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Venus effect explained in greater detail?

Venus effect explained in greater detail?


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I stumbled upon this fact but I can't seem to understand the websites that are trying to explain it. I could only understand wikipedia's explanation

This psychological effect is often used in the cinema, where an actor will be shown apparently looking at himself or herself in the mirror. What viewers see is different from what the actor sees, because the camera is not right behind the actor, but the position of the actor is often chosen so that his or her image is nicely framed in the mirror for the camera.

but I don't think my understanding is sufficient.

So correct me if I'm wrong but, the idea is that, contrary to our quick assumptions, Venus isn't actually admiring herself in the mirror but she's actually looking at the viewer (me)? Am I right?

I'm just wondering why all the other websites are talking about mirror angles, like how she actually would not be able to see her face (really?) and there's one saying that Venus' face is actually between me (the viewer) and the mirror, uhhh what? So does that mean she's actually painting herself?

I'm so confused.


The Venus Effect is just as you understand it. The painting the effect is referring to is depicting the woman admiring herself in the mirror, when in fact, if you study it properly you will see that she would not be able to see herself in the mirror, but she wuld be able to see the artist (or you) as the viewer.

If you look at the diagrams I put together below, you will see from the first diagram how the venus effect works.


Image 1: The Venus Effect in play. The viewer can see Venus, but there is no way Venus can see herself, when in fact she can see the viewer in the mirror.


Image 2: The Venus Effect is not in play. The viewer cannot see Venus, Venus can see herself, and she cannot see the viewer


Education Articles & More

The new Pixar film has moved viewers young and old to take a look inside their own minds.

Since its release last month, Inside Out has been applauded by critics, adored by audiences, and has become the likely front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

But perhaps its greatest achievement has been this: It has moved viewers young and old to take a look inside their own minds. As you likely know by now, much of the film takes place in the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, with five emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—embodied by characters who help Riley navigate her world. The film has some deep things to say about the nature of our emotions—which is no coincidence, as the GGSC’s founding faculty director, Dacher Keltner, served as a consultant on the film, helping to make sure that, despite some obvious creative liberties, the film’s fundamental messages about emotion are consistent with scientific research.

Those messages are smartly embedded within Inside Out‘s inventive storytelling and mind-blowing animation they enrich the film without weighing it down. But they are conveyed strongly enough to provide a foundation for discussion among kids and adults alike. Some of the most memorable scenes in the film double as teachable moments for the classroom or dinner table.

Though Inside Out has artfully opened the door to these conversations, it can still be hard to find the right way to move through them or respond to kids’ questions. So for parents and teachers who want to discuss Inside Out with children, here we have distilled four of its main insights into our emotional lives, along with some of the research that backs them up. And a warning, lest we rouse your Anger: There are a number of spoilers below.

1) Happiness is not just about joy. When the film begins, the emotion of Joy—personified by a manic pixie-type with the voice of Amy Poehler—helms the controls inside Riley’s mind her overarching goal is to make sure that Riley is always happy. But by the end of the film, Joy—like Riley, and the audience—learns that there is much, much more to being happy than boundless positivity. In fact, in the film’s final chapter, when Joy cedes control to some of her fellow emotions, particularly Sadness, Riley seems to achieve a deeper form of happiness.

This reflects the way that a lot of leading emotion researchers see happiness. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of the best-selling How of Happiness, defines happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” (emphasis added) So while positive emotions such as joy are definitely part of the recipe for happiness, they are not the whole shebang.

In fact, a recent study found that people who experience “emodiversity,” or a rich array of both positive and negative emotions, have better mental health. The authors of this study suggest that feeling a variety of specific emotions may give a person more detailed information about a particular situation, thus resulting in better behavioral choices—and potentially greater happiness.

For example, in a pivotal moment in the film, Riley allows herself to feel sadness, in addition to fear and anger, about her idea of running away from home as a result, she decides not to go through with her plan. This choice reunites Riley with her family, giving her a deeper sense of happiness and contentment in the comfort she gets from her parents, even though it’s mixed with sadness and fear.

In that light, Inside Out’s creators, including director Pete Docter, made a smart choice to name Poehler’s character “Joy” instead of “Happiness.” Ultimately, joy is just one element of happiness, and happiness can be tinged with other emotions, even including sadness.

2) Don’t try to force happiness. One of us (Vicki) felt an old, familiar frustration when Riley’s mother tells her to be her parents’ “happy girl” while the family adjusts to a stressful cross-country move and her father goes through a difficult period at work. As a child, Vicki got similar messages and used to think something was wrong with her if she wasn’t happy all the time. And all the research and press about the importance of happiness in recent years can make this message that much more potent.

Thank goodness emotion researcher June Gruber and her colleagues started looking at the nuances of happiness and its pursuit. Their findings challenge the “happy-all-the-time” imperative that was probably imposed upon many of us.

For example, their research suggests that making happiness an explicit goal in life can actually make us miserable. Gruber’s colleague Iris Mauss has discovered that the more people strive for happiness, the greater the chance that they’ll set very high standards of happiness for themselves and feel disappointed—and less happy—when they’re not able to meet those standards all the time.

So it should come as no surprise that trying to force herself to be happy actually doesn’t help Riley deal with the stresses and transitions in her life. In fact, not only does that strategy fail to bring her happiness, it also seems to make her feel isolated and angry with her parents, which factors into her decision to run away from home.

What’s a more effective route to happiness for Riley (and the rest of us)? Recent research points to the importance of “prioritizing positivity”—deliberately carving out ample time in life for experiences that we personally enjoy. For Riley, that’s ice hockey, spending time with friends, and goofing around with her parents.

But critically, prioritizing positivity does not require avoiding or denying negative feelings or the situations that cause them—the kind of single-minded pursuit of happiness that can be counter-productive. That’s a crucial emotional lesson for Riley and her family when Riley finally admits that moving to San Francisco has been tough for her—an admission that brings her closer to her parents.

3) Sadness is vital to our well-being. Early in the film, Joy admits that she doesn’t understand what Sadness is for or why it’s in Riley’s head. She’s not alone. At one time or another, many of us have probably wondered what purpose sadness serves in our lives.

That’s why the two of us love that Sadness rather than Joy emerges as the hero of the movie. Why? Because Sadness connects deeply with people—a critical component of happiness—and helps Riley do the same. For example, when Riley’s long-forgotten imaginary friend Bing Bong feels dejected after the loss of his wagon, it is Sadness’s empathic understanding that helps him recover, not Joy’s attempt to put a positive spin on his loss. (Interestingly, this scene illustrates an important finding from research on happiness, namely that expressions of happiness must be appropriate to the situation.)

In one the film’s greatest revelations, Joy looks back on one of Riley’s “core memories”—when the girl missed a shot in an important hockey game—and realizes that the sadness Riley felt afterwards elicited compassion from her parents and friends, making her feel closer to them and transforming this potentially awful memory into one imbued with deep meaning and significance for her.

With great sensitivity, Inside Out shows how tough emotions like sadness, fear, and anger, can be extremely uncomfortable for people to experience—which is why many of us go to great lengths to avoid them (see the next section). But in the film, as in real life, all of these emotions serve an important purpose by providing insight into our inner and outer environments in ways that can help us connect with others, avoid danger, or recover from loss.

One caveat: While it’s important to help kids embrace sadness, parents and teachers need to explain to them that sadness is not the same as depression—a mood disorder that involves prolonged and intense periods of sadness. Adults also need to create safe and trusting environments for children so they will feel safe asking for help if they feel sad or depressed.

4) Mindfully embrace—rather than suppress—tough emotions. At one point, Joy attempts to prevent Sadness from having any influence on Riley’s psyche by drawing a small “circle of Sadness” in chalk and instructing Sadness to stay within it. It’s a funny moment, but psychologists will recognize that Joy is engaging in a risky behavior called “emotional suppression”—an emotion-regulation strategy that has been found to lead to anxiety and depression, especially amongst teenagers whose grasp of their own emotions is still developing. Sure enough, trying to contain Sadness and deny her a role in the action ultimately backfires for Joy, and for Riley.

Later in the film, when Bing Bong loses his wagon (the scene described above), Joy tries to get him to “cognitively reappraise” the situation, meaning that she encourages him to reinterpret what this loss means for him—in this case, by trying to shift his emotional response toward the positive. Cognitive reappraisal is a strategy that has historically been considered the most effective way to regulate emotions. But even this method of emotion regulation is not always the best approach, as researchers have found that it can sometimes increase rather than decrease depression, depending on the situation.

Toward the end of the movie, Joy does what some researchers now consider to be the healthiest method for working with emotions: Instead of avoiding or denying Sadness, Joy accepts Sadness for who she is, realizing that she is an important part of Riley’s emotional life.

Emotion experts call this “mindfully embracing” an emotion. What does that mean? Rather than getting caught up in the drama of an emotional reaction, a mindful person kindly observes the emotion without judging it as the right or wrong way to feel in a given situation, creating space to choose a healthy response. Indeed, a 2014 study found that depressed adolescents and young adults who took a mindful approach to life showed lower levels of depression, anxiety, and bad attitudes, as well as a greater quality of life.

