Spotlight Post 3 — Social

--Original published at Garrettscollegeblog

Dealing with peer pressure seems difficult in every situation. The idea of fitting in takes precedence in so many people’s mind they sometimes ignore their existing morals. My hardest times dealing with peer pressure came in high school, college, and the athletics I partake in. I never found a concrete way to handle peer pressure as the peers around me differ in every situation. This blog with dive into different sources that think they have figured out the best ways to handle peer pressure from the perspectives of high school students, college students, and athletes. posted an article that pinpoints specific tactics to dealing with peer pressure in college. Of the four suggestions provided, the one that seemed the most prolific to me was seek healthy relationships. It mentions the idea of surrounding yourself with a group that engages in positive activities. Dealing with peer pressure is almost unavoidable so this approach attempts to put a student in a situation that when peer pressure does arise, it is for positive things. Obviously this approach is easier said than done, but college does promote a fresh start for many incoming students that do not know anyone and are searching for friends.

High school differs from college a little as avoiding things proves a little harder. Students spend around eight hours per day in school where word spreads so fast about what other students did that made them “cool.” That remains the talk of the school for days or even weeks at a time. offers many solutions but the best comes about in one they call “get out of the situation.” When a group of people is planning to do immoral or even life threatening things, leave. When in the presence of a group it becomes easier to conform; so the longer the student remains with the group, the harder it will become to say no and conforming feels so much easier.

Athletes experience a lot of peer pressure that if one partakes in it. The obvious situations like engaging in drugs and alcohol, which can result in things like loss of scholarship or getting kicked off of the team, really stick out in this scenario. Even small events like succumbing to peer pressure to go out and stay out late the night before a game act as poor decisions for an athlete and provides steps to deal with this peer pressure. The most influential step states that the athlete should ask himself or herself before doing the act, “will this help me and will I look back and think this was a good idea.” When asking this the athlete can decide way before a group or peers become involved to say no and avoid the situation as a whole. Similar to the high school example above, this tip can alleviate the stress to conform when in front of groups because the question can allow the person to leave prior to group intervention in the peer pressure.

The ideas above will differ in effectiveness from person to person as many people adapt to groups in different ways. Some experience social interference where a group hinders the person and makes conformity easier. For some, however, groups aid the person and make the situation easier to navigate; that is called social facilitation.


Chapter 15 Fist Impression Post

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When it comes to psychotherapy, four major types prevail: psychodynamic, humanist, behavioral, and cognitive. These psychotherapy methods all differ from each other in multiple ways, but ranking them proves a difficult task as each one elicits great ideas. The ranking I will propose will be based off of ability to help the majority of people rather than just a small group.

Cognitive therapies provide the best ideas overall. Many times our internal feeling and thoughts shape our emotions and actions. For example, if someone internally thinks of themselves as the best or the worst, their responding emotions will reflect these feeling. This type of therapy molds a new way of thinking in the person in order to change these outward emotions for the better.

Humanist therapies, similar to cognitive therapies, attempt to assist internally rather than externally. Inner conflicts hinder human maturation and growth and this therapy aims to create self-awareness and self-acceptance within the individual. Very similar to this form of therapy is psychodynamic therapy. Instead of focusing on a growing self-acceptance, however, this method concentrates on unconscious thinking. The therapist aims to dive deeper beyond conscious thinking to allow the patients to gain a greater knowledge of themselves. These two methods both have a disadvantage. Since the therapy is patient oriented the therapist needs one hundred percent cooperation and openness, which proves difficult in many people with someone they do not know or trust yet.

Behavior therapies differ from all other forms where they deny that internal growth in self-acceptance and our thoughts actually help. This form of therapy attempts to condition a new behavior into the patient that completely replaces the other behavior, such as a phobia. This works well but only works for a small amount of people as a therapist cannot condition depression, mania, schizophrenia, etc. out of person. Also, these methods completely remove a sense of self out of the patient. Instead of learning to cope and grow, this method attempts to remove this part of a person’s identity from them.

