Bonus Post: Johari Window

It wasn’t easy for me to pick 5-6 traits I thought strongly described me or applied to myself.  I confidently chose about 4 and the other two I saw myself as occasionally but not on a consistent basis.  There were so many traits to choose from that it felt a bit overwhelming, however I did manage to narrow it down to dependable, intelligent, kind, organized, trustworthy, and logical.  To my surprise many people viewed me the same way I viewed myself with the exception of being logical.  Apparently in the end I consisted of 25 of the traits according to my friends and my family. 60% of the 10 people pinned me as caring which I did not pick for myself, but it is very similar to kind which I chose. My next highest percentage was energetic, dependable, and mature at 40%.  I was surprised to see energetic on there and that so many people thought of me consisting of this trait.  Spontaneous is one some picked that I was shocked by, I don’t consider myself this at all. I am very stick by the book and follow the rules kind of girl,  but I guess to others I have a little wild and adventurous side too?

I think its great to see how others view me however the list had no negative traits like lazy, annoying, grumpy, etc.  Also the people picking your traits aren’t going to pick the bad because they know you are going to see it.  People may feel uncomfortable choosing what they actually think suits you because they fear you may not like the answer. The test may accurately access what your friend “want you” to think how they view you, but they may realistically view you quite differently. This test would have worked better if individuals go to type in 6 traits they thought of you instead of choosing from a list.

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

 


Spotlight 2

Doctor Erlanger Turner explores and provides tips in handling the stresses of parenting in his post on Psychology Today. His first advice for coping with the stresses of being a parent is to seek professional help from a psychologist. As we know counseling psychologists can help an individual cope with challenges and crises to improve their social and personal functioning. This tip proves to be a good one, as help may even point you towards ways to improve your child’s behavior and make the role of a parent a little easier. Another thing he suggests is spending more time together as a family. It is posed that quality time may strengthen the parent-child relationship. We know how important attachment is and for one to feel an emotional bond towards their caregiver. Many children seek comfort and soothing from a parental figure and making sure your child has secure attachment is important. Participating in a family game night or something your child enjoys may have them further associate you with joy. Time for yourself as Turner points out is also vital. Self-Indulgence as we learned is doing something pleasant to compensate for stress, but it has limited usefulness and can backfire. This type of emotion-focused coping only addresses the feelings resulting from the stressor and not the problem itself. However, it may prove to be helpful, but only for a little while as it is not a permanent solution. Lastly, he makes a point to mention that a parent should use their support systems, he is right to include this tip. Social support is an immense part of helping one cope. Support provides hope and resources for an individual to turn to. Giving someone the belief that there is a potential for something to change is very powerful.

Sam Malik looks in on ways students can manage their stresses. He mentions that managing time, academic life, and not procrastination can reduce school stresses. I agree with him that being on top of things largely create less panic. Writing down the things you need to complete for the week in advance and checking them off as you go along is very beneficial and helps you stay organized. You can look at all you have accomplished and all you still need to do so you don’t fall to far behind. Having a sense of control over our lives and what we are doing helps to reduce stress. He further clues in to exercise being a key tip. Exercise has proven to increase energy, calm anxiety, and boost mood. We also know that participating in exercise orders up the neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and the endorphins. Exercise therefore can help to relieve stresses and foster neurogenesis. His next suggestion is to stay positive and optimistic. As we learned of mindful based stress reduction it is important to stay in the moment. Not to remember the pains of the past or rehearse the pains of future but to be in the present. It is said our problems come from the way we observe life so if we look at life positively and with open minds good will come. This is what I believe Malik was trying to express when he wrote this tip. He also mentions spending time with friends to release stresses and to have someone to talk to. Self-disclose as we learned in class can work to a point depending on whom exactly we are talking to. Sometimes however, talking things out can help you or a friend find a solution to the problem and ease your stresses about it. It’s important to feel that you’re not alone when under immense loads of stress. Water therapy was another tip Malik threw out there that I have never heard of before. It involves treating yourself to lots of water or hot baths. I can however see how this can be effective. It reminds me of the technique of a stress shower in wish you imagine washing all your worries or stresses away. Lastly, he suggests doing something you love, again this only focuses on removing the emotions of the stressor and not the stressor itself, but it does help for a little bit of time. Self-indulgencing can distract you from the thing stressing you out but is only temporary you will have to face it eventually.

