Sunday, February 25, 2007

Beauty and the Geek: Science is Progressing But Are Societal Values Backwards?

In this weeks post, I will be commenting on two other blogs. I have decided to focus on two very different areas in psychology. The first comment is directed at a post that deals with technology and scientific discovery. After much research, it appears that a person’s personality can now be determined by looking at his or her eyes. “The Iris is the Window to the Soul” gives fascinating insight on the topic. The second comment is on a post discussing the American Psychological Association’s research on the media and the shocking effects it has on today’s youth. “APA Task Force Condemns Sexualization of Girls” provides detailed evidence and explains what the outcomes on girls in specific have been. It also gives suggestions to positive alternatives that may be helpful in solving this societal problem. The following are the comments I submitted on each subject matter.

1st Comment: “The Iris is the Window to the Soul”

I find this very fascinating. This almost seems like it should be expected, the eyes, a person’s outlet to view the world, should serve the opposite purpose right? looking into them, should too, reveal some sort of deeper information about the person that cannot be seen on the outside. Perhaps that is why it is said that cops look for movements in the eye to determine lies. Or why some people find confessions to be more meaningful when one looks them in the eyes. The crypts, pigment dots, and furrows of the iris psychologist have been looking at almost take the form of a ”vortex” like those seen in science fiction portrayals that lead to other dimensions, in this case to a person’s traits. I would however, like to pose a question that may not yet have an answer. Professor Humayan at the University of Southern California has been for some years now working on restoring vision through the implanting of a bionic eye. He recently received permission by the FDA to conduct an exploratory patient trial on about 50-75 patients. I wonder what kind of information these bionic eyes would reveal about a person, and if in the near future, airports begin to use eye scans to identify people like you mentioned, how this would affect those with implants.

2nd Comment: “APA Task Force Condemns Sexualization of Girls”

Although I agree with most of the research reported by the APA, I have to say that I also side with the counter argument given by Ann Pellegrini. The media does indeed objectify women and provide images of beauty that should not, but in some cases do become the center of a woman’s or young girl’s values. However, there are a lot of factors influencing this effect. Most people, even young kids are aware of the fact that, except for the news, most, if not all, even reality shows are scripted and are not real. With this in mind, parents and peers, have a lot to do with the “sexualization” of girls. Hence, I feel the report puts too much fault on the media. A person can only apply this view on physical attractiveness, sexual appeal or behavior to his or her own life, if that is what everyone in their surroundings has taught them to do. If a young girl, for instance learns that due to her good looks, she gets the response she wants from her peers, she will then assume that this a very important and valuable characteristic. In a way, a situation like this, although problematic, can be like professor Pellegrini states, be an “empowering” experience. A girl internalizes a sense of power among others and since this is constantly proven correct, she in turn feels more confident and has higher self-esteem.

No comments: