Spotlight Post 3

--Original published at MelanieBlevins

When thinking of peer pressure, many people probably imagine a teenager being pressured to have a sip of alcohol or hit of a cigarette. However, the prevalence of peer pressure is expanding beyond just adolescents. Peer pressure is still existing as kids become adults. Also, it is now effecting multiple daily live activities, not just the use of drugs at a party. Three separate websites discussed peer pressure in situations some people usually would not think of: at the workplace, between siblings, and in during sexual activities. In addition, each website discussed possible ways to avoid peer pressure in these particular situations.

Handling Peer Pressure in the Workplace

Peer pressure between coworkers can range anywhere from asking someone to go out for a beer after work, to asking a coworker to cover a shift. Due to peer pressure, a work environment can become very hostile and unhealthy. Individuals may feel uncomfortable or targeted by those they work with, and the website recommends that this is when a manager should step in and use the following tips to create a more healthy work environment:

  1. Learn to step in at the right time. In a work place, there is going to be conflict because it is nearly impossible for everyone to get along. Most of the time, employees can work out their issues themselves and it should not need to include the managers of the work place. Although, it is important to know when things are getting out of hand and coworkers feel pressured to come to work. This is when a moderator should step in and give potential consequences.
  2. Don’t be afraid of differing opinions. Typically, it is important for coworkers to work together as a group and share the same viewpoints; however, it is also healthy to have diverse opinions. Having multiple levels of creativity is great because it can make a business unique and generate a plethora of new ideas.
  3. Team building exercises. Building a strong group mind can help decrease the pressures of a workplace. It is important to make sure coworkers are comfortable around one another and not intimidated by anyone. This can also help individuals learn each others strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they respond to a variety of situations. Group building exercises such as yoga, adventure courses, escape rooms, and outside activities are great for building a stronger team and can add some fun to work!

Personally, I believe that these tips would be very helpful to a business and would be successful at lowering the rate of pressure in a workplace. As we discussed in class, people have preexisting stereotypes and sometimes they are even unaware of them. In a workplace, it is very important that certain people are not prejudice towards any other workers or clients/ customers. These methods to abolish peer pressure provide ways in which individuals can develop positive relationships and avoid unneeded stress at work. In addition, if there is a situation that has gotten out of hand I think it is important for a company to know what to do and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Sibling Peer Pressure

Peer pressure has traveled from school to home, and now siblings are often pressuring one another by threatening to “tell mom” or pick on one another when one does not get their way. This can make children act in a certain way out of pressure and fear of consequences from their sibling or parent. This article provided tips for parents that have noticed signs of peer pressure between their children. The article provided tips parents can do in order to lessen peer pressure between their children:

  1. Be proud. As children are developing, it is important that they know their parents are proud of what they are doing and that they love them. Some children may act out irrationally towards their sibling because they want their parents attention, or because they think it will make a parent like them more over their sibling. This can be avoided by reminding your kid that you are proud of their accomplishments and growth.
  2. Don’t compare. Comparing one sibling to another can often make one believe they are inferior to their brother or sister. This can pressure children into turning to other things to make them feel better or make them act irrationally towards their parents out of spite. A way to avoid pressure between siblings is by treating them equally in all situations and not giving to connotation that one is better than the other.
  3. Encourage. Children are going to make mistakes, however it is important that they are encouraged to try again instead of being discouraged by their parent or sibling. Encourage children to be honest about situations where peer pressure might be occurring and make sure they understand the consequences of their actions.

I think that this website provides good tips on ways to handle peer pressure between siblings and that it would be successful if used by parents. As we discussed in class, siblings are very unique because they have a similar upbringing and share genetics. Often times, siblings can confide in one another for support or advice because of the huge similarities between their lives. Because of this, it can often cause either a very positive or a very negative relationship. The way parents raise and treat their children has a huge impact on their actions and relationships with siblings. Sibling peer pressure is very likely to happen, but it can be controlled and avoided by the use of these tips.

