Spotlight Blog 3

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

Option 1 – Use the tag “Social”

People are often told to resist peer pressure and think for themselves, but as we’ve learned, this is more easily said than done. Too often, especially for teens, this advice is not followed with concrete recommendation about ways to resist pressure from others. I want you to identify three websites that provide methods for resisting peer pressure and discuss how likely you think the strategies they provide are to be successful. Make sure to explain your rationale using what we’ve learned in class and your textbook. Each of the three websites need to be targeted at a different audience but you may select the audiences you want to use (e.g., college students, athletes, parents, artists). Make sure to include links to the websites as part of your post.


Peer pressure is defined as “influence from members of one’s peer group.”  This is not always a school setting, but more likely than not that is the setting someone would think of when addressing peer pressure.  Peer pressure can occur in any setting and in any situation.  Some other places include work, sports teams, and friend groups outside of school.

In college, there always seems to be this constant pressure to go out and party on the weekends, but not everyone wants to do so, and that is okay.  College peer pressure is different than when you’re in high school because you do not have the reassurance of your parents that you’re making the right decisions all the time.  Part of becoming an adult is being able to handle the peer pressure a little bit better on your own and showing that you are able to stand up for yourself and what you believe in.

Teens already seem to targeted when it comes to peer pressure, but by adding in another element of being on a sports team that could increase or decrease tremendously.  This website encourages teen athletes to have a balanced life (not just involved in that sport but also involved in music or art), using relaxation techniques, and there are also tips for parents to stay calm and not help make it worse for the student.  I think these tips are helpful, because as a student-athlete in middle school and high school, I found it much easier to stay away from peer pressure by having multiple outlets of expressing myself.

This next website points out that peer pressure in the workplace should help you improve your knowledge, not push you to do something you do not want to do.  Things like making comments about a co-worker who is chronically late or replying to a chain email sent by a co-worker simply because everyone else is can be problems that people want to involve you in, but you may not want to.  With being an adult, you should just have to say, “I’d rather not get involved” and leave it at that, but sometimes people will try to egg you on.  Speaking to a colleague or supervisor could help alleviate the situation, or just simply ignoring it.

Media Production Project

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

Many people believe they will not be affected by news stories; they believe they will keep their same opinions no matter how many news stories they read or what the opinions of the articles are.  Researchers Karen Douglas and Robbie Sutton decided to find out with college students, who believed their opinions would not change, but the opinions of their peers would.

The first time they met their group, they received feedback on different political issues.  They then gave them two weeks to forget what they had read and what they had given as their own opinions.  When the students were brought back, they were presented with different information that would persuade them one way or the other then questioned their opinions.  Many people gave their answers and did not believe their opinions had changed in that two weeks with the persuasion presented to them.  However, when asked if they believed other people’s opinions had changed, they said yes.  Those who said other people had changed their opinion had changed their opinions themselves.

The thought that their own opinions had not changed was largely due to egocentric bias.  With egocentric bias, people believe that they are not as easily influenced as others.  They believe that while their opinions on topics have not changed, others have changed significantly enough to notice a difference.  The problem is with a person’s own egocentric bias, they do not think they can be affected.  Even after opinions have clearly changed, these students believed outright that they were steadfast in their opinion, but their peers could not do the same.

By using political articles and trying to persuade the students, they changed their views on issues such as gun control, trade wars, and health care.  This matters because if a candidate running for office is able to persuade voters with small bits of propaganda, it could significantly affect the results of the election.  This has been demonstrated many times before in times of war and in voting processes, but it often occurs in one’s subconscious.  People do not realize they are changing their opinions, but the more propaganda they see, the more their opinions change one way or the other.  The research also found that although someone may have one opinion, if they are easily persuaded and changed, it matters interpersonally.  Someone who says they feel one way but is easily persuaded another opinion may not be trusted.

While not all of the critical questions were answered in this article, I sympathize with the journalists in not answering all of them.  For a seemingly informal article, one might not believe that all of the critical questions need to be answered, but when claims are supported by research, the critical questions should be answered.  The article was specific in saying how the experiment was conducted, who was involved, and what the results were.  However, they generalized the information they gathered to the general population.

Journalists have a difficult time with news articles, particularly ones that involve extensive research.  Showing that college students believe they are not affected by different media stories but their peers are does not always prove true for the general population.  It would be difficult for the researchers to survey everyone in a population, so I can understand that they would not be able to find information for everyone.


