Spotlight Blog 3 (Option 2)

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

Some people do not know they have a mental illness until they seek help, but what if they do not have the opportunity to find the help? Several television shows portray what people with mental illnesses go through on a normal day. I personally think that most of the television shows like “Hoarders” for example provide an opportunity for people to get the help they need. There are many reasons as to why displaying a person with a mental illness on TV for millions of people to see can be beneficial. I think that showing people dealing with a mental illness on public television is ethical because they are agreeing to be a part of the television program. They are also getting the help they need to overcome their mental illness, as well as possibly help viewers who may be struggling with the same mental illness.

Online sources are somewhat indecisive. There are reasons supporting how television shows about people dealing with a mental illness can be both helpful and harmful towards the people in the shows and the viewers.

One reason why turning some mental illnesses into entertainment on public television is beneficial is for the viewers sake. Some viewers watching may find that they are suffering from a similar mental illness, and through the television program they can see they are not alone (Meyers, Seth). There are several examples of people who after watching “Hoarders” realized they too may have a mental illness. One person states, “It was only when the programs were on television that I thought it’s actually a mental health problem” (Almendrala, Anna). Some people may be scared to ask if they have a mental illness, but seeing others who are going through the same thoughts is helpful. A variety of popular programs are real life and help contestants willing to publicized their mental illnesses. Well-known people like Phil Donahue and Oprah take time to help and develop different solutions to help people with mental illnesses (The British Psychology Society). Similar to Phil and Oprah, a woman named Dorothy helps hoarders realize they need to change their ways and helps organize random objects and trash in order to clean the house (Dehnart, Andy). A majority of these reality mental illness television shows are unscripted and reveal raw life of people living with a mental illness (Almendrala, Anna). Many people watching the show may not have known there was actually help available for certain mental illnesses (Almendrala, Anna). Watching television is very popular and when discovering that there are options out there for viewers who may need help, family members or the people with the mental illness may contact the show. Television shows displaying help can be a resource for viewers who need help.

On the other hand there are negative sides to having television shows pertaining to mental illnesses, which can harm both viewers and/or people taking part in the show dealing with the mental illness. According to experts, the television series “Hoarders” featured on the channel A&E, mainly wants to show how crazy some people are. Directors also look for a good story by incorporating emotion and drama into the episodes. There are also thoughts that the television show is only looking to entertain and shock the public eye (The British Psychology Society). A guy named Reddit, whose father is a hoarder mentions how there is no long-term improvement from being on the show “Hoarders” (Bussel, K. Rachel). If there is not a long-term effect from being on the show, the hoarder may feel like they wasted their time and may feel embarrassed for exposing their mental illness for no reason. Viewers may not know that the results are short-term and get their hopes up. There are other options available for people suffering from mental illnesses such as cognitive behavior therapy, and the results are usually long-term (Amandrala, Anna). There are other systems accessible for people who need assistance in treating their mental illness, and television is not the only option.

Overall, television shows about mental illnesses can be harmful and helpful to people shown in the show with a mental illness and to the viewers who may also be dealing with the same mental illness. I believe displaying television shows about the reality of mental illnesses is mainly helpful because the people in the show most likely overcome their mental illness thanks to professional help. Viewers watching the show may be dealing with similar mental illnesses and find that they are not alone.

Almendrala, Anna. “Hoarding Reality Shows Might Do More Harm Than Good”. Huffpost Healthy Living, Oath Inc, 12 June 2015,

Bussel, K. Rachel. “Stop Watching “Hoarders”: Our Lurid Reality TV Obsession with Mental Illness Has Crossed the Line”. Salon, Associated Press, 23 January 2016,

Dehnart, Andy. “Why Dorothy Breininger Brings Dignity to Hoarders’ Trash”. Realityblurred, 16 July 2015,

Meyers, Seth. “Mental Illness on Reality TV: Helpful or Harmful?”. Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 12 April 2015,

The British Psychology Society.

