Chapter 3 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I decided on prompt four, which discusses sleeping habits. As a college student, I find it very hard to find the perfect balance between academics, sports, and maintaining a social life while still getting a good amount of sleep each night.

Personally, I have a very weird relationship with sleep. I love it, but I’m always tired no matter how much of it I get- and I don’t drink coffee so that doesn’t help. As embarrassing as it is, this results in me taking multiple naps periodically throughout the day. Freshman year in college when I was out of season for volleyball some days I would take up to three naps in one day. I would stay up late doing homework and then get 4 or 5 hours of sleep until I had to wake up for my 8 a.m’s, then would come back from class and go back to sleep until lunch time (if I woke up for it). If I had another class that day I would sometimes go back to sleep until then, but if not a lot of times I would take a nap before dinner. Sometimes at night when I’m studying I feel myself dozing off so I will set an alarm to take a 20-30 minute nap and then wake up and continue studying. On the weekends or days that I don’t have class, I’ll typically wake up around noon, so half of day is gone before it has even started. These are very bad, unhealthy habits to have and I need to break them this year.

I feel that there is a very easy solution to break my bad habits because they really are just one big cycle. For starters, I need to stop taking naps and rely on getting a good night’s sleep to keep me energized throughout the day. Having a normal sleep schedule will regulate my internal body clock and maybe I won’t be so tired all of the time. If I stop taking so many naps, then I will be able to get more work done during the day so that I can have some free time in the evenings so that I can hang out with my friends and maintain a social life, and then go to bed at a decent time instead of staying up all night doing homework. If I do it right, this will ensure I get enough sleep each night, and that is my goal for this upcoming school year.



Spotlight Post #1

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For my fist spotlight post, I decided to choose the prompt about the effects divorce has on children. The divorce rate in the U.S. continues to increase, and it has become an ongoing debate about whether divorce harms or helps children. I found four articles that do a good job at helping better understand the effects of each side of the argument.

The first article I read is called, “When, and Why, Divorce Hurts Kids,” by Harry Benson. It provided reasons why divorce can negatively impact children. Finances are a huge factor in divorce negatively affecting children. Typically, the total income between the parents is not enough to cover all of the expenses of two separate households as well as providing for sometimes multiple children. When parents go from living comfortably to struggling financially, the instability can be hard on the kids. Also, divorce usually leaves the kids asking many questions or coming to different conclusions. They constantly ask themselves if it was their fault their parents’ marriage failed or why they didn’t try harder to make it work. The children can develop many insecurities from these thoughts. Divorce can also put a negative connotation on relationships for them. They begin to expect relationships and marriages to not work out and that it’s normal. And lastly, a lot of the times parents think it is most beneficial for the wellbeing of their children to not only coparent, but to remain friends after the divorce. But in reality, that can just become confusing for the children if they see their parents getting along just fine, but they still can’t be together. I found this source to be trustworthy because the author, Harry Benson, is the Communications Director of the Marriage Foundation located in the United Kingdom. The site his article was published on is called Institute for Family Studies, whose goal is to do research in order to educate families and strengthen marriages, and in turn prevent children from being scarred by growing up in broken families.

Another article I found discussing how damaging divorce can be for children is called, “How Divorce Affects Children”written by Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.  One obvious and common reason why divorce is harmful for children is that it can result in the loss of a parent. Far too often do fathers leave the mother and children to fend for themselves and the children don’t see their dad for years, if ever again. Co-parenting isn’t always an assumed method of easing the children into their transition to a much different life. Going along with this, parents tend to run into many conflicts following a divorce. This includes not getting along, financial conflicts, custody, and other legal conflicts. Divorces aren’t always pretty, and that can prolong the transition, making it harder and emotionally draining for the children to deal with. Behavioral and psychological issues tend to increase for children following their parents’ divorce. They develop an inclination to act out, anger problems, become less compliant, develop anxiety, depression, and their performance at school can take a turn for the worst. Also, in some cases, one of the parents becomes depressed themselves after the split, and the children feel compelled to take care of their parent instead of it being the other way around, which can be exhausting for the kids and strip them of their childhood. I found this article to be reliable because Dr. Emery is a clinical psychologist, a divorce mediator, and a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. He has written over 150 scientific publications and several books about parent, marriage, and divorce, has conducted tons of research on these topics, and has lectured all over the world.

