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When interviewing for a position, we all want to put our best foot forward. The majority of professional interviews I have experienced were specifically focused on my personal traits or personality. interviewing-pic.jpeg
In general, the primary traits examined are best described by the Big Five Model of Personality. The five traits focused on in this personality model are Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. As you would expect, Openness to Experience generally defines people who exhibit this trait as "open people [who] tend to be intellectually curious and unconventional." Conscientious people "tend to be careful and responsible." Extraversion explains that "extraverted people tend to be social and lively." Agreeableness in people means that people who are agreeable "tend to be sociable and easy to get along with." Finally, Neuroticism defines people who exhibit it as people who "tend to be tense and moody, (Lilienfeld 562). Nervous interviewer.jpg
When thinking about the five different personality traits of the model, it becomes clear that a good candidate for just about any job would rate strongly on traits such as Conscientiousness and Agreeableness. The course textbook even states that "the Big Five predict many important real-world behaviors. High Conscientiousness, low Neuroticism, and perhaps high Agreeableness are associated with successful job performance. Extraversion has [also] been positively correlated with successful job performance among salespersons," (Lilienfeld 562).
I would not be surprised if the interviews I had were constructed to examine these five personality traits. I remember being told that the questions were behavior based and hinged primarily on my past experiences. Have you ever had an interesting or difficult interview? If so, were the questions asked of you possibly about the Big Five?

Father Figure

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The 'Father' role has been around since history. Many cultures view the 'Father' as the one who holds the family and decides what's right for the family. The meaning of the role has changed over many years. Being a father has a different meaning then it did during WWII, even just a couple of years like 10 or 20. The head household was held by the 'father' which held the well being of the family. Looking back in the past where the women were suppose to stay home and watch the children, the father was absolute. He held the house with his rein and controlled his family. Now a father is more then just a figurehead with the new coming age. Fathers are more involved with their children progress and even taking care of the children when it comes to it. With both parents working the father role also has been taken down from the only person working to both working. This means the role of the father being the solo family man is no longer solo to as it is shared now with the mother. Income and religion were the basis of the 'father' role back then. Now the father role has begun to merge; however the role of the father still retains the qualities such as making decisions, being the head, and holding a higher position in the family. This keeps the order and the well being of the family. Conclusively, fathers still play a role in family life and contribute greatly towards children success. However the way of doing things and the matter of solving problems within the family are more diverse and are easier since both parenting is becoming more frequent.

http://lifestyle.msn.com/your-life/family-parenting/article.aspx?cp-documentid=9617936
http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/style/the-role-of-fathers-with-daughters-and-sons/

Video Games and Violence

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The video game industry has grown from its humble starts with Pong and Pac man earning its pay one quarter at a time to a 25 billion dollar industry in a quarter century. Throughout its entire history the question of violence in video games has been brought up. This is highlighted by controversial games such as Doom, the Grand Theft Auto Series, and even Call of Duty. The question is does the amount of violence in video games cause people to act in more violent ways.

The research being done in this area seems to vary between inclusive and a slight correlation between playing violent video games and increased aggression. In laboratory settings after playing a violent video game most participants will have heightened levels of aggression or increased heart rate and blood pressure. This seems to make sense as video games are designed to absorb the gamer into the virtual environment and upon leaving that environment the aggressive tendencies will remain. Were the studies seem most inconclusive is on the long term effects of video games on people. Will gamers that consistently play violent video games in turn go out and commit crimes in the real world, or do already aggressive people gravitate to more violent games. In the end it comes to correlation vs. causation are the video games causing the violent behavior or simply reinforcing behaviors that were already in the individual.

Adults that play violent video games might be less likely to act upon the acts depicted in them, because unlike children they have a better understanding of the difference between the video game world and the real world. Small children on the other hand have a harder time making that distinction. This means that if they played boxing video game they would be more likely than an adult to try and box the next person they see because they don't know that trying to box someone is usually not socially acceptable.

The Role of a Father!

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Family is a big thing to many people, but sometimes things gets complicating through history. Being a family everyone has a role, such as the mother, father and kids. Kids responsibilities are to always obey their parents and help them out when needed. The concept I want to discuss is the role of a father. Basically a father is the second person in line to take care of the child after the mother, he doesn't stay by the baby's side every single second. A father is there to play along with the kids mostly physically as they want. The importance of the relationship children share with their father gives them a psychological well-being and adjustment. I can relate this to my father, if he wasn't constant in my life today I wouldn't be the person I am. He is the one who always is there to question everything I do or say so that he knows what steps I take in this life. He is my mentor and role model. He taught me everything I know from the beginning when I was moved to two different countries and learning the languages (English and Arabic). Even though I sometimes (maybe all the time) hate the long two to three hour lectures, I was able to track back to those words to choose things on my own now. The fact that a father's role is really important in a child's life it is true. In many homes today in the United States the divorce rate is high, which means the possibility of the kids being taken care of by the mother is high. When many things such as violence happen with a male teenager the main cause is said to be that there is no father present. In my culture the cause many things is blamed towards the father's absence, which many spend their free time in the coffee shop instead of being home with their children. I say be thankful to who is in your life, there is always someone who doesn't have any family at all.

