Chapter 15 First Impression

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

To be honest, I have never heard of Change Direction campaign. That is the first weakness of the campaign. If I had never heard of it, it is not getting enough attention. But, having congressmen and psychologists involved is a very good thing. Congress has a lot of followers, so it is vital that they provide correct information to the public. It is also good that Michelle Obama is involved as well because she has a lot of pull with previous campaigns focused on health issues. Another strength of the campaign is they provide information to resources to get help for illnesses. That is huge because not everyone is aware of how to get help, especially those with unsupportive parents. I think college students should be involved in the campaign, but I am not sure they would. The point of the campaign is to destigmatize mental health illnesses and treat them like physical health issues. At Etown, I have found that a lot of students are not quite there yet. I think Etown needs to broadcast more mental health awareness, especially now that May is mental health awareness month. Etown should encourage students to say their mental health journey. I would be glad to share mine because it shows that there are more mental health options. A step I think Etown should take to broadcast symptoms of mental illnesses is to put it in a SWAG emails, canvas notifications and posters. I feel that the “toilet talks” they do are ineffective because they are not always changed right away. Broadcasting symptoms on multiple platforms are important because not all college kids are checking emails, canvas, Jays app, posters etc. Multiple platforms will reach more students.

Rocking While Sleeping Could Benefit Sleep Quality and Memory

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

A recent study found that adults in their twenties sleep better while rocking. The University of Geneva study tested eighteen volunteer participants to sleep monitored on a stationary and .25 hertz rocking bed (Perrault et. al ). The conclusions of the study were that volunteers had better memory recall and better sleep quality with the rocking bed. Rocking movement replicates the feeling of being in the room which decreases amount of time falling asleep. With better quality sleep, memory improves because of brain working on memory storage during sleep. Although the study had unique findings, there is more action required before going out an buying an expensive rocking bed. The study was done on healthy young individuals and mimicked a previously done study on naps. It is critical to have the study repeated with specially selected people in the same manner in order to make a claim from the study. It is important to have the selected people to be random people in society to be representative of an entire population or else there can be no scientific claim for an entire society. During the study, variables were consistent through the entire thing. Each participant slept two nights in the lab, one in the stationary bed and one in the rocking bed. The volunteers were monitored for consistent sleeping patterns a week before the start of the study and spent the two nights in the lab on randomly assigned days. The experiment days were kept consistent with same about of noise, bed size and amount of rocking. Memory was tested using word pairing activities before participants fall asleep and when they wake up. Sleep quality was measured by amount of brain activity while sleeping. The amount of brain activity indicates which stage of the sleep cycle the person is in and how deep their sleep is. Study found that REM was not affected, the rest of the cycle was deeper with the rocking. This study is a significant start to more research done to help people get better quality in their daily lives.


The research project did not really change my perspective of journalists, but it did teach me how challenging it is. Writing my own summary was challenging because I had to water my summary down so the average person could understand it. I omitted the sleep oscilations and spindles because it would most likely make the reader have to look it up. Having to do additional research would be discouraging to a lot of people. Other than making the article summary easier to understand, I thought it was easier to do. I used about half of the words my original article did and I think that is because I did not include any commentary from other professionals in the field. My perspective on journalism did not change much because I do not think many of journalists are unbiased and knowledgeable in the subject they are writing on most of the time. I know I have a very critical view on journalism, but I still have a lot of respect for journalists. They are constantly criticized by people like myself and it is really hard to write a summary for average people to understand. While I did not like Scutti’s original article on the study, I did gain some respect for her because she has a hard job to summarize a twelve-page report in 700 words and in plain English. The first part of this assignment was the easiest part for me to write because I am a very analytical person and think critically of every article I read. Reading the original report on the study was the hardest part of the project. The original report used a lot of terminology I was unfamiliar with and it was hard to understand the graphs. My new summary of the article was medium difficulty to me due to writing it in simple terms. Although the entire project as a whole was not extremely difficult, it did teach me how to use perspective and critical thinking reading a news article. I forget that news articles have a word or character count due to limited space on a newspaper. I also forget that not everyone has a good understanding on certain topics like sleep, so it is vital to make it easy to understand. I think that the project will benefit me more than just reading articles better. It will benefit my future in psychology as well because I will need to be very empathic to others and perspective plays a big part of empathy.


Scutti, Susan. “Adults Could Rock Themselves to Better Sleep and Memories, Study Says.”
CNN. Cable News Network, 24 January 2019. Web. Accessed 26 March 2019.

Perrault et al., Whole-Night Continuous Rocking Entrains Spontaneous Neural Oscillations with
Benefits for Sleep and Memory, Current Biology (2018),


--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

Schizophrenia in the media is typically portrayed as people who hear voices and they only discuss consperacies the voices tell them. People affected with it are typically described in the media as crazy and it is said that symptoms are sudden onset. However, I have done a lot of research on my own time on schizophrenia and I personally know someone with it. The media does not portray the affected persons well at all. They especially do not show the patients support system. The person I know with schizophrenia described similar experiences as in the video. They described the voices in their mind as always arguing with each other and they had a hard time focusing on issues. This was portrayed in the video when the voices argued on whether to open the door or answer the phone. I did like that the video had the wife come in and was very calm about the pizza on the floor. A support system is huge with people that have schizophrenia. The affected person might not be able to care for themselves and having someone to help them care for themselves and ease them back to reality. Schizophrenia is a very complicated disease and I enjoyed the video because it helps someone understand what a schizophrenic goes through on a daily basis.

Cognitive Dissonance

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

At first after watching the video, I was very confused by what cognitive dissonance was. I could not think of how it applied to my life. But when I googled real life examples, I realized that I have a very big examples in the past year. To be completely honest, when I first applied to Etown I only applied because it was free to apply. Once I found out I did not get into any other colleges I applied for, I was crushed. The weeks leading up to my first semester at college, I was considering dropping out of school completely. I was very unhappy, and my depression did not help me coming to college. At the same time, I starting having severe joint pain and almost unable to walk anymore. The other colleges I applied at where located on a hill so I would have had to drop out of those schools due to my condition. Since Etown is relatively flat, I started telling myself and my family members that I love Etown because it is flat and not on a mountain. Months later, I am actually enjoying myself here. This is a huge example of cognitive dissonance because I did a 180 turn on my feelings at Etown. I went from I hate it so much I give up on the idea of college education to I actually enjoy myself here and I plan to take summer classes. It had a positive impact on me. If I did not have it, I would have left months before now. I think overall it is a positive thing that should be used. Life is not always fair and fun. There are unpleasant parts of life like paying bills, student loans and loss of loved ones. Cognitive dissonance is positive because it helps people be able to move past the negatives in life. Though there are negative parts of cognitive dissonance for example, people convincing themselves that smoking is okay. However, I think the positives out way the negatives. Experiences through life are very challenging to get though sometimes and some people need cognitive dissonance to stay alive. And in my opinion, if someone who is suicidal picks up a cigarette in a desperate time and convinces themselves this is what they need to stay alive, I think it is positive. Only in that moment and once that person is out of that more vulnerable state, I can help them find a better coping mechanism that smoking.

Reading Facial Expressions

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

I took the online test and I was shocked by my results. Before the test, I thought I was decent at telling how people are feeling nonverbally. During the test, looking at the pictures, I had a really hard time knowing what the emotions are. I only got a 9/20 on the test. It said at the end that I scored below average and I should keep practicing. At first, I was a little hurt because I thought I was pretty good at reading people’s facial expressions. After a few minutes, I was thinking about the circumstances of the test. I think I am good at reading people’s emotions when I see them on a regular basis. If it is someone I interact with on a daily basis, I will have an easier time reading their facial expressions. I also think that the test is not hundred percent credible because the pictures were forced and posed. There is no way that high quality pictures taken for every single emotion that weren’t forced. But the test is still kind of credible. It is good for a general knowledge of reading facial expressions. I personally struggled with the emotions of happiness, flirting, love and similar more happy emotions. I found that those emotions looked very similar in the pictures. But, I also think that I might have a harder time differentiating them because I am typically around people that are more serious or sad looking. Since I do not have as much exposure to more fun looking people, it could affect how well I can read facial expressions. I know I will get a lot more exposure to facial reading the more I take psychology classes and learn about clinical psychology.


