Tutor profile: Lauren R.
Was Karl Marx a communist?
Marx focuses on the specific players and roles of the capitalist society. He explores the roles that individuals play in the economy and society and the outcomes that their actions my have if either role realizes their position. He explains that if a movement were to occur, and if a majority were to come together in hopes of a global revolution, then the capitalist system might collapse, resulting in a communist system in its place. This outcome would produce a classless society, made up of monopolies in the place where the Bourgeoisie once was. In Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, he discusses the class conflict between the Proletariats and the Bourgeoisie. The Proletariat are those who sell their labor, or the workers. The Bourgeoisie are the owners, or those who own the means of production and who make the profit. The Bourgeoisie, in this case, would also be the ones who control and maintain the concepts behind the Superstructure. The Proletariat become the outcome of their work, and experience estranged labor, or alienation as a result. This alienation is the concept that the capitalist structure goes against human nature, and causes the workers to become dominated by their own creation. This internal struggle of human nature and alienation would be the cause of a global revolution, which in turn, Marx suggests could lead to a communist society. So no, Marx was not necessarily a communist, but he constructed multiple theories and arguments outlining how communism occurs.
Can positive psychology make us happier?
I will let you decide, but I will outline the two sides to the argument. The “yes" argument side claims that Positive Psychology Interventions (PPI) are proven to work, and to increase happiness, however the “no" argument states that there is weak, or no statistical evidence to back this statement up. In the circumstances where PPIs have been proven to increase happiness, they did not state whether or not the happiness was necessarily long term or short term. The "no" argument states that there is empirical evidence showing that no amount of happiness, fortune, or positive events, even winning the lottery, will have a long term effect on overall life satisfaction. They outline the hedonic treadmill example, and how happiness tends to balance out to pre-existing happiness. In fact, negative events have more of a lasting impact than positive events do. The "no" argument is not completely pessimistic though, it does state that, because of evidence showing the lasting impact of negative emotions, if we were to focus more on ridding of negative emotions and feelings, and less on increasing positive emotions and feelings, then we would possibly have success in creating a more balanced, and satisfactory life. The 5 main methods of PPI are thorough and interesting ways to increase happiness, but if psychologists could create similar methods of practice and self-therapy to decrease negative memories, thoughts, and emotions, then that would be the best way, according to the “no" argument, to help increase happiness. I view it all as being on a continuum, and decreasing the negativity would help the happiness move up on the continuum. The "no" argument tends to make more sense, based on the statistical and empirical data to show that happiness is heritable, and uncontrollable. In my opinion, this just goes to show that no matter how much you practice positive psychology, 50% of your happiness is unmoved by your actions, because it’s in your genes.
How is operant conditioning used in the classroom to improve student learning?
Operant conditioning works on a basis of reinforcements and punishments. When students are positively reinforced, their behaviors tend to increase, whether those behaviors are positive or negative. When we want to increase a positive behavior, we may employ the use of something like a tangible or concrete positive reinforcer, such as a prize, or candy. In this case, we would be trying to increase a desirable behavior from the student, by presenting them with a desirable stimulus. On the contrary, when we are purposely trying to decrease a behavior, we may resort to punishment. Positive punishment, or presentation punishment, would entail doing, giving, or adding something undesirable to decrease an unwanted behavior. Negative punishment, or removal punishment, would be taking away some desirable in order to decrease unwanted behavior. There are a lot of ways to go about reinforcement and punishment, but we must first consider the ABC’s of behavior. The ABC's are antecedent, behavior, consequence. To determine how to approach a situation, we must determine what caused this behavior to occur, or what was the antecedent? Then, we look at the behavior, whether it was positive or negative. Next, we determine the consequence, if it has not already naturally occurred. If we have a better understanding of what causes behaviors, then we can decide how to proceed with reinforcement or punishment.
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