Christie Morton wrote an article for Live Strong on how athletes can cope with stresses. She suggests that athletes should meet with a clinical psychologist who can assess and treat the athletes undergoing stressful tasks. Her first tip is to have guided relaxation. To focus on relaxing muscles and diaphragmic breathing techniques Morton says will decrease stress. We know from our learnings that simple relaxation produces many results of biofeedback. Relaxing procedures are proven to alleviate headaches, hypertension, anxiety, and insomnia. Mindfulness meditation is another relaxing technique I believe athletes could benefit from where people attend to current experiences in a nonjudgmental and accepting manor. Visualization was another tip that she mentioned that I believe can do wonders. Seeing yourself accomplish something in your mind can build confidence in a person. Imagery can help you to go on a mental vacation and picture yourself in a place that you feel most calm. Putting yourself in a position imagining how it feels and cluing in to your senses is really relaxing. This however is emotion focused and only deals with the emotions of the stress and not what is causing the stressor. This safe space meditation can be very beneficial to athletes to help them stay calm and imagine how a race or situation will turn out positively. Cognitive restructuring was the last topic she mentioned in which you turn a negative into a balanced response and make plans for future improvement. It is important to evaluate and look at things you can do differently or better, as well as what you did good. Planning for the future and having control or input reduces stress as well as excepting you’re not perfect. This method helps to reduce the pain of the past and forget about it however the individual still is rehearsing the pain of the future and may have stresses about what hasn’t happened yet.

Links to websites:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-race-good-health/201306/4-tips-managing-parenting-stress
https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/02/03/stress-management-tips-for-students/
https://www.livestrong.com/article/371195-stress-management-techniques-for-sports/


Week 11- Personality tests

The four tests seemed to give me slightly different results about my personality. I believe some were accurate in representing how I perceive myself and my personality, however some characteristics were quite far fetched. The first test labeled me as ENTJ consisting of 34% extraverted, 12% intuitive, 19% thinking, and 38% judging. The description of this type of person described me pretty accurately.  It stated little encouragement was needed for this person to make a plan. That this individual was decisive, sees what needs to be done and makes it work, and actively applies material to the world.  Other attributes consisted of remaining stable through stress, mechanical memorization, organization skills, and having a large social circle. I believe these characteristics describe the type of person I am very well.  This test provided the most information out of the four even offering job options a person of this personality would do well at.  The next test placed me as an ESTJ personality type considered a “Administrator”.  It describes this type of person to be in touch with the external environment, loyal, and responsible.  This site didn’t go in to full details or more information but a simple brief summary. I could see myself as having these traits as well.

Test number 3 gave you the percentile you fell based on five markers after ranking a series of questions. I scored 96% extraverted, 52% emotionally stable, 76% agreeableness, 95% conscientiousness, and 28% intellect/ imaginative.  This means my determined personality was outgoing, not very stable, friendly, diligent, and traditional.  The higher you scored percent wise the more you exhibited a certain trait. The last test looked at color choices you were to choose dependent on mood, I found this one least accurate.  The color test then separated results into categories of existing situation, stress score, restrained, desired objective, and actual problem.  My results concluded that I need excitement and constant stimulus in my life.  I am said to have a thriving need for adventure and stress the importance of freedom and independence.  I am to be open and emotionally involved in a relationship but distant from those close to me. I’m bothered when my needs and desires aren’t understood and have a self centered attitude.  I supposedly desire to make a good impression and to be seen as unique.  I plan and scheme and I am greatly impacted by what others think of me.  My problem is having things stand in the way of freedom to make own decisions. I am said to work hard to build my position and status. I feel that the outcome or statement this source gave me could be applicable to all people or individuals and not necessarily just myself.

I don’t believe any of these sources provided a completely accurate representation of my personality type.  They are said to all be similar but provided quite different results. I however did find myself relating to some of the characteristics the descriptions had described.


Intelligence: Educators Influence

I don’t believe to constrict the definition of an educator to the sole responsibility of a school teacher.  I have had a wide range of educators throughout my life consisting of teachers, family, friends, and even strangers that I believe have had a huge influence in making the person I am today. Intelligence in my eyes is a matter of not only genetics but the impact that those around you have had in how you perceive and interpret the knowledge you are dealt with. We are constantly presented with new information each day in the classroom and outside of the classroom what we do with it determines our intelligence.

