Impact of Facebook on Body Image

--Original published at Ariana's Blog

Is using Facebook affecting how you see yourself? The short answer is yes. Many people today have a Facebook account and spend countless hours scrolling through their feed. Young teens and even adults now post many selfies either as a profile picture or just as a post. This raises the question if it affects how people view their body or face. To answer this question, we turn to the results of a recent study on this issue. 

Researchers Jasmine Fardouly, Phillippa Diedrichs, and Emma Halliwell hypothesized that Facebook increases body dissatisfaction, negative mood, and weight discrepancy. In their study they tested 2 different impacts—increased negative mood and body dissatisfaction. There had been correlational studies that found Facebook did increase body concerns; however, the researchers wanted to conduct their own experimental study. 112 voluntary participants were selected based on the criteria that they were female between seventeen and twenty-five years old. The researchers believed that this was an appropriate sample because they were testing the effect of Facebook on only women. They all completed a pre-exposure state measure of mood and body dissatisfaction. The participants were randomly assigned to 3 different groups. They either scrolled through Facebook, a fashion magazine website, or an appearance neutral website. All websites were checked to make sure each was equal in appeal and comparison opportunity.

Each participant was told to browse the feed of the assigned website for ten minutes a day for a week. After the week, the women were asked to rate their mood on a scale of 1-100 and to rate how different they would like their appearance to be on a scale of 1-5; one being a little different and five being extremely different. Responses were categorized into 3 groups: weight, body, or facial discrepancies. 

The results were unexpected. Women who browsed Facebook for a short time reported being in a more negative mood and had increased facial dissatisfaction. It turns out that women compare their facial features instead of body features. This could be due to the type of posts that are uploaded—up-close selfies! There needs to be further experimental research on this issue to determine whether Facebook is the cause of facial and body dissatisfaction as well as mood. 

Through this experiment the researchers hope to encourage women to follow positive, inspirational accounts to decrease body image concerns. They want to bring attention to the impact that Facebook may have on a person’s view of themselves. 


This project has made me realize that not everything we see on the news or in articles is accurate and further reading should be done in order to find the truth. To make sure that my readers knew the importance of the study, I explained the issue and gave a bit of background information on previous correlational studies. In this article, I chose to include important information so that the audience was able to answer each of the five critical questions. This is significant because it makes the article credible and reliable. I also chose to state that additional research is required to verify the article’s findings so that the audience is aware that there may be errors in the study. I chose to leave out information that I didn’t believe was necessary and was too scientifically based, such as the scientific terms for the specific scales used to operationalize their variables, so that the article was easy to read and understand.

The original article had a bit of important information that was also put in my article; however, it left out some critical information that it should have contained. The summary I wrote is more fact based and portrays the relevant points of the research instead of giving facts about Facebook to appeal to the audience. I recognize that the data may have made my summary less compelling to read, but I felt it was critical information that needed to be included. The original article failed to present the information needed to answer any of the five critical questions, such as how they selected participants and how they operationalized their variables etc., so I made sure to clearly state the information needed in my summary.

I understand that journalists writing pop culture articles have word limits, but I also noticed that they use that space to appeal to the audience instead of giving the facts that would make their article credible and important. It is important for journalists to answer the five critical questions of the scientific study, so the audience can determine its reliability. I also learned that being a journalist of a psychological study comes with the responsibility of interpreting the research so that the audience is able to understand the outcomes. It is difficult to write an article that appeals to a large group of people while simultaneously containing enough factual evidence, especially with the regulations placed upon journalists.


--Original published at Ariana's Blog

The first test I took was the color personality test. It told me that I was creative and emotional, always seeking fun and adventure. Even though, some of these results are correct, I don’t think that this test is credible at all. All I did was pick colors and it told me my personality. I don’t believe you can figure out a personality but the colors they like. The next test told me that I was an extrovert, emotional stable, and intelligent. I believe that this test was the most credible because it gave me a layout of my top 5 traits and I found those results to be most accurate. On the other two tests I got the label ESFJ. These are outgoing, friendly, caring, kind and sympathetic people. These two tests were more credible as well because they had 60 questions about what type of person you are. Some of the questions on each test were weirdly worded and hard to understand.

While I believe all these traits to be true about myself but I do not believe in personality tests. I think that the only real way to know someone’s personality is to get to know them personally; a test that takes 7 minutes is not going to be able to do that. Everyone has different personalities that encompass many traits in different categories and none of these tests take that into account. Overall, I think these tests did not give me any important information about myself and if I really wanted to know what traits I had, I would ask family and friends that know me well enough to give me accurate answers.


