Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Alien Abductions and UFOs-Post #2

I have always been skeptical about alien abduction stories because it seemed crazy to me how all aliens tended to look similar to humans. For example, in the video in the PowerPoint, the man said the aliens had humanistic features, just really big eyes. To me, it seems that if aliens come from totally different planets, it would seem unlikely that they have a head like ours, hands and feet like ours, and that they walk on two legs. If they are from different worlds, they could look like anything and it feels unlikely they would look so similar to humans (however the link I've copied below explains why they MIGHT look like us). To me, it makes much more sense that alien abduction stories aren't real, and are just the recall of false past events like the lecture explains. It reminds me of the false memories lecture, where in an experiment, the experimenter actually was able to successfully implant a fake memory into 25-50% of her subjects, making them actually believe the memory was true. This shows how easy it is to influence what people 'remember'. Most abductees support their stories by saying that sharp details were revealed during hypnosis, but according to the slides, hypnosis is just a way to increase confidence in a false recollection, and during it, people are in a higher state of suggestibility, and therefore easily influenced. It is the perfect set-up. It is the same with past-life regressions--people claim past lives come out during hypnosis, when in reality the characteristics of these 'experiences' are influenced by the expectations set by the experimenter and society. This is also supported by the fact that a lot more 'abductees' came out after new shows or movies came out about contact with aliens--their 'experiences' were influenced by societal expectations.

  What Scientists Think About Aliens | Time         


psychic detectives

Everyone these days loves psychic crime shows whether they be fictional or what we are supposed to believe is reality. We are expected to connect the dots the psychics are creating and link the broad statements and claims they make to the actual facts and outcomes of the cases at hand. As we see in the Darren Brown clip of Lecture 6, Dr. Carr makes a bunch of claims about where the girl Darren sent off may be and does not seem to narrow in on any specific details at all, that is until she calls and reveals herself. As he talks about his predictions, he narrows in on certain ones by gauging her reaction and answers. Thus, on the TV shows mentioned before, it seems like all of the guesses these psychics make are narrowed down to the ones that were actually correct, rather than the ones that viewers do not get to see which were all way off. Below I included an article about a prediction that supposedly is about our current  COVID 19 situation. Fact or fake? You can decide.

Aromatherapy debunked

I wanted to discuss the notion of aromatherapy due to the re-occurrence of popularity it is having today. Many people I know and those I have seen on the internet have stocked up on essences and essential oils due to the fact that they believe they have healing capabilities and their so-called proven benefits for overall health and wellness. Some believe that this age old practice is a hidden gem and that people don’t take it as seriously as it should be taken. I disagree. Though some scents are emotion evoking and have a personal effect on you at times, I do not believe that they are all healing and it’s broad claims are hardly enough evidence to show healing powers or stress relievers.



Graphology is something talked about from the time one learns how to write. Children and adults alike tend to believe that the spacing, size, slant and pressure used when handwriting somehow determines our personality and character. I find this very interesting because in my mind it is hard to determine the correlation between the two. There is no specific science behind it and it should not be used for decisions regarding jobs and performance yet it was in the 90's and is still probably happening today. The results of the study shown in the PowerPoint confirm my belief that it is one of the least effective judges of character and truly does not come to a conclusion on anything.

The End of the World

This lecture was one of the most interesting ones in my opinion. Jeane Dixon, Kenton Beshore Kyle, The Messiah Foundation, Isaac Newton, and many others predicted what year the world would end and exactly what would cause it. It really makes me wonder how they come up with what they do, and the year. Michel Nostradamus predicted Hitler and 9/11. This reminds me of the issue currently happening. I saw a picture of a book that made a prediction about a "severe pneumonia-like illness spreading throughout the globe in 2020" and believe it or not, that's exactly what has happened. This just proves that somehow and someway people make these correct predictions about our future.

Why Doomsday Preppers are Laughing at Us

Doomsday preppers, as of 2 months ago, were laughed at by the common person, but as of March 2020 that has changed. Almost everyone in America has started a stockpile of some sort to prepare for the bad conditions that may come about. People who have been preparing for the so-called “end” were ready when the nation was told to stay in their homes. This brings out the irony of how people were watching preppers on TV and laughing at how ridiculous they sounded to now the preppers watching facebook videos of adults fighting over the last roll of toilet paper at Walmart, while they sit pretty at home without having to worry. Of course the new disease outbreak is not the end of the world, but maybe people were wrong to judge these preppers for just looking out for their families in case of something worse coming about.