Certainly, Inside Out isn’t the first attempt to teach any of these four lessons, but it’s hard to think of another piece of media that has simultaneously moved and entertained so many people in the process. It’s a shining example of the power of media to shift viewers’ understanding of the human experience—a shift that, in this case, we hope will help viewers foster deeper and more compassionate connections to themselves and those around them.


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Venus: The hot, hellish & volcanic planet

Venus, the second planet from the sun, is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty and is the only planet named after a female. Venus may have been named after the most beautiful deity of the pantheon because it shone the brightest among the five planets known to ancient astronomers.

In ancient times, Venus was often thought to be two different stars, the evening star and the morning star — that is, the ones that first appeared at sunset and sunrise. In Latin, they were respectively known as Vesper and Lucifer. In Christian times, Lucifer, or "light-bringer," became known as the name of Satan before his fall. However, further observations of Venus in the space age show a very hellish environment. This makes Venus a very difficult planet to observe from up close, because spacecraft do not survive long on its surface.


Schema Theory: A Summary

Schema theory is perhaps the most difficult theory in psychology to comprehend. But once you understand it, you’ll see the effects of schema everywhere. In this post, we’ll break down the theory step-by-step.

What is schema theory?

Schema theory’s central claim is that our knowledge of the world is organized and categorized, which can influence our cognition and behaviour. Unlike other theories in psychology, schema theory isn’t attributable to a single psychologist but has had many contributions from various psychologists over almost 100 years of research. Some of the most notable contributors include Bartlett, Piaget and Vygotsky.

Like a filing cabinet keeps information categorized, schema theory claims that our mind organizes our knowledge and memories to make them easily accessible.

What is a schema?

A schema is a cluster of knowledge or memory that is stored in the mind. They’re also called “cognitive frameworks” as they are a system for categorizing and organizing information and memory.

The metaphor I use to explain a “schema” is to imagine your mind is a filing cabinet, or your computer’s hard-drive. Schemas are like the individual files.

If you think of your mind like a computer, a schema is a folder and individual bits of knowledge and memories are the files.

What are the characteristics and functions of schema? (These are the key claims of schema theory).

Along with the existence of schema, another central claim of schema theory is that their function is to help us make sense of the complex world of information that we live in. They also enable us to make generalizations about situations, people and places. Stereotypes are an example of a social schema and how we can generalize about groups of people to save our cognitive energy.

This video of mine on our ThemEd youtube channel gives a detailed summary of all the points in this post.

How can schema influence our thinking and/or our behaviour?

Our Revision Guide has a full summary of schema theory and related studies for IB Psych students and teachers.

One way schemas can influence cognition is that they can affect our ability to comprehend new information. When we’re exposed to new information we relate it to our existing knowledge (our schemas) and this can improve our comprehension of that information (as seen in Bransford and Johnson’s study).

This process of relating new information to existing schema can also influence our processing of new information and can lead to confirmation bias. If we have an existing stereotype (social schema) about a group of people, we use this schema when we’re processing new information and we might tend to focus only on details that are consistent with our schema, since this is cognitively easier. This means that we might focus on and remember details of someone that are consistent with our existing stereotype, which is how stereotypes might be reinforced. This is seen in Cohen’s study using the waitress/librarian paradigm.

This Crash Course video called “The Growth of Knowledge” has some more explanations about schemas. (Link)

What are the applications of schema theory?

From the above examples we can see that ideas related to schema theory have multiple applications. Education and especially literacy (reading and writing skills) researchers use many elements of schema theory in their research. By understanding how existing knowledge can influence comprehension of new information could help design better reading programmes and help kids develop better reading comprehension skills.

We can also use schema theory to explain how stereotypes might affect our behaviour. While the examples above may not provide a great explanation for the origin of stereotypes, they do show how they could lead to confirmation bias, which might serve to strengthen and reinforce existing stereotypes.

What are the limitations of schema theory?

  • A good theory should be testable. What factors may influence how easy it is to test claims of schema theory?

Exam Tip: When asked to describe schema theory students often make the mistake of skimming over the theory and focusing on the studies – make sure you can fully describe the theory as well as be able to explain how it can be supported by studies.

  • What is schema theory? What is a schema?
  • What are the characteristics and functions of schema? (These are the key claims of schema theory).
  • How can schema influence our thinking and/or our behaviour?
  • How can claims of schema theory be demonstrated in studies?
  • What are the applications of schema theory?
  • What are the limitations of schema theory?

Travis Dixon is an IB Psychology teacher, author, workshop leader, examiner and IA moderator.


Venus

It's a cloud-swaddled planet named for a love goddess, often called Earth&rsquos twin. But pull up a bit closer, and Venus turns hellish. Our nearest planetary neighbor, the second planet from the Sun, has a surface hot enough to melt lead. The atmosphere is so thick that, from the surface, the Sun is just a smear of light.

In some ways it is more an opposite of Earth than a twin: Venus spins backward, has a day longer than its year, and lacks any semblance of seasons. It might once have been a habitable ocean world, like Earth, but that was at least a billion years ago. A runaway greenhouse effect turned all surface water into vapor, which then leaked slowly into space. The present-day surface of volcanic rock is blasted by high temperatures and pressures. Asked if the surface of Venus is likely to be life-bearing today, we can give a quick answer: a hard &ldquono.&rdquo

Further, Venus may hold lessons about what it takes for life to get its start ­&ndash on Earth, in our solar system, or across the galaxy. The ingredients are all there, or at least, they used to be. By studying why our neighbor world went in such a different direction with regard to habitability, we could find out what could make other worlds right. And while it might sound absurd, we can&rsquot rule out life on Venus entirely. Temperature, air pressure, and chemistry are much more congenial up high, in those thick, yellow clouds.

Namesake

The ancient Romans could easily see seven bright objects in the sky: the Sun, the Moon, and the five brightest planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). They named the objects after their most important gods. Venus, the third brightest object after the Sun and Moon, was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It&rsquos the only planet named after a female god.

Potential for Life

Thirty miles up (about 50 kilometers), temperatures range from 86 to 158 Fahrenheit (30 to 70 Celsius), a range that, even at its higher-end, could accommodate Earthly life, such as &ldquoextremophile&rdquo microbes. And atmospheric pressure at that height is similar to what we find on Earth&rsquos surface.

At the tops of Venus&rsquo clouds, whipped around the planet by winds measured as high as 224 miles (360 kilometers) per hour, we find another transformation. Persistent, dark streaks appear. Scientists are so far unable to explain why these streaks remain stubbornly intact, even amid hurricane-force winds. They also have the odd habit of absorbing ultraviolet radiation.

The most likely explanations focus on fine particles, ice crystals, or even a chemical compound called iron chloride. Although it's much less likely, another possibility considered by scientists who study astrobiology is that these streaks could be made up of microbial life, Venus-style. Astrobiologists note that ring-shaped linkages of sulfur atoms, known to exist in Venus&rsquo atmosphere, could provide microbes with a kind of coating that would protect them from sulfuric acid. These handy chemical cloaks would also absorb potentially damaging ultraviolet light and re-radiate it as visible light.

Some of the Russian Venera probes did, indeed, detect particles in Venus&rsquo lower atmosphere about a micron in length &ndash roughly the same size as a bacterium on Earth.

None of these findings provide compelling evidence for the existence of life in Venus&rsquo clouds. But the questions they raise, along with Venus&rsquo vanished ocean, its violently volcanic surface, and its hellish history, make a compelling case for a return to our temperamental sister planet. There is much, it would seem, that she can teach us.

Size and Distance

Our nearness to Venus is a matter of perspective. The planet is nearly as big around as Earth &ndash 7,521 miles (12,104 kilometers) across, versus 7,926 miles (12,756 kilometers) for Earth. From Earth, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky after our own Moon. The ancients, therefore, gave it great importance in their cultures, even thinking it was two objects: a morning star and an evening star. That&rsquos where the trick of perspective comes in.

Because Venus&rsquo orbit is closer to the Sun than ours, the two of them &ndash from our viewpoint &ndash never stray far from each other. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks saw Venus in two guises: first in one orbital position (seen in the morning), then another (your &ldquoevening&rdquo Venus), just at different times of the year.

At its nearest to Earth, Venus is some 38 million miles (about 61 million kilometers) distant. But most of the time the two planets are farther apart Mercury, the innermost planet, actually spends more time in Earth&rsquos proximity than Venus.

One more trick of perspective: how Venus looks through binoculars or a telescope. Keep watch over many months, and you&rsquoll notice that Venus has phases, just like our Moon &ndash full, half, quarter, etc. The complete cycle, however, new to full, takes 584 days, while our Moon takes just a month. And it was this perspective, the phases of Venus first observed by Galileo through his telescope, that provided the key scientific proof for the Copernican heliocentric nature of the Solar System.

Orbit and Rotation

Spending a day on Venus would be quite a disorienting experience &ndash that is, if your ship or suit could protect you from temperatures in the range of 900 degrees Fahrenheit (475 Celsius). For one thing, your &ldquoday&rdquo would be 243 Earth days long &ndash longer even than a Venus year (one trip around the Sun), which takes only 225 Earth days. For another, because of the planet's extremely slow rotation, sunrise to sunset would take 117 Earth days. And by the way, the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east, because Venus spins backward compared to Earth.

