• Posted What I'll Remember to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    While there are several things I learned in this course from both the texts and the lectures the psychology topic that I think will stick with me is not to believe everything we hear from popular psychology. Now, whenever I see a commercial about a weight loss "miracle pill" or see a self help book meant to boost self esteem I am not so quick to believe what the product is advertising. There is much more to what these products advertise that can not be quickly fixed by taking a pill or reading a book. For example, losing weight involves exercising and making healthy food choices. So products advertising that a person can keep eating whatever they want and don't need to start exercising more and still lose weight may require some extra research and a careful eye for information they are leaving out. Another topic that i'm more skeptical about now is that to do with is horoscopes and psychics. Now when I read my horoscope I always make a point to read other horoscopes too and it really is true that they all hold about the same about of truth about my life or personality. I really hope that I remember all of this in five years because it may save me a chunk of money and wasted time on something that holds little to no truth....
  • Posted Eating Disorders to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The Lilienfeld text discusses the seriousness and sadness of eating disorders and how they are much more than merely a dissatisfaction with one's body. With anorexia having a fatality rate of 5 to 10 percent it is one of the most dangerous mental disorders a person can have. With that said, eating disorders cannot be blamed solely on the media of Western culture; but it is fair to say that it does deserve a fair chunk of the responsibility for this problem. An article from psychiatry online talks about the contributions the media makes to women and men's self esteem and attitudes towards appearance. Women are presented with several different images of what is sexy, making it increasingly difficult for girls to find a realistic role model to identify with and look up to. Speaking of realistic, the article also pointed out that most of the models shown in magazines and the media are giving women unattainable physical goals. Models bodies are airbrushed to perfection, erasing any trace of "flaws" and giving society the idea that beauty means being stick thin and having large breasts. As if these models would need any airbrushing to begin with considering they are 23% thinner than the average woman. Although men are not as associated with eating disorders as women, they too are effected by the harsh unrealities of the media. Pictures of men with perfectly sculpted abs and little to no body fat have men dishing out large amount of cash for gym memberships. While a gym membership seems like a healthy idea and not so harmful, the obsession with staying in shape and gaining muscle mass can lead to the misuse of steroids and restrictive diets. There are still Americans who carry healthy body weights and are able to brush off the expectations set by the media. These lucky beings prove that it is not only the media that causes such terrible mental disorders like anorexia and bulimia, but there is sufficient evidence that shows there is some kind of negative effect coming from these pictures of "perfect" people. source:
  • Posted How to be a Better Dad to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    The Lilienfeld text touched on the role of the father in parenting a child; sparking my interest on what really makes a great father. Of course it is important that children have a "warm, close relationship with their father" (Lilienfeld, 390) but what exactly does this mean? I found a source which lists ten ways to be a great dad so I chose only a few that I found most interesting. My personal favorite off of this list was the advice to respect your children's mother. While this was not the first thing I would have thought of in order to improve a father's relationship with his children, it makes the most sense. Whether or not the father is married to the child's mother, it is important that a child feels like he is safe and there is no conflict between his parents. This is especially important for children whose parents are separated. Another good piece of advice in this article was to discipline with love. A father who can both acknowledge his child for rewardable behavior, and fairly and calmly discipline them as well, is both loving and admirable. Probably the most obvious way to be a great father, showing a child affection can make a world of a difference in the relationship between a dad and a child. This is especially important for fathers because they are less likely to be the parent to provide the most comfort to infants as they are growing. A father who hugs his child every day and lets his child know how important they are to him gets a gold star for being a great dad. I know from personal experience that eating meals as a family is also a great way to be a good father. Sitting down to dinner and talking about each person's day allows children to talk to their father and tell them how they are feeling or bring up things that they've been wanting to tell them but couldn't find the time. It also provides a sense of family which is important for any child growing up. Although there is no set recipe for whipping up the perfect dad, it seems there are a good number of things that are important for a dad raising his children. Mother's are typically given a lot of the credit for raising and taking care of a child but it can not be forgotten that a father provides a great deal for his child. I personally cringe at the thought of the question, what would I have done without my father?
