Lincoln Woods's Archive

Blog Post #6: Third World Psychology

1 Commentby   |  04.23.13  |  Student Posts

The development of Third World (Humanistic) Psychology occurred in the early 1960s by Abraham Maslow. Rather than having a focus on behavior and mentally disturbed people, Third World Psychology focuses on the individual achieving their full potential and emphasizing their uniqueness. A person is seen as having complete freedom in their thoughts and behavior. As a result, human behavior is always good because it is simply an act of human nature. However, if bad actions occur, it is seen as a result of the person’s behavior being interfered with by society.

With that being said, I immediately think of Abraham Lincoln as being a good example of someone who represents Third World Psychology. There were many things about Abraham Lincoln that made him unique from the average person. He had a successful wrestling career, wore a top hat and kept notes in it, and most importantly went on to become President. When Lincoln wanted to do something, there was little that could deter him from achieving his goals. Most notably was his role as President during the Civil War. While half of the country that he led opposed slavery, the other half was passionately in favor of it. With opinions and suggestions constantly being given to him, he acted in a way that HE believed to be right and abolished slavery. He behaved in a way that he wanted to despite the strong opposition facing him, and ultimately brought the war to an end.

Blog Post #4: Behaviorism

2 Commentsby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts

Behaviorism is the psychological perspective that places its emphasis on behavior and what encourages and discourages it. In the early days of behaviorism, animals were used in experiments to determine how to increase or decrease certain actions or behavior patterns and also to see how they learn. What was learned from these experiments is that there are ways to adjust an environment to change behavior in a desired way. A modern example of how the behaviorism perspective is used today on people is with ringtones.

With our ability to select and customize ringtones on our phones, we have started to condition ourselves. To start, just hearing a phone go off that has the same ringtone triggers a response in me. Phones provide social interaction and therefore social rewards by being able to interact with someone. Interaction with others is something that we instinctively crave. People simply tend to desire social interaction and communication. With these interactions, we will have certain emotions and feelings that are consistent with the social interactions we have via our phones. We will associate certain feelings with our phone. The thing that turns this habit that has overrun high schools nationwide into an example of behaviorism is that it is triggered by a ringtone. Something as simple as a three tone noise on my iPhone, brings up thoughts in my brain that someone is trying to talk to me. A quick song clip or series of chimes tells us that a social network is trying to reach us. This association is a good example of classical conditioning. Consistent with the idea of classical conditioning, every time I hear my ringtone, I immediately think that someone has texted or is calling me. This is particularly annoying at movie theaters when they play the video that’s designed to tell its patrons to turn their phones off. In the end, I have become conditioned like Pavlovs dog to assume that the social world is reaching out to me and check my phone every time I hear a short sound byte.

Blog Post #3

0 Commentsby   |  03.05.13  |  Student Posts

Evolutionary psychology focuses on a theory that human behavior, like animals themselves, has evolved over hundreds and thousands of years. I find that this theory is very interesting and has brought up a lot of conversation within myself. I believe that human behavior has certainly changed and adapted over time in a fashion similar to evolution. However, there is more to this behavior adaptation than simply just a means for greater survival.

Evolution states that the genetic makeup of organisms will change and adapt in order to better suit the organism to its environment in an attempt to improve chances of survival. Certain aspects of evolution such as natural selection explain more specifically how animals with superior genetics are more likely to breed and pass on its genes. In a way, human behavior has certainly changed and evolved in a similar way. Before laws were put in place and there were little consequences to crime, deviant behavior was likely more common. However, as laws came into existence and punishment became a reaction to immoral behavior, humans became deterred and less likely to act in an evil manner out of fear. In that sense, human behavior has evolved, but I have a hard time firmly believing that human behavior has evolved through genetics rather than from the environment that humans have lived in.

Someones environment accounts for a much greater influence on behavior than a person’s genetic code. Ask yourself why you are reading this blog post. Chances tend to follow that you’re reading this blog post not because you necessarily want to, but because it was assigned to you. Along with this, the consequences of not reading and responding to the blog post are negative. In one of my classes about social deviance, research has shown that people behave differently in different environments. I certainly wouldn’t act the same way in a job interview as I do when I’m around the kids that I work with at a summer camp. This is due to the fact that I don’t think that my potential occupational superiors would appreciate any comments about video games and Pokemon cards in the same way that my campers do. Ultimately, to ignore the gradual change of human behavior over time would be a lapse in reasoning, but I do not believe that its adaptations are due too much to genetic evolutionary properties.

