Spotlight 3 Post

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

A common mental illness expressed in the United States is major depressive disorder. This disease can be treated in many ways; however, the two most common treatments are psychotherapy and prescribed medication. Psychotherapy is also commonly referred to as cognitive therapy and does not use any sorts of drugs. People who struggle with depression, tend to be back and forth on what is the best option for their situation. Some do not like to be dependent on a pill to make them feel better, and others do not like talking to other people about their personal life problems. The question becomes, which of these two methods is the most effective when treating major depressive disorder. Both treatment options have evidence that they are effective in some ways.

 In some cases, the studies that were conducted to compare these two treatments used older medications instead of newer medications that are used today, which could unfairly favor psychotherapy, being as the older medications might have more severe side effects and be less effective (Spielmans, 2014). In long term cases, studies have shown that psychotherapy has greater effects than medications do, if the therapy is performed by suitably trained specialists. Looking at the short-term effects, these two approaches to treatments are similar (Spielmans, 2014). An investigation completed by Kathryn McHugh and her colleagues, concluded that people who need treatment for depression prefer medications over psychological therapies by 3 to 1. Also, according to McHugh, there is a decrease of patients who choose to receive psychotherapy treatments (Whitbourne, 2015). Medication is easily accessible and does not take up anyone’s time. They also do not require the individual taking them to change anything about their life. All they must do is take the medication once or twice a day and let it do its job and move on with their life (Derksen, n.d). If someone with depressions chooses to seek help, they can either see their doctor or see a psychiatrist. If they see a doctor, the doctor will most likely prescribe them with a medication that will suppress how they are feeling. If they see a psychiatrist to receive psychotherapy, they will develop skills to shape new ways of thinking about the situation that is making them depressed. The psychiatrist and the individual will work together to talk things out and discuss possible solutions to the problem at hand (Benefits of Psychotherapy, 2018).

In my opinion, after reading articles from doctors and credible websites, seeking psychotherapy as a form of treatment for depression is better than medication because you are trying to solve the problem, so you don’t feel depressed anymore. When you take medications, they might take away the depressed feeling, however they don’t solve the problem and make the feeling go away, you just do not notice it. Also, the amount of side effects medications can have can sometimes be detrimental to one’s body and cause other issues on top of the depression. After doing some research, that is what seems to be a common argument about medications. There is an option to use both treatments together if one decides to do so. Either treatment is an effective way to treat one’s depression.


Spielmans, G. (2014, January 01). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy versus Medications for Depression: How Do They Compare? Retrieved from

Whitbourne, S. (2015, July 21). Psychotherapy vs. Medications: The Verdict Is In. Retrieved from

Benefits of Psychotherapy. (2018, January 9). Retrieved from

Derksen, S. (n.d.). Medication versus Therapy. Retrieved from

The Harm of Selfies

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

Can posting selfies cause the social media user harm? That is the question researchers set to find out with a study conducted by York University in Toronto, Canada.  Two hypotheses were proposed, one being by updating a personal social media profile with a selfie would cause a lower mood and amplified body concerns compared to a control group.  The second hypothesis was if the user could retouch their selfie, they would have a better mood and better body image compared to the ones who were not allowed to retouch their selfies.

Participants were selected by an online system, which allotted 113 undergraduate psychology students from York University. They had to have a live social media account on Facebook or Instagram, had to be female, and had to be between the ages of 16 and 29 years of age. The experiment session took about an hour. During the experiment, the participants used an iPad camera, an editing app, and the internet to access their social media account. Visual analogue scales were used to measure the mood and body image of the participants before the actual experiment was performed. This was also performed after the experiment, so the numbers could be compared to one another.

After being tested individually behind closed doors, the participants were randomly assigned to an experiment group. The groups consisted of an Untouched Selfie, a Retouched Selfie, and a Control group. In the Untouched Selfie group, the women were asked to use the iPad and take one selfie and post it to their social media platform. This group had five minutes to complete the task. The Retouched Selfie group was asked to take as many selfies as they wanted and were also allowed to use the editing app on the iPad to make any changes they wanted before posting their selfie. They had as much time as they needed to complete the task. The Control group also had an iPad but instead of taking a selfie, they were asked to read an article regarding social media and then answer questions about the article. The Control group was not allowed to get on Facebook or Instagram while on the iPad. Again, this group only had five minutes to complete the task. After everything was completed, the participants finished another scales test and were asked to complete the test based on how they felt at that moment in time. Once everything for the experiment was completed, the women were then debriefed.

