Spotlight #3

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

In today’s world, it is nearly impossible to escape peer pressure. It is not tied to race, gender, or age. It is all encompassing and something everyone must cope with on a daily basis. It can affect anyone from teens to college students, even parents. Peer pressure or peer influence is “when you choose to do something you wouldn’t otherwise do, because you want to feel accepted and valued by your friends” (Peer Pressure and Influence Teenagers). This idea can also be referred to as normative social influence. Normative social influence results from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval. Peer influence doesn’t always have to involve doing something you don’t want to.

When we hear the word peer pressure we instantly assume it’s a bad situation, but it’s not always the case, peer influence can also be a positive thing. Someone could be peer pressured into listening to different music or even into becoming more assertive. These are not bad things, but they might be out of character for the individual. Being said, there are also bad types of peer pressure. Teens and college students can be pressure into trying drugs or drinking. Most people will give in to the pressure because they want to conform to the group or be “cool”. Conformity occurs when we adjust our behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard. This sense of conformity is very present in teens and young adults. Today’s world revolves around appearances. Everyone sees the fake wall we put up on social media. We are constantly trying to mimic other, whether it be their appearance or their lifestyle, but sadly we are trying to reach a fake standard. This constant desire to reach approval can be seen in some age groups more than others.

Upon arrival to college you are instantly faced with so many new things. You are away from you parents for the first time, meeting new people and making new friends, but most importantly you are making decisions as an adult. In college your parents are no longer there to baby you and make sure you are on the right track; the cards are in your hands now. With this new sense of freedom comes a lot of students wanting to push their boundaries and try new things while also making an image for themselves. While it will be hard to go through your day without being peer pressured at some point, it is important to know ways to fight it. One way to cope with peer pressure is finding a group of friends who share the same interests as you; people you know who will not force you to do things you do not want to do. Another approach you could take could be just a simple “thanks but no thanks” response. Sometimes all it takes is just a clear no to tell the person you are not interested. These are both effective ways to avoid and address the situation directly.

Another population which faces peer pressure are teens. Teens are undergoing one of the biggest changes; going from being a child to a young adult. At this stage in life teens are trying to find themselves. This involves trying new things and even taking risks here-and-there. The teenage years are heavily influenced by pop culture: music, clothes, makeup, hairstyles. Everyone wants to do what their friends are doing even if it’s not what they would typically do. It’s all about finding a balance and making sure you do not loose sense of who you really are. It is important to talk to your parents during this time. Ask your parents for ways to say no. You might need these in certain situations when you are feeling influenced to do something you do not want to. It is also important to have a good self-esteem. This can allow you to feel confident in your decisions and not feel trapped when faced with peer pressure. Now it’s very easy in theory to say you need to have good self-esteem and talk to your parents, but in reality, we all have things we wish we could change about ourselves as well as situations we aren’t comfortable talking to our parents about. These are things which will be helpful if you can practice them.

Finally, one group we don’t think about when we hear the word peer pressure are parents. Being a parent, you are constantly being judged and criticized how you raise your child. As a parent you are not only making decisions for yourself, but also your child. For example, your child comes home from school one day begging you for the new iPhone which just came out because they still have the iPhone 5. He says his friends have been making fun of him for having such and old phone, but in reality, you don’t have the money to purchase the phone.  You decide to pick up extra shifts, so you can make the money to buy the phone as a surprise, but because of this you’re not home as much and cannot attend any of the school functions you normally would have. So, the other parents begin to question your parenting skills. They tell you, you need to be more involved in your child’s life. It all turns into a vicious cycle. The peer pressure in this situation is coming from two angles: the peer pressure on your child as well as the peer pressure from other parents. In order to deal with this, it is important to make compromises as well as look inward at the situation. Both of these are effective depending upon the situation you’re dealing with and if you want to benefit your child or yourself.

