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empty-nest-syndrome.pngEmpty-nest syndrome is a psychological condition usually affecting mothers around the time that their children leave home. This period of adjustment following their children's "flight" is sometimes accompanied by mild depression or feelings of identity less to those parents who defined themselves largely based on their roles as parents.

First world problems...

Interestingly enough, this condition tends to affect a very specific demographic most commonly: Caucasian women who don't work outside the home. However, empty nest syndrome correlates more reliably with socioeconomic status than race or familial status.
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When a woman is at the stage in life where her kids are leaving, she may also be going through other major changes, such as dealing with the menopause or trying to cope with dependent elderly parents. It can be a difficult time, and it's natural for a parent to feel some sadness when children leave home.


But, wait a minute!! Why is there an elliptical in my room?!?

Contraray to popular belief, most empty-nesters experience an increase in life satisfaction following their new found flexibility and freedom. yoga-boom.top.jpgWhole women's book clubs and exercise groups are devoted to new empty-nesters. In fact, whole blogs and home improvement websites are devoted to helping empty-nesters figure out what to do with the new "extra bedroom." Most women take up new hobbies or social causes. Personally, my mom is now taking painting classes and my bedroom has easels and oil paints on my desk and dressers.

What do you think aout empty-nest syndrome, real or invented condition? And what is your experience with your parents after moving out for college?

Everyone thinks their sibling, cousin, or child is the cutest and smartest baby, but really I think my 3 year old cousin is the smartest AND the cutest. In Chapter 10, you can read about Piaget's Stages of Development: Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operations, and Formal Operations. Reading this made me think of my little cousin Elizabeth immediately. When she was about two, I was playing with her outside. I picked up a rock and pretended it was a cookie, then pretended to eat it. She looks at me and tells me "thats not a cookie thats a rock". I thought she was so smart for being so literal, but after understanding Piaget's preoperational stage I have come to realize that she had not yet developed any symbolic behavior. A couple months later when I saw her, she put on one of my old Arby's hats and we started role playing, she asked me if I wanted curly fries, what I would like to drink etc. When I asked her if I could have a sandwich with onions on it she replied "I suppose so", then pretended to right down the order. Now she has gone deeper into the preoperational stage by being able to see the world from a different person's point of view, known as egocentrism.DSC02307-2.jpg

While looking for topics to choose through in our large selection, one caught my eye immediately. When I saw the role of fathers, I knew that this would be an interesting topic to do further research on. When I have a problem with school or friends, I go to my mom. But, if I need help fixing something or wanted someone to play with when I was little, I turned to my dad. Why is that?
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In our Psychology book for this class, it explains in four ways how mothers and fathers differ:
1. Fathers tend to be less attentive and affective when the the baby is still very little.
2. Fathers tend to spend less time with the baby, even if the parents are home an equal amount.
3. When fathers interact with their children, they are the more playful then mothers usually are.
4. Lastly, both young boys and girls go to their father first, oppose to their mother, as a playmate.

So maybe that is why many kids would go to their mom for emotional things and their dad for physical work. But you need your father just as much as you need your mother! So, I looked up some facts about Fathers that were pretty remarkable:
- Odds that the average man will become a father: 1 in 2
- Number yearly who take permanent leave to become stay-at-home dads: 143,000
- Number of current fathers who would still want to have kids if they could do it over again: 19 in 20
These are only a few, where the rest can be found here.

To leave you with a small clip, fathers play a key role in the lives of his children, while some go above and beyond, the smallest gesture means a lot!