The results found the participants who were not allowed to touch up their selfies felt more anxious than the participants who did not post a selfie. The women who could touch up their selfies were found to be more anxious than the ones in the control group and had the same amount of anxiousness as the women in the untouched group. Regarding attractiveness, the women who could retouch their selfies felt less attractive once they posted their selfie online. The women who could touch up their selfies felt more confident in themselves after they posted their selfie compared to the women who could not modify their picture. Those same women did not feel any more confident however, than the women who did not post a selfie at all. This study found changing and editing selfies does not improve the mood or self-image of the person in the picture. There was no evidence found to conclude posting a selfie which has been touched up made women feel better. In contrast, in some cases it made the women feel worse.

These findings are important for the social media users, specifically young women who post selfies. It is important for them to remember that posting a selfie, and seeing who comments, what they comment, and how many likes the selfie gets, does not determine how beautiful and unique that individual woman truly is.


“Selfie” harm: Effects on mood and body image in young women. (2018, August 24). Retrieved from

The Unexpected Psychological Cost of Sharing Selfies. (n.d.). Retrieved from


When writing this summary based off the original article, it was hard to not say exactly what the article said, as well as, the pop culture article, but still get the main points across. Putting myself in a journalist’s perspective was not easy for me and I now have a new respect for them and what they do every day. I tried to include all the important information from the article, however, it was very difficult to decide what information to leave out. I decided to leave out how the participants were broken down ethnically and their BMI’s because it was difficult for me to understand, so I assumed it would be hard for the public reading my paper to understand. I chose to answer all five of the critical questions whereas the pop culture article I found only addressed three out of the five.

When I critiqued the previous journalistic papers, I looked for the five critical questions and denoted the credibility of the article if all five were not present. I now know that an article can still be credible, even if all five are not discussed. I tried to keep all five questions in mind when writing my entry. Journalist seem to write with an engaging style that keeps the reader interested all the way to the end. I also can now understand why journalist choose to leave some information out and change some wording of the information provided, so that the reader does not think less of themselves because they do not understand what is being discussed.

Johari Window Thoughts

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

The process of choosing my Johari window was more difficult than I expected. I didn’t know which traits to pick for myself. I was either between a couple, knew ones were definitely not me, and then others I wasn’t sure if they described me or not. For example, I knew I was definitely an extrovert, so that eliminated the introvert trait. Other traits given, like ‘able’ was confusing to me because I really didn’t know what that was referring to. I was anxious to see the results once I finally picked my traits. Some traits that I didn’t think described me, my friends picked. All the traits I picked for myself, at least one of the people I emailed the link to agreed and selected one out of the six traits. I learned more traits about myself that I didn’t know I had than I expected I would have from this assignment. In terms of validity, I think it is a valid test if only people you know participate. I had some people who I didn’t know and didn’t know me participate in my Johari Window. So, my results were skewed because of that. I guess it is not hard for people to obtain the link you shared with your friends. I don’t know if it accurately measures one’s personality because there is only a limited number of traits. There are many traits that can describe someone’s personality. Overall, I liked this assignment cause I was interested in seeing how I was perceived from my friends point of view.

The DARE Program

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, more commonly known as the DARE program, is a program that provides information to elementary, middle, and high school children about saying no to drugs and the dangers of using drugs. The vison of DARE is “A world in which students everywhere are empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors.” (Teaching Students Decision-Making for Safe & Healthy Living, n.d). It becomes a controversial topic as to if it really is an effective program on lowering the drug use in grade school students. Just like everything else in this world, there are pros and cons to this program.

            First, let’s look at the pros of this drug program. So, did the program in fact deter students from making these bad decisions? Forty percent of participants who said they used alcohol before the dare program, said that after they went through the curriculum, they reduced their use of alcohol. Thirty-two percent stated they stopped using the substance overall (D.A.R.E., n.d). Students who participated in DARE were said to have 6 percent higher decision-making skills, then students who did not participate in the program (Patterson, 2015). A survey was taken by 5,376 students and 3,059 parents. Ninety-five percent of the students said that they felt DARE had a substantial influence on their decision-making process in the future. Ninety-nine percent of the parents, thought their children benefitted from being involved in the program (Patterson, 2015). In my perspective, these statistics seem convincing that the DARE program was effective. However, let’s look at the cons.

            Contrary to what the creators of the DARE program anticipated, there has been backlash regarding what the program has to offer to students. Critics of the program have stated that the program is highly flawed and has not produced noteworthy evidence to it being an effective curriculum. A study conducted on the program found that the students who were involved in DARE had a three to five percent higher rate of using drugs, than the students who did not participate in the program (Patterson, 2015). When looking at the statistics for marijuana use in 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, 5.8 percent of 8th graders, 13.8 percent of 10th graders, and 19.4 percent of 12th graders were using marijuana in 2008. Five years later those percentages increased to 7, 18, 22.7 percent (Does The DARE Program Work, n.d.). Those students were also involved in the DARE program during this increase use of marijuana.

            When taking all of this into consideration, I would say the DARE program is not as effective as the average person may think. When taking this information and thinking about other similar programs, like a sexual education class, I think they shouldn’t be set in place. DARE did not produce enough positive data for me to think otherwise. I think those topics, i.e. sex, drugs, and alcohol, should be discussed between the parents and the child. The information and consequences will have a stronger effect on the child than a teacher or instructor who they must listen to and then disregard what they have to say as soon as they leave. I do understand that some parents are not involved in their children’s lives as much as they should be, however, parents do not see the need to have this discussion because they rely on the school system. This is giving the parents a false sense of security (Patterson, 2015). Overall, if a school system insists on having these programs as part of their curriculum, then I think then the parents should reinforce the information at home, so the child is getting it from multiple people. Maybe then, the information will click in their minds and they will think differently when presented with the choice of alcohol or drugs, or unwanted sex.



Patterson, L. (2015). THE D.A.R.E. PROGRAM – HELPING OR HURTING OUR STUDENTS? Retrieved from

Does the DARE Program Work? (n.d.). Retrieved from

D.A.R.E. – (n.d.). Retrieved from

Teaching Students Decision-Making for Safe & Healthy Living. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Relationships with Teachers

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

Throughout high school I tried to have good relationships with the teachers I encountered. Some teachers I never had for a class, but I was on good terms with them, as well as, had a trusting, joking, relationship when passing in the hallways or when I needed someone to talk to. I tried to receive good relationships with the teachers that taught me by asking questions, paying attention in class, and participating when I was able to. For me, that worked rather well, and I did not get complaints from any teachers on how my performance was coming off to them or others. However, there were some teachers that I didn’t even want to see in the hallways, or every day when I had to go to their class I dreaded it. They were either teachers that caused unnecessary problems or teachers that were not good at their job, or there was one teacher that caused problems for me outside of the classroom, where she also ruined the joy of a sport.

When focusing on the fact that some teachers are also sports coaches, I think that school systems should not allow that. If a child wants to play a sport but that coach is also their teacher, if they are on bad terms in the classroom, they may be on bad terms on the playing field, which in my opinion is unfair. With regards to strictly the classroom, I feel as if teachers who see a shy kid, can talk to them more during class. In general, I think schools can make sure that they are hiring teachers that are there for the kids to learn and not just a paycheck. I understand, though, that is easier said than done.

Reading Emotions

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

Before taking the emotional expressions test I would say that I am pretty good at reading people’s faces to determine their emotions. Being exposed to this a lot in my life and being around people who don’t like to say something is wrong, but clearly show it on their face, has helped me with this. I myself am one of those people, so I also understand the faces that would be made in those situations. I took the test and received the score of 17 out of 20. After it presented my score it told me that I seem “naturally well-attuned to others’ emotions.” According to the test, I am above average for reading people’s emotions based off of their facial expressions.

 I believe this score does reflect my prediction on how well I would do when presented a face and have to determine how they are feeling. Some of the easier emotions were happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise. Some of the harder ones were contempt, love, and passionate. When fear and anger were presented together it was sometimes difficult to determine between the two. I could use this information to be more aware what is going on with the people I surround myself with, even if they aren’t talking.

 I don’t know where I stand on the credibility of this test because all it does is present a face and then give you multiple choice answers to choose from. There is just something about that, that does not seem very credible to me, however, I cannot pin point what that something is at the moment.

Coping with Stress in College

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

I feel as if my life is filled with stress and that I really do not do much to help my stress level or calm it down. However, I still try and do some things that help me lower my stress level as much as I can. If I just took an exam and am stressed about my grade, instead of getting right into my homework, I try and take an hour for myself to destress and just get it out of my head. I typically will just go lay in bed and watch some tv or take a slight nap. Other things I might do is hang out with some friends in blue bean or somewhere else and just talk to them. Either way I do not do any work directly after a stressful exam. I would say, for me, they are helpful and work rather well, however it does not always get rid of my stress, I just put it in the back of my mind for that moment in time.  Lying in bed and watching tv, talking with friends, or taking a nap tends to be my general go to when trying to deal with stress. I feel there is probably a better way to do so, or at least more ways instead of those three.

There are other activities, however, that I could incorporate into my destressing routine. One of which would be meditation. I could take 10 to 30 minutes of out my day, or right after an exam and just meditate and focus on controlling my breathing to help calm my stress. Another could be go to the gym. When I was in high school, exercising was part of my daily routine. If I would get back into that routine, that may also relieve some of my stress by focusing on my health and getting back in shape. Running used to be my “me time”, so I do not think getting back into that habit would harm my stress, if anything I think it would help it.

First Impression — Sleep

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

There is no way my sleeping habits are where or what they should be. My current sleep habits consist of doing homework, studying, and socializing with friends until about 10:30. Then I will come back to my room, where I will then go shower and get everything ready for the next day. By that time, it is around 11, 11:15. I will then lay in bed on my phone till 12. Once I finally put my phone down it then takes me another 30-ish minutes to relax enough to get myself to fall asleep, just to wake up for 8 am classes the next day. Do I think my habits are healthy? No. Do I think that they have some healthy elements? Yes. I think my major problem is the time portions. I am told that studying, getting work done, and taking time for friends is healthy and should be taken accounted for. However, I feel there is not enough time in a day to make all that happen in a timely manner.

Improving my habits may be a bit difficult since I have become so used to them. However, if I were to change them, I would definitely come back to my room at an earlier time to get ready for bed and for the next day. I would also spend less time on my phone and spend more time becoming relaxed and trying to fall asleep.

I think a realistic goal for the amount of sleep a college student should get every night is 7 hours. Eight hours is what most people say you should be getting regularly, so subtract and hour or two and I think a college student can function efficiently.

Learning Styles– Are they a myth?

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

There are many opinions out there about learning styles and whether one is better than the other. Many studies have been conducted to show if this truly is a myth or a fact. Teachers try and alter their ways of teaching to try and make the learning environment for the students better. There are many types of learning styles including kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. When children are younger, sometimes they are asked to take this test to determine what kind of learner they are. I remember having to take this test in the fifth grade. Not every child in the class got the same results because everyone learns differently. With that being said, a teacher could not simply teach with the focus of one learning style. This did not come to my attention until later in life when I realized how much pressure is on a teacher to be able to accommodate all the different ways children learn. So, if a child does not grasp a concept, is it the child’s fault, or is it because the teacher did not present the information in the context of that child’s learning style? Or are learning styles in deed just a myth?

 According to an article written by Bettina Brown, teachers teach the way they themselves learn information. Teachers obviously have been through a sufficient amount of schooling to get where they are. They also have been through the process of how to study efficiently and effectively. Since they have had that much experience, it is not shocking to me that they would teach with that same style. So, if teachers teach the way they learn, the question arises what the outcome may be if the learning style of a child matches the teaching style of the teacher. A study looking at this in high school students, found that the same two styles was more beneficial to vocational students and the mismatching of styles was more beneficial to field-dependent students. David Kolb, the one who is credited for starting the movement of learning styles, has said that “it is more effective to design curriculum so that there is some way for learners of every learning style to engage with the topic, so that every type of learner has an initial way to connect with the material.” Once that is met, a teacher can then work on stretching that learning style, so the child’s learning capability can expand. Children need to learn to be adjust their learning styles so that when they change teachers, they can still learn the information presented well.

 A study that was done on eleventh grade science students, using the inductive guided inquiry learning model, showed that the model influenced the students’ learning activities and achievement in the scientific field. The results showed that the convergers and assimilators presented steady performance improvement on observing, questioning, and design experiment, compared to the students who were considered divergers and accommodators. The model influenced the cognitive learning achievements, however, only convergers showed higher post test scores. This study showed that the learning model did showed sufficient improvement in the performances of the children, from all learning styles, in the scientific setting. This study shows that learning styles can be supported as helpful when it comes to a child grasping information in the field of science. In reference to that finding, it is then important to pay attention to the students learning styles so that they are able to get the best outcome of their education.

 In contrast, an article from Yale University states that there is an overwhelming agreement among scholars that there is no scientific proof that backs up the statement of learning styles matching teaching styles is what’s best. Also mentioned in the article, it says studies reject that students learn better through a self-reported learning style. It is then recommended that teachers take a wider approach to teaching which calls students to reflect on their learning and not focus on a specific learning style, which has shown to improve the learning outcome. For example, teachers can help a student differentiate studying styles and learning processes. That then will allow the students to choose their own preferences.

 In the International Journal of Instruction, Ivana Cimermanova presents findings on a study of the effect of learning styles on academic achievement in different forms of teaching. The researched examined the potential relation between learning styles and the form of teaching, as well as, the academic achievement of students. The study mentioned how now-a-days, technology has become a big part of education to enhance the learning experience of the children. The study conducted consisted of a group of online students and in-class students. To collect data, the Grasha-Riechmann Student Learning Style Scales was applied. At the end, once the data was collected, a Pearson correlation analysis was performed, and significant correlation only showed between competitive learning style and academic achievement in the online group. The findings from this study were as follow: “learning styles have no significant effect on academic achievement, form of teaching has no significant effect on academic achievement”, and lastly, “students with different learning styles do not statistically significantly differ in their academic performance based on the form of their study.”

 After researching this topic, I now have a new perspective to learning styles. I used to think that they were important and that I should think of how I learn best when it comes to preparation for exams and so forth. Now, I think it really doesn’t matter how I learn best, but how the information is presented to me from the teacher. Based on my findings, I believe learning styles could be a myth.



Cimermanová, I. ivana. cimermanova@unipo. s. (2018). The Effect of Learning Styles on Academic Achievement in Different Forms of Teaching. International Journal of Instruction, 11(3), 219–232.

Sudria, I. B. N. ibnsudria@gmail. co., Wayan Redhana, I. 2. redhana. undiksha@gmail. co., Made Kirna, I. 1. mdkirna@gmail. co., & Aini, D. ainiidiahh@gmail. co. (2018). Effect of Kolb’s Learning Styles under Inductive Guided-Inquiry Learning on Learning Outcomes. International Journal of Instruction, 11(1), 89–102.

Learning Styles as a Myth | Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Brown, B. L. (2003). Teaching Style vs. Learning Style. Myths and Realities.

The Use of Marijuana

--Original published at Makayla Hockenbrock

 Whether or not the legalization of marijuana is a good or bad thing for society is a very controversial topic now-a-days. I have multiple opinions on the topic. I am in between on the decision. In one case, I am in full support of the use of medical marijuana. I am for it because there is scientific data behind the effects it has had on people with medical issues. If there is nothing else, meaning no other treatment for the patient, and marijuana helps the pain then I am all for it. Now for it being legalized for recreational use, I am more against than I am for it.  I am against it because I believe that it is a gateway drug, however, most people tend to think otherwise. This is my own opinion because I think that the more you use marijuana, or some people abuse, it could lead to the individual becoming a user of a stronger substance.

There are pros and cons to each side, as there are to everything. Pros for medical use would be stress relief and pain relief for sufferers. Some cons would be heavy reliance on the drug instead of other pain meds that could be used for the disease. Pros for legalizing the recreational use or marijuana would be less arrests due to someone having marijuana on them, or high from it, as well as prison overcrowding, and economy. Cons would be increased drug use, more instances of recklessness, and decrease productivity within society.

So that is my standpoint on the uses of marijuana.