Media Blog Post

--Original published at Gracie's Blog


The idea that depression is the worst in the winter season is a controversial concept discussed and tested by researchers. Several different surveys and questionnaires were provided for people to take and compare their symptoms of depression throughout the seasons. The well known hypothesis was that the lack of sunlight exposure is a big factor that increases depression symptoms, but is depression really affected by the winter season? Back in 1984 the idea of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) came about and the first studies were facilitated. Patterns of experiencing seasonal affective disorder occurs when symptoms are more apparent in the fall and winter, but subside or decrease in the spring and summer.
The majority of the research about the seasonal affective disorder was found due to the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire. This questionnaire asks participants questions pertaining to their mood from a year or more ago. There were problems with this study though as the whole questionnaire was not supporting the definition of depression according to DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which made the results hard to analyze, and as talked about before, the way someone felt a year ago may be hard to track. Another study done by Kerr and colleagues in 2013 found in a course of several years, when participants rated their depression, that there was no significant relationship between light exposure and depression. The fault of this study was the participants were all from the U.S. Midwest and Northwest. Eventually a more accurate depression questionnaire was designed called the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8). The studies show that latitude, sunlight exposure, and seasons do not affect depression.
The media article contradicts the common thought that winter affects depression, but CNN gives a study supporting that seasonal affective disorder is a myth. A total of 34,294 adults from the United States were asked questions during a study at Auburn University of Montgomery regarding their depression symptoms two weeks prior to when the questionnaire was taken. The large number of 34,294 was split and each group took the questionnaire during one of the four different seasons so the results showed how depressed people felt during the various seasons. The results from this study showed that there were no signs of seasons affecting depression, nor does sunlight exposure or geographical latitude play a role in depression. The media states that other studies finding that depression is worse in the winter chose participants who were experiencing mood changes in the winter to help support their theory of seasonal affective disorder.

Media Article: file:///C:/Users/Gracie/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/For%20Gracie%20(2).pdf
Scholarly Article:

While deciding what all to include in my summary of the research article I looked at the information pertaining to the studies done in order to find whether or not seasons play a role in depression. The well known myth is the during the winter season, depression is worse than during the warm and sunny seasons. I made sure to include how the main three studies done to support that seasons, light exposure, and geographical latitude do not worsen symptoms of depression like people may think. Throughout the research article there was a lot of insignificant information listed, which did not have a lot of meaning. I chose to write about the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire first because that was one of the first questionnaire developed and used to find that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not real. The Seasonal Pattern Assessment, Kerr’s study, and the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 all were the main studies that first gave results showing that there were no signs of SAD. Throughout the research article, I found that the information was hard to transfer into my own words due to the amount of studies mentioned. I was not sure how specific I should be when explaining each study’s results. When discussing the media article, summarizing the main concepts were easier because the language used was simple to understand and the article overall did include an abundant amount of unnecessary information. When writing the pop culture article critique, I found that finding information to critique was a bit easier because the results were not as specific and not a whole lot of information was present. The scholarly article was more complicated overall when writing a critique because the language was advanced and a lot more information was present, and I did not know what all of the information meant. Overall, I have a lot of respect for journalists because they have to translate information into their own words and understand the context. Along with comprehending the text, journalists have to make their work interesting in order be successful and to keep people reading their work.

