Chapter 12 First Impression

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I chose the first prompt discussing IAT tests and discovering biases.

The first IAT test that I took was about weight. So it would show silhouettes of fat people and thin people and show good and bad words. At the end, it asked questions about my political and religious views, about my weight, and other things to determine if I have any bias towards fat or thin people.

The second IAT test that I took was about disability. It would show pictures of wheelchairs, crutches, a service dog, as well as someone crossing the street, someone skiing, and someone running and then showed good and bad words. At the end of that test it asked about my religious and political views, and asked me if I had any disabilities of my own. I have a chronic, very painful medical condition that technically counts as a disability. So when I answered yes to that question it proceeded to ask me more questions regarding that, such as how much it affects my daily life, how long I’ll have it, how bad it is, etc. Then based off of those answers it determined whether or not I would have a bias towards disabled people.

I consider myself to be a little chunky and I technically have a “disability”, so my results said that I don’t have an automatic negative bias toward either of these groups of people, which I wasn’t surprised by because I definitely agree with that. I am very accepting of everybody and understand everybody has their own issues and obstacles.

I believe that these tests make you more aware of how you interact with others and pre-perceived biases towards people who are different from you. It also makes you self- reflect on your own issues in life and how you view the world. I think that this could be very useful in college because you’re constantly meeting all kinds of people with so many different situations and backgrounds. It is important to be as open-minded as can be, because if you judge people from what you see, you could be missing an opportunity to gain a great friend. You also never know what someone is going through, and  some people, like myself, don’t wear their disabilities on our sleeves. At first glance you would never know I had anything wrong with me, when in reality I’m pretty sure I’ve had more surgeries than anyone I know. Everyone is dealing with something, so just be accepting of everyone!

In regards to my career, as an OT I will be working with all kinds of different people and populations, so of course I need to be as accepting and nonjudgemental as can be. I especially will be working with people with all different types of disabilities, and I think it is so interesting to hear people’s stories and learn from them and their experiences. People with disabilities are so strong and preserver through life, and I think they can teach us a lot.

Spotlight Post #2

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For my second spotlight post, I chose prompt #2 about stress management. As a college student, as well as an athlete, stress is something I struggle with and I feel that it is important to find ways to manage your stress levels in order to achieve peak performance and to maintain your sanity. I will be discussing ways that different audiences can cope with stressful situations based off of three articles I found.

My first audience is college students. Dear college students, you NEED to sleep. Most college students are so overwhelmed with the amount of school work they have and how little time they have to do it, so they stay up all night working on assignments and sleep a few hours each night during the week and then try to catch up on sleep on the weekends. That is a very unhealthy lifestyle to live all week long every week for an entire school year. As we learned in class, catching up on sleep is simply that-catching up. By the time you’re finally caught up, it’s Monday and you have to start the cycle all over again. You sendup essentially inducing “jet lag” when doing this. Nobody is able to do their best work when they are constantly sleep deprived. Sleep more during the night so that you can feel refreshed when taking on school responsibilities. Another tip is to practice some relaxation techniques when you feel overwhelmed. Whether it be mediation, slowly taking deep breaths and counting to ten, playing with a stress ball, anything that can take your mind off of things and calm you down is beneficial to your overall mental health. Lastly, talk to somebody. Ranting to your roommate or friends or calling your parents and just talk about your problems can be a very good outlet for frustration and make a world of difference. Honestly, talking things through with people can help you figure things out for yourself and how you can take on all of your stress, and if not, most likely your parents or friends can help you come up with a solution or game plan to get through your struggles.

