Psychology of Optimism with Regard to Ignorance.

Posted in Psychological Ponderings, Random Nonsense, Stream of Consciousness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by melodicdiscord

Some people see the glass as half empty. Half full. I see the glass as entirely full, half of air and half of whatever. Usually. Stuck in a limbo between optimism and pessimism is this weird state of just existing within a plethora of undefined feelings. Let me explain.

There are two ways I could describe my current state.

Option #1: I’m in college, working on a degree. My teachers seem pretty reasonable, my classes seem difficult enough to challenge me, but intriquing enough to keep me motivated. There’s butt tons of people I haven’t gotten the chance to interact with. I’m in a very long lasting relationship with someone I can very easily relate to. I’m employed and have a roof over my head. I have a band that’s been around for quite sometime, that people actually come to watch. I get to play keyboard and scream. At any given time, there’s usually at least one person I can call and talk to. I can dress up and play in short comedy movies. I have my own car, and a best friend with a matching tattoo. My birthday is coming up soon and I’m going to throw a big fun party.

Option #2: I’m in college working on a degree that I’m not sure I want or need. I’m pretty sure it’s taking away from the time I should be spending trying to remain in good standing with my friends, so that they don’t all talk shit about me the moment I’m gone for more than a few days. I won’t have enough time to put into classes, and the lecture/exam format, essay writing is going to stress me out beyond belief. There are butt tons of people that seem like pure, unadulterated ignorant morons. I’m in a relationship with someone, but I can’t say I’m happy a lot of the time. I have a band that’s being torn to shreds and not going anywhere because my real best friend moved to California. And it’s weird to call him on the phone, because there’s nothing new to talk about, and I don’t want to just call and complain about how nothing is getting done, even though I legitimately miss him. I have a job that I dread going to in the morning that pays nowhere near enough. I can dress up and be in comedy films that are produced by a friend that the rest of my friends have some sort of problem with. I have my own car that’s destined to break at any moment, and I have a best friend with a matching tattoo, who sometimes I envy because of her free spirit and gorgeous face.

Same story. Different tone. I wouldn’t necessarily say that one’s the optimistic way of looking at it, the other, pessimist’s haven. I would say that both sides of every subject are worth taking into account and looking at as if it were on a white and black striped background. What sticks out more? What needs work?

How the hell am I supposed to throw a birthday party at which people from different parts of my life don’t throttle each other!?

So in comes the rhetoric of argument. Not taking a side, necessarily, but considering all of the factors and taking the least detrimental route.

Cracked told me moving overseas is a bad idea, however, in my case, I can see how it would help immensely. Regarding social values, language, and occupational opportunity, it may be worth my time to at least consider a semester abroad. Thinking outside the box? Or ignoring the problems completely? I’m still suck on that one.

My apologies for making the introduction more of a personal aside, than a true contemplation about optimism versus pessimism. But really, it’s realism. Reality that deserves contemplation in its purest form. Is it unrealistic to not take some things with a sense of permanence to better yourself? Now, for the science mumbo-jumbo.

In the Eighth Edition of David G Myers’ textbook, Psychology, he elaborates on the question of optimism versus pessimism. Initially he elaborates on the importance of attributional style. People with a negative attributional style “attribute poor performance to their lack of ability or situations enduringly beyond their control” (Myers 627). These are the people who respond to situations with an attitude of “I can’t do this” or “There is nothing I can do about it.” Such students are more likely to persist in getting low grades than are students who adopt the more hopeful attitude that effort, good study habits, and self-discipline can make a difference (Noel and others, 1987; Peterson and Barrett, 1987). Although mere fantasies tend not to fuel motivation and sucess, realistic positive expectations do (Oettingen and Mayer, 2002).

My interpretation lies with the explanations of Norem, Goodhart, and Showers. “Self-disparaging explanations of past failures can depress ambition, but realistic anxiety over possibly future  failures can fuel energetic efforts to avoid the dreaded fate.” (Myers 627). Sometimes, yes, that negative view can be channeled into positive energies. I don’t remember who told me jokingly that pessimism is the best route, in that you’re always either proven right, or pleasantly surprised. Worth the contemplation with the enthymeme that blind optimism can be hurtful when it’s illusory. I’m going to throw in prayer there. Two hands working do more than a thousand optimistic hands clasped in prayer.

