Media Production Project

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

Repeated head hits can cause CTE (323 words out of 984)

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Previous studies have linked this disease with concussions as the most common population to develop the disease are those who have been bombarded with repeated head blows like professional football players and combat veterans. Those who develop this disease often show Alzheimer-like symptoms, but the only way to accurately diagnosis the disease is with an autopsy after death.

A new more comprehensive study on the link between CTE and repeated head blows has found a relationship between the two. The study conducted two different experiments to try to show the correlation. In one section of the study, the brains of recently deceased young adult athletes were taken and observed for pathways related to the development of CTE. Four of these athletes had suffered from recent head injuries and four had not. The four brains of those who received recent head injuries showed signs of pathways correlated with CTE like axonal damage and phosphorylated tau protein build-up. One brain was actually diagnosed with the early stages of CTE. The other four brains did not show these related pathways.

This study also conducted an experiment on mice. 203 mice were exposed to two repeated head blows and scored on their ability to complete physical tasks. The brains of the mice were then observed to see if there were any changes in the structures of the brain due to these repetitive hits. The researchers found similar disrupted pathways like those found in the human brains including phosphorylated tauopathy. These findings could be correlated back to humans due to the similarity between human and mice brains.

The results of this study found that even without concussions, humans and mice exposed to repeated head blows could develop CTE, although it is not guaranteed. The development and progression of the disease can start early in adolescents and continue throughout the rest of individuals’ lives.

Link to news article:

Link to scholarly article:





The process of summarizing the scholarly article into a news article was really difficult. I had to take a lot of information from the scholarly article and discard it to hit the main points. Also, I had to pay attention to the fact that most individuals in the audience reading my article would not have the in depth knowledge needed to understand the terminology of the scholarly article. I did not understand a lot of it when I originally read it. This proved to be really difficult when creating my news article because I had to discard a lot of information about the brain tests that were completed and focus on the broader points of the topic. I also discarded a lot of the statistics that were found because they would not have any meaning to the audience and would confuse more than help. Another challenging aspect of the revision process was that I believed one of the strongest points in the original news article was their direct quotes from experts. They were allowed to conduct interviews and have first-hand perspectives, but in my article, I was limited in this ability.

This project completely changed the way I think about journalists. I have gained a greater understanding of the process and how difficult it truly is. First the journalist has to have a deep understanding of the scholarly article. My scholarly article was extremely in depth and challenging to understand, but the journalist had to fully understand it to then be able to explain it in a way that their audience would understand, the most challenging part. Then, journalists need to write the article in a way that makes sense and flows and add in additional quotes and interviews. I really enjoyed this project, but it made me have a greater appreciation for journalists because I think their job is extremely difficult.

Spotlight Post #3

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

For my last spotlight post, I decided to write about intelligence and whether or not year-round schooling is a good idea. Although students may hate the idea, there are some valid pros to year-round schooling. The first article states that students will actually remember what they learn, like school, and the achievement gap will start to be bridged. In summer break, students often lose a good amount of information that they worked hard to learn during the school year. We have all experienced this effect when we know we learned something the previous year but just cannot recall it. With year round schooling, there would be less time to lose this precious information. The article also believes that students would tend to like school more because there would be more time for students and teachers to build stronger relationships. The achievement gap is between minorities and other students in school. Research has shown that minorities are likely to lose more information over summer vacation than other students, so year-round schooling would help these children benefit from the education that they are receiving. Also, this would hopefully help decrease the drop out rates for minorities if they start seeing results from their schooling. The second article presented ten arguments for year-round school. These included easier vacation scheduling, solving overcrowding in schools, benefiting low-income students, having more frequent breaks, allowing teachers to earn more money, increasing respect for teachers, getting rid of an educational system meant for a different time, limiting time constraints on teachers, allowing students to advance more quickly, and cutting down on loss of information. This article talks about a multitrack system where there would be different groups in the school and one group would have vacation at one time while the others were in school and then the vacations would be rotated throughout the year, thus solving overcrowding in school. The system would also allow students to advance at the pace that they are able to go instead of having students restricted by grades like the current system does, which would allow students to achieve more. The article also thinks year-round school would be a good thing for teachers. They could earn more money instead of potentially having to pick up second jobs in the summer, would get more respect from other professions that consider them lazy for having a break in summer, and would be less constrained with time and could cover more material over the course of a year. The last new perspective that this article had was that the current school system was designed for an agricultural society where families needed their children to help cultivate crops over the summer when they were not in school. Society does not revolve around this labor anymore and the article’s point was that the system should actually match society.

