Brooke Beyma

Brooke Beyma at lake between two mountains

About Brooke Beyma

As a student studying psychology at the University of Tampa, Brooke Beyma is privy to a number of psychological theories that the average American may never have heard of. While many Americans may associate psychology with academia and mental health sciences, psychology is a useful tool that can be used in everyday life to traverse common social challenges. Brooke Beyma recognizes that many Americans are unaware of these helpful psychology theories and hopes to share some of the most prominent studies with the general public.

Humans Are Very Likely to Conform

In 1951, Dr. Solomon Asch conducted an experiment at Swarthmore College where he evaluated a person’s likelihood to conform to a standard when there is pressure from peers to do so. During the experiment, a group of participants were shown pictures with lines of different lengths and asked which line is the longest. Prior to the experiment, Dr. Asch had asked certain participants to give the wrong answer when asked in the group setting. Dr. Asch found that although participants knew which string was the longest, they would always agree with the majority.

Good Impressions Matter

During the 1920s, well-known psychologist Edward Thorndike discovered what we know today as the halo effect. Thorndike discovered the effect after asking commanding officers within the military to rank various characteristics of their subordinates. During the experiment, Thorndike learned that impressions of one quality would often bleed into other perceptions of a person’s characteristics. For example, if a person has a good impression of another person, they will perceive the majority of their characteristics as positive. However, the opposite effect is also true, and a person who perceives another negatively will often list their qualities as overly negative.

We Often Believe the Majority of People Agree with Us

In the late 1970s, Stanford University professor Lee Ross and his colleagues performed an experiment with the help of local college students. Researchers asked participants how they would react to a specific conflict and how many people they believe would make the same decision in the experiment. No matter what option the student chose, Ross found that participants tended to think that the majority of other people would also choose their option.

Tampa student Brooke Beyma hopes to continue to share psychological theories within this blog and, in future entries, will discuss a variety of topics, including social psychology, cognitive psychology, popular psychology myths, child development psychology, and the major branches of psychology. Those interested in learning more about the real world applications of psychology are encouraged to return to for future updates and entries.