Website 1 (Teens):


Website 2 (Parents):


Website 3 (College Students):

Media Production Project

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

Media Production

At the University of Binghamton and Community College of Broom, a study was conducted to answer a controversial question: Why are rapes both common and underreported in the college setting?  In the study, both male and female participants were randomly chosen to read a series of vignettes in which described a series of events that depicted a clear incident of rape. In the vignettes, there were multiple different situations in which the rape happened between either a man against a woman, a man against a man, woman against a man. After reading the situations the participants were asked how much blame could be associated with the victim or the attacker. Next, they were asked, that in the victims’ shoes, would they tell anyone if the rape happened and if they would report it to the authorities. Surprisingly individuals reported that they would not report the rape even if the incident was clearly sexual assault.
The participants answers varied due to two factors: gender role beliefs and sexual orientation. These factors along with the sex of the victim in the vignette seemed to determine how the participants placed the blame. The results of the study showed heterosexual participants placing more blame on the victims then on the attacker. In these cases, it was the traditional beliefs of masculinity and gender that made the participants decisions. It was also found that participants decided to report the rape off of the attacker’s actions rather than the victims.
The results showed of all groups participating, the male heterosexual showed the most victim blame, lowest attacker blame, and lowest rate of disclosure to the authorities. This response seemed to be driven by the masculine gender ideology. It was also found that female-on-male sexual assault caused a decreasing of blame placed on the attacker and more on the victim because a male should theoretically be able to defend themselves from a female.


After reading through the pop culture and scholarly research article, I learned when you are reading psychological research it is very important to focus on the little things not just the overarching concepts. In my writing I tried to keep in mind the 5 Critical Questions that we were taught during class. I found this assignment to be the most challenging of the three because it was challenging trying to condense my research article which was 20 plus pages, into less than 600 words. Deciding what to incorporate and what to cut out was very hard because I felt that all parts of the research were important otherwise why were they written in the first place. When writing my summary, I wanted to make sure that is was generalized to the right population, so my readers could understand the research with ease. I decided to take out some of the p values because I felt that they weren’t necessary to the summary of the experiment.
In our pop culture assignments, we had to analyze how journalists were able to incorporate important information into their work, but actually having to do it first hand, I understand it is not an easy task. For the sense of journalism, the writers incorporated information which wasn’t scientifically significant, but that would grab the reader’s attention.

Thanksgiving Bonus First Impression

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

Bratman describes Orthorexia as:

Obsessive focus on “healthy” eating, as defined by a dietary theory or set of beliefs whose specific details may vary; marked by exaggerated emotional distress in relationship to food choices perceived as unhealthy; weight loss may ensue, but this is conceptualized as an aspect of ideal health rather than as the primary goal (Bratman)

Personally I think that healthy eating and exercising regularly is a good lifestyle choice. I’ve been working out and participating in sports for years and I’ve noticed that when I don’t go to the gym for a few days my body begins to ache and I am tired throughout the day. I also believe that eating healthy is very important, but I’m not saying that you can’t splurge every once in a while. Everything within moderation.

On the other hand, Orthorexia is a very extreme case of healthy eating. making smart choices when it comes to eating is important, but if you have a mental breakdown over eating dairy or gluten is a bit extreme. This disorder can effect body image, nutrition intake, behavior, and impair social abilities. People with this certain eating disorder often struggle with how they look because they are constantly trying to reach the ideal healthy appearance. This however is very hard to do because they are constantly attempting “cleanses” to purify their bodies. This normally includes fasting for a certain amount of days. Because of these fasts, malnutrition is a commonly occurring issue among those struggling with Orthorexia. Some with Orthorexia can also experience extreme mood swings and even a decrease in social ability.

To conclude, Orthorexia is an extreme attempt at achieving a healthier lifestyle, but in order to truly live a healthy life, you need to listen to your bodies needs. This includes eating well balanced meals and not sacrificing your mental well being for your ideal body.

Johari Window Reflection

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

I really enjoyed doing the Johari Window. It was nice to see what people think about you. Personally I know that I struggle with self image and self-esteem so seeing everyones positive response was surprising. In addition, it was interesting to see how my self-self-preception varied from what others thought. I felt that this process was similar to that of the IAT test. Both tests compared one’s self perceptions and then gave you a realistic response based off of other responses.

The six words I chose to describe myself were accepting, caring, friendly, mature, observant, and organized. Only two these words, caring and mature, were chosen by other people. Words that other’s choose included: able, bold, calm, confident, depended, energetic, intelligent, kind, loving, silly, and sympathetic. These are all words I would not use to describe myself, but seeing that this is what other people thought was very heart-warming.