My next audience is athletes. First of all, keeping a positive attitude is key. Sometimes you can be so stressed out from practicing every single day and worrying about winning all the time, but staying positive puts you a completely different head space- and a healthy one! If you have a bad performance or you feel you didn’t do as well as you know you could have, don’t let it discourage you, let it drive you to do better next time. Not only will it be a learning experience, but it will also alleviate so much stress. Another tip is to have time to yourself to have fun. Sports can be very demanding and you can often times feel like your whole life revolves around the sport you play. When you do have free time, use it. Not only will it be a way to get your mind off of your stress, but you can do things that are still keeping you active which may slightly benefit your performance your sport anyway. You can go on a run, lift weights, go hiking, do yoga, or play some video games. Whatever helps you to destress and enjoy yourself will help you in the long run. Lastly, have a strong support system. Your friends, family, trainers, and especially your coach all want to see you succeed as much as possible. They can help you find ways to deal with your stressors, as well as encourage you to push through the hard times. They can also help you remain positive and change your perspective. Surrounding yourself with people who only have your well-being in mind is essential when in stressful situations.

Lastly, I would like to address the parents of teenagers. The teenage years can be the most stressful phase of children growing up that parents have to go through. It can be a very difficult time for teenagers, but parents are just as stressed out as their children, so I would like to give advice for parents that can help their teens and, in turn, alleviate some of their own stress as well. For starters, help your child learn that some things are outside their control. Learning not to stress about the little things will help them worry less and have a clearer mind. Teens deal with a lot of drama, so teach them to stay out of it and show them that the drama is pointless, a waste of time, and won’t matter in the long run. Secondly, limit your teen’s social media use. Kids are constantly glued to their phones, but social media has the potential to completely ruin their self confidence. Nowadays it’s all about editing and posting the most perfect pictures, getting the most likes on a post, having the most followers, and constantly beating themselves down when they don’t achieve those things as well as comparing themselves to others. This can be very detrimental to their mental health and can cause a lot of stress in the household when the parents have to deal with their child going through that. Lastly, come up with some stress relieving distractions for your child. Whether it be hanging out with friends, going on a drive (if they have their license), playing basketball outside, playing an instrument, drawing, shopping, getting ice cream, anything that can be fun and get their mind off of the stress can be so beneficial for your teen.

The three articles I found wrote about these tips more in depth and provided many more ideas to cope with stress. I feel that these tips are very helpful for people dealing with high levels of stress and feel they can’t find any solutions. I definitely plan on keeping some of these tips in mind following my return to college this semester, and hopefully they can help other people too!

Sources:

https://www.learnpsychology.org/student-stress-anxiety-guide/

https://nova3labs.com/five-stress-management-tips-athletes/

https://nova3labs.com/five-stress-management-tips-athletes/

Chapter 9 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I chose the first prompt which discusses the school system and how to promote better learning. Throughout my school career, I definitely feel that the school system was disinterested in my success. It really seemed like in elementary school it was determined who the academically top ranked students were, and from then on out they were given lots of attention and pushed to challenge themselves and they really wanted those kids to succeed. While I was a very smart kid and did most of my academics with the “gifted” kids, I was never actually in the “gifted” program and it felt I was seen as lesser because of it. I was lumped with the average kids and treated fine by my teachers, but I was never pushed or even encouraged to step out of the box and challenge myself. I was never urged to take AP or even advanced/honors classes by my teachers or counselors, they just automatically signed off on whatever classes I chose was best for me to take.

 

I feel that there are some flaws in our education system. For starters, I think that a lot of times teachers go into teaching with predetermined assumptions about their students. For example, if they know one of their students comes from a family of poverty, they often times assume that the child is not smart and will have trouble succeeding in their classroom. Going along with that, teachers can assume that these students will not be academically successful due to their limited resources or their lack of family members who are involved in their education.

 

Another thing that I think would make the school system more efficient is taking note of how each student learns the best. Some students are visual learners, some are auditory learners, and some are tactile learners. Some kind of testing should be done to determine this for each student, then the teachers could teach their students accordingly. This could better suit students’ academic needs in order for them to be as successful as possible. Every child is unique and different in their own way, and it is important that the school system pays attention to their needs.

