The Universal Coping Mechanism

Commenting on other’s posts and ideas, it’s not hard to see that a lot of the reasons we use social media and technology is because we are using them as coping mechanisms.

When I am in the company of others, I try to always be mindful of how I am talking to them. Am I making enough eye contact? Am I supplying subtextual cues to let them know I’m listening? How can I contribute to the conversation? Do they want me to contribute to the conversation, or do they just need to be heard? 

I think about all if this when I am talking to them, but I am even more paranoid when I have my phone out. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable; you need to check your email, your notifications, your texts, etc. But you also need to be mindful that you are not simply playing with your phone because you are bored or disengaged in whst is happening around you. 

As an ADHD individual, it can often be quite hard to pay any attention to anything or anywhen, even when I am interested, so I need to have my phone in my hand or doing something with my hands, just so I can pay attention to what’s in front of me. It can look like I’ve checked out of the conversation, or like I’m being rude, but more often than not, I’m just trying to keep myself focused or centered.

More often than not though, I use my electronic devices when I am alone. Typically, as long as I am included in the conversation and my mind is being kept busy enough, I don’t touch my phone; or else I will lose track of the conversation. So I am typically a social media user when I am alone and I need to keep my mind busy, and the reason is pretty simple: I absolutely cannot allow myself to be alone with my own thoughts for too long.

Unless my mind is pointed in a specific direction (write this, think about this, look at this) I struggle a lot with depression and anxiety inducing thoughts. I’ve learned, like many, how to use technology as a coping mechanism to keep myself upbeat and situated within the correct headspace. It is, undoubtedly, an unhealthy coping mechanism, but it is one I and many other use, regardless. 

So it can be incredibly frustrating to find the line between healthy and normal online useage and where you stray into unhealthy online habits. It’s also frustrating when you can’t explain to people what you’re doing. I’ve gotten questionable looks from professors and teachers before when I had to mindlessly use my laptop to stay focussed o. Their lecture, or glares from people in public spaces when I’m trying to mind my own business on my phone, because I’ve had a bad mental health day and I can’t just relax and look out the window of the bus like I want to. 

Our obsession with social media has been, for me, an indicator not of poor communication or the decline of social skills, but where we are at from a mental health standpoint as a society. The amount of people that likely use their phones as coping mechanisms is, I’m sure, astonishing. If you went to one of the proclaimed “happiest countries” no doubt you would find that they use their phones and devices much less. Whether this is as a cause or effect of their evidently healthier mental status, is debatable, of course; but I would be inclined to believe that it is not because technology is unhealthy or bad, but because we are using that technology as a result of being mentally unhealthy.

Digital Activism is the Subtle Art of Inciting Change in the Modern World

In a time when we spend more time on the internet and social media sites than we watch television, digital activism is shaping our worlds in a significant way. In the most recent election even, a significant number of voters stated that the majority of their information on their candidate and the election came from facebook; so it’s no wonder that what many would deign ‘slacktivism’ is one of the most effective ways to affect others and shape opinion.

You can see the way this happens without any significant effort— you don’t have to collect stats, use control groups, isolate groups, or set up scenarios to go out and find an example of how digital activism (for any cause) shapes opinions and affects change. One of the ways we see this, as an example many celebrities and figureheads have pointed out, is how we began to see racism represented on social media when camera or smart phones were accessible and in the hands of nearly every American.

White America became appalled (and still are to a degree) whenever a video of blatant and violent racism was shown on video or in comment sections. The answer was just the same as when violence became more and more covered on news channels: these incidents are not increasing in frequency; you are only being exposed to them more through the power of social media.

The amount to which you began to hear, “Racism is dead!” or “We don’t see color!” dropped rapidly until they very nearly became dead phrases. With mainstream news sites unable or unwilling to cover this subject, it was taken to social media and quickly spread to reveal to people, who were either willfully ignorant or in a place with very low racial diversity, that racism was alive and well in the US.

Not only does digital activism allow widespread access to information that may not be readily available or known to many, but shows and keeps record of discussion and opinion that, in a stunning show of social psychology, very subtly affects opinion.

As a personal example, those in their twenties or under have been affected by opinion on social media; something I well know. I would not be the same person if I hadn’t been influenced by positive representation and opinion of queer individuals. I consumed fanfiction, books, videos, articles, and more that included gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals, pansexuals, asexuals, transgender, and non-binary individuals so that it became a subject of normal, everyday life for me instead of a taboo or frightening topic.