Why We Use 100% of Our Brains

A seemingly recent trend among stories and movies of humans only using 10% of their brains has become popular in new media. The questions of “what would happen if humans could use 100% of their brains” is completely stupid because the answer is absolutely nothing more than they can already do because they already are using all 100%. According to Dr. Barry Gordon, a professor of neurology at the School of Medicine, studies show that humans use all parts of the brain, just not all at the same time. Although the science behind the topic is completely debunked, it still makes for good movies.

Jersey Devil

The legendary Jersey Devil has been the basis of most childhood horror stories of anyone who grew up in south NJ or around the area. The story goes that the Leed family’s 13th child was cursed and once born began killing and terrorizing the pine barrens of New Jersey. The ugly, winged, goat-like creature is said to still be around today and makes for great stories of people that swear they’ve seen him. Living around the area of the “Jersey Devil sightings” means the stories are even better, because some come from people you know, like my neighbors who swears on their lives, that the creature was living in their backyard for over a month because they believed the youngest child (5 years old) had said she’d seen it multiple times and they heard a screeching noise once at night along with finding weird hoof prints and feathers. Hearing stories like these just makes living in south Jersey that much more entertaining and lets you see how people's minds can just add up small occurrences into something crazy as the Jersey Devil

Mass Delusions & Hysterias What's That Smell? - Makayla Hoffman

Mass Delusions & Hysterias What's That Smell?

The ideas of these lectures bring me to the idea that people believe whatever is spread around the internet. Except back then when the Salem Witch trials were happening, people believed whatever they heard from their neighbor. Although seemingly unrealistic, The Trials became such a big ordeal that people started killing people, falsely accusing others of unfathomable acts, and killing innocent animals. People heard these stories about the aliens on the radio and since so many people believe these things and since it was on the radio, it must be real right? These fictional stories create mass panic in people, even though they seem unrealistic. As for the Aromatherapies, people often convince themselves these things help when there is no proven evidence that these smells and essential oils help. I am in no way saying they do not help because I work for a veterinarian who uses these oils and you can visually see the positive impacts these oils have on the animals. People tend to believe anything they hear despite it having evidence to prove it correct or not. The following link looks at essential oils used on animals and opinions people have after their use. Although these opinions can be 100% fake, we do not know if they actually used the essential oils, we as humans tend to believe it because it is genuine and a positive impact. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqleE_3dcSE

Graphology-Post #1

Watching the first video of this lecture, I was curious to see what my handwriting said about me. According to the video, because of my open "o's", I am expressive, social, and talkative. My narrow spacing between words means that I tend to crowd people, and my average sized writing means I'm well-adjusted and adaptable. However, I find a hard time believing all this. Just because my "o's" are open doesn't mean that I am. While viewing the video, I thought about my handwriting and how it differs based on what I am doing. If I am taking notes in class or writing a timed essay, my words tend to be connected and my lines slanted. But, if I am copying my notes later for studying, they tend to be straight, perfect letters, and evenly spaced. It doesn't mean that when I'm taking notes or writing an essay that I am any more logical or systematic than when I am copying notes for studying; I simply connect my letters because I write faster in those circumstances. I believe this is true for most people, so to analyze someone's personality on a writing sample seems to be inaccurate as personality traits are pretty stable, while writing traits are not. Graphology kind of reminds me of the cold readings lecture and of horoscopes. Cold readings and horoscopes tend to be vague and include a lot of varying details that people can apply to themselves in one way or another. For example, cold readings and graphologists alike can say someone is partially introverted and partially extroverted. Well yeah, everyone can be those things depending on the situation. People tend to believe graphologists because of confirmation bias. They seek to find a relationship between what the graphologist is saying and traits about themselves. Like the video showed with Sheila Lowe, another person's handwriting analyze can be played for someone, and that person will still say it was mostly accurate because they are looking for true facts about themselves in her analysis and overlooking all the inaccurate facts. This article by the CIA that I've linked talks about the pitfalls of graphology and whether they consider it to be a science or not.