Obviously, we all are students at a great University, so our parents must have done something right!! But do you ever run into people and think-- "Wow, what did their parents teach them growing up?" When reading the section on the different types of parenting styles, I started by analyzing my parents' style and then compared it to other parents I know. Using the three main parenting styles developed by Diana Baumrind, Permissive, Authoritarian, and Authoritative, I can clearly pin point how I was raised compared to some of my friends. I find this so interesting because even though we were brought up completely different we all turned out to be similar enough that we became close friends. My parents were more of authoritative, they showed me lots of affection and allowed me to be independent, but also made clear to me what was and was not acceptable behavior. I get along great with my parents. My best friend grew up with pretty Authoritarian style parents. They are not very affectionate, extremely strict, and punish her often. She has a rocky relationship with her parents, but because of their strict rules she learned great study habits which she appreciates now at college! It is fun to compare how each of my friends views the world based on how we were taught and treated by our parents. This is an important thing to study, because it can be helpful to develop a better technique to raising children. I know that I already have some sort of idea of what to do when I start having children in the DISTANT future just by reading this chapter and comparing parents I know.

Kamikaze Pigeons!

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We have all heard of monkeys going into space, but who has heard of pigeons controlling missiles! Ever since our lecture on B.F. Skinner and conditioning i have not stopped thinking about his somewhat failed contribution to national defense, with pigeon guided missiles. If you missed this lecture let me give you brief description of "Project Orcon". During WW II Skinner used operant conditioning to train pigeons to help control missiles as to more accurately hit their target. The pigeon was positioned with a lens in front at which it could peck, if the pigeon were to peck the center the missile would continue strait, but when pecking away from the center it would cause the missile to change course as directed. A bomb in the hands, or more literally, the beak of pigeon! Before we discuss a bit a more, the following video gives us a great look and explanation of Skinners project:
As was said in the video, Skinner received funding from the government, $25,000 actually, but the idea was never really taken seriously. Also as they described in the video, the results that Skinner was able to produce and repeat, clearly showed that a pigeon could accurately guide a missile to its intended target. But why then was the project shut down on October 8th, 1944? Well according to the military they believed that "further prosecution of this project would seriously delay others which in the minds of the Division have more immediate promise of combat application." But Skinner had proven that this was a viable method of warfare, his methods of conditioning were clearly shown in multiple other projects as well, but he could not convince the National Defense Committee to implement Project Orcon. I have to admit that the idea of a pigeon controlling a bomb, being the deciding factor of who might live and die is a scary one. Trusting that much power to a pigeon seems a bit unreal and that is in the end what shut the project down. But this was just one more example of the power of conditioning that Skinner provided us, this fundamental psychological concept has a lot of power in it, enough power to a make a pigeon control a missile! What are your thoughts, would you trust a pigeon to control a missile? If you would trust them, think of the ethical implications of simply raising and training to pigeons to be nothing more than a kamikaze pilot. Also how would you feel knowing that your comrade was killed by a pigeon? Maybe the government was right to shut down the project, just for the wrong reasons. Commence commenting!

Problems in Business

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Within the past few years, business theorists have found that in comparison to Eastern managers of business, Western managers often rush into solutions before defining a problem 100%. I believe the main reason this issue has arose is due to the fact that our money-woman.jpgcountry and many others are becoming more and more power hungry as each new day goes by. There is no time to waste when money could be made, which is why many people use the phrase "Ready, fire, aim" when referring to how people usually approach problems these days. This can cause many additional problems when it comes to final decisions. Business people could not fully think things through, and be stuck with the consequences in the long run.
I find it interesting that this way of thinking could be applied to my future major and career, as something to steer clear of. I am majoring in interior design which the main focus is taking a problem with space planning and creating many different solutions. It is absolutely essential to choose the correct solution to the problem, otherwise you will be left with unhappy clients and extra issues you will not want to deal with.

Problems in Business

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Within the past few years, business theorists have found that in comparison to Eastern managers of business, Western managers often rush into solutions before defining a problem 100%. I believe the main reason this issue has arose is due to the fact that our money-woman.jpgcountry and many others are becoming more and more power hungry as each new day goes by. There is no time to waste when money could be made, which is why many people use the phrase "Ready, fire, aim" when referring to how people usually approach problems these days. This can cause many additional problems when it comes to final decisions. Business people could not fully think things through, and be stuck with the consequences in the long run.
I find it interesting that this way of thinking could be applied to my future major and career, as something to steer clear of. I am majoring in interior design which the main focus is taking a problem with space planning and creating many different solutions. It is absolutely essential to choose the correct solution to the problem, otherwise you will be left with unhappy clients and extra issues you will not want to deal with.

