Archive for category Blog Entry 2

Planning Fallacy by Cheri Hiatt

Planning  Fallacy is when someone incorrectly guesses the length of time that a particular action requires.

Description: A description of this is my home subdivision. Just outside of where I live, the road was being reconstructed to contain two lanes as opposed to just one. This construction was started when I was 7 and supposed to be finished just to years later when I was 9. Driving past the end of this construction10 years later when I was 17 demonstrates the existence of planning fallacy.

Conclusion: Planning Fallacy is evident in this example, as this construction taking 10 years to complete as opposed to the 2 years that was assumed and planned displays. Because situations like this can add stress and unpredictability to the lives of those who unsuccessfully predict schedules, it is important to plan and schedule carefully.


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The Spotlight Effect by Matthew Landeen


The Spotlight Effect is a way to describe someone that feels like the whole world is watching them.  This is intensified when they feel like they did something unusual or anything that drew the attention towards them.  The faulty thinking of the spotlight effect is that in reality they are not watching you any more closely than the next person.

The faulty thinking comes because typically we are self conscious about the reason we feel people are looking at us.  Embarrassment or anxiety tends to make things a bigger deal in our head than they are in reality.

To illustrate the spotlight effect I will tell how I actually felt the effect during the class discussion today and why I think I felt it.  Professor Holt-Lunstad had us write on a piece of paper, I am…. and we could fill in the blank.  She asked some of the students to say what they wrote down.  I, without thinking, just blurted out “I am single.”  For the rest of the time in class I felt like every time a fellow student saw me they were thinking “hey thats the kid that announced to the class that he is single.”  I don’t make a lot of comments in class so I feel that thats the only thing people are going to remember me by.  This is the spotlight effect in action.  In reality, I hope, people will forget about it and hopefully I will make some more comments in class that are intelligent to quickly replace the comment that I hope people don’t remember me by.

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I’m sunburned from all this basking- by Christine Sellers

My husband and I love music. Well, I love music and my husband is obsessed with it. He is in a band and I support him 100%. I used to think that I was a music fanatic until I met him; then I realized I didn’t even come close to deserving the title. He knows every name of every band member known to man and it’s a little bit ridiculous.

Because of our love for music, there will be times when we discuss our loyalty to our favorite bands and MAN does the  conversation get heated. The most recent encounter with this situation was just last night. Since my husband is a rockstar and I feel that I have to overcompensate just a teensy bit, I sometimes use stories of my past encounters with favorite artists.  Little did I know that I was extremely guilty of “basking in their reflected glory“. This term describes someone who shares publicly how they know certain successful people, when in fact they didn’t have any role in their success at all. It is meant to improve “self-presentation.” Even though it’s embarrassing to share it now, here’s my story.

When I was 17, I was on the varsity dance team. We had just started competition season and I had chosen an amazing song by an incredible and super unpopular (as in not known AT ALL) artist named Chris Mann to choreograph my contemporary solo to. He was so unknown that I couldn’t even (*cough* legally) download his music. So, I messaged him on Facebook and asked him to email me an mp3 of his song so I could perform to it. He responded and sent me the song, wished me luck, and told me to send him a video of the finished dance routine. 

Was I jazzed or what?? THEN I found out last night that he is a finalist on the new show “The Voice” (Team Christina if you were curious) and he’s probably going to win the thing. In order to defend my loyalty, I explained to Collin how we had emailed back and forth when no one even knew who he was and he had sent me his music. Basically, I’m the reason for his HUGE success now. Am I? Of course not. Do I know that? Yes. But in order to show that I am loyal to my precious Chris Mann, I need to bask in his reflected glory. 

Turns out that wasn’t even the first time I have been guilty of such a crime. My second cousins are a famous (or somewhat famous) country band called SheDaisy. Heard of them? Cool. Me too. If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have gone on and on about how we’re related and how we talked and how much merchandise I had. For some reason I thought that it made me seem cool? Not so much. I had only met them once, and the free autographed merchandise was sent to me from their uncle because he had a huge warehouse full of the stuff. Man, oh man, I got so sunburned from basking in their reflected glory to my friends. 

THEN there was this time when Andy Grammar told me I was pretty. Even called me “sweetheart.” Yes, we totally have a picture together. I’m SO awesome for knowing Andy Grammar, especially because it happened right on the brink of his rise to the top. I’m basically the reason of why he’s famous…(uh, yeah right). So why do I bring this up to people? It’s not like I am the girl he’s writing all of his love songs to. Sheesh. 

Moral of the story? Basking in the reflected glory of others makes us look silly. My husband and I are loyal fans of our particular musicians of choice, but we are not the reason that they are successful, even though we claim to have “loved them from the VERY beginning, before anyone else did.” We can still bicker about who is a more loyal fan, but no longer will I be using these stories of my “special connections” to these successes. Because of this social psychology lesson, I am going to be extra cautious of my self-presentation. Except for just now when I basked in the reflected glory by sharing all of those stories with you. Last time, I promise.


