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Memory and the Psychology of Denial

Memory and the Psychology of Denial

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Published by The Eye
This compilation of works by various authors attempts to answer the social problem of denial and the underlying reasons why people exhibit this problem. It is an attempt to provide research that has been done over several years by different psychologists, past and present who attempted to provide answers to this social phenomenon. Though normally seen as being present in others, everyone has some amount of this problem and refusing it's inherent existence is in itself denial being exhibited.
This compilation of works by various authors attempts to answer the social problem of denial and the underlying reasons why people exhibit this problem. It is an attempt to provide research that has been done over several years by different psychologists, past and present who attempted to provide answers to this social phenomenon. Though normally seen as being present in others, everyone has some amount of this problem and refusing it's inherent existence is in itself denial being exhibited.

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Sections

  • Keywords
  • Disclaimer
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • 1.0 Emotions: View of Self, Others and external stimuli
  • 1.1 Attribution Theory
  • 1.1.1 Fundamental Attribution Error:
  • 1.1.2 Self-Serving Bias:
  • 1.2 James-Lange Theory
  • 1.3 Schachter-Singer Theory
  • 1.4 Lazarus Theory
  • 1.5 Facial Feedback Theory
  • 2.0 Human Nature
  • 2.1 Motivation
  • 2.1.1 Instinct Theory
  • 2.1.2 Drive Reduction Theory
  • 2.1.3 Arousal Theory
  • 2.1.4 Psychoanalytic Theory
  • 2.1.5 Humanistic Theory
  • 3.0 Social Interaction
  • 3.1 Attraction
  • 3.1.1 Proximity
  • 3.1.2 Association
  • 3.1.3 Similarity
  • 3.1.4 Reciprocal Liking
  • 3.1.5 Physical Attractiveness
  • 3.2 Obedience and Power
  • 3.2.1 Coercive power
  • 3.2.2 Reward Power
  • 3.2.3 Legitimate Power
  • 3.2.4 Expert Power
  • 3.2.5 Referent Power
  • 4.0 Using Power to influence others
  • 4.1 The Role of Groups
  • 4.1.1 Social Facilitation
  • 4.1.2 Group Think and Group Polarization
  • 4.1.3 Social Loafing
  • 4.1.4 Bystander Effect
  • 4.1.5 Sensation
  • 4.1.6 Absolute Threshold
  • 4.1.7 Difference Threshold
  • 4.1.8 Signal Detection Theory
  • 4.1.9 Sensory Adaptation
  • 4.1.10 Perception
  • 5.0 Intelligence
  • 6.0 Memory
  • 6.1 Encoding:
  • 6.2 Storage:
  • 6.3 Retrieval:
  • 6.3.1 Why We Remember What We Remember
  • 6.3.2 Improving Memory
  • 6.4 Why do we forget?
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography and references

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Memory and the psychology of denial Psychoanalytical studies in humans

Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012

Hector Chapa Sikazwe October, 2012

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Memory and the psychology of denial Psychoanalytical studies in humans Hector Chapa Sikazwe October, 2012

Keywords
Denial, Memory, Psychoanalytical issues, Human interactions, Control, Social interaction, Power, Emotions, Motivation, self-preservation, attraction, Forgetfulness, group think, Social loafing, bystander effect, Sensation, Perception, Sensory adaptation, Intelligence, fear

Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012

Disclaimer
This work is a compilation of work done by original authors of psychoanalytical proponents and their work on the subject of denial and memory treatment. This work is attributed to the original authors and this compilation is the work of the editor in seeking answers to issues in his life and the impact on many lives. This work should not be used in isolation as it is reflective of many author’s work in relation to each other.

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Abstract
Are you self-aware? Do you know anyone who you consider to be really self-aware? How is that working for you? … the other person? My guess is that it’s served you well in life. People who are considered to be self-aware tend to have a realistic understanding of how they are perceived by others and are in-touch with the aspects of their behaviours that could use a bit of attention and improvement. That “awareness” is the secret sauce in figuring out what behaviour needs to change and helps identify what replacement behaviours would be better. The most difficult person to realise that they need to change are those who are trapped in “denial” about themselves, their actions, their social status, their achievements, their relationships or in a nutshell, their actual personality. This type of person has problems in building lasting relationships, trustworthy bonds and dignified relationships due to inability to adapt or align with the external demands that they are subjected to. Denial is simply refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. The person
Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012

affected simply acts as if nothing has happened, behaving in ways that others may see as bizarre. In its full form, it is totally subconscious, and sufferers may be as mystified by the behaviour of people around them as those people are by the behaviour of the sufferers. It may also have a significant conscious element, where the sufferer is simply 'turning a blind eye' to an uncomfortable situation. Denial is a form of repression, where stressful thoughts are banned from memory. If I do not think about it, then I do not suffer the associated stress and time will have to deal with it. However, people engaging in denial can pay a high cost in terms of the psychic energy needed to maintain the denial state. Repression and Denial are two primary defence mechanisms which everybody uses. Children find denial easier, as with age, the ego matures and understands more about the "objective reality" it must operate within. Denial is one of Anna Freud's original defence mechanisms. What really causes this phenomenon?

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................................... 9 Fundamental Attribution Error: .................................... 6 1.. 29 Legitimate Power .... 22 2.................................................................................................................................................2 Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 2......... 26 Association ..................................................................1 James-Lange Theory ........... 26 Similarity .............................................1.1 Emotions: View of Self............................................................................................................................... 9 Attribution Theory ......................2............................................................................................................................................................................................1..3 4 ...2 3.......................................... 2 Disclaimer ................. 11 Schachter-Singer Theory ......................................................1.............................................1....................................................... 20 Psychoanalytic Theory ..................3 2.........................................3 1.................................................... 28 Coercive power ....................................................1 3...................5 3................3 3..........................................................................................................................................................................................................2...1............................................0 1............................................................. 29 3........4 1.............................................. 26 Proximity .............................. 18 Drive Reduction Theory............................................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Facial Feedback Theory .........2 3.............1...................1...................................2 1......... 25 Attraction ...... 18 Instinct Theory .......................................................1 2....................................0 3................................................Table of Contents Keywords .....5 3....................................................................................... 11 1.......................... Others and external stimuli ........ 27 Physical Attractiveness ............................ 26 Reciprocal Liking ........................................................... 17 Motivation ..................................................................4 3.................................................................1.................................................... 16 Human Nature................................................................................................ 28 Reward Power .........1 Social Interaction ...1 3.............................0 2................................................................................................... 10 Self-Serving Bias: ...................................................................................2 Obedience and Power ....................5 2..................................................................................................................................................................... 3 Introduction ............................4 2..............................................................................2 1.................................................................................................1 1.................................................................. 19 Arousal Theory .......................................................................................................1....................................... 27 3............................ 21 Humanistic Theory.................................1......2...........1........................................................................................... 2 Abstract .1........................................................... 14 Lazarus Theory ..............................................................................................................................................................................................

................................................................................................................................. 30 The Role of Groups...................... 54 Bibliography and references ......................................................................................... 32 Social Facilitation ......................................... 36 Bystander Effect ................. 37 Sensation ..............................9 4.................................................1..................................................................2............................ 52 Conclusion .......................................................................................................... 39 Signal Detection Theory ..................................................................................................................................................... 48 Improving Memory ...................... 37 Absolute Threshold .......2 6............................................................................................................. 38 Difference Threshold ....................3 4..............................3................................................................................0 Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Intelligence .......1............4 4........................... 32 Group Think and Group Polarization ......... 34 Social Loafing .............2 6................................... 45 Encoding: ......................... 50 6.......................................................................1....................3.............................................................................................................4 Why do we forget? ..................... 46 Why We Remember What We Remember..6 4....................................................5 4..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................2..........................................................................................4 3..........................1...................................................10 5.............5 4..............................................1............................................................................................................................................................... 57 5 ........0 6......1 Expert Power ......................................1 6.................................2 4.............................................................................................................................................1...........8 4........................1................................................................. 45 Retrieval: ................ 29 Using Power to influence others ................. 40 Sensory Adaptation ................. 41 4.......................................................................... 29 Referent Power .....7 4.... 42 Memory .0 4.......................................1 4.. 40 Perception ..........................................................................................3 6..........1 6........3................. 45 Storage: ............................................................................................1............................1................................................................1.....................

