Attention and Self-Disclosure
Attention and Self-Disclosure PSY 301
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jasmine Bell on Saturday February 7, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 301 at University of Texas at Austin taught by Professors Gosling and Pennebaker in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Texas at Austin.
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Better than the professor's notes. I could actually understand what the heck was going on. Will be back for help in this class.
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Date Created: 02/07/15
PSYCHOLOGY IN THE NEWS New glasses with camera in frame Psychological science How people process information Sense of broad perspective People did terribly at knowing if snippets of videos were from their glasses or from other people s glasses hooked up to EEG Same snippets Their brain knew that they had seen that visual stuff before but WE didn t recognize it I ATTENTION OVERVIM Think about your big toe You could always do it but why weren t you Can you see change as it occurs in your environment Monkey business illusion Gorilla changing color of curtain black player leaving II NOTICING THINGS We naturally attend to change novelty complex David Burline applies to both adults infants adults 19505 attention researchcocktail parties cocktail party affect somebody says your name and AH THE ATTENTION You can switch your mind to listen to conversation So cool if you think about it What is attention amp why is it important In the lab Dichotic listening Listening to one conversation in one ear and repeating what is said and other ear with random stimulus in other We process it at SOME level Competition of cuesinternal vs external if you focus on your emotions it might intensify them Who39 in the Exnerts Chair Dr Art Markman Attention is not all one thing Dichotic listening is very different if you re multitasking and if you re thinking of visual attention Looks at how prior knowledge influences attention Two groups Guilty innocent statement on person same info after Distracted driving Google glass can be dangerous Multitasking doesn t exist we timeshare Ill FACTORS INFLUENCING ATTENTION People who are depressed pay attention to negative things and they dwell on them Individual differences Attention de cit hyperactive disorder ADHD frontal lobe reticular formation failure to inhibit under stimulated brain getting stimulants calms them IV SELECT TOPICS Priming and subliminal perception FrenchGerman music increase in French German wine Chat and Coffee Quiz Change blindness Multitasking Think Again Don39t believe the multitasking hype scientists say New research shows that we humans aren39t as good as we think we are at doing several things at once But it also highlights a human skill that gave us an evolutionary edge As technology allows pe0ple to do more tasks at the same time the myth that we can multitask has never been stronger But researchers say it39s still a myth and they have the data to prove it Humans they say don39t do lots of things simultaneously Instead we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly A case example researchers say is a group of people who focus not on a BlackBerry but on a blueberry as in pancakes Diner Cook A Task Master To make it as a shortorder cook you must be able to keep a half dozen orders in your head while cracking eggs flipping pancakes working the counter and refilling coffee cups And at a restaurant like the Tastee Diner in Bethesda Md the orders come in verbally not on a ticket Chocolate chip pancakes scrambled with sausage order of french fries rye toast they39re small tasks On a busy day though they add up to a tough job for Shawn Swinson quotMy first month here l was ready to walk out the doorquot he said Asked what it feels like when he39s in the middle of rush hour Swinson said quotLike you39re in an insane asylum It39s almost unbearablequot Swinson has learned to handle the pressure He39s an island of calm even when the orders are flying But Swinson39s boss manager Frank Long says very few people can keep up without losing their cool quotlt39s singularly the most difficult job in this type of operationquot Long said quotFour cooks Five waitresses Bus staff Host Getting them in and outquot Speed and accuracy are at a premium especially when the customers are multitasking too Lunchtime is the worst Long said quotPeople may have an errand to run Maybe go to the bank and pick up dry cleaning and eat All within an hour whatever time they have It39s all part of life these days We answer emails while yapping on the phone We schedule appointments while driving and listening to the radio And it seems as if we39re focusing on all these tasks simultaneously as if we39ve become true masters of doing 10 things at once But brain researchers say that39s not really the case Multitasking A Human Delusion quotPeople can39t multitask very well and when people say they can they39re deluding themselvesquot said neuroscientist Earl Miller And he said quotThe brain is very good at deluding itselfquot Miller a Picower professor of neuroscience at MIT says that for the most part we simply can39t focus on more than one thing at a time What we can do he said is shift our focus from one thing to the next with astonishing speed quotSwitching from task to task you think you39re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time But you39re actually notquot Miller said quotYou39re not paying attention to one or two things simultaneously but switching between them very rapidlyquot Miller said there are several reasons the brain has to switch among tasks One is that similar tasks compete to use the same part of the brain quotThink about writing an email and talking on the phone at the same time Those things are nearly impossible to do at the same timequot he said quotYou cannot focus on one while doing the other That39s because of what39s called interference between the two tasksquot Miller said quotThey both involve communicating via speech or the written word and so there39s a lot of conflict between the two of themquot Researchers say they can actually see the brain struggling And now they39re trying to figure out the details of what39s going on Putting The Mind To The Test At a lab at the University of Michigan researchers are using an MRI scanner to photograph test subjects39 brains as they take on different tasks During a recent test Daniel Weissman the neuroscientist in charge of the experiment explained that a man lying inside the scanner would be performing different tasks depending on the color of two numbers he sees on a screen quotIf the two digits are one color say red the subject decides which digit is numerically largerquot Weissman said quotOn the other hand if the digits are a different color say green then the subject decides which digit