  • Posted Parent Alienation Syndrome to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    After reading in chapter 7 about how children are especially vulnerable to suggestibility and coercion, I became curious to know more about how this susceptibility may effect a child. I came across something called parent alienation syndrome which can be described as a parent conditioning his or her child to turn against or even become afraid of the other parent. The controlling parent in this situation can be distinguished in many ways. The first thing a parent will do is try to discontinue contact with the child and the other parent. A child may be threatened with withdrawal of love, home, or support if he or she does not accept the views of the controlling parent. The controlling parent may also coerce the child to believe that the other parent has abused them. By continually repeating false stories of abuse a child eventually comes to accept them as true, consequently alienating the child from the innocent parent. This syndrome is the result of a conditioned response. Imagine that a child sees his father who helps him with his homework and then takes him out for an ice cream. After this enjoyable day the child returns to his controlling mother who punishes him and treats him as if he was a possession as a result of the day he spent with his father. In this situation, the father would be the unconditioned stimulus, the enjoyable day would be the unconditioned response. Eventually, as the child continues to be abused by the mother as a result of seeing his father, the child will develop a conditioned response to the sight of his father and automatically become emotionally stressed. This syndrome is a tragic example of how children can be controlled to become afraid of something that they would normally have no fearful response to. If a child can be coerced to become emotionally distressed at the sight of a parent, who is supposed to represent safety and love, what else can they be coerced to feel?...
  • Posted Nightmares to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    If asked to describe the most frightening nightmare ever experienced, most people would be able to recall it, in detail, and might even get goose bumps. Nightmares are those dreams that bring up our worst fears, most pressing anxieties, and nerve pinching insecurities. Although we are most likely to be plagued by these bad dreams as children, fifty percent of adults continue to be shaken by an occasional nightmare. Given that the textbook didn't talk much about nightmares I did some research online for some better insight. Nightmares occur most commonly during REM sleep, particularly in the later cycles towards the morning. This explains why it's so easy for people to remember the shaking nightmare that woke them up in the morning, but completely forget about that pleasant dream we had when we first fell asleep. Although nightmares are often caused by nothing more than our busy minds, I did find some interesting things that trigger bad dreams. These include having a late night snack, certain medications, alcohol withdrawal, sleep deprivation, and certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. If you find yourself having more frequent nightmares than normal, have no fear; in my research I found several easy fixes to promote a safe and sound sleep. The website suggests keeping a consistent sleep schedule, exercising regularly, and making your bedroom a tranquil, relaxing place. This last suggestion made me wonder a little bit about the kind of sleep that college students living in dorms (such as me) are getting. Does sleeping in the room associated with cramming for a stressful exam cause less restful sleep? Does the new environment and drastic change that comes along with starting college cause more nightmares? I've never had serious issues with nightmares, but I hope that the stresses of college do not make me prone to these terrors....
  • Posted Taste & Smell to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Each person has his or her own routine waking up in the morning. One may choose to turn on a cartoon, go for a jog or listen to a favorite song. In my case, stimulating my mouth and nose by eating a big bowl of cereal is the best way to wake up. This is not to say the senses of smell and taste only allow humans to enjoy a good breakfast. With these senses a person is able to attract the opposite sex, create a warm atmosphere with a cinnamon scented candle, sniff out sour milk and enjoy a warm day swirling with fresh air. Imagine a life void of the comforting smell caused by mom's freshly baked cookies, or the smell of the roses kindly sent by a loved one. The pleasures accompanied with the senses of smell and taste are a necessary part of life and may even be a person's favorite part of the day. Just like a husband and wife work together to create a wonderful meal, the senses taste and smell work together create a part of life far different from seeing or hearing. Reflecting on how appealing these senses are in every day life also brings up the question of why this appeal affects certain people differently than others. Do people with food addictions have stronger olfactory and gustatory perception? What causes a person to prefer chocolate to vanilla? If these questions require an experiment involving taste testing; I'm sure we'll all be more than willing to help out. Cassie Wagner...
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