that person does the exact same thing that caused you all to stop associating with each other in the first place.Introduction Have you ever separated yourself from a person for a while because the two of you just weren't Seeing Eye to eye on things? Perhaps you all had an argument and weren't getting along well and decided not to speak to each other anymore. if there was no need for me to deal with them." Some people never change! I've learned that I can't change people but more importantly. After some time passed by. I'm accepting people for who they are and loving them anyway. I accept the choices they make. Now. I used to become frustrated by some people whom I thought just didn't get it. I've learned to take some of the expectations off people and place them on myself. I'm responsible for what I accept and how I digest it. I can however. then I didn't. and I exercise control over my reactions. I don't want to change them. or one of you (the less stubborn one) gave in and reached out to the other person. I've learned a few valuable Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 lessons from people in my life based on them doing things differently than I would have done them. It wouldn't be fair for me to kick people out of my life simply because they do things that I don't necessarily agree with. Soon after the two of you start talking or hanging out again. When people knowingly and consistently did things that I didn't agree with. fate caused your paths to cross again. "This is why I distanced myself from this person. That's when you're reminded. Rather than constantly and unsuccessfully trying to drive my points of view home and get them to see things my way. 6 . change how I react to them.

some people may never change. pushed aside or reinterpreted. The information is therefore somehow repressed.. and that's O.In some cases. threatening or anomalous to be fully absorbed or openly acknowledged. but you can change how you let people and their actions affect you! Denial is on top of most reasons why people don’t change and it is important that this is addressed squarely in the face. organizations.K. Or else the information `registers' well enough. Consider these common expressions and phrases: Turning a blind eye Burying your head in the sand Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 She saw what she wanted to see He only heard what he wanted to hear Ignorance is bliss Living a lie Conspiracy of silence Economical with the truth It's got nothing to do with me 7 . but its implications cognitive. governments or whole societies are presented with information that is too disturbing. One common thread runs through the many different stories of denial: people. emotional or moral ± are evaded. disavowed. neutralized or rationalized away.

Don't make waves

They were typical passive bystanders

There's nothing I can do about it

Being like an ostrich

I can't believe that this is happening

I don't want to know/hear/see any more

The whole society was in deep denial

It can't happen to people like us

Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012

The plan called for maximum deniability

Averting your gaze

Wearing blinkers

The above phases are used to describe situations, people and in some cases groups of individuals who refuse to address change. Below is a research done by different psychologists and online organisations that have attempted to explain the human nature in respect to how humans behave, interact and affect those that are around them. Gaining understanding of the issues that are hidden underneath the masked behaviour might help the individual to begin understanding the psychology

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behind strange behaviours and in some cases, unrecognisable pattern of behaviour that human’s exhibit.

1.0

Emotions: View of Self, Others and external stimuli

The way one looks at oneself plays an important role in how they see the world. Conversely, the way we see the world plays an important role in how we see ourselves. In this sense, our view of self and others is an ever-changing circle of influence. We know that those who are happy see more positive aspects of the world than those who are depressed. We also know that living in an abusive household or an overly restrictive environment can both lead to depression. This section will explore the social areas of attribution (how we interpret those around us) and attraction (what we seek in a friend or partner).
Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012

There are some theories that have been put forward that attempt to explain the above assertions and are vital to understanding human behaviour:

1.1

Attribution Theory

We tend to explain our own behaviour and the behaviour of others by assigning attributes to these behaviours. An attribute is an inference about the cause of behaviour. According to the Attribution Theory, we tend to explain our own behaviour and the behaviour of others by assigning attributes to these behaviours.

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There are basically two sources for our behaviour; those influenced by Situational (external) factors and those influenced by Dispositional (internal) factors. Imagine walking into your boss's office and he immediately tells you, in an angry tone, not to bother him. An external explanation of this behaviour might be, "He's really a nice guy but the stress is overwhelming. He needs a vacation." On the other hand, you might see the same behaviour and say, "What a jerk, I don't know why is is so angry all the time." The same behaviour is given two very opposite explanations. Many factors play a role in how we assign attributes to behaviours. Obviously our view of the world, our previous experience with a particular person or situation, and our knowledge of the behaviour play an important role. Other factors can influence our interpretation as well, and there are two important errors or mistakes we tend make when assigning these attributes. 1.1.1 Fundamental Attribution Error:
Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012

This refers to the tendency to overestimate the internal and underestimate the external factors when explaining the behaviours of others. According to Heider (1958), this may be a result of our tendency to pay more attention to the situation rather than to the individual and is especially true when we know little about the other person. For example, the last time you were driving and got cut off by an old lady or a young woman during rush hour traffic time, did you say to yourself "What an idiot" (or something similar), or did you say "She must be having a rough day." Chances are that this behaviour was assigned mostly internal attributes and you didn't give a second thought to what external factors are playing a role in her driving behaviour. This can be fundamentally so wrong when you get the actual reasons to the poor or erratic driving pattern exhibited by the poor woman.

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these biases is true for most people. Your emotional reaction depends upon how you interpret those physical reactions. 1.") Only 1 http://psychology. the depressed individual will likely see their own negative qualities. such as stupidity. therefore I am afraid. have low self-esteem. a success may mean that a multitude of negatives have been overlooked or that luck was the primary reason. intelligence.2 James-Lange Theory Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 The James-Lange theory1 of emotion argues that an event causes physiological arousal first and then we interpret this arousal. Most of us will feel that this success is due to hard work. and similar internal factors. but for those who are depressed. Imagine a situation like where one gets a promotion at work.htm 11 .1. imagine if you are fired. For failures. as being the primary factor and not repeated mistakes being made due to maybe not having learnt the lessons or misunderstanding the demands of their responsibilities. From research. You begin to tremble and your heart begins to race.1. or view themselves negatively.about. the bias is typically opposite. well obviously your boss wouldn't know a good thing if it were staring her in the face. Example 1: Suppose you are walking in the woods and you see a grizzly bear. The James-Lange theory proposes that you will interpret your physical reactions and conclude that you are frightened ("I am trembling. witnessing an external stimulus leads to a physiological reaction.com/od/jindex/g/jameslange. In a different facet. dedication. According to this theory.2 Self-Serving Bias: Miller & Ross (1975) observed that we tend to equate successes to internal and failures to external attributes. For these people.

after our interpretation of the arousal can we experience emotion. the second is that within the cortex the subjective feeling of emotion is generated. You hear footsteps behind you and you begin to tremble. Example 2: You are walking down a dark alley late at night. and your breathing deepens. While the idea that the emotions and physical reaction occur roughly at the same time does indeed hold supporters even in today's 2 http://www2. You notice these physiological changes and interpret them as your body’s preparation for a fearful situation. You then experience fear.uk/ostrich/intro_to_bio_psych/emotion/page_05. If the arousal is not noticed or is not given any thought. This is obviously different to the James-Lange theory.derby.3 Cannon-Bard Theory The Cannon-Bard theory2 argues that we experience physiological arousal and emotional at the same time. Cannon suggested that emotional events have two different effects on the nervous system. This means that the state of autonomic arousal and the cognitive interpretation of the emotional event occur together.ac.htm 12 . in parallel. but gives no attention to the role of thoughts or outward behaviour. This is the most common emotion driver. where the autonomic arousal leads to the subjective state. One is that the autonomic nervous system produces arousal and. your heart beats faster. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 1. then we will not experience any emotion based on this event.

it seems almost impossible that the James-Lange theory could be considered scientifically relevant. at the same time. there are inherent problems with this theory as well. and your breathing deepens. For that reason. Cannon-Bard insists that emotions do not come as a response to physiological conditions. neither do emotions come and then the body creates a physical reaction to said emotions. 3 http://voices. it actually takes several seconds for the sympathetic nervous system and other autonomous reactions to kick in. according to Cannon-Bard is that when the body becomes aware or ready to respond to a certain condition or action. Later research3 would suggest that interpretation is absolutely vital as well when we wish to discuss emotions and their presence. as the Cannon-Bard theory does not leave room for interpretation.world. However. Example: You are walking down a dark alley late at night. it would be somewhat difficult to say that it still holds a good amount of weight in the psychological community today. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 emotions and physiological responses or reactions occur at exactly the same time.html 13 .yahoo. At the same time as these physiological changes occur you also experience the emotion of fear. When we consider this philosophy. according to Cannon-Bard. However.com/what-cannon-bard-theory-emotion-668442. your heart beats faster. The main issue with James-Lange. we realize that. they are not instantaneous reactions. You hear footsteps behind you and you begin to tremble.

I might interpret that as excitement. and other emotional experiences because of the Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 specific way in which the arousal is interpreted.htm 14 . anger. You must then identify a reason for this arousal and then you are able to experience and label the emotion.holah. Even though the bodily response is the same. I might experience very different emotions depending on the type of situation I am in.3 Schachter-Singer Theory According to Schachter-Singer Theory4. Schachter-Singer argued that very similar states of physiological arousal are associated with each of the emotions. I might interpret that as fear. I realize that it comes from the fact that I am alone 4 http://www. You must then identify a reason for this arousal and then you are able to experience and label the emotion. an event causes physiological arousal first.1. (Schachter & Singer. If my heart is racing and I am looking at the person I am in love with. known as the Schachter-Singer theory. according to Schachter-Singer Theory. an event causes physiological arousal first. Upon noticing this arousal. Moreover.karoo. 1962). This theory. my heart beats faster and my breath deepens. People experience fear. I see that a mean-looking man is approaching behind me then I begin to tremble.net/schachter. Example 1 I am withdrawing money from an automatic teller machine/ATM late in the night alone. suggests that experiencing an emotion requires both bodily response and an interpretation of the bodily response by considering the particular situation the person is in at the moment If my heart is racing and an alligator is chasing me.

This behavior is dangerous and therefore you feel the emotion of fear. loss or threats: anger. your heart beats faster. shame. and disgust 5 http://www. In other words. you must first think about your situation before you can experience an emotion. fear. jealousy. Example 2: You are walking down a dark alley late at night.edu/senate/inmemoriam/richardlazarus. Then a secondary appraisal takes place to assess our thoughts and emotions and determine if we are able to successfully cope with the event. proposed that we have four categories of emotion[s]. no emotion can arise. You hear footsteps behind you and you begin to tremble. Without the thought. Lazarus also. sadness. negative or neutral. 1.html 15 .and it is late in the night. Upon noticing this arousal you realize that is comes from the fact that you are walking down a dark alley by yourself. (a) negative emotions that result from harm. Lazarus believed that all emotions were the result of cognitive appraisals of the personal meaning of events and experiences.4 Lazarus Theory Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Lazarus Theory5 states that a thought must come before any emotion or physiological arousal. This situation is dangerous and thus I feel the emotion of fear. Therefore he suggests emotions occur as the result of the person cognitive interpretation of a stimulus or event to determine if the event is positive.universityofcalifornia. and your breathing deepens.

5 Facial Feedback Theory According to the facial feedback theory6. curiosity.(b) (c) (d) positive emotions that result from reaching goals: happiness. we do not need to fear the dangers of over-smiling. The 6 http://www. pride. It is the changes in our facial muscles that cue our brains and provide the basis of our emotions. we then experience pleasure. emotion is the experience of changes in our facial muscles.org/facial-feedback-hypothesis/ 16 . so too are there a seemingly unlimited number of emotions. or happiness. surprise and amazement. your heart beats faster. compassion Non-emotions or arousal or cognitive evaluations that could lead to emotions: grief.aiga. Just as there are an unlimited number of muscle configurations in our face. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 1. According to the "facial feedback hypothesis. depression. we then experience sadness. frustration. tension. joy. You hear footsteps behind you and you think it may be a mugger so you begin to tremble. contentment. EXAMPLE: You are walking down a dark alley late at night." while we may get some extra attention from our own species. and love borderline emotions . nervousness. hope. disappointment. and your breathing deepens and at the same time experience fear. In other words. Smiling itself produces feelings of happiness. When we frown. when we smile.

" (Bernstein 2000). In one study participants were instructed watch cartoons holding a pencil in their mouths. 17 . Though it is easy to attribute human nature as being responsible for how one responds to external stimuli. either between their lips or between their teeth. there are other human attributes that cannot be ignored. your teeth clench and your brain interprets these facial changes as the expression of fear. It turned out that the people with the pencils in their teeth. "Involuntary facial movements provide sufficient peripheral information to drive emotional experience.0 Human Nature The response to all the above emotions and theories is completely dependent on other areas of human nature that are not necessarily within the scope of this short compilation of research that has been evolving overtime in psychology corridors. who could smile. Therefore you experience the emotion of fear. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 2. The research to prove this hypothesis seems appropriately comical. Example: You are walking down a dark alley late at night.hypothesis states. You hear footsteps behind you and your eyes widen. People with the pencils in their lips were therefore prevented from smiling. rated cartoons funnier than those who could not (David and Palladino 2000).

highly motivated individuals? Where does the energy. Some include basic biological forces. Behavioural learning concepts such as association and reinforcement play an important role in this theory of motivation. The reason is because we all want to be successful. We've all seen birds in their nests. For example. We've all seen spider's webs and perhaps even witnessed a spider in the tedious job of creating its home and trap.about. and we all want to be seen as motivated. feeding their young or painstakingly placing the twigs in place to form their new home.2. There are several distinct theories of motivation that have been put forward. while others seem to transcend concrete explanation.htm 18 . or the direction come from? Motivation is an area of psychology that has gotten a great deal of attention.1 Motivation Ever wonder why some people seem to be very successful. The incentive theory suggests that people are motivated to do things because of external rewards. especially in the recent years. Below are the five major theories of motivation.1 Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Instinct Theory Instinct theory7 is derived from our biological make-up. we all want direction and drive. 2. you might be motivated to go to work each day for the monetary reward of being paid.com/od/psychologytopics/tp/theories-of-motivation. the drive. How do spiders know how to spin webs? How do birds now how to build nests? 7 http://psychology.1.

These needs. building nests. A prime example would be the internal feelings of hunger or thirst. avoiding danger. and reproducing.lifecircles-inc.2 Drive Reduction Theory According to Clark Hull (1943. it would still know how to create one. humans have internal biological needs which motivate us to perform in a certain way. and they will grasp an object that touches the palm of their hands. New-borns can perform physical movements to avoid pain. The most important of these include sucking. coughing. All creatures are born with specific innate knowledge about how to survive. Animals are born with the capacity and often-times knowledge of how to survive by spinning webs. These innate tendencies are preprogramed at birth. 1952). are defined by Hull as internal states of arousal or tension which must be reduced. they will turn their head if Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 touched on their cheek and search for a nipple (rooting reflex). 2. which motivates us to eat. Babies are born with a unique ability that allows them to survive. know when he needed changing. they are born with the ability to cry.1. how would others know when to feed the baby. Hull viewed all motivation as 8 http://www. they are in our genes. blinking. Without this.html 19 . or drives. Humans have the same types of innate tendencies. and even if the spider never saw a web before. swallowing. we are driven to reduce these drives so that we may maintain a sense of internal calmness.com/Learningtheories/behaviorism/clarkhull.The answer is biology. never witnessed its creation. or when she wanted attention and affection? Crying allows a human infant to survive. We are also born with particular reflexes which promote survival. According to the drive reduction theory8.

com/wiki/Arousal_Theory 20 . According to Hull. It is different from the above theory. Principles of Behaviour). It also does better to explain why people climb mountains. “When a rat is placed under a drive (hunger. 9 http://criminology. If the rat is successful in obtaining food then…the necessity for work will progressively decrease until satiation is reached. 2. go to school. or watch sad movies. The Arousal-Seeking Behavioural Theory has been popular in aspects of both psychology and sociology.1. 1996). This theory states that “for a variety of genetic and environmental reasons. however. behaviour could be considered as an external display of an individual’s quest to fulfil deficiencies (Hull. Arousal refers to a state of emotional. According to Lee. Arousal theory9 states that we are driven to maintain a Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 certain level of arousal in order to feel comfortable.wikia. every person tries to reach an optimum level of arousal from the environment and too little stimulation causes a person to be bored while too much stimulation causes anxiety. and physical activity. for example) its level of discomfort is high and it is driven to seek ways of exchanging a “product” (the labour of activities such as bar-pressing) for a source of comfort (food pellets)”.3 Arousal Theory Similar to Hull's Drive Reduction Theory. 125).originating from biological variances (needs). because it doesn't rely on only a reduction of tension. some people’s brain functions differently in response to environmental stimuli” (Lee. but a balanced amount. when work will stop. intellectual. Applications of that reasoning…would lead to the conclusion that the underlying form of all learning curves approximates to a simple positive growth function” (Mills p. It was originated by Lindsley and further researched by many other psychologists and sociologists.

multi-facetted and internally fractured body of knowledge situated at the interface between the human and natural sciences. and has evolved into a complex. Psychoanalysis has travelled widely from its central European origins. Notwithstanding critiques of its Eurocentric origins. This is similar to instinct theory. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 It is important to remember Sigmund Freud and his five part theory of personality.4 Psychoanalytic Theory Psychoanalytic theory and practice originated in the late nineteenth century in the work of Sigmund Freud (1956-1939). and every emotion we experience has one of two goals: to help us survive or to prevent our destruction. he believed that humans have only two basic drives: Eros and Thanatos. more money for healthcare. or even an improved ability to find a spouse.2. Kingsbury. 2003). and between clinical practice and academic theory. everything we do. perhaps most notably in Latin America but also in India. every thought we have. however.1. Freud believed that the vast majority of our knowledge about these drives is buried in the unconscious part of the mind. Japan and elsewhere. According to Psychoanalytic theory. 2006. or the Life and Death drives. We move to better school districts to improve our children's ability to survive and 21 . Psychoanalytic theory therefore argues that we go to school because it will help assure our survival in terms of improved finances. psychoanalysis has been taken up in many different cultural contexts. It offers a distinctive way of thinking about the human mind and of responding to psychological distress. As part of this theory. Its geography and spatiality have become topics for geographical study albeit primarily within the Anglophone literature (Cameron.