is actually printed in a larger font sizequot The tests can be tricky which is the point After an attempt the technician told the test subject quotOK do the same thing except try to go faster this timequot MRI studies like this one Weissman said have shown that when the man in the scanner sees green his brain has to pause before responding to round up all the information it has about the green task When the man sees red his brain pauses again to push aside information about the green task and replace it with information about the red task If the tasks were simpler they might not require this sort of fullthrottle switching But Weissman said even simple tasks can overwhelm the brain when we try to do several at once quotIf I39m out on a street corner and I39m looking for one friend who39s wearing a red scarf I might be able to pick out that friendquot Weissman said quotBut if I39m looking for a friend who39s wearing a red scarf on one street corner and in the middle of the street I39m looking for another friend who39s wearing a blue scarf and on the other side of the street I39m looking for a friend wearing a green scarf at some point I can only divide my attention so much and I begin to have troublequot So the brain starts switching Scan for red Switch Scan for blue Switch Scan for green Switch The part of the brain that does this is called the quotexecutive systemquot It39s a bit like one of those cartoon conductors telling the orchestra louder softer faster slower You come in here You be quiet for a few measures The conductor in our heads lives in the brain39s frontal lobes basically above our eyes quotExecutive processes allow us to make plans for our future behaviorsquot Weissman said quotThey allow us to exert some sort of voluntary control over our behaviorquot The executive system also helps us achieve a goal by ignoring distractions quotFor example if we39re performing a task where we want to watch TV and ignore voices that are coming from say our children nearbyquot Weissman said quotour frontal region brain may configure the brain to prioritize visual information and dampen down auditory informationquot And the brain39s executive will keep us in that mode until we hear say one of our children screaming quotThese are the things that make us the most humanquot Weissman said quotWe are not like jellyfish it39s not like when you poke us we always do the same thingquot A Role In Evolution Humans are also not like cats or dogs or even apes when it comes to controlling how our brain responds and what it responds to Weissman says this skill probably evolved to help humans who are pretty vulnerable physically to do things like hunt animals that are bigger and stronger quotAs hunters you know people had to hunt something and keep track of where their friends werequot Weissman said quotYou39ve got to think about 39What is that tiger going to do you know and We got my group of friends39 and surround the tigerquot Weissman says that keeping track of all those things wouldn39t be possible without the executive system in our frontal lobes Still Weissman said quotThere are lots of animals in the world that hunt without these increased abilities So I wouldn39t say that to hunt you have to have a lot of frontal development quotBut on the other hand it helps That39s why humans have become dominant on the planetquot Dominant and perhaps too confident in our own skill Studies show that we frequently overestimate our ability to handle multiple tasks For early humans that sort of miscalculation could have meant becoming a tiger39s lunch These days the consequences are more likely to be stress a blunder or maybe a car crash Psychology in the News experts at gambling are good at hiding emotion of facial expression If you have a good hand then you push chips more smoothly than if you have a bad hand In the Exnert39s Chair Dr John Weinman from University in London People in the Intensive Care Unit go through trauma the environment makes people frightened and agitated They can t share experiences well Many patients have haIIucinations delusions and they misinterpret behaviors They think doctors are out to get them etc People will have PTSD of ICU memories quotICU psychosisquot longterm effects 2030 of people in Rob s study Use reassuring normative Helping people reframe and change perceptions of experience in ICU Try to reduce levels of stress and help patients cope illness isn t just physical I Emotional upheavals Traumatic experiences death of a loved one traf c accident this affects physical heath Pennebaker asked quothave you ever had a traumatic sexual experience before the age of 17quot That question was more related to health than any other in Pennebaker s health questionnaire Trauma can lead to social isolation Sexual traumas tend to be more secret Secrets In the Expert39s Chair Dr Rob Horne trained originally in pharmacy can we use expressive writing for patients who had been seriously heart attack It helped ll Disclosure and the psychology of meaning How do we overcome trauma Positive reinforcement of healthy behavior Giving people a sense of control Social connections Meaning we have to have a meaning a reason WHY Dan McAddams how we nd make meaning out of our lives How to we explain who we are our identities Perhaps it s not true that the stories we tell lead to who we are Expressive writing What is it about a secret that s so bad for people Write about trauma writing in uenced the immune system In the clinician 395 of ce When and for whom don t write in the middle of a trauma don t Why John Cacionno on How to Cone with Loneliness Our loneliness binds us together makes us WANT to do things for other people and not just serve our own self interest How to cope What is loneliness You need a few high quality connections Don t take shortterm rewards that might harm you What does loneliness do to you loneliness is an evolutionary threat being isolated was deadly to us People tend to withdraw because they believe they aren t worthy and will be rejected Connect in a safe environment Remedy loneliness by helping others rather than trying to eat the social connection up DON T EAT OTHERS EAT WITH OTHERS Don t try to do so much for everyone that you lose yourself You won t connect with everyone will meet Don t choose based on superficial things Put yourself in situations where you re more likely to find people like you Expect the best Honest discussion about what hurts you How to identify unfulfilling relationships true social connections are energized You can tell you re lonely if you have interactions that don t feel nourishing How does loneliness affect sleep When people are lonely their sleep is less effective they can t detoxify stressful days as well Why ln evolutionary history if you had people around you when you slept you were less vulnerable
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