"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Low Self-Esteem

As for the need for self-esteem, Pyszczynski and his colleagues (2004) put it this way:

"Self-esteem is a protective shield designed to control the potential for terror that results from awareness of the horrifying possibility that we humans are merely transient animals groping to survive in a meaningless universe, designed only to die and decay.

From this perspective, each individual human’s name and identity, family and social identifications, goals and aspirations, occupation and title, and humanly created adornments are draped over an animal that, in the cosmic scheme of things, may be no more significant or enduring than any individual potato, pineapple, or porcupine."

(p. 436)

Monday, 27 September 2010

Self, Social Self & Self-Presentation

DO you bite your nails? Have you pierced your tongue? Is your tote bag emblazoned with the words “I’m with Stupid →”?

People look and act the way they do for a myriad of reasons. However, we commonly shape our behavior or tweak our appearance in an attempt to control how others perceive us. Some call it common sense.

Social Psychologists and Sociologists call it “impression management” and associate much of their understanding of the process to the sociologist Erving Goffman, who wrote The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) and observed human interactions as theatrical performance.

Social Psychologists and Sociologists have focused attention for decades upon impression management, the ability to manage one’s presentation of self in a social context.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Social Psychology

"On the one hand, eliminating the middleman would result in lower costs, increased sales, and greater consumer satisfaction"

"What do you mean 'let's get rid of the middlemen', we are the middlemen!

Hummm, our desire to be accurate in our judgments can sometimes interfere with our desire to feel good about ourselves ;)

Most of us hold two very different motivations simultaneously. On the one hand, we want to be accurate in our judgments about ourselves and others. On the other hand, we don't want to be accurate if it means we will learn something bad about ourselves or those closest to us.

Social Psychology, Saul Kassin

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Stay Physically Active

Physical exercise is essential for maintaining good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage new brain cells. It also can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Growing evidence shows that physical exercise does not have to be strenuous or even require a major time commitment. It is most effective when done regularly, and in combination with a brain-healthy diet, mental activity and social interaction.

Aerobic exercise improves oxygen consumption, which benefits brain function; aerobic fitness has been found to reduce brain cell loss in elderly subjects. Walking, bicycling, gardening, tai chi, yoga and other activities of about 30 minutes daily get the body moving and the heart pumping.

Avoid head trauma when exercising! Severe head injuries have been associated with increased risk for later development of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

It is time to make the fight against Alzheimer!

Alzheimer’s disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. Over time, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting nearly all its functions.

These images show:

In the Alzheimer brain:
  • Shrinkage is especially severe in the hippocampus, an area of the cortex that plays a key role in formation of new memories.
  • Ventricles (fluid-filled spaces within the brain) grow larger.
Alzheimer tissue has many fewer nerve cells and synapses than a healthy brain.
  • Plaques, abnormal clusters of protein fragments, build up between nerve cells.
In the earliest stages, before symptoms can be detected with current tests, plaques and tangles begin to form in brain areas involved in: Plaques and tangles also spread to areas involved in:

As Alzheimer’s progresses, individuals may experience changes in personality and behavior and have trouble recognizing friends and family members.

Alzheimer's is not simply memory loss. Alzheimer's is not normal aging. Alzheimer's is fatal, progressive and there is no cure.

It is time to make the fight against Alzheimer

Neuron and Cell

Signals that form memories and thoughts move through an individual nerve cell as a tiny electrical charge.

Nerve cells connect to one another at synapses. When a charge reaches a synapse, it may trigger release of tiny bursts of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel across the synapse, carrying signals to other cells. Scientists have identified dozens of neurotransmitters.

Alzheimer's disease disrupts both the way electrical charges travel within cells and the activity of neurotransmitters.

The real work of your brain goes on in individual cells. An adult brain contains about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, with branches that connect at more than 100 trillion points. Scientists call this dense, branching network a "neuron forest."

Signals traveling through the neuron forest form the basis of memories, thoughts, and feelings.

Neurons are the chief type of cell destroyed by Alzheimer's disease.

Left brain/right brain

Your brain is divided into right and left halves. Experts are not certain how the "left brain" and "right brain" may differ in function, except:

The cortex: "Thinking wrinkles"

Your brain’s wrinkled surface is a specialized outer layer of the cerebrum called the cortex. Scientists have “mapped” the cortex by identifying areas strongly linked to certain functions.

