Archive for the ‘Psychology of Education’ Category

What Is Psychoanalysis?

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic approach to psychology. This school of thought emphasized the influence of the unconscious mind on behavior. Freud believed that the human mind was composed of three elements: the id, the ego, and the superego.

Freud’s theories of psychosexual stages, the unconscious, and dream symbolism remain a popular topic among both psychologists and laypersons, despite the fact that his work is viewed with skepticism by many today.

Many of Freud’s observations and theories were based on clinical cases and case studies, making his findings difficult to generalize to a larger population. Regardless, Freud’s theories changed how we think about the human mind and behavior and left a lasting mark on psychology and culture.

Another theorist associated with psychoanalysis is Erik Erikson. Erikson expanded upon Freud’s theories and stressed the importance of growth throughout the lifespan. Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory of personality remains influential today in our understanding of human development.

Major Thinkers Associated With Psychoanalysis:

Key Psychoanalysis Terms:

Case Study – An in-depth study of one person. Much of Freud’s work and theories were developed through individual case studies. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject’s life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes for behavior. The hope is that learning gained from studying one case can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective and it is difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

Conscious – In Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, the conscious mind includes everything that is inside of our awareness. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about in a rational way.

Defense Mechanism – A tactic developed by the ego to protect against anxiety. Defense mechanisms are thought to safeguard the mind against feelings and thoughts that are too difficult for the conscious mind to cope with. In some instances, defense mechanisms are thought to keep inappropriate or unwanted thoughts and impulses from entering the conscious mind.

Ego – The ego is the part of personality that mediates the demands of the id, the superego and reality. The ego prevents us from acting on our basic urges (created by the id), but also works to achieve a balance with our moral and idealistic standards (created by the superego).

Id – The personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires.

Superego – The component of personality composed of our internalized ideals that we have acquired from our parents and from society. The superego works to suppress the urges of the id and tries to make the ego behave morally rather than realistically.

Unconscious – A reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges and memories that outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experiences even though we are unaware of these underlying influences.

Criticisms of Psychoanalysis:

  • Freud’s theories overemphasized the unconscious mind, sex, aggression and childhood experiences.
  • Many of the concepts proposed by psychoanalytic theorists are difficult to measure and quantify.
  • Most of Freud’s ideas were based on case studies and clinical observations rather than empirical, scientific research.

Strengths of Psychoanalysis:

  • While most psychodynamic theories did not rely on experimental research, the methods and theories of psychoanalytic thinking contributed to experimental psychology.
  • Many of the theories of personality developed by psychodynamic thinkers are still influential today, including Erikson’s theory of psychosocial stages and Freud’s psychosexual stage theory..
  • Psychoanalysis opened up a new view on mental illness, suggesting that talking about problems with a professional could help relieve symptoms of psychological distress.

by Kendra Cherry.

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What Is Behaviorism?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Question: What Is Behaviorism?
Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select — doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.
–John Watson, Behaviorism, 1930


The term behaviorism refers to the school of psychology founded by John B. Watson based on the belief that behaviors can be measured, trained, and changed. Behaviorism was established with the publication of Watson’s classic paper Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It (1913).

Behaviorism, also known as behavioral psychology, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. Behaviorists believe that our responses to environmental stimuli shapes our behaviors.

According to behaviorism, behavior can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. This school of thought suggests that only observable behaviors should be studied, since internal states such as cognitions, emotions and moods are too subjective.

There are two major types of conditioning:

  1. Classical conditioning is a technique used in behavioral training in which a naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response. Next, a previously neutral stimulus is paired with the naturally occurring stimulus. Eventually, the previously neutral stimulus comes to evoke the response without the presence of the naturally occurring stimulus. The two elements are then known as the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response.
  2. Operant conditioning Operant conditioning (sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning) is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior.