Ch. 12 First Impression: Option 2

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

I chose to write about the first option for chapter 12 and took two different Implicit Association Tests. First I took the Age Implicit Association Test, where I had to sort pictures and words into certain groups as fast as I could. There were also just a few questions asked about my opinions and beliefs. The test said it was ten minutes long, and at the end of the test I would receive a result along with a definition of what it means. The test started with asking questions about my age and my thoughts on old people versus young people and which I prefer. The questions also asked me what ages I thought a person changes from child to young adult, young adult to adult, and so on. The next part of the test involved looking at pictures and words while pressing the “E” or “I” keys. The first few rounds were looking at a series of pictures representing old people and negative words, and pictures of young people and positive words. I had to press “E” for old people pictures and negative words, and the “I” key for young face pictures and positive words. As the test progressed the keys switched roles and represented the opposite picture or term than before. During this test I felt as if I was taking a concussion test because it was measuring my accuracy along with my speed of hitting the keys. My result after the age test said that I have a slight automatic preference for young people over old people. These results were given because I was quicker responding to “young” people corresponding with “good”.
The next test I took referred to gender-career and also focused on pictures associating with words. The questions at the beginning of the test are mainly for adults because it refers to annual income and employment questions, which was hard to answer because I am still a student. The test continued with seven parts, each section had letter keys “E” and “I” the corresponded to different topics. The first section were comparing “family” words, which I had to press the “E” key when family words appeared and “Job” words required me pressing the “I” key. The next section was comparing the words “male” and “female” names. The next section involved words in the male and family category and when the words popped up I had to press the “E” key. When seeing words in a female and career category press the “I” key. As the test progressed the roles of the keys were opposite. My results showed that I moderately associate females with family and males with career. I received those results because I was faster with hitting the keys when males were associated with career than when female was associated with career. I never thought about whether males or females represent one category than the other.
I think IATs are helpful and interesting to help people realize what they may prefer without ever thinking about it. For college students or when in the career field, taking an IAT can give you the results you need to find what they actually prefer and where or who they may want to work.

Ch. 13 First Impression – Personality

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

People often times do not think about what type of personality they really have. We live every day, usually not realizing what we say to people, how we reaction, or what habits we have. I took four personality tests, and surprising they each gave similar results. I did not realize the different ways that can decipher what personality a person has. There are a variety of personality tests, mainly asking questions about what you would usually do during a certain scenario. Taking the color test to determine my personality was a first for me, but surprisingly the results given were pretty much accurate. The first personality tests that I took revealed that I was ISFJ. The” I” stands for introvert, the “S” stands for sensing, the “F” stands for feeling, and the “J” stands for judging. The color test I took showed results that were for the most part true. The results showed that I avoid confrontation which is true. On the other hand the results also said that I always want to be correct the voice my opinion, which is not always the case. I do not understand how the order of which colors were picked can influence my overall personality. The personality tests involving the questions and what I would do in certain instances were somewhat hard to understand. There were questions where I felt both options pertained to me and it was hard for me to choose one. For the first personality test, it was ranking what I felt for each instance. The middle option of the scale was, “I don’t know” and I used that as a medium level option on the scale. Overall, the results that I received were mostly correct, but I probably did not answer all of the questions the way I wanted to because I was not sure what they were asking. Personality tests are not a good way to determine people’s personalities because some days people react differently, and online tests do not show overall personality.

Persoanlity Tests:


Spotlight #2 Memory

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

There are several methods used when studying for a test or understanding different concepts. Memory is different for everyone, but some tips and tricks can help improve the memory of  people of all ages. In college there are several different methods used to go about retaining information learned in class. Different online sources give some insight on different tips that are supposedly going to help boost a college student’s grades. In college studying is so important and a big factor when learning. One source gives seven helpful tips on studying for college kids. Good notes are a key to success when wanting good grades. Some students are unsure of what information is important. To help ensure the student is writing down all the needed information, attending the professor’s office hours is helpful. With the professor’s permission, recording the lectures and rereading notes is also helpful (7 Best Study Tips). Along with taking good notes, organization is a crucial task when studying for classes, as using sticky notes, keeping returned assignments, and making flash cards can be very helpful (7 Best Study Tips). Over studying can be a problem, and cramming all information in one night can be more harmful than helpful. We talked about in class how waiting till the night before an exam can be overwhelming for the brain. In order to recall information, studying for small increments at a time way in advance of an exam is beneficial. One of the worst distractions when trying to study is technology. An important tip to get high quality studying is to put the phone away and not pick it up ( 7 Best Study Tips). Phones nowadays are popular and the number one way to know what is happening in the world, it is so easy to waste valuable time searching on a phone instead of studying.

