Saturday, July 22, 2017

Subliminal Self-Help Tapes

After looking over the lecture on subliminal messages, I wanted to learn more about subliminal self-help tapes. People will use these tapes for numerous problems such as weight loss, anger management, quitting smoking/drugs, and self esteem. People will usually play the tapes while they sleep and they believe that the tapes will help them get into the mindset where they can achieve a certain goal. Although many people still use this technique, there have been many studies showing that these tapes do not have much of an effect. Even with the studies, there are many people who believe that these tapes helped them achieve their goal. Since many people swear by the tapes, the tapes could be helping them or it could just be a placebo effect. Whether or not the tapes do work, it is still an interesting idea that sounds in the tapes could be picked up by the subconscious and change a persons behavior. While reading about these tapes, it reminded me of the episode of the show Friends where Chandler Bing used a hypnosis CD to help quit smoking but it is for women, which ultimately makes him start acting like one. Although it is exaggerated for television and this would not happen in real life, I think that is a funny way to show a similar technique to the subliminal self-help tapes. Also, here is a link that discusses subliminal self-help tapes and studies that have been done on them. https://www.nap.edu/read/1580/chapter/10


The Halo Effect

What is "The Halo Effect"?

The Halo Effect is the likelihood to associate a person's characteristics with global stereotypical characteristics. This effect happens unconsciously, we do not realize that we are pairing personality traits with global characteristics.

How was The Halo Effect discovered?

Edward Thorndike discovered The Halo Effect in 1920 when he asked two officers to judge their soldiers based on their physical and mental/social characteristics.

- Noticed that soldiers who were evaluated as neat at a high level, other characteristics were rated high as well
- When a soldier's characteristic was rated low, other characteristics were also rated low.

Thorndike concluded that the overall impression of the soldier created a halo effect on their perception of their other qualities. The impression, whether it is negative or positive, creates an altered judgement on each characteristic.

Example of The Halo Effect

A common example of the halo effect is pairing a person's physical qualities with personality traits. When a person thinks of a hero, they think of an attractive, clean, friendly person. When a person thinks of a villain, they think of an ugly, grumpy, mean person. The hero title puts a halo on the perception of a person, projecting all positive qualities. Similar with the villain title where it correlates all negative qualities.

Jersey Devil (post1)

Living in Galloway my whole life growing up I always heard about the Jersey Devil. My cousin lived near Leeds ave so at night we would walk over to the street. I remember picking out a random house saying that was the house, knowing darn well we didn't know if that was it at all. Many years later the Kerswy Devil was kind of forgotten about. Not many people would talk about it. Reading the power point and watching the video really brings back memories. I remember going to school will a few Leeds and when we were younger we use to associate then with the Jersey Devil, but like I stated earlier after we grew up it became a memory of the past.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Delusions and Hysterias: Suicide Forest- Aokigahara

Tofugu did an interesting article on a place nicknamed Suicide Forest located by Mt. Fuji in Japan. This forest is famous for having over 500 suicide deaths and relations to demons and ghosts. Warning signs have been placed around the area attempting to prevent suicide but to no avail. Death in this forest originally stemmed from abandoned family members that were too poor to be fed so they starved to death in the forest. It became popularized in a book The Complete Suicide Manual, where the author describes this as the perfect place to die.

It is said the spirits of the deceased haunt the forest. The magnetic iron in the volcanic soil interferes with cellphone and GPS usage which lead people to believe paranormal forces are trapping them in the forest. I personally feel that there is something unnatural lurking in that forest. Decaying bodies, caves, and harsh terrain make it pretty unsettling. The last lecture on mass delusions and hysterias tied in with this creepy place pretty well. All the talk about how spooky leads many to believe there is paranormal activity in the forest for sure. There is even a horror movie about it called The Forest, including ghostly beings. The fear all these stories and propaganda create fuel the image for Aokigahara.

https://www.tofugu.com/japan/aokigahara/
Image result for suicide forest japan signs

Post 1

When reading the lecture on the alien abductions and watching the videos that had multiple people give their bizarre stories of what they thought to be real alien abductions made me start to think if there was any real chance of these things being seen as true. After watching the videos a couple times it seemed to me that the people in those videos may have been mistaken or they simply saw things about alien abductions, which is mentioned in the second video, and blamed the mysterious creatures that people show interest in all the time. Watching those videos and a few others had me asking whether these people just wanted to get their five minutes of fame or if they truly believed they were abducted and tested on by aliens? I also wondered how many of the people that claimed to be abducted did so after seeing stories about others being abducted? It just seemed like they all brought up that their first thought was they were abducted by aliens right away. There could be a few explanations to the things these people talked about experiencing which includes sleep paralysis. It seems that Jesse Long Jr. could have been molested or, as was stated by the psychologist in the video, he could have had problems with relationships and felt like an outsider for a few years.


