Chapter 13 First Impression Post

--Original published at Psychology 105

Each personality test gave me a slightly different result. I found the HumanMetrics Jung Typology Test to be the most accurate regarding how I perceive my own personality. This test assigned me the personality type INFJ, which stands for introvert, intuitive, feeling, and judging. I definitely consider myself an introvert and tend to go with my gut feelings when making decisions. The test from the Personality Test Center said my Jungian personality type was ISFJ, which is clearly very similar to my other results. I believe that I prefer intuition to sensing, which is why I found the first test to be more accurate for me. I think the results varied due to how the questions were worded which chose me to pick one answer over the other. I trust these the most because I did some research and found that this test type has been significantly validated. The ColorQuiz seemed to also be accurate; however, picking the colors seemed kind of random so I was surprised any of the results seemed to describe me. Lastly, the IPIP Big Five Test also found me to be more on the introverted side with high agreeableness, imagination, and conscientiousness. Overall, I think the results seemed consistent across each test, and each had accurate points that I perceive when evaluating my own personality. It was hard to find any huge points with which I disagreed with in any one quiz, which I think helps validate the results.

Spotlight Blog #2

--Original published at Psychology 105

There are many techniques people can use to cope with stress in their everyday lives. The Internet contains an abundance of tips and different coping mechanisms. In this post, I will be analyzing different stress management techniques for college students, parents, and athletes. A lot of the basic information found on each website for the different audiences is built on the same principles.

For college students, I found an article from www.everdayhealth.org. This source provided a lot of constructive strategies to deal with stress. It advised that students lead a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and sleep schedule, as well as regular exercise. These are helpful, but these tips are generally suggested to most people. On of the more helpful tips specifically for college students is to not overload their schedule. This is more of a problem-focused strategy, but I think it’s useful because it provides students a way to keep their stress levels lower in the first place, rather than struggling to cope later. It also tells students to avoid relaxing with drugs or alcohol which is a great tip. A lot of students may turn to substance use to avoid dealing with stress, and this can quickly become a larger problem rather than a solution.

The source I found for athletes came from www.nova3labs.com. I think this article was more geared toward providing emotion-focused coping strategies for athletes. Generally, I think athletes lead healthy lifestyles, so these tips were omitted. However, they made a good point about keeping a positive attitude. In class, we discussed Richard Lazarus’s levels of appraisal and how secondary appraisal is a significant factor in how individuals respond to stress. By keeping a positive attitude, I think individuals would feel that they have better abilities to deal with their stressors. The article also suggests that athletes build a strong support system, such as their peers, coaches, and trainers, who will encourage them and provide perspective and hope. It also suggests that athletes take time to do fun activities other than their sport, which I think is extremely important. Although self-indulgent techniques can be done to excess, I think they are necessary to include because it is important to keep a wide range of techniques at your disposal.

For parents, I found an article from www.parenting-ed.org. It included many of the tips that the articles discussed above provided. I was able, howeve to find tips that would be more helpful specifically for this audience. One of the these was that parents should take time to get organized. Parents have many different things to worry about, including work, children, and finances. The article suggested that parents plan ahead and avoid procrastination.  Another helpful tip was to develop a weekly or monthly budget. Money is a point of stress for a lot of parents, and I think a budget provides a direct way to cope with the problem instead of ignoring it.

Overall, each source seemed focused on providing more adaptive coping strategies rather than maladaptive strategies. As we discussed in class, these strategies are very individualized but can be used across many different situations which we saw in each article.

 

Sources

“Five Stress Management Tips For Athletes.” Nova 3 Labs, 8 Aug. 2018, nova3labs.com/five-stress-management-tips-athletes/.

Scott, Jennifer. “College Life: 10 Ways to Reduce Stress.” EverydayHealth.com, 17 Mar. 2010, http://www.everydayhealth.com/college-health/college-life-10-ways-to-reduce-stress.aspx.

