Gavin Lane's Archive

Blog Post 6

1 Commentby   |  04.23.13  |  Student Posts

Third Force Psychology is called by many names, but most call it Humanistic Psychology. Regardless of the label attached to it, Third Force Psychology focuses on self actualization and creativity of individuals. One of the main cornerstones of third force psych is that humans are naturally good and any action, thought, or emotion that is not good is just a deviation from the natural human tendency to do good. I would like to compare and contrast 2 entities that embody third force beliefs, or the opposite.

A modern example of someone who supports third force thoughts and beliefs is Barack Obama. To be more specific, Barack Obama supports third force psychology in his campaigns. I don’t intend to turn this blog post into a political argument so lets focus on some of the simple things that everyone can agree on. Many articles and people label Barack Obama as “The Man of Many Slogans” because his campaign slogans that accompanied him in 2008 and 2012. All of these slogans follow the belief that all humans are inherently good and will continue to do good naturally. Obama’s campaign slogans encourage people everywhere, regardless or status, to keep being good. “Believe” was a slogan in 2008, encouraging us to believe in the good of others and the good of Obama to lead the country. “Yes We Can” was another 2008 slogan that helped us believe that with the good in people and hard work, we can do anything. Finally in 2012 he debuted with “Forward!” This is a reference to the good in people helping themselves and others move forward in a world that seems to be moving backwards.

As a contrast, the media seems to always point out the bad in people. You never hear stories about people saving others or doing good deeds but instead you hear stories of disasters and people committing crime and acts of terrorism. The media is a good example of a group that refutes third force psychology.



0 Commentsby   |  04.11.13  |  Student Posts

I posted on psychoanalytic theory last time so its time for a blast from the past with a post on our favorite subject, behaviorism.

Behaviorism is concerned with the observable behaviors and actions of an individual. I found a cartoon with the picture of a rat with a sign that reads “Will press lever for food.” This obviously is a play on the homeless population and the signs they often hold with messages like “Will work for food” but the reference to the homeless population is not what I want to focus on. This is a great mention of behaviorism because it is completely about the observable behavior that the rat takes place in. If this were in reference to psychoanalytic theory it would say something like “Will release id for food” but instead it is completely focused on the behavior that the rat is displaying. BF Skinner was completely focused on training organisms to follow his will whether they be doves, rats, or humans.behaviorism1

Blog 4: Psychoanalytic theory

1 Commentby   |  04.01.13  |  Student Posts

Kronk’s Dilemma


In this clip from the classic movie, The Emperor’s New Groove, one of the main and lovable characters, Kronk, is faced with a dilemma. The emperor has been turned into a llama and Kronk’s master, Yzma, has told him to dispose of the body of the emperor so she can rule the kingdom herself. Kronk is a faithful follower of Yzma and always does what she says but this time is a little different. Kronk is also a faithful follower of the emperor and does not want to kill him, thus he is faced with a dilemma. After dumping the body in the river he debates internally, “should I save the emperor or should I let him go?” This internal dialogue is captured externally by the representations of an angel and a devil on Kronk’s shoulders.


To me this is just like the id, ego, and super-ego. In this situation the devil plays the role of the id saying things like “look what I can do!” “Just do it!!!” This is Kronk’s impulsive thoughts without a filter or thoughts of consequences for others. Kronk, himself, is acting as the ego. He mediates between the angel and devil, finally deciding to make the decision himself after listening to both sides. Finally, the angel is the super-ego. He promotes morals and the right thing to do which would obviously be to save the emperor, instead of killing him.


I believe this is a great representation of how we make decisions every day. You weigh the options between impulses, morals, and a mediator before deciding on which one to go with.


I don’t mean to ruin the movie but Kronk goes with the super-ego and saves the emperor. Classic.

Evolution and Physiology of the Brain

0 Commentsby   |  03.04.13  |  Student Posts

The idea of evolution is frowned upon in Christian societies. Many Christians believe that evolution is used to rival Christianity instead of working together hand in hand. I started at Abilene Christian as a Biology major and when my professor first mentioned Evolution I though that the idea was foolish and I began to turn off my mind. Through my studies at ACU I have learned that evolution and Christianity do not have to be against each other but instead can work together to form the fabric of life.

This fact continued to follow me even after I left Biology for Psychology. Even though the biology style of evolution focused completely on the development of traits and genetics the psychology version focused must more on the development of the mind. Evolutionary Psychology has become more and more prevalent as psychology continues to develop.

Evolutionary Psychologists would argue that things like emotions, memory, and perceptions continue to improve and develop and the more superior versions of these traits will live on. These traits can be expressed through selection of a mate or expression/recognition of emotions. However, I would refute this argument. Instead of improving the aspects of emotions and of the mind I believe that what we are seeing and experiencing is simply an expression of developments in physiological parts of the brain itself. Instead of a new emotion or a new way to express things, it is simply a new way to express these emotions that the brain was incapable of previously.

Now, to further understand, I leave you with an excerpt from one of my favorite old shows so you can understand and recognize the different parts of the brain.


