Media Production Post

Robert T. Muller Ph. D. has written a pop-culture article that provides information that pertains to stalkers. Muller defines stalking as repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. He shares that it has been reported that 2-13% of males have been victims of stalking, while 8-32% of women have been victimized, and that the majority of these victims have personally known their stalker. Some of the behaviors these stalkers exhibit minor, but in some cases the behaviors that stalkers have are frightening. Some of these behaviors include repetitive phone calls, sending letters and gifts, spying, and unexpected confrontations. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of known reasons as to why stalkers behave the way they do, so there is not much more that can be done to treat them aside from therapy. A common misconception is that stalkers suffer from delusions and hallucinations, but this is not accurate. They do however commonly struggle with other mental illnesses including depression, personality disorders.

Muller continues to describe some of the findings of an Australian stalking expert, Paul Mullen. Upon studying the behaviors of 145 convicted stalkers, he was able to make observations that lead to placing stalkers into five categories. These categories include rejected type, intimacy seeking, incompetent subtype, resentful type, and the predator.

The rejected stalking type is defined as a person who has experienced the unwanted end of a relationship with a romantic partner or any other relationship. The intimacy seeker was defined by Mullen as someone who identifies a random person as their true love and acts as if they are in a relationship with that stranger. The incompetent subtype is defined as someone who seeks intimacy and has hopes their stalking behaviors will lead to a relationship. However, they understand that their feelings are not being returned. The resentful stalker seeks to get revenge on their victim because they feel that an injustice had occurred. The predator stalker is one who has no desire to have a relationship with their victims, but they simply desire the feeling of having power and control over another person. Though this behavior may sound inexcusable to most, Mullen says that these stalkers should not be viewed as criminals, but as “vulnerable, distressed individuals whose behaviors reflect, at least in part, influence, of a serious underlying mental disorder.”

Reflection

As I was summarizing my pop-culture article, I fortunately did not face too many difficulties. My original article had a relatively large number of words, yet a lot of the things that the author discussed were of little importance in my opinion. Therefore, I had no trouble summarizing the important aspects of the article without going over the maximum word limitation. As I mentioned, there were a lot of things that I left out of the summary above, but it was not because of a word limitation. The author included a good bit of statistics and examples that are important, yet they are not important in the means of just simply summarizing the main points of the article. I also left of examples the author gave of some real life stalking situations. There were a few examples about celebrity stalking cases that served the purpose of entertaining the readers and trying to make connections to stalking instances that they may be familiar with, but again it was nothing important in this respect.

Before taking this course I always considered journalists to be people who just kind of shared their feelings. I know this shows my ignorance, but I will be honest when I say that I have never really paid too much attention to journalists / blogs or anything like them prior to this. Now I realize how educational and interesting journals can be.  I learned a lot by creating my own posts, as well as reading and responding to what my peers had to say about a topic we were discussing in class.

Pop-Culture Article

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/talking-about-trauma/201306/in-the-mind-stalker

Scholarly Article

file:///C:/Users/Kimberly/Downloads/For%20Kim%20S.pdf

Spotlight Post #3 – Overcoming Peer Pressure

Facing peer pressure is an inevitable thing that we all surely have some experience with. Although peer pressure can sometimes be a positive thing, more often than not it is negative. Considering the fact that the majority of the students in this class are underclassmen, peer pressure is probably more prevalent in our lives than it is in most other categories of people. The following link is to a website that offers suggestions as to how college students can avoid giving in to the peer pressures that they face.

https://www.mazzittiandsullivan.com/preparing-student-resist-peer-pressure-college/

As we all probably know, one of the most common pressures we face as college students is the temptation to drink alcohol. In a lot of college settings, drinking has become a norm even though it is illegal for a large percentage of the students who participate in it. According to the article above, there are several things a college student can do to help them resist engaging in these behaviors. One strategy is to become involved in as many activities as you can. These activities can include sports teams, clubs, and pretty much any other thing that takes time out of your day. When someone has less time, they are less likely to party because they just don’t have the time to. Being involved in clubs like this is also a great way to create relationships with people. A lot of times you will hear college students say one of the main reasons they attend parties is to be social and meet new people. If you already have established relationships, you will be less likely to succumb to peer pressures. Additionally, you will have more of a sense of belonging, causing you to feel more secure. Based upon what we have discussed in class, I feel as if this is a valid suggestion that could prove to be a successful strategy. At one point we learned that it is in human nature to want to be seen as “cool” or just to be liked in the eyes of others. This is exactly why people give into peer pressures so frequently. However, it is less likely if you already have a good group of people who you know are in your corner regardless of the choices you make.

