Spotlight

Peer pressure is a common thing, even if most do not think so. As much as people would like to hope, it is not avoidable. In today’s world, there are many things which drive children, teens, and adults to do something which they are not comfortable. But what isn’t However, what is commonly overlooked is how to resist this inevitable thing which will at one point or another cross every teenager’s path.

When researching how to avoid peer pressure amongst children, kidshealth.org has several suggestions. They suggest the saying “no” approach, even when it isn’t the easiest thing to do. This website also suggests surrounding yourself with people who have similar views and morals as you so that you have someone to back you up in a time where it could be challenging to say “no”. Lastly, this website suggests that if kids are struggling with peer pressure, that they find someone that they can trust to talk to and discuss what is happening with. It is much easier to go through something when you’re not alone. Overall, I think that this website did a good job in suggesting ideas, however, I feel that these ideas are all much easier said than done and do not do a good job in illustrating how young kids can stay away from peer pressure.

NIDA for teens gives, in my opinion, an excellent approach to avoiding peer pressure. It first suggests offering to be the designated driver for your friends. Personally, I feel that this is an excellent option and “excuse” for your friends on why you are not participating in the activities with them. It is also suggested that you blame your “no” on an outside source. For instance, a sports team, your plans with your parents tomorrow, babysitting etc. Another tip which I think would be very helpful would be to carry a bottled drink with you to parties so that people are not as likely to offer you a drink. Finally, the website suggests “when all else fails, blame your parents”. My parents personally always suggested this to me and when the time, it worked very effectively. Overall, this website did an excellent job discussing suggestions for teens.

Like I previously mentioned, my parents had a role in helping me to avoid peer pressure.  New Beginnings gives several other ways which parents can help their children avoid peer pressure. First, they suggest for the parents to understand what is happening in the situation with the children. I personally think that this is essential when giving a good suggestion to your kids. They also suggest for the parents to do role-playing as they prepare their children for possibilities. Lastly, they give suggestions for parents to understand the different types of peer pressure; digital, verbal, written and physical. These suggestions I feel are all beneficial to kids.

Personally, I think that something that can help and is very important is to have a sense of yourself and an understanding of who you are. This relates back to psychology when it comes to moral decision making. How and why you do what you do is important when making decisions and this relates directly back to psych. Self-Efficacy is another way in which our class can relate to peer pressure. Having a belief in your own abilities can help you to believe that you will be able to resist the peer pressure and make your own decision.

All in all, peer pressure is a very prevalent thing for all ages…teens, children, and parents. There are many good ways in which someone can avoid peer pressure and make the right decision once some research is done and action is taken on the best ways.


Media Production Project

When the idea of how we treat and handle pain is discussed we often do not think it can be related to how we contribute emotions to photographs. We also do not expect that a fake treatment would make us feel better when we are exposed to the pain. In a recent study, The University of Luxembourg has conducted a study regarding the placebo effects and the role of cognitive reappraisal which is how well they can interpret negative emotions. The concept of how emotions can be tracked through fMRI scanning was also analyzed. Particularly, this was done to show that a person’s ability to reinterpret negative events and to control feelings influences how strongly a placebo will work to reduce pain. Dr. Marian van der Meulen has discovered that when looking at a person’s brain, specific spots of the brain which interprets pain are less active when the placebo is in place.
To begin, the participants were selected through an advertisement, 13 males and 17 females participated. From there, the experimental procedure took place where these participants had two sessions, one of which was in a lab and the other was a questionnaire on emotional regulation. For the lab testing, the volunteers were asked to look at photographs and their emotions were tracked. The second part of the procedure was the PA section. In this portion of the examination, a pain stimulus was added to the lower forearm of the patient and the “unpleasantness” which they felt was recorded. After the pain stimulus, the patients received a cream which they were informed would relieve pain. This is where the placebo comes into the picture; the cream which they were told relieved pain was actually just a simple moisturizer. The fMRI was used to track the brain activity throughout the experiments and different tests.
After the cream was given, every participant reported less pain on their arm. This meant to the researchers that the placebo effect worked on the study. There also was a correlation which was discovered, when comparing the two tests. The participants who could control their negative feelings when looking at the photographs had the highest reaction to the cream in the brain when looking at the fMRI. Meaning, that your emotional regulation affects how placebos will impact you. Overall it was discovered that the placebo can, in fact, reduce pain and play a role in our brains.