Alcohol and Infants

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(http://www.parentsexpert.com/most-popular-baby-names-in-europe/popular-baby-names-in-europe)

1 in 750 infants are born in the United States with fetal alcohol syndrome each year. Meaning the effects that these infants suffer from are low birth weight, small head circumference, developmental delay, facial abnormalities, poor coordination and social skills, and learning disabilities. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of mental retardation and birth defects, although, it is 100% preventable. Prenatal alcohol exposure does not always lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, but there is no proven level of alcohol consumption that is safe. There is no safe level, because there are many other factors that vary the results such as individual women's ability to process alcohol, age of mother, and the regularity of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is dangerous to the fetus because alcohol passes easily through the placental barrier and the fetus is less likely to eliminate the alcohol from their system therefore leaving a high concentration of alcohol in their system. It has been shown that mother's who drink in their first trimester have children with the most severe fetal alcohol syndrome. Because fetuses are constantly changing and developing, the best way to prevent infants from having birth defects is to not consume alcohol during pregnancy.

(http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/fas.html#)
(http://nofas.org/main/what_is_FAS.htm)

Alcohol and Infants

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baby111.jpg
(http://www.parentsexpert.com/most-popular-baby-names-in-europe/popular-baby-names-in-europe)

1 in 750 infants are born in the United States with fetal alcohol syndrome each year. Meaning the effects that these infants suffer from are low birth weight, small head circumference, developmental delay, facial abnormalities, poor coordination and social skills, and learning disabilities. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of mental retardation and birth defects, although, it is 100% preventable. Prenatal alcohol exposure does not always lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, but there is no proven level of alcohol consumption that is safe. There is no safe level, because there are many other factors that vary the results such as individual women's ability to process alcohol, age of mother, and the regularity of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is dangerous to the fetus because alcohol passes easily through the placental barrier and the fetus is less likely to eliminate the alcohol from their system therefore leaving a high concentration of alcohol in their system. It has been shown that mother's who drink in their first trimester have children with the most severe fetal alcohol syndrome. Because fetuses are constantly changing and developing, the best way to prevent infants from having birth defects is to not consume alcohol during pregnancy.

(http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/fas.html#)
(http://nofas.org/main/what_is_FAS.htm)

Polygraph tests

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Most people today have seen some sort of cop drama on television where a suspect is given a polygraph, or lie detector, test. If they fail the test they are automatically viewed as guilty because, of course, the polygraph test is infallible. If so, then why do most courts in the US not allow the results at trial?

Originally created around 1915 and has since gone under many alterations. Today, the polygraph test looks for changes in blood pressure, rate of respiration, and skin conductivity ( the amount of moisture, sweat, on the subject's skin). These changes are believe to be the product of anxiety caused by the subject lying. Most advocates for the polygraph test claim that the accuracy is around 95%. How do they know this? The levels of increased anxiety could also be related to innocent subjects feeling nervous about failing the test or just high nerves in general.

Below is an interesting video on polygraph tests, and how someone could beat them.

If it is possible to "beat" a polygraph test, does it actually detect lies with the aforementioned 95% accuracy? In reality, polygraph tests yield a high rate of false positives where the innocent are declared lairs, or in criminal cases, guilty. Studies have shown that as much as 40% of "Innocent" subjects can fail the test. From that you could conclude that guilty individuals can probably take the test without failing, making it a poor lie detector. The US Supreme Court does recognize this flaw, but law enforcement agencies still use the polygraph test around the country. Many employers use it as well, as both a screening tool and for investigating theft by employees.

According to our textbook (Lilienfeld), a study done on how children are affected by divorce was covered in the Time magazine. The study had claimed that the effects were worse than we had thought in the long run. The researched families had futures of failed career goals, messed up love relationships, and were emotionally unstable. The factor shooting down the study's claim was that it was not under a well-controlled experiment. The research families were not specifically categorized under being divorce due to simply separation of parents from each other. Death and other reasons for a married couple becoming single parents were not blocked out or known.

The reality is that children are able to go through the hardships of a divorce and be able to be perfectly fine later in life. The negative long-term effect claim from the study in the Time magazine is not true. It all mainly depends on the status of the family before and after the divorce. If the children have been growing up with their parents arguing all the time, in the end, the divorce is more of a relief than anything to not have to listen to the parents bicker all the time anymore. If the children rarely witness their parents argue and then are slammed with the divorce out of the nowhere, then it is a lot more difficult for the children to handle it for a good while. Not every child is going to be affected by divorce drastically in negative ways, but there are children who function different and who are not able to handle it as well as other kids.

