Spotlight Blog 2: Drugs

D.A.R.E. which stands for drug abuse resistance education. It began in 1983 and became a widespread program all across the United States and many other countries around the world. It is an educational program presented to kids from kindergarten to twelfth grade reporting the dos and don’ts of drugs as well as how to avoid becoming involved with these substances. It was built up from the work of law enforcement and school officials. The program consisted of a 17 week program with a police officer teaching numerous classes in schools for each grade level. As the program grew bigger it spread its curriculum to prevention of being involved with gangs, violence, bullying, and internet safety (America). Although the program had a pure intention of benefiting kids, there was major controversy if the program stoped kids from using drugs or a provoking factor which led kids to substance abuse.

The main criticism this program received was it did not deter students away from the use of drugs in the short term nor later in students high school and college career. Various studies were taken to see the effect of the program on students. One of the first studies conducted against the D.A.R.E. program tested the use of marijuana among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. The initial data was in 2008, 5.8% of 8th graders, 13.8% of 10th graders, and 19.4% of 12th graders have been exposed to or had use of marijuana. Within a five year span these percentages increased about 7 percent (Dual Diagnosis). Another study showed a large percent increase involving tobacco use among students. One major study really opened the gates with its findings against the impact of the program. This study took place over an entire decade. It consisted of over 1,000 10 year-olds participating in the D.A.R.E. program. They were given a survey with questions involving self-esteem and drug use. Once the participants turned 20 they were given the same survey (Reaves). The findings were that those who participated in the D.A.R.E. program were no less likely become involved with drugs and alcohol than those who were not involved in the program. A worse finding was poor levels of self-esteem among the D.A.R.E. participants 10 years after being in the program.

Despite the negative feedback, D.A.R.E. still continues to try and improve the lives of kids and try to prevent drug and alcohol abuse. After all the criticism the program worked to improve its curriculum and improve training to those who taught it. Following the studies conducted, by 2013 over 70,000 law enforcement officials and addiction counselors went through 80 hours of training including learning teaching strategies, drug information, and adolescent development, etc. (Dual Diagnosis). One of the first changes was to the elementary and middle school program. The name changed to “Keepin’ it Real” and the “myPlaybook” was added to the high school programs. Keepin’ it Real focuses on the Socio-Emotional Learning Theory (SEL) it promotes healthy development of younger kids through relationships, responsibility, and decision making. The myPlaybook is an interactive website to engage students rather than reading information and answering questions (America).

Based on the numerous studies and criticism against the D.A.R.E. program I still believe there is some benefit to kids from this program. Being involved in it myself in middle school, I find it important to be given the proper information to help against alcohol and drug abuse rather than going further in life not understanding the use and effects of alcohol and drugs. Although, beginning the curriculum at such a young age may not be the best approach. Kids from kindergarten to around 6th or 7th grade might be too young to have these concepts presented to them. Being taught at an older age the students might take the information more seriously and have a further understanding of the concepts. They could then possibly find themselves being able to go against peer pressure. My belief is that as long as you’re given the information that would provide the best benefit then it’s only up to you to actually make a decision when in a situation involving drugs or alcohol. This includes other topics such as sex ed programs. I believe it is needed to educate students on these sensitive topics, but given the proper information at the right age of kids sets them up for success and its how they choose to utilize the information given is in their hands.

Sorces:

“D.A.R.E. America.” D.A.R.E. America, http://www.dare.org/.

“Does the DARE Program Work?” Dual Diagnosis, http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/drug-addiction/dare-program-work/.

Reaves, Jessica. “Just Say No to DARE.” Time, Time Inc., 15 Feb. 2001, content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,99564,00.html.


Personality: Week 11 First Impression

I always enjoy taking the fun, free quizzes online that range from what my spirit animal would be to what my personality type is. The four quizzes I took were longer than other quizzes I have done in the past and I think they asked well array of questions to pinpoint personality types. My results of the four tests were pretty constant with small switches between specific traits.

The fist two personality tests I took I received the exact same result. My personality type was ISTP. This stands for introvert, sensing, thinking, and perceiving. It was described as fearless and enjoy excitement. The humanmetrics site went into more depth with percentages saying there was little preference between introvert and extrovert and between thinking and feeling. I have more of a preference for my feelings rather than intuition.