 

Reflection

When doing this project, deciding the information to include in my news article was very challenging for me. I had trouble deciding what information was important for the reader to know in order to understand the study to the full extent. I also felt as though I needed to say everything which was in the study but I could not do that because of length limitations. I decided not to include numbers specifically, but to actually describe the results. I also thought that it was important to have the participation selection included which the original article did not have.  I think that the participants pay an important role when determining if the study is reliable and is necessary for the reader to know.  Overall, my perspective of journalism has changed over the course of the semester in several ways. First, I did not realize that every journal has an in-depth case study behind it. I found this interesting because I always just assumed that it was the original journal and that was it, not that there were several pages behind it. I also did not realize just how challenging it was for a journalist to select what is important for the readers understanding. This can be so tricky and this really put it into perspective for hard it can be to decide. In the beginning of the semester I did not have as much of an appreciation for this field and now I definitely do. Overall this set of projects helped me to understand and have more of an appreciation for journalism and how it is when working with scientific articles.

University of Luxembourg. “Pain, emotions and the placebo effect.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170829131224.htm.


First Impression Week 14

This video was very interesting to me. I remember watching it before, but this time it hit me much harder. I did not realize how intense schizophrenia is and how much it impacts a person constantly. I have known several people who have committed suicide from schizophrenia and the whole idea of it never really made much sense to me. This video made things come full circle for why, and how it can impact someone’s life. It was shocking to me how intense it was and even the schizophrenic’s environment also seemed to change not just their thoughts. I really appreciated being able to see the persons daily life and how they go about doing things with this constant mental illness. This really puts into perspective how impactful it can be.

When considering how the media portrays schizophrenia I personally think that they do a poor job. I think whenever the topic is considered there is a sense of “crazy” that the person with the illness is considered. I do not think that the media portrays it as seriously as they should because this is serious and much scarier than people realize. I think that like a lot of things the media has glamorized schizophrenia and there is no understanding of how intense it can be. Overall I think that schizophrenia is a very serious illness and should be taken more seriously. This video really helped to open my eyes to the intensity of the illness and how scary it is.


Week 12 First Impression

Week 12 First Impression

Option 2-Cognitive Dissonance

Lynsey Wissler

A time in my life when I experienced a change in beliefs due to cognitive dissonance was in school. I did not necessarily change my entire belief system but I changed my behavior to suit the environment. I did this because of something that I temporarily believed to be true. In middle school and even some in high school, I knew what I believed. I had a strong sense of God in my family and was raised in a very Christian home. However, in the craziness of middle school and trying to fit in, having a strong faith was not always the most popular thing. I thought that people would not like me if they knew what I believed and if I did not act like everyone else. Although I did not change what I believed,  I definitely did not act as though I believed it and I certainly did not talk about it. I pretended faith was not a strong part of my life and changed my behavior to act like that was true. I believed that if no one knew my true beliefs I would have more friends. As I got older and realized that my faith was who I am I became more confident and decided that it did not matter. I also realized that the people I was with did not care about my religious beliefs and in fact liked me because of it. I did not experience a full change in beliefs but for a short period of time, I believed that having a strong faith was not okay and that you should hide it. That idea led to my behavior change. Now that I am older I realized that what you believe is who you are and I think that that also would be a change in my beliefs due to cognitive dissonance.

I think that not necessarily promoting cognitive dissonance but having the opportunity for it is a good idea. Allowing people to know that change is good and opinion change is also good is something that could really benefit us as a society. If people would open their minds to change there would be less hate and feuds in this world today. Avoiding cognitive dissonance I think would be like hiding something and burying it under the rug just because you already have an opinion on it. Exposing yourself to other situations and learning new things to change and “update” your opinions is how we grow and discover who we are.


Spotlight 2

There are lots of controversies when examining the educational system. Everyone has a different opinion on how to create the environment optimal learning environment for students. There are many common suggestions which could improve learning experiences and determine how well student perform. One aspect where people have strong opinions about is year-round education.

Year-round education would eliminate summer vacations and students K-12 would attend school all year rather than nine months of the year. However, they would still be attending the same number of school days. These days would just be spread throughout the entire year rather than just into the 9 months. According to the National Educational Association, the most common type of year-round schooling runs on a 45-15 schedule. Students attend school for 45 straight days and then have 15 days off.

When looking at the pros of year-round education, NEA states that often times “students tend to forget a lot during the summer break, so a shorter time away from school might increase retention rates.” It is also noted that remediation can occur when it is most needed- during the school year. This would lead to better grades and a more supportable learning environment for students. Along with this, ThoughtCo. states that “school buildings are often unused in the summer and are wasted resources.”

Contrary to these opinions, the Daily Journal makes the point that students are not able to have summer employment leading to college in the summer months. It is also stated that “While year-round schools are more economical overall, there are added expenses such as air conditioning for the summer months. The normal wear and tear on the facility require continual care. Imagine having 500 or more guests in your home on a daily basis! Many school systems do infrastructure repairs and maintenance during the summer to minimize disruption of instruction. At year-round schools, isn’t possible, so costly overtime and disrupted schooling may result.” Global Issues blog stated that having year-round schooling does not support or help students who have attention difficulty.

