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I broke the norm by Matthew Landeen

Most people have a bubble or a personal space  that they do not like violated.  I would definately include myself in this category.  I was really hoping to make a video of my encounters, but like a typical college student my roomates and I never could find the time to get together and do it, so I did it on my own with out a camera.

Typically when you meet a person you shake hands.  Jerry Seinfeld explains this social norm perfectly so take a look at the video.

So with these handshake norms, I put some to the test to see how I felt and how the others reacted.  I experimented with people who I already knew and random people that I met for the first time.  Typically I would introduce myself and offer to shake their hands, or just say hi and stick my hand out.  I would try my best not to let them go until our conversation was done.  At first it was hard trying to act completely confortable and come up with things to ask them while trying to note my behavior as well as their behavior, but it got a little easier after doing it a few times.

If there were other people around, most would look around them to see if anyone else though it a little strange that I had not let go of their hand.  This is a perfect example of some of the things we have talked about in class.  Oftem times people will look to those around them for information (conformity, social learning, helping and perceived emergency, etc.)  It was very hard for them to focus on the conversation I was trying to have with them, and in some cases some people forcefully pulled away.

It was kind of fun to violate a social norm, but I can imagine that it wouldnt be as fun if I was the one receiving the experiment.


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The Misinformation Effect by Matthew Landeen

The Misinformation effect – Incorporating “misinformation” into one’s memory of the event after witnessing an event and receiving misleading information about it.

Some of us may recall an event and tell the story of what happened believing that everything we “remember” actually happened.  Memory can be misleading and manipulated.

In this video, the male telling the story of when he was lost as a child appears to be a true memory.  He believes that this event really occurred.  He even created specifics in his memory like the flannel shirt.

This can be interesting in a court room because a lot of what the jury can go by is “eye witnesses.”  After many studies, we understand that an eye witness may not be as accurate and reliable as we originally thought.  When someone wants to believe something so badly that person can create memories of an event that never happened or alter the true memory to match the desired memory.


Social support and the common cold by Matthew Landeen

This title comes from a study that was done with 276 volunteers who were infected with the cold virus.  They were quarantined for five days and observed.  Those under stress had a harder time fighting off the virus.

Health Psychology – The study of the psychological roots of health and illness.

Part of this idea is that when we become stressed our immune system has a harder time fighting off whatever virus we are exposed to.  In this clip from “Guys and dolls” Adelaide is upset and stressing out because she has been engaged to Nathan, who is played by Frank Sinatra, for 10 years and feels like he is never really going to marry her.  listening to the lyrics you can see that she is worried about getting old and being single.  She explains that all of this can cause a patient to develop a cold.

This has to be my least favorite part of this movie.  I can hardly stand watching her sing, but it was a good example so I had to show it.

Right before I got accepted to BYU I just broke up with my girlfriend of six months.  I was working a full-time job, a part-time job, and was serving on Phi Theta Kappa.  I guess the stress of all of this killed my immune system and I got super sick.  I am a healthy person and almost never get sick, but the stress got to me.  So take some time each day to relax and unwind so you can avoid getting sick.

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Opposites do not attract…at least not in my case by Matt Landeen

Similarity Hypothesis – We are attracted to people who are similar to us because they share the same values and opinions as we do, and we like our values validated.

This rings very true to me.  I would like to consider myself an accepting person, but I know I am guilty of regarding those that hold the same values and opinions as me at a higher level than those that do not.  When I meet someone that shares similarities with me I feel better and I believe subconsciously I view or possibly treat them better than someone that differs.

Before class started there were some people talking about a controversial subject.  When all came to the conclusion that everyone agreed, some were saying, “exactly” or “thank you.”  They had their values and opinions validated by others and hypothetically it is more likely that they would be friends with each other than with someone that did not share they same opinions as them.

Like I said, this rings true with me, I am more attracted to people that share similarities with me, I think we all are.

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Are you just going to stand by? by Matt Landeen

The Bystander Effect – People are less likely to provide help when there are other bystanders.

The discussion in class about Kitty Genovese really got me thinking about why people didn’t help, which could have prevented her death.  Seeing an accident some of us think, “oh someone has already probably called the police and helped them.”  We are quick to assume that other people have already come the aid of the person in need of help.

The other big reason why people don’t stop to help is because no one else is stopping.  If no one else acknowledges that there is an emergency and help is required, we assume that we have misjudged, and that no help is required.

This really made me think how easy is it to ask someone, “hey are you ok, do you need help?”

I hope I don’t readily assume that someone else will help when I see someone in need of assistance.  With stories like Kitty’s, I hope we all are more quick to offer help.

To end on a lighter note, here is a funny clip from Seinfeld about bystanders.

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Are you frustrated? This guy is. By Matthew Landeen

Frustration – Anything that blocks us from achieving a goal.

Frustration aggression theory is one way of explaining why we get aggressive.  Frustration grown when our motivation to achieve a goal is very strong, when we expected gratification, and when the blocking is complete.

Some people get frustrated more easily than others.  Check out this guy in an office when he can’t get something to print right from his computer.


This video is classic.  His goal is to print from his computer.  He shows signs of a calm responsible adult even when his second attempt fails and he gets sprayed with black powder.  Frustrated, he gets aggressive and acts irrationally when he can not complete his goal.

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Are you a mormon? by Matt Landeen

Stereotype – Beliefs or ideas about the personal attributes of a group of people.

Living in Utah, sometimes it is hard to find someone that does not already know about the LDS church.  Most of the people living here know what stereotypes or rumors are true and which ones are not.

I work at a drug and alcohol recovery center that mostly caters to patients from out of state.  Most of the time the first thing a patient will ask me is, “Are you a Mormon?”  While working there I have been asked almost everything from A-Z concerning mormon stereotypes.  Having been on a mission, I have been well prepared in how to respond.

Some of the things people ask me I feel like they already know the answer to but want to see my reaction anyway.  These stereotypes are the ones that really bother me.  I am fine answering honest questions but when the stereotype is discussed just to see the reaction of a member of the group the stereotype is about, I get a little frustrated.

One patient asked me how many moms I had.  One asked me why I don’t believe in the bible.  These of course are stereotypes that people, who are not educated or just heard something wrong, have about Mormons

The thing about stereotypes is that most of the time they are not true for everyone in the group.  This can offend people if we are quick to make judgements just based on how we classify them to a specific group.

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