Psychologists accept that human beings are social creatures, considering that the need to communicate with each other from day to day is increasingly shown by individuals. People implicitly display their use of interpersonal skills in their experiences in both office environments and back home to engage in different events with friends or relatives. These interactions can look normal and natural, but they make use of complex and diverse human abilities that can not be found in the environment among other species (Turner & Barker, 2015, p. 9). It is worth nothing that mankind has a quite developed or advanced brain as compared to other living organisms. As such, people have the ability to partake in complex thought processes which enables them to perceive and interpret their environment as they to make sense of it. For that reasons, mankind is often said to be a thinking being since it has the ability of interpreting and understanding its fellow beings.
Human are considered to be more intelligent than any other being found in their surroundings. This is shown by their ability to complete a number of tasks at the same time. For instance, holding a phone on the ear while cooking and doing the dishes simultaneously. Humans also show increased awareness of their mental, physical and spiritual environment as demonstrated by religion (Turner et al., 2015, p. 13). On the other hand, other organisms can be said be only concerned with the basic activities that all living creatures do. For example: feeding, reproducing, breathing, excreting, and dying. Humans have an unrivalled level of curiosity that surpasses all other known organisms in the world. They strive to understand or interpret every single object within their surroundings. On top of that, psychologists maintain that there is a distinction in how human beings understand each other and how they comprehend other objects such like pens, clothes, and paper. Therefore, people recognise that every other person has some certain intentions, desires, knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions while objects tend not to be afforded such considerations.
Mindreading in a psychology context can hardly consists of clairvoyants, mystics, or psychics powers but still people claim to have such extraordinary aptitude (Turner et al., 2015, p. 17). Magic and mystic powers are often cited when mind tricks are performed by individuals who claim to have extrasensory perception that gives them the ability to tap into people’s heads and read minds. However, psychic mind readers tend to have practiced their trade for very long periods until they seem to have perfected certain mind reading skills which are unique. This is shown by use of general statements that happen to be applicable to most people. For instance, an individual that goes to a psychic mind reader is likely to be in doubt of the powers. The psychic already knowns that many people do not believe in such powers hence would use that for convincing people. She or she can say, “My powers can read your mind. First, I know you’re thinking that I can’t. Second, you think my powers aren’t real.” (p. 21) Individuals who perform psychic feasts in front of large audiences resort to tactics mentioned above leading to a big number of their audiences beginning to believe that they have psychic abilities.
All humans happen to make use of mindreading in their day to day activities. Everyday mindreading is quite ordinary and is not accompanied by claims of psychic powers (Turner et al., 2015, p. 17). A good example is when an individual sees another person’s face drooping with even tears welling up in the eyes. Most people would be concerned and proceed to ask the person why he or she is ‘sad’. Therefore, it can be agreed that the concerned individual used mindreading abilities since he or she made an inference from observation. A more elaborate case is one in which a juror in court are presented with contrasting views from witnesses. As the case drags on, they have to make deliberate reflective decisions from the evidence presented. The making of inferences is quite ordinary but that is mindreading and ultimately making sense of the world. Another perfect scenario is team sports in which individuals have to make fast efficient judgments by reading their opponents minds. In football, players such as Eden Hazard, Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Neymar are renowned for their dribbling skills. Such players make dummy moves to fool opponents.
Developmental psychology attempts to exploit human mindreading abilities thorough what has been termed as theory of the mind (Wellman & Peterson, 2013, 23). It involves the use of assumptions to try and understand other people’s mental states and minds. Basically, human show the capability to understand that other people have goals, desires, knowledge, and beliefs as well (Turner et al., 2015, p. 19). Children are not born with the mindreading ability as they have to learn as they grow. While growing up they will be exposed to various situations and experiences that will enable them to develop mindreading abilities, whether ordinary or extraordinary. For instance, common sense becomes more pronounced depending on a person’s experiences and perceptions formed by the surrounding world in his or her environment. There are various views that attempt to explain how humans learn and acquire mindreading abilities. During the developmental period, it is not uncommon to meet challenges that makes it difficult to make sense of the world.
The Sally-Anne task is widely recognized by psychologists as important for looking and determining children’s mindreading abilities. Most children of below 4 years old are not aware of false belief which is meant to mislead another person (Milligan, Astington, & Dack, 2007, p. 627). As such, they are more likely to give incorrect answers when subjected to false belief tests. For instance, in the Sally-Anne task, a child who has knowledge of false belief would say that Sally will look for her marble in her own basket where she placed it before leaving. On the other hand, much younger children would point out that Sally would point out that Sally would look for the marble in Anne’s basket. In the former case, children have sufficiently developed mindreading skills and they are aware that people tend to have false beliefs if they have no knowledge of what happened (Friedman, & Leslie, 2004, p. 550). People are led to believe in what they actually know. As such, it is more likely for someone to use previous information as the basis for coming up with interpretation.