Teens Resisting Sexual Peer Pressure

It is widely known that for teens, peer pressure is very prevalent and can impact the ways they act. Although, it seems that sexual peer pressure between teens is discussed less than peer pressure about drugs or alcohol; however, sexual peer pressure is still very common. Many children are taught abstinence and to just say no, but it may be hard for teens to realize warning signs and know what to do when encountered with a pressured sexual situation. This article provided tips that teenagers can follow to avoid being pressured into sex to further ensure they are comfortable and happy with their relationships.

  1. Know limits ahead of time. It can come as a surprise when sexual advancements happen out of the blue. In any situation, it is important to think about what you want ahead of time and rehearse what you would want to say if it ever was to come up.
  2. Go on group dates first. Group dates are very helpful to get to know a person of interest. It allows teens to hangout but not have the nervousness or pressure of being alone with someone. Hanging out in a group allows individuals to get comfortable with each other and discover what someone might like and not like.
  3. Be open with parents. Parents are a very good judgement and can usually see aspects of people that teens may not catch. Additionally, having parents around may make it impossible for sexual advancements to take place, which will protect a teen from feeling pressured into things.
  4. Do not feel obligated because of a relationship. Everyone has their own opinions and pace that they would like to take in a relationship. The article mentions that a relationship does not just mean sex and that it is not a deciding factor if someone truly wants to be with someone.

I think that this advice is helpful, although it is very common for teens to want sexual advancements but feel pressured by their parents not to have sex. According to Freud’s psychosexual stages, there is a time (usually puberty) when individuals become attracted to the opposite sex and it is very normal to want to have sex. It depends on an individuals readiness, influences, and upbringing to decided if they want to have sex or not. These tips are very helpful in particular for those who do not want to have sex but have trouble saying no. It is likely that these tips would be successful because they help an individual to avoid peer pressure by avoiding any sexual situations and having a back up plan.


Spotlight Blog 3

--Original published at Kate's College Blog

Peer pressure is something that children, teens, and adults deal with in various settings. Many people are often told to resist peer pressure and to stand up for themselves, but more often then not people fall into the pressure. Teens especially face peer pressure in their daily lives, so it is important they know the options they have to resist it. People can  conform to the peer pressure by adjusting their behavior or thinking to conclude with the group standard. They also can be influenced resulting from their desires to be approved or avoid disapproval from others (normative social influence). Another form of peer pressure is informational social influence where the influence results from one’s willingness to accept others opinions about reality. People seek acceptance from others and peer pressure is an easy way to please others so they accept you as their friend or into their group. All of these following articles either follow the influences or conformity stated above, just in different type of settings.

The first article I found was directed towards parents and how they can help their children resist peer pressure. Some points made were to not have the parents overreact, getting to know their child’s friends, and to model saying “no”. I think that these strategies would be successful. I think that kids, teenagers especially, are going to not want to bring things up to their parents if they overreact. Both a child and parent want to be able to have a conversation with each other without getting worked up or blaming anyone. Also having parents know who their child’s friends are what type of crowd they run in helps build a trusting relationship. Helping your child understand good and bad qualities of friends will open their eyes to true friendship. If a child has a friend who is pressuring them to do something dangerous, they should try to distance themselves so they do not get involved in anything hurtful or even illegal. Modeling saying “no” is probably the most important. By giving tips and advice to your child/teenager, they will remember what to say in certain situations and how to avoid conflict. You are giving your child the right ways to say no to avoid doing something they know will have bad consequences.

The next article was focused towards the child/teen themselves. This article gives more of the responsibility and independence to the child instead of the parents. It gives 20 ways to avoid peer pressure. It gives the classic tip of saying no, but it also gives ways to stand up for yourself, ways to leave the scene, or ways to avoid the situation in general. It gave the tip of asking “101 questions” and gave the example of if someone asks you to smoke, ask them why they smoke, how long they have smoked, etc. I think that this is an interesting approach and have never thought of it before but I think that this strategy would work. When people ask you tons and tons of questions right after each other, people tend to get annoyed easily and forget why they asked the person in the first place. I think that this is a smart avoidance method and not many people think of it. Another tip this article gives is to use the buddy system. By having a friend who shares the same values, you both can back each other up. Also if one is tempted by peer pressure, the other friend can help them realize they shouldn’t do it. Friends that care for you and do not pressure you to do things you are comfortable with are the ones that you should surround yourself with so you are less tempted by peer pressure.

The last article was directed towards athletes and the negative peer pressure that they face. Athletes have many people that interact with them on and off the field, like their teammates, coaches, parents, and the other teams they face. Being an athlete can have many demands that come with it. They are expected to not only perform on the field with practices and games, but also in their classroom settings getting good grades and GPA’s. Also, especially in college, being an athlete means you are more known on the campus and tend to have a more significant social life, being pressured with drugs and alcohol. Teammates especially can have tendencies to peer pressure others, a typical example of this is hazing freshmen to do things for the team because they think they have no other options when in reality they have a choice to say no. Athletes also have many decisions and choices to make, like studying, going to work out or run, getting an extra practice in, or going to hang out with the team, all of which that can easily be influenced negatively because of peer pressure of the team or coaches. Coaches have a powerful and influential role in the lives of athletes, but if the coach abuses their position, then that is where negative peer pressure can fall upon the athlete.






Spotlight Blog 3

--Original published at Emily Garvin's Psych Blog

There has been discussion surrounding the education system in this country. Specifically, regarding the traditional school year structure. Many people believe that schools should implement a year-round program, while others point out the potential disadvantages of year-round schooling. There were an overwhelming number of sources that supported the transition to year-round schooling.  “The Edvocate” is a website that promotes advocation for education has two separate articles published on their website. One of the articles lists three reasons why changing the school year calendar could benefit students, while the other discusses the negative impacts that changing the calendar would have. In addition to this useful website I also found evidence supporting year-round schooling through a case study that analyzed a school system in Alberta, Canada. Furthermore, an alternative article located on an education week blog was found that disproves the switch to year-round schooling.

The first article from discusses three main positive impacts implementing the year- round schooling plan would have on students and the education system. They include students will retain information they learned from the previous school year, it is an easy way to bridge the achievement gap, and students will actually enjoy school.  Students who participate in year-round school programs tend to have higher retention rates, “A study released in 2007 by The Ohio State University found that there are really no differences in learning between students who attend school year-round and those who are on a traditional schedule. However, the National Summer Learning Association often cites decades of research that shows that it can take anywhere from 8 to 13 weeks at the beginning of every school year for teachers to get their students back up to speed and ready to learn the new grade’s material.” Although there were no specific learning differences discovered, avoiding the “summer slide” allowed educators to speed up the learning process and ultimately their student’s retention rates. Secondly, with the elimination of summer slide minority students are not placed at a disadvantage anymore. Minority groups include students who speak English as a second language, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students who are disabled. Multiple studies have been conducted that prove these students lose 27% of their learning over a traditional summer vacation, which ca be avoided if a year- round education plan is implemented.  Lastly, students will enjoy school more. It is thought that students and teachers will have a closer relationship and students will be more attached and comfortable to the environment of school. A 20 year investigation was conducted by researchers from Jons Hopkins University that analyzed a year-round school system in Canada. It was found that the students in this low-income area school system had a higher retention rate and overall enjoyed their school experience more than children who attended traditional school.

The counter argument provided by also presents three main points, but this time supports traditional schooling instead of implementing year-round schooling. The three points listed include switching to a year-round school calendar could end up being more expensive, children will not have enough down time, and scheduling issues could potentially occur. The summer months are often very hot which results in a lot of energy consumption, operating schools in these months means that air conditioning must be turned on resulting in immense bills for the school system. Many people are also concerned that children will not have enough down time, children will become less active and not have the opportunity to get outside and “just be a kid”. However, this argument is flawed because nowadays many children tend to sty inside and are glued to their technological devices preventing them from exploring the outdoors. Lastly, scheduling conflicts may occur if parents of children have children in multiple grade levels. Typically, year-round school programs are implemented in early childhood education like elementary schools. This could cause many issues for parents who need to delegate time to all of their children on different schedules. The article points out that all of the arguments against year-round school seem like a stretch and most people are more afraid of change than have actual concern. An article from an education week blog points out similar concerns regarding the implementation of a year-round schooling program. This article just reinforces the importance of these concerns and that they are common concerns that must be taken into consideration.

