Johari Window Bonus Blog Prompt

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

https://kevan.org/johari?view=Hunter900

I felt that this process was very interesting. It was really cool to have to pick words that I thought described me, and it was also interesting to see what other people thought I was like. By the end of the process, every word that I had selected for myself had been picked by either one person or multiple people, along with many other words. The other words that people had picked for me also seemed to describe me very well. One word that I was surprised to see was organized. I would like to consider myself an organized person, but I wouldn’t say it’s one of the bigger things that describe me. By this process, I learned that people think about me the same way that I do, and I also learned that there are other traits I display that I didn’t know I displayed as much as I did (i.e. organized). I think this test was a valid measurement of personality, because it had a lot of different traits to pick from. This test also allowed other people to openly choose what they thought you displayed most. With that being said, my friend told me that she could see other people’s responses, so I think that could cause some bias if some people don’t know what to say about you, or if they’re going back and forth between different traits. When seeing other’s responses, I feel that they’d be more inclined to pick what other people have picked, so that would be the only concern I’d have for this. If people weren’t going off of what other people said, then I think this test is fairly valid.

Spotlight Blog 2- Stress Management Strategies

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

Stress is something that people deal with in their everyday lives. Whether it’d be college kids, adults, or athletes, everyone experiences stress in some way. For this post, I will be comparing how three different websites believe college students, musicians, and children should manage stress. Once I gather this information, I will relate it back to what I’ve learned in psych class to see how reliable it is.

The first website explains how college students should deal with stress. It talks about the different effects stress has on college students physically, and ways to help deal with stress. They suggest that eating healthy and exercising can help fight and reduce stress. According to Purdue University Global,  eating a healthier diet can give you the nutrition you need in order to fight off the stress. It suggests avoiding foods with high sugar and high levels of caffeine. It also suggests that exercising can help improve sleep which should reduce stress. Having an outlet and having a support system are also two ways that Purdue University Global suggests managing stress. They emphasize the importance on being able to take a break and doing things you like, and having friends and family there to support you. Having an everyday plan in place is also encouraged on Purdue University Global. More calming things such as meditation and aromatherapy are also mentioned. Meditation is said to have stress lowering abilities, and aromatherapy uses essential oils like lavender and lemon to lower stress. Being able to express your emotions and process them is also a way to help manage stress. I feel that these strategies are beneficial, because in class we talked about how regular exercise helps with coping with stress, as well as social support, and self indulgence, like doing things you enjoy in order to cope with stress.  We also talked about releasing your emotions (catharsis) and how important that is in relieving emotional stress.

The next website explains how musicians can deal with stress. Being a musician myself, I was very excited to read this one. It talks about how musicians who typically travel often experience tours, performance anxiety, and separation from loved ones. Constant changes in environments can also disturb the bodies stress response. Dr. Stephen Sideroff, a clinical director and assistant clinical professor of the psychiatry department of UCLA worked with musicians on dealing with stress. He suggests that breathing techniques and mediation can help with keeping yourself relaxed. He also suggests exercising as a way to relieve stress in order to let out the tension in your body. Sideroff also said that self-appreciation and self confidence is a great way to ease stress and anxiety when it comes to performing. Taking breaks and taking time for friends and family is also a good way to take away stress and just relax, especially since working gigs as a musician all the time can really take a toll on you. I believe as a musician, these coping strategies are essential. We learned in class how important exercise is, and how important it was to have a support system to contribute to resources and hope. Being a musician isn’t easy, so it’s extremely important to have a support system. In class we also talked about the importance of adapting in a way that creates less stress for you without making it complicated, defined as adaptive strategies, and these ways are definitely easy and applicable.

