Sunday, July 30, 2006

I Locked My Keys in My Car!

I was laughing almost uncontrollably today because I locked my keys in my car which hasn’t happened in a while. It reminded me of the scandal I caused at my undergraduate alma mater when I would do something like that. I don’t know the full details, but It is my understanding that there was a group of people who took great joy in keeping track of whether I left my lights on, locked my keys up, or spilled mustard on my shirt. I guess; you could say that I had paparazzi.

Thinking back on it, I am not quite sure what was wrong with these people. The nearest that I could figure is that they really did not have enough to do. I had transferred from a more traditional campus where I had gotten used to what I would call grinding exhaustion. Throughout most of my undergraduate career I worked about 25 to 30 hours per week, taught martial arts, took several 17+ credits semesters, and took a lot of time intensive courses. My paparazzi on-the-other-hand typically took 12 credits per semester, worked less, took less time intensive courses, and missed out on achieving some of their goals.

Why was I laughing? The answer is simple; I laughed because I could not be more pleased with myself and how things are going for me, and I find it infinitely hilarious that my paparazzi just never got it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Overused sayings: "IT Takes All Kinds"

There are many overused and misused sayings that I don’t like; however, I think that, “It takes all kinds” is the one that I hate the most. Of course, there are several different mutations of “it takes all kinds” like, “different strokes for different folks,”” we all have our problems,” or “if God wanted us to all be the same he would have made us that way.”

In my estimation, these sayings are meant to point out that it is okay to be eccentric or different when it is harmless. The sayings point out that when someone is doing something like wearing high-water pants to work everyday, we should not gossip about them or pay their behaviors any mind because they really don’t matter.

The problem comes in when people try to use these saying to justify anything. For example, I worked with a guy who was coming to work drunk. This is clearly a problematic behavior. When I mentioned it to another coworker he said, “We all got vices.” I did not respond because he was a waste of air who was not worth me correcting. Clearly, I could have said something like, “So you think that anything is okay? It doesn’t matter if he is a danger to himself or others? Do you think he likes not being able to hold a job?” "Do you think that he planned it out as a little boy to get so drunk that he pisses the bed?" It's a shame that the guy was a drunk, but anything but excusable.

My point is I hate the, “it takes all kinds” genre of sayings because people use them as a means to justify nearly any behavior. The bottom line is everything is not okay, and there is nothing wrong with making judgments about people and situations, especially, if a person or situation is causing harm to someone. The fact is, these sayings should only be applied to situations that involve eccentricities and not raving stupidity.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I went and paid my last rent today which means that I have one month left before moving to Dayton for school. It just hit me how close all of this is. I am getting really nervous. I worked really hard as an undergrad. However, it is all about the next five years and not the previous five. I guess that is what makes me nervous. I have to start over really. The work that I did or did not do before really means very little beyond the fact that it brought me to this point. I googled some of my future classmates. All of them have impressive backgrounds. I do too; I guess, but like I said, none of that means anything now it's all about the future. Maybe I should feel that way about my classmates. Noting that they have done in the past means anything either. Other than the occasional nausea, I am pretty excited.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Charts that Show the Relationship Between the GRE, SAT, and IQ.

I found some charts on the net that relate IQ to GRE and SAT scores respectively. I thought they were an accurate estimate of my IQ so you might have fun with them too. However, I don't think that I would put too much stock in the charts because we do not know much about the site that displays them, and the GRE and SAT are achievement tests meaning that they require a level of academic preparation for a person to score well. At any rate, I think that you might find the charts interesting and useful in estimating your IQ if you were prepared for the GRE and/or SAT. If you where not prepared for either test or have never taken either one and you know what your IQ is, you can get a rough idea of the score you could expect with the proper test preparation.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Are K-12 Teachers Dumb Like Stumps?

Interestingly, the author of the article on the other side of this link says, Yes, many K-12 teachers are dumb like stumps. Okay maybe they aren't dumb like stumps, but according to this author there are many teachers who are on the "left of the GRE bell curve."

  • Originally, I had a long-winded post script here, but in its place, I just want to say two things. First, I am not so sure that the GRE general test is an accurate predictor of one’s competence to teach K-12. As far as I know, the GRE has only been shown to predict success in certain types of graduate programs. Teaching requires certain personality traits like patience and charisma which aren’t tested on the GRE general test. While a GRE subject test could provide graduate programs with more accurate information about a person’s potential for success in a given field like education, there is no GRE subject test for education. However, teachers must pass exams like the Praxis to be certified. The second and final thing that I want to say is that I do not think that this society is willing to do what it takes to attract the best and the brightest to education. People in education are held to the highest moral standard. God forbid that a teacher may have been a stripper or porn actor/actress. Both are legal, but there is a story almost every week about a teacher getting fired for some past "transgression." When you apply for a teaching position, do not dare have a criminal record of any kind. Let’s not forget that teaching has little autonomy; it is a profession that is under constant scrutiny and forced to conform with every fad teaching method that comes down the pike.

    Basically it boils down to two things. One, teachers have their own standards and tests to measure success in their field so it is unclear to me why the GRE is important. Two, education is a field with rampant with moral conservatism and arbitrary capricious methods and measures of success so how many high GRE scorers can the field really expect to attract?