Personally, I can see the benefits and pitfalls of both school schedules. When a decision is made to switch to year-round schooling a lot of factors are taken into consideration and the decision is ultimately always situational. In my opinion, it may be in the best interest for low income areas to adopt the year-round school plan because there are multiple case studies that showcase proven benefits to students, families, and the community. However, I don’t think that the year- round school plan must be adopted to all areas because of potential logistical complications like scheduling.


Spotlight Blog Post #3

--Original published at Jessie's PSY105 Blog

People across all different stages of life experience peer pressure. This feeling that ,in order to fit in, you must conform to the group governs the way that many tend to act in social situations. For this post, I looked into the different recommendations available to those experiencing peer pressure who are students, athletes, or adults.

The first source I looked into was centered around students. The main sources of peer pressure that it identified were drugs/alcohol, stealing, sexual activity, bullying, and general dangerous behavior. While this website does go into a bit of detail about positive peer pressure which can, among other things, help a person come out of their shell or become more involved, I chose to focus on the points it made about negative peer pressure since the main focus is to identify ways of helping someone negatively affected by peer pressure. This source identified the first few weeks of school as being the most frequent time that students succumb to peer pressure as they want to make friends and fit in very badly. It says that it is important to remember that everyone is in the same boat as you and to not necessarily go along with the first people you meet. Look for those who share common interests with you. Particularly, more interested in something than drinking or other dangerous behavior. It also suggests to think about your limits beforehand. Decide what you do and don’t want to do with your school experience. I think that each of these suggestions are likely to be successful when it comes to helping someone experiencing peer pressure. Looking for others who share common interests with you reminded me of one of the factors of conformity: unanimity. It is difficult to go against a united front so if you surround yourself with friends that share your mindset, you won’t encounter the difficult choice of being socially accepted or staying true to yourself.

The second source I looked at was about how peer pressure affects athletes. This was focused around how an individual’s athletic success causes their fellow athletes to ostracize them out of jealousy. This source suggested a five step process to help: awareness, ask yourself what matters most to you, gather support, remind yourself of your choice everyday, and build up your inner strength. The main goal of this website was to improve your self image and to make yourself mentally strong enough that peer pressure won’t affect your happiness. While a bit generic, I believe that these suggestions would be beneficial to someone experiencing peer pressure. Though, I think it could have been a bit more specific on how to go about making these changes, I believe they would be successful. This source started with an anecdote about a female basketball player who stopped herself from excelling in her sport in order to keep the other members of her team from becoming upset with her. This made me think of a topic we talked about in class called compliance. This is when you do what the group wants you to do even when you don’t believe in it. It’s suggestion about improving your self-image would definitely help the extent to which you cared about fitting in with a group.

The third source I looked at was centered on the ways in which adults can be affected by peer pressure. I found this incredibly interesting because I had never associated peer pressure as something that adults experience as well. This source also addressed positive as well as negative peer pressure but was more focused on the latter. It mentioned how you are more likely to avoid peer pressure if you started doing so at a young age, however if you never ‘grew out of it’, it is unlikely that you ever will unless you make some changes. Many of the suggestions given by this source were similar to the others. Some that stood out to me were learning from your mistakes, having a wide range of friends that come from all different walks of life, and being assertive by making eye contact with your peers and starting statements with ‘I’. I especially agree with the point about learning from your mistakes. This would definitely help with someone’s success, especially if paired with some of the other suggestions from this source. Some of the points made by this source made me think of informational vs. normative influence. Especially informational influence, which is when you believe that you made the mistake and that the group must be right so you change your mind. Being assertive and making more ‘I’ statements would definitely help with this. It would help to improve your confidence and allow you to trust yourself more often.