While looking at other videos on the topic of aliens and alien abductions the video of a person interviewing an "alien" came up and was said to have been a video that was declassified for the public to view at will. This video talks about the way in which the human race is wiped out by nuclear war and that its species is an evolution from the survivors of said war. While a lot of people seem to think this is a real life alien that is giving up the secrets of the universe as we know it. This could quite possibly be a real alien and it could be giving a secret branch of the United States Government new knowledge that researchers have been chasing their entire lives. However, this could also be a very good computer generated being that is actually stating the creator's opinions on what life is and how the world will end. This seems like the most logical explanation of what this video really is rather than it being a debated as real or fake. If it is real, I would say that it would  definitely be revolutionary for the world. It just seems almost to good to be true that we would be shown a video of something so sensitive in regards to something that has been kept quiet for so long.


Here is the video of the interview with the Alien if anyone would like to watch it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2xXu8_2Exo

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Out of Body Experiences: Insidious

After learning about out of body experiences, it reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Insidious. The victim in the movie has an out of body experience and can not get back into the real world. His father also uses OBE to find his son in the spirit realm. The lecture on OBE's discusses how the body and soul are separate and the movie perfectly demonstrates this belief. The movie's plot is entirely based upon this belief. Here is a link to the movie's synopsis and the movie itself: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1591095/plotsummary
http://megashare.at/watch-insidious-online-TWprNU5BPT0

I also found a really funny meme about OBE's. I didn't know what astral projection was before seeing this so I looked it up and thought it was really interesting. Many people admit to trying it or practicing and being successful. It is basically the same thing as an OBE. Interestingly enough, the belief that demons could possess a body (vessel) without a soul existed before the movie was made. Here is the meme I saw and the link to info about astral projection I read up on: http://www.wikihow.com/Perform-Astral-Projection

Cryptozoology: Mermaids

A while ago, Discovery channel and Animal Planet aired a popular documentary on mermaids called, Mermaids: The Body Found. Although it was admittedly a docufiction-- exaggerating details of evidence-- the film did lead some persuading points as to why mermaids may exist. A few examples being: why human like fish creatures have been documented in stories worldwide? If we have evolved on land, couldn't we have evolved underwater? And how did tools found under the sea made from materials found in the sea appear?

All of these notions as well as several incidents of mermaid "spottings" have made the idea of mermaids easy to believe. I personally think there is a possibility they are real, mostly because much of the ocean still has not been explored and there are so many amazing discoveries made day to day we never thought would be possible. The lecture on cryptozoology immediately made me think of this film. Being alluring, mysterious, and human-like creatures with many different interpretations over time always captured my attention.

Here's a link to the website, the documentary requires a log-in but I believe they air it time to time on animal planet and discovery: https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/mermaids/

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Post #3

Post #3:

I read the PowerPoint on Learning Styles and the videos that went along with it.  Out of all the lectures provided I believe this one is my favorite.  I personally have a learning disability and it hit close to home so to speak.

Out of all the learning styles mentioned (visual/auditory/kinesthetic) I am definitely a kinesthetic learner.  Visual would be my 2nd preferred style of learning.  Auditory learning doesn’t work for me unless I need to read a book or something.  I do better listening to a book then reading.  Reading puts me to sleep.  I am definitely a “hands on” learner especially now at my age.  Going to college after graduating in 1986 from high school is definitely a challenge. 

Dr. Brian Walsh Video

Definitely agree with someone matching the learning style with the person who is trying to learn.  For example, I took Principles of Math and the professor taught using only power point and the dry erase board in the class room.  I immediately knew I was in trouble and signed up for tutoring and had a note take assigned for me during the class.  With all the added assistance I still ended up dropping the class due to my learning issues.  I couldn’t adjust to the professors teaching style and ultimately chose to let go of the stress before it wore me down. 

Innovations of Education Video

People definitely learn in different ways.  I understand completely and agree that a “bridge” needs to be established between the teacher and the learner.  Without constructing the appropriate “bridge” there won’t be a connection for adequate learning (my Principles of Math statement above is a perfect example).  Learners need to develop good learning habits.  It is essential.  The guest on the show seemed like her passion in teaching helps all the learners she encounters. 