Graphology - Makayla Hoffman

    I thought that the Graphology lecture was really interesting and the way people judge a person based on handwriting was something I had never heard of before. Personally, I think it is unrealistic to judge someone's handwriting on a phase in their life. For example, just because someone has spaces in between the letters in their handwriting does not make them lonely or isolated. Most of the time, being lonely is a phase in your life that you might go through, and people generally have the same handwriting their whole life so these types of judgement are just not fair. Also something strange I found is that if someone's handwriting is even or uneven it can be a sign of a stroke. Well, handwriting has to be either even or uneven so is everyone considered to be at risk of a stroke? Things just do not add up. In the image attached, it talks about how the letters ‘O’ and ‘E’ being open or closed can relate to the way people talk and listen. How was this correlation ever made? What people thought, if you have an open ‘E’ and an open ‘O’ that you are a great talker and listener?
Graphology - The Art Of Handwriting Analysis | Handwriting analysis

UFO Abductions & Projective Testing - Makayla Hoffman

For the class lecture entitled UFO Abductions and projective testing, it talks about UFO sightings and what kind of people believe in aliens and UFO’s. I found it interesting how they related people who believe in aliens and UFO’s to having esoteric beliefs and higher ratings of fantasy proneness. This makes sense because if you think about it, what people believe is related to the way they think. For example, a doctor is clearly going to vaccinate their children because they know how vaccinations work and they believe they work because they have seen them work. People who believe in aliens and UFO’s believe in them because they are susceptible to esoteric beliefs. For the second section of the lecture, projective testing, people being tested based on what they see or what they draw. In one of my favorite television series, Teen Wolf, a guidance counselor tries to figure out what state of mind a character, Lydia Martin, is in after an experience with a werewolf at a game store (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LaE5BnH2Kw). Obviously this technique is not realistic, as explained in the powerpoints and doing things such as picking out people who have been sexually abused, people who have committed crimes, and violent personalities. If this were the case, and these tests were accurate, we would have less people wrongly accused criminals in jail, and more people with unstable mental health in hospitals.

Learning Styles/False Memories-Post #1

In the first part of the lecture, learning styles are explained with the different types. I feel like I am personally an auditory learner. Learning styles can be very efficient as to how a person is able to learn  but many people believe that you cannot teach someone to learn a certain way. Every has a learning style that is unique to them and works for them. The second part of the lecture was able false memories. A false memory can confuse people because all the memories got mixed together, making the person confused as to what actually happened. Throughout the slides it states that therapists are able to use dream analysis. Dream Analysis gives people false memory/ the wrong information. It is interesting to see that memories can be forgotten when recalling past events without even knowing.

This is a link that shows all the different kinds of learning styles and describes them.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Graphology: Post #2

Graphology is known as the study of handwriting and is apparently used to determine personality and character. The things it is based off of are letter size, spacing, writing slant, and pressure on paper. I think this is a very weird thing to base someone off of. I do not believe the way someone writes can determine how they act but it is very interesting to see the different beliefs and definitions. This thought goes back to the 17th century. It also tells that people have determined job opportunities based on their hand writing which is absurd and weird to me. This topic and the results were very interesting to me!

Handwriting Analysis - Alphabets a to z | Udemyhttps://handwritingfoundation.org/introduction-to-graphology/

Learning Styles/False Memory: Post #1

In the first slide it is known that there are two types of learning styles which are visual and auditory. I am personally a visual learner. I watched the video on how learning styles are efficient and I believe so as well because it is important how information is learned and retain efficiently. Although I do believe I am a visual learner I do not believe it can be taught to someone how to learn a certain way. I think that everyones learning skills are different and efficient in different ways. The next topic is false memory which is when you confuse memories together and get the wrong idea of what actually happened. In the slides it states people are suggestible and therapists can make them believe false information/memory through dream analysis. All in all memory is a very weird interesting thing that can be very hard to dig up and understand. I wonder how many times my memory has been wrong in the past recalling events.
False Memoryhttps://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-false-memory-2795193

This link is how and why false memory occurs and it was very interesting to read.