Comments Wendy

April 18, 2012 - Leave a Response


Comments for Wendy

April 18, 2012 - Leave a Response


Comments for Wendy

April 18, 2012 - Leave a Response




Psychological Trauma within soldiers of the U.S army

March 25, 2012 - 2 Responses

When a traumatic event damages the psyche the trauma leads to posttraumatic stress disorder the damage caused can lead to a psychical change of an individual’s brain and brain chemistry thus causing a change in the person’s response to future issues such as stress and post traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.)

My blog is going to feature on P.T.S.D experienced in the U.S military. One of the first studies into PDSP trauma was in 1980 and was conducted on aviators captures after the war in Vietnam it showed that 61% had experiences psychological trauma during captivity.

Within the American Army P.T.S.D was accepted as a legitimate condition and reason to

withdraw from service five years after the Vietnam war. The New York Times recently

written an article that discussed a $125 million Military Programme that the US army had in

place to increase resilience against mental illness amongst soldiers out on the front line.


The programme is called the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (C.S.F) and is based on a series of positive psychology theories that were

developed by Martin Seligman. It consists of four main areas which are emotional

fitness, social fitness, family fitness and spiritual fitness. It aims to treat medical health

problems and prevent them by improving soldiers psychological strength


The programme involves a 110 item questionnaire entitled the Global Assessment Tool

which once completed gives scores based on the four areas of the programme. The

collective aim of the programme is then to be attached to the GAT profile of each soldier

to strengthen vulnerabilities and build on existing strengths. This means that if a solider

had a low score on one part of the programme for instant the spiritual section this

would pinpoint what sort of psychological issues the soldier is likely to have in real life

as well as during service.( Bell, 2012)


The CSF is also able to assess the likelihood of a soldier getting mental illness as it is

designed to tell researchers which soldiers are at a high risk of psychiatric difficulties

this allows the Military to help to see which skills and abilities mitigate a risk.

The US army already screen for P.T.S.D symptoms after deployment yet in 2010 the Army

gave a diagnosis of post – traumatic stress disorder to 10,756 troops.

The prevalence of PTSD among U.S forces returning from Iraq is 20% combat personnel

compared to the U.K forces which is reportedly 5% using the exact same measuring

procedures the differences are said to be due the U.S. recruitment procedure. (Reuters,



P.T.S.D is a huge issue for the Defence Department a recent army study estimated as much

as 20% of 2million US troops who served in the Iraq and Afganhanistan war could suffer

from PTSD and the cost of treatment was between US$4 billion and $6.2 billion. (Tull, 2012)



1)      Tull, M. (2012). Ptsd in iraq war veterans. Retrieved from

2)      Reuters, D. A. R. (2012). Us army begins review to ensure cost does not affect ptsd diagnosis. Retrieved from

3)      Bell, V. B. (2012). Wishful resilience. Retrieved from

Comments for Wendy

March 14, 2012 - One Response










Body Language

March 11, 2012 - 14 Responses

Body Language is “another name for kinesics or loosely speaking of non-verbal communication in general”.  The achievement of non-verbal communication is due to body language, such as facial reactions, posture, vocal noises (grunts and mumbling).  Body language stems from the psyche meaning the inner brain and uses the corporal behaviour to decipher what exactly is going on in terms of thoughts, feelings and intentions.

The use of nonverbal communication begins at birth as the first instincts of a new born is to start crying which causes those around the baby to give the baby attention therefore the baby is satisfied due to the need for warmth now the baby is aware that communication and interaction between the mind and body are needed for survival. (Ratey, 2002)

The interconnectedness between the head and nonverbal transmission is evident due the fact that humans are capable of 700,000 different signs it is estimated that humans make over 250,000 facial expressions and 5,000 distinct hand gestures and have over 1,000 catalogues postures. (Phipps, 2008)

            A recent study at Wharton University about how human beings take in information thought our senses has shown that 82% is through the eyes, 11% from the ears and 51% from retention verbal and 7% is from other senses yet a person’s body language accounts for 55%.(Phipps, 2008)

Body language is predominantly used for three reasons firstly as a direct replacement for words for instance sign language secondly for reinforcement of words this is done through gestures, thirdly as a way to mirror inner emotions and attitudes.

Body language is subconscious and is intended to create balance between outer appearance and inner feelings. (Navarro, 2009)

Body language is a key aspect for human communication; it allows us to put forward our feelings without putting them in to speech. It allows us to instinctively perceive how others feel depending on our behaviour and then recognise and thus react.


1)      Phipps, R. P. (9, Auguest 2008). Body language facts and statistics. Retrieved from

2)      Navarro, J. N. (2009, November 29). The psychology of body language. Retrieved from

3)      Ratey, J. J. R. (2002). A users guide to the brain: Perception, attention, and the four theatera of the brain. Vintage. Retrieved from

HW for Wendy

February 22, 2012 - Leave a Response






Correlation show’s a relationship and therefore an effect but is correlation the best way of showing them?

February 19, 2012 - One Response

Correlation measures the relations between two variables X and Y. A Pearson correlation can range from +1 to -1 as a correlation of zero would indicate that there is no relationship between the variables. A correlation coefficient of +1 would indicate a perfect positive correlation meaning that both variables increase for example: The more years of education a person receives the higher their yearly pay cheque will be(DeCaro, 2003). A negative correlation shows that when one variable increase the other variable decreases for example: The less number of years a person spends in education the lower their yearly pay cheque will be. (DeCaro, 2003)

Correlation – Graph demonstrations

Correlation is often used as a research method in the field of psychology. There are two ways that correlation research can be carried out. Firstly is through the use of experiments and completing surveys. The advantage of these methods is that there are many a large number of individuals can be researched at the same time. The amount that can be researchers is in fact endless as survey is easy to complete and many people will take only a few minutes out of the day to complete them. (field, 2009)

The main disadvantage to this form of research is that a participant’s answer may be biased. This can lead to unbalanced answers and therefore result in the sample not being a true representation of participants answer. Participants can only answer the survey with what they prior knowledge they have they cannot ask any questions themselves(Dancey & Reidy, 2007). In some cases participants do not answer questions truthfully they answer the question as best they can but this may not be exactly what the researcher is actually looking for. It offers the question of should psychologists actually use surveys in their research studies or should they instead use Polygraph machines (lie detector machines)? As the use of such machines would eliminate bias and untrue answers as well as ensuring that participants are completing the survey correctly as they would have to be supervised while using the Polygraph machine.

Pearson correlations will show the direction of the relationship, which tells the researcher whether or not there is a relationship through an interval scale measurement. Spearman correlation is used when both variables are measured on an ordinal scale. While correlation studies can show relationships between two variables they cannot prove that one variable causes a change in another variable therefore correlation does not equal causation. Therefore should researchers invest so much time in trying to show a relationship through correlation or should their efforts feature solely on effect size, significance levels and confidence levels?

The second method used in a correlation study is Naturalistic Observation which involves the observing and recording of variables of interest. This must be conducted in the variables of interest own natural environment without interference or manipulation by an experimenter. This can be a valuable form of research as it takes place in the variables natural setting this can offer the researcher ideas for further research or highlight areas where their current research needs “tweaking”.

Yet Naturalistic Observation is very expensive and time consuming it does not allow for scientific control of the variable therefore researchers cannot control extraneous variables particularly as they are fully aware of the observer an may act differently in turn hugely effect the outcome of the researchers results. So is it even worthwhile for a researcher to conduct such studies some will argue that it depends entirely on the study being conducted for example how the age group 4months-1year play in a room, but then some children may react to the observer and others may not, yet the researchers results are still in jeopardy of being effected hugely so can it be worthwhile to begin with?



1) field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using spss. (3 ed.). Londion,England: SAGE Publications ltd.p170-178

2) Dancey, C. P. D., & Reidy, J. R. (2007). Statistics without maths for psychology. (4 ed.). Harlow,Edinburgh Gate, Essex CM202JE: Pearson Education Limited.p165-174

3) DeCaro, S. A. (2003). A student’s guide to the conceptual side of inferential statistics. Retrieved [February 8, 2012], from

Homework for my TA Wendy

February 10, 2012 - Leave a Response





The use of Inferential Statistical procedures in psychological research (Feb.5.2012

February 5, 2012 - 2 Responses

Hypothesis testing is an inferential statistical procedure meaning inferential statistics are techniques that allow us to use these samples to make generalizations about the populations from which the samples were drawn. (Gravetter & Wallnau, 2009).

Inferential Statistics consist of a statistical procedure that allows researchers to study samples and then make a generalized statement about a population. As researchers are only looking at and testing a sample when it is then generalized to represent the population some discrepancies can occur this is known as a sampling error.(field, 2009)

Inferential statistics are vital to researchers and psychologists as we are always trying to reach a conclusion that extends beyond the sample and does in fact effect the population concerned. If a researcher or psychologists wants to make a judgement about the probability of an observed difference between a group the use of inferential statistics help to make inferences from the data to more general conditions along with the use of descriptive statistics to explain what effects are occurring to the original data collected.

Inferential statistics are extremely useful when used alongside a Quasi- Experimental Research strategy which is a strategy that attempts to answer cause –and-effect questions about the relationship between two variables. One of the most common inferential tests used is to compare the average performance between two groups on a single measure through a t-test for differences between groups. Along with the use of the General Linear Model which includes t-tests, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), regression analysis and discriminate function analysis are combined with inferential statistics (Gravetter & Wallnau, 2009).

Inferential statistics require psychologists to go beyond the data collected/ available ant to make claims about the population although this is always subject to errors such as:

Type 1 error = Occurs when it is believed that there is a genuine treatment effect in the population being tested but in the truth or fact is there has actually been no effect of the treated population. . (field, 2009)

Type 2 error’s = Is when the researcher believes that there is no effect in the population when in reality there is. . (field, 2009)

Inferential statistics enables us to make confident decisions in the face of uncertainty DeCaro, S. A. (2003). Errors in statistical procedure make psychologists and researchers question whether the numeric properties of a population such as the mean, standard deviation or size are correct thus a researcher or psychologist uses inferential statistics and population parameters to eliminate errors about the research.

A sample data is only used as a representation of the population they are not seen as perfect estimator DeCaro, S. A. (2003). The laws of probability show that some elements for example weight, height are deemed as rare elements and are not expected to be sampled often this is another reason why inferential statistics allow researchers and psychologists to take a sample and generalise its findings to fit a population.

My question to you about inferential statistics is; Should psychologist’s be allowed to apply their findings from a sample to an entire population?


1.  A student’s guide to the conceptual side of inferential statistics. Retrieved [Feb 1, 2012], from

2. Gravetter, F. J. G., & Wallnau, L. B. W. (2009). Statistics for the behavioural sciences. (8 ed.). Belmont,USA: Wadsworth,Cengage Learning.

3. field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using spss. (3 ed.). Londion,England: SAGE Publications ltd