Learning Styles Don’t Exist

Good teaching is good teaching I agree with his statement at the closing of the video clip.  I do believe that teachers should adjust their teaching to individual students learning styles.  This is especially true for learners who need to be individually taught.  If I was taught individually in my Principles of Math class it would have helped.  They could have taught me kinesthetically.  I believe I could have passed the class with a passing grade.

How reliable is your memory/Elizabeth Loftis

All I can say is this video was great.  The opening case regarding a man getting sentenced due to false memory was wild.  The statistics regarding the guilty convictions due to false memory was scary.  It really opens my eyes to the false accusations that are possible.  When the speaker finished the video with “Memory like liberty is a fragile thing” was a great way to end the video clip.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Post #2

Andre Daigle

Course:  Pseudoscience and the Paranormal

Post #2:

I watched all the video clips and reviewed all the slides on UFO abductions and Projective Testing.  Before I begin I do believe there is life out there however I don’t believe in people getting abducted by aliens.  I believe that there is another species out there.

First Video Clip:

The first video clip at Snowflake, AZ was about a man named Travis who encountered aliens on 5 November 1975.  He saw a glowing metallic object in sky.  He and his coworkers followed it.  Travis walked to the object and was immediately shocked when he got too close.  He was knocked unconscious.  The coworker fled the scene without helping Travis.  When they returned with authorities Travis was missing.  They searched for him for four days with no success.  Travis remembers waking up to aliens holding him down.  They were four feet tall with big eyes.  When Travis finally woke up he was 30 miles for the original location.  People doubted his story.  My thoughts on this is that I don’t believe it 100%.  I can’t grasp anything that points to this being totally true.  As I stated before I do believe in another species of life but don’t believe they have come to abduct people.  There is no sure evidence on Travis’ story.

Past Event Slides:

After reviewing the slides on past events I can honestly say that I can’t recall many events myself.  I have a hard time with memory (especially names) and/or events.  I think it because of my age and also my past in the military that kind of screwed up my programming so to speak.

Second Video Clip:

The second video clip with Whitley Streiber (Author “Communion”) was an interview with Jesse Long.  This was Whitley’s most haunting story.  Jesse claims he was abducted a lot since he was a boy.  Jesse claims he was first abducted when he was five years old with his brother (nothing was mentioned about his brother).  Watching the video of Jesse’s hypnosis was kind of creepy.  He seemed possessed to me.  His memories were like a lot of the alien abduction stories.  The odd thing is that Jesse thought he had an alien implant in his shin but waited 34 years to get it removed.  The object was analyzed and the questions about the foreign object outweighed the answer to it.  Jesse claimed the abductions were relatively the same every time.  The one abduction he really felt like an experiment was the sperm extraction.  He stated it was the worst abduction.  They forced him to breed with a female alien.  The abduction that stands out the most to Jesse was when he was sucked up in his car into the alien craft.  The aliens presented him with a child that was his.  He recalls nine baby aliens that were his (that was very odd to me).  They walked up to him and rubbed his hand. Jesse stated he felt they were telling him that they were ok.

Doctor Jacob’s video:

Doctor Jacob’s book on hybrid humans I will never read.  It seems totally ridiculous.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Clinton Road

Growing up in West Milford, New Jersey exposed me to hearing stories of Clinton Road throughout my life. Clinton Road is located in West Milford, NJ and is said to be one of the most haunted roads in the United States because of its numerous stories of paranormal activity. There is a story of a ghost boy who lives under a bridge and will throw coins back at you if you throw them in the water. Many people will test this story and throw coins into the water. Some people will swear that the boy threw a coin back and others will dismiss the story after nothing happens to them. Other than ghosts, this road is associated with Satanic rituals, cars that follow people but suddenly disappear, KKK meetings, dangerous animals, and even UFO sightings.

Coming from a person who lives in the town where the road is located and has driven on it many times, the road is creepy and I would personally not drive on it alone in the middle of the night. However, I have never experienced any paranormal activity while driving on it and when it comes down to it, the road is just a long, curvy road with terrible cell phone service. While reading other people's experiences online, it seems to be mixed with people who believe the road is haunted and people who do not. Attached is a link to some of the many stories associated with Clinton Road.

 http://weirdnj.com/stories/clinton-road/

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Andre Daigle

Course:  Pseudoscience and the Paranormal

Post #1:

I reviewed the slides and all the video clips on the Ways to Thinking – Lecture 1.  Out of all the video clips I enjoyed the pattern behind self-deception by Michael Shermer the most interesting.  I agree we believe too much especially when we address people.  Too many people believe in the best in people.  I was one of those people who always believed in the best of people.  It took a long time to change this thought process.  Now I don’t believe in the best in anyone/anything.  I firmly believe in myself but now allow people to make me believe in them before I no longer doubt them.  I base this on my personal experiences and being let down too many times in my life.

