Topical Blog Week #14 (due Thursday)

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Topics in the News?

What I would like you to do is to start applying what we are learning in class to real world matters. Some might ask, "What good is learning psychology if we can't apply it to real world matters?" "Are we learning from the past or are we simply repeating our mistakes?" So that is what we are going to do with this week's topical blog assignment.

What I would like you to do is to either go to NPR ( ), the BBC ( ) there are some good news source links at the bottom of the following page ( listed in their news sources) and read, watch, or listen to something that is interesting to you and relates to what we have been learning about the history of psychology.

When you are done, copy and paste the URL at the bottom so we can go and see the sources you used.

Let me know if you have any questions.

--Dr. M

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This article is from BBC and deals with a psychologist who is concerned with people and their superhuman ability to remember large amounts of memories and facts.

The weight and overall health of our children is a major concern for our country today. The article that I found that interested me was about how fighting childhood obesity should be less and individual mission for the child and more oriented around the family as a whole. The program is designed around a traffic light system to let the children know what they are eating red for the worst foods, green for healthy foods, and yellow for ok foods. This program allows kids to cut back on their junk food intake at a gradual rate making it less shocking for the child to change immediately. The idea of the program is to help develop healthy habits in kids now that they are able to use the rest of their lives.
1. The targeted behavior is to get the child live a healthier lifestyle through better eating habits.
2. Through the program the child keeps track of their diet and if they progress with the program the child’s eating habits should improve.
3. As the child follows the program their eating habits improve and their dependence on junk food is lessened.
4. The consequence is that junk food is removed for the benefit of the child’s health.
5. The antecedent to this would be a parent seeing their child struggling with their weight.

A. Parents realize their child has a weight problem.
B. The child eats too much unhealthy food.
C. Parents take the junk food away and the child lives a healthier life.

This treatment is a form of positive punishment. By taking away unhealthy food that the child may enjoy the parents are able to help their child live healthier.

1. Gabriel loves burritos which aren’t necessarily a healthy food.
2. Gabriel joins the program and keeps track of the food that he eats.
3. Gabriel through the program reduces his “red lights” from 90-30 food items per month.
4. By reducing the amount of unhealthy food Gabriel is able to live a more healthy life.
5. Gabriel’s parents realize he has a weight problem.

A. Gabriel’s parents notice that he has a weight problem.
B. Gabriel is a self-confessed burrito lover along with other unhealthy foods.
C. Parents enroll Gabriel into the health program and as a result he becomes healthier by eating healthier foods.
Once again the treatment is a form of positive punishment. Gabriel has his favorite foods taken away but because of this he is able to live a healthier life.

In our society today diagnoses of diseases are delayed because people's physical and psychological problems, but Shakespeare could. Typically education is scientific based, but "there has been growing interest in recent years in including courses on health-related art, history or literature as part of the curriculum".
If you read through Shakespeare's plays he gives a "body-conscious" approach. For example in Hamlet, "Hamlet, grief-stricken for his murdered father, who complains of his "weary, stale, flat and unprofitable" existence, and the headache suffered by the cuckolded Othello". He gives physical aliments that relate to Hamlet's psychological problems he is facing.
We have learned from the past that there are more ways to approach things than just scientifically. I do think it is hard for us to think out of the box on things such as a diagnosis. We can easily broaden our thinking just by focusing on other methods, such as using literature that is available to us. Shakespeare was very in tune with the people and emotions in his stories and I think that we forget how to really do this in our society.

This article is really interesting and is sort of fitting since finals week is coming up. It’s titled “How Your Thoughts And Emotions Can Affect Your Body”. If you have ever been stressed out you might noticed that your body is reacting to your emotions. Stress can bring lack of sleep or fatigue. When you’re stressed you usually have a lot on your mind. When there is a lot going on in your head you might get more than just a headache.

Good moods or emotions tend to bring in good vibes. The article used Time magazine to show that being happy, content, and optimist can really help your body out. It said that these emotions can reduce diabetes, infections, and colds. It can also reduce bigger health problems like pulmonary disease and cardiovascular disease. So good emotional states bring happy endings, but there’s also the dark side.

Depression is the lowest one can go. The most negative emotion. People who suffer from depression have a higher chance of getting diabetes and heart disease. There is a part in this article that gives an example for what the mind and body may go through. They used a car engine. The engine stopped running so the owners took it into the shop. The mechanic told the owners that one wire was off. That one wire affects the whole engine and made it so it would no longer run. I love this example because it really puts light on what the mind and body can go through. The mind, of course being the wire, and the engine, the body. At least it really helped me understand the concept.

