Chapter 2 introduces the concept of embodied cognition, the notion that mental processes are influenced by the body’ sensory experience. How you feel affects how you think and what you think about. Visit learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/its-not-all-in-your-head-designing-embodied-cognition-experiments. Scroll down to the section headed, “Related.” Read Sandra Blakeslee’s article titled, “Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just A White Coat.” Then, answer the questions in the section headed, “Questions.” Design an embodied cognition as directed in the “Activity” section. You do not need to conduct the experiment, and you will work on your own rather than with another student. Follow the links in the section for inspiration in developing your experiment. Describe the experiment you design, making sure to answer the five questions listed in the section. This exercise builds your knowledge of embodied cognition and allows you to apply the understanding of experimental research methods you developed in Chapter 1.
Social Psychology in the News. Chapter 2 reviews the process of neural communication and describes several neurotransmitters. Psychoactive drugs exert their effects by influencing the action of neurotransmitters. Go to www.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/health/antidepressant-paxil-is-unsafe-for-teenagers-new-analysis-says.html and read the New York Times article titled, “Antidepressant Paxil Is Unsafe for Teenagers, New Analysis Says.” Based on the article, describe the original article supporting the safety of Paxil for the treatment of depression among adolescents. Be sure to describe the sample, the groups, the variables, and the results. Indicate how placebo effects and the data from individual patients may complicate the interpretation of the results of drug research. Based on the textbook’s discussion, how do you think Paxil might influence the action of a specific neurotransmitter in the brain? This exercise reinforces your understanding of neurotransmission and affords an opportunity to reinforce the understanding of experimental research methods you developed in Chapter 1.
Social Psychology, Social Media, and Technology. Chapter 2 describes the social theory of the evolution of the human brain and reviews the functions of key brain areas and structures. View the brief YouTube video, “5 Crazy Ways Social Media is Changing Your Brain Right Now.” Based on the video, review the effects of social media on the brain, attention, communication, and relationships. Make specific reference to brain areas, brain functions, and neurotransmitters where applicable. To what extent do your social media experiences reflect the material presented in the video? Suggest the implications of social media’s appeal for the social theory of brain evolution. Based on the theory, what effect, if any, might social media have on the brain’s future evolution? This exercise helps you evaluate the social theory of brain evolution and describe neuronal and brain functioning.
Doing Research. Research methods in social neuroscience are described in Chapter 2’s Doing Research box. Briefly describe electroencephalography (EEG). Define event-related potential (ERP). Visit makingconnections.redlands.edu. Select “Neuroscience” from the Areas of Psychology pulldown menu along the top. Click the link titled, “Your Brain on Violent Video Games.” Read the abstract. Distinguish between a theory and a hypothesis; identify each in the Engelhardt et al.’s (2011) research. How did the researchers use EEG and what did it reveal? Identify the independent and dependent variables and state how they were operationalized. Identify the experimental and control groups. Suggest potential confounding variables you should consider were you to replicate this work. Finally, explain how the research supports desensitization theory. This exercise enhances your understanding of research methods in social neuroscience. It also offers an opportunity to reinforce the understanding of experimental research methods you developed in Chapter 1.
Doing Research. Research methods in social neuroscience are described in Chapter 2’s Doing Research box. The chapter also highlights the potential application of social neuroscience to deception detection in forensic settings. Briefly describe functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Visit makingconnections.redlands.edu. Select “Neuroscience” from the Areas of Psychology pulldown menu along the top. Click the link titled, “Brain Imaging and Lie Detection.” Read the abstract. What has fMRI revealed with respect to potential brain differences between lying and truth-telling? Discuss several legal and ethical concerns should brain imaging techniques become commonplace techniques of criminal investigation. This exercise enhances your understanding of research methods in social neuroscience.