Spotlight Post #3

--Original published at JD's Blog

Peer pressure has been a serious problem for a very long time. It has led countless people to their downfall and sometimes even their death. Peer pressure is the direct influence of a person’s friend group on their behavior and actions. Sometimes they are pressured into changing their beliefs or values. In some cases,  it goes beyond that and results in an action taking place that the person who completes it did not originally intend on doing or approve of. When people hang out in groups, if one person’s ideals do not match up with the rest of the group there is a high chance of either informational or normative influence. Informational influence is when one believes they are wrong or made a mistake because everyone else says something different. Normative influence is even worse because the person knows that they are right, yet they go with everyone else’s idea anyway. With the help of peer pressure and normative influence usually leads to compliance. Compliance is when one actually does what the group wants even though they know it is wrong. Sometimes peer pressure and informational influence can even lead to conformity where the person actually changes their mindset to match that to a group.

The first website I found was designed for kids. The website suggested that when kids are confronted with peer pressure they should stand up straight, make direct eye contact with the people who are pressuring them. They should also state how they feel without making any excuses and be sure to stick up for themselves. These techniques could work because when one sticks up for themselves or states their own ideals then they are less likely to undergo informative influence. However when faced with an entire group and a child they might fall into normative influence and eventually compliance.

The website I found for parents suggested that they teach their children how to take a breath to relax, think it through and find the words. If this doesn’t work then the site suggested that they ask what could be done instead and if all else fails then walk away. I think this is very effective because walking away is the best thing to do. When one walks away they are able to understand that the groups intentions are not what is best for them and are able to take matters into their own hands. This will help prevents any type of influence from peers.

The third website concentrated on college athletes. It focused more on preventative measures to undergo before any type of situation takes place. It suggested that they work hard and earn the respect of their teammates. It suggested that they follow the guidelines set by their family and personal values. I like that the site suggested to find good and reliable friends in your major that will guide you in the right direction and share your ideals. It also said that joining clubs that interest you and have similar values such as a religion club or something similar. This site was the best one in found. By setting oneself up with friends who respect one’s decisions, ideals  and values then there is much less of a chance of someone challenging those ideals or trying to change them.




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.

Media Production Project

--Original published at MaddiesCollegeBlog

Original Article: (621 words)

Scholarly Article (5 pages)


A common concern that every individual faces eventually, is the thought that eventually we will all age and our cognitive abilities will noticeably decline. As commonly known, this is just apart of life and is inevitable for us humans. Recently, researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas (Center for BrainHealth) say that their discovery for ways that could help us continue to keep our cognitive function to a decent level as we age is ground breaking news for our time.

a research team conducted a completely randomized clinical study involving adults from ages 56-71. Each of the adults were given cognitive training tasks. In order to study this specific question, if the cognitive training was actually affecting their brain’s ability function more like a younger brain, the research team studied the neural activity going on while the participants were performing each tasks. The team split 57 adult participants up into three groups, a cognitive training group, a physical exercise group, and a wait-listed group; The study was conducted for 12 weeks. After the training, they found that the participants brains did not have to work as hard to perform simple or complex tasks, and they were able to complete them faster. Using fMRI’s the researching team took all the participants and examined each individual for a baseline, an in the middle, and at the end of the study. This occurred while they all performed tasks as well. The fMRI results showed evidence that all three groups showed a faster reaction time between the beginning and end sessions, and the cognitive training group had improved speed that affected neural activity. In the future, we now have the potential to replicate this study to find even more information about this ongoing question if there is a way to stop what was thought to be the inevitable.

