Archive for June 8th, 2011

June 8, 2011

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

beck institute

thoughts feelings behavior

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach, a talking therapy, that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. The title is used in diverse ways to designate behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and to refer to therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioral and cognitive research.

There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. Some clinicians and researchers are more cognitive oriented (e.g. cognitive restructuring), while others are more behaviorally oriented (in vivo exposure therapy). Other interventions combine both (e.g. imaginal exposure therapy).

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June 8, 2011

Cognitive Therapy

cbt

beck by Benjamin Michael Mathews

Cognitive therapy (CT) is a type of psychotherapy developed by American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. CT is one of the therapeutic approaches within the larger group of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) and was first expounded by Beck in the 1960s.

Cognitive therapy seeks to help the patient overcome difficulties by identifying and changing dysfunctional thinking, behavior, and emotional responses. This involves helping patients develop skills for modifying beliefs, identifying distorted thinking, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviors. Treatment is based on collaboration between patient and therapist and on testing beliefs. Therapy may consist of testing the assumptions which one makes and identifying how certain of one’s usually unquestioned thoughts are distorted, unrealistic and unhelpful. Once those thoughts have been challenged, one’s feelings about the subject matter of those thoughts are more easily subject to change.

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June 8, 2011

Behavior Therapy

carrot with stick

Behavior therapy (or behavior modification) is an approach to psychotherapy based on behaviorism which aims to treat psychopathology through techniques designed to reinforce desired and eliminate undesired behaviors. Precursors of certain fundamental aspects of behavior therapy have been identified in various ancient philosophical traditions, particularly Stoicism.

While the modern behavior therapist deliberately applies principles of learning to this therapeutic operations, empirical behavior therapy is probably as old as civilization – if we consider civilization as having begun when man first did things to further the well-being of other men. From the time that this became a feature of human life there must have been occasions when a man complained of his ills to another who advised or persuaded him of a course of action. In a broad sense, this could be called behavior therapy whenever the behavior itself was conceived as the therapeutic agent.

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June 8, 2011

Behaviorism

skinner box

Behaviorism is the theory that all things organisms do should be seen as behavior. Behaviorism says that behavior can be studied scientifically, without knowing what the physiology of an event is, and without using theories such as that of the mind. According to behaviorism, all behavior can be observed. Behaviorists first argued that the study of behavior should be a natural science, such as chemistry or physics, without any reference to hypothetical inner states of organisms as causes for their behavior. From early psychology in the 19th century, the behaviorist school of thought ran concurrently and shared commonalities with the psychoanalytic and Gestalt movements in psychology into the 20th century; but also differed from the mental philosophy of the Gestalt psychologists in critical ways.

In the second half of the 20th century, behaviorism was largely eclipsed as a result of the cognitive revolution, which include the internal processes of the mind in its purview. While behaviorism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in practical therapeutic applications, such as in cognitive–behavioral therapy that has demonstrable utility in treating certain pathologies, such as simple phobias, PTSD, and addiction. People who influenced behaviorism include Ivan Pavlov, Edward Lee Thorndike, John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner. Pavlov investigated classical conditioning, but did not agree with Behaviorism or Behaviorists. Thorndike and Watson rejected introspective methods and wanted to restrict psychology to experimental methods. Skinner’s research focused on Operant conditioning.

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June 8, 2011

Cognitive Psychology

computer head by aldis ozolins

Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that looks at basic actions of the mind, like problem solving, memory, and language. Cognitive psychologists most often look at mental changes than happen after a stimulus (things that can be felt by the five senses) and before a behavioral response (what a person does after of sensing something). Cognitive psychology had its beginnings in the Gestalt psychology of Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Koffka, and in the work of Jean Piaget, who came up with a theory of ‘stages’ or ‘phases’ that describe children’s cognitive development.

Ulric Neisser coined the term ‘cognitive psychology’ in his book of the same name, published in 1967 wherein Neisser provides a definition of cognitive psychology characterizing people as dynamic information-processing systems whose mental operations might be described in computational terms. Cognitive psychology is one of the more recent additions to psychological research, having only developed as a separate area within the discipline since the late 1950s and early 1960s following the ‘cognitive revolution’ initiated by Noam Chomsky’s 1959 critique of behaviorism and empiricism more generally.

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June 8, 2011

Ralph McQuarrie

chewbacca

threepio

Ralph McQuarrie (1929 – 2012) is a conceptual designer and illustrator who designed ‘Star Wars’ (all of the original trilogy), the original ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,’ and ‘Cocoon.’ Initially he worked as a technical illustrator for Boeing, as well designing film posters and animating CBS News’s coverage of the Apollo space program at the three-man company Reel Three. Impressed with his work, director George Lucas met with him to discuss his plans for a space-fantasy film. Several years later, in 1975, Lucas commissioned McQuarrie to illustrate several scenes from the script of the film, ‘Star Wars.’