The last website talked about how children can manage stress. While some people may think adults deal with stress more frequently, children deal with it too, especially if those stressors have a bigger impact on their life (i.e. divorce). Lynn Lyons suggests that “the key in helping kids manage stress is teaching them to problem-solve, plan and know when to say yes and no to activities and commitments” (Tartakovsky). This is super important, because kids encounter problems all the time. She suggests that making time for certain things like play and sleep is essential. It’s also important that kids aren’t over scheduled, that way they have time for downtime and sleep. Teaching kids to listen to their bodies is also important. It teaches them that sometimes your body just needs a break. While we didn’t really talk about these specific coping mechanisms in class, I feel that they are important. Adaptive strategies such as avoiding overloading is important, because it’s able to decrease the problem of overworking kids without making things more complicated. I feel that this adaptive strategies also applies to getting more sleep, because it’s helping to decrease stress by letting the body relax and rejuvenate. Playing can fall under the category of self indulgence, because it allows the child to escape from stressful situations for a little bit. Based on our notes that we took in class, I feel that all three of these websites provide accurate and useful ways to cope with stress.

  1. Purdue University Global (2018). The College Student’s Study Guide to Stress Management. Purdue University Global. Retrieved on November 4, 2018 from https://www.purdueglobal.edu/news-resources/college-students-guide-to-stress-management-infographic/
  2. International Musician (23 September 2015). Don’t Sweat It: Your Guide to Managing Stress. International Musician. Retrieved on November 4, 2018 from https://internationalmusician.org/dont-sweat-it-your-guide-to-managing-stress/
  3. Tartakovsky, M. (2016). 7 Tips For Helping Your Child Manage StressPsych Central. Retrieved on November 4, 2018 from https://psychcentral.com/lib/7-tips-for-helping-your-child-manage-stress/

 

Chapter 9 First Impression Post- Intelligence

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

Throughout my many years of schooling, I’ve definitely had times where I’ve questioned my intelligence. Some classes were very easy for me, and others I really struggled with. But, with the help of my teachers, I was able to overcome those obstacles.

A lot of my teachers took notice when I was struggling in class. They would come up to me afterwards, and would ask me if I understood things, or if I needed help with something. Those teachers were the ones that got me where I am today. There were other times though where some of my teachers were solely there to teach the lesson for the day and then leave. That made it hard for me, because when I would try and ask for help, I either wouldn’t get any help, or they explained it in some complex way that I couldn’t understand. Some of my teachers also made it a point to make the class fun. When they actively tried to engage the students, whether that’d be using games or giving us extra credit for participating, it would help me to learn and remember the material better. I’m the type of person who needs to be actively engaged in something in order to fully understand it, so this engagement was extremely helpful. It was also helpful when teachers themselves were also engaged in the class. There were some teachers that I could tell weren’t passionate about the subject, thus causing me to become less engaged. When teachers were engaged, they were able to keep my interest.

A way that the school system could help with students’ performance in the classroom would be by implicating policies that would include active engagement in every classroom. Whether this would be by review games, or group review projects, it would help to actively engage students, which would help them to retrieve the information, therefore improving performance in the classroom.

Chapter 10 First Impression Prompt-Emotion

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

People communicate not only verbally, but with their facial expressions as well. I thought I was really good at reading facial expressions, but apparently I need some work.

The test that I took online showed you a picture of someone’s face, and you had to pick what emotion their face was showing. In total, I got a score of 11/20. I thought I would’ve gotten at least a 15/20, because I read people’s faces every day. A lot of the questions had the choice of 4 emotions that were very similar to each other, which also made it hard to pick which emotion it could be since they were all very similar. The distinguishing factor between the similar emotions was a slight difference in eye placement, or what the eye muscles were doing, or the positing of the lip muscles or lips themselves. Emotions like sadness, fear, and disappointment were extremely similar, so they were really hard to tell apart. Emotions like anger and frustration were sometimes hard to tell apart as well, since their facial expressions were so similar. Embarrassment, surprise, and happiness seemed to be the easiest ones to distinguish.

