WELCOME TO PSY 101 At MCC!

Have you ever heard the phrase, "The last one to know that it's wet is the fish"? What??? Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If the fish has spent its entire life under water, the only thing that it knows is "wet." It doesn't know what "dry" feels like. And without another experience to compare and contrast with its own, the fish doesn't really understand wet, it only understands what has always been, what is, and what may always be. Only when the fish jumps out of the bowl can it truly appreciate the place from which it came.

 

 

Part of the challenge of psychological science is to use our understanding of the world to connect with important psychological theories, BUT THEN move beyond our assumptions and prejudices so that we can ask important questions about human behavior. That's not an easy thing to do.

To move toward a more objective view of human beings and ourselves, we will consider such questions as:

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Have you ever heard the phrase, "The last one to know that it's wet is the fish"? What??? Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If the fish has spent its entire life under water, the only thing that it knows is "wet." It doesn't know what "dry" feels like. And without another experience to compare and contrast with its own, the fish doesn't really understand wet, it only understands what has always been, what is, and what may always be. Only when the fish jumps out of the bowl can it truly appreciate the place from which it came.

Very few of us have the opportunity to "jump out of the bowl." That is, consider other perspectives, and compare and contrast those with our own. Most of us, myself included, do not find this an easy path. We've lived a long time on this Earth and have developed and even hard-wired certain beliefs, behaviors and emotions into our daily psychological experiences. We unconsciously find these patterns comforting. But patterns of existence have built in biases.

Part of the challenge of psychological science is to use our understanding of the world to connect with important psychological theories, BUT THEN move beyond our assumptions and prejudices so that we can ask important questions about human behavior. That's not an easy thing to do. To move toward a more objective view of human beings and ourselves, we will consider such questions as: Why do children acquire languages so much more easily than adults? How are severe mental disorders diagnosed? Why are phone numbers seven digits long? How does mass media impact our thoughts, feelings and behaviors? Are we really better at multi-tasking in the technology age or are we just fooling ourselves? What is "post-traumatic stress disorder" and how does it impact the post-war lives of soldiers? Can one really become "addicted" to video games or online social networks? Why is it that people with "hostile" personalities may be seven times more likely to die from a heart attack?



WHAT DO PSYCHOLOGISTS HAVE TO SAY?

  • Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they're alive and human.
  • Evil is knowing better, but willingly doing worse.
  • When I look at the world I'm pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.
  • Contempt is the weapon of the weak and a defense against one's own despised and unwanted feelings.