While you&rsquore waiting, don&rsquot expect any seasonal relief from the unrelenting temperatures. On Earth, with its spin axis tilted by about 23 degrees, we experience summer when our part of the planet (our hemisphere) receives the Sun&rsquos rays more directly &ndash a result of that tilt. In winter, the tilt means the rays are less direct. No such luck on Venus: Its very slight tilt is only three degrees, which is too little to produce noticeable seasons.

Moons

Rings

Formation

A critical question for scientists who search for life among the stars: How do habitable planets get their start? The close similarities of early Venus and Earth, and their very different fates, provide a kind of test case for scientists who study planet formation. Similar size, similar interior structure, both harboring oceans in their younger days. Yet one is now an inferno, while the other is the only known world &ndash so far &ndash to play host to abundant life. The factors that set these planets on almost opposite paths began, most likely, in the swirling disk of gas and dust from which they were born. Somehow, 4.6 billion years ago that disk around our Sun accreted, cooled, and settled into the planets we know today. Several might well have moved in closer, or farther out, as the solar system formed. Better knowledge of the formation history of Venus could help us better understand Earth&rsquos &ndash and those of rocky planets around other stars.

Structure

If we could slice Venus and Earth in half, pole to pole, and place them side by side, they would look remarkably similar. Each planet has an iron core enveloped by a hot-rock mantle the thinnest of skins forms a rocky, exterior crust. On both planets, this thin skin changes form and sometimes erupts into volcanoes in response to the ebb and flow of heat and pressure deep beneath.

Other possible similarities will require further investigation &ndash and perhaps another visit to a planet that has hosted many Earth probes, both in orbit and (briefly) on the surface. On Earth, the slow movement of continents over thousands and millions of years reshapes the surface, a process known as &ldquoplate tectonics.&rdquo Something similar might have happened on Venus early in its history. Today a key element of this process could be operating: subduction, or the sliding of one continental &ldquoplate&rdquo beneath another, which can also trigger volcanoes. Subduction is believed to be the first step in creating plate tectonics.

NASA&rsquos Magellan spacecraft, which ended a five-year mission to Venus in 1994, mapped the broiling surface using radar. Magellan saw a land of extreme volcanism. The orbiter saw a relatively young surface, one recently reshaped (in geologic terms), and chains of towering mountains.

Surface

The broiling surface of Venus has been a topic of heated discussion among planetary scientists. The traditional picture includes a catastrophic, planetwide resurfacing between 350 and 750 million years ago. In other words, Venus appears to have completely erased most traces of its early surface. The causes: volcanic and tectonic forces, which could include surface buckling and massive eruptions. But newer estimates made with help from computer models paint a different portrait. While the same forces would be at work, resurfacing would be piecemeal over an extended time. The average age of surface features could be as young as 150 million years, with some older surfaces mixed in.

Venus is a landscape of valleys and high mountains dotted with thousands of volcanoes. Its surface features &ndash most named for both real and mythical women &ndash include Ishtar Terra, a rocky, highland area around the size of Australia near the north pole, and an even larger, South-America-sized region called Aphrodite Terra that stretches across the equator. One mountain reaches 36,000 feet (11 kilometers), higher than Mt. Everest. Notably, except for Earth, Venus has by far the fewest impact craters of any rocky planet, revealing a young surface.

On your tour of Venus, during the 117 days you&rsquore waiting for sunset, you might stop by a volcanic crater, Sacajawea, named for Lewis and Clark&rsquos Native American guide. Or stroll through a deep canyon, Diana, named for the Roman goddess of the hunt.

Other notable features of the Venus landscape include:

&ldquoPancake&rdquo domes with flat tops and steep sides, as wide as 38 miles (62 kilometers), likely formed by the extrusion of highly viscous lava.

&ldquoTick&rdquo domes, odd volcanoes with radiating spurs that, from above, make them look like their blood-feeding namesake.

Tesserae, terrain with intricate patterns of ridges and grooves that suggest the scorching temperatures make rock behave in some ways more like peanut butter beneath a thin and strong chocolate layer on Venus.

Atmosphere

The Soviet Union landed 10 probes on the surface of Venus, but even among the few that functioned after landing, the successes were short-lived &ndash the longest survivor lasted two hours the shortest, 23 minutes. Photos snapped before the landers fried show a barren, dim, and rocky landscape, and a sky that is likely some shade of sulfur yellow.

Venus&rsquo atmosphere is one of extremes. With the hottest surface in the solar system, apart from the Sun itself, Venus is hotter even than the innermost planet, charbroiled Mercury. To outlive the short-lived Venera probes, your rambling sojourn on Venus would presumably include unimaginably strong insulation as temperatures push toward 900 degrees Fahrenheit (482 Celsius). You would need an extremely thick, pressurized outer shell to avoid being crushed by the weight of the atmosphere &ndash which would press down on you as if you were 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) deep in the ocean.

The atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide &ndash the same gas driving the greenhouse effect on Venus and Earth &ndash with clouds composed of sulfuric acid. And at the surface, the hot, high-pressure carbon dioxide behaves in a corrosive fashion. But a stranger transformation begins as you rise higher. Temperature and pressure begin to ease.

Magnetosphere

Even though Venus is similar in size to Earth and has a similar-sized iron core, the planet does not have its own internally generated magnetic field. Instead, Venus has what is known as an induced magnetic field. This weak magnetic field is created by the interaction of the Sun's magnetic field and the planet's outer atmosphere. Ultraviolet light from the Sun excites gases in Venus' outermost atmosphere these electrically excited gases are called ions, and thus this region is called the ionosphere (Earth has an ionosphere as well). The solar wind &ndash a million-mile-per-hour gale of electrically charged particles streaming continuously from the Sun &ndash carries with it the Sun's magnetic field. When the Sun's magnetic field interacts with the electrically excited ionosphere of Venus, it creates or induces, a magnetic field there. This induced magnetic field envelops the planet and is shaped like an extended teardrop, or the tail of a comet, as the solar wind blows past Venus and outward into the solar system.


Sex on the Brain

Photographs by Ryan McVay/Getty Images.

Are male brains different from female brains? If so, how? And does it matter?

This week, five researchers debated these questions at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Their panel session, “The Promise and Peril of Research on Sex Differences,” didn’t settle the controversy, because it isn’t binary, and evidence is complex. But the exchange did clarify common mistakes to watch out for. Here’s a guide.

1. Ideology. All the panelists recognized that sex-difference research could be abused to justify sexism. But Larry Cahill, a behavioral neurobiologist at the University of California-Irvine, raised the opposite concern: His colleagues are so afraid of being called “neurosexists” that they’ve refused to study or acknowledge differences. This anxiety about lending credence to sexism was manifest on the panel, as three of the presenters repeatedly emphasized similarities and downplayed differences. Afterward, they were challenged by two female scientists in the audience who called the aversion to studying innate differences anti-scientific and an impediment to understanding mental illness in women. The exchange, in which one panelist repeatedly portrayed sex-difference research as a waste of time, confirmed the problem: Fear of sexism has produced a bias against conceding sex differences, which gets in the way of frank discussion and investigation.

2. Monocausality. Melissa Hines, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, proposed a good rule for screening studies and news reports: Beware any explanation that relies on a single factor. Hormones matter, but so does socialization. A study in animals might illuminate the role of genes, but it won’t capture the effects of culture on humans. Conversely, anyone who dismisses boy-girl differences as cultural artifacts (the panelists criticized Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender in particular) isn’t accounting for similar patterns in animals, such as research showing that male monkeys prefer to play more with cars and less with dolls than female monkeys do. Hines also mentioned a male-female gap in “maze performance” among rodents. You can’t blame that on society.

3. Casual extrapolation. The problem with genetic or cultural theories of sex difference isn’t that they’re false. It’s that they’re limited. They work better in some contexts than in others. Hines recalled an incident in which, after she had described data on toy preference among girls, a male physicist said she had just explained why it was hard to recruit women to teach physics. The leap from dolls to doctorates was effortless, though groundless. Another psychologist on the panel, Janet Hyde of the University of Wisconsin, noted that sex differences in math performance had largely evaporated over the past 20 years. But not all differences: A stubborn gap remains in mental rotation, which requires the imaginary realignment of three-dimensional shapes. Cahill offered a sensible way to think about these uneven findings: The effects of sex difference on behavior and performance vary, and as a researcher of emotional stress, he acknowledged, “I may be working in a domain of neuroscience where these effects are maximal.” We need more of that humility, and less glib generalization.

4. Self-fulfillment. Maryjane Wraga, a psychologist at Smith College, presented research on stereotype threat, showing that women perform worse at mental rotation (compared with other women) when they’re told that men are better at it. So if scientists go around saying girls are bad with numbers, tests might appear to validate that prediction, but the prediction itself will be the culprit. The panelists were particularly alarmed by the single-sex education movement and the brain theorists behind it, authors Michael Gurian and Leonard Sax. These authors grossly exaggerate boy-girl differences, the panelists argued. But the greater danger is that single-sex education, by preaching and practicing segregated socialization, may exacerbate these differences.