We want criminal locked away. Humanist thinkers felt that both psychoanalysis Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 and behaviourism were too pessimistic. During the 1950s.continue our family tree. which dominated psychology at the time. and anything else that could lead to our destruction. everything we are can be traced back to the two basic drives.com/hub/Humanistic-Theory-Hierarchy-Of-Needs 22 . According to this theory.5 Humanistic Theory Although discussed last. and in our homes. everything we do. Humanistic psychology was instead focused on each individual's potential and stressed the importance of growth and self-actualization. We demand safety in our cars. toys. and we want to be protected against poisons. humanistic theory10 is perhaps the most well-known theory of motivation. humans are driven to achieve their maximum potential and will always do so unless obstacles are placed in their way. Psychoanalysis was focused on understanding the unconscious motivations that drive behaviour while behaviourism studied the conditioning processes that produce behaviour. 10 http://thamisgith. According to this theory. These obstacles include hunger. thirst. financial problems. either focusing on the most tragic of emotions or failing to take into accounts the role of personal choice. safety issues. or anything else that takes our focus away from maximum psychological growth. 2. humanistic psychology began as a reaction to psychoanalysis and behaviourism. The fundamental belief of humanistic psychology is that people are innately good and that mental and social problems result from deviations from this natural tendency.1.hubpages. terrorists.

warmth – are met can individuals move on to the next stages. education. So only after the basic physiological needs – such as food. Maslow developed his theory not by studying mentally ill patients. without sleep. which is where much psychological knowledge had derived from up to that point. fully able persons. but by studying healthy.The best way to describe this theory is to utilize the famous pyramid developed by Abraham Maslow (1970) called the Hierarchy of Needs. shelter. Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers led the humanistic theory movement and it was Maslow who developed the “pyramid of needs”. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 creative individual’s lives and careers. the need to feel secure. we must focus on basic issues such as food. and safety. productive. openness and respect for other individuals. He concluded that there were common characteristics which were shared by successful individuals – including self-acceptance. Humanistic theory is based upon the idea that everyone has the potential to make a contribution to society and be a good and likeable person – if their needs are fulfilled. sleep. Without food. Maslow believed that fulfilling the needs – in the correct order – would allow individuals to become self-actualised. how could we possible focus on the higher level needs such as respect. and recognition? 23 . to be loved and accepted etc. Maslow believed that humans have specific needs that must be met and that if lower level needs go unmet. we cannot possible strive for higher level needs. The Hierarchy of Needs shows that at the lower level.

Suddenly. Imagine working toward the respect and recognition of your colleagues and suddenly finding yourself out of work and homeless. you are forced backward and can no longer focus your attention on your work due to the need for finding food and shelter for you and your family. As we move up the pyramid. we work toward achieving the top of the pyramid. We all may strive for it and some may even get close. a sense of completeness. According to Maslow. nobody has ever reached the peak of his pyramid. of being the best person you could possibly be. things get in the way Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 which slow us down and often knock us backward. Self-actualization means a complete understanding of who you are. self-actualization. for what is there to strive for if 24 . but no one has achieved full self-actualization. however. To have achieved this goal is to stop living. or the realization of all of our potential.Throughout our lives.

it may be organized. Social interaction is not defined by type of physical relation or behaviour. Moreover. intellectually. Friends writing letters are socially interacting. there is social interaction. Nor do the behaviours of rapist and victim constitute social interaction if the victim is treated as a physical object. if you have experienced all that you can. This means that the parties to the social interaction must be aware of each other--have each other's self in mind.you have learned everything about yourself. or regimented. or practices of two or more people mutually oriented towards each other's selves. there is not social interaction. or spiritually.0 Social Interaction Social interactions are the acts. any behaviour that tries to affect or take account of each other's subjective experiences or intentions. One of the many ways we interact with each other is defined by who we are attracted to interact with. Thus even when no physical behaviour is involved. or consider each other as reflex machines or only causeeffect phenomena. and if there is no way left for you to grow emotionally. machine gunner and enemy soldier. or animals. 3. The spying of one on another is not social interaction if the other is unaware. nor behaviour between guard and prisoner. It is a matter of a mutual subjective orientation towards each other. Such interaction may comprise a system. torturer and tortured. This does not mean being in sight of or directly behaving towards each other. that is. as with two rivals Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 deliberately ignoring each other's professional work. 25 . as are enemy generals preparing opposing war plans. Indeed. actions. social interaction requires a mutual orientation. things. controlled. or by physical distance. wherever people treat each other as object.

and this closeness provides the easiest way to accomplish this goal. Obviously friendships develop after getting to know someone.1. 3.2 Association We tend to associate our opinions about other people with our current state. 1988) 26 . In other words. Having assigned seats in a class or group setting would result in more friends whose last Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 name started with the same letter as yours (Segal.3. imagine that person above agrees with you this particular class is the worse they have taken.1. The agreement or similarity between the two of you would likely result in more attractiveness (Neimeyer & Mitchell. 1974). Research has found five reasons why we choose our friends: 3.1 Proximity The vast majority of our friends live close to where we live. 1975). if you meet someone during a class you really enjoy.3 Similarity On the other hand. 3.1.1 Attraction Why are we attracted to certain people and not others? Why do our friends tend to be very similar to each other? And what causes us to decide on a mate? Many of these questions relate to social psychology in that society's influence and our own beliefs and traits play an important role. or at least where we lived during the time period the friendship developed (Nahemow & Lawton. they may get more 'likeability points' then if you met them during that class you can't stand.

This last statement brings up an important factor in how we determine our friends and partner. perhaps even much younger.4 Reciprocal Liking Simply put. education. or a wealthy older man gets the beautiful younger woman. we tend to choose people who we believe to be attractive and who are close to how we see our own physical attractiveness. 1992) 3. 1992. This may be a result of the feeling we get about ourselves knowing that we are likable. we tend to report a higher level of attraction toward that person (Forgas.3. Zajonc & McIntosh. we tend to like those better who also like us back. Nonetheless. If we view education as very important. sense of humour. women? There is some truth to these stereotypical scenarios because we tend to assign "social assets" or "attraction points" to everyone we meet. We rate ourselves on these same categories and.5 Physical Attractiveness Physical attraction plays a role in who we choose as friends.1.1. Ever wonder why very attractive people tend to 'hang around' other very attractive people? Or why wealthy men seem to end up with physically Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 attractive. Hence an attractive person hangs with other attractive people. When we feel good when we are around somebody. although not as much so as in who we choose as a mate. we may assign more points to this category making it more likely that our friends or our mate will have more education. at least at some level. We tend to then pick friends and partners who have a similar score that we do. and wealth. If we view wealth as more important than we will be more likely to find a mate who has more money. These points are divided into categories such as physical attractiveness. know our score. Think about your friends and how you would rate them in these categories to find out 27 .

The answers to these questions also play an important role in many professions. there are five types of power: coercive. it could be job title.1 Coercive power Coercive power means the power punish. 28 . 3. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Power is typically thought of as “having a certain attribute which gives one person more influence over another. there is a need to maintain this bond and there are specific areas that psychology has put forward as being very important in sustaining these associations longer than others. bosses have coercive power because they can fire an employee or assign an employee a less pleasing job.2 Obedience and Power Why do we obey some people and not others? Why are you able to influence your friends? What attributes cause a person to be more influential? These questions are paramount in understanding social order. and referent.” This attribute could be intelligence or experience. expert. Stronger bonds depend on these specific factors. legitimate. 3.what is important to you. for example. Parents are said to have coercive power because they can place their child in time-out. One the social interaction commences. According to most social psychologists.2. reward. Physical attractiveness has over the centuries been the core binder of relationships and single most beacon for social interactions. such as sales and marketing and of course politics. or perhaps money.

referent power refers to admiration or respect. Those individuals with more knowledge tend to have more power in situations where that knowledge is important. such as the power a police officer has due to the local or state government or the power a professor has due to the rules of a college or university. their attitude. 3. But.3. When we look up to people because of their accomplishments. when the pipes explode and the house is being flooded. In that sense parents and bosses have this type of power as well. For instance. we are very likely to comply out of admiration or respect. Imagine being asked to do something by your "hero" or your favourite movie star.2 Reward Power Reward power is almost the opposite.5 Referent Power Finally.2. 3.2. 29 .3 Legitimate Power Legitimate power refers to the power granted by some authority.4 Expert Power Expert power results from experience or education. as do many others in our lives. 3. we tend to give them more power over us.2. or any other personal attribute. it is the power to reward. the physician is not the person to call. the physician Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 will have more power in a medical emergency than the plumber.2.

