Monday, April 16, 2007

Psychology of Conflicts

Conflict is a state of opposition, disagreement or incompatibility between two or more people or groups of people, which is sometimes characterized by physical violence. Military conflict between states may constitute war.
Types of Conflicts
Psychologists today catalog conflicts according to the course of action that will resolve them. There are three types of conflicts: approach-approach, avoidance-avoidance, and single and double approach-avoidance.
Approach-approach conflicts
occur under two conditions: people are attracted about equally to goals. But, carrying out one goal means abandoning the other. For example, you have to choose between buying a car or traveling to Europe. On the same night you want to attend a party and a movie. Research suggest that approach-approach conflicts are easier to resolve than any other type. As you tentatively near one goal ( say, a brown sweater or a shopping expedition), its attractiveness rises. As you emphasize the advantages ( it is warm, it is cheap), you are closer to your choice. At the same time, the appeal of the other goal decrease, and the conflict ends. People generally resolve approach-approach conflicts easily because they always result in something pleasant. Moreover, the alternatives can be achieved in turn. You may be able to purchase the sweater next month.
When a person is simultaneously repelled by two goals (objects, actions, or whatever) and obliged to select one, psychologists call it avoidance-avoidance conflict. For example, you must choose to clean your room or do the dishes. Research shows that as organisms approach an unattractive choice, it becomes more repellent. Avoidance-avoidance conflicts arouse a great deal of anxiety typically, and they are difficult to resolve. People are likely to waver between the unpleasant alternatives and attempt to escape from the conflict altogether.
When a person is attracted to and repelled by one goal we have a single approach-avoidance conflict. A single option, in other words, has a bittersweet quality. For example, an otherwise appealing career may require a lot of education. A luxurious car is costly. Should I have the dentist take care of my cavity? These conflicts also are difficult to resolve and generates much anxiety.
Double approach-avoidance conflicts have two goals, each with good and bad points. The only available job is dull but will provide income. Should I go out with Agne or lina? Agne is intelligent but hard to talk while Lina is talkative but simple. Like single approach-avoidance conflicts, double approach-avoidance conflicts are anxiety-provoking and hard to resolve.
Real conflicts may not fit neatly into these categories because people often face more than two choices. Moreover, when examined closely, all options in a conflict have both positive and negative aspects. At the very least, the selection of any appealing option limits other choices; the adoption of any negative option has an attraction , removing the conflict and the anxiety it generated. In short, life conflicts are likely to be of the approach-avoidance type.
source: Linda L. Davidoff 'INtroduction to Psychology'

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Queue Psychology

Queues - they're such a thing that we can't avoid nowadays. Queues are everywhere - from waiting at the supermarket checkout, to waiting for an ambulance dispatch officer to send you an ambulance. Dealing with queues is very important for each of us, so I will try to give my opinion on this.
I would like to start with computing. Many payments can by made using the Internet. Also you can book seets or tikets on the Internet. I think it is a god idea to avoid unpleasant waiting. Moreover, you don't need to go outside.




Thinking and Reasoning

There are known that only people have ability to analyze, recollect, plan and think. So thinking is the manipulation of mental representations of information. Thinking and reasoning are considered as a part of cognitive psychology. There are many closely related definitions: concepts and prototypes – they depends on culture and influence our behavior; an algorithm and a heuristic – they improve our decisions. When we have to solve a problem, we use syllogistic reasoning, which means we drive implications from a set of assumptions that we know to be true.

Problem Solving

Firstly, when we are confronted with difficulties, we must recognize a problem. There are three main kinds of problems: arrangement, transformation and problems inducing structure. To solve a problem, a person must do three steps: preparation, production of solutions, and evaluation of solution that have been generated. Now I can say that problem solving also depends on the way a problem is framed, mental set or functional fixedness. For different problems we have different methods to solve them: trial and error method – trying various solutions and learning from errors, means-ends analysis – repeated testing when each step brings you closer to a solution. There are many ways to solve your problem faster: be creative, which means to combine responses or ideas in novel ways; use analogies, heuristics, fractionation; think divergently; redefine problems or consider the oposite.


Probably no one could communicate without language. As you know, language is the communication of information through symbols and rules for combining them. Our language develops since childhood. Firstly, children start with bubbling, then two-word combinations and finally, they start to talk like their adults. In addition, to have correct and rich language we need some rules: grammar – is the system of rules that determine how our thoughts can be expressed; syntax – ways in which words and phrases can be combined to form sentences and semantics – the rules governing the meaning of words and sentences. That is why phonology, syntax and semantics are the three major components of language. Nowadays we have a great ability to travel, so we must know at least two languages, which means to be bilingual speaker.