Works Cited

Hyman, Ira E. “You’re Vulnerable, but I’m Immune.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 31 Jan. 2018,

First Impressions – Social

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

“The Implicit Association Test (which can be accessed through this link) is a tool to identify biases which may be outside your conscious awareness. The results of this test cannot determine whether or not you are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., but they are useful to help you understand yourself and how you interact with others. For this post, you must take two separate IAT tests from the link above. You do not need to share your results if you don’t want to, but you need to talk about the experience of taking the test and getting the results, comment on whether or not the results were surprising, and discuss how this test can be useful for college students or your future career.”

The experience of taking this test made me a bit uncomfortable.  While they were not surprising, I did not enjoy taking the tests.  I took two separate ones, one related to mental health and one related to young vs. old.  I did not like having to associate generations with “good” or “bad” terms.  This test can be helpful for students in understanding a future career because it allows for you to see how you may feel towards a certain group of people so you know what age to work with.  It helps show underlying feelings you may not have realized were there about a certain group of people.

Spotlight Blog #2

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

“Now that we’ve discussed how memory works and you’ve had a chance to think about your own study skills, I want you to critically evaluate websites that give students advice about how to study. If you select this option, I want you to find three different websites that provide advice for studying: one targeted toward college students, one targeted toward middle or high school students, and one targeted toward parents. Evaluate the advice provided on each and compare it to what you know about how memory works (include sources), making sure to correct anything you think is bad advice. Be sure to include links to the websites you are evaluating.”


Some time management and study skills for those in college that are found on this website include making a weekly or daily to-do list, rewarding yourself when you complete all of the tasks, and setting aside study hours each day.  There are also skills for note taking, reading, and test prep.  I believe that a lot of this advice is very helpful.  For note taking, it says to rewrite your notes after class, which I have found very helpful.  By repeating the information, recopying it, and making flashcards, it allows you to continue to see the information and encode it into your long term memory.


Some of the skills used for high school allows for teachers to assist their students in setting goals, establishing priorities, speaking and listening effectively, and studying for tests.  I don’t know that this website allows for effective study skills for high school students, but it shows how teachers can help the students in their classrooms.


Skills to help parents ensure good study habits with their children include a regular time, place, and procedure.  Things like making sure your child comes home and does their homework from 4 to 5:30 with five minute snack breaks in between each subject helps them want to study and remember what they are studying.  They will enjoy it more, remember more, want to complete their work, and want you to help them with their work.

Bonus Blog – Johari Window

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

The Johari Window was an interesting experience in finding out what people think my personality is like.  The six words I picked to describe myself were accepting, complex, independent, observant, self-conscious, and sympathetic.  There are others I believe are true, but these six were the most prevalent.  All these traits are known by at least one other person.  The one with the highest number in the arena area?  Self-conscious, which six people agreed with.  Accepting and complex each had five people agree.

I liked seeing what other people thought.  Being that it could be anonymous, I sent it to two fairly large groups of people to see what their opinions were.  One group I had been in for a year and a half, the other had only been about a month.  Both groups have people who believe I am helpful, complex, trustworthy, and mature.  In the group I have been in for a longer time, however, people see me as an extrovert.  In the smaller group that I have been in for only a month, people thought I was more introverted.  There are many people in both groups who think I’m friendly, with fifty percent of the people who completed the Johari Window choosing friendly to describe me.  I learned that people think so much more of me than I think of myself.  A lot of the things that people did say, things like confident, dependable, caring, and happy, really caught me by surprise.

I think this was an accurate way to evaluate personality.  You choose what you think of yourself, but when you ask others, they choose what they think of you.  It depends on how you act around other people, and that influences what they choose, but for the most part I believe this was an accurate way to evaluate personality.


First Impressions – Personality

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

The first personality test, the Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test, compared Introversion v. Extroversion, Sensing v. Intuition, Feeling v. Thinking, and Perceiving v. Judging.  My type was ISFP, meaning I am more introverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving.  What I like about this personality test is that they have a description of the ISFP type and they have different careers that they might suggest for a certain type of person.  In my case, some of the careers were interior design, customer service specialist, nursing, or early childhood education.  Considering I am an education major, I found this to be quite an accurate description of my personality.

The Personality Test Center was slightly different, in which I was scored with an ESFP.  The descriptions of these personalities include a title, mine being “Entertainer”, and a short, fun description of each.  It also tells you the percentage of the population that each type is.  About 13% of people have the ESFP personality.  I liked this test better because instead of giving you a range of options that you could kind of swing back and forth between, like a “YES” and “yes”, it gave you two options that were different enough that you could easily tell the difference between.

