Book Excerpts and Review: Exploring Psychology

Book Excerpts and Review: Exploring Psychology

Exploring Psychology is a thick book that I brought from my home to Chiang Mai last 2010… I think it was my brother’s book but I gave it away to a community and hopefully they get to use it.

But before giving it away, I made sure to copy some snapshots that I found important to daily living. I also wanted to take up psychology before..  well I want to take up many degrees because my hunger for knowledge never ends specially that I forget them afterwards xD

Niwey, here are some bits of information taken from the book. Hope you’ll learn a thing or two:


Belief perseverance – to cling to our beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Belief perseverance often fuels social conflict


Once you see a country as hostile, you are likely to interpret ambigous actions on their part as signifying their hostility

– political scientist Robert Jervis p, 241


Almost all the joyful things in life are outside the measure of IQ tests

– Madeleine L’engle, p.251


IQ test was invented to predict academic performance, nothing else. If we wanted something that would predict life success, we’d have to invent another test completely

– Robert Zajonc, p. 253


The spatial ability of the carpentery differs from the logical ability of the computer programmer, which differs from the verbal ability of the poet. Differences are not deficits. p 264



On Anger

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind – Buddha, 500BC

What’s the best way to handle anger? Experts offer several suggetions.

First, bring down the physiological arousal of anger by waiting. Any emotiona arousal will simmer down if you just wait long enough. Second, deal with anger in a way that involves neither being chronically angry over every little annoyance nor passively sulking, which is merely rehearsing your reasons for anger. Vent the anger by playing an instrument, exercising, or confiding your feelings to a friend or a in a diary.


A non-accusing statement of feelings, perhaps letting one’s partner know that “I get irritated when you leave your dirty dishes for me to clean up” – can help resolve the conflicts that cause anger.



On happiness


People who are happy perceive the world as safer, make decisions more easily, rate job applicants more favorable, and report greater satisfactions with their whole lives

When we feel happy, we are more willing to help others. Its like a feel good, do good phenomenon.

Other research confirms that there is much more to well-being than being well off. Many people believe they would be happier if they had more money. They probably would be “temporarily”. But in the long run, increased affluence hardly affects happiness.




The average American is now twice as rich, but no happier p 315


An affluent society’s economic growth need not improve its morale.


As people climb the ladder of success, they mostly compare themselves with those who are at or above their current level.


Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I daresay, envied Hercules, who never existed. p. 317


As comparing ourselves with those better off creates envy, so comparing ourselves with those less well off boosts contentment p.317


Those inclined to be hostile and cynical were five times more likely than their gentler, trusting classmates to die by middle age p. 331


Simply by setting aside a quiet time or two each day, many people report enjoying a greater sense of tranquility. In experiments, people who practice relaxation also commonly exhibit lowered blood pressure and strengthened immune system p. 337


Laughter seems to work in ways similar to exercise – it arouses us, massages muscles, and then leaves us feeling relaxed p. 338


Friendship are good medicine. Several long term studies of thousand of people have found that people with close supportive relationships are less likely to die prematurely p. 340


As various moments, all of us feel, think or act as disturbed people do much of the time. We too, maybe anxious, depressed, withdrawn, suspicious, deluded, or anti social, although less intensely and enduringly p 379


Suicide rates are higher among the rich, the nonreligious, and the unmarried – including widowed and divorced p 393


Defense mechanisms would not work if we recognize them. As the body unconsciously defends itself against disease, so, believed Freud, the ego unconsciously defend itself against anxiety p. 350


type a – intense

type b – laid back

endomorph – relaxed and jolly

mesomorph – bold and physically active

ectomorph – high strung and solitary

p. 356


Most disordered people are not dangerous; instead, they are anxious, depressed, or withdrawn p 408


Labels not only bias perceptions, they can also affect people’s self images and stigmatize them in other’s eyes – p.467


Labels not only bias perceptions, they can also change reality. When teachers are told certain students are “gifted”, when students expect someone to be “hostile”, or when interviewers check to see whether someone is “extraverted”, they may act in ways that elicit the very behavior expected. p409




Those who setup token economies typically deprive people of something they desire and then decide which behaviors they will reinforce. To critics, the whole behavior modification process has a totalitarian taint. They argue that treatment with a positive reward is more human than being institutionalized or punished p. 423


Happily married couples attribute their spouse’s tart tongued remark to a temporary situation (“she must have had a bad day at work”)


Unhappily married persons attribute the same remark to a mean disposition (why ever did I marry such a cold and hostile person?)



Folks often talk and act a different game


Food in the door phenomenon – a tendency for people who agree to small request to comply later with a larger one p. 446


How do you explain poverty or unemployment?

– People generally get what they deserve. Those who dont work are often lazy free loaders. People who take initiative can still get ahead


– if you or I had to live with the same poor education, lack of meaningful opportunity


In evaluating employees, managers must also make attributions. They are likely to attribute the poor performance of workers to personal factors such as low ability or lack of motivation. Workers who are doing poorly on a job recogize situational influences. Inadequate supplies, poor working conditions ,difficult coworkers, impossible or ambigious demands.