The two articles against year-round schooling have valid points against the idea. The first article states that the academic benefits have not actually been proven and students will forget the same amount of information in 3 weeks as in 10, so teachers may actually have to take more time reviewing information previously learned throughout the course of the year. Summer camps and the ability for older students to hold a summer job would become obsolete. Also, extracurricular activities that usually practice throughout the summer would run into scheduling issues with this time taken away. Finally, if schools implemented a multitrack system, parents with children in different tracks would have an impossible time trying to schedule a family vacation because the children would have different breaks. The second article states three main arguments against year-round schooling including it being more expensive, children not having enough down time, and scheduling conflicts. Summer months have the highest rates of energy consumption so school districts would actually have to pay more to run schools year-round. This shot to the school budget could create other budget cuts elsewhere lessening the opportunities that students have. Finally, summer break is a vital time for childhood development where students need to get out of sitting in a classroom and go outside. Summer allows children to do this and to experience the outdoors.

Personally, with a lot of bias from being an actual student, I do not agree with the arguments for year-round schooling. I think summer is an important time needed for students to be able to relax, spend time with their families, go on vacations, and take a break from school. It is a good time to recharge before the new school year. I have experienced the issue of forgetting information from one year to the next, but I agree with the first against article that stated the loss of information would happen anyway even within a shorter amount of time, so teachers would need to spend more time reviewing over the year. Also, I do not believe that stronger relationships between students and teachers would occur because there would be a huge backlash from students when this system would be implemented. Students would actually end up hating school more. I also do not believe that it would allow students to advance more quickly because I do not think that schools would get rid of grades. Also, if there was a really intelligent 11-year old that advanced through all of school, I have a hard time believing that they would be allowed to graduate. Finally, I agree with the argument that it would help bridge the gap for minority students, but I do not believe that this huge jump to year-round schooling needs to be made just to help the minority. I think that other programs could be tried first during summers to help these students keep up with their learning and work. This would be a better first step to trying to bridge the gap between students. Overall though, I do not support the idea of year-round schooling.

For year-round schooling:

Against year-round schooling:



Spotlight Post #2

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

We all experience stress throughout our lives. Depending on our different roles in life, we will experience and be able to deal with and manage stress differently. This is why for this spotlight blog post, I decided to look at three different websites that provided stress management tips for three different roles that some of us play here while at college: students (all of us), musicians, and athletes.

In the first article, the seven tips for managing stress as a college student include having a plan, having achievable objectives, spending time exercising and doing leisure activities, eating healthy, getting rest, communicating with loved ones, and enhancing social engagement. This connects to what we learned in class about stress management because we learned that exercise is a good way to release endorphins and make you feel better. Communicating with loved ones and enhancing social engagement also connects with the adaptive strategies that we learned of using social support and self disclosure. Social groups with friends and family are good to have to be able to confide in and get advice from. The article also mentions getting sleep which I believe would really help in resting and allowing the body to recuperate especially after so much cortisol being released in the body from stress. Finally, having a plan and having achievable objectives correlates with problem-focused coping. This strategy works at changing the stressor to decrease the stress that it adds. It focuses on the actual stressor while emotion-focused coping focuses on the emotions that come with the stressor.