Major Thinkers in Behaviorism:

Important Events in Behaviorism:

  • 1863 – Ivan Sechenov’s Reflexes of the Brain was published. Sechenov introduced the concept of inhibitory responses in the central nervous system.
  • 1900 – Ivan Pavlov began studying the salivary response and other reflexes.
  • 1913 – John Watson’s Psychology as a Behaviorist Views It was published. The article outlined the many of the main points of behaviorism.
  • 1920 – Watson and assistant Rosalie Rayner conducted the famous “Little Albert” experiment.
  • 1943 – Clark Hull’s Principles of Behavior was published.
  • 1948 – B.F. Skinner published Walden II in which he described a utopian society founded upon behaviorist principles.
  • 1959 – Noam Chomsky published his criticism of Skinner’s behaviorism, “Review of Verbal Behavior.”
  • 1971 – B.F. Skinner published his book Beyond Freedom and Dignity, in which he argued that free will is an illusion.

Criticisms of Behaviorism:

  • Many critics argue that behaviorism is a one-dimensional approach to understanding human behavior and that behavioral theories do not account for free will and internal influences such as moods, thoughts and feelings.
  • Behaviorism does not account for other types of learning, especially learning that occurs without the use of reinforcement and punishment.
  • People and animals are able to adapt their behavior when new information is introduced, even if a previous behavior pattern has been established through reinforcement.

Strengths of Behaviorism:

  • Behaviorism is based upon observable behaviors, so it is easier to quantify and collect data and information when conducting research.
  • Effective therapeutic techniques such as intensive behavioral intervention, behavior analysis, token economies and discrete trial training are all rooted in behaviorism. These approaches are often very useful in changing maladaptive or harmful behaviors in both children and adults.

by Kendra Cherry.

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What are the Four Stages of Competence

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The Conscious Competence Learning Model states four stages of learning or competence. The stages are related to the psychology of a person’s mind when he progresses from one level to the other, while acquiring a skill. The Gordon Training International is known to have developed this model. It was initially known as “The Four Stages of Learning Any New Skill”, and was devised by Noel Burch around 30 years ago. The four stage model is also known as Maslow’s Four Stages of Competence. However, it does not appear in the significant works published by Abraham Maslow.

Some people find this theory similar to Johari window, which is used to create self-awareness and understanding among individuals in a group. The Johari window is also a 2×2 matrix dealing with self-awareness. However, the stages of competence deal with the learning process. The conscious competence learning model can be used by employees of an organization or by people at large, to gauge themselves when acquiring new skills. Let’s study the stages of conscious competence learning model in detail.

The Four Stages of Competence

First Stage: Unconscious Incompetence
In this stage, a person is unaware of the existence of a particular skill. Since he is unaware of the skill, he does not know about its utility and relevance. At this stage, the person feels no need to acquire that particular skill, and does not realize the fact that he will not be able to perform it because he is incompetent in it. Therefore,it becomes important to make him realize of his shortcomings and the benefits of learning that skill. It is the task of the trainer or teacher to instill this realization in the person. Once the person is aware of his deficiency, he will be in the next stage of the learning process.

Second Stage: Conscious Incompetence
A person in this stage is aware of his incompetence and the usefulness of the particular skill he is lacking in. He knows that acquiring the skill will definitely improve his effectiveness in that front. Incapability of the person to perform a skill-specific task will make him realize its importance and motivate him to learn it. In this stage, the person roughly estimates his incompetence level and figures out how much effort he needs to put in to master the skill. Being aware of his own deficit, he is motivated to learn with interest and dedication.

Third Stage: Conscious Competence
A person is at this stage when he can perform the skill, but not well enough to teach someone. Enough practice is required to reach to the level of unconscious competence. The person can perform a task using the skill, but needs to recollect the steps and think about them. It does not come out automatically in him. Therefore, the person should practice more often, so that he becomes proficient in it. Practice will help the person to move from conscious competence stage to unconscious competence.

