I'm currently a junior studying Sociology with the intent to go to graduate school for Social Work. I have a lemon tree, like to go paragliding, play video games, sleep in weird places on campus and eat broccoli.....<- and one of those is a lie :)

Homepage: http://lifeaccordingtokim.wordpress.com

Your memory is false_Kim Alvarado

The misinformation effect refers the effect that false information has on recalling a memory.

In this video a man is sent to jail for 20+ years based on the memory of his daughter who “recovered” her memory under the guidance of a hypnotist.  This is an extreme  example of the negative aspect of misinformation but the strength and durability of  incorrect memories is evident. It can be extremely disconcerting to think that our memory is false. What keeps our memories from becoming misinformed is to keep factual records like a video, audio or just writing it down in a journal. Another thing that we can do is measure the validity of our memory  is to compare our memories with someone else…..like a mom, cause they remember EVERYTHING! 🙂



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Shiz Kim Alvarado says

When I think of social comparison I think immediately of  this video:

This spawned more videos like Sh*t that blacks/whites/mormons/gays/mexicans/asians say, all of which focus on distinct groups of people and their behavior. Although these videos are done in a way that accentuates stereotypical opinions they also provide a means in which individuals can evaluate themselves by. If someone were to ask me if I considered myself a typical Mormon girl I wouldn’t even pause from my game of Halo Reach to tell them, “heck no.”  And then I watch this video:

After watching this video I compared my own opinions and colloquialisms to those demonstrated and found that if I reevaluated myself, I DO fall into the category of a “Mormon girl”. I don’t however, find it a stifling or constraining title.  Through social comparisons we can check our behavior with others in our social group to feel like we belong and yet  still cultivate and express our distinct individual self.

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Saved by a kiss_Kim Alvardo

The Similarity-Attraction Hypothesis is used to explain why people become attracted to each other. It basically says that the more similar people are the more that they are attracted to each other. This can extend beyond just physical attributes or socioeconomic status,  people can be drawn together based on other factors like similar life experiences.

This video is in Mandarin so please read the video description first (I made some edits to make the translation into English more fluent) :

On Jun 20th, 2011, a 16 years old boy wanted to kill himself on the bridge in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China. A brave young lady used her kiss and passion to conquer the suicide’s idea, and save his life with other firemen.
According to the report, the boy had lost his mother when he was a child and his step-mother cheated his father of all of his money. He felt lonely and helpless. He never had love from his family.
The heroic young lady is a hotel steward. She said that  although she didn’t know the suicide she had the same difficult situations and even wanted to suicide several times. When she talked with the boy, she cried, because she totally understood him. She thought that the only approach was love. Finally, she succeed by a kiss!

As demonstrated in this video because the girl  had a similar experience of wanting to commit suicide at some point in her own life she had empathy for the boy’s feelings and felt a  deep connection to him and  because of all this she was able to save him with a kiss.

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Altruism_Kim Alvarado

Altruism is a selfless act done out of concern for others.

In this video runner  Meghan Vogel helped carry another runner who collapsed only a small distance from the finish line during a 3200 meter race at  Ohio Division III state track . She even helped the other runner so that she, and not Vogel,  would cross the finish line first. Although helping another runner is cause for disqualification the officials allowed the girls to be ranked as #14 and #15. Although Vogel won a state title earlier in the day she said that,  “Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship,”

A lot of people would argue that true altruism is not possible and that those who commit “selfless” acts actually do it for some sort of obligation or duty or in anticipation for a reward.  In this situation however, Vogel’s actions would’ve led to a disciplinary action, being disqualified, and not a reward. That being the case I believe that this video demonstrates what a true altruistic action looks like.

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Norm Violation: Puppetry is a lost art (Kim Alvarado)

For my social norm violation I had a lot of ideas: wearing blooded and torn clothes and asking people if they’ve seen my pet Velociraptor, using the boys restroom, etc.

However, I wanted to violate a norm in a way which was very subtle and not so over the top. So I decided to bring two of the Harry Potter Puppet pals on campus with me!

(If you don’t know what a “Harry Potter Puppet Pal” is then watch this video)

My goal was to act as casual as possible, like it was no big deal that I had a puppet on my hand. I figured that if I acted like nothing was out of place then other people would do that as well.

I brought them to class with me and then afterwards I walked around on campus asking people, “Will you take a picture of us?”  This was really funny because EVERY TIME that I asked that, the person would say ,”Sure.” and then look around for other people. Then they would look at the puppet on my hand and then look at me with a really confused look on their face.