Blog #2

1 Commentby   |  01.31.13  |  Student Posts

Peter Abelard was a scholastic philosopher who challenged the commonly practiced blind faith in authoritative theological figureheads. In his time period, Aristotle’s writings were forbidden from being read for fear of people losing their faith in God and their religious leaders. Abelard not only translated Aristotle’s writing, but also pointed out many contradicting viewpoints held by Christian theologians and in scripture.  From this, Abelard brought forth an idea that one’s religious belief should not be governed purely by a sort of blind faith, but also by logic and reason.

In my life, there have been times when I have doubted the logic behind what is written about in the Bible and believed by the average Christian. Whether you realize it or not, believing in the miracles and resurrection of Jesus is a rather insane notion. We have little evidence of these events actually happening besides a book written from one person’s perspective. Of the books of the gospel, which are written from four different perspectives, a lot of time passed before they were written. With all of this knowledge in mind, the Christian faith would appear to have little logic or reason to defend it. However, this is not the case.

I tend to be a rather logical and reasonable person, which is why I tend to speak about my faith from a logical point of view. If I hadn’t experienced certain events in my life, I can’t be certain that I would be a Christian today. This was the topic of a conversation that I had recently with a few friends of mine. The discussion was mainly between someone with many doubts about the Christian faith and another who is very strong in their faith. After about two hours of hypothetical situations and testimonies the conversation came down to one logical statement about the belief in what is written in the Bible about the story of Jesus Christ. Of all of the people who have been on Earth claiming to be the son of God and who were killed for saying so, why do we still talk about one man in particular who lived over 2000 years ago? People who claim to be the reincarnation of God are written off as crazy before they are ever taken seriously. If someone came up to me today and said that they were the human form of God himself, I’d immediately consider him to be insane. Yet, I believe in a story about a man who did the exact same thing. One of the few logical reasons that I have for this is the fact that the story of Jesus is the only story, as far as I know, where a man claimed to be the son of God and was considered to be a lunatic by many, that we still talk and learn about today.

Naturally, there are many other reasons that I believe in the death an resurrection of Jesus along with many other stories in the Bible. However, most of those stories are thought to be true due to a certain amount of faith that I have. This is also influenced by my personal testimony, but the fact that Jesus’ story continues to be told is my biggest rationale for my faith in God and practice of Christianity.

The Good Life: Lincoln Woods

2 Commentsby   |  01.20.13  |  Student Posts

“The Good Life,” to me, is a life driven by and filled with purpose. In my life, I find that the moments that are most fulfilling are the moments when I am working to achieve something great. As the historic football coach, Vince Lombardi, said, “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” This is a quote that has inspired me and I believe applies very well to my definition of “the good life.” This is mostly due to the fact that having goals and dreams and working toward those goals are key to living a satisfying in my opinion.

From the Christian perspective, there are a few necessary guidelines to living my definition of “the good life.” In order to truly live “the good life,” you must be living a life for God. Having Christ-centered goals is what will really bring you happiness and joy. While making plans and working towards certain achievements are good and beneficial, in my experience, you will be left feeling empty. What defines living “the good life” for God is bringing people to know his kingdom and living by example. I hope to do just that by becoming a marriage counselor and helping people experience and maintain a long-lasting and satisfying marriage as God intended. By doing so, I’d like to use my position as a counselor as a platform for telling people about Jesus and his involvement in my life.

The key difference between a Christ-centered definition of “the good life” and a more secular definition of “the good life” is the individual’s definition of what they find satisfying. As mentioned earlier, a life of satisfaction for someone after God’s own heart is one driven by wanting to live a life that brings glory to God. A common tendency for those without a strong faith in God, on the other hand, is that they find satisfaction by doing things that bring them happiness and immediate gratification. Unfortunately, many things that bring this immediate gratification are often considered sinful to those living a life for God. One common feature of these two lifestyle’s definition of “the good life” is the pursuit of happiness, and for me, happiness is achieved by living a purposeful life for God.

