Spotlight Blog 3

Peer pressure is something that children, teens, and adults deal with in various settings. Many people are often told to resist peer pressure and to stand up for themselves, but more often then not people fall into the pressure. Teens especially face peer pressure in their daily lives, so it is important they know the options they have to resist it. People can  conform to the peer pressure by adjusting their behavior or thinking to conclude with the group standard. They also can be influenced resulting from their desires to be approved or avoid disapproval from others (normative social influence). Another form of peer pressure is informational social influence where the influence results from one’s willingness to accept others opinions about reality. People seek acceptance from others and peer pressure is an easy way to please others so they accept you as their friend or into their group. All of these following articles either follow the influences or conformity stated above, just in different type of settings.

The first article I found was directed towards parents and how they can help their children resist peer pressure. Some points made were to not have the parents overreact, getting to know their child’s friends, and to model saying “no”. I think that these strategies would be successful. I think that kids, teenagers especially, are going to not want to bring things up to their parents if they overreact. Both a child and parent want to be able to have a conversation with each other without getting worked up or blaming anyone. Also having parents know who their child’s friends are what type of crowd they run in helps build a trusting relationship. Helping your child understand good and bad qualities of friends will open their eyes to true friendship. If a child has a friend who is pressuring them to do something dangerous, they should try to distance themselves so they do not get involved in anything hurtful or even illegal. Modeling saying “no” is probably the most important. By giving tips and advice to your child/teenager, they will remember what to say in certain situations and how to avoid conflict. You are giving your child the right ways to say no to avoid doing something they know will have bad consequences.

The next article was focused towards the child/teen themselves. This article gives more of the responsibility and independence to the child instead of the parents. It gives 20 ways to avoid peer pressure. It gives the classic tip of saying no, but it also gives ways to stand up for yourself, ways to leave the scene, or ways to avoid the situation in general. It gave the tip of asking “101 questions” and gave the example of if someone asks you to smoke, ask them why they smoke, how long they have smoked, etc. I think that this is an interesting approach and have never thought of it before but I think that this strategy would work. When people ask you tons and tons of questions right after each other, people tend to get annoyed easily and forget why they asked the person in the first place. I think that this is a smart avoidance method and not many people think of it. Another tip this article gives is to use the buddy system. By having a friend who shares the same values, you both can back each other up. Also if one is tempted by peer pressure, the other friend can help them realize they shouldn’t do it. Friends that care for you and do not pressure you to do things you are comfortable with are the ones that you should surround yourself with so you are less tempted by peer pressure.

The last article was directed towards athletes and the negative peer pressure that they face. Athletes have many people that interact with them on and off the field, like their teammates, coaches, parents, and the other teams they face. Being an athlete can have many demands that come with it. They are expected to not only perform on the field with practices and games, but also in their classroom settings getting good grades and GPA’s. Also, especially in college, being an athlete means you are more known on the campus and tend to have a more significant social life, being pressured with drugs and alcohol. Teammates especially can have tendencies to peer pressure others, a typical example of this is hazing freshmen to do things for the team because they think they have no other options when in reality they have a choice to say no. Athletes also have many decisions and choices to make, like studying, going to work out or run, getting an extra practice in, or going to hang out with the team, all of which that can easily be influenced negatively because of peer pressure of the team or coaches. Coaches have a powerful and influential role in the lives of athletes, but if the coach abuses their position, then that is where negative peer pressure can fall upon the athlete.

 

Articles:

Parents: https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/6-tips-resisting-peer-pressure/

Children/Teens: http://www.yourlifecounts.org/blog/20-ways-avoid-peer-pressure

Athletes: http://www.livingfithealthyandhappy.com/2010/03/negative-peer-pressure-among-teen-athletes.html

Media Production Project

Media Production Project: Curcumin Improves Mood and Memory

Summary:

Researchers studied a very hot topic in mental health today: is there a way to improve memory and mood? Researchers at UCLA explored this question by conducting a research experiment that answers this question by using doses of curcumin to improve memory and mood in adults. Curcumin is found in turmeric and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The researchers hypothesized that having a daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin, memory and mood will be improved in people with mild, age-related memory loss.