But sometimes divorce serves as the light at the tunnel for the children. The next article I found, titled “Is Divorce Always Bad for the Kids?,” written by Salynn Boyles, discusses how divorce can be beneficial to the children. Living in a dysfunctional family where there is constant fighting, arguing, and tension between two unhappy parents can be very stressful and cause high levels of anxiety for the children. The removal of a parent can be a relief. The article says that children living in a stressful environment between two unhappy parents are more likely to act out and become bullies, lie, cheat, and become antisocial, but that, “there was a significant decline in these behaviors following divorce.” This means that in some cases divorce isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. Rather than being harmful for the children they are able to come out better prior to the event and actually can show positive behavioral changes. I found this article to be credible because it was on WebMD. Their staff is made up of certified health professionals, experts, editorial professionals, and contributors with a specialty license to guarantee that people can find the health and medical information, resources and services they need. It is a proven credible source because not only do they seek out and hire highly qualified professionals to provide accurate information for users, but they also maintain upkeep on their staff’s licensures to ensure all of the information on their site is without a doubt up-to-date and accurate.

The last article I read was called “Why Divorce is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids,” written by Brette Sember, which discusses the negative impacts divorce has on children. There are many lessons to be learned for the children that can possibly benefit their lives in the future. For example, while they will have to transition to the change of having two homes, each home will be argument free. This will help the children develop some individuality and their happiness won’t have to depend on their parents’ happiness and “allows kids to just be kids.” Kids can also learn from watching their parents going through a divorce how important it is to be able to compromise. By observing their parents co-parenting and working through their issues, it can show them how working together to get through tough times is much more effective than fighting. And lastly, the children can be shown how important it is to put their happiness first. Living to please others and putting others before themselves can prove to be very harmful, so watching their parents choose their happiness first for once will be very beneficial. This post was written on Huffington Post which I feel is a reliable source because it provides non biased information by obtaining news stories and facts from a variety of sources all of which are checked for their credibility to ensure that they are remaining credible as well.

After reading each article, while I think there are some benefits in certain situations, I have come to the conclusion that divorce mainly damages children developmentally, behaviorally, and psychologically. Additionally, it can really negatively effect their views on marriage and lower their expectations of their own relationships one day.




Chapter 8 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I decided to do option one about study habits. When assessing my study habits, I definitely excel in some areas, but there is also a lot of room for improvement.

I have a crazy good memory- I always have. Now I admit, it was a lot better when I was younger. As a child I had a photographic memory. I could look at something and take a mental picture of it and never forget it. As I got older, that ability kind of went away, but not completely. There are things about my childhood that I vividly remember, and a lot of times when looking back at past events, I can remember the super intricate details of it- down to what clothes people were wearing that day. This skill comes in handy when I study. For example, when I read through textbooks or take notes, if I eventually need to look back at a piece of information, a lot of times I can picture what the page I wrote/read it on looks like (what is around it, pictures, location on the page, etc.) so that it is easy for me to refer back to it. This is also useful for tests because if it sounds like something I read or wrote, a lot of times I can picture it in my head and I can remember it. The photographic memory, or just good memory in general, also translates when studying with flashcards, which is a method of studying I really like. It is easy for me to memorize what is on each flashcard, so I can retain information better when studying.

This skill, while proven to be very useful, sometimes does more harm than good. I can become too overly confident that I know enough of the information and I don’t need to study anymore. I get to the point where I have memorized what is on the back of each flashcard verbatim and I just associate the definition with the word so that three words in I know which answer it is. And for my notes, I read them over and over again until they have stuck in my brain. But when I get to the tests, the wording of the question isn’t always the same as my notes or the book, or it’s an application question, and I’m stuck not knowing the answer. This really hurt me freshman year when I was taking molecular biology because almost none of the test questions were knowledge-based.

These are the things that I did and the mistakes I made when studying for the first exam in this class. I read over my notes over and over again until I felt I knew all of the information, and I read over some Quizlets that I eventually had memorized all of the answers too. For the next exam, I would like to be better prepared and do some things differently. For starters, I need to take notes from the book too, because right now I’m just reading it and then watching the lectures and taking notes on them. Also, I would like to test myself more to really make sure I can answer questions. At the end of each chapter in the book, there are key concepts and a few sample questions that I can refer to that will maybe help. Hopefully these changes in my studying habits instead of just memorizing will benefit me and translate on the next exam!

