Spotlight Post #3

--Original published at JD's Blog

Peer pressure has been a serious problem for a very long time. It has led countless people to their downfall and sometimes even their death. Peer pressure is the direct influence of a person’s friend group on their behavior and actions. Sometimes they are pressured into changing their beliefs or values. In some cases,  it goes beyond that and results in an action taking place that the person who completes it did not originally intend on doing or approve of. When people hang out in groups, if one person’s ideals do not match up with the rest of the group there is a high chance of either informational or normative influence. Informational influence is when one believes they are wrong or made a mistake because everyone else says something different. Normative influence is even worse because the person knows that they are right, yet they go with everyone else’s idea anyway. With the help of peer pressure and normative influence usually leads to compliance. Compliance is when one actually does what the group wants even though they know it is wrong. Sometimes peer pressure and informational influence can even lead to conformity where the person actually changes their mindset to match that to a group.

The first website I found was designed for kids. The website suggested that when kids are confronted with peer pressure they should stand up straight, make direct eye contact with the people who are pressuring them. They should also state how they feel without making any excuses and be sure to stick up for themselves. These techniques could work because when one sticks up for themselves or states their own ideals then they are less likely to undergo informative influence. However when faced with an entire group and a child they might fall into normative influence and eventually compliance.

The website I found for parents suggested that they teach their children how to take a breath to relax, think it through and find the words. If this doesn’t work then the site suggested that they ask what could be done instead and if all else fails then walk away. I think this is very effective because walking away is the best thing to do. When one walks away they are able to understand that the groups intentions are not what is best for them and are able to take matters into their own hands. This will help prevents any type of influence from peers.

The third website concentrated on college athletes. It focused more on preventative measures to undergo before any type of situation takes place. It suggested that they work hard and earn the respect of their teammates. It suggested that they follow the guidelines set by their family and personal values. I like that the site suggested to find good and reliable friends in your major that will guide you in the right direction and share your ideals. It also said that joining clubs that interest you and have similar values such as a religion club or something similar. This site was the best one in found. By setting oneself up with friends who respect one’s decisions, ideals  and values then there is much less of a chance of someone challenging those ideals or trying to change them.




Media Production Project

--Original published at JD's Blog

Summary: (315 out of 320 words).

When a song, or part of a song becomes engrained in a person’s head and continuously plays, it is considered to be involuntary musical imagery (INMI) also known as an earworm. An original study was conducted surveying over 5,000 people who were randomly selected to participate. The survey given asked each participant to name a song that had been stuck in their head most recently and another song that had made several appearances in their mind over the course of their lifetime. To test the legitimacy of the participants’ claims they were also asked to write out the lyrics of the part that replayed. This study, “Dissecting an Earworm,” utilized information from 3,000 surveys from the original participants. Selected randomly, it was almost an even split between men and women ranging from the age of twelve to eighty two. They based each song’s effectiveness on how many times its name was chosen by the participants and how much in common it had with the other selections. The most reoccurring song was “Bad Romance” by lady Gaga. After the researchers scrounged through all of the selected songs it was determined that there were two main traits that almost all of the songs mentioned shared. The first most prevalent trait was the melody. Almost every song that was selected shared a melodic outline that could be found in music all around the world. A melody that was a result of many cultures musical ideals blending together and has been used across the world. The second trait is a fast paced tempo. It was discovered that most of the songs were taken at a tempo of around 124 beats per minute. These key traits helped the scientist behind the experiment to determine what makes a song catchy and will allow them to predict if songs that are produced in the future will become common earworms (Jakubowski et al, 2017).



In my summary of this study I wanted to cover all of the basic background information as well as include and discuss as many of the five critical research questions that I could. I went through the methods and discussion of the study and used it to determine how the variables were operationalized and how the participants were selected. I could not find anything about any of the participants being separated into groups but based on the experiment there did not seem to be a need for them. I briefly discussed how it could be considered a causal claim for songs that will come out in the future. I failed to talk about how the conclusions could be generalize in depth and therefore did not specifically touch on the fifth critical question.

My summary definitely went more in depth discussing the five critical questions of research concerning the study conducted. The article in the New York Times barely touched on two of them. It did not mention the experiment that preceded tis study and was used by it to obtain the data necessary for its conclusions. The article in The Times mentioned only the. Number of people who participated in the study failing to mention how they were chosen and if they were put into groups. It did touch briefly on causal claims in a similar way to my own summary. We both mentioned the two traits that help to determine if a song will likely become an ear worm.