--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

Sleep is something that I am currently struggling with. Although it has been something that I have always had an issue with, it is much different now. In high school, I would fall asleep around 1 am working on schoolwork because of my busy schedule. The past summer before college I started having symptoms of arthritis and I was always tired. A walk across a parking lot made me exhausted and I barely could stay awake. At the end of the summer, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. PsA is an autoimmune disease where my immune system attacks healthy joint; therefore, my body is always working harder than needed. This led to a drastic intake of sleep and my first semester of college was rough. My first year seminar met at 8am and I missed almost 2/3rds of the classes. The average amount of sleep I get each night is eleven hours. It was hard to juggle my classes and schoolwork and go to bed at 9pm each night. It was impossible. This semester is easier going to class, but I still sleep at least eleven hours every night. On the days that I do a lot of walking, I will sleep at least fourteen hours. I am unsure if I am able to say if my sleep is healthy. My increased sleep is help my body heal and reenergize itself. Yet, my social life is lacking because of it as well.

An average college student should get at least eight hours of sleep, at least that is what I have been told. Like I learned in class today, everybody has different needs. I think that sleep would be improved if students learned to manage time better and make a schedule for doing work. All electronic work should be done before paper work. That way the blue light of the computer will not affect melatonin levels in the body. Between classes is also a good time to review flashcards and other study tools. Studying and homework should be done in natural or soft lighting. Students shouldn’t stay up late doing work anyway because of how memory works. Information retention works better when you get the right amount of sleep. fff

Ch. 7 First Impression

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

I agree with Skinner’s assertion of operant conditioning is a powerful influence on free will. Humans have always been social creatures and surrounded by other influences. The minute we are born, we are under everyone else’s influence. Children are influenced by parenting styles, parent opinions, education, tv shows and books read to them at night. I believe that children are raised to be conditioned to the world views and rules. They are very vulnerable when they are infants and throughout development. That is nature. And as they are conditioned through parenting and other influences, they learn doing chores leads to cookies and biting leads to timeouts. The conditioning either sticks with them for the rest of their life or they choose to rebel against it. Either way, they are influenced to be on either of those paths. I personally have always grown up with my father teaching me that we are all conditioned to be the perfect citizens. He says that society always pushes you into society’s wants. Society wants to you to pay taxes, get married, have kids, own a house and buy stuff you might not need. Since I was raised with that viewpoint, I was influenced by parenting. I also feel influenced by my education and social media. I graduated from a school district that stressed going to college since I was seven. Social media influences all of us to want perfect picture lives and bodies have to be thin. Why are we conditioned to want these things?

