Johari Bonus Blog

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

Doing the Johari window was a fun and informative process. I sent the link to my close friends and family to see if there were similarities or differences between the adjectives people chose. For the most part, the adjectives I chose for myself were not very similar to the ones my friends and family chose for me. I chose more serious attributes like observant and mature but was reminded I have a warm and silly side too. The adjectives known to me and the respondents were: independent, knowledgeable, witty, and organized. It surprised me to see that many people chose the same adjectives. One of the most frequently chosen adjectives I did not select was caring and trustworthy. While I believe myself to be both these things it was interesting that in each case 72% of people chose these descriptors.

I thought the Johari Window was a relatively accurate measure of personality. I thought the adjectives chosen for me by my friends and family were very accurate. It is not always possible to see yourself through others eyes but, using the Johari Window gave me a chance to see what others think of me. I think the Johari Window was especially helpful to those who sent it to their close family and friends since these people would likely know their personality the best. Though it is not a psychometric test of personality, I think it does give true insight to a person’s general behavior and personality.

I learned that a majority people think of me as caring, trustworthy, and intelligent. I also learned that I possess a lot of amicable traits such as warm, kind, and silly. The Johari Window both taught and reassured me that I treat my friends and family the way I want to be treated.

Link to Johari Window:


Chapter 13 Personality – First Impression Post

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

The Jung Typology Test assigned me INFJ which stands for introvert, intuitive, feeling, and judging. When reading the description I thought it was quite accurate especially the part about being both detachment and involvement in friendships and with humanity as a whole. It was interesting how nuanced but capturing the description was. I am unsure about the credibility of the website. While it provides the same results as the Meyers-Briggs test, it does not have any affiliation with Meyers-Briggs. The personality test is only based on Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs-Meyer’s but does not go into detail how the results are calculated.

When I took the second test I got an ESTJ what the website describes as a “Field Marshall.” While I do like to take on leadership positions and help make decisions. Again, the credibility fo this website is unknown. While it is based on Jung’s type theory it does not describe much information about how the personality test is scored. I think it can provide a general idea of an individual’s preferences but cannot be completely accurate.

The big five personality test already seems more credible because it gives background on the personality test itself and how the results are calculated. Additionally it uses a test from an actual international’s study called the International Personality Item Pool. Finally, the test cites legitimate sources. I thought the results I got were relatively accurate. I thought it was interesting I scored over 50 on extroversion because I like to spend time by myself to “recharge.” The score I got on agreeableness and conscientiousness though I thought were accurate, they were both above 50 meaning I am friendly and optimistic, and also, careful and diligent.

Last I took the color personality quiz. I thought this quiz was relatively credible. I do not know much about color psychology but because the website explains a little about it’s relevance to the test and the studies done it seems more credible. The test is said to be accurate but the writers in the “About” section still are unsure if it is reliable. Thus, the credibility of this website decreases since it is not possible to be accurate without being reliable. Finally, when taking the actual test, the results claim they are accurate but not a diagnosis of personality which is contradicting. My results were surprisingly accurate and highlighted my fears and stresses about life.

Spotlight #2

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

Website 1: Athletes –

The first website provides stress management tips for athletes using the “P.E.R.F.E.C.T.” acronym. This method os stress management targets building one’s self-esteem and managing the pressure athletes may feel from their coaches or selves. The P.E.R.F.E.C.T. acronym is as follows: positive self talk, embracing adversity, reverse engineering, focusing on the now, evolve, chill out, and talk it out. Positive self talks and embracing adversity are important because each can affect secondary appraisal, if athletes build up their confidence towards handling stress and having the belief they are capable of reaching their goals, stress will diminish. Secondary appraisal is key in combating stress because the belief in oneself to overcome stress has a key impact in how stress plays a role in everyday life. Those with low secondary appraisal will not manage their stress as people will high secondary appraisal because they will feel incapable, hopeless, and weak. Reverse engineering could also manage stress, this tip is a problem-approach to stress meaning it logically tackles the root the problem and finds different solutions to the stressors. While the problem based technique works psychologists highlight the importance of tackling the emotional repercussions of stress. This emotion based stress management is incorporated through the “chill out” and “talk it out.” These techniques are helpful for when athletes may get in their head and rather than tackling the stressor logically, may need emotional support to help them cope. It is known that self-disclosure to trusted peers and mentors is important in stress reduction. Additionally, everybody has a different way of dealing with stress, so the website also suggest evolving, trying new hobbies. By doing so, the website states having different endeavors can help diversify your life, i.e. get away from stressors, and allow athletes to grow. While finding something one is passionate about and enjoys may aid in stress management, it could also add to the stress if the athlete is continually ignoring the stressors and simply substituting it for different activities; thus, they would not fix the stressor itself. A majority of these strategies are both cognitive and behavioral; all are adaptive as they do not add in complications or stressors.

