Spotlight Blog #3:

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

How do you know whether to use medication or psychotherapy for mental health treatments? This is a controversy in the US for the most common mental illness: major depressive disorder. Major depressive disorder can be effectively treated with both types of therapies; however, many people do not know which one will be superior. Medications, or prescribed drugs, work on the mind and behavior, while psychotherapy works with the use of counseling. Now, I will take a look at a few different viewpoints to see which therapy may be the best.

Psychotherapy and counseling are one of the leading treatments for major depressive disorder. The American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) has published “The Benefits of Psychotherapy,” an article describing why this treatment is successful and beneficial for many clients. They describe how this approach can be an alternative to medication, where a patient can trust his or her therapist. The therapist closely listens to the patient’s stress and everyday situations. The therapist helps find solutions, gives advice, and allows the patient to connect with others. Not only does this article explain the benefits of psychotherapy, but it also describes different examples of this treatment. Some examples of different therapies include cognitive therapy, psychodynamic therapy, family counseling, and group counseling sessions. Therapists can help determine the underlying stress in a patient’s life, work on the family relationship, and support the patient through communication activities within social interactions.

I believe this article is credible because it is published by the American Group Psychotherapy Association and relates to the information I have learned through class. This article gives various reasons why psychotherapy is beneficial and works compared to medication. I also find this article credible because it not only describes the benefits and how to find a therapist, but it also showcases some of the criticisms of psychotherapy too. Even though this article may be credible, I am curious how accurate the information is because there are no research studies connected to the article and the five critical questions cannot be answered here.

“Depression Treatment: Therapy, Medication, and Lifestyle Changes that Can Treat Depression” is another article published on a website as a guide for mental health. For this article, many options are presented to overcoming depression, including life changes, therapy, and medication. Psychotherapy is highly recommended, and is successful when there is a trusting and good relationship between the patient and the therapist. This article explains the different therapy options for treatment as well. Cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic therapy are the ones most beneficial. With this approach, the therapists are able to help decrease the chances of depression from returning to the patient. The therapists helps the patient understand why he or she may be feeling depressed thoughts, work on relationship skills, and create healthy lifestyles. This article also describes the importance of finding the right therapist for each person as a crucial aspect. This article explains how drugs are not a long-term or reliable treatment for many patients. They even explain if you use medication, look at other options and treatments for the best results.

With this article, I believe people can find the conclusions credible. This website is a guide to many mental health issues, and provides references for the information in the article. Here readers could look more deeply at the sources if they want to further clarify any specifics found in the article. Even with this in mind, I am not able to answer the critical questions of research.

Even though some people believe psychotherapy is more beneficial for depression, others find medication as the best form of treatment. The article, “Depression: Should I Take an Antidepressant,” shows the significance of medication and the risk factors as well. Medication will work more effectively on getting one back to normal lifestyle if the patient has a severe case of the mental health problem. Medications need a few weeks before a patient sees any changes in his or her mood, and may try different doses to find the right fit. Antidepressants can decrease depression significantly and do not change one’s personal characteristics. This use of treatment is beneficial for those who are struggling every day, and help people feel relaxed and more social. This article gives a chart comparing medications to regular therapy, gives personal stories, and allows users to assess his or her own current feelings.

This article seems credible because it is on the HealthLink BC. This is a website that brings together British Columbia’s services and provides health guides, files, services, and resources. This article has references as well for the audience to make sure the information is accurate. The article is also reviewed by two primary medical reviewers and a specialist medical reviewer. The information seems very accurate and corresponds to other information from previous research I have seen.

Lastly, “Teen Depression: The Pros and Cons of Medication” allows people with depression to see the many benefits of medication. Here, the author talks about the seriousness of depression for teens in society. Many factors can cause depressions for teens, but medications are one form of treatment to help teens battle this mental illness. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and atypical antidepressants can help teens and only have few side effects. Some advantages with medications include decrease suicidal thoughts, increase self-esteem, and help appetites improve. The article states medication and therapy can be the most beneficial as well. Even though medication, and therapy, is beneficial, medications have side effects. You want to be aware of suicidal thoughts at all times, dizziness, and nausea. Medications need longer time, about five weeks, to start working for patients as well. Lastly, there are multiple different medications, so people can use and try different ones.

I believe this source is credible because it provides reliable information by Katie Hurley. I have looked at this author’s background to see how credible or knowledgeable she is in the subject of depression. I have found this writer is an author, therapist, and has a practice for psychotherapy. There is no direct research in this article; however, Hurley explains both the advantages and disadvantages within the article.

After considering which mental health treatment will be better for people with major depressive disorder, I believe medication will work more effectively for severe cases. Medication is easier and probably less expensive to receive, compared to therapy expenses. Medication allows for higher self-esteem, more energy, and other benefits. I believe this treatment is best for older adults, who have tried therapy and have not had success. Younger children should go through therapy, before trying medications. Also, I believe the patient must be willing to go through trial and error with different medications. This process may take a while; however, this will produce the greatest outcome. Even though I believe this option will be better for most people, I still think there should be an incorporation of both therapies for the best outcome for the patients. Having an incorporation of both therapies allows the patient to decrease the amount of time at each specific treatment option. This may likely lead the person to have a well-rounded therapy approach. Lastly, I believe finding the right medications, or therapy, which are covered by insurance will lead to being most effective.