The other article focused a lot more on the history of earworms and how learning more about them could highlight the ways we developed and learned as people matured through time. It also talks about the practical use of this information in helping people retain information better in different fields of study. However, these topics were not discussed in depth in the study so I did not add them into my summary.

After completing all three of these assignments I learned a lot about journalists writing about psychology research. Analyzing the article in my Pop Culture article critique showed me that it is possible to get the information discussed in an experiment across to the public without discussing the actual research in depth. After discussing the actual study I learned that it is very hard to write about one if they do not directly discuss the information needed to answer the five critical questions of research. As a journalist this must make writing about research very hard.  Trying to write a description of the study myself that was short and detailed was very hard. There is so much information and it is hard to figure out how detailed to be and what type of audience to write for.


Jakubowski, K., Finkel, S., Stewart, L., & Müllensiefen, D. (2017). Dissecting an earworm:

Melodic features and song popularity predict involuntary musical imagery. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts,11(2), 122-135. doi:10.1037/aca0000090


Klein, J. (2016, November 03). What Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ and Other Earworm Songs

Have in Common. Retrieved April 09, 2018, from

First Impression Post 15 Mental Illness

--Original published at JD's Blog


Watching the video that simulated the life of someone with Schizophrenia was actually very eye opening. One without those types of problems would never even be able to think of what goes on in their minds on a daily basis without the help of simulations like this one. The comments made by the voices in the person’s head were so degrading and mean. Even the television was interacting with the affected person and messing with their. Ind. It all seemed to be putting them down and discouraging them from doing certain actions throughout their daily routine including taking their medication that will help them with their condition. The way the condition was able to bend the persons perception of differ t household items was crazy. I have heard a few things that talked about hallucinations and change in perception, but I never would have thought they would be so vivid. The coffee and pizza in the video were moving as the voices convinced their “victim” that both were poison. It even caused the person to knock the pizza onto the floor which could be a major problem if the person does not eat or drink anything. The voices just kept repeating how worthless and useless the person was. I have not read that much about these types of disorders and am quite naïve when it comes to information about them. What in have heard in the media barely touches on the intensity and vividness of the condition. They mention mere hallucinations and the potential for voices in the victim’s head. However, Compared to this video the other media out there does not do the description justice.

Spotlight Post #2

--Original published at JD's Blog

Upon searching for different study tips I was definitely surprised at what results came up. Looking at the tips designed and guided towards each of the different academic levels, it was cool to see how certain points lined up and others were totally different due to the age gaps. The study tips designed for students attending college seemed to cover multiple aspects of college life as well as general study tips geared towards memory (

The first tip they suggested was to alternate ones study spaces. This can have both positive and negative effects. There are many factors that could influence your study location. The first is the resources available. Is there a place to plug in your devices, how many different types of distractions are there, what the overall atmosphere of the area is and most importantly the other people who are there with you ( It is very important to be in a good mindset while studying. State dependent learning suggest that you remember information much better if you study in an area that is similar to the place where you first learned the information (Gen Psych 105, Dr. MacFarlane). The website also suggests studying in groups. When it comes to studying, students can help one another understand confusing material and lighten the workload for one another by sharing it. Together, they can help each other develop retrieval ques to remember information better. Another suggestion is to take practice tests. This will help the student prepare for the actual test by answering similar questions and getting themselves into the proper mindset while relieving stress. An important one mentioned on this website was to refrain from studying one specific topic to in deeply. Instead, one should learn a little bit about all of the topics covered on the text or whatever needs to be studied for. In a study posted by the Journal of Applied Psychology, it was determined that kids who learn a small amount of many different subjects almost always perform much better those who only study one method or topic in depth ( I think these are all great tips and actually implement most of them myself when studying.

The second website I looked up was geared more towards middle schoolers and focused on a much broader spectrum to aid with their study habits ( This site stated that students should develop priorities prior to studying. They should determine which fields they have the most trouble in and devote more time to studying them. After this step is taken the student should set goals for themselves based on what they want to study. Both of these steps can be associated with priming. By exposing the student to a stimulus early and having them practice it, their ability to recall that information when confronted by the specific stimulus will most likely increase (Gen Psych 105, Dr. MacFarlane). It also recommended going to extra help sessions to be sure that the student understands the textbook or reading that are assigned to them. This would help them have the background knowledge needed to study. These tips may be helpful, but they do not focus a as much on memory and recall as the first article did.