Website 2: Children/Parents –

PsychCentral presents 7 tips to reduce stress in children. These tips highlight problem-focused coping to teach children how to problem-solve and approach stressors in a healthy manner versus maladaptive coping strategies like food, drugs, alcohol, or self-harm. By doing so, children can learn primary appraisal, how to quantify and understand the stressor. These tips are problem-focused coping because it effects the stressor at its source; the website suggests avoiding over scheduling children and allowing them time to play. The emotion-focused coping suggested includes talking to children and ensuring they know mistakes are not setbacks. This could increase secondary appraisal, and foster kid’s belief in themselves to cope with stress and overcome stressors. An additional tip is just for parents recommending they show as little stress around their children as possible to prevent both lashing out, unhealthy self-disclosure, and observational learning. If children see their parents coping with stress in unhealthy ways, observational learning will take place and children will mimic the parent’s ways. Finally, the website suggests reminding children to assess how they are feeling. It is important to remember the physiological and biological consequences of stress especially because of its correlation with future health status.

Website 3: Students –

The University of Michigan has a website page dedicated to stress management and coping. Again they offer mostly problem-focused coping strategies and while problem solving is important in coping with stress, usually a mixture of both problem and emotional strategies are necessary. The webpage does include self-disclosure, or “venting” to friends and family. They incorporate optimism into many of their strategies, which is a good tip. Optimism has shown to be a quality of those with better quality of life and longer lives. The webpage also highlights to avoid pushing yourself too hard, this is important when considering general adaptation syndrome. When the body is exposed to stressors for too long, it reaches exhaustion since its resistance has been depleted. Another coping strategy the webpage includes is meditation, breathing exercises, and visual imagery. Visual imagery has its benefits; because the brain is so easily influenced, imagining relaxing sceneries and engaging your senses with those relaxing environment can help in temporarily reducing stress. This type of stress coping strategy is part of the mindfulness based stress reduction technique. While the strategies suggested are all good, they mostly focus on problem-solving tactics and do not highlight the importance of regular exercise and social support.


Chapter 9 Intelligence – First Impression Post: Option 1

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

The educators I’ve had throughout school were the ones who foster my love for learning. Each year, especially during high school I grew more appreciative and inspired by the teachers I had. They made a huge impact on my attitude towards school and definitely were influential and helpful in fostering my education and passions.

Though I had a wonderful experience in high school there are a few things I would change. I liked that in my courses we always were studying relevant literature and topics. At times I feel that school emphasizes important authors and figures but fail to highlight the bigger picture and allow students to form their own ideas and worldview. I felt like I never knew what I though about the material we were learning rather, the only viewpoint I had was the teacher’s or an objective textbook standpoint. Something that really helped me improve my performance in school was talking to my teachers asking them questions about both life and academics. This helped me to think critically and also gain new perspectives on life.

During high school I felt my time was very split and while I enjoyed all the activities I was a part of, it sometimes took away from academics and caused me a lot of stress to maintain good grades, grow my knowledge, but still do the things I liked. I would have changed the homework structure at times I felt I was doing unnecessary work and while I learned some great study skills a lot of my time went towards busy work. Meaningful homework that practiced skills and readings which made me think were the most helpful. I would also mimic the college structure of classes where each day is planned and the class time is used to its maximum potential.

The last thing I would change is students ability to freely speak. Often times classrooms were awkwardly silent with only a few outspoken students speaking. I know I always had to muster up the courage to speak up and put in my opinion. I think facilitating more conversations and debates would have been helpful for students to feel heard and also give them a chance to develop their own thoughts.

