Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

Friday, January 17th, 2020

nonverbal-communication-facial-expressions

Having lived in different cultures (Guatemala, England, and the USA), I have come to realize that nonverbal communication is vital to understand. Sometimes what a person is saying with words is not the same as what they are saying with their body language. I wrote a short poem about nonverbal communication with Guatemalans, since the British and Americans have a more reasonable sense of personal space:

Teen Girl Facing Nonverbal Conflicting Cues
Guatemalan teen boy
standing too close for comfort
diving in for a kiss on the cheek at church
a complete stranger
she holds back a slap
telling herself this is only cultural
or is it?

Yes, this actually happened to me! Not just once, but nearly every week, since I lived in a different culture. Now that I am in the United States, I am surprised at how far away people stand from each other, even when they are married. It seems cold…

Goofy Skits: Nonverbal Communication

Today my daughter and I will show you the basic types of nonverbal communication.

Communication: The World of Expression
by Rachel Evans

Often we forget just how complicated communication is. Simply put, there’s always a balance of expressions and positions in conversation, and when the balance is off, we notice. This is the same even without talking. Mainly, there are three non-verbal cues that balance into a normal chat.

1. Distance: If you have ever been in a conversation and suddenly feel the need to take a step back, the person you were talking to was probably too close while chatting. Perhaps they have a different-sized personal bubble than you.

distance-personal-space

2. Gesture: You can tell a lot about someone’s mood by the movements they make. The easiest to read are facial expressions. Most facial expressions stay the same around the world, with some cultures being more expressive than others.

Body position is equally important. Leaning forward shows interest, while crossing arms usually shows disinterest in talking or the desire to have an argument.

body-position

3. Eye Contact: This is different depending on where you look in the world. Americans find long eye contact awkward and uncomfortable. Native Americans prefer a person to look at the ground while speaking, especially if the person is of a lower rank or status.

nonverbal-communication-eye-contact

Paralanguage is equally important. This consists of variations of speech, like stresses on certain words, loudness, pitch, and rhythm. A sentence can have many different meanings depending on how the speaker says it.

Overall, communication is a complicated thing that most of us have expertise in identifying without even knowing it.


Now that my daughter’s portion is done, I challenged myself to write a poem about nonverbal communication in marriage. Here it is:

A Marriage Healed

A turned back
Shutting me out of your life
No more open heart
Gone away inwardly

When will things change
Get back the sparkle in your eyes
To connect and be together
Unified as one

Heartbreak persists
Arms hanging limp
Drooped shoulders
Trudging through the day

Until healing comes
Breaking forth as the morning rays
Warming not your back, but your face
At last we are one

———————————————————————————————————–

This episode was all about identifying the basic types of nonverbal communication.

To apply what we have learned, describe in the comments: What are some ways that you may have misread nonverbal communication in your interaction with others, especially those of different cultures?

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

Coming up next… What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how can we get these needs met to be fulfilled as human beings? (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

Famous Psychologists: Freud, Adler, & Jung

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

freud-adler-jung

We are continuing our series of psychology videos by introducing three of the most famous psychologists of all time: Freud, Adler, and Jung. My daughter Rachel did a great job summarizing the fascinating ideas from each of these famous men, so we dramatized the concepts in this video:

Sigmund Freud
by Rachel Evans

Freud invented an interesting map of the mind consisting of your conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind: conscious being your thoughts and immediate wants, subconscious being your memories, and the unconscious being someplace difficult to get to which contains hidden desires you know nothing of.

The best idea Freud came up with was the one about the couch. There was a comfy couch, and he put his patients on the couch so they could talk to him about life.

He also invented the iceberg theory: that is, far less than one third of your mind is your conscious thought. Your decision-making is affected by the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is like your instinctual wants for immediate gratification. The superego is like your conscience, mixed with social norms. The ego is the mediator between the id and the superego, trying to make a compromise between them.

id-ego-superego

Alfred Adler
by Rachel Evans

Alfred Adler! I like this guy, mostly because he was adventurous enough to get together a bunch of people and form his own little Psychology Society. He believed that everyone had a life goal they were striving for, and that translated into their lifestyle and short-term goals.

He also theorized that everyone naturally strives toward getting better at their skills, gaining positions of power, and so on, and that when a person feels that they can’t accomplish those things, they go into what Adler called an Inferiority Complex. He proposed that the feeling of inferiority depends on what the person defines as important. For example, a homeless man might feel hopeless and inferior because there’s not much he can do about his situation. If money is important to him, this may cause a feeling of inferiority. But if the man doesn’t care much for money, he could be homeless on the street and not feel inferior.

inferiority-complex

But what if a person isn’t homeless and inferior? Their lifestyle is categorized four ways:

~ Ruling Type: someone who is busy but shows no social interest (the desire to help people), someone who is more likely bossy and could end up homicidal. Watch your back.

~ Getting Type: neither busy nor showing social interest, someone who would be more interested in buying and getting a good deal.

