Since the certification exam was a greater time commitment than expected I will continue working with Dr. Schug this fall semester to re-code videos from past subjects as well as coding new videos for newly developed projects. After completing CITI Human Subjects training as well as microexpression reading training using the Microexpression Training Tool, also released by the Ekman group, I will submit an IRB proposal to analyze the effect of daily technology use on people’s ability to read microexpressions themselves as a follow-up project to my summer research with the Facial Action Coding System. Although I am actively pursuing a career in medicine rather than psychology research, I believe my knowledge and skills concerning facial coding will benefit me in a clinical setting with being able to detect emotional nuances in face to face interactions with patients. I highly recommend that any psychology majors interested in learning more about FACS and microexpressions in general to contact Professor Schug to join her lab group that discusses FACS and how to code facial muscle movements.
At this point I have read three books and done some online article research on the topic. The first book I read was titled Free Will by Sam Harris. It was the first book I tackled purely because it was the only one readily available at my local bookstore, and I had to wait for the other books to come in from an online order. While this book only briefly goes into the psychological studies I have set out to focus this project around, I still felt it was an important read because it worked to define free will and deeply explored the potential implications a lack of free will would have on life as we know it. My favorite quote to sum up Harris’ view of free will was as follows: “You can do what you decide to do – but you cannot decide what you will decide to do” (38). This is my favorite quote first of all because I think the phrasing simplifies the whole view in an amusing manner, but also because it addresses what to me seems to be one of the most confusing aspects of his (and my) belief in a lack of free will. Many people would like to argue that as long as I can choose what I would like to do, then I have free will. However, you need to then ask the question WHY would you like to do that? And the answer why you would like to do that is what he (and I) believe you lack control over. I may have decided to come to William and Mary and I have done just that, but why I decided to come to William and Mary was the result of an infinite number of biological and environmental factors that I had no control over all coming together in precisely the right way to cause me to decide to go to William and Mary.
After finishing Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi, I read Appetites by Caroline Knapp, which blew me away on so many levels. [Read more…]
This past week, I got to be the guinea pig during EEG training for lab members. For once, instead of being the one doing the poking and measuring and taping, I was the one being poked and measured and taped. Because most of you reading this have probably never done an EEG study before, I thought I would take this chance to explain to you what happens in our lab during the EEG portion.