Media Production Project

College students and high school students deal with stress all the time. Different students have different views of how to best cope with stress. David Yeager, a professor of psychology the University of Texas has an interesting view of how to cope with stress. He theorized that it is a specific way perceiving social challenges and failures that causes people to perceive stress a certain way. The most common way of thinking is called the entity theory. Students of this theory perceive social challenges and failures to be of lasting social reality. Another common way of perceiving social challenges and failures is known as the incremental theory. Students of this theory do not develop fixed trait attributions and are not as likely to perceive social challenges and failures to be of lasting social reality. David believes that high school students can deal with stress better if they are taught the incremental theory. He ran two studies to test this.

In his first study, Yeager recruited a maximum number of 60 student volunteers from high school students in the Rochester, New York area to be participants. Every student was randomly assigned Yeager’s intervention or a placebo so that half the students received Yeager’s intervention and the other half received the placebo. Both groups did a 25 minute reading and writing exercise. The experimental group’s exercise was about social treats and how to overcome them. The control group’s exercise was about adjusting to the physical environment of high school. After the groups completed their exercises, the individuals were asked to make a five minute video explaining what makes teenagers popular and count backward from 996 by sevens. As the students did this, their responses and performance to the tasks were observed. The students also filled out a questionnaire about how stressed they felt and provided a saliva sample so their cortisol level could be measured. When compared with the control group, it was found that the students in the experimental group reported lower threat appraisals, had lower cortisol reactivity in their saliva, and performed better on the stressful task.

In the second study, Yeager recruited ninth grade Algebra 1 students at another high school to be participant. 303 students volunteered to have their school records analyzed. Each of these students were randomly assigned to complete experimental materials having to do with learning the incremental theory of personality, or control materials. In set time periods, saliva samples were collected from each of the students to measure cortisol levels. Also, between saliva samples, the students answered a writing prompt asking about stressful events that happened, how negative these events were, and how confident the student felt in dealing with them. The student grades in their core classes were observed as well. When compared with the control group, the students in the experimental group had higher GPA’s and lower cortisol levels, but reported the same amount of threat appraisals.

These two studies were very well done. The independent and dependent variable were clear and the studies have shown how the independent variable affects the dependent variable. The method used allow for causal claims since it was a true experiment. It included an independent variable that has shown to have an effect on the multiple dependent variables that were measured. The only major difference in the independent and dependent variable relationship between the two studies was the threat appraisals reported by the students. In the first study, the stressful situation was created by the researchers and the reported threat appraisals were lower for the experimental group. In the second study, the stressful situation was a real high school Algebra class and the reported threat appraisals were the same for both groups. This would make sense since all the students in the Algebra 1 class would feel more stressed than the students of Yeager’s intervention in the first study knowing that they are in a real stressful class in which their academic performance will mean more to them later in life. Other than this, the experimental groups’ cortisol levels were lower than the control groups and their performance was better than the control groups’, so it is logical to assume that Yeager’s intervention helped the students cope with stress.

Although this experiment was well done, there are a couple of limitations on this experiment. First of all, the conclusions of these studies cannot be generalized to the whole population of high school students. For the first study, the conclusions can only be generalized to the high school students of the school from which the participants came from. For the second study the conclusions can only be generalized to Algebra 1 students in their first semester of high school. Another limitation on this study, mentioned by Yeager, was that his method only taught student about the incremental theory of personality. It does not initiate the way of thinking. Later priorities will have to go beyond simply telling students about the incremental theory of personality and find comprehensive ways to initiate it.

