Spotlight Blog #3

--Original published at Collin's Blog

Major Depressive disorder is one of the most common illness in the United States but can be treated using psychotherapy or by using medication. Some medications are prescribed by doctors to combat the effects of depression in the brain. According to Healthline, medications can be very effective in treating mental illnesses such as depression. One of the most commonly prescribed types of medicine for patients with depression is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are used to limit the uptake of serotonin, this leaves more serotonin to work in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that is associated with contributing feelings of happiness throughout the body. The same idea is used in SNRIs or Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, which also allow for more norepinephrine to be contained in the brain. Antidepressants are a type of medicine used to treat depression when SSRIs are ineffective. They can treat depression symptoms, as well as anxiety symptoms in patients by balancing neurotransmitters within the brain (Healthline). Another reason medication is considered more beneficial than psychotherapy is because compared to using regular medication, psychotherapy can be a long process until feelings of hope and expectancy are seen by the patient (Schwartz). Where as medication can help relieve stress and feeling in short-term responses. In fact, more people are turning from psychotherapy, towards medication because of this reason as well as having a much affordable cost for patients.
However, in the long-term psychotherapy can be a more effective way to overcome any mental illness, including depression. By not becoming reliant on medication and working through the illnesses themselves. When patients overuse medications, the natural brain functions to regulate hormonal balances are compromised. This leads to permanent functional loss in the brain which can make the body rely heavily on medications. The process to undo this is called withdraw and can be painful as well as timely. Even though psychotherapy is not easy during the beginning sessions of therapy it can be much more helpful than continual use of medications. Over time, it is possible for the patient to become self sufficient without the need for therapy sessions (Whitbourne). Among many patients experiencing both psychotherapeutic treatment and medication, many of them prefer psychotherapy over medication because of the lack of health risks and feeling of being in control of the patient’s depression (American Psychiatric Association).
My perspective is that psychotherapy is the much better choice to medication. Medication is never a completely safe option especially when putting foreign materials into your system. Anything that can change the overall balance of hormones and the body’s own process of homeostasis is potentially dangerous to the person’s overall wellbeing. I feel the credibility of the psychotherapy sources were very reputable especially because the authors are the American Psychiatric Association and a PHD psychiatrist Susan Krauss Whitbourne. The sources that support using medication over psychotherapy are not as valid. The article written by Healthline does not provide much information as to how the medication works to help cope with the symptoms of depression. After my research I still believe that psychotherapy is a more beneficial treatment option to major depressive disorder.

American Psychiatric Association:


Media Production Project

--Original published at Collin's Blog

Is love at first sight actually real? According to most people it is a common way of knowing whether the person you meet is meant to be the love of your life. Love stories all start with a couple meeting each other for the first time and knowing from the beginning they laid eyes on each other that they were meant to be together. This scenario is depicted in the media constantly through movies, tv series and traditional love stories. This idea is not completely wrong, however as described by the Triangular Love Scale love at first sight does not meet the criteria for true love. The true criteria being that the relationship needs to exhibit passion, commitment and intimacy. In love at first sight encounters, only passion experienced whereas there is no time to create and intimacy or trust that would lead to a committed relationship from a short interaction.
A series of studies done by Zsok, Haucke, De Wit and Barelds was conducted to test whether individuals felt true love at first sight in different scenarios. Four separate studies were conducted to collect results. The first study was an online study using 282 people, where pictures of potential romantic partners were shown to each participant. Participants were asked to report any feelings of attraction upon seeing the pictures. The next series of test were conducted in a similar manner on a smaller scale with only fifty participants completing the online study. The third study was face to face dating where participants met each other randomly in groups and at the end of the session were asked if they felt any attraction or feelings of love at first sight with anyone else from the group. Lastly a speed dating study was done where participants would meet one on one and were able to have a more personal connection to each other. At the end of the studies, the results showed a few interesting correlations within the data.
The first was the obvious that people were more likely to report feeling love at first sight towards beautiful or good looking potential partners. Also, it seemed that men more frequently felt love at first sight than women, even though in all of the studies there was a higher percentage of female participants than males. Next, usually the feelings of love were not mutual, where one partner would feel great lust for another participant while that participant had no feelings of attraction to the other. Finally, it was concluded that love at first sight was not truly love. Instead, it may have been lust, a great sexual passion for a partner without commitment or intimacy being present in the relationship. To support this conclusion the participants who had experience love at first sight were asked what made them feel so attached to their potential partner. Most replied that they had felt a physical attraction for them but had not developed any kind of commitment or intimate relationship with the other. With time these kinds of relationship traits can come with time therefore it would be impossible to feel true love at first sight with someone who does not share any intimacy within their significant partner or feels committed to only that person. The only trait they feel is a physical and sexual attraction that is made during the first few moments of meeting their partner. This would lead to the conclusion of the study to be, love at first sight is rather a strong lusting passion for the partner, since it does not meet the full criteria of the triangular love scale.


While summarizing the news article I found it challenging to incorporate the details of the experiment and all the evidence that the study had answered the five critical questions for reading research studies. The scholarly article of the study gave each individual study in a lot of detail, however having a limitation on my article’s size, I could not incorporate some important aspects of the results of each study. Also, I could not include some of the specific methods the researchers used to collect the data from the participants. It could have been useful for the readers to know for example, that the groups formed in the third study were organized so that there would be roughly an equal amount of male and female participants in each group while also keeping the selection of participants to each group random. This made the study valid and generalizable in the sense that random assignment was incorporated into the research requirements. Some smaller details like the participation size for all studies and the method of recording the surveys taken by the participants are also useful information for the audience to know but could not be incorporated into the summary of the news article.
Otherwise, I believe I incorporated enough of the information from the research study into the news article summary for it to be valid. Also, by leaving out some of the unusful information given by the original news article, it made the research findings much more believable. An example of this was rather than using celebrity relationships as an example of people experiencing love at first sight, I only included the results from a variety of participants who had anonymously answered the surveys to the study. This decreased any chance of participant lying on the surveys. By quoting specific well-known celebrities it is more likely that the results given to the research group would have been filtered so that it would not hurt the celebrity’s own public image.
Original News Article:
Scholarly Article: file:///C:/Users/Collin’s%20Laptop/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/For%20Collin%20G.pdf


Spotlight Blog #2: Memory

--Original published at Collin's Blog

Studying strategies have been a controversial issue among all levels of the educational system. From elementary school students to college students, everyone has different strategies suitable for different students. For younger students such as middle school to high school level it is recommended to begin individual studying rather than assisted studying from parents or teachers. Developing strong independent leaning skills are essential for life long studying habits. Kris Bales, from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, suggests a few techniques in order to improve adolescent memories. One technique is finding the right spot to study. It is known that studying in the same spots continuously can improve retrieval of memories. Keeping good lighting and plenty of comfortable space to write are essential for this technique. The next technique is keeping the right mood, this can be done using music, short breaks, and or a quiet room for some people. Using music is a popular method for people, to stay focused on studying over a long period of time. Another technique is time management, which is an important skill to develop as a teenager. The ability to prioritize tasks and work without the need for supervision can be developed by enforcing due dates, scheduling study times, and making notes can all be useful for time management. Check-lists are a great way to help keep adolescent students motivated, by continually feeling achievement for completing tasks. Every time a task is completed an addictive sensation is released from dopamine in the mind. This can lead to motivating the adolescent through a healthy addiction to complete their work.
For college students, studying is more focused on implementing the best ways to learn and readily recall information. Holly Dalby, from Centura College, explains some ways to improve the studying habits of college students. The most important advice she gives is to dedicate plenty of time to studying and reviewing to continuously move useful information into long-term memory. Prioritizing your time is also an important technique that is vital for college students. Some material needs more refreshing in order to keep nerve pathways to the memories active. Another technique useful to college students is working together in study groups. Working as a group can add different perspectives to understanding the course material and makes complicated topics easier to comprehend. Groups can also help to eliminate any bias during discussions, that could change a student’s perspective on any given topic if they are working individually. Cramming for exams has shown to be very ineffective when compared to spacing out studying sessions over a few weeks ahead of an exam. Lastly, an important part of staying focused and being successful in college is not letting your life get in the way of your dreams. While your friends, family, and relationships can be supportive they can also require a great amount of energy and often will take away from your focus on studying and work. Keeping your priorities and ambitions in mind, knowing when to focus on your personal life and when to focus on your academics is an important part of being successful in college.
Parents should also be involved in getting their children on the right paths to learning how to study and improving their memories. Some techniques can be used to ensure their child is getting the most quality time of studying they can. One way is by making designated quiet hours where the TV set is turned off and homework can be done. Normally, a child will only need an hour or so a night at a time to get their work done so there can still be plenty of time for extracurricular activities and free time. Another key factor is regularity. According to the Children Development Institute, regularity is keeping a regular schedule with your children to form healthy, helpful habits for them. Keeping a designated time of the day for studying, activity, and dinner as well as family time has shown to be very beneficial for children in middle and high school. When regularity is implemented into a college student’s schedule as well, it shows very beneficial results academically and keeps their personal wellness healthy.
In my own experiences with studying, the tips given are great, helpful techniques that will show great results for any child’s academics. The only issue I would have is that none of the articles gave any scientific evidence that would support any of their statement and generalizations. Also, none of the articles used the idea of conceptual thinking, to map out ideas and create more neural networks to create even more connections between information and concepts. This has been a very helpful technique for me during college and was highly recommended from many of my professors and advisors.


First Impression Post Week #13: Option 1

--Original published at Collin's Blog

My interactions in high school with my teachers was a much more informal than they are at Elizabethtown College. Most of my teachers were very laid back and would not care if you called them by their first name as long as you were polite during class and did your work regularly on time. At times they were a little too loose with their tolerance, some students would take advantage of their freedoms and make it difficult for high school teachers to consistently keep a laid back classroom when they had to scold or argue with other students who did not want to be there. Most of my high school educators had to deal with students like this and their subtlety as teachers gave students the wrong impressions of how their classroom was meant to be run. Here at Elizabethtown, just about every interaction with professors has been formal and understandably so since much of our work here is important to our futures. I think this has lead to much more polite classroom environments and helped a lot of students stay serious about their academics and future goals. The public high school systems should implement a more serious environment and be a little less subtle in their interactions with students if they want their class to be more involved in the learning process and thus take the classes seriously.

First Impression Post Week #12

--Original published at Collin's Blog

For this week’s first impression post I decided to explain why I came to Elizabethtown College and how I motivate myself during my time here. I decided to come to Elizabethtown College for a few reasons. First, it was one of the colleges that had offered the most financial aid and scholarships to me which really helped to lighten the load of paying out of pocket and loans. Another reason I came to Elizabethtown, was because I really liked the campus and the town. It felt a lot similar to my hometown, just being a little bigger and a nice quiet town in a rural area. Also, when I had come to visit the college, I met Dr. Bridge and Dr. Yorty from the Biology Department, both of them were extremely kind and happily gave me advice during the application process and for my future endeavors. The friendly professors and students on campus made the college seem very friendly and was another factor for why I came here. To motivate myself, I try to set weekly goals to stay on track with my assignments and studying. Also, I enjoy most of my classes and most of the material is interesting to learn, which is motivation enough sometimes to do the extra work.
I plan to raise my overall GPA and maintain a high overall and major GPA in order to be a strong applicant for medical school in a few years. A good intervention for motivation could be applying for the early admission into medical next year as a sophomore, even if I am not selected it could be a good way to gauge where I am at by the end of sophomore year and what more I need to do.

Johari Window: Bonus Post

--Original published at Collin's Blog

Last week I did a Johari Window project, where I chose a few personality traits to describe myself and then asked 10 other people to give me personality traits based on their thoughts. The process was neat, and I was able to see what my actual personalities are rather than what I think of myself. My self-description of myself was pretty similar to what others selected. Except for a few new and different traits there was a lot of common traits that were picked. However, I think this was probably not a valid measure of our personality since there would be a lot of bias during the project. My friends would be bias in my favor (at least I would hope) and would have good things to say about me. A better way to measure my personality would be to have people who do not know me, observe me for a few days or a week and then comment on what personalities I have. In this process, I did not learn too much. Most of the personality traits used by my friends were either used by me, or I had already known this about myself. It was an interesting project, but it could have been more valid if there were less bias involved.”><b>Interactive Johari Window</b></a> on 23.3.2018, using data from 11 respondents.<br> You can <a href=”“>make your own Johari Window</a>, or <a href=” personality traits”>view Collins personality traits’s full data</a>. </div>

First Impression Post Week 11: Option 2

--Original published at Collin's Blog

For my blog post this week I chose to watch the TED talk “Making Stress your Friend” by Kelly McGonigal. I thought it could be a useful and healthy lifestyle tip to use especially for college students. While normally the general census on stress is to avoid it at all cost, McGonigal says instead of avoiding stress we should be welcoming and using it to motivate us. People who experience stress, but express it as being unharmful to their health experience less health problems and more success than the people who believe stress is harmful to them. Welcoming stress, showed that your body was energizing itself to prepare for challenges. Your pounding heart and rapid breath are elements meant to provide more energy to the body.
Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist. Before understanding the biological effects of stress, she would tell her patients to try to avoid stress, and that it was bad for their health. When she learned about how understanding stress can be healthier than avoiding it, she immediately began training her patients to understand stress and welcome stress into their lives to help them through challenges. I believe Kelly McGonigal is credible in her research since she has a profession that revolves around understanding how your mental psychology can affect your overall health.
I would like to implement this skill into my life. It could help during exam days, presentations and future interviews. Simply telling my self that stress and anxiety can be good for me, could help me live a healthier life.

First Impression Post Week #9: Option 2

--Original published at Collin's Blog

My current sleep schedule is pretty bad. Normally I try to get all my work and studying done before I go to bed, so I would go to sleep late and then get up for my 8 am classes every day. I have a very busy schedule during the week, so I hate putting off my homework for too long because I would end up procrastinating and end up doing homework the night before it is due. I try to take naps during the day though to try to catch up on lost sleep, but most times it just makes me more tired for the rest of the day. Overall, I think I have a bad sleep schedule, but being a college student makes it difficult not to be sleep deprived.
A realistic goal for college students should be 6-8 hours of sleep a night. I would think that busy nights it would be acceptable to only get around 6 hours of sleep as long as you are getting adequate sleep throughout the rest of the week. I think one reason college students do not get enough adequate sleep is because we tend to wait to do homework and assignments for class the night before it is due. I know I do this occasionally and will end up working until 2-3 am just to finish everything. Also, I think a lot of students are sleep deprived during finals week, trying to study for long hours and not going to bed until they are sure they know the material.
I can improve my sleep schedule by regularly finishing my work ahead of time, giving myself more time at night to go to bed earlier. Also, I heard that looking at your cell phone or any lit screen before sleeping is supposed to affect your sleep as well, so I can try to break that habit because it is probably also affecting my sleep.

Spring Break Post: Option 1

--Original published at Collin's Blog

I watched the TED talk “Different Ways of Knowing” by Daniel Tammet because it seemed interesting how senses can activate each other and work together to gain different understandings of common concepts. Such as calculations, Tammet uses shapes and simple multiplication to solve complex math in a simpler way than taught in schools. His synesthesia also enables him to see color in words, this helps him pick out meanings in phrases and piece together figurative language like alliteration and syllables in words. I never knew there was a condition like synesthesia, it was interesting to see how someone like Daniel Tammet perceived the world using all his senses collectively.
This condition would probably change a person’s perception of the world completely. Not only just reading words and seeing color but being able to understand complex problems and pick up on fine details in literature. A person with the condition would have an incredible gift but it could become overwhelming and sometimes impractical in the modern world. It may be hard for common people to fully understand the condition of someone with synesthesia, as said by Tammet when he explains his own daily life where his conversations with other people can be awkward when they learn of his condition. Daniel Tammet says that the condition is manageable, but to someone who is unaware that they may have synesthesia the common world can be complicated, and their own perception can feel overwhelming.
According to Daniel Tammet, his condition can also be useful, being able to perceive problems using different senses could be helpful for problem solving skills and comprehending an author’s tone in their literature. Daniel is able to manage his condition which allows him to gain heightened perception from his sense without being completely overwhelmed.

First Impression Post #7: Option 1

--Original published at Collin's Blog

This week I chose to do my blog on the pros and cons of marijuana legalization and my personal opinion on it.  Legalizing marijuana has become a very controversial debate over the past few years. Some states have already begun legalizing it while others are well on their way to passing it through. In response to this, some people are going against marijuana’s legalization, saying it is a “gateway drug” and that making it more available to the public could lead to more issues.

The pros to making marijuana legal are that it could (in theory) benefit the economy, making the drug freely marketable would allow the government to add a taxation on selling marijuana which would lead to more government funding. Marijuana also is known to not affect the health of its consumers. The affects of marijuana usually only last a few hours depending on certain variables, but usually there is no long lasting effect for the occasional use.

While the physical effects of marijuana can fade away the psychological effects can build over time with use. The addiction to marijuana can cause many problems to the consumer resulting in a snowball effect. THC is a pain relieving substance in marijuana, that is used in the medical field to alleviate the severe pain for patients. Away from the hospitals it is commonly used to treat depression and stress among people. In hospitals the usage of marijuana is monitored and controlled, but that is usually not the case for people using it for recreational purposes. This can lead to an uncontrollable need for marijuana and can harm transmission of hormones that are normally used to deal with stress. By constantly using marijuana for a stress relief your body’s natural hormonal reactions will be left unused and eventually be depleted. The body would have to rely heavily on your use of marijuana for everyday stress which could become expensive for the consumer much like cigarettes have become.

In my opinion, legalizing marijuana is not going to be beneficial long-term for people and it seems that the government may only be legalizing its recreational use to gain a profit. For the consumers, when you form a habit to a drug or a chemical that is not naturally suppose to be produced in your body, it will have effects on the body whether you can see it or not.