Also. You might think that we would change the way we act. Authenticity of beliefs is only upheld with qualifying behaviour. "It was only one time. we see that if we can change the way a person behaves. To equate this with influencing others. For instance. most people who believe stealing is very immoral would not steal. 30 . and often disagree with our opponents. we tend to change our belief about a topic before we would change our behaviour.' The theory behind this is that if the person's actions include driving the car. we can change the way they think or feel. after throwing a soda can from their car window. they are more likely to change their belief about the car.4. but one is the 'test drive. The sales man might try to use many different techniques. Imagine the car salesman who is able to convince the potential buyer that this new car is the one he wants to buy." In this sense. This brings confusion. his belief has Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 changed. most who believe littering is wrong. do not litter.0 Using Power to influence others What indeed is the best way to use power to influence others? Most of us know that liking and agreeing tend to go together. littering is now okay if it is only done once or if others have littered first. We agree with our friends about many issues." or "look at all the other trash on the freeway. beliefs and behaviours tend to go together. The person who believes littering is wrong. might say to himself. but in the real world. especially the bigger ones. What's interesting about this latter concept is what happens when our belief and our behaviour do not correspond.

or social status do not appear to play a significant role in how we are influenced by others. then no significant 31 . gender. If the difference between the two is too large.”! Finally. If the difference is too small. When we take a look at what attributes the source or the talker help her influence others. IQ. The most important factor is the number of the above “types of power” resident in the talker. Second. Secondly. the more we look to others for guidance or input. People say. likeability. The relationship between the source and the target matters a lot. the more influential she will be. then we begin to understand the level of influence that can actually be achieved. It is believed from research that the more similar the two. The source must therefore be trustworthy. the greater and more likely the influential ability. The target or listener plays a role in how he will be influenced as well. he is much less likely to accept what she is saying. First of all. demeanour. we have nothing in common so what could she possible know about my life. The more types of power and the stronger each of these is. After all. a person must be believable in order to influence anyone in the first place. after all. if we don't believe someone. there needs to be some similarity between the two sets of people. We tend to be influenced more by attractive people. “Actions speak louder than words. attractiveness plays a role in how someone will influence people.There are other variables associated with influencing others or attitude change. Those with low self-esteem Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 and/or high self-doubt tend to be more influenced than others. changing the listener's attitude or belief will be more difficult. Other factors such as age. The more we doubt our own ability. including physical and social attractiveness. they're going to have a much more difficult time changing our minds. there needs to be a moderate discrepancy in attitude. If the target or listener does not feel any similarity with the talker. and dress code.

1965) exponentially. our behaviour tends to change. When completing a difficult or new task. we tend to be more relaxed. some more than others.1 Social Facilitation There are some specific factors that are used to solidify most simple theory related to social psychology.1 The Role of Groups Do you think you act differently when alone than when other people are around? The answer to this question is typically a resounding 'yes.wisegeek. When alone. This phenomenon is called Social Facilitation11 (Guerin. In other words. we are suddenly more aware of what's going on around us.change will take place at all. 1993). Research has found that when others are present. Studies on 11 http://www.com/what-is-social-facilitation. even if we don't know Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 that person. This section will discuss various theories relating to our behaviour in group settings or when others are present. and as we try harder due to the presence of others.' We are concerned with our social image or how other people see us. our performance actually decreases for difficult or unlearned tasks. The difference must be great enough that a change is possible but small enough that the listener is open to the change. our performance level decreases and we tend to do more poorly. 1993). but very few people see no difference in their behaviour.1. less concerned with the outward expression of our behaviour.htm 32 . and not always for the better. we tend to perform better at tasks that are well learned or simple (Guerin. When we are in a group. however. 4.' Add just one other person. and are basically 'ourselves. 4. our level of arousal is increased (Zajonc.

So in conclusion. however. If you are alone. he noticed that racing against each other rather than against the clock alone increased the cyclists' speeds. and better able to concentrate. 33 . you are more likely to be selfconscious. There were two conditions: the child alone and children in pairs but working alone. This tendency was first noted in the late 1800s by Norman Triplett and confirmed through experimentation. Their task was to wind in a given amount of fishing line and Triplett reports that many children worked faster in the presence of a partner doing the same task. Perhaps the first social psychology laboratory experiment was undertaken in this area by Norman Triplett in 1898. When others are watching you. In his research on the speed records of cyclists. unfamiliar tasks under the same conditions. a phenomenon whereby increased task performance comes about by the mere presence of others doing the same task. because the task is so well learned. Professional basketball players. imagined or implied presence of others. Think about Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 learning to play basketball for the first time. and therefore make more mistakes. There have been a few subsequent refinements to his theory that attempt to explain the reasons for the observed behaviour. however. familiar tasks if they are working within a group or in front of an audience. The theory also states that people are less successful at completing complicated. He attempted to duplicate this under laboratory conditions using children and fishing reels. you will likely be more relaxed. the term social facilitation refers to a psychological theory that people are more successful at completing simple. Triplett's experiments demonstrate the co-action effect.social facilitation concern the extent to which a given piece of an individual's behaviour is affected by the real. perform better when others are watching and they are able demonstrate their confidence and ability.

if they agree on most issues. It can lead to impulsive decisions and a failure to identify and/or consider all sides of an argument. 1972). critique a position.4. Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people's common sense desire to present alternatives. Engineers of the space shuttle knew about some faulty parts months before take-off. discrimination among hate groups. but they did not want negative press so they pushed ahead with the launch anyway. or there is significant dissent that splits the group. and are happy with that agreement. Some classic examples of group decisions going bad include lynch mobs. or express an unpopular opinion. What he found was that a lack 12 http://oregonstate. they tend to stifle dissent because group harmony is the anticipated outcome (Janis.2 Group Think and Group Polarization If you've ever been involved in a group decision making process. Here. If the group is cohesive.1. President Kennedy made a decision and the people around him supported it despite their own concerns. actions of the Ku Klux Klan. the desire for group cohesion effectively drives out good decision-making and Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 problem solving. and mass riots.edu/instruct/theory/grpthink. The term "Groupthink" was coined by Irving Janis in 1972 when he was researching why a team reaches an excellent decision one time and a disastrous one the next. With the Bay of Pigs invasion. This phenomenon is referred to as Group Think12. we typically do not want to hear opposing arguments. When we all agree. Two well-known examples of Groupthink in action are the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster and the Bay of Pigs invasion.html 34 . you've probably seen one of two things happen: either the group agrees on all of the major issues.

When it changes in such a way Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 that the group attitude is enhanced and strengthened. the group's attitude toward that situation may change. What has happened is that the initial attitude has been bolstered and the group is more polarized against the policy. For example. In this case. let's say a group of Republicans gather to discuss welfare reform and some new policy proposed by a democratic politician. Similar to this. In the beginning of the discussion. the group indicates that they are now more against the policy than ever. and because groups did not gather enough information to make an informed decision. You can see how this could get out of hand because opposing views (Group Think) are not considered and the push to move forward for the cause is fuelled internally (Group Polarization). Imagine a group of protesters. When people are placed into a group and these people have to deal with some situation. Over time and with group discussion. 35 . all agreeing and deciding to picket. a group gets so focused and energized about a decision that it creates an internal fuel. the group as a whole may be somewhat against the welfare reform policy (thus having an initial group attitude). because alternatives were not fully analysed.of conflict or opposing viewpoints led to poor decisions. which pushes itself forward faster than originally intended. After discussing the policy. Group Polarization refers to a group’s tendency to talk itself into extreme positions. then group polarization has occurred. the group as a whole typically has some overriding attitude toward the situation. so to speak. The welfare policy calls for more money to be taken from private sector businesses and given to welfare centres.

and temporal distance associated with distance education courses. designers. Due to the physical separation. and administrators alike. the percentage will typically not be 50/50. 1992.uky. 13 http://www. online group activities are much more difficult to organize and operate on a high-efficiency level. Hardy & Latane. Social loafing has a far-reaching impact on both traditional and distance education courses. This is due to the diffusion of responsibility created as the size of the group increases.4. For instructors and designers who choose to utilize group activities. However.edu/~drlane/capstone/group/socloaf.html 36 . This theory states that as a group gets larger. Imagine being assigned a project to complete by yourself. the aforementioned antecedents should be considered by educators. special attention should be given to distance education courses where group interaction becomes a larger issue. it will become imperative to learn how to optimize the learning experience for those involved. & Williams. each member of the group contributes less than they would if they were individually responsible. Smith. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Although there are other possible antecedents and contributing factors to the psycho-social phenomenon of social loafing. 1974) social loafing describes the tendency of individuals to put forth less effort when they are part of a group. Ingham et al. you will end up with a small percentage doing a large portion of the work and a large percentage doing a much smaller proportion. As more people are added to the group. 1986. social isolation. Because all members of the group are pooling their effort to achieve a common goal. Now if two people are involved. Most likely you would complete 100% of it. the individual contribution decreases disproportionate to the group size (Everett.1..3 Social Loafing Another phenomenon that occurs in groups is referred to as Social Loafing 13.

very similar to Social Loafing.1. If nobody else is around. however. a person will tend to help the victim. We have found that the internal push to help a person in need decreases as the group gets larger. The bystander effect occurs when the presence of others hinders an individual from intervening in an emergency situation. or raped in broad daylight while people around offered no assistance.4. Latane and Darley attributed the bystander effect to the diffusion of responsibility (onlookers are more likely to intervene if there are few or no other witnesses) and social influence (individuals in a group monitor the behaviour of those around them to determine how to act). We've all heard stories of people getting mugged. Social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Darley popularized the concept following the infamous 1964 Kitty Genovese murder in Kew Gardens. This does not occur if you are the only person witnessing the crime. In this instance.5 Sensation Sensation is the process by which our senses gather information and send it to the brain. The more people.4 Bystander Effect This last phenomenon is an unfortunate reality which has been observed far too many times in groups and in larger cities. each onlooker concluded from their neighbours’ inaction that their own help was not needed. 4. In Genovese's case. brightness of the 37 . Genovese was stabbed to death outside her apartment three times. people tend to be followers and will only get involved if they witness another person getting involved. What results is a group of people witnessing a crime and wondering why nobody is helping. the less likely someone will offer assistance.1. New York. while bystanders who reportedly observed the crime did not step in to assist or call the police. A large amount of information is being sensed at any one time such as room temperature. however. or beaten.