--Original published at Ariana's Blog

The score of my facial recognition test was a 13/20. I think this is pretty accurate for me. I believe I am better at reading body language then reading faces. Sometimes someone’s face doesn’t reflect how they are feeling but their body language may. I can also tell how a person is feeling by their tone or actions. If I think something is wrong with a friend or family member, I usually ask “What’s wrong?” which is the easiest way to figure out how they are feeling. I think these ways are better than reading facial expressions because some people put on a happy face when they are not. I can use this information in my daily life to determine how a friend is feeling and try to be there for them if they are sad or upset etc. 

 It was easiest to tell anger and happiness apart since the faces are so different. It was a lot harder to determine whether it was love or happiness for example. They were both just smiling so it was hard to distinguish which it was. I thought the quiz was pretty credible except that some of the faces were too dramatic and some were unrealistic. Most people don’t make those type of facial expressions. Usually when someone is sad they won’t make a pouty face, they may just simply be quieter and not smile as often as they normally do. I also believe that some of the expressions have the same faces such as shame and embarrassment or love and flirtatious. These are all very similar and it was difficult to distinguish between them. 


--Original published at Ariana's Blog

Sleep is a very important part of my life. I believe that my sleep habits are healthy thus far in my college experience. I go to sleep the same time every night around 11, give or take one hour. I sleep for 8-10 hours a night depending on when my first class of the day is. I do not take any naps because I sleep so well at night; I don’t need them. Since I do not have any 8 am classes, I sleep in as much as I can. I try not to lose sleep over studying, so I get my work done early. I think that it depends on the individual for how much sleep they need. 

A goal for sleep is at least 7 hours for a college student. Some people can function off of less sleep then other people, but a reasonable goal is 7 hours. This gives not only the brain but the body a chance to regroup and get ready for the next day. It so important that the body can rejuvenate to give us energy.

I would like to improve my sleep habits by trying to wake up at the same time every morning to give my body some routine. I would also like to not use my phone before I go to bed because that causes me to go to bed later then I would like. I can achieve this by shutting my phone off, so I’m not tempted to pick it up.


--Original published at Ariana's Blog

I chose to come to Elizabethtown College for many reasons. One is that the college offered the program I wanted in order to become an Occupational Therapist. I also was looking for a small school that felt like home and E-town felt like that. I also really enjoy having a good relationship with my teachers and I am grateful to not just be a number in a classroom. I also wanted to be away from home but close enough that I could go home when I needed to and E-town was the perfect distance.

My motivation for doing well in school is knowing that it will ultimately get me into my career and doing something I love. I have always been motivated to do well; I just care about my grades. I think seeing a C or lower motivates me to try harder, but I have never been one to not do my work or not study. When I study, I expect my hard work to pay off on the exam and if not, that means that I need to change my habits and try harder to get the grade up.

An intervention I can use until I graduate is to make a list. I am one of those people who loves crossing things off a list and I hate having things on my lists. When I have stuff to do, but I don’t feel like doing it, I can make a list for myself. This will increase my motivation to get those things crossed off the list. I also need to remind myself why I need to work hard and that these classes are only for a short amount of time, so I put the hard work in and then it’s done.


--Original published at Ariana's Blog

My study habits have changed drastically from high school to college. In high school, I never really had to study and when I did, I would just cram the night before. Once I got to college I knew that would have to change. Now, I try to review all my notes every day, just a quick read through so it starts to stick. Around 2-3 weeks before an exam I take an hour out of my day to study the material. A week before, I will really start getting deeper into the material and studying for a longer amount of time. I still cram a little bit of the information beforehand, but I usually start early enough and know the material well. I also try to get my other work done the week before the exam, so I have that time to commit to studying. Along with that, I like to have a study group with people who keep me focused and who want to study as well.  I am pretty good at taking breaks in between my studying, however, sometimes I take too many breaks. One thing that I could improve on is keeping my phone in a different room. It becomes a big distraction when I have it near me. My studying habits change with every class I take. Some classes need more time and some need less. 

For this class, I know I need a lot of time to study. I have already gone through my notes multiple times. I also have been trying to make note cards for definitions and important people after the lectures so I can learn those as we go. I am taking the reading seriously and trying to take notes that I believe are going to be important. Depending on how I do on the upcoming exam will determine whether I need to change my study habits for this class. 

Chapter 7 Impression Prompt

--Original published at Ariana's Blog

Violent video games have always been a debated issue. Many children learn behaviors at a very young age. Violent video games with first person shooters and blood can teach the child unwanted behaviors at a young age. If they play these violent video games and learn from them, they may become more violent as they grow older. With that being said, I do not think that violent video games should be banned. If a child is young, he/she should not own those games or the parent should closely monitor what video games the child is playing. There are non-violent video games that are just as fun and more appropriate for a younger age. I also think that the amount of time playing these video games have an impact as well. The longer they spend playing these games, the more exposed they are to the high levels of violence. 

