Johari Window Bonus Prompt

This was a pretty interesting experience, I always enjoy seeing what people think about me. I guess I was a little surprised in how little I had similar responses with people, only one person ended up putting one of the same answers I selected, and it was one I figured a lot of my friends would put about me as a major part of my personality. I was definitely surprised with some of the answers people did give too, like organized and introverted, things that most people who know me would never say about me. I’m not sure if I would say this is a valid way to measure your personality though. It’s more of a better way to figure out how you come across to other people, as everyone can have different experiences with you which would lead them to putting different answers. Maybe to some people you’re quiet and others you’re loud, etc. One thing I suppose I kind of learned about myself was how I organize my desk. I guess I always knew it but I never consciously acknowledged it, but after asking a friend why they put organized when most people know I’m the opposite, she told me she had noticed that when I sit at a desk I have specific places I put things, which I thought was a kind of interesting observation. Other than that I didn’t have any big life changing answers that really made me look inward at myself.

 

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


First Impression Week 12 Prompt 2

If I am understanding exactly what cognitive dissonance is properly, I would have to say the most notable change that occurred in me was when I was twelve years old. At the time I was incredibly religious, my whole life revolved around my religion. At the same time however, I held a lot of socially left wing views (my support for legalizing gay marriage was the most important in this case). I had a few atheist friends at the time who would frequently talk to me about the topic of religion, and eventually one of them brought up the contradictions between my personal beliefs and what my religion would have me think. I had somehow never read the bible up to this point and was unaware of most of the specific things it said until I started debating with these new atheist friends. He showed me verses that went against everything I believed politically and I had to choose whether I would stick to my morals or my religion and I chose my morals.

I can easily say that changing your beliefs due to cognitive dissonance is a very good thing to do. It would be ridiculous to just cherry pick your beliefs and choose to ignore certain aspects of contradicting ideas so that you can live in your secure bubble. It’s important for your growth as a human to closely examine and scrutinize the things you believe and say, and make sure they match up properly, doing so might be uncomfortable at times and may force you to rethink the world but I believe that’s just an important part of life.


Spotlight 2: Drugs

I think it’s well established that D.A.R.E. has been an ineffective effort for a long time now.  Almost, if not all, evidence has shown that it either had no impact on drug use, or it caused children to be MORE inclined to abuse drugs. Several U.S. government officials have labelled the program as “ineffective” such as the U.S. surgeon general, the U.S. General Accounting Office, and even the U.S. Department of Education, which prohibits funding for D.A.R.E. in schools. There’s really not much to say beyond that. The fact is that, statistically, D.A.R.E. did nothing. In fact, like I said above, some studies have suggested it may have even caused people to use drugs. An older study on the topic from Indiana University found that people who were exposed to D.A.R.E. showed an increased risk of using hallucinogenic drugs. This was explained as students becoming curious about the very drugs police officers told them to avoid. According to some of the articles I found, leaders of the program used very suspect tactics to push their agenda, such as attempting to bribe academic journals not to publish their findings. People who advocate for the D.A.R.E. program are often being mislead by an emotional response to what they believe they are doing, or they are essentially acting as lobbyists pushing the government to continue the program for their own interests.

So if the abstinence pushing strategies of D.A.R.E. did not work for drugs, would similar strategies work for other issues? I think that question should be met with a strong “absolutely not”. One of the other most common “abstinence only” teaching examples would be on the topic of sex, and trying to use it with sex is probably even less effective. Unlike drug use, sex is a natural biological drive that is present in most people, trying to tell kids to “not have sex” just isn’t a good idea It’s (arguably) exactly what we’re made to do. Schools that employ the abstinence only teaching style often overshadow the idea of safe sex with no sex to begin with which does nothing but endanger the children they are supposedly trying to protect.  Moving away from specifically sexual abstinence, I don’t see how it could be a good method in any other situation. The premise seems to be based on the idea that if an adult tells a kid not to do something, they won’t, but that has never once been an effective technique to prevent behavior, if someone wants to do something they will. Instead we need to teach children the consequences of the actions you’re trying to prevent, and teach them the safest ways possible to go about those behaviors. The words of adults is rarely if ever an effective deterrent so instead of hoping we’ll just be obeyed unquestioningly, I say we arm kids with the knowledge to make good choices, and let them choose for themselves what they want to do with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Was D.A.R.E. Effective?

Natalie Wolchover – https://www.livescience.com/33795-effective.html

Alcohol Abuse Prevention

Ph.D. Hanson – http://www.alcoholfacts.org/DARE.html

The Truth about D.A.R.E.

Kanopiadmin – https://mises.org/library/truth-about-dare


First Impression Week 11

The tests all gave me results that seemed pretty accurate to myself, however they varied in credibility. They all told me I was an extrovert but each one had different overall results. One test told me I fell into the “ESFJ” category, another told me I was an “ENFP”. These two tests were both about the same length and asked similar questions but somehow gave two different results. I would explain this as me changing my my answers if I was unsure or maybe a little dishonest with myself, which is the most obvious issue with these tests. It’s very easy for someone to lie, not even necessarily on purpose, to get results that they WANT to get rather than what might actually be accurate. Another test, the color test, seemed like complete garbage. It basically amounted to picking colors in a certain order. It made me think of astrology and horoscopes, and the results were sometimes even written with improper grammar such as “He is being forced to be happiness and pleasure on hold for new due to his limiting circumstances.” The test didn’t even ask questions, I don’t see how you could learn anything about someone from having them choose colors. All in all, I think the first three tests seemed reliable (for something so bare-boned), they gave what I would call accurate results and it seemed like the results made sense based on the answers I gave, but it is of course limited by how honest someone is. The fourth test however was completely worthless.


First Impression Post Week 10 Prompt 2

The idea that violent video games and violence in the media causes children to become violent is ridiculous, I think. To begin with a bit of anecdotal evidence, I am someone who has played video games since I was five years old. Obviously as time went on and I got older I started moving into video games that featured a lot of violence and graphic images, but despite that, I have never been in or had the urge to be involved in any sort of violent actions against another person or animal. In fact I consider myself a huge advocate for pacifism and in fact I would almost say I’m radically opposed to anything that involves ending another life, as long as that life is real. Of course there are reasons outside of my personal experience. First of all, the violence people commit in games is often a stress reliever, it distracts people from their problems that might make them go out and hurt someone. It’s a similar concept to punching a pillow when your angry, it provides a healthy outlet for negative emotions. Second, to claim that people learn to use a gun from playing video games is completely false. A lot of anti-violent video game activists will claim that children are taught how to use weapons from the games they play, but many weapons take more in depth training than playing a game with a controller or keyboard and mouse to become proficient with. Many violent criminals are using weapons that are mostly intuitive like guns which really don’t take much work to figure out how to use. To claim they’re being taught by games is giving the games way too much credit than they really deserve. I think that overall, most violent criminals are people who are born with an inherent violent nature. They are people who already have the capacity to do harm and all it really takes is a motive, not an inspiration.


First Impression Week 9 Prompt 1

I have always been a pretty laid back person, I think. I’ve never really worried too much about anything, I tend to figure “Eh, I’ll get around to it” or “It’ll work itself out in the end”, and usually that has worked in the past. As such it has never been necessary for me to figure out proper ways to manage my stress. This year has really tested my resilience to stress. I took on a lot more responsibilities than I ever have before, my boss consistently schedules me more than I would really like, given the amount of work I have to do outside of my job that I can barely find time to do because of it. Taking on this class was a big jump for me, I’d never really challenged myself too much in school, preferring to play it safe with easy on level classes. So like I said until now I’ve never had a lot of stress but even when I have had to deal with it, I just didn’t let things bother me. This still seems like it works pretty well, when most people talk to me about all the assignments we have coming up, or when I talk to people about the upcoming exams, they always seem way more worried than I think I’m even capable of being. If it’s fair to consider this a stress management strategy, I’d say it works pretty well for me. When things do start to boil over, however, I tend to just get in my car, put on some chill music and drive for an hour or two to calm down. But I think I could take some steps to help out more. I’m very unorganized, and always have been, my teachers in elementary school used to joke about how my desk was like a black hole, where my papers would get lost and never be found again. The same issue continues to today and I think if I could just get myself more organized it would help me stay calm. The few times I have tried to organize myself I did feel a lot better while it lasted. The one issue I think a lot of people struggle with, to which I am no exception, is procrastination. I am sitting here writing this at 9 P.M. the night before it’s due (probably a lot sooner than some people) because I just didn’t feel like getting myself in the mindset to do it until now, and now I have to worry about making sure I do every single first impression post. If I hadn’t kept putting them off like I did I wouldn’t have to worry about this as much, so while I’m not sure if it’s realistic, making myself do my work at a more reasonable time is an obvious good step to managing my stress.


First Impression Week 8 Prompt 2

I scored a 13/20 on the emotional intelligence quiz. I don’t think this represents what I had expected to score, I definitely didn’t expect to miss as many as I did. I thought I would probably only miss one or two because, how hard can it be? It was fairly difficult at times, sometimes it had to do with the subtlety of the difference faces being made but other times it seemed like it had more to do with how overly exaggerated some of the expressions being made were. For example, their example of an angry face looked a lot like pain to me, with how the person bit down on their lips. It didn’t look like any angry person I have ever seen, it looked more like someone who just got hurt and was trying to hold in a scream. So as far as credibility in my scoring, I’m not sure I trust it entirely. If they had used faces of, perhaps, famous people from moments captured on T.V. as realistic examples I think it would have been more credible. The information given after answering did seem reasonable and useful. For me the easiest faces to read were the fear and happiness ones and the hardest was anger, as it seemed like a lot of other emotions create similar expressions. I think the applications of this knowledge in real life are pretty obvious, to use the information to try and see what people are really thinking. It would be useful to know how honest someone is being by using small facial cues.


Spotlight 1 Prompt 1

In recent history divorce has become less and less of a taboo in America and many places around the world. With that option being available to couples we have seen divorce rates steadily rise, for the most part, over the last few decades. With the growing popularity of divorce, it’s important to consider how it affects our children. Some people claim that it can have a lasting impact on someone for life, others say it can be overcome.

“Divorce Can Be Overcome” Articles:

Is Divorce Bad for Children?

This article claims that according to studies they found, divorce really has little impact on MOST children. Many grow up to be well adjusted and rarely suffer serious consequences early on in life. One study it looked at found that children may suffer from some side effects like anger, anxiety, and depression, but that they tend to go away within a two year time span. Another study suggested children who are exposed to conflict prior to the divorce often adjust even better when it happens as they are not as surprised, whereas a sudden divorce they couldn’t have seen coming may shock them, and some may even see the divorce as relief because of the conflict they saw. This article seemed trustworthy just because of how they sited studies as evidence for everything they said, every bit of it was backed up with evidence collected by other, probably more professional, researchers.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/

Divorce Not Always Bad for Kids

This article looked specifically at studies who found that children of a bad marriage often ended up better off if their parents got divorced. Over the course of about 20 years or so, parents, and children of the parents, were interviewed at different ages. Parents were initially asked questions that helped to understand how much conflict was happening in their marriage. A later surveyed asked those parents new questions and tried to figure out if a divorce had occurred. A few years later the children, who would now be adults, were again surveyed and asked about how their current relationships had been faring. The surveys found that children who grew up in high conflict households usually turned out better if their parents had opted to get a divorce. In contrast to this, a happy marriage didn’t seem to have any impact on whether or not the children had positive relationships themselves later in life.

https://www.livescience.com/6648-divorce-bad-kids.html

“Divorce Has A Lasting Impact” articles:

A divorce can never be good for children no matter how amicable it is, says study

This study examined how children are affected within 3 different types of divorce; a “healthy one” in which the parents still talked to each other and rarely fought, parents who still payed childcare but did not talk, and divorces where one parent was completely gone. Each group was interviewed as children and adults, and each one gave very similar answers, which the article claims “debunks” the idea that divorces can be good. According to the study, the children of a healthy divorce often had less behavioral issues, but still suffered academically, with self esteem, and with drugs and alcohol. In fact the article claims that their grades were even worse than children who were missing a parent. The article quotes professional opinions on divorce, and it sites a study done by professionals, these two things really lend to its credibility in my opinion.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2095181/A-divorce-good-children-matter-amicable-says-study.html

How Could Divorce Affect My Kids?

This is another article that claims children will experience several of the same issues as the above article. Academic failure, drugs and alcohol use, delinquency, etc., as well as psychological and emotional issues lasting later into life. One study, done by Judith Wallerstein, interviewed several children multiple times between the 1970’s and the 1990’s. She expected children to recover but instead her findings revealed that many of the participants suffered from problems as adults, especially when moving into romantic relationships. She says that anxiety causes people to make poor decisions, giving up when problems occur, or just avoiding relationships altogether. More problems can be brought on if and when one parent finds a new spouse, introducing step-family which can act as more competition for attention from the original parent and can sometimes even lead to further separation between the child and the parent.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/should-i-get-a-divorce/how-could-divorce-affect-my-kids#fn9

Conclusion

I have to take the side of the argument saying divorce is not a serious issue for children. It’s obvious that there is a risk for children to experience negative side effects to divorce, but several studies have found it to be fairly uncommon, and some studies even found divorce to be the better choice for your children’s sake, in the case of an unhealthy marriage. I think it’s really a very situational issue, some children may be hurt and some may recover, I think it goes beyond just the issue of divorce, and is likely impacted by the child’s own natural tendency toward the issues that are claimed to be caused by divorce. I know from personal experience that I turned out alright despite my parents divorce, but I also know people who had the opposite outcome. Like I said, it really depends on how prone the child naturally was to emotional scarring.


First Impression Week 6

Recreational legalization of marijuana has so many positives that I really struggle to think of cons. As for recreational legalization, it would help so many thing, such as giving less of a market to drug dealers and organized criminals. In doing that we would not only get rid of dangerous people but we would be taking the money they earn, and giving it to our government instead in the way of tax money. Tax money that can be used to fund schools, the construction of roads, strengthening our military, and a plethora of other useful things. Colorado alone made millions, if not over a billion dollars, in 2016 just off of taxing marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would even help our states save money that they would otherwise be putting into the prisons to help hold people convicted of drug related crimes. It also creates jobs, allowing an entire untapped market to be taken advantage of, and open new positions for people to work. Medically, marijuana is a big help in cancer treatment, helping to relieve some of the side effects from chemotherapy like nausea, and the form THC is given to people in those cases doesn’t even give the same high that you would get from smoking for fun. There really just isn’t a good reason to keep marijuana illegal that I can think of. The only arguments that I could even somewhat understand is how it would effect the same corporations who lobby against it, like private prisons. Any other arguments I’ve heard are often very flimsy, like “it’s dangerous” or “addictive”, both of which have been shown to be false time and time again. Alcohol and cigarettes are both far more dangerous and addictive than marijuana. I think that the idea that we still have this fairly harmless drug illegal in most of our states is ridiculous and completely unnecessary and it should, and likely will, be changed soon.


Week 3 First Impression (Prompt 1)

I think that parenting should be done from a distance. Not in such a way that you don’t develop a bond with your children, of course that’s important. You should be a loving caretaker. What I mean is that too often parents tend to be very controlling and strict. This is fine up to a certain age, in my opinion,  around 15 years old. Up to about that point it’s obviously important to keep a short leash on your children, you have to make sure they’re safe until they’re capable of being responsible for themselves. As soon as they hit that point, I would say it’s time to turn into more of a “guiding hand” for your children. I don’t see it as the responsibility of the parents to lord over their kids, they should be free to make their own good and bad decisions and learn from their experiences instead of being kept sheltered. I for one have had the luxury of not having very strict parents, they don’t mind me doing most things so long as I don’t get caught doing them. I believe that that’s about the perfect level of strictness, and I think I’ve turned out pretty decent so far. I see people who have incredibly strict parents who do not allow them any freedom and I see their childhoods being taken away from them, and I think that’s sick. Of course, if a kid is making a serious mistake that could lead to them ruining their lives, at that point it is the parents job to take a more direct role.

I also hate when I see parents who try to manipulate their children’s thoughts and ideas and force their own ideologies upon them, it serves to do nothing but create unthinking clones of previous generations and I don’t see how that can benefit society at all. New ideas need to be allowed to form and be spread for the world to improve and parents often try to feed their children the same mindset they have. Instead of doing that, I think we ought to take a similar approach to what I said above. If a child comes to you to talk about politics or religion, don’t shove your views down their throats. Have a discussion with them and challenge them, let them come to their own conclusions.

My point in all of this is that parenting should be about bringing up a unique individual with their own experiences and ideas that they can put to use in adult life. If you try to be overbearing then your child will struggle to be their own person and suffer as a result, be it economically or emotionally. Freedom is needed to thrive.