Spotlight ~ Development

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

Divorce is a prominent issue in not only today’s society, but also in my life specifically. I have lived through three separate divorces, my parents, and then each parent getting remarried and divorced again. Though I have gone through more than most, I believe that it has had both positive and negative effects on me and how I have turned out now that I am older. In order to determine which side is truly correct, i had to complete some research because my own life experiences just were not enough.

I began by looking at articles on the negative effects, the two articles I found were on MomJunction and Iowa State’s research website. The first one is written by Rohit Garoo who has a bachelor’s degree in science and a masters in business. I found this website to be credible by looking at the date of publication, the credentials of the author, as well as editors. This website is edited by a clinical psychologist and a bachelor of medicine. Due to all of these factors, I deemed this source credible. This article discussed ten negative effects of divorce on a child, five short-term effects and 5 long-term effects. Without discussing each of the ten effects I think the most influential effect for short-term is constant stress which is described by Garoo as the false responsibility of the divorce that the child thinks. The child puts this on themselves which can lead to so many other effects on the child. “This can lead to immense stress and pressure on the young mind, which can have several repercussions like negative thoughts and nightmares.” (Garoo, 2018) The second article I found on the negative effects of divorce on children is done by Iowa State and the article was written by Jayna Solinger, I deemed this credible because it is done by a scholarly institution, has an edu tag, and has works cited after the article. Though this article is credible, it’s one fault is that it is bias and is strongly against divorce and intensifies its effects. The general statement of this article is that it is better for everyone involved to work through the problems within a marriage instead of going through a divorce. Though I agree with the first source on the effects it has, I disagree with the second article because many divorces can lead to happy co-parenting and overall more of a positive atmosphere for the parents in each household and for the child going back and forth.

After researching negative effects, I then looked at positive effects. This may seem weird because the question may be asked, how can a failed marriage be good? The first article that I came across was from Psychology Today, written by Neil Farber who has a bachelors of science with honors in psychology who also completed dual Doctorate degrees in research in medicine, this provides a credible author, and a credible website, the date of publication is also recent.  This article addresses frequently asked questions about divorce and what the parents can do to help the children going through this and answers for these questions. At the end of the article, Farber discuss ways to have positive outcomes from the divorce and why you should do these things. The second article I retrieved from a website called Divorce and Your Money and it is written by Shawn Leamon who has a Masters of business studies. I chose this source because, though it is not written by a psychologist, it provides information on how in some cases, divorce is the better option. This article basically discusses how not all marriages can be saved, and staying together may be causing more stress on the child and the parents. With this Leamon touches on the fact that if the parents divorce this could lead to less stress, increased ability to adapt because if the child can make it through their parent’s divorce then they can adapt to anything. Shawn also discusses how it also allows how divorce gives the child on-on-one time with each parent (Leamon, 2017).

After reading these four articles on both the positive and negative effects I do not think there is a right or wrong side of the argument. There are both positive and negative effects when going through a divorce and I think that the right decision depends on each and every relationship because each one is unique. In some cases I think it is better for the parents to work through their issues, but in other cases I think it is worse to stay together and put the children and themselves through the constant fighting and conflict. Ultimately it is most important to look at your own relationship and decide what is best for the family, whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa to decide whether divorce is more beneficial or detrimental.                                   

  Negative Effects:

Garoo, R. (2018). 10 Negative Effects Of Divorce On Children And Ways To Mitigate Them. Mom Junction. Retrieved from Solinger, J. The Negative Effects of Divorce on Children. Retrieved from

Positive Effects:

Farber, N. (2018). Enhancing Positive Outcomes for Children of Divorce. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

Leamon, S. (2017.) Potential Positive Effects of Divorce on Children (It may not all be bad news…). Divorce and Your Money. Retrieved from

First Impression: Memory

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

Unfortunately, I do not have the best study habits because in highschool very few of my courses required me to study a lot in order to receive a high grade. The most effective way that I study is making flashcards and going over these flashcards numerous times. This worked in highschool because most exams and quizzes were memorization of words and their definitions. Now entering college-level exams, tests, and quizzes I have learned that it is mostly applying the vocabulary to scenarios and problems and only a small part is writing down the definition for words. I am very successful of memorizing words and their definitions, but I am not the best at then applying this knowledge to situations on a test. I memorize things one way and if it is worded differently I get confused.


