Spotlight Post 1

--Original published at Isabella's Psychology Blog

Isabella Panzica

October 8, 2018

Spotlight Post 1

A child’s life revolves around their parents and their parents’ decisions. Divorce can disrupt a child’s life because it affects the parents and the parent’s decisions. A divorce is when two married people legally terminate their marriage to separate from each other. Divorce also includes the division of the couple’s assets, possessions, and custody of children. Unlike many things, children cannot be divided, so designated times are assigned for each parent to spend with the children. As divorce rates are increasing one question is continuously brought up. Is divorce harmful to children?

The peer-reviewed article “The Impact of Family Structure on the Health of Children: Effect of Divorce” was written by Dr. Jane Anderson argues divorce is harmful to children. Dr. Jane Anderson works for the University of California as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and is a board member of the American College of Pediatricians. In Dr. Anderson’s article, she used fifty-five databases, research studies, articles from scientific journals to evaluate the current understanding of how divorce affects children, parents, and society. Divorce’s effects on children are broken down into eight points. Each point is then supported by at least three different sources. The first three points of the article are the child losses time with each parent, economic security, and emotional security. The next points are that children change their view on sexual behavior, loss of religious faith or practice, and loss of cognitive stimulation. Then the final two points of the article were children have larger risks of emotional distress and are less healthy. (Anderson)

The second source arguing divorce is harmful to children is a journal article from the American Sociological review “Consequences of Parental Divorce for Child Development” written by Hyun Sik Kim. This article was presented at the Population Association of America 2010 meeting and received positive feedback. In the article, Hyun Kim researched the different effects kids experienced in testing before, during, and post-divorce. Children scored lower on academic tests during and post-divorce, decreased in interpersonal skills during and post-divorce, and increased in internalizing behavior post-divorce. These results show that divorce negatively affects the children of divorce. (Kim)

The research study “Feeling Caught Between Parents: Adult Children’s Relations With Parents and Subjective Well‐Being” results support the argument that divorce is not harmful to children. This study took place in 2006 and authored by Paul R. Amato from Pennsylvania State University. In this study 632 young adults whom all had various parental marital situations filled out a three-question survey about their relationships with their parents. The parental marital situations were categorized as married low-conflict, married high-conflict, and divorced. Results of this study show children of divorced parents were the least drawn into parental disputes and least likely to favor one parent over the other. Divorced children were shown to have parents compete for affection for frequently than the other parental marital categories. The results of this study show that children of divorce are positively affected by divorce when it comes to parental relationships. This study is also credible since it had a large sample population for each category, was peer-reviewed, and was done through a credible organization. (Amato)

The results of the peer-reviewed research study “Adult Children’s Relationships With Married Parents, Divorced Parents, and Stepparents: Biology, Marriage, or Residence?” shows divorce is not harmful to children. The study is credible since it had over a thousand research participants and the author of this research study was Kalmijn Matthijs who is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam. Results of the study are that positive adult-child relationships are positively correlated with time spent together during childhood. So as long as the parents are active members of the child’s life, there should be no problems in the child’s relationships with the parents. (Kalmijn)

Based on my research, I agree with the stance that divorce is harmful to children. The sources which supported divorce being non-harmful mainly focus on the relationship between the child and the parent and nothing about the child’s development. Then finding the sources was hard to find too. Though when it came to finding sources about the harmful effects of divorce on children, there were hundreds of credible peer-reviewed articles and studies. For example, in just the article “The Impact of Family Structure on the Health of Children: Effect of Divorce” it had fifty-five relevant sources backing it up.




Amato, P. R. and Afifi, T. D. (2006), Feeling Caught Between Parents: Adult Children’s Relations With Parents and Subjective Well‐Being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68: 222-235. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2006.00243.x


Anderson, Jane. “The Impact of Family Structure on the Health of Children: Effects of Divorce.” The Linacre Quarterly 81.4 (2014): 378–387. PMC. Web. 8 Oct. 2018.