Media Production:

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

Summary: (486 Words)

Is it true rich people are the happiest in America?

Does one’s social class relate with different emotions? If so, how do you explain why wealthy or poor people are more inclined to specific feelings and not others?

A new study in Emotion, conducted by Paul Piff and Jake Moskowitz, suggests higher and lower classes experience different positive emotions. “Wealth, Poverty, and Happiness: Social Class Is Differentially Associated with Positive Emotions” shows how higher income members of society experience contentment, pride, and amusement; however, lower income people associate with compassion, love, and awe. Enthusiasm is the only positive emotion which has no class difference.

Piff and Moskowitz randomly sampled over 1,500 Americans, who were over 23 years old and represented the entire American population. The participants completed a survey, which asked questions based on the seven positive emotions: amusement, awe, compassion, contentment, enthusiasm, love, and pride. Each question was rated on a scale of one to seven, from strongly disagree to strongly agree.

How did the researchers make conclusions based off these surveys?

After the participants completed the survey, Piff and Moskowitz collected data, created tables, and completed statistical tests. They were able to conclude their results by viewing this data. Not only were their results clear, but other studies looking at the same scenario found similar results.

Now, these results make sense as you look deeper into the positive emotions themselves. High income people are more likely to have contentment, pride, and amusement because they can focus on themselves more. Wealthier people do not need the assistance of others to keep themselves happy or healthy. On the other side, poorer people are easier seen with the emotions of love, compassion, and awe. These people need to rely on others more, and seek for support. Being around others can also show why less wealthy people have these emotions.

With these results in mind, is there any support for the conclusions? Is there any differing opinions arguing against the results?

There are many preceding studies which support the conclusions of Piff and Moskowitz. They explain these findings in their study as well. Previous research has shown and concluded on what the seven positive emotions of humans were to include. However, others would have suggested wealth brings happiness, while low incomes brings negative emotions, such as hopelessness.

Can other emotions be tested as well for social classes?

As the researchers concluded their findings, they wanted to see how other emotions could be tested in future studies. These motions would be both positive and negative. They would also like to view how body language would also show differences in emotional states for social classes.

In the U.S., wealth does not mean you are the happiest person alive. Having less money means you find pleasure and joy in other ways. To have the happiest and most fun filled life, one should try to experience each of the seven positive emotions.




While writing my summary for the media production, I have been able to include many of the proponents which I have found significant from the scholarly article. I included some background, procedures, methods, participants, results, data, and further investigations from the scholarly article. I summarized these topics to make them the most interesting for the public. I decided to include this into my article because the information was also found in the news article.

Even though I have been able to include much information in my summary, I also had to leave out some facts as well. I have found this to be important because a news article is supposed to relate to the general public. Many people do not want to read case studies, or have difficulty understanding the article. Many people read the news to stay up to date and for pleasure. I left out the numerical data from the original study, and most of the background. Also, I left out how the study was conducted ethically and the difficult language of the scholarly article.

For the five critical questions, I was able to answer the first, second, and fifth questions. I explained how the variables were examined on a scale from one to seven with strongly disagree to strongly agree. The participants were randomly selected, and the study’s conclusions generalized to the American people. I did not include how the participants were grouped together, and whether or not there was casual claims. I did not think this was as significant for the audience to read.


There were similarities and differences between my article and the original news article on CNN. Both articles summarized the findings and most important aspects of the study. We both included the seven positive emotions, the researchers’ names, and the conclusions. Even though we had similarities, there were also differences. The author of the news article was able to relate to the public more than I was able to do in my own article. She connected the article to the Christmas season, and how money did not mean you were the happiest. She put direct quotes and findings from the scholarly article, while I did not. I added the title of the study, so the audience would be able to search the study on their own, but the original article did not include this.

As I stated earlier, I was able to answer three out of the five critical questions when reviewing research within my own article. For the original news article, none of the five questions were specifically stated. For the original article no variables were operationalized, there was no way of knowing how the participants were chosen, no groups were assigned, casual claims were not able to be made, and the conclusions were not generalizable. These answers were difficult for the audience to see whether or not the article was reliable. In my article I answered how the variables were operationalized, the way the participants were selected, and the how the conclusion was only for Americans in the United States. I chose to answer these questions because I believed they were the most significant for the audience to know.


My perspective on journalism has evolved over the pop culture critique, the scholarly article critique, and the media production. Through this experience I have been able to appreciate the work journalists do each any every day. I have found this project struggling and frustrating at points of times, and give credit to hardworking people in this profession. I have friends attending college, who are majoring in journalism as well. They have told me how difficult their courses have been through the past two semesters. At first, I have been skeptical about how challenging writing could have been, but I have been actually surprised with the results. I now have more respect for my friends and will support them in their career paths.

