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Tutor profile: Brittany L.

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Brittany L.
UCLA Class of 2019 in Psychology (BA) & Biomedical Research Minor
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Questions

Subject: Music

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between a flat and a sharp? Is a G# the same as an Ab?

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Brittany L.
Answer:

Yes! G# is the same as Ab. So is D# and Eb. Basically, when you see a sharp (#), you need to go one half-step up. One half-step usually means one note, one key. Many people ask what E# would be; you go one half-step up-- it's F. Similarly, Fb is simply E. When you see a flat (b), you need to go one half-step down. Other tricky ones are B# = C; Cb= B.

Subject: Psychology

TutorMe
Question:

Explain the differences between positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement, and negative punishment.

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Brittany L.
Answer:

Reinforcement and punishment are most commonly used in conditioning (i.e., learning) within the context of psychology. In psychology, whenever the word "positive" is used, it means that something is added, whereas "negative" means taking away, or the absence of something. This can cause confusion when it comes to reinforcement and punishment. In operant conditioning, you can reinforce a behavior by adding something good to it (positive reinforcement), or taking away something that's bad (negative reinforcement). Perhaps you want a child to study for 30 minutes. Positive reinforcement could be giving them some candy or ice cream when they are finished, or letting them attend a playdate. Negative reinforcement could be relieving them of their "daily" chores--if they study for 30 minutes, then they don't have to do the dishes. This is taking away something that the child dislikes, thus encouraging the child to study for 30 minutes more often. Positive punishment means that you're adding something bad when the child does NOT do the behavior. For example, if the child does not study for 30 minutes, positive punishment could be making them fold laundry or shoveling snow. This is generally what someone thinks of when they think of the word "punishment". Negative punishment means that you're taking something good away. For example, if the child does not study for 30 minutes, negative punishment could be that they aren't allowed to watch TV for that night. The important thing here to note is that the thing you're taking away must be something that goes on relatively regularly in the child's life. If I decided that the negative punishment would be that the child wouldn't be able to drive their car that night, but the child literally cannot and does not know how to drive, how would the punishment even be carried out? The child will not understand what he/she is missing out on driving because they've never experienced it before and it is not part of their lives, so the punishment would not work.

Subject: Biomedical Science

TutorMe
Question:

What are some commonalities between all biomedical research (and research in general)? How do you know if the research you are reading is "good"?

Inactive
Brittany L.
Answer:

The research article you are reading should be from a peer-reviewed journal. This means that other professionals in their field (Ph.D, MD) have read it and submitted anonymous feedback to the authors. The original authors then need to meet the standards set forth by the journal. Popular and respected journals include Cell and Nature. Research is considered "good" if it has validity and reliability. Reliability: this means that each time you perform the experiment, you get the same outcome each time. For example, if I create a questionnaire that screens depression, I would know that the test is unreliable if I administer it to someone who has been diagnosed with depression, but the test says that they do not have depression. Research is considered "valid" if it is reliable and whether what you are testing actually tests what you want to test. There are subtypes of validity and reliability, and they differ across disciplines, but in general, any substantial research needs to be valid and reliable.

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