2010 m. rugsėjo 23 d., ketvirtadienis

Second language learning motivation

By saying „language learning“ we may mean second language learning or native language aquisition. Second language learning is more relevant topic for me at the moment, so I‘ll write more about this kind of language learning.

First of all, one of most important things for all kind of learning is motivation. Without it, you are like a car without fuel, so without motivation, you wouldn‘t go far away. So, how to motivate yourself to learn language?

There is two main kinds of motivation: intrinsic (causes us to participate in activity for our own enjoyment, usualy because we like the process) and extrinsic (causes us to do smth. for money, a grade or some other concrete, tangible reward,usualy the most important is a result) motivation. Researches proved that intrisicaly motivating activities tend to lead to better learning. And in fact, you may quite easily motivate yourself intrisicaly. One way you can do it, is to make yourself believe that learning is interesting and joyfull for you, using self-suggestion. Other way is to actualy make learning interesting and joyfull. Malone‘s & Lepper‘s researches suggests that to make activities intrinsically motivating we may equate them with fun or enjoyable activities or activities that we would perform on our own volition. If you haven‘t succeded, there is left extrinsic motivation. This kind of motivation is based on rewards, so obvously, if language learning, or learning at all, is a hard work for you, there could be a good idea to motivate yourself by promising a reward for a good job. But if you like learning languages, wery well, then you don‘t need any reinforcement, moreover, you mustn‘t give yourself any tips for language learning, because by reinforcing likeable activity we may decrease intrinsic motivation.

To increase all kinds of motivation Keller suggested, there should be fulfiled four conditions: Interest (in the topic and activity), Relevance (to the students lives), Expectancy (expectations of success and feelings of being in control) and Satisfaction (in the outcome). Expectancy itself is treated as a condition, so you must believe in yourself. And Relevance, Interest, and Satisfaction are all related to the value placed on the task, so you can introduce them by makeing learning more meaningfull to you.

And when you are full of resolution to learn some new or alredy touched language, visit these sites: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/e/index.html ; http://www.visuallinklanguages.com/index.php , where you‘ll find theoretical advices how to learn any language effectively ,vocaburarys, self-check tasks and programs which will made your learning more interesting and productive.

And remember – if you realy want to, you can deal with any task!

2010 m. gegužės 3 d., pirmadienis

Psychology of conflicts

There are lots of kinds of conflicts. Most of them are conflicts in pair or group of people, but the are not less conflicts „with yourself“. One kind of these are conflicts of interests, whitch about I would like to talk today.

Conflicts of interest

In Journal of Applied Philosophy I‘ve read an interesting article by professor Paul Thagard called „The Moral Psychology of Conflicts of Interest: Insights from Affective Neuroscience“. This article is an investigation of the moral psychology of decisions that involve a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest arise when people make decisions biased by their personal goals, neglecting responsibilities to consider the interests of others. In this paper there are discussed even few important questions about the moral psychology of conflicts of interest, like „Why are decisions that involve conflicts of interest so common? Why are people so often unaware that they are acting immorally as the result of conflicts of interest? What is the relation of conflicts of interest to other kinds of irrationality, especially self-deception and weakness of will?“. But the most interesting and usefull to talk about, on my opinion, is „What psychological, social, and logical steps can be taken to reduce the occurrence of immoral decisions resulting from conflicts of interest?“. Thagard discussed five strategies for dealing with conflicts of interest: avoidance, optimal reasoning patterns, disclosure, social oversight, and understanding of neuropsychological processes.

A Kantian would say that the people who make a decision under a conflict of interest are acting wrongly because they are in violation of their ethical duties, because their decision has negative consequences for many of the people affected, and positive consequences only for a few who benefit from the decision.

So what measures can be taken to eliminate or reduce the occurrence of bad decisions deriving from conflicts of interest?

By pure reason I mean the normative strategy that when people make decisions they should ensure that they are governed only by optimal reasoning patterns such as mathematical decision analysis. The problem with this strategy is that it assumes that people can disconnect their reasoning apparatus from the emotional machinery, it is psychologically unrealistic to expect them to disengage their emotional systems while making important decisions. Although people can certainly improve their reasoning in some case by using optimal patterns.

