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Applied psychology has been used to develop and improve brain training apps/games such as Lumosity, in the interest of well-being. Lumosity is a brain training game that is available via mobile app or through an internet website. According to its description on Luminosity’s website, these games are supposed to condition the brain in 5 cognitive areas like memory and attention. There are over 30 games and they are supposed to increase function in particular brain areas, which is great for overall well-being. Lumos Labs has also stated that many scientists have studies the effectiveness of the product. However, since the first developments Lumosity has had to pay at least two million dollars in settlements for false advertisement. There have been several studies conducted that either support or negate the effects of brain training effects on cognitive improvement. “In a study published Monday in the Journal of Neuroscience, 128 young adults were tested for mental performance after playing either Lumosity brain-training games or regular video games for 10 weeks. Researchers saw no evidence that commercial brain-training leads to improvements in memory, decision-making, sustained attention or ability to switch between mental tasks” (Gallegos, 2017). A different set of studies, support that brain games increase activity in the “ECN (Executive Control Network)” (Gallegos, 2017). The individuals in the above study played Luminosity brain games approximately five times a week. Ultimately, it was found that the persons studied scored better on cognitive assessments. Psychology is the study of the brain/mind and therefore, Luminosity could not be developed or improved without psychology.
Applied psychology has been used to help people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
As the days shorten, certain individuals experience depression and depressive symptoms . SAD is prevalent in a wide variety of people but women seem to be affected more. For years, SAD went undiagnosed until the early 1980s and untreated until about 10 years after that when psychologists introduced a very simple treatment using bright lights (American Psychological Association, 2006) . The treatment, called phototherapy, utilizes a light box of about 10,000 lux of light that focuses light indirectly into the eyes to help manipulate the internal clock of the brain (Mayo Clinic, 2016).
Dr. Eastman and colleagues, tested the usage of bright lights on patients who suffer from SAD. 96 individuals were chosen for the study with half receiving phototherapy and half a placebo. Those who received the light therapy reported an significant improvement of mood with a remission or a near remission of symptoms (APA, 2006).
American Psychological Association (2006, June 26). Bright lights, big relief: Treating seasonal affective disorder. American Psychological Association. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://www.apa.org/research/action/light.aspx
The Tragedy of the Commons is described as human self-interest. If each person uses the resources available to the greater whole in a wasteful manner, all resources will be depleted and destroyed. Garrett, (2008) describes a two-step process where the nonangel gains by pursuing his/her own self-interest at the expense of others. The second step is the when the one that was an angel sees that they are missing out, they too begin to get their share before others do. There are campaigns for recycling, energy conservation, hunting licenses and fishing licenses that help some people to be more aware of their behavior.
My family lives in a pretty conservative manner. We have a 1500-gallon water cistern that we live from 90% of the time. The only time we use city water is if it doesn’t rain for an extended period. When it is raining, we try to do as much of our laundry as possible. We also have solar panels. This is harder to conserve because refrigerators, TV’s and other electrical appliances eat up a lot of energy. That can be helped by unplugging everything that isn’t necessary until you need it. Things that can be unplugged are phone chargers, lamps, toasters, fans, radios and other appliances that we leave plugged in and don’t use. These things are using electricity while they are not being used. We also grow a garden each year. The vegetables and fruits can be freeze dried (not watermelon though) and canned to use through the year. We have deer, elk and pig in the freezer year-round. These meats can be processed in a manner that takes most of the gamey taste away. The biggest key to living this type of life is training yourself to stop wasting anything. Electricity, water, food, products to clean and wash clothes and gasoline. Once a week a complete list is made of everything we need from Walmart or Sam’s club. We freeze milk, bread and butter so we can buy it in bulk for lower prices. We do this to cut back on our use of resources. It saves us money too. It’s difficult in the beginning when a person is used to a wasteful way but, it becomes habit after a while and we don’t miss our old ways.
The concept of the tragedy of the commons is where individuals act in their own self-interest concerning the consumption or use of a shared resource. This in turn depletes the resource or causes a negative effect for the community. While the overconsumption of resources that occurs in the theory of the tragedy of the commons can sometimes be intentional, at time it can be due to the lack of awareness of the problems in the community. When everyone “owns” a resource, that resource tends to be overused and wasted due to no one having the ability to control the use of the resource.
An example of this would be the use of public supplies of water such as lakes, rivers or oceans. These bodies of water are open to the public and often serves as a place for people to fish, swim, or relax on a warm day. Without having someone to monitor the fish population, any given fisherman can remove as many fish as he desires and if multiple fisherman take this viewpoint the fish population in that given body of water will decrease substantiality. This in turn will cause a shortage of food not only for humans but for the other sea animals that depend on those fish to live.
There is also the issue of pollution in the water due to humans not having an incentive to maintain the upkeep of the body of water. With no one person owning the ocean or river, it is subject to being over used.
Applied research in psychology is being used to bring awareness to overconsumption by researching the fish population in the environment and encouraging people to not pollute the waters (Oskamp, 2000).
Oskamp listed the major theme of his work as sustainability (Oskamp, 2000). This resonates with me to start reducing my ecological footprint by simply doing my part. I know and believe the science concerning our planet, but I haven’t taken it personal. Doing something so simple as reducing energy consumption, using more green products, using more recyclable materials which should help me get into the recycling mode.
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