Media Production Project

--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

One of the big topics surrounding the generations today is the attention span of everyone in daily lives. A large issue comes with children diagnosed with the attention problem Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which affect about 1 in every 20 children. It is scary how easily our attention can flip from one serious matter to the latest email popping up on the screen. Cell phones and any other mobile device has become part of a person’s life and will not go anywhere without it. This idea of having multiple screens in front of a person became a study too good not to dive deeper into. A group of researchers from Cambridge University, led by Barbara Sahakian, decided to look into how we could use mobile devices to enhance one’s attention span and keep them on task.

The main method for looking at such a study was designing an application where players would have to remember certain patterns or look for sequences in a list of numbers. The game, Decoder, was invented by the research team and requires concentration in order to complete a level. As people grow, the part of the brain responsible for concentration and attention is meant to grow and help people be adults. Decoder is supposed to help sustain such attention and allow for motivation amongst players.

For the researchers to get accurate results, they went out and setup an experiment. Seventy-five young adults were recruited from the local Cambridge area based on what the researchers defined as healthy and young. They were considered healthy based on psychiatric and ADHD tests. The experiment was carried out by randomly assigning the participants to three different groups, allowing twenty-five people per group. One group was given the task of playing the Decoder game, another to play the game Bingo, and the last group played no game at all and carried their lives out normally. The last group was considered the control group and was used as a baseline for the results of the other two groups. Bingo was used because of its similar stimulus but does not give the same training for attention. The perimeters for the two groups playing a game was allotted to eight 1-hour sessions of gameplay over a 4-week span.

After each session of gameplay those two groups were asked to rate their experiences based on four levels of criteria. Those being alertness, enjoyment, motivation, and positive mood. At the end of the 4 weeks, all seventy-five participants were given a test to measure the outcomes. Over the eight sessions there was a significant difference between the Decoder and Bingo group in terms of all four groups. Two other tests, the CANTAB Rapid Visual Information Processing Test (RVP) and Trail Making Test (TMT), were given to assess sustained attention by completing a task requiring a certain level of awareness and concentration. The RVP test tested a participant’s ability to react to a certain sequence while the TMT looked at the response time and completion of test.

The experiment came out as a success, with the results concluding the original thought. While playing the game Decoder, attention and concentration showed improvement in comparison to the other two groups. The experiment used participants considered to be healthy, but now there is possibilities to achieve improvement for children and adults that suffer from ADHD. People who already have poor attention abilities and get easily distracted have shown improvement when using the game Decoder.

The future for these studies is endless. The success of the first experiment showed good improvement and the research behind ADHD patients shows promising results. People who suffer from concussions and traumatic brain injuries are also able to benefit from games like Decoder because they have impaired sustained attention. The cognitive training is huge and will be able to allow large advancements in this field.


One of the biggest challenges I found while writing this article was keeping the information concise and not adding too much detail to a subject when details were not necessary. Most of research article brought up terminology from neuroscience and the normal reader would not understand. Keeping this in mind, determining what I needed in the article itself was not difficult. I believe that the original article did a good job describing the experiment without using all the terminology and it helped keep me in line when writing. While writing, I knew I had to keep the 5 critical questions in the back of my mind and consider what the original did. The purpose is to make the paper make sense to whoever is reading, eve though would not be looking to make sure those questions are included.

In the original article, not all the 5 critical questions were addressed, and it made for a little bit of confusion on my part. The one they missed was talking about how they operationalized their variable. I would believe that is one of the most important questions to answer in the beginning. As I was referencing the original, I made sure to include the important details that they forgot to include. Writers are known for adding a bunch of extra words to make themselves sound better and it was obvious. There was a lot of generalization and assumptions about the research that should not happened. After reading the research, I made sure to make those distinct differences. Since the original article used many of the critical questions, it was rather simple finding a way to incorporate the same ones into my article. Questions involving the selection of participants and how they were assigned were straight forward and clear questions to answer in the article. The use of causal claims is important since it secures a sense of validity for the research itself. Keeping all those questions in the back of my mind, made for an easy time writing this article.