Kalmijn, Matthijs. “Adult Childrens Relationships With Married Parents, Divorced Parents, and Stepparents: Biology, Marriage, or Residence?” Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 75, no. 5, Mar. 2013, pp. 1181–1193. Quicksearch, doi:10.1111/jomf.12057.

Kim, Hyun Sik. “Consequences of Parental Divorce for Child Development.” American Sociological Review, vol. 76, no. 3, Mar. 2011, pp. 487–511. Quicksearch, doi:10.1177/0003122411407748.

Chapter 8: First Impression Post

--Original published at Isabella's Psychology Blog

When I study for an exam I do all of my class work in depth and with a clear understanding of the assignment. For every chapter assigned to read an in-depth chapter notes in made. My chapter notes are color-coded by vocab words, definitions, and important facts. Then the week leading up to the exam I reviewed the information Midterm study guide. Then I did the practice midterm exam with no notes and afterward compared it with the answer key. Then on the back of my completed practice exam, I wrote down the areas I struggled in or got wrong. Also when trying to memorize the psychologists I came up with memory devices and visuals. For example, Titchener and Wundt were important structuralists, who envied chemistry so I wrote their names out of chemical elements.
The negatives of my studying style are that most of my studying happens during the last week until the exam. Though the positives are that I write and type out the information in many different ways while studying instead of just reading the material.
For the second exam, I plan on using more flashcards and studying more in advance. Other than those two things I feel that my study methods were good.

Chapter 4- First Impression Post

--Original published at Isabella's Psychology Blog

Every parent hopes their children grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society. Though when it comes to what way children should be raised in order to produce happy productive members of society, many parents tend to have different opinions. The three different parenting styles are strict parents, laid-back parents, and a type of parenting in between the two. Of the three parenting opinions I think that the parenting style in between is the best.

This is because strict parenting (helicopter parenting)  deprives their children of their freedom. Since strict parents try to take control of their children’s entire life. So while the strict parents’ children may stay out of trouble to their parent’s knowledge, the children are more likely to get into trouble the second they are out of their parents to reach of control. Another result of strict parenting is that their children don’t know how to function without their parents or the children growing up to be very strict.

A laid-back parenting style is also not the best parenting system. Since the laid-back parent is very hands off and lets their children do whatever they want. Unfortunately, this means that some parents take this as far as never saying no or making their children wait while growing up. This extreme take on laid-back parenting is that the children become entitled and hold a warped view of society. For the parents that do not take laid-back parenting to an extreme, their kids are more independent and are less likely to rebel against their parents in the future. Though the lack of structure may make the children more likely to make more mistakes in their life.

For the parenting style that I think is the best is the common ground between the two extremes of strict and laid back parents. The parenting style of the common ground has the parents have some rules for their children to follow but allows their children to make choices. So this parenting style has both the positive and the negative effect of the other parenting styles. Resulting in the children of the common ground parenting style are still likely to rebel against their parents but the children will have some independence. So compared to the other parenting style I feel that the common ground parenting style is the best.

First Impressions Post: MythBusters

--Original published at Isabella's Psychology Blog

MythBusters is an amazing TV show that was dedicated to either proving or disproving myths. One of the myths on the show was that hands-free devices improve driving safety. When trying to either prove or disprove this myth they created two testing methods.

The first method used was tested only by the two hosts of the show, Adam Savage, and Jamie Hyneman. This was my biggest critique of this method since this is an abysmally small testing group. Another weakness that was caused by having this small of a testing group is that both participants were both in the experimental group and the control group. So if one of the hosts running the show had a bias he could have been unconsciously or consciously driving worse during some parts of the experiment.

Though despite my previous complaints on the first method of testing if hands-free devices improve driving safety, it did have some good aspects. To summarize, the person participating in the experiment had to drive through an obstacle course twice while taking a survey on the phone, once holding the phone and once using a hands-free device. Another thing that the MythBusters did in their first method had one of them hold the phone during their first time on the obstacle course, then the other used the hands-free phone on his first time on the obstacle course. I really liked that did this since it eliminated the confounding variable of familiarity of the obstacle course. For the phone conversations during driving, they found a way to eliminate the confounding variable of a dull conversation. This was done by having the driver take a survey over the phone while driving. After this method of the experiment was done they concluded based off of their results that the safety risk of driving while holding the phone and while using a hands-free device had no significant difference. Though the MythBusters opted to continue the experiment by trying a different method.

