Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | November 30, 2012

Friday Five – November 30, 2012

As of today, there are two more weeks of classes left for the semester. That means two weeks to prep for final exams, prep for next semester’s courses, and grade the various papers, posters, presentations, and exams that are coming in from this semester’s courses. By the end of finals, I’ll be glad to see semester break.

In terms of required assignments for my Intro Psych students, this is their second to last required Friday Five.  I haven’t yet decided what I’m doing over the break or next semester in regards to posts. I’m not teaching Intro in the spring, but I could work the posts into a couple of my other classes. I guess you’ll have to check back and see what I decide.

So, here are this week’s links:

Psychology Today: Science and Sensibility (Bill Knaus) – November 26, 2012

My friends and family know that I can be quite the catastrophist at times. They will also acknowledge (I hope) that I’ve gotten much better at controlling my catastrophic thinking over the last few years.  Much of my improvement has come about through many of the same strategies as mentioned in this link.

Psychology Today: Finding the Next Einstein (Jonathan Wai) – November 26, 2012

I often see students disregard the validity of a study simply because the study does not explain THEM or someone they know. While it may be true that the student, or the person he/she knows, is an exception to the study findings, it does not mean the study should be disregarded. Research findings are based on averages of groups, not on specific individuals. Those exceptions to the rule are outliers. In science, the existence of outliers does not completely negate the findings based on the average.

PsyPost (Weizmann Institute of Science) – November 26, 2012

As a person who is allergic to most commercially produced fragrances, I am actually quite annoyed when exposed to high doses of fragrance when out shopping. I will purposely avoid the perfume/cosmetics section of department stores. However, as this link describes, many stores fill the air of the entire store with a scent in order to influence customers’ buying behavior. This link describes a study that discovered which type of scent is more likely to increase sales.

PsychCentral: Sex & Intimacy in the Digital Age (Robert Weiss) – November 28, 2012

I retweeted this link on Wednesday after I had just finished covering “Potentially Problematic Sexual Behaviors” in my Human Sexuality class. The information in this link is much more specific than the general approach I took with my lecture – particularly in its discussion of the proposed definition of Sexual Addiction for the DSM-5. Additionally, this link deals with truly problematic behaviors and not just the variety of non-typical and not necessarily problematic behaviors I discussed in class.

Huff Post Science: The Blog (Wray Herbert) – November 28, 2012

Reading this link reminded me of the one from weeks past about bicycles and road safety.  This link is dealing with another dangerous interaction on the roads – cars and motorcycles. This link discusses research that demonstrates that people misjudge the oncoming speed of smaller objects in comparison to larger objects. As a result, motorcyclists (and bicyclists) are often cut off by drivers of cars and vans, and more so than these same drivers would cut off another car or van.


  1. The two articles I chose to read were “Smells like Christmas Spirit” and “Anxiety and Exaggerations”.

    After reading the article about Christmas scents, I was very surprised that that sense of smell had such an affect on shopping and sales. Personally, I dislike the smell of strong scents while shopping. I purposely avoid stores such as JC Penny or Kohls simply because of the fact that the smell of perfume is overwhelming. However, I feel that it is a very smart business plan because if one can market the senses, the customer supply is endless.

    The article about anxiety and exaggerations was especially interesting because I have struggled with the stress throughout my schooling and life. I found the tips for dealing with stress very helpful. It is very difficult to focus only on the present and not let your mind dwell when faced with anxiety. However, if one is able to control their thoughts and actions when faced with stress they will be able to control their life and anything that comes with it. Overall, I will make sure to attempt to implement the tips suggested by the author.

  2. The first article that I chose was “smells like Christmas Spirit.” I completely agree with the article because I can relate to the smells of cookies and pines. It does free your mind or refresh your thought to go and shop. Holidays are when people spend a lot of money and markets make even more. Scents play a good part in the Christmas spirit of an individual.

    The second article that I read was “Collisions in the Mind’s Eye.” I know that this accident probably happens daily because someone thinks they have the rich of way or enough time to make their vehicle turn. Its even more dangerous for a biker to get into an accident because there is not as much protection as a car has. Your eyes can sometime fool with you and i guess thats what happened in the characters situation with the taxi cab. You have to be more careful when your driving a smaller vehicle such as a motorcycle.

  3. -Smells like Christmas Spirit
    I 100% agree with the article, because I have to admit that every time I smell pine or sugar cookies I get a in the Christmas spirit and want to buy everything in site. Christmas time is my favorite time of year, I wish everyday was Christmas. Also I can agree that shopping during Christmas does clear your mind from stress. I thought the scenes of smell is a great business attracting customers.

    – Collisions in the Mind’s Eye
    Any Collision can be scary and life threatening, that doesn’t mean every accident should be over looked as if they happen everyday. I admit being a driver I always think I have the right of way to proceed and that doesn’t mean i’m always right. But in case of this accident with the son almost getting ran over by the cab. I want tot say it was both their fault because maybe if the son slowed down a little and had enough time to hit the breaks before colliding with the cab he would of been fine. Also if the cab driver would be more aware of his surrounding and looked both ways this whole accident would of never happened.