Fourth Stage: Unconscious Competence
In this stage, the person can perform the skill on his own. No assistance is required and the person can automatically perform the skill. He gets proficient enough to perform multiple tasks at the same time. Teaching the skill to another person, now becomes an easy task for him. Sometimes, the person develops the skill so well that he faces difficulty in explaining how it is performed, simply because it comes out naturally to him. This is the final stage of learning, and a person should strive to reach to this level so that he can become a master of that skill.

The “Suggested Fifth Stage”: Conscious Competence of Unconscious Incompetence
This stage is suggested as the fifth stage of the conscious competence learning model. It signifies the ability of a person to instill unconscious incompetence in others. By doing so, he can create the urge of learning new skills in incompetent people.

by Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre.

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What are the Advantages of Learning Psychology?

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Cannot make anything of your loud colleague’s behavior? Wondering why your nosy neighbor behaves the way she does or trying to figure out why you feel so out of place in college? Human behavior is complex and it can be both interesting as well as useful to learn the reasons that motivate certain behavior. Learning psychology will give you a better understanding of people and you will find that you can use this knowledge in situations in everyday life. In addition, pursuing a degree in psychology opens up numerous lucrative job opportunities, both traditional and unconventional.

Benefits of Learning Psychology

Psychology gives you an insight into the complex working of the human mind. If that isn’t enough, let’s take a look at some more benefits of learning psychology.

Better Understanding of Oneself
Come on, let’s be honest, who isn’t interested in understanding themselves better? We all must have at some time or the other solved those personality tests in magazines and websites to understand the strange working of our mind. There is no better way of understanding yourself than through the knowledge of psychology. Questions like “Why you feel the way you do?”, “Why you behave in a certain way?” and “How did you become the person that you are today?”, can all be understood through an understanding of psychology. Isn’t that amazing? Once you understand your behavior, you can accordingly work at it. Moreover, it can help you deal with negative emotions effectively.

Increased Ability to Empathize with Others
Most issues between people arise because they fail to understand each other. They simply cannot understand the other person’s point of view. Psychology helps you understand why people think the way they do and what causes their reactions. As a result, you are able to empathize with people. You may not agree with them, but when you see the reason behind their belief or point of view, you will be able to understand them better.

Greater Adaptability in Social Groups
With an increased ability to empathize with others, you will be able to adapt better in any social group, be it at school, college, work or other community groups, where there are different types of people. Many a time, you may have felt out of place in one or more of these groups because you cannot relate to anyone. Learning psychology will help you understand that even though we feel that no one else feels the way we do, it is actually not so. When we realize that there are many others like us, we will be able to adjust better. Working in teams is essential in most professions and knowledge of psychology will help in building your team spirit.

Improved Communication Skills
Psychology explains how people communicate and what works best. By understanding this, you can use appropriate gestures and a method that will help you improve your communication skills and make it more persuasive and effective. Understanding the psychology of human communication will also make it easy for you to avoid making the mistakes that lead to a communication breakdown. The result of improved communication skills is healthier relationships with people. Moreover, in certain professions like in sales, human resource, media and many more where communication is the key, knowledge of psychology can prove to be particularly beneficial.

Enhanced Problem Solving Skills
Knowledge of psychology will also help you in solving everyday problems more effectively. When you have an understanding of how people are likely to react in a certain situation, you can deal with the situation in a better way. Moreover, an understanding of your own thinking and psychology will enable you to deal with problems, without losing your temper. You will analyze situations and deal with it more pragmatically, than you otherwise would.

Better Understanding of People
Psychology enables you to understand people better, to look at them in a new light with a broader perspective. It will help you to make sense of a person’s irrational emotions and reactions. As a result of this, not only will your relations with them improve, but you will also be in a position to assist them with their emotional turmoil. You do not need to be a professional counselor to assist people with their problems, you can use your knowledge to guide friends and family.

Many Career Opportunities
There are numerous opportunities for people pursuing a degree in psychology. The careers in psychology include – sports psychologist, educational psychologist, forensic psychologist, comparative psychologist, etc.

by Zini Mehta.