(306 words)


Overall, I personally really enjoyed doing this project. I was able to learn a lot more information about this fascinating study, and ways that we could possibly prevent something that I always thought would be the inevitable (which makes me feel better about growing older). I always thought journalists had it somewhat easy, they were able to write freely about whatever topic they wanted. Now, I understand that it is not like that at all, intact, it’s very challenging trying to make deadlines and not exceed the word limits, while also trying not to plagiarise anybody else’s work as well. I felt that the most challenging thing was trying to take a 5-6 page academic journal and attempt to fit it into something so short, around 400-500 words. It was so difficult to leave out information because I felt like it was all very important to the study, but could not exceed the word limit. So, I felt that I had left out so much information like the specifics of what tasks were being done with the participants and why, specifics of what the results showed us, and a lot of detail about how the fMRI’s were taken. I mainly felt that I was leaving out more information about the “why’s” of the study, which to me was very unfortunate because I feel that it is important to know the reasoning behind why things are being done, especially in a clinical study like this one. Although I felt that I had left a lot of important information out, I feel that I summarized the overall main points of the study well enough that someone who know’s nothing about the subject or the study could follow what was going on and why they were doing it. I also decided to not use the 5 critical questions for reading research. I felt that by doing this it would be very time-consuming and take away from my personal opinion of the study. However, as I was reading the study I found myself finding the answers to each of the 5 questions. For example, the article clearly stated that finding the participants for the study were completely random, as it was for them to be randomly assigned into the three groups. I never really understood how hard journalists truly have it, I now understand how challenging it is to take an academic journal, take all the important information out, and completely rewrite it into a new article. By completing the three components of this project, I don’t think I would ever want to be a journalist now knowing how difficult their job actually is.

Media Production Post

--Original published at *Psych 105*


Can that midnight snack be the reason why you are gaining weight? A 2016 study conducted by Dr. Erin Hanlon and seven fellow researchers and published in Oxford’s journal Sleep seems to think so. The objective of the study was to determine whether a hunger system in the brain is overstimulated when the body experiences sleep deprivation, ultimately resulting in increased weight gain.

The randomized crossover study began with 14 individuals, 3 women and 11 men, and their sleeping habits. These participants were chosen based on their health, BMI’s and their “normal” sleeping habits. These individuals self-reported that they received an average 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep a night, with no naps throughout the day. Participants were not allowed to be on prescription medications, be pregnant or menstruating, or be a smoker, just to name a few parameters. In order to measure the levels of the endocannabinoid system, a hunger system within the brain, each participant underwent a series of blood tests, brain scans and sleep scans to determine any changes throughout the study. Sleep deprivation was defined as receiving 4.5 hours of sleep, and regular sleep was defined as receiving 8.5 hours of sleep. These variables were tested by randomly assigning both treatments to each participant. Throughout the course of each treatment, the participants were given 3 nutritious meals with no snack in between and then were offered a buffet each night, where they were allowed to eat as much as they pleased for as long as they pleased. The amount of food eaten at the buffet was a strong indicator of whether or not sleep played a role in overeating and in the grand scheme of things, obesity.

At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that while the body naturally has an inclination to eat more in the evenings, sleep deprivation amplifies the effects of the system. So, what exactly does this mean? The results of the various tests indicated that the endocannabinoid system naturally has increased production in the evenings, but this natural rise is increased when sleep deprivation is added to the equation. The body has a natural inclination to increase food intake on its own, but lack of sleep leads an individual to act upon this natural tendency more so than if they received an adequate amount of sleep. While this does not mean that sleep deprivation will result in obesity, it is enough to draw attention to the fact that it does, in fact, play a role in overeating and the “late night munchies”. Unfortunately, this data cannot be generalized to the entire human population, as the average person does not apply to the rigid sleep and health parameters that were included in this study. However, the data collected can serve as a starting point for future research regarding individuals that do not fit the specific criteria required in order to be chosen for this study.


The role of a journalist in the media tends to be trivialized by the majority of the general public. However, after critiquing an article written in the New York Times, it has become clear to me that they have a harder task than one might initially think. The main goal of a journalist is to create an article that the general population of readers will find interesting and want to take the time to read. An aspect I didn’t take into account was that I might be better versed in psychological jargon and the information that was in the study than the average person. The role of a journalist is to be able to translate the information of a research study into language that can be deciphered by the average individual. The majority of the information included in the article was watered down in order to keep interest without coming off as too scientific. The use of buzzwords, like marijuana in the pop culture articles case, were used to increase interest as well.