The Big Five Personality Test has five factors rather than four.  It gives you your raw score and the percentile you scored in.  I do feel as though the results are a bit difficult to read and understand.  I feel they are accurate, but it takes a bit to understand them and understand what they mean.  I believe this test is fairly credible.

The Color Quiz was my least favorite of the four personality tests.  There isn’t necessarily a feeling when looking at colors, at least not for me, so when I took this test I just felt like I was just clicking the colors to make them go away.  Although the results seemed fairly accurate as to “my stress sources” and “my desired objectives”, I do not think this is a credible source for a personality test.

First Impressions – Emotion

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

Option 2:

A large portion of communication is non-verbal, including a lot of clues about people’s emotional states. Effective communication involves being able to read others’ emotions and take them into consideration. People express a lot of emotions through their faces. How well do are you able to read these emotional expressions? Take this test to find out.  Discuss whether or not your score reflects how well you thought you would do, how credible you find the test, which emotions were the easiest and hardest to tell apart, and how you could use this information in your daily life.


I thought that I was pretty good at reading emotion before taking this test, but evidently I was wrong considering I got an 11/20.  Some I knew but changed the answer because I thought I was wrong, but if I had stuck with my gut I would have done much better.  I’m not sure how credible I find this test.  I also found it difficult to tell between a few of the emotions.  Sadness, shame, embarrassment, and contempt all had very similar expressions and I believed it was difficult to tell them apart.  Things like happiness, interest, and politeness were a little hard to distinguish between, but not as much as those that are closer.  Things like surprise, pride, disgust, and amusement were all very easy to choose.

I could use this information in every day life now, and when I’m older.  If I start to use this information, it helps increase the likelihood of identifying emotions in the future.  This will also help me in the classroom to better understand how my students are feeling and what I may need to do for them in that moment.  I can identify how a student feels and try to identify what put them in that state of mind.

First Impressions – Psychoactive Drugs

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

“Recently, several states have legalized recreational use of marijuana and even more are considering it. This has lead to both celebration and condemnation depending on who you ask. Medicinal use of marijuana is still controversial as well. In your blog post, take a position on both medical and recreational use of marijuana. Should they be legal or not? Make sure to point out pros and cons to both arguments.”

Marijuana used for medicinal use has proven to be helpful.  What people do not understand is that the product being used for medical use is not necessarily in a form to be able to smoke it.  There is an article I read that brought us into the home a little girl who was constantly have seizures.  She was having 300 grand mal seizures a week.  Her parents tried cannabis oil, which helped her immensely.  People believe her parents are getting her high, when in reality they would be giving her this oil to calm her down and take her out of her seizures.  With the medical marijuana she was only having seizures two to three times a week.  Medical marijuana helps and should be legal.  Yes, there will be people who try to fake an illness so they could get the cannabis oil or try to get marijuana they can smoke, but with a carefully monitored distribution of marijuana like they already have with other medicines, they will be less problems.

Marijuana for recreational use is much more difficult to monitor.  It would have to be monitored the same was the alcohol is.  You would have to be a certain age, have to show ID at the time of purchase.  You would have to trust that, like with alcohol, anyone who is using it is of age and that there are people responsible enough not to give it to those who are not of age.

I believe that marijuana should be legal for medical use, but not for recreational use.  Recreational monitoring is much too difficult and it would just as big a problem as alcohol is when it comes to driving.



Spotlight Blog 1

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

For years there has been a debate as to whether or not divorce is harmful to the children of the couple.  With different outcomes in every situation that occurs, it seems that more often than not the children are affected more than they let on.

In an article by Dr. Jann Gumbiner, she points out that so many things, not just the household suffer at the hands of this divorce.  For Gumbiner, she gives her own personal story of her parent’s divorce.  She talks about how she began to let her grades and studies slip because it was her way of rebelling against the decision.  Extra-curriculars between herself and her brother failed to continue because her father was gone, and her mother was too depressed to leave her bed, let alone leave the house (Gumbiner 2011).  Other articles, like one from Harry Benson, state that the financial aspect of the family can also suffer.  With one parent in the house, or one having to find somewhere else to live, it really hurts the family.  They may not be able to afford all of the things they were once able to, like yearly family vacations or cars for each child.

