Here are the prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag “Mental Health Treatment.”
Your textbook lists 4 major types of psychotherapy (psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic). Rank these types of therapy according to how helpful you think they would be if you needed therapy and explain what it is about each one that you like/dislike.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama contributed a considerable amount of energy and support into a campaign targeting increased awareness of mental health issues called Change Direction. Using the information provided on their website (http://www.changedirection.org) evaluate how effective you think the campaign will be in general. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign? Will college students pay attention to this or not and why? If Etown was going to do an awareness campaign to help students identify mental health issues in their friends and classmates, how should they go about doing it to give it the best chance of actually working?
Here are the prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag “Mental Illness.”
Schizophrenia is often depicted dramatically in the media, and has been the subject of many major films like A Beautiful Mind, The Soloist, and Donnie Darko. Less frequently, however, do people get the chance to think about the daily life of someone who experiences hallucinations and delusions. Watch this video which simulates the experience of a person with schizophrenia, share your reactions, and compare this to how you typically see schizophrenia in the media.
People often associate schizophrenia with the homeless population or mental hospitals, but rarely do we think about people who are professionally very successful. One person who is thriving despite her schizophrenia is Elyn Saks, who received her law degree from Yale and is a professor at the University of Southern California. In her TED Talk, she describes how she struggled with her disorder and was eventually able to manage her condition and take control of her life. Share your reactions to the video, discuss how her story compares to the “typical narrative” of schizophrenia, and discuss why you think she turned out differently than other people with this disorder.
Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Social.”
The Implicit Association Test (which can be accessed through this link) is a tool to identify biases which may be outside your conscious awareness. The results of this test cannot determine whether or not you are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., but they are useful to help you understand yourself and how you interact with others. For this post, you must take two separate IAT tests from the link above. You do not need to share your results if you don’t want to, but you need to talk about the experience of taking the test and getting the results, comment on whether or not the results were surprising, and discuss how this test can be useful for college students or your future career.
Would you enjoy a task more if I gave you $1 to do it or $20 to do it? Many of you will probably say you’d rather have the $20, but research suggests you will probably enjoy it more if I only give you a single dollar. Watch this footage to see:
Describe a time in your life when you think you experienced a change in beliefs due to cognitive dissonance, and argue whether you think this is a good thing we should promote and utilize or a bad thing we should try to avoid.
Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Intelligence.”
Many people consider intelligence to be largely determined by genetics, but there is substantial evidence that the environment and social processes play a large role as well. Since schools are a place where children try to determine how smart they really are, it is important for educators to understand the impacts of their subtle or not-so-subtle interactions with students. In your blog post, reflect on your interactions with educators throughout your school career, and discuss what changes to the school system could improve students’ performance in the classroom.
In 1998, the Governor of Georgia, Zell Miller, proposed spending $105,000 of the state’s budget to distribute a cassette or CD of classical music to the parents of each new child born in Georgia (see the NY Times article). Governor Miller was a staunch believer in the Mozart effect, a theory that listening to Mozart can increase intelligence. Discuss whether or not you think Governor Miller’s decision was a good one.
Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Stress.”
Stress permeates American society, and college is a very stressful environment for everyone involved. Stress management is a critical component of academic success in college. Describe your current stress management strategies, assess how well they work, and discuss what other stress management activities you could realistically incorporate into your routine to help you deal with stress more effectively.
Stress is something all too common in college students’ lives, but what if you could change your relationship with stress? Kelly McGonigal discusses doing just that in her TED talk “Making Stress Your Friend.” Watch the video, share your reactions, comment on the speaker’s credibility, discuss how reasonable you find its message to be, and discuss how you could implement some of the ideas into your life.
We all want to know more about our ourselves, and psychological tests are one way to explore our personalities. While the full psychological tests are often long and require a fee to take, there are an abundance of free versions online. Take the four personality tests linked below, discuss how accurately they describe your perception of your personality, and discuss the credibility of each test. Make sure to use the tag “Personality” on your post.
Here are the prompts for this chapter. Please use the tag “Emotion.”
We all want to enjoy life and seek ways to make ourselves happy. Indeed, we spend much of our lives chasing the goal of happiness. But how good are we at actually finding it? Dan Gilbert discusses the ways in which we sabotage our own happiness in his TED talk. Watch the video, share your reactions, comment on the speaker’s credibility, discuss how reasonable you find its message to be, and discuss ways in which you can incorporate more synthetic happiness into your life.
A large portion of communication is non-verbal, including a lot of clues about people’s emotional states. Effective communication involves being able to read others’ emotions and take them into consideration. People express a lot of emotions through their faces. How well do are you able to read these emotional expressions? Take this test to find out. Discuss whether or not your score reflects how well you thought you would do, how credible you find the test, which emotions were the easiest and hardest to tell apart, and how you could use this information in your daily life.
Many works of art inspire a variety of emotions in people, often quite different from what the artist intended. Music in particular tends to hold very strong emotional resonance with people, but that doesn’t mean people are receiving what the artist is sending. A classic example is the song Every Breath You Take by the Police (lyrics available here). This song came out in 1983 and was instantly a hit. Many people called it a classic love ballad and it was played repeatedly at weddings, but what they didn’t realize is the band wrote the song about a fanatical stalker. What was meant to be a haunting song about the lengths stalkers go was instead immortalized as a beautiful expression of devotion. For your post I want you to think about a song you are familiar with that on the surface seems to be above love, but when you look closer at it maybe isn’t such a great example of healthy relationships. Post a link to the lyrics and music video (or some other way for us to hear the song), and explain what is problematic with the messages in the song.
Here are the prompts for this week. If you select Options 1 or 2, use the tag “Sleep” and if you select Options 3 or 4, use the tag “Drugs”:
In this TED talk, Russell Foster outlines 3 prominent theories about why we sleep. Watch the talk and argue for the theory you find the most convincing. Make sure to explain your thoughts about the credibility of each of the three theories.
College students are often heavily sleep deprived as they sacrifice sleep in order to study, work, and/or have a social life in addition to their academic commitments. Assess your current sleep habits and how healthy you think they are. What is a realistic goal for amount of sleep per night for a college student and how can you improve your sleep habits?
Recently, several states have legalized recreational use of marijuana and even more are considering it. This has lead to both celebration and condemnation depending on who you ask. Medicinal use of marijuana is still controversial as well. In your blog post, take a position on both medical and recreational use of marijuana. Should they be legal or not? Make sure to point out pros and cons to both arguments.
When it comes to treating addiction, two prominent approaches are the abstinence model and the harm reduction model. Most people are more familiar with the abstinence model, which seeks to completely eliminate all use of the problematic substance and prioritizes sobriety (an example would be 12-step programs like AA). The harm reduction model prioritizes things differently, in that the primary concern is preventing negative consequences of substance use (an example would be needle-swapping programs that provide clean needles for drug users to prevent the spread of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis). This is an over-simplification of the models, but you can find a little more background on each approach here. Which approach seems like the better idea to you? Explain which you would recommend if a loved one needed help with an addiction.
Here are the prompts for the bonus post for this week. It comes from Chapter 10. Whichever post you use, make sure to use the tag “Motivation.” The first impression post is due at 2pm on Wednesday, 3/6, and the refinement post is due Sunday, 3/10, at noon. These posts will be treated like any other blog posts; they are NOT extra credit. If you’re behind on posts, however, this is a great chance to catch up.
America is currently facing an obesity epidemic that some experts have labeled the biggest public health threat we have today. We have all heard the recommendations to eat healthier and get regular exercise. Some people, however, are taking the message of healthy eating too far. A new mental health disorder called orthorexia nervosa has been proposed, in which eating healthy food becomes an obsession. One set of proposed criteria are available here. Look over the criteria and comment on whether or not you think this is a good way to define the boundary between eating healthy and having a mental disorder.
Motivation is not a stable force, but often waxes and wanes. Throughout your time at Elizabethtown College, your motivation for school will undoubtedly be higher at some times and lower at others. I want you to discuss why you chose to come to Elizabethtown College originally and what you do to motivate yourself to do well in your classes currently. I also want you to plan an intervention for yourself for how you can maintain motivation to succeed until graduation.
The first impression post for this prompt is due Tuesday, 2/26, at 5pm. The refinement post is due Sunday, 3/3, at noon. These posts will be treated like any other blog posts; they are NOT extra credit. If you’re behind on posts, however, this is a great chance to catch up. Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the tag “Sensation & Perception” on your post.
Synesthesia is a condition in which people’s perceptions of one sense activates another (for example hearing colors or seeing sounds). Watch Daniel Tammet explain his experience of synesthesia in a TED Talk entitled “Different Ways of Knowing.” Share your reactions to this video and discuss how you think this condition would affect someone’s day-to-day life.