Spotlight Blog Post #3

People across all different stages of life experience peer pressure. This feeling that ,in order to fit in, you must conform to the group governs the way that many tend to act in social situations. For this post, I looked into the different recommendations available to those experiencing peer pressure who are students, athletes, or adults.

The first source I looked into was centered around students. The main sources of peer pressure that it identified were drugs/alcohol, stealing, sexual activity, bullying, and general dangerous behavior. While this website does go into a bit of detail about positive peer pressure which can, among other things, help a person come out of their shell or become more involved, I chose to focus on the points it made about negative peer pressure since the main focus is to identify ways of helping someone negatively affected by peer pressure. This source identified the first few weeks of school as being the most frequent time that students succumb to peer pressure as they want to make friends and fit in very badly. It says that it is important to remember that everyone is in the same boat as you and to not necessarily go along with the first people you meet. Look for those who share common interests with you. Particularly, more interested in something than drinking or other dangerous behavior. It also suggests to think about your limits beforehand. Decide what you do and don’t want to do with your school experience. I think that each of these suggestions are likely to be successful when it comes to helping someone experiencing peer pressure. Looking for others who share common interests with you reminded me of one of the factors of conformity: unanimity. It is difficult to go against a united front so if you surround yourself with friends that share your mindset, you won’t encounter the difficult choice of being socially accepted or staying true to yourself.

https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/peer-pressure/

The second source I looked at was about how peer pressure affects athletes. This was focused around how an individual’s athletic success causes their fellow athletes to ostracize them out of jealousy. This source suggested a five step process to help: awareness, ask yourself what matters most to you, gather support, remind yourself of your choice everyday, and build up your inner strength. The main goal of this website was to improve your self image and to make yourself mentally strong enough that peer pressure won’t affect your happiness. While a bit generic, I believe that these suggestions would be beneficial to someone experiencing peer pressure. Though, I think it could have been a bit more specific on how to go about making these changes, I believe they would be successful. This source started with an anecdote about a female basketball player who stopped herself from excelling in her sport in order to keep the other members of her team from becoming upset with her. This made me think of a topic we talked about in class called compliance. This is when you do what the group wants you to do even when you don’t believe in it. It’s suggestion about improving your self-image would definitely help the extent to which you cared about fitting in with a group.

https://www.positiveperformancetraining.com/blog/female-athletes-and-peer-pressure

The third source I looked at was centered on the ways in which adults can be affected by peer pressure. I found this incredibly interesting because I had never associated peer pressure as something that adults experience as well. This source also addressed positive as well as negative peer pressure but was more focused on the latter. It mentioned how you are more likely to avoid peer pressure if you started doing so at a young age, however if you never ‘grew out of it’, it is unlikely that you ever will unless you make some changes. Many of the suggestions given by this source were similar to the others. Some that stood out to me were learning from your mistakes, having a wide range of friends that come from all different walks of life, and being assertive by making eye contact with your peers and starting statements with ‘I’. I especially agree with the point about learning from your mistakes. This would definitely help with someone’s success, especially if paired with some of the other suggestions from this source. Some of the points made by this source made me think of informational vs. normative influence. Especially informational influence, which is when you believe that you made the mistake and that the group must be right so you change your mind. Being assertive and making more ‘I’ statements would definitely help with this. It would help to improve your confidence and allow you to trust yourself more often.

http://mentalhealthcenter.org/how-to-deal-with-peer-pressure-as-an-adult/

Media Production Project

Media project final:

         As technology has become more prevalent in our society, people have increasingly wondered how it will affect their lives. One aspect of concern, is pictures. With cameras built in to all of our devices, we can take a picture of anything, at any time. The question is: how does this affect the moment? Does taking a picture take away from the experience?  Psychologists Alixandra Barasch, Kristin Diehl, Jackie Silverman, and Gal Zauberman tested this question. They set out to answer how taking pictures would affect the memory of your multiple senses as well as how well you would remember images you did photograph, compared with those you did not. The participants for their study were workers randomly chosen from their company with the only regulation being that they were 18 years of age or older (meaning the conclusions are only applicable to adults). The participants were randomly split into two groups based on the time slot in which they signed up for the study. In the first component of the study, one group was allowed to explore an art museum with a camera that they could use at any time. The other group did not have a camera. Both of the groups listened to an audio recording of information about the art exhibits they were viewing. Afterwards, both of the groups were given the same test on the information they heard while walking through the exhibit in order to test how their different senses were tested. Some questions were about information spoken to them (auditory memory), while other required the participant to look at two similar pieces of art, and judge which one they had actually seen in the exhibit (visual memory). Three more studies were conducted of a similar nature. One involving the same variables as the first but in a virtual art gallery, one the same as the experiment prior, however, there was a third variable where a group could take pictures but was told they would be deleted, and one which was the same as before, however, the third variable was being allowed to take a picture whenever they ‘felt’ they would in real life. Each of these studies came to the same conclusion: that taking pictures improved visual memory while negatively affecting auditory memory. These four studies were then repeated for the second question. The results supported the researchers’ idea that people would better remember what they did photograph as opposed to what they didn’t. This leaves us in another predicament. Is the improvement in visual memory worth the detriment to auditory memory?

 

Reflection:

         When it came to deciding what to include in my rewrite of the article, I decided to focus mainly on the scholarly article. The pop culture article included information based on how social media can be a variable, while this was never mentioned in the scholarly article. Since there was no factual evidence to support this claim, I did not include it in my summary. I did go more in depth about the multiple studies that were conducted as well as the fact that the researchers tested two hypotheses, not just one. I was also careful to answer the five critical questions for reading research. I explained the selection and assignment of the participants as well as how the variables were operationalized and the population the conclusion could be generalized too. I did not specifically state that causal claim was allowed due to this being a true experiment, but I did mention that both of the components necessary for this to be true were present. The news article did not answer most of these questions. It was never mentioned how the participants were assigned and then split into groups. I did include this in my rewrite as it also contributes to the critical question regarding causal claim. While writing/reading this article, I learned that (not always, this is a generalization for the article that I read) journalists may tend to take liberties. The point about the involvement of social media in the pop culture article seemed like a good way to hold the attention of the reader. It was, however, never mentioned in the scholarly article. I also learned that journalists must find a balance between making an article that is enjoyable and one that gives all the facts. During my rewrite, I found that I wanted to include the facts and details about the experiments. This, however, would not be the most interesting read for someone who simply looked at the article because the title sounded interesting.

 

Barasch, A., Diehl, K., Silverman, J., Zauberman, G. (2017, June 26). Photographic Memory: The Effects            of Volitional Photo Taking on Memory for Visual and Auditory Aspects of an Experience.                        Retrieved May 2, 2017 from

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Photographic+Memory%3A+The+Effects+of+Volitional+Photo+Taking+on+Memory+for+Visual+and+Auditory+Aspects+of+an++Experienc

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/science/living-in-the-moment-taking-photos.html

Spotlight Post #2

Memory is defined as the persistence of learning over time through the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information (Myers and Dewall, 283). When it comes to studying, understanding the processes of memory can help you figure out the most effective strategy. Upon looking into this subject on the internet, I found a lot of different study suggestions for all different ages. I aimed to choose the sites that looked to be the most popularly visited. I first looked into study strategies for college students, the middle and high school students, and finally for parents. (The links to each can be found at the end of this post).