A Changing Society

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As America has developed as a country, especially in the last 50 years, the idea of the family has constantly been changing. From the typical two children household with a working father and a stay-at-home housewife in the 50's as shown in the television series Mad Men, to the modern family today where women are more encouraged to work and the responsibility of making the families income doesn't only fall on the man. As a result, is it possible that not having these stereotypes around works against the natural biological influences that the text discusses such as the fact that boys instinctively play with guns and girls play with cookware? In my opinion and in most cases, if nature makes a species the way they are, there is a pretty good reason for it and that, as a culture, we shouldn't work against nature. I'm getting at the fact that, and in the most delicate way possible, we should go back to something that favors our natural tendencies.
Another interesting thing that has been happening recently is that as a whole, the younger generations of kids, those in elementary and middle schools, are being brought up in ways so as they are more safe and in essence, coddled. Is that a realistic way to raise children? When they have to leave these 'safe' environments and live in the world today, will they be ready for it? One of the worst examples that I can think of is here

divorce.jpg Divorce rates these days are much higher than they used to be. Though some people are better off getting a divorce than trying to make their marriage work like they were required to in the old days, are their kids better off? According to our text, "studies show that the substantial majority of children survive their parents' divorce without long-term emotional damage. The apparent effects of divorce depend on the severity of conflict between parents before the divorce... Still, divorce can surely produce negative effects on some children" (Lilienfeld 391). As someone who has personally experienced divorce, I can say that I've had my fare share of emotional ups and downs, but all in all, I know that I can one day have a functional relationship even if my parents could not. child-split-in-two.jpg
Like this boy on the right, the big problem that I've had with my parents' divorce is balancing my time that I spend with my mom and my dad. I was lucky enough not to be apart of a family whose parents absolutely hate each other, but I always worried about one getting jealous of me spending more time with the other so that was a huge stressor put on my shoulders. As I mentioned before, some say the severity of conflict between parents before the divorce can have an effect on the child's emotional "damage," and I'd have to agree with that. My parents fought a lot before they decided to separate, so in the end, the divorce was almost a relief to escape the fighting. Though it was a huge struggle for me at first getting used to my parents being separated, I whole-heartedly believe that some people are just not meant to be together, my parents included. Having that optimistic point of view has helped me cope with the fact that when I have kids, they will have to deal with divorced grandparents.

video games.jpg In discussion we talked about whether violet video games and TV shows cause violence and aggression in kids. Our group concluded that yes, these shows and video games do cause aggression in kids. To support our conclusion further, I remembered watching an E! True Hollywood Story about young people who killed. The one that stuck out to me was about a boy named Daniel Petric, who was 16 years old and become obsessed with the very violent video game, Halo 3. However, his parents forbade him from buying the game, but he went behind their backs and bought it anyways and played it without them knowing. Eventually his parents found out and took it from him. Angered, he went and stole his father's gun and shot both of his parents. (Go to the link to read the full story)
So the question is, was it the video game that drove Daniel to shoot his parents, or was there another factor? My opinion on this is that obviously the video game was a factor in driving him to shoot his parents. He had been consumed by this video game, playing it daily that his mind had been filled with anger, aggression and violence. And because his parents took away this game he became even more enraged that it pushed him far enough to get a gun and shoot his parents. Some other factors could be that Daniel was depressed, which was the leading factor in the article we read " Violent Games Not to Blame for Youth Aggression, Study Suggests". What are some reasons you believe Daniel was driven to shoot his parents? What is your opinion on whether violent video games cause violence in kids and teenagers?

http://www.truecrimereport.com/2011/06/teen_daniel_petric_murders_mom.php

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