Spotlight Blog: Peer Pressure

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

Peer pressure is something that people of all ages have to deal with almost every day, whether it be in the classroom, workplace, or everyday life. Sometimes, the easiest way to avoid peer pressure is to remain neutral and do what you believe is the best decision, but this can become very difficult and almost impossible.

One source from Monmouth University’s “The Outlook” discusses the idea of peer pressure from the perspective of a college student. This perspective is very interesting as it relates to the lives of people who are also struggling through the intensity of college. The article relates peer pressure back to the movie Mean Girlsand how it demonstrates that giving into peer pressure would not be beneficial for anyone. It mentions that as a college student, you should establish a strong supportive friend group that does not guilt you into doing things you are uncomfortable with. It also discusses not needing to seek approval from others to be satisfied with yourself. I do believe that these plans would be very beneficial for the college student. Seeking approval will do nothing but make you more nervous about yourself and your personality, so staying true to yourself will be very beneficial.

Another source focuses on handling the peer pressure of children from the perspective of a parent. The article from gives parents five steps to share with their children who are dealing with pressure from friends. This website explains that parents should tell their children to take a breath first, find the words, think it through, ask, “what could we do instead?”, and to walk away. This process allows children to process the situation, stay calm, think about the right and wrong thing to do, question alternative options, and to stand strong and walk away rather than be intimidated. The only issue that I see arising from this process of handling peer pressure is not confronting the source of the peer pressure and telling them that this is not right or helpful for their situation.

Finally, this last source focuses on the teenager’s perspective, and the website, discusses twenty ways that their target audience, readers of Teen Magazine, can avoid peer pressure. A couple of ideas that stood out to me were avoiding stressful situations in the first place, consider what would happen if you gave in to the situation, and evaluate your friendships. Although the last tip sounds helpful, the other two do not seem as if they would lead to positive results. Avoidance does and will not resolve any issues, instead it would build upon them until they explode and cause more issues. Considering giving into the situation would make you the weaker or lesser person. For a person who is already vulnerable simply for being a teenager, avoiding situations or making the wrong decision and giving into peer pressure will not allow you to have a smooth ride throughout the bumpy road that is high school. Peer pressure is a dangerous thing, and staying true to yourself and making the right decision will help you immensely in the long run.



Media Production Project:More Options Lead to Less Satisfaction

--Original published at Caroline's Blog


Can swiping right on tinder lead to unhappiness rather than satisfaction? This might just be the case according to Shena S. Iyengar of Columbia University and Mark L. Lepper of Stanford University. These researchers gathered evidence from three different studies to decide whether or not a higher quantity of options leads to higher satisfaction.

All three studies build up to why having more options might not be as beneficial as having fewer options. First, the researchers visited a high-end grocery store and set up a display of jams to sample and potentially sell. Random people who were given six option to choose from versus people who were given thirty options to choose from were more likely to purchase the jam they sample. The next study was built off of this by looking at the quality in essays by college students who were given limited options versus a vast amount of options. The higher quality essays were from students given lesser options. Finally, the last study used results from the previous two studies. This one focused on decision making with greater or lesser varieties of options. Some of the people were given an extensive amount of Godiva chocolate whereas others had less to choose from. This study proved that it was harder to come to a decision when they had more options in front of them.

Tinder could be compared to an endless supply of Godiva chocolate- are you really making the best decision to swipe right on one individual while there are possibly millions of better options in front of you? Based on the previous research, Tinder may not be the key to your love-life issues. Getting to know a select few individuals, preferably in real life, may end up creating more satisfaction for you knowing that you those other one million individuals in your Tinder feed are not worth your time.

For my summary, I chose to include the general ideas of the studies so that someone reading this would not have to look back into the article to find the results of this study and have a hard time comprehending the advanced language in the research article. I did not mention how the variables were operationalized in depth, however I discussed how they were able to come to the results for each study. I also chose to leave out statistical information that would not have been helpful for the reader. The selection of participants (randomized) was discussed for the first study, and I mentioned who the participants were for the other two studies. The assignment of groups was not mentioned in my article nor in the original news article. The conclusions were generalized to the correct population in the first and last study that I mentioned. At the end, causal claims are able to be made because there is a clear independent variable and randomized groups for each of the studies.