To get people to agree to something big, “start small and build”. And be wary of those who would exploit you and the tactic.

For those who wants to read the book online, here’s a link to where you can buy

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking

While I travel, I read books so I can do something during idle times.. I read most of my books on bus/train/plain rides or at coffee shop if it happens to not have WIFI.

Blink is my latest read.. to be honest I never had the chance to complete reading the book and I have to give it away coz I need to make space for my limited luggage.. in exchange for a pack of coffee a friend gave me in Vietnam.. I know. I need to make priorities.

I have captured some snippets of the book though:

“We live in a world that assures that the quality of a decision is directly related to the time and effort that went into making it”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover. We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation. We really only trust conscious decision making.

But there are moments, particularly in times of stress, when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgement and first impressions can offer a much better means of making sense of the world”

“Blink is not just a celebration of the power of the glance, however, I’m also interested in those moments when our instincts betray us”

“If the surgeons voice was judged to sound dominant, the surgeon tended to bein the sued group. If the voice sounded less dominant and more concerned, the surgeon tended to be in the non-sued group”

A person who is six feet tall but otherwise identical to someone who is five foot five will make an average of $5,525 more per year. Have you ever wondered why so many mediocare people find their way into positions of authority in companies and organizations? It’s because when it comes to even the most important positions, our selection decisions are a good deal less rational than we think. We see a tall person and we swoon”

“Prejudging is the kiss of death. I have a farmer I deal with, who I’ve sold all kinds of cars over the years. We seal one deal with a handshake, and he hands me a hundred dollar bill and says, ‘Bring it out to my farm’.. Now if you saw this man, with his coveralls and his cow-dung, you’d figure he was not a worthy customer. But in fact, as we say, he is all cashed up”

“Your brain has a part (left) that thinks in words, and a part (right) that thinks in pictures, and what happened when you described the face in words was that your actual visual memory was displaced. When it comes to faces, we are an awful lot better at visual recognition than we are at verbal description”



I still have reservations on doing things without thinking.. Although sometimes I do it effortlessly xD.. But I guess everything depends on the situation.. I just wanted to highlight sentences that many people can relate.. Plus the mention that taller people receives much more higher salary than smaller ones.. tsk.. that’s why I’m grateful Internet and online work is invented  :D


Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

I’ve been reading lots of comments on facebook describing Manila as Gates of Hell in the latest book of Dan Brown called Inferno. Here’s some comments from brave souls:

Marky of says:

“Last year I went to a place called “Isla Puting Bato”. It’s the worst slum I’ve ever been to. The “Gates to Hell” aren’t the sprawling malls and towering condos we prefer to see. Rather, its the maddening dark alleys that leads nowhere. Its a place where people live like they’ve been condemned already. Dan Brown nails it and why do we get flustered by this unfortunate and sad fact?”

Missy Penaverde of says:

“She expects the Philippines to be a “wonderland of geological beauty, with vibrant seabeds and dazzling plains.”But after setting foot in Manila, Brooks gapes in “horror” as she has “never seen poverty on this scale,” slamming Manila’s “six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, horrifying sex trade.”… “Manila is the gates of Hell.”

So this is the reason why the Filipino community is in uproar? Lol! We better stop acting like a bunch of hypocrites. Let’s take this as a challenge to make our place a better place. I OUGHT TO HAVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK NEXT WEEK! :D”


On proper news, here’s a glimpsed of the story, according to an authority news site , Guardian:

“Sienna, a character in the book, is overcome by the city’s destitution, filth and child prostitution – and is later raped in one of its many slums. Depicting Manila, a sprawling city of 13 million, as a city of “six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution [and] horrifying sex trade”, Sienna tells readers she has “run through the gates of hell”.

Manila may be a city where extreme wealth and poverty regularly rub shoulders — roughly 43% of its 13 million inhabitants live in shanties – but Filipino officials do not appreciate having their city publicly panned.”



I used to give my personal opinion about the books that I’ve read but I’m holding this since I still have to read the book. Besides I think you already know my thoughts about the big city if you’re reading my past blog articles.

So if you still want to read the book, go ahead. You can buy it here:

If you’re Filipino and feel outraged, well I guess its a wake up call to go out.. i mean not only in the malls and tourists spots xD

Get out and see the whooping 43% who lives in shanties! And discern whether the book is really fiction.. Then lets all together make changes necessary to uplift our society… and once that’s done, let’s reread the book again to make sure it will just stay as a fiction.


Books to read while you travel

Books to read while you travel

Since my first long journey out of the country last 2008, I have read the thickest books that I never thought I could finish.. Living in unfamiliar places is great if you’re on the “honeymoon” phase of settling, but the adaptation process sometimes can drive you nuts.. example, super spicy food on a 45 degree heat is okay to experience temporarily, but when you have to endure it for long months… is not fun. (I still love you Mother India)

So travel and reading books are my temporary escape since I’m not into movies or tv.

I read on the bus station, on the train, or just to get myself to sleep. And some of them I read twice already… not because there is an exam, but there’s a thug in the heart string most probably because it is associated with reality.

Read my top favorite books and feel the thug too.


1. Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book, by far, tops my all time favorite books to read. It’s about a traveler who used to be a seminarian but chose to be a shepherd for the love of travel… he’s an educated shepherd and reads books while tending his sheep.. If the setting is in the Philippines, or anywhere in Asia, he would be a sosyal na farmer…

2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Set in Afghanistan, this is a story of Mariam, married at 15 years old to bitter and troubled Rasheed who is 30 years her senior. You think it’s fiction? It’s still happening.

3. Like a flowing River by Paulo Coelho. Like a flowing river is a compilation of short stories by Paulo Coelho. Short stories for short attention spans are great :D… Seriously, it really is a great read.

4. How to turn thoughts into things by Bo Sanchez. I’ve read the book a couple of times already.. repeatedly.. so I can memorize the message and brainwash myself so I can turn my thoughts into things. :D

5. Life of Pi. The story revolves around Piscine Patel and a tiger named Richard Parker.. while trapped in the great Pacific Ocean for 227 days… The survival tips strikes me most, who knows it can be useful just in case I found myself trapped in the ocean too :D


So those are my all time favorite books to read folks.. I’m sure there will be part 2 because I keep on reading ;D.. So far, here are the list of books I have read and blogged. How about you? Any recommended books to read? ^_^

Book Review: Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World

Book Review: Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World

I am currently reading this book by Nancy Sathre-Vogel


They are a family composed of husband, wife and 2 kids who traveled with their bikes. It’s kinda awesome that very few people do this.. and fewer families that travels on a bike too! This then makes them special..

I’m actually stalking facebook pages and blogs of families who travel because in the future, I might graduate from traveling solo and may get a companion during travels too… like my niece or nephew or mom..

It’s so inspiring that Nancy was once a Peace Corps volunteer.. so I can relate since I was once an international volunteer too. And during their travels, they also met many Road Angels… and I meet them too.. there are actually lots of these angels disguise as humans.. and sometimes i disguise myself as human too ;)



Some excerpts that struck me are the following..


“We never knew when Road Angels would enter our lives, and we were so very grateful for Vic
and his ice-cold Cokes.”

“The next day we received yet another email from the friend whose house we were headed for. “As you know, I work at a hotel. I’ve talked with the manager of the hotel and she’s offered to put you guys up as long as you need in order to have shelter during the upcoming storm. Would you like
me to reserve a room for you?” America’s Road Angels had done it again!”
“It could have been a horrible night, but it wasn’t; it was delightful instead. Somehow, call it a God-moment or serendipity, but help came just when we needed it. We had been on the road for six months now and had met more Road Angels than I ever dreamed existed, yet we were still humbled
and honored by each and every act of kindness they extended.”

“Suddenly it dawned on me how that pace used to be normal. I used to race into stores to quickly grab what I needed before hurrying back to my car to race to my next stop. I ran from one meeting to the next, hurriedly filling out stacks of paperwork in between them all. Drop the kids off at school, fight the morning traffic getting to work, sprint to the bathroom between classes, ferry the kids to soccer practice. It seemed like it never ended. That was just how life was.”

“On our journey I had grown accustomed to a slower pace of life. I had gotten used to taking time to smell the roses and tell my boys how much I loved them. Even when we were battling headwinds or climbing hills that never seemed to end, time was on our side. I had come to the point where I was taking that for granted. I couldn’t help but wonder how society would change if humankind could just have time, if we weren’t so busy hustling and bustling from one activity to the next. What would happen if all of us decided that time with our family was a bit higher on the priority list? I think the world would be a different place.”

“It was always such a treat to see Davy and Daryl jump right in with other kids. They didn’t care what color their skin was or what language they spoke. What god they worshipped or what currency they spent made no difference whatsoever. The boys were able to strip away all those wrappers
and see the people for who they were. And they accepted each one as
an equal and a friend.”


Inspired yet? You can also be inspired and view more of their stories at


And if you are a US resident.. here’s more inspiration:

What would you do if you were not afraid?
Changing Gears is the true story of one woman asking herself that very question. What followed was a family journey of epic proportions – a journey of physical challenge, emotional endurance, teamwork, perseverance, and tremendous learning opportunities. It was a discovery of self, of priorities, of accepting hardships, of appreciating blessings, and of contrasting a comfortable past life with the extreme hardship and poverty of those they met.
Would the journey be a dream come true – or a mother’s worst nightmare? Find out in Nancy Vogel’s newest book, Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of he World available now!
Please visit Family on Bikes for more information.

Release Week Celebration!

In celebration of the release of Changing Gears, Nancy, with the help of a few of her favorite sponsors, is holding a giveaway of the following prizes:
Disclosure: [] is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This event was organized by Victoria at Drive Me Crazy Family Adventure on behalf of the author, Nancy Vogel, Family on Bikes.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest has ended. Congratulations to the winners!