While college students and young adults face a lot of peer pressure, there are many other groups of people that struggle with the same issues. Specifically, athletes. Athletes often have this reputation of being “cool” and “the life of the party”. The following article consists of strategies that are geared specifically towards what athletes can do to avoid peer pressure.

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

This article gave five tips as to what an athlete can do in peer pressure situations. One is to be aware of your feelings. As I have previously mentioned, we discussed in class that it is normal to want to be liked and you can be aware of the fact that you want to be liked. Being aware of this can remind you that sometimes the impulses that you’re facing are not things that you really want to do in the long run, even though it may seem like a good idea at the time. The second tip is to ask yourself questions such as “would I be proud of this in ten years?”. Next, gather a support system. Having people in your corner will remind you that you do not need to try to impress others in order to be liked. The next tip is to remind yourself of why you decided to not make a certain decision. Just because you overcame peer pressure once doesn’t mean that it will always be easy. Remind yourself why you are making the sacrifice that you are, and what your goal is. Finally, do something that will help you to build up your inner strength. Doing things like meditating, keeping a journal, and working on your self-talk will help you to become more secure in yourself. Similarly to the first article, I believe that the tips in this article could help someone to successfully avoid giving into peer pressure. Again, we discussed in class that it is on our human nature to want people to like us. If you were to follow these tips, it is likely that you will become more secure in yourself, decreasing the need for others approval. Therefore, peer pressure will be easier to overcome.

A third group of people that struggle with facing peer pressure are teens. Middle school and high school can be pretty rough for many kids. Fitting in is super important for most kids, and often times kids will do things that they don’t actually want to do in order to seem cool. This article is targeted specifically at what parents can do to help their children avoid peer pressure.

http://paofdurango.com/helping-kids-avoid-peer-pressure/

This article gives parents five suggestions of strategies they can use to help their children avoid peer pressure. The first suggestion is to teach their children how to say no to things like cigarettes, alcohol, etc. The second suggestion is talking to their children about how to avoid situations where they know rules will be broken. Next is to remind children that there is strength in numbers, and having support will make resisting peer pressure easier. It is also important to let teens know that it is okay to to seek the advice of adults. Finally, parents should do their best to raise their kids to have a high self-esteem. I believe all of these strategies are likely to successfully help teens avoid peer pressure for the same reasons as the previous two articles. Human beings want to be accepted, and we want to feel as if everyone likes us. However, when we are informed, secure, and strong-willed, the desire for others to determine our worth is lessened. Therefore, succumbing to peer pressure is less likely.  

Spotlight Post #2

Stress is an inevitable factor that plays a role in everyone’s life in some way or another. Although having some minimal amounts of stress is actually a healthy part of our lives, having too much stress can severely affect our overall physical and mental health in many negative ways. Often times when people live a busier lifestyle, they are more prone to struggle with high stress levels. This is simply because they have more people to deal with, more commitments, less time, etc. Three groups of people in particular that live extremely busy lives include college students, athletes, and parents. While there are many stress managing tactics that can be used to alleviate stress in general, no matter where it originates, more often than not it can greatly help to have stress relieving tactics that are directed specifically at your lifestyle. In order to identify and compare some of these tactics for college students, athletes, and parents, I found three different articles that are directed at these specific groups of people.