During the beginning of this assignment with the pop culture critique, I was very judgmental and critiqued the author of the news article piece. I thought the author left out crucial information, which would have allowed the audience to believe in the scholarly article and see the psychology research as significant and honest.

I was less appreciative of journalism through the second phase of the project as well. After reading the original study, I questioned the author of the news article. I wondered why she left out specific details and included others. With this in mind, I did believe the news article author did an accurate job summarizing the original piece of work. She concisely wrote an article which attracted the audience during Christmas, and was able to relate studies to the general public.

Lastly with the media production, I have been more understanding and accepting of journalism. I have realized how difficult it is to concisely write an article, which will capture the general population. It has been challenging writing a piece the public would understand, without using higher level language in the report. Also, I have found it puzzling trying to write the news article without putting in statistical data to support the conclusions. With this in mind, I have to believe there still have been journalists in the past who may not have told the entire truth or have not been the most accurate in writing. This is true for all professions, not just journalism.



Original Research Article:

Piff, Paul K., and Jake P. Moskowitz. “Wealth, Poverty, and Happiness: Social Class Is Differentially Associated with Positive Emotions.” Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 18 Dec. 2017. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/emo0000387. Accessed 5 April. 2018.

News Article (755 Words):

Scutti, Susan. “More Money Can Mean Scrooge-like Pride, Study Says.” CNN, 18 Dec. 2017, Accessed 25 Jan. 2018.

Spotlight Blog #2:

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

How do you manage or cope with different levels of stress. It seems almost everyone in the world experiences stress in some way or another. It does not matter how old someone is or even one’s occupation. Since there are multiple people with stress occurring each and every day, some psychologists have given ways and examples to manage the stress. Now I am going to take a look at three different sources, each specifically written for a certain audience, to determine whether or not the stress management tips seem to be successful based on my previous background knowledge.

The first website I have viewed explains stress management advice for sports and athletes. This website’s article, “Stress Management Techniques for Sports,” is written by Christie Morton. Morton explains how athletes can be under much stress due to how well they perform. This stress can be caused from multiple different variables, including coaches, teammates, parents, and one’s own self. By examining research from a 2003 study, Morton suggests three helpful tips for stress management. She believes cognitive restructuring, visualization, and guided relaxation can be beneficial. For cognitive restructuring, Morton explains the significance for athletes in finding a balance between the stressful events and the not so stressful ones. After a game or practice, athletes can write down the pros and cons. They are able to then make a plan for the future to work on the imperfections. She describes how this has been beneficial for athletes in the Olympics of 1988. Next, she discusses the importance of visualization, which allows athletes to imagine themselves performing and accomplishing their goals. This allows athletes to have higher self-confidence. Lastly, she explains how guided relaxation can lower cortisol levels and work on the focusing of one’s breathing.

After viewing Morton’s suggestions, I am able to see whether or not they will be successful for athletes. I believe all three of the techniques provided will be successful for athletes. Cognitive restructuring is important, and relates to cognitive responses to stress we have talked about in class. Here an athlete is able to realize he or she can get past the stress and move forward. In chapter eleven of our textbook and class lectures, visualization and relaxation is also described to help lower stress. These two steps involve imagery and mindfulness meditation. The athletes imagine themselves crossing the finish line, completing a new skill, or even getting the winning point. With relaxation, an athlete is able to improve his or her health. As chapter eleven explains stress, a state of mindfulness can focus an athlete’s attention, regulate his or her emotions, and allow calmness in difficult situations. Relaxation is beneficial and helps decrease depressive outlooks on life. I believe all three techniques will be successful for athletes.

The second website provides helpful ways to decrease stress for students. “Student Guide to Surviving Stress and Anxiety in College & Beyond” is written by Melissa Cohen. She discusses how stress can be both positive and negative, depending on the certain situation and the extent in which it is expressed. She gives plenty of resources for college students to use, and she even allows you to rate your own stress. Moving away from home, the heavy work load, finances, and future aspirations are all reasons for why college students may stress. With these factors in mind, college students can decrease some anxiety by getting sleep, thinking positively, having a stress free space, relaxing, and talking to others. Sleep is important and can help get students through the next day, and positive reinforcement will create less depressive thoughts or feelings. Cohen describes how relaxation is beneficial, and even meditation can be productive. Lastly, she explains how talking to another person and sharing one’s feelings can decrease stress.

I am able to determine which of the stress management techniques are going to be beneficial, based off my previous knowledge of stress. The first step for students is to get enough sleep. I think this is very crucial because we continue to emphasize this point in lectures and through class. Getting an adequate amount of sleep will decrease negative moods and strengthen the body. It also will help people feel reenergized and alert, instead of having fatigue. Thinking positively is also beneficial, as seen in the textbook. People who act and see life in a happy view, will also likely have a positive view of the world. As stated earlier, relaxing and finding a space where one can be free from stress will result in a decrease of anxiety. Also, I believe the last strategy for students is great because it allows someone to have social support. It is healthy to vent your feelings to someone and get stressful things off your chest. A social support system can encourage a student to persevere and tackle any problem in the future.

