Cognitive Dissonance Vs. Paranormal Activity

Morgan Griffin
Prof. Jami Blaauw-Hara
2013, March 7th                                 Cognitive Dissonance and Paranormal Activity
                When discussing dual beliefs, paranormal activities and beings are a great place to start. What is a more questionable topic then the afterlife? People have questioned it, pretty much since there have been people to question it. How much does one personally believe, though? Would you go as far as saying that you believe in ghosts? Or are you one to put reasons behind why something out of the ordinary had just happened? How far do your dual beliefs go?       
                                                          What Is Cognitive Dissonance?                                                                                                                                      
                The dual beliefs I discuss, are called ‘cognitive dissonance’. Which is the idea that two beliefs can be held simultaneously, usually under the circumstances that one belief is uncomfortable to deal with to whoever is dealing with it. This idea is a theory of Leon Festinger’s (1951). The theory itself is a dual belief, as cognition (thought) and dissonance (feeling-often that of dread) are competitive ideas. Paranormal activities, of any kind, would set this theory into motion for most people.             
                                                          My Personal Experience
                Personally, I have had experience in the area of paranormal activities, so I know quite a bit about dual beliefs. Being a member of a paranormal club here on the NCMC campus, ones beliefs seem to come in pairs of how you feel and then later on if you can explain how you felt about an event and you can come up for the reasoning behind it. When I explore ‘haunted’ places and something unfamiliar to me occurs, I immediately try to come up with what it is-before saying that it’s a ghost or something. Other things we have yet to explain, and I do believe those to have been paranormal activity sightings. We’ve had our flashlights turned on and off, hair that has been lifted to a certain angle (looking as though it is being pulled), and even at one point I myself felt as though I was being strangled by a force that I could not sense other than force’s touch. On the other hand, the buildings we visit obviously have to be older and so we are able to label all the other noises to that alone. So the footsteps one person might hear out in the hallway and immediately it’s thought to be a ghost- no, you would be hearing the hallways creak due to the deteriorating floorboards. The shadows on the walls/floors have also been able to be explained, due to the fact that one of our locations has low-lighting and the other doesn’t have electricity at all, so the fire we light often plays tricks on our eyes.  
                                                          Other Member's Experiences
                Other members of the group I belong to have experienced similar occurrences. My boyfriend said that at one point he’d felt a little hand on the back of his leg, rubbing it as though it were someone (a child’s height) looking for his attention. Some people have said that they feel when a certain room doesn’t give off ‘the right feeling’ and then they immediately would like to leave. Unfortunately though, we have also noticed that those who tag along with us and are critical members of the team, don’t often have anything that happens to them.                                                  
                                                           Equipment We Use                                                                                               
                As far as equipment goes, when we go on our hunts usually we have a backpack or two full of equipment for paranormal investigations. We use 3 different recorders, to try and pick up any vocalization made of the ghost’s part. We often carry 4 or 5 flashlights on us when we go to the Onaway location, because the house we go to doesn’t have any form of electricity. We use the dowsing rods, as we ask questions, and then we have the ghosts answer them through the rods. As skeptic as some people may be, that technique actually works. We carry 2-3 cameras, and take between 100- (and at one point) 900 photos every outing we go on. We continue to take pictures, even though we already have pictures of all of this, just because we go over every inch of every photo looking to see if we pick anything up. So when we do, the picture will go under group inspection as we all try to come up for reasoning beyond the straight up assumption that it is a ghost. Also when we go to Onaway, we will most often carry a second backpack full of warm gear such as gloves, hats, scarves, extra layers, etc. The house there has one source of heat and that is the fireplace on the main level of the house.  So far, we have been able to have suspicious activity with all of our actual paranormal team equipment though.                     
                                                           In The End                                                                 
             Both events we can explain and events we cannot explain have occurred, but while I am a member of a club that deals with things that are paranormal, I don’t think I will immediately say that there is no such thing as a ghost. As I mentioned before with the afterlife, we’re not really sure what really goes on when one dies. Anything is possible; we could follow the religious beliefs and go straight on to awaiting for judgment and wait for God to send us to either heaven or hell. Then again you could also say, that while we wait we linger around either loved ones or places we loved (or spent our lifetime at). Nothing can definitely be said about whatever awaits the living when they pass. We could die tomorrow, and possibly end up being ghosts and haunting poor innocent people at a place we once enjoyed spending our time. So no, I do not immediately turn down the idea that ghosts or other paranormal beings exist.


Giving Up

I give up. I give up trying to be what everyone wants me to be. Sometimes, I feel like I should give up on things like caring too. Nobody cares about what I say or do. In fact, I was told just the other day to go die... as it would do the world some good. I don't remember how we got to that stage, but she was able to walk away from the conversation, and I couldn't. I stood there, wondering if it would do the world some good if it were without me. I was so hurt. I took my frustration, and continuous worry out on the world that day. I hurt one of my friends verbally, and said some things I rather wish I hadn't... only out of the fear that upon saying them I have now lost that person's friendship. I have spent the past two days wondering how I have fallen so far from what I once was, or how I am able to continue to fall. I want a second chance at life, but it doesn't seem to be able to happen. Instead I hope for it, and life gets worse. In that perspective, I give up trying to make it better. I won't look to people for help, as they won't give it. For now, I do feel like I have to rely on myself or get hurt worse. The funny thing is, is that nobody notices or cares. I won't ask them to either. As one can tell, reading this, I am still angry. Angry, sad, and scared.