As we all know, being a college student is extremely stressful. The workload is seemingly never ending, most all of us are away from our families, we fall short on getting enough sleep, it seems like there is never enough time in the day, and the list goes on. I found an article from the University of Michigan that provided some tips that are specifically directed towards college students for managing their stress levels. These tips include having good time management skills, creating a goal-setting worksheet, avoiding procrastination, getting regular exercise, maintaining healthy sleeping habits, taking part in mindful meditation, limiting / eliminating the use of stimulants such as caffeine, pacing yourself by taking breaks, keeping a journal to jot down your feelings and emotions, holding realistic expectations for yourself, planning leisure activities to break up your schedule, recognizing your role in controlling your own thoughts (try to be positive and optimistic), attempt to find humor in things within your life, and try to set a specific goal for yourself (The University of Michigan, 2016). I believe that all of these are very helpful and effective tips. Not only have I found these to be true from my own personal experience, but also because most of these things align with exactly what our textbook says along with what we discussed in class. http://campusmindworks.org/students/self_care/managing_stress.asp

Athletes are another group of individuals that often have to face a lot of stress, as many of us can relate to. When you’re on an athletic team, your performance directly affects your team, therefore you are likely under a lot of pressure. I found an article that provides a few tips that can help athletes reduce their stress levels as much as possible. The first tip is to get an adequate amount of rest. This is especially important for athletes considering they expend more energy than people who do not participate in any organized sports or leisure physical activity. The next tip is to engage in activities that temporarily distract you from the pressures of your sport, followed by both managing your time and checking your attitude. The final tip that this article gives is to use the support systems that you have (Labs, Nova. 2017). These tips are all similar to, if not the same as the tips that were given in the first article. Therefore, I believe that they are all effective tips because they are the exact same stress relieving tactics that are mentioned in our book / what we have discussed in class. https://nova3labs.com/five-stress-management-tips-athletes/

While most of us, if not all of us, probably can’t directly relate to this during this time of our lives, I’m sure we can all imagine how stressful it is to be a parent. The third article I looked at provides tips for stress management that are directed towards parents. Being a parent means that you not only have to worry about your own life, but now someone else’s life is in your hands as well. The list of tips that were given in this article include simplifying your life as much as you possibly can (don’t sweat the small stuff), get enough sleep, don’t take things personally (sometimes kids say things they don’t really mean / understand), exercise, aim for imperfection, remember breathe in and breathe out (relax), get support (spouse, family, babysitter, etc.), leave time for things that you enjoy doing, and do one thing at a time (Stiffelman, Susan. 2012). Once again, the all of these tips are the same stress relieving tips that have been given to us by our book. Therefore, I know that they are accurate and reliable tips that can help with alleviating stress levels.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/nine-steps-to-stress-free-parenting_n_1403209.html

 

References

Labs, Nova. (2017). Five Stress Management Tips for Athletes. Retrieved from:

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

Myers, D. G., & DeWall, C. N. (2016). Exploring psychology (10th ed.). New York, US: Worth

Publishers.

Stiffelman, Susan. (2012). 9 Steps to Stress-Free Parenting. Retrieved from:   

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/nine-steps-to-stress-free-parenting_n_14032

09.html.

The University of Michigan. (2016). Managing Stress During College. Retrieved from:

http://campusmindworks.org/students/self_care/managing_stress.asp.

 

Johari Window Bonus Post

I really enjoyed using the Johari Window to assess they way I view myself in comparison to the way my close friends and family view me. I also appreciated how simple this process was. Though it was somewhat difficult for me to chose only 5-6 traits that I felt described me, it only took about five minutes complete. Also, the ten people I asked to respond were more than willing to participate, and they did so almost immediately.

As similarities go, many of my friends described me in the same way that I described myself. In my “known to self section”, accepting, friendly, independent, kind, and silly were all listed. Though none of these came as a surprise to me, it was still nice to see that my friends see these things in me. It was especially fulfilling to see that my friends see me as accepting, friendly, and kind because these are all traits that I know I have control over, and I take pride in the fact that I am, or at least I try to be, all of these things.