Lastly, the third website suggests stress management tips for parents who want a healthy family.  The American Psychological Association (APA) has published this article, and they explain how many parents feel stress each day due to their responsibilities. This stress is then passed on to their children, who follow in the same paths. APA suggests parents take a couple steps to improve their lives and decrease the stress levels. This website encourages parents to evaluate their lifestyles, talk about their stress, create a healthy home, focus on one’s self, and change one habit at a time. By evaluating the lifestyle, a parent can see whether or not he or she responds to stress negatively or positively. Open communication allows a family to share thoughts and feelings. A neat and organized home decreases stress levels as well. It is important to create a healthy self by eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising. Lastly, it is crucial to take one step at a time, so this plan does not become too stressful.

These suggestions to stress seem useful and helpful for parents. If parents evaluate their lifestyles, it can mean new or old habits can be incorporated for the family. A bad habit, such as eating junk food, is more likely to occur when one is feeling depressed. This example involves exercising, which is able to decrease stress when done regularly. It can be beneficial mentally and physically for a parent. By having positive emotions, a parent will be more inclined to make healthier food. Open communication is also a beneficial technique because it involves coping with a social network. This social network can make stress a little easier by discussing problems and finding solutions. If a parent focuses on himself or herself first, he or she will be able to have more self-esteem and confidence. This will then allow the parents to focus more time with their children. Lastly, I believe taking one step at a time is great too because you do not want to add additional stress on top of the stress you already have. Gradually adding steps to decrease the stress will be the most beneficial.

Overall, there are multiple ways to handle and lower stress levels for different scenarios. Many of the tips and suggestions from these three websites give a great overview of some beneficial ways to work on decreasing stress levels for different audiences. Two other examples for coping with stress includes self-indulgence (to a degree) and finding a religious network. There are numerous other sites which also provide suggestions to help manage the anxiety through life. I believe looking at these websites, as well as our textbook, has given me numerous options to decrease my own stress levels.



Johari Window Bonus Blog Prompt:

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

As part of my exploration of personality, I completed an online Johari Window. This free and quick online personality evaluation was a process which helped me learn how similar my self-perceptions are to how others see me. The evaluation allowed me to really see what my friends and family members believed to be true about my personality.

The Johari Window process was very simple and easy to understand. I logged on to the website and chose six words, which best described me as a person. I then was given two links, one I was able to send to other people and the other to view how people responded. I sent the link to multiple family members and friends. I wanted to get a wide variety, so I sent it to my immediate family, cousins who I see occasionally, friends whom I met through other people, high school friends, college friends, and other people as well. They followed the link and chose the six personality traits they would choose for me. After all the answers were recorded, I viewed to see who knew me the closest as to how I viewed myself. It was interesting to see how people viewed me.

There were similarities to how I viewed myself and how others saw me in their eyes. All six of the personality traits I chose for myself were seen and chosen by my friends and family. At least one person chose each of the six traits. The two highest personality traits, which I chose as well as others, was intelligent and trustworthy. This meant a lot to me because I strive for academic excellence, and I want people to trust me in any situation.

I believed the Johari Window was a valid measure of my personality. The people, who were close to me and even the ones who were not, were able to identify the traits which I associated with myself. Even though I believed this was a valid measurement, I saw flaws within the evaluation as well. There were very similar word choices within the test, which made some peoples’ choices difficult to make. Also, the maximum recommended traits one could choose was six. This is a very low and inaccurate way to describe someone. I believed people had multiple characteristics with many different personality traits. Lastly with this said, I was able to see how I acted and was perceived towards each of my family member and friends.

Through this process, I learned how my family and friends viewed me and my characteristics. Some results surprised me, while others made me smile. I learned my mom and poppop knew me the best, which did not surprise me very much. I was very close to both of these family members. I also saw that my closer family and friends knew me better, in the same way as I viewed myself, compared to college friends. I learned people believed I was bold and mature. Also, I was very glad 50% of people thought I was trustworthy, and 62% thought I was intelligent. Lastly, I learned many people thought I was energetic and organized.

Overall, I was very pleased with the results from my personal Johari Window.



First Impression Post #9 (Week 10):

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

For this week’s first impression post, I am discussing the different personality tests including the Jung Typology Test, the IPIP Big Five Factor Markers, and the Color Test. These free online psychological tests help people learn more about themselves in a quick and easy process. All of these tests ask the user prompted questions to answer or options to click.