In the original news article, the critical questions were not very evident, and my version did a better job at discussing them. The author did not define the independent or dependent variables, so they were not able to be operationalized, it does not discuss how the participants were chosen, if the participants were randomly selected and put into groups, they generalized the conclusion to the whole population, and it did not allow us to make causal claims. Overall, I tried to incorporate more factual information from the research article, although it was not statistical information, instead of providing personal anecdotes.


Heiss, Rebecca S. “Swiping Right Into Unhappy.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 8 Sept. 2018,

Iyengar, Sheena & Lepper, Mark. (2001). When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?. Journal of personality and social psychology. 79. 995-1006. 10.1037/0022-3514.79.6.995.

Spotlight: Stress

--Original published at Caroline's Blog


Stress management is an important life skill to have or acquire so that you do not become extremely overwhelmed by any of the crazy things that may be put in front of you. To manage or cope with stress, one may turn to physical release, which is a release of pent up emotions in a physical or psychological way, use self-defense strategies such as repression of stress by being removed of conscious awareness, or by self-indulgence which includes treating yourself.  You could take a more problem-focused approach to coping by aiming directly at the stressor or you could take a more emotion-focused approach by focusing on feelings resulting from whatever is causing you stress. Focusing on your observer-self through mindfulness-based stress reduction can also serve as a helping tool for stress management. Stress can affect people of all ages, and there are helpful ways targeted to some specific demographic groups.

As an athlete, I understand how stressful it is to be involved in a competitive sport. An article by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center suggest that athletes take a ‘PERFECT’ approach to dealing with stress. This strategy includes positive self-talk, embracing adversity, reverse engineering, focusing on the now, evolving and chilling out.  This strategy focuses on using self-indulgence by taking a rest from the strains of physical exercise. It also explains that embracing diversity means that even when things are getting tough, athletes need to push through this feeling to succeed. This could be an example of self-defense coping as a reaction formation by doing the opposite of how you are feeling and pushing through the pain.

Parents have to deal with an all new set of stressors when having to deal with their family, finances, and work. An article on the Parenting Science website gives research-based tips to make life better and to reduce stress. One of the main things that this article focuses on is reducing negativity of all forms in your life to make things better. These kinds of negative thoughts, people, and experiences are examples of chronic negative situations, or continued negative situations with no end. Clearing these out will allow you to focus on and bring in more positive thoughts and experiences into your everyday life. These adaptive strategies of switching to more positive thinking will allow for a decrease in stress without complications.

Sometimes, we forget about how stressful the lives of younger kids are. Although their issues may not seem so severe to an older adult, the problems and stresses they are enduring can be taking a toll on them psychologically. An article on web-MD gives us an insight about how adults can help children deal with stress. Most of this advice focuses on helping with schoolwork. It discusses how secondary appraisal, or the appraisal of abilities to deal with the stressors. By appraising their ability to study properly and manage their time with school work they will not feel as overwhelmed by those issues every day.

Most people will have to deal with a stressor in their life someday. These stressors come in all shapes and sizes and managing them can become difficult, but once you find a way to stay calm, cool, and collected, the stressors will minimize, and you will be able to carry out your day without stress weighing you down.


Chapter 10 First Impression: Emotions

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

Facial expression recognition plays a big part in understanding emotions. Using and understanding different facial expressions is important to understand how you perceive other people and how they perceive you. I took the emotional intelligence quiz and received a fifteen out of twenty. I was doing pretty well up until the end when some of the facial expressions became very similar. However, my overall score is higher than what I was expecting. I find this test credible because it is from a website that provides science-based insights and stories. The reasoning behind each answer was factual information about certain movements of different features on the face. It was harder to tell apart the facial expressions that were happier. Also, it was hard to figure out embarrassment because I did not make the connection that embarrassment can lead to touching your face. This information can be very useful in everyday life. Whenever you are having conversations with other people, you can figure out how they are feeling partially by their facial expression. If someone is distraught or sad, it would be easier to notice these emotions by their facial expressions and would be able to help them faster. If other people knew how to recognize facial expressions, then they would also be able to understand how you are feeling in a social situation. Understanding facial expressions can also be helpful when someone is in a dangerous situation and they are trying to show that they need help fast without making it obvious to whomever or whatever is causing them to be in the situation.