I find this test pretty credible, because it explained why a certain emotion was the correct answer, and it showed which parts of the face contributed to that emotion. It would label the slight tilt down of the lip, or the slight raise of the eyebrow in order to explain what emotion it was. It’s also hard if you’re not aware that the slightest lift of the lip muscles can distinguish a completely different emotion than what you may have thought it was. You could use this information in every day life in order to tell how your friends may be feeling based on their facial expression. They may not want to directly tell you how they’re feeling, but a lot of the time their face says it all. You could also use this information to be able to correctly express how you yourself are feeling if words can’t seem to express it.

Chapter 11- First Impression Post: Stress

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

Any college student can attest to this statement: college is stressful. We’ve all had our fair share of mental breakdowns, wondering when all the stress is going to subside. Establishing a routine to deal with stress is crucial, as it may give us some sort of peace and organization.

Currently, to handle my stress, I make it a point to be organized. I make a list of things I have to do, whether that’d be the list of homework I need to work on, or the chores I have to do. Making lists helps me to physically see what I need to do, and crossing things off the list once they’re completed gives me a sense of satisfaction. It also helps to decrease my stress levels, as I now have one less thing to worry about. As well as having a list, I also plan out when I’m going to do things. I self-discipline, and make it a point to get a certain amount of work done in a day. This way, at the end of the day, I know I’ve accomplished something, and I don’t have to worry as much. Studying can also take up a lot of time, and it can be stressful. That’s why I study a while before the test, that way I’m not cramming at the last minute. Along with stress management for school, it’s also important to take time out for yourself to just relax. When you give yourself the time to relax, you’re able to clear your mind, and reduce the amount of stress and anxiety weighing on you. I like to relax by taking a nap, watching TV, or hanging out with my friends. It’s so important to give yourself some time to destress and relax.

My current stress management strategies seem to work pretty well for me. I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in my stress levels since I’ve been at college, and I’m hoping that these strategies still continue to keep my stress levels down. The lists really help because I’m able to see what I’ve accomplished, and the relaxation is also a huge help in making sure I can keep my stress levels down.

Some other strategies that I could see myself incorporating into my stress management skills could be mediation, because I feel that that would not only help with my constant anxiety, but it would be a way to destress and refocus. Another thing I feel I could do would be setting specific times to do things. For example, I could give myself 4 hours to do homework, without stopping, and then give myself an hour to do whatever I want. That way I know I’ve accomplished things, but I can also give myself time to relax.

College is a stressful time, so give yourself time to relax, and always do what’s best for you!

 

Chapter 3 (Drugs Section) First Impression Post

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

Medicinal and recreational marijuana are a hot topic of discussion now a days. In terms of medicinal marijuana, I believe that it should be legalized in all states, because in my opinion, if that’s the best proven thing, and the only thing that best helps conditions such as muscle pain, then I believe it should be legalized. Why would you want to keep something away from people, and forbid them from using it if it’s going to help them? As long as it’s being legally distributed from a doctor, and being taken responsibly, then I see no issue with it. I do however believe the recipient of medicinal marijuana needs to follow strict instructions, such as not distributing to other people, and be responsible. If this is not followed, this could be a downfall of medicinal marijuana. A downfall could also be that despite being prescribed, people could abuse the privilege of having it as medicine.In this case, it’s being used as perscribed medicine, so it should be treated as such.

In terms of recreational marijuana, I believe it should be illegal. When using recreational marijuana, I think that since people aren’t viewing it as medicine, it could be used irresponsibly. I also believe that recreational marijuana could be dangerous, since it isn’t in a specific amount of dosage, like medicinal marijuana. It can also be dangerous if young people get their hands on it, since they may not be aware of all the affects it has on them. It can affect different people different ways, and some of those ways could be harmful, especially if the user gets in a car to drive. Although I believe it should be illegal, some pros include it can make you feel a different way. Overall, I believe medicinal marijuana should be legal, and recreational marijuana should be illegal.

Spotlight Blog 1- Effects of Divorce on Children

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

Divorce is something that many kids have to go through. My parents are divorced, and it’s not easy. But how does divorce really effect kids today? Are they really effected by it, or is it something that they can just move on from. The following articles explain how they feel divorce impacts children, if at all.