When creating my summary, I made a point to include the 5 critical research questions to ensure that all the important information was being conveyed. The operationalization of the variables was essential to include in order to tell the general population just how reliable the collection of the information was. It was also important to include how the participants were selected and how the information can be generalized. In the New York Times article, they did not include how the data could, or could not, be generalized. The bare bones of the study were conveyed, though the parameters of the population in question were relatively ignored. Yet, at the same time, I have a new respect for what these writers do. It is important to tell the readers what does and does not apply to them, and in this case, the data uncovered cannot be generalized. I felt that it was also important to include the rigor of the study that the participants had to undergo. In the original article, there was not much regarding the schedules that the participants had to follow, leading the reader to infer that any sleep schedule could apply. The basic concepts of the inclusion of the buffet, the means in which the data was collected and the differing sleep schedules were key components that were included in both the pop culture article and my summary.

Upon completing the assignments surrounding the pop culture article and the study itself, in addition to writing my own summary, I have come to the conclusion that the piece that was originally written served its due purpose. Yet at the same time, the information that was included in my summary more accurately conveys the actual population in which this study applies to. Psychology research can be a dense and confusing, resulting in difficulty determining which facts are necessary to capture the essence of the study and which facts have the ability to be overlooked. The scholarly article was plainly facts and geared towards individuals that have prior experience in the subject. The pop culture article served more as the eye candy or clickbait for the article’s data, which also blurs the actual intention of the study. This final summary serves as a happy medium of sorts between the two spectrums. While the summary includes the essential data in the study, it also condenses it into a form that the average person can read and comprehend.



Bromwich, J. (2016). “Poor sleep gives you the munchies, study says”. The New YorkTimes. Retrieved from

Hanlon, E. C., Tasali, E., Leproult, R., Stuhr, K. L., Doncheck, E., de Wit, H., Hillard, C. J., & Van Cauter, E. (2016).  Sleep restriction enhances the daily rhythm of circulating levels of endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol. Sleep, 39(3), 653–664.

Original: 616

Summary: 476

Media Production Project

--Original published at Pisacane Perspectives

A study conducted by doctors in the Pain Research Center at the University of Utah, has expanded the research being done to discover the effects music listening and engagement has on pain perception and pain relief in people. The experiment contained two independent variables: the level of pain being administered, and the difficulty of the task being asked of the subject. The researchers took a baseline of each subject’s pain tolerance, then created three levels of pain to be used in the experiment which were 20%, 50%, and 80% of this measurement. Tasks included finding deviant tones within songs which were familiar to the client.

What the researchers found was that there were two components of the subjects’ personality which determine how well music would help with pain relief. The first was their ability to become absorbed in the music and the task. Because pain messages cannot be fully received while attention is elsewhere, pain relief is dependent on how absorbed the subject is in it. Researchers thought that having high levels of anxiety would prevent participants from being able to focus on the task given, however, they found it to have the opposite effect.

It was concluded that music can, in fact, be stress relieving depending on the subject’s level of engagement in it, which can be increased by how much anxiety is felt at a given time.





I was surprised by how quickly I was able to summarize this study. I think that because I had already familiarized myself with the study by reading through and highlighting the important parts of it, I already knew what details I could leave out such as some of the process and small details such as what specific songs were used during the experiment. Having the original pop culture article to look at made it easier to know how to structure my summary and what kind of concise language I should be using. The biggest help I think was having written the scholarly article critique because I had already gone through and decided what information to leave out and figured out how to best summarize the experiment which gave me a lot of ideas on how to write this article. It still was a bit difficult however, because I knew so much more about the experiment than what I was writing so I felt like I wasn’t giving the reader a big enough picture. Condensing a 20+ page study into just 253 words or less isn’t easy, and without the time I had spend with it prior it would have been very difficult. I understand now how journalism can be different depending on how much space you have to be detailed and share more about the subject. I think that in comparison to my scholarly article critique, this summary doesn’t give nearly as much information or answer as many questions, and I know now that that’s just because the length difference, making the information prioritized differently.