For the first exam in psychology, I studied the only way I know how, which is making notecards. And for a lot of the exam it worked because I remembered the theorists and what they did, and what kind of parenting which with what characteristics, but when it came to writing my own hypothesis and evaluating strengths and weaknesses of two things. I also struggled using the flashcards for some portions because the definition or information on a person/concept was far too extineous to remember from the back of a flashcard. For the next exam I am going to still use flashcards, but I will also incorporate concept maps so I can see all the ideas and how they relate to one another and I will also complete more practice problems that resemble exam questions. I will also begin studying earlier for the exam instead of two or three days before like I did for the last exam.


First Impression: Learning

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

B.F Skinner researched operant conditioning which is the idea that if you train an animal or person that when they complete one action they get reward. In the experiment shown in the video it had pigeons that were trained to peck when they saw a color and when they pecked, they received food. They also had pigeons see the word turn and peck and the pigeon was able to recognize the correct one to do through operant conditioning. The pigeons knew when they saw turn, they turned and in return got food and when they saw peck, they pecked and recieved food. B.F Skinner claimed that this directly relates to humans, an example is gambling. He believes that people gamble because of the scheduled reward while they do it, which is an example of operant conditioning. The interviewer then ask Skinner about free will, and he says that there is no such thing, he quotes Jonathan Edwards who said, “We believe in free will because we know about our behavior but not its causes.” Meaning that without knowing the causes of our actions and being able to control those causes then we truly to do not have freewill.


I agree with Skinner’s idea that there is no free will because in a situation you know what is right and wrong and if you were to ask someone why the right reaction is the right reaction and vice versa, most likely their answer would be “because” which you would then ask, “because why?” and if someone asked me that question I would say, “because that is how it has always been, that is how it is supposed to be” and I believe this is a form of operant conditioning because it is the idea that we carried out these actions and learned the consequences of actions and we continued with the “right” one, the decision that got us the food, per say. We have been taught in society, that you respect your elders, follow directions and behave. So when your mom or dad yells at you, you know to say yes ma’am or yes sir and keep going, but why? Why do we do this? And the only reason I can come up with is because that is what we always do and when, as a child you do this, in most cases your parents reward you by lifting the punishment or making it less severe, which is operant conditioning. Representing, at least in my opinion that we do not have true free will.


First Impression: The Biology of Behavior

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

The biology of behavior is an interesting topic for me to learn about and I look forward to studying it further. I have some prior knowledge about the basic biology in the health field because of the pathway I took in high school. I went to a vo-tech school where I studied nursing, we learned the basic structures of neurons, the human body, cells, and the anatomy of the human body. We spent a lot of time on the structure of a neuron. The neuron is made up of many parts: the axon, the myelin sheath, dendrites, and cell receptors. I also learned about the basic body functions which hopefully will tie into this chapter of the biology of behavior. I learned about how every body part is made up of neurons, these neurons provide a certain purpose.

I also remember learning about the parts of the brain. There are multiple different lobes: the occipital lobe, the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, and the temporal lobe. All of these different lobes provide a different function for the human body. The different lobes work together along with the spinal cord in sending and receiving messages from the outside world and transporting those messages to the brain and vice versa. The body functions because of nerves, and these nerves send impulses to the brain which then causes an action. For example, when you touch something pointy, you feel that and it sends impulses to your brain to tell you to pull your finger away.


First Impression: Parenting

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

There are many kinds of parenting styles, some similar and some very different and then some in between, from lighthouse to helicopter parenting. Lighthouse parenting is basically to love your children infinitely and let them make their own mistakes and learn from them. On the opposite end of this is helicopter parenting which is called this because the parent hovers over the child’s life from birth on throughout their whole life. This type of parent plans out their child’s life from the very start and micromanages their child with everything. Somewhere in the middle of these two is known as dolphin parenting, this means that the parents set rules and have expectations, but they allow their children to also have independence and to make their own mistakes.

To raise the most successful and happy children I believe parents must be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, like a dolphin parent. In order to have a this outcome for your child, the dolphin parenting is the best option because it allows the child to see boundaries, rules, and guidelines in a sort, but the child also has enough freedom to make their own mistakes and learn from them themselves. This gives the pathway for a child to know right from wrong because of what their parents taught them, but he/she is not being micromanaged to the point where they experience nothing for themselves. It is important to have guidance from parents, but not everything planned out for the child. Dolphin parenting sums up what I believe is best when raising a child, which I think will raise a happy, healthy, and successful person.


Extra Credit- Miguel Scenario

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

Miguel has been struggling with his coursework lately. He has felt very tired in recent weeks and has found it difficult to focus on his studies. Even though he is always tired, he has trouble falling asleep at night, is irritable during the day, and picks fights with his roommate. He is a bit of a perfectionist and gets mad at himself when he makes even tiny mistakes. It’s gotten to the point where he doubts his ability to do anything right.