The people that I choose to complete the survey included parents, friends, and teammates. I feel that by doing this my results were fairly accurate. When doing a test such as this, it is important to chooses people who you show the “real” you. If someone you didn’t really know, filled out this assessment I feel like they really wouldn’t know what to put which would make the test inaccurate.

I feel like this test is fairly reliable as long as you pick people who you’re close with to fill it out otherwise it will be inaccurate. One issue I had with the test though was the words that were available. Most words basically said the same thing. If a wider range of words were added I feel that it would become even more effective in determining peoples personalities.

Chapter 12 First Impression Post

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

Going into taking the test I was unsure of what the expect. The Implicit Association Test was designed to measure the strength of peoples automatic association between mental representation of objects in memory. Once I opened the test I was instantly shown different tests that I could take. The different tests included topics such as age, religion, race, and sexuality. The first test I decided to take was the Race IAT. The next screen showed me a series of “good” and “bad” words and also pictures of white and black people. The next part of the test had you use the “E” and “I” keys to identify and match certain words. After completing the test you received your results. Mine were as I expected. Growing up I lived in an area where the white man was a minority. Out of my friends I was the only person not of color. So coming to Elizabeth town was somewhat of a culture shock to me. Hearing certain derogatory words upon my arrival to campus made me question if this was the right school for me. I was raised to believe everyone is equal no matter their color, beliefs, or sexuality.   My results reflected this upbringing quite clearly. For my second IAT I took the test relating to weight. Again the test showed me a series of good and bad words but this time a series of thin framed and heavier-set framed people. I again, needed to use the “E” and “I” keys to identify and make associations. I found my results of this IAT to be surprising. The results showed that I was partially biased to thin over heavy. Generally, I like to consider myself fairly open to all people. I tend to judge people based off of their personality rather than their appearance. Upon further reflection, I realize that most of the people I am surrounded with in my life have similar frames to me. Being a student athlete is very taxing on the body and requires a certain level of physical fitness. Having practice everyday and team meals everyday causes me to spend my time with my team and not other people. This could be what is causing my supposed bias toward the thinner frame.

Spotlight #2 – Stress

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

Website 1 Students

The first website, provides stress management tips for college students through the “5 School Stress Busting Tips.” This method consists of getting plenty of sleep, thinking positively, having a stress outlet, engaging in relaxation techniques and talking to someone. These methods are designed to help you cope with and manage the stress which comes along with being a full time student. Being a college student, you tend to sacrifice sleep in order to socialize with friends or complete your school work. Step one, of the SSBTs tells us to get plenty of sleep because without it, our academic performance is impaired. The second step, tells you to think positively. According to the SSBTs,”positive thinking may improve physical well-being, produce lower feelings of depression and produce lower levels of distress”(Cohen). The next step tells you to have a stress outlet. This could include finding an intramural sport you like or joining a social club. Next you should find a relaxation technique. A good relaxation technique could be slowly counting to ten or meditation. The final step, tells you to talk to someone. Talking to someone is a good way to reduce stress and clear you mind.

I would say all of the steps presented in the SSBT are adaptive strategies to relieve stress. When I say adaptive strategies I mean that all of the tips decrease the stress without other complications such as those of self-indulgence. Self-indulgence is a form of stress relief in which you do something pleasant to compensate for your stress, but it tends to backfire because you are not actually addressing the stressor itself. On another note, all of the steps are also emotion-focused. All the steps focus on how you react to the stressor. I would say the 5 School Stress Busting Tips are effective in decreasing stress.

Website 2 Parents/Children psych…/7-tips-for-helping-your-child-manage-stress

In this website, psych central gives us 7 tips to reduce stress in children. The seven tips presents us with both problem-focused and emotion-focused constructive strategies. The tips are also geared to ensure that children don’t lash out. These tips address the stressors in a healthy manner as opposed to maladaptive strategies, such as drugs alcohol or self harm. The tips include stop over-scheduling, make time for play, make sleep a priority, teach your kids to listen to their bodies, manage your own stress, make mornings calmer, and prepare your kids to deal with mistakes. The tips present both forms of constructive strategies. we see problem-focused coping through avoiding over-scheduling and making time to play. Both tips attempt to reduce the stress directly. Tips like teach your kids to listen to their bodies and preparing your kids to deal with mistakes are forms of emotion-focused coping. These tips focus on how the child reacts to the stressor without actually effecting the stressor itself. The fifth tip that we are given also shows us how observational learning takes place. Tip 5 tells us to manage our own stress. We are told to do this because, like Lyon says,”stress is really contagious.” If you are showing signs of stress your child will pick them up through observational learning.