In the article entitled “The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children,” Amy Morin, LCSW explains that 48% of children are living in a house with one parent, as a result of divorce, by the age of 16. She argues that kids normally struggle within the first one or two years after divorce. She says that some kids can bounce back from it, but others have a very difficult time with it. Kids can experience anger, anxiety, and even lifelong problems due to a divorce. Depending on their age, children can experience confusion about going back and forth between house, guilt, and anger towards one or both parents. Studies showed that the mother is often less supportive and her discipline becomes decreased after a divorce. Studies have also shown that kids that have gone through a divorce may have increased psychological problems, regardless of age or gender. Studies also show that children of divorce are at a higher risk for anxiety and depression. The author also writes that while divorce is tough on children, staying in the marriage just for the kids may not be the best option. The author made it clear numerous times that kids of divorce are at a higher risk for mental health issues. This source is credible, because the author has her LCSW, and the reviewer has their MD. The website has a medical review board that are all licensed and trained professionals, which is why I think this source is credible.

In the next article, Wendy Paris, an author, and someone who has had her articles appear in many news sites like Psychology Today, and The Washington Post, writes about how you can still raise happy kids, even after a divorce. Paris writes that a study done by Mavis Hetherington, who followed 2,500 children, showed that 80% of the kids were doing well. Michael Lamb’s meta-study done in 2012 also showed that children are well when they have good relationships with both parents, but the parents don’t have to be living in the same house in order for that to be true. Lamb’s general overview was that marriage isn’t what makes a child’s wellbeing- its the loving relationship between the parent and the child where the parents aren’t constantly having problems. Paris’s own points include making sure that stability is still being obtained by creating new routines, and creating positive moments for the children without involving the parents’ relationships. I believe this was a scholarly article because it included studies by Michael Lamb, who is a professor at Cambridge University. Wendy Paris was also a senior editor for Psychology Today, and has published articles in The New York Times, and Los Angelas Review of Books.

This third article explains how divorce can negatively effect children. Emery writes that divorce can be stressful for kids, and can strain the relationship between parent and child. He says that the transition between marriage and divorce can really impact the child, depending on how stressful, or chaotic it is. He also writes that kids can be of higher risk for psychological problems, anger problems, depression, and suffering school achievement. He says that a lot of children can get through divorce without having emotional or psychological problems, but children still report pain and worry about divorce and relationships. A study that Emery and Laumann-Billings did in 2000 showed that 73 out of 99 college students who’s parents had divorced 3 or more years said they’d be a different person if their parents weren’t divorced. 48 out of 99 said they had a more difficult childhood then most. This article was scholarly because the author, Robert E. Emery has a Ph.D. and is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.

In the last article, the author argues that while divorce can be difficult, it is better to get a divorce then stay in the marriage when there is constant fighting and arguing. The author argues that staying in the marriage when there is constant conflict and even possibly violence makes the children have to cope with the everyday affects of it. The article says that while divorce is hard on the kids, when it finally does happen, it can often serve some benefits to the children. These benefits include reduced fighting, since the parents are in two separate homes, and the child doesn’t have to be around negativity, things seem to become calmer after the divorce settles. Other benefits include happy parents, so their happiness can rub off on the kids, and the kids learn more about compromise, and using it as a skill. This article is a good source because Brette Sember, has her B.A. and J.D., and describes the other side of divorce, which is the side that most people don’t see, aka the more positive affects on divorce. This article was also written in the Huffington Post.

