Category: psychology

Literary Analysis: An Examination of Free Will Through Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange

Fundamental conversations, on freedom and self-determination, greatly influenced Anthony Burgess’ choice of immoral characterization and dramatic plot development in his 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, dealing with what it means to be able to make choices in a restrictive society and dabbling in themes of freedom and bondage. 

Modern-day democracies across the globe continue to thrive as world powers as a result of the choices made by its citizens. However, when governments suppress the voice of the people, as seen in A Clockwork Orange’s totalitarian government, growth is stunted and the government remains static. Similarly, philosophers have debated whether individuals have free will and the extent to which this self-sufficiency extends. Alvin Plantinga,  an analytic professor at the University of Notre Dame describes the ability to choose as, “Now, God can create free creatures, but he can’t cause or determine them to do only what is right. For if he does so, then they aren’t significantly free after all; they do not do what is right freely.” (Plantinga).  Plantinga’s attention towards the ability to make choices rather than rely on foreordained outcomes reveals the very hypocrisy Burgess aims to reveal through his novel, a hypocrisy centered on the notion that good can’t live without the choice to do otherwise. Alex, who is the antihero of the novel, questions the government which strives to dictate him, wondering, “ What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?” (Burgess). Alex’s internal line of questioning and later entrapment by the restrictive government reveals the evident truth of decision making. Without choice, then there is no moral guideline to follow and, essentially, no discernment from right and wrong. To state that the ability to make a choice through self-autonomy is an act of hypocrisy in and of itself as the individual making such a  claim would be referring to their own volition. For example, Jans Jonas, a German philosopher reveals an anecdote about a group of physiologists such as Ernst Brucke and Emil du Bois-Reymond who promised early in their careers, “Brucke and I pledged a solemn oath to put into effect this truth: ‘that no other forces are at work in the organism except chemical-physical ones’” (Jones). Contrary to their statement, their eventual rise to fame is an indicator of the impact personal actions have on an individual. As Seifert, an Austrian philosopher explains,

The Magic of Music: History, Cognitive Boost, and Music in Medicine

There is some universal beauty in the harmonies and melodies that dance their way to an ear in weaving sound waves. Music has been an integral part of everyday life since the glorious sounds of 500 BCE Ancient Greece and Rome. In the last few decades, the industry has grown to encompass over a thousand different genres and continues to expand and evolve alongside the world. Many recognize music as a reflection of their mood: upbeat to go along with a night out with friends, mellow to accompany the endless waterworks, or maybe rock and roll to fit a certain rebellious phase of life. However, behind the curtain, music can work all forms of magic on the mind. In fact, listening to music can increase cognitive performance, stimulate pain reduction, and promote stress relief.

Psychology 101: The Stanford Prison Experiment

What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? Philip Zimbardo, a psychologist and a professor at Stanford University posed the same exact question in 1971, thereby leading to what is known as The Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). The experiment was originally created to uncover the truth about human nature, a more in-depth look on what our true ambitions were, what really drove us. Zimbardo began by choosing 24 volunteers, making 12 of them “guards” and the other 12 “prisoners”.  They were taken to a prison simulation, a fabricated illusion to make the volunteers feel as if they were actually in prison. He began by  giving the guards ultimate power and left the prisoners vulnerable. This evidently led to a distinction of power between the two groups. 45 years later, people still ponder the  question that drove the experiment to its end. Was this study ethically right?  The Stanford Prison Experiment was not ethically right, it stripped volunteers of emotion temporarily, forcing them to turn against each other and was physically harmful to the majority of the participants. 

Top 15 Activities to do During Quarantine

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been forced to quarantine themselves in their homes. Although countries are starting to open and people are exiting quarantine, social distancing is still common  and previously planned summer activities such as trips, internships and summer jobs have been postponed or cancelled. With summer having arrived, students will no longer be distracted by their classes. This raises the question, what can we do over a quarantined summer?

Working out …for your brain? – The Neuroscience and Benefits of Playing An Instrument

Whether it’s a violin or a harmonica, learning to play an instrument takes time and effort to “perfect.” Musicians put hours and hours of hard work to perform in concerts, participate in competitions, or even just practice for fun at home. It can be frustrating to play the same piece hundreds and hundreds of times, especially if you still can’t get one section down. However, all of these hours of practicing actually do more than just putting on a perfect performance or impressing your family; playing an instrument can help your physical and mental state. 

Psychology and Marketing of Eating: Why Do We Eat the Way We Do?

The overwhelming amount of commercials, advertisements, and promotional campaigns that Americans are bombarded with is astronomical, to the point it is affecting their dietary habits. As the turn from a nomadic lifestyle switched to one with steady food supplies and surplus, history of mankind derailed and took an entirely different course, one that would later involve corporations utilizing marketing communications to influence their consumers. 

What is Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder?

Daydreaming is a common human phenomenon, one that we all experience in our daily lives. Studies show that we actually spend around 47% of our waking time in the dream world. We utilize this important tool to think-out different scenarios, re-visit special times in our lives, imagine new ones, or even just to pass time. Daydreaming is vital to the human experience. But one may wonder, what happens when one daydreams a little too much?

Sleep 101: Brain Activity and Sleep Disorders, Sleep Apnea, Circadium Rhythms, and How to Sleep Better at Night

Sleep and Brain Activity Sleep disorders affect up to 70 million people and cost around $15.9 billion annually. EEG stands for electroencephalography, which was used to examine human brain waves in the 1950s. Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, OSA, Apnea, Narcolepsy. Regulation of Sleep. Sleep-Wakefulness Cycle: Circadium Rhythm and Homeostatic System. Tips to sleep better at night.

Standardized Tests are Necessary for Learning – True or False? A Look Into the Recent AP Testing Situation

enough, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary for students to take these tests at home – and in only 45 minutes. Outrage over failed submissions and website problems has prompted the media to focus on the CollegeBoard and the real purpose and necessity of standardized testing. Is a test really enough to test a student’s true knowledge of a subject? Here, we will analyze the history of standardized testing, delve into the recent AP test situation, and consider the pros and cons of standardized tests.

The Rise of Tech: Tech Trends of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. From the way we greet each other to the schedule of our daily routines, it’s safe to say that everything that was considered the norm at the beginning of 2020 has completely changed. While most people’s eyes are on health officials, tech giants and start-up companies have been using this time to create new inventions to propel society further – or so they say. Here we will analyze the new products and tech trends that have arisen in the wake of this pandemic, what they do, and if they actually serve to help society.

Philosophy 101 – Cynicism Then and Now: Definition and Classical Cynicism vs Modern Cynicism

Nowadays, cynicism is associated with disengagement, apathy, and defeatism. The modern day cynic is seen as the optimist’s opposite. Optimists are generally seen as engaged, happy, and positive people. In many ways, these qualities also describe the Classical Cynic. How is it then that we get from Cynicism to cynicism? As with most explanations, it helps to start from the beginning.

Psychology 101: Crowd Psychology and The Theory of Gustave Le Bon

Crowds are often overlooked as a segment of psychology. Most people would like to say that they are independent and trail away from what others do, however, much goes unnoticed when talking about the human behaviour of an individual when placed in a large mass of others. This type of psychology becomes a unique aspect of how one may think purely based off of the interests and situation of a crowd. There are several theories and the concept itself plays a large role in several real-world situations with effective consequences.

Macroeconomics: The Definition of GDP and Its Implications

GDP is the universal measure of income among different countries. We’ve heard of the term GDP multiple times, but what exactly is GDP, and how do we measure an entire country’s income? GDP, Gross Domestic Product, measures the total value of all final goods and services produced in the economy of a country during a given year. Important points that need special attention in the definition of GDP are ‘total,’ ‘final,’ ‘country,’ and ‘a given year.’

Freud’s Psychology: Psychoanalysis, Id Ego Superego, and Dream Interpretation

Chances are, you’ve heard of the Oedipus complex or the idea that your dreams reveal your inner desires. The creator of these ideas was Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist and the founding father of psychoanalysis. His ideas and theories still remain very influential in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy, and their impact can even be seen in the visual arts and humanities.