In medical circles, a currently popular way of dealing with conflicts of interest is to have the relevant parties disclose them. For example, authors of articles in major medical journals now need to report their sources of funding. A recent experimental study of disclosing conflicts of interest reveals that it can have perverse effects.There is clearly no guarantee that merely disclosing a conflict of interest compensates for or counterbalances the emotional pull inherent in the conflict. Indeed, disclosure may have the negative effect of giving decision makers false assurance that they are immune from the effects of the conflict.

Certainly the most effective way of dealing with conflicts of interest is to eliminate them entirely, although, it‘s often imposible to eliminate all the reasons of conflicts of interest. And hence complete avoidance of conflict of interest, although a seful ideal, will often fail in practice.

Another strategy for dealing with conflicts of interest is social oversight, based on the principles that supervisors or peers of an agent may be able to identify decision errors to which the agent is oblivious. Such oversight is certainly useful, but does not help much if the supervisors or peers have conflicts of interest of their own, which may be as mild as a desire to get along with or be liked by the agent.

The final strategy for reducing bad decisions resulting from conflict of interest is simply to make people more aware of the moral neuropsychology of decision-making. Perhaps if people knew more about how cognition and affect are intimately connected and how the connections are inaccessible to conscious introspection, they would be much less confident about the basis and validity of their decisions. „In particular, mere disclosure of conflicts of interest may be of little benefit in reducing distorted reasoning.“ Says prof. Paul Thagard.

2010 m. balandžio 27 d., antradienis

Types of Laughter

There are huge amount of types of laughter. It‘s because there are few ways you can type them, for example: depending on the object you are laughing at (you, other person, just situation); the noise people emit when they lauhg ( from giggles to guffaws and from chuckles to cackles) ; the psichological sutuation when people laugh and other. But I'll write just about few different mostly used in everyday life types of laughter.

Etiquette Laughter (office laughter)

People are tend to rely on laughter as a way to get along with others, thats why sometimes we laugh at things that just aren't funny, whether we're with our boss or with our friends. We also tend to laugh with anyone who can help us out. Reserchers says that it may be just a simpler way to communicate and show agreement.

Nervous Laughter

People laugh when they need to project dignity and control during times of stress and anxiety. In these situations we usualy laugh in a subconscious attempt to reduce stress and calm down. However, it often works otherwise. Nervous laughter is often considered fake laughter and even heightens the awkwardness of the situation.

Pigeon Laughter (bees laughter)

Pigeon Laughter is laughing without opening your mouth. It‘s called that way because by keeping your lips sealed, the laughter produces a humming sound, like the noises a pigeon or bees makes. It is often practiced in laughter therapy or laughter yoga.

Silent Laughter ("Joker's Laughter" )

Silent laughter is a skill we can perfecte. Mindfully practicing silent laughter, though, can have real benefits because it involves the same type of deep breathing that comes with belly laughter.It‘s also practiced in laughter yoga and laughter therapy. A simple smile is often considered a form of silent laughter.

Belly Laughter

It is considered the most honest type of laughter. But it may also be the hardest type to experience, because we have to find something truly hilarious, funny. What‘s more, belly laughter can be he healthful – people are saying that it helpes to fight an illness and has an anesthetic effec. And of course it‘s not just a good physical exercise, it makes us happyer. J

Laughter also may be a symptom of various illnesses.Symptom categories related to Laughter may include:

· Emotional symptoms (1984 causes)

· Euphoria (76 causes)

· Mania (99 causes)

· Psychiatric symptoms (851 causes)

· Mood symptoms (660 causes)

Reed more in http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/symptoms/laughter/types.htm

2010 m. vasario 7 d., sekmadienis

Psychology studies in MRU and University of Turin

I decided to compare studies in university, where I'm studying (University of Mykolas Romeris) with studying in University of Turin in Italy. I made decision that way because University of Turin is involved in "Erasmus"students exchanging program (like as our University) and they are welcome psychology students, so, I think, we have an opportunity to study there. That's why in my opinion this short introducing article will likely be useful for our (psychology) course and may be other students not only from MRU or Lithuania at all.