When talking to a few people I know, the findings of Kruger and Dunning in 1999 are pounding in my head. “Ironically, people are most overconfident when most incompetent.” One needs competence to recognize competence. If you ain’t know what good grammar be, you ain’t even best reco-nyze that yours be poor, fool. “Ignorance of what we don’t know helps sustain our confidence in our own abilities.” (Myers 629). The prominence of that ignorance, or perhaps my lack of competence to perceive the correct amount of that ignorance, makes it easy to develop almost a condescending view of that world, and a general poor outlook for humanity.

I’m not sure if option 1 or option 2 is the best outlook for me. Actually, I’m sure neither of them are. A correct amount of both, balanced in a way that seems most constructive, yet realistic is probably the most effective route.

The glass is half empty, half full, 100% full, whatever. The important thing to remember is, somewhere there is a version of that glass composed entirely out of anti-matter. And if you can’t think outside the box sometimes, you’ll get stuck in a path of blinding optimism, hindering pessimism, or sheer confusion.

Works cited:

Myers, David G. Psychology. 8th ed. New York: Worth Publishers, 2007. Print.

Closer to Bingo – A Nine Inch Nails Parody (Psychology of Bingo Goths?)

Posted in Funny Stuff I Find, Random Nonsense, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2011 by melodicdiscord

Okay, okay, less psychology, more shameless promotion.

But I’m in this as a dancer. And it was produced by my very good friend Zachary Byron Helm from SORP Films and Hearseclub.com (Where I’m featured as a hearsegirl. More shameless promotion there.)

But, it’s good for a laugh if you’re familiar with Trent Reznor’s videos.

And as always, please subscribe, or share a link with your friends. 🙂 Thanks.

Psychology of Facebook

Posted in Psychological Ponderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by melodicdiscord

Here’s one I’ve been wanting to write on for awhile. The psychology of social networking. Why is it so god damn addicting, what causes that constant need for acknowledgement, even if it means commenting pointless things, and why do it in the first place?

At first glance, the appeal of an online social networking site could be simple. The ability to post only the most attractive pictures, to cleverly edit any thoughts before posting them to the world, to weed out the bad and share the good. Essentially to present an idealized version of yourself, your own perfected idealized social persona. Yes?

No. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin say that “instead of using Facebook to create rose-tinted portraits of themselves, more often people’s Facebook profiles reflect their authentic personalities, with all of the quirks, funny faces and moodiness they entail.” An upcoming article by Sam Gosling in the journal Psychological Science also says that facebook profiles accurately match with each individuals real life personality.

Here, we have positives, and negatives. If you’re a dickwad in real life, you’re also a dickwad on the internet. However, it’s much easier to click a button that blocks someone’s incessant babbling and whining, than to walk away from a pathetic cock jacket in real life. And I believe this, along with ease of use, is where addiction comes in.

One of facebook’s newest features includes the ability to just hit “enter” to post a comment or a status. Now a .5 second change in protocol doesn’t seem like much, but I assure you it is. Let me ask this, how many of you have ever witnessed a site change or a browser interface change and had the thought “Man, now I have to click all the way over there to get to my bookmarks!?” or “Ugh I can’t just CRTL + A this thing, I have to highlight the whole paragraph!?” It happens to the best of us. Since this new ease of use add in to facebook’s features, it is easier to post than ever. Now, the question becomes, does this mean more constructive interaction between users, or does it just mean that lazy people post more unimportant comments?

Let me elaborate on a trend I’ve noticed lately. For example, there are probably more people on my friend’s list that don’t own a red pair of pants than that do. However, if I were to post a status saying, “if any of my girl friends own a red pair of pants in a size 7, please comment” I would get bombarded with comments from my guy friends saying that they don’t own any. Or that their friend from Uzbekistan once knew a guy who owned a dog with red pants, or a girl that says she owns green pants in a size 14. Not even a girl with “Oh, I own red pants in a size 9 that could be tailored down”. Just useless, not even humorous responses. To me, that makes the commenter look like a moron who can’t follow the basic requirements outlined in the initial inquiry. That impulse to write every thought someone ever has about anything they read, made easy by not even having to touch your mouse, is apparently stronger in some than in others. And I will argue that those “others” have a higher degree of intellect and self-control. To the point where if someone actually had some red pants I could borrow, they would possibly look at the question and see 25 responses and think, “someone has to have helped her by now, and I wouldn’t want to go through the trouble of lending mine anyway.”   Thus, making my thesis so. This new addition to facebook, a small, miniscule “enter to post” function increases the amount of unnecessary input, thus lowering the bar for social standards.