After finishing this project, there was a lot to learn about journalism. A main takeaway for me was how generalizing is a large part of making an article sound well written. Obviously not all readers are going to be as skilled as noticing when a piece of information is missing so generalizing is the key for most writers. Once we got the scholarly article that the pop culture article was written from, the level of writing had gone down. It is once again a key factor of generalizing. Journalism is great for creating a new story based on original concepts. Audiences do not want to read about statistics relating to a study; rather they want to hear the story behind it and why they should be reading anyways. If the audience is captivated by the information, writers know it is a good piece of work.


Avramova, Nina. “This brain training app may help you stay focused.” CNN. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2019. Web. Accessed on 28 Jan. 2019.

Savulich, George, et al. “Improvements in Attention Following Cognitive Training With the   Novel ‘Decoder’ Game on an iPad.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 13, no.   2, doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00002. file:///C:/Users/wscho/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/For%20Will%20S%20(3).pdf

Schizophrenia- Option 1

--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

Before watching this video, I was not sure what to expect. I am not very aware of what Schizophrenia is and how it may affect people who have it. From what I do know however, is that people with this mental illness are not always in the right mindset and they are not able to see the world in the same light as someone else might. After watching this video of the simulation, I was somewhat scared but also surprised to see what a person with this illness goes through. There were different voices inside the person’s head, and they had different tones. This can make for a person to be very confused in how they should act to a stimulus or just how to function for an everyday occurrence. One scary thought I had was when the person was hallucinating, and the TV was saying something completely different. It just goes to show how little parts of life can be dramatically changed when someone has a mental illness such as Schizophrenia.

The way the media portrays Schizophrenia, in my opinion, is very inaccurate to how they really are. For one thing, the only way someone might discover what an illness really is, is through movies and all movies are meant to over-emphasize the little things, which is does not depict each event correctly. This just goes to show the power of the media and what they are able to do to capture the audience. Now while the media might go too far into a subject, other mental illnesses might not be covered enough or just glanced over to please the audience. This is not a good idea because then people’s judgments are once again skewed into thinking one way. This goes back to the idea that stereotypes can be formed by how the media talks about mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia.


--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

The Implicit Association Test is meant as a way for someone to test how they think about certain subjects where there are two sides. The two tests I decided to take were the Race and Sexuality tests. The Race test was meant to test someone’s ability to distinguish between the black and white communities. The sexuality test was meant to test someone’s ability to distinguish between words and symbols representing gay and straight people. Each test assigned the two views to the ‘E’ or ‘I’ button as well as if either view was ‘good’ or ‘bad’. For the Sexuality test, they assigned ‘Gay’ and ‘good’ to the same key and ‘Straight’ and ‘bad’ to the same key. You would click the key that associated with either of the categories. The next time, the keys were switched. When they switched, there was a little confusion because I would get so used to using the one key for a certain category. It was like I was conditioned to press each key for the specific group. Most of my errors came when the keys got switched for the second round and I had to get use to the new keys.

In the end, I was not surprised by the answers I got. Based on the errors I made and how I was answering the rest of the test, I had a good idea of how my results would turn out.

These tests would be beneficial for college students because they can help students gain more knowledge about how their certain viewpoints. In college, we are on our own for the first time for a long period of time and our views are more widely spread at this time. By identifying where a person puts his/her views, people can focus on what they could change or stay the same. In future careers, they would be good as we are put into jobs with a wide variety of people and different viewpoints. By taking tests like the IAT, we can work on aspects of our lives and be able to relate more to others where we might not have been able to focus on before.