I am 21 and my parents got divorced a little over a year ago. They have been arguing my entire life up to this point, so it was not too much of a shock that they would end up divorcing. The fighting was so bad that even I wanted a divorce for them from time to time. But when my parents finally did go through with the divorce, it still sucked. There is some emotional wreckage that goes on within. It is definately not easy to go through as the son or daugther no matter what side of the fence you are on. So I can completely understand how and why a child can grow up and have a messed up life. At the same time, I can also understand how the negative effects can be only short term. Everyone's initial reaction is sadness and confusion. Being around the arguments a lot though, it is easier to comprehend as to why the marriage had to succumb to divorce. And then you are able to move on.

VIDEO: Interview of Children of divorce -----> http://youtu.be/OBQ8Wx6JBxY
  • Should divorce be taught better or introduced more to children in schools at a very young age so that they have a better understanding and are better prepared/equipped if they have to go through it?

Is There Enough Evidence?

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The issue of whether or not violent media causes aggression has been a controversial subject among psychologists. From both sides of the issue, it is difficult to find compelling evidence to support psychologists' claims. In Aimee Tompkins' article, http://allpsych.com/journal/violentmedia.html, she has provided miscellaneous facts that do not clearly support her specific claim. For example, "The National Coalition on Television Violence reported there has been a consistent increase in the number of violent themed video games. These games increased from fifty three percent in 1985 to eighty two percent in1988." This data does not illustrate that an increase number of violent themed video games will cause aggression in the future. Tompkins only provides examples that do not have long term evidence, and she does not elaborate on specific studies to prove her claim is correct. The author states that young men have attempted to perform stunts after viewing the television show Jack Ass. This statement is true based on individual's attempt to imitate the show, but this does not mean that these individuals will act out violently towards others in the future.
I believe that there is not enough evidence to support the idea that violent media is associated with aggressive behavior. I agree that children tend to imitate the actions that are seen on the television screen, but I believe this does not correlate to aggression in the future. In Tompkins' article, she states that violent media is not the only cause of violent behavior. I strongly believe in this statement because issues within the environment such as family interactions or visual aggression among individuals can possibly lead to violent behaviors.

Tompkins, Aimee. "The Psychological Effects of Violent Media on Children ." AllPsych Online. Heffner Media Group, Inc., 14 12 2003. Web. 6 Nov 2011. .

Remember the days when monkey bars seemed as high as skyscrapers? When a Barbie was an actual person? Or when your own backyard became an exotic jungle? Imagination is at its peek when you're a kid. Those were the days.
But as a kid, we might not have realized just how much our own environment has influenced our behavior. Whether that be a television program like "Blues Clues" or "Barney" that left us feeling happy or relatively calm, or programs like "Power Rangers" and "Ninja Turtles" that left us feeling more active and aggressive. Looking back on it now, both sides of the spectrum seemed to have the capability to influence a child's behavior for better or for worse.
Today, it seems as if each day another violent video game or television program has its debut, and there is a growing debate in our culture regarding the various effects violence in the media have on the behavior and development of children. The situation is that while the video game industry generates billions in revenue, kids are finding more and more ways to expose themselves to different types of violent messages. Themes like murder, drugs, alcohol, racism, foul language, disrespect of the law, and other violent and suggestive themes can be found in plaguing our nation's youth. In the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's article titled: "Children and Video Games: Playing With Violence," exposure to these types of video games can suggest a consequence of poor social skills, isolation, lower grades, obesity, and most controversial, aggressive behavior. In Miranda Hitti's article "Media Violence Spurs Fear, Aggression in Kids" she writes, "Ideally, producers would be sensitive to the power they wield, and parents would know what their kids are viewing...But in the real world, it can be hard for parents to monitor their children's media habits. With TV, movies, videos, and computer games, many parents don't know what their kids see every day."

http://www.aacap.org/galleries/FactsForFamilies/91_children_and_video_games_playing_with_violence.pdf

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,147986,00.html


Although there is much speculation about the various negative effects violence in the media have on children, I believe that it is important to take into account one lurking variable: the amount of influence children have on other children. Perhaps it isn't the violence in a certain television program that causes a kid to be violent, rather, as shown in the Kare 11 study, other children simply wanting to "fit in" by mimicking their fellow classmates. To me, this is important to take into consideration before making the assertion that violent television programs cause aggressive behavior. In the video recording taken of the day care classroom following the Power Rangers program, yes the kids tended to be more active and aggressive, but as depicted, it seemed as if more kids would simply look at what their classmates were doing and want to simply join in the fun. Furthermore, there needs to be a distinct line between "play" fighting (which we all did as kids, especially us boys), and "real" fighting.


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