~ Avoiding Type: neither busy nor showing social interest, but someone who is so afraid of being a failure that he avoids life to the best of his ability.

~ Socially Useful Type: both busy and socially interested, this person likes getting out into the world and solving problems. Sounds like Adler would be put under this type!

adler-life-goals

Alfred Adler was a man of many more ingenious ideas. One last one I’ll discuss is his theory that birth order may determine a person’s lifestyle. He determined that first children experience power, superiority, stress and pressure. The middle children usually learn to get along with lots of people, challenging the superiority of the older children. And finally, the younger children are often the ones who, by the time their parents get to them, get special attention and fewer strict rules. They also might have the most difficulty gaining independence from the household.

And so, Alfred Adler, who might just become my favorite psychologist, made many breakthroughs in awesomeness, although he was largely overshadowed by other more famous people. And guess what? He had four kids, and half of them became psychiatrists! I like that.

carl-jung-unconscious

Carl Jung
by Rachel Evans

Carl Jung’s grandfather was creepy and his parents argued a lot, some of which translated into this theory of introversion and extroversion: everyone has a personality that is inward thinking and external socializing. Also, each person has the following qualities:

Thinking: Most extroverts are objective and have concrete thoughts, and introverts are more subjective and are better at creating ideas.

Feeling: Extroverts are more socially aware and better at winning popularity, and introverts are better at roles that require careful thinking.

Sensation: The perception a person has on reality.

Intuition: Hunches that people have.

Perceiving: People who like to be spontaneous.

Judging: People who like to have a plan.

So… Jung sure did have lots to say about personality.

Other psychologists we studied from the 6th chapter of our psychology book are Victor Frankl and Joseph Breuer. Rachel summarized some of their views on the test she took for this chapter:

freud-test

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are learning the basics of psychology while dramatizing what we learn in a fun way.

Coming up next… Have you ever stood too close to somebody, and they backed up from you? Learn more about non-verbal communication in our next episode. (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

The Insane History of Psychology: Goofy Skits

Friday, November 15th, 2019

history-of-psychology-goofy-skits

If you are looking for some goofy skits depicting the history of psychology from ancient to pre-modern times, you have come to the right place. Today we will be taking you on a whirlwind tour of the history of psychology, including the thoughts of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and onward to the 1800’s. We stop abruptly before Freud was born, which we will pick up in the next episode.

This is the fourth episode (fifth chapter) of our psychology course from 7 Sisters (link at the bottom of this post, if you are dying to see what it is…)

The History of Psychology: Goofy Skits

Ancient History

Since ancient times, people have been trying to understand the psyche, wanting to figure out the mind and how it functions, and why some people have mental illness. It used to be that people would cast out demons, and in New Testament times, this actually worked, curing the person… especially if Jesus was the one that ministered to them. Of course, Jesus healed physical ailments as well as mental ones because He is God. His disciples also had this power to heal physical and mental sickness.

But before the time of Christ, some people who blamed strange behavior on demons thought it would be a good idea to drill a small hole in the patient’s skull to let the demon out. It seems that the people trying to “help” were more insane than the so-called crazy person. Seriously…

Ancient Egyptians

Besides exorcism, the ancient Egyptians tried to make “medicines” made out of sheep dung and wine to cure the ailments of the mentally ill.

history-of-psychology

Ancient Greece, Hippocrates, Plato, & Aristotle

Along with exorcisms, the ancient Greeks would treat their patients kindly and gave them theater to entertain them. Hippocrates felt that mental illness had more to do with what was wrong with the brain. He divided brain disorders into mania, melancholia, brain fever, and hysteria. (The malady of hysteria was a woman-only disease.)

Plato and Aristotle believed that the mentally ill should be kept out of the public eye and be treated gently. If they committed a crime, Plato and Aristotle believed they were not responsible for their behavior.

Later Greek and Roman Ideas

Asclepiades divided mental illness into two categories: acute and chronic (short-term and long-term illness). Cicero believed that emotions could cause mental illness. Aretreus felt that normal personality traits taken to an extreme were what caused mental illness, while Galen believed that injuries to the head, adolescence, alcoholism, or a relationship break-up could cause a person to go insane (or have other mental illness like depression, which makes sense).

Middle Ages: Mass Manias

In the Middle Ages, besides taking the mentally ill to monasteries, they had two crazy mass manias of the public: tarantism (people thinking they had been bit by tarantulas) and lycanthropy (people thinking they were possessed by wolves). These two mass manias probably had natural causes, but historians are still trying to figure out what caused them.

Renaissance & King Henry VIII

During the Renaissance, people were taken to mental institutions called madhouses, and sadly, they were treated like animals. Henry VIII changed a monastery into a madhouse. Some of the mentally ill were exhibited at circuses, and others were sent out to the streets to beg.

monastery-to-insane-asylum

Europe, Humanitarian Reformers, & Mesmer

Finally asylums were constructed throughout Europe where people were taught life skills and given fresh air and exercise. They were taken to the countryside to recuperate, and many patients were healed with this much more humane treatment.