5. Stereotypes. Girls differ from boys, but girls also differ from other girls. This in-group variation gets obscured by composite models such as The Female Brain (a book by Louann Brizendine, panned by the presenters) and binary metaphors like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Sex differences don’t show up as separate clusters. They show up, in Cahill’s words, as “overlapping distributions.” Hyde explained that to compute the “effect size” of sex, you have to factor in the variability of scores among males and among females. Otherwise, you have no perspective on how meaningful the gap is between the male and female averages, relative to being Jane rather than Sally, or being Mike rather than Bill. You certainly can’t infer from a person’s sex how well he or she will do on a test.

6. Either/or. Hyde took a blowtorch to former Harvard president Larry Summers, presenting data that showed no sex difference in K-12 math scores. Then, to be fair, she acknowledged Summers’ more complicated argument: not that boys are better than girls at math on average, but that boys are more spread out, with lots of boys scoring very high or very low compared with girls, who tend to cluster more in the middle. Hyde argued that the K-12 data didn’t support Summers because the ratio of male variation in scores to female variation in scores wasn’t high enough to explain a shortage of women in some Harvard faculty departments. But on her presentation slide, every grade level showed a ratio between 1.11 and 1.21. In other words, the data did show greater male variation. This might contribute to professional gender gaps, though it doesn’t fully explain them.

7. Overinterpretation. With today’s technology, it’s easy to scan and measure brains and compute sex differences in size or activity. The hard part is figuring out what these differences mean. Yes, the brains of male fetuses and boys get bathed in testosterone. But does this really affect their math skills or their ability to communicate and process emotions, as some theorists assert? Yes, men have more gray matter, and women have more white matter. But does that justify CBS anchor Harry Smith’s conclusion—captured in a video clip by panelist Lise Eliot, a Slate contributor and neuroscientist at Rosalind Franklin University—that this is “why women are such good multitaskers”? The fishy part of neuroscience isn’t the data. It’s the spin we put on the data in the guise of explanation.

8. Inferred immutability. Before you attribute sex differences in behavior or success to evolution, check the record. Today’s differences may not have existed yesterday and may not exist tomorrow. The percentage of math Ph.D.’s awarded to women in the 1950s, according to Hyde, was half what it was in the 1890s and one-sixth of what it is today. Several panelists targeted the word hardwired as a misleading metaphor for explaining the brain. Brains, unlike computers, are constantly altered by experience. So while scans may show differences between men’s and women’s brains, that doesn’t prove the differences are innate. Wraga’s scans, for instance, showed different patterns of activation, but the patterns corresponded to social inputs. Even in animals, Eliot noted that male rats are licked and groomed more than female rats are, which could affect sex differences in stress response. And Cahill described new research indicating that birth control pills alter patterns of emotional memory. So, yes, hormones influence how we think. But we, in turn, can influence our hormones.

9. Data pooling. Beware broad generalizations based on the blending of data about various traits or activities. The panel made much ado about Hyde’s finding that 78 percent of effect sizes in studies of psychological sex difference were small or near zero. But that aggregate figure obscures the fine print: Half the effect sizes were between .11 and .35. In aggression, they averaged around .50, and in mental rotation, they were even higher. And if you read Hyde’s paper carefully, you’ll find that she breaks down these differences further. So while she’s right that males and females are largely similar, the details are intriguing. Likewise, Eliot’s observation that “most of our behavioral sex differences are quite a bit smaller than [sex differences in] height” obscures the curious fact, mentioned on one of Hines’ slides, that boys and girls differ more in toy preference than in height.

10. Comparison games. In science, as in politics, you can make a difference look big or small by choosing the basis of comparison. So while Hines’ slide compared the height gap to the toy-preference gap, Eliot’s slide compared the height gap to the much smaller “empathy” gap. While Eliot and Hyde characterized the effect sizes in sex-difference studies as small or near zero, Cahill argued that these effect sizes were no smaller than those typically found in other neuroscience research. (Indeed, I heard no complaints from the panel about small effect size when Wraga cited a 6-percent effect on math scores as evidence of stereotype threat.) Hyde acknowledged that boys scored “an itty-bitty bit better” than girls in math in the United States, Taiwan, and Japan, but she pointed out that the bigger difference is between the three countries, with Taiwanese and Japanese girls outscoring American boys.

These 10 warnings don’t add up to an answer on the overall question of sex differences. There is no answer. There’s only a complex, preliminary array of evidence on various questions, and an evolving menu of research to explore those questions further. Let’s not be afraid to pursue the research. And let’s not jump to conclusions.

William Saletan’s latest short takes on the news, via Twitter:


Research

Jecker and Landy (1969) involved students in an intellectual contest where they could win significant money. Afterwards:

  • A: 1/3 were approached by the researcher and asked to return money as he had been using his own funds and was running short.
  • B: 1/3 were approached by a secretary and asked to return money as it was from the psychology department and funds were low.
  • C: 1/3 were not approached.

Then all were surveyed to see how much they liked the researcher. Group B rated him lower than Group C (so impersonal request for a favor decreases liking). Group A rated him higher than group C (so personal request for a favor increases liking).


Facts about Venus

  • Venus does not have any moons or rings.
  • Venus is nearly as big as the Earth with a diameter of 12,104 km.
  • Venus is thought to be made up of a central iron core, rocky mantle and silicate crust.
  • A day on the surface of Venus (solar day) would appear to take 117 Earth days.
  • A year on Venus takes 225 Earth days.
  • The surface temperature on Venus can reach 471 °C.
  • A day on Venus lasts longer than a year.
    It takes 243 Earth days to rotate once on its axis (sidereal day). The planet’s orbit around the Sun takes 225 Earth days, compared to the Earth’s 365. A day on the surface of Venus (solar day) takes 117 Earth days.
  • Venus rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets.
    This means that Venus is rotating in the opposite direction to the Sun, this is also known as a retrograde rotation. One possible reason for this might be a collision with an asteroid or other object.
  • Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky.
    Only the Moon is brighter. With a magnitude of between -3.8 to -4.6 Venus is so bright it can be seen during daytime on a clear day.
  • Atmospheric pressure on Venus is 92 times greater than the Earth’s.
    Due to this crushing small asteroids when they enter its atmosphere Venus has not small craters. The pressure felt on Venus’ surface is equivalent to that deep beneath the sea on Earth.
  • Venus is often called the Earth’s sister planet.
    The Earth and Venus are very similar in size with only a 638 km difference in diameter and Venus having 81.5% of the Earth’s mass. Both also have a central core, a molten mantle and a crust.
  • The same side of Venus always faces the Earth when at their closest.
    It is possible this is due to the Earth’s gravational influence.
  • Venus is also known as the Morning Star and the Evening Star.
    Early civilisations thought Venus was two different bodies. These were called Phosphorus and Hesperus by the Greeks, and Lucifer and Vesper by the Romans. When Venus’ orbit around the Sun overtakes Earth’s orbit, it changes from being visible after sunset to being visible before sunrise. Mayan astronomers made detailed observations of Venus as early as 650 AD.
  • Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system.
    The average surface temperature is 462 °C, and because Venus does not tilt on its axis, there is no seasonal variation. The dense atmosphere of around 96.5 percent carbon dioxide traps heat and causes a greenhouse effect.
  • A detailed study of Venus finished in 2015.
    In 2006, the Venus Express space craft was sent into orbit around Venus by the European Space Agency. Originally planned to last five hundred Earth days, the mission was extended several times before the craft was deorbited in 2015. More than 1,000 volcanoes or volcanic centres larger than 20 km have been found on the surface of Venus.
  • The Russians sent the first mission to Venus.
    The Venera 1 space probe was launched in 1961, but lost contact with base. The USA also lost their first probe to Venus, Mariner 1, although Mariner 2 was able to take measurements of the planet in 1962. The Soviet Union’s Venera 3 was the first man-made craft to land on Venus in 1966.
  • At one point it was thought Venus might be a tropical paradise.
    The dense clouds of sulphuric acid surrounding Venus make it impossible to view its surface from outside its atmosphere. It was only when radio mapping was developed in the 1960s that scientists were able to observe the extreme temperatures and hostile environment.

Venus effect explained in greater detail? - Psychology

This is a great question! The answer to it lies in the fact that Venus has a very dense atmosphere made up of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulfuric acid, while Mercury has a very thin atmosphere with various gases, but very little carbon dioxide. So what's so important about carbon dioxide? Well, sunlight will pass through Venus' clouds (which contain mostly carbon dioxide) and warm the surface of the planet. Usually, the surface of a planet is warmed during the day and cools off at night by releasing infrared radiation (heat) back into space. But the carbon dioxide in Venus' clouds absorbs energy from infrared radiation very well and "traps" the heat on the planet, making it very warm. This has sometimes been called a "runaway greenhouse effect." We don't see this happen on Mercury because its atmosphere is not thick and does not have much carbon dioxide in it. I hope this helps!

