Psychology in Our Daily Life
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Psychology in Our Daily Life

Psychology in Our Daily Life

People are driven by irrational forces or primitive instincts. Inner struggle between instincts and conscience often led to disaster which was manifested in the form of personal tragedies such as murder and suicide or collective tragedies such as war.

Sigmund Freud

Task 1 A Story of a Chinese Idiom

The following silent flash movie is about a Chinese idiom. Try to tell the story after seeing the movie. And say what psychological state the story tells us.

Task 1 A Story of a Chinese Idiom

An Illusory Snake in a Goblet

In Jin Dynasty there was a man named Yue Guang who was fond of drinking. One day, he invited a friend to his house to drink together. Suddenly, his friend saw the reflection of a snake swimming in the goblet. He got so much frightened that he took ill on bed after getting home. And neither any doctor or any medicine could cure his illness. When Yue Guang got to know the cause of his friends disease, he asked the friend to drink at his house again.

Yue made his friend sit where he used to, pouring a goblet of alcohol for him, and asked him if there was any snake reflection in the goblet. There was still a snake reflection in the goblet! Then Yue casually took away the bow hanging on the wall. This time, the snake reflection disappeared. So it was the bow reflection that was in the goblet! His friend at once got well from his illness. An illusory snake in a goblet is used to describe the psychological state of being frightened caused by taking illusions as reality.

Have you ever heard or experienced such stories like Yue Guangs friend, in which your psychological state influences your behavior or mood, etc.? Tell the class your story.

Task 2 BrainstormingOne-Sentence Story

The following are some adjectives related to the field of psychology or emotion. Choose a word and write a one-sentence story to describe an experience that illustrates the adjectives chosen.

A crazy thing I did was to go swimming, naked, in my neighbors pool.

The most embarrassing thing I did was to talk about the teacher when she was standing behind me!

Task 2 BrainstormingOne-Sentence Story

Here are some adjectives for your references, and you can add more.

shocking, embarrassing, funny, happy,

crazy, wonderful, ridiculous, terrible, comfortable, furious, panic, upset, angry, sad, disappointed, etc.

Task 3 ListeningPsychology of Clothes

Identification: Based on what you hear on the tape, match the person in Column I with the way one is dressed in Column II.

Column I

Column II

1. a man feeling insecurity

a. in warmer clothes

2. a person of minority origin

b. in bright reds

c. over-dressing in warm clothes

3. a homesick student

4. a young executive

d. unconventionally

5. a sociable and outgoing person

e. in dark blue suit

So you really believe that clothes carry a kind of message for other people and that what we put on is in some way a reflection of what we feel?

Oh, yes, very much so. People are beginning now to take seriously the idea of a kind of psychology of clothing, to believe that there is not just individual taste in our clothes but also a thinking behind what we wear which is trying to express something we may not even be aware of ourselves. Take for example the students who is away from home at college or university: if he tends to wrap himself up more than the others, this is because he is probably feeling homesick. Similarly, a general feeling of insecurity can sometimes take the form of over-dressing in warmer clothes than are necessary.

Can you give any other examples of this kind?

Yes. I think people who are sociable and outgoing tend to dress in an extrovert way, preferring brighter or more dazzling colorsyellows, bright reds, and so on. In the same way, often, minority groups, who have perhaps failed to persuade with words, tend to express themselves by wearing unconventional, or what some might consider outrageous clothing. And in a recent survey it was suggested that employers prefer young executives to stick to grey, black and dark blue suits if they are men.

Task 4 Video Clip

About the movie

A handsome psychiatrist (Gregory Peck) arrives as the new director of a posh mental asylum. But he seems unusually distressed by the parallel marks, left by a fork, on a white tablecloth. Doctor Peterson (Ingrid Bergman) comes to the correct conclusion that Peck is not the new director, but a profoundly disturbed amnesiacand, possibly, the murderer of the real director. Gradually falling in love with Peck, Bergman believes in Peck's innocence, and attempts throughout the remaining reels to get to the root of his psychological problems

  • Discussion Questions:

  • What is the root of the new director (Peck)s psychological problem?

  • Has it ever happened to you that some of your former experiences greatly influence your later behaviors psychologically?

Task 5 Proverbs and Sayings

A light heart lives long.

A merry heart goes all the way.

Once bitten, twice shy.

Work in groups to answer the following questions.

Can you offer the reasons why placebos do not always work?

The success of the placebo treatment seems to depend a lot on the relationship between the doctor and the patient. If the patient trusts the doctor very much and if the doctor is actually expected to help the patient, then the placebo is more likely to work.

What are the bad effects of a placebo?

If patients expect a bad reaction to medicine, then they will show a bad reaction to the placebo as well. This would seem to show that how you react to medicine is in your mind instead of in your body.