Overall, I do feel like this was a valid way to measure someone’s personality. However, there are some flaws. For example, I felt like way more than just six of the listed traits described me, and some of my friends told me the same thing. So, while the results are valid, they do not fully describe my personality, only the most prominent parts of it. Also, there are some things about myself that I keep from my close friends, therefore I did not select some traits that I know I have because I knew that my friends would be able to see them. Though I am generally an energetic, silly, and cheerful person, I am diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and this does sometimes inevitably affect my personality. While I am not ashamed of this and don’t mind sharing it on this blog, it is still something that I don’t generally discuss with my close friends because I do not want them to feel like they need to treat me differently. So, even though there are instances in the Johari Window where certain traits that people have may not be shared/selected, I still do believe the results are overall valid.

Upon reading the results of the Johari Window, I was able to determine, or at least I think, that I act differently here at school than I do at home. I came to this conclusion by noticing that my two best friends from home described me in a similar way (mature), while my two best friends from Etown described me in a similar way (spontaneous). I was slightly surprised by this, however it was neat to learn this about myself.

https://kevan.org/johari?view=kimstratton

First Impression Post – Week 11: Stress

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to discuss the first prompt. No matter how hard we try to avoid it, stress is an inevitable thing that will always find a way to creep into our lives more often than we would like it to, especially as college students. However, there are many things that can be done to help keep stress at a minimum level.

Overall, I personally feel like having good time management is the best way to manage stress. The better you are at managing time, the more time you have to relax and do things that you find enjoyable. I like to make sure that I am efficient and organized when getting homework done, and that I am not waiting until the last minute to complete it. I have found that if I get my work done and out of the way, I have more time to spend time with my friends, relax, eat meals at regular times, get exercise, and get regular sleep, which all majorly help improve my stress levels. Though I still feel very stressed out at times, as most people usually so, I have found that doing these things have effectively helped me to be successful in improving my overall levels of stress.

To be even more effective in managing my stress, I think it would be realistic to try to get ahead on some work. As of right now, my strategy is to do all of the work that I need to be done in the near future and then take a break. While I value those breaks and don’t really need to work ahead, it would more than likely reward me to pick one or two nights a week where I get some extra work done instead of watching Netflix.

Week 10 First Impression Prompt – Personality

For this week’s first impression prompt, I really enjoyed taking the four personality quizzes and comparing them to the way I view myself. However, I definitely felt that some aspects of these tests were more reliable and accurate than others.

For both the first and second tests that I took, I ended up with the results ESFJ, which stands for extrovert (E) over introvert, sensing (S) over intuition, feeling (F) over thinking, and judging (J) over perceiving. Based on the questions that the both of these surveys asked, I feel like these tests are mostly accurate and credible, as the questions asked were very specific. However, several of the questions that were asked were rather wordy and a little bit confusing, therefore I don’t believe that I answered them as accurately as I could have. I think that this is why the results I got are slightly different from how I think of myself. While I do agree with the ESF, I do not agree with the J. I would definitely say that I am far more perceiving than I am judging.

For the third test I took, I received results that I agree with. There were many questions that were all very precise, therefore I feel that this test was accurate. This test put me in the 74th percentile for extroversion, the 62nd percentile for emotional stability, the 80th percentile for agreeableness, the 52nd percentile for conscientiousness, and the 28th percentile for intellect/imagination. All of these are similar to the way I would rank myself as well.

For the fourth test, I found that the results accurately describe me, but I don’t understand how these results could be accurate from just simply selecting the colors that like. Even though the results were very specific and describe me very well, I think that the people who created this test may have just came up with a general answer that could fit many people and the way they feel.

Overall, I feel as if the third test was the most accurate and credible source for determining someone’s personality.

Week 9 First Impression Post

For this weeks first impression post, I chose to discuss the less than optimal sleeping habits that most of us college students possess. We are constantly juggling so many different things, that we are left with no choice rather than to stay up late doing work, just to wake up early to resume that work.