After examining the two sides of the argument regarding year-round school I have several thoughts. Initially, I was not sure which side that I agreed with. I felt that year-round schooling was a good idea in making the schooling go faster, however that is not the case. After researching I decided that I agree that not year-round schooling is not a good idea for students. As a student, I understand how important summer vacation is to reset and prepare for the next school year. I also understand that there would be added stress going all year round, not just to the students but the parents as well. Overall, I feel that despite the controversy towards the most suitable educational options for students, non-year-round education is the most beneficial system.

 

“Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education.” NEA, http://www.nea.org/tools/17057.htm.

“Pros, cons of year-Round school.” The Daily Journal, 14 Oct. 2013, http://www.daily-journal.com/life/pros-cons-of-year-round-school/article_e9b3f69d-aa53-5725-b2f9-a1705ca3a2eb.html.

Connectusfundadmin. “6 Predominant Advantages and Disadvantages of Year Round School.” ConnectUS, 19 Aug. 2015, connectusfund.org/6-predominant-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-year-round-school.

Kelly, Melissa. “Does Year-Round Education Make Sense?” ThoughtCo, http://www.thoughtco.com/year-round-education-6742.

 

 

 

 

 

 


First Impression Week 10

Lynsey Wissler

Video Games

Violence in the Media has been controversial for decades. The increasing attention to the video game violence in the last 20 years has definitely raised some eyebrows. I think that video games are definitely getting more violent but how much research backs up the claim that children are becoming more violent. When just looking at the surface it would make sense that this is a possibility but how accurate is this claim. I personally think that video games as they are becoming more violent should definitely be making it clear that they are violent. However, I do not think that it should be the video game companies being punished for making the games this way (by banning). I think that if people are concerned about their children becoming violent then they should be using their own discretion on how much their children are playing the games. The video game companies are trying to please the customer, they cannot decide who plays their games and how often they are played; that decision goes back to the consumer. I feel that permanently banning video games will not solve the problem at hand. Possibly a solution to this problem would be making it a clear rating on how violent the games are for the parents who are giving their children these games. Another solution could be regulating the game makers. Overall, I do agree that video games are becoming more violent, however, how this is impacting children seems unclear to me. I feel that regulating the sales and making of the video games will not solve the problem and it is more the parent’s responsibility to monitor what and how much of these games their children are playing.


First Impression Week 8

Lynsey Wissler

Emotion Test

When I took this test I did fairly well. I received a 19/20 when trying to examine the emotions just by their facial expressions. This has been a skill that I have had since I was younger. I am generally very good at being able to tell how people are feeling just from watching them.

There were two emotions that I felt were very hard to tell apart from this test. Embarrassment and Shame I think can be hard to tell the difference between, especially due to the fact that often times the two go hand in hand in a situation. because they are so similar the facial expressions that are associated with them can be similar. When considering emotions that were easy to tell apart I think positive vs. negative emotions were easily distinguishable. For example, when someone was smiling it was easy to tell that they were not angry. However, it was difficult to tell if they were smiling because of happiness or love.

I think that this test is somewhat credible. I think that the pictures definitely display the emotions that they are representing in the test, however, I think that they are over exaggerated which makes it easier to determine the emotion. This could potentially be a problem because often I think when people are experiencing one of the listed emotions they are not as obvious about it as this test makes it seem.

For me, I can use this information in my future very effectively. As an education major, much of my job is reading people and deciphering what is the best approach to help them learn the information in the best possible way. Being able to distinguish emotions can help my future as a teacher develope while learning how to work with children and their emotions. Overall, this test was very beneficial and interesting when deciphering emotions and how I myself can interpret them.


Spotlight Post 1

Lynsey Wissler

Spotlight post 1

Divorce and the Effects on Children

Children can come through a divorce

The idea that children can come through a divorce is stated by Scientific American very clearly. Although initially after the divorce there is stress, the children can “recover rapidly.” When studying families of divorced and not divorced parents they found “very small differences…between children of divorced parents and those from intact families, suggesting that the vast majority of children endure divorce well.” The researchers then go on to state that there is only a small portion of children who endure problems related to their parent’s divorce. This source is showing that there are very minimal problems with children after a divorce when compared to children whose parents are not separated. I feel as though this source is reliable when discussing its information for several reasons. It discusses the other points of view on the topic as well as that it is a reliable website and the authors are credible.