Yeager’s method of reducing high school student’s social stress sounds like a good one based on the two studies he performed, but again, the studies cannot be generalized to the whole population of high school students and his method is simply telling students about something, this is not initiating. These studies might provide enough evidence to encourage high schools to teach new students about the incremental theory of personality, but they also must find some comprehensive ways to initiate it, since it is not good to rely on something that is not initiating. There is still no grantee that Yeager’s method is as effective as it may sound, but it is probably worth a try.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/health/teenagers-stress-coping-skills.html

file:///C:/Users/Max%20Billante/Downloads/For%20Max%20B.pdf

 

 

 

Reflection:

The process of summarizing a news article after reading the original published journal article was a bit troublesome, but interesting at the same time. As I summarized the study, I tried to improve off of the news article I had originally read in several ways, but since my summary could be no longer than the first news article I read, I was limited with how much information I could include. When I summarized the research, I made a priority to answer all five critical question for evaluating research, as this was one mistake I found in the original news article. Answering these five critical questions is important for evaluating research, so it is important for them to be answered in any record of a study. Another thing I wanted to improve on was mentioning limitations of the study. The original news article did not mentions any limitations of this study because it wanted its readers to only see the bright side of the experiment. To provide a more accurate picture of the study, I made it a second priority to mention the limitations on this study. That way readers would not rely on bright conclusions to much and be disappointed if they do not work. I also tried to be specific in terms of what exactly the students received as treatments for the experiment. The original news article did not go into this very much, so I made an effort to be as specific as the original journal article did, about the treatments for each of the students. One thing that I was not able to mention was my own opinions about other confounding variables that could have been present in the experiment. After I read the original journal article, I still was wondering about confounding variables that could have affected the outcome of the experiment, since neither the journal article or the news article mentioned anything about this. I would have included my thought about this in the summary if I had more space. I decided that this was not as important as the other facts though. I felt that the given facts were more important than my own opinions. My perspective of journalists has not changed very much over the course of this project. I understand that I was not able to include everything I wanted to in my summary, but I was able to include all the facts that make the research sound accurate. The original news article I read still appears to aim toward making the study sound better than it really is. My perspective of journalists still includes  them not always having the same goal as the experimenters and often try to sway people into believing what they hope for them to believe.

Spotlight Blog 3

Peer pressure is something everyone deals with a least once in their lives. There are some cases in which peer pressure is a good thing, but others in which it is not. Peer pressure has the ability to greatly influence how an individual behaves. Many people say that people should be held responsible for their own actions and resist peer pressure whenever it is necessary, but this is easier said than done. As Asch’s conformity studies have shown, people will give an incorrect answer to a question if everyone else in that person’s group gives the same incorrect answer. Also, Milgram’s obedience studies have shown that people would shock a person with 450 volts when instructed to do so by a lab official. Conformity is a big factor in everyone’s lives. Many people would rather conform to people’s standards than be in a spotlight in which all eyes are on them because they do not conform to group standards. This is how peer pressure alters they way one thinks and acts.

The website How to Handle Peer Pressure on caps.ucsc.edu, provides tips about dealing with peer pressure for young adults, particularly college students. One tip it gives is to check with yourself, which means to ask yourself how you feel about the situation and measure its pros and cons. This advice might be effective because, it allows individuals to access what they believe about what they are being pressured into and if it is a good idea. People could tell themselves that they should not do what they are being pressured into as it will not be beneficial later. However, this tip would not be guaranteed to work all the time since people might rather not appear in an awkward spotlight. Another tip this website gives is to spend time with people who respect your decisions and would not put pressure on you. This advice would be effective because it is more likely to steer individuals away from being pressured into doing something that is not beneficial to them as they can rest easy knowing that they have one person who will not criticize them for not doing what everyone else does. This would reduce the spotlight effect. The website also suggests asking for advice from a family member. This is great and effective advice because it allows people to asses what rules they have been raised to follow and compare these rules the rules they live by now. This would help them see a change in their personality.

Another website How parents can spot and deal with negative peer pressure on thenational.ae, is target toward parents who have kids dealing with negative peer pressure in school. It offers some tips for parents to help their kids resist negative peer pressure. One tip it gives is to develop an open, honest, and close relationship with your children so that they will rely on you when they are having problems. This is effective advice because it would give kids someone to depend on when they are feeling negatively pressured. This person would not criticize them for a change in their behavior and teach them why whatever they are being pressured into, is not beneficial to them. This also provides someone who thinks the same way the kid does and would reduce the spotlight effect. Another tip this website offers is getting to know the friends your kid. This advice is effective because it allows peers to know what their friend’s parents want for their kid and the peer would be more likely to act on those desires. This would reduce negative peer pressure. The website also suggests to teach kids to say no, and to stand up for what they believe in. The idea of this advice is to give kids chances to practice saying no to their peers and explain why they do not want to get involved with what they are being pressured into. However, this advice is probably not very effective. Kids can be taught to say no, by their parents but again, resisting peer pressure is easier said than done. Kids might end up saying that they will say no, but when they are confronted in a situation in which they must conform to group standards or put themselves in an awkward spotlight, studies show that they are more likely to conform to group standards.