Venus is hotter than Mercury because it has a much thicker atmosphere. The atmosphere, the gaseous layer surrounding a planet, is like a blanket. Think of two people sitting next to a campfire one is much closer to the fire while another is further away. The one that is closer doesn't have a blanket (Mercury), while the other further away has a sleeping bag (Venus). Both persons are getting heat from the fire but the person with the sleeping bag keeps all the heat he or she gets. Mercury is closer but because it has a very thin or no atmosphere at all the heat goes out into space. Venus on the other hand with it's much thicker atmosphere holds all the heat it gets. The heat the atmosphere traps is called the greenhouse effect. If Venus did not have an atmosphere the surface would be -128 degrees Fahrenheit much colder than 333 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature of Mercury.

Venus is hotter due to the greenhouse effect: Venus has an atmosphere about ninety times thicker than that of Earth, and made almost entirely of carbon dioxide, which is one of the gasses that causes the greenhouse effect on Earth. The greenhouse effect on Venus is so great that it raises the surface temperature on Venus to, as you say, hotter than that of Mercury, despite being farther from the sun.


Venus

It's a cloud-swaddled planet named for a love goddess, often called Earth&rsquos twin. But pull up a bit closer, and Venus turns hellish. Our nearest planetary neighbor, the second planet from the Sun, has a surface hot enough to melt lead. The atmosphere is so thick that, from the surface, the Sun is just a smear of light.

In some ways it is more an opposite of Earth than a twin: Venus spins backward, has a day longer than its year, and lacks any semblance of seasons. It might once have been a habitable ocean world, like Earth, but that was at least a billion years ago. A runaway greenhouse effect turned all surface water into vapor, which then leaked slowly into space. The present-day surface of volcanic rock is blasted by high temperatures and pressures. Asked if the surface of Venus is likely to be life-bearing today, we can give a quick answer: a hard &ldquono.&rdquo

Further, Venus may hold lessons about what it takes for life to get its start ­&ndash on Earth, in our solar system, or across the galaxy. The ingredients are all there, or at least, they used to be. By studying why our neighbor world went in such a different direction with regard to habitability, we could find out what could make other worlds right. And while it might sound absurd, we can&rsquot rule out life on Venus entirely. Temperature, air pressure, and chemistry are much more congenial up high, in those thick, yellow clouds.

Namesake

The ancient Romans could easily see seven bright objects in the sky: the Sun, the Moon, and the five brightest planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). They named the objects after their most important gods. Venus, the third brightest object after the Sun and Moon, was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It&rsquos the only planet named after a female god.

Potential for Life

Thirty miles up (about 50 kilometers), temperatures range from 86 to 158 Fahrenheit (30 to 70 Celsius), a range that, even at its higher-end, could accommodate Earthly life, such as &ldquoextremophile&rdquo microbes. And atmospheric pressure at that height is similar to what we find on Earth&rsquos surface.

At the tops of Venus&rsquo clouds, whipped around the planet by winds measured as high as 224 miles (360 kilometers) per hour, we find another transformation. Persistent, dark streaks appear. Scientists are so far unable to explain why these streaks remain stubbornly intact, even amid hurricane-force winds. They also have the odd habit of absorbing ultraviolet radiation.

The most likely explanations focus on fine particles, ice crystals, or even a chemical compound called iron chloride. Although it's much less likely, another possibility considered by scientists who study astrobiology is that these streaks could be made up of microbial life, Venus-style. Astrobiologists note that ring-shaped linkages of sulfur atoms, known to exist in Venus&rsquo atmosphere, could provide microbes with a kind of coating that would protect them from sulfuric acid. These handy chemical cloaks would also absorb potentially damaging ultraviolet light and re-radiate it as visible light.

Some of the Russian Venera probes did, indeed, detect particles in Venus&rsquo lower atmosphere about a micron in length &ndash roughly the same size as a bacterium on Earth.

None of these findings provide compelling evidence for the existence of life in Venus&rsquo clouds. But the questions they raise, along with Venus&rsquo vanished ocean, its violently volcanic surface, and its hellish history, make a compelling case for a return to our temperamental sister planet. There is much, it would seem, that she can teach us.

Size and Distance

Our nearness to Venus is a matter of perspective. The planet is nearly as big around as Earth &ndash 7,521 miles (12,104 kilometers) across, versus 7,926 miles (12,756 kilometers) for Earth. From Earth, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky after our own Moon. The ancients, therefore, gave it great importance in their cultures, even thinking it was two objects: a morning star and an evening star. That&rsquos where the trick of perspective comes in.

Because Venus&rsquo orbit is closer to the Sun than ours, the two of them &ndash from our viewpoint &ndash never stray far from each other. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks saw Venus in two guises: first in one orbital position (seen in the morning), then another (your &ldquoevening&rdquo Venus), just at different times of the year.

At its nearest to Earth, Venus is some 38 million miles (about 61 million kilometers) distant. But most of the time the two planets are farther apart Mercury, the innermost planet, actually spends more time in Earth&rsquos proximity than Venus.

One more trick of perspective: how Venus looks through binoculars or a telescope. Keep watch over many months, and you&rsquoll notice that Venus has phases, just like our Moon &ndash full, half, quarter, etc. The complete cycle, however, new to full, takes 584 days, while our Moon takes just a month. And it was this perspective, the phases of Venus first observed by Galileo through his telescope, that provided the key scientific proof for the Copernican heliocentric nature of the Solar System.

Orbit and Rotation

Spending a day on Venus would be quite a disorienting experience &ndash that is, if your ship or suit could protect you from temperatures in the range of 900 degrees Fahrenheit (475 Celsius). For one thing, your &ldquoday&rdquo would be 243 Earth days long &ndash longer even than a Venus year (one trip around the Sun), which takes only 225 Earth days. For another, because of the planet's extremely slow rotation, sunrise to sunset would take 117 Earth days. And by the way, the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east, because Venus spins backward compared to Earth.

While you&rsquore waiting, don&rsquot expect any seasonal relief from the unrelenting temperatures. On Earth, with its spin axis tilted by about 23 degrees, we experience summer when our part of the planet (our hemisphere) receives the Sun&rsquos rays more directly &ndash a result of that tilt. In winter, the tilt means the rays are less direct. No such luck on Venus: Its very slight tilt is only three degrees, which is too little to produce noticeable seasons.

Moons

Rings

Formation

A critical question for scientists who search for life among the stars: How do habitable planets get their start? The close similarities of early Venus and Earth, and their very different fates, provide a kind of test case for scientists who study planet formation. Similar size, similar interior structure, both harboring oceans in their younger days. Yet one is now an inferno, while the other is the only known world &ndash so far &ndash to play host to abundant life. The factors that set these planets on almost opposite paths began, most likely, in the swirling disk of gas and dust from which they were born. Somehow, 4.6 billion years ago that disk around our Sun accreted, cooled, and settled into the planets we know today. Several might well have moved in closer, or farther out, as the solar system formed. Better knowledge of the formation history of Venus could help us better understand Earth&rsquos &ndash and those of rocky planets around other stars.

Structure

If we could slice Venus and Earth in half, pole to pole, and place them side by side, they would look remarkably similar. Each planet has an iron core enveloped by a hot-rock mantle the thinnest of skins forms a rocky, exterior crust. On both planets, this thin skin changes form and sometimes erupts into volcanoes in response to the ebb and flow of heat and pressure deep beneath.

Other possible similarities will require further investigation &ndash and perhaps another visit to a planet that has hosted many Earth probes, both in orbit and (briefly) on the surface. On Earth, the slow movement of continents over thousands and millions of years reshapes the surface, a process known as &ldquoplate tectonics.&rdquo Something similar might have happened on Venus early in its history. Today a key element of this process could be operating: subduction, or the sliding of one continental &ldquoplate&rdquo beneath another, which can also trigger volcanoes. Subduction is believed to be the first step in creating plate tectonics.

NASA&rsquos Magellan spacecraft, which ended a five-year mission to Venus in 1994, mapped the broiling surface using radar. Magellan saw a land of extreme volcanism. The orbiter saw a relatively young surface, one recently reshaped (in geologic terms), and chains of towering mountains.

Surface

The broiling surface of Venus has been a topic of heated discussion among planetary scientists. The traditional picture includes a catastrophic, planetwide resurfacing between 350 and 750 million years ago. In other words, Venus appears to have completely erased most traces of its early surface. The causes: volcanic and tectonic forces, which could include surface buckling and massive eruptions. But newer estimates made with help from computer models paint a different portrait. While the same forces would be at work, resurfacing would be piecemeal over an extended time. The average age of surface features could be as young as 150 million years, with some older surfaces mixed in.

Venus is a landscape of valleys and high mountains dotted with thousands of volcanoes. Its surface features &ndash most named for both real and mythical women &ndash include Ishtar Terra, a rocky, highland area around the size of Australia near the north pole, and an even larger, South-America-sized region called Aphrodite Terra that stretches across the equator. One mountain reaches 36,000 feet (11 kilometers), higher than Mt. Everest. Notably, except for Earth, Venus has by far the fewest impact craters of any rocky planet, revealing a young surface.

On your tour of Venus, during the 117 days you&rsquore waiting for sunset, you might stop by a volcanic crater, Sacajawea, named for Lewis and Clark&rsquos Native American guide. Or stroll through a deep canyon, Diana, named for the Roman goddess of the hunt.

Other notable features of the Venus landscape include:

&ldquoPancake&rdquo domes with flat tops and steep sides, as wide as 38 miles (62 kilometers), likely formed by the extrusion of highly viscous lava.