Website 3 Athletes- 

The last website discussed ways that athletes can cope with stress. These tips are provided in the form of an acronym called P.E.R.F.E.C.T. This method attempts to build and support an athletes self-esteem. Athletes are constantly undergoing mass amounts of pressure and regularly experience performance anxiety. The P.E.R.F.E.C.T. method stands for “positive self talk, embracing adversity, reverse engineering, focusing on the now, evolve, chill out, and talk it out”(Doncaster). That being said, both positive self talks and embracing adversity come into play when talking about secondary appraisal. Secondary appraisal is the way that people cope with their stress. In order to combat their stress, athletes need to have a high confidence level. This confidence will make coping with stressors easier and allow the athletes to perform to the best of their ability. Being an athlete, I know that no matter what sport you play you will always be placed in a stressful situation. It is better for athletes to learn how to cope with the stressors in an emotion-focused approach because the stressor will never truly be gone and if it is another will surface. In sports, problem-focused coping is not effective because there is always another situation to address.

Chapter 9 First Impression Post

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

Throughout school I have experienced several different types of teachers. The type of teachers I have had varies greatly. I have had teachers who barely said a word the whole corse and teachers who were so strict that if we even lost eye contact with them they would say something. Personally, I think that my favorite style of teacher is one who tries to involve you as much as possible. I also like the type of teacher who has a sense of humor. My junior year of high school, I had a teacher who forever changed the way I view school. She was the type of teacher who tried to incorporate as much hands on acrivities as possible. She also used a lot of visual aids when lecturing which helped me learn. Also in that year I had the worse teacher of my life. He was my math teacher and spent more time talking to us about how his cats were doing then on the quadratic formula. When it came time for a test, no one in the class knew what we were doing. Once he realized that everyone in the class was failing  he started teaching in a way that was still ineffective. He began writing things on the board, but it was so fast that no one could understand it.

I think that the best way to teach nowadays would be in a way that promotes students to participate without having them feel forced. Learning should be fun and inviting. The way the school system is set up now makes students feel overwhelmed. Students should be allowed to take courses that interest them not ones that they are forced to take. If these changes are  implemented the school system would be much more effective.

Chapter 3 Sleep

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

Being a student athlete and a biology premed major has defiantly caused me to sacrifice sleep for school work. Before college I had a pretty structured sleep schedule; asleep by 10:30 and up at 6:30 during the week and then asleep by 12:00 and up by 9:30 on the weekends. Now that I am in college I am probably asleep by 12:30 or so and up by 7. This is not a dramatic change compared to the amount of sleep I used to get, but it is less than the 8 hours of sleep I should be getting. While I do not think my sleep habits are fantastic, compared to other college students, I think they are fairly decent. I receive enough sleep to go about my daily life, classes, practice and studying, and still function efficiently. I definitely think I should be getting more sleep than I am because sleep is very important to promote memory function. Most students see sleep as an option or something to do if you have the time. They are constantly pulling all nighters and staying up late to cram for exams. I think that at the very least students should be getting seven hours of slept improve their productivity and overall mental we being. If students could work more sleep into their schedules than I think they would improve academically overall.

Spotlight Post 1- Option 1

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

Over the past decade, divorce has become more and more common in the United States. This means that more and more children are also being affected. In some families divorce is the only option to put the household at ease but what is controversial is the effect that it has on children. This debate is over how divorce can either leave a child with no emotional damage or can be totally destructive to their mental wellbeing.