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How to Study Psychology Effectively

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Psychology being such a vast subject, can become a daunting task for students. The subject requires in-depth study of behavioral patterns and mental disorders. Since there are so many types of psychology, each subject requires research and observation of our surroundings and of individual subjects. A student of psychology is required to follow the curriculum, but is expected to transcend the limits of theoretical knowledge, in order to actually be able to evaluate the subject area. This evaluation becomes the basis of career graph for students, as they begin to sharpen their skills for later years. While treating their own clients, the practical knowledge gained in the past years will be assimilated and amalgamated with newer methods of treatment and analysis. Nonetheless, it is very important that students learn how to plan their schedule, so that they can cover all subjects with ease. This article will explain how to study psychology effectively through some simple methods.

Best Ways to Study Psychology

Research in Advance
You needn’t always have to wait for a subject to be introduced in class. Instead you can take up subjects that interest you or follow the curriculum in order, and read up on the topic before it is taught to you. You can begin studying your books before the academic session is to commence, thereby making you more aware and prepared for the lessons. This will prevent you from feeling clueless during the actual lessons and you will be able to ask your queries and participate in the lectures.

Study Daily
In order to understand each psychology subject in detail, you will need to study it on a daily basis. Giving two hours each day after class during evenings, can help you keep abreast with the subject matter. Since you are being regular and attentive in class, these few hours spent studying in the evenings, will be simple revision exercises. It will help you revise and go over all the things you were taught in each subject for the day. This will help you answer any random questions, which might be thrown at you by the instructor. It will help you associate and understand newer concepts, that will be taught in the next class. While you are studying at home, you must make it a point to jot down your doubts and questions, which you can clarify the next day.

Be Active in Class
You will need to pay attention in class and take notes on the subjects being taught. It would be advisable to take shorthand notes, which can be turned into actual revision notes, later in the day or week. Make sure you ask your questions, as this will help clarify the concepts of psychology for you.

Study Smart
Since psychology is mostly theory based, there will be too much to read up on and too many notes to make. It would be far easier if you could make short summarized notes or pointers of each topic. If you prefer, you can develop your own way of managing your syllabus, as long as you are able to pick up rapid information from your notes.

Observe and Report
Since the subject you have chosen has everything to do with you and the world that surrounds you; you must stay alert and observant. You can learn a lot by interacting with people, observing mannerisms and patterns, which can be used for understanding your subjects in further detail.

by Rohini Mohan.

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Brief History of Psychology

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Contemporary psychology deals with a vast range of topics; while at the same time looks into human behavioral patterns and mental processes from the cultural level to the neural level. Psychologists study all matters pertaining to human mental issues that begin right from birth and continue until the death of the person. So, by gaining full understanding of the history of psychology, you will be able to better understand how the individual topics are studied and what has been learned so far.

Questions put forward during the Formation of Psychology
Right from the very beginning, the study of psychology has been faced with a number of difficult questions. The first question of how is psychology defined established it as a separate science, separate from philosophy and physiology. Other additional questions that psychologists were also faced with throughout the history of the subject were:

  • What issues and topics should the subject of psychology deal with?
  • What methods of research should be used when studying psychology?
  • Should research be used in order to influence education, public policy and other aspects of human behavior?
  • Is psychology a science?
  • Should psychology focus on internal mental processes or on observable behavior?

The Emergence of Psychology: Physiology and Philosophy

While psychology did not really emerge as a separate science until the latter half of the 19th century, its initial history can be traced right back to the ancient Greeks. During the 1600’s, the famous French philosopher, Rene Descartes, introduced the concept of dualism, which stressed on the fact the body and the mind were basically two separate entities that interacted together to form the normal human experience. Many of the other issues that are still debated by psychologists today, like relative contributions of nature vs. nurture, are deep-rooted in these early philosophical concepts.