Personally, I feel that my sleeping habits could be worse, but they could also be better. While I do manage to get into bed at a reasonable time most nights, there are usually one or two nights a week that I find myself staying up much later than I should be, and I can certainly feel the consequences of doing so the next day. However, I overall feel that I have relatively healthy sleeping habits. My goal for each day is to be in bed by midnight, and to wake up around 8 am. Therefore, I usually get the recommended 8 hours of sleep during normal sleeping hours, and for that reason I believe that my sleeping habits are pretty healthy, especially for a college student. However, they are not perfect and there are many things that could be done to improve them.

Many college students may feel that getting 8 hours of sleep at night is not a reasonable goal. For some individuals who have taken on busier schedules, this may be true. However, there are still things that can be done to help college students get as much sleep as they possibly can. There are two particular things that  I have done in order to help me achieve my goal of getting 8 hours of sleep each night. A major thing to help with this is having organization. If you have a set schedule of everything you have to do for the day, you are less likely to waste time. This means that at night instead of worrying bout doing the work that you’ve put off all day, you can go to bed. Another thing that you can do is avoid distractions. This may mean avoiding them throughout the day when you’re trying to get your work done, or this may mean putting your phone away at night when you’re ready to go to bed. Doing these two things is a great start at improving sleeping patterns.

Spring Break 1st Impression Post (post #5)

For this weeks first impression post, I chose to watch the TED Talk that discussed synesthesia. When someone has Synesthesia, their perception of certain senses are linked to differing senses. For example, the man who spoke in the video shared his personal perception on the numbers one through twelve. With each number, he associates a different shape or symbol, and a color. He also shared some of his paintings that he associates with larger numbers and math problems.

When I was deciding which video to watch for this weeks post, I thought that this one would be the most interesting, and upon watching the video, I can say that my reaction to it was similar to what I had expected it to be. I was fascinated by what I was seeing and hearing. While I have heard of associating two differing senses with one another,  I did not know that someone could experience it to this extent.

As for how having the condition of synesthesia may affect someone’s day to day life, I cannot imagine. Though I obviously do not know what it is like to live with this condition, I would assume that it can be rather overwhelming at times. For example, in the video the man who lives with the condition used examples involving the elaborate images he has in his mind that he associates with larger math problems. Personally, I feel that I would be overwhelmed by all of the things I would have going through my head simultaneously, and I would likely just give up. I don’t think that I could concentrate on both the math problem, and the specific image all at once. The man in the video explained that this condition is very manageable when you are aware of it, but I believe that people who are unaware of their condition may struggle to complete tasks in their daily lives.

Spotlight Post #1

For the first spotlight post of the semester, I chose to look into the first option; the topic of divorce and the effects it does, or does not leave on children. Divorce is a very controversial subject in today’s society, especially with the divorce rate continually inclining. There are many different opinions as to how divorce can leave an effect children, and I have found four different articles that share some of these opinions.

The first article I found is titled The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents by Carl E. Pickhardt Ph.D. Pickhardt firmly believes that divorce does leave negative effects on children. Pickhardt claims that when parents get divorced, their child’s, or children’s, trust in dependency upon their parents is effected. This is because there will now always be one parent absent, and they will have to learn to live between two different environments. This creates unfamiliarity, instability, and insecurity for the children. Due to these drastic changes, the child is also left with a great amount of anxiety. Children are often left wondering what might happen next, who will take care of them, and if it is possible for their parents the lose love for them just like they did for each other. Not only does Pickhardt have a Ph.D., but he is also a practicing psychologist and author which is why I am confident that his findings are credible.

Similarly to Pickhardt, Jane Anderson, author of the article The Impact of Family Structure on the Health of Children: Effect of Divorce, feels that divorce does indeed leave negative effects on children. Anderson says that almost three decades of research has concluded that children who are living with both of their married, biological parents have better physical, emotional, and academic well-being compared to children who come from split families. In addition to this, a valid point that Anderson makes is that children may have to deal with a sense of economic insecurity after their parents divorce. Custodial parents on average lose anywhere from 25% to 50% of the pre-divorce income. This means that children have to cut back on many things without understanding why. All they are aware of is that they are no longer receiving as much as they used to which may cause anxiety for many young children. Jane Anderson is an author who is employed through the University of California. All of her information is properly cited, and she included research from a Harvard study. For these reasons I find her article to be trustworthy and credible.