From the other two tests my results were aimed more towards an extrovert and being more socially active. The BIG5 site added the traits of agreeableness and openness to experiences. The colorquiz site included my need for excitement and social interaction. Both comment on being very observant and diligent in my work.

From these four personality tests I do agree with the results to match my personality. Even though it fluctuated between introvert and extrovert or feelings and thinking, I believe I do change some of my views when present with different situations. Sometimes I could be social and active with groups of people while other days I’d much rather keep to myself. The common characteristic that I agree with is need for excitement and adventure; I am always ready for last minute plans that can turn into a really fun experience. What I found most shocking was that the color quiz proved to me the most accurate to describing my personality type, with the only data collected was my sequence of colors that I chose two times.


Stress: Week 9 First Impression

I would consider myself a “go with the flow” kind of person. I try to keep my stress levels pretty low and not let unimportant things stress me out. Although, the things that do give me stress raise the stress levels pretty high. Sometimes I may make things seem worst than they actually are. One of my biggest stressors is school and my classes. Mainly exams are what I stress out the most for. Other things I’ll stress about are deadlines for assignments, how busy my schedule is, or even some professors (not including MacFarlane). I do have some ways to try and manage these things that give me stress.

I think the biggest reason I get stress is because of my procrastination. Leaving everything to the last minute puts a lot of pressure and stress on my to get assignments done on time and have them done well. I can try to fix that by setting aside time to get work done. Also making sure these times are set in advance to any assignments being due. I do have a planner that I use to set up every week to help plan and organize my school work. One of my biggest stress relievers is exercise. Being in a sport or just going for a run helps me forget all of my problems and clear my head of anything bad that could have happened that day or week. It’s able to calm me down and refocus on the thing that was stressing me out. I think setting aside free time for yourself is important because is give you a break from anything that is bothering you. I know coloring can be very helpful as it is relaxing and fun to do. Being around other people can help; going out with friends will let you focus on something fun rather than what is stressing you out. From this you’re able to regain focus and calmness to work at the stressor that is causing a problem.

 


Emotion: Week 8 First Impression

I feel as though I am decent at being able to pick out facial expressions and emotions of people. Although, I did not do as well as I thought I would on the emotional intelligence test. My score was only a 14/20. I believe that telling emotions through body language is easier than the multiple choice test with only pictures of faces. Telling emotions can be shown through more than just someones face, their body language is a major signal as to how someone is feeling.

Some emotions are easier to read than others. Happiness, anger, and sadness are common and easy to tell through someone’s facial expression and the pictures on the test. Other, more specific emotions such as contempt and embarrassment were harder to pick out just from a facial image. Embarrassment I got confused with amusement because the the person seemed to have a smile, but just not showing teeth. The tell sign in the image was the downward tilted head.

The website that I took the test on recommended that the best way to get better at telling people’s emotions is practice. From my first impression post this was one of my goals in this psychology class. I hope this section will help me learn the signals that relate to specific emotions. I could use this in my daily life to help with any kind of relationships I have. Having a better skill at telling people’s emotions will help me form better conversations with them or help me react in certain situations. Being able to know if someone is sad or angry I’ll be able to know how to respond to that person and help comfort them as needed.


Sleep: Week 7 First Impression

Sleep is much needed for a college student in order for them to work through their incredibly busy schedule. Although, many take on the mentality “sleep is for the week”. Students stay up late then wake up early the next day numerous times in a week. This tends to be a poor cycle to follow as it does not allow students to focus and learn effectively in their classes. A well known fact is the proper amount of sleep one should have is at least 8 hours per night. This is difficult for many college students trying to balance their work assignments, social life, extra curricular activities, or sporting events. I’d believe the amount of sleep a student should try and reach is at least 6 hours of sleep. Maybe on the nights their most busy they would get small amount of hours to sleep, but other nights taking the time to go to bed earlier and gain a few more hours.

My current sleep habits are not what I wish they would be. Typical nights I am in bed between 12-1. With my schedule I have 8am classes everyday, so my alarm is set at 7 o’clock every morning. I normally get 6 or 7 hours of sleep per night. I know that these are not healthy sleeping habits due to how tired I can be the following day. Its harder to focus and participate in classes. Although, getting to sleep at a reasonable time is sometimes difficult because I am involved in a sport. Everyday the team has a practice afternoon or night. Some nights we wont get home from an away game until 10 at night, then I’ll have homework to do after.