 

Sure, you could just shorten your friend’s list to people who essentially don’t suck. However, if you’re in a position like me, where you use facebook for promotion, promoting to your 4 best friends doesn’t do well for your company/band/circus act/whatever. If your 4 best friends had a red pair of pants, you’d know. So in essence, one could argue that quantity is important for business, it’s that quality control of their comments that’s hard to maintain. I assume I’ve done somewhat of a good job in being selective but not too selective in that none of my commenters use double “i’s” in their posts, like so. omg gurlii3 you so funiii!!!!!!!!!!! lolololol

If I see that shit, you’re gone. It doesn’t stop the pollution, but it sure keeps it way the fuck away from me.

What else makes facebook so addictive? A friend of mine once told me that he was “not a professional appreciator.” In that he makes things for others to appreciate. I’m the same way. But I think in any human, there’s some degree of a need to compare. Facebook gives you a quantitive way to measure social acceptance. How many more places has this person travelled than I have? How many more friends does he have? How much more money does she make? How many ways is this person more attractive than I am?

It also nourishes that curiosity factor. Was Jason actually building his stock portfolio Wednesday night, or was he out getting stoned with that Sasha character? What did Jordan say to Daniel about me? Anything? I bet Svetlana would like this picture of a giraffe that Sean posted, does she?!

Hand in hand with these factors, I’ll place boredom, jealousy, loneliness, and a need to belong. So does that mean that posting your every action on facebook is just a cry for some sort of social recognition? Possibly. Does it mean that everyone in the world is just a pathetic self-confidence-lacking dick pickle with need for any social acceptance at all? Absolutely not. I’m a very self-confident person, but in my profession of choice, I need followers and fans to be successful. I like challenging people to step it up a notch in their intellectual abilities. And sometimes, I just would like someone to talk to. Facebook acts as that social catalyst. However, I think it’s the abuse of it, the use of Facebook as your never ending suicide note or the constant need to tell everyone that you’re bored and want to get drunk is what will lead to, or rather, not lead to any giant leaps in scientific discovery outside of how to use a fucking phone application to be more lazy than you already are.

However, due to the deep psychological rootings of this “social addiction”, do you think it’s possible to cure it? Do you think it needs to be cured?

“Once one has a taste of externalizing one’s thoughts and imagining that others care to ponder them, thinking that is not externalized seems kind of pointless, perhaps like singing in the shower after performing in front of a large audience.” -David Gibson, Harvard
http://www.iq.harvard.edu/blog/netgov/2009/03/the_social_psychology_of_faceb.html

I suppose the same principles can be applied to blogging. For example, any blog I’ve ever written pondering the meaning of life in scientific origin will be trumped any day by a viral link to a girl’s orgasm on a roller coaster that most people should know by now will only link to a fake youtube page asking for your login info. I’ve accepted this. Sex sells more than intellect anyday. But when a quest for knowledge is haulted by a need to bombard your friend with every LOLcat or shirt slogan that you find funny because you’re not clever enough to come up with something better, I get rather aggravated.

And I’ll leave you with this:

You know you’re addicted to facebook when: http://www.youknowster.com/jokes/view/37-you-know-youre-addicted-to-facebook-when

Thank you, goodnight.

On the Art of Fame and Disappointment

Posted in Random Nonsense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2011 by melodicdiscord

By now I should have realized that it is not TALENT that makes you famous. It’s what people are buying, who you know, and who you can take advantage of. Psychologically, I tell myself that perhaps someday, someone will notice my talents. Someone will help out a struggling musician, but I think I only tell myself this to mask the darker thoughts parading about in my skull. I wish I knew who to extort, how to extort, and what to fake to make it. I wish I had the bra size to make jokes about sleeping my way to the top. Not that I would ever do it, but the thing is, I won’t ever have to make the choice.

On the phone with douchebags from record labels who seem to send you in a giant loop. Nevermind that you lost our $400 press kit, fuckers. Nuclear Blast (or Century Media, whatever) is composed of a bunch of class A fucking dildos. Sure, I can get that our genre isn’t what’s making money. Telling me you love the site, you love the music, and you are impressed by our sales, but you still won’t sign the Morgue is almost more discouraging than if you just told me that we weren’t what you’re looking for. It makes it seem that even if we do everything perfectly, it will not matter any more than the fact that it’s 5:54 AM and my heater is on the 4 setting. I could probably go fucking tweet about it, but that just seems pretty pointless.