Psychology In The Media

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Over the history of weight-loss drugs, significant weight loss has always been followed by cardiovascular problems. Lorcaserin, a major component to the drug Belviq, significantly contributes to weight loss. The cardiovascular outcomes remained unknown until further research on the drug tested the effects on overweight people with cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors.

The TIMI Study Group planned to conduct the experiment by creating two groups out of the selected participants. One group set to receive the drug Belviq, while the other group took a placebo. With a plan to apply the results to a multinational audience, the researchers randomly selected 12,000 participants from 437 sites in eight different countries. In order for eligibility for selection to exist, the participant must bear a BMI of 27 at the lowest while also at risk for many cardiovascular problems.

From the eight countries, TIMI selected 12,000 eligible participants, which then underwent assignment. At a 1:1 ratio, participants were randomly assigned to either the group that would receive Belviq, or to the group that would receive a placebo. Both groups then received a weight-loss and diet plan from the study group and encouragement to participate in the plan.

After 1 year of taking the drug, 38.7% of those taking Belviq lost more than 5% of their body weight in comparison to the 17.4% in the placebo group. When the weight loss increases to 10%, people in the Belviq group to complete this task tripled the amount in the placebo group (15% compared to 5%).

It is seen that Belviq significantly aids in weight loss, but the drug’s performance at the cardiovascular stage shined as well. Participants consuming the placebo actually suffered from a very small percentage more major cardiovascular events (6.2%) than those consuming the Belviq (6.1%). Although performing in both the cardiovascular and weight-loss aspects, the drug did cause some side effects. Some participants did experience dizziness, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and diarrhea, and in few cases to the extent of causing discontinuation from taking the drug.




While writing the summary the five critical questions stayed in my mind throughout. The one that stuck out the most was, “How did they operationalize their variables?” as this acted as a major criticism from the original pop culture article. The original article failed to mention how participants became eligible for this experiment. Although it mentioned that the participants must be at risk for cardiovascular disease, it failed to bring up what deemed participants obese or overweight. I made sure to mention these details, as it is important to know the characteristics of people participating. The other critical questions that stood out to me were participant selection and group assignment as these pertain to whether this was a true experiment and if these results could be generalized to more than those participating in the experiment.

A major similarity between the article and my summary existed in the results section. Both the article and my summary chose to elicit the information easily understood by the average reader, while still presenting enough information to get across the point. Another similarity existed in the slight bias towards Belviq throughout the article. I remember briefly critiquing the bias in the original article, but when reading my summary, realized that I showed the same bias. The differences between the two summaries subsisted in the writing style. The journalist much more effectively exposed the information while intriguing the audience to learn more. The journalist also possessed other interviews and sources to contribute to their article.

I definitely learned from this project as a whole the difficulty journalists face. The ability to take such advanced material in the scholarly articles and present it, in an entertaining way, to the public is an extremely strenuous act.

Bohula, Erin A, et al. “Cardiovascular Safety of Lorcaserin in Overweight or Obese Patients.” The New England Journal of Medicine, 26 Aug. 2018, pp. 1–11., doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1808721.

Preidt, Robert. “Diet Drug Belviq Is First Shown Not to Hurt Heart.” WebMD, WebMD, 27 Aug. 2018,

Chapter 12 First Impression–Social

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Cognitive dissonance amazes me as one can follow such a strict set of morals and beliefs and then, for a certain reward, completely forget their beliefs ever existed. The video does a great job at explaining dissonance with the one-dollar reward or twenty dollar reward for explaining a very boring test as exciting and fun. My experience with dissonance is quite different than this.

I am a very nice person, in my eyes. I try to treat every person with the respect they deserve, no matter how they treat me in return. I tend to avoid conflict and remain friendly in most, if not all situations by following the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. When I play soccer, however, almost everything changes in this perspective. When the other team “loses their cool” their focus drops tremendously and it is much easier to break them down. The easiest way to get into the opponent’s head is by playing dirty and trash talking. Instead of showing respect, I do everything I can to frustrate, anger, or upset the players, forcing them to lose focus. Besides saying some vulgar things that prove inappropriate for class, acts like stepping on toes with my studs, cheap shots outside of the referee’s vision, and many more. I do all of this for the reward of making the opponents easier to beat, but completely ignoring my morals outside of soccer. I believe cognitive dissonance should not be avoided because certain situations require different sets of morals. In my case, if it were not for my play style in soccer, I would not play at the collegiate level. This style has exceedingly aided me, no matter how against my off-the-field morals it is.

Spotlight Post 2 — Stress

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As we have learned in class, many different ways exist to cope with and handle stress. Stress is so individualized that many times it proves extremely difficult to classify one coping method as the perfect one, however, certain groups experience the same kinds of stressors which allows people to identify coping methods best related to those stressors. For example, student athletes all at a certain point encounter a time where both an important game and tons of homework engulf their mind. This post will evaluate the success of such coping strategies for student athletes, new parents, and teachers.

Just like normal students who participate in extracurricular activities, student athletes deal with many stressors all at once. The idea that someone could have a twelve page paper due the same night that their team plays one of the top ranked teams in the country stresses me out just thinking about it. lays out five important coping strategies for student athletes: Get plenty of rest, time management, maintain a positive attitude, plan recreational activities that de-stress you, and cultivate a support system. All of these strategies present emotion-focused coping because they are aimed at aiding the person on the feelings resulting from the stressor, without interacting with the stressor itself. These strategies seem like the most logical way to cope with student athlete related stress because using problem focused coping would result in quitting the sport or dropping out of school. The emotion-focused coping allows the person to manage stress while still enjoying the sport they love and school.

New parents experience so much stress after their child is born. Not only will hey lose a lot of sleep, they will lose a lot of free time they previously possessed. offers twenty-five tips that can aid in the stress created by a new baby. I will not list all twenty-five, rather I will pick out the one that sticks out the most: Postpone energy draining projects. Unlike the strategies above, this list exposes many problem-focused coping. In this coping form the stressor is directly changed or interacted with instead of the emotions resulting from the stressor. When postponing these energy draining projects it clears the schedule up, preventing stress from lack of time to arise. Although a night out with friends might work great, dealing with the stressors themselves I this situation proves much more effective for coping with stress.

From grading hundreds of tests or essays to dealing with rowdy and disrespectful students, teaching stands as a very stressful job. Again, a pretty extensive list of thirteen different strategies is provided by The one that stuck out the most to me was “Don’t bottle up anger and frustrations.” It then goes on to explain this strategy as talking out the stress with the person causing it, something we learned in class as self-disclosure. When this is not possible, the article mentions physical activity to relieve stress rather than allowing it to build up. Once more we see an emotionally-focused strategy overpower a problem-focused strategy because interacting with the stressor itself as a teacher would in many cases take away from being a teacher, as stress is natural for the occupation.



Chapter 9 First Impression- Intelligence

--Original published at Garrettscollegeblog

The evidence behind the environment leaving a huge mark on a person’s intelligence continues to this day. One of the biggest pieces of evidence we possess is schools or the education system as a whole. Children sit through classes in an attempt to retain information to, in turn, use in their real lives and successfully complete assessments.

Every teacher approaches the classroom a different way, which affects how students learn. Among my experiences with teachers, two major styles stick out more than others. The types of teachers that act as a friend to students usually provided a productive workspace. This friendly teaching style expresses a respect that the teacher has for the students, and allows the students to form respect back towards the teacher. This mutual appreciation proved for my classmates and me to always work. Better than the opposite style. When teachers approach the class as a dictator rather than an equal, there is a major disconnection between students and teacher. The students struggled to form respect for the teacher because he/she showed no respect to the students. It proves very difficult to learn in an environment where a single person that does not adapt to students controls everything.

A major improvement to the school system would be the installation of a democratic classroom into every class. Students will learn more effectively if every student contains equal opportunity to contribute to class. Also, as mentioned above, when teachers approach a class with respect for the students, the students enjoy learning instead of looking at it as a chore.


Chapter 3 First Impression (sleep)

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It seems that as age increases, time of sleep at night decreases. I remember in middle school and elementary school going to sleep between nine and ten with no stress about homework, tests, or school in general. Also, the lack of a job or a phone removed any reason for not staying at home, especially on school nights. The only reason at that age to stay up late came from a late soccer or basketball practice. In high school, however, many late nights manifested from sports, friends, jobs, and schoolwork. Falling asleep by ten progressively became midnight or one at the earliest.

My parents, over the summer, repeatedly said, “Make sure you get your sleep in now, you won’t once you get to college,” knowing that in the short future I would experience my first semester of college matched with a fall sport. Although my experience only expresses half of a semester, I can surprisingly say my sleep habits have improved from high school to college. With less class time during the day I have much more time to get work and studying finished much earlier in the day. My schedule also allows for sleeping in where my high school schedule forced waking up at six every morning. So far this semester I average six to eight hours of sleep each night, with subsequent naps throughout the day, if time allows.

A realistic goal for a college student without a job would be what I am acquiring right now. When waking up after a night with that amount of sleep I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Some improvements I would make pertain more to sleep schedule than habits. With the ability to sleep later in the morning, I tend to stay up later at night. If I persistently go to bed earlier, the few days that require me to wake up early would prove to be tremendously easier.

Spotlight Post #1– Learning

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For all of high school and now even into college, many students use a similar excuse when receiving a poor grade. They say, “This teacher just doesn’t cater to my style of learning!” A large amount of students and teachers stress this idea that students possess specific learning styles, which allow for a greater understanding as well as further retention. They feel that if the teacher fails to gratify the needs of the student, then the student will not succeed. Others, however, do not believe in the idea of specific learning styles. They believe that narrowing learning to one specific style potentially harms and damages the learner.

Shannon Ellington and David S. Benders published a literature review that discusses the importance of learning styles. The review proceeds to address the many advantages that flow from teachers addressing specific styles. The point they discuss the most focuses attention to studies showing the importance of matching teaching styles to learning styles. Each study expressed an increase in class enjoyment and involvement when learning styles paired with the teaching style. Along with that, the studies showed higher achievement and willingness to learn in these congruent situations between student and teacher.

How You Learn presented by the University of Minnesota leans its focus towards the importance of learning styles in a college setting. In college, classrooms are much more student-oriented than teacher-oriented. With that, students possess the ability to approach each class with their specific style of learning to fulfill their potential to succeed. For example, a visual and reading/writing learner will take in depth notes from individual reading as well as graphs and charts shown in class. This article continues on and gives tips to students when experiencing an assignment or lecture that contradicts their specific style, such as an auditory learner being asked to do a hands-on experiment.

Many people tend to believe that these specific learning styles fail to maximize retention and memory. The Atlantic published an article titled “The myths of ‘learning styles’” that denies the idea that learning styles actually aid in memory. The article discusses a study published in the British Journal of Psychology that finds no correlation between learning style and information retention. The subjects in the study suggest that auditory learners remember words better whereas visual learners remember pictures better. After reviewing the study the author writes, “Essentially, all the ‘learning style’ meant, in this case, was that the subjects liked words or pictures better, not that words or pictures worked better for their memories.”(khazan, 10)

“The Concept of Different ‘Learning Styles’ is one of the Greatest Neuroscience Myths” by Olivia Goldhill of Quartz critiques the myth of learning styles in education. In the article, Goldhill quotes Harold Pashler, a psychology professor at UC San Diego, who says, “Although the literature on learning styles in enormous, very few studies have even used an experimental methodology capable of testing learning styles applied to education. Moreover, of those who did use an appropriate method, several found results that flatly contradict the popular meshing hypothesis.” This quote fully exposes the idea as a myth. Lack of evidence makes learning styles in educational practice useless.

In my opinion, learning styles are a myth that can potentially damage the learner. The second paragraph in this post mentions studies in support of learning styles. The fifth paragraph then addresses these studies and research shows that these studies lack validity and the ability to make causal claims. On the topic of damaging the learner, if a person is prevented from the learning styles in education because they are being catered to their preferred style, the person lacks the ability to learn in the other styles. This can cause major problems outside of education when a person must learn something new for a job or as a parent.


Ellington, Shannon & Benders, David. (2012). Learning Style and it’s importance in Education.’s_importance_in_Education.


[Authors removed at request of original publisher]. “College Success.” University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing Edition, 2016. This Edition Adapted from a Work Originally Produced in 2010 by a Publisher Who Has Requested That It Not Receive Attribution., 4 Dec. 2015,


Khazan, Olga. “The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 Apr. 2018,


Goldhill, Olivia. “The Concept of Different ‘Learning Styles’ Is One of the Greatest Neuroscience Myths.” Quartz, Quartz, 4 Jan. 2016,









Ch. 3 First Impression–Drugs

--Original published at Garrettscollegeblog

The idea of treating an addiction always sounds easier than it proves. Letting go of something that provides relief from stress, happiness, or just an escape grows in difficulty each day of the addiction. For years people have tried to pinpoint approaches to treat and, in some cases, eventually overcome addiction. In todays age two approaches reign, the abstinence model and the harm reduction model. The abstinence model aims to, over time, completely eliminate the addiction from the person’s life. The harm reduction model, however, aims to reduce or erase as a whole the negative side effects of what the person is addicted to; such as drug replacement therapy.

In an ideal world, the abstinence model takes precedence. Although the idea that everyone with an addiction has the strength to begin letting go proves extremely hopeful. In my opinion, the harm reduction model is much more realistic and assists more in the long run. This model focuses much more on the safety of the person. It keeps the person safe until they as an individual are ready to overcome and defeat the addiction. The only way an addiction can be overcome develops from the individual’s promptness to the goal. Many times an individual is forced into an abstinence model, which can lead to a relapse back into the unsafe addiction. With the harm reduction model, the person is offered a safe alternative or a safer means of satisfying their addiction until they feel ready to enter into the abstinence model. Another advantage of the harm reduction model is if a relapse occurs, the safe alternative or safer means remains engrained in the addiction itself, keeping the individual safe through the time of the relapse.

I would definitely suggest the harm reduction model to a loved one suffering from addiction. I know that no matter what I say or do, the decision to overcome addiction has to come from them and not me. With this model I know that the loved one is safe until they decide for themselves the time to defeat their addiction.

Ch. 8 First Impression — Memory

--Original published at Garrettscollegeblog

The idea of great or poor study habits differs from person to person as well as from high school to college. What someone views as good, such as taking long breaks between short increments of studying completely contradicts another’s view of long, focused studying sessions. Also what a student could get away with in high school, like not studying at all, would easily prove a poor decision in college. I personally have adapted a very laid-back style towards studying in an attempt to avoid major stress before even receiving the exam. Although I surround myself with a quiet environment, I lack intense studying habits. My preference leans towards short reviews of material with multiple breaks after a feeling of efficient understanding. The in-depth studying lies in the textbook sections not covered in class.

I feel my approach to studying suits me the best because of how I react to stress. The laid-back style allows for all the unnecessary stress nights or even weeks in advance to be avoided. However, this approach also allows for distractions to really become prevalent. I allow myself to keep my phone by me that, although I do not receive many notifications, acts as a major distraction when I lack interest in the subject at hand. Along with the distractions, I fail to prevent the small breaks from transforming into large breaks on occasion. As for the first exam in this class I did allow distractions into my study environment. After a respectable score on the practice exam I found myself more relaxed than normal, which in turn prevented me from in-depth review. For the next exam I plan to remove many, if not all distractions from my study environment as well as direct more attention to the text sections not covered in class.