Zolten, Kristen, and Nicholas Long. “Stress Management for Parents.” Parenting-Ed.org, Center for Effective Parenting, parenting-ed.org/wp-content/themes/parenting-ed/files/handouts/stress_management.pdf

Chapter 9 First Impression Post

--Original published at Psychology 105

I have been a fairly hardworking student throughout my entire time in school. I would say most of my interactions with teachers have been positive because of this. I don’t think most teachers care about grades as much as they care about seeing students put effort in to try to learn. However, I think that some teachers automatically equate poor grades with laziness and this seems to be an issue sometimes. I can recall times I studied for the same amount of time for an exam that both me and a friend had to take. Even if we put the same amount of effort in, if one of us got a poor grade the instructor seemed to assume that we didn’t even try. I believe in some cases it may be easier to assume students aren’t trying, rather than trying to evaluate any other factors that are contributing to their success or lack thereof. I think some teachers even go a bit further sometimes and stop encouraging students entirely if their performance isn’t that great overall. I think especially for children, this would be incredibly impactful. I think our school systems would benefit from focusing more on learning and less on the final grade. If we could find ways to make more children enjoy learning, I think this would play big role in helping them develop their intelligence. Although I realize the students themselves and even their parents play a role in their school careers, I do think teachers are the driving force in helping students realize their potential.

Chapter 10 First Impression Post

--Original published at Psychology 105

Based on the results of the Emotional Intelligence Quiz, I appear to be decent at reading other peoples’ emotions. I scored a 16 out of 20, so I still have some room to grow as well. In my opinion, this score seems about right. I think I am good at sensing how others are feeling, especially with my friends and family. I think I can also pick up on strangers’ emotions as well, but it is more difficult. The test would show a picture, and there would be four choices of emotions to pick from. It seemed fairly reliable because each facial expression had an explanation for how the facial muscles contort when somebody is experiencing it. I’m sure that there has been substantial research conducted to come to these conclusions. Some of the expressions were very difficult to distinguish from one another. For example, a lot of them showed a person smiling, including happiness, amusement, and love. So, you really have to pay attention to other aspects of the face such as how the head is positioned and what the person’s eyes are doing. Although I understand that in general peoples’ faces demonstrate a lot of their emotion, I think there are other nonverbal factors you could consider as well. Doing a similar test in person with the models would probably be different than doing it online. If there were not multiple-choice answers to pick from, I’m sure my score would’ve been lower since it’s easier to use process of elimination and narrow down the choices.

Chapter 11 First Impression Post

--Original published at Psychology 105

As a college student, I find that I have a lot of stress but there are certain things I can do to help with its effects on my life. The most significant sources of stress currently are school and work. To help with these, I try to plan out my weeks and work schedule so I can space out all my assignments. This helps to make fewer days where I have a huge list of things to do all at once. This is important because it keeps me from getting too overwhelmed at one time and helps me manage my time a lot more efficiently. A big problem I have is that I tend to take on many things at one time, and often say yes to other people even if I don’t really have time. I think if I cut out some things so that I could focus on only a few that are important than I would be a lot less stressed. When I do find that I’m stressed, I’ll usually go work out or talk to friends and family to help me deal with it. Sometimes I’ll do yoga to help me relax or just go for a walk and spend time outside. There are some things I could incorporate into my routine that would probably help even more. I think a big factor in my stress is how much sleep I get, so if I tried to get even a little more per night this would be beneficial. I do sometimes procrastinate as well and avoiding that would probably really help as well.

Chapter 3 First Impression Post – Sleep

--Original published at Psychology 105

Due to my schedule, my sleep habits tend to vary widely. On a typical day, I wake up around 7:00 for class. I usually don’t get back to my room until around 8:00 at night after going to class, work, and anything else I have planned for the day. Even when I get back, however, I still usually have hours of homework and studying that need to be done. On a given night, as I’m sure might be the case for many other college students, I get maybe 5 hours of sleep. I don’t think this is an adequate amount, especially because that’s how much I get daily. Another problem I have is that although I am very sleep deprived during the week, I tend to binge on sleep on the weekends. If I don’t have to go to work on a Saturday or Sunday, I’ll usually sleep for about 12 hours. I think that having such a varied schedule is probably what is harming my sleep cycles the most. It would be beneficial if I had a specific time I decided to go to bed and wake up every day and a realistic sleeping goal would probably be about 7 hours per night. I do think there are other things that I could do that would help improve my sleep habits too. Since it’s hard for me to get more sleep, it’s important that the sleep I get is very sound and uninterrupted. A lot of times I’ll do things like use my phone before bed, which is commonly advised against. I also tend to use the snooze button a lot in the mornings, and I think minimizing this may help me get out of bed a little easier and help me regulate my sleep better.