Specific regions of the cortex:

If you are a member of the media and want to request permission to reproduce images, contact media@alz.org. If you are a member of the general public, contact brandhelp@alz.org.

Supply lines

Your brain is nourished by one of your body's richest networks of blood vessels.

With each heartbeat, arteries carry about 20 to 25 percent of your blood to your brain, where billions of cells use about 20 percent of the oxygen and fuel your blood carries.

When you are thinking hard, your brain may use up to 50 percent of the fuel and oxygen.

The whole vessel network includes veins and capillaries in addition to arteries.

Three pounds, three parts

Your brain is your most powerful organ, yet weighs only about three pounds. It has a texture similar to firm jelly.

It has three main parts:

  1. The cerebrum fills up most of your skull. It is involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. It also controls movement.
  2. The cerebellum sits at the back of your head, under the cerebrum. It controls coordination and balance.
  3. The brain stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Understanding And Treating Of Down Syndrome

Neuroscientists in the Down Syndrome Research Group at the University of Arizona have created a battery of tests that quickly aid in the assessment of the cognitive abilities of persons with Down syndrome.

The tests - a series of computer exercises that are not language dependent - offer clinicians and other researchers a new tool that can help determine both the developmental trajectory of those with Down syndrome and aid in devising drug and behavioral interventions.

The study, "Development and validation of the Arizona Cognitive Test Battery for Down syndrome," is published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome. It occurs once in approximately 800 to 1,000 live births and those with it often have mild to severe developmental disabilities as well as health issues that include heart defects and the early onset of Alzheimer's dementia.

New research also suggests connections between chromosome 21 and other genes point to some of these problems.

Down syndrome primarily affects three major parts of the brain: the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum.

Lynn Nadel, a Regents' Professor in psychology who leads a research group said that the battery is a set of computer-based tests that was designed primarily for adolescents. Different kinds of tests - memory tests, motor tests, attention tests - are targeted toward particular brain regions that are at risk with Down syndrome. The tests are meant to be portable so they can be done on a computer and are as free of language as possible.

Lynn Nadel
University of Arizona

Habit Poem

Hello, Class,
I thought I would share the following little poem below, sharing with students how important it is to develop the right habits for being successful from the very beginning. I think the same thing holds true for faculty. I know I developed some good habits in my studies experience and teaching for the Middle school and high school that have allowed me to continue to be successful in the classroom. Such things as dedicating time to class, keeping current with the course materials, staying abreast of policies and procedures, proofreading, and so on.

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me,
And I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done,
And after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men.
And, alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine.
Plus, the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin;
It makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me
And I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?

(author unknown)

Social Psychology, learned so much with Dr. Wilkins John D

In my Social Psychology class, I have explored theory and methods along a path toward understanding the scientific discipline of social psychology.

History and more-contemporary aspects of this discipline feed into the perspectives, research methods, influences on new trajectories of social thought.

Our discussions were sometimes controversial at times.

Therefore, it was extremely important that all of us tried to keep an open-mind and treat each other with the utmost respect and courtesy.

Social psychology promotes the scientific study of social behavior. This scientific approach means that it relies on empirical observations as its source of knowledge.

Social psychologists avoid reliance on personal beliefs, common sense, authority, pure reason, and personal revelation as the source of facts. In contrast, the layperson all too often is tempted to turn to common sense explanations, intuition, or eternal truths such as "misery loves company," "revenge is sweet," "actions speak louder than words" to answer questions about human behavior.

Indeed, many of these non-scientific explanations or truisms offered over the years are contradictory. For example: Do "opposites attract" or "birds of a feather flock together?" Do "great minds think alike" or "fools never differ?" Does "absence make the heart grow fonder" or "out of sight, out of mind?"

Thus so many so-called eternal truths seem to have an opposite and contradictory element. The bottom line is that reliance on clichés or truisms as explanations of human behavior is problematic.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Education by Self-Examination

Socrates (469-399 BCE) believed that knowledge was based on what was true universally, at all places and times. He firmly defended the academic freedom to think, question, and teach.

Socrates stressed the ethical principle that a person should strive for moral excellence, live wisely, and act rationally. Moral excellence, Socrates believed, was far superior to the Sophists' technical training.

Socrates did not believe that knowledge or wisdom could be transmitted from a teacher to a student because he believed the concepts of true knowledge were present, but buried, within the person's mind.

A truly liberal education would stimulate learners to discover ideas by bringing to consciousness the truth that was latent in their minds.

Socrates encourages students to use critical self-examination to find and bring to consciousness the universal truth that was present in each person's mind. As a teacher, Socrates asked leading questions that stimulated students to think deeply about the meaning of life, truth, and justice.

In answering these questions, students engaged in rigorous discussions, or dialogue, in which they clarified, criticized, and reconstructed their basic concepts.

The Socratic method is challenging for both teachers and students.

Universal Truth

I think that education should be based on universal truths.

Truth is universal and eternal. As human beings search for truth, their quest will bring them to the same general ideas and values. What is true is true in all places and at all times. Public opinion polls do not make, nor change, the truth.

Although different races and ethnic and language groups inhabit the Earth, they are all members of the same human family and thus share common hopes and dreams.

Education, as Socrates and Plato argued, should engage students in seeking answers to the great questions, such as What is true, good, and beautiful?

Schools should emphasize the universal truths and values found in religion, philosophy, mathematics, science, and other subjects that transcend particular cultural and political barriers.

It is important for students to be computer competent but they must also ponder about questions about the true, the good, and the beautiful.

Monday, 6 September 2010

La Pluie et le Beau Temps by Jacques Prévert (1955)

Jacques Prévert évoque dans ce poème avec compassion les conditions de vie difficiles de nombreux étrangers accueillis en France, mais aussi exploités.

Etranges étrangers

Kabyles de la Chapelle et des quais de Javel
hommes des pays loin
cobayes des colonies
Doux petits musiciens
soleils adolescents de la porte d'Italie
Boumians de la porte de Saint-Ouen
Apatrides d'Aubervilliers
bruleurs des grandes ordures de la ville de Paris
ébouillanteurs des bêtes trouvées mortes sur pied
au beau milieu des rues
Tunisiens de Grenelle
embauchés débauchés
manoeuvres désoeuvrés
Polacks du marais du Temple des Rosiers

Cordonniers de Cordoue soutiers de Barcelone
pêcheurs des Baléares ou bien du Finisterre
rescapés de Franco
et déportés de France et de Navarre
pour avoir défendu en souvenir de la vôtre
le liberté des autres

Esclaves noirs de Fréjus
tiraillés et parqués
au bord d'une petite mer
ou peu vous vous baignez

Esclaves noirs de Fréjus
qui évoquez chaque soir
dans les locaux disciplinaires
avec une vieille boite à cigares
et quelques bouts de fil de fer
tous les échos de vos villages
tous les oiseaux de vos forets
et ne venez dans la capitale
que pour fêter au pas cadencé
la prise de la Bastille le quatorze juillet

Enfants du Sénégal
dépatriés expatriés et naturalisés

Enfants indochinois
jongleurs aux innocents couteaux
qui vendiez autrefois aux terrasses des cafés
de jolis dragons d'or faits de papier plié

Enfants trop tot grandis et si vite en allés
qui dormez aujourd'hui de retour au pays
le visage dans la terre
et des bombes incendiaires labourant vos rizières.

On vous a renvoyé
la monnaie de vos papiers dorés
on vous a retourné
vos petits couteaux dans le dos

Etranges étrangers

Vous êtes de la ville
vous êtes de sa vie
même si mal en vivez
même si vous en mourez.

Recueilli in Grand Bal du printemps. éd. Gallimard.

Guy de Maupassant, préface de Pierre et Jean (1887)

Pourquoi lire? A cette question, Maupassant apporte une série de réponses en dressant la liste des attentes du lecteur.

Le lecteur, qui cherche uniquement dans un livre à satisfaire la tendance naturelle de son esprit, demande à l'écrivain de répondre à son gout prédominant, et il qualifie invariablement de remarquable ou de bien écrit l'ouvrage ou le passage qui plait à son imagination idéaliste, gaie, grivoise, triste, rêveuse ou positive.

En somme, le public est composé de groupes nombreux qui nous crient:
Faites-moi rêver.
Faites-moi rire.
Faites-moi frémir.
Faites-moi pleurer.
Faites-moi penser.
Seuls, quelques esprits d'élite demandent à l'artiste:
"Faites-moi quelque chose de beau, dans la forme qui conviendra le mieux, suivant notre tempérament."
L'artiste essaie, réussit ou échoue.
Le critique ne doit apprécier le résultat que suivant la nature de l' effort; et il n'a pas le droit de se préoccuper des tendances.
Cela a été écrit déjà mille fois. Il faudra toujours le répéter.