In the second article, the article states six tips for managing stress as a musician. These include listing little tasks that need to be done, meditating, sleeping, staying active, limiting caffeine, and spending time on activities not related to work. Listing and crossing off little tasks that need to be done also incorporates problem-focused coping. Sleeping again allows the body to recuperate and staying active allows the body to release helpful chemicals and decrease the individuals risk of developing heart disease. Exercise, especially for musicians who often spend a good deal of time sitting, is important to make sure their body feels good and can be a good way to get away from stressors. Meditating connects to what we learned about Mindfulness-Based stress reduction (MBSR). This coping mechanism focuses on developing the “observer self” and staying in the present. This can help with managing stress and pain by realizing that pain only comes from anxiety from the past or future. MBSR is a good way to stay in the present and not worry or focus on what you cannot control because it is either in the past or future. Limiting caffeine especially 6 hours before bed will help an individual fall asleep. Also, caffeine can help boost the effects of stress hormones so they will only make the feelings of stress worse.

Finally, the third article talks about managing stress as an athlete. The five tips that this article stresses are getting enough sleep, practicing time management, maintaining a positive attitude, planning recreational activities, and creating a support system. As mentioned before, getting enough sleep is an extremely good way to help combat stress as long as sleeping does not become a self-indulgence and push stressors back thus causing more stress. Practicing time management is problem-focused coping, which is a good way to make sure that things get done. Maintaining a positive attitude can correlate to emotion-focused coping. This deals with the emotions behind stressors so if someone focuses on being happy and optimistic about the stressors, they will not experience more negative emotions that will cause stress and weaken the immune system, leaving the individual more likely to contract illnesses. Because athletes are already active, they need to focus more on scheduling time in for other positive recreational activities. As long as these recreational activities are not maladaptive like some self-indulgences, these activities can help individuals relax and get away from the stress that they have. Finally, creating a support system allows individuals who experience great amounts of stress to be able to have someone to turn to and a shoulder to cry on. This social support can provide an individual with more help and resources and someone to self-disclose to instead of just holding everything in.

These three websites all provided good coping strategies of stress for individuals in different situations. Most of them are adaptive in the right situations, although it depends on the individual trying to use them and the specific situation. Also, a person would need to be able to tell when a strategy turns from adaptive to maladaptive. For example, if someone takes a break to go for a walk, that can be adaptive until the walk becomes too long and they start avoiding their responsibilities.

College Students:



Johari Window Bonus Blog

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

The process of creating and sending out the Johari window was really interesting and fun to do. It was really hard while taking it myself because a lot of words I could make an argument for, but I had to look past what I knew about myself and compare that to what others knew or thought about me. I often picked or did not pick a trait because I knew that others saw me that way or did not see me that way, so I was narrowing down my list of traits to what came through to those around me. My description was pretty similar to what others described me as. All of the traits that I chose were picked by my friends and family, and one trait had all but two (9/11) people pick it for me. There definitely were blind spots in my eyes though because there were two traits that were extremely prominent in participants’ responses that I did not pick. Also, I thought it was interesting how people viewed your traits differently based on your role in their life. Like, a friend would call me helpful but my dad would call me dependable. I think this is a valid measure of how your personality comes across to those you are closest with, and it shows you how people view you, but it terms of determining your real personality, I think it is not completely trustworthy because you are picking the traits for yourself. Also, there are instances where you could change and hide a part of who you are in front of people that is key to your personality. I definitely learned how other people saw me through this process. It is interesting to me because often I find myself wondering what others think, and now this can give me insight to that, although, it is a little biased because there are not many negative words in the Johari window so your description can be strewn towards the positive side even for a negative person. I found out that I was blind to the traits caring and dependable, but I know that I am intelligent and organized. I really liked taking this personality quiz though.

First Impression Post #8

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

I took the four personality tests that we had to do and found that I agreed with most but not all of their results.