It’s actually quite heartbreaking how horrible the mentally ill have been treated, from ancient times to pre-modern times. Our next episode will introduce Freud, Adler, and Jung, three of the most famous psychologists of all time. Sign up for our newsletter below to not miss a single post in the series! (Our series will pick up again in January, so stay tuned…)

The psychology curriculum we are using can be found here: {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool.

What Makes You Creative: Nature or Nurture?

Friday, November 8th, 2019

nature-or-nurture-creative

What makes you creative: Nature or Nurture? Today we will find out if genetics is all-important, or if learning wins out in making people who they are. We are studying high school psychology, the third and fourth chapters of our curriculum from 7 Sisters. (See link at the bottom of this post.) The third chapter is about genetics. Back when we studied biology, we did a super fun activity that I made up with Mr. Potato Heads and a gigantic punnet square:

potato-head

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head had four children. If Mr. Potato Head has a mixture of Bb (dominant brown eyes and recessive blue eyes) in his genes, and he marries Mrs. Potato Head with bb (recessive blue eyes), they will have two children with blue eyes and two children with brown eyes. (That’s because the recessive blue-eyed gene in the man combines with the recessive blue-eyed gene in the woman to create recessive blue-eyed children.)

If Mr. Potato Head had only dominant BB genes (brown eyes from both his parents), all four children would have brown eyes, even if the mom has blue eyes, because blue can’t win over brown. It’s like a game of rock-paper-scissors, where one is dominant over another and wins every time those two are together (like paper being dominant over rock every time).

We inherit a lot of physical characteristics from our parents, including capacity for thinking, creativity, and personality traits. Have you noticed that kids act a lot like their parents? The question is: is it only biological, or did the kids learn to act a certain way because they were conditioned by their environment? As far as creativity is concerned, you have the capacity to be creative because of the brain structures of your parents, and the fact that your mom wasn’t on drugs while she was pregnant with you. Nature plays a role in your capacity to be creative.

Nature or Nurture
by Rachel Evans

Years ago there was a battle between the scientists of psychology: Nature or Nurture? This battle was fought with valor and wit, until finally, some guy said that both sides were right! But seriously, the whole argument was about whether a person’s physical attributes and in-born abilities determined how they would act (Nature), or if a person’s upbringing and events that happened to them as a youngster affected how they would act (Nurture).

Truly, I am glad they figured out that both are true. But as to where I stand, I believe Nurture has a bigger role in it. If some guy Henry loved math because when he was six his math teachers were awesome, that is most definitely Nurture. If Henry never had those teachers, he might have been born with the ability to do math easily; but without finding out how to have fun doing it, he would’ve never become a world famous calculus professor. In my book, Nurture wins.

Pavlov, Skinner, & Bandura (goofy stuffed animal skits)

In this video, we will give illustrations of Nurture, which is when a person or animal is able to learn from his or her environment. Stuffed animals seem appropriate actors for this third psychology episode, since experiments were performed on animals (and humans) to see whether a specific response could be taught:

Pavlov, Skinner and Bandura
by Rachel Evans

If you refer to them by their last name, surely they did something cool. And indeed they did. These guys were psychologists studying behavior, such as what is learned versus what you were born with.

Pavlov‘s experiment is known everywhere. He took a dog. Whenever he fed the dog, he’d ring a bell right before. Eventually, even before showing the food, by ringing the bell the dog would get excited and salivate for the food. It was a learned response, a conditioned one.

pavlovs-dog-experiment

Skinner‘s experiments also had to do with animals. He plopped a mouse into a box. Running around, the mouse would eventually find a lever and knock into it, dispensing a pellet of nom-noms. After a few times, the mouse learned that hitting the lever gave him yummies, therefore, the mouse was conditioned, taught, to hit the lever.

skinners-rat-experiment

Bandura studied social learning. That is, if a child watches another child get rewarded or punished for a behavior, the child learns what to do and what not to do. This is why it’s also called observational learning. I theorize this is the main cause for violence. A person doesn’t learn to control his anger because, over the course of his life, he was rewarded for bad behavior. Therefore, he uses fighting as the answer to every problem, making the world worse for everyone.

bandura-social-learning

Overall, there’s a lot to learn about behavior and learning in psychology, and I’d love to see what they have to discover next.

Getting back to the original question about creativity, even though Nature plays a role in the capacity of your brain to come up with creative thoughts, how we are brought up greatly affects our ability to think outside the box and be creative. Opportunities throughout childhood to be creative contribute to expanding the mind and enabling an adult to possess greater creativity than another adult who never had the same childhood opportunities to be creative.

In case you are wondering what curriculum we are using for psychology, we are studying {affiliate link} Introduction to Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool. We are having a ball with this curriculum!

Coming up next… the goofiest history of psychology you’ve ever seen! (Sign up for our monthly newsletter below if you don’t want to miss a single episode.)

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