Overall, I feel that divorce hurts children, based on the readings, because there are so many different things that can result from a divorce, including psychological and behavioral problems. As a child that comes from a divorced family, I can attest to the fact that it’s a very emotionally stressful thing, and it can affect you, even long after the divorce has happened. I feel that the studies presented in these articles also leaned more towards the side of how divorce can negatively impact a child.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Morin, Amy, LCSW (2018, August 24). “The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children: Take steps to help kids bounce back faster.” https://www.verywellfamily.com/psychological-effects-of-divorce-on-kids-4140170
  2. Paris, Wendy (2015, March 17). “Yes, You Can Raise Happy Children After Divorce: What kids really need to thrive.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/splitopia/201503/yes-you-can-raise-happy-children-after-divorce
  3. Emery, Robert E. (2006-2018). “How Divorce Affects Children.” http://emeryondivorce.com/how_divorce_affects_children.php
  4. Sember, Brette (2017, December 6). “Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids.” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-a-good-divorce-is-better-than-a-bad-marriage-for-kids_b_6925236

Chapter 8 First Impression Prompt- Memory

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

Study habits. We all have certain study habits that we may do well at, or that we may need to improve. When I study, I normally need to be in a quiet environment. I can’t have the tv on, and I can’t be distracted by anything like my phone. I can however have music playing. When I study, depending on how big the exam is, I normally try to study at least a few days in advance. I believe when I study, I’m good at keeping all distractions away from me, and I’m good at establishing goals for myself. I believe though there are things I need to improve. When I study, I need to do so in a way that will help me remember the material the most. I need to stay focused, and keep from getting frustrated when I’m still not able to remember something after an hour of trying to. One thing that helps me are group studies. They are a way to really help me stay focused on studying. I also need to work on finding a solid way to study (i.e. flashcards, writing the material down a bunch of times, etc.)

For the first exam in class, I started studying a few days before the exam. I studied by using Quizlet.  Although it seemed very helpful at the time, when I got the exam in front of me, I could not remember a thing. I completely blanked. Part of that may be due to my anxiety of taking tests, but in this case I don’t believe it was. When I had another big exam in another class, I made my own flashcards from index cards and studied them. When I got the test in front of me, I remembered everything. So, for this next exam in psychology, I’m going to start making flashcards after going over every chapter. For example, since we’re through chapter 7, I’ll start to make my own flashcards and study them, that way I feel fully prepared, and so I have enough time to study them prior to the test. After the next chapter, I’ll do the same thing. Physically writing down the information seems to help me engrain it into my brain, and helps me to remember it better. For this next exam, that’s what I plan to do. Happy studying! 🙂

First Impression Post- Chapter 2: Neuroscience

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

For this first impression post, I decided to pick the TED talk entitled “Exploring the Mind of a Serial Killer.” I’ve always been fascinated by the human brain, especially serial killers’, because they have different brain aspects that non serial killers do not. It’s fascinating to me that because of these different brain aspects, it can motivate them to do heinous crimes, such as murder.

In this TED talk, the speaker, Jim Fallon, a neuroscientist, and a professor at the University of California, talked about how he recently became fascinated with the brains of serial killers. He begins by talking about the interaction of genes, and epigenetic affects. He said that how you end up as a serial killer depends on when damage to the orbital cortex or the anterior part of temporal lobe occurs (these two parts of the brain were damaged on the serial killer’s brains he examined, there are other parts of the brain that can be damaged). The major violence gene is called the MAOA gene. It is a sex-linked genes and is only on the X-chromosome, so one can only get it from their mother. The gene has to do with too much serotonin during development. When one has that gene in utero, the brain becomes insensitive to the serotonin. In order to express the gene in a violent way, the person has to be exposed to some sort of traumatic violence. Having exposure to that violence, and having that gene is a cause for disaster. Jim Fallon also talked about how his cousin was Lizzy Borden, and the first murder of a mother by a son was his great (x5) grandfather.

From this TED talk, I found it most interesting and ironic that Jim Fallon wasn’t aware of the violent behavior in his family, but was studying the brains of serial killers. I also found it fascinating that damage to parts of the brain, and having the gene, as well as violent exposure can be cause to becoming a serial killer.

I believe Jim Fallon is very knowledgable in this course of study, because he’s been doing neurological work for over 35 years, and studying behavior. He is also a professor, and a neurologist, so he is very well educated in the field of neurology.