When in high school, grades are important because they impact the future of students intending to continue their education. The studying tips provided online for high school students are similar to the tips given for college students. One study tip is to be engaged in class, take solid notes, and participate in class (Top 10). When in class, it is hard to listen to the teacher and not think about anything else going on in your life. One tip is to engage in the class and take quality notes. In the long run, retrieving information from the class will be easier. Having a routine is beneficial in several ways. After school, students should go home, maybe enjoy a snack, and get all of their homework done. For some students it may look different, maybe with a sport practice, but sticking to a routine can ensure that everything that needs to be done, will be done (Top 10). Another tip given is to have a clean and tidy study space. Going somewhere quiet, with good lighting can be helpful when studying (Top 10). In class we discussed how even studying with music can take away the quality of our studying because there is more than just class material being taken in by the sensory memory. It is important to think positive and take a break when studying. Being overwhelmed and stressed about something can take away from the time you have to study (Top 10). All of these studying tips are correct and can benefit students who need help with studying. Now that I have talked about students in both college and high school, there are also tips online to assist parents with studying.


Some parents enjoy helping their kids study, or are very strict with what grades their kids are receiving. The blog, Edmentum provides several tips for parents who want to effectively help their kids study for school. In order to see good grades there needs to have a mix of good attitude, habits, and effort (Ho, Elaine). One tip is to design a study space to ensure that the time spent studying will be valuable and worth your time (Ho, Elaine). Studying in a noisy environment will lead to distractions and unfocus. Another factor that goes into quality studying is to take notes. Taking notes by hand has perks because you are more likely to retain the information and pay attention (Ho, Elaine). Along with taking notes, highlighting key terms or using active reading strategies helps improve concentration. Practice tests help to prepare a child for a test, so asking short essay questions or using flash cards helps to prove that they know the information (Ho, Elaine). It is important to make sure as a parent that your child knows how important asking their teacher questions is. If they are unsure about something, the smartest strategy to eventually comprehend what they do not understand is to ask the teacher questions (Ho, Elaine). Asking a teacher for help is what students are supposed to do, and in the end doing so is beneficial. Hearing repeated concepts that were not understood before can retained and remembered better the second time around.


Studying is an important role in school, and whether a student studies or not shows how much they care. After studying for classes, students can find retrieving the information easier. There are several tips and tricks given on different websites for people of all ages. Studying takes time, but after following these tips, students discover how studying can influence their grades.
Works Cited

“7 Best Study Tips For College Students”. CampusExlorer. Campus Explorer, 2018. Web. 2 November 2018.


Ho, Elaine. “7 Tips for Parents to Help Your Child Develop Effective Study Skills”. Edmentum. Blog.7 September 2017. 4 November 2018.


VanDuzer, Todd. “Top 10 High School Study Tips”. Student-Tutor. 4 November 2015. Web.  4 November 2018.

Intelligence Ch. 9 (Option 1)

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

Throughout my years of education I have had several different types of teachers. Some very smart who used large vocab words when speaking, and some who acted as if they had no idea what they were doing. My senior year of high school I had a young teacher who was very smart and seemed to always introduce new vocabulary when giving a lecture. This helped me learn new words and widen my own vocabulary. He was also very willing to help if I ever had a problem. My one math teacher was the opposite, he would stand on desks, and slap a ruler down on a desk to get our attention. If we needed help, we frequently asked another teacher for help because this specific teacher usually did not answer our questions and told us to ask a student in the class. When I had this same teacher for trig, I realized he was being tough on us, and wanted us to try and solve problems by ourselves first, instead of going to him for help right away. Some teachers I had were so friendly, and made learning fun, which resulted in me learning faster and understanding the material. A big key factor in whether or not I was going to do well in a class was depending on the certain topic. Sometimes it did not matter who the teacher was, if I disliked the class subject, then I did not enjoy the class.
I think in order to help students out nowadays, the school system has to have more evaluations, and offer a variety of different subjects. My high school was slowly adding more classes, but for the most part there were not many classes available to choose from. If there were more teacher evaluations, then the teacher will be less likely to prepare and do their best work when only being evaluated.