Lincoln Woods's Comment Archive

  1. Lincoln Woods on Blog Post #6
    8:25 pm, 04.23.13

    I like this example of Third World Psychology in The Biggest Loser. My whole family DVRs this show and watches it together over the summer so I’m slightly biased. However, it is a great example of people living authentically. They are exposed to their greatest weakness, being their weight and poor eating habits. While this excessive weight does make them unique, it is a trait that has no benefit for the person. In order for the people on this show to truly live their life to its fullest potential, they need to gain back control over their diet and exercise habits and lose the weight. Along with this, being broadcast over a major television network can even reveal things about the people on this show that they may not have ever known. Which ultimately, forces them to see themselves as they truly are. In the end, the show The Biggest Loser forces the participants to take a look at themselves and the choices that they’ve made that has gotten them there and gives them an opportunity to change that.

  2. I like the perspective of Humanistic psychology that focuses on Mission Work. I believe that those who go into missions are acting in a way that fully achieves their potential as a human being. The idea that people are inherently good is an idea that must exist for this to be true. This is because if people were inherently evil, mission work would be acting in a way that is actually inhuman. Along with that, the fact that you mentioned Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is intriguing. I had never thought about using it as a foundation for mission work, but it absolutely makes sense. In order for mission work to truly be effective, you must meet the needs of those who you hope to convert that are more basic according to Maslow. Telling people that they simply need Jesus would not be very effective, if those people didn’t have clean water or shelter. To truly help them, you need to meet those needs first and build your way up to the need of love that God provides.

  3. “In the Arms of an Angel” has been ruined forever because of the SPCA commercials. It’s uncanny how effective advertisements are when it comes to associating. Every time I hear the song from the SPCA commercial, the sad images of shelter dogs comes to mind and practically ruins my day. Its also very evident in advertising jingles. With an effective parody of a song in a commercial, it will become difficult to hear the original without singing the fake lyrics in your head. An example of this for me is the Garmin navigation system commercial that used the “Carol of the Bells” tune. Needless to say, commercials and advertisements trigger certain emotions in me that can make me want to buy their product or immediately change the channel to avoid feeling a mass amount of guilt.

  4. Lincoln Woods on Blog#4-Behaviorism
    9:49 pm, 04.02.13

    This is probably the best example of the use of behaviorism ever. The use of the DB Jar is a perfect example of how behaviorism is used to influence behavior. Although somewhat childish and silly, it uses the same principles as behaviorism. When a specific behavior occurs, Schmidt acts in a way that the roommates don’t like, he is required to put his own money in the jar. This act is done in an effort to reduce the behavior that the roommates hope to extinguish. Unfortunately for the roommates on the show, I don’t think Schmidt will ever change. However, that doesn’t mean that this is not a good example of using the principles of behaviorism to try and influence behavior.

  5. Lincoln Woods on Evolution of Faith
    6:49 pm, 03.05.13

    The conflict between the theory of evolution and creationism makes it very difficult to have beliefs in both. This post addresses the large conflict between most Atheists and Christians. A majority of Atheists that I have talked to tend to believe that the theory of evolution disproves Christianity as a whole. The idea that the creation story is flawed and has been explained away by evolution is a popular idea held by most Atheists. However, I find that it is somewhat illogical to stop your belief in God because science has different and empirical explanations. Just because one aspect of the Biblical story has scientific theories and explanations that oppose it does not mean that the remaining hundreds of pages are completely irrelevant. I personally believe in evolution and a slightly altered creation story that God created the universe but left it to change on its own similar to winding an old clock.
    Another point addressed in this post that I like is that Madison says that she has learned to not be afraid of the unknown. While the Bible leaves some things unexplained, like the dinosaurs, the same could be said for science. A common theme between science and religion is the fact that some things exist and happen that we don’t yet have explanations for. While science may be able to eventually answer those questions, Christianity tends to differ because much of what we hold to be true relies on faith rather than empirical evidence. But this is what God calls us to do, to have faith.