So why is psychology different from philosophy? While many of the early philosophers relied heavily on methods like logic and observation, the psychologists of today tend to use methods to study and come to conclusions about the human behavior and thought. Physiology also made large contributions towards the eventual emergence of psychology as a science. Early physiology research on behavior and brain had a very dramatic impact on psychology as it is today, ultimately leading to the application of many scientific methodologies that study the human behavior and thought.

Psychology as a Separate Scientific Discipline
During the mid 19th century, Wilhelm Wundt, a German physiologist started using scientific research methods to look into reaction times. His works outlined many of the most important connections between physiology and psychology.

So what were Wundt’s views on psychology? He looked upon the subject as a study of the human consciousness and even sought to apply certain experimental methods in order to study the internal mental processes. While this process today is known as introspection and is considered to be highly unscientific and unreliable, in those days it helped set the stage for all the future experimental methods. And although his influence began to dwindle in the years to come, this impact on the subject is definitely unquestionable.

The First School of Thought
One of Wundt’s most famous students, Edward B Titchener, went on to become one of the founders of psychology’s very first school of thought. According to structuralism, the human consciousness can be broken down into small parts. Using introspection, trained students attempted to break down reactions and responses to the most basic of all perceptions and sensations.

Though structuralism is notable because of its emphasis on scientific research methods, it is considered to be unreliable, subjective and limiting today. When Titchener died, the concept of structuralism also dies with him.

Psychology really flourished in America in the 19th century. William James came out on top as the leading American psychologist during this period and his principles of psychology made him the Father of American Psychology. His ideas and concepts served as the foundation for a new school of thought, which was known as functionalism. Functionalism focused on how the human behavior works towards helping people comfortably in their respective environment. Functionalists use methods like direct observation. The functionalists however stressed on the fact that consciousness is an ever-changing and more continuous process. Although functionalism is no longer considered to be a school of thought, it however did go on to influence the next generation of psychologists.

Sigmund Freud
Until this point, psychology tended to stress more on the conscious human experience. However, Sigmund Freud, the famous Austrian physician changed the whole face of psychology in such a dramatic way by putting forward a theory of personality that stressed on the importance of the unconscious mind. His work with patients suffering from mental ailments like hysteria led him to believe that our early childhood experiences as well as our unconscious impulses contribute greatly towards the development of our adult behavior and personalities.

According to him, psychological disorders are basically the result of unconscious conflicts that take place within us, and that become unbalanced or extreme. His theory had a huge impact on the 20th century psychology, influencing the mental well-being as well as in many other fields like literature, art and popular culture. Although many of his concepts are looked upon with skepticism today, his influence on modern psychology cannot be questioned.

The Emergence of Behaviorism
Psychology evolved dramatically during the 20th century and another school of thought known as behaviorism became dominant. Behaviorism was a very big change from all the previous theoretical perspectives, and rejected emphasis on the conscious as well as the unconscious mind. Instead it strove to make the discipline a more scientific one by stressing on observable behavior.

Behavior stresses on the fact, that the subject matter of psychology is basically the behavior of a human being. The impact of this school of thought was enormous and it dominated the scene for almost 50 years. Even though it eventually lost its importance, the basic principles of behaviorism are still used today. Therapeutic methods like token economies and behavioral modification are often used to help kids overcome maladaptive behavior and to learn new skills. Conditioning is used in most situations ranging from education to parenting.

The Third Force or Humanistic Psychology
Although behaviorism and psychoanalysis dominated the first half of the 20th century, a new school of thought, known to us as humanistic psychology emerged during the latter half of the 20th century. Referred to most as the ‘Third Force’ in psychology, this theoretical concept lays emphasis on conscious experiences.

by Natasha Bantwal.

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Characteristics of Emotions

Friday, October 7th, 2011

We laugh when we feel happy and we cry when we are sad. Joy is characterized by closeness, by a certain contact and a level of psychometric expression, whereas sadness is associated with withdrawal and coldness. Voice changes for each and every emotion, and especially for anger. But although the changes in facial mimics are crucial for expressing emotions, they are hardly noticeable. This may probably be due to the fact that they are insufficiently perceived during the action by the actors themselves and therefore, they are very little retained.