For the first test, I have taken the Jung Typology Test. This test is free, and it is based on Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ personality type theories. The test ask certain questions, and the user responds with “YES, yes, uncertain, no, or NO.” I receive results suggesting my type is ISTJ. This concludes I am an introvert, who senses, thinks, and judges. I believe this tests accurately describes me in the last three characteristics; however, the first one confuses me. The results show I have no preference to being an introvert or extrovert, even though the test concludes I am in fact an introvert. With this in mind, I believe this test is credible because it is based off of a personality theory. Many companies and schools use this test for their employers or students as well. This test allows the users to see their results, and the percentages which go along each characteristic. I believe the test is beneficial because it gives careers and occupations, which are most suitable for each personality type. Lastly, I find it interesting to see how the test also shows famous personalities related to oneself, and compatibility for long-term partners.

For the second test, the Jungian Personality Test is used again. This test consists of multiple choice questions with two possible answers. The questions are very similar to the ones in the first test I have taken. Even though the two tests are based off the same theory, I receive an ESTJ as my result. This is interesting because on the last test I have received an ISTJ. I have the same last three characteristics; however, this test says I am more extroverted. I believe this test is credible because it is based on the same theory as the first example. There are multiple questions, which take in a wide scope of considerations; however, I find only two possible answers creates a dilemma for some users. Lastly, I like how this test explains who you are and the percent of the total population which matches your results. For example, I am an administrator who is responsible, loyal, orderly, realistic, and loves traditions. This definitely describes who I see myself in my personality.

For the third test, I have taken the IPI Five Factor Marker Test. The results from this test show I am an extrovert, not emotionally stable, agreeable, conscientious, and not imaginative. This is an accurate description of myself; however, I am surprised with the fact it says I am not emotionally stable and am agreeable. I usually feel stable, but I believe it is harder to be agreeable with others. I am not surprised I am conscientious and less imaginative because I am always worried about what is going to happen and like to stick with factual information. I believe this test is credible because the beginning states the introduction, procedure, participation, sources, and references for the test, which has been developed by Goldberg. The test comes from a statistical study to personality pieces, uses factor analysis, and is completed with samples from all over the world. Researchers believe five characteristics are showcased for a user based on questions. These questions are then ranked on a scale of one to five on how well the user agrees or disagrees to the statements.

For the last test, the Color Quiz is used to determine one’s personality traits. For this quiz, eight colors are displayed, and the user picks which ones appear most attractive until all the colors are gone. This repeats two times, and then results are given. The test reveals I am emotional, artistic, wants freedom to pursue opportunities, flexible, laid back, afraid to form deep relationships, conceited, easily offended, energetic, independent, and enjoys making plans. After viewing my results at first, I honestly started to laugh at some of them. I believe some of the options are extremely wrong including the artistic, emotional, laid back, conceited, and the fear of relationships characteristics. I even asked some close friends, and they agreed those characteristics do not describe me personally. With this in mind, I do not believe this test is credible. There is no author or description of how the results are formed. There are spelling and grammatical errors in the results as well, which indicates poor revision of the test. Lastly, I did not see any scientific research or evidence suggesting this quiz is credible.

Even though all the personality tests are useable and sometimes accurate, I find it difficult to see how a computer can generate what your personality is by asking a limited amount of questions, I like to believe people are more complex, deep, and intricate in their own personal lives. I believe the psychological tests try to explain your personalities; however, it is not precise or accurate for all people.

First Impression Post #8 (Week 9):

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

For this week’s first impression post, I have chosen to discuss about sleep in option two. It is known many college students lack the right amount of sleep in order to study, work, and have a social life. Commitments, deadlines, and being a well-rounded person in society are all factors affecting the amount of sleep college students receive each night.

As a college student, I know and have been told the importance of getting a good night sleep the day before an important game or a big exam. Even though I have been told this multiple times, I find it hard to stick to a sleeping schedule. When I am playing field hockey in the fall, I do not sleep at night, but instead I take naps throughout the day. I will take a few naps throughout the day and night, and then get up to finish homework, go to practice, and eat. I found it hard to sleep, knowing I have multiple projects and assignments to complete. With field hockey over, I now sleep at night for an average of six to seven hours. I usually do not take naps unless I barely get any sleep the night before.

Looking at my sleeping habits, I believe my current sleeping habit is healthier than when I am playing field hockey. I think I am able to get a good or average amount of sleep each night, even though I always wish for more. I do not think my sleep habits are healthy during the fall; however, the routine works for me. I believe I am more tired during the fall, but I am still able to have a life, play the sport I love, and achieve good grades.

I believe a realistic goal of sleep for college students is about seven hours. Many students receive less than this amount; however, I believe it is very difficult to receive more than seven. The difficult curriculum, high standards, social life, and work all have major influences on why college students cannot get the right amount of sleep.

With all the factors influencing sleep habits, I believe it is difficult to improve my own sleeping habits. Outside lectures and practices are mandatory for some classes, and these are held late at night. Even though I am not able to change everything affecting my sleeping habits, I believe I could try a few new techniques. I could try waking up earlier and falling asleep earlier, when possible. I could work on large projects in little increments, instead of finishing up a week before it is due. Lastly, on some of the weekends, I could stay in and catch up on sleep or even work on projects for the week ahead.

I believe sleep is extremely important for college students; however, there is just not enough time for college students to get an adequate amount of sleep each night.