In terms of study tips for college students, the website I looked at had a lot of positive ideas. Participating in study groups, making flash cards, taking tests, getting enough sleep, and properly managing your time were all points that were emphasized. Flash cards and taking tests are something I think would be especially useful because they test your ability to recall information. Both of them exhibit the testing effect (Myers and Dewall, 288) which states how memory is enhanced by retrieving the information you need to know, rather than just reading it. This website also mentioned the dangers of ‘binge studying’. Instead of learning as much as you can the night before the test (which also impedes sleep), you should study in smaller portions over a longer period of time. This displays the spacing effect (Myers and Dewall, 288) which explains how spacing out your studying can help with long-term retention. An area on this website with which I did not agree, had to do with alternating your study spaces. I do agree that it is important to have the proper environment to study in, but I disagree with its point that changing your study location improves the likelihood of remembering what you studied. While this may be partially true, it is also proven that testing goes better if done in the same location (probably the classroom) in which you learned the information which has to do with priming (Myers and Dewal, 297) which is the activation of associations in memory. Other than this, I found the suggestions made by this website helpful in terms of studying for college.

Next, I looked at a website that contained study suggestions for middle or high schoolers. A lot of the information provided by this website has to do with being clean and organized. Your locker at school, bedroom, study space, backpack, binders, etc. All of it should be as organized as you can manage. This will help you keep on top of what needs to get done and keeps added factors (like a messy environment) from distracting you from your studies. Multicolor pens were suggested for taking notes. I agree with this as it can appeal to visual memory. Something mentioned in this website that I did not quite agree with was its point about ‘making the right friends’. It encourages you to surround yourself with people who are motivated and dedicated to school so that you are influenced by them. However, in my opinion it can also be helpful to study by teaching material to someone who is not as well versed (or better) in the subject as you. However, this could have been a miscommunication in the wording of the website which may have actually been trying to stress the importance of study groups. Something else that seemed slightly incorrect was its recommendations about sleep. It recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, however, the proper amount of sleep could be well above or below 7-8 hours. However, I do agree that it is important to get the proper amount of sleep, as this is where the brain reorganizes and consolidates information for long-term memory (Myers and Dewall, 312). Other than this, I do agree with this posts information while I feel it could have been a bit more inclusive. A lot of its suggestions were vague and simply had to do with taking care of yourself and your life so that you have the ability to do as well as you can in school.

Finally, I looked into how people with children can improve their study skills. This website made some good suggestions about planning ahead and communicating with instructors, all of which are definitely good practices to do well in school. The other suggestions made, all had to do with getting your kids involved in your studies. Having them study with you, competing with them so that you both stay motivated, etc. There seem to be good and bad aspects to all of these suggestions. On the one hand, study groups are recommended and this is a form of that. However, you also want to have an environment where you can focus on your studies. If your children are with you, is it really possible to completely focus? It is reasonable to believe that your time would be consumed by helping them with their homework, causing your own to suffer since multi-tasking causes whatever you are trying to do to suffer. Lack of focus can cause a problem with encoding the memories which can keep them from ever becoming a part of long-term memory storage (Myers and Dewall, 304). That being said, I feel that each of these websites had valuable information as well as information that could be improved with a little tweaking.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/08/study-tips-for-college-_n_709096.html?slideshow=true#gallery/10344/0

https://www.wikihow.com/Study-To-Do-Well-in-Middle-or-High-School

http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/study-skills-tip-how-to-study-as-parent/

Myers, D. G., & DeWall, C. N. (2016). Exploring psychology. Pages 281-312. New York: Worth, Macmillan                Learning.