Emotion Ch.10 (Option 2)

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

I took the test ( on how well I could read emotional facial expressions. I was surprised by my score of 16/20. I thought I was going to have a hard time with this test. I found that the amusement, politeness, and disgusted facial expressions were a few of the easier ones. The girl with the facial expression showing amusement looked like she was laughing, which made it easy. Each question had four choices, which helped out a lot. With the choices available I could narrow down the answer. I feel I would have gotten a lower grade if it was type your answer, but with the choices provided, you could pick the best option for the most part. Some of the hardest emotions for me to guess were love, guilt, and interest. I never really thought about what the facial expression for love looks like, and same with interest. The test overall was intriguing and I was interested in seeing how many I could actually get correct. In my daily life this could be helpful because I could pick up on how a person is feeling inside by their outside appearance, which could help me interact with them better.

Ch. 11- Stress (Option 2)

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

I watched the TED talk “Making Stress Your Friend” where Kelly McGonigal discusses how to change our relationship with stress. She is a health psychologist who told her patients to avoid stress, but after hearing stress is actually healthy, she changed her perception of stress. Studies were done to prove that stress is not always bad. If we decide to use stress as something helpful, there is no effect on our overall health. The first study tracked 30,000 adults for 8 years and there was a higher risk of them dying if they believed stress was bad for them. Another study put people in different scenarios like a speech and taking a math test, which increases stress. The contestants who thought of the stress as helpful, were less anxious and more confident. Their blood vessels stayed normal, like during moments of joy, which decreased the possibility of a heart attack at an early age.

I think that what we believe plays a large role on how our body reacts. We control what we think and do, and our brain is connected to all of our organs and organ systems. I do agree that the way we use stress can help us in the long run. The truth is, especially with college, there will be stress, so why not use stress to the best of our ability. I usually think of placebos when I hear topics like these because it is all in our minds.

In my life, I will think during a stressful situation about how I am going to conquer an obstacle and be with friends during stressful moments. Asking for help and how to go about something stressful may limit my also use stress as a good thing. From the TED talk I also learned that caring creates resilience, and I will find joy in a stressful position.

Spotlight Blog 1 (Option 1)

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

In the United States divorce is common, and there are several reasons as to why divorce may happen, but the long lasting effects on children needs to be kept into consideration. Children react from their parent’s divorce in different ways, depending on the circumstances. There was a test study done on 20 children ages 6-10 years. The 20 children were split half living in a united family and half living in a divorced family (Deshpande). The children’s responses to Adaptive Mechanism Schedule and Story Dynamics were recorded and the result was divorce impacts children in a negative way (Deshpande). Different children will be affected in various ways, depending on the gender, age, and how they cope with feelings. Children look up and adhere to their parents, therefore if they are present during arguments they feel stress and are aware of current feelings. When a couple is married, the children are all connected and part of the family; whenever the family gets separated everyone is affected. Younger children have a hard time understanding and adjusting to living arrangements between parents. Divorce is said to cause the children to end up struggling with management methods, losing virginity at a young age, and lesson the sense of masculinity and femininity as young adults. This credible source gave results from a research study concluding that divorce overall has negative effects on children and relationships. If children grow up seeing their parents fighting and deal with splitting their lives living with each parent, the probability of their marriage ending in divorce is high.


Jane Anderson studied the impact of divorce on children using roughly three decades of research and study. The results from evaluating children in families of divorced parents and families of married parents resulted in the conclusion that children living in families with married parents have better physical, emotional, and academic well-being. There were some instances where the parents would try and work things out and due to their effort, the children react positively. Only 45.8 percent of children get to age 17 before their parents get divorced, and 72 percent of marriages only last 14 years according to a study done in 2009 by an American Community Survey (Anderson). After a divorce people tend to get married again, but sadly that marriage ends in divorce too, causing the children to adapt to the recurring change. Results from a meta-analysis in 2001 shows that children from divorced families tend to score naturally lower on “academic achievement, conduct, psychological adjustment, self-concept, and social relations” (Anderson).