Part I Introduction (Para. 12)

Placebo is a sugar pill, a harmlessshot, or an empty capsule. Even though they have no medicine in them, these things seem to make people well.

What is placebo?

Part IIThe study of the placebo (Para. 37)

A. One explanation: The placebo works because the human mind fools itself.

B. The other explanation: The placebo makes the wish to get better become reality.

C. The most powerful placebo of all: The doctor.

Supporting evidence:

First group (led by a doctor): 70 %of them got better.

Second group (led by a nurse): Only 25 %.

Part III Different cases in which a placebo may work (Para. 89)

Supporting evidence:

The first group were given nothing at all.

Result: The first group showed no changes from the way old people in that village had always been.

The second group were given a placebo.

Result: The second group had much better health and a lower death rate.

The placebo has been found to work with seasickness, coughs, colds and pains after an operation.

The third group were given a real drug which was said to be able to help with the problems of old age.

Result: The third group showed much the same results as the group that took the placebo.

Part IV Two opposite attitudes towards the use of

a placebo (Para.1011)

Some doctors think that if the placebo can have bad effects it should never be used.

The use of the placebo has been known for hundreds of years in other countries.

Part VConclusion (Para.12)

The strange power of the placebo does seem to suggest that the human mind is stronger than we think it is.

  • Sometimes alla sick personneeds is some reassurancethat all will be well. (Line 3)

All + sb. needs/cares about/remembers is




AllChinaneeds now is peace and stability.

All I remember about my hometown is the river in which I swam with some of my friends.

is whether my company can make profit from the trade.

is that peace and development are the theme of the world future.

All I care about

All we can expect

1. Sometimes alla sick personneeds is some reassurance that all will be well.(Line 3)

2. It seems that if patients think they have been givenmedicine, they will have hope. (Line 21)

  • seem

  • it seems that/as if(

  • )

  • 2) +seem to do

  • 3) + seem (to be) + ///

(Line 24)

Line 56

It seems that everybody knows the rules for success, but few can practice them.

The success of this treatment seems to rest a lot with the relationship between the patient and the doctor.

Many of the treatments they use do not seem able to make a sick person better, and yet such treatments work.

it will rain.

College graduates today



, but actually when you take it for granted, you will make mistakes.

It seems as if

seem to care a lot about the form of the resume

Such a question seems pretty simple

2. It seems that if patients think they have been given

medicine, they will have hope. (Line 21)

3.The placebo has been found to work with a lot of different cases.(Line 36)

work with



These two companies decided to

work with each other on the

development of the new product.

The rules we discussed just now dont work with this question.

Many companies are looking for opportunities to _____________________________.

work with collegesand universities

This strategyof developing vocabularydoesnt work with college students at all.

3.The placebo has been found to work with a lot of different cases. (Line 36)

Many medical experts regard prescription as a kind of intellectual property that should also be legally protected.

(herbal medicine)

1.prescription (Line 1, Para. 1)

n.a piece of paper on which a doctor writes the details

of the medicine or drugs that someone needs

That prescription contains several kinds of precious herbal medicine.

prescribe (Line 4, Para. 1)

v.(of a doctor) say what (medical treatment) someone

should have


(senior herbalist doctor)(needle therapy)

I havebeen prescribed some painkillers by the doctor.

That senior herbalist doctor prescribed needle therapy for him.

2.reassurance(Line 4, Para. 1)

n. help or advice that makes you feel less worried

or frightened about a problem


could not take her out of the fact that she had already lost the opportunity to take part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The reassurance from her supporters


assure ensure

  • assure thatof

We tried toassure that customerthat all the laptop computers sold in our company were authorized by Apple Corporation of America.

  • ensure assure that

Governments at all levels must take steps toensure thatmost of the Chinese-language porn websites () can be closed in this campaign.

  • Before going to bed she herself that all the

    doors and windows were locked.

  • This medicine will you a good nights sleep.

  • I cannot that he will be there in time.

  • He me of his readiness to help.

assure ensure





3.heal (Line 13, Para. 3)

v. make or become well again, especially after a cut or

other injury


The wound soon healed up/over.

Fortunately, the medicine that could heal him of typhoid was not very expensive.

Her wound has been healed.

cure, heal treat

  • cure (vi./vt.)cure sb. of

That hospital can cure some types of cancer.

Teachers try to cure some students of bad habits.

  • heal (vi./vt.)heal sb. of

Time can help her heal all her sorrows.

  • treat (vt.)

The doctor is treating me for influenza.

Western medicine tends to treat symptoms and not the cause.

  • Penicillin him of pneumonia ().

  • The cut in her leg has completely, without

    leaving a scar.

  • She is being with a new drug.

