Classical Conditioning: The Secret Behind Exercise Motivation

We all know how hard it can be sometimes to get off the couch and exercise.

Even the least creative of minds can come up with some excuse to avoid going for a run. Procrastination is a huge issue in fitness. But many people don’t realize how easy it can be to motivate yourself to go for a run.

What if you could trick your mind into thinking it actually wanted to exercise?

Using simple psychology, you can turn your mind into your very own personal trainer! For free.

Your mind used to be your biggest barrier to exercise – your body craved a run, but you talked yourself out of it. Now your mind can be your biggest motivator. How?

Classical conditioning.

Step one is to make a plan. Before you can even start to use psychological conditioning, you need to create a tangible workout schedule. Start with small, attainable goals – such as going for a run every other evening for a week.

You need to write your plan out as a list – and put it somewhere you’ll see every day. This constant reminder that you should be exercising is important to the concept of classical conditioning which we will try to implement into your exercise routine.

Next it’s time to apply the psychological phenomenon of classical conditioning.

Classical conditioning is a term given to the psychological effect of stimulus association. Perhaps you’ve heard of Pavlov’s dogs – who came to associate food with the sound of a bell, and eventually salivated merely at the bell. Classical conditioning requires a neutral stimulus to gradually become closely associated with a stimulus which causes some sort of reflex in the subject. Eventually the boundary between the stimuli will become blurred in the mind. The ultimate goal of classical conditioning is to transfer the reflex from the second stimulus to the first (previously neutral) stimulus.

So what’s the neutral stimulus in your exercise plan?

The act of going for a run.

In order to achieve effective motivation through classical conditioning, you need to find a stimulus – which already causes a reaction from you – and begin associating it with the act of exercise.

For example: your favourite song. Go cold turkey on listening to your favourite song – unless you are exercising. Make sure that you do not hear the song at any other time. Look forward to listening to it while you run!

After a while, the same feelings you get NOW when you hear your favourite song will be associated with the act of exercise.

To run will be a treat – whether or not you listen to the song.

Although the stimulus of music is ideal for this sort of conditioning – because it is easy to control, and easy to associate with physical activity – you CAN experiment with other types of stimuli as well!

Maybe you have a favourite shirt that would be appropriate to run in. Maybe you can drink your favourite energy drink on your run.

Keep in mind that stimuli which are associated with physical activity WHILE you are completing the activity are the most effective. The more intense the connection with the actual activity, the more effective the classical conditioning will be. And, ultimately, the more you will love exercising!

Finally, realize that lack of motivation to exercise is something that everyone experiences.

But now you’re one of the few who know the secret to overcoming exercise procrastination.

And you can beat this laziness!

Now get out there and go for a run!

Psychologist Or Psychiatrist – What’s The Difference?

When it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, there are two different types of professionals who may be involved – they are a psychiatrist and a psychologist. This often creates a bit of confusion as to what the difference is between the two and whether or not one is potentially a better choice than the other when it comes to treatment options.

The easiest way to gain an understanding of the difference between the two is probably to look at and compare the educational requirements of the two jobs.

If you want to become a psychiatrist you will need to take the same study path as if you were going to become a doctor of medicine. So you’ll need to go to college and study an undergraduate degree, majoring in some sort of science based subject, before going on to graduate studies and completing your MD. From there you would then look at doing your residence in psychiatry so that you have the necessary education and training to commence work as a certified psychiatrist.

On the other hand if you were looking to become a psychologist then you would take a different path. Your undergraduate major would more than likely be psychology, although there are some other subjects that you could choose to major in instead. After completion of this degree you would also need to commence graduate studies, and go on to earn either a Masters degree, a Doctorate, or possibly both in some sort of psychology related field.

So the simple difference between the two is that a psychiatrist is a qualified medical doctor, while a psychologist is not.

This means that a psychiatrist is able to prescribe medications, while a psychologist must refer their patients to a psychiatrist if they feel medication is required.

A psychologist will be focused more on treating their patients using such techniques as psychotherapy and counseling.

They will be dealing with people with a range of mental disorders if they are working as a clinical psychologist. A counseling psychologist will focus more on areas such as marital counseling or addiction counseling where the problems are more behavioral related as opposed to being a diagnosed mental disorder.

One of the big differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is in their potential earnings.

Because a psychiatrist is medically trained they can expect to earn a much higher salary than the psychologist.

That’s not to say that the salary of the psychologist is anything to be sniffed at – but the psychiatrist will generally earn much more.

Both career choices require much study and commitment, so if you are thinking about becoming one or the other then you need to be prepared for close to a decade of study and training.

But you will be rewarded with an interesting career that offers plenty of room to specialize and move into areas which are of greater interest to you personally.

Depictions of Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Right around the age of 10, there is a marked shift in a child’s perspective. The world is no longer simply a wonderland of curiosities, but a popularity contest. Girls begin to wear makeup and form cliques, and boys become showmen, proving themselves with their fists. Think of Mean Girls or The Outsiders. In Lacan’s terms, once we identify ourselves as “other” in the mirror stage, the beasts of jealousy and self-consciousness arise. This is a time in psychological terms in which children, going through their first major identity crisis, often begin to designate others into two categories: the ingroup and the outgroup.

Meet Tom and Scout. They are characters in this very stage and life, and while at times they are carefree, rambunctious troublemakers, at others, they are young adults faced with a daunting world distinctly divided across racial lines. Tom Sawyer is a mischievous urchin, stealing from jam jars and tricking other boys into doing work for him. However, his blithe antics turn for the worst when he stumbles into a graveyard. He witnesses Injun Joe murder a man, and life is no longer a piece of jam pie.

Although Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer does not directly address issues of race, as does his epic masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the character of Injun Joe depicts racial stereotypes in a more subtle way. Let’s not ignore the fact that Joe is a cruel murderer. Who hasn’t had nightmares of the giant killer hunting down Tom and Becky in the cave? However, he represents a term that will most likely appear on the AP Psychology Exam: the self-fulfilling prophecy. He is treated like a savage by the rest of the town, and not accepted into the community because of his Native American roots. When a person is relentlessly treated in a certain way, it is difficult not to live up to this characterization. Individuals view those in the ingroup as more or less diverse, whereas they view those in the outgroup as a single stereotype. Joe is a victim of the latter. More than that, Joe’s indiscretions are acts of revenge; while on the surface, he may seem like a one-dimensional character, whose terrible acts simply stem from greed, his motives are much more complex. Colonists horrifically displaced Native Americans from their land, and he is in part avenging the wrongs that they have suffered.

Tom Sawyer is also a mixed bag of tricks. He is a sly rascal who even when he takes the blame for Becky, or saves a man’s life by exposing the murderer, is by no means humble, and basks in the rewards of attention and praise. This really stems from the insecurity that unavoidably comes with being an adolescent. His unstable identity suggests that he is at a stage when prejudice and stereotypes can easily take hold; while it seems he is rebelling against adults, he is paradoxically deeply influenced by their attitudes and actions. In the end, there is no clear resolution to Tom’s identity crisis or the town’s prejudice, just as there is no immediate cure for adolescent angst, or deeply sewn racism.

To an even larger extent, Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird is faced with the confusion of adult prejudice. Her father is defending a black man who was wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Their family becomes outcasts in a racist town, and Scout, on top of trying to deal with normal adolescent confusion, struggles with the town’s hatred towards her father. When she asks him why they are ostracized, Atticus responds, “Nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything – like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain – ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.” This To Kill a Mockingbird quote explicates that racism is much like adolescent bullying and name-calling; kids are by definition ignorant, and therefore often come in conflict with one another out of identity confusion. Atticus is therefore in a sense saying these adults have never grown up; their insecurity and ignorance perpetuates racism.

