Spotlight Blog #1

In today’s society the divorce rate has increased immensely. Over time it has become a more controversial topic because some may believe that it is the best and most viable option, while others may believe there are better ways to solve relationship problems. The effect of divorce on children has started to be observed, and both the positive and negative aspects have been addressed.

In a recent article, Sol R. Rappaport discussed that although initially children may seem unstable after their parents’ divorce, their difficulties decrease, and are able to better handle high-conflict issues later in life. In certain situations, divorce may be the better option, if it is able to reduce stress in the family’s home which allows the children to be better adjusted to their home lives. Rappaport also stated that there is no evident difference in children’s emotions or behaviors if their parents are divorced or from their peers whose parents are still married. He also mentions that the 25% of children who do have difficulties after divorce is not the divorce itself but the factors related to divorce. He also mentions that divorce is a painful memory and experience and may be impacted, but so is losing a parent. Neither of these events should mean that an individual will grow up with psychological disorders. His largest point was that divorce does not have a direct effect on children but there are contributing factors. Every situation is different and it depends on the level of conflict, the mental health of the parents, the involvement of the caregiver, and the financial impact and the child’s perception. Overall he discovered that 75 – 80% of individuals do not have significant psychological difficulties. This information was collected from a scholarly journal database and was written by a well-educated clinical psychologist.

Similarly Dr. Shoshana Bennett wrote an article about the positive impact a divorce can have on children. She wrote an article for Huffpost, she used her knowledge in psychology as a psychologist aided her in her research of this topic. She explains how if the parents are happier as individuals, this will make the children happier. If the couple is not happy with one another this could give reason for the children to be upset and sad too. By eliminating the negativity and sadness, this allows the children to live more positively. She also discusses that getting rid of the tension in the air will completely change the child’s behavior for the better. Bennett also explained how some individuals believe that they should stay in a toxic relationship in order to keep their children happy. She rejects this theory and explains that it is better to remove yourself from that situation so that the child can realize that they deserve a healthy and supportive relationship. Lastly, she explains how it is important for your child to see you happy and healthy which will impact your child’s life immensely.

In another perspective, and most commonly thought, individuals like Keenan M. believe that divorce can have a negative impact on children’s lives. Divorce can cause pain, loneliness, and anxiety. The beginning may be an adjustment period, but for many this can because long term affects. He explains how for younger children and toddlers, they tend to feel abandoned or confused and will later have separation anxiety. For teens, they may feel angry and distance themselves from their family which leads to them reckless actions like skipping school, experimenting with drugs and alcohol and committing crimes. This is also problematic when there is ongoing conflict in the household causing children to have a more difficult time at home. This is because children do better with a routine rather than a constant back and forth between homes and different schedules. The information written by the author seems to be credible because the article was published on an online database with scholarly articles.

In a similar study, the author described the effects of divorce on older children and how they’ve been affected in the long term. The author explained a situation where divorce heavily impacted younger adults and composed it into a scholarly article. The author explained that older children might feel abandoned or betrayed since they had no expected this outcome. It may seem that older children can cope better with the divorce but in reality they are blocking it out but are really being impacted by it. Divorce has also caused an issue with older children because they often get in the middle of the situation and serve as the mediator or have to start taking on parental control. One of the effects on children the author mentions is that they have to plan a family event which is a great burden since they are not used to this additional stress. The most significant effect is that when children witness a failure of their parents’ marriage they question their own relationships and are afraid of commitment.

Collectively I believe that divorce can play a major role in a child’s life and can negatively impact a child however it may not be as extreme in certain cases. A child who has witnessed their parents’ divorce have observed many negative aspects. In most cases the child will be stuck in the middle or have to choose a side which adds additional stress. Additionally, a child bears a lot of pain during this time and in some cases this feeling could worsen. One of the largest points is that when a child has to go through the pain of their parents’ divorce, they tend to lose hope in marriage. They also become less confident in themselves and are afraid of commitment which could prohibit them from getting into a relationship or not take them seriously.



First Impression Week #6

For this First Impression Post, I chose to write about my study habits and how i prepared for the first exam.  Going into the first exam I was extremely nervous and had no idea what to expect, and that seems to be common for every first exam with a new professor. Evidently I have come to realize it takes trial and error to find the perfect study method for each class.

My plan of action was to take in depth notes from the textbook to ensure I understood the material that we had learned in lecture as well as learnt the additional information that would be on the exam. Reviewing these notes with examples really helped me understand the overall concepts better. Along with the textbook notes, I read through my lecture notes many, many times. I would get together with a few people and read the notes out loud, slide by slide and discuss the major points. As we would get to the next lectures notes we would go back and ask one another questions from the previous lectures to better retain the information. Additionally I would re-write my notes, which I believe helps me stay focused when studying, and allows me to not slack. Occasionally I would write on the white boards and list the names important people and write all that I knew about them and go back and add more. I felt that this method was beneficial and allowed myself to be tested before the actual exam. By these multiple methods I felt prepared for the exam.  Lastly I took the chapter quizzes multiple times, to get practice on what types of questions may be asked.