When relating this article to the book I think back to the chapters that talked about behavior. Every action has a consequence. I think this article could fit in with the mental illness chapter as well. Depression is a psychological disorder and/or a mental illness. There is also the mind body issue that was talked about in the book. The mind is all powerful! Use it the wrong way could hunt you in the end. So remember, a smile on your face can make you a healthier person!

I chose to write about stress, because as the semester is winding down stress seems to be at the forefront of most of people’s minds. The end of a college semester is always filled with grueling tests, numerous papers, and of course family and financial obligations and the list goes on and on.
This article focused on how one woman was so stressed out she was diagnosed with stress related depression which led her to the decision to quite a good paying job with a good retirement. Why? Because her mental well being and her family were more important than family, and this is important that everyone remember this at this time of year. She focuses on some of these points in her article
• Women who experience stress appear to value themselves by how they are helping others and making others in their lives happy, their children, their employers, their parents and whoever else is in their lives.
• They will often complain about the amount expected of them again by their families and their employers
• We and society have unrealistic expectations of women. We think we can have it all; family, career, beautiful home, perfect relationships. We have to be perfect in every role we take on. To do that we need to be in control of everything.
• The consequence is that we feel unsupported and undervalued by everyone and reluctant to ask for help.
While she specifies women only I believe that this mind set can be applied to men as well. This relates to the history of psychology in that psychology and the mental state helps us to understand society’s problems for example the stress of trying to keep up these expectations.
Everyone needs to remember at this time of year that the expectations of good grades, work and all the other stressors of your life right now, are only in the present, and one small part of the rest of your life. This article pointed out something about our society that I have also noticed through working with the public, and watching and reading media. We all expect and want everything to be perfect.
I challenge everyone at this time of year to assess their current situation regarding stress and ask yourself what you can do to rid yourself of stress at this holiday season. Choose how you want to live, do want you want to do, and don’t let school and work stress you out to the point that you get so exhausted and depressed that you become ill. ( I don’t mean to go on a rant, but this article about stress, really brought to light some of things I feel around this time of the year and I imagine many other people feel this way too.)

I chose to read the article, “Do Psychotic Delusions Have Meaning?” I found this article to be interesting because it discusses the advancements in looking at psychotic delusions. This article also discusses how individuals who deal with delusions are changing the ways of handling them. For example, people with schizophrenia are beginning to come together to share their experience, and to support one another. By doing this, they are combining medical treatment with support from others dealing with the same situation.

An additional thing discussed in this article is how mentally ill people should be treated and considered. It argues that by labeling people mentally diseased, these people are being denied things that lead to a meaningful life. It states that these people should be considered as having mental differences.

I found that this related to what we have studied in regards to the history of psychology. This article discusses advancements regarding the way people with mental illnesses are treated, how they should be labeled, and the implications of that labeling. I feel that this relates to what we have studied in that we have discussed the advancements of psychological testing, as well as treatment of the mentally ill.

I chose to read an article about intelligence testing and the testings problems in administering the test to children with autism. Two types of autism exist: high functioning and low functioning. In the high functioning category, the people are able to make a life for themselves, hold a job, and establish relationships, both friend and romantic. At the opposite end, low functioning individuals can't operate on their own, can't always sit still, and are sometimes officially labeled as mentally retarded by intelligence tests. Researchers have long thought that about 70 to 80 percent of autistic people are considered mentally retarded, but when you look at the research it is not necessarily conclusive because intelligence tests tend to overestimate disability in autistic people. Psychologist Laurent Mottron believes that perhaps autism is not really a disease at all—that it is perhaps just a different way of looking at the world. She gained this belief after working with high functioning individuals with autism. The average person can sit down and take a verbally administered, timed test without too many problems. An autistic person with limited language capability can be easily distracted by sensory information which can make the task of taking an administered test to be very hard. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) is the most common intelligence test given to children, and almost seems designed to flunk an autistic person: it is completely verbal, timed, and relies heavily on cultural and social knowledge which are all items which a child with autism would either struggle with or just have know idea to the answer on a culturally learned question.