For my research idea, I would want to figure out who is prone to having the MAOA gene, and how you can determine before birth if someone has it. In order to conduct this research, I would reach out to different neurologist, and ask them how you can determine what genes you have, and how the MAOA gene is first discovered, I would ask if there was any way to tell before birth if the baby has the gene. I would also ask if predominately men have the gene, since Fallon said that it is an X-chromosome gene, which is given by the mother, which is why mostly men are serial killers.

 

First Impression Post- Development

--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog

While many parents raise there kids many different ways, some people may argue that some ways are better than others. Some parents baby their kids until they go to college, and even after. Some parents give their kids no guidance at all, and send them out into the real world to fend for themselves. But what is a happy medium perhaps?

Growing up, my parents helped me through everything, whether it’d be making a tough decision, helping me with a homework problem, or getting me to and from places (since I was involved in EVERYTHING). Sometimes though, they felt I needed to be able to make my own decisions, and figure out the homework problem myself, in order to help me grow as a person. In my opinion, I believe the best way to parent is to help your kids when they need it, but also let them figure stuff out on their own. If they’re babied their whole life, they’ll never be ready for the real world.

To me, parents should not baby their children, especially when they start to reach the age of being a preteen. Of course there are going to be times where kids need guidance, and assistance, but kids need to figure stuff out on their own sometimes. For example, if your child keeps reaching for the cookie jar, and you repeatedly tell them to stop, next time they reach for it, the cookies fall out of the jar, onto the dirty floor, and they are unable to eat them. I like to refer to that as “discovery learning,” as my dad likes to put it. If they would’ve listened the first time, there would still be cookies left to eat. I also don’t agree with the whole “participation trophy” thing. In some cases, especially if the kids are young, it can make them believe that life is easy, simple, and theres no losing in life. To me, that’s giving them the wrong idea, a false sense of hope, which in a sense is going to hurt them more than help them in the future.

Now, when kids become older, like teenagers, they’ll want money to go to the mall, or the movies. I believe sometimes kids should get money (on occasion) just because, but often times kids should earn their money. It teaches them how to be responsible, and how to budget. If they realize that they don’t have enough money for two things, they’ll pick the one, and save the money they receive from doing chores to get the other thing later. I also think that when teens are able to get a job, they should. When I turned 16, I immediately got a job at a frozen yogurt shop. Receiving paychecks made me want to work more, and save more. Personally, I hate not having money, and I hate having to ask my parents for their money, and I’ve been like that for a while. Earning my own money also makes me more independent, since I can do whatever I want with that money.

When it comes to how strict parents are with their kids, I believe they should be strict to the point of making sure their kids don’t get in trouble, but also not too strict to the point where kids want to purposefully test the boundaries to see how far they can go. In my opinion, being strict on your kids is important. It can teach them right from wrong, and it can keep them out of danger. The whole point of being strict is to protect your kids from harm. What kid wouldn’t want that? Okay, I get that a 13 year old could get annoyed by always being told no, but let me tell you, it’s the best thing for you. I would always get mad at my parents when they wouldn’t let me walk around the mall with my friends in 6th grade, but now I appreciate that they didn’t, because in this day and age, anything can happen. My parents also wouldn’t let me have boys over to the house freshmen year, which I was always angry about, because my friends could. I’m glad they waited until I was older to let boys come over, because it just showed me that they loved me, and didn’t want me to get hurt.

On that note, I also think parents shouldn’t be so strict that the kids purposefully want to cross the boundaries to see how far they can get. In my opinion, that can sometimes hurt them more. The kids will test boundaries, and since they’re not familiar with what they may be doing, they could get hurt. If parents are so strict with them that they don’t let them do anything, once the kids get to the point where they’re on their own, they’ll want to do everything their parents told them they couldn’t, and that could hurt both the kids and even the parents.

Parents are always going to be there for us if we’re in a bind. They don’t want us to fail. They want us to succeed, and work to the best of our ability. They just want the best for us, and they want nothing more then to watch us grow. 🙂