&ldquoTick&rdquo domes, odd volcanoes with radiating spurs that, from above, make them look like their blood-feeding namesake.

Tesserae, terrain with intricate patterns of ridges and grooves that suggest the scorching temperatures make rock behave in some ways more like peanut butter beneath a thin and strong chocolate layer on Venus.

Atmosphere

The Soviet Union landed 10 probes on the surface of Venus, but even among the few that functioned after landing, the successes were short-lived &ndash the longest survivor lasted two hours the shortest, 23 minutes. Photos snapped before the landers fried show a barren, dim, and rocky landscape, and a sky that is likely some shade of sulfur yellow.

Venus&rsquo atmosphere is one of extremes. With the hottest surface in the solar system, apart from the Sun itself, Venus is hotter even than the innermost planet, charbroiled Mercury. To outlive the short-lived Venera probes, your rambling sojourn on Venus would presumably include unimaginably strong insulation as temperatures push toward 900 degrees Fahrenheit (482 Celsius). You would need an extremely thick, pressurized outer shell to avoid being crushed by the weight of the atmosphere &ndash which would press down on you as if you were 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) deep in the ocean.

The atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide &ndash the same gas driving the greenhouse effect on Venus and Earth &ndash with clouds composed of sulfuric acid. And at the surface, the hot, high-pressure carbon dioxide behaves in a corrosive fashion. But a stranger transformation begins as you rise higher. Temperature and pressure begin to ease.

Magnetosphere

Even though Venus is similar in size to Earth and has a similar-sized iron core, the planet does not have its own internally generated magnetic field. Instead, Venus has what is known as an induced magnetic field. This weak magnetic field is created by the interaction of the Sun's magnetic field and the planet's outer atmosphere. Ultraviolet light from the Sun excites gases in Venus' outermost atmosphere these electrically excited gases are called ions, and thus this region is called the ionosphere (Earth has an ionosphere as well). The solar wind &ndash a million-mile-per-hour gale of electrically charged particles streaming continuously from the Sun &ndash carries with it the Sun's magnetic field. When the Sun's magnetic field interacts with the electrically excited ionosphere of Venus, it creates or induces, a magnetic field there. This induced magnetic field envelops the planet and is shaped like an extended teardrop, or the tail of a comet, as the solar wind blows past Venus and outward into the solar system.


Venus: The hot, hellish & volcanic planet

Venus, the second planet from the sun, is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty and is the only planet named after a female. Venus may have been named after the most beautiful deity of the pantheon because it shone the brightest among the five planets known to ancient astronomers.

In ancient times, Venus was often thought to be two different stars, the evening star and the morning star — that is, the ones that first appeared at sunset and sunrise. In Latin, they were respectively known as Vesper and Lucifer. In Christian times, Lucifer, or "light-bringer," became known as the name of Satan before his fall. However, further observations of Venus in the space age show a very hellish environment. This makes Venus a very difficult planet to observe from up close, because spacecraft do not survive long on its surface.


Schema Theory: A Summary

Schema theory is perhaps the most difficult theory in psychology to comprehend. But once you understand it, you’ll see the effects of schema everywhere. In this post, we’ll break down the theory step-by-step.

What is schema theory?

Schema theory’s central claim is that our knowledge of the world is organized and categorized, which can influence our cognition and behaviour. Unlike other theories in psychology, schema theory isn’t attributable to a single psychologist but has had many contributions from various psychologists over almost 100 years of research. Some of the most notable contributors include Bartlett, Piaget and Vygotsky.

Like a filing cabinet keeps information categorized, schema theory claims that our mind organizes our knowledge and memories to make them easily accessible.

What is a schema?

A schema is a cluster of knowledge or memory that is stored in the mind. They’re also called “cognitive frameworks” as they are a system for categorizing and organizing information and memory.

The metaphor I use to explain a “schema” is to imagine your mind is a filing cabinet, or your computer’s hard-drive. Schemas are like the individual files.

If you think of your mind like a computer, a schema is a folder and individual bits of knowledge and memories are the files.

What are the characteristics and functions of schema? (These are the key claims of schema theory).

Along with the existence of schema, another central claim of schema theory is that their function is to help us make sense of the complex world of information that we live in. They also enable us to make generalizations about situations, people and places. Stereotypes are an example of a social schema and how we can generalize about groups of people to save our cognitive energy.

This video of mine on our ThemEd youtube channel gives a detailed summary of all the points in this post.

How can schema influence our thinking and/or our behaviour?

Our Revision Guide has a full summary of schema theory and related studies for IB Psych students and teachers.

One way schemas can influence cognition is that they can affect our ability to comprehend new information. When we’re exposed to new information we relate it to our existing knowledge (our schemas) and this can improve our comprehension of that information (as seen in Bransford and Johnson’s study).

This process of relating new information to existing schema can also influence our processing of new information and can lead to confirmation bias. If we have an existing stereotype (social schema) about a group of people, we use this schema when we’re processing new information and we might tend to focus only on details that are consistent with our schema, since this is cognitively easier. This means that we might focus on and remember details of someone that are consistent with our existing stereotype, which is how stereotypes might be reinforced. This is seen in Cohen’s study using the waitress/librarian paradigm.

This Crash Course video called “The Growth of Knowledge” has some more explanations about schemas. (Link)

What are the applications of schema theory?

From the above examples we can see that ideas related to schema theory have multiple applications. Education and especially literacy (reading and writing skills) researchers use many elements of schema theory in their research. By understanding how existing knowledge can influence comprehension of new information could help design better reading programmes and help kids develop better reading comprehension skills.

We can also use schema theory to explain how stereotypes might affect our behaviour. While the examples above may not provide a great explanation for the origin of stereotypes, they do show how they could lead to confirmation bias, which might serve to strengthen and reinforce existing stereotypes.

What are the limitations of schema theory?

  • A good theory should be testable. What factors may influence how easy it is to test claims of schema theory?

Exam Tip: When asked to describe schema theory students often make the mistake of skimming over the theory and focusing on the studies – make sure you can fully describe the theory as well as be able to explain how it can be supported by studies.

  • What is schema theory? What is a schema?
  • What are the characteristics and functions of schema? (These are the key claims of schema theory).
  • How can schema influence our thinking and/or our behaviour?
  • How can claims of schema theory be demonstrated in studies?
  • What are the applications of schema theory?
  • What are the limitations of schema theory?

Travis Dixon is an IB Psychology teacher, author, workshop leader, examiner and IA moderator.


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Education Articles & More

The new Pixar film has moved viewers young and old to take a look inside their own minds.

Since its release last month, Inside Out has been applauded by critics, adored by audiences, and has become the likely front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

But perhaps its greatest achievement has been this: It has moved viewers young and old to take a look inside their own minds. As you likely know by now, much of the film takes place in the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, with five emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—embodied by characters who help Riley navigate her world. The film has some deep things to say about the nature of our emotions—which is no coincidence, as the GGSC’s founding faculty director, Dacher Keltner, served as a consultant on the film, helping to make sure that, despite some obvious creative liberties, the film’s fundamental messages about emotion are consistent with scientific research.

Those messages are smartly embedded within Inside Out‘s inventive storytelling and mind-blowing animation they enrich the film without weighing it down. But they are conveyed strongly enough to provide a foundation for discussion among kids and adults alike. Some of the most memorable scenes in the film double as teachable moments for the classroom or dinner table.

Though Inside Out has artfully opened the door to these conversations, it can still be hard to find the right way to move through them or respond to kids’ questions. So for parents and teachers who want to discuss Inside Out with children, here we have distilled four of its main insights into our emotional lives, along with some of the research that backs them up. And a warning, lest we rouse your Anger: There are a number of spoilers below.

1) Happiness is not just about joy. When the film begins, the emotion of Joy—personified by a manic pixie-type with the voice of Amy Poehler—helms the controls inside Riley’s mind her overarching goal is to make sure that Riley is always happy. But by the end of the film, Joy—like Riley, and the audience—learns that there is much, much more to being happy than boundless positivity. In fact, in the film’s final chapter, when Joy cedes control to some of her fellow emotions, particularly Sadness, Riley seems to achieve a deeper form of happiness.

This reflects the way that a lot of leading emotion researchers see happiness. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of the best-selling How of Happiness, defines happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” (emphasis added) So while positive emotions such as joy are definitely part of the recipe for happiness, they are not the whole shebang.

In fact, a recent study found that people who experience “emodiversity,” or a rich array of both positive and negative emotions, have better mental health. The authors of this study suggest that feeling a variety of specific emotions may give a person more detailed information about a particular situation, thus resulting in better behavioral choices—and potentially greater happiness.

For example, in a pivotal moment in the film, Riley allows herself to feel sadness, in addition to fear and anger, about her idea of running away from home as a result, she decides not to go through with her plan. This choice reunites Riley with her family, giving her a deeper sense of happiness and contentment in the comfort she gets from her parents, even though it’s mixed with sadness and fear.

In that light, Inside Out’s creators, including director Pete Docter, made a smart choice to name Poehler’s character “Joy” instead of “Happiness.” Ultimately, joy is just one element of happiness, and happiness can be tinged with other emotions, even including sadness.