At first I felt really self-conscious and had my sunglasses on and ear buds in. After a while I relaxed and just didn’t care anymore and I took off my sunglasses and ear buds and just walked around smiling. I find that there was a sense of freedom in not caring what strangers thought. Carrying a toy around made me really miss when I was a child and I would make a doll from a bunch of grass or a grenade from a seed pod and played freely (with sound effects) in public. When a full grown adult is doing this kind of behavior it isn’t a huge norm violation or elicits a big response but it still  catches people off guard because adults are supposed to be more mature and self-censoring.

In class I took out my puppets and set them on my desk

To attract the attention of my professor I turned the puppets towards him. At one point I picked both of them up and started playing with them, I even silently reenacted the last battle scene between Harry and Voldemort. He looked over a couple of times but didn’t say anything, same with my classmates. When they tried to catch my eye I pointedly looked at the board and ignored them as if I didn’t notice they were looking so nobody said anything.

I woke up a girl who was sleeping and asked her to take a picture of us. She said sure and then looked around for another person. When she saw that I meant Harry she laughed and took the picture.

Because she was being a good sport, I asked her to take another one with Voldemort in it.

In the Harold B Lee library:
Me: “Can you take a picture of us ?”
Cute guy: “Who’s “us”?”
Me: “Me and my puppet pal!”
Cute guy: O_0  (takes picture)

JAMBA JUICE!!!! The girl I asked turned in a complete circle looking for other people when I asked her to take a picture of “us”

I sat down near this lady in the cafeteria until she noticed me and I asked her to take a picture.  “I’m not crazy I promise,” I said when she gave the camera back. She didn’t seem very convinced…. so I stayed there until she finished her food,  playing with the puppets and even holding the straw up to the puppets mouths so that they could drink.

Giving Harry a piggyback ride. The girl who took this one thought I only wanted a picture of myself until she noticed the puppet.

The guy who took this picture was awesome! He recognized the puppet from the video and was more than happy to take a picture.

Smile and wave boys, smile and wave..

The girl I asked said, “Well, this is weird….but it’s made my day interesting!”

Home at last!! Awwww…Voldy and Harry are holding hands!


(╯°□°)╯ ┻━┻ _ opɐɹɐʌlɐ ɯıʞ

Aggression is a natural reaction to environmental factors which can be categorized by instinct, frustration-aggression, social and biological influences.  Uncontrolled aggression leads to wars, crime and even road rage so it is important not only to understand what causes aggression but how to reduce aggressive behavior at the individual level. But reducing agression is not about never being angry or upset because these are healthy and normal emotions. In reducing anger you can gain control of your actions by controlling your reactions.

(Wow, get her mad enough and we have an album!)

There are different theories of how to reduce aggression, the more popular of which is the Cartharisis hypothesis which suggests that pent-up emotions like anger and frustrations can be purged by  expressing them through aggression. This has since been shown to promote aggression rather than counteract it.  The video above demonstrates one of the methods in which agression can be reduced which is to react to aggression with something that is incompatable or incongruent (like humming).  Another way is to reduce aggression is to avoid situations or things that make you angre and  to reward non aggression in order to model behavior.

Here are examples of the different theroies:

1.Catharsis Hypothesis

2.Channel aggression by participating in another activity (my alternate to the Catharsis Hypothesis)


3. Reduce aversive stimulation (by leaving the situation)

4. Reward nonaggression

*with grape juice!




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Haters gonna hate_Kim Alvarado

Prejudiced, stereotypes and discrimination are preconceived attitudes, negative or positive, about a person or thing based on surface details like their ethnicity, religion or other categories and not on their merit as an individual.

Now, take a gander at this sweet video with its fresh lyrics:

Not only does this video give some street cred to minivans but also it addresses and breaks prejudices on  parenting and gender roles. The father says that he “loves hanging with his daughter, sipping tea” keeping his pinky up without being emasculated and his wife not only “straight ownin’ bake sales, with [her] cupcake skills” but also says “I’m better with the money so I handle the bills” Both of these lyrics differ from the stereotypical views on parenting; here it is demonstrated that both parents can nurture the children and  also take on different roles based on their own personality and abilities.

Prejudiced and stereotypes are static concepts that can be strengthened or weakened over time. This is how that change occurs: 1)You have a preconceived judgment on “something” , 2) you receive information how that “something” behaves or feel firsthand, and 3) if you find that the “something” conforms to the stereotype then you don’t change your opinion but if the other side doesn’t conform then your opinion will change naturally to accommodate it.

Here is a simplified example of this:

1.How you view people who drive minivans:


2. Then you watched the “Swagger Wagon” clip
3. How you view minivans afterwards:
So basically, judging something or someone at first glance is good only for constructing a preliminary opinion based on  surface details  but is ineffective at evaluating  their own personal swagger.