Twitter is fucking dumb. UNLESS you’re Amanda Fucking Palmer. Who made $19,000 in 10 hours using the site. Give me that following. God damn it I wish I were in her shoes. Wish I knew who to call, what strings to pull. Even going out of the way, trying everything, trying to take advantage of every loophole, I’m losing hope. Same with the job thing. I don’t want to start this telemarketing job on the 19th. I want to say FUCK IT, I’m going to be an actress, or a super model, or a musician. But I can’t. Maybe it’s because I’m scared, but more likely, I think it’s because I’m controlled by money. Because I’m fucking practical. Realistic. Maybe.

The realistic dreamer. Ah, the life of a walking paradox.

Fuck Buck

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by melodicdiscord

Now let me start this post by saying that I am usually the last person to post a political entry, but I was provoked by this particular topic and hope that if this blog can sway but ONE vote, it will have done its job.

Since WordPress is decided not to let me embed a stupid youtube video for some reason, please watch the following.

Watch this Video (Opens In New Window)

Ken Buck leads Colorado Senate Race?!!!?! FUCK KEN BUCK. His stance is ridiculous, and it takes a lot for me to even pay attention to politics. Pro-life with no exception for rape and incest, a ban on forms of birth control, and an end on student loans to middle class students?! He wants to kill the Department of Education?! FUCK BUCK. And all you Coloradans who support him.
This is the thing: if you ban birth control AND abortion, this will cause an increase in the amount of children with parents who lack the ability to care for them. Thus, there will be MORE crowing in schools, as if the problem wasn’t bad en…ough already, but since there won’t be any Department of Education to help with this problem, taxes will just increase, especially to the middle class, who won’t be able to keep up with them financially because they’re too busy attempting to pay off privatized loans for college since Ken Buck killed college funding. This will lead to a lack of educational prowess at both the primary and secondary schooling levels due to overcrowding and lack of funding. This lack of education paired with a lack of birth control methods suggests a vicious cycle.

On an audio tape obtained by The Denver Post, Buck was caught muttering “will you tell those dumba—s at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I’m on the camera?” outside a June 11 event in Crowley.

Last week, tape was released of Buck telling an Independence Institute group July 17 that voters should pick him “because I do not wear high heels,” he said, referring to his primary opponent, former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton. “I have cowboy boots, they have real bull—- on them.”

Ken Buck: Vote For Me Because I am Not a Woman

Read more: Senate hopeful Buck regrets criticism of Tea Party birthers – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/election2010/ci_15600796#ixzz0yBx9G41S

Buck ALSO suggested that Congress give legislators the power to vote for Colorado representatives, NOT the people of the state. He said he would like to rewrite the constitution. Many people will only vote for Ken Buck because he stamped …himself with the big-ol’ Colorado approved Republican designation. There’s a borderline between conservatism and a total disregard for certain groups of people.

Buck tells an entire protest group of girls who had been raped and subsequently had abortions that they were basically condemned to hell for their sin. There is no way someone could understand that type of pain.

Ken Buck, I hope your wife gets raped by a huge black college-age middle-class democratic black guy. THEN I think you would have a change of heart.

Call me out on ad hominem argument. Do it, I dare you.

As a student, Michael Bennet’s history as a superintendent of schools and a supporter of education and research is refreshing. Buck’s slander campaign against Bennet condemns his support for research projects and his spending, and cites the ever rising national debt as an appeal to the voters ethos and pathos, but in a juvenile way. The fact that Bennet supported some research projects DOES NOT account for the TRILLIONS of dollars in debt. Thanks.

I’m not a democrat. I’m raised from a republican family in a very conservative town. I’m not necessarily a republican either. Party alignments were condemned by George Washington, and I tend to agree with him. I’m simply focusing on issues that are important to me and many others like myself. PLEASE do not vote for Ken Buck.

I’m Chelsea, and I approve this message because I’m not an idiot.