With all this information coming into our senses.lights. Anything less than this goes unnoticed. Sensation is the function of the low-level biochemical and neurological events that begin with the impinging of a stimulus upon the receptor Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 cells of a sensory organ. because processes in the brain so greatly affect the perception of a stimulus. colour constancy. We only sense those things we are able too since we don't have the sense of smell like a bloodhound or the sense of sight like a hawk. We don't sense all the odors around us or taste every individual spice in our gourmet dinner. someone talking. and depth perception. or the smell of perfume. sensation and perception are stages of processing of the senses in human and animal systems. Sensation allows humans to decide what steps to take depending on how much sensation is felt and synthesised 4. the majority of our world never gets recognized. absolute threshold is defined as "the smallest intensity of 14 http://psychology. and pain senses. xrays. These topics are considered part of psychology. The absolute threshold is therefore the point at which a stimuli goes from undetectable to detectable to our senses. auditory.6 Absolute Threshold The absolute threshold14 is the point where something becomes noticeable to our senses. We don't notice radio waves.about. our thresholds are different from these animals and often even from each other. or the microscopic parasites crawling on our skin. and not anatomy or physiology. such as vision. In psychology. Included in this topic is the study of illusions such as motion aftereffect. It is the softest sound we can hear or the slightest touch we can feel.1. a distant train. vestibular. auditory illusions. Traditionally.com/od/glossaryfromatoz/g/absolutethresh.htm 38 . It is the detection of the elementary properties of a stimulus.

how do we recognize if this stimulus changes? When we notice the sound of the radio in the other room. This difference is not absolute. how do we notice when it becomes louder.a stimulus that has to be present for the stimulus to be detected". 4. The difference threshold15 is the amount of change needed for us to recognize that a change has occurred. To get a simpler Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 understanding. For someone unfamiliar with psychology jargon. It's conceivable that someone could be turning it up so slightly that the difference is undetectable.wikipedia. This change is referred to as the Just Noticeable Difference.org/wiki/Just-noticeable_difference 39 . In the first 15 http://en.7 Difference Threshold Once a stimulus becomes detectable to us. Imagine holding a five pound weight and one pound was added. The smallest change a person can detect 50% of the time is called a difference threshold or just-noticeable difference (JND). before many students feel comfortable with technical terminology) this definition may only further confuse. The difference threshold is determined by changing the stimulus varying amounts to see whether a subject can perceive any difference in the stimulus. But what if we were holding a fifty pound weight? Would we notice if another pound were added? The reason many of us would not is because the change required to detect a difference has to represent a percentage. however. the difference threshold is the smallest change in a stimulus which a person can detect 50% of the time. (the concept of absolute threshold is typically taught early in a psychology class.1. Most of us would notice this difference.

8 Signal Detection Theory Have you ever been in a crowded room with lots of people talking? Situations like that can make it difficult to focus on any particular stimulus. like the conversation we are having with a friend. This concept is referred to as signal detection17 because we attempt to detect what we want to focus on and ignore or minimize everything else. in the second. is referred to as Weber's Law16.1. named after its original observer. 4. it became apparent that this theory has application to psychophysics because the observer's criterion affects the judgements they make. Neurons involved with smell.1. one pound would increase the weight by 20%. When we do this. This theory. This adaptation allows people to adapt to their environments while balancing the need to receive new sensory input. we are making a determination as to what is important to sense and what is background noise.cis.9 Sensory Adaptation Sensory adaptation is a phenomenon in which sensory neurons change their level of sensitivity to a constant stimulus over time.usd. hearing. 16 17 http://people.html 40 . taste. Signal detection deals with the detectability of Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 signals and controlling the criterion that are used for the detection of signals. and sight can all exhibit sensory adaptation. Early on.scenario.html http://www. that same weight would add only an additional 2%. 4. The theory of signal detection allows for the ability to separate the effects of the stimulus detectability from the observer's criterion in sensory experiments.edu/people/faculty/montag/vandplite/pages/chap_5/ch5p1.edu/~schieber/coglab/WebersLaw.rit. touch. We are often faced with the daunting task of focusing our attention on certain things while at the same time attempting to ignore the flood of information entering our senses. The only neurons which do not are nociceptors.

10 Perception Perception refers to interpretation of what we take in through our senses. The last concept refers to stimuli which has become redundant or remains unchanged for an extended period of time. why do we need to constantly sense it? 4. The "bottom-up" processing is basically low-level information that's used to build up higher-level information (i.shapes for object recognition). while the pain lingers. memory and expectation. Perception is not the passive receipt of these signals. The "top-down" processing refers to a person's concept and expectations (knowledge) that influence perception. but can be shaped by learning. but subjectively seems mostly effortless because this processing happens outside conscious awareness.1. For example. if it doesn't change. smell is mediated by odour molecules and hearing involves pressure waves. Ever wonder why we notice certain smells or sounds right away and then after a while they fade into the background? Once we adapt to the perfume or the ticking of the clock. is the organization.e. which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs. we stop recognizing it. . Perception depends on complex functions of the nervous system. This process of becoming less sensitive to unchanging stimulus is referred to as sensory adaptation.the neurons involved in the sensation of pain. identification and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 environment. All perception involves signals in the nervous system. This is why the smell of a severe burn appears to dissipate quickly. Perception involves these "top-down" effects as well as the "bottom-up" process of processing sensory input. vision involves light striking the retinas of the eyes. after all. The way we perceive our environment is what 41 .

shtml 42 . during the Hans Dynasty.intelltheory. stated as "MA/CA X 100. and developed a strategy whereby a mental age (MA) was determined and divided by the child's chronological age (CA). In other words.com/binet. were commissioned by the French government to improve the teaching methods for developmentally disabled children. he believed that we could assign a score to intelligence where the majority of people fall in the average range and the percentage of the population decreases the farther from the middle their score gets. This brings us to something a lot more important in the make-up of the human being as superior specie: 5. This formula. he attempted to apply Darwin's evolutionary theory to the study of human abilities. civil service type exams were used in the areas of law.makes us different from other animals and different from each other.edu/~intell/galton." They 18 19 http://www. and geography. The first workable intelligence test was developed by French psychologist Alfred Binet 19. Theodore Simon. military. As the first cousin of Charles Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Darwin. In the early 1800s British diplomats observed the Chinese assessments and modified them for use in Britain and eventually the United States for use in civil service placement. They believed that intelligence was the key to effective teaching.0 Intelligence The assessment of human abilities dates back nearly 4000 years when China used written tests to rate applicants for civil service.indiana. agriculture. He and his partner. Two-thousand years later. He postulate that intelligence was quantifiable and normally distributed. Sir Francis Galton18 is a key figure in modern intelligence testing.shtml http://www.

initiative.stated that "It seems to us that in intelligence there is a fundamental faculty. Sternberg (1988) argued that there are a number of ways to demonstrate intelligence or adaptive Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 functioning. but with good judgment he can never be either. Indeed the rest of the intellectual faculties seem of little importance in comparison with judgment" (Binet & Simon.htm http://en. otherwise called good sense. While most IQ tests measure only analytical intelligence. the faculty of adapting one's self to circumstances. representing acquired knowledge. This faculty is judgment. and (3) Practical.42-43). the ability o use new or ingenious ways to solve problems. Another theorist. 1916. He proposed a model of intelligence referred to as the triarchic theory 21.shtml 43 . described intelligence as having two distinct factors. the alteration or the lack of which. and second. pp. or the ability to solve a problem by looking at its components. they fail to include practical intelligence which is the most understandable to most of us (Sternberg et al. According to this model there are three types of intelligence: (1) analytical.org/wiki/Triarchic_theory_of_intelligence 22 http://www. referring to street smarts or common sense. Fluid Intelligence. practical sense. 1973. A person may be a moron or an imbecile if he is lacking in judgment. The first he called Crystallized Intelligence.edu/~intell/sternberg. 1995) Psychologist Robert Sternberg22 defined intelligence as "mental activity directed toward purposive 20 21 http://psychology.wikipedia. is of the utmost importance for practical life. Raymond Cattell20.about.com/od/profilesal/p/raymond-cattell.indiana. (2) creative.. or our ability to use this knowledge.

