Wednesday, July 6, 2016


During the lecture today, we learned about the emotion happiness. What really stood out to me was the concept that we will sometimes deprive ourselves of something so that we are happier when we receive again. For example, there was a study that asked a random amount of people whether they would prefer to watch television with commercials or television without commercials. The results were that the majority preferred to watch television with commercials, which was super strange because people are always complaining about how long the commercials are. The majority preferred watching television with commercials because then they wouldn't get tired of the television show they were watching as too much of a good thing can make that good thing boring. After learning this I realized how true it is! Before coming to Cornell, I would eat rice and Chinese food basically every single day and I was sick of it, but now that I don't have the chance to eat it I am actually missing and want to eat it again. 

This tendency to get tired of the same constant good thing is also manipulated by people in business strategies. Mcdonald's McRibs is apparently only sold during certain times of the year and during those times people will go crazy buying them since they aren't always available. I personally feel like it's possible that instead of the McRib being a good thing, it might have been a product that wasn't really popular and so to create more hype and popularity for it they only offered it during certain times of the year. People would then go crazy and consume a lot of it because it was a "special" item. 

After the main lecture we mainly discussed an article about bilinguals, our final paper, and physical attractiveness during my discussion group. The article talked about bilingual children seemed to not only have more cognitive ability, but also social ability. These bilingual children were able to discern different contexts when communicating with others. For example, when an adult asked for the smallest car to be passed, the bilingual children knew they actually meant the medium sized car to the child because the adult wasn't able to see the smallest car. It also mentioned how even children who were just exposed to a second language had better social ability than normal, but not cognitive ability. This part was the most interesting to me. I personally felt as if this completely made sense because my Latin teacher is always talking about how to learn a second language you need to understand the first really well. So, because the bilingual children spoke both languages they had to think and understand on a deeper level of the differences between the two languages. The children that were only exposed didn't gain that "extra" cognitive ability because they just hear the language, but don't actually have to make the translations from their first language to second language. 

An interesting theory these two Chinese international students, Joy and Anna, shared was that when they speak English they tend to pay a lot more attention to their surroundings because it isn't their native language. So, this might be a reason why bilingual children were able to discern that the adult was talking about the actually medium sized car because these children were paying more attention to their surroundings. 

After going over how to write our final paper, we talked about physical attractiveness. Some determinants of physical attractiveness were unblemished skin and symmetry. The unblemished skin showed health and the symmetry showed that they were more resistant to environmental threats and fared better in the womb. I didn't know this was why those two features were considered more attractive before this, but it was super interesting because even though humans have progressed and developed to so much advanced technology and medical care, we're still animals at heart and have these primal desires of choosing those who are the most fit to pass on our genes with. 

After my discussion class ended, I went back to my dorm after lunch to start my reading and research for my final paper. My final paper is supposed to be about 3-4 pages double spaced, which isn't too much, but the amount of research that is going into this paper is obscene. I basically spent the rest of my night after finishing the reading researching articles that would help support my paper. It's been crazy reading all of these articles, but it's been interesting as I make relations between the articles and what I learn in class. I'll talk more about my paper when I finish writing it. 

1 comment:

  1. Really liking your observations and deep thinking Shuxin, you are getting a lot out of this experience. I am pleased