My method was to definitely over learn, and although I felt confident with my method I am always in search of a better way to retain the information. My way of studying is very time intensive and it would be beneficial to have a less time consuming method.

First Impression Post Week #5

Some may believe that video games are not the best activity for a child to be playing. This may be because it is not a healthy way to stay active, and this is becoming more and more common. Less children are spending time outside, and more time on technology. Along with this, many video games are promoting violent behavior. I believe that violent video games are becoming more and more graphic and they are not promoting a healthy mindset for younger individuals.

Primarily, these video games are now increasingly popular within younger individuals, and are able to make a larger impact on them since their mind is still developing. For example in Piaget’s developmental theory, the preoperational stage (3-7), these children are still not able to see things from another persons perspective. This is the age group where children begin to play these violent video games, and they are lacking the understanding that they are physically harming another human being and are not aware of their actions. Although, the video game is not actually real life and no human is actually being killed, the point of the games are usually to kill all the people, which is clearly not a positive message and allows these children to believe that hurting another human is acceptable. This can clearly have a larger impact later on in a child’s life if they continue to play these video games. Relating this back to the attachment theories, individuals who were abused or had non involved parents later on showed that these individuals had more problems in the future, this could be a similar situation where the children are being exposed to violence at a young age where it will later on impact what type of person they will be when they are older.

As most of us know, children are easily influenced and tend to believe what someone older than them might say. Knowing this, we can assume that violent video games most definitely have an impact on younger children into their later lives. It is now increasingly becoming worse as technology advances, and the visuals are more graphic and making the situations more realistic. Overall, the video games are not having a positive influence on children and I do believe that there should be age restrictions on who may play what game in order to ensure that a child is aware of how harmful these actions can truly be.

First Impression Week #4

I chose the TED talk on how the brain may fix itself with help. I decided to chose this topic because I immediately was drawn to the scientific aspect of how the brain is able to work. Jocelyne Bloch began to explain how when there is damage to the human brain it most likely leads to an individual being handicap. Her as well as other doctors, have been trying to find evidence to repair the brain in a successful way. During a head trauma the brain begins to swell with pressure. The only way to decrease it is by removing a section of the brain tissue. When it was removed, they decided to study the tissue and attempt to grow new cells from that tissue, which they realized would be very difficult. Many attempts later they were able to grow new cells and soon realized they had created a new cell population that would divide slower and were able to die quicker. They created an experiment to discover if they could use these cells to help with brain repair. They first did a biopsy of the brain, then looked at the cell culture, labeled the cells they injected with colors in order to track them, and then re-implanted them in the same individual. They began testing this on monkeys, their control group was a normal monkey and they came to find that when injecting the cells into a normal monkey the cells were not needed and disappeared. They then injected the cells in the monkeys who had a lesion, and found that these cells remained, and began to mature into new neurons. Their experiment resulted in success and are now in the process of meeting the regulations for them to apply this concept on humans.

I found it interesting that they were able to track the exact cells that they had implanted into the brain by coloring them. To me this was surprising, since they are able to differentiate between millions and millions of cells. I felt that the presenter was very reliable because not only is this research in her field, but she is a very well educated neurosurgeon. I also felt that Bloch was reliable because along with her efforts in her study, they were also able to make progress and get logical and accurate results from their experiments.

Another research idea could be studying other types of brain tissues and applying the same process of studying the culture, labeling the cells and re-implanting them into the same individual, to see the affects of different cell tissues in the brain.

First Impression Post Week #3

In general I think that parenting is one of the most difficult tasks and is something that almost every parent would strive to do their best at. Parenting can be approached in many different ways and that is clearly acknowledged based on the different stereotypical parents like helicopter parents, tiger moms and jellyfish dads. Although each parent might approach raising their child differently, I think that ultimately they each believe that their child will grow up to be a well-rounded individual and will be successful in whatever they choose to do.