a person with Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 highly developed analytical and practical abilities. Many argue that quantifying intelligence correctly is impossible and all that modern IQ tests do is test our knowledge and abilities. and that these abilities function collectively to allow individuals to achieve success within particular sociocultural contexts (Sternberg. 1988. and other creative endeavours. For example. analyse. 1999). or choosing to work in an environment that values the individual's particular strengths.. creative and practical abilities. To be successful in life the individual must make the best use of his or her analytical. 2004).sometimes. if the chosen career does value creative abilities. but with less well-developed creative abilities.. Practical abilities tie everything together by allowing individuals to apply what they have learned in the appropriate setting. discovery. Creative abilities generate invention.adaptation to. While it is true that a person can learn to improve his or her score. compare and contrast information. This might involve working on improving weak areas to become better adapted to the needs of a particular environment. 1997. Conversely. selection and shaping of. this can only occur if correct responses are taught to the person. creative and practical strengths. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of (Successful) Intelligence contends that intelligent behaviour arises from a balance between analytical. Thus. the individual can use his or her analytical strengths to come up with strategies for improving this weakness. while at the same time compensating for weaknesses in any of these areas." Dr. a central feature of the triarchic theory of successful intelligence is adaptability-both within the individual and within the individual's sociocultural context (Cianciolo & Sternberg. Intelligence is not something we can see or hear. which 44 . We can see the results of intelligence. or taste. might choose to work in a field that values technical expertise but does not require a great deal of imaginative thinking. real-world environments relevant to one’s life. Analytical abilities enable the individual to evaluate.

For this to take place. Some argue. 6. these IQ tests are the best we have in our attempt to quantify the construct known as intelligence.is highly unethical. however. which simply means the process of holding onto the information that. an image.0 Memory Human memory23. As of today. however.htm 45 .com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/memory. For a computer this means transferring data into 1’s and 0’s. that modern IQ tests are prejudiced against certain ethnicities and cultures and tend to result in higher scores for others.2 Storage: Storage. 6. Memory operates in three stages for it to be of any use: 6. Where this leaves us. however. It is very similar for us because it means that a physiological change must occur for the memory to be stored. allows us to store information for later use. it means transforming the data into a meaningful form such as an association with an existing memory. like memory in a computer. the computer must physically write the 1’ and 0’s onto the hard drive. is uncertain. both the computer and we need to master three processes involved in memory. is gleaned. 23 http://psychology. In order to do this.about. or a sound. We have also found that our individual IQ score remains quite consistent as we get older.1 Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Encoding: The process we use to transform information so that it can be stores. For us.

This memory is very brief lasting only as much as a few seconds. This is the information that is currently active such as reading this page.6. how do we ever get any work done? Wouldn't we start to lose focus or concentrate about twice every minute? This argument prompted researchers to look at a second phase of STM that is now referred to as Working Memory. Working Memory is the process that takes place when we continually focus on material for longer than STM alone will allow (Baddeley. permanent storage and permanent deletion. Cantor. In other words. Humans. 1956) If STM lasts only up to 30 seconds. but it still has a very limited capacity. or writing a paper. 1993. which is attributed to the process of bringing the memory out of storage and reversing the process of encoding previously made.What happens when our short term memory is full and another bit of information enters? 46 . talking to a friend. The first is (a) Sensory memory. return the information to a form similar to what we stored that piece of information. we can remember approximately 5 to 9 (7 +/. & Carullo. Short term memory can definitely last longer than sensory memory (up to 30 seconds or so). computers have only two types. (b) Short Term Memory (STM) takes over when the information in our sensory memory is Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 transferred to our consciousness or our awareness (Engle. referring to the information we receive through the senses.2) bits of information in our short term memory at any given time (Miller. 1992). Laming. For the most part. According to research. The major difference between humans and computers in terms of memory has to do with how the information is stored. on the other hand are more complex in that we have three distinct memory storage capabilities (not including permanent deletion). 1992).3 Retrieval: Retrieval.

concepts.Finally.S. well-established schemata. 1996. Obviously we don’t use even a fraction of this storage space. and problemsolving skills. concepts. While episodic memory stores information as images.. or even see the information repeatedly and through different senses). principles. Information is most easily stored in semantic memory when it is meaningful . It’s been argued that we have enough space in our LTM to memorize every phone number in the U. we mentally follow paths specific paths.html 47 . When we retrieve information from schematic memory. Suddenly someone says the area code for that phone number and almost instantly you forget the last two digits of the number. memories for facts. There are several subcategories of LTM.that is. Kliegel & Lindberger.(c) Displacement means that the new information will push out part of the old information.edu/Vockell/EdPsyBook/Edpsy6/edpsy6_long. say. life events.com/declarative-memory. which is most similar to the permanent storage of a computer. semantic memory stores information in networks or schemata in our brain. easily related to existing. we solidify the 24 25 http://education. Semantic memory stores facts and generalized information. rules. Unlike the other two types. First.purduecal. however. by mastering chunking and using rehearsal (which allows us to visualize. 1993). This includes semantic memory. and still function normally in terms of remembering what we do now. Rohrer et al. By using information on numerous occasions after it has been initially learned. 1995) and episodic memory. memories for events and situations (Goldringer. there is (d) long term memory24 (LTM). hear. factual knowledge like the meaning of words. LTM is relatively permanent and practically unlimited in terms of its storage capacity.htm http://explorable. 1993. We can further sharpen our short term memory skills. It contains verbal information. and our ability to do math (Lesch & Pollatsek. and information about Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 our environment are stored in declarative memory25.

we retrieve one step. and make it more likely that this information will be available to help us accept and store additional information in the future. These are memories we have stored due to extensive practice. or scratch your eye. or habits. When you brush your teeth. When given a list of words or numbers. 1. or stimulus-response pairings. The second subcategory is often not thought of as memory because it refers to internal. make it easier to retrieve when we need to use it. the first word or number is usually remembered due to rehearsing this more than other information. Primacy effect . Episodic memories relate to specific things we have experienced while semantic memories involve information of a factual nature. etc. There are two subcategories: episodic and semantic memories. write your name. When we retrieve information from procedural memory.connections among elements of information.information that occurs first is typically remembered better than information occurring later. 48 . There are typically six reasons why information is stored in our short term memory.3. Declarative memory also takes form of long-term memory of which there are two types with the other known as procedural memory. 6.1 Why We Remember What We Remember Short Term Memory. which triggers the next. This is referred to as nondeclarative (or implicit) memory. The steps in various procedures are apparently stored in a series of steps. you do this with Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 ease because you previously stored these movements and can recall them with ease. rather than external information. which triggers the next. Yawning is one such memory. conditioning. Procedural memory refers to the ability to remember how to perform a task or to employ a strategy.

3. Any distinctive information is easier to remember than that which is similar. Remember trying to memorize a formula for your math class. In other words. Information that passes from our short term to our long term memory is typically that which has some significance attached to it. 5. recency effect . or your first kiss.sometimes we actually fill in the blanks in our memory. Many of us use this strategy in our professions and everyday life in the form of acronyms.often the last bit of information is remembered better because not as much time has passed. we attach significance to it and information deemed important is transferred to our long term memory. Reconstruction . 4. often without any realization that this is occurring. Associations . The more you went over it. or mundane.2. Now think about how easy it is to forget information that has no significance. Frequency effect . Imagine how difficult it would be to forget the day you graduated. we will make up the missing parts. When we process information. sometimes our brains seem full of insignificant facts. results in better memory. it is often remembered better. 6.when we associate or attach information to other information it becomes easier to remember. as we tend to remember things more the 49 . the better you knew it. Distinctiveness . Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 when trying to get a complete picture in our minds. Long Term Memory. usual.if something stands out from information around it. as stated in the first example. the colour of the car you parked next to at the store or what shirt you wore last Thursday. As we all know.rehearsal. There are other reasons information is transferred. Repetition plays a role in this. time which results in forgetting.