The article was very interesting and makes you think. I have seen a report of a person with autism with an amazing gift to be able to stand in spot for only a few minutes and than go draw it completely from memory to an incredible degree of accuracy. Here is the link to this related article as well:

I choose to read the article, “US must stop jailing minors for life, says Amnesty” from BBC News. This article explains how the US and Somalia are the only two countries which haven’t signed the UN resolution outlawing the permanent jailing of minors, considered to be all under age 18.

This relates to the history of psychology because it goes along with how we, as a country, treated the mentally handicapped. This article explains how we treat, by definition, children who have committed serious crimes such as murder. It also resonates with how we treat those who are not “fit” to be in society. Some consequence must come from these children’s actions, but is a lifetime of incarceration the answer and what effects does this have on the individual. Even more importantly to psychology is the question of rehabilitation. Amnesty reports the US should spend more time and resources in rehabilitation option for these young offenders. This raises the question is change possible. According to Amnesty, another criticism of the US system is that it fails to take into account the history of the offender, such as abuse. While this is not always true, it brings to light the question of nature v. nurture.

Overall, I found this article quite interesting. It raises questions about how we deal with what is considered to be highly inappropriate for a society to function and our judicial system. It also brings to light our nation’s stance on nature and a “bad seed” shouldn’t be able to infect the good.

I chose to read an article called "Depression Risk Increased in People with Migraines". This article jumped out at me because I have both conditions: depression (dysthymia, to be more precise) and migraines that currently occur at least 3 times a week for me. I was interested to find out why and how the two are related to one another.

After reading the article, it made a whole lot of sense to me that migraines and depression are connected. Stress can lead to depression, and stress is most definitely linked to headaches, so it's logical that depression and headaches can be caused by the same thing. The study found out that people who had migraines were 60 percent more likely to get depression! Those statistics are pretty staggering to me - I had no idea they'd be so high. Past research also suggests that migraines and depression are genetically linked and involve the same chromosome.

This article relates to the history of psychology because it's important for us to learn about depression, especially in the abnormal psychology field. Depression is a fairly common mental disorder, and the more we know about it, the better.

What I chose to read and write about was a school discipline issue in Texas. I chose to write about this because to me it is a prime example of how issues in society tend to be repeated in some way. The school issue in Texas is affecting the educational success rates of many students. I remembered some of the educational things that were discussed when I read about John Dewey in the book so I thought that I could tie the two together.
In some schools in Texas kids are being ticketed and sent to court with misdemeanor charges instead of being suspended or expelled. This is being done with the belief that kids would want to be on there best behavior in school. Needless to say these actions have not been working the way that school officials planned. Students were ticketed for minor offenses and found themselves in court because of them. This led to an increase in the amount of kids dropping out of school and or being put in prison at some time.
I can relate this to some of the education things that Dewey talked about, because it appears to me to be just another shortcoming of the education system. Dewey thought that teachers were not making it possible for students to learn in the best way possible. In this scenario in Texas I do not think that schools are disciplining students in the best way possible. I honestly do not think that discipline in a school should ever have to go that far. I think that doing things this way does a lot more harm that good because it may just make kids feel bitterly towards the school system.
I really find it interesting to know that our society can acknowledge a lot of the shortcomings that our educational systems have but, no one ever really improves them a great deal. Whether it is teaching or disciplining schools definitely have their shortcomings. It would help a lot if more people to a stand to progress educational conditions instead of just acknowledging that issues exist. Although they are looking at ways to try to improve the situation I am of the mind to be very skeptical of it all.

