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Catrina Mueller's blog

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Book review of The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker

I have always been interested in language. When I was small, I discovered my love of etymology through vocabulary tests. I realized that I remembered words much more easily if I knew how these words were “built”, so to speak. For instance, the word “decimate” was much easier to memorize when I knew that it basically meant “to kill one in ten” in Latin. Eventually, my love for language grew; so much, that I am probably going to major in one, if not two foreign languages here at Bryn Mawr. So it was very fortunate for me when Professor Grobstein recommended that I

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TB and Vitamin D

“Consumption”, “King’s evil”, and the “white plague”. What do all of these have in common? They are all different names for the disease which we call Tuberculosis today.{1} Something with such threatening name should surely be quite the evil malady. In fact, “14,000 cases [of Tuberculosis, or TB,] were reported in 2005 in the United States”.{2} 14,000 cases? That’s not a terribly huge amount of people compared to the 2.4–3.3 million lives that AIDS claimed that same year. {3} And TB didn’t even kill all 14,000 of those people.

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Love’s Labor’s Won: A Scientific Look at Love

Love: it’s something we all have experienced, at least in some shape or form. Love has many shapes and forms. Love can grow, dwindle, and change. It can be weak or strong. Just a crush or an infatuation. It can be obsessive, consuming, and above all: unpredictable. One can love objects, ideas, and, of course, other humans. But what the heck is love? Unfortunately, there is no general scientific consensus as to what the phenomenon of “love” is exactly. This makes sense, as love is such a complex emotion. There are, however, many theories that try to bring us closer to the truth of love.
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From Behavioral Psychology to Cognitive Psychology: An Ever Changing View of Life

Have you ever stood at the top of a very tall object and shuddered at the thought of looking down? Have you ever noticed that when you give a dog a treat, it tends to repeat the same action for which you praised it? Both of these situations use conditioning, a crux of the behavioral psychology. Two branches of Behaviorism, Classical and Radical Behavioral psychology, use conditioning to explain the actions of humans and animals without ever having to delve into the mind.

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