Bonus Post – Johari Window

This week’s bonus post is in regards to the Johari Window that we filled out. This was a part of our exploration of personality. The point of this exercise was to figure out how much our own perception of our personality matches up with how others see us. To start off the exercise, I had to choose 6 adjectives from the list that best described me. I did not find this very difficult, as I could see using many of the words on the list to describe myself. One slight speed bump I had was that many of the words were incredibly similar to each other. It was difficult to pick between two words that seemed to mean the same thing and I found myself having to look up their definitions to see how they were different. When I went to send the link to others to fill out, I decided to split it up between both my friends and family. I sent it to my parents, my two sisters, and then six of my close friends. Each of the words that I chose to describe myself were chosen by at least one other person except for one. I put ‘shy’ as one of my descriptors and this was the one that was not shared by anyone else. This came as a surprise to me. I definitely see myself as someone who is fairly shy. However, I would now agree that ‘introverted’ is a more accurate term to describe myself. I say that now because of what I read in the textbook about the misconceptions of introversion. In my opinion this test is a pretty good measure of personality. To a certain degree, no-one knows yourself better than you do, and this combined with how you come across to others, I would say, covers the majority of points of one’s personality. In terms of what I learned about myself through this test, I would say that there is a very big difference between shy and introverted, and that I identify more with the latter.

http://kevan.org/johari?view=rubelmannj

 

First Impression Post #9

For my first impression post this week I chose Option #1. This required me to describe my own stress management strategies, asses how well they work, and think of other stress management options that I could potentially add into my routine to further aid myself in dealing with stress. Currently, the primary source of stress in my life is related to school and homework. Because of this, I make sure to keep myself from doing nothing but homework for too long. Each time that I finish the assigned homework for a particular subject, I make sure to something that is not homework related before starting on the next subject. For example, I may listen to a song or two or do something with my roommate or neighbors. Then, after this short five to ten minute break, I return to my homework. I feel that this works well in keeping my stress under control, as long as I actually adhere to this schedule. Typically, if I have a large exam the next day, I find myself spending a very long amount of time studying for said exam. Since I never reach the point where I can switch subjects, I do not find that I give myself a break. This causes me to spend a very long time on one thing, without giving myself the break that I need. However, on most days when I have a typical amount of homework and no exam the next day, I find that this strategy is incredibly beneficial. A stress management option that could work in the future would be to start studying for tests much farther in advance. If I split up the amount of material that I have to study over a much longer period of time, I would be able to less of a time and avoid this ‘binge studying’. This would keep me from spending too long on one single subject and allow myself to continue my schedule of taking a break when ever I am finished with a subject.

First Impression Post #8

For this first impression post I chose Option #1. For this, I watched a TED talk given by Dan Gilbert. He talked about synthetic happiness. This is the idea of convincing yourself that you are happy after things do not go your way or do not turn out the way that you had planned. He mentioned the misconception that people often have about this. Typically people look at synthetic happiness as ‘inferior’ to the actual happiness that occurs as a result of getting what you want. However, Gilbert proved that this is not in fact the case through experiments that involved measuring people’s happiness, over time, dependent on whether they did or not get what they wanted in the first place. The data supported the idea that synthetic happiness is equivocal to ‘natural’ happiness. That, despite the idea that synthetic happiness is not as fulfilling, people are in fact just as happy as if things had turned out the way they had initially wanted to them. He credited this to people, essentially, making the most of situations that they are ‘stuck’ in.

I believe that this speaker is credible. He has an extensive background in psychology and is a psychologist at Harvard who has conducted his own research and has published writings. I found the message of his TED talk to be very reasonable. I agree that people who’s lives do not go as planned are more than capable of being just as happy as anyone else. I also agree with what he said about the misconceptions of happiness. How synthetic happiness is often seen as ‘less than’ the happiness that occurs when everything goes exactly according to plan. I disagree with this notion. I feel that making the best of a situation can lead to happiness that can be just as fulfilling. Some ways in which synthetic happiness can be more so incorporated into my life would be by appreciated what I have. Keeping myself from imagining ‘what could have been’ if I made a different decision or if things had simply worked out differently. Understanding that everything happens for a reason, and making the most of that, is crucial for making the most of synthetic happiness