I chose to read an article called ‘Physics of the Future’. It was a very interesting article about what life might be like for us in the future. Dr. Michio Kaku who wrote the article had some very interesting theories that really got me thinking about the future and the past. I think that we have come so far with technology it makes one wonder, how much further it can go before it comes to a halt. In my opinion, I don’t think that it ever will.
One of the things I found to be very interesting in this article was the invention of a lens that you can put on your eye and see the internet like a computer. Kaku says these kinds of developments are already happening. For example the militaries around the world that are technologically advanced like the United States’ have this kind of technology where a can clip a small screen down from a helmet and see a bird’s eye view of the battle field. Who honestly would have thought that his kind of technology would have been possible fifty years ago?
Another invention that Kaku believes we will see in the near future is the auto piloted automobile. This invention would be absolutely great. I have seen some horrible accidents where people do not get up and walk away from them. If cars were able to all drive and have a sense on the road for one another controlled by some kind of command system I think that the fatality rates of automobile related accidents would drop and our population would sky rocket. It is weird to picture this happening, but we have to realize this is what people hundreds of years ago thought. When the Wright brothers first invented the airplane people listening to that on the radio or reading about it in the newspaper probably thought, wow, this is unreal, but no way will planes be able to become faster, more maneuverable, etc. But they did and those kinds of advancements lead me to believe that we are not done with advancing with technology for a long time. Relating this to psychology, we can think about all we have learned about the brain. We have unlocked a lot yes, however we haven’t even come close to learning about all the potentials with the most complex organ known to man. Same goes for technology. We have discovered so much and broke so many barriers that we thought we would never pass, yet our imaginations allow us to believe there is so much out there that has never been discovered that we can uncover.
One thing that I did not like from this article is when Kaku was discussing the potential communication with artificial intelligence. I think it would be scary to take a computer chip and insert it into someone’s brain for example. There have been too many movies that have come up about how machines take over the human race, so I do not like the idea of that kind of advancement.
One thing that I keep thinking about and is driving me crazy is advancement in technology is making us dumb. I hope we will always have the people who are interested in reading books and writing books. I think that technology has made our country especially so dependent on it. And it isn’t just one thing in particular it’s everything from phones to computers, to gaming systems to televisions. Yes I agree they are cool but, hardly anyone these days from my point of view likes to do things the old fashioned way. I rarely see people look for books at the library or taking notes in class with a pen and paper. Everything is morphing into some kind of electronic device that does it for us. I think they are a great benefit, although I think they bring to the table a lot of negatives as well. One thing I see with advancement in technology is it is making people, especially younger kids very lazy. I do not see it as much in the middle to lower class areas because that demographic of people can’t afford the newer technologies, but in the middle to upper class families, kids are relying on a TV. and gaming console for their entertainment instead of a jungle gym and jump rope. It is nice to see kids still doing the old thing once and a while and not always worrying about when the next Call of Duty is coming out. There is a reason why our country is the unhealthiest in the world. There are many positives and negatives about our future advancements. Some of them are scary to me and some seem pretty damn awesome. I hope we use our new advancements in a way that will help us in every positive way possible. The future is going to be really neat in some ways. I honestly would love to time travel back to the early 1900’s to get a taste of what life was like back then. Doing things the old way would have been fun. Now we have a machine do it for us, or a phone do it for us. Who knows what the world will be like in the 2100?

I chose to read an article about the Norway Massacre. This article talks about how Anders Breivik was declared insane and is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Psychiatrists believe that Breivik was in a paranoid state before and after the attacks. This article fits into the chapter we read about mental illnesses. Breivik will still be standing trial as if he were sane, which is different from the US courts. However, instead of being placed in prison, Breivik will most likely be placed in a psyciatric center after his trial and sentencing. The psychiatrists interviewd Breivik many numerous times and occasions and came to the conclusion that Breivik "lives in his own delusional universe where all his thoughts and acts are guided by his delusions."
I have been following this story since the massacre happend in the summer and I found it very depressing. Many (including myself) wonder if Breivik really is insane since he had been planning this massacre for a very long time. His reasons behind the planning and doing the massacre seems to qualify him to be insane. What is different about Norway's trial is that if Breivik had been declared insane in the US he would be considered not fit for trial and be sent to psychiatric treatment in a mental facility. In Norway though he will still stand trial.
It will be interesting to see how this whole trial does play out. If this had been in the old days of mental health care, Breivik would most likely be locked up in prison without any mental care for his paranoid schizophrenia, but due to the mental health reform he will now get the chance to be treated for his disease, while still serving time for his horrendous act.

I chose to read an article titled, “Should animals be stunned before slaughter?” It really caught my eye because I didn’t know there was slaughter without knocking them out first still around today. This article reminded me of examples from the textbook talking about the beginnings of comparative psychology. Was there any real ethics involved in the treatment of animal subjects? Many of them were slaughtered after or during testing, and those that were kept alive, probably weren’t given any type of drug to comfort them.

This article discusses the religious controversy over slaughtering animals for food. The Jewish and Muslim religions do not stun their animals before slaughter in their ceremonies, which to many people is very inhumane. Since this is a religious practice, it is hard to let government regulate it.

I read an article that had to do with the psychology of racism and color blindness teachings in children, meaning the value of racial differences. The students were separated into two groups. Both groups read a story about a teacher advocating for racial justice in the classroom and celebrating racial differences, and the others read a color blind version of this story in which the teacher minimized the importance of all racial distinctions and considerations. The students were then instructed to ponder the message of each story.