Based on psychodynamics, his problem is not actually with his roommate, he actually has internal issues going on which is why he is such a perfectionist and gets mad at even himself. Psychodynamics focuses unconscious desires and thoughts rather then his conscious desires.

Behavioral psychology is the study of only observable behaviors, meaning it has nothing to do with thoughts, but just studying a person’s actions. Miguel may have experienced his parents or others around him being irritable and fighting with one another which is why he may act in this way.

Humanistic psychology is a strength-based approach that focuses on personal growth and freedom to choose. Using humanistic psychology, Miguel might be struggling because he feels he has no worth because he is behind with his coursework and with this he then struggles with sleep, and his general mood. He has trouble believing that he can do anything right, which is what humanistic psychology is trying to help, this approach looks for a person’s personal best. Since he has such a negative outlook on himself, this could be the cause of the negativity towards others around him.

Cognitive psychology is an approach that looks at the brain’s processes of memory, learning, and thinking. This approach can be used to describe why Miguel is feeling so behind and overwhelmed. Miguel could have a memory problem, and in college courses, you are given a lot of information that you are expected to remember, this frustration can be the cause of the other problems he is experiencing. Which used cognitive psychology to determine the cause of the problems he is having.

Miguel’s cognitive problems can also be the root of the neuroscientific outlook neuroscience is how the body and brain enable emotions, memories, and sensory experiences, so if he has trouble with memory, his problems in coursework can be traced back to neuroscience.  

Cultural psychology is the study of the different cultures and societies and how the differences affect a person’s thinking. Miguel could have been raised in a home and culture where there was a lot of hostility and fighting which would describe why he is fighting with his roommate.


Research Methods

--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

In this experiment the MythBusters crew is testing whether females or males can sense emotions better. Their hypothesis was that females are able to read people’s emotions better than males are. They tested this by having four of the team members to make basic facial expressions; sad, happy, mad, and confused. They then cut out everything of the face except the team member’s eyes. A group of people, both men and women came and sat in a chair and looked at a projector and were showed the images of the eyes and were asked what expression the person was making. They tested each person one at a time and recorded their answers. Generally the women answered faster and more accurately, having an average answers correct of 10.6, whereas the men scored 9.6. The MythBusters believed there was going to be a larger gap between the scores, but their hypothesis was still proved to be correct. 

This experiment had both strengths and weaknesses where it can be improved. One weakness of this experience is the simple fact that not everyone expresses emotions in the same way, some people may show their emotions very prominently on their face whereas, like in the experiment Jamie Hyneman had the same facial expression for every emotion (which they then did not use his pictures in the experiment), some people do not wear their emotions on their face. Which raises another question, can you really test which gender can sense emotions more accurately by solely relying on who can recognize facial expressions better? This error alone can lead to other experiments that are branched off of this. Another possible error is that the pictures are of the people who are recording the results, so the test subjects are looking at the actual people in the pictures which could have aided in deciding which emotion the person in the picture was showing. A positive of this experiment is like what I have already discussed, they developed a clear hypothesis that they tested. Another strength of this experiment is that they tested more than just one male and one female.

Overall, I think this short-slip from MythBusters questioning if males or females were better at recognizing emotions was informative. Though I think that further questions should be asked about how a person, male or female, can detect emotion and which gender can do it more accurately.



--Original published at Cecilia's Thoughts

Introductory psychology was a necessity for my first semester here at Elizabethtown for the simple reason that I love psychology and learning about how the human brain works and why people are the way they are. In high school I took a psychology course that was very basic where we learned the anatomy of the brain, diseases of the brain, and scientists who developed psychology. After taking that psychology course when I hear the world psychology I think of how a person’s mind works, how the brain can develop diseases and how it affects each and every person’s life. Three topics on the course list that seem very interesting to me are addiction, attachment theory, and cognitive development. I find addiction interesting because it directly relates to the people around me, I am eager to learn about attachment theory because it intrigues me how people become so attached to another person and I want to know why that is. Cognitive development is also interesting to me because I am not very familiar with the topic, but I would like to be. Three topics that are not so interesting to me are how to choose a therapist because I think that this topic is not as related to the actual workings of the brain as some of the other topics. Power of the situation does not seem very interesting because I am not quite sure what it is, the title does not provide me with enough information to decide. A final topic that does not spark my interest is operant conditioning because of the same reason, I am not quite sure what it is. I am very excited to take this course and learn more about the human brain and psychology.