First Impression Post #7

For my first impression post this week I chose Option #2. This asked us to assess our own current sleep habits and set a realistic goal for hours of sleep per night for a college student. In my own opinion, my sleep habits are relatively good. In general, it seems as though college students struggle to find a good sleep schedule. Most find themselves staying up very late each night to complete homework or other activities. On average, I go to bed between midnight and 12:30 on each night of the week. I feel that this is fairly good, especially since I do not have any classes that require me to get up earlier than 8:15 in the morning. However, this schedule often gets disrupted if my amount of homework increases or a have an exam coming up. On nights like these, i find myself staying up until two or possible three in the morning. This, however, is a very rare occurrence. Another way that I find my sleeping habits rather healthy is that, on the weekends, I do find myself staying up later, but I will sleep in later the next morning. This allows the average amount of sleep that I get per night to stay roughly the same throughout the week.

While the recommended amount of sleep is approximately eight hours per night, I do not feel that this is a realistic goal for a college student. The work load is very large seeing as a lot of preparation for class must be done outside of the class room. Also, in order to have a balanced life and to not feel overwhelmed and lonely by the fact that homework is the only thing you spend your time doing, I find it very important to engage in other activities on campus (such as sports, clubs, etc.) Maintaining this balance is difficult to do within a day. Because of the packed schedule that college students have, I feel that approximately 6-7 hours of sleep is a more realistic goal. While this definitely not the recommended amount, it is more than most college students typically get on average. I feel that I can personally improve my sleep habits by first improving my schedule of study. By planning ahead and being more efficient, I could avoid the extra late nights that occur just before an exam.

First Impression Post #6

For my first impression post this week, I chose Option 1 which was about synesthesia. This involved a TED talk given by Daniel Tammet who is a high functioning autistic savant. He talked about how, when he sees numbers, he also sees colors, sounds, and textures. He also mentioned how, when computing math problems in his head, he uses visual aids, such as grids, to help him complete the problem quickly and correctly without the help of a calculator or even paper. I found this incredibly interesting because synesthesia is something that I have heard of, but I know very little about. Hearing about how he associates numbers with abstract concepts was a way that I never though about synesthesia but the way that he explained is was easy to understand. I also liked how he started out the talk by telling about how, when most people meet him, they ask him to solve some math problem of tell them what day of the week they were born on based on their birthday. This gave the presentation a much more personal feel, as he proceeded to talk about the topic of synesthesia. I feel that this would greatly affect someone’s day to day life because they see things in ways that no one (or nearly no one) else does. Synesthesia seems like something that would enable someone to be far more creative. Seeing colors and textures when looking at numbers, for example, could open the door for much more creative ways to look at different things. Looking at things from all different angles is what, in my opinion, allows new ideas to form.  In day to day life, this would allow a person with synesthesia to bring new ideas to light.

First Impression Post #5 (Week 7)

For this week’s first impression post I chose to focus on Option 1. In my opinion, there is a massive difference between the use of marijuana for medicinal vs. recreational use. Medicinally, there are health benefits for using marijuana. They have been tested and proven to help certain ailments and doctors prescribe them to help their patients. While the recreational use of marijuana is desired, I do not believe that it does anything to benefit ones health. It can, in fact, be detrimental to one’s health by affecting the brain in different ways (one of which, I believe, is that it causes a loss of brain cells).

In terms of using marijuana for medicinal purposes, there are pros and cons. It can be very beneficial in terms of anxiety or stress (I believe). Doctors often prescribe this and there have been numerous studies and trials to ensure that it can be beneficial to ones health. However, there are some concerns that once it has been prescribed to you, and you begin to use it as directed, an addiction to the drug may form. While this is a concern, I personally believe that if prescribed and used correctly, the benefits outweigh the potential problems.

In terms of using marijuana for recreational purposes, there are also both pros and cons. On the pro’s side, it is a pleasurable experience for those who engage in it. Making it legal would make it easier for people who enjoy marijuana to use it. However, making it would legal would most likely increase the amount that it is used. There are numerous negative health effects that can arise from using marijuana, especially if done too frequently. Once used, even if someone just wants to ‘give it a try’ since its legal, an addiction can form that brings about health problems. In my opinion, the cons for legalizing marijuana greatly outweigh the pros.