2) Don’t try to force happiness. One of us (Vicki) felt an old, familiar frustration when Riley’s mother tells her to be her parents’ “happy girl” while the family adjusts to a stressful cross-country move and her father goes through a difficult period at work. As a child, Vicki got similar messages and used to think something was wrong with her if she wasn’t happy all the time. And all the research and press about the importance of happiness in recent years can make this message that much more potent.

Thank goodness emotion researcher June Gruber and her colleagues started looking at the nuances of happiness and its pursuit. Their findings challenge the “happy-all-the-time” imperative that was probably imposed upon many of us.

For example, their research suggests that making happiness an explicit goal in life can actually make us miserable. Gruber’s colleague Iris Mauss has discovered that the more people strive for happiness, the greater the chance that they’ll set very high standards of happiness for themselves and feel disappointed—and less happy—when they’re not able to meet those standards all the time.

So it should come as no surprise that trying to force herself to be happy actually doesn’t help Riley deal with the stresses and transitions in her life. In fact, not only does that strategy fail to bring her happiness, it also seems to make her feel isolated and angry with her parents, which factors into her decision to run away from home.

What’s a more effective route to happiness for Riley (and the rest of us)? Recent research points to the importance of “prioritizing positivity”—deliberately carving out ample time in life for experiences that we personally enjoy. For Riley, that’s ice hockey, spending time with friends, and goofing around with her parents.

But critically, prioritizing positivity does not require avoiding or denying negative feelings or the situations that cause them—the kind of single-minded pursuit of happiness that can be counter-productive. That’s a crucial emotional lesson for Riley and her family when Riley finally admits that moving to San Francisco has been tough for her—an admission that brings her closer to her parents.

3) Sadness is vital to our well-being. Early in the film, Joy admits that she doesn’t understand what Sadness is for or why it’s in Riley’s head. She’s not alone. At one time or another, many of us have probably wondered what purpose sadness serves in our lives.

That’s why the two of us love that Sadness rather than Joy emerges as the hero of the movie. Why? Because Sadness connects deeply with people—a critical component of happiness—and helps Riley do the same. For example, when Riley’s long-forgotten imaginary friend Bing Bong feels dejected after the loss of his wagon, it is Sadness’s empathic understanding that helps him recover, not Joy’s attempt to put a positive spin on his loss. (Interestingly, this scene illustrates an important finding from research on happiness, namely that expressions of happiness must be appropriate to the situation.)

In one the film’s greatest revelations, Joy looks back on one of Riley’s “core memories”—when the girl missed a shot in an important hockey game—and realizes that the sadness Riley felt afterwards elicited compassion from her parents and friends, making her feel closer to them and transforming this potentially awful memory into one imbued with deep meaning and significance for her.

With great sensitivity, Inside Out shows how tough emotions like sadness, fear, and anger, can be extremely uncomfortable for people to experience—which is why many of us go to great lengths to avoid them (see the next section). But in the film, as in real life, all of these emotions serve an important purpose by providing insight into our inner and outer environments in ways that can help us connect with others, avoid danger, or recover from loss.

One caveat: While it’s important to help kids embrace sadness, parents and teachers need to explain to them that sadness is not the same as depression—a mood disorder that involves prolonged and intense periods of sadness. Adults also need to create safe and trusting environments for children so they will feel safe asking for help if they feel sad or depressed.

4) Mindfully embrace—rather than suppress—tough emotions. At one point, Joy attempts to prevent Sadness from having any influence on Riley’s psyche by drawing a small “circle of Sadness” in chalk and instructing Sadness to stay within it. It’s a funny moment, but psychologists will recognize that Joy is engaging in a risky behavior called “emotional suppression”—an emotion-regulation strategy that has been found to lead to anxiety and depression, especially amongst teenagers whose grasp of their own emotions is still developing. Sure enough, trying to contain Sadness and deny her a role in the action ultimately backfires for Joy, and for Riley.

Later in the film, when Bing Bong loses his wagon (the scene described above), Joy tries to get him to “cognitively reappraise” the situation, meaning that she encourages him to reinterpret what this loss means for him—in this case, by trying to shift his emotional response toward the positive. Cognitive reappraisal is a strategy that has historically been considered the most effective way to regulate emotions. But even this method of emotion regulation is not always the best approach, as researchers have found that it can sometimes increase rather than decrease depression, depending on the situation.

Toward the end of the movie, Joy does what some researchers now consider to be the healthiest method for working with emotions: Instead of avoiding or denying Sadness, Joy accepts Sadness for who she is, realizing that she is an important part of Riley’s emotional life.

Emotion experts call this “mindfully embracing” an emotion. What does that mean? Rather than getting caught up in the drama of an emotional reaction, a mindful person kindly observes the emotion without judging it as the right or wrong way to feel in a given situation, creating space to choose a healthy response. Indeed, a 2014 study found that depressed adolescents and young adults who took a mindful approach to life showed lower levels of depression, anxiety, and bad attitudes, as well as a greater quality of life.

Certainly, Inside Out isn’t the first attempt to teach any of these four lessons, but it’s hard to think of another piece of media that has simultaneously moved and entertained so many people in the process. It’s a shining example of the power of media to shift viewers’ understanding of the human experience—a shift that, in this case, we hope will help viewers foster deeper and more compassionate connections to themselves and those around them.


Facts about Venus

  • Venus does not have any moons or rings.
  • Venus is nearly as big as the Earth with a diameter of 12,104 km.
  • Venus is thought to be made up of a central iron core, rocky mantle and silicate crust.
  • A day on the surface of Venus (solar day) would appear to take 117 Earth days.
  • A year on Venus takes 225 Earth days.
  • The surface temperature on Venus can reach 471 °C.
  • A day on Venus lasts longer than a year.
    It takes 243 Earth days to rotate once on its axis (sidereal day). The planet’s orbit around the Sun takes 225 Earth days, compared to the Earth’s 365. A day on the surface of Venus (solar day) takes 117 Earth days.
  • Venus rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets.
    This means that Venus is rotating in the opposite direction to the Sun, this is also known as a retrograde rotation. One possible reason for this might be a collision with an asteroid or other object.
  • Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky.
    Only the Moon is brighter. With a magnitude of between -3.8 to -4.6 Venus is so bright it can be seen during daytime on a clear day.
  • Atmospheric pressure on Venus is 92 times greater than the Earth’s.
    Due to this crushing small asteroids when they enter its atmosphere Venus has not small craters. The pressure felt on Venus’ surface is equivalent to that deep beneath the sea on Earth.
  • Venus is often called the Earth’s sister planet.
    The Earth and Venus are very similar in size with only a 638 km difference in diameter and Venus having 81.5% of the Earth’s mass. Both also have a central core, a molten mantle and a crust.
  • The same side of Venus always faces the Earth when at their closest.
    It is possible this is due to the Earth’s gravational influence.
  • Venus is also known as the Morning Star and the Evening Star.
    Early civilisations thought Venus was two different bodies. These were called Phosphorus and Hesperus by the Greeks, and Lucifer and Vesper by the Romans. When Venus’ orbit around the Sun overtakes Earth’s orbit, it changes from being visible after sunset to being visible before sunrise. Mayan astronomers made detailed observations of Venus as early as 650 AD.
  • Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system.
    The average surface temperature is 462 °C, and because Venus does not tilt on its axis, there is no seasonal variation. The dense atmosphere of around 96.5 percent carbon dioxide traps heat and causes a greenhouse effect.
  • A detailed study of Venus finished in 2015.
    In 2006, the Venus Express space craft was sent into orbit around Venus by the European Space Agency. Originally planned to last five hundred Earth days, the mission was extended several times before the craft was deorbited in 2015. More than 1,000 volcanoes or volcanic centres larger than 20 km have been found on the surface of Venus.
  • The Russians sent the first mission to Venus.
    The Venera 1 space probe was launched in 1961, but lost contact with base. The USA also lost their first probe to Venus, Mariner 1, although Mariner 2 was able to take measurements of the planet in 1962. The Soviet Union’s Venera 3 was the first man-made craft to land on Venus in 1966.
  • At one point it was thought Venus might be a tropical paradise.
    The dense clouds of sulphuric acid surrounding Venus make it impossible to view its surface from outside its atmosphere. It was only when radio mapping was developed in the 1960s that scientists were able to observe the extreme temperatures and hostile environment.

Research

Jecker and Landy (1969) involved students in an intellectual contest where they could win significant money. Afterwards:

  • A: 1/3 were approached by the researcher and asked to return money as he had been using his own funds and was running short.
  • B: 1/3 were approached by a secretary and asked to return money as it was from the psychology department and funds were low.
  • C: 1/3 were not approached.

Then all were surveyed to see how much they liked the researcher. Group B rated him lower than Group C (so impersonal request for a favor decreases liking). Group A rated him higher than group C (so personal request for a favor increases liking).


Sex on the Brain

Photographs by Ryan McVay/Getty Images.

Are male brains different from female brains? If so, how? And does it matter?

This week, five researchers debated these questions at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Their panel session, “The Promise and Peril of Research on Sex Differences,” didn’t settle the controversy, because it isn’t binary, and evidence is complex. But the exchange did clarify common mistakes to watch out for. Here’s a guide.

