News Psychology

Fifty psychology terms to lose?

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Here’s a public access primer on psycho terms to lose.

(In case you know someone who is going into debt for this stuff and must learn them in order to pass.)

Maybe we are getting somewhere?

Including:

(1) A gene for. The news media is awash in reports of identifying “genes for” a myriad of phenotypes, including personality traits, mental illnesses, homosexuality, and political attitudes (Sapolsky, 1997). For example, in 2010, The Telegraph (2010) trumpeted the headline, “‘Liberal gene’ discovered by scientists.” Nevertheless, because genes code for proteins, there are no “genes for” phenotypes per se, including behavioral phenotypes (Falk, 2014). Moreover, genome-wide association studies of major psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, suggest that there are probably few or no genes of major effect (Kendler, 2005). In this respect, these disorders are unlike single-gene medical disorders, such as Huntington’s disease or cystic fibrosis. The same conclusion probably holds for all personality traits (De Moor et al., 2012).

See also: There’s a gene for that… or is there?

Here’s another one that struck a chord with me personally: Claims about bystander apathy:

Nevertheless, research demonstrates that most bystanders are far from apathetic in emergencies (Glassman and Hadad, 2008). To the contrary, they are typically quite concerned about the victim, but are psychologically “frozen” by well-established psychological processes, such as pluralistic ignorance, diffusion of responsibility, and sheer fears of appearing foolish.?

That’s been my (O’Leary for News) usual experience where I live.

Once, twenty-five years ago, I was trying to cross a street in Toronto and was suddenly confused by the presence of oranges bouncing all over the road. Oranges?

Then I looked up and saw a crowd of people gathered around a fallen woman in the middle of the intersection, a victim of a traffic mishap. They were telling her: Don’t try to get up, don’t try to get up. But she kept flailing. People threw coats over her until EMS appeared.

Later, I discovered by an Internet search, that she died shortly afterward at the local emerg, of massive internal injuries. She mightn’t have lived no matter what under the circumstances, as she had been thrown into the middle of the intersection by the impact.

But at no time did I get the impression that people didn’t care. It was more that we didn’t know what to do (apart from telling her not to try to get up and throwing coats around – a usual local response).

No claim here that people are “good,” just that “bystander apathy” is probably greatly overrated, and needs to be interpreted in relation to actual circumstances.

See also: Seven myths of social psychology

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Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

2 Replies to “Fifty psychology terms to lose?

  1. 1
    mahuna says:

    Some years back, I read an article that recommended that bystanders at an accident are WAITING to help as their natural reaction. So, if someone takes charge and points at people and says, “YOU! Call 911. YOU! Stop the cross traffic! YOU! Help me cover her with coats!”, then everyone will help without any further discussion.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    Since Freud its all been stupid. The only thing he did right was the principal of analyxing peoples deeper motives. Otherwise he was another crackpot wasting humanity;s time.
    It is funny how they invent a gene for everything. Maybe there’s a gene behind that!
    They all denied there was a soul, separated from the body. Behind the worthlessness of modern psyche is the rejection of Christian ideas of the soul.
    Who are they to say so?
    If they accepted the soul then I think healing would be done better.
    Problems would not be in the mystery of the wiring but the lesser mystery of the memory operation.
    Creationism would be a better healer in this area on presumptions.

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