Operant conditioning is a type of learning process by which people (or animals!) learn by positive or negative consequences. For example, if a dog sits when it is commanded to by its owner, and gets a treat, or reward, for performing that behavior (the sitting), the behavior is more likely to happen again. This is because of the pleasant consequences the dog now associates with that behavior. Hence, the behavior became strengthened, and will be more likely to happen again in the future.
You can learn more about operant conditioning and other psychological topics in PSY 3610 Conditioning and Learning ☺
In humans, brain cells, called neurons, communicate with each other by using chemicals called neurotransmitters. One kind of neurotransmitter, beta-endorphin, has been found to increase above normal levels after consuming a “sweet, chocolate beverage.” (Melchior, Gigaud, Colas-Linhart, Petiet, Girard, and Apfelbaum, 1991). Beta-endorphins have the ability to induce a mild euphoric state similar to how one feels when seeing a loved one.
You can learn more about the effects of neurotransmitters and other psychological topics in PSY 3910 Behavioral Neuroscience ☺
The placebo effect is a psychological phenomenon. It occurs when people receive a treatment for which they believe will alleviate a particular condition. The individuals will then report that the treatment was successful, but then later it is discovered that the “treatment,” was a placebo, an ineffectual treatment. For example, let’s say Courtney takes part in a psychological study and is told that she is being given an anti-anxiety medication to help her with her social anxiety issues. She takes the drug and after a few weeks reports that she is experiencing less anxiety. But Courtney was actually given a placebo (sugar pill) which should have no effect on her anxiety. The placebo effect is thought to occur because the individual’s belief in the suggested treatment is so strong.
You can learn more about the placebo effect and other psychological topics in PSY 3010 Research Methods 1 ☺
The conception of human life depends on the successful union between a female’s egg and a male’s sperm inside the female body. The female egg, known as an ovum, is the largest cell in the female body, roughly the size of a grain of sand or the diameter of a single hair. Sperm cells, by comparison, are so small that it would take several thousand of them combined to equal the size of one ovum. Upon a successful union between the two cells, the egg, which is then considered to be fertilized, will begin to change and grow rapidly. Within an average time frame of 40 weeks, a healthy fertilized egg will grow a heart, eyes, skin, bones, and all of the other organs necessary to sustain life outside the female’s body. Isn’t it amazing that something that started out so small will, on average, grow into an eight pound, 20 inch long human being
You can learn more about human growth and other psychological topics in PSY 3410 Developmental Psychology ☺
The Wright State University Department of Psychology offers both BA and BS degrees at the undergraduate level in Psychology. You can also minor in Psychology. We want you to be successful and we provide a support structure of faculty, staff and fellow students, so in the Department of Psychology you are not alone.