An educators expectations has strongly influenced how I have learned.  When my teachers in the past have wanted me to do well and succeed I tend to be smarter and learn more.  It is nice to know a educator is on your side and wants you to be your best.  An individuals positive encouragement and personal interactions can go a long way in helping me learn.  I have crossed teachers who have motivated and inspired me to be engaged with readings and lessons, these teachers have grew my intelligence. I have also experienced nasty and cruel teachers that have even said the words “I give up”. I had trouble in math in fourth grade and I can recall my teacher telling me that I wouldn’t pass that grade if I couldn’t multiply.  She had no encouragement to give me and she didn’t believe I could do it but my parents did.  My dad started working on me with math every day he didn’t give up he had faith I would succeed even if we had to start at the bottom.  I ended up completing that year with a good grade and even ended up being in the accelerated math class in middle school.  The best teachers are the ones that push you to do your best and don’t admit defeat when things seem impossible.

A teacher not bringing outside influences or belief into a classroom can be beneficial. An educator entering a situation with an open mind, not being judging, or having a preference to favor can be a positive in a classroom setting as well.  The ability of a teacher to recognizing different learning styles of students and where to direct there attention to can help a child improve learning. School systems should encourage teachers to put their best foot forward when teaching and have the attitude and mentality that every student should succeed.  Come in with the thought that “as an educator I will do whatever it takes to help them reach success and be their best”.

 


Week 10- Learning

Free will is the ability of one to act without restraint or freely. Having free will would mean we can choose our paths and have a sense of self control.  Believing that free will isn’t true conflicts with how we have molded society and our morals. Skinner’s view is that we believe in free will because we know about a certain behavior but not what causes it. He thinks environmental stimuli control our behaviors and that our behaviors are modified by either an award or punishment. Whatever stimuli present in this award/punishment system then controls how we behave. Free will is said to be an illusion that hides the real cause of human behavior : environmental circumstances and a previous history.

I believe in free will and that we aren’t fated for something particular. We have the ability to mold our lives and shape our futures knowingly and willingly. In fact our ability to act freely is what separates us from other species.  Other people can influence us and the environment can too, but we have the will to choose differently we are capable of changing a path we were heading down. Everyone is responsible for their own behavior not  believing in free will would suggest otherwise. Free will is not a mirage, we can actively respond to situations around us its not a passive process that happens automatically.


Week 9 Stress

When I get stressed from school work or I’m in a stressful situation I often take a deep breath and map out what I need to do.  The first thing I do in the beginning of the week is make a sticky note for each day and put on it the assignments or schoolwork I need to get done.  Spacing the work out I need to accomplish by the weekend helps me not to feel too overwhelmed all at once. When something gets done and I get to cross it off the list I feel huge relief off my shoulders. I like to stay very organized and on top of things not only with school work but other aspects of life too.  I hate when things happen unexpectedly or out of plan, like a pop quiz or an assignment a teacher throws in last minute.  These are the situations in which I get most stressed.  Exercise has always helps me to relieve an eventful of overwhelming day, a long run outside has always cured me. I try to schedule free time in my daily schedule as well to enjoy or do something I like, such as socializing with friends or watching a movie.  One thing I found I did quite frequently last year but not so much this is to color in a coloring book. Listening to music and a nice cup of green tea help to calm me down as well.  In the future, I would like to be able to cope better with the unexpected or the curve balls life throws at me.  Meditation is something I have always considered and wonder how well it works.  Learning different breathing strategies I think would also benefit me in a stressful situation.  I am interested to know others ways of stress relieving activities or management skills that I can incorporate into my life.


Week 8- Emotional States

Its very hard for me to read emotional expressions.  I can never tell when something is bothering someone or how they feel in a certain situation.  It is easier for me to identify emotions of close friends and family, but for strangers I have no clue how. I did the emotions test for this assignment and surprisingly got a 13/20.  I know that isn’t very high, but it was way better than I thought I would get. The test was given in the Greater Good Magazine, which usually magazines aren’t the most credible sources.  The test was however said to be based off of the pioneering research of psychologists Paul Ekman and Dacher Kelther.  These psychologists seem credible but not so much the source on where their results were tested.  University of Berkley is a very well known and credible school who established this magazine to connect the bridge between the research community and the general public.  The quiz therefore seems to be controversial as to whether it was 100% accurate but it did supply scientific explanations behind each picture of emotions.