movements that the mind makes. Actively testing oneself is a significantly better way to strengthen one’s memory than just passively reviewing the information "contained" within it. It is practicing the art of remembering stored items in memory that increase the retrievable process. 26 http://en.3. The temperature really plays no important role. information is transferred because it is somehow attached to something significant. you actively re-create or rediscover it in a way that positively reinforces that memory. In other words. then being reminded of it is like being dropped by helicopter on top of the hill.more they are rehearsed.org/wiki/Buzz_Aldrin 50 . when you are tested for a memory. If recalling a memory is like climbing a hill.wikipedia. Other times. You may remember that it was a warm day when you bought your first car. You enjoy the view. you'd have a better idea of how to get there next time. but is attached to the memory of buying your first car. This is actually quite counter-intuitive as one would think that being reminded that Buzz Aldrin 26 Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 was the second man on the moon would be a more effective way of strengthening that memory than by being asked the question: "Who was the second man on the moon?” But science has repeatedly shown that "active retrieval" is a more effective way to boost your memory power than pure revision. but if you'd climbed to the top yourself. One way of understanding this is to consider how memories are.2 Improving Memory One important way to keep memories healthy is to practise retrieving them. and it feels like you've accomplished something. in a sense. 6.

persons present and so on. it is often very helpful to review information one wishes to remember just before one falls asleep.There's an interesting correlate of this that takes place during sleep. Think of these as routes into memory. what should be remembered in the long term. As a result. what seemed complex and cloudy can appear surprisingly lucid. Recent studies in neuroscience suggest the brain takes advantage of this "offline" period to repeat. The first thing to realise is that there's nothing remotely shameful or surprising about "failures" of recall. crisscrossing. however. jostling. they are ways of causing the full memory to become active and coercing your brain into reproducing the whole story. Intriguingly. a memory is never an isolated unit of information. intermixing. competing. or compost heap. this often happens with information that we know we know. overcrowded house party. the brain seeks patterns that exist across different memories that have formed in the recent past. There will always be plenty of implicit context or "components" to the memory: the time of day. and so select. This brings us to the question: how do you find a memory that is resisting being recalled? We've all experienced the frustration of setting out confidently to find a familiar memory – the name of an actor or title of a book. like a jungle. for example – only to wind up empty-headed and confused. there are a number of ways we can go about increasing our chances of locating a lost memory. The sum of our memory is an almost infinitely complex and chaotic web of connections: Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 superimposing. When we do find ourselves floundering. In the morning. By searching the fringes of the memory. Principally. As we've seen. 51 . or mad. weather. you will increase the likelihood of recalling the nugget of information in the centre that you seek. It's a miracle that we can recall anything at all.

of every day during your entire life. (2) Second. There are many reasons we forget things and often these reasons overlap. for some reason. but is Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 lost before it can attach itself to our LTM. some information never makes it to LTM. no matter how good. or insignificant. It seems that as much as we do remember. which means that information that is not used for an extended period of time decays or fades away over time. bad. Perhaps this has something to do with the dominance of the computer metaphor in cognitive psychology and the fact the computers tend not to forget (Baddeley. the memory is still stored in the memory system but. “Why do we forget?” There are two simple answers to this question: (1) First. Other reasons include decay. Imagine if you remembered every minute detail of every minute or every hour. These two answers summaries the main theories of forgetting developed by psychologists. Other times. We can’t talk about remembering without mentioning its counterpart. research into forgetting in psychology has been rather limited in recent years.6.it is no longer available. the memory has disappeared . It is possible that we are physiologically pre-programmed to eventually erase data that no longer appears pertinent to us. a pretty natural phenomenon.4 Why do we forget? Rather surprisingly. the second to 52 . Forgetting isn’t really all that bad. Many may ask. it cannot be retrieved. we forget even more. Now imagine trying to sift through it all for the important stuff like where you left your keys. 1997). and is in actuality. The first answer is more likely to be applied to forgetting in short term memory. the information gets there. Like in the example above.

believing something about the data which is not correct causing you to attempt to retrieve information that is not there). (a) Forgetting information from short term memory (STM) can be explained using the theories of trace decay and displacement. When people lose their ability to memorize data they have amnesia. (iv) Finally. (i) (ii) This could be caused by distractions going on around us or possibly due to an Error of association (e. Failing to remember something doesn’t mean the information is gone forever though. What is emotion? A feeling? Then what is a feeling? These terms are difficult to define and even more difficult to understand completely. amnesia. which can be psychological or physiological in origin. Amnesia also refers to an inability to recall information that is stored in memory..forgetting in long term memory. People have been attempting to understand this phenomenon for thousands of years. Sometimes the information is there but for various reasons we can’t access it. (iii) Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 There is also the phenomenon of repression. 53 .g. In simple terms. and will most likely debate for a thousand more. The causes of amnesia may be organic or functional. This is often cited in cases where adults ‘forget’ incidences of sexual abuse when they were children. which means that we purposefully (albeit subconsciously) push a memory out of reach because we do not want to remember the associated feelings. (b) Forgetting from long term memory (LTM) can be explained using the theories of interference and lack of consolidation. This section will present the various theories related to the acquisition of emotion. amnesia is the loss of memory.

whether or not these other components are present? Man is invariably the object of social interaction and its offshoots. But what comes first? The thought? The physiological arousal? The behaviour? Or does emotion exist in a vacuum. and looking at recent studies from fields as diverse as psychology Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 and anthropology. that provide the foundation for that most disarming of all human invitations. this research has suggested. there is a suggestion that the ability to look the other way. social scientists see denial on a broader spectrum from benign inattention to passive acknowledgment to full-blown. physiological changes. It is these highly evolved abilities. and an outward expression or behaviour. In this research and compilation. while potentially destructive. Seeing denial in this way. forgiveness. their own and others’. is also critically important to forming and nourishing close relationships. In this research and view. willful blindness on the part of couples. This is somehow what actually happens and it can cause severe emotional and relationship break ups if not addressed properly. and when it 54 . to judge someone is “in denial” is to deliver a savage combination punch: one shot to the belly for the cheating or drinking or bad behavior. as well as individuals. and another slap to the head for the cowardly self-deception of pretending it’s not a problem. The psychological tricks that people use to ignore a festering problem in their own households are the same ones that they need to live with everyday human dishonesty and betrayal. social groups and organizations. scientists argue. helps clarify when it is wise to manage a difficult person or personal situation. Conclusion In the modern real life.The mainstream definition of emotion refers to a feeling state involving thoughts.

” said Michael McCullough. and not nearly as moral or 55 . “If you are guilty of an integrity-based violation and you apologize. to wiggle out of speeding tickets. Kim said. A few bad rumors could mean a loss of status or even expulsion from the group.” This research has shown that the capacity for denial appears to have evolved in part to offset early humans’ hypersensitivity to violations of trust. “We concluded there is this skewed incentive system.” It is so unfortunate that today’s society and systems are skewed precisely because the people we rely on and value are imperfect. Ostracized individuals had a life sentence. In small kin and native groups. and we rely on the room that denial gives us to get by. If the infraction was described as a mistake and the applicant apologized. that hurts you more than if you are dishonest and deny it. viewers’ trust evaporated — and even having evidence that he had been cleared of misconduct did not entirely restore that trust.” Dr. identifying liars and Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 two-faced cheats was a matter of survival. but the fact is that we cut corners to get individual advantage. “The closer you look. The case of understanding human behavior becomes critical. the more clearly you see that denial is part of the uneasy bargain we strike to be social creatures. and to forgive others for doing the same. But if the infraction was described as fraud and the person apologized. a psychologist at the University of Miami and the author of the coming book “Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct. viewers gave him the benefit of the doubt and said they would trust him with job responsibilities. a death sentence.” “We really do want to be moral people.threatens to become a kind of infectious silent trance that can make hypocrites of otherwise forthright people. like everyone else.

these things are nothing more than by-products . than anything human thought. intention. This approach has resulted in a soulless subject which cares more about environmental forces and physical behavior. responsibility. and creativity.trustworthy as they expect others to be. In conclusion.a conscious and aware entity. will.annoying and not very important by-product.e. his physical body). There is an observable process of stimulus-response which applies to the animal kingdom and to Man's animal nature (i. they neglect that which responds and reacts to the environment .you . That is clearly obvious. imagination. To them. morality. Coupled with their incessant concentration and exaggeration upon the environment as the key element. 56 Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 . People do react and respond to their environment.

R. Salem.563-566). Perceptual interfaces in human computer interaction. Bernstein. New York: Arno Press. Memory and the psychology of denial | 10/22/2012 Balkenius. A. Williams & Wilkins. J. 44A. (1998). NY. 57 . NH: Ayer Company). Washington DC: Author. N/A B... E. V. (2000). Is working memory working? Quarterly Jounal of Experimental Psychology. 6. pp. (1992). Massaro.1. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed. (2000). T. & Wickens.). A. D.. Baddeley. C. D. A. Psychology (5th ed. Binet. 3(2).W. MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.. & Ross. Biological Learning and Artificial Intelligence. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME'00)(Vol. 1983. Penner. (Reprinted 1973. A.. & Simon. Anderson.. Lund University Cognitive Science. New York. Boston. 1-31. Clarke-Stewart. (1994). Roy. C.). The development of intelligence in children. D. A. Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed. Baltimore. New York: St.). Martin's Press. D. (1916). L.Bibliography and references American Psychiatric Association (1994). The 1973 volume includes reprints of many of Binet's articles on testing.

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