Chapter 11 First Impression: Stress

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

As college students, stress plays a big part in our lives every day. Normally my stress stems from big assignments in all of my classes having overlapping due dates or exam dates, an extremely difficult exam approaching, the possibility of having a swim meet over the weekend, or keeping all of my grades in check. When I become stressed I try and do a few things to keep myself calm. First, I try to find a relaxing, peaceful environment where I can be by myself and not have other people surrounding me. This helps me to find my center and not have to worry about other people adding more stress to the situation. Once I am in this environment, I try to listen to peaceful music and close my eyes to try and remain calm. When I am stressed from the amount of work I need to do by a certain time or day, I write out a to-do list and proceed to complete everything and check the items off once they are done which reduces my stress. Last semester when the swim season was over, I would go and swim laps when school got the best of me because it is a place where I am able to forget about all of the stress and just swim. This semester, yoga has been incorporated into my weekly routine and has worked by helping me relax and destress. I think that realistically I could incorporate more activities such as yoga and guided meditations to help reduce any stress that I may have.

Spotlight Blog 1- Divorce

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

Divorce is a growing problem in the United States and has an effect on a constantly increasing number of families. When this divide strikes a family, everyone feels its wrath. Not only are the parents struggling to manage their split household, the children are at an even greater loss and experience events that could have an impact on them for the rest of their lives.

Lamb, Sternberg, and Thompson make a strong argument about the negative outcomes of divorce on children. In their article, ‘The Effects of Divorce and Custody Arrangements on Children’s Behavior, Development, and Adjustment’, the trio explains that the separation of families can lead to long term behavior problems, a decrease in performance in the classroom, depression, and difficulty of forming relationships with others. However, this article also goes on to discuss that divorce does not have a negative effect on the long term psychological aspects of children. Paul R. Amato also discusses in his article, ‘Life-Span Adjustment of Children To Their Parent’s Divorce’, that children in divorced families have more social difficulties, bad relationships with the divorced parents, and are more psychologically unstable. Without a strong, supportive couple in the family, these children will lack guidance and will be at a loss into adulthood because of this split and may have a very large impact on how they live the rest of their lives.

On the other hand, some research shows that divorce does not have a serious impact on the lives of the children involved. Salynn Boyles from suggests that marital conflict has a stronger effect than a divorce on children. She explains that as long as the child has a strong supportive figure in their lives, then the divorce will not harm them as much. She also mentions that how these negative effects roll out depend on whether the households were low conflict or if they were high-conflict families. If the households were low-conflict, the divorces would have a harder impact on the children if they were used to having no problems. If the family goes through a “good” divorce, then there could potentially less long-term problems with the children according to Norval D. Glenn’s article, ‘How Good for Children is the ‘Good Divorce’?’. Having a good divorce would be the best-case scenario in a perfect world, but this would be good for the children’s psychological health.

These articles are all credible as they are scholarly articles/journals, with the exception of the article, so the information in them is trustworthy and has been gathered by professionals in the world of human development and divorce. Based on my reading, I believe that divorces and marital conflict most likely have a more negative effect on children. With the long-term consequences, they have to deal with, I believe that every other possible option should be considered before the parents finalize on a divorce so that they can realize how much their child may suffer from the separation for the rest of their lives. Although the argument is strong that divorce does not have an effect on the child’s mind and life, through real life experience and scholarly research, I believe it has anything but a positive effect on the lives of the children at the center of the divorce.