Chapter 10 Emotions – First Impression Post: Option 2

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

I scored a 14/20 on the emotional intelligence quiz which reported, “your score means you’re slightly better than the average at reading expressions.” I am unsurprised at these results as I have always felt, and at times been told, I have an established sense of emotional intelligence. At times I feel I am very adept at reading other peoples emotions and how they are feeling, but in other situations I feel completely clueless.

At first the quiz was very difficult since I wasn’t paying enough attention to the facial features and position of the head but at the end of the quiz I felt I could get the answers with gut instinct. I found contempt, anger, disgust, and embarrassment to be the harder ones to distinguish. The emotions love, pride, happiness, flirtatious, sadness, and pain were easy to distinguish though.

I think the test is a surface level way to get a general idea of one’s level of emotional intelligence but I do not think it is the best method. Since everybody is different and expresses emotions uniquely, giving it their own personal twist, it may be easier to recognize emotions of the people you know rather than on strangers like in this quiz. Someone might not have scored very well on this test but maybe they are really good at telling apart the emotions of their loved ones and friends. The test though it a good baseline though since it incorporates the basic features of each emotion.

I could use this in my daily life to better understand my family, friends, even strangers. By being able to tell how someone is feeling, I could offer them help or allow them to self-disclose to alleviate their stress. Having emotional intelligence could also make me better at talking and understanding how a person is feeling especially during conflict or rough times.

Chapter 11 Stress – First Impression Post: Option 1

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

Stress management is extremely important to everybody as stress can affect one’s health in major ways. I have found exercising, getting enough sleep, talking to friends, and taking breaks to be the best strategies to cope with stress.

Exercising is perhaps the most helpful and has been the most recommended way for me to deal with stress. I think it works really well because exercise helps to maintain your physical health but also allows you to take your mind off of stress and focus on something else. My dad always tells me to work out when I am feeling stressed, even Elle Woods from Legally Blonde knows how helpful exercise is. “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!” Getting enough sleep is important it as we just learned it repairs both your brain and body! From microglia cleaning up dead cells, to allowing the brain to function properly and also get some rest.  I definitely feel the difference when I get good quality sleep versus bad quality sleep in regards to how stressed I feel.

Talking to friends about stress is also helpful because it allows me to verbalize how i am feeling. I also get advice and help from friends about how to deal with stress. Likewise, taking breaks from school work, or other stressors, also helps me to cope. I like to take breaks by spending time with friends and talking, exercising, watching a TV show, or even just going to dinner. This methods helps me but doesn’t always solve my stress since spending time with friends takes away from academics and studying.

Another way I could help relieve stress is by finding a more productive or efficient way to manage my study time. Most of my stress is derived from school so working on my study habits would probably allow me to feel less stress. I sometimes procrastinate, by not procrastinating I could reduce stress form academics. Another way I could reduce stress is through sensory methods. I have often heard online about aromatherapy/scents and certain foods which supposedly help with stress. Though we can’t light candles in the dorm, I guess I could buy an air freshener or scented toiletries like lotion or perfume.

Finally, I could reduce my stress by partaking in other activities and interests I have. I love to paint and draw as well as play violin. Doing hobbies that make me happy could help to reduce my stress as well and would be easy to incorporate into my day.


Chapter 3 Sleep – First Impression Post: Option 2

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

College students are often heavily sleep deprived as they sacrifice sleep in order to study, work, and/or have a social life in addition to their academic commitments. Assess your current sleep habits and how healthy you think they are. What is a realistic goal for amount of sleep per night for a college student and how can you improve your sleep habits?

My sleep habits are not great but could be worse. I go to sleep around the same time each night, however, depending on whether I have a class at 8 a.m. or not, the time I wake up varies a lot. When my classes start later, I allow myself to sleep in. Although, sometimes, I will stay up extra late to finish assignments or study more which cuts into the amount of time I sleep. Additionally, I do not think the method I use to fall asleep is healthy. Typically, I will turn off the bright fluorescent light during the evening but before sleeping I will spend time on my phone. This bright light likely does not help me to fall asleep, I have heard before that the light from electronics interferes with melatonin production which is key for sleepiness. Overall, my sleep habits are not very healthy as I do not wake up feeling rested.