I am also 4 days away from my 18th birthday. Yet, 1 month before I am leaving. Closer to a year, before I can leave all of this mess behind and not have to look back.


English 111 Assignment-Finally!

Eng 111                                                                                                                                                                   Morgan Griffin

Prof. Blaauw-Hara

2012, February 15th                                               Blogging to Change the World

                When considering that which is the best route for a child’s education, one should consider homeschooling. With some top academic records, and great reports on the child-Einstein’s who have appeared in society after being homeschooled, have given on-lookers a wonderful impression of just how awesome homeschooling really is. I am here to tell you, that homeschooling (like everything else) has its pros and its cons.              

                                                                                Jean Anyon’s Work

                Recently, I read a piece of work by Jean Anyon. She’d done some research on the schools and how the different social classes affect them. Basically, that the higher social class had a better version of a public school than that of a lower class. Higher class schools, or the executive elite schools, featured things that enhanced a student’s abilities to learn. They had things like open-ended questions, project-based activities, and a sense of independence. Whereas, the lower class schools pretty much taught the students how to survive in the lower class. Based upon Jean Anyon’s work, I feel the homeschooling is another form of an executive elite school.

                                                                                              Public School                                                                                                                           One of the more popular academic choices that parents tend to choose for their children is public schooling. Sometimes, it is due to the fact that both parents are working and don’t have the time to consider better education alternatives. Others do it to give their child the ability to interact with other kids. The latter really shouldn’t be considered when it comes to education. As documentaries, like PBS’s Waiting for Superman, have featured the growing issue- our public schools are failing. That our students in the public school system are not getting the proper attention they need for their education. The economic crisis is something to be considered, in the education dilemma. If the economy continues to go downhill, then our ‘executive elite schools’ may not be so elite for much longer.                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                              Homeschooling                                                                                                       Now when it comes to homeschooling, I have a completely different perspective. Even with a crisis, like the economy, homeschooling is a safe route to ensure your child’s education is still safe. My parents considered all of these details before homeschooling me. Another one of their reasons to homeschool, was that they were protecting my siblings and I from hazardous topics that are popular in the school system. Such as drugs, sex, alcohol, bullying, and other things that students go through. The nice thing to factor in, is that the parents themselves ensure that their child is being properly educated. My mother was the one who taught my siblings and I all of our subjects. She sacrificed our happiness, to properly educate us. Unlike the usual public school schedule with hours that go from 8am to 3:15pm, my schedule (at one point) had hours from like 6am to 6pm. Instead of equally balanced time frames for classes, our core subjects had the most focus. Things like art, music, and time to exercise all had short but sweet periods in our schedule. If we didn’t accomplish what we needed to in the core subjects, we wouldn’t move on to the subjects we loved to do until our work was done. It was easy for the teacher, my mother, to see where we were messing up personally and fix the issue right then and there. Higher grades were easier to achieve, and fortunately helped a homeschool student like me to enter college with just enough knowledge to want more and to eagerly be willing to learn.                                                                                                                                                                               Conclusion
Although public school has its benefits, I find those of homeschooling to be better when it comes to considering children’s academic success. Both have their cons, which parents should take into their own perspective as to which of those they can deal with. Through homeschooling the worst can possibly be the lack of research done in it. With much enthusiasm, I support homeschooling. Yet, I know others who think public schooling is the best choice out there (even after considering homeschooling). It really is in your own matter of personal opinion where you choose to place your faith for your child’s education.


The Daily Balderdash

Hey y'all,
So I haven't posted in FOREVER and I do apologize.
So your daily entertainment for today, I will post below.
Your daily song- I picked the very romantic song ♫I Won't Give Up♫ by Jason Mraz
Then your daily movie is the Splice- the 2010 thriller/horror movie. If your into aliens, this is the movie for you.
Anyways, must get back to my busy life!! :)
Hope y'all had fun.
Thanks for reading!!!


Daily Balderdash- 2 Days Worth

Missed a day! Gosh, what's wrong with me? Lol, well here is a makeup post.
Daily question (sorry I only have one of these) WHAT ARE YOUR THREE MOST IMPORTANT VALUES? Well, first I'd have to ask what values this person was looking for. If I had to answer what top 3 things I value most in my life they would probably be my family, my friends, and life.
Songs- 1. Can't be tamed by Miley Cyrus
2. Summertime sadness by Lana Del Rey
Movies- anything Christmas-y= pick 2 of 'em.
Have fun! I know I will! Today is my bday!!!