Drugs First Impression

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

The legalization of recreational marijuana has become a very popular topic of discussion. With medical marijuana being legalized and providing relief for patients using it, the general public wants to be able to use this drug to reach a high and be at peace with their bodies and minds. However, I believe that the legalization of recreational marijuana would not be beneficial for anyone. Medical marijuana is very beneficial for people with chronic illnesses that have shown little to no improvement after other treatments, and I believe that it should stay this way. Allowing the average person to use this drug could lead to them to thinking it provides some sort of relief for a non-existent problem. Eventually, this could lead to addiction which may cause even greater medical and mental illnesses for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, having recreational use of this drug legalized could make marijuana less of a taboo. People who are using the drug for medical purposes may feel uncomfortable talking about this treatment due to the negative connotation behind the drug. The number of criminals in the system who are in jail due to use of this drug and solely this would be minimized, and authoritative figures could focus on other major criminals and problems in society that are far more serious. I believe that legalizing this drug could potentially help out society as a whole however, it could ultimately ruin the personal lives of those individuals yearning to reach a new high.

Violence in Video Games First Impression

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

Violent behavior has increased as violent video games have become more popular, however, I believe that the video games are not the direct cause for the violent behavior. Personally, I am not an advocate for violent video games. I do not believe that they are beneficial for anyone or for society as a whole. There is already so much backlash against our society because of the increase in crime and horrific events that have been occurring more frequently across the country in places that we would least expect. Creating more violent video games with even more violent images and actions in the games makes us look like we do not care about the events happening around us and as if we want to provoke people to be criminals. However, I do not believe that kids are becoming more violent simply because they are playing violent video games.

The games may partly have an effect on the minds of young children because they see these horrific actions and are able to hurt someone in a video game without getting in trouble in real life. However, I believe that other things occurring around the children are making them violent and harming their mental health. Violence could be present in their family and their minds are influenced to think that violence is the right path to take. Friends, peers, and social activities can also influence them to become more violent.

I believe that having violent video games permanently banned will neither help nor harm the situation. Children may still have other influences that make them more violent or more prone to acting out in violence. There are also many other possible reasons behind violence other than seeing gore in blood on the screen, so banning the video games will not completely eliminate violence in youth or in adults.


Mythbusters First Impression

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

The Mythbusters mini-episode, “Do Hands Free Devices Improve Driving Safety?”, uses many methods of experimental design in a successful way. Having many different tests in the beginning part of the experiment when developing a hypothesis was very smart because it allowed them to build up and gather ideas to create an experiment. At first it did not seem as if it would be a good experiment due to the lack of participants. This changed when the two men brought in 30 more volunteers. Unfortunately, there was still a lack of control in the experiment. In the beginning, the two men tested the experiment using real cars on a course in the real world with hands held devices. Then the volunteers were in a simulation where they were guided and distracted by hands free devices. To make this experiment more successful, there could have possibly been more volunteers on the real-life course, although this could have been a potential safety risk. They were successfully able to come to a conclusion that hands-free devices are not safer than handheld devices after following the steps of experimental design well. However, their lack of participation across both the real-life driving and the simulation driving put them at a disadvantage. Their results were most likely affected by this which could make their conclusion incorrect. To improve the results for this experiment to get a more precise and accurate conclusion, the two men could acquire more participants for their experiment in hopes of creating a stronger argument and conclusion. Overall, the men did well with following the processes of experimental design.

All About Me

--Original published at Caroline's Blog

Hi everyone! My name is Caroline Hill,  I am a sophomore Occupational Therapy major and Spanish minor, and I am also a member of the swim team. I chose to take this class because I am required to take it for my major along with neuroscience. My high school did not offer any psychology classes so this is my first time ever taking a psychology class. When I think of the word psychology, I think about the mind and how the mind works and processes information, emotions, etc.  The three topics that look the most interesting to me on the syllabus are Cognitive Development, How to Improve Memory, and Mood Disorders and Anxiety. I think that these three sections can help me with my major and understanding the minds/developing the profiles of some of the people I could be working with. I am the least interested in learning about the Scientific Method, Critiquing Experimental Design, and Theories of Intelligence, because, although it will be a great refresher,  I have talked about the scientific method and experimental design a good amount in other classes and theories of intelligence does not sound like something I will enjoy learning about. Since I do not have any experience with psychology, I do not have any specific questions that I want answered by the end of this class, however I want to understand the main concepts of psychology and the importance of psychology.