2014 Countdown: Best Miss Psychobabble Articles of the Year

By: Anna Agoncillo

Looks like year 2014 is coming to an end. I really had an awesome run and it won't be possible if it were not for you!
Image Credits: Leland Francisco via Flickr
When I started blogging in August of this year, I never knew how overwhelming the response will be. I'm almost reaching the 9,500 viewers mark (in less than 5 months). I went viral in a couple of popular websites such as Bored Panda, Thought Catalog, and Psychology Jokes. Lastly, I had the chance to write for an amazing group of people such as BreakDSilence/EmbraceD, SGPsychStuff, and Money Digest. 

To commemorate my work in the past year…I have collated, and ranked each on of them. The rankings are based on the total views on each of the respective posts.

5. Psychology Quizzes: 5 Enjoyable Personality and Brain Short Quizzes for Everyone!

Bored? Try these! Personally, I'm obsessed with answering Play Buzz quizzes, especially when I'm killing time. Remember that these tests are purely indicative and for entertainment purposes alone.

Know what is your brain actually good at, what type of person you attract, and more!

Time to Change: Make 2015 Your Year!

By: Anna Agoncillo
Image Credits: Marc Lagneau via Flickr
There comes a point in any journey when we realize that we are nearing the end. And simply knowing this is a tremendous boost. But, before anything else, I'd like to extend my gratitude to all who believed in me and supported me as I pour my heart out in everything that I've written thus far. 

Also, I want to share an inspiring story of a remarkable guy named Ryan. I know Ryan is not the guy that wants to be put in the pedestal. But, I believe in giving credit when someone really deserves it. And, believe me, he does. 

Image Credits: Ryan

How to Win a Woman's Heart...Why Science Thinks Mystery is Sexy!

By: Anna Agoncillo

Image Credits: Lena Vasiljeva via Flickr
A current study of forty-seven female undergraduates at the University of Virginia showed that women were more attracted to men who liked them a lot than those who liked them a little bit. But interestingly, they were most attracted to men whose feelings for them are uncertain (Whitchurch, Wilson & Gilbert, 2011). Not displaying your affections too openly and appearing as a bit selective seems to be more attractive. 

Even Socrates agrees that "waiting and playing hard-to-get" will help you win the sincerest of friends by being as desirable as possible. He once said these…
"They will appreciate your favors most highly if you wait till they ask for them." 
"And how can I make them hunger for my fare?” Theodota asks.
“Why, in the first place, you must not offer it to them when they have had enough…then when they feel the want, you must prompt them by behaving as a model of propriety, by a show of reluctance to yield, and by holding back until they are as keen as can be; for then the same gifts are much more to the recipient than when they are offered before they are desired (Cleomenes, 2002)."
So, why do women prefer men who are hard to read? 
Image Credits: Ivan via Flickr

ASK ANNA #2: Interpret My Weird Dream

Visit Ask Anna Page to find out how to ask!

Image Credits: Hartwig HKD via Flickr
Princess Diana asks…

"I'm in a war zone and I'm going through the rubble of the houses, people have set up little tables serving food and my friend is telling me to stay away from the tattooed men at the tables as they are bad but they call me over. I have a sickening twist in my stomach (I feel something bad will happen) but still go over.

Meanwhile, my friend is just calling my name trying to get me to come back but I keep walking through the rubble and on my way the men start laughing and light cigarettes they have a small child and I have her doll, I desperately want to save her but then all these pythons jump in my way, the rubble becomes pythons. The men are gone suddenly and I'm left standing again in the rubble still hearing 'stay away from the tattooed men they are evil'. Then I woke up...what does this mean?"

Learning and Positive Reinforcement: You can be tamed!

By: Anna Agoncillo

© Izquotes
Even I agree that sometimes you have to break the rules to have fun. Living in the fast lane or beating the red light with the breeze of cool air in your face as you cruise with your friends in the road may give you the exhilarating feeling!
But, like wild animals, your beast side can be tamed...with a little thing called positive reinforcement.
© Bored Panda
Operant Conditioning by B.F. Skinner

The central component of operant conditioning is reinforcement. Operant conditioning is learning in which a behavior is strengthened or weakened depending on the consequences (i.e. favorable or unfavorable) (Feldman, 2011).

ASK ANNA #1: Why is it Harder to Forgive Yourself?

I know that a lot of you have burning questions that you are itching to know the answers to. This is a place where you can ask for advice on any subject. :)

Visit Ask Anna Page to find out how to ask!


Image Credits: Vic via Flickr
John Doe asks...

"Do you agree it's harder to forgive yourself than it is for others to forgive you? I can never forgive myself, for some things I've done...even if the person I victimized forgave me."

Anna says…

It depends on your personality. If you are the type of person who is more internal, that is if you interpret the world by means of: how you react and how you feel or if you have an internal locus of control wherein you believe that YOU yourself control the situation then it is harder to forgive yourself.

Having an external locus of control on the other hand would blame the situation for his/her mistake. Hence, less responsibility and guilt is felt. 

In conclusion, it is easier for an external person to forgive himself because he can't control the situation, because he/she believes that everything he did was just by faith, by chance, or by will of the higher God. 

Stress Management: 9 Tips to Conquer your Inner Beast

By: Anna Agoncillo

The daily hustles and bustles in a face-paced city made me realize how stressful life can be. Stress, when not managed, can be detrimental to one’s health. So, here are some ways to conquer your inner beast, and live healthily:


(c) Sreehariayurveda
Whenever you feel like you're going to burst, calm yourself down. Breathe in and out, hold your breath for a while, breathe slowly and repeat. A higher form of this practice is called meditation. Personally, yoga and meditation help me regulate my emotions better.

Social Psychology and Victim Blaming: Why you gotta be so rude?

By: Anna Agoncillo and Genesis | mypsychobabbles.com

The news about rape in the Philippines has been rampant these past few months. More so, survey showed that the trend of victims each year has been increasing (PNP Women and Children Protection Center, 2013).
(C) GMA News Philippines, 2014
In 2012, approximately 346,830 women were raped, as a result, there were about 17, 342 unwanted pregnancies (U.S. Department of Justice, 2013). You can’t rule out men just yet, most of them suffer in silence too. In 2003, 1 in every 10 rape victims were male.

These numbers are from United States and Philippines alone. Imagine how many individuals were raped globally. Furthermore, these are from reported victims. How about those who kept it from others due to social misogyny and shame? Maybe the statistics thereafter will double or even triple. Indeed, it’s very alarming, horrifying and disappointing.

In this video, you’ll see how hard it is to be sexually assaulted especially in a place you call home and by someone whom you call mom or dad.

Depression, Awareness and Coping: Know depression, No Stigma

By: Anna Agoncillo and BreakDStigma
Image Credits: Mateus Lucena via Flickr
Understanding the Big D
1 in 17 people in Singapore languished Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) at some point in their lives (Institute of Mental Health, 2013). Despite its prevalence, only a few people seek help because they are afraid of the social stigma or labels that can be placed on them.

We as human beings fear the unknown. Hence, the lack of adequate knowledge on mental illnesses lead to increase in fear, negative sentiments, and social stigma.

This is why, it is very important to educate society and heighten awareness about how serious depression is. Understanding depression will help build a more empathetic and supportive environment wherein depressed individuals will feel safe to share their experiences and seek treatment.

Loss, Grief, and Coping: Rest in Paradise

By: Anna Agoncillo

They say that first cut is the deepest, but the second one feels as deep. My grandfather died last year, and now my grandmother who was battling Lung Cancer is gone.

Theoretical Basis of Bereavement

You might be familiar with the Kübler-Ross's 5 stages of grief. According to this model, we go through different stages during our bereavement namely: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Santrock, 2007). Although there are specific stages, the sequence is not fixed (Axelrod, 2006). Nonetheless, the end result is peaceful acceptance.

On the other hand, George Bonanno argues that there are no stages to go through because of our natural reaction to grief, called resilience (Bonanno, 2004).

Hold on! She's on her way to Paradise.

They say that first cut is the deepest, but the second one feels as deep. My grandfather died last year, and now my grandmother who was battling Lung Cancer is gone.

At first, I was in denial. When my mom told me about my grandmother’s passing, I didn’t even cry. I just told her to be strong and that I’m glad that she’s in a better place now. But, I felt the heaviness in my chest.

I thought I was emotionally strong because I was mentally prepared for the worst. You see, the doctors had given her 4 days to live.

As I was telling my friends about the big news, my tears rushed down. It’s reality hitting me in the head. She’s gone. I can no longer taste the food she cooks, nor can I hear her say she loves me.

PART II, Lucid Dreaming and Dream Control: A Peek into the depths of the Unconscious

By: Anna Agoncillo

Films like "Inception" and "Waking Life" tickled our curiosities to the possibility of being to able to control our dreams. Imagine being fully aware of what you’re dreaming, and being able to create objects, people, situations or even travel across multiple dimensions to the extent that it may seem real to you.

It sounds powerful, doesn’t it? The good news is that, with practice, even you can become a lucid dreamer. In addition, further application of lucid dreaming and various techniques can give you the ability to control your dreams.

Lucid dreaming is a learned cognitive skill that enables the dreamer to know that they are dreaming while they are dreaming (Zadra et al., 1992; LeBerge & Levitan, 2007). It is highly vivid and immersive in which you’ll experience multi-sensory hallucinatory effect (Snoozon, n.d.). In a sense, it feels like you’re awake but in reality, you’re sound asleep.

Lucid dreaming transcends physical limitations. It let’s you experience your wildest fantasies such as swimming with the dolphins, flying across the skies, having a pet dinosaur, being a mermaid, and so on. It let’s you explore your inner self and sometimes towards a deeper spiritual or existential level.

PART I, Dreams and Dream Analysis: A Peek into the depths of the Unconscious

By: Anna Agoncillo

Since dreams are fascinating, I divided this topic into two posts. May you find it as equally interesting as I do! :)



Why do we dream?

Personally, I adore analyzing dreams; I find it genuinely entertaining. I believe that sleeping is essential to our survival, and its by product is not meaningless. Dreams are small facets of you and your personality. 
It is the gateway to your unconscious mind where your imagination runs wild. In here, your deepest and darkest desires, thoughts, wishes and memories resides. Here are some of well-known dream theories (don't worry, there is a TL;DR [too long; I didn't read =P] version at the end) :

Psychology Quizzes: 5 Enjoyable Personality and Brain Short Quizzes for Everyone!

By Anna Agoncillo

Bored? Try these! Personally, I'm obsessed with answering Play Buzz quizzes, especially when I'm killing time. Remember that these tests are purely indicative and for entertainment purposes alone.
For best results, kindly answer each item honestly. You may also, share it with your friends or suggest a great quiz for me to check out. Enjoy!:) 

1. Underneath your subconscious lies your heart's desires, unleash it if you must!

2. It only takes 1 question to see a glimpse of you!

Family, Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology: A Mother's Race

By Anna Agoncillo

This story is about how my mother gave me the greatest birthday present of all, it’s much bigger than P16,000 worth of Nike Gift Certificates...

Mothers: Evolutionary and Developmental perspective

Evolution predisposed mothers to be highly sensitive in attending to their infant’s needs (Hrdy, 1999). Furthermore, mothers spend time with their children more than their fathers do (Bianchi, 2000). 

One indication that a behaviour is evolutionary is when it is also evident in the animal kingdom (where learning complexities and higher form of cognition are limited).

Here is a great example:

"During their hibernation, momma bears of various species lose as much as half of their body weight while their nursing cubs grow rapidly off of their milk (Bored Panda, 2014)."

More often than not, mothers devote their time to caregiving (e.g., feeding food, changing diapers) whilst fathers spend their time playing with the children (Sigelman & Rider, 2012).Yet, studies show that fathers are able to adapt the “motherlike” role if they are primarily responsible for their child (Phares, 1999).

I couldn't agree more. I'm very blessed to have a mother that is supportive and affectionate.

When maternal instinct kicks in... 

I never thought that after 6 years, I will have an opportunity to share this inspiring story.  

Cyberpsychology: But first…make way for the Selfie Nation!

By: Anna Agoncillo

These are the headlines that make people wonder---why on earth would someone risk his or her own life just to take the ultimate selfie? Is it because of vanity and narcissism, because of improving self-presentation and personal identity, or because of the rewards (internal or external) they get from taking the “perfect selfie”?

But first… what is a selfie?

A selfie, short for a self-portrait photograph, is usually taken with a mobile phone or a hand-held camera and are usually in a slightly titled manner (Wikipedia, 2014). A study by Bruno and Bertamini (2013) showed that selfies taken by non-professional photographers seemed to have a bias for showing their left cheek (which i do a lot of :)), as seen in the picture below)

Getting To Know You : Anna Agoncillo, Psychology, Teacher, Writer, Singapore

Since I want to be different from the rest, my first blog will be an introduction of who I am (insert sarcasm sign, haha).
I consider myself as an enthusiastic, positive, organized and a hardworking person. I’ve been a consistent academic achiever ever since I was young. I graduated with B.Sc. honours in Psychological Studies under the Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK. I’m currently residing in Singapore. 

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