While Pickhardt and Anderson do hold a strong case, there are still many who disagree that divorce leaves harmful effects on children. Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W. wrote an article to say that divorce does not harm children. In her article Divorce Doesn’t Harm Children – Parents Fighting Harms Children, Gadoua says that there is no real evidence that can support the opinion that divorce leave negative effects on children. This is because you cannot compare individual families who are getting divorced while they are also not getting divorced. You can however compare a family who is going through a divorce to a family who is not going through a divorce, but the results will essentially mean nothing because different people react to situations differently. She says that every family is unique, and there are many factors that need to be considered such as the timing of the divorce, the age of the children, the safety of everyone involved, and the financial status of the family. Susan Pease Gadoua is a licensed social worker, and she uses research from credible sources which is why I have found her research to be credible.

Similarly to Gadoua, Randy Dotinga, the author of Parents’ Fighting Has Long-Term Impact on Kids, feels that it is not the divorce itself that leaves negative effects on children, but the fighting that is often paired with a divorce does. Dotinga has collected research that states that children can sense when their parents are angry with one another, and it causes them to lose on average 30 minutes of sleep every night, which comes along with other effects such as irritability, behavioral problems, physical health issues, lower academic performance, and so on. Dotinga says that many parents do not divorce each other because they believe it is what is best for their children, despite the way they feel towards each other. He explains that this however may actually be worse for the children because they are now constantly living in an environment of hostility. Dotinga says that is often actually serves as a relief when their constantly bickering parents finally split. Dotinga collected much of his research from sources including the University of Notre Dame, Auburn University, the University of Rochester, and Brown University. For these reasons, I believe that his work is credible.

Based upon the information that I have gathered from reading these four articles, I personally believe that divorce does have negative effects on most children. Although both sides of the argument do make valid points, and it is true in some cases that a divorce may be better for a child, I believe that the uncertainty a child faces when their parents get divorced is very negatively impactful. This is especially true in the cases of younger children who cannot yet fully understand what is happening, why it is happening, and how to cope with the dramatic changes within their lives.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201112/the-impact-divorce-young-children-and-adolescents

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4240051/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemplating-divorce/200911/divorce-doesnt-harm-children-parents-fighting-harms-child

http://news.healingwell.com/index.php?p=news1&id=530961   

 

1st Impression Post – Week 6: Memory

For this weeks first impression post, I chose to write about why I believe that there are certain memories that remain in our minds clear as day, no matter how much time has passed. From my own personal experience, I have found that my memories are linked to my emotions. By this I mean that however strongly I was feeling a certain emotion at a given time correlates with how strong my memories of those times are.

The examples that were given in the prompt, the assassination of President Kennedy and the terror attacks on 9/11, are two very traumatic events where the citizens of our country were feeling all kinds very strong emotions. Obviously, and fortunately, events like these do not happen everyday.  Therefore people don’t feel these types of emotions so strongly everyday, which is why we do not remember every little event as clearly as we do events such as these ones. I would be willing to bet that if you asked a group of random people about their strongest, most vivid memories, they would mostly be memories of times where these people were feeling extremely sad, scared, happy, and so on. Sure, there are some people who have extraordinary memories and can often remember small, unimportant events, but most people don’t remember every detail about their weekly trip to the grocery store. They do however seem to remember just about every detail of their wedding, the death of a loved one, the birth of their child, and other events like so where their emotions were stronger than they ever have been before. Examples such as these ones are why I believe that our memories are linked with our emotions.

To test this theory, I would simply propose to conduct a survey where we asked people to share with us their most vivid memory, and then to connect them with the emotion level of that individual at that time. Obviously, it is unethical to inflict emotions of pure fear on people, nor can we really control someone’s happiness, let alone mimic the happiness they felt on the day their child was born. Therefore, I believe that taking a survey of people who have experienced events of great impact would be the best option.