Individualism by Austin Peterson (blog entry 2)

Individualism is something that just in daily life we can all do, however it’s those that it becomes a habit that you really want to watch out for. Individualism is the concept of giving priority to ones goals and defining ones identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications. Individualism can happen in all settings and that includes sports.

When reading about individualism my thoughts instantly went to a play by Ricky Davis a former NBA player who at the time was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers were playing the Utah Jazz and with less than 10 seconds to play they were down by 24 points. The game was over and a bad night for the Cavs, however Mr. Davis was having a pretty good game to that point but was 1 rebound short of getting a triple double which is always a very cool thing to accomplish. However what Ricky Davis did next was about as perfect example of Individualism as you can get, after they threw the ball into him he ran back to his own basket and intentionally missed a layup to get a rebound and get a triple double. Not only was this embarrassing to the team and Ricky Davis himself but it showed exactly where his priorities were and how he cared more about those than the team. Here is a video of the play and link to an article discussing it as well.

Ricky Davis on this night illustrated Individualism in its finest form. As a member of the Cavalier team his goals should be in line with that team and he should go up or down with the results of that team. However on a horrible night for his team his focus was still on getting a personal accomplishment. To steal from the definition he was “giving priority to his own goals….rather than group identifications.” The group he was involved with was very disappointed by the event and it looked badly for all of them. But Ricky didn’t care because “he got his” and escaped that game with a triple double!!

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“The Spot-Light Effect” by Seren Bezzant

“The Spot-Light Effect” is an effect that causes a person in a certain situation to become extremely self-aware and self-conscious and certain aspects of oneself begin to stand out severely.

When I was younger, my father had the opportunity to go to Taiwan on a business trip. Taiwan was trying to make ties with America so they flew out lots of professors, businessmen, and media people, like my father. During his trip he had a lot of opportunities to meet with dignitaries and highly valued people of Taiwan. During this trip, my father was expected to answer important questions, and he was treated like royalty. Within this context my father’s competency or incompetency became very aware to him. Back home when he was within the context of his office, he felt very competent and able to perform all tasks, but in Taiwan when he was considered like an ambassador he began feeling very incompetent.

This experience relates to the spot-light effect because depending on my Father’s context, he felt very competent or very incompetent. Because of the way he was being treated and his surroundings, his own competency became particularly salient to him. He was very self-conscious and self-aware.

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“The Power and Process of Self-Efficacy” by Tatiana Herman

“The Power and Process of Self-Efficacy” by Tatiana Herman

Self-efficacy is the feeling that you are competent and effective. This can be a general feeling that you have about yourself as a person, or it can be geared toward a specific skill. Many people mix up self-efficacy with self-esteem even though they’re markedly different. Self-esteem is all about liking yourself and believing you are valuable simply because you exist. Self-efficacy is specific to performing well in a given area.

“Thumbs Up for Rock and Roll!“ illustrates self-efficacy very well.

In addition to the random but humorous advertising of rock and roll, this clip shows a small boy who feels “happy of himself”. He states that if you believe in yourself you will learn how to ride your bike. If this isn’t enough, then you can practice until you finally achieve your goal. His father is videotaping his proclamation and can be heard stating that he is also happy with his son. This is a perfect example of self-efficacy. The young boy doesn’t say that he is special or awesome, which would be a comment displaying self-esteem. He makes it clear that he is pleased with himself because of what he has accomplished, showing his self-efficacy. His father in turn encourages him to pay this principle forward to the children in the world who may also be learning how to ride a bike.

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I didn’t want to be a church nerd by Jamie Rhoten

Most people would agree that “what matters most is how you see yourself” but I might argue that what matters most is how you think others see yourself. One way people try to control what others think of themselves is by self-monitoring.

Self-monitoring is when a person is aware of the social contexts that they are in and attempts to control the way others perceive them by presenting themselves in certain ways and adjusting their behaviors to match the social environment.

I am a high self-monitoring person. This means that I tend to change (or adjust) my actions by the people and situations that surround me.

One example from my life happens to be in high school. I was older for my grade and so I was one of the first to get my license. So, of course, this meant I was responsible for driving my friends around. I was voted “most involved” in my high school because I was involved in all sorts of clubs and activities. I was in student council, cheerleading, choir, theater, and a handful of clubs.  Depending on what activities and friends I would have in my car I would change my music. With my cheerleading friends I would listen to pop music, with my theater friends I would listen to musicals, with my student council friends I would listen to “trendy” or alternative music, and with my church friends I would listen to country, and so on…

I would change the music I listened to in the car based on who ever was in the car with me. I did this to try to manage the image that they perceived of me. I wanted to fit in with whatever group was around me.  I wanted to ‘look good’ with that group. I personally really enjoy listening to conference talks and church music when I am alone in the car. But I never wanted to seem ‘too churchy’ or like I was trying to be a Molly Mormon, so I would only listen to my church music alone. This is an example of one of the ways I would be self-monitoring. I would change my behavior based on what group of friends I was with. In conclusion, I cared more about how others viewed myself then I did about being true to my identity (are who I thought I was) because I changed who I was (or at least my preference of music) dependent to who I was around. So far me, it was more important to monitor what others thought of me then to listen to my nerdy church music.

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