The Psychology of “What If”

Posted in Psychological Ponderings, Stream of Consciousness with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by melodicdiscord

What if I can’t make it through med school? What if I can’t make a rent payment? What if my feelings aren’t what they are supposed to be? What if I’m wrong? What if I need seven more surgeries? What if this post is read by someone and then it’s some big butterfly effect and they end up dying because they are a few more minutes late for work and they get in a car crash?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason for my constant stress, my constant anxiety. In trying to analyze why I’m worrying, it only adds to my current dismal disposition. Perhaps in worrying about worrying, it’s making me worry more. Which worries me. My goal for the upcoming semester is as such: Take things day by day and enjoy the moment. This is something I need to learn. I’m always so concerned about my future that often, I forget about today. I’ve essentially forgotten how to be content. There’s always more I should be accomplishing, more I can get done, more I can get rid of, but it seems I set my goals for myself too high sometimes. So high in fact, that often times, I feel condescendingly critical of others’ lives and actions. This is my fault. I know it, I realize it. Now I’m on to fix it… maybe. What if I can’t?

And here is where I find myself stuck. Perhaps I have committed the logical fallacy in which one assumes that if he understand the origins, causes, catalysts, and parts of a problem fully, he can thus solve it. With understanding comes knowledge, but not omnipotence. I think one could understand everything wrong with American politics and motives and money, yet still not be able to solve it. There is a difference between understanding exactly how to act and actually doing it. For example, I completely understand the art of sweep picking on guitar. I know exactly how its done, I know the sound, even how it’s supposed to feel when done correctly. Does that mean I can do it? Absolutely not. Tying this back to my original point, I can understand every point of why I fret, why I stress, and why I’m so afraid of change. I can understand WHY I lose trust in people. Does that mean I have to ability to fix it? Not at all. Does it help? Very possibly.

So here I find my dilemma. What to do when the psychologist is in need of a psychologist…

Why is it subjectively, it is true one only experiences the here and now as it is (regardless of a time concept). The past is only true in memories. In true Orwell fashion, might it not be true that if everyone’s memory of an event was altered to a different outcome, it would change the past? If every written account of a war was changed or destroyed and people were brainwashed or convinced by a media source that the war was lost by its actual victors, would the war become won by the losers indefinitely? Subjectively, universally, yes. The past is tangible. I must be clear that even those who argue fate must accept that perhaps it is fate that something is changed. The present is only tangible by means of altering sensual reception or perception of such stimulus. The future however, can be seen in two ways. One may argue that the future is not tangible, not only with the argument of fate, but with the argument that the “future” does not exist until it is perceived, and until that moment or thereafter, it cannot be directly altered. However another side may argue that the future is indefinitely tangible because (by the repeated patterns of consequences for certain actions developed in the human brain) everything one does essentially affects every action thereafter. For example, by typing this blog, I am adding words to an internet server. If perhaps, this entry throws off the search results in google by even two entries, one person in the world may take a few extra seconds scrolling down a page. In those extra seconds, he could spot an ad for a karate class. He’ll sign up and then one day on his way to class he meets a girl who he makes a date with and on the way to her house he takes a wrong turn and hits a dog. This blog may be the catalyst to a sad boy crying when he finds the remains of his dog in the driveway on his way to the bus. It may seem a stretch, but in reality, it simply emphasizes the argument for a tangible future, with the enthymeme that it is only tangible through past and present action. But what if I missed something?

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On the Thought of Subjective Perception of Death Within The Constraints of Consciousness.

Posted in Psychological Ponderings with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by melodicdiscord

Using the amazing website that is “stumbleupon”, I must say I’ve found quite the collection of artwork, random quotes, and silly cat pictures, but nothing has ever captured my attention like the essay written by a mister Bard Canning. I have to wonder if that’s his real name or a twist on the “Cannon Bard” theories of emotion. The following is a mere excerpt, not fairly representing the piece as a whole, but representative of the part that captured my attention most closely, existentialism as analogous to musical progression. I do however, very STRONGLY urge you to read the entire essay. It will take but 10 or 15 minutes.  His concepts of philosophical reasoning are eye opening. My response follows.

The Death Delusion by Bard Canning Full Essay

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Excerpt:

Hold That Thought

“Music is what feelings sound like.”

Anonymous

A thought cannot fully exist within any one moment in time. If it could then you could cryogenically freeze someone’s brain, halting the electrons and chemicals in that moment, and the person would be stuck forever thinking the same thought.

A thought does not exist at a fixed point in time; rather it exists in the transition between points.

It’s rather similar to music. A piece of music is not the notes on the page; rather it is the journey from one note to another that creates the song.

So are our thoughts created in the journey between moments in time.

Pause or End Game?

“You are the music while the music lasts.”

T.S. Eliot

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