--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

Even though genetics give way to how intelligence someone might be, the learning environment around someone is just as important. Every person you interact with has some sort of effect on you and how you are learning in that specific area. Whether being with friends, family or the classroom, trying to do homework or study can be different. Teachers always give the best advice and are the most encouraging the try your best and ask for help when needed. Every teacher has a different style of learning and their methods reflect the students. Someone who is laid back and easy-going may be the popular teacher but does not mean they are better than others. Typically, those students in the classroom are the same way as the teacher. They will not have strong study habits for that class, and it can be translated into their other classes and grades. Their intelligence is therefore hindered and not at the same level as some other student in a different class growing up. My favorite teacher to this day was my Calculus teacher who I had for three years. He just so happened to be my cross country and track coach, but he still had a positive impact on me and how I am as a student. He was always cheerful, and I never saw him upset about anything. He made me excited for class and honestly made me want to learn the material and understand what he was talking about. I can say having him made me a better student.

One change I would want to make to the school system would be giving time to for the students to have a teacher mentor who they are able to go to for advice once they get to middle school. Obviously, there are guidance counselors for that reason, but they do not have the same impact on us as teachers do. We also do not see them as often as teachers. In college we have our advisors, so something like an advisor secondary education would be help I believe for every student.


--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

Stress comes at you in a whole new way once you enter college. Everyone is on the own for the first time their whole lives and do not have their parents in the other room to help console when a problem occurs. Most of my stress comes from getting ready for a big exam or when my professors decide to make everything due on the same day. One method that I use for relieving stress is through being on a sports team. Being on the cross country and track team here at E-town gives me great outlets for stress relief. Whether it be from just running and letting everything go blank in my mind, or just being around my teammates who are going through the same experiences. The exercising part is a big part of this because for the next few hours I am not worrying about what I wrote down in my notes for that section or a certain definition that still makes no sense in my head. Being around my teammates is also great because there never seems to be a dull moment with them. My other big source of dealing with stress is making sure I am always on top of my assignments. I have a big pet peeve with waiting until the last minute to get stuff done, so if I know I have multiple things due, I will figure out how to separate my time between everything. One activity that I would like to incorporate into my daily life is to do more reading when it gets later at night. I know a lot of people that like to wind down the day by reading a few pages of a book before going to bed. By doing this, my mind can start to relax and get ready to rest.


--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

Since I’m currently in my sophomore year of college, I have had to adapt to multiple sleep schedules. Each semester I usually must change when I wake up, but I usually try to go to bed around the same general time no matter the situation. I try to be relaxing in my bed around 11 and asleep by midnight. This semester the earliest I wake up is 7:30 and the other days it is a little later or I do not set an alarm and just wake up when my body is ready to. My general rule is to try and get seven hours of sleep and nine hours is the maximum amount I will normally get. Throughout these first couple semesters, I have had sleep schedules which worked right away and others where I needed to adjust when I go to bed in order to get optimum sleep. From this, I can tell I have changed my habits for the better and can notice differences compared to last semester in how I function in other classes.

I would think a healthy amount of sleep for any college student would be around seven hours of sleep. If a random student goes to bed by midnight and have an 8:00 am morning class, waking up at 7:00 and getting seven hours of sleep seems reasonable. Overall, I believe my sleep schedule is generally good. I should reduce the amount of time I am on my phone before trying to fall asleep. I have had nights where I am restless and can remember being on my phone later than I intended to. This will allow for my body to be in a better state when trying to sleep earlier.

Chapter 8 Impression

--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

I believe that some of our memories are so vivid is because they are so unique or special in our minds, that there is no reason to remember something that does not match the same standards. I remember back in middle school, I heard how some memories you remember because they are bound to happen to you in real life. I did not believe it until a similar situation happened to me. The dream had way more details in real life, but the important parts of the memories stayed the same in real life. My overall theory about dreams is that our minds tend to remember the things which give us most joy or pleasure at the end of them. Now scary dreams are a different situation because they would not make someone happy. This would be because our minds will also remember the things we would never want to happen to us in real life.

I would propose studying this phenomenon by selecting a group of people and have them fill out a survey where they must answer questions about what they found special in life or what matters to them. Then have them come back after a week of healthy sleeping and talk about the dreams that they remember the best. It would just have to be a few, assuming they had dreams, and see if their dreams match what was categorized as most important to us. The same way would go for nightmares since they can be very vivid memories of those as well. Talking about life events or things in general before sleeping, can increase the chances of that talk being a part of your latest dream.