A realistic goal for college students would be to sleep around 7 to 8 hours. This means if you fall asleep around 11 or 12 p.m. you would get several consecutive hours of sleep per night. Also, since college students stay up later, 11 or 12 p.m. would be a time that students would be done both socializing and doing academic work. I think this is realistic because students will likely not be doing their best academic work during the late hours of night and would benefit from sleeping rather than doing homework only done to a mediocre ability versus the best of their ability when well-rested.

To improve my sleep habits, I can stop using my phone before bed. This would allow my brain and eyes not to be interrupted or strained from my phone’s light. I could also get on a permanent schedule where I am both going to sleep and waking up at the same times each day. This way I would feel tired at a certain time and my body would know what time to wake up rather than it changing almost every day.

Spotlight #1

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

The effects of divorce have researched and debated on for decades. One side of the argument, which claims divorce has a negative effect on children, has garnered a majority of the attention in divorce literature. Despite this, researchers have found this claim to be faulty and have concluded divorce does not effect, or has a positive effect, on children.

J. E. Lansford examines effect of divorce, by considering demographics, socioeconomic status, and the child’s well being to find unique patterns of adjustment in children with divorced parents. Lansford’s puts old research to the test by examining factors such as age, demographic traits, location, and stigmatization of divorce. The research Lansford uses is from well known meta analyses of divorce from well-known scholars in divorce literature, Amato and Hetherington. Amato’s first publication in 1991 included ninety-two studies and his 2001 study was updated with sixty-seven new studies. From these meta analyses Lansford found children have worse adjustment abilities compared to children with married parents. Lansford claims this occurs due to consistently high levels interpret conflict the child experiences; furthermore, she observes inter parental conflict is detrimental. It has a positive correlation with externalizing behaviors, internalizing problems, and trouble getting along with peers. Lansford cites Amato, Loomis, and Booth’s studies which concluded children’s problems decrease in married homes. Additionally, Lansford notes how stress and lack of social support made the experience of divorce worse for children causing over anxiety in boys and poor adjustment in both sexes (144). Lansford, a Duke professor, reviews divorce research studies and literature and her review was published by the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, a peer reviewed academic journal. Since the peer-review process is rigorous, one can conclude Lansford is a trustworthy source to pull from.

A. Clarke-Stewart and C. Brentano’s book titled Divorce: Causes and Consequences was published by the Yale University Press and covers the experience of divorce from the child’s perspective. Like Lansford, the authors pull from P. Amato’s meta-analyses and other scholarly literature and research studies. Chapter two, “Effects of Divorce on Children,” promotes the negative effects of divorce on children. Records and studies comparing children of divorced parents to married parents concluded children of divorced parents struggle with behavior, emotional, health and academic aspects of life. Most notably, they are prone to poor social and psychological adjustment along with aggressive conduct. The negative effect on children is not just social and psychological, but according to the authors it manifests physically as well. Examples provided by Clarke-Stewart included, more social difficulties and a weak self-esteem in comparison to married couples’ children. Embarrassment, fear of abandonment, grief, divided loyalty, in lieu with sadness and anger also persist long after the initial time of divorce. Though Clarke-Stewart and Brentano state the difference in suffering varies, at the end of the day, children suffer from divorce.

R. E. Emery and R. Forehand argue children from divorced families do not experience drastic mental health issues in comparison to children of married couples. While Emery and Forehand do not negate the findings on the negativities of divorce, they claim children of divorcees experience resilience and successful coping. The authors observed resilience is the outcome of divorce not risk despite the dominant literature suggesting so. Children are able to “bounce back,” and are able to cope with the stressful situation. Additionally, Emery and Forehand highlight the difference in adjustment of children regarding cognitive, social and psychological functioning is not huge. The authors conclude a child’s resilience could explain why clinical and empirical research often have varying conclusions and consequences, basically a flaw in operationalizing the effects of divorce. Much of Emery and Forehand’s claims are rooted in the lack of specificity and operational definition. Lastly, Emery and Forehand discuss the presence of confounding variables in the effect of depression theorizing the struggle experienced by the child have more of an effect than the actual divorce itself. Emery and Forehand’s section was published in a larger book titled Stress, Risk, and Resilience in Children and Adolescents which was published by the University of Cambridge.