Donc, après les écoles littéraires qui ont voulu nous donner une vision déformée, surhumaine, poétique attendrissante, charmante ou superbe de la vie, est venue une école réaliste ou naturaliste qui a prétendu nous montrer la vérité, rien que la vérité.

Préface "Le Roman" (extrait).

Est-il possible de faire du neuf en littérature?

Dans un ouvrage à la gloire des mots, Claude Gagnière répond catégoriquement: "tout le monde copie sur tout le monde". Mais sans doute y a t-il différentes façons de copier...

"Il n'y avait encore au monde que deux auteurs, Eschyle et Sophocle, que, déjà, le second passait pour avoir pillé le premier", écrivait Victorien Sardou.

Disons-le tout net: depuis que le monde est monde, tout le monde copie sur tout le monde. Copie, recopie, imite, pastiche, emprunte, pique, s'inspire, vole, pille, pompe ou plagie.

Térence l'affirmait déjà, un siécle et demi avant notre ère: "Rien n'est dit qui n'ait été dit".

Jean Giraudoux est on ne peut plus clair: "Le plagiat est la base de toutes les littératures, excepté de la première, qui d'ailleurs est inconnue."

Chez les Romains on nommait plagiaire celui qui était condamné au fouet pour avoir vendu ou acheté comme esclaves des personnes qu'il savait être de condition libre. D'une manière générale, le plagiaire était celui qui s'emparait des esclaves d'autrui. Le mot latin de plagiarius proviendrait, selon les dictionnaires, soit du mot grec plagos (fourbe-hypocrite), soit du radical plaga (plaie-coup).

Martial, poète satirique latin, employa cette métaphore afin d'en flétrir l'auteur qui s'approprie les pensées d'un autre, s'exposant ainsi au fouet de l'opinion publique.

Etonnante carrière que celle de ce mot de plagiat qui, à deux millénaires de distance, assimile le vol d'une oeuvre écrite au rapt d'un esclave! Quel autre rapport peut-il exister entre ces deux délits si ce n'est un préjudice commercial ou financier causé à la victime?

Ed. Robert Laffont, coll, "Bouquins".

Fraternities and Sororities

Many Men and women join fraternities and sororities, social groups that are active on college campuses.

Fraternities and sororities, often called Greek-letter societies because most of them take their names from letters of the Greek alphabet, are known for sponsoring parties and dances that are the pillars of college social life for many students.

Critics say Greek organizations are exclusionary, sexist and even dangerous.

In recent years, fraternities and sororities have become the focus of criticism for "hazing" rituals that require new members, usually called pledges, to endure physical or mental abuse, harassment or humiliation to gain acceptance into the group.

Others say that Greek organizations are by their very nature exclusive and discriminatory. Members are chosen or dismissed for superficial reasons, they say, such as how they look, how much money they make or how popular they are with other students.

The first social fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, was founded in 1776 at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Va. Early fraternities were established to promote good character and academic achievement among students. Phi Beta Kappa became an honor society in 1883, and is still considered the most prestigious honor society for college students.

Many critics remain adamant that the Greek system is plagued with problems such as hazing and alcohol abuse because fraternities and sororities themselves promote such behavior. The culture of fraternities and sororities, they say, has led to abusive, offensive and discriminatory actions. As a result, they say, the Greek system should be dismantled.

Most fraternities and sororities have adopted programs designed to teach their members about such problems and protect them from dangers that have plagued the Greek system in the past.

Dziech, Billie Wright. "Forcing Greek Organizations to Go Coeducational Won't Lead to Greater Diversity." Chronicle of Higher Education (April 2, 1999): B4.

Economist (October 4, 1997). "Raise a Fond Last Glass to Dionysus": 36.

Goldberg, Carey. "The Slow Taming of 'Animal House.'" New York Times (February 17, 1999): A10.

Marklein, Mary Beth. "Colleges Nudge Fraternities Toward Restricting Alcohol." USA Today (October 22, 1997): D5.

New York Times (February 19, 1999). "Rethinking Fraternities": A20.

Rosenberg, Debra; Bai, Matt. "Drinking and Dying." Newsweek (October 13, 1997): 69.

Nuwer, Hank. Wrongs of Passage: Fraternities, Sororities, Hazing & Binge Drinking. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1999