Although the majority of effects on children from their parents divorcing are said to be negative, there are also contradicting information telling us otherwise. In some cases, divorce has no impact on the children. In 2009 over 1,000 teenagers were asked to take the GordonPoll Youth Survey(™) (Jolivet). Teenagers ages fourteen to eighteen said they feel more independent and strong when asked about divorce. The teens also expressed how they are old enough to understand the circumstances and they want what is best for their parents. Therefore divorce may lead to children and teenage independence.


The thoughts on the effects of divorce on children is stereotypical and evidently there are not many studies showing specific negative results from divorce on children. Amato and Irving (2006) suggest that the events that occur during the divorce, not the actual divorce cause negative connotations for children of divorced families (Pantelis). A study involving families going through divorce received 76 responses from parents stating the impact of the divorce on the offspring ages 2-17 the their adjustments. The results showed that if the parent’s relationship with the child was balanced, it would help the child’s adjustment (Pantelis). This shows that in some cases divorced parents grow closer to their children, and are able to have one-on-one time with them.  


Based on what I have read, I think overall divorce impacts children in a negative way, making it hard for them to see what marriage actually looks like. Obviously if a parent’s relationship is dangerous and getting a divorce was the best option, then I would say divorce was overall helping the child. In conclusion, children are most likely to end up in a divorce also and can experience trouble with emotions and interactions if their parents get a divorce.




Anderson, Jane. The impact of family structure on the health of children: Effects of Divorce. November 2014. Linacre Q. Date Accessed 7 October 2018.


Deshpande, Anuradha & Pandey, Neelam. Psychological Impact of Parental Divorce on Children: a Qualitative Study. 2014. Indian Journal of Health & Well-being. Vol. 5 Issue 10. Date Accessed 7 October 2018.


Jolivet, Kendra Randall. The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children: What is a Family Lawyer to Do? 2011. American Journal of Family Law. Vol. 25 Issue 4. Date Accessed 7 October 2018


Pantelis, Konstantinos & Bonotis, K. & Kandri, T. It Attacked My Change: An Exploratory Study With Young Adults on the Impact of Divorce and Their Adjustment Processes During Adolescence. Journal of Divorce & Remarriages. Nov/Dec 2015. Vol. 56 Issue 8. Date Accessed 7 October 2018.


First Impression Ch.3 (Option 1)

--Original published at Gracie's Blog

There are several pros as well as cons when deciding whether marijuana should be legal or not. There is a difference when talking about recreational marijuana and marijuana used for medical purposes. Medical marijuana actually possesses healing effects while recreational marijuana can be dangerous. In my opinion, medical marijuana should be legal because in many instances marijuana can benefit people who are sick. Years ago, my aunt had cancer and flew to Mexico in order to use medical marijuana. The medicine decreased her nausea and helped relieve pain, she was also given a certain dosage which controlled the amount she took. The medical marijuana also was said to help decrease the growth of cancer cells, which is amazing. Another pro of legalizing medical marijuana is if the doctor has no other options to treat an illness, the sick patient does not need to be sent on a plane to receive the treatment needed. Recreational marijuana can cause danger, and there are other ways to have a good time. Marijuana used for the wrong reasons can do more harm than good. Using marijuana for enjoyment can lead to increased heart rate, panic attacks, and impaired cognition (Source ). There are long term effects from using marijuana, which include mood swings, memory loss, lung infections, and more (Source) . The point is, marijuana is a drug and for people to use it recreationally deaths could be the result and it could negatively impact futures. The hard part is if we legalize medical marijuana, marijuana for recreational purposes will be easier to get access to. Overall, I believe medical marijuana should be legalized for helpful purposes while recreational marijuana does more harm than good.

Source used: