Unintentional Gestures in Your Body Language

Any person can, and actually does display a variety of gestures and expressions, which either support the spoken word, or contradict it and prove it as false. There are intentional gestures and unintentional ones, conscious and subconscious. We use conscious gestures when we want to reinforce our speech with physical movement, making the message more clear and accurate, a proper body language can win over a crowd or dismiss it just as easy, even without the support of words. The subconscious gestures are those physical changes that we are not aware of, when the body adapts and synchronizes with whatever is happening inside, displaying thoughts, feelings and attitudes in its own language.

Body language comprises numerous gestures and expressions, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. Gestures can be intentional, for example when you’re leaning forward just before rising out of your chair, shows the intention before the action itself. On the other hand, there are also unintentional gestures, made without indicating a certain intention, such as crossing your arms and legs.

Some gestures define you, because you’ve become so identifiable by them. Some are specific to certain local customs, others are universal gestures that everybody does. Others are merely displacement gestures, done for no other reason than to displace some energy. Be it as it may, body language has more to say than all spoken languages together.

Unintentional gestures are behaviors that inhibit one’s ability to act. They imply that you have no intention of moving from where you are. It’s almost like those gestures hold you back and won’t let you go, and the body expresses it. Such unintentional gestures are displayed when the brain considers that no outside influence can make you move at that moment.

Such unintentional gestures are more common than one would think, we’re just not accustomed to acknowledge and interpret them. The most common unintentional gestures are so common that they’re barely noticeable, for example:

* folded arms

* lips pressed together

* crossed legs

* a hand or finger in front of the mouth

All actions included in this type of body language – unintentional gestures – all keep you in place. You can’t go away with your legs crosses, you can’t speak with your hand in front of your mouth, and crossed arms say that you’re holding back. Each person displays a wide range of gestures, constantly communicating through body language, even when no word is uttered.

Color Help: Many Factors Affect Color Preference

Understanding color psychology helps home makers choose colors for home decorating.

Color affects human beings every day of their lives, even during their very earliest childhood. In fact, studies have shown that babies respond more readily to bright, primary colors than to pastel colors.

The favorite color of most preschool children, up to the age of five, is bright red. Young children, between five and ten years old, show a preference for bright yellow. Adult women generally prefer blue-based colors, whereas men tend to prefer yellow-based tints.

Even education levels and the degree of sophistication seem to affect people’s color preferences. In general, highly educated and sophisticated people favor complex colors, while those with less education and lower income favor low intensity, simple colors.

Ethnic Traditions Affect Color Preferences

Our personal history also has a significant influence on our color preferences, and using heritage colors has been proven to make people feel more contented by making them feel more connected to their ancestry.

Colors and Climates

Climate affects color preferences, too, and people respond differently to various colors, depending upon the climatic conditions in which they live. For example, Scandinavians have a preference for light yellows, bright whites, and sky blues, in contrast to their long, dark winter nights. San Franciscans, who live in an area that is often foggy and overcast, generally aren’t fond of gray, but gray is a popular color among people in Miami.

Historic Colors

Color preferences have also changed over the course of history. In the mid-1800s, very bright colors were popular, but they were replaced by more subdued tertiary colors such as muddy reds, greens, browns, blues, pinks, and ambers in the 1870s and 1880s. The darkest shades could be found in dining rooms.

Pastel and cream colors came back into fashion in the 1890s, and were popular during the latter part of Queen Victoria’s reign. But as fashions changed and furniture began to become more ornate, heavier, and more elaborate, room colors also began to change, becoming richer and darker, although Victorian bedrooms remained light and cheerful.

Color affects human beings in many ways, on both the conscious and subconscious levels, every day of our lives, and a thorough understanding of the effects of color is very important when making interior design decisions for the home.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

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.