates to happiness, among other things. And Hillary may actually have been getting some sympathy from the participants as the ACC relates to that as well as reward-anticipation.
Also, using a feeling thermometer brings in other problems. Participants rated candidates from 1, “very unfavorable,” to 10, “very favorable.” It has been shown that feeling thermometers are very problematic in polls. If someone has no opinion on the candidate they get confused as to where to place him on the scale. Would the candidate be a “1” or a “5?” It has also been shown that more often than not, people will rate subjects on certain increments like multiples of 2 or 5. For instance, if there was a feeling thermometer from 1 to 100, a person would be more likely to rate a subject as a 45 than as a 47.
Basically, this study teaches us nothing. Or perhaps that if we ever become New York Times worthy psychologists, we better get our stuff reviewed by our peers- before we publish it nationwide.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
(I haven't found the original paper though)
Monday, February 16, 2009
I was really amazed by the results of this experiment. I never really thought about how my mind might find others more attractive because of their symmetry. I am very interested in other features that my mind might almost find attractive. I have always found to be very attracted to girls because of their eyes and would be interested in finding my so called “favorite”.
I would like to see further research in certain regions of the face. Including eyebrows, eye shape, mouth, nose, and ears to see if we could create an image of the perfect female or male! I’m sure it would use similar methods and I would hope that we could use a wider range of individuals and races.