First Impression Post #7 (Spring Break):

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

For this week’s first impression post, I have chosen to discuss option one, discussing Daniel Tammet’s TED Talk. He discusses his condition and experience with synesthesia. Synesthesia is a condition where one sense can activate another. This is the condition where some people are able to hear colors, while others are able to see sounds.

In the beginning of the discussion Tammet tells his viewers to think of three questions and answer them. After this, he explains the way we reach our answers has to deal with the way we gather knowledge. There are people who make aesthetic judgements, however, others gain knowledge through abstract reasoning. Tammet is one of the few and extreme cases of the second way of gaining knowledge. He explains his own answers to the three questions by showing how synesthesia is involved.

After viewing this video from TED Talk, I have many reactions and knew knowledge with people who deal experience synesthesia. I am shocked and intrigued by Tammet’s ability to mix his senses together. It is incredible he can put colors and shapes to words and numbers. He can feel emotions with words and sentences. He has a deeper understanding of poems and mathematical problems with this condition. With this is mind, I am confused with the mind’s ability to share and incorporate multiple senses together. I also have so many questions to ask him or others who share this condition. Do all people see the same colors or shapes for numbers? Do the perceptions change over time? Have teachers discouraged your abilities in the past? Has anyone said you were wrong? Does mixing senses ever become tiring or annoying? With all these questions, I still hope to see the world and gain new eyes, just like the ones Tammet has been given.

I believe this condition affects peoples’ everyday life, including the little details to the large situations each day. I think this condition may affect each individual differently and with different extremes. People with synesthesia may be quicker with math problems, find deeper meanings in poems, and be able to give inanimate objects personalities. I believe these people may be able to see and hear the world with stronger sensations, compared to the normal eye and ear of an “average” human being. With this in mind, I believe these people also may face difficulties and challenges in life. Others may see them as different, and disassociate with them in daily activities or social gatherings. I believe this would be extremely challenging for younger children to handle. If a child is explaining to a classmate a number has emotions, shapes, or colors associated with it, the other child may become confused. As a child grows older, I believe he or she will gain and have a clearer perception of the world.

Overall, I now know synesthesia is a unique condition, where one sense activates another.

First Impression Post #6 (Week 7):

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

For this week’s first impression post, I have chosen to discuss option one, dealing with the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana. Recently, several states have legalized recreational marijuana, and many more states have been considering it as well. The legalization of marijuana has been very controversial, which has led to celebration and condemnation. To determine whether or not the legalization of marijuana, medically and recreationally, is positive for society, one has to weigh the pros and cons.

With some background information, I do not believe recreational marijuana should be legalized. There are both pros and cons for people who want to legalize marijuana. Some pros for the legalization of marijuana include profitable sales, less population in the jails, and no more harm to someone compared to other drugs. People can make money from selling marijuana, like in Colorado. Many people go to jail after being caught with or smoking marijuana. Keeping these inmates in jail is a very expensive process. Many people think marijuana is no worse than alcohol or tobacco products too. Lastly, legalizing marijuana will mean less kids will try to hide this activity from their parents or the law. Even with these pros, I believe marijuana should not be legalized due to the cons. Legalizing marijuana can be bad for one’s health, influence the younger generations, and allows addictions to occur. How could the police be able to detect the amount of marijuana someone is using or determine a limit for drivers? Putting marijuana in brownies or other candies could confuse smaller children and even cause harm. Also, I believe legalizing it will create many consequences in the future. You are not allowed to come to school or work while high, so legalizing it will increase the chances of problems. Lastly, the legalization of marijuana can introduce problems including laced weed.

Even though I believe recreational marijuana should not be legalized, I do not have such a strong opinion on medical marijuana. I do believe it should not be used unless it is needed in extreme cases, is monitored by practitioners, and is used in small increments. There are advantages of using medical weed to lower pain levels, decrease overdoses, and have no harmful effects. The marijuana could be used for patients who have high pain levels and need them to be reduced. Doctors could stop prescribing other expensive pills, which could become deadly if taken too many times, and prescriptions. With the pros, there are also cons. The drug can be addictive if the patient is dependent upon it. With this is mind, how will the doctors lean the patient, who uses marijuana to cause less pain, off the medication? The patient could go through withdrawal and crave marijuana. Also, the age of the patient could matter and be problematic. Having a younger child exposed to marijuana could damage the brain and its functions as well. Lastly, smoking marijuana can cause harm to the body, just like smoking tobacco. The irritation from using medical marijuana may cause more damage than planned.  I believe the only way to see whether or not marijuana will sufficiently be beneficial in the medical field is to experiment with it; however this leads to the concern of ethical experimentation. Lastly, I need to learn more about weed’s abilities to fix medical issues in the long run to justify the use of medical marijuana

Overall, I believe marijuana should not be legalized for recreational use, and should be limited for medical use.

Spotlight Blog #1:

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

As divorce has become more common in the United States, the number of children who have been affected has also greatly increased. There has been much controversy over the years dealing with divorce. Should parents try to stay together for their children? Is living in an unhealthy relationship better than splitting up for children? How will the children be affected by the divorce with future relationships and their outlook on life? These are all questions researchers have examined about divorce and the side effects. Some studies believe children are harmed greatly after their parents split from a divorce; however, others say children can be well adaptive without serious consequences from divorce.

The first two writings I have read explain how children are harmfully affected by their parents’ divorce. The first entry, “Effects of Divorce on Children’s Health,” comes from Marripedia. Physical health, longevity, mental health, and intergenerational effects are the four topics discussed in the entry. This entry states numerous negative effects on children, allowing the audience to directly see the harsh consequences from divorce. Physical health problems include a higher risk of injuries, asthma, and cancer. Researchers and Swedish studies show how higher hospital and death rates increase with children who have had separation with parents. A study by Dr. Lewis Terman also explains how people with divorce in their lives can die earlier, about five years, compared to others. This work gives numerous mental health issues children can come across, including depression, low self-confidence, fear, and anxiety. Both genders are effected; however, different age groups can go through diverse stages. Older children going through divorce have to grow up faster as well. Even with this information, an opposing viewpoint is also placed in the entry, describing children improve after a divorce involving high conflict and arguments.

I believe this source is credible to use when seeing the negative effects of divorce on children. This source is very detailed with studies supporting the negative effects from divorce. Also, this writing has over forty references and citations from multiple journals and research cases. Looking at the source at first, I thought it is a credible account, but I want to make sure because it does not show an author. I search for more information, and find out this entry is part of a larger research study by Patrick F. Fagan and Aaron Churchill. As I have examined the whole article, I have come to the conclusion this is a credible source due to the research and data.

The second article also explains the harmful effects of divorce on children. “9 Negative Effects Divorce Reportedly has on Children,” is written by Lauren Hansen. Hansen describes how there is more divorce people in the world than married ones. She states nine negative effects of divorce on children including increased smoking habits, Ritalin consumption, sickness, school dropouts, aggression, strokes, divorce in their own relationships, lower math or social skills, and premature death. With each of the nine examples, she gives studies from different time periods and universities supporting each case. Within the cases, she describes how some of the negative effects depend on the divorce. The author includes from the studies both genders are effected with the smoking habits. Many of the studies show correlational data, including the one with the increased Ritalin consumption. Stress may have led for children of divorce to use this more dependently than children in stable environments. Lastly, Hansen gives direct links of each individual study for the audience to view.

This article is credible and reliable as well. This source does provide only information about the harmful effects divorce has on children from nine different case studies. Lauren Hansen leaves her opinion and bias out of the article, and provides only factual information. In each of the nine reasons Hansen describes, there is a relevant study. Each study is different, and Hansen creates a link for the audience to view each case in full detail. This provides reliable information for the public to view because the author’s reasoning is supported by data and research. Allowing the audience to look further into each study, gives clarity and reassurance for the information given.

Even though the above studies say divorce is harmful for children, there is other research contradicting these conclusions. The Scientific American has written an article, “Is Divorce Bad for Children,” explaining most children adjust well from divorce overall. Hal Arkowitz and Scott Lilienfeld, the two authors of the article, discuss recovery, adults’ concerns, and bouncing back from divorce. They showcase Hetherington’s study in 2002, where children are affected by divorce in short term with anger and anxiety. After the second year, many children are able to bounce back and do not suffer long term. Another study by a Penn State professor showcases children from divorce do not differ significantly from children with married parents in academics and emotional or physical behavior. Arkowitz and Lilienfeld explain there are multiple confounding variables, including different temperaments, involved with separation of parents. They include opposing studies; however they note there is no scientific research to back up the findings. Lastly, this article states children can recover quickly with support, less conflict, and role model examples from the parents.

I believe this source is credible for many reasons. This article has been posted to the Scientific American by Hal Arkowitz and Scott Lilienfeld. These two authors have background in psychology. Arkowitz is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, while Lilienfeld is the professor of psychology at Emory University. Also, this source is credible because the authors provide further readings and give multiple studies, supporting both advantages and disadvantages of divorce on kids. This shows they have viewed multiple research studies and have weighed the consequences. They are able to explain their conclusion, and explain divorce does not harm the children. They explain there are confounding variables, which means no direct cause and effect can occur. Lastly, the source only has a few ads, and the main goal is to show both sides of divorce and make a conclusion.

The last article I have viewed also suggested divorce does not directly harm the children. “How to Help Your Kids Survive Divorce: A Child Psychologist Explains” is an article by Matthew Rouse. As being a child psychologist and reviewing research about divorce, Rouse gives strategic ways to create a happy and healthy lifestyle for kids who have seen their parents separate. In the beginning, he notes divorce is never a positive stage in a child’s life; however, research has shown there are no major issues. He even states what other articles mention; divorce can be beneficial for some children when there is much conflict in the house. He states there are five ways to allow a child to get through divorce with no major problems. Self-care, conversing, allowing feelings, routines, and no harsh comments towards the other parent are ways in which the parents can influence their children after a divorce. Parents have to allow their children to take time and tell them it has not been their fault. This correlation between two variables will be positive overall. The important aspect for parents to control is their own negative opinions about the ex. Allowing for negative comments in a house can lead to worse outcomes for the children.