Chapter 13 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, we were prompted to take four different personality tests to find out more about ourselves. Personality is a very interesting topic, and it’s what makes everybody different from one another. How you respond to certain situations and your level of creativity say a lot about your personality, so it’s different to see how people answer the questions.

For the first two personality tests, I was told that my personality type was ENFP. This means I am more of an extravert than an introvert, I prefer intuition over sensing, I trust feelings rather than thinking, and I am more perceiving than I am judging. ENFP’s are typically easygoing, energetic, free-spirited, adventurous, social, and curious.  I think this personality describes me pretty well because I enjoy going to parties and social events often because I like the friendships and connections I make, and I’d much rather be with friends than alone. I’m also very good at thinking things through when asked for advice, but when it’s me in the situation I act very impulsively when making decisions and let my emotions cloud my judgment. I love to adventure and explore new places as well. Also, along with being social, I am fascinated by people. I love to observe people and learn from them. I like helping and am very empathetic towards people, which is definitely going to show when I become an Occupational Therapist. ENFP weaknesses are that we are impulsive, emotional (and not very good at handling our emotions), tend to get very stressed and overthink everything, sometimes find it hard to focus, and don’t like being told what to do. I pretty much got these same results in the other two personality tests as well. All of these traits I deal with on an almost everyday basis, so I would say my results were pretty accurate.

While they were pretty accurate, I’m not so sure how credible these tests are. A simple 60 question survey is not going to accurately tell you all about your personality. Also, for a lot of questions my answers weren’t so black and white. For a majority of the questions both answers could’ve worked for me because sometimes I feel one way, and other times the other option was more likely to occur. There was no middle ground on the questionnaires. To improve these personality tests, I think it would be beneficial for the researchers who come up with the questions to have a “both” or a “yes and no” option for people who don’t have a concrete answer. This way, they could get more accurate results by avoiding people not knowing what answer to choose and just randomly selecting one.

Chapter 11 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I decided on the first prompt which discusses stress management. With college comes large amounts of stress, especially when trying to manage everything and having so much on your plate. To be honest, I have a lot of anxiety, so my stress management is pretty bad.

I typically have two ways I deal with stress, neither of which are good strategies. The first is that I panic. I get so stressed out that my brain doesn’t know how to handle it so I just have a meltdown. I cry, freak out, yell and rant and give all of the reasons why I can’t do something and how I just feel stuck. Then, once I’m done having a mental breakdown and can pull myself together, my brain becomes more clear and I can think things through and come up with an effective solution and game plan.

The other way I deal with stress is, well, that I don’t. When I get overwhelmed with all of the stuff I have to do or if I don’t know how to figure something out, I completely shut down and don’t deal with it at all. I avoid the tasks that I feel are causing me the stress and put it off. This can often times cause even more stress because I dig myself into an even deeper hole when I wait until the last minute and I’m not only scrambling to figure it out or deal with it, but I’m now also just scrambling to get it done.

Something that I can do to better handle my stress is to plan ahead. I can schedule out my week and what needs to get done, and then once I get it done I can check it off of my list. Then I’ll have a sense of completion and accomplishment, it will help me keep track of what I still need to get done, and it will help me keep a set plan of what I need to get done each day. Going along with this, when I know that I have a lot of things coming up that will allow for little time to get work done, I can work ahead and get assignments done early so that I don’t stress trying to figure out when I’ll have time to do the work.

Chapter 10 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I chose the prompt about reading people’s emotions. I was prompted to take an Emotion Intelligence Test, where it showed 20 pictures of people displaying different emotions, and I had to pick between four choices of which emotion I thought it could be. I ended up getting 14/20 correct, which the test said is a little above the average number people typically get right.

I pride myself in being pretty good at reading people’s emotions and knowing how people are feeling- especially my boyfriend. He doesn’t have to say a word before I ask what’s on his mind, which always catches him off guard because like most guys he thinks he’s good at hiding his emotions. When observing people, I always tend to pick up on the small details that most people wouldn’t notice, which is why I feel I’m so good at reading emotions. I also have a lot of empathy towards people, which I think helps too. Because of these skills, going into the test I expected to do pretty well.