Chapter 3 (Drugs Section) First Impression Post

--Original published at Psychology 105

Although controversial, I believe the pros of legalizing marijuana both for medical and recreational purposes outweigh the cons. Currently, there are 23 states that have legalized marijuana for medical use, compared to only six states that have legalized the substance for recreational use. Research on the medical applications of marijuana is expansive, but there has been evidence concluding that it does help with appetite, nausea, chronic pain, inflammation, and muscle control issues. More clinical trials are being conducted to see the effects of marijuana on cancer, immune disorders, mental disorders and seizures. Some research has even concluded that it can slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells. One of the most significant issues faced in health care today is the opioid crisis, and a recent study found a link between medical marijuana legalization and lower rates of opioid use.

With recreational legalization would also come with significant improvement to how marijuana is regulated. Potentially, it could decrease gang activity and activity within the black market. A lot of law enforcement resources go towards dealing with nonviolent drug possession charges; if marijuana was legal, more attention could be paid to dealing with violent crimes. Another huge argument made by proponents of legalization is that there would be a large increase in tax revenue collected off marijuana sales. There would also be health and safety standards applied to the substance that do not currently exist.

Most of the cons of marijuana have to do with its potential effects on health. Some argue it’s a potentially addictive substance; however, two highly addictive substances (tobacco and alcohol) are completely legal for sale and recreational use. There are issues associated with respiratory health both for marijuana smokers and the people around them via second hand smoke. I would argue, however, that again the same argument could be applied to cigarettes, which are legal. Overall, I believe the same regulatory laws (ex. age of sale, driving laws, etc.) that are applied to these two legal substances could be applied to marijuana and they would be just as effective.

Sources

Angell, Tom. “Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid Prescriptions, Another Study Finds.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 11 July 2018, http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/07/11/medical-marijuana-reduces-opioid-prescriptions-another-study-finds/#7814b56e6b00.

Franciosi, Anthony. “12 Pros & Cons Of Marijuana Legalization.” Honest Marijuana, Honest Marijuana, 23 July 2018, honestmarijuana.com/legalization-of-cannabis-pros-and-cons/?age-verified=c94f718bc7.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Marijuana as Medicine.” NIDA, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine.

Spotlight Post #1

--Original published at Psychology 105

As rates of divorce have risen in the US, so has the amount of research on the effects of divorce on families and children. When it first became a hot issue in the 1970s, it seemed that the consensus was that it was detrimental for children to experience a divorce. Some more modern research echoes this conclusion. An article published on focusonthefamily.org claims that divorce inevitably causes children to suffer. It says that children who experience divorce have a greater risk of suffering financially and academically, as well as an increased risk of being incarcerated or engaging in alcohol or drug use. Additionally, the article states divorce causes psychological distress that can affect a child for decades after it occurs. Each of these claims is specifically cited by different studies and journals, which leads me to believe it is a credible article overall. Another article, published by Divorce Source, Inc., explicitly claims that divorce is a traumatizing experience for children. Unlike the first article, which seemed more concerned with overall risks associated with divorce, this source focuses more on explaining how divorce can disrupt order in a child’s life and cause them to question their own security and stability. It claims that there are certain “uncontrollable bad effects” that families experience such as financial instability and issues associated with relocating and adjusting to a new environment. It also details some potential difficulties like losing friends and family, difficulties with holidays and birthdays, and dealing with a new step-family.

Alternative research shows divorce often does have negative effects on children; however, these effects are often short term. An article on children-and-divorce.com states several negative outcomes of divorce that have been widely observed through research including sadness, anger, insecurity, and behavioral problems. It concludes, however, over time children learn to cope with the situation and overcome these effects as they mature. Overall, it says research shows that good parenting is more important than being raised in a traditional family structure. This source, as well as the second one that I included, are both websites that provide information to individuals who are considering or going through a divorce. I believe that they both seem relatively unbiased and they cite specific claims with other research or sources which is why I chose to include them as credible sources. The last article I will include also claims that over time children are able to adjust to divorce. The article, from scientificamerican.com says that only a small number of children experience issues after divorce and into adulthood. It cites a study that found the short-term effects of divorce, including anger, anxiety, and shock, diminish after only two years. It also references other research which concluded that most children who experience divorce become well-adjusted adults. The supporting research came from scholarly studies and the article itself was written by two professors of psychology, which is why I chose it as a credible source.