Lastly, this article is credible and dependable source to see the views of divorce on children. This article is written by Matthew Rouse, a member of the American Psychology Association, who works at the Child Mind Institute. He has a PhD and a MSW, and he is a clinical psychologist. Looking further into his background, I have found he is extremely knowledgeable about children, and he has completed research on parenting skills connecting to children’s behavior. With this article, Rouse captures the hardships divorce brings to families. He acknowledges these points; however, he proposes ways to avoid severe consequences. He includes in the article much research has been provided to support his perspective. He has no other goal except to inform the public divorce does not damage children. Lastly, Matthew Rouse captures the importance of positive parental influence on children during separation.

In my own opinion, I believe trying to work out a marriage is the best thing for a family; however, if the circumstances are necessary divorce is an option. After reading supporting articles of divorce and opponent ones, I believe divorce does not harm children or creates serious consequences. I come to this conclusion by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages from both viewpoints. I believe there are multiple confounding variables involved when two people separate from a marriage. The divorce itself does not harm the children. A child’s temperament, the family’s economic status, and morals are all aspects involved with the divorce. It is true children go through rough stages and patches during the first couple years after their parents split; however, they can overcome these challenges. Children may need to grow up faster and take on responsibilities, but they are going to be well prepared for the future. The correct comfort and support from split parents will allow the children to continue to feel the love. I believe from the articles and research provided, children can adapt and even create a better future if divorce happens to occur in the family.

Overall, some children may be affected negatively by divorce; however, this can be avoided by many means. This reasoning can be seen within my own family. I have seen divorce occur with many of my relatives. On my father’s side, my grandparents have been divorced since my father has been a teenager. My aunt and uncle both have been married multiple times, and many other close family friends have gone through the same process. With my father’s situation, there has not been harmful effects. His parents’ divorce has allowed him to see the importance of marriage and instill this meaning with his children. For instance, he has taught my sister and me to cherish marriage through our faith. Through the experience, he has also had to grow up fast to support himself and be there for his family. This is just an example how all divorces do not end with “damaged” children. In conclusion, I believe divorce should be avoided at all costs, so the children never have to be put in a situation that some researchers say will cause negative effects.



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First Impression Post #5 (Week 6):

--Original published at Sierra's College Blog

For this week’s first impression post, I chose to discuss the first option, which dealt my own personal study habits. Since I was in elementary school, my parents had taught me the importance of studying and using different techniques. When I was really young, my mom would create practice tests for me, read through the material, and verbally quiz me. My dad would quiz me each night on spelling, and practice complicated problems. My parents encouraged me to make flashcards with words and definitions. I grew older, and I had learned to combine the study skills my parents had taught me with my own style. In high school and college, I had incorporated these study techniques into my daily routine. There were strengths to my habits, but there was also room for improvement.

I had some strong study habits throughout my life. I created notecards and took time throughout the week to prepare for a test. On the notecards, I wrote important information in lists or bullet points. Some notecards were for definitions, while others had practice problems on them. I studied these by myself and with my family. Also, my study habits included reading the information, taking descriptive notes, and rereading the notes and textbook. I tested my knowledge by verbally saying answers and taking written practice exams. I highlighted information that needed to be revisited. I studied in silence with no distractions, and in groups only after I thought I knew the material on my own. Little distractions and staying focused were important features to my study habits. Lastly, I studied for a specific time and would not “reward” myself or take a break until I completed the information.

I needed to improve on my study habits as well. I was taught at a young age through school some answers were black and white; no gray areas. This led me to struggle on application and inferring questions on exams. I had to improve on looking at the big picture, and relating learned information to other examples. In the past, I did not designate enough time to certain subjects, and too much time on others. Management of time and stress would create a more successful outcome for me as a well-rounded person.

For the first psychology exam, I used many of my personal study habits. Since the first class, I knew this course was going to be heavy and required many hours of work. I created vocabulary index cards to study a couple times a week, and multiple times right before the test. I read the chapters numerous times, took the practice exam twice, and took each chapter quiz at least ten times. This allowed me to encounter multiple questions, and reassess what I knew and what needed to be improved. Lastly, I took very detailed notes on the first chapter, but did not have enough time to spend on the fourth chapter. Even though I did well on the exam, there were changes and improvements that would need to be made for the second exam. I would look at the study guide more closely and take notes based on the central themes. I would specifically refer to the text, and study the people, important events, and main structures of the chapters. I would focus on dividing my time equally among the given chapters. Lastly, I would ask my professor questions I was uncertain about to better understand the larger concepts I was least confident in comprehending or retelling in my own words.

Overall, I believed my study habits were successful due to my upbringing; however, new techniques would strengthen my ability to adapt to different circumstances.