As the child grows older and matures, they have a better sense of reality and are able to make their own decisions. At an appropriate age, I think that the games a child chooses to play is his/her choice and they should be old enough to handle it. I would say an appropriate age is 14-15 years old (freshman in high school) because they are becoming adults, know it is just a game and will not repeat the actions they see in the video games. Even though there are age limits on the games, I feel that parents do not enforce them enough, and they should. 

Parenting Styles

--Original published at Ariana's Blog

There are many different parenting styles and the outcome of each style is different. Helicopter parents can be overbearing. This type of parenting style makes it hard for the child to be his/her own person because the parents are always involved. It makes it difficult to develop decision-making skills because their parents make the decisions for them. Jellyfish parents let their child do what they want. This can have consequences as well. The child may have a warped sense of right from wrong because the parents have few rules and haven’t been a role model for the child. Tiger parents are to strict and prevent the child from being their own person as well. This may cause the child to sneak around because they feel they have to. Helicopter, Tiger, and Jellyfish parents are all extremes, but qualities from each would make for a good parenting style. Since one parenting style will not prepare a child for the world; parenting should be a bit of everything. An ideal parenting style would be one where the child has a reasonable amount of authority and freedom depending on what age they are. The parent should be able to give more freedom as the child gets older. They should be a good role model and discipline when needed, but with a sense of guidance. Parents should be there when the child wants them there, let them go out, but also discipline when doing wrong so the child is able to learn from the mistake. A combination of these parenting styles would be an ideal way to parent.

First Impression Prompt

--Original published at Ariana's Blog

Do Men Really Find Blondes More Attractive?

I watched the episode Do Men Prefer Blondes?  In the episode the researchers were testing whether men are more attracted to blondes, when compared to brunettes and red-heads. They selected nine different women and had them each put on a wig in all three colors. Nine different men came in for each of the three trials and speed dated with the nine women. Then the men rated the women based on attractiveness and likability. The researchers concluded that hair color did not matter. 

One of the strengths of the study was that they had three trials to ensure the results were accurate. Multiple trials are important because having only one trial can create biased outcome, which can lead to inaccurate conclusions. They also had each girl change their hair color which eliminated biased opinions of the women. 

A weakness of this research is that there was no hypothesis. Without a hypothesis the audience did not know what was being tested. The hypothesis should have been a statement of what they thought the outcome of the experiment was going to be. If they believed that the men would find the blondes were more attractive the hypothesis could have been “Men prefer blonde women over brunettes and red-heads”.

Another weakness was that the researchers are testing two variables. They had the men rate the women on attractiveness and likeability which creates inaccurate results. Instead of men rating on a single quality they rated the women on two qualities. For this reason, the audience did not know which quality swayed the men’s overall rating of the women. Some men may have valued likeability over attractiveness. Each man had three minutes to talk with the girls, which would be enough time to judge personality, and additional features, such as facial characteristics, could influence their choices, not just hair color. Overall, there was no way for each individual to justify their specific rating. Overall, attraction goes beyond hair color. To isolate hair color, the men should have rated the women upon walking into the room. This would have eliminated personality and likeability factors.

A Case Study

--Original published at Ariana's Blog

The psychodynamic viewpoint looks at how problems can be traced back to early childhood experiences. Miguel is behaving the way he is as a coping mechanism for his stress. There is a possibility that Miguel’s childhood is the reason for his irritability and behavior. His parents may have been strict which is where his OCD comes from. In a behaviorist viewpoint, we would observe that something triggered Miguel’s stress, whether it be friends, family, school etc. and that he is tired as a result of the stress. In a humanistic viewpoint, Miguel’s stress is preventing him from personal growth. His stress is making him unable to sleep so Miguel is not fulfilling the first step of the Hierarchy of Needs and cannot progress further. This may also be the reason for the self-doubt he is experiencing. From a cognitive perspective, Miguel has a lot on his mind, which may be negatively changing his mental process, making him behave the way he is. Lashing out and irritability may be the way Miguel processes his feelings and solves his problems. Neuroscience psychology suggests it is possible Miguel has anxiety or depression due to his OCD, and this could be the reason why he has a difficult time sleeping. A cultural psychologist standpoint would take Miguel’s background into account. His experiences and how he was raised could have changed his brain to make him react the way he does. Maybe Miguel grew up in a household where people would argue when things got tough, and that is why he argues with his friends when he is stressed.