Chapter 7 First Impression

--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

Growing up I was never really into the shooting games. I was always playing the newest FIFA game or other sports games. It would make sense those to criticize the video game industry for having those types of games with all the gore and shooting. They know that they are making and advertising games that are violent and have an imagine behind being that kind of game. Each game that made does however have a rating that describes who they are supposed to be made for and allows who can buy a game. Most of those shooting games are rated at a level where people over the age of 17 can buy them without supervision. People know what they are getting into when purchasing such a game and how it is meant for older people. I remember when I bought Call of Duty at a young age, the cashier asked my mom if I could buy the game since I was under the recommended age.

I believe that there should not be a ban on these sorts of games. Growing up in a time when every kid was playing some sort of game that involved violence, I do not really see more acts of violence. I do not believe that these shooting games are causing the creation of more violence outside the world of video games. When kids of with there parents, they have some control on if they buy that one game. Once that kid is old enough to buy that one game though, they know what they are doing. However, I do believe that kids at a certain age should try and stay away from such video games. Obviously, that cannot be regulated and based on parental supervision. Hopefully a mom would not want there little kid watching or playing a game that brings a high level of violence.

Impression Post

--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

The ever-popular show, “MythBusters”, creates scenarios that are tested to either be plausible or not. The experiment for this episode was supposed to test if the amount of alcohol consumed from anyone would affect their judgement in how they viewed the opposite gender. The first round was the three participants rating the opposite gender on a 1-10 scale based on attractiveness. The same three were supposed to get buzzed and do the same procedure. Lastly, they got drunk and repeated accordingly.

I believe that there were more weaknesses to this test rather than strengths, which led to somewhat of a failed experiment in my eyes. The first flaw was the minimal number of participants for what would seem like a popular test for many individuals. With only three people, the results are more likely to get skewed one way rather than what was expected. Even adding another female participant would have made for better results, since there were two males and one female initially.

It was also noted that in the beginning that each attempted test brought a new group of photos for each participant. This brought another flaw because even though each group was considered “matched” in terms of attractiveness, the participant might not think the same way as whoever chose those photos. If the same group of people were shown each turn, the results might reflect a better outcome.

A strength from the test was how the scaling for rating each person was a general system used daily and most people can make a fair judgment using those numbers. The other strength goes along with the rating system, but because there was no prior description as what qualified as attractiveness, the rates for each person was solely based on the participant selecting a number. This made for fair assumptions no matter how drunk a participant was at each point in the experiment.

At the end, the experiment was deemed plausible based on initial hypothesis. After reviewing the case, it was not approached from a good angle and therefore not designed in a good way. The weaknesses outweigh the strengths in my opinion and makes for a poorly executed plan. Analyzing how beer effects a person’s mind and visualization of any person is a quality thought. Since the majority of the results reflected some sort of inflation in overall rating of groups of people, the hypothesis was accepted.

Why I’m in Psychology

--Original published at WilliamsCollegeBlog

My name is Will Schoener, and I am a sophomore, Industrial Engineering major. Also, I am on the cross country and track teams at E-town. For this class, I’m ready to study certain principles about how the brain and our bodies function.

I chose this class because it is part of the specific kind of engineering at the college. I currently have no background of any kind in psychology. When I here “psychology”, I think of brain functionality and how people behave.

 Three topics that I find most interesting would be “Why do we Forget,” “Personality Theory,” and “Theories of Intelligence”. Personally, these three topics are relatable to me. Based on the title, it would be interesting to learn why I might forget certain ideas. Everyone has different personalities and the topic seems to be based on how people acquire certain personalities. Intelligence is very important, and I would like to learn more about it. My three least interesting topics are “Observational Learning,” “How to get Good Sleep,” and “Coping with Stress”. All three of these just seem to be topics where I have knowledge of already through other kinds of classes.

I would like to answer – What makes people react the way they do to stress/ other stimuli? 6