Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category


In 1931, AugustePiccard and Charles Knipfer flew a balloon from Augsburg,Germany, to a glacier near Innsbruck, Austria. Reaching a height of 51,793 feet during their 17-hour flight, they were the first humans to reach the stratosphere. What freedom do you think they felt in accomplishing this task?
In overcoming obstacles and doubts and ridicule from friends or family in their quest to get to where they wanted in their goals, they obtained freedom….freedom from fear…they tried, and tried again and in the end found a place beyond their expectations….
Happy Stratospheric day! …and… think on this:
“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom isfreedom from fear.”
— Aung San Suu Kyi


Science of Murder

Is there a science to murder? Is evil real or folklore?

William Blackstone (citing Edward Coke), in his Commentaries on the Laws of England set out the common law definition of murder as:

“ when a person, of sound memory and discretion, unlawfully killeth any reasonable creature in being and under the king’s peace, with malice aforethought, either express or implied.”

The elements of common law murder are:

The killing—At common law life ended with cardiopulmonary arrest—the total and permanent cessation of blood circulation and respiration. With advances in medical technology courts have adopted irreversible cessation of all brain function as marking the end of life.

of a human being—This element presents the issue of when life begins. At common law, a fetus was not a human being. Life began when the fetus passed through the birth canal and took its first breath.

by another human being—at early common law, suicide was considered murder. The requirement that the person killed be someone other than the perpetrartor excluded suicide from the definition of murder.

with malice aforethought—originally “malice aforethought” carried its everyday meaning—a deliberate and premeditated killing of another motivated by ill will. Murder necessarily required that an appreciable time pass between the formation and execution of the intent to kill. The courts broadened the scope of murder by eliminating the requirement of actual premeditation and deliberation as well as true malice. All that was required for malice aforethought to exist is that the perpetrator act with one of the four states of mind that constitutes “malice.”
Now, these are only a few mentionings of the legal aspects of murder.
What are some of the scientific factors involed in one human being coming to that snapping point of murder. What actually happens in the brain?

The Killer’s Brain
What makes a murderer? Can malfunctions in the brain compel someone to commit acts of extreme cruelty? Are killers born or made? From Columbia University, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Stone has created journeys to better understand why people kill and shows this information on Discovery Channel’s Most Evil . He talks with a variety of scientists about their work and examines possible scientific explanations for violent behavior. Here is a small video excerpt:

Do you think that committing murder is only a matter of choice? Does everyone have the capability of preventing that snap in the brain? Is it all just chemical imbalances, lack of one chemical or too much secreted of another that causes the switch to flip in the mind of a murderer?

To argue agains chemical imbalances, Elliott Valenstein, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan who rejects the simple-minded ‘chemical imbalance’ theories. He challenges the conventional assumption that mental illness is biochemical.
In his 1998 book, “Blaming the Brain: The Truth about Drugs and Mental Health”, Valenstein agrees that while psychotropic drugs sometimes do work, they do not even begin to address the real cause of mental disorders. They are still considered an “unproven hypothesis” used as pocket-padding marketing practices of the drug industry.

So, are all of the murderers in our prisons considered to have a chemical imbalance/mentally ill?
Just eight years ago, there were 148,300 persons in America’s state prisons who had been sentenced for the crime of murder. Within these confines, approximately 16 percent of the population had been diagnosed by doctors, prescribing chemical lobotomizing drugs, as having mental illness. Thirteen percent of incarcerated persons who were mentally ill had been sentenced for murder. Based on these rates, and a recent state prison population count of 1,255,514,1 it is estimated that more than 26,000 persons with a mental illness are currently incarcerated for murder in the United States. Despite the magnitude of these counts, surprisingly little is currently known about prisoners with severe mental illness who have been incarcerated for murder. a high school education or equivalent, were living in stabilized housing, and, to a lesser degree, were involved in significant intimate and familial relationships. Rage or anger, sexual perversions and issues of control were overwhelmingly directed toward intimate or family relations and were frequently mentioned motives for murder. The use of a firearm or sharp object, were the widely used tool of choice . Most of those who were chosen to be studied had been raised in households with significant family dysfunction, had extensive histories of substance abuse and criminality, and had received little treatment for their mental and substance use disorders.
Some like to blame the quick-to-prescribe-a-pill psychologists and their sidekick pharmaceutical companies for creating these monsters. Others want to blame the actions of these twisted minds on the social impacts of poverty, alcohol and street drugs. And still, scientists are saying that they now have a way to prove the makings of a murderer through new technologies which can measure aspects of the human brain.
Is evil real and can science prove or disprove its existence within us?