  1. In the first test, I was found to be INFJ (Introvert(25%)  iNtuitive(16%)  Feeling(22%)  Judging(28%)). I would agree with most of these findings because in the description of INFJ, it says that they are doers and dreamers which I believe I am. Also, it says that they are very concerned with their relationships with other individuals and seem to be extroverted with their care and concern for others, but only get emotionally deep with those that they know well. This is especially true for me and I agree with the test when it says that they sometimes withdraw into themselves to find an escape and can shut others out. Finally, I agree with the test that I am empathetic with those around me. The only part I don’t agree with in this test is that INFJs usually tend to stray away from hard facts and push more towards liberal arts than sciences where I love science and facts and the stability of it all.                             I found this test to be fairly trustworthy because it spanned a wide range of personality types and hit on more perspectives of personalities. I also felt like the questions were well-inclusive and that there was a good amount of answers that could span how you felt on the questions. The more questions and answers that there were, the more accurate the test could be.
  2. The second test from the Personality Test Center found that I was an ISTJ. I thought it was interesting how I changed from one test to another. Only two of the four traits were the same from the previous test. I agree with this in that I am dependable and are strong to push through challenges.                                                 To me, this test was not as credible as the first test because it only had two options for each question and often I found myself wishing for more options because neither really described me, or I had a hard time picking one answer because both described me. Also, I found it less credible because there was no real description of the personality type at the end of the test. It just said that I was dependable and gave careers that I would be good at, but there was no explanation to why it said I was an ISTJ.
  3. This test focused on five big personality traits and where you stood on those. The five traits and my scores were extroversion (33), emotional stability (48), agreeableness (83), conscientiousness (89), and intellect/imagination (76). I would agree with the results of this test that I am more conscientious because I always like to review my work and take my time to make sure my answers and responses are thorough. Also, I like to think about all possible answers and their pathways and enjoy being careful. I feel like I am a very agreeable person as well. I like to be friendly and talk to others and care about my interactions with other individuals. I also agree with this test because my lowest score was in extroversion and I am not a completely outgoing person and tend to close up in social situations.                         I think that this test is fairly credible because the description that introduces the test talks about the practical applications of it and gives examples about when it was used. Also, it explains the measurements and how the personality traits were determined.
  4. The last test was the color quiz which I was not sure how it was credible at all. I also disagree with a lot of what the quiz told me about my personality. For example, it said that I was self-centered and need constant excitement and stimulation. It also said that I deal with my current situation but often feel hopeless which is not true. This test seemed to focus more on negatives than positives like the other tests. The only part that I did agree with was when it said that my current circumstances are causing me anxiety and worry which they are because I am just stressed a lot right now.                                                                                                                                                I do not trust this test at all because I am not sure what the science was behind the backing of picking certain colors and why that really matters. I am curious about what the order tells you about personalities. Also, I do not think it is credible because in the results section most of the sentences were not even capitalized so it is probably not very scientific.

I thought that these tests were fun to take and interesting to do, but I would not put much validity in them or change the way you look at or live life completely based off the results.

First Impression Post #7

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

For this first impression post, I decided to do the third option and search for a song that most people believe is a good love song but actually has a different meaning that would indicate a negative relationship. The song that I found was “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers. Most people would think that this is a love song because the refrain of the song states that the singer and who he is talking about belong together. The singer refers to the other person as his “sweetheart” all throughout the whole song. This may seem good, but is misleading because the song is actually about jealousy and trying to get the other person to leave her relationship to be with the main singer. For example, the singer states in the second verse, “I don’t think you’re right for him.” He is trying to get the other person to realize that her relationship is not right and that she would be better with him. Also, he then goes on to describe a situation in which they should run off together. This is a negative side of relationships and is not love because he is encouraging her to get out of her current relationship. Also in the first verse, the singer talks about being really lonely and how his life is currently in a depressing and lonely state. In taking these words with the context of everything else that he is saying, it is unhealthy because he is trying to break up two people just because he is lonely and wants to be with the other person. He should be focusing on how to be happy on his own and stop feeling lonely before trying to get back into a relationship. The main point of this song deals with jealousy not love.


Music video:

First Impression Post #6

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

For this first impression post, I decided to write about the different ways that people can approach addition, and the models that are recommended. The first model is abstinence which looks to completely rid an individual’s life of the addicted substance. The second model is the harm reduction model. This model focuses on using addictive substances in a safe way to decrease the risks that using drugs or drinking alcohol brings to individuals addicted to them. This model acknowledges that some people may not be ready to completely abstain from substances so they just make sure they are safe.