Although I only got six wrong, the test was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The very basic emotions, such as happy, sad, surprised, and angry were pretty easy to pick up on, but the more specific ones such as love, politeness, pain, desire, and contempt were a lot more difficult. Some of the emotions, such as disgust, involved people sticking their tongue out, which gave the emotion away.

I do not think this was a very accurate test to determine how good you are at reading people’s emotions. First off, emotions are portrayed by everyone differently. Also, the people in the pictures were told an emotion and they portrayed it how they thought it would look, rather than their natural expression when feeling that emotion. Lastly, a lot of the options I had to choose from were very similar to each other, and it could’ve been either emotion.

A way that I think this test could help me in the future when trying to read people’s emotions is the fact that after each picture it provided multiple cues on what to look for when reading facial expressions for each emotion. For example, people’s eyebrows being raised, the corners of the mouth being raised, the chin being stuck out, head being tilted, etc. These cues will definitely be helpful and hopefully if I think about them when around people I can become better at knowing how they are feeling.

Chapter 3 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I decided on prompt four, which discusses sleeping habits. As a college student, I find it very hard to find the perfect balance between academics, sports, and maintaining a social life while still getting a good amount of sleep each night.

Personally, I have a very weird relationship with sleep. I love it, but I’m always tired no matter how much of it I get- and I don’t drink coffee so that doesn’t help. As embarrassing as it is, this results in me taking multiple naps periodically throughout the day. Freshman year in college when I was out of season for volleyball some days I would take up to three naps in one day. I would stay up late doing homework and then get 4 or 5 hours of sleep until I had to wake up for my 8 a.m’s, then would come back from class and go back to sleep until lunch time (if I woke up for it). If I had another class that day I would sometimes go back to sleep until then, but if not a lot of times I would take a nap before dinner. Sometimes at night when I’m studying I feel myself dozing off so I will set an alarm to take a 20-30 minute nap and then wake up and continue studying. On the weekends or days that I don’t have class, I’ll typically wake up around noon, so half of day is gone before it has even started. These are very bad, unhealthy habits to have and I need to break them this year.

I feel that there is a very easy solution to break my bad habits because they really are just one big cycle. For starters, I need to stop taking naps and rely on getting a good night’s sleep to keep me energized throughout the day. Having a normal sleep schedule will regulate my internal body clock and maybe I won’t be so tired all of the time. If I stop taking so many naps, then I will be able to get more work done during the day so that I can have some free time in the evenings so that I can hang out with my friends and maintain a social life, and then go to bed at a decent time instead of staying up all night doing homework. If I do it right, this will ensure I get enough sleep each night, and that is my goal for this upcoming school year.

 

 

Spotlight Post #1

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For my fist spotlight post, I decided to choose the prompt about the effects divorce has on children. The divorce rate in the U.S. continues to increase, and it has become an ongoing debate about whether divorce harms or helps children. I found four articles that do a good job at helping better understand the effects of each side of the argument.

The first article I read is called, “When, and Why, Divorce Hurts Kids,” by Harry Benson. It provided reasons why divorce can negatively impact children. Finances are a huge factor in divorce negatively affecting children. Typically, the total income between the parents is not enough to cover all of the expenses of two separate households as well as providing for sometimes multiple children. When parents go from living comfortably to struggling financially, the instability can be hard on the kids. Also, divorce usually leaves the kids asking many questions or coming to different conclusions. They constantly ask themselves if it was their fault their parents’ marriage failed or why they didn’t try harder to make it work. The children can develop many insecurities from these thoughts. Divorce can also put a negative connotation on relationships for them. They begin to expect relationships and marriages to not work out and that it’s normal. And lastly, a lot of the times parents think it is most beneficial for the wellbeing of their children to not only coparent, but to remain friends after the divorce. But in reality, that can just become confusing for the children if they see their parents getting along just fine, but they still can’t be together. I found this source to be trustworthy because the author, Harry Benson, is the Communications Director of the Marriage Foundation located in the United Kingdom. The site his article was published on is called Institute for Family Studies, whose goal is to do research in order to educate families and strengthen marriages, and in turn prevent children from being scarred by growing up in broken families.