Interpreting a common dream

August 16, 2010 1 comment


” It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else”

~ Erma Bombeck

How many of us have ever dreamed we were naked in public? Maybe you dreamed of falling or jumping and found you were startled awake? These dreams are common occurrences. They can be interpreted as your inner fear of inferiority to others you hold superior and/or letting go. But have you ever had a dream of missing an appointment? According to a book on dream interpretations, this is also a common dream. Here is what the book says could be behind dreams of missing appointments:

Many people live and die by the desk calendar these days. Ours is a time-conscious, time-driven culture. Most of us have more things to do on our schedules than we can comfortably manage. These pressures have created an environment where missing appointments and scheduled events is a constant threat.Dreams to this effect are common. One of the trigger events for these dreams is the nagging fear that we may not get it all done as we should. Our anxiety about appearing competent to others is fragile and often assaulted in dreams.

Another interpretation of this dream is missing an opportunity. Life invites participation in more than could ever be accomplished. Every invitation comes with the promise that this event could change your life. The changes may include relationship or career rewards.

A final scenario revolves around fulfilling the relationship obligations that already exist in your life. In this case, dreams of missed appointments may be reminding you of personal obligations that already exist. You may be missing appointments as a sign that you are not fulfilling the needs of someone important to your life in love or work.


Link to free dream interpretations:

Link to book on dream interpretations and the psychology of:

Categories: Philosophy, Psychology

Friggatriskaidekaphobia!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!!

NOPE! No Jason here. Not this time! But Friday the 13th has arrived yet again and besides there being many superstitions tied to this day, many people seem to have developed friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia( say that 5 times real fast,…geez! who comes up with those?)  A.K.A. ” the fear of Friday the 13th”. Although superstitions say it is considered to be a bad omen if the 13th day of the month falls on Friday, there has not been any empirical logical reasoning found to this belief, despite the fact that it is largely considered as superstitious.
When did Friday the 13th become such a dreaded day? The number 13 is considered unlucky in some theories and Friday too is considered unlucky, so the union of these two is considered unlucky. This term came into existence after the 19th century, but before that there was no such superstition prevailing in any society or culture.

There is also one belief behind this, it is said that Jesus died on Friday and there were 13 people present for the last meal and hence Friday the 13th is a bad day and people should be very careful in whatever they do. However, there is no connection between what already happened and to something which is yet to happen. It is basically fear linked to this day that has made home in people’s hearts and thus people have become superstitious. In this case, people who fear Friday the 13th are said to have friggatriskaidekaphobia.

So what exactly are Superstitions? Superstitions are based on religious, cultural or even on personal beliefs. They are blockages that don’t allow humans to act in a certain way. Apart from the ‘Friday the 13th’ superstition, the most common ones are to sneeze on your left side and bad luck if a black cat crosses your route.

In the end, it is up to an individual to have a belief in these superstitions or not. It is also possible that some people might have actually experienced good things on Friday the 13th but they have have never been mentioned publicly due to the public stigma attached to this day.

 As for me, I will never have the phobia again. I was cured on a Freaky Friday 13th back around Valentine’s day in 2009.  Oh,…..yes,…yes, I was.

One of my best memories and hopes on Friday 13th. Yeah, he was Sooooooooooooo good too!  🙂

Here is a link to the Huffington Post’s article of the 13 WEIRDEST superstitions for the number 13:

 And another link for those who may not have caught it on MSN:

Categories: History, Psychology

Configuring Figures

Nope, not talking math here, my worst subject. Once you go past Algebra, it is all “geek” to me.

