Psychology Class – College Life

As you know, I’m taking an online psychology class. Part of my grade consists of discussions with other people in my “class.” Imagine my surprise when upon signing in this evening, I had 3 e-mails from a very disturbed classmate on the subject of animal rights during research. One of her horribly misspelled diatribes was summed up in three words. “yuo are wrnog” 

I’m not kidding.

I couldn’t help but get angry. First of all, if you are going to call me out on my opinion, do it in a manner where I am not cursing you for your misspellings. Second, if you’re going to tell me I’m wrong, back it up with opinions and more importantly facts.

The fact that she attacked me in e-mail, showed her cowardice in not bringing her oh-so intelligent opinions out into the discussion queue. Instead of letting my anger get the best of me, I went back to the original discussion, and wrote the following:

Actually, Cynthia, I am not trying to change anyone’s opinion. Aside from all your snide, out-of-discussion e-mails you’ve sent me, I am simply trying to argue the other side here. It is very obvious you view animal research as an evil thing and unfortunately, it’s one of those cases where no amount of reading or checking facts will make you objectively view this topic. C’est la vie. 

I really wanted to continue with, “Thanks for being yet another closed minded individual. I thank you for your lovely anti-social and uneducated addition to society”. However, I stopped.

I’m such a bitch.

I leave you with the opening paragraph of my Chapter 5 psychology module:

In a jar on a display shelf in Cornell University’s psychology department resides the well-preserved brain of Edward Bradford Titchener, a great turn-of-the-century experimental psychologist and proponent of the study of consciousness. Imagine yourself gazing at that wrinkled mass of grayish tissue, wondering if in any sense Titchener is still in there.

— Psychology (Eigth Edition in Modules) by David G. Meyers

If I were Titchener, I’d be fucking pissed.

3 thoughts on “Psychology Class – College Life

  1. Kate – this is from a researcher on human drugs:

    It’s true: I don’t actually like the fact that every successful modern drug has risen to its place on top of a small mountain of dead animals. But not liking doesn’t keep it from being true, and not liking it doesn’t mean that I have an alternative, either. I don’t. What the animal rights campaigners – the more rational ones, anyway – don’t seem to realize is that tens of millions of dollars are waiting for the person who can come up with a way of not using so many mice, rats, and dogs. (The less rational ones wouldn’t care even if they knew).

    They’re expensive, you know, animals are. We don’t just have them running around in rooms with a bunch of straw on the floor. They live in facilities that are expensive to build and expensive to maintain, and you have to hire a lot of people whose only job is to take care of them. The anti-testing people seem to have visions of drug company employees cackling at the thought of getting to use more animals, when the truth is that we’d dump them in a minute if we could.

    But here’s the hard part: we can’t. Not for now, and not for some time to come. We don’t know enough biology to do it. As it stands, if you were able to model every relevant system in a rat, well enough to use your model for predictive screening, you’d have basically built a rat yourself. We get surprised all the time when our compounds go into animals, and every time it happens, it shows how little we really know.

    from here.

    Dunno if that will help in your class, but it is an interesting perspective.

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