There are ways I have been trying to use in order to get more sleep. Through the soccer department, I have to log in 4 “study hall hours” every week. I try and utilize them to get ahead with homework, reading, or notes. Especially if I know I have a soccer game coming up that will take away most of my time or studying. Another way I could help myself is using the free time I have between classes on some days to work on upcoming homework so I won’t have to spend that time later in the night. This will all help me get to bed earlier and gain more hours of sleep. I hope I am able to plan out a better sleeping schedule because I do know if I or anyone continues with a poor sleep cycle, there are higher consequences. There are higher levels of fatigue and poor health. Even becoming sick with something such as Mono or Epstein Barr.


Spotlight Blog: Memory

Having good study habits is crucial in all levels of education. Learning better ways to study at a young age can improve throughout years of schooling and can make studying a much simpler, less stressful task at higher levels. Its not about how long you study a subject but how well you learn it and thus able to retain it. Spending numerous hours on a single topic with poor study habits is time wasted as the information is not being retained properly and then not able to be recalled later for an exam. Its best to figure out what works well for an individual when it comes to studying. Although it may be difficult to find the best methods, there are many sources that give studying advice to all levels of students.

As said before, learning good study skills at a younger age can be beneficial later. This all begins with a young child’s parents. There are ways for a parent to help their child learn better study habits. Advice I found to parents was having a designated work space for their kid to study and work on homework. Parents should help their child with time management, seeing how long different assignments will take and allowing enough time to complete them (Staff). This is similar to distributed practice, studying or working in smaller parts rather than all at one time (MacFarlane). This source also mentioned mnemonics or the tricks to help recall information later. This could either be a song or rhyme or abbreviation to help remember larger concepts. I believe this is good advice to a parent in order to help their kids learn good study habits which will help later in their education.

At higher levels of education such as high school, there is more specific advice given to students for better study habits. A source I found did reiterate finding a specific place to study that allows no distractions while working. Again it states that a student should split up their work or alternate between subjects. They further elaborated and gave advice to take handwritten notes while reading information and then turn the notes into flashcards (VLACS).  This is good study advice because given in an online lecture, Dr. Ian MacFarlane stated how just reading notes or the material is not productive and only gives false impression that the student understands the information. Another good study habit that was suggested is to self-study and self-testing. Studying the information in similar ways it would be tested on an exam is good for learning the material (MacFarlane). One piece of advice given from this source was not the best. It suggested to students that they should be reviewing notes and materials weekly. It is best to review notes within the same day they were taken to further understand the material.

I am able to mostly relate to the study advice given to college students. It becomes even more detailed about the best ways for studying at this level of education. A common theme through all ages of studying is the breakdown of time and either work in smaller chunks or alternate between various subjects. Studying in smaller bits over cramming information helps retain the information into long term memory. Cramming only puts the information into short term memory and it is harder to recall during an exam. It was suggested that a student should allow around 30 to 50 minutes of studying for one subject and then have a ten minute break or move to another topic. It’s advised to review notes within 24 hours of taking them to make sure you understand the material and then focus on things that you don’t. A statistic was given “…retention rate is 60% higher when information is reviewed within 24 hours of hearing” (Media). It is restated that a way to help remember information is applying meaning to it. Either use a personal experience or mental image. Stated in lecture by professor MacFarlane, this is known as semantic encoding and allows for most retention of information. Being able to relate the information to as many things as possible make it easier to recall the information later.

There are many overlapping ways to help get the best out of your study session. You want to learn the material rather than just familiarize it. If it has meaning and purpose theres a more likely chance of being able to recall it. There is many resources to help plan an effective study schedule, find the ways that work best for you.

Sources:

MacFarlane, Ian . “General Psychology Mini-Lecture 4: Memory and Studying.” YouTube,         YouTube, 1 Oct. 2017, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU2QNlGPYxQ&feature=youtu.be.

Media, Column Five. “How to Study: Studying Tips for College Students.” Rasmussen                 College – Regionally Accredited College Online and on Campus, Rasmussen College, 15           Nov. 2011, http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/how-to-study/

Staff, GreatSchools. “Study skills for middle school and beyond.” Parenting, 22 Feb. 2016,         www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/study-skills-for-middle-school-and-beyond/.

“Top 10 Study Tips for Students.” VLACS, 13 Feb. 2017, vlacs.org/top-10-study-tips-                     students/.


Memory: Week 5 First Impression

My personal study habits vary depending on different things. The way I would prepare for an exam might change due tot the subject and material needed to learn for that test. It may also depend on how the professor makes the exams and what are the key details needed to learn. For the most part when I study I read each chapter that will appear on an exam. I like to make sets on quizlet for terms, people, and smaller details. If you don’t know, quizlet is an online source that you’re able to make flashcards of your information and look at other people’s sets. I take my own notes along with the ones provided in my lectures. My biggest limitation in studying is my procrastination. I tend to cram in as much studying as possible the night before an exam.  I need to improve upon time management so I can space out sections to study throughout a week instead of studying four chapters in one night.

Specifically for this class’s first exam I did again try and cram as much studying as I could the night before. I worked with another student in our class and we went through the entire study guide given to us and wrote down all important information on the white board in the study room we were working in. We also looked up a few videos to help remember stages in the more difficult theories. After taking the exam I have an idea of what the professor finds most important in the material. As we work toward the next exam I know to pay more attention of specific psychologists and their studies or theories. I will most likely make a quizlet for the psychologists in the chapters discussed along with what they are known for. I will take more of my own notes while reading in the book to get more specific details that we would not cover in lecture.


Parenting: Week 3 First Impression

My first thought about this topic is that parenting can be a blend and balance of many different styles, including the three mentioned. In my own experience both my parents held my siblings and I to higher standards with most things from academics to manners. My parents would push us when they believed there is room for improvement, such as if we got a bad grade or struggling in a class. In doing this was positive pressure unlike the pressure that would make us extremely stressful. This gave us qualities of hard work to get the better grade and not settle for something less.

I think the terms tiger mom, jellyfish dad, and helicopter parents are harsh labels and at most times too specific to an individual parent. Parenting is commonly a combined effort and decisions are made together to deal with situations. All the terms of parenting can come with consequences of the kids. A too strict or tiger parent can cause their child to rebel against them. While a parent that is too easy-going or a jellyfish can have their child never taking responsibility or putting in hard work. Being a helicopter parent seems too excessive to a kid and then they don’t want to let their parents into details of their lives. A question I have is does a helicopter parents resemble them trying to live vicariously through their child? They become so in-tune to their lives and then want to perfect it. Also, does parenting vary between children? Some say that parents are more strict on their first child then a second or third. I think the best parenting comes with understanding your child’s interests and strengths, then help and guide them for the most success.


Study Hard: Week 2 First Impression Blog

If I were to conduct a psychological study, my experiment would test the question “Does listening to music while studying allow a person to remember more of the material?”.My hypothesis is a significant difference will occur in how much information is remembered when listening to music while studying a subject. I believe there would be an increase of information able to be retained if one listens to music while studying. The brain would be able to connect what someone was studying while listening to a certain song or style of music.

For my procedure I would use ten participants; this would not include ten more people as the control who studies without music playing. All participants would be given the same material to study from for a small mini quiz on a particular subject. There would be allowed times to study over the course of a few days and the participants are able to listen to their music of choice. While the participants are taking the mini quiz, the same music or songs will be playing in order to see if it can jog their memories to remember the material. The participants would either be separated to not mix music or each individual listens to their music through headphones. These grades will then be compared to the control group who studied and took the quiz without music.


Gen psych Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Nicole, I grew up in a small town called Honesdale in Northeast PA. I’ve lived on a farm my entire life and we’ve raised cows, goats, and pigs at various times. I am involved in my County’s 4H program where I enter photography projects and show animals in the Wayne County Fair. Some of my favorite things to do are listen to music, play soccer, and travel.

I am very excited this being my first year at Elizabethtown College and playing for the women’s soccer team! I will be majoring in Biology with a minor in Anthropology. Being a first-year student my classes were chosen for me, but I still look forward to be in psychology as I find it very interesting. I do not have any background with this subject because I was unable to fit it in my schedule in high school. When I hear the word psychology the first thing that I think of is the study of the mind and how it works. Also, reactions of things to their surroundings.

The top three class topics I find most interesting would be Theories of Intelligence, Personality and Culture, and Classifying Mental Illness. I look forward to these topics because I want to learn what differences there are between people. Such as how they learn or their distinct traits. Truly, I don’t find any topics not interesting, I am excited to see what the class brings this semester. Something I want to learn by the end of this class would be to understand different reactions and emotions to certain situations or stimuli. Looking forward to this semester!