I do admire all the ones who truly get it as easy as making scrambled eggs, it is just not me.

No,…what I am talking about is configuring people which is somewhat like working a Trig or Calculus problem.

Sometimes we work and work to try and find the right connection with someone and beat our heads against the wall trying to find an answer. A solution to the puzzle is sometimes harder than others, but can be worth it in the end.

It’s almost like working a Rubik’s Cube.

This week marked the birthday of Erno Rubik (July 13 1944)? The
Hungarian inventor is best known for his invention of the
Rubik’s Cube in the spring of 1974. One eighth of the world’s
population has laid hands on the Cube, the most popular puzzle
in history. There is only 1 correct answer and 43 quintillion
wrong ones for Rubik’s Cube. 😉


“All persons are puzzles until at last we find in some word or
act the key to the man, to the woman; straightway all their
past words and actions lie in light before us.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Categories: Psychology

Nightmares (Off of Elm Street)

For all you Freddy Krueger fans, this is not a review on the new movie. You can Google that somewhere else, thanks! 🙂

Most of us are familiar with the term “nightmare”. It is something we learn about from early childhood, simply a bad dream due to the “Boogeyman” under our beds or the monsters in our closets.

They are sleeping visions that leave us with a sense of fear or despair and uneasy or unsettling thoughts, which can haunt us after waking.

(print image)

Though, there are some who are lucky enough to forget the “brain-played, horror film” soon after their feet hit the floor. Lucky.
Those of us that do remember may begin to wonder, “What the hell was that? Why did I have to dream about that?”
Well, why do we have bad dreams, nightmares?
There are the “wives-tales” which seem to think it is the food we eat before bed. It is said, you are not supposed to eat anything spicy or too sweet before bed. You are supposed to drink a warm glass of milk to calm you before sleeping….

Warm milk? Yuck. That is almost as bad as sour cream, which is milk’s bad dream.

I heard of one girl in my Philosophy class stating that the night she ate a PB-n-J before bed, she dreamed of killer apples chasing her.

Sounds like something out of Elvira Mistress of the Dark episodes.

Uh-hem! Anyway! Moving on…

 Does eating different kinds of foods create a release of certain chemicals in our brains, as our food digests? It is widely accepted that it may, due to the amount of B-vitamins and protein synthesis taking place.  You may have eaten too many of the vitamin which produces amino acids responsible for over active nuerotransmitters ( Acetylcholine) during sleep.

Is it merely do to stress or other outside influences during our day?



If we consider the realms of psychology and psychoanalysis, nightmares are of particular importance in the process of determining an individual’s insecurities, fears, anxieties, and general character traits. As in the cases of people having nightmares every night, the reason for this is found to be some immense external trauma that the individual has undergone at some point of time.
Whether it is due to stress, depression, sleep disorders, trauma or just an excess in watching the “Chiller” channel and late at night, drive-thru cheeseburgers/tacos, some may want to better understand the reasons behind that bad night of sleep.
Here are a few links if you are interested in knowing more:

Love and Chocolate


“All you need is LOVE. But a little CHOCOLATE now and

then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles M. Schulz

I think sometimes there isn’t enough CHOCOLATE in the world to produce the same feeling I would get, being with ____; NO substitute or consolation prize known to man.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE chocolate.

I am sorry, there are just some things CHOCOLATE  CAN’T do that LOVE CAN.

Yet, they say that CHOCOLATE is supposed to produce natural opiates in the brain to give the similar feeling of euphoria, as we find in our feelings of LOVE.

CHOCOLATE contains approximately 380 known chemicals, so it’s no wonder it’s difficult to figure out why CHOCOLATE is such a favorite treat. And who’s to say that it’s only one or two things in CHOCOLATE that cause us to feel happy? Many of the chemicals in chocolate are found in other foods, yet we don’t buy heart-shaped bananas to show that special someone that we care for them.

” When you’re in LOVE you can’t fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams”
— Dr. Seuss

I would much rather have the real thing than the dream…. or CHOCOLATE.

Categories: Psychology Tags: , , ,