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E.J. Yozamp
Psychology | Philosophy | Faith
Photo: Karpovich, Vlada. Untitled, n.d., Pexels.

W e make decisions every day. Whether it is deciding which exit to take on the highway or to eat that expired yogurt that’s been sitting in the back of the refrigerator, we are in a constant feedback loop with our world as we engage with it. There are three core elements to decision-making: Judgment (how people predict outcomes that follow potential options), preference (how people weigh those outcomes), and choice (how people combine their judgments and preferences to arrive at a decision). …

Photo: O’Rourke, Alan. Untitled. 2015, Wikimedia Commons.

You may have heard it said that “if one cannot change one’s environment, one can still change their behavior”; and while this statement may imply that the only thing that one can control is how one chooses to respond to events that are beyond it, B.F. Skinner argued that the latter can only be a product of changing former (Skinner, 1979). Both might sound equally daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are looking to reduce the amount of coffee you drink or increase your physical activity, changing, or modifying behavior is the culmination of small changes and…

Photo: Slackens, L.M. The Yellow Press. 1910, Wikimedia Commons.

These days, you would be hard-pressed to meet someone who hasn’t heard of the term “fake news” by now. Not only has it become a colloquial sayism that is synonymous with deceit, but a tongue-in-cheek quip meant to poke fun at those that decry it often in response to information that they don’t want to accept as fact. Formally defined as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting” (Fake news, n.d.), fake news is a phenomenon that has become an unfortunate consequence of the Internet as a vehicle for mass communication. …

Photo: Normand, Ernest. Esther Denouncing Haman. 1888, Wikimedia Commons.

A tale often retold as a drama in western film, Hadassah, also known as Esther, is a Hebrew woman who becomes queen of Persia, and it is by her and her cousin Mordecai’s cunning that they thwart a genocide of their people. The Jewish festival of Purim commemorates them with feasting and additional prayers, gift-giving of food and drink, charity to those in need, and public recitation of the Book of Esther.

The Megillot

Written shortly after 465 B.C. by either Ezra or Mordecai, Esther’s story may be found in the Writings (or the Ketuvim), which comprises eleven books subdivided into poetry…

It may be argued that knowledge is only useful if it’s shared. After all, what good would science be to the human race if discoveries made by using it were never communicated? This is the job of scientific studies: to record and report findings made by researchers. It’s for this reason that research papers make conducting science not only possible, but also worth doing.

More likely than not, if one ever finds oneself arguing with a stranger over the internet, someone will eventually declare for their opponent to “cite their sources”. In other words, they are demanding that their opponent…

Photo: Ricci, Sebastiano. Heads of Two Men (A Scribe or a Pharisee and an Apostle). c. 1730, Wikimedia Commons.

The Bible, or the Old and New Testaments, are a collection of historical accounts and records, laws, biographies, poetry and prose, prophecies, and cultural wisdom of several societies and individuals within the mediterranean region of Northern Africa and Southern Europe, and the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. It’s considered to be a product of divine inspiration for those that hold it, or its parts, religiously sacred as a living record of the relationship between God and mankind. …

Photo: Unknown photographer. B.F. Skinner at the Harvard Psychology Department. 1950, Wikimedia Commons.

“I did not direct my life. I didn’t design it. I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That’s what life is.” — B.F. Skinner

B.F. Skinner, a renowned American psychologist of the 20th century, is credited to be one of the founding fathers of behaviorism, the field of psychology concerned with understanding humans and animals by their behavior, rather than their cognitive processes.

Operant conditioning is the central epithet of Skinner’s theory of behaviorism. It may be defined as a method of learning where one’s behavior is modified by their environment. While Freud argued…

Copyright © 2020 by E.J. Yozamp

Photo: di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Michelangelo. The Creation of Adam. 1511, Wikimedia Commons.

A debate as old as primordial slime — or so many of us think. Contrary to popular belief, the debate between science and religion is actually a rather modern, and uniquely Western one, and it begins with the history of Creationism in Fundementalist Christian thought.

For those unfamiliar with Creationism, it is usually described as “a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis [the first book of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures]” (Creationism, n.d.)…

Photo: Hale, Timothy. Female soldier on duty. 2009, Wikimedia Commons.
Photo: Hale, Timothy. Female soldier on duty. 2009, Wikimedia Commons.
Photo: Hale, Timothy. Female soldier on duty. 2009, Wikimedia Commons.

Pictured above: Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Carroll, from Aurora, Colo., and representing the Military Intelligence Recruiting Command, modifies a light with a red marker for night operations prior to the night Urban Warfighting Orienteering Course at the 2009 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis., July 14, 2009.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, women are the fastest-growing Veteran group, currently comprising about 9% of the U.S. Veteran population, whereas that number is expected to rise to 15% in 2035. Additionally, female Veteran are more likely to die by suicide than female non-Veterans. In 2016, the suicide…

Photo: Unknown photographer. Ruhollah Khomeini on the roof of his residence, Qom. 1979, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wi
Photo: Unknown photographer. Ruhollah Khomeini on the roof of his residence, Qom. 1979, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wi
Photo: Unknown photographer. Ruhollah Khomeini on the roof of his residence, Qom. 1979, Wikimedia Commons.

“ISIS has as much to do with Islam as the Ku Klux Klan has to do with Christianity,” asserts Dalia Mogahed to her TED-talk audience, an American-Egyptian scholar and Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), (Dalia Mogahed, 8:50). Those familiar with Islam would agree. However, Mogahed’s invitation to speak on such suggests there’s a need for it to be said, especially to those in the West.

We fear what we don’t understand. Because of the radicalized, religious affiliation and appearance of those that attacked the World Trade Center, and subsequent murdering of thousands of…

E.J. Yozamp

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