Overall, I personally believe that children can come out of a divorce without serious consequences. Divorce can lead to instability; however, I think after the initial shock children can learn to adjust to their new lives. My second source said, “the most important factor in a divorce is how a parent handles a divorce.” I think this is very important to consider, and why it is difficult to predict what the exact outcomes of a divorce on a child will be. My third source also mentioned an interesting point which was that there may be a causal relationship between how socially acceptable divorce is and how dramatic the outcomes of divorce are for children.  It seemed like in the 1970s, when divorce was nearly considered taboo, the outcomes of divorce were far more dramatic. Today, however, the outcomes seem much less negative, and this may be because divorce is viewed much less negatively overall.

 

Sources

Arkowitz, Hal. “Is Divorce Bad for Children?” Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2013, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/.

“How Could Divorce Affect My Kids?” Focus on the Family, 1 Jan. 2006, http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/should-i-get-a-divorce/how-could-divorce-affect-my-kids.

“Outcomes of Divorce on Children.” Children and Divorce: Information, Tips and Real Life Stories for Divorced Parents., http://www.children-and-divorce.com/outcomes-of-divorce-on-children.html.

 “The Effects of Divorce on Children – Divorce Source.” Divorcesource.com, http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/children/the-effects-of-divorce-on-children-239.shtml.

 

Chapter 8 First Impression Post

--Original published at Psychology 105

There are many different techniques people use to study. As a verbal learner, I tend to prefer using written and verbal resources to study for exams. Usually, this begins with how I organize the materials from lecture. For this class, I write the lecture notes in an outline format which help me generalize overall concepts and break them down into more specific facts. Before the exam, I retyped all the notes on the computer so that I could review all the information I had and see if anything was missing that was outlined in the study guide. For certain things, like definitions, I made note cards which is a quick and easy way to see if I’m able to recall information. I also did review problems to see what specific areas needed to be worked on prior to the exam. I think these are some of the more beneficial techniques I use to study. However, some of my methods are not super effective. We were told that a portion of the exam would just be material from the textbook, but the only thing I did to prepare that material was reading the text itself. This led to an overload of information that I didn’t really study in any other way, so it was hard to remember certain concepts. I also didn’t really space out my studying that much and motly crammed the couple days leading up to the exam. This is the number one thing I would change for the next upcoming exam. I’ve already starting taking from the book, which are in the same hierarchical format as my lecture notes, which hopefully helps me memorize that information better.

 

First Impression Post #1

--Original published at Psychology 105

I watched the Mythbusters episode ‘Dream Weaver’ which asked the question, “does weaving through traffic actually get you to your destination faster?” The myth explored during the episode was that by staying in one lane, you can actually make it through traffic faster than you would by constantly changing lanes. Since this was the myth in question, I would say this is the original hypothesis for the experiment. The independent variable was the method of driving used: whether the driver was weaving through traffic or staying in one lane. The dependent variable then was the amount it time it took to travel a certain distance. There were two subjects in the test, and they were driving on the same freeway during the same time of day. I thought it was good that the two subjects were driving under the same conditions during this test because traffic can vary greatly depending on several factors. Do people drive more frantically in the morning while they’re on their way to work? Do they drive more carefully when it’s raining? I think these factors would impact the results as well so it was good to keep these controlled to keep them from hindering the overall goal of the experiment, even if it would have been interesting to see their impact as well. Ultimately, they found that it was not quicker to weave through traffic than it was to stay in one consistent lane. However, I think a weakness of the experiment is that there was only one trial conducted, and it was conducted with such a small sample size. It’s hard to tell how accurate the results are when they only ran one test. Also, people can have different driving abilities which may impact the results as well and this would be a difficult variable to measure and control. Overall, I think the experimenters did a good job controlling what variables they could, but it’s hard to gauge whether this myth holds true in general or was just supported in this specific case.