Another website Teachers and Students Team Up to Combat Peer Pressure on neatoday.org, provides some tips for teachers to help students deal with peer pressure. On tip it gives is to use positive peer pressure to promote constructive influences students have on each other. This tip is very likely to be effective as it would reduce harmful peer pressure and encourage good peer pressure. Kids would be less likely to be forced to make decisions to keep them out of an awkward spotlight. This website also mentions listening to students concerns and provide advice on how to deal with difficult issues such as peer pressure. It even explains how having a morning advisory period gives students a chance to develop a relationship with someone they can trust, their teacher. This advice is also likely to be effective because it gives students a positive mentor who will not criticize them and give them advice on how to overcome what they are being pressured into. When students know that they have a mentor who will not criticize them, they are less likely to feel that they would be in an awkward position if they do not do what others do. This website also suggests letting students make a list of things they are sure they would say no, to. Then ask the students to revisit the list once a year and see if they really are abstaining from the behaviors they have listed. This is an effective tip because it would let students see which of their behaviors have changed due to peer pressure and how they can deal with these changes.

In conclusion, peer pressure is hard to overcome, but there are some strategies and tips that can be helpful in overcoming it. The bottom line with peer pressure is that it is strong because people feel a strong need to conform to the standards of their groups or generations. Otherwise, they fear that they will looked down upon by others. In order for a strategy in dealing with peer pressure to work, it must involve a way to recognize what behaviors have changed in people who deal with peer pressure, whether it involves a mentor or keeping track of things people have said no, to before that they do not say no, to now. Having a mentor probably has more advantage because it gives people someone they know will not criticize them if they resist peer pressure and protect them from the spotlight they fear getting caught in.

 

https://caps.ucsc.edu/counseling/aod/peer-pressure.html

https://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/family/how-parents-can-spot-and-deal-with-negative-peer-pressure-1.410899

http://neatoday.org/2013/01/04/teachers-and-students-team-up-to-combat-peer-pressure/

First Impression post week 15

For this weeks first impression post, I choose to respond to option 1, in which I comment on a schizophrenia simulator. I thought this video was a little scary. I would have been shaking if I did not know that the man was experiencing hallucinations. As I watched this video, I tried to put myself in this man’s place. At first, I thought that if my everyday life was like what the video showed, I would probably get used to it eventually and become less likely to believe what I see. I thought that this would be especially true with hearing the man talk on television about someone coming to get me. When the simulation ended, it was mentioned that no one experiences schizophrenia in the same way. After I thought about that, it came to me that there might be different hallucinations experienced by people with schizophrenia every day, good or bad. So people with schizophrenia would have no idea what is real and what is not. So it was not wonder the man in the video had many protective thoughts telling him to not answer the door or eat a pizza, with the main though in his head that someone was trying to kill him. When I hear of schizophrenia on the media, I usually see things with a similar background as the video, but it ends up getting much worse. I usually see a person lashing out and trying to stab someone he thinks is trying to hurt him. In the media, I see people with schizophrenia as being overprotective as if they have seen a ghost. Although this might be true in some cases, I know that the hallucinations experienced by people with schizophrenia are not always deadly. Some of these hallucinations might even look good what the real thing is bad. Like the video stated, there is not one way to represent the hallucinations experienced by people with schizophrenia, so the effects of schizophrenia must vary across a wide range as well.