Patternicity errors are very true to me and I believe it ties in with believing.  I think I was a type II error/false negative most of my life.  I believed in the best scenario and outcome always.  Now due to my forty-eight years on this earth I no longer am a type II.  I am definitely a type I.  I always believe/prepare for the worst.  I must say the lip balm test was hilarious at the end of the video.

Regarding the 3 kinds of thinkers I actually consider myself a selfish critical thinker.  It might sound like I think I’m smart but I don’t.  I do think I think a lot but what I know is I don’t care what others think of me anymore.  I feel so much better feeling this way because I don’t go out of my way to make everyone happy.  I focus on me.

P.S. Regarding the Q-Ray video I don’t believe the hype.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The End of the World

There are many theories about when the world will end, and many of those dates have already passed.   The date I find most interesting is the past December 21, 2012 "apocalypse" date. It was the last date recorded in the Mayan calendar. The scenarios that were made up about what was going to happen that day were numerous. I found it interesting that my grandmother, who is a devout Catholic believed whole heartedly that would be our last day on Earth. I remember watching on television for at least a week prior all of the crazy things people did to prepare. Some took their last vacations, some said their goodbyes to family members, and some built elaborate bunkers and survival shelters. When the disaster did not strike, there was a movie made depicting what could have happened.

Peter Larson built a $65,000 bunker to prepare his family for any disaster situation. He predicts a nuclear disaster in the future, whenever it may happen, he has everything that his family will need to eat, drink, wear, and protect themselves. He built an air filtration and alternate escape route. I know many people may think he is crazy, however I think he may be a genius. I would have great peace of mind knowing in any type of situation I have somewhere that I would be safe. Here are some photos of shelters that people have made to protect themselves in case of any disaster situation.



Learning Styles

There are hundreds of different ways students can describe the best way they learn and retain information. Dr. Brian Walsh breaks these styles down into three, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Having made it to my junior year of college, I have had teachers that have taught based on all three of these styles. In my opinion, the teacher has a difficult job because each of his or her students have a different way in which they learn. It is their job to teach each one of them to the best of their ability, however it is not always easy. I remember struggling through my math classes my entire elementary school education. I strongly believe that I am not a kinesthetic learner, which I believe math is a lot of. I learn by visually seeing definitions, and then looking at photographs or videos of the event happening. It was difficult for me in my elementary classes to find explanations of a formula or problem. I remember asking my teachers to show examples over and over, feeling annoying. The education system today is very diverse, however I feel more should be done to catering to learning styles.


Here is a link to a quiz that will help identify which way you learn best! http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles-quiz.shtml

Intuition

By nature, humans rely on intuition. Sometimes this intuition leads to a wrongful sense of overconfidence. In the second part of his novel entitled “The Lazy Controller,” Daniel Kahneman describes how our brain’s system for thinking fast and effortlessly leads us to often end up with the wrong answer to a trick question. Think about the following: 

A bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? 

Did you definitively say 10 cents? If you did, you’re not alone. You used your intuition to respond quickly, yet incorrectly, to this seemingly obvious word problem. If you take time to do the math and think through the solution, you will see that the true answer to this problem is 5 cents but your intuitive and automatic brain system was most likely fooled into thinking otherwise. Here are some more riddles to test how well the controlled and effortful system of your brain matches up against your automatic intuition. Good luck! 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXV1cu0xn7A

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The New Jersey Devil

Growing up in NJ, it is almost a given that you will hear and joke about the New Jersey Devil. My brother used to joke when we would play in our backyard, which is mostly woods, that we were going to see him. I never completely understood the story behind this tale, but when I first arrived at Stockton I heard more jokes about being so close to the Pine Barrens and that I was bound to see him at some point. This lecture helped me understand what started this tale, who the NJ Devil actually was, and some cool stories about sightings. The NJ Devil is actually surnamed Leeds (I keep thinking of Jimmie Leeds Road). He was cursed before birth, and appears with haunting, piercing screams. The stories about the sightings are what interest me the most. How can so many people be making up the exact same situations and scenarios? Also fun fact, the New Jersey Devils hockey teamed is named after him! Who knew?
Here is a link to an interesting video regarding a sighting.
Christina

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcNqVup6cOQ


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Illusions

Growing up my sister and I always had a fascination with magic and the art of escape. I had a huge obsession as a kid with Criss Angel and his TV show, Mindfreak. In my eyes, Criss was simply magical and anyone who thought he lied about his illusions heard my 4th-grade piece of mind. Little did I know, they’re called “illusions” for a reason. A television show called Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magics Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (1997) was able to change my perspective on the idea of magic and I soon found the art of magic to be more intriguing than magic itself. 

