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Tuesday, November 6th class discussion summary

Today in class we discussed any confusion about the paper that we just handed in pertaining to our experiement on the unconscious. The goal of the paper was to make observations and "be a scientist." Some students had concerns about their data and the assignment. This led us to look at a website that explained how to devise an experiment (/excechange/courses/bio103/f07/notes). The categories from the "traditional perspective" consist of hypothesis, experiment and conclusion. We discussed what each of these categories meant. Hypothesis is, as Anne definied, "an educated guess." Then we defined an experiment as making new observations and testing the hypothesis. We used babies crying as an example. Babies cry because a "summary of observations" led them to believe that if they cry, then they will get food and attention. However, the conclusion never indicates whether the findings of the experiment are true in all cases because "science is a summary of observations." If the hypothesis has been disproved, then the experimenter must create a new hypothesis. New obersvations must always be made which is why this process goes in a loop. After reviewing the website, we then went back to the paper and applied our understanding of the "old perspective" to the assignment.

We then went on discuss other student's experiments. We participated in Hillary's experiment which was to see how the unconscious associates certain images with a specific gender. She tested this by showing 32 slides of different images with 5 miliseconds in between each slide. After viewing each image, the participant would have to rank on a scale of 1-10, 1 being absolutely female and 10 being absolutely male, the gender of each image. Images included a tree, fire, George Clooney and a female body builder. After performing hte experiment, we then calculated the class range for each question and then compared it to the averages that she compiled from her research. The results showed smaller ranges for people and gender related symbols and wider ranges for objects. Questions after the experiment were raised about whether our unconscious thoughts are really our own unconscious thoughts if society affects our unconscious, and whehter these thoughts are trully our own. We were able to conclude that some parts of the unconscious are similar while others are not.


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