Chapter 7 First Impression

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this week’s first impression post, I chose the prompt discussing whether or not video games lead to more violent children. Personally, I do not feel that they do.

For starters, the United States is known for having one of (if not the) largest amounts of gun violence in the world. But these violent video games are not just specific to the U.S. Most games are able to be purchased in many countries. So it doesn’t make sense that we would have more gun violence than these other countries if video games are to blame.

Secondly, I feel that violence is not always a learned thing, and that it is just a part of human nature. You will see little boys, who are way too young to be playing video games yet, playing with toy guns, pretending things are guns, or using imaginary guns with their hands when playing with their friends. They are too young to be influenced by society to have learned that these things are violent, but they still fake shoot each other when playing at the park or in the back yard. Going along with this, maybe toy companies who are creating toy guns for boys to play with should also be at blame for causing violence, but you never really hear about that because all of the criticism is usually on video game companies.

Lastly, I don’t believe that the blood and gore in video games causes mass shooters. I think it could be somewhat therapeutic for people. Teenagers especially are dealing with a lot of emotions and stress as they go through puberty and school and all of the things that come with growing up. Coming home from a stressful day at school and playing video games can be an outlet for built up anger and emotions for teens. If they spend hours shooting imaginary people, the anger is able to diminish, thus allowing them to release their aggression before releasing it in real life.

In conclusion, gun violence is growing in the United States, but I don’t think video games are the culprit, nor do I believe that banning violence in video games is going to solve anything. There is no direct evidence that video games create more violent people. Violence is everywhere, and it is impossible to avoid. So don’t take away something that kids enjoy.


Chapter 2 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

I chose to do this week’s First Impression post on the TED Talk, “Toward a New Understanding of Mental Illness” by Thomas Insel.

What Drew You to Choose the Talk You Did?

I chose this TED talk because I have a fascination with mental illness and I love to learn about them. And I think that the more we can understand the diseases of the mind, the more people can learn to cope with it better.


Thomas Insel speaks about the increasing amount of suicides in the U.S. He wonders, since doctors have been able to decrease the number of deaths by heart disease, stroke, and leukemia through early detection and medication, if we are able to also do that with schizophrenia and depression, and in turn lowering the suicide rate.

What Did You Find Most Interesting About the Talk?

It was crazy to me that there are 38,000 suicides in the U.S. every year, about one every 15 minutes. Thomas stated that that is double the rate of homicides, and more than the number of fatalities from car crashes. Also, 30% of people with disabilities are due to having neuropsychiatric disorders. I guess I just never really realized just how prominent mental disorders and suicide really are.

How Trustworthy Do You Find the Presenter and the Information He or She Presented?

I think that Insel is a very trustworthy source for information. He is the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. His job is to ensure that we are moving in the right direction with mental disorders and treating them. He has definitely been a part of many research studies and been exposed to a vast amount of people struggling with all kinds of different mental disorders.

Come up with a research idea of your own based on the information presented in the talk and briefly outline how you would conduct it.

In order to do research on this subject and how to detect mental disorders early and medicate them early, we have to know what we look for. This experiment would have to be done over a long period of time. You would have to track the progression of people who are medicated later in life and how their mental disorder effects their brain over time, and then you would also have to medicate a child with signs of the disorder and track their symptoms of the disorder to see if there are any differences or benefits of early intervention. You could test multiple ages of people showing symptoms for the certain disorder, maybe a young child, a teenager, an adult, and an elderly person and retrieve brain scans of them every so often over a certain period of time. This experiment would be very hard because no one brain is like another, people show symptoms in different ways, and the brain scans could look different. So it would be important for the researcher to collect a lot of data based on the similarities and differences in brain scans.


Chapter 4 First Impression Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For this first impression post, I chose to discuss parenting styles that I feel are the best. The prompt includes “tiger moms,”  who give tough love, micromanage, and really push their children- sometimes too far. There is also “jellyfish dads,” who are very passive parents who tend to have little rules and try to avoid confrontation or punishment. “Helicopter parents” are considered to be obsessed with their child’s life and too involved, as well as overprotective. All of these parenting styles take away from the child’s ability to think for themselves, their problem solving skills, and their individuality. Children must make mistakes in order to learn and grow, but not allowing it or practicing it in the right way is detrimental to the child’s development.