First Impression Post Week 14

For this week’s first impression post, I choose to comment on the second prompt about cognitive dissonance. I was fascinated by the video for this prompt. It never really occurred to me that more people would come across to be satisfied performing a task with an insufficient reward, but now that I know about the spotlight effect, it make more sense to me that people would be more likely to tell themselves that they made a good choice about something they might not have, in order to feel better about themselves. Now that I know this, I think I can recall a time in which I may have experienced cognitive dissonance. I was at an amusement park that had a kind of thrill ride in which I never tried before, called Fireball. This is a ride in which the track is a vertical circle and a car does repeated loops by moving around the inside of the circle. These kind of rides are technically called flat rides, but some people call them looping coasters (even though they are technically not roller coasters). I have seen another ride of this kind at a different amusement park. The name of this ride, El Diablo, has been stuck in my head ever since I have seen it and I have had thoughts of riding it ever since. I thought I would try the similar ride, Fireball, that the amusement park I was currently at. When I road Fireball, I found that I enjoyed the ride, but not as much as I originally thought I would. Yet after I got off the ride, I told my family that I really liked Fireball and would do El Diablo when we return to that amusement park next summer. I still have very positive thoughts about this, but when I think about my experience riding Fireball, I wonder if I will enjoy El Diablo as much as I am thinking right now. I think I experienced cognitive dissonance because I came across to really like this new kind of thrill ride more than the inside of me might.

I feel that cognitive dissonance is good for self-esteem, so this should be encouraged. However, I do not think we should fully promote and utilize cognitive dissonance. If we did this, people would pay others less than what they might earn seeing that the person feels satisfied with the payment on the outside. People would end up working hard and not get rewarded enough for their hard work. I feel that rewards for performing tasks must be reasonable compared to the task itself, not a person’s outside reaction to the task, because the person might be experiencing cognitive dissonance and would accept less than what he or she earns.

Spotlight Blog post 2

Many students have certain methods of studying that help them succeed in their schools. There are many tips and strategies offered on various websites about which studying methods work best. However, some information given in these sites are not reliable based on psychological facts relating to memory. Here are some examples.

The website, “Top 10 Effective Study Habits College Students,” on the EPCI University’s blog, gives some good strategies about how college students should study. One of the strategies it mentions, is to organize class materials into separate folders instead of one binder. It says that this help students find what they need for their exams, keep their homework together, and prevent an overwhelming clutter. This advice is accurate because students remember material better went they organize the material as they learn it. The website also mentions studying with a group or partner. It mentions that students can meet before tests to exchange notes and quiz each other. This is also good advice because quizzing each other will allow students to study in a situation that is similar to the test. This is one of the best ways to prepare for exams.

Although this blog post provides some excellent study strategies, there are some pieces of advice it gives that is not accurate according to psychological facts. For example, when the article talks about scheduling study time, it says students should treat studying like any other class or commitment and set a specific time to study instead of squeezing study time in between classes. Although this advice is aimed to prevent cramming, it sounds like it is suggesting that students should study in one long session, which is not helpful for memory. It is better to study in distributed time periods with spaced practice. While studying in between classes is not the only time students should study, it is not a bad study habit. The article also talks about rest. It mentions that a lack of sleep prevents students form learning and thinking critically. However, it also mentions that some all-nighters are inevitable and students should give themselves extra sleep if they do pull an all-nighter. This is not good advice because, learned material cannot be retained without sleep. Sleep consolidates our learning into long-term memory, so sleep is essential. The article is also incorrect in assuming getting extra sleep will help the body recover from an all-nighter. Doing this will induce jet lag. The body can only adjust to a one hour shift in time per day, so staying up all night one night and sleeping more the next night is not good for the body.

The website, “Top 10 Study Skills for High School Students,” on campusexplorer.com, provides some good study tips for high school students. On piece of advice it gives is to look for a better way to study. By this, It refers to studying in repeated short sessions and never cramming in all the studying six hours before an exam. This is good advice because studying a little bit over a long period of time is better for memory. Cramming material before the test will not help people retain the material for the exam. Studying in short sessions gives the brain time to encode the information in one session before encoding information in the next study session. The website also give accurate information about getting enough sleep before exams. It says not to stay up until 4 a.m. studying for a test. It will not work as sleep is scientifically documented to be a significant factor on students’ GPA’s. This is good advice because learning is only retained through a good night sleep, so sleep should not be sacrificed for studying. This website also suggests studying in groups. It says studying with other students helps clarify points that students might not understand and that teaching other helps students helps to better understand the information. This is good advice because it allows students to elaborate on the meaning of the material and make it more personally relevant. This is better for memory because, people remember things better when they are more relevant and meaningful.