Bonus Blog: Miguel Case Study

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

I think that there is a lot going on with Miguel in the case study. From a psychodynamic perspective, his parents must have put a lot of stress on him when he was little. I am guessing that his chores involved cleaning and it wasn’t considered complete until it was spotless. His parents also most likely put a lot of pressure on his academic work too and were not happy unless he has 100 percent in all of his classes. Tied in with my guess on his childhood is my behavioral perspective. When his parents put all of this pressure on Miguel, they were conditioning him to make sure he got perfect scores on everything. They must have had some punishment along with not getting good scores. One guess is instead of a physical punishment, his parents said they were disappointed in him. Miguel strives to be perfect just like his parents taught him, which being a disappointment is a cruel punishment for him. The humanistic perspective shows that Miguel is not being his true self. I think that Miguel should join a club on campus or pick up a hobby to help him start to discover his true self. Plus, if Miguel did manage to get more sleep, it would help Miguel be his true self. A cognitive perspective shows that Miguel might have depression or a lot of anxiety which prevents him from sleeping and focusing on his school work. I would suggest that Miguel go to the campus therapist and ask for coping methods to help him cope with anxiety/depression. Anxiety and depression can be the cause of irritability, anger, and lack of sleep and focus. A perspective from neuroscience would show that Miguel might have a disposition of having a mental disorder from genetics. If his parents have anxiety, depression or any other psychological disorder, he has a good chance of having it too. The final perspective is cultural. If he or his parents are from a different area or country, he might have some added pressures culturally too. If his parents immigrated to the United States for him to get a better education, it is an added pressure on his academics. His family could have cultural habits such as harsh self judgement and different views on different subjects. Such as he might have been pressured to be a major in a field of study he isn’t interested in, which would tie back to the humanistic view. There are many possibilities of what Miguel is going through. But, if anyone feels the way Miguel is, please get help from a counselor or trusted adult who can aid in getting help.

My Research Study

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog

A research experiment I would conduct would be on mental health in middle school and high school students. I want to answer the question, “does a neglectful school administration correlate with mental illnesses in teenagers?” My hypothesis is “if an administration is neglectful of the conditions of their learning environment, then students are more likely to have a mental illness.” The definition of administration in my hypothesis is any discipline advisor, principal or counselor that can make a change in a student or school body environment. An example of a neglectful administration is being aware of an issue and choosing not to fix it, does not follow up with consequences written in a handbook, unaware of activities happening in the school and does not engage with students or staff. If an administration is neglectful, then they are fostering an unhealthy learning environment. Then, it would affect the mental health of students. For procedure, I would start with looking at the statistics of the school. For example, how many disciplinary actions, bullying reports, incident reports and communication between staff and administration. Then I would take mental health assessments on kids sixth through twelfth grade along with a survey on how safe and proud they are of the school. Then I would also send the survey to the parents of the students and teachers asking how they feel about the school environment. Comparing all of the results, I will compare what students, parents, teachers and administration says. If they say similar things, then the administration is not neglectful. If there are large gaps between what each group says, it is a neglectful environment. For example, the administrations say that there is no incidents of violence and students feel save in the environment, but parents and students report that majority of students feel unsafe at school, it is a neglectful environment. I will also look at the mental health status of students and compare it to how neglectful the administration is. I would make a scale for each section and survey that is filled out. It will all be averaged out, then compared. That would then be used as data for evidence of my hypothesis. �y@�

Introduction Post

--Original published at Victoria's Psych Blog


My name is Victoria. I am a first year student from Pennsylvania and I am currently in Introduction to Psychology. I am taking this course because I decided to change my major from engineering to psychology. Last semester, I took an English class and realized I have a strong interest in psychology. I think it is because of my background with psychology. Personally, I have received mental health care such as talk therapy, intensive outpatient care and medication. I am not embarrassed to talk about it and I hope to remove the stigma around mental health illnesses one day. My background, however, is only limited to mood disorders and possible treatments for various illnesses. I have learned little bits of information here and there about psychology research in high school, but it was not extensive.

When I hear the word “psychology”, I think of therapy, mood disorders and learning disabilities. In my opinion, psychology is such a broad term and it has many topics to understand. Since I am only in an introduction to the class, I will learn a little bit about the topics. Hopefully, my definition of the word will improv greatly by the end of the semester.

This semester, I am looking forward to the end of the class because of its topics. I am very interested in mood disorders, psychotic and personality disorders. Schizophrenia is the disease I want to learn the most about. One day I hope to be a clinical psychologist helping people with psychotic and personality disorders. It is fascinating to me and there is not that much information about it. I hope to do research to help the understanding of these disorders and help the patients cope and function.