I think it is important to find a middle ground that combines all of these parenting methods while still allowing for opportunity and freedom for the child. The best way I feel to do this is considered “dolphin parenting.” These parents begin by being more authoritative when their child is young, in a sense “hovering” and maybe a little overprotective to ensure they are being raised to be good people, stay out of harm’s way, and make good decisions so they can learn right from wrong. But as the kid grows older, provide instruction and guidance when needed, but let the child figure out more for themselves by trial and error and making mistakes. They can eventually transition to be more of a support system and grow more of a friendship with their child and be less seen as intimidating authoritative figures.

I believe that if more parents practice “dolphin parenting,” their children will be able to develop more individuality, character, values, interests, balance, and drive when given more space to learn things on their own. In turn, they will grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society.

First Impression #1 Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

For my first impression blog, I decided to choose option 2 in the prompt stating that we had to critique a mini myth from Myth Busters. The myth that I chose to discuss is “Are Women Better Than Men at Reading Emotions?” The experiment was composed of five people who each displayed their best impression of five different emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and confusion) in photographs. Then, people were brought in and were shown the pictures, but only the eyes were shown. The people were then asked to state which emotion they thought was being emitted in the photo. They were shown 17 photos After taking the average of men’s scores and then that of women’s scores, it was concluded by comparing the two averages that women are indeed better at reading emotions than men.

One thing that the people did well with when conducting this experiment was having constants. All of the people who were photographed did the same five emotions, so the test subjects only had five emotions to choose from when guessing. Another thing that was a smart thing to do was that they eliminated a human subject because they realized that he could not express the emotions need for the experiment. If they would have left those photos in for the people to guess, it would have been very hard to determine the different emotions and could have inaccurately affected the data.

Something I found to not be very good during the experiment was I feel that the test question was too vague for the experiment that was run. Just because women happened to be better guessers when looking at photographs does not mean that in real life with real people it is that way too. Another flaw in the concept of the experiment is that so much more goes into emotions than just someone’s eyes. And the emotions are not genuine so it was not a good representation of reading someone’s real feelings. If this experiment were to be done again, in order to improve it I would suggest having the people observe the one’s portraying the different emotions in person or through a two-way mirror where they would be able to see them personally. I also feel that it would be better to let them see their entire face versus just the eyes. Lastly, I do not feel that there were enough participants. Most experiments have a very large number of participants so that they can collect as much data as possible in order to determine whether or not the data is valid.

Introductory Post

--Original published at Jenna'sPSY105blog

Hi, my name is Jenna Harne and I will be a sophomore this fall at Elizabethtown College. I am majoring in Occupational Therapy and, depending on how this course goes, am considering minoring in psychology. I am a member of the women’s volleyball team at Etown as well.

I am taking PSY 105 because all Occupational Therapy majors are required to take the course, I am just taking it in the summer to keep up with credits and to stay on track with the course load. Although I am taking this class because I have to, I’ve always had an interest in psychology and how the brain works- it’s quite fascinating! When I hear the word “psychology,” I think of the inner workings of the brain, including emotions, feelings, mental disorders, dreams, cognition, etc. My junior year in high school, I took a psychology class, but I didn’t have the best teacher and I always found myself wanting to know more than what he taught us. My interest in the mind also stems from my mother. She has a degree in social work with a background in psychology. She currently works as a school social worker, but prior to her current job she worked in a psychiatric hospital for many years. Between the two careers, growing up I always heard so many crazy stories, which I think sparked my interest in the subject.

One topic I saw on the course schedule I’m excited for is learning all about sleeping. Honestly, I sleep like it’s my job and I am always tired. I also am always having very crazy dreams so I think it will be interesting to maybe find out why these dreams occur so often and why my sleeping patterns are the way they are. Another topic I think will be interesting is learning about mental illness, mood disorders and anxiety. This is because so many people I know, myself included, struggle with mental health and I think understanding these issues and illnesses is very helpful in learning how to cope with them. And lastly, I think that it will be cool to learn about personality and what makes people the way that they are. If I had to choose three topics I’m the least interested in, it would be stereotypes and discrimination, obedience, and how to choose a therapist. I don’t necessarily have a question to be answered, but by the end of this course I would like to have gained a lot more knowledge on personality disorders because I just find them to be so fascinating. I am very excited to get started with this course and expand my knowledge of psychology!