Psychology and Memory

Psychology derives from Greek roots meaning study of the psyche, or soul. It is defined as the study of the mind and behavior. Psychology, as defined by the American Psychological Association, is an academic discipline and an applied science which seeks to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific areas.

With Psychology as the study of the mind, it leads us to memory. One function of the mind is to store and remember information. Memory is the sum total of what we remember, and gives us the capability to learn and adapt from previous experiences as well as build relationships.

However, our memory is not perfect or immune to errors. Sometimes we forget things from important to mundane that, one way or another, play such a pervasive and pivotal role in our daily lives. For example, forgetting a friend’s birthday or misplacing an important document.

DLS 2Daniel L. Schacter, psychologist and memory expert, presented a framework designed to outline the seven major “sins” of memory in his book, “The Seven Sins of Memory.” These seven “sins” are transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, mis-attribution, suggestibility, bias and persistence.

Schacter describes the first three sins as those of omission (the memory is lost). Our memory fades over time, is easily distracted that is why we become absent-minded, and is blocked because we struggle to remember things when we know that we know it in the first place.

The last four sins Schacter describes as the sins of commission (at least some of the memory is there, but it is either wrong or unwanted. Our memory mistakes its source, is influenced by outside factors which triggers false memories, is influence by our current beliefs, and remembers things that we would rather forget.

Although our memory is not perfect, it allows us to adapt and interact in a world full of overwhelming information.

Psychology and Engineers

Simply put, engineers make things. But is discovering that “new” innovation, a large psychological leap from factor A to factor B, or are there scores of unseen advanced actions in between? The University of Pittsburgh’s Joel Chan and Christian Schunn say that not enough has been done to comprehend how engineers make. Knowing the procedure, they say, may offer a street map for boosting up advancement.

Chan, a graduate student in psychology in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and his mentor Schunn, a professor of psychology as well as a senior researcher in Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center, released a document online in the publication Cognitive Science that goes into the technicalities of the innovative technological advancement mind by analyzing the procedure in the real world. “Most organizations make all their money on new things,” Schunn says. “They hardly break even on old items. They have to innovate to be practical and that’s a hard direction to adhere to.”

Psychology1In the desire of advancement, Schunn says, organizations pay big cash to professionals to help encourage creativeness. “But little of what they do is depending on research,” he contributes. So, along with Chan, Schunn used several hours of transcripts of an experienced technological advancement team’s “brainstorming” classes and split down the discussion consistently, looking for the direction by which thought A led to thought B that led to cutting-edge C. “We want to comprehend the characteristics of cognitive restrictions,” Schunn says. “Why do we get trapped (on an idea), what types of factors get us unstuck and why do they work?”

What they discovered in the classes they analyzed is that new concepts didn’t spring completely formed after large cognitive actions. Creativity is a stepwise procedure in which idea A spurs a new, but carefully relevant thought, which encourages another step-by-step step and the sequence of small psychological developments sometimes, gradually finishes with a modern concept in a team setting. Channeling Thomas Edison’s dictum that genius is 1% motivation and 99% perspiration, Schunn says that “inspiration makes some perspiration.”

Positive Psychology Studies

psychologyIn An Introduction to Positive Psychology, Dr. William Compton depicts positive psychology as looking “to make typical life more satisfying.” It uses the scientific method to comprehend the positive and candidly satisfying parts of human behavior. It is the study of what actions, interests and inspirations best contribute to the good life. These interests are accessible to us paying little heed to our heritage, background or socioeconomic standing. They are uninhibitedly accessible to any individual who decides to commit their lives to them. Here are some interesting positive psychology studies done by researchers.

1. From Wealth to Well-being – Harvard Business School, 2009. While there does seem, by all accounts, to be some association between happiness and income when fundamental needs are not yet met, individuals have a tendency to overestimate the impact of riches on happiness by 100%. Money does not lead as much happiness that individuals think it will.

2. Purchasing Experiences, not Possessions, Leads to Greater Happiness – San Francisco State University, 2009. This psychology study shows that experiential buys, for example, a dinner out or theater tickets, bring about better well being than material belongings. These experiences have a tendency to fulfill higher order needs, particularly the requirement for social connectedness and a feeling of being invigorated.

3. The Science of Gratitude – University of Pennsylvania, 2005. One of the best contributing variables to general happiness in life is the amount of appreciation we show. Furthermore, an observable contrast could be experienced with as little as three words every day (“Thank you for… “).

4. Trust, Morality, and Oxytocin – Claremont Graduate University, 2011. In light of research discoveries, psychologists believe humankind’s trust, compassion and ethical quality expand as their levels of oxycotin expand.

5. For a Better Day, Smile – Michigan State University, 2011. Individuals who smile as a consequence of developing positive thoughts can fundamentally and promptly enhance their mood. Simply put, one easy approach to enhance your state of mind at this moment is to recall pleasant memories and smile about it.