There is one type of emotion that is more distinguishable than all the others because of its high intensity, and that one is anger. It also occurs more often and it is submitted to a more intense control. As far as its duration is concerned, it may differ quite a lot for each type of emotion. Thus, fear lasts from a few seconds to one hour maximum, and that may certainly be due to the fact that it is related to very precise and unexpected stimulus, which necessarily causes adaptation reactions such as running, submission, aversion, tranquility, which can make the emotion vanish away quite soon.

Anger can last from a few minutes to a few hours. Because it is very much related to the person or the situation which has caused it, the emotional experience decreases as the subject gets more adapted or as the situation gradually changes, and especially if the angry person is no longer submitted to the element that provoked his/her anger. Joy can last from one hour to a whole day, depending on the importance of the social context. Finally, sadness can last from one to more days, often requiring a period of mourning and adapting to the new relational situation.

Emotional control has certain effects. There is an implicit conception of the chronology of the emotions. First the emotions are stirred, then reactions follow, and then these reactions are submitted to control. This conception may indeed presuppose a theoretical simplification which generates ambiguities, because the adjustment of emotions can occur at different levels: an individual level (individual homeostasis) and a social level (social homeostasis). Certain reactions such as expressive, discharging reactions described above, i.e. crying, laughter, and gesticulation play an important role in the individual homeostasis. They are perceived as necessary and allow a state of beneficial relief. In these cases, the reaction itself is the one which regulates the emotional status.

On the other hand, it’s true that the public emotional manifestations submit to certain conventionality and also to the social or inter-individual homeostasis. The two aspects, the individual and the social control are strongly related and the surface reaction is the result of combining the spontaneous expression tendency with its control.

Feelings and emotions are so strongly interconnected with motivation, that most psychologists treat them together. They are considered to be the interior side of behavior, while tendencies and valences seem to be its manifested side. This does not mean that they have identical functions. Transactions between tendencies and valences are controlled by social norms and they observe the law of ethics. The transactions between hereditary emotions and acquired feelings are controlled by our interior health and happiness. They depend on the harmonious development of our personality, expressed by mental hygiene and promoted by art and literature.

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Why People Lie – Psychology

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

If you look around, you will find many people who lie many times during the day. In fact, it is said that almost all people on this planet lie at some or other point of their life. It is believed that the circumstances prevailing at that moment compels the people to lie. In most of the cases, people lie to protect their personal interests. However, there are people who lie to deceive others while, some others are just addicted to lying. There are many who lie in order to avoid any sort of criticism from the society. Given in the next paragraphs are the reasons why people lie in relationships. Read more on signs of compulsive lying.

Why People Lie in Relationships?

It can be quite difficult to understand why people lie about themselves in relationships. The prime reason for this may be, that they fear that their partner would leave them if they open up their secrets. People lie in relationships to keep the negative aspects of their personality hidden from their partners. Many people do not admit about their past relationships or an extra martial affair, as they do not want their partner to interfere in their daily activities. The reason why people lie and cheat in relationships is because they have an inferiority complex and would not want their partners to know about it. Fear in the minds is responsible for making the people lie. For example, a man may lie about his financial position, annual earnings and assets to keep his relationship stable with a woman. Here, the fear is of the woman walking out of the relationship, if she comes to know about the truth. The most amusing thing is that people lie even though they know that they will get exposed at some point of their life. However, the lie spoken gives temporary relief and a false sense of achievement and being smart, which these people enjoy. More on ways to tell if someone is lying.

Why People Lie at Work?

There are many reasons for the question – why do people lie at work. The cut to throat competition to complete the tasks and achieve the higher positions, often makes people tell a lie. A lie is also used by many people for bad mouthing the rival employees, to gain their position or get ahead of them. Giving false reasons for not completing the targets is observed in many places. People also lie at the work place for improving their poor image. Many people lie for making quick financial gains. For example, a shop owner may lie to his customers about the quality of the goods he has been selling. More on lying children.