Another article I found discussing how damaging divorce can be for children is called, “How Divorce Affects Children”written by Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.  One obvious and common reason why divorce is harmful for children is that it can result in the loss of a parent. Far too often do fathers leave the mother and children to fend for themselves and the children don’t see their dad for years, if ever again. Co-parenting isn’t always an assumed method of easing the children into their transition to a much different life. Going along with this, parents tend to run into many conflicts following a divorce. This includes not getting along, financial conflicts, custody, and other legal conflicts. Divorces aren’t always pretty, and that can prolong the transition, making it harder and emotionally draining for the children to deal with. Behavioral and psychological issues tend to increase for children following their parents’ divorce. They develop an inclination to act out, anger problems, become less compliant, develop anxiety, depression, and their performance at school can take a turn for the worst. Also, in some cases, one of the parents becomes depressed themselves after the split, and the children feel compelled to take care of their parent instead of it being the other way around, which can be exhausting for the kids and strip them of their childhood. I found this article to be reliable because Dr. Emery is a clinical psychologist, a divorce mediator, and a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. He has written over 150 scientific publications and several books about parent, marriage, and divorce, has conducted tons of research on these topics, and has lectured all over the world.

But sometimes divorce serves as the light at the tunnel for the children. The next article I found, titled “Is Divorce Always Bad for the Kids?,” written by Salynn Boyles, discusses how divorce can be beneficial to the children. Living in a dysfunctional family where there is constant fighting, arguing, and tension between two unhappy parents can be very stressful and cause high levels of anxiety for the children. The removal of a parent can be a relief. The article says that children living in a stressful environment between two unhappy parents are more likely to act out and become bullies, lie, cheat, and become antisocial, but that, “there was a significant decline in these behaviors following divorce.” This means that in some cases divorce isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. Rather than being harmful for the children they are able to come out better prior to the event and actually can show positive behavioral changes. I found this article to be credible because it was on WebMD. Their staff is made up of certified health professionals, experts, editorial professionals, and contributors with a specialty license to guarantee that people can find the health and medical information, resources and services they need. It is a proven credible source because not only do they seek out and hire highly qualified professionals to provide accurate information for users, but they also maintain upkeep on their staff’s licensures to ensure all of the information on their site is without a doubt up-to-date and accurate.

The last article I read was called “Why Divorce is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids,” written by Brette Sember, which discusses the negative impacts divorce has on children. There are many lessons to be learned for the children that can possibly benefit their lives in the future. For example, while they will have to transition to the change of having two homes, each home will be argument free. This will help the children develop some individuality and their happiness won’t have to depend on their parents’ happiness and “allows kids to just be kids.” Kids can also learn from watching their parents going through a divorce how important it is to be able to compromise. By observing their parents co-parenting and working through their issues, it can show them how working together to get through tough times is much more effective than fighting. And lastly, the children can be shown how important it is to put their happiness first. Living to please others and putting others before themselves can prove to be very harmful, so watching their parents choose their happiness first for once will be very beneficial. This post was written on Huffington Post which I feel is a reliable source because it provides non biased information by obtaining news stories and facts from a variety of sources all of which are checked for their credibility to ensure that they are remaining credible as well.

After reading each article, while I think there are some benefits in certain situations, I have come to the conclusion that divorce mainly damages children developmentally, behaviorally, and psychologically. Additionally, it can really negatively effect their views on marriage and lower their expectations of their own relationships one day.

