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adaption -level phenomenon: Clarissa

Adaption -level phenomenon: this is the tendency to judge our experiences by comparing them to past experiences.  For example, the book explains that as our income rises, or our social prestige improves we feel pleasure. But as time goes on, we adapt. What once felt good now feels just normal- and what was normal or neutral before now feels like deprivation.  This phenomenon also entails our ability to judge our adaptive capacity.  Often we underestimate our adaptive capacity.  We have a hard time predicting the intensity and duration of our future positive and negative emotions.

In the movie Home Alone, Kevin (the main character) is at first very happy when he finds himself at home alone- with the house to himself.  But as time goes on- the excitement lessens- and he finds himself missing his family.

In this movie Kevin thought he would be super happy being home alone- without his annoying family around. When Kevin is alone, the excitement of being home alone evaporates more rapidly than he had expected.  In this situation- Kevin underestimated his adaptive capacity.



stress and shingles: Clarissa

Health Psychology: this is the study of how social, psychological and behavioral processes effect one’s physical health.

Two weeks ago I got a form of chicken pox known as shingles. I had no idea what it was at the time or how I got it. After a visit to the doctor- it was diagnosed as shingles.

I found out that shingles can be a reaction to lots of stress. I reviewed the previous couple of months and realized that there had been many stressful instances that probably had accumulated and now were taking a toll on my health.  It was strange that stress could be the cause of this weird rash- but it was.  Since then, I have made sure to keep myself in check and not let myself worry about things that are out of my control.  This is one of the disciplines that health psychology deals with- that is- how psychological factors effect an individuals health- specifically stress!

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Personal space violation: Clarissa

Personal space is an unwritten courtesy that most everyone dutifully respects.  We each have boundaries- that if crossed- seem almost like an attack(depending on the severity of the violation).  Our personal “bubbles” are a safe-zone- a place that is entered only by our invitation.  Keeping a comfortable amount of distance between ourselves and strangers when possible,  is something that is understood and followed by almost any civilized American. I say “American,”  because this norm of personal space may be unique to Americans.  Other cultures may not have the same expectations when it comes to personal space.

I didn’t set out to break this particular social norm- but the situation presented itself and I grabbed it.  One Sunday my boyfriend and I decided to spend our sunday afternoon outside at Rock Canyon park.  We drove to the back of the park where it was empty of people. We got our blanket out and proceeded up the hill to the perfect spot- hidden behind some trees.  As we got closer I realized that we weren’t the only ones that had taken advantage of this great spot.  I had to stop my boyfriend from almost walking straight into them. There was a couple laying side by side on their picnic blanket – enjoying their privacy and seclusion. We walked away laughing that we had almost walked right into them.  Then I realized- “hey- this is a great opportunity to violate a social norm!” It took some convincing to get my boyfriend to go along with it.  We decided that we had just as much right to enjoy the perfect spot as they did.  We walked back up to the hidden nook behind the trees, fluffed our blanket out and placed it about 5 feet away from their blanket.  After a couple of minutes, my boyfriend started reading the scriptures out loud and then I went over to them and offered them some sunflower seeds that I had gotten for free at the Bees game the night before.  After almost the longest 20 minutes ever- we picked up and left.

This social norm violation was quite uncomfortable. This couple had clearly picked this secluded spot on purpose- to avoid being next to anyone.  They were enjoying their alone time together and didn’t want to be disturbed.  I could understand that. When we invaded their clearly marked bubble- I could immediately sense the violation. They communicated their uncomfortableness through their body language and frequent  glances- wondering “what is this weird couple doing?”  Honestly- I don’t think they even knew how to react to us- it was so out of the norm- that I know they were stumped as to how to respond.  When I tried to be friendly and offer them sunflower seeds- it made the awkwardness in the air even more apparent. They seemed almost worried as I clearly was not socially inept.  I almost could sense that they felt sorry for us.  It was really weird.  It took everything not to start laughing and quit- but I stuck to it even though it was terribly uncomfortable.  It felt odd to be encroaching on someone else’s space- and to do it so forwardly.  Until violating a social norm- I had no idea how powerful and ingrained they are in me and in society.  This experience has taught me to be aware of and possibly question the norms that I unconsciously follow.