Although this website provides some great study tips for high school students, there is one piece of advice it gives that is not accurate in a psychological sense of memory. It suggests that students study in multiple places to keep their boredom level low and perform better on tests. Many people find this helpful, but this might interfere with some retrieval cues. People remember things better where they first learned them and in the same state of mind they were in when they first learned them. This is why it better to study in a situation as similar to the exam as possible. Studying in multiple places is not necessarily the best thing for memory retrieval.

The website, “Homework and Study Habits: Tips for Kids and Teenagers,” on childdevelopmentinfo.com, provides information for parents of school students on how to help their kids study. One things it mentions is that a designated study time and place should be set for kids. Since most kids study in their rooms, it is important to ensure that they have a table big enough for all necessary supplies. This is good advice because this is best for memory retrieval. A designated study area with a big enough work space allows students to study in a situation closer to an exam. So it is good for parents to encourage their kids to do this. The article also mentions that regularity is a key factor in academic success. It suggests that parents should organize the household so that supper is served at a regular time each day and once family social time is over, it is time to crack the books. This is good advice because it would allow for studying over short time intervals. With a set household schedule, kids can set their own study habits based on the household schedule. This would increase chances of kids studying in shorter sessions over longer periods of time, as kids could study in between household events. This is better for memory.

This website provides good tips for parents to encourage their kids to study, but there is one thing it mentions that is not the best advice from a psychological perspective. It mentions that some kids seem to function alright with a radio turned to their favorite music station. There are many arguments that support and oppose this view, but from a psychological perspective, a radio turned to a favorite music station will likely draw kids attention to that station. So if they listen to that station while they are studying, they are more likely to forget what why studied due to an encoding failure. They will not remember what they studied for the exam because their mind was more focused on the radio station than what they studied and as a result, their mind never encoded the new information.

 

 

https://www.ecpi.edu/blog/top-10-effective-study-habits-college-students

https://www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/C6CA1844/Top-10-Study-Skills-for-High-School-Students/

https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/tips-for-helping-kids-and-teens-with-homework-and-study-habits/#.Ws5sXYjwbIU

 

 

Johari Window Bonus Prompt

In this psychology class, we were assigned to create Johari Window for ourselves. Johari Windows let people choose five to six traits they feel describe themselves and let that person invite their friends and family members to choose five to six traits they feel describe that person. With the results, the Johari Window shorts the traits in four groups. The group for traits selected by the person and her or her friends is the Arena group. The group for traits not selected by the person but selected by his or her friends is the Blind Spot group. The group for traits selected by the person but not selected by his or her friends if the Facade group. The group for traits not selected by the person or his or her friends is the Unknown group. I was able to get 11 people to choose traits that they feel describe me in my Johari Window at https://kevan.org/johari?view=max%27s+traits. All but one of the traits I chose to describe myself, were chosen by other people as well. I thought I was independent, mature, organized, quiet, trustworthy, and clever. Most people agreed that I was quiet, organized, and trustworthy. Their were also many other traits people selected for me that I did not choose. Of these, the most common were, dependable and intelligent. This came to be no surprise for me, but I was surprised when I found that 5 people said I was logical. When I think about this, I can believe that I am more logical than the average person, but I did not expect that many people to agree. The only trait that I selected for myself that no one else selected was clever. That remains to be the only trait in my Facade group. I thought that I was a clever person, but I guess other people feel that there are better traits to describe me with.