I found that identifying when someone was happy, angry, sad, scared, or surprised was the easiest.  Happiness tended to have the corners of the mouth turning upward.  Anger showed a tensed face and surprised had an open jaw.  Disgust and flirtatiousness were also relatively easy for me to identify.  The more confusing facial expressions came with interest, compassion, pain, and contempt.  I think contempt was the hardest one for me because it looked more confused than contempt in my eyes. Interest was also a very difficult one. Being able to identify emotions in facial expressions is a very good thing to pick up on.  It can help you decide who needs a compliment or helping hand when down.  It also can facilitate how you speak or talk with certain individuals not to offset their mood.  Recognizing how an individual is feeling can help you relate to their situation better and put yourself in their shoes. Emotions help express actions of a person too. For example, knowing when my dad is angry and when he is happy will help determine what time I ask him for money.

 


Week 7- Sleep

Many college students often feel overwhelmed with work and have trouble with time managing.  I frequently found myself my first year of college spending late nights doing school work or studying for exams.  It was difficult for me to get to bed at a good time or to get what I viewed as enough sleep.  I believe the average amount of sleep a human should get is 8 hours, but an individual may need a little more or less.  I have gotten better recently with managing my school work so that I have been sleeping roughly 6-7 hours a night which I think is a pretty decent amount of sleep.  I also tend to be on my phone before I fall asleep which probably isn’t good for my sleeping schedule and should be a habit that I change.

I think around 6 hours of sleep or more is a reasonable number for college students who are swamped with school work and social lives.  It’s hard to balance it all and get accurate sleep but I do see the importance of sleep and believe steps should be taken to strive toward the ideal goal of the average 8 hours.  The brain restores and builds on what we learn during the day so sleeping can be just as important as studying for a class.  If you don’t get good sleep everything you have learned won’t be retained.  Neural connections of important things strengthen when we are asleep that being sleep deprived won’t allow.  I believe winding down would help benefit me to fall asleep instead of just jumping from doing school work right into bed.  I also have a bad habit of needing to sleep with some kind of light (I think its due to my fear of the dark) that probably isn’t aiding the sleeping process much.  Keeping an organized list and planning out homework, school events, sports, and sleep can also help me to recieve all the benefits from a good nights sleep.


Spotlight Post 1- Children of Divorce

As divorce has significantly increased over the past years, the issue of child development has become a concern. With an average of only 40% of two parent families in the United States it’s safe to say divorce is an issue prevalent to almost everyone. You may not be immediately affected by the separation of parents but you most likely have a friend or loved one who has. It’s debated whether a child can come through divorce without any significant or serious consequence, some believe this is strictly impossible.
Looking at a recent study, I acquired from a journal article in the New York Times, 131 children from 60 families of divorce were studied over a course of 10-15 years. The author of the article Judith Wallerstine is a credible psychologist and author of the book, ”Second Chances: Men, Women & Children a Decade After Divorce”. The article the news produced was an adaptation from her book. The researches of this study thought that after a year or two, individuals would get their lives back on track and children would, “get on with new routines, new friends and new schools, taking full opportunity of the second chances that divorce brings in its wake”. However, the findings were quite different. Checking in on children about a year after a divorce they found them on a downward spiral and most were worse than they were immediately after the divorce. Looking in after 5 years they found, “only 34 percent of the children were clearly doing well”. Depression, a hard time concentrating in school, trouble making friends, and behavioral problems were reported or seen in many of these children. After the course of 10 years, almost half were still doing poorly as they entered adulthood some were angry, worried, under achieved, and self-critical. The study also indicated parents often in a divorce put substantial amounts of pressure on children to grow up fast and even sometimes participate in role reversal. The article states, “they are not simple role reversals, as some have claimed, because the child’s role becomes one of holding the parent together psychologically”. There can be emotional and physical hardships for a child trying to make whole what is left of a family in pieces (Wallerstine 1989).
Charles Bryner agrees with Judith’s stated research, in that children are in fact strongly impacted negatively by divorce. Bryner is a doctor of medicine who posted his findings in an article on Clinical Review. He states a child at an early age is dependent on both parents for support and if a parent isn’t initiating in one’s life, they tend to feel a sense of abandonment. When a parent leaves, a child may then feel rejected. Bryner describes that the loss a child feels during divorce can be compared to the same loss someone feels during death except, “divorce might actually be harder on children because it lacks the concrete cause and finality of death”. He describes stages of a child going through a parent’s divorce. One who doesn’t get adequate support can be stuck in denial. The child could be confused in this stage if a parent moves on because they don’t see the divorce with finality. He goes on to explain the negative impacts that poor father-daughter relationships can have. Resulting that many girls have poor social adjustments and during adolescence, exhibit precocious sexual activity and promiscuity. He does however throw in his writing the significance of getting help to reduce social and behavioral problems from such a traumatic event (Bryner 200).
It is believed by some that not all marital partings end harmfully. Research has said to constantly show families doing better than they are stereotyped after divorce. The more recent studies have shown less of a gap in academic achievement, self-concept, adjustment, and social competence as stated by Paul Amato author of the article “The Consequences of Divorce for Adults and Children”. This article was credibly published by the National Council of Family Relationships. The article actually keys in on positive aspects of divorce on children. Some studies have shown children doing better as daughters gain closer relationship with custodial mother and high-conflict marriage divorces results in a better outcome for the child. Divorce is an escape from a crazy or unhealthy home environment and a chance to develop relationships with parents without a constant having to choose sides or getting caught in between a world wind of craziness (Amato 200). As the years have changed divorced families have become more common and are less stigmatized. They over time have generated a greater support system. Although children of divorce are at high risk for adjustment problems, developmental difficulty can be reduced significantly if there are effective parenting practices and adults avoid hostile exchange in a child’s presence (Simons 1999).
My view towards the effects of divorce on children is very biased as my father and one of my best friends went through some rough parental divorce. Seen from the many studies and results in journals and articles it seems most children of a divorce as well have some difficulty adjusting after. I think it’s very rare for a child to not have any negative consequences when their parent’s split apart. However, I can recall some friends that say divorce made their parents a lot happier and because of them no longer fighting they were happier too. I believe most cases that turn out positive after divorce are contributed to parents that work together to make sure their children aren’t affected by their drama or situation. Assuring a child both parents still love them very much and setting a schedule were the child sees both parents I believe sets up for minimal negative consequences. Not all people are the same so it’s hard to say all individuals will have a negative outcome but from the reports I read and person insight, most do.

Refrences:
Amato, P.R. (2000). The Consequences of Divorce for Adults and Children. Journal of Marriage and Family 62(4), 1269-1287. Retrieved from:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1566735.pdfrefreqid=excelsior%3A4610afb5cf7c5ec5e22a97e212ea26b0

Bryner, C. L. (2000). Children of Divorce. Clinical Review 14(3), 202-210. Retrieved from:
http://www.jabfm.org/content/14/3/201.full.pdf

Simons, R.L., Lin, K., Gordon, L.C., Conger, R.D., & Lorenz, F.O. (1999). Explaining the Higher Incidence of Adjustment Problems Among Children of Divorce Compared with Those in Two-Parent Families. Journal of Marriage and Family 61(4), 1020-1033. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/354021.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A6e4db98a9bd7b2fa094cfdbcdb838914

Wallerstine, J.S. (1989). Children After Divorce. New York Times. Retrieved from:
http://www.weightiermatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/children-after-divorce-new-york-times.pd


Week 6-Psychoactive Drugs

Addiction affects many homes and families as well as the individual involved in the problem. It is hard to decide what is best for a love one and there well being, but all anyone can want is for them to get better. The two methods treating addiction are very different. Abstinence cuts off all ties from the substance, it is a very hard road to take and one that requires immense support.  The harm reduction process may be an easier adjustment for someone then just going cold turkey, as it rules out the negative effects.

I believe it strongly depends on the individual as to which method will work best or be most effective.  I have some stubborn loved ones that I know no convincing would keep them from doing what they wanted.  If alcohol or substance abuse was a problem for them then the harm reduction program would be the best route.  Making sure to rule out the negatives when using drugs would ensure they were safer.  For example having a designated driver, providing clean needles, drug replacement therapy, and so on. However, this method does seem to bring some problems.  The family may still be affected by the individual who for say, when he drinks abuses his wife and children.  In this case an abstinence method would be best.  The addiction to the drug on this method still doesn’t change one may even begin to crave it more, the negative effects are just reduced.

Abstinence seems like for most cases, but not all, the better way to head down.  It completely cuts off the user from the drug and with support of AA meetings and family can be possible. The long term affect of drugs on the brain and the body is very detrimental and unlike the harm reduce program this one will rid an individual of the substance.  It will help ones body and mind recover although one might experience withdraw willpower can help them push forward.  One who has an addiction may have no control over the drug instead it has control over them.  Abstinence may be a way to hold on and grasp ones life again.