McQuarrie designed many of the characters, including Darth Vader and Chewbacca and drew many concepts for the film’s sets. McQuarrie’s concept paintings, including such scenes as R2-D2 and C3PO arriving on Tatooine, helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund Star Wars which became a huge success upon release in 1977. ‘I just did my best to depict what I thought the film should look like, I really liked the idea. I didn’t think the film would ever get made. My impression was it was too expensive. There wouldn’t be enough of an audience. It’s just too complicated. But George knew a lot of things that I didn’t know.’ McQuarrie was offered a role as designer for the ‘Star Wars’ prequel trilogy, but he rejected the offer, noting he had ‘run out of steam’ and Industrial Light & Magic animator Doug Chiang was appointed instead.

June 8, 2011

Carousel of Progress

tomorrowland

The Carousel of Progress is an attraction located at the Disney Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando. Created by both Walt Disney and WED Enterprises as the prime feature of the General Electric Pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the attraction was moved to Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, remaining there from 1967 until 1973. It was replaced in Disneyland by America Sings in 1974, and reopened in its present home in 1975.

Steeped in both nostalgia and futurism, the attraction’s premise is an exploration of the joys of living through the advent of electricity and other technological advances during the 20th century via a ‘typical’ American family. To keep it up with the times, the attraction has been updated five times (in 1967, 1975, 1981, 1985, and 1994) and has had two different theme songs, both written by the Sherman Brothers (Disney’s Academy Award-winning songwriting team).

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June 8, 2011

Horizons

horizons

Horizons was the name of an attraction at Disney’s Epcot theme park in Orlando. Located on the eastern side of the ‘Future World’ section of Epcot, the attraction used Disney’s Omnimover conveyance system, which took guests past show scenes depicting visions of the future. It is believed to be the sequel to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, an attraction in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom. Horizons was the only attraction in Future World to showcase all of Epcot’s elements: communication, community interaction, energy, transportation, anatomy, physiology, along with man’s relationship to the sea, land, air, and space.

The attraction officially opened in 1983 and first closed in 1994 after General Electric ended sponsorship of the attraction. It was temporarily reopened in 1995 due to the closure of other attractions for refurbishment, but the attraction permanently closed in 1999, after which the attraction was dismantled and its structure demolished to make room for Mission: SPACE, a motion simulator thrill ride.

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June 8, 2011

Captain EO

captain eo

Captain EO is a 3-D film starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (who based the name on Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn) that was shown at Disney theme parks from 1986 through the 1990s. The attraction returned in 2010, as a tribute after Jackson’s death. It is regarded as one of the first ‘4-D’ films (4-D being the name given to a 3-D film which incorporates in-theater effects, such as lasers, smoke, etc., frame synced to the film narrative). This innovation was suggested by producer-writer Rusty Lemorande who is, therefore, sometimes referred to as ‘The Father of 4-D.’ These effects resulted in the seventeen-minute film costing an estimated $30 million to produce. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever made on a per-minute basis, averaging out at $1.76 million per minute.

The film’s executive producer was George Lucas, and it was choreographed by Jeffrey Hornaday (who also choreographed ‘Flashdance’ and ‘A Chorus Line’) and Michael Jackson. The score was written by James Horner, and featured two songs (‘We Are Here to Change the World’ and ‘Another Part of Me’), both written and performed by Michael Jackson. The Supreme Leader was played by Anjelica Huston. The movie tells the story of Captain EO (Michael Jackson) and the ragtag crew of his spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to ‘The Supreme Leader,’ who lives on a world of rotting, twisted metal and steaming vents. Captain EO’s alien crew consists of his small flying sidekick Fuzzball, the double-headed navigator and pilot Idey and Ody, robotic security officer Major Domo, a small robot Minor Domo (who fits like a module into Major Domo), and the clumsy elephant-like shipmate Hooter who always manages to upset the crew’s missions.

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June 8, 2011

Cosmic Cutie

Hitchhiker's Guide

cosmic cutie

A little green blobby planet thing, nicknamed the ‘Cosmic Cutie,’ with no eyes, a tongue and two thin arms, was used on the U.S. editions of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series of books because of worries that American consumers might not realize that a series of books with different names was a ‘trilogy.’

The author of the books, Douglas Adams was one of many people who disliked the character, and demanded it not appear on new editions of any of his books.

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June 8, 2011

42

deep thought

cosmic cutie

In the first novel and radio series of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything from the supercomputer, Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. The Ultimate Question itself is unknown.

When asked to produce The Ultimate Question, the computer says that it cannot; however, it can help to design an even more powerful computer, the Earth, that can. The programmers then embark on a further ten-million-year program to discover The Ultimate Question. This new computer will incorporate living beings in the ‘computational matrix,’ with the pan-dimensional creators assuming the form of mice.

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June 8, 2011

Towel Day

don't panic

Towel Day is celebrated every May 25th as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams.

On this day, fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their love for the books and the author, as referred to in Adams’s ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’ The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams’s death in May of that year.

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