In ordinary day today life, individuals tend to instil false belief in others in order to succeed in deceiving them (Wellman & Peterson, 2013, 37). Taking the case of a football match, a player who has drawn a foul from the opponent might continue pretending to be in pain by clutching the ‘injured’ body part in order to convince the referee to make harsh decisions such as sending off the opponent’s player. The referee will be a victim of false belief in case he or she unjustly gives matching orders to a player. Another case can be when a striker facing the goalkeeper, feints a move to sends opponent players the wrong way and slot the ball into an empty net. In such a cases, people are led to believe that the individual they are targeting is heading to the direction that they will go. False belief is as a result of a someone managing to read another person’s mind while the latter fails horribly at the same.
Another challenge encountered with regard to mindreading is executive function skills. These are abilities which enable individuals to normalize and control their actions and thoughts (Sabbagh, Moses, & Shiverick, 2006, p. 1035). Many a times, humans experience various distractions while carrying out varying tasks. A distraction can interfere with a person’s line of thought. An activity such as the bear-dragon task is sufficient to show how children face difficulties in executive function skills during activities. When a child is asked to touch his or her fingers with a supervising adult touching something else such as the head, the younger person is more likely to imitate the older person. It should be noted that the younger children in question do not lack executive function skills or false belief ability. Instead, it would be appropriate to say they only lack the understanding of both skills.
Conflict in close relationships
Humans interact with one another in their social world. The nature of relationships created and sustained is driven by individual self-concepts. People happen to be constructs within a social context whereby their identity is engraved in their social world (Turner et al., 2015, p. 199). There are always individual who hold varying opinions within a social grouping. Variation in opinions, beliefs, perceptions and choices might lead to disagreements, otherwise known as conflicts. Close relationships have individuals close to each other hence facing or relating with each other more often than enough. In such cases, conflicts are bound to arise from disagreements brought about by various factors in a relationship. A close relationship is that which has two people with a direct personal connection to each other. It should be noted that in any equal relationship it is normal for usual conflicts to take place. However, in unbalanced relationships one person has more power which is used to abuse the other party.
During conflict, humans exhibit various emotions and behaviour. Anger is one of the emotions usually experienced. An individual showing or feeling anger is more likely to have hostile thoughts with increased physical provocation. As such, it is not unlikely for that person to also exhibit aggressive behaviour whereby one can cause either emotional or physical injury to other people around, objects and even oneself. Since people acknowledge that they cannot always agree with everything in their social world, they find it important to handle conflicts in order to accommodate others (Turner et al., 2015, p. 226). However, conflict is rather a fragile line in a social context. On another hand, people have found various ways of managing anger for the purpose of co-existing with one another. The best possible way for everyone to deal with conflict is to acknowledge that there is no perfect human being hence one is supposed to embrace other people with their imperfections to make the world a better place.
Nations and immigration
People living in a social world strive to identify with a particular group of people with whom they share beliefs, heritage, homeland, customs, language, and culture. Having a people to identify with gives an individual a sense of belonging to a particular society. When a group shares common values within a social construct it leads to the rise of nationalism (Turner et al., 2015, p. 240). For instance, Scottish people pushing for independence from the United Kingdom since they are a unique group of people sharing a common heritage. Another example is that of Irish people who share many similar cultural aspects whether they live in the Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland. Some former countries such as Czechoslovakia, Austria-Hungary, and Sudan spilt up due to the rise of nationalism. Nationalism agitates for independence and uniformity whereby a people share a common history.
In the modern world people increasingly move from one country to another given the available technology. Humans migrate to other places for various reasons such as jobs, security, protection, and adventure. When they arrive in new places they are faced with alienation, discrimination, xenophobia among other challenges. However, settling in a society also leads to rise of multiple identities.
Part 2: Report
Employee productivity largely depends on workplace environmental conditions. Everyday people come across new concepts and undergo experiences they hardly face each day of their life. Good working conditions are vital for employee sustenance and satisfaction leading to retention. When a person becomes satisfied with his or her work conditions, it much easier to realise his or her full potential. That person will always strive to make good of the opportunity provided hence increasing his or her productivity (Kuo, 2010, p. 25). On the other hand, once an employee begins showing signs of job dissatisfaction, it becomes very hard to hold onto him or her for a very long time. People are more likely to look for something that appeals to them or makes them happy. Enviro-Pod happens to be one of the factors that greatly contributes towards positive employee job place experience though indirectly. Its technology brings people within close contact with their natural environment.
Sickness is one of the biggest work place challenges affecting employee productivity in the modern world. Human beings have increasingly become separated from nature hence leading to development and increased health challenges (Dickinson, 2013, n.p.). When people go out for picnics or hikes they usually come back feeling like they are in better mental states. Sending time with nature tends to give a relaxing feeling as one breathes fresh air. The scent of trees and flowers as well as dump soil appeals to most people. On the other hand, offices are confined spaces under which most people feel like they are under pressure to perform. Seeing a pile of papers on the working desk, hearing computer fans whir, or hearing other workers shuffle through paperwork tends to make people nervous while creating pressure within. People who work outdoors close to such as gardeners and game rangers are less likely to exhibit the same psychological challenges as those working in closed offices.