For the MythBusters second method for testing, if hands-free devices improve safety, I liked it much better. Since in the second method it fixed my main complaint from the first method of the experiment of not having a large enough testing group. In the second method of the experiment, there was a testing group of thirty people. Fifteen people were placed in the control group (Holding the phone while driving) and then the other fifteen people were placed in the experimental group (Hands-free device while driving). Each participant drove in a state of the art fully immersive driving simulator while following a navigation system. A person failed the simulation if they did not follow the navigation system or hit a computer generated car or computer generated person. All participants also had their eye contact on the road tracked where they were driving.

Overall I liked this method of the experiment better since it had a larger test group. Though in my opinion, I think that the experiment and control groups could have been bigger. My one complaint of the experiment though was that the procedure for the phone conversations while driving was not explained. From the video, it looked like they weren’t doing the survey like they were doing a survey over the phone like they did in the first method of the experiment. This allows for the confounding variable of a more exciting and distracting conversation may have on a driver to exist. So I would eliminate this confounding variable by having all the drivers take a survey.

Getting Started

--Original published at Isabella's Psychology Blog

Hi, I’m Isabella Panzica and this is my blog for Psychology 105. Some fun facts about me are that I love to read and I am an Industrial Engineering Major. During the summer I work at my family’s ice cream store and try to catch up on my reading. Since I can never find the time to read while at school. I try to work hard at everything I do and this class is no exception.

For my major, taking psychology 105 is a requirement, though I genuinely am interested in the class.  I don’t have a big background in psychology though in the past I have occasionally read or watched documentaries involving mental health, mental disabilities, and the brain. Then I took a literature class my freshman year where we read one of Freud’s works. In the same class, we also discussed time as a contract theory. My brother also has autism so I grew up with my family talking about mental disabilities and advocating for getting kids with disabilities more support at school.

When I think of psychology I associate it with mental disabilities, mental health, the brain, and therapy.

Though despite those being the first things I associate with psychology and I do find them interesting; they are not what I find the most interesting topics on the course schedule. The top three topics that I am the most psyched (pun intended!) to learn about are sleep, stress, and memory. Since I feel that learning by learning about sleep it can help me with finding a trick to feel more well rested. Also, I heard of R.E.M sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep but I have no idea what they mean. So I’m curious to learn more about those sleep terms as well. Then stress is never fun so I want to learn more about it so I can use my knowledge to become less stressed. Then I am interested in the topic of memory because I want to improve my memory since it is horrible. I can never seem to remember dates, names, or schedules. Also, I heard about false memories (the Mandela effect) and I find them fascinating.

The least interesting topics on the course schedule are the scientific method, the Brain, and chemicals and conditioning. I’m not really interested in scientific method since in high school they really beat that topic to death. I think I had at least four different classes teach the scientific method. So while I understand why it’s important and useful to know, I’m just not as interested in it as the other topics. When it comes to the Brain: Micro-level I’m not that interested in it because I feel like that is a topic where we need to memorize a lot of scientific terms and parts of the brain. So with that combined with my horrible memory, it does not look like its going to be that fun for me. I feel the same way towards the topic of chemicals and conditioning as well. Since I feel like I might struggle with the terminology and that is making me not feel that excited towards it.

Though on a more positive note is that I have a list of questions that I look forward to having answered by this class. These questions are:

  • Is the Mandela effect considered a cause of mass false memories and are there any research being done on it? Also are there any theories in the psychology world about this?
  • What does R.E.M sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep mean?
  • What are the biggest ethical debates currently going on?
  • Did we ever answer the question about nature versus nurture?
  • I heard about a sleep schedule where you only sleep in two-hour intervals throughout the day that is supposed to keep you better rested with overall less sleep. Is that a real concept?
  • What is the biggest psychological misconception?

The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing. – Walt Disney