Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cornell Minds Matter

I woke up promptly at 7 o'clock to find myself reviewing chapters one and two in my psychology book. The book that I am reading consists of numerous studies that support the main topics or sub topics. After my debrief, I went to eat breakfast at the RPCC with Melissa and Rachel. They both had to leave early, so I was with Reese for the whole time. 

We went to class fifteen minutes early to quickly go to the Cornell bookstore. Reese needed to buy a new key chain, and I decided to browse around. After ten minutes we went back to Goldwin Smith Hall to see the desk that Professor Gilovich uses surprisingly close to the first row. Luckily, he gave a portion of the long desk for us to use. Today's topic was basically summarizing what we learned yesterday, in addition to the confirmation bias and hidden data problem. The confirmation bias is quite self-explanatory; when we here about a comment or hypothesis about anything, we tend to ask questions or think of reasons related to the said statement. It's the presence of the implanted thought that leads us toward a certain direction of confirmation. We also discussed about hidden data problems, which basically talk about a possible third factor that can affect the conclusion. Whether it is time, nationality, gender, and etc. can affect the environment and data received. For example, if I were to say SAT scores correlate with intelligence, that may be true but it is a fact that higher-income households give more opportunities for their children to go to SAT boot camp and other forms of extra tutoring is a confound. Confounds are another fancy word for saying the third variable. 

After class, I went straight to Uris 262 to wait for Steve to teach us. Steve taught us a more hands on review of what we learned today in the lecture. He used the confirmation bias when he asked us to guess the pattern of 2,4,6. Some students kept guessing increasing in increments of twos, but did not think of decreasing the number, use odd numbers or decimals in different combinations. Hearing the word "yes" provides satisfaction, something that we were looking for when we were guessing. At the end, I guessed the rule to be ascending numbers. It was such a simple pattern, but we all decided to find a pattern with the original set and not branch out until more guesses were confirmed. We also did a few confound problems that involve us to state the independent variable, the dependent variable, the confound, and a way to go around the confound. It was confusing at first, as numerous students were participating, but I soon felt the flow; but the flow is not strong enough. At the end of class, I went to get lunch with Frank, Lucy, and Reese. 

Lunch was crowded at the Trillium Hall, but I still managed to eat a delicious meal. I soon understood why it was crowded; the Body, Mind, and Health course was also eating there as well. I know this because I saw Melissa, who is taking the course, there. Lucy, Frank, and I ate lunch quickly because today was the day when we start seminars at Balch Hall. My seminar started at 3:15 PM and ended at 4:30 PM. Our seminar teacher is Casey Carr, who is a social worker and an alum of Cornell. We had an ice breaker with specific questions about what we appreciate, our culture, our accomplishments, and what we expect to gain from the three weeks. I talked to numerous students, and felt closer with the class in that sense. Our seminar consisted of a story that I remember about a psychologist changing an old woman's life. He did so by telling her to get back into the community, to get involved in the social world. He also told her to be optimistic and happy, and have her appreciate the things that she has. And lastly, her purpose was to share her happiness to her community, African violets. After encouraging her to go get involved in her neighborhood, she soon made it to the newspaper, and is now enjoying her life. It was interesting to see how his comment changed her so much. I really like this class already and I can't wait for the next seminar tomorrow. 

One of the Seven Schools 
Finally, I end my day by watching Helen play soccer. She invited me to dinner at 5 o'clock and invited me to go to the soccer club. At the soccer club, I saw the great difference between the males and females. To be honest, there were probably five girls out of the whole group. It was amusing watching her play soccer, as I cheered for her to steal the ball. When I was sitting in the grass, I had the opportunity to talk to the RCAs and the PA about Cornell. I enjoy talking to them, and I gained more of an aspect of what to expect if I were to go to Cornell. For instance, there are seven schools that I can apply to, and there are different dorms that specialize in different subjects, for example, the arts. Helen played very well today, but I know that she would differ from my opinion. As this raining, thundering morning transitioned to a beautiful,sunny evening, it is a metaphor for our summer at Cornell. 

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