The third article focused on tips for parents to help their kids study more efficiently. Many of the tips highly recommended cutting out as many possible distractions as possible. This will allow the student to focus completely on their task at hand. One thing they recommended that I was unsure about was to have them listen to music while they study. After several studies on little kids were conducted. It was found that they performed and remembered to the best of their ability when listening to soft and relaxed music while doing work. This was compared to listening to nothing at all and aggressive music. (

They recommended designating a certain space for doing homework and studying as well as keeping a schedule and giving your child rewards for completing their work. This will motivate the child to perform better and result in an increase in their memory’s recall when it comes to tests or assignments ( It also recommended that parents help them study and come up with retrieval ques such as key words or stimuli that will trigger their memory.

Throughout all three articles two ideas were common. Staying organized and taking good notes. You can remember things better where you first learned them (Psych 105, Dr. MacFarlane). By taking thorough notes the first time you learn new fact or concept it will aid in future recall by allowing you to refer back to the original ideas. Staying organized ensures that all of the necessary information will be available and helps prevent distraction from studying when looking for something. It will also ensure that no unnecessary information is learned that can draw away from the information needed. Organization also keeps students on track ( This helps them know what and when they need to study and can relieve stress associated with academic challenges.


Bonus Post

--Original published at JD's Blog

Completing the Johari Window was an eye opening experience. We all spend a lot of time thinking about how other people act, but sometimes it is good to reflect on yourself. After I completed the Johari Window it was really interesting to see how peoples thoughts lined up with mine. People agreed with four out of the six things I choose to describe myself. They thought I was friendly, happy, helpful and silly. It was very cool to see all of the other personality traits that people associated me with. Looking at all of the different descriptions really made me look back at myself and think about all of the times I exemplified each trait. It was relaxing and a great self-reflection. The two things I picked that no one else agreed with were observant and idealistic. This made me realize that I might not be as creative as I saw myself as. I am planning on using that information to try and be more creative and more observant. But I will also be concentrating more one being all of the things people say I already am. It was nice to know that other people pick up on things that I may not when I am around them. I hope that I can one day be all of the tings on that list. After learning what we did about someone’s personality and how it can be affected of affect others.  Thought that was very interesting too. I learned a lot about myself during this process.

First Impression Post 11 on Stress

--Original published at JD's Blog

Stress can be dealt with or managed in several different ways. Over the years I have tried many different methods of dealing with stress caused by work or social situations. Sometimes I watch a television show, movie or funny videos on YouTube. Anything to make me laugh and forget about whatever is stressing me out. I also enjoy working out. Going to the gym or swimming helps me relieve stress. Being able to take time out of my day and concentrate on physical activity or where I can place my concentration on something other than what is stressing me out. The stress can also be channeled into helping me lift more weight or swim faster. So far my strategies work very well. Sometimes I listen to classical music or any type of music. I also play music and sometimes and can channel the feelings of stress into the music. I could incorporate several different types of stress relievers into my life. I would like to try yoga or some type of exercise class that takes place later at night. Any type of class that focuses on relaxation or concentration would help. However, It depends on when they are offered because if too much time is spent relaxing then the stress only gets worse. There should be a balance between time spent dealing with the material that is causing the stress and the stress itself. Trying to incorporate new styles of stress relief into my routine would be hard at first, but I feel it would pay off. I am always looking for new ways to de-stress more effectively.

First Impression Post 2 Week 9

--Original published at JD's Blog

I was surprised at my score. I did not think I would be able to get the score I did. I ended up with a score of 15/20. The test said that this score showed I was better than the average person when it comes to reading another person’s face. It is very interesting to me how people can channel so much emotion and communicate so well with just their facial expressions alone. There are so many different details one must pay attention to in order to get a reading. I think the test was credible. It was created at the science center located at UC Berkley. I think they did a great job discussing what parts f the face indicate each mood. They would have an arrow pointing to the part highlighting its role in the emotion. I also enjoyed how they placed a small description of the emotion and what it entailed at the bottom of each question. For me it was very easy to tell apart basic emotions such as sadness or happiness. As it went along it got harder for the most part. Some of the faces seemed to fit the description of several different choices which were presented with the picture. Some of the harder ones for me were embarrassment and love. I feel that this skill would be helpful in my daily life. By being able to read someone’s emotions it could help in your approach to them. It could also help if you are talking to someone and see their face change. I really enjoyed this video and am super excited to talk  about it in class.