It still allowed me to form my own opinions (don’t be alarmed, radical Christians) but it certainly exposed me to a positive representation instead of only being exposed to negative representation within my own community and what was in the news or on the TV. This sort of representation, even when I was not exposed or comfortable with the idea of positive queer opinion, also exposed me to a very fun social theory: If I see that I am in the minority, opinion-wise, I am less likely to continue to hold that opinion, share that opinion, or speak out against those who do not share my opinion.

So if you see an entire facebook feed full of nothing but Pro-Trump propaganda posted by your relatives and friends rolling on your phone’s screen, you are likely going to be swayed towards accepting the same opinion; this is how we incite change.

If I post something on intersection feminism on my facebook page (as I plan to) I am exposing those on my feed (teens, grandparents, parents, young, old, friends, boys, girls, non-binary, white, brown, etc.) and this gets shared by others, and spread to their feed, and so on and so forth, I am able to directly influence others with information. If they are unaware of intersectional feminism, or hold a negative idea of feminism, then what I post has the potential to change their opinion and inform them. And if continue to do this with intersectional feminism, and am joined by others, then slowly, but surely, I can affect them in a delightfully subtle way that protesting does not.

People can look at protesting (as they did with the women’s protest) and be entirely unaffected. They can even be affronted and have conversation with others (on the internet or otherwise) about how offended and upset they are about the protest because while the protest included millions of women, it was one day and they probably weren’t exposed to it very much beyond the negative media that likely flashed by on their Facebook or Twitter pages. However, if I take it to digital activism and directly challenge opinion as well as post several articles on the positive effects of the women’s march and why it was important that we had a women’s march, then, I feel, we are affecting opinion even more than we would with a standard protest.

What we are doing is not poorly executed or lazy; it is calculated and should not be underestimated. This needs to be remembered so that you are able to do your own digital activism, as well as understand when activism you do not want to spread comes across, how to shut it down, and how companies can use similar tactics to influence you. You can’t stick your head in the sand and say “I don’t like it!” Digital activism is here, it’s affecting you, and you need to understand it.

Digital activism is here, it’s affecting you, and you need to understand it.

Digital Citizenship

Like anything, there is a right, and a wrong way to be a digital citizen.

For me, I try not to separate myself too much from my digital life. Yes, I can take on a different personality, I can feel a little less self-conscious, and I have the freedom to just have fun when I am on social media; but I never act in a way that I absolutely wouldn’t in real life, and, to me, this is how you start on the path of a good digital citizen.

If I wouldn’t bully someone in real life, I certainly wouldn’t go to the comment section on facebook to bully someone I don’t even know. If I would shut someone down for their rude, hurtful, or ignorant statements if I heard it out in the real world, then I will do the same on the internet. You can’t allow yourself to live two separate lives; this is not only unhealthy but damaging to yourself and to others.

I often try to consider the future, and I don’t think enough people really think about the future in terms of consequence. Yes, I can allow myself to be 23, young, and dumb, but not at the risk of my future. I will always strive to live myself in a way that will make my future-self proud. I don’t want to look back in five or ten years and be completely mortified or regretful of my actions. I don’t want to be unable to get a job or make friends because I made a stupid post on facebook just to get a few laughs.

People can be incredibly short-sited in terms of consequences, but I think the biggest issue is a lack of empathy. And yes, I understand that it can be difficult to empathize with a person when you don’t know them or don’t have to look them in the eye when you say something to them; you don’t have to wait for a response, but I think the main problem is that we tend to highlight a culture that revels in angering others for fun.

To some degree, yes, it can be so satisfying to see someone who does not agree with you, or is a terrible person, become enraged; but I am so much more interested in having a conversation with them. I want to engage them in conversation because that’s what kept me from joining in on stupid, hateful language. Listening to others and talking with others is what kept me from being a jerk on the internet and a jerk in real life! There is a small satisfaction in angering someone, but a much larger satisfaction in gaining understanding.

And don’t be mistaken— this is not isolated to ‘millennials’. If anything, I would say that since older generations have not learned about online bullying, about digital ethics, that they are the biggest bullies you will see on the web. They stay inside facebook and do not engage with communities outside that platform or their circle of friends who agree with them. Because younger generations use multiple platforms, they are more likely to encounter people who will call them out on their language and are more likely to receive an understanding that their behavior is not acceptable.

Still, I think the overwhelming message that needs to be heard is to life your online life the same way as your real life, because the two can no longer be separate.

 

Go Google Yourself

No, really.

Searching for myself on Google, thankfully, doesn’t turn up anything unsavory. My twitter is at the top of the list, with a few pictures that I’ve tweeted or retweeted, there’s some stuff from Wall still hanging around, a few articles I wrote for the Record, and some of my blog posts.

My Facebook doesn’t really turn up, but I don’t think it would take a genius to find my profile. Thankfully, I believe most of my stuff is hidden to friends only, though I’ve made sure to keep my Facebook pretty clear of anything offensive. So, it’s not there, but if it was I don’t think I would need to worry!

My Pinterest page also turns up, and I think that’s something I may have to delete or put to private, just because it can be a little personal and the site is meant to be a fun place. I also don’t really use it much anymore.

Overall, most of what turns up for me is good! “Ermish” is a surprisingly unique surname, so I’ve been pretty careful to keep my full name off of my social media history if I know I am using the platform for fun. I don’t post anything awful or hateful, of course, but I tend to have a ‘potty mouth’ when I am excited or just having fun with something. I don’t think future employers would be too thrilled to see that sort of thing!

And, naturally, everyone is dumb when they’re in their teen and pre-teen years, so most of what I posted during those years, even the stupid stuff, isn’t easily accessible or discoverable under my name. It’s only really been my college years that I’ve used my full name on anything, and it’s typically been for classes, or because I wasn’t worried about the site I was using.

So, thankfully, the late 90’s and early 2000’s paranoia of ‘never use your full name’ has paid off! I didn’t get abducted, and now my internet history is pretty clean as a result. Perhaps an unintended side-effect, but I think it would still be a great thing to preach to younger kids today. Information is already easily found and accessible, but I can imagine that it will become even more easily found in the future. There will also, no doubt, be even more social media sites for people to use and collect data on as well, so it wouldn’t hurt to be careful.

I take care to google myself regularly, especially before applying for a job, and I would certainly recommend that others do as well. If something pops up that you can delete or explain, that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, then at least you can catch it first! And for the future, I think I will continue to make sure to watch where I choose to post my full name.

Thoughts on DS106

So just what in the world is DS106? Well, DS or Digital Story telling, is a class offered by the University of Mary Washington. It’s a very flexible class that is open to everyone and can be picked up or put down at any time. The participant of the course is the only one holding themselves accountable for the assignments. If you do or don’t do an assignment, it is only by your rules.

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Photo via aforgave on Flikr

 

 

Because of the extremely flexible and open nature of the course, there is also no true assignments, save for the ones that the student either creates for themselves or chooses for themselves. The sky is the limit, as far as the work you want to do. Browsing through the class, there is almost nothing that you can’t choose to do, or that hasn’t already been done in the class. There is even a fanfiction option! Things that you may like to do on your own time, or may not even find the time to do regularly, you can do as work in this class.

This offers a polarizing stance to the average college course, in which there is a schedule, designated assignments, and enrollment and class time is strictly given. This breaks all of the ‘normal’ rules for a college course.

 

Some of the things to do are extremely appealing and exciting, with a DS106 radio station offered, countless writing assignments in all areas, photo assignments, video assignments, options for making animated gifs (if that’s your forte), audio assignments, 3d printing, and even mashup assignments that combine elements of other assignments or that have no real place anywhere else. If none of those suit your taste, you can follow the standard course for DS106, if none of those are appealing to you at all.  Or, you can even just make up your own assignments!

There is something for everyone on DS106, and all are assignments that have little to no stakes, in which only your peers and yourself can judge your progress. They are simple to finish, and can all be played around with to suit your own style or preferences.

The biggest takeaway I get from the overall idea or concept of DS106 is that you have every opportunity to learn or start something new. Even if you’re not great at something, need a little help, or just want to show your progress to someone, there are spaces in which you can still learn and still participate.

Butterfly 3 and Embroidery

It’s week 7 (I think?) and I’ve been slowing down, but I’ve made considerable progress on my quilt. I finished the third butterfly, and I’m incredibly pleased with the embroidery and the colors. I think this might be my favorite of all butterflies to do.

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Butterfly 3

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To take a break from the butterflies for a while (because they do get repetitive) I started in on some of the embroidery around the border of the quilt.

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The first of 9 bird names

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The second of 9 bird names

Fortunately, I have some experience (some, but little) doing embroidery prior to this project, so this requires a lot less concentration without counting stitches or colors. That being said, I do keep my stitches extremely small, which also makes the work a bit time consuming.

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Thankfully, the final product looks really great and I’m super happy with how everything is turning out at the moment. With the exception of a few minor errors that I will very likely forget about when everything is finished, everything is going well.

For this next week, I’m going to focus on the embroidery and a few of the leaf details before moving on to the next butterfly. I’ll at least try to continue that until I get sick of it and need a break. The biggest frustration with the embroidery is that the floss keeps getting tangled, and the fact that the stitches are so, so small. It takes some concentration to get everything to look the way you want it to, otherwise you have to undo your stitches. Overall, I’m excited with how everything looks, and I’ll have to keep plugging away.

Two Butterflies Gone and Seven to Go

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Butterfly 2 is done!

Work definitely got tough this week. I didn’t move as far along as I had hoped, but I’m super happy with the work that I managed to get done. I finished the second butterfly (it might be a moth) and I can tell I’ve improved. The stitches are a lot  more clean and neat, as well as tight. I’m definitely worried about the structural integrity of the first butterfly. As a comparison, here’s the back of the first versus the second-

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The back of the first

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The back of the second

It may be hard to tell just by looking, but there is a lot more organization in the second butterfly. I tried to plan where I was going with my stitches to help me save floss and help keep the back a bit more neat. This also minimizes the amount of extra long pieces of floss in the back that could come undone. You can also see that I took a different approach in doing the outline on the second butterfly. I did it entirely through backstitching rather than trying to do traditional embroidery, as I did on the inner lines and the antennas. This gives it a smoother look with less gaps between the corners. That being said, I also used higher quality thread on this butterfly than the last. That, combined with the far more forgiving color of brown versus black, I’m super happy with how the embroidery looks this time around.

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Starting on Butterfly 3

In other news, I’ve started in on the third butterfly. I think this is supposed to be a monarch butterfly (all of the names are written on the quilt), so I’m happy to see one I recognize. I may have to go to the store and pick up even more floss, as I’m running out of black and gray now, and I don’t have the orange that the pattern wants me to have. This is, by far, the most frustrating part of doing this project. Anytime I think I have the right colors, it turns out I don’t!

I think after this butterfly, I may have to take a break and start on some leaves and some of the words, just to get a fresh look at the piece. Jumping around on colors and repeating patterns is getting a little tiring. I’m always excited to start and finish a butterfly as soon as I can, but I get a little burnt out by the time I’m halfway done with it. Doing something different for a while may help.

X-files and X-stitch

 

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Butterfly #2 Halfway Done

It’s week 2 of the ILP, and cross stitching is going great so far. I’m excited every time I get to pull out my quilt and see how the butterflies are coming together. For some reason, it’s so hard for me to envision what the end product will look like, up until I get about halfway done (as seen above). I didn’t really thing I’d like Butterfly #2’s colors, and I thought about changing them, but I’m very glad I didn’t.

My progress so far has been great. I’m moving much faster in my stitching and moving throughout the entire process much quicker, so I’m overall getting things done faster. In a few hours time, I can complete a wing of a butterfly, all whilst binging the x-files for the first time. It’s great company, and I love that i have something to keep my hands busy for once (I usually play sudoku or do something on my phone).

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Mulder and Scully are keeping me company while I cross stitch.

However, I’m also finding myself with a little less time every day to do some cross stitch, so In that regard, progress has slowed a bit. I had hoped to have this butterfly done by the end of this week, but oh well! That’s life.

As far as my own technique and learning experience, I’m getting much better with my embroidery, though it’s still a little crooked looking. My stitches are getting tighter and more uniform, and I can personally see a huge difference between this butterfly and the first one. I’m hoping by the time I finish the entire quilt, it will be very obvious how I’ve progressed! One of the perks of having a physical project that I get to do every week is seeing my progress.

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Butterfly #2 before the embroidery.

I haven’t really had the opportunity or reason to learn anything new about cross stitch this week, unfortunately, but I am looking to the future with my projects, and that’s very exciting. I’m hoping I can get the entire quilt done, with the hand quilting, batting, and doing the border, all things I’ve never done before. Afterwards, I think I’m going to try my hand at some counted cross stitch, and I’ve found some great pieces that I want to make for some friends.

Right now, I haven’t told anyone in my family, and only one friend about what I’m doing, so I’m hoping to surprise everyone with my finished quilt when it’s done! I can’t wait to see what kinds of reactions I get from it. Hopefully I will be able to finish the entire project before class is up, so I can report back and let everyone know what my family thinks. I’m not typically a super crafty person, so hopefully it will be a pleasant surprise.

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Butterfly #2 all naked.

 

In the meantime, I’m going to keep chugging along and finishing as much of my butterflies as possible. I’m hoping to get a butterfly done each week.

One Tenth of the Way There…

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With one butterfly down, and 8 more to go, along with letters, leaves, and quilting, I think it’s safe to say I’m at least one tenth done with my ILP. But before I tell you about finishing my first butterfly, I want to talk about starting my first cross stitch piece.

I started off by knowing very little about stitching at all, with only a few minor attempts at embroidery prior to this project, so I had to first do my research on the craft. I started off by asking a friend, who loves cross stitching and is quite a pro at it now, what I needed to start off with, in terms of supplies and standard knowledge. She listed off a few basic things I would need to start, all of which I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase at the Walmart in town, and gave me a few beginners pointers.

After gathering all of my materials, my stamped pattern, my needles (tapestry and embroidery), floss, two hoops, some handy sewing scissors, and some extra supplies like flour sack towels and aida cloth (just in case), I took to watching videos and considering my friends advice. There were a few things that most everyone agreed on, such as separating your floss to save material, using a knotless loop start, stitching in one direction first and then coming back the other direction to finish the stitch, and marking your pattern to keep track of your stitches. If you’re a bit baffled by some of these terms, I’m going to let this lovely lady explain.

Watching this video (among many others), I learned that you can separate floss into different strands of two, three, or four strands as opposed to the six strands that come together in a standard floss. After separating the floss, you fold it in half, so you can use the loop at the end as a way to ‘knot’ your floss without having to bother with tying an actual knot. The floss is also much easier to work with, as a result.

Techniques like stitching in one direction help keep your stitches even and help anchor your stitches as well, without having to worry about undoing a stitch by mistake (which I’ve done a few times). Marking your pattern can be very helpful in working with a stamped or counted pattern, by keeping track of what you’ve done and what still needs to be done. To explain this, I’ll show you a brief picture of one of my patterns with the corresponding stitches.

Looking at the paper drenched in highlighter pink, you can see that I’ve slowly crossed off each part after I’ve finished the stitch. This helps me keep track of which colors and stitches I’ve done, and which I still need to do. Looking at the color key to the pattern, I can see by the symbol that is in each square, what color needs to go there and how many stitches of that color will be on this butterfly. While cross stitch in and of itself is very simple, this process takes the most time, and is very crucial to the process that we follow it. Otherwise, we ruin our pattern and our butterfly doesn’t look very good!

By following and using these basic skills and rules of cross stitch, the overall process isn’t at all as difficult as it seems at first glance! It’s simply a matter of following the pattern and keeping track of what you’re doing. As a final thought, I’ll leave you with a back view of the pattern, to get an idea of what you are doing when you’re stitching everything.

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10 Myths About the Human Brain and Why You Should Know About Them

In this TED talk, Ben Ambridge addresses 10 popular myths about the human brain that many of us still hear consistently or even still believe. We see them all the time, on clickbait articles, on buzzfeed quizzes, in films and television, in books, and sometimes even in classes. Continuing to perpetuate these myths and misconceptions of human psychology is not only irresponsible, but ultimately damaging to our societal perceptions of psychology and difficult topics like intelligence, gender, and mental illness.

So, first, what myths does Ambridge target? Ambridge talks about the myths of,

  1. Women are from Venus and men are from Mars (gender differences)
  2. Rorschach ink blot tests
  3. Auditory, kinesthetic, and visual learners
  4. Left brain vs right brain learners
  5. Listening to Mozart makes you smarter
  6. Attraction is a product of our cultures
  7. The ‘Hot Hand’ myth
  8.  The Milgam Study
  9.  Detecting lies from body language
  10. Psychology is nothing more than a collection of theories, all of which have something to offer towards the truth of psychology

So what does all of this even mean? Why are these myths? We’ve all heard most of them, even from well educated individuals. Let’s break them down.

Ambridge quickly summarizes the differences between men and women as, there are some minute differences, but overall, they just don’t really matter. Some women are better with linguistics and grammar than men, and some men are more physically strong and accurate than women, but the difference is so small. Overall, we’re not very different, just because of our gender.

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Credits to Esther Lobo

Rorschach ink blot tests, while fun, ultimately cannot and are not used to diagnose mental illnesses or personality disorders. Just because you see a duck but they see a rabbit, doesn’t really mean anything. Off topic for a moment, have you ever taken a Rorschach test? I recall being tested when I was very, very little, as criteria to be accepted into a special preschool program. I couldn’t tell you what I tested or why they were using a Rorschach test!

The third is one I feel we’ve all heard at one point or another, and have even likely been taught this by a teacher. In more than one class, I had teachers ask, or ‘test’ us, on what our best leaning style was. As it turns out, ultimately, it really doesn’t matter what your preferred learning style is. It depends more on the skill you are attempting to learn. As Ambridge notes, it would be very difficult to read or listen to a tape on how to drive, rather than learn it by actually driving. So, future teachers, take note!

While Ambridge does tell us that there is some evidence to support that left handed individuals are more creative, and the right brain does fire a bit more for them, it is not because the right brain is more creative and the left brain is more logical. We use our entire brain constantly, for every activity we do. Even when the corpus callosum (the bit of brain that connects the two hemispheres and allows them to communicate) is severed, we still use our entire brain to perform tasks. The actual reason that left brained individuals tend to be more creative may be that they are typically more ambidextrous than right handers, because they often have to function in a predominantly right handed world. As a result, the two hemispheres of their brain may be communicating more than someone who is not ambidextrous.

As it turns out, listening to Mozart, or any classical music, really doesn’t make you any smarter. It actually depends on what you enjoy. Ambridge comments on a research study in which one group listened to Mozart, and one group listened to Stephen King novels. It didn’t really matter which one was listened to if they did not enjoy it, as it did not benefit them in the long run, but if they had listened to Mozart and really enjoyed it, the test scores were higher. So, lesson learned, do what you like to do before a big test!

While some traits of sexual, romantic, and aesthetic attraction can be rooted in our own cultures (do you like blonds or brunets? Tall or short? Dark or fair?) preferences for age, and the value of physical attraction were a universal constant when studied.

In sports like basketball, there is the myth of the ‘hot hand’, or the idea that someone can be really on or off their game by how many shots they make or miss. It’s very similar to when we flip a coin and begin to believe that we are seeing more heads than tails, and that we will always see more heads than tails. It’s really more a product of randomness, and even though it seems as though a player may be making many more shots than they usually are, it isn’t actually true.

Ah, the Milgram study. As Ambridge comments, if you’re a psychology student (as I am) you’ve heard of this study. The standard telling and retelling of the Milgram Study is that the participants believe the shocks they were sending would be fatal, and they delivered the shocks because the person in the white lab coat told them to. However, the truth is that the participants were told many times that the shocks were not fatal and that they would have no permanent damaging affects, the lab coats were actually gray, and the participants delivered the shocks, not because the lab coats were telling them to, but because they believed they were helping the study and doing what they were supposed to be doing.

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Although you may believe that when someone blinks when they lie, or crosses their arms, or looks away, the truth is that many people do not have a tell and most cannot perceive any real change when they are lying, if there is one. Sorry, Sherlock.

And lastly, the most important, the reason why we cannot perpetuate or believe these myths any longer, and why we study psychology. We test, measure, and replicate data in order to get tangible results. Very little about psychology is truly a ‘theory’ in the sense that we cannot test it or replicate our results. What we know about psychology today is based on scientific research and data that can back up and support our conclusions.

By keeping the idea that psychology is comprised of out-dated pseudosciences, we also keep the idea within our society that mental health and mental illness are not to be taken seriously, as well as the idea that psychology isn’t important. This is why, even in the modern, 21st century when we have so much data to back up and show that mental illnesses like depression exist, people still say ‘suck it up’ or ‘you’re faking’.

By keeping these myths in motion, we cannot help ourselves learn and succeed, and we certainly cannot help others. When we learn about our own psychological processes and how to understand what’s really going on, is when we can actually teach and learn about ourselves.