The students were then told two stories depicting varying degrees of racism, one in which a Caucasian child excluded an African American student from his birthday party (not necessarily having to do with his race) and the other about a Caucasian boy who makes an unprovoked assault on an African American opponent during a soccer game, telling his teammate that, “black kids play rough.” The point of this was to determine which students saw racial discrimination in which situation.

The students who were taught to value racial differences had these results: half detected racial bias in the story about the birthday party and seventy five percent of the children detected racism in the story about the soccer game. This is what was consistent in the general population and suggests that the training did not make the students hyper-sensitive to racism. What was most shocking, though, were the results of the students trained in color blindness; only ten percent detected racial bias in the birthday party story and only half in the soccer story were racism was much more apparent.

Teachers who were not disclosed any information on the research which was being done were then asked to rate the severity and seriousness for urgency to intervene. The colorblind students were much less likely to report the incidents and the severity of each situation. This demonstrates a real problem and suggests that teaching color blindness to children is not necessarily the best option and to celebrate differences among all people.

I felt that this article was appropriate because we were just reading a book about racism in the past and the psychology behind that. This demonstrates present day racism and the real problem in differing approaches in teaching young children about this topic. Because racism is unfortunately still prevalent in today’s society, it is necessary that children know when it is occurring so that they can report it and an adult can intervene in these inappropriate behaviors.

I read an article that talked about how the psychology of health screens can let the patient know if they have a threatening disease or not. This article was interesting because two psychologist from the University of Florida is claiming that instead of getting the expensive screening or scans done to see if a patient has a disease or not, patients are saying no because of their self esteem issues. I found this to be interesting because the article claims that patients wouldn't be able to handle the bad news of the results from the test. This article relates to a topic that I read in an earlier chapter with disease prevention, and how not knowing if we have the disease or not could be harmful. By getting these screenings, patients would know if they have cancer, heart disease or any other disease.

I read an article in TIME magazine about a research study that looked into why patients’ don’t talk to their local physician about depression symptoms. In this study, around one thousand California adults were called on the phone and surveyed. A shocking number of 43% said they had at lease one reason why they didn’t disclose depressive symptoms to their family doctor.
There were lots of different reasons why participants said they didn’t feel comfortable discussing the issue with their primary physician. The number one answer was they were afraid they would be prescribed anti-depressants; twenty-three percent of the participants said this. Other popular reasons included that participants also didn’t want to be referred to a psychologist, didn’t believe psychology and mental health fell under a family doctor’s care, and concerns with medical record confidentiality.
Because of these remarkable findings, researchers are developing ways to promote and encourage those with depression symptoms to confide in their local doctor. Most of the ways they are coming up with our office based. These tools include things such as multimedia instruments, educational videos, and questionnaires. Hopefully with these new devices people will feel more comfortable about opening up to their local physician’s and will get the help and treatment they need.

I loved this article because I believe it was a great example of how psychology really does apply to the real world. I’ve learned in this class and in many others how serious mood disorders are: they are real, uncontrollable, and need professional treatment to get fixed. It’s so sad that people don’t feel like they can confide in their local doctors to get the help they truly need. That is why this research was so important – it’s important to see that this is a real problem and something needs to be done about it! Hopefully with this study people can muster up the courage and faith to tell their family physician’s about their depression symptoms from either a) the tools being developed by researchers to help gain patient’s confidence and/or b) simply reading the TIME magazine article and realizing this problem is real and popular.

This story is about whether or nt (some people believe) therapy can change sexual orientation. The most interesting thing I found about this article is that it was only about gay people changing their orientation to straight. My argument would be that if you cant do therapy to change a straight person gay, then you can’t do vice versa. I always find this a ridiculous argument, so its interesting to read articles on it, especially when it says in this one that the APA says it’s a bad idea and there is no evidence to show that sexual orientation can be changed with therapy.

The article that I choose to read is called Mental Health Science: Who Are You Calling Crazy? By Cara Santa Maria. This article talks about mental illness and if we all have a mental illness to some extent. It also brings up the topic of old methods of curing mental illness that we have discussed in class.