  • What cant be must be endured.

  • That wound will soon if she keeps it clean.

  • The doctors wish to her illness successfully.

cure, heal treat







4.fool somebody into doing something(Line 17, Para. 4)

trick somebody into doing something

In humorous cartoon movie Tom & Jerry, the poor cat ____________________________________________________________.

_____________________________ that comedian Pan Changjiang can become a NBA player.

is always fooled into doing all kinds of stupid things by the clever mouse

No one will be fooled into believing

Whether Chinese homemade movies can win the Oscar or not ____________________.

The popularity of such online songs as Mice Love Rice ____________________________________. with (Line 24, Para. 6)

lie with

It rests with her to decide. (The decision rests with her.)

rests with many factors

rests with netizens recognition and support a way(Line 27, Para. 6)

partly, to some degree

In 2004, singer Dao Langs popularity came out of the blue, which is ______________________________________.


Stephen Chows (Zhou Xingchi) silly comedies also _______


a normal entertainment phenomenon in a way


abundant philosophy in a way

7.relief (Line 31, Para. 7)

n. a feeling of comfort when something frightening,

worrying, or painful has not happened or has ended

Listening to light music __________________________ ____________________.

To our great relief, the earthquake caused little damage.

gave relief to his great pressure

before the examinations


Knowing the truth that he was still alive in that serious road accident _________________________.

relieved his anxious relatives

As we know, Olympic gold medallist Liu Xiang is a

hurdler rather than a sprinter.

8.rather than (Line 51, Para. 10)

That pair of gloves are comfortable rather than pretty.

other than


She met with several celebrities other than singers at that party.

I do not wish you other than you are.


not except

There is nothing in that house other than a cat.

Those survivors could hardly be other than grateful.

to open up new knowledge about

a stronger will

The patient has a lot of trust in the doctor.

The medicine works with a lot of different cases.

You can heal your body by using your mind.

There is a mixture of the tiger and the ape in the character of the terrorists.

Every life has its roses and thorns.

The invention of machinery had brought into the world a new erathe Industrial Age. Money had become King.

The car in front of me stopped and I missed the green.

The experience of studying abroad was his entree to the new government.

The wedding, which Hayward still remembered with pride, was attended by a Whos Who of Boston Society.




  • 1.

  • 2.

  • 3.

Directions:So far you have learned quite a lot about how psychology works in different cases. Write a composition entitled:College Students Should Have a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body. You should write at least 120 words. Remember to write neatly.




College Students Should Have a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

When they experience major turning points in their lives, some college students have hidden mental problems. These problems may result from academic pressure, anxiety about interpersonal relationships, love failure or career-related matters. Without parents immediate help or teachers adequate guidance, a lot of physical and emotional disorders touch them. They suffer from depression (), sleep disorders or poor academic performance. Anxious hearts, hopeless minds and even nervous breakdowns () chase them.

Mental health is part of the most valuable wealth students can ever have. On campus students learn to reason and act with wisdom. With a healthy mind in a healthy body, they can challenge all hardships later in life. Todays competitive world needs more versatile talents (), especially those who are firm-willed and have confidence in themselves.

Therefore, all sides concerned () should make joint efforts to help students solve their mental problems. Schools may offer optional courses () and establish campus counseling () center to help students. Parents, teachers and classmates could encourage them to go to psychological clinic. Students must develop a positive mental attitude and be more optimistic. We believe those who have mental health can do great things in the future.

I. [ IELTS ]

Topic:Nowadays, people are facing more and more work-related stress. State the possible reasons for this phenomenon and make some recommendations about how to solve it.

You should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task.

You should write a minimum of 250 words. You should use

your own ideas, knowledge and experience to support your

arguments with examples and relevant evidence.


Directions: You will have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the topic given below. Use the first few minutes to read the topic carefully and think about what kind of essay you will write. You may use the space immediately below the essay topic to make notes. Write your essay on the lined pages that follow. You will have enough space if you write on every line and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size.

People have different ways of relaxing. Some people like to go out walking. Others like to read, sleep, eat, listen to music, or watch television. Some people play sports or watch sports, while others dance and sing. What are some good ways to relax when you are not working? Describe some ways to relax that you are familiar with. Why are they good ways to relax? Explain your answer by giving examples.

III. [ TOEFL 2 ]

Directions: You will have thirty minutes to plan and write

an essay on the topic given below. Use the first few minutes to

read the topic carefully and think about what kind of essay

you will write. You may use the space immediately below the

essay topic to make notes. Write your essay on the lined pages

that follow. You will have enough space if you write on every

line and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size.

People have different ways of escaping the stress and difficulties of modern life. Some read; some exercise; others work in their gardens. What do you think are the best ways of reducing stress?

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