S. R. Rappaport’s article aims towards de-stigmatizing and finding if divorce is the “main culprit” of children’s troubles following their parents’ divorce. The article aims to create an operational definition so figures in legal practices can better understand divorce and see the other factors contributing to post-divorce problems. Rappaport’s article utilizes a wealth of references and was published in the Family Law Quarterly, a scholarly journal. First, Rappaport claims divorce has become less stigmatized and thus more socially acceptable in contemporary society thus decreasing the negative embarrassment or stigmatized effect of divorce on children. Additionally, while children initially experience stress this stress is not constant allowing children to adjust. According to Rappaport’s references, because children of divorcees are exposed to high stress situations, their ability to handle high-conflict situations increases in comparison to their counterparts. Divorce has a short-term negative impact on a child’s functioning but it does not mean ti cause long-term psychological difficulties. Rappaport concludes divorces themselves are not the root cause of psychological problems rather the level and severity of conflict experienced, the relationship children have with their parents, their parents’ own mental health and parenting style, and the economic status of the family which is influenced by the divorce.

I would agree with the research which finds divorce has a negative impact on children. The added stress and the likelihood of conflict the child witnessed, whether verbal or physical fighting and other types of conflict, harm the psychological, emotional, and mental well-being of the child. Also, the abundance of literature and research studies available which conclude the negative impacts of divorce are convincing as is. While I believe Rappaport makes a great argument, the fundamental distress and conflict experienced by children due to divorce is why I would believe divorce causes negative is correct.

J.E. Lansford – Parental Divorce and Children’s Adjustment:

A. Clarke-Stewart & Cornelia Brentano – “Effect of Divorce on Children” in Divorce: Cases and Consequences:

R. E. Emery & R. Forehand – Parental Divorce and Children’s Well-Being: A Focus on Resilience:

S. R. Rappaport – Deconstructing the Impact of Divorce on Children: Found on EBSCOhost.

Chapter 3 Drugs – First Impression Post: Option 1

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

There should be legalization of both medicinal and recreational marijuana. By making medicinal marijuana legal, patients who suffer from chronic pain or loss of appetite could have another treatment option. Additionally, in some research trials medical marijuana has shown to alleviate nausea and even said to be a more natural and safer route of medication. Finally, marijuana comes in many forms and thus it does not need to be smoked to used, it can be used in both edible and oil forms which vary in potency. Unfortunately, medical marijuana has not been heavily researched meaning the exact long-term effects for treatment in certain diseases are unknown. Marijuana also alters one’s state of mind and cognitive functions. Since cognitive function would decrease, danger to others could occurs through accidents for the brain able to function at its best.

Pros of the legalization of recreational marijuana would mean those arrested for possession of marijuana could be released from jail and return to society. Thus, less taxes would go to jail people convicted of this crime would not be overflowing the prison system. Possibly by legalizing marijuana, it would not be seen as a gateway drug and thus not lead to more dangerous drugs such as opioids. Since there is an interest in marijuana, it could also aid the economy through the law of supply and demand. Despite this, legalizing marijuana could lead to other addictive drugs or begin a pattern of addiction and abuse of other substances. Again, marijuana alter one’s cognitive processing and the risk of accidents could become similar to the danger of alcohol and issue of drunk driving.

Both the legalization and ban of medicinal and recreational marijuana make compelling arguments.

Chapter 8 Memory – First Impression Post: Option

--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog

Some memories are stronger than others, my theory behind incorporates the social clock and a biological theory which considers both neurological connections and physiological consequences of events.

The social clock could contribute to some memories being more powerful than others. Milestones in life are deemed part of the social clock when their happenings are determined by culturally preferred timing of social events. Examples include marriage, retirement, and parenthood. Since these events are seen as important and often are discussed among peers, it could contribute to those memories being stronger because the brain is frequently replaying those specific memories. Additionally, because one knows, consciously or unconsciously, the event is seen as culturally important, they may unintentionally create a strong memory of the event.

Another theory towards stronger memories could be that the brain’s neuron connections are stronger when more senses are engaged. This could be influenced by the body’s physiological aspect/condition and emotions that are attached to the event. Emotions and feelings that trigger chemicals and hormones such as adrenaline, fight or flight and dopamine, feeling happy, could create a stronger memory because the brain enacted a strong chemical sequence in the body.

To conclude, my theory behind strong memories is influenced by both the social clock and physiological and emotions experienced during the time of the memories’ creation.