In order to understand the impact of natural environment of people’s mental state, it would be necessary to consider discussing nature deficit theory. Richard Louv stated that during these modern times, humans spend more time indoors leading to development of behaviour related complications (Dickinson, 2013, n.p.). Therefore, lack of involvement with nature leads to nature deficit disorder which is not actually a mental ailment. Separation from the natural environment has led to what can be termed as alienation. It is usually advisable to let children get in contact with nature as much as possible. Restrictiveness or restraint makes children develop fear for their parents while they get easily lured to technology such as television and video games. The same can be said of employees who can be assumed to be mirroring children restricted indoors away from nature. In his research, Louv argued that people are born with inherent fondness for nature. Furthermore, it cannot be refuted that contact with nature and physiological activity greatly contributes to positive human health, especially mental health (Townsend & Weerasuriya, 2010, 53).
Nowadays it is very common for children to spend time at home within the confines of the house because the adults in control say so. Therefore, the more likely source of amusement and intensive interaction is television and other electronics. Workplaces environment demands that all employees stick to certain standards. Formal workplace settings such as banks rarely give room for employees to work from outdoors unless there are particular programmes such as marketing. Secondly, the more involved with city life humans become, the more they lose their touch with nature leading to nature deficit. Environmentalists have put many restrictions on people with regard to environment for preservation measures (Dickinson, 2013, n.p.). People are only allowed to look but not touch while in parks. The number of natural surroundings around neighbourhoods seem to be decreasing a lot. Thirdly, when people are not working they spend less time outdoors with nature. Most people prefer meeting up with friends in bars, at the movies, hotels or shopping, instead of parks. Others would rather spend time at home watching the latest television series. Internet and social media has also preoccupied people’s time even away from home.
The way children have been brought up over the past five decades has contributed to their alienation from nature and subsequent increase of mental problems both at home and at work. Louv stated that children become less respectful of the natural environment surrounding them as a result of nature deficit (Bowler et al., 2010, p. 460. It impact is quite visible in generations whereby the younger ones have a shorter lifespan as compared to their elders. Such people are also likely to have concentration problems as they find it difficult to maintain attention. Disconnection from nature leads to depression and anxiety since nature offers solace and tranquillity. Attention disorder and depression can be minimised through interaction with nature. Exposure to nature leads to both long term and short term ability of coping with adversity and stress. On the other hand, ADD leads to mood disorders that negatively affect people’s productivity whether at school or work.
A growing concern is increased cases of child obesity in the contemporary world. Obesity is a serious issue that needs attention in order to have a health society. Both adolescents and minors have become the biggest victims needing proper attention from life coaches and behavioural therapists (Dickinson, 2013, n.p.). Subjection to bright light greatly contributes to development of good eyesight. However, more youthful people are likely to suffer from short-sightedness if they do not get exposed to sunlight in their childhood. Interventions for nature deficit problems can lead to sustenance of attention, minimisation of stress, increased creativity, and better cognitive ability.
Enviro-Pod appears to have had success in most of the work places it has been implemented. It brings closer nature close to work place environment although artificially. Having significantly reduced the amount of sick leaves taken it can be assumed that its implementation in your company can lead to reduction of sicknesses and leaves. People need to be as close as possible to nature in order to instil a sense of tranquillity. Most people would prefer to do their jobs outdoors if conditions allowed. The use of varying backgrounds is quite impressive given that people find urban landscape a bit annoying. Varying will kill boredom and monotony while natural sounds can help people to think better. The most impressive feature of Enviro-Pod is the maintenance planter. That can have a genuine and real effect.
As much as Enviro-Pod seems to be appealing, it is important to note that there are other ways more effective ways of handling nature deficit disorders in workplace environment. Simulated nature is very different from an actual one hence each can achieve varying effects. However, the best option is actual nature. It is impossible to bring a whole forest into an office building but it is not hard to take employees there. Therefore, I suggest that you consider carrying out teambuilding activities such as taking employees for hikes. If there is enough space outside the offices, a nice small park can be created. Outdoor parking lots can be used for setting up parks so that during off-hours employees can spend time in actual nature. Enviro-Pod is like virtual reality which offers a sneak peek but nothing as compared to the actual thing.
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Dickinson, E. (2013). The Misdiagnosis: Rethinking “Nature-Deficit Disorder”. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture. Doi: 10.1080/17524032.2013.802704.
Friedman, O. & Leslie, A. M. (2004). Mechanisms of belief-desire reasoning: inhibition and bias. Psychological Science, 15: pp. 547–2.
Kuo, F. E. (2010). Parks and other green environments: essential components of a healthy human habitat. National Recreation and Park Association.
Milligan, K., Astington, J. W. & Dack, L. A. (2007). Language and theory of mind: meta-analysis of the relation between language ability and false-belief understanding. Child Development, 78(2): pp. 622–46.
Sabbagh, M. A., Moses, L. J. & Shiverick, S. (2006). Executive functioning and preschoolers’ understanding of false beliefs, false photographs, and false signs. Child Development, 77(4): pp. 1034–49.
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