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

The idea that divorce has no detrimental impact on children and that children can come through a divorce is discussed in Psychology Today. When some people think that staying married will keep their children happy this article shows that there is more to the picture. It states that “about 80-percent of children of divorced adapt well and see no lasting negative effects on their grades, social adjustment, or mental health.” The author goes further to state that children just need support from both parents, and adequate resources from the parents not necessarily both parents under the same roof. The article does not shy away from saying that divorced parenting isn’t easy, however, it shows how it can be done and that divorce is just a factor of parenting and that the parents control the life they provide for their children. This article was credible because it stated both sides of the argument. The author also stated where she received her statistics and is a credible author who writes for the New York Times.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/splitopia/201503/yes-you-can-raise-happy-children-after-divorce

Divorce is inherently harmful to children

            The idea that divorced parents have a detrimental effect on the children is supported in many ways. Particularly in this article, it states that high divorce rates “negatively affects many children and adolescents.” This article shows how nurses can observe the children to see the first signs of symptoms from the traumatizing divorce. The symptoms include “night terrors, enuresis, depressive signs, and regression.” These symptoms are showing that divorce is not an “okay” thing for children to deal with and they cannot come through a divorce. The article goes on to state that there can be attachment issues because of the parents’ divorce.  Overall this article shows several ways how divorce can he inherently harmful to children. I chose this source to support this reasoning because it is an academic journal and off of a database, making it reliable information. The source also shows its sources and how it obtained the given information.

http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=6&sid=eba45c57-74b8-433a-9ac1-ec6d59518c1d%40sessionmgr4008

The concept that divorce is inherently harmful to children is supported in this article. It states, how students of divorced parents “grades suffer”, they “lose motivation”, and they form “anger, rebellion and apathy.” It also states how divorce doesn’t disappear and it can affect children for a long time. The article describes how “children of divorce, are more likely to divorce.” This can lead to trust issues leading into their own marriage. I chose this source from Psychology Today for several reasons. First, the author had personal experiences which she discussed in the article. Second, the author has a Ph.D. in psychology and is a licensed psychologist making her a credible, reliable source.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-teenage-mind/201110/divorce-hurts-children-even-grown-ones

 

Based on the readings I have decided that I Think the circumstances are up to the parents on which is better for the child. I feel that when a divorce happens, it is up to the parents’ to make it known to the child that they are supported and are cared for. The child should not feel torn between parents or in the middle of the disagreement. I do think that there are ways that children can come through a divorce when it is handled properly and my articles have shown that. This is not to say that divorce is not hard on children. However, it is stating that there are ways around divorce being so inertly harmful to children.


First Impression Week 7

Lynsey Wissler

Sleeping

When assessing my current sleep habits several things come to mind. I personally do not have a strict sleep routine. Some nights I go to bed before midnight, some after. In the morning, some days I wake up before 8 where sometimes I don’t get up until 10. This inconsistent sleep schedule is not good for my body. Research shows that our bodies need consistency, especially with sleep. Another sleep habit that I have is napping. I nap usually once a day anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours.  These habits could explain why I am so tired even when I think that I got a lot of sleep; my body could be catching up from the nights before where I had less sleep. I personally do not think that these habits are healthy. I feel as though they would be too irregular for my body to reset every day.

I think that a realistic goal for a college student to have is around 7 hours of sleep a night. Although, we most likely need more sleep than this I think that seven hours is a manageable number when social life, studying, sports and extracurricular activities are taken into account. This number would also depend on the class schedule and how vigorous the student’s college life is.

I feel that there are several ways to improve sleep habits for all students. First, I think that trying your hardest to be in bed around the same time a day can really help to keep you on a steady sleep cycle. By doing this your body can get in the habit of being asleep at a regular time and possible therefore fall asleep faster. Another suggestion for sleep habits would be to count how many hours of sleep you’re getting per night and try and get the same amount every night. With this suggestion, consistancy could help maintain achieve better sleeping habits. Overall, there are many sleeping habits that could help a college student who has developed sleeping habits that are not beneficial to them.


First Impression Post-Week​ 5

Study Habits

Lynsey Wissler

My current study habits are not ones that anyone taught me or that I learned from anyone else. My study habits are what I have developed over the years and have tried to make work for me the best as possible because I do not have any other option. How I studied for the first exam was by splitting the materials up by days. I evenly divided the study guide and assigned certain days to the information. After those days, the final day I did a group study session reviewing the information and watching youtube videos to help understand the concepts even more. The day of the exam I also spent time before class reviewing the concepts that I struggled with.

For the next exam, I plan to stick to my studying “schedule” more firmly. I also will begin seeking help from others before the night before and watch more youtube videos. The videos really helped the information stick in my mind because they gave me an alternative way to think about the concepts, making it easier to remember them.

Overall my strengths are being able to lay out all of the information and find different ways of remembering it. My main weakness is not getting distracted and having the ability to stay focused and get the studying done that needs to be done.