I think that the most effective way to allow your child to be happy, healthy and a productive member of society is by having an equal balance of respect, honesty and friendship. In order for a child to be happy, it is necessary for them to be in a positive environment and be able to have a good relationship with his/her parents. For parents it is important for them to be able to discuss all aspects of their child’s lives, so that there is a mutual understanding in all areas. This goes hand in hand with honesty, it is one of the most important things for a parent and their child to be honest with one another so they can each respect each other. If a child does not trust their parent, they will not be able to go to them when they need them, and ultimately it is a parent’s job to be there for their child. One of the most important aspects of raising a child in my mind is friendship. This could be easily overlooked and in many cultures this would not be something that a parent would have with their child. I think that if a child is afraid and intimidated by their parents that they would be more secretive and attempt to handle most situations on their own.  Some individuals may think that by being your child’s friend that the child would be more reckless and think they could get away with more leisure. This may be true in some cases, but if there is an equal balance of friendship as well as respect and honestly, I think that the child would be aware of their boundaries, responsibilities and make wise decisions. I think that if a parent is too harsh, strict or enforces punishment on small actions the child will most likely act out more in an act of rebellion or decide to be more secretive and hide things from their parents. In order for a child to be happy and benefit society it is important for them to be raised properly with the correct help from their parents and be able to pass on the support they were given to other individuals.

Theoretical Lenses in Psychology

From a Psychodynamic perspective, Miguel is being affected by his unconscious mind which is what is ultimately in charge of his human behavior. Since he has an underlying issue it is causing him to behave in a certain way, which is why he is picking fights with his roommate and struggling with his coursework. He does not realize that there is an internal conflict which is why he is irritable. From a Behavioral perspective, based on observations Miguel seems to be tired since he has not been sleeping well and has had trouble falling asleep. Another observable trait would be his behavior to pick fights with his roommate which could be his way to handle his internal conflict and let out his frustrations. From a humanistic perspective, it would be noted that Miguel is a perfectionist and that he is now doubting his ability to do anything right. In order to help Miguel, the psychologist should focus on his strengths in order to build up his self-esteem and that it is ultimately his decision if he wants to grow in a positive way. From a cognitive perspective, Miguel’s ability to process information, think and solving problems would be observed. The psychologist could possibly focus on Miguel’s lack of sleep which could be causing him to be less focused and would affect his ability to process information. From a Neuroscience perspective, Miguel’s brain would be observed as well as the chemical imbalances. Since Miguel is stressed and irritable his chemical’s are imbalanced which is causing him to act out in irrational ways. In a cultural perspective Miguel could’ve been raised in a very strict family where education was the most important aspect of their lives. He also could’ve possibly been apart of a community where there was a lot of competition in academics which is causing him to be a perfectionist. Miguel’s culture and appreciation for education could be vastly different than his roommates perspective which could be a possible reason for him to pick fights with his roommate.

First Impression Post #1

For this weeks First Impression Post, I chose to watch the Mythbuster’s short clip that tested if talking on the phone while driving was as dangerous as driving drunk. I predicted that driving while on the phone would be dangerous but not nearly as dangerous as driving drunk. The scientists created a three part experiment in order to solve the myth. The experiment consisted of a brake test, parallel parking and a time trial. Each of the three tests were performed by a man and a women in three different states, once when they were sober, once on the phone and once while they were drunk. After experimentation the two test subjects had both passed all three trials while sober, yet failed them both when they were either on the phone or drunk. Although the tests were failed while talking on the phone and drunk, talking on the phone was found most dangerous.

Although the results seem accurate, there are a few weaknesses to this experiment. In any given experiment there should be a number of individuals to use as subjects so that there is an accurate data collection. In this experiment there were only two test subjects. In order to have a wider and more accurate set of data, there should be more test subjects.  Another weakness was the fact that the experiment was only tested once. In order for the results to be more precise the scientists should’ve repeated the three tests multiple times. Lastly one of the greatest weaknesses of this experiment was that there could be a great variation in the two subjects when they were “drunk”. They did not say how much each individual had to drink, nor did they state if they were intoxicated equally. It could possibly be that the man was more sober than the women. In order for this to be more accurate they would need to measure the level of intoxication that each individual was under. On the other hand the positive aspect of this experiment was that the scientists created three different trials in order to test the driver’s ability. Another strength to this experiment was that the test subjects had to complete each task while in three different states, once sober, once on the phone and once while drunk. This made the results more accurate since each individual had the same set of instructions.


I decided to take Psychology this semester because it is apart of core and it also is required for my major and my future career path. Along with those factors the class seems very interesting. I do not have any background in Psychology unlike some other individuals. When I hear the word Psychology I immediately think about the brain and how it functions as well as its behavior and compatibility with other factors. The three most interesting topics to me seem to be “How to make memories”, “Motivation” and “Theories of intelligence”. I personally seem very interested in each of these topics because they are all topics I have never been introduced to before. The least interesting to me is “Scientific Theory”, “Power of Experiments” and “How to get good sleep”. These are all topics I have previous knowledge of and have learnt about them in the past. One question I would like to have answered during this course is to know how dreaming works.