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Disclosure reciprocity effect: Clarissa

disclosure reciprocity: we reveal more about ourselves to people who have been open with us. We reveal a little and then the other person reveals a little.

My friend Nate, opened himself up and told me many things about himself. In return I decided to tell him some things about myself that I normally don’t disclose.

When others open up to us, we may have the feeling that we should or can do the same.  When my friend Nate really made himself vulnerable by sharing some really personal and sensitive aspects of his life- I knew he trusted me- and therefore I felt that I could trust him. I then decided that I would equally be as open with him as he was with me.  As I look at the relationships that I have developed throughout my life, I have noticed that the ones that are the most meaningful are the ones where there has been much self-disclosure- or where the disclosure reciprocity effect has taken effect.


“I don’t need to do the dishes..” Clarissa

Bystander effect: the idea with the bystander effect is that people are less likely to help when there are other people around.  We tend to think that another person will do the job- instead of taking the initiative to do the job ourself.

When all my roommates are in town the dishes seem to pile up and not get down as fast as when there are only two of us roommates home.

This is a very simple example but I thought it was kind of interesting that the bystander effect was happening within the walls of my very own dwelling.  I noticed that when there were only two of us in the apartment- the dishes got done faster(even when we had the same amount of dishes as when there was four of us home).  When all four of us are at home I know that I catch myself thinking “I don’t need to do the dishes .. Kaitlin will probably do them when she gets home.” Did I notice the dishes were in the sink- and they were piling up- “yes”- but I ignored them thinking that someone else would get to them. (I know- its awful!- ha). However, when there was only the two of us left in the apartment- I was much more consciousness of the dishes in the sink (actually there was never any dishes in the sink- we made sure that the dishes were always clean:) and would tend to the dishes whenever they were in the sink.  I knew that if I didn’t do them- they may not get done. There weren’t as many people to count on to do the work.

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Cycle of Abuse: Clarissa

Displacement: this is a kind of defense mechanism used when a person diverts an unacceptable thought or impulse from its target to a less threatening objet/target.

A man, after having a bad day at work comes home and beats his wife and then his wife beats her children.

This is a pretty sad example- but as I have studied abuse and its consequences, I have come to realize that displacement is often used by the offender during an abusive act.  In the above example, a man has a bad day at work because his boss was condescending and embarrassed the man in front of all his co-workers.  The man is extremely upset and wants to take his frustration out – but he can’t take it out on his boss because he is not an easy target.  Instead the man takes his frustration out on his wife, who is an easier target.  The man is displacing his anger with his boss onto his wife. His wife is then upset and angry and wants to fight back, but can’t fight her husband, so she beats her kids. Sadly, this story is too common in the world today. Instead of confronting the source of one’s anger, people often turn to a safer target to release their frustration- which begins the vicious cycle all over again.

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Clayton vs. Ladue: Clarissa

Realistic Conflict Theory:  This theory is one way to help explain why prejudice arises.  It states that hostility arises between groups as a result of conflicting goals and competition over limited resources.  Feelings of resentment arise because groups see the competition over resources as having only one winner- that is to say- only one group wins.

My high school, Ladue had as it’s rival, Clayton High School.  Starting in elementary school, it was ingrained into our brains that Clayton was worse than Ladue.  We competed with Clayton in everything from sports to academics.

The competition to be number one caused Ladue and Clayton to butt heads.  We knew that there could only be one number one- and both of the schools fought for that spot.  This competition grew into hostility and even prejudice- as we viewed our school as better than Clayton.  Looking back- it seems silly how much we put into “playing the game of prejudice”- but it seems like it is almost part of being human.  We like to be on the winning side!!  The realistic conflict theory helps to explain this ever present rivalry between Ladue and Clayton.

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