Some More Reasons for Why People Lie

The reasons why people lie and manipulate may not be negative always. In some cases, a lie is spoken to ensure the well being of a person. In many situations, one does not have the time to explain the entire situation to the opposite person and convince him that what is being done is right. In many cases, a lie can help to control a particular situation from worsening. You can read more on:

Thus, we conclude that understanding why people lie psychology, is very difficult. However, a lie spoken for a good purpose should not be looked upon as a dishonest behavior. Still, as far as possible, we should avoid lying as it creates a bad impression and makes it difficult for the other people to trust us.

by Charlie S.

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List of Human Emotions

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The human emotions can be classified as primary, secondary and tertiary emotions. The primary emotions are:

  • fear
  • joy
  • love
  • sadness
  • surprise
  • anger

The secondary and tertiary emotions pertaining to these are mentioned below.

List of human emotions

1 : Fear
Fear is a response to some danger that is about to happen. It is a survival mechanism that is a reaction to some negative stimulus. It may be a mild caution or an extreme phobia. If the fear is trivial it is called “trifling fear” or if the danger seems formidable it is a “serious fear”.

One secondary emotion in this category is “nervousness”. The various tertiary emotions relating to this sub-category are:

  • anxiety
  • apprehension
  • distress
  • dread
  • tenseness
  • uneasiness
  • worry

Another secondary emotion in this category is “horror”. There are various tertiary emotions in this sub-category. The list of emotions is as follows:

  • alarm
  • fear
  • fright
  • horror
  • hysteria
  • mortification
  • panic
  • shock
  • terror

2 : Joy
Joy or happiness has shades of enjoyment, satisfaction and pleasure. There is a sense of well-being, inner peace, love, safety and contentment. There is an existence of both, positive thinking and positive activities.

The first secondary emotion is “cheerfulness”. This comprises of a myriad of tertiary emotions like:

  • amusement
  • ecstasy
  • gaiety
  • euphoria
  • bliss
  • elation
  • delight
  • happiness
  • jubilation

Zest is another secondary emotion encompassing different tertiary emotions like:

  • enthusiasm
  • excitement
  • exhilaration
  • thrill

The other emotions included in this category are contentment, relief, optimism, pride and enthrallment.

3 : Love
Love arises from a feeling of profound oneness. Love can be platonic, romantic, religious or familial. There are certain nuances to love regarding bonding, friendship, altruism and philanthropy. As per psychology, love is to lend self-esteem to another.

There are three secondary emotions – affection, longing and lust.

Affection includes the following tertiary emotions:

  • fondness
  • attraction
  • adoration
  • sentimentality
  • caring

Lust is related to different tertiary emotions like:

  • arousal
  • desire
  • passion
  • infatuation
  • obsession

4 : Sadness
Sadness is necessarily related to a feeling of loss and disadvantage. If this feeling drowns the individual it may lead to a state of depression. When a person can be observed to be quiet, less energetic and withdrawn to himself it may be inferred that sadness exists. Such an individual usually has a sloping body, stuck out lips and a downcast appearance of the head.

Directly related to sadness, the following tertiary emotions can be displayed:

  • depression
  • unhappiness
  • misery
  • melancholy
  • gloom
  • despair

The secondary emotion “suffering” includes agony, hurt and anguish. Another secondary emotion”disappointment” comprises of tertiary emotions like dismay and displeasure. “Shame” is a secondary emotion that can be linked to tertiary emotions like guilt, remorse and regret.

The secondary emotion “neglect” can be understood by the following tertiary emotions list.

  • insecurity
  • alienation
  • homesickness
  • embarrassment
  • humiliation

Feelings of sympathy and pity are also included in this category.

