SGPsychStud: Review on Upcoming SPS Career & Networking Forum

From Link: http://tiny.cc/SPS-StdForum-Qns
An invite for the SPS Career and Networking Forum has been sent out to various universities and educational institutes and via the Facebook pages related to the psychology field in Singapore.  Other than the invite, the link (http://tiny.cc/SPS-StdForum-Qns) also asks for  questions and comments from students.  What might follow after would be the collation of the questions, which would be used during the forum?

This forum looks like a very good initative and effort from SPS, trying to do a bottom-up approach by understanding the situation and problems from the students' perspective.  For years, SPS events with regards to students' matters, such as the annual Student Research Award and the SPS Youth Chapter (established in late 2013 and brought to a halt in 2014) have always been from a top-down approach.  The top-down approach is not very healthy in terms of understanding the current and updated situation for the industry, especially with current students of this generation, hence we might see some different results with this forum through the new bottom-up approach.

As for the forum event itself, here are some things or learning points I really hope will result from the forum.
  1. A greater understanding of  the current situation in terms of Singapore registration in psychology, i.e. how to register as a psychologist in Singapore.  I believe there are several changes recently and this could be mentioned in the forum.
  2. A recommended pathway of studying psychology in Singapore.  Even though I have written a post previously with regards to the Singapore psychological training pathway, but this is from my own point of view.  With a recommended pathway, this may result in the accreditation of psychological programs in Singapore, which will finally resolve the question of "Is my program recognised?"; however may also bring up more programs for the different educational institutes.
  3. How students can be better connected to SPS and what SPS can provide to students in the near future.  This current batch of students are the next generation of psychologists hence it is important that students are well connected to SPS, and via versa.  This is both beneficial for the students' careers and the progression of psychology in Singapore! 
We really hope that this event and bottom-up method of approaching students would be a fruitful one in terms of bringing new changes in SPS and the psychological industry.  I will do another summary review of the forum after the actual event itself!!

Miss Psychobabble: Dogs Can Make You More Attractive Instantly

Image Credits: Nicki Mannix via Flickr with CC
Forget designer suits and flashy vehicles because a furry wingman  might just be your secret weapon to find a lovely date.

According to a recent study of 2,000 Brits, the biggest turn-on apart  from physical attraction is someone who owns a pet dog.  In fact, 1 in 5 women found a man with a dog more attractive.  This showed that a dog is twice as appealing as having a hefty salary or a huge house. 

Furthermore, a2014 survey showed that 82% of people felt more confident in approaching an attractive person if they had their dog with them.  Several other studies showed that homeless people, random strangers, and disabled people were more approached and given more positive interactions if they carry a dog along.  Truly, having a dog with you can affect the first impression perhaps, even more than your clothing. 

Still do not believe that a dog can help you score a date or one's number?  Then, you better watch this short video.  As a woman said in the video:  "Do you have a date on Valentine's Day?  This dog is totally going to get you one."



To understand the human-pet relationship better and why having a dog with makes you seem more attractive, here are two factors:

1.  Commitment
Having a dog along gives out an impression that you are able to handle major commitments.  Commitment, defined as a state of being dedicated or faithful to something, is a genuinely attractive 
quality to possess.  A dog signifies commitment because it requires tons of patience, attention, and money.  Yes!  Pet care and grooming can be expensive.  Therefore, if a man or a woman is taking care of a dog regardless of its size, it still speaks to someone's pleasing character.  

2.  Socialisation
Owning a dog can increase one's opportunities to socialize.  This is because you seem more approachable when you are holding one.  In fact, if a neighborhood is seen with people chatting while walking their dogs, observers can have a greater perception that it is a friendly place.  Indeed, having someone take a loving photo of you and your adorable pet is a good way to break the ice. 


Image Credits: Mr.TinDC via Flickr with CC Attribution-NoDerivs 
A dog might just be the perfect way to find love. So, go fetch! :)

SGPsychStud: 5 Ways on How Not to be Noticed/Remembered by the Lecturer

It is a common thought of students that they DO NOT wish to be called or noticed by their lecturers/tutors during lectures or tutorials.
Basically, there are two types of students that will be remembered: 1) those good in academics and/or class behaviours and 2) those with bad class behaviours.  The average students will usually be forgotten after some time.
I am making this reference for lectures and tutorial classes with at least 30 students.  Anything less than 30 students would be too easy for the lecturers to remember all your names.  Trust me, it's too easy and very possible after seeing you after two to three weeks.

Here's some recommended methods to avoid being called out or remembered by your lecturers and tutors:

For students who are good in academics and/or class behaviours
  1. Ask less questions in class.  The more questions you ask, the more you will be remembered.
  2. Do not ask for feedback after asssignments are being handed out. 
  3. Sit in the centre of the lecture theatre or classroom, rather than the front or side where you are in the direct view of the lecturer.  Being in the centre may cause the lecturer to confuse your face with another students.
  4. Try staring at the lecturer blankly during the lecture.  Lecturers tend to look for familiar students whom they know are listening to the lecture as a form of validation towards the lecturers' own self-confidence during the lecture.  Blank faces means less validation and less chances of being looked at in the future.
  5. Miss a couple of lectures or tutorials, but not that much that it gets you debarred from exams.  This might change the lecturer's positive opinions of you and reduce you to a "mere" average student from a good student.
For students who have bad class behaviours, such as known for not listening in class, often absent, and often going a "bo-chap" attitude regarding that module/subject
  1. Ask a smart question (about the assignments/module) once every 3 to 4 weeks.  You don't want to give the impression that you are working too hard or not working at all.
  2. Sit in the centre of the lecture theatre or classroom, like the advice above for good students.  Don't sit in the back.  Sitting at the back does not give a good impression to the lecturers.  
  3. Always pretend that you are listening attentively in the lecture but do not answer any questions (or say "I don't know") that are asked.  You want the lecturer to think that you are listening but do not want the impression that you know everything.  If you get picked out individually to answer any questions, chances are high that it will happen again, hence the best action would be not to answer any questions (or answer them wrongly).
  4. Be like the average student and do everything nicely and appropriately in tutorials or lab classes as asked by the tutors.  This will reduce the chances that the tutor come to you.
  5. Be on time for classes and remain quiet during lectures and tutorials.  Your "special" deviant behaviour might bring more attention to the lecturers and tutors than you want.
Regardless of which methods you are going to try out, probably you can ask yourself why you do not wish to be remembered and why you are often picked out or noticed by the lecturer.  Disclaimer:  Not every one of the abovementioned methods might work for all lecturers.  You have to try them and see which one works best for you.  

Miss Psychobabble: Day-to-day Activities that Improve Cognition For Older Adults

Image Credits: Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr with CC License
Our brains age but...you can do something about it.

Years down the road, you will be susceptible to mild cognitive impairment (MCI).  MCI encompasses problems with language, memory, attention, and planning.  It is a stage between expected cognitive decline brought by normal aging and the serious cognitive decline of dementia.  Truly, this will affect one's quality of life.  This is why it is important to find lifestyle activities that help avoid this condition.

Fortunately, according to a recent study, the risks of mild cognitive impairment in adults aged 85 and beyond can decrease once exposed to socializing, arts, and technology.  The socializing activities included:  interacting with friends, book club meetings, bible study sessions, and trip to theater, concerts or movies.  The artistic activities included: painting, sculpting, drawing, and crafts (e.g., pottery or sewing).  Lastly, the techie activities included: usage of Internet, online purchases, computer games, and web searches.

Out of all these activities, the strongest protective effect was the artistic ones.  People who regularly engaged on artistic activities were 73% less likely to develop memory and thinking issues, followed by socializing (55%) and computer use (53%).

Aside from this, here are two factors that help improve your cognitive functions as you age:

1. Openness to new experiences

If you believe that older people have fully lived their lives and that they cannot experience something new…think again!  One thing is constant in this world and that is change.  Changes give us opportunities to learn more.  Park et al. (2013)  found that learning demanding and new skills while maintaining an active social network are essential to staying sharp as you age.

2. Playing video games that promote multi-tasking

Modern technology enabled the researchers of University of California, San Francisco to create a specialized video game that may boost the mental skills of older people, particularly in multi-tasking.  Forty-six participants aged 60 to 85 were trained for four weeks through a video game called NeuroRacer.  The difficulty level increased as the player improved.  Interestingly, when the training was completed, the participants did better than the untrained 20-year-olds.  Furthermore, the skilled learned remained 6 months later without practice.

Our brains age but...you can do something about it.  It has an extraordinary ability to modify itself following the changes of your body and environment.  I suggest you use that to your advantage as early as you can.

Psychology Facebook Pages to Follow

I mentioned in my last post that our latest collaboration is with MY Psychology.  This made me think:
Although SGPsychStuff is the only Singaporean website and Facebook page dedicated to provide information for psychology students in Singapore, there are actually many other great websites and Facebook pages which can also provide information for those interested in psychology.
Great things are to be shared!!  So here is the list of Facebook pages (categorised by country) that provide these great information.  Make sure to 'like' them and get these psychology information on your own newsfeed!
Pages introduced here may fall into any specialisation / category of psychology, and mainly for the promotion or sharing of psychological information and are not for the usage / promotion of any private businesses.

Singaporean FB pages:
Psychology Matters Asia
Singapore Association for Mental Health
CHAT
Forensic Psychology Singapore
Community of Organisational Psychologists in Singapore
Motivation in Educational Research Laboratory (MERL)
Social Worker Singapore
Singapore Psychologists (FB group)
Singapore Sport Psychology Network (FB group)

American FB pages:
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS)
Association for Psychological Science
All About Psychology
About Psychology
Psychology: Science In Action
APA Style
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Academy of Medical Psychology
Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity
Social Psychology Network

American Magazines and Journals:
APA Journals
Scientific American Mind
Psychology Today
Psychology Press
gradPSYCH magazine
In-Mind Magazine
Elsevier Psychology

European and British FB pages:
British Psychological Society
BPS Division of Neuropsychology
British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology
European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA)
European Federation of Psychology Students' Associations (EFPSA) - EFPSA Journal
PsyBlog

BPS Journals / Magazines:
BPS Journal
BPS Research Digest
The Psychologist

Australian FB pages:
Australian Psychological Society
APS Psych Student HQ
APS College of Clinical Psychologists
headspace
Mental Health Professionals Network
Mental Health Australia
SANE Australia

If you have any great FB pages that provides psychological information, please introduce them in the comments below and I will add them to this list!