Similar to the youtube video where James Randi exposes Uri Geller from the lecture slides comes this youtube link to one of the illusions exposed on Magics Biggest Secrets. Although James Randi details how small scale illusions such as melting a spoon or duplicating hidden drawings are completed using trickery, this link details how a larger scale illusion using big props and magician’s assistants can be completed and used to shock and stump audiences.


BOOK REPORT- The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan


The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan starts out by relaying brief memories of Sagan’s youth and how he first fell in love with science. He then continues by discussing the importance of science, its process, the differences between pseudoscience and science, all the while reciting relatable anecdotes from his life. He debunks various fallacies in topics of pseudoscience like Atlantis, aliens, and mediums for example, in an enlightening fashion that makes science simple and exciting to the audience.
Throughout the piece, Sagan frequently jumps back in time to relate parts of the book to parts of his personal life. One of my favorite parts is when he describes his empathy for people who speak to their deceased loved ones at their graves. The death of his parents seems surreal when he has dreams about them being in his life and still enjoying things the way they once were. Then there is a brief mourning period when he awakes, realizing it wasn’t real but he believes their souls must be out there-- somewhere, somehow-- even though there is no scientific evidence to back up that possibility.  That conscious decision to believe in something completely unsupported by science is something Sagan understands, even as a scientist, which I completely admire. He explains that it is a part of being human. One notion that stuck with me the most is how the findings of science-- like atoms, stars, the galaxy, and beyond-- are as equally or even more incredible than topics of pseudoscience when you really think about it.
This book coincides with many topics discussed in our class lectures. One apparent commonality is discussion of the difference between science and pseudoscience. Science is slow or critical thinking which is described as a long and grumpy process of experimentation, analysis, debate, and repetition. It works off of error and accuracy which supposedly leads us closer to the truth.  Pseudoscience is the opposite, which does not give any leeway to debate. It is all very vague and does not progress. Sagan’s points and the class lecture’s points match and agree to the differences in both.
Sagan’s piece is truly genius and relates to the real world. He insists that the way science is being taught now is incomprehensible to most people and eventually discarded and swept under the rug. He explains that this disregard for science is leading down the wrong path for children of future generations and will be destructive if not taken care of. Science provides progress and without it, we are led back to times dependent on ignorance, doubt, and superstition. The argumentation, skepticism, and error in science is central to progression (contrary to pseudoscience in which vagueness does not allow debate). Current school systems should focus on the interest of science and making it easy to understand so everyone can learn and experience the gratifying feeling Sagan discusses when achieving understanding of something so grand.

Here are some funny and totally creative Carl Sagan gifs I made:



Universal Telepathy

I really enjoyed reading thorough the lecture slides about telepathy- the idea of sending and receiving messages beyond the physical realm. When it comes to sending and receiving mental messages, my mother and I have been long term believers in the idea that the universe has somewhat of a predetermined plan for us. The idea that everything happens for a reason is something I struggle with remaining true to at all times, but I am for the most part a believer. Person-to-person telepathy is something we both experience rather often as we’ll pick up the phone to connect with someone who will respond with something along the lines of “I was just thinking about you!” But it’s the idea of the “universe” sending messages that has me really perplexed. 

What I believe to be a personal message from the universe to myself came when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. While digging through piles of debris located underneath my house (the house is raised on pilings), I found a street sign for Stanton Street that must’ve blown 2 blocks over and into our yard. At the time, I had a dance teacher named Tom Stanton who I absolutely adored. I was so excited to show to him the street sign and he got a kick out of it. A few months later, Tom died suddenly of a heart attack. The street sign, in the exact condition I found it, now sits in the corner of my room as a reminder of Tom. Similarly, the words “And it Makes Me Wonder” are tattooed on my forearm as Tom was in the middle of choreographing a ballet for my fellow dancers and I to an instrumental version of “Stairway to Heaven” when he passed. Although his death was entirely unpredicted by everyone who knew Tom and by Tom himself, I feel as though some of these signs were the universe’s way of saying that his time was coming and reminding us to treasure these small offerings as tokens of remembrance. 


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Welcome to the course Summer 17' students!