Archive of ‘Psychology’ category

Why do our identities sometimes become salient?

In class we have been discussing social identity theory, which explores the idea that everybody has many social identities that relate to our personal identity.  I believe  that certain social identities become more salient depending on the situation we are in , for example; last week during an IFP conference we were discussing women’s rights and the fact that we are still not completely treated as equals. I started to realise that when somebody said something against woman and about how maybe there is only so much we can do to treat them as equals I started to get offended. I believe this happens because when someone says something against the group we identify with (our in-groups) we start to feel like what they are saying is against us so we step up defend ourselves.

Another similar but, less serious example would be if someone said something against a tv franchise I like, such as FRIENDS , I feel personally criticised by them even though they are not actually criticising me. This often happens because we believe that our social groups are part of who we are so when somebody says anything against any of our social groups we feel that they are saying something about who we are which for no fault of ours offends us. I completely understand when somebody gets offended if another says something criticising their “in-groups”, it is part of our identity and when we have pride to be apart of that group and someone says something against it we feel as though a bit of our pride is diminished.


Discoveries In The Field Of Psychology

  Psychology is a very new field in comparison to fields such as Mathematics and Chemistry, therefore, the timeline of discoveries is quite small and has a very long way to go. The 2 discoveries that interested me the most are “Behaviourism” and “Sociocultural” both of which consisted of very brutal yet, very revolutionary experiments and findings. Two of the most famous names related to both these psychological findings are Pavlov (who specialised in behaviourism)  Zimbardo ( specialised in Sociocultural). Behaviourism, as defined by Watson is “how behaviour is acquired and modified in response to environmental influences”. On the other hand Sociocultural looks more at the how behaviour changes by the people you are surrounded by and the culture they have.

Pavlov: A famous psychologist remembered by most as the experimentalist who proved conditioned responses. Derived from the theories of Watson, Pavlov conducted experiments on dogs, one such that became very popular some dog owners derive training skills from that very experiment. Pavlov would ring a bell every time it was time for the dog to have a meal, the dog got conditioned to the fact that every time a bell rings they will receive food. Therefore by the end of the experiment the “Pavlovian dogs” started salivating upon hearing the ring of the bell without actually physically seeing the food.

Image result for pavlovian dogs

Zimbardo: The famous psychologist who conducted the “Stanford Prison Study”. This experiment was conducted to identify whether normal people change themselves if they are put in different circumstances. A group of participants were split up, a few became guards and a few became prisoners in this experimental simulation. In very little time those who became guards started realising the power they had over the so called prisoners, this resulted in very brutal actions that emotionally harmed the prisoners as they felt inferior to the guards. This resulting in depression and suicidal thoughts and more extreme results than the experimentalists expected.

Image result for zimbardo prison experiment

Pavlov, I.P. 1928. Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes: Twenty-five Years of Objective Study of the High Nervous Activity (Behavior) of Animals. Translated by W. Horsley Gantt. New York: International.

  • This publication is mainly about his experiment on conditioning responses, it was incredibly revolutionary as it was one of the first experiments to prove how to condition responses, that triggered unconditioned responses (i.e. a stimulus-response connection that required no learning). Conditioned responses were defined conditioning as an automatic form of learning .

Zimbardo : A study of prisoners and guards in a simulated prison 

  • Zimbardo’s study focuses on the experiment and simulation that happened in Stanford, it explored the human behavioural changes when put in positions of authority or places in positions with no power.

What are some of the significant changes in Psychology’s timeline?

The psychology’s timeline shows a change in the way that psychologists are going into more detailed areas a fields instead of broader fields as the bigger ideas have already been discovered and researched but there are many things about the brain and humans that psychologists are yet to figure out.


Is there anything missing that you would like to see added to the timeline?

More research into the scientific side of depression and different mental illnesses, as I see that there is not much scientific research in the psychological side of why only certain people get these mental illnesses.

What area are you most interested in and why?

I am interested in the curing and the research behind mental illnesses and why certain people get certain mental illnesses. I am also very interested in why certain people do certain things, such as serial killers, what is different about them that they don’t feel remorse.