    Graduate School Admissions

    I suppose that this post serves two purposes. First, I have just gone through the graduate admissions process so I have a need to convey what I have learned. Second, I want to see everyone from my undergrad alma mater in a successful and happy situations. I would like nothing more than to see every IU East student who wants to get master's or doctorate get one so that they can become leaders in the community.

    I was looking around today, and I found the Ball State graduate admissions statistics. Admissions standards are very reasonable there. In addition, I think that Ball State is a decent university. I think its reputation is not nearly as good as its programs are which means students get a good education without competitive weirdness. Anyway, here is a link to the admissions statistics. I hope this helps someone.

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    Grammar (Subjunctive Mood & Inflection)

    This is for a particular person who chose to criticise my grammar.

    Here is a tutorial on subjunctive mood (i.e. the correct use of verbs when a statement of possibility or intent is made)

    Here is an elementary website on the use of inflection to ask a question.

    Monday, July 03, 2006

    Graduate School

    This is an E-mail that I sent to an undegraduate professor of mine, but I think that it does a good job of communicating the information that I got from my visitation at Wright State. However, it really cannot express my nervousness enough.

    Concerns put to rest
    I went over to Wright State on Friday. It was really something. They boasted that they probably have the best physical facilities in the country. They said, “If someone has a better plant than us, I could not imagine who it would be.” I would not doubt it. Plus, the HF people have access to even more equipment at the air force base.

    Everyone was very nice over there. Although it has more competitive admissions than Xavier (the only other school I visited), they seemed to be for the students. They mentioned several times why the department was so small. They said that they wanted to create a situation where an instructor has just 5 advisees. Plus, they wanted to make sure that they could provide funding for all of their students for 5 years. Yes you read that right, 5 years of funding. I will be able to work part-time for the department and finish my dissertation on time. They also said that the size of the department makes a good situation for students; to keep their Ph.D. program, Ohio law mandates that they produce so many Ph.D.’s/year so they cannot afford to loose people which means that they do their best to make sure the students get good advisement. I spoke to a student who said that the only reason that he is aware of that prevents people from graduating is that they get lured away by job offers.

    I know graduate school will be a lot of work. However, going over there alleviated some of my anxiety. I was concerned that the faculty would be apathetic towards students; I would not fit in, or worse my advisor would not like me. However, he faculty members are great, I liked the students, they have a really collaborative environment , I can switch majors or advisors if I want to without any hard feelings, and my advisor chose me because he thought I was the best fit for the program, and not just based any one aspect of my record.

    I have decided to specialize in personnel selection which I believe to be the Lord’s work. I am pretty excited so I am going to start reading up on the topic. I see poor personnel selection as one of the major problems in the workforce today. We can do a lot to improve job satisfaction, training, and group dynamics. However, in my mind unless you have the correct people in the job in the first place, much of that work is for nothing.

    Here is an interesting thing that I found out. When I arrived at the psychology office at WSU, I asked where everyone was. Although I was a little early, for such an important event, I assumed that others would arrive early. She replied, “You must be Jason.” I then said, “How would you know that?” She said, “You are the only African American.” She handed me my packet, and I sat down in the lounge next door. I thought about what she had just said and returned to the office and asked, “Have you ever had any black students.” She said, I suppose that this will make me their poster boy for diversity. I just may get a number of pictures on their website to show how “diverse” they are.

    Human factors is sexy
    Human factors has to be the sexiest field in psychology. I can’t think of a single field that uses so much equipment. It’s amazing. They where all like “Come into my lab and see my million dollar virtual reality machine or look at my $200k eye motion tracking device. Almost all of the human factors people were talking about how they were developing this or that for the military or NASA. You would think that everybody would at least be interested in human facrots on some level. Maybe it’s too much for people to envision as a career, or maybe they don't like the science?


    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    Why the URL and Blog Name

    I know that this will come up eventually so I thought that it would be a good idea to write something about it. I chose as my url and the cognitive revolution as the title to my blog for particular reasons.

    The short answer is that Minds New Science is a book by Howard Gardner (the multiple intelligence guy) that chronicles the cognitive revolution. The Minds New Science had a dramatic effect on me and my interest in psychology as did the cognitive psychology course that I read it for. So I am giving a nod to cognitive psychology and that book. Lastly, I think that the cognitive revolution makes a cool title for a blog especially since I like to think that I occasionally have new and interesting things to say.

    I suppose that you are wondering why I like cognitive psychology so much; well, the answer is simple. Before the cognitive revolution mainstream psychology was basically two fields. There was behaviorism which is hardcore experimental and comparative psychology. Then there was the personality/social theory stuff like Freud which I often call soft psychology because of its emphasis on theory rather than experimentation. When I took cognitive psychology, it was the first time that I saw psychology as something that had an independent body of knowledge that was based on experiments conducted with human participants. Behaviorists spent their time. torturing rats and monkeys to make judgments about human behavior while soft psychologist made stuff up.

    Finally, while I/O, human factors, and areas like neuroscience and psychophysics have been around for a long time, they are not what I would call mainstream disciplines in psychology. I/O and human factors don’t have chapters in most intro books and are hardly mentioned in schools that don’t have faculty members of either specialty. In addition, most departments have positions for social, cognitive, and clinical psychologists and not I/O or human factors. Psychophysics and neuroscience are/were often conducted by people who have no real affiliation with psychology. They are/were M.D.s and physicist who happened to make some discoveries that pertained to psychology. There for a time, I thought that the way to be a good experimental psychologist was to study something other than psychology, and then to later make the switch.