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Psychology in Everyday Life

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Psychology in Everyday Life
a Summary

There are many research psychologists in the world today trying to make our lives better through psychology. In the next few paragraphs I will explore some of the ways they are attempting to use psychology to make our lives better. I will cite examples and studies that were in the video. This summary will help you get a better understanding of the topic of psychology in everday life.

One of the areas of psychology that is very important is the study of sleep. The study of sleep began in the 1950’s and continues on into today. One of the pioneers was Rosalind Cartwright. She pioneered many of the techniques we still use today in sleep studies. She determined that dreams serve as a regulator for our emotions. That is still a basic premise of sleep studies today. Another leading researcher in this area is James Moss. Mr. Moss spends many of his waking hours educating the public about sleep derivation and its many many side effects. He states that being tired during the day is an abnormal state of being. He also found that in a study, 56% of shift workers fall asleep once a week at work. Being tired reduces productivity and accuracy. He has said that working adults need 8 hours of sleep per night. High school and college students need 9 hrs or more while working adults who are also in school need even more than that.

However these groups of people usually manage 6 or less hours a night. He found that sleep is essential for learning. He cites that the first 2 and last 2 hours of an 8 hour sleep cycle are when the memories are made and put into the most accessible part of our minds. Less than 8 hours of sleep per day for example pulling an “all-nighter” and only sleeping 2-3 hours essentially makes you stupid. Likewise, apnea has the same adverse effects as not getting enough sleep. With apnea you wake up on average 600 times a night. It tends to make you very tired. It leads to memory loss and sleep deprivation. These can lead to other health concerns.

Another researcher Mal Cohen studies the side effects of microgavity on human interaction. This helps us understand better how we interact in normal gravity. He found in his study that blood flows differently in microgravity. One of the things that does is give us facial edema or puffiness of the face and extremities. This causes problems reading a person’s expressions in microgravity which makes things like lip reading essential. In gravity unlike microgravity, we face each other head up and chin down. This makes it easier for us to understand facial expressions and body posture. In microgravity we confront each other in new dimensions which makes it difficult to communicate and understand each other. It’s also very noisy in a space craft or module. This makes it essential that we learn to lip read and be more patient with each other. Taking all three of these points of microgravity; facial edema, noisy environment and multiple orientations of the face make communications in a microgravitly environment much more difficult.

Through this research we can learn to understand each other better using different techniques in our own gravity. Psychatrist Nick Kanas at the University of California in San Francisco was given unprecedented access to study gender, cultural differences and relationships about the MiR Spacestation. He studied 13 astronauts or cosmonauts and 58 ground personnel. In his study he looked at tension, cohesion and leadership both in space and at mission control. As well as, the relationship of one with another. A phenomenon emerged called “displacement”. Displacement is the feeling that you don’t get along with someone, your boss for example, and cannot express your feelings to your boss. You get off work and go home and you yell or argue with someone completely uninvolved with what made you angry at work. He found that this interaction occurred between ground control and MiR just like in everyday life.

Psychology plays a very important role in our legal system such as teaching lawyers ethics and proper ways to interview witness to get the truth. In some cases, psychologists are called in to evaluate testimony and the value of the information it contains. It is also used to train judges to spot the signs of someone who is unintentionally lying. They also teach lawyers how not to influence testimony by repetition of questions which can change a person’s perception of the truth.

With conflict resolution involving violence becoming more prevalent we look for new and better ways to solve our conflicts. Jared Curhan of MIT’s Sloan School of Management has developed the Program for Young Negotiators. This program and it’s techniques are used in many parts of the world. It focuses on teaching adolescents ways of reducing conflict that do not involve violence. It teaches effective conflict resolution techniques. He sometimes uses examples such as, if you don’t successfully use these techniques, something bad could happen and if you do then something good can happen. He tries to illustrate the many paths each decision can take. He teaches this using role play and using alternative strategies to solve problems. Empathizing is one of the more effective strategies he has found. The goal of his program is to teach non violent conflict resolution through negotiation. He has found that there are several levels for negotiation and that negotiation is about changing what we want and what we really want.

Of all the possible applications that we have looked at and explored, the most important one would be peace through psychology and understanding of our fellow man.

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