5 Ways that psychology understands you

5 Psychology Theories That Explain You

Are you totally unpredictable, or do you do things the same way as others?

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Sometimes the theories I learn about in my psychology courses almost seem like common sense because they are so directly applicable to life. Here are 5 theories or phenomenons I've learned about in the last three years that seem directly relevant to a lot of people's lives.

1. You can be smart and fail college.

There are many different theories of intelligence, but the most common or implemented idea today is that we have a relatively stable IQ that represents our intelligence. The public education system in America certainly focuses on this traditional idea of intelligence. While IQ scores are a decent predictor of high school grades, they do not correlate highly with college grades! The theory is that this is because earning grades in colleges requires more motivation than basic intelligence.

2. Commitment is an equation.

Thibaut & Kelley (1959) had a theory that your relationship satisfaction and commitment levels could be broken down into a theoretical equation. One of the key determinants in your commitment level to a relationship is what you believe you've invested in this relationship.

Have you ever had a friend who recognizes that her relationship isn't great, but she's been with the guy for 3 years so she doesn't want to end things? We are more committed to relationships we've put time, effort, resources, or money into.

So when your friend won't leave her terrible boyfriend of 3 years, encourage her to think of it not as "3 wasted years if I give up now!" but "up to 60 more wasted years if you don't get out now!"

3. Celebrities are attractive.

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While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, there are some traits that are nearly universally attractive to humans. One of these commonly attractive features is symmetrical faces. Why do we like faces that are more symmetrical? For two reasons, first they are typically a sign of health, and second, they are more easy to process. We are cognitively lazy, so if someone's face is symmetrical we have to do less work to perceive them.

Many celebrities, like Beyonce, have very symmetrical faces!

4. People you don't know are all the same.

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There's a phenomenon called out-group homogeneity bias. Basically, this means that we view anyone who is a part of a group we are not in (out group) as more similar than they are (homogeneity bias). Many people who live in America may categorize all Canadians as nice- because we aren't from Canada. I often refer to my sorority as a really diverse group of women with a range of personalities, but it's easy for me to think of other groups of women as all one type of person.

This gives rise to a lot of stereotypes and prejudice. So next time you think "all men are awful" remember that you're generalizing about a large group of people.

5. There's a stage between adolescence and young adulthood.

Developmental psychologists have started discussing a new stage of life - emerging adulthood. Do you feel like you're not a real young adult yet? I'm not ready to get married and have kids and settle down, but at the same time, I know I'm not a teenager anymore, I'm definitely not who I was in high school. Emerging adulthood is a new stage of life that many people go through in Western/developed countries now. It's a time characterized by a lot of exploration and change.

So if you don't feel like a "real adult" yet but you're not a kid anymore, maybe you're going through a period that many people do in their early 20s. It is becoming normalized to explore your options and move around for a while now.

Sometimes knowing a psychological theory helps you understand why you act the way you do. Other times it helps you be aware of and potentially stop a harmful behavior. Ever since learning about out-group homogeneity bias I've consciously tried to avoid making generalizations about people. Knowing someone belongs to a group shouldn't lead you to believe you know exactly what they are like.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge-drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100% real" and that incoming freshmen should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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Writing Is More Than Just A Hobby

It's something that I want to make a part of my career.

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As a second-semester freshman who spent most of their first year in college as an undecided major, I can say that I have explained what I was considering doing and then receiving feedback as to what others believed that I should be doing many times. Now, I finally have an idea of what I want to do, but it's not a plan that many people agree with.

I have finally decided that I want to double major, which seems to impress a lot of people. That is until I tell them that one of those majors would be professional writing.

I have answered the question, "So, what do you plan to do with that?" more times than I can count, and I'll admit, it is a fair question. I think that many people are under the impression that writing is just something to do on the side; it isn't viewed as something to make a career out of.

To me though, writing is so much more than just a hobby. When I write, I'm not just doing it for fun. I do it to voice my thoughts and express my emotions. While some people turn to exercise or music when they are stressed, I turn to writing. It never fails to make me feel better after a long day.

I get where people are coming from, though. I know how difficult it is to make it as a writer and how dedicated I have to be to make sure that I end up in a career that offers me financial stability. But I also know how rewarding it would be to find myself in a career that suites me perfectly rather than one that only offers me monetary gratification.

I'm hoping that my love for writing can translate into a career in law in the future, which would both suit my interests and offer me the financial support that I need. Wherever I end up though, I'm hoping that my love for writing can extend beyond just a hobby, because to me, it's so much more than that.

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