Chapter 15 First Impression Prompt

--Original published at Voltage Blog

By providing a global organization and movement for mental health, it will help bring a greater awareness to friends and family of people who suffer from it. Change Direction is a great idea that I think will be able to help people be more self-aware and help others notice the signs of someone in need of help. The site offers a decent variety of options to explore, including being able to find help for yourself or someone else. The greatest strength about the overall campaign is that it will help people become more familiar with what kind of an impact a mental illness can cause on someone. By having this knowledge, people will be able to notice if someone is suffering from an illness quicker and hopefully before it escalates too far. The biggest struggle about this campaign is that I feel like it does not have enough strength behind it. It has some great points and many ways to help the affected, but if someone with an illness looks at it, they might not have the strength themselves to reach out. They could easily just close out of the website instead of exploring it. I also have not seen many ads or such about Change Direction lately. Having more publicity would also benefit the campaign greatly. Some college students will be all for this campaign and go all out for it, but the majority of students will probably ignore it. I think that they will notice it, but will not take action. College students will prioritize getting a good education and succeeding in life over their own health. They will do this because if they deal with their mental illness, then they will see themselves as falling behind and possibly stupid. I think if Etown had something to bring awareness to mental illness, they should hold multiple seminars for each class and make it a requirement for the students to attend them. This will incentivize people who lack the motivation to do activities and others to learn about how much of an impact a mental illness can cause.

Media Production Project

--Original published at Voltage Blog

A group of researchers took part in a study to figure out if rocking while sleeping helps make for a better night of sleep. Eighteen participants in their 20s were randomly selected to perform in this study. They were asked to take part in a night of stationary sleep and a night of continuous rocking with very similar environments. The study observed changes in the sleep patterns such as spindles and how quickly they were able to transition into each stage of sleep. The study found that the rocking at a 0.42hz increased the time in the deepest part of sleep and also helped with their memory. The participants were asked to complete a memory test before they fell asleep and again after they woke up. They were also asked complete a questionnaire about their sleep quality for that night. Most people will believe that having just a small little motion during their sleep will have practically no impact. The participants thought so as well until after the night of rocking. After spending a night in a stationary bed and a night in the rocking bed, the participants said they thought being in the rocking bed was one of the best nights of sleep they ever had.

By being rocked in your sleep, you will have few micro arousals. These small arousals disrupt continuous sleep and force the brain to break away from sleep even if it is just for a brief moment. Arousal density was 60% lower during the deepest part of sleep on the rocking night compared to the stationary night. These disruptions are able to add up over the whole night which disturbs your sleep cycle. The rocking also helped contribute to a shorter time transitioning into the different stages of the sleep cycle. It takes about six minutes less overall to transition into the deeper sleep while on the rocking bed. The rocking also contributed to an increase in sleep spindles. These spindles represent a particular type of brain wave that occurs during sleep, specifically during stage two of the sleep cycle. This difference between stationary and rocking may appear to be small, but this can occur multiple times a night making for a better night of sleep. Most participants woke up after the night of rocking and performed better on the written memory test than they did after the stationary night.


While writing this blog post, I felt that it was considerably more difficult trying to translate the research document into a more suitable form for the general public. I thought that it was hard to not write every little detail about the research that I could. I did not write about all the values of everything they found in their data. At first I thought this was very needed information for a research article, but now I find it pretty irrelevant when trying to explain a whole research study to a general audience. If I had included these values all over my post, I think that the reader would have gotten lost very quickly and not have known what I was talking about. I kept in mind the five critical questions about a research study while I wrote this post. My thoughts about authors writing about research studies has changed after having to write one myself. I have more empathy towards them now then when I first read the article. Having to read through the study and trying to understand everything they were talking about was hard enough. Having to translate it into simpler terms was even harder. The most difficult part was trying to pick out the most relevant information about the study without it being too specific. Trying to keep it simple and understandable was a challenging, but if I did not, then the audience would lose interest in reading the rest of the article very quickly. When I first read through the article and critiqued on it earlier in the year, I felt that the article was lacking in a lot of crucial data. I was questioning the authenticity of the whole article and was wondering where all the actual data was. By not including any values, it makes it easier to understand and easier to get hooked into the article. Most, if not all journalists, have to stick to a specific format and have only a small space to work with when writing any type of article. After reading through the source material though, I discovered that the author had to make a lot of tough choices and be very concise on what words they used for the article. Understanding what journalists have to deal with on a daily basis will be very helpful when reading articles in the future. I will think more about the study that they are writing about and look for the five critical questions of a study.

Chapter 14 First Impression

--Original published at Voltage Blog

The video started off very normal and typical and I was expecting more to happen. I did not realize schizophrenics sometimes had voices telling them what to do. Throughout the video I became more aware of how much they are affected by this illness. By seeing this video, I am more aware of what schizophrenics are experiencing on a daily basis and will hopefully be able to identify these symptoms if they appear later in my life for myself or someone else. I was not aware that this illness was able to cause hallucinations such as altering the news on the TV and having the news anchors talk directly at the person. I thought this was very strange and rather frightening. It is a feeling that everything is out to get you and only you and you have very little control over the outcome. It was almost like the person was being controlled by the illness and force them into protecting themselves from everything. From the things that I have seen on the media, this video feels like a horror movie compared to what they have been saying. Most media just glance over this illness and do not give a second thought about it. Schizophrenia not only messes with someone’s everyday routine, but it affects the person’s life. Not many people are truly aware of what schizophrenia is capable of doing, but by showing this video to them, it will help make them more aware as to what this illness is able to do.

Chapter 12: Social

--Original published at Voltage Blog

I feel like we should promote cognitive dissonance because by getting a smaller reward, you are less tempted to lie about how you actually felt about the task you completed. When I was a lot younger, my dad would always read stories to me. I used to often never really like story time at first and would fall asleep next to him. My dad then started to make a game out of story time and I started to enjoy it more. I knew that when it was story time, it was going to be boring, but I soon started to really enjoy being read a story by my dad. By making a small game out of it, my dad was able to change the way I thought about story time. By offering a small incentive to the task, you can create cognitive dissonance and change the way people thought about the task. By doing this, we can take tedious and boring tasks and turn them into projects people will actually want to complete. We can use this for people who struggle to complete school work on time. By giving out a very small incentive, we can make the students change their mind about homework or projects. They will have more fun completing them and will actually enjoy doing so. This will help them with learning new material since they will want to listen and focus on the class. We can also do this in the work force. Sometimes you are given a boring job to do by your boss that almost everyone will dread. By being given a small incentive to do the task, we could create the cognitive dissonance in the employee to possibly complete the task quicker or with more effort. This would improve work ethic throughout the whole business and would better overall.


--Original published at Voltage Blog

Sleep is one of the most important actions that every human needs. My current sleep behavior is rather poor. I currently have a very fluctuating sleep schedule where I get over nine hours one night and then the next night I will get four to six hours of sleep. I also like to watch some episodes on Netflix or some videos on Youtube before I fall asleep. I think this is rather unhealthy because it is throwing off my internal body clock and disrupting my sleep cycles every night. Fixing both of these problems would be rather simple and could drastically improve my overall health.

First, I could adjust my sleep schedule. I can do this by changing the time at which I go to sleep to around the same time every night instead of vastly different times. This will help put my body into a reasonable sleep schedule and hopefully regain my internal body clock instead of relying on an alarm to wake me up and possibly disrupting my sleep cycle. Secondly, using a screen before sleeping is only tricking my brain into staying awake, instead of letting it know that it is time to sleep. Instead, I should just have my eyes closed in a dark room with no screens on in my view. This will help tell my brain that it is time to sleep. Lastly, avoiding caffeine after dinner would also help. By consuming sugary or caffeinated products, I am only encouraging my body to stay awake longer instead of falling asleep. Avoiding these substances would be in my best interest to having healthier sleep habits.

Violence in Video Games

--Original published at Voltage Blog

I grew up into a gaming family. I had three older brothers, all of them loved playing games. I could never play any games my parents deemed too violent, but I could watch my brothers play them. It was always a weird thing in my mind. As I got older I questioned my mother’s method behind this as to why I was not able to play such games with them, but was able to watch them. I think that violent games should be targeted towards older people. Younger kids would not be able to distinguish between real life and fantasy since their brains are not as developed yet. I think they will grow up with some more violent behavior, but not enough to commit dangerous acts.

I do not think that violent video games should be banned permanently. I believe parents should do a better job restricting access to such games with too much adult content. Companies and retail stores can only do so much to restrict access to these games, which leaves family and friends at fault for granting such to the younger generations. Violent games help relieve some built up anger in people who do not have ways of expressing their emotions in other ways.


--Original published at Voltage Blog

My name is Chris Voltz and I am a freshman information systems major. I just recently returned to Elizabethtown College from a two year medical leave. I have always been fascinated by the inner workings of everything. I am taking psychology 105 in order to better understand what people do and the reasons why they do them. Psychology always was an interest to me throughout high school, but I was never able to fit it into my schedule then. When someone mentions the word “psychology,” I think of emotions and the reasons behind the actions they do. A lot of time I find myself questioning why someone just did that. By taking this course, I am hoping to better understand human behavior. I am most interested in learning about the attachment theory, how to improve memory, and why we forget. My mom and I both have really bad memory and laugh at each other sometimes trying to remember simple words sometimes like a salt shaker. Throughout the course, I am hoping to learn more on the reasoning behind this. The three topics I am least interested in are assessing intelligence, personality assessment, and obedience. All the topics seem interesting to me, so I chose three that I think will be the least enjoyable for me. My first question about psychology that I am hoping will be answered by the end is what affects memory? Also, I am hoping to figure out how people decide certain things over others. Thank you for reading my post and I am looking forward to this class.