Divorce pulls the family apart, quite literally.  Say you have a family of four: mom, dad, daughter, son.  Mom and dad have been together for about sixteen year, and decide to get divorced.  The mother then takes the kids away from the father and moves into a new house down the street, when they had only been in this house together for about three years.  Dad wants to spend more time with the kids but cannot take them during the day because he works full time as a teacher, whereas the mother does not have a job.  He picks them up after school and takes them back to their new house, the one where he doesn’t belong.  The young son, who has Asperger’s, does not understand why dad does not live with them.  Why did they move to a new house and dad stayed behind?  They go over occasionally, to bake cookies, or to decorate the Christmas tree, or maybe just to hang out.  For the most part, though, he lived in this five-bedroom house by himself.  It broke the father down so much that he sought out the comfort of someone much younger than him and got himself in trouble.  The mother cut ties with the father and everyone he knew and turned many people against him.  The son did not understand what was happening, but the daughter understood everything and cried about it every night.  She tried to quit every activity she was in because of how upset she was.  The divorce tore the family apart and there is never anything that will put them back together.

On the other hand, there are people who say that divorce, although painful for everyone, can be planned out in a way that lessens everyone’s pain.  The way that Mark Banschick sees it, you can put a label on each of the parents, knowing which is the “healthier, more mature” parent.  Often painting the wife as taking the victim role, Banschick gives a list of ways to make the divorce clean and how to try to keep everyone as happy as possible.  It does say that therapy may be necessary for all those involved, including the children.  This article says that children will eventually grow and accept the circumstances.  It will not affect them the way it once did.  “Some will hurt forever while others will emerge stronger because of the experience.” (Banschick 2011).  Brette Sember of The Huffington Post says that “a good divorce is better than a bad marriage for kids” (Sember 2015).  She believes that children with happily divorced parents are better off than those in bad marriages.  There will be two separate but happier homes, the emotions in each house will not be as high, and the life skills that come from each parent once they learn to parent on their own.

I believe divorce hurts children tremendously.  Even the thought of divorce can take an emotional toll on a child.  When I was young, my parents got in a huge fight that ended in my mother threatening to call a divorce lawyer and her getting in the car and driving away.  She came back a few hours later after she calmed down and they sat down and talked about what had happened.  In those few hours, I cried at the thought of my mom leaving my dad.  They were a power couple and superheroes in my eyes, and I couldn’t lose one of my superheroes.  Years later, I still think about that day, that fight, that moment my mother turned the key of her car.  Divorce hurts, and the effects do not just go away.



First Impressions – Development

--Original published at Hope's PSY105 Blog

“Tiger moms, jellyfish dads, and helicopter parents. These terms all refer to various parenting styles and each has been both promoted as an ideal and criticized as “the problem with kids these days.” We will discuss parenting this week, but I’m curious what you think is the “best” way to parent. By “best” I mean most likely to produce children who grow up to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society. Write your post about the ideal way parents should raise their kids.”

All three parenting styles were very apparent in my upbringing.  My mother was a watered-down “tiger mom”.  She pushed my brothers and I in academics, often threatening to take away luxuries if we did not maintain good grades.  She ruled our house with an iron fist, making sure in elementary school that we sat down at the table immediately upon returning home from school to do our homework.  She relaxed that as we got older and could make our own decisions.  The helped all three of us have a strong work ethic that we all have carried out through college, and for my brothers, into their careers.

Often times there was a “good cop, bad cop” act going on in my house.  The roles were not equally shared, but either one of my parents could be in either role at any time.  When my dad was in the “good cop” role, he would often be a jellyfish parent.  Any time I went to the grocery store with him, I could ask for almost anything and he would buy it for me.  I was able to get away with a lot when I was little because my dad did not want to be seen as strict by his children, when in reality both of my parents were strict enough.

As far as helicopter parents, my parents were in that stage until my senior year of high school.  I went through a personal matter that left me vulnerable and almost unable to make my own decisions.  My parents stayed by my side every day to make sure I was okay and to make sure I would heal properly.  When I did go out, they would ask who I was going with or who would be at the event simply to make sure that I would not be hurt by anyone.  They have since backed off and let me have my own freedom.

I believe the ideal way to raise a child is having a healthy mix of these parenting styles.  Being a “tiger mom” is healthy when wanting your children to succeed in school, but not so much so that your child is stressed so much about school.  A “jellyfish parent” may be good when you are allowing your child to switch between different activities when they are little.  Allowing them to try different things allows them to make their own decision instead of being forced into the sport or activity they do not actually enjoy.

In my opinion, helicopter parents are the most helpful.  As long they are not too protective of their child.  Knowing the basics of where they are going, who they will be with, and an estimate of when they will be home is enough to be helicopter parent to make sure they are okay, but it lets the child have their own freedom.  It helps the child believe that you trust them, but you care enough about them to know where they are.  The child has their own freedom and the trust of their parents, but they know that they can go back to a parent who will ask questions about what happened without prying information out.