1. Ideology. All the panelists recognized that sex-difference research could be abused to justify sexism. But Larry Cahill, a behavioral neurobiologist at the University of California-Irvine, raised the opposite concern: His colleagues are so afraid of being called “neurosexists” that they’ve refused to study or acknowledge differences. This anxiety about lending credence to sexism was manifest on the panel, as three of the presenters repeatedly emphasized similarities and downplayed differences. Afterward, they were challenged by two female scientists in the audience who called the aversion to studying innate differences anti-scientific and an impediment to understanding mental illness in women. The exchange, in which one panelist repeatedly portrayed sex-difference research as a waste of time, confirmed the problem: Fear of sexism has produced a bias against conceding sex differences, which gets in the way of frank discussion and investigation.

2. Monocausality. Melissa Hines, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, proposed a good rule for screening studies and news reports: Beware any explanation that relies on a single factor. Hormones matter, but so does socialization. A study in animals might illuminate the role of genes, but it won’t capture the effects of culture on humans. Conversely, anyone who dismisses boy-girl differences as cultural artifacts (the panelists criticized Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender in particular) isn’t accounting for similar patterns in animals, such as research showing that male monkeys prefer to play more with cars and less with dolls than female monkeys do. Hines also mentioned a male-female gap in “maze performance” among rodents. You can’t blame that on society.

3. Casual extrapolation. The problem with genetic or cultural theories of sex difference isn’t that they’re false. It’s that they’re limited. They work better in some contexts than in others. Hines recalled an incident in which, after she had described data on toy preference among girls, a male physicist said she had just explained why it was hard to recruit women to teach physics. The leap from dolls to doctorates was effortless, though groundless. Another psychologist on the panel, Janet Hyde of the University of Wisconsin, noted that sex differences in math performance had largely evaporated over the past 20 years. But not all differences: A stubborn gap remains in mental rotation, which requires the imaginary realignment of three-dimensional shapes. Cahill offered a sensible way to think about these uneven findings: The effects of sex difference on behavior and performance vary, and as a researcher of emotional stress, he acknowledged, “I may be working in a domain of neuroscience where these effects are maximal.” We need more of that humility, and less glib generalization.

4. Self-fulfillment. Maryjane Wraga, a psychologist at Smith College, presented research on stereotype threat, showing that women perform worse at mental rotation (compared with other women) when they’re told that men are better at it. So if scientists go around saying girls are bad with numbers, tests might appear to validate that prediction, but the prediction itself will be the culprit. The panelists were particularly alarmed by the single-sex education movement and the brain theorists behind it, authors Michael Gurian and Leonard Sax. These authors grossly exaggerate boy-girl differences, the panelists argued. But the greater danger is that single-sex education, by preaching and practicing segregated socialization, may exacerbate these differences.

5. Stereotypes. Girls differ from boys, but girls also differ from other girls. This in-group variation gets obscured by composite models such as The Female Brain (a book by Louann Brizendine, panned by the presenters) and binary metaphors like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Sex differences don’t show up as separate clusters. They show up, in Cahill’s words, as “overlapping distributions.” Hyde explained that to compute the “effect size” of sex, you have to factor in the variability of scores among males and among females. Otherwise, you have no perspective on how meaningful the gap is between the male and female averages, relative to being Jane rather than Sally, or being Mike rather than Bill. You certainly can’t infer from a person’s sex how well he or she will do on a test.

6. Either/or. Hyde took a blowtorch to former Harvard president Larry Summers, presenting data that showed no sex difference in K-12 math scores. Then, to be fair, she acknowledged Summers’ more complicated argument: not that boys are better than girls at math on average, but that boys are more spread out, with lots of boys scoring very high or very low compared with girls, who tend to cluster more in the middle. Hyde argued that the K-12 data didn’t support Summers because the ratio of male variation in scores to female variation in scores wasn’t high enough to explain a shortage of women in some Harvard faculty departments. But on her presentation slide, every grade level showed a ratio between 1.11 and 1.21. In other words, the data did show greater male variation. This might contribute to professional gender gaps, though it doesn’t fully explain them.

7. Overinterpretation. With today’s technology, it’s easy to scan and measure brains and compute sex differences in size or activity. The hard part is figuring out what these differences mean. Yes, the brains of male fetuses and boys get bathed in testosterone. But does this really affect their math skills or their ability to communicate and process emotions, as some theorists assert? Yes, men have more gray matter, and women have more white matter. But does that justify CBS anchor Harry Smith’s conclusion—captured in a video clip by panelist Lise Eliot, a Slate contributor and neuroscientist at Rosalind Franklin University—that this is “why women are such good multitaskers”? The fishy part of neuroscience isn’t the data. It’s the spin we put on the data in the guise of explanation.

8. Inferred immutability. Before you attribute sex differences in behavior or success to evolution, check the record. Today’s differences may not have existed yesterday and may not exist tomorrow. The percentage of math Ph.D.’s awarded to women in the 1950s, according to Hyde, was half what it was in the 1890s and one-sixth of what it is today. Several panelists targeted the word hardwired as a misleading metaphor for explaining the brain. Brains, unlike computers, are constantly altered by experience. So while scans may show differences between men’s and women’s brains, that doesn’t prove the differences are innate. Wraga’s scans, for instance, showed different patterns of activation, but the patterns corresponded to social inputs. Even in animals, Eliot noted that male rats are licked and groomed more than female rats are, which could affect sex differences in stress response. And Cahill described new research indicating that birth control pills alter patterns of emotional memory. So, yes, hormones influence how we think. But we, in turn, can influence our hormones.

9. Data pooling. Beware broad generalizations based on the blending of data about various traits or activities. The panel made much ado about Hyde’s finding that 78 percent of effect sizes in studies of psychological sex difference were small or near zero. But that aggregate figure obscures the fine print: Half the effect sizes were between .11 and .35. In aggression, they averaged around .50, and in mental rotation, they were even higher. And if you read Hyde’s paper carefully, you’ll find that she breaks down these differences further. So while she’s right that males and females are largely similar, the details are intriguing. Likewise, Eliot’s observation that “most of our behavioral sex differences are quite a bit smaller than [sex differences in] height” obscures the curious fact, mentioned on one of Hines’ slides, that boys and girls differ more in toy preference than in height.

10. Comparison games. In science, as in politics, you can make a difference look big or small by choosing the basis of comparison. So while Hines’ slide compared the height gap to the toy-preference gap, Eliot’s slide compared the height gap to the much smaller “empathy” gap. While Eliot and Hyde characterized the effect sizes in sex-difference studies as small or near zero, Cahill argued that these effect sizes were no smaller than those typically found in other neuroscience research. (Indeed, I heard no complaints from the panel about small effect size when Wraga cited a 6-percent effect on math scores as evidence of stereotype threat.) Hyde acknowledged that boys scored “an itty-bitty bit better” than girls in math in the United States, Taiwan, and Japan, but she pointed out that the bigger difference is between the three countries, with Taiwanese and Japanese girls outscoring American boys.

These 10 warnings don’t add up to an answer on the overall question of sex differences. There is no answer. There’s only a complex, preliminary array of evidence on various questions, and an evolving menu of research to explore those questions further. Let’s not be afraid to pursue the research. And let’s not jump to conclusions.

William Saletan’s latest short takes on the news, via Twitter:


Venus effect explained in greater detail? - Psychology

This is a great question! The answer to it lies in the fact that Venus has a very dense atmosphere made up of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulfuric acid, while Mercury has a very thin atmosphere with various gases, but very little carbon dioxide. So what's so important about carbon dioxide? Well, sunlight will pass through Venus' clouds (which contain mostly carbon dioxide) and warm the surface of the planet. Usually, the surface of a planet is warmed during the day and cools off at night by releasing infrared radiation (heat) back into space. But the carbon dioxide in Venus' clouds absorbs energy from infrared radiation very well and "traps" the heat on the planet, making it very warm. This has sometimes been called a "runaway greenhouse effect." We don't see this happen on Mercury because its atmosphere is not thick and does not have much carbon dioxide in it. I hope this helps!

Venus is hotter than Mercury because it has a much thicker atmosphere. The atmosphere, the gaseous layer surrounding a planet, is like a blanket. Think of two people sitting next to a campfire one is much closer to the fire while another is further away. The one that is closer doesn't have a blanket (Mercury), while the other further away has a sleeping bag (Venus). Both persons are getting heat from the fire but the person with the sleeping bag keeps all the heat he or she gets. Mercury is closer but because it has a very thin or no atmosphere at all the heat goes out into space. Venus on the other hand with it's much thicker atmosphere holds all the heat it gets. The heat the atmosphere traps is called the greenhouse effect. If Venus did not have an atmosphere the surface would be -128 degrees Fahrenheit much colder than 333 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature of Mercury.

Venus is hotter due to the greenhouse effect: Venus has an atmosphere about ninety times thicker than that of Earth, and made almost entirely of carbon dioxide, which is one of the gasses that causes the greenhouse effect on Earth. The greenhouse effect on Venus is so great that it raises the surface temperature on Venus to, as you say, hotter than that of Mercury, despite being farther from the sun.


Watch the video: HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ART - PART 2 (May 2022).


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