5 : Surprise
Surprise means the showing up of an unexpected result. When one experiences surprise, it is accompanied by raising of the eyebrows, horizontal lines on the forehead, open mouth, stretched skin below the eyebrows and wide open eyelids. Depending on the intensity, the mouth may not open, but only the jaw may drop. A momentary raise in the eyebrows is the most common evidence of surprise.

There are related tertiary emotions like:

  • astonishment
  • amazement

6 : Anger
Anger is evoked due to injustice, conflict, humiliation, negligence or betrayal. If the anger is active, the individual attacks the target, verbally or physically. If the anger is passive, the person silently sulks and feels tension and hostility. Often, when one empathizes with another, anger may be displayed. If the purpose of the source of pain is known, the magnitude of anger is altered.

One secondary emotion “rage” is further differentiated into tertiary emotions like:

  • fury
  • wrath
  • bitterness
  • loathing
  • resentment
  • hate
  • loathing

Frustration and exasperation are a similar type of tertiary emotions.

The secondary emotion “irritation” involves the tertiary emotions like:

  • agitation
  • aggravation
  • grouchiness

by Abhay Burande.

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Study: Pets Give Us the Same Warm Fuzzies That Friends Do.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Julia Fullerton-Batten / Getty Images

Julia Fullerton-Batten / Getty Images

A dog is man’s best friend, the old adage tells us — and, indeed, new research shows that when it comes to fulfilling our basic psychological needs, humans do benefit from their pets in much the same way they do from their friends.

Researchers from Miami University and Saint Louis University set out to test whether a person can really lean on his or her pets to “fulfill one’s social needs” — that is, to feel connected and in control of one’s life. A growing literature in psychology has already shown that among the elderly or the very ill, caring for a pet can help stave off loneliness and even improve physical health. But can pets bolster mental health among people who aren’t already feeling isolated from other humans? That was the question the researchers set out to test.

The group, led by Allen McConnell at Miami University, conducted three separate but related studies, which were published together online as a single article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology early this month.

In the first study, the researchers simply quizzed groups of pet owners and non-owners about their personalities. They found that on average owners were less lonely, had higher self-esteem, and exercised more (although of course it isn’t clear whether pets bring out those positive traits in their owners, or whether people with those traits are the ones who seek out pets in the first place).

MORE: The Science of Women and Cats: The Bond Is Real

In the second study, the researchers took a closer look at dog owners in particular. They found that — using standard psychological measures of social needs fulfillment — dogs did indeed help their owners to meet social needs, and that those owners then felt better about life as a result. Most importantly, the researchers found that fulfillment from pets was beneficial no matter how much support the owners were already getting from other people. Friends and family are not a substitute for pets, in other words. Pets are a boon to well-being, regardless of human companionship.

Finally, in the third study, McConnell and colleagues asked a group of college students to think about a time that they had felt socially excluded or rejected. After that miserable exercise, the students were then asked either to write a passage about a best friend, to write about a close pet, or to draw a map of their campus.

The students who wrote about their friends or their pets both felt better afterward, recovering their sense of self-worth and happiness after the exercise in thinking about rejection and isolation. Meanwhile the map-drawing group remained a little glum. The exciting part for the pet owners, however, is that thinking about a pet helped just as much as thinking about best friend. As McConnell et al. write, “one’s pet was every bit as effective as one’s best friend in staving off social needs deficits.”

MORE: Dogs: A (Neurotic) Man’s Best Friend

Overall, though it may come as no surprise to pet owners, this new research shows that people can derive joy and meaning from their pets even when they already have other friends and family to care about them. Perhaps it’s as simple as that pets make us feel loved. Long after your kids have left home, your dog will still run to the door to greet you when you get home from work. Or, perhaps, it’s that pets make us feel needed. They are a reason to get out of bed every day — even if that reason is only that someone has to feed the cat.

“Belongingness is considered a central need for people,” McConnell et al. write. “If pets are ‘psychologically close’ to their owner, they may provide well-being benefits for the owner just like any other person.”