A little information about history and today life of Turin university: The University of Torino is now 600 years old. It was established at the beginning of the XV century by Prince Ludovico of Savoia-Acaja and was officially recognized by Pope Benedetto XIII in 1404. This date, other than making the University one of the oldest Italian institutes, places it among the few of European Universities to boast a medieval origin. Today the University of Torino is one of the most prestigious among all Italian universities. With its 12 Faculties, 55 Departments and approximately 66,000 students, it is today one of the largest in Italy. It covers all disciplines except Engineering and Architecture. It has a long tradition of international cooperation both in the field of research and education. In recent years relationships with universities abroad have grown constantly and today the University of Torino maintains roughly 370 formal agreements. The university is also involved in numerous international networks, also in the context of European programmes for research and education, provides a large number of international courses and is host to large numbers of students, teachers and researchers who participate in European mobility programmes.

What about Mykolas Romeris University, it is a modern and dynamic European university - the 2nd largest university in Lithuania - with a creative and contemporary research and academic community.Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Studies are carried out in compliance to the major principles of Bologna process in the following faculties: Faculty of Law, Faculty of Economics and Finance Management, Faculty of Strategic Management and Policy, Faculty of Public Administration, Faculty of Social Informatics, Faculty of Social Policy and Faculty of Public Security. Studies and research are carried out in the following fields: Law, Public Administration, Economics, Finance Management, Psychology, Social Work, Social Policy, Sociology, Educology. The University offers more than 70 different study programmes. Presently over 80% of study programmes have international accreditation. The University currently enrolls about 21,000 students.

More information about these universities you can find in: http://www.mruni.eu/lt/ (MRU) http://www.topuniversities.com/university/635/university-of-turin; http://www.portal.unito.it/index.htm (Turin university).

The Reform of the University system classes the Degree in Italy courses in to levels: Laurea (First Cycle Degree courses/Bachelor‘s Degree), Laurea Magistrale (Second Cycle Degree courses/Master‘s Degree) and PhD (Third Cycle Degree/Doctoral Studies) leasts three years (In MRU it leasts two years).

About Doctoral studies I won't be talking, about Master's degree just in short:

Second Cycle (Master‘s Degree) of psychology studies lasts two years: the entrance requirement is a "First Cycle Degree" or a qualification obtained abroad and recognized as corresponding. In UNITO (l'Universita di Torino) there are these second cycle degree courses:Psychology, Clinical and Community Psychology, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Mind Sciences. In MRU - Psychology of Law, Social Psychology and Business Psychology.

About Bachelor‘s degree I‘ll tell more, cause it‘s relevant for us now.

First cycle degree course in the Faculty of Psychology of Torino university is called - Psychological Sciences and Techniques. This Degree leasts just three years (lik e every Laurea degree there). It is designed to develop basic psychological competence and knowledge, integrating different disciplinary spheres in order to build up the foundations necessary for every professional evolution in different applications and fields. In UNITO website is written: „The Degree in Psychological Sciences and Techniques will supply instruments consistent with a professional profile qualified to collaborate in psychological activities, principally in the services devised in dual, organizational and institutional contexts, as for projects aimed at promoting individual and social wellbeing and health.“

MRU Bachelor‘s degree cours called Psychology belongs to Fakulty of Social politics. It leasts fou r years. It should be the greatest different. It‘s a programme, that also gives students just comprehensive general coverage of the central topics of psychology. Courses provide students with the knowledge of research, theories, and their applications in psychology. The programme also gives an opportunity for some specialisation through the optional courses.

In both universities the Degree Course ends with a final exam consisting of a written dissertation, either as a bibliographic review or a data collection empirical project.

The length of all courses is measured in University Educational Credits. The three-years First Cycle Degree In Turin university is equivalent to 180 credits. The four-years degree in MRU – to 160 kredits. So there probably are given more credits for the same subject.

As I found out later, unfortunetaly I can‘t compare subjects in psychology program because, I have no idea why ,but on the website of UNITO (and automaticaly no where else) isn‘t study programes in english, and italian is still a mystery for me. So sorry for this lack of information but I hope it still may be useful. J