This article talks about how officials a long time ago would put you behind bars in an asylum if they believed that you were not treatable. It discusses ways that doctors would try to cure illness. One of the ways that was brought up is how a doctor would do trephination, which is drilling a hole in one's head in order to let the evil spirits in their mind free. Interestingly, archeologists have found evidence that these patients survived and that re growth did take place after the procedure was performed. The article begins to talk about what can really be classified as a healthy mind? The asylums started to empty out in the 1960's when now psychotropic medicine started being prescribed for everyone. So the real question is, are we overprescribing medicine?

I really enjoyed reading this article because I liked learning in class about past methods used to cure mental illness. While past methods may seem weird, psychologists had to start somewhere. We have made real advancement to where we are today when it comes to treating mental illness. As the article says though, it is a question as to if we are over prescribing medication. When it comes to this aspect of psychology though I believe that we have learned from our mistakes and have turned treatment into a more humane thing.

I read an article posted on 11/28/11 by the American Psychological Association titled November 28, 2011, APA Applauds Proposed Legislation to Address Psychological Impacts of Unemployment. I integrated thoughts in reference to chapter 12 of our class text book, “Mental Illness and Its Treatment,” as well as one of the overall themes of our class itself, the power of positive reinforcement.

The article opens, “The American Psychological Association applauds Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., for reintroducing legislation to reduce the psychological toll of unemployment in tough economic times.” I would like to acknowledge the positive frame of this article. We have brilliant politicians and individuals in our country, we are compassionate, and creative. Our class room has been positive reinforcement for myself and my colleagues, and I just want to acknowledge that.

In chapter 12 we learned that there are many ‘underlying factors’ to mental illness. Here we have the example of economic issues. Individual economic concerns are reported the most important issue today. We are finding economic troubles such as, unemployment, can not only root in mental illness, but can also be root for mental illness itself, such as depression. Addressing unemployment from a psychological standpoint reminds us that the work force is individual persons. These perspectives set framework for creative industry, such as the psychological employment services mentioned in this article. Creative industry itself boosts economy, which reduces concern. Understanding the context of individuals’ and families’ lives inspires reflection on the issue from a human perspective. Moving forward of legislations inspires innovations in existing and new fields, as new issues are created each new day by current events in our society.

The service sector of our economy has most potential for growth. Motivation for continuing to acknowledge and creatively treat our fellow humans will aid our collective economy AND our mental health. Thanks!!

What I listened to and read was a blog. It was about the science of mental health. I picked this because it reminded me of all the crazy and bazar test and surgeries there were done on those who were seen as mentally ill. It talked about how many people were put in an asylum if they couldn’t be saved. This is also to a certain extent what our book was talking about as well. I found it interesting when the blog talked about how over 8000 years ago there was evidence of trephination, a procedure in which a hole was bored in the skull to free the evil spirits trapped inside. It talked about how this procedure was not a fluke because there was evidence of regrowth. Which meant that the people who had these surgeries lived for some time after they had this mind drilling procedure completed. I found it very interesting when she asked “But what is a normal life? What's a healthy mind? Aren't normal and healthy subjective terms?” It questioned the fact of if we are over medicating people. I have to agree with this question. I feel that we are over medicating people and many times medicating at a too young of age. When does one decide that a child has ADHD. As a child I was diognosed with ADHD when I was five. The kindergarden teacher told my mother that I had too much energy and would not may attention in class. Personally I have always felt that this is normal for a child just starting school. Many chidlren would rather be outside running around then listening to a teacher. To this day I have always felt that I was medicated too young. I also feel that children who are in the school systems are medicated too young because the teachers are too lazy to deal with the children who have energy and are ready to run and jumo around. This made me think about the book and who are we to be the ones to say something is normal and not normal. I work with those who are disabled and for them, I would say they think that we are no the quote normal because they are always with their population. This topic related to the book on so many levels and made me want to go back to the chapter on mental illness and read the parts over that I skimmed.

The article that I read was about individuals who have a condition that causes them to remember very specific details about their lives. These individuals can remember sensory, visual, and auditory details about their past. They can even be told a date such as April 1st, 1999 and they would be able to recall the events that occurred on that day of that year. This is an amazing discovery that is challenging what we currently know about memory. I found this to be very interesting because memory fascinates me. It is so unknown and amazing, that it has always piqued my interest.
Another interesting aspect to this article was that they currently only know of individuals in the U.S. with this condition. A researcher is currently searching in the UK for individuals with this very rare condition. The way that this condition was first discovered was an article that was published about a woman with this perfect memory, and soon after other individuals came forward claiming they too had this condition. It will be very interesting to see if individuals in other countries also have this condition. If no other individuals except the ones in the U.S. are found, then this will be very confusing to researchers, and more in depth research should be done on these individuals to discover why they have this amazing memory. Even if other individuals are found in other countries, it would still be interesting to see what researchers can learn about memory through them and what the cause of this condition is.
This article was similar to Ebbinghaus and his research on memory, or more accurately on forgetting. He studied individuals to see how much they forgot over time, and what helped improve their memory. He was one of the first individuals to ever research this topic, and his findings are still used in psychology today. Ebbinghaus theorized that individuals could improve their memory by doing things such as associations, but what is interesting about these individuals from the article is that they did not use any tools, or train their memory. It is simply just seemingly incapable of forgetting even the smallest of details. If Ebbinghaus were alive today, I am sure he would find this very interesting, and want to study why their memory is so different than the norm.

I chose this article because it relates to the chapter on the development of treatments of the mentally ill. It speaks about mental illness in Indonesia and the lack of knowledge of modern treatments that result in many families to chain or restrain their mentally ill family members and leave them in horrible conditions. There is limited assitance in the country and limited support by the government. However, there are some volunteers who are trying to make changes even with limited support. This article shows that just because our mental health system has improved that there are in fact countries who still believe demons cause mental illness and resort to inhuman treatments.

This article caught my attention because I have so many friends that have mental illness. I was quite upset to learn of the treatment of the schizophrenic woman in this article because I cannot imagine one of best friends who has the same disease being treated that way. I hope with time the old ways of treating mental illness in this country die out and are eventually replaced with more modern and human treatments.

While searching through all of the available articles, I noticed a lot of them had to do with health. This particular article, “How Your Thoughts and Emotions Can Affect Your Body,” really stuck out to me. There are many ways in which this article relates to the history of psychology; it deals with mind and body. Of course we all know that psychology is the science of the mind or of mental states and processes and it is important to know how our mind can affect our body. “There is a relationship between what is going on with our feelings or thoughts, and what happens in our body.” This statement alone sets the tone for the whole article. Studies have shown that those who show happiness, hopefulness, and optimism have a reduced risk of developing serious health problems. On the other hand, those who have depression have the opposite and have a higher risk of developing health issues. Ultimately this article states that if we understand the relationship between our thoughts and emotions and how they can affect our state of health the greater role we will play in our own well-being. If you honestly sit and think about how your body reacts when your thoughts and emotions do, you’ll get the idea of where this article is coming from. For example, say you are having scary thoughts, when that happens most people can feel their heart beating faster. Say you are around someone you like, you get nervous and you may start sweating more than usual or feel a little nauseated. So it is true, our mind does affect our body. At the end of the article they mention that “self-reflection and meditation are ways that help us deepen this understanding.” I found this interesting because it wasn’t that long ago in class that we had a discussion about meditation. All in all, I found this article to be very interesting and informational; it’s always nice to read an article that can provide some positive message because too often we find on news sites all of the negative things going on around us instead of providing ways to improve ourselves. However, this article was much different and I encourage others to read it.

Doctor Michael Lipton of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (first off, love the college!) studied the effects of "heading" a soccer ball (or football) on cognition and brain health.

He found that players who "headed" the soccer ball more than 1000 times a year suffered from increased degeneration of brain cells, and it affected cognition like reaction time and verbal memory. Dr. Lipton also found that the brain injury occurred in five parts of the brain - the parts that involve processes for "attention, memory, executive functioning and higher-order visual functions."

As it was pointed out in the article, "heading" a ball 1000 times seems like a lot, but it truly amounts to only a few times each day. Also, the soccer ball travels on average at 34 mph during casual play and over twice that in professional matches.

This issue arose sometime after the 2002 death of Jeff Astle, an English soccer player. He died from "degenerative brain disease" due to "heading" the soccer ball too frequently. It should be noted that Astle played in the 1960s when the soccer balls used where much heavier.

As simple as this whole process sounds, the soccer ball doesn't seem to damage tissues extensively and immediately. The impact sets of a chain reaction of events in the brain that cause the brain cells to become degenerative.

I thought this article was interesting because people tend to use the excuse that if it doesn't kill a person immediately, then it probably will be fine to continue doing. Like eating fast food. Or smoking another cigarette. These things work more cumulatively. Also, I thought the article was relevant because we're always talking about the brain's processes and using cognitive excersizes