Week Nine, First Impression Post “Sleeping Habits”

--Original published at JD's Blog

My sleeping habits are not very good at the moment. I will be the first person to tell someone that. Right now I get around five hours of sleep on average. That is definitely not healthy at all. Between staying up super late to study with friends or by myself. Sometimes I forget that I have work do or have to watch a video that was longer than expected and write a reflection or take a quiz. Usually I am up late working on Organic Chemistry with some friends trying to decipher what the heck our teacher assigned us. Even though all of these things do not take a ton of time. If one leaves them for last minute or gets distracted, they can easily add up to a few extra hours of work. On average I usually get into bed and fall asleep between 1:00am and 2:00am. Now on certain day this is ok, because my first class the next day does not begin until twelve thirty. However, when I have an Eight am, this habit definitely bites me in the butt. I Have often used to it by now, but sometimes I feel myself getting tired in class and therefore not being able to retain as much information or pay as much attention as in should be. A nap after my 9:30 usually helps, but I really need to make a change. I should start improving my sleeping habits by making a better schedule for myself. I should try to be in bed by twelve, twelve thirty the latest. This way I can at least get 7 hours of sleep under my belt for the incoming day. I should really push to get six or seven hours of sleep rather than five or even four some nights. Hopefully learning some new information on sleep will help drive me to make the necessary change in my everyday sleeping habits.

Spring Break, First Impression Post

--Original published at JD's Blog

I was amazed as I watched the video. The way Daniel Tammet describes his perception of different things is very interesting. I lie how he started by asking the audience to perceive the three questions. He forced them to think and even try thinking out of the box. After he had the audience try it he explained how he saw it. It was intriguing that he saw a different shape for each number. Not only did he see different shapes, but different colors as well. The painting he made where he wrote out the numbers and placed the colors together to solve math problems or even express the numbers of Pi; absolutely amazing! I can’t even imagine how it is living every single day with this condition. In some ways it seems like a blessing. The world seems to appear more alive to him and gives each and every little thing its own personality. His ability to decipher and obtain knowledge or use it solve problems is unbelievable. To be able to see the world through a different perspective must be awesome. He can use his skill to take calculations and questions designed for a pen and paper or even a calculator and solve them through his head. He can even explain how he simplifies it down into a grid or shapes to teach others how to compute it. I think this would help in day to day life through. Problem solving, but it could potentially be distracting with each and everything having so many different meanings. Overall, I feel that this condition would be hard to control, but would allow one to see and learn in a whole new way.

First Impression Post 7

--Original published at JD's Blog

Overall, I feel that the use of marijuana should be legal, but highly regulated. Medical marijuana has been clinically shown to help people get through tough diseases and ease the pain of certain treatments. If the drug is grown in a highly regulated facility following specific guidelines presented and checked by the government, then it would be safe. There should be specific guidelines exhibited by the patient prior to the drug being administered in mass quantities. Concerning recreational use of this drug, it should also be legal, but highly regulated. Under the same conditions, if Pot is generated under federal standards it would be a lot safer than if it was produced elsewhere. If they had a limit to the amount one could purchase at a regulated marijuana store as well as a limit to the amount one could have on their person at a specific time. Similar to smoking there should be places that one cannot partake in these types of activities.  It would reduce crime involving the illegal growth and distribution of the drug. It could also backfire if people use the drug too much causing a drop in motivation drastically affecting the economy of that state or area. Another policy that could help the government as well as deter the amount of Marijuana one purchases would be to tax it very highly. This would help generate money that the government could use to regulate the usage and proper enforcement for this drug. At first when it becomes legal, there would be a major spike in its usage because people would finally be able to use it freely. However, eventually the drug usuage would most likely die down. It would also stop the transfer of mass legally purchased drugs being shipped to illegal areas to be sold to those who do not have the same privileges.