Sources:

https://ifstudies.org/blog/when-and-why-divorce-hurts-

kidshttp://emeryondivorce.com/how_divorce_affects_children.php

https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20050101/divorce-bad-for-kids#1

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/brette-sember/why-a-good-divorce-is-better-than-a-bad-marriage-for-kids_b_6925236.html

 

Chapter 8 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I decided to do option one about study habits. When assessing my study habits, I definitely excel in some areas, but there is also a lot of room for improvement.

I have a crazy good memory- I always have. Now I admit, it was a lot better when I was younger. As a child I had a photographic memory. I could look at something and take a mental picture of it and never forget it. As I got older, that ability kind of went away, but not completely. There are things about my childhood that I vividly remember, and a lot of times when looking back at past events, I can remember the super intricate details of it- down to what clothes people were wearing that day. This skill comes in handy when I study. For example, when I read through textbooks or take notes, if I eventually need to look back at a piece of information, a lot of times I can picture what the page I wrote/read it on looks like (what is around it, pictures, location on the page, etc.) so that it is easy for me to refer back to it. This is also useful for tests because if it sounds like something I read or wrote, a lot of times I can picture it in my head and I can remember it. The photographic memory, or just good memory in general, also translates when studying with flashcards, which is a method of studying I really like. It is easy for me to memorize what is on each flashcard, so I can retain information better when studying.

This skill, while proven to be very useful, sometimes does more harm than good. I can become too overly confident that I know enough of the information and I don’t need to study anymore. I get to the point where I have memorized what is on the back of each flashcard verbatim and I just associate the definition with the word so that three words in I know which answer it is. And for my notes, I read them over and over again until they have stuck in my brain. But when I get to the tests, the wording of the question isn’t always the same as my notes or the book, or it’s an application question, and I’m stuck not knowing the answer. This really hurt me freshman year when I was taking molecular biology because almost none of the test questions were knowledge-based.

These are the things that I did and the mistakes I made when studying for the first exam in this class. I read over my notes over and over again until I felt I knew all of the information, and I read over some Quizlets that I eventually had memorized all of the answers too. For the next exam, I would like to be better prepared and do some things differently. For starters, I need to take notes from the book too, because right now I’m just reading it and then watching the lectures and taking notes on them. Also, I would like to test myself more to really make sure I can answer questions. At the end of each chapter in the book, there are key concepts and a few sample questions that I can refer to that will maybe help. Hopefully these changes in my studying habits instead of just memorizing will benefit me and translate on the next exam!

Chapter 7 First Impression

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I chose the prompt discussing whether or not video games lead to more violent children. Personally, I do not feel that they do.

For starters, the United States is known for having one of (if not the) largest amounts of gun violence in the world. But these violent video games are not just specific to the U.S. Most games are able to be purchased in many countries. So it doesn’t make sense that we would have more gun violence than these other countries if video games are to blame.

Secondly, I feel that violence is not always a learned thing, and that it is just a part of human nature. You will see little boys, who are way too young to be playing video games yet, playing with toy guns, pretending things are guns, or using imaginary guns with their hands when playing with their friends. They are too young to be influenced by society to have learned that these things are violent, but they still fake shoot each other when playing at the park or in the back yard. Going along with this, maybe toy companies who are creating toy guns for boys to play with should also be at blame for causing violence, but you never really hear about that because all of the criticism is usually on video game companies.

Lastly, I don’t believe that the blood and gore in video games causes mass shooters. I think it could be somewhat therapeutic for people. Teenagers especially are dealing with a lot of emotions and stress as they go through puberty and school and all of the things that come with growing up. Coming home from a stressful day at school and playing video games can be an outlet for built up anger and emotions for teens. If they spend hours shooting imaginary people, the anger is able to diminish, thus allowing them to release their aggression before releasing it in real life.

In conclusion, gun violence is growing in the United States, but I don’t think video games are the culprit, nor do I believe that banning violence in video games is going to solve anything. There is no direct evidence that video games create more violent people. Violence is everywhere, and it is impossible to avoid. So don’t take away something that kids enjoy.