  6. Lincoln Woods on True Altruism
    5:53 pm, 03.05.13

    I found that the idea that there is no true altruism is very interesting, and after a good amount of thought, I agree with it. In my life, every volunteer project and every mission trip that I have done has followed within the guidelines of altruism. I built wheelchair ramps, painted houses and placed dry-wall, when the house owner could do little in return and I had no expectation of them to do so. However, there is something that I received in return: A feeling of satisfaction. I firmly believe that helping people in any way will always lead to a feeling of satisfaction. It feels good to do things for people regardless of whether they can do something for you in return. As a Christian, I believe that God designed us to feel this way. It’s an unusual concept in the animal kingdom to help others when they are unable to help us back. But it is this distinction that helps separate humans from animals and ultimately supports my beliefs in God.

  7. Lincoln Woods on Blog #2
    2:34 pm, 01.31.13

    I agree with the main message of this post, in that the Greeks influences and laid the foundation for the advanced world that we live in. The Romans were heavily influenced by the Greeks hundreds of years after their empire fell. Now, thousands of years later, we are still learning about the Greeks today. Without the logic and reason movement of the Greeks many of today’s simple questions might still be unanswered. This post has keyed in on this particular idea and insight. Unfortunately, because of the common understanding of ideas and theories that initially baffled the Greeks in their time, we have become apathetic and unappreciative of what they did. It’s an interesting thought to wish that we could go back to these traditional Greek ideas of pursuit of knowledge, and it is one that I agree with.

  8. Lincoln Woods on Blog Post Number 2
    2:18 pm, 01.31.13

    I find it convenient that this post’s main theme revolves around the fact that it was very common for people of the Greek culture to spend much of their time having deep and meaningful conversations. Today, having a serious conversation even with the people that you’re closest to only happens once a week. The reason I find this idea convenient is that by creating these blog posts and commenting on them, we are actually returning to the very ideology of deep discussion that is mentioned in this blog post. I agree that in this day and age, we live in a world where most of life’s questions have already been answered and can be easily accessed by performing a simple “Google Search.” It’s because of this that many of the world’s mysteries in the Greek era are rarely discussed. Why would we debate long and hard over a theory or question when I can find the answer using my iPhone? I believe that the solution to this potential problem is not easily identified. In order for us to engage in a deep conversation with others, we are forced to talk about a topic or issue without a clear answer, which is not as easy to come by as it was with the Greeks.

  9. The song posted states that in order to achieve “the good life,” one needs to have a good time. While I agree with this statement, having a good time is only a portion of what is necessary to live “the good life.” This shows that “the good life” has numerous definitions and varies from person to person, as Justin mentioned early in his post. “The good life” is not defined by one specific answer, but is rather ambiguous and is constantly changing. In addition to this, I like how Justin says that one’s definition is determined by “each person’s life experiences, position in life, morals, etc.” This idea is not something that came to mind to me initially and I found it to be very insightful. One thing in particular that I disagree with is the idea that there are two types of people in the world: Those that have fun and those that are responsible. Rather I think that the spectrum should range from those seeking fun or freedom and those seeking structure and authority. This again is an example of how people’s definition of “the good life” varies. What follows this point is something that I strongly agree with and wish I had mentioned in my post. The key to living “the good life” is finding a balance. Without this balance, people tend to be either overly rebellious and somewhat deviant or more stressed and incredibly focused on following the rules. By sitting at either extreme of the spectrum, you would be hard-pressed to be living a satisfying life.

  10. The points made in this post were very insightful to me. One point in particular that I agree with is that living “the good life” shouldn’t be scored like Weight Watchers. “The good life” isn’t a game with points to earn and a specific criteria to meet. Rather, it is more vague than that and is defined by the individual. Bobby and I agree that only way to attain a truly satisfying life is to follow Christ. However, there are numerous ways to find happiness in this life without God. It just so happens that satisfaction and happiness don’t necessarily mean the same thing. In the same way that “what is permissible is not always beneficial”, “what is fun is not always satisfying.” With that being said there are many ways to live a satisfying life that is also fun. Ultimately, “the good life” varies from person to person, but the presence of achieving happiness and finding satisfaction in life is constant.