For me, I personally agree with the abstinence model more although I believe that both models have their pros and cons. The abstinence model seems like the better option to me because anyone addicted to a substance should want to completely eliminate it from their life. Abstinence is the only way that someone addicted will be free from the hold that the substance has on them. The con in this method is that usually this is hard to accomplish right off the bat, and often people will fall back into the habit of using. Usually too, if people fall back into using, they will fall harder and use more than they did before. I understand the point of the harm reduction method because anyone using drugs should be using safely, but I also think that encouraging use is not the way to get people to stop using addictive substances. The pro in this method is that it will lessen the amount of diseases caused by unsafe using, but the con is that it makes it seem like using is okay as long as you are being safe. Although this thought can also be refuted by saying that those who are addicted will find ways to use, safe or unsafe, so it is better to make sure that they are being safe.

If I had a loved one struggling with addiction, I would first make sure that they were being safe in what they were doing, and then I would help and encourage them to abstinence. I think that this is the only way to be completely free addiction which should be the ultimate goal for those struggling. I would encourage them throughout the whole long and difficult process, but help them strive towards not using at all.

Spotlight Post #1

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

Divorce is an awful occurrence for anyone in life, and before getting a divorce, couples should think long and hard about the consequences that their actions will have on everyone involved including children. Researchers have been back and forth about whether children from divorced parents will ultimately be okay in life or if they will suffer behavioral and developmental consequences throughout the remainder of their lives.

The first article that I found discussed the negative impacts that divorce can have on children who experience them. The author highlights four impacts that the divorce can have on children including difficulty coping, trouble with schoolwork, dealing with changes, and having a perceived loss of a parent. Children often have difficulty adjusting to different changes and experiences in their lives after the divorce. The author also states that children often blame their parents because they are egocentric and cannot take the parent’s point of view, but other children feel that it is their responsibility to bring their parents back together. The article also states that children often feel more stress with having to manage between two different parents and homes which can lead to diminished productivity in school work. Finally, the author says that children often feel a long-term sense of guilt because in cases with split custody, they often spend more time with one parent than the other. This article and author are credible in my opinion because for every negative effect that she presents, she mentions and cites credible research studies that were done to prove those points.

The next article also talks about the long-standing negative effects that divorce can have on children. Much like how the last source was credible, this source is also credible because each effect talked about includes studies that were done to support their stance. The effects that this article presents are divorce increasing smoking habits, Ritalin use, poor math and social skills, susceptibility to sickness, likelihood of dropping out of school, crime, risk of stroke, chances of getting a divorce, and early death. The author states that most of these effects like susceptibility to sickness and risk of stroke are caused by the increased levels of stress that a divorce puts on a child. The article states that the children of divorced parents are more likely to develop anxiety, stress, and low levels of self-esteem and the younger a child is at the time the divorce occurs, the more heightened the negative effects may be.

The third article takes the opposite view point in this case by stating that ultimately children of divorce although hurt at the time adjust well to it and have no main negative effects for their futures. The article states that in the beginning of the divorce, children may experience anger, anxiety, shock, and disbelief, but they ultimately recover and adjust to the idea of their parents living separately. The authors acknowledge that there may be short term harm for children, but they continue to live a good life with little impact later on. Overall, children of divorced parents may actually be more likely to deal with harder challenges in their future than those who come from a family with stable parents. This source is credible because the authors present factual results that support their argument from actual scientific studies. These studies provide credibility to the authors and the point they are trying to make. Also in the article, they provide points from the counterargument that divorce is bad for children, and refute these findings. This makes them credible because it shows that they do not have one-sided bias and are able to respect and acknowledge the other side, while disagreeing at the same time. Finally, the authors are credible because at the end of the article, it states that they are both psychology professors at separate universities.

The last article also takes the stance on the issue that children of divorced parents ultimately end up doing well in life and are well adjusted as adults. Like the other articles, the author of this article cites other sources and studies to provide facts for her argument. For example, she cites a study that shows that 80% of children from divorced parents showed no long term effects from the major change in their later life. These additional sources make the author and the article more credible. The author is also credible because she has been through her own divorce with children, and this gives her a different personal perspective on the topic that the other authors did not have. She has seen this experience play out in front of her eyes. In the article, she argues that sometimes, it is worse for parents to stay in a hurtful marriage. She says that if the marriage is abusive, this could be worse for children down the road because they see and accept the abuse as something that just happens in life. This causes them to be more likely to get involved in abusive relationships when they are older. Also, she says that what children need are two parents who get along not two parents who necessarily live together, parents who are established in their own lives so that they can focus on their children, and the basic necessities of food, water, shelter, and social support. Divorced parents can provide these for their children, without having to be together.

