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Misinformation Effect by Catherine Dodart

The Misinformation Effect is when someone feels they recall an image they didn’t really see in the beginning.

The Misinformation Effect is one that can definitely cause problems. For example, if in court a witness believes they saw something they didn’t, or if the person had a mustache when they really didn’t then it could put someone under the radar that didn’t really do anything wrong. This is why its important and more credible if there are multiple eye witnesses because then stories of what one saw can be compared.

An example in my life is one in which I was involved in a fender bender with my car and another. After the incident happened I felt that i was recalling things that may or may not have really happened but in my mind it seemed like it really did.


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Personal Space by Catherine Dodart

Personal Space is the area around us that we like to keep between ourselves and others.

Many people begin to feel extremely uncomfortable if they feel others begin to invade this personal space. There is a social norm that many Americans will stick to themselves and try not to breach this area of personal space, unless extremely familiar with the person. We keep space on buses, at restaurants, at parks, and even movies. Some distance can also vary, for example adults favor personal space much more than children would. Men also keep more distance from each other than women do and in some cultures personal space doesn’t really apply. People will hug and even kiss some people they don’t know. I have tried sitting near someone I don’t know before and watching them start to be uncomfortable and wonder what I’m doing begins to make me feel awkward and unsure.

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Counterfactual Thinking by Catherine Dodart

Counterfactual Thinking: is when you imagine different outcomes or endings that might have happened.

I feel that I have experienced this many times. For example, if I do poorly on a test my mind instantly goes back to some of those questions that I was unsure on and I think, “Well maybe if I would have put the other answer down I would have scored better.” Sometimes I will catch myself continually looking back at things like how could I have handled that differently, what if I would have chosen to go this way, or maybe I would have liked that other job. I never knew that there was an actual name to this type of thinking.

The text uses an example of Olympic athletes and how one who receives a bronze medal may be more positive if in his mind he had pictured leaving without a medal, as opposed to someone who won a silver medal and pictured themselves winning a gold medal.


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Culture by Catherine Dodart

I would define culture as the beliefs, behaviors, and traditions set up by a certain group and shared from each generation.

Everyone comes from a different background and culture whether its a family culture, or culture based on where your from. I think when we are given the chance to experience someone elses culture we begin to be able to understand them on a better level. I once heard a quote that was something like, “You don’t know where someone is going, until you know where they’ve been.” I think this is a good example of why its important to understand somebody on a cultural level.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend BYU Hawaii for 6 months and the culture of it all was extremely different. I was attending school with people not only from America, but all over Europe, Asia, and some pacific islands. While there I lived in a dorm with a girl from Tonga and I was able to learn more about her culture, which was very different from my own. in our dorm we had a phone and this phone would ring at all hours of the night…While your trying to sleep this gets a little frustrating because not only would she answer it, but she would have a full on conversation at 4 in the morning sometimes. At first I let this go on for awhile because I didn’t want to seem rude, but after some time I finally mentioned to some other friends that my roommate talks and talks on the phone during the night. One of my good friends had taken a Tongan speaking class and in it she learned that not only was it rude to not answer your phone but it was very impolite if you did not have at least part of a conversation with the person who answered. I then began to understand that my roommate and I came from very different cultures and I would need to learn to just go with the flow. At one point tho when she was asleep I would unplug the phone line…needless to say I started sleeping better!

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Planning Fallacy By Catherine Dodart

The planning fallacy is when we don’t calculate the amount of time it will take us to complete a task correctly.

I definitely have experienced this many, many, times. Sometimes I think that my ability on a certain task is so great that I will be able to do something in about an hours time. This has come to bite me in the butt on certain occasions. I know now that I always kind of need to give myself a little more time just in case something else becomes distracting or I get caught up in something. For example when it comes to homework, I often will procrastinate because I know that I can get it done and I don’t think it will take me very long to accomplish. However, I have found that even though I know what I am doing on the assignment, to make it presentable I end up taking more time than I originally had planned.

Everybody experiences this and sometimes it can even be on a daily basis, or else that’s just my bad planning habits:)


Social Norm Violation By Catherine Dodart

I currently work at a call center and am constantly surrounded by people I don’t know. I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to go against the social norm. Everyday you sit in a different cubicle and talk on the phones while in between calls you can talk to friends or those you sit by. While sitting down one day I decided that I would wait for two people to begin to have a conversation and then I would just instantly jump in like I had been part of it. Nobody likes to be interrupted but I figured it would be even better if it were people I didn’t know that I was trying to strike up a conversation with. It didn’t take long for a guy and a girl near me to strike up a conversation. I waited until they were talking about something serious and then I put in my two cents, like I had known what they were talking about. At first they kind of let it go and just gave me a strange look like, “Who asked for your opinion?” After a few times of chiming in they finally started to kind of tune me out and eventually kept their talking to a minimum. At first it was hard not to laugh and explain what I was doing but I did start to feel extremely uncomfortable when I knew that they were getting irritated with me, Goes to show that social norms do exist and it can be extremely awkward when you break them!


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Social Comparisons by Catherine Dodart

Downward Social Comparison: is a defense strategy that some people use as a way to show self-evaluation. They will look to others or a group who may be worse off in order to dissociate themselves from similarities which end up making them feel better.  The media has oftentimes been found to play a large role in social comparisons.

Studies have shown that in most cases women tend to engage in upward social comparisons with another, which results in more negative feelings about the self. Upward Comparison: is when someone wants others to believe themselves to be part of the elite or superior. The majority of women have a daily opportunity to make upward comparison by measuring themselves against some form of  ideal. Women have reported making upward comparisons in a positive manner for the purposes of self motivation, but the majority of upward comparisons are made when the individual is feeling lesser and therefore evoke a negative display.

There may be times when we know someone like this or have experienced this situation. In the clip below, Penelope tries to outdo anything and everything someone says. She is showing that she wants to be seen as superior to the others in the group.


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