Overall I feel that the Johari Window is a good way to measure personality. It is nice to have the opinions of others when evaluating the personality of a single individual. Traits that are known by both an individual and others are probably true and part of the individual’s self-esteem. Traits that are known only to others are probably true but not part of the individual’s self-esteem. Traits known only to the individual are part of the individual’s self-esteem, but might not always be true. There is a lot to tell about an individual from his opinion of himself or herself and the opinions of other people about that individual. The only limit I see with the Johari Window is that there are a limited amount of traits to choose from. While it allows information from multiple individuals to be combined, the information might not be completely accurate as their might be a trait that was not an option that people would have chosen if it were. This might provide false impression about the individual based on a limited number of traits. Other than this, the Johari Window seems like a good personality elevator.

First impression post week 11

Stress, what many people consider to be the source of their problems in life. Many people define stress when there is a whole lot of it present, but stress in not completely problematic. Stress is needed to accomplish higher achievements, especially in college. Yet at the same time, too much stress is problematic. For this week’s first impression post, I will be commenting on option 1, the prompt about accessing my own stress management strategies. Stress is a topic that I learned more about in by First Year Seminar class. The speaker talked about how different levels of stress affect a person. When a person has little or no stress in his or her life, that person is usually laid back and does not accomplish anything. When a person has moderate stress in his or her life, that person is hard working and achieves more in life. When a person has to much stress in his or her life, that person works without being productive. So stress is needed to succeed in college, but too much stress decreases academic performance. When I think about it, the only get stressed in college when I hear of a whole lot of assignments coming up at one time. This is especially true on the first day of classes when I hear of everything that I will be doing in my classes over the course of the semester.  I ask myself if I am able to do these things. When I get stressed like this, I take things one step at a time. Instead of thinking about getting everything done at once, I ask myself, “What is a priority right now?” Once I have answered this question, I know where to start in my tasks, and if I finish it early, I move on to something else and I always promise give myself some downtime at the end of the day. This thought in mind reduces my stress and inspires me to keep working hard and do my best. I think this stress management strategy works great. I find that it helps me stay focused on my work without getting stressed out over things happening in other courses. I am always inspired knowing that I will have downtime at the end of the day. If I were to incorporate other stress management activities in my life, I might try spending more time with other people. I rarely do this, but I see that every time I do it, it puts stressful things behind me and lets me focus on something else that is not stressful. Simply talking about different things in life is helpful in reducing stress.

Week 9 First impression post: promt 2

For this first impression post, I choose to comment on Dan Gilbert’s TED talk about happiness. Dan Gilbert’s talk was primarily about synthetic happiness, which Dan defines as happiness as a result of not getting what we want. I thought Dan’s speech was very informative. His ideas were backed up by outcomes of his experiments. What he was primarily saying was that happiness does not correspond to every good thing that happens in life. He began by asking a question what will make people feel happier later in life, wining the lottery or becoming paraplegic. In the short term, people are happier when they win the lottery and not happy when they become paraplegic, but in the long term, they both have the same amount of happiness. This leads me to believe that emotion is like a two way power bar with a positive side and a negative side. Every time something occurs in life that makes a person happy, his bar will move up toward the positive side of the bar, but as time passes, it will gradually go back down to where it was before. If something happens in life that makes a person feel sad, his bar will move down toward the negative side of the bar, but as time passes, it will gradually go back up to where it was before. I find this message to be very reliable, as I feel this all the time. There are things in life that bring me joy, but they only last so long. Eventually, I will be feeling the same way I did before. In this same way, I am able to get over things in life that do not make me happy.

Dan also talked about how free choice causes people to not be satisfied. He talked about an experiment he performed, in which he asked people to take two pictures and asked them to give one of them up. For some people he gave the option to, after a specified amount of time, reclaim the picture they had previously given up and give up the one they decided to keep. For others, he told them that they will never see the picture they give up again. After measuring how satisfied the people were after a few weeks, he found that people who were not given the option to switch pictures were very satisfied while the people who were given the option to switch their picture were not satisfied. This experiment proves Dan’s idea to be credible. It shows that free choice diminishes happiness. After thinking about this, I find this finding to be reasonable. I find that when I am just given something without any choice, I am often happy about it and try to continue enjoying it, but when I am given a choice between more than one thing, I might be satisfied with what I choose the moment I choose it, but later, as I get used to owning what I choose and I might become neutral about it and become dissatisfied with the decision I made.