  4. The first article that I read was “Smells Like Christmas Spirit.” I find this article to be very interesting and true. When I go into stores such as Macy’s or Lord and Taylor’s, the smell of the perfume in the stores are pretty strong. Usually around Christmas time, stores start putting up christmas decorations and and they start smelling like cookies and hot chocolate. When I smell those things, I normally get into the christmas spirit. When stores smell like sweets or pine, I automatically have to go in the store. It’s a good business idea for stores to smell like the holidays.

    The second that I read was “Anxiety and Exaggerations.” I agree with it because most of the time I have stress so much about school and grades and basically just my life all together. I used to have terrible anxiety attacks because I always use stress and overthink things way too much. When reading the tips, I found the tips to be really helpful on how to handle the stress.

  5. The first article I read was, “Are you an exceptio to the rule?” I think people think that just because one person did something and was successful that they can do it too but it is not always like that. That person was just an exception to the rule. For example, we all have a story of one of our friends or family member who did something such as stealing a car and did not get caught and then we think we could do it. We should not do this because that is just that one person. It is such a natural thing that we do not know when to stop.

    The second article I read was, “Smells like Christmas Spirit.” I never really thought that scents had anything to do with how people shop. It makes sense to me though because when there is a complicates smell people start to think what is exactly in the mix but when it is simple people are more focused on their task at hand such as shopping or solving problems.

  6. The two articles I chose were “Smells Like Christmas Spirit” and “Anxiety and Exaggerations”.

    I found the first article “Smell Like Christmas Spirit” to be very interesting. I completely agreed that certain smells would make customers buy more. I say that because usually when I am at the mall and I smell gingerbread or pine trees, I get excited and the thought of buying gifts comes to mind. This was overall a very interesting article and I really enjoyed it.

    I also agreed with what the second article saying that catastrophic thinking is usually blowing thing out of proportion. I say that because I believe I think like that in most situations. Say if I have a presentation that I have to present in front of the entire class, I would think of the worst possible thing that could happen to while presenting. But when it came down to actually presenting I turned out to be fine.

  7. I read the article, “it smells like Christmas spirit” and I never actually thought about a scent exemplifying Christmas time, or making people but things from that store. But it makes sense because there are scents that make people think about Christmas.And there is that store that people just go into because it smells so good.

  8. I read the article, “It Smells Like Christmas Spirit”. I always noticed when stores had a certain christmas smell to attract buyers. When stores have that i am more tempted to shop because it smells like the holidays and that means spending money. I know that when I go into a place that smells really good, it makes me more suspect to shopping there because i stay in the store longer due to the pleasant smell.

    I read the article “Are You An Exception To The Rule?”. This makes a lot of sense because people follow other peoples footsteps when they get something that benfits them. For example, i know someone who found and easy way to steal shoes, so he told his friends and they decided to do it because they felt like since one person did it, they should be able to. Another example would be when people are speeding in the highway, you are more likely to accelerate your speed because you feel like you wont be caught.

  9. The first article I read was “Crash! Collisions in the minds eyes.” A mother wrote the article about her son who was in an awful motorcycle crash. He was trying to control his bike when he slammed into a taxi. The taxi had no intentions of hitting the womans son. In her eyes the cab driver was in the wrong. He wasn’t paying attention, diving reckless, and not caring about his surroundings. But in the cab driver easily thought it wasn’t his fault. He thought he hit his breaks in plenty time. The eyes play tricks on us no matter how smart we think we are. The taxi driver was faulted for this accident.

    The second article I read was “Sex Addiction, Paraphilias, and Offending.” Sexual addictions and how they start are very confusing. This article states that sexual addiction is defined as repeatitive ssexual encounters, fantasy’s, and behaviors. In most cases sex addicts belive that the repeatative sexual encounters are a result from, prfound childhood’s, depression, adult trauma, and anxiety. Sex addictions usually are equpied with drug addictions and or alcohol addictions.

  10. The first article I read talked about Christmas scents. I did not know that stores expose its shoppers to scents that make it more relaxing for them to shop. I believe this is a smart marketing technique that can bring in more buyers and more sales. It continued to state that undergraduate students solved more problems happening with just a simple scent in the air as opposed to complicated one. I find this interesting because I have found myself feeling less overwhelmed in the pressence of a simple smell too.

    The second article talked about anxiety and exaggerations, and how to avoid both. It is best to ignore judgment entirely or else you will start to make assumption. It is also best to accept everything the way it is, and don’t change anything in your life. Guiding yourself and engaging in productive activities will be helpful as well. I believe all of these are very vital when trying to keep yourself sane.

  11. The two articles I chose to read were “Smells like Christmas Spirit” and “Crash! Collisions in the minds eyes.”

    I found the Christmas spirit article to be very interesting. I never even thought about how different scents can affect how you shop or even think. I do agree with the more simple scent affecting people more on how they shop. When scents are simple I agree that it relaxes your mind and makes you really focus on shopping. Complicated and strong scents get you distracted I think. This article was very fascinating.

