Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Starting My "Second" Class

I woke up relatively early today and went to my lecture after eating breakfast. Everyone was really early today too. Before the lecture started, we switched our discussion groups around. Some students talked to the professor about being the only non-international students in their discussion group, so the professor divided us a little bit more evenly. Even though it was slightly more even this way, it really didn't make that much of a difference because the discussion groups were still mostly international students. 

After finishing that up we learned about overconfidence in our lecture. Learning about it made me think back to my discussion group from the previous day because we took a survey that showed us how overconfident most of us were. The survey included a bunch of scrambled up words with the answer right next to it and we had to estimate about how long it would take us to unscramble the words. The answers ranged form 2 seconds to 1 minute. After finishing the survey we all tried to unscramble the words chaos, gnome, and youth. By the end of two minutes, only one person had gotten anything done. It really showed how overconfident we were in our own skills. 

During today's discussion, we did another experiment. We were given either the number 0 or 1. The 0s were the control group and got no chocolate while the 1s were the ones that got chocolate. I was a 1 and we were testing whether or whether not chocolate actually increased peoples' level of happiness. After the 1s ate their chocolate, we were given surveys where we rated our happiness levels. I gave a happiness level of a 2 (where 1 is not at all happy and 10 is very happy). Most people's, regardless of eating chocolate or not, were around 5-6 (somewhat happy). These results weren't at all accurate though because we didn't have a baseline measure of happiness to compare to. So, we really don't know whether chocolate makes people happier or not, but personally I don't believe eating chocolate would make me happier. Of course, there are situation factors, such as if I'm hungry or if I were to like chocolate, but I think I would feel happier receiving chocolate than eating it. I read in my textbook that Westerners are more individually centered, meaning they think of themselves as an individual rather than as part of a group, and because of this want to stand out more and be unique in some way. Because of this desire to be unique, I believe it's very likely that Westerners would believe that receiving chocolate from somebody makes them more unique than the individuals who don't receive chocolate. Therefore, fulfilling that inner desire to be unique and making themselves happier. 

The workload of just this one class is insane. It's only been two days and I've already read 100+ pages from my textbook. I can't imagine taking more than one of these classes at time, which makes me realize why college students don't take ten classes at once. Even though the workload is insane, it's not tiring (maybe just a little bit tiring) at all because everyone else is just as interested as I am and this really motivates me to keep up with them so I'm able to understand and participate in discussions. After I get over the workload, communal bathrooms, and having to walk everywhere "college" life is super cool. 

After my usual class ended, I had another lecture at 3:15 PM. This is technically a second class because it's taught by a different professor and we discuss different things. During that lecture, we talked about the different fields you could go into through social psychology, which are all different types and levels of counselors. We also did a little activity that helped us get to know each other. We all went into a circle and then different people in the circle would make an inner circle so they were facing somebody from the outer circle. Each person within the pairings got 45s each to answer the question about ourselves before switching. After one question the outer circle would go to the left and we would answer another question to our designated partner. We did six of these questions. It not only helped us get to know each other better, but it also helped us get smarter. We were all talking about happy things in our lives and according to a studies that involved young children, you are able to perform much better when you are happy which is used as one method of measuring intelligence. I really enjoyed this lecture because the teacher was extremely interactive and talked about interesting things. Afterwards, I went back to my dorm and did my homework for the next several hours before eating dinner and coming back to my dorm to finish my homework. 

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