These two facts about happiness, are vary useful. If I were to apply them to my life, I might prefer to simply get what I get instead of choosing. It now make sense to me why the saying, “Get what you get,” applies to people in their everyday lives. Happiness is not the result from free choice, but simply the result of what happens to people beyond their determination. This is a valuable idea that everyone should apply to their daily lives.

First impression post week 9

For this week’s first impression post, I choose to comment on option 2, in which I assess my current sleep habits. The prompt mentions that college students get sleep deprived when they sacrifice sleep to work, study, or have social time. I can see how it would be tempting to do this, as there is a lot to stay on top of in college and sometimes, students feel that they need more time to get their tasks done than the time they are used to staying up. Sometimes, this is the case, but I have heard many times that a lack of sleep decreases academic performance, which is also important in order to succeed in college. So getting enough sleep should be a priority for college students. Even when I first came to college, I realized that I needed to stay up later than the time I have been staying up to get things done, but I realized that I will be fine as long as I receive at least eight hours of sleep every night. So on week days, I perform my tasks for the day and get as much done as I can and make a priority to be in bed no later than midnight and wake up at 8:00 am the next day to start working. As a result of this, I also set a time each day to have leisure time, but my tasks and sleep always come first, so I sacrifice leisure time on some days if I really need to. I think that this is a good habit. I find that I have enough time to get my work done well and efficiently and have a least one hour of downtime every day. I also realize that eight hours of sleep is sufficient for me. I find that I do fine in my academic work with exactly eight hours of sleep. I can also notice a decrees in my academic performance when I receive less than eight hours of sleep. I feel that eight hours of sleep is a realistic goal for the amount of sleep a college student should receive. After all, this is the recommended amount of sleep teenagers should receive in order to drive according to the Pennsylvania drivers manual. Given that driving requires full attention, I can conclude that eight hours of sleep for college students is sufficient because it is sure to allow them to have full attention in a classroom if it can allow a teenager to have full attention to the road. If I were to improve my sleep habits, I could be willing to set an earlier time to get to bed before days where my first class is a 8:00 am. For this semester, I have one class on Tuesdays at begins at 8:00 am. Sometimes I try to get to bed earlier on Mondays, but this is hard to do as I also work in the evening, so I have relied on drinks with caffeine to help me stay awake later in the day. While a drink with caffeine might help me stay awake, it is addictive. So I might want to get into the habit of getting to bed earlier if I have a task beginning earlier the next day.

Week 7 first impression post

For this week’s first impression post, I choose to comment on option 2, abstinence versus harm reduction. Both of these methods are used to treat drug addictions. According to the prompt and the provided web page, abstinence involves keeping the drug away from the addicted user. Harm reduction involves removing the problems associated with addiction. I have never gotten addicted to a drug before, but my dad told me about a time where he has gotten addicted to caffeine when he was a college student. He is able to describe what happened and how hard it was to get over. He told me that he started getting splitting head aches that would only stop after he consumed caffeine. Upon realizing this, he tried very hard to stop consuming caffeine so the addiction would go away, but it was not easy. Over and over, his head aches would become so bad that he was compelled to consume caffeine again. Eventually, he was able to stop consuming caffeine long enough for his head aches to go away. He was able to solve his problem through abstinence.

For this reason, I feel that abstinence is a better idea in treating addictions than harm reduction. Abstinence might not be easy, but it will remove the addiction, which will be a lot better in the long run. Harm reduction does not sound like it really removes the addiction. It only suppresses the effects of the addiction. I do not think this is the best way to treat addictions as they create something to become dependent on. If a drug user becomes addicted and used harm reduction to solve his problem, he probably would continue consuming the drug expecting his harm reduction treatments to keep him covered. However, what happens if he suddenly cannot afford these harm reduction treatments? The only way to treat his addiction would be with abstinence, which would now be harder because he has been consuming the drug so long. So, if I had a loved one who needed help with an addiction, I would tell this person to try to refrain from consuming the drug, because this is the only way to actually remove the addiction.