    This article was also very interesting. They talked about collisions between motorcycles and cars and why it happens pretty often. It said that our eyes and perception plays tricks on us. Our perception is more accurate when looking at a car because its bigger and our judgement is better than with motorcycles. It was a very interesting article.

  12. The first article I read was ” Smells like Christmas spirit”. I believe this article is very true because going into malls and stores, especially Christmas Tree Shop as soon as you walk in you start to smell different scents. Mostly cinnamon is smelled during Christmas time. I love scents and candles and different fragrances so I wasn’t surprised when the article explained that the simple scent was more effective.
    The second article I read was “Anxiety and Exaggeration” and I found it very interesting since I usually become anxious and stressed all the time. I liked the don’t trip on molehills step two. ” Accept that you, others, and the world are as they are, and no amount of complaining will change that. Nevertheless, you owe it to yourself to change your catastrophizing pattern.” i understand this completely there’s no need to complain about everything little thing and turn it into an exaggeration. Anxiety will conquer you if you don’t relieve stress and calm down, trust me I know the feeling.

  13. The first article I read was “Smells Like Christmas Spirit” and I found it to be interesting. The scent they create during the holidays usually increases sales because it appeals to customers and puts them in a better mood. It seems possible because the scent can put people in a cheery mood that brings back good memories to them. Just like when you go to Yankee Candle and smell all your favorite scents. You buy the one you love the most.

    The second article I read was “Are You An Exception to the Rule?” This article made sense because people do usually think they are an exception to the rule based on their personal experiences. However, the personal experience is what actually makes them a part of the rule.

  14. The article I read was about Christmas scents, I liked this article because I believe that the smell from different scents do impact what u buy In the stores, especially Christmas time.. I love Christmas because I had a lot of positive childhood memories and every time this time of the year comes I come alive and very happy. I know Christmas is only one day of the year but I love it.

  15. The first article that I chose was “smells like Christmas Spirit.” It was interesting that researchers found that scent is more easily processed, so it frees the customer’s mind to focus on shopping. But when the scent isnt there customers don’t perform cognitive tasks as effectively as if it were there. It aslo showed that they spent more time and money. I beileve that this does work because it just gets you in a good mood which in turn leads to more time and money spent.

    The second article that I read was “Collisions in the Mind’s Eye.” We all have our different perceptions of things, especially when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. In the mothers eyes the cab driver was at fault, he should have been paying attention, he was diving out of control. But the cab drive thought it wasn’t.The focus in studies no is on how we judge size and motion in order to calculate and anticipate crashes. Findings suggest that we’re not very rational or objective in making these judgments. which is why collisions happen all the time.

  16. The two articles I read were “Crash! Collisions in the Mind’s Eye” and “Anxiety and Exaggerations”.

    The first article “Crash! Collisions in the Mind’s Eye”. I found Patricia DeLucia’s perception study with general collisions very interesting. I thought it was very cool how she would find / calculate the reason for the crashes by comparing the size of the object as well as the rate of expansion.

    The second article “Anxiety and Exaggerations” basically talked about catastrophizing and anxiety. After reading this article I learned that catastrophizing occurs when you make something with little or no importance turn into something a lot worse than it should. I also learned that when apprehensive turns into anxiety the best thing you can do is tell yourself what you were telling yourself when you first started catastrophizing.

  17. The two articles I read were,”Smells Like Christmas Spirit” and “Sex Addiction, Paraphilias and Offending…Oh My”.

    The first article I thought went together with the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. Many people love the smell of Christmas trees and sugar cookies. During
    this time of the year, people are preparing for the biggest holiday of the year. People
    are Christmas shopping and food shopping.
    When you are out in the stores, the aroma in
    the air just tells you it’s Christmastime.

    The second article was interesting. Sex addictions are consistent patterns of wanting to engage in various sexual activities. Many addicts have a hard time overcoming this addiction. A paraphilia is a condition in which a person’s sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme.

  18. The first article I read was, “Smells Like Christmas Spirit”. This struck me as interesting and as an incredible marketing technique. Designing your store to smell like holiday scents is brilliant. Learning that those scents actually have an effect on your ability to perform cognitive tasks is astounding. Those scents are perfect for putting people in the Christmas spirit.

    The second article I read was, “Anxiety and Exaggerations”. I feel like this article can apply to everyone. Everyone, at some point, has taken a little thing and blown it out of proportion. I know I have been stressed about grades in college, and college in general. So the strategies they mentioned in this article have meaning and I think they can be useful.

  19. “The science behind Gifting” was a great article, it make me think of getting a bad gift as a good thing. I got 5 bad gifts last year and all I am going to do this year is regift them to people I think will like them. People say I am a great gifter, they always like what I have give them for Christmas, birthday, e.t.c. I see them in the items or using the gifts I have given, so I know they have not regifted my gifts. . Christmas is my favorite holiday so I spend all year to think about what I will buy for someone. This article made regifting seem normal and casual, I always viewed it as something awful to do but I won’t anymore.


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