Blog Post 2

4 Commentsby   |  01.31.13  |  Student Posts

The Scholastic’s were an extremely influential group. One specific thing I would like to highlight is Ockham’s Razor. Put simply, Ockham’s razor is using logic and reason to solve problems. More specifically, one should choose the hypothesis that requires the fewest assumption. I believe that we still follow this brand of thinking. You often hear the old adage “You know what happens when you assume?” This implies that assumptions are still unwise and one should not be quick to decide or judge without getting all of the facts. Many movies take advantage of the fact that humans like to assume. One such movie is Shutter Island. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man who we are told is a detective investigating an escape from a mental facility/prison on shutter island. Leo is searching for a specific prisoner that has escaped but is believed to still be on the island. In the end we find out that instead of searching for a prisoner this is actually a test for Leo. He is the prisoner there and the doctor’s are trying to test his mental state by seeing if he could live a stable life. Since we assume that he is a detective the initial realization that he is actually insane is quite a shock. Many other movies take advantage of our assumptions, making us assume one thing only to throw in a twist at the end. Assumptions in movies today create drama.



Shutter Island Trailer

The Good Life?

0 Commentsby   |  01.23.13  |  Student Posts

Whenever I think of the good life, I debate the validity of the Christian definition versus the worldly definition. If one were to explore the church definition of the good life it would be surrounded by good deeds, good people, and a devout life. An example of this would be helping those that are in need, volunteering to help the poor or the hungry. You would also be a church-goer and then surrounded by a good church family. It is often said that the people around you are a big impact on what you do, so a good life would be surrounded by good people. Lastly, to live a ‘good’ Christian life one would follow the rules that are laid out by the Bible. Then I internally debate whether following these things will really lead to the ‘good life’. I believe that there is definitely some validity in this version of the good life. Not only would this raise your attitude spiritually, I believe it could raise a person’s self esteem by surrounding themselves with positive influences.

The worldly good life is somewhat the opposite. In the view of the world one would live the good life if you are surrounded by you’re rich, surrounded by your friends, and partying all of the time. I believe there is also some benefits to this version of the good life, though satisfaction is rare. The saying goes that “money cannot buy happiness” but I believe that in some ways it can. Our society has elevated the celebrity life for many years. As each of us strive to reach this ‘celebrity’ status we think that there is a point that we will reach and be satisfied with the amount of wealth or fame that we have. However I believe that there is always a desire for more and more, and the point to which satisfaction is achieved will never be reached.

So my thoughts on the good life is to live life to its fullest, helping others, and doing your best, all the while surrounding yourself with Christ and other upstanding attitudes to help you on your journey.

Gavin Lane's Comment Archive

  1. Gavin Lane on Raymond Lowe - Blog #6
    10:03 pm, 04.24.13

    I think it is a good point that you mentioned that America seems to embody third force psychology. The view that everyone has good in them and that everyone should work hard and be creative are really the cornerstones of the american dream!

  2. Gavin Lane on Third Force Psychology
    9:48 pm, 04.24.13

    I too was raised by parents with similar views that you should always be creative, do your best, and there is good in every person. I think it is interesting that this view seems to be shared by different cultures. The southern culture seems to share this view as well as the military culture, and my dad was a part of both. It is cool to see that psychology is the source of all of this.

  3. Gavin Lane on Blog 4: Behaviorism
    9:25 pm, 04.03.13

    I like this example a lot because I have always doubted how this conditioning technique could be applied to humans. Sure, Pavlov can train a dog but a dog has a brain the size of a peanut and is an incredibly simple animal. This proves to me that humans can be “trained” and maybe we are simple animals too! Interesting!!

  4. Gavin Lane on Behaviorism
    9:23 pm, 04.03.13


    I liked when you mentioned that conditioning has been used on us in the past. I believe this is right on point. You see many examples of this in school especially. If you get a question right you get a candy, for good behavior you get a gold star. It seems like we were destined to be conditioned from the beginning!

  5. I like the fact that you pointed out our conserative background here at Abilene Christian. What I am most proud of is the openmindedness that is beginning to become prevalent at ACU. 20 years ago ACU may have not taught evolutionary psychology because they were so against it but now through logic and reason we have discovered its merit and been able to work it into our Christian beliefs without compromising. Go ACU!

  6. Gavin Lane on Raymond Lowe: Blog #3 - EP
    7:05 pm, 03.06.13

    I found some interesting information in the articles we read too. The article I read said that all moral things were driven by evolution. I was in agreement with the author when she talked about reciprocal altruism being advantageous and therefore evolutionary but when she tried to justify free will being evolutionary we disagreed. She said that a snail who chooses his sheel to attract a mate is exercising free will in his choice. To me that seems like instincts. Good tie in to the article Raymond!

  7. Gavin Lane on Blog post 2
    9:30 pm, 02.01.13

    I think that this is a very interesting point. The Greek’s were searching for wealth, fame, and fortune and I agree that many people are still searching for that today. Isn’t this what the American dream has become? The American dream used to be coming to America and working your way to the top. But now the dream has become about being rich and famous. Therefore like you said above, people will go through incredible lengths to achieve this fame and fortune. Though this isnt the same as the Greek search for knowledge and answers, the root is the same

  8. Gavin Lane on Blog 2
    9:25 pm, 02.01.13

    Tyler, I think your point about the “true intellectuals” searching for the truth is very good but sometimes it is hard to find in America today. I feel that many people will just take what life gives them and not work hard to question and search for what is really true. It is only at great educational places like ACU that we continue to search for truth and answers. Maybe society today could take some hints from Greek philosophy.