Spotlight Blog Post #1

The extent to which a child is affected by divorce is a widely controversial topic. While no child goes through the divorce of their parents without experiencing any change at all, (for example, they would typically no longer be living with both of their parents anymore) the extent to which the child is affected is frequently debated. Psychologists have conducted extensive research in order to figure out whether divorce is typically detrimental to the state of the child, or if it really has no significant effect. One such experiment was conducted by the Clinical Psychology Laboratory at University of Chieti in 2015. Four hundred and seventy adults, who were products of a divorced household, were given anonymous surveys. These surveys measured the amount of feelings of alienation and issues with self esteem that surfaced later in life. They measured how many of the participants experienced neglect and other commonalities associated with divorced parents, a prevalent example being feeling as if one parent was trying to turn them against the other make the child choose a favorite. An association was found in self-esteem being positively correlated with parent care and negatively associated with overprotection. Meaning those that felt neglected developed feelings of low self esteem and those that felt crowded by the single, overprotective parent, also developed lower self-esteem. This study concluded that children who experience divorce, developed statistically significant levels of self esteem later in life.

Another study, also conducted in 2015, by psychologists Kathryn Lynn Modecki, Melissa Hagan, Irwin Sandler, and Sharlene Wolchik. This specifically looked into the effects that the absence of a father figure due to divorce has on the child. Statistically, in most cases, mothers are awarded custody over fathers. It was found that more mental health issues were reported by children that claimed to have little contact with their father. This was heightened in situations where the father was seen more often due to the increased amount of conflict that occurred between the parents. Those who are not exposed to their father as much following the divorce also had poorer psychosocial adjustment. These results supported the idea of a divided household being worse for the child.

Another study was conducted by Grant W. Mohi in 2015. This focused on offspring of divorced households and their success in romantic relationships later in life. Interviews found it to be statistically significant that the success of relationships did not correlate with divorce in early life. Despite conflict between their parents being reported, it was not found that this conflict was mirrored in the child’s adult life.

A personal account from sociologist Christine Carter also supported the idea of divorce. The overall message was that divorce was better for the children than remaining in a marriage that created a bad environment for the children. It was emphasized that the divorce had to be a ‘good’ divorce. Meaning, the parents remained in contact and conflict was avoided as much as possible. Healthy relationships were maintained between both parents and the child. It was supported that a more positive environment, whether divorced or not, is what’s best for the child.

In my opinion, divorce is ultimately bad for children. The evidence was overwhelming during my research. There were numerous articles and experiments conducted that supported there being significant negative effects on children that go through divorce. While a ‘good’ divorce was mentioned by a few sources, the chances of this happening are slim and it seems rare that it is achieved. I concluded each source above to be credible because they were scientific experiments that were reviewed and published. The last account was an example of primary research in how the experiment was conducted by the sociologist herself. It was supported by other cases that she researched. Overall, I find that there is a large amount of evidence supporting the theory that divorce causes negative effects on the children involved.

 

References

Verrocchio, M. C., Marchetti, D., & Fulcheri, M. (2015, November 03). Perceived Parental Functioning, Self-Esteem, and Psychological Distress in Adults Whose Parents are Separated/Divorced. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01760/full

Elam, K. K., Sandler, I., Wolchik, S., & Tein, J. (2016, March). Non-Residential Father-Child Involvement, Interparental Conflict and Mental Health of Children Following Divorce: A Person-Focused Approach. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4749464/  

Mohi, G. W. (2015, September 22). Positive Outcomes of Divorce: A Multi-Method Study on the Effects of Parental Divorce on Children. Retrieved February 20, 2018, from https://urj.ucf.edu/docs/mohi.pdf

Carter, C. (2012, March 19). The “Good” Divorce. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_good_divorce