In my opinion, I think that parents should try to stay together as much as they can unless it gets to a desperate point where it becomes abusive. Everyone argues and fights, but I think parents who can work together and work through problems and challenges can ultimately provide good supportive role models for their kids. I think that divorce can have major effects in a child’s life for the short term, but for the long term children will  be okay. Divorce should only be used though in the last ditch effort if everything else does not work, but if a divorce does have to occur, parents should be upright with their children and explain and talk to them through the whole process instead of keeping them in the dark. This is the best way to ensure that the children understand what is happening and will not experience anything traumatic that could affect them psychologically or physiologically in the future.

Article links:


First Impression Post #5

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

For this first impression post, I chose to write about Option 1 of memory relating to study habits. The most common way that I use to study is by rereading all the notes that I have taken over and over again until they are put into memory. This is my fall back method of studying although I know that it is not the most effective way to retain information. This is why I have been trying to branch out in my studying techniques. What I do well when I study is reading the chapters, reading my notes and comments from lectures, and recently I have been writing out information on white boards to make concept maps or visually see the terms and names of individuals out in front of me. Something that I do not do a lot of but need to improve on is testing myself throughout my time studying. I need to think about the questions that I will be asked as well as other simple questions this way I get my mind into the answering questions mindset for exams.

In particular for the first exam, I took notes from the book for all the chapters, read those a lot, and reread all the notes from lecture. I also completed the study guide to see where I was having the most difficulty and went to the library to write out the names of all the psychologists and what they did on whiteboards. Finally, I tested myself with the practice exam and reviewed the answers. For the second exam, I would focus more on testing myself while studying. I know that I did this with the practice exam, but I should use the practice set questions on Canvas more. This would be a good way to get used to more complex questions. Also, I should go through the chapters in the book and answer the questions in there because they usually sum up the main ideas and definitions that provide a base for all the other information. This would make the information more permanent because I feel like if you get a question wrong and then dig into the question to fully understand why you got it wrong, the information is more likely to stick in your head.

I believe that I have a good handle on studying, but I am really interested in ways that I can improve my habits and make my techniques more effective.

First Impression #4

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

I chose to respond to the first option for this first impression blog post. In this video about Skinner’s experiment, it walks through him training pigeons to respond to written or colored cues that give the pigeons food for responding in a certain way. For example, if the pigeon pecked the board that had “Peck” on it, it was rewarded with food. Also, when the pigeon turned after seeing the board that said “Turn” on it, it was correctly rewarded with food. The other experiment that Skinner conducted was that the pigeon was rewarded with food if they pecked a colored board a certain amount of times. They could get the pigeon on a schedule for how many pecks the pigeon had to give in order to get food. Skinner connects this reward system with people who gamble. From these experiments, Skinner concluded that by rewarding pigeons with food at certain points, you condition them, and although it seems like they might have free will about when they eat, they really do not because the experimenters are the ones controlling the schedule.

I disagree with Skinner’s assertion that there is no such thing as free will. In the case of the pigeons, I agree that there is no such thing as free will because there were outside forces controlling the feeding schedule of the pigeons, but in real life, people still have choices and decisions that they can make with their own mind. I think in certain situations like gambling, people can be controlled by conditioning and outside forces that offer staggered rewards, but I also believe that people have the free will to do what they want. For example, everyone has the free will of how they will spend their time. Individuals can listen to music, go to the movies, study, go to eat/where they want to go to eat. We all have the free will in life to make these decisions and we have to deal with the consequences of these decisions. Although there are outside forces that affect the decisions that we make, they are still ours. Free will is a concept that humans made up, but it is also a real concept that everyone has and uses every day of their lives.