It is easy to view these novels as works of anti-discrimination in a post civil rights society, but are they really? Do you think Mark Twain is exposing the injustice of prejudice and stereotypes, or buying into them? Injun Joe is portrayed in an extremely negative light. Even though To Kill a Mockingbird clearly advocates against racism, the novel still negatively stereotypes African Americans as helpless human beings who need to be protected by white people. Though both books are now recommended to AP US History students, they have been banned in schools for their own problematic interpretations of race. This ambiguity demonstrates that stereotypes are difficult to avoid; it requires a conscious effort not to see the world in in group-out group terms. Often as wayward adolescents we embrace stereotypes in order to make sense of the world, and it is our job as adults to break these categories down in order to reveal the truth.

Online College Degree Program – Choose the Best

Universities and colleges are now more than ever offering online degree programs. The resistance to having an education online has lessened over the years, and nearly all colleges and universities are offering an online degree program. There are some schools that give students the chance to complete their entire degree online, which makes it convenient for many students, who wish to get that degree they have always wanted.

Penn State University

This was one of the first major schools that have now received a great reputation in giving many students different choices in online degree programs. The Penn State world campus, gives students a number of masters and bachelor programs online. Penn State University was ranked by the “U.S. News and World Report,” amongst the top 50 universities nationwide. This school offers students over 70 different online programs to choose from. They offer degrees in psychology, society and law, criminal justice, business, information sciences and technology, nursing, turf grass science and organizational leadership. Their Master’s degrees have online courses in earth sciences, business administration, education, homeland security, project management, homeland security and software engineering, and many more.

Nova Southeastern University

This is one of the universities that has grown as a competitive school in education over the last few years. A lot of this has been helped by the online education that they provide. This university has emerged as one of the top online schools, and has now become recognized by their online graduate degree program. “Online Education Database,” recognized them as one of better online universities for 2009. Their rankings come from many factors such as, retention rates and selectivity and peer citations. The reputation of Nova Southeastern University, can be largely thanked by the many programs it offers online. These programs come in many different fields of interest such as, occupational therapy, physical therapy, computer information systems, conflict analysis and resolution, and many more.

Capella University

This too is a university that has grown because of its reputation in the online education area, because of the many online degrees they have. This school gives students a chance to choose from many online degree programs. It also gives students a chance to shape the course the way they want for their studies to suit their own needs. They offer Bachelor degrees in the area of, marketing, business administration, criminal justice and psychology. Their doctoral degrees include, psychology, education, public service leadership and as well as business.

How to Analyze Handwriting

Most people have heard of handwriting analysis, also known as graphology. It is a branch of psychology which relates handwriting to personality, emotions and desires. By looking at a sample of a person’s handwriting, a trained graphologist will be able to tell if the person is lying, feeling nervous, has low self esteem, is depressed, is a narcissist, is generous and kind, has an artistic or analytical mind, is highly intelligent, is an introvert or an extrovert, has high libido etc… Handwriting analysis is widely used in forensics to profile suspects and in psychotherapy to delve into a person’s subconscious. What most people do not know is that handwriting analysis is not as complex as you may think and with the right information, anyone can master this art. The following are some tips on how to analyze handwriting:

How to know if the person is stressed: Look at the upper loops of the letters b, d, f, h, l and t (these loops are known as upper zone loops). Normally, the loops will be slightly rounded. If these loops are angular or pointed in shape, then the writer has a predisposition towards stress, tension, anxiety and frustration.

How to spot liars: look at the stems of letters. When writing normally, some retracing of stems will occur, however, if retracing is very frequent, then it indicates that the person is trying to conceal something. This is because the writer knows that he/she is lying, and as a result their writing will be more intense. This tension will manifest itself in the handwriting, and it is generally believed that if over 35% of a person’s upper zone strokes are retraced, most likely they are not telling the truth.

How to spot someone with fragile emotions: look for broken loops. Broken loops occur when the hand leaves the paper and is found in both upper zone loops (e.g. l, h and b) and lower zone loops (e.g. p, g and y). Writing with many broken loops indicates that the writer has a fragile or broken emotional state of mind. Marilyn Monroe’s later handwriting is said to have contained many broken loops.

How to spot well-focused individuals: writing which is neat, well-formed and small indicates that the person has an ability of above average concentration and can focus on a task for long periods. Researchers, scientists, and writers often display this handwriting tendency.