In todays society, divorce is seen as a relatively normal thing compared to that of ten years ago. Divorce happens very frequently in todays day in age; people change and so do their wants and needs. When we look at divorce the first thing that is brought to our attention is who gets the house, car, beach house, etc., but what we should be taking a deeper look into is how the child is affected. According to Dr. Jane Anderson, “Each child and each family are obviously unique, with different strengths and weaknesses, different personalities and temperaments, and varying degrees of social, emotional, and economic resources, as well as differing family situations prior to divorce. Despite these differences, divorce has been shown to diminish a child’s future competence in all areas of life, including family relationships, education, emotional well-being, and future earning power.” To further explain Anderson’s thoughts, she also gives bulleted breakdowns to each factor that is influenced by divorce. These factors include: child’s loss of time with each parent, child’s loss of economic security, child’s loss of emotional security and lastly, a child with higher levels of emotional stress. All of these factors can result in an emotionally damaged child.

To support this Cornelia Brentano’s, Divorce: Causes and Consequences, states that depending on the age of the child the emotional results of the divorce can vary, but that all ages experience negative effects in some way. Specifically, “reactions vary with age, but across the board, children experience feelings of confusion and betrayal as they watch their family fall apart and feel neglected while their parents struggle with their own problems” (Brentano). Overall, children, no matter their age, will experience negative effects after a divorce.

Although, a large percentage of children who undergo a divorce, experience negative effects, there are some who come out unaffected and unchanged. According to The Washington Post, “Some children are simply more resilient to stress than others. Others manage to find safe niches that insulate them from the trauma of divorce. They may have a special relationship with another adult, or they may be buffered from the conflict by one parent.” This article argues how some children are simple unaffected by divorce. It explains how every chid is different and that they will have different emotional responses to the divorce itself. Reactions to divorce can be dependent on how well the child is able to cope and their temperament. In addition, Kendra Jolivet, tells us how in 2009 a group of teenagers were asked to fill out a survey on the topic of divorce. The response was very positive. Most teens when asked about divorce said that it made them feel more  independent and that they felt they were old enough to cope with the divorce itself.

Based on what I read, I think that divorce impacts children in a negative way. This negative impact, leads to multiple emotional hardships later on in life and can damage a child mentally. On the other hand, I do believe that if I child is placed in an environment that is dangerous do to the parents relationship, than a divorce can take place.

Anderson, J. (2014). The impact of family structure on the health of children: Effects of divorce. The Linacre Quarterly, 81(4), 378–387.

Clarke-Stewart, Alison. (2006). Divorce: Causes and Concequences. Yale University Press, 2(5), 1-12.

DIVORCE DOESN’T ALWAYS HURT THE KIDS. (1989, March 19). Retrieved from (Modern Language Assoc.)

Jolivet, Kendra Randall. The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children: What is a Family Lawyer to Do? 2011. American Journal of Family Law, 25(4) . Date Accessed 7 October 2018.

APA (American Psychological Assoc.)
Clarke-Stewart, A., & Brentano, C. (2006). Divorce : Causes and Consequences. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press

First Impression Chapter 3

--Original published at Marlee's Psych 105 Blog

There are multiple advantages and disadvantages to the use of marijuana. This is what has created the giant controversy over the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. With the effects of medical marijuana being so positive it has lead the general public to believe that recreational marijuana has the same effects. People that have prescriptions for medical marijuana use it for pain relief or to relieve some of their already existing symptoms. Those who use recreational marijuana use it to the “high” or “buzz” that they feel once marijuana is consumed.

Medical marijuana provides many benefits such as pain control, especially in patients experiencing multiple sclerosis. It can also help reduce symptoms of PTDS and also promote weight loss. It is also given as a prescription meaning that you are given a particular amount so that you will not develop a tolerance to the drug. Many patients that receive treatment through medical marijuana are sometimes seen as “Potheads” or look down on due to the taboo associated with marijuana.

Recreational marijuana is a completely different story. Those who smoke recreationally use it because they ae chasing a high. I feel that if someone is using marijuana just for the reason alone they are abusing its benefits. People who frequently smoke for recreation also develop a high tolerance to the drug meaning that they need to consume more and more each time to get the same high.

If recreational marijuana were to be legalized I feel as if some restriction to how much you can consume should be made. I also feel that it should be legalized so that it is not seen as taboo and that those who are truly in need of its benefits are not looked at in a different way.