The research performed was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study which included 40 adult volunteers between the ages of 50 and 90 years old. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either the placebo or the dosage of 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily for an 18-month trial. All 40 participants received a standardized cognitive assessment at the beginning of the study and at 6-month intervals after that. The participants curcumin levels in their blood were also monitored at the start of the study and after the 18-month trial. Thirty of the forty volunteers underwent positron emission tomography, or PET scans, to determine the levels of amyloid and tau in their brains at the beginning of the study and after 18 months.

The participants who took the curcumin doses experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention, while the participants with the placebo did not. The people taking the curcumin improved in memory tests by 28 percent over the 18 months. Those with the curcumin intake also showed mild mood improvements. The PET scans also showed significantly less amyloid and tau signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus in those with the curcumin doses. These results can suggest that taking a safe form of curcumin could provide meaningful cognitive benefits over the years, however more research needs to be conducted in order to generalize these claims to the population. In regard to the results of this experiment, they can be concluded to the targeted population of 50 to 90-year old with mild, age related memory loss.

Original article: 513 words

My summary: 337 words

 

 

Reflection:

I found it easy to summarize my news article due to it already being pretty short, I could easily see what the important information was and how to translate that into my own news article. When I wrote my summary, I connected my article back to the 5 critical questions and checked off if I answered the question or not. Being in the journalists shoes I found to be more difficult, cutting out less important information to fit the word limit. I also found it to be more difficult after I went down the questions, because I then had to add information to the summary in order to answer all 5 of the critical questions. However, in the pop culture article, not all 5 critical questions were answered, so in my summary I included more information that went along with the questions while the news article did not. Both my summary and the news article included the main ideas though, for example how the study was conducted, the variables, and the results. I wanted my readers to be able to grasp the main ideas of the research, understanding the study with common terms and details. I also had to sacrifice some information to not go over the word limit. For example, I chose to leave out that four people had mild side effects of nausea because it did not seem like a pivoting point made in the research study, it was just thrown in at the news article at the end and was very random. My perspective of journalists has evolved positively over this series of projects. I gained insight on how journalists write and the steps they take to follow the 5 critical questions, the differences between scholarly and pop culture articles, and the reliability of different sources.

 

Citations:

Small, Gary W., et al. “Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month             Trial.” The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 26, no. 3, 13 Oct. 2017, pp. 266–277., doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2017.10.010.

University of California – Los Angeles. “Curcumin improves memory and mood: Twice-daily supplements boosted cognitive power over 18 months.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180123101908.htm>.

Spotlight Blog 2

The article, “7 Best Study Tips for College Students” gives good strategies and tips on how to help students studying habits to help them get the best grade they can. Most of the studying tips in this article aimed towards college students lined up with what I know about how memory works from our class textbook. In the article, it says to stay organized, don’t cram, find your zone, and that good notes make good grades. The article mentions that good studying habits are essential to be successful in college and I think that most of the tips given in this article are trustworthy and they lined up with how memory works in the brain, especially encoding memories.

The best methods for encoding are: organization, distributed space, meaning, and elaboration (Myers and Dewall, 287-290). This article points out two of the four methods. It says to stay organized with your notes, your academic commitments, your extracurricular activities, blocking out times to study, and your basic class materials. The article also says to not cram because the brain cannot sort the material correctly if you cram. Instead, you should study a little it over a long period of time, it is better for your memory (Myers and Dewall, 289). The article also hints at context effects and retrieval cues which helps your memory retrieval. the point “find your zone” in the article correlates to context effects and retrieval cues. Retrieval cues are words, sites, or other stimuli that trigger a memory while context effects is the strategy that you can remember things better where you first learned them (Myers and Dewall, 297-298). Overall, I thought this site gave good advice for college students to help with the basics of studying and to help the student be organized to not be stressed and develop healthy study habits.

The high school studying tips were more basic and aimed at getting the fundamentals down to good study habits. One point made in the article was to track more than homework in your school planner, like putting down meetings, sports games, and events in your calendar. This lines up with the study tip of being organized, but this article focuses more on stay organized with your overall life not just with studying. However, getting the essentials down to being generally organized can then translate into having organized notes for class and organization when you are studying. The article also had three points made that line up with distributed space and interleaving content. It said to start small, look over your notes each night, and study a little every day. As discussed above, distributed space is studying a little bit over a long period of time. Interleaving content is when you take all the material, whether that be for one class or all your classes and mixing it all up and then studying (Myers and Dewall, 295). Another point that this article made that translates back to what we learned in class was to make a friend in every class. Starting this skill in high school, even earlier, can help you for the rest of your life, especially in college. Making friends in every class are very helpful to keep each other accountable for assignments and studying. Being able to ask your classmates questions when studying or completing homework is very helpful. Also, when it comes close to exam time, studying in groups are beneficial to students. Making practice tests and exchanging are very helpful for getting a variety of questions and topics to prepare for the test.

Even though both of these articles were pretty thorough with the basics of studying habits, one thing they could have improved on was giving advice on how to put meaning behind your notes you write and study. Meaning, being one of the methods of encoding, is a very crucial tip for how human memory works. We remember better when we can understand what we memorize. The strongest type of encoding is semantic, which is based on the meaning of information (Myers and Dewall, 285). To be successful at encoding memories, you should follow all four methods, especially meaning because it is the basics of how our memory works.

Parenting also plays a role in how the child grows up with either successful or detrimental study habits. One tip given to parents was to designate areas for homework and studying in the house. This tip also correlates to context effects which I discussed above. Doing your homework and studying in the same spot of your house, whether that be at the kitchen table, a desk in your room, or in the study den of your house, all are beneficial to studying. For me personally, growing up in middle and high school, my mom designated the dining room table as the place to do our homework and studying to both my brothers and me. Another tip given was to have a family schedule/ regularity in the household. Staying organized as a family is very beneficial to the child growing up and it teaches them time management and organization. In my personal experience, my family would have dinner every night together at the same time, 6 o’clock. As I started getting older, I was able to start managing my time and set deadlines for myself saying “I want to get this homework done by dinner time or I want to have these many paragraphs of my essay done by dinner time.” It would keep me organized and on track while doing homework and studying without distractions, because as you grow up, your homework load gets bigger and bigger and the time you stay up doing homework gets longer and longer.

Overall, I think that parents (and even teachers) should help their child with their studying tips and given them pointers on how to be a successful student. It then becomes the students responsibility to execute those study tips to be the best student they could possibly be.

 

Sources:

College Students Studying Tips: https://www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/2DF9E34D/7-Best-Study-Tips-for-College-Students/

High School Studying Tips: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/back-to-school-study-tips

Article targeted for parents: https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/tips-for-helping-kids-and-teens-with-homework-and-study-habits/#.WtQQd2bMyqQ

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

First Impression Week 10

For this week’s first impression post, I took several personality tests to see if they accurately describe my perception of my personality and if they are credible.
1. Humanmetrics Typology Test:
For this test I was given the type ESFJ: Extravert (53%), Sensing (22%), Feeling (53%), Judging (9%). I think this accurately portrays my personality. I tend to be more extraverted with others and prefer to be hanging around people rather than being by myself. I usually prefer sensing over intuition and definitely prefer feeling over thinking. I also tend to have a low attitude of judging over perceiving others at first. I think that this test is pretty credible because I took another test (Myers Briggs Test) that had very similar questions, some the same, and I received the same type and very similar percentages. Some were a couple percentages different but the overall theme and type was the same. There were also many different options to pick from on the range from yes to no.
2. Personality Test:
For this test also I received the type ESFJ. Therefore I also think that this test accurately describes my perception of my personality. I liked how both this test and the humanmetrics test gave a description of what an ESFJ likes and dislikes and careers that would fit them. Both gave careers that are similar to occupational therapy which is my major here at Elizabethtown. I think that this personality test is also pretty credible and people can use this to get an overall general idea of their likes and dislikes and what suites them according to their personality. I think that the first test is more credible, but this is still pretty accurate.
3. Big 5 Personality Test:
For this test I received the following scores for the 5 major factors that make up a persons personality: Extroversion (78), Emotional stability (78), Agreeableness (95), Conscientiousness (67), Intellect/Imagination (83). I found these to be in agreement to my perception of my personality: being more extroverted, friendly and optimistic, careful and organized, and open to new experiences. I found this test to be pretty credible also. It gave examples to each factor and descriptions to what each factor means.
4. Color Quiz:
I thought this quiz did not make any sense and was not relevant to showing a persons true personality. I did not see the correlation between picking colors and having them choose your personality type. I did not think this was credible and did not accurate portray my personality.

 

 

First Impression Week 9 #2

Option 2:

A large portion of communication is non-verbal, including a lot of clues about people’s emotional states. Effective communication involves being able to read others’ emotions and take them into consideration. People express a lot of emotions through their faces. How well do are you able to read these emotional expressions? Take this test to find out.  Discuss whether or not your score reflects how well you thought you would do, how credible you find the test, which emotions were the easiest and hardest to tell apart, and how you could use this information in your daily life.

For this first impression post, I chose option 2 where you take a test to see how well you can read another persons emotional expressions. On the test, I scored a 16/20. The results said I was “naturally well-attuned to others’ emotions”. Before taking the test, I thought I would score pretty well, around a 15/20 because most of the time I can tell when many of my friends are in distress vs when they are happy based on their facial expressions and body language. I find the test to be pretty credible, because it shows pictures mostly the same people and gives reasons to why they are making the face they are making based on muscles, position of their head, shape of their eyes, and shape of their lips. The emotions that I found the easiest were: anger, disgust, surprise, happiness, and flirtatiousness. The harder emotions for me were: embarrassment, contempt, love, and compassion. I could use this information in my daily life to see when someone is in need based on if they have facial emotions of pain, anger, or sadness. That way, you can try to help them and talk to them to see what is going on. It also helps to notice facial emotions and expressions to see if you hurt someones feelings based on if their reaction is embarrassment, sadness, or anger. You also know when to joke around with someone because they are in a happy mood and laughing and smiling with you. Knowing peoples facial emotions will help you in your daily life with your personal interactions with others.

First Impression Week 9

College students lifestyles varies differently from people younger and older than them. They have to balance a heavy academic load, social life, work, studying, and even athletics for some. Most students stay up late studying and become stressed easily from a lack of sleep and an overwhelming schedule. I think a realistic goal for amount of sleep per night a college student should get is around 7 hours. Also, at least once a semester there is always a night where students stay up studying or writing an essay and they get 3 or 4 hours of sleep and they are drained for the rest of the week.

This semester, my current sleep habits changed due to having academics plus athletics. Last semester without having lacrosse everyday, I had more time during the day to complete my homework so I could watch a tv show at night and go to bed around 11 or 12 at the latest. However, this semester I have less time during the day to get done my homework so I have to do it later at night after practice. This pushes back the time I go to bed to around 12:30-1:00am. I wake up tired in the morning, even though this semester I have later classes and not 8:00am’s everyday. Overall, I think I get a decent amount of hours to sleep per night, around 7 or 8 hours. I also tend to take naps during the week, some days I take only 30 minute naps while other days I take an hour or longer naps. I can improve my sleeping habits by getting more assignments done on the weekends so that I can go to bed earlier on the weekdays. I should start doing assignments that are not only due earlier in the week but also later in the week so that I am less overwhelmed during the week and can get to bed at an earlier time.

 

First Impression Week 7

For this weeks first impression post, I am choosing option 2 which examines the two models to treat addiction. All across the globe, people battle addictions to drugs and alcohol. There are two prominent approaches to treat addiction, the abstinence model and the harm reduction model. The abstinence model is when the person totally refrains from the addictive behavior. A common abstinence model example that many people use are AA meetings and programs. On the other hand, the harm reduction model does not focus on whether the individual partakes in the addictive activity, but rather wants to reduce the potential negative problems that are associated with it. Common examples of the harm reduction model are drug replacement therapy, needle exchange programs, and substitutions for “less harmful drugs”.

The abstinence model seems like the better approach to me. If someone was battling addiction and wanted to treat it, they should want to take the approach that keeps them clean completely, not just clean from the negative problems that could happen to them. The abstinence model focuses on the persons road to being completely sober or clean and I feel like if you want to treat addiction, the only way to do that is to completely cut it out of your life. If you still are using the drugs or drinking excessively, then your road to treat your addiction is not going to be fixed. If a loved one needed help with an addition, I would recommend following the abstinence model and try AA programs and meetings. They have a role in my family that they fill, and their addiction would not just be affecting them, but affecting all their loved ones around them. If they wanted to be an active member of the family and have connections with the rest of the family, they would have to cut out their addiction completely to be a better mom, dad, sister, or brother.

Spotlight Blog 1

 

Children across the globe grow up in very different households based on parenting styles, household incomes, and geographical locations. Divorce has become more common, which as a result causes children to either live with one parent or flip back and forth between the two. There are many controversies revolving around how divorce affects children, saying that it is harmful for them or there are no serious effects.

The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health created a journal of children’s reactions to parental separation and divorce. The journal discusses how children face parental separation, anxiety, depression, and deal with custody arrangements due to shared parenting. The first argument made was that children, of all ages, deal with negative effects and have different reactions due to parental separation. Following a parents separation, children may regress and show signs of irritability, anxiety, and distress. In these cases, the child may blame themselves for the separation of their parents, so it is the parents job to reassure it is not the child’s fault and they are loved by both parents. The article highlights many negative effects that a divorce has on a child mentally and physically. Overall, I think that the source is credible because it is a national library of medicine and health and uses resources from studies and other scholarly research.

The Feldstein Family Law Group also has an article regarding the negative impacts of getting a divorce. This article breaks down the short-term and long-term effects it may leave on the child. Like the other article, it discusses that the child may think that it is their fault and feel guilty or responsible for the divorce. This article also states that along with guilt, the child may become increasingly violent or aggressive, lashing out at the parents, family members, teachers, or even friends. They also discuss that the child may create social and cognitive problems along with emotional problems. They may close themselves in and feel depressed or abandoned. They could also have difficulty focusing in school and after school activities that could negatively affect their academic performance. All of these are short-term effects on children, and most effects are short term until the child adjusts to their new life style and it becomes part of who they are. However, there can be long-term effects of getting a divorce. As the child grows up, they may experience behavioral problems, experience separation, suffer from drug or alcohol addictions, and even experience a socio-economic disadvantage from living in a household that only runs on one income. All of these problems are not true for every child and some children may have more extreme effects than others, but overall there are many negative consequences for getting a divorce. This source is credible because it is a known law group that focuses on family law problems. Their facts are reliable and are aimed to help families overcome their difficulties.

On the other hand, there are many researchers that argue that divorce does not have create any serious consequences for the child. Psychology Today has an article  stating that divorce doesn’t harm children, it is the parents fighting that does the damage on the child. They state that regardless of whether the parents are together or not, if they are fighting, the children will suffer. The article states that getting a divorce has no impact on the child, the truth behind what causes negative impacts on the child is if the parents argue often and the child experiences great tension while growing up. In some cases, divorce can actually be a relief to the child because that tension is finally broken. There are many factors that cause tension in households: socio-economic status, cultures, ages of the children, and many more. The child may feel more angry or sad when their parents are fighting all the time, so a divorce would actually be a positive impact on the child. This is a credible source because they have many references and citations to books and research regarding the effects of divorce and have references to doctors research on divorce and how it impacts the child’s health and stability.

 

The Washington Post also has an article stating that divorce does not always harm the child. They examined three themes that were common in households that dealt with divorce. The first theme was that some children are raised in troubled families that would have caused them greater problems if their parents stayed together. A common mistake that many people have is that they think that all the problems come after the divorce, when in reality the problems were because of the disorganized family unit from before the divorce.  The second theme was that all children are different, even within the same family, in temperament and relations to other family members. Children across the globe deal with stress, anger, and sadness differently and how they let it affect them. Some children find a positive thing, like sports or art, or a person that they cling to in order to insulate them from their trauma of their parents divorce. Finally, the third theme was that the breakup unfolds very differently from family to family. Divorce is a long process that continues for years afterward. How the process is played out, whether that be negatively or positively, will gear how the child is affected in the long run. This post was a credible source because it states statistics from other research and looked at studies to find three common themes that were in most divorce cases.

I think that divorce is different for every family that goes through it. Overall however, I think that parents getting a divorce does not create serious consequences for the child. From personal experience with some of my friends that have gone through divorces, their home life became more positive afterwards. Having their parents fight all the time created a negative energy and they would not want to go home. I think that divorce can help some family situations and as long as the child is brought up correctly with no guilt or blame put on them, there wont be any major negative consequences on them.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2817796/
  2. http://www.separation.ca/divorce/effects-on-children
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemplating-divorce/200911/divorce-doesnt-harm-children-parents-fighting-harms-child
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1989/03/19/divorce-doesnt-always-hurt-the-kids/6432e596-b8d3-45f1-a3f7-0a1029a59240/?utm_term=.131cc19a0b5c

First Impression Week 6

While studying, I set apart time to study throughout the day. I take breaks and come back to the material so that retain it better and can see what I know and what I still have to look at. I also make flashcards a lot which helps me to study easier and more efficient. It is also helpful that I have all of my notes together and organized so it is easy to find what I am looking for if I need to refer back to my notes from class or my notes from readings.

I need to improve on starting to studying sooner. For the first exam, I did not start studying until the weekend before (exam was on Monday and I started studying on Saturday) and I got stressed out because I felt like I did not know a lot of the material and felt like I did not have enough time to study everything that we had to know. At the end of my studying, I also started just going through the flash cards and doing the motions and not fully retaining the information.

For the first exam, I read each chapter and made flash cards from the bold words in the text. I then re-read my notes from class, highlighting key information and also made more flashcards from my notes. I then made a “cheat sheet” with all of the psychologists names and what they are known for. I then expanded that cheat sheet to all the types of psychology based on who founded them and put down the key information about each type. For the next exam, I am going to continue to make flash cards and diagrams/ cheat sheets to connect the dots on the material. I am also going to start studying sooner so I do not get stressed over how much time I have left to study.

 

 

First Impression Week 5

For this weeks first impression post, I chose option 2 about violence in media and video games. Many children grow up playing video games and over the past years there has been an abundance of growth and expansion in the technology behind video games. New systems are created with new games that have higher graphic details. For me personally, growing up with 2 older brothers, they would always want the newest x-box with the newest games. So some of the games they would play would have violence in them. However, they were also attracted to games that were not violent and revolved around sports like football and basketball.

I do not believe that violent video games are the caused source of children becoming more violent. I think that there are many factors that contribute to children being violent. There can be external factors like their environment and the way they grow up that influence them to have more violent behavior. There can also be internal factors such as biological or cognitive elements that can also influence the child. However, with the advances in technology and the graphic content, I do not think that young children should be growing up playing violent video games until they understand that video games are not reality and there are actual serious consequences to harming or killing another person or multiple people.

I think that calls to have violent video games permanently banned would not be beneficial. Gun violence and the use of guns are a reality and hot topic in our world today. Video games are played world wide and even though many teenagers play violent video games, there are also games that revolve around sports, which is another hot topic wherever you are in the world. Video games connect people world wide, so eliminating violent video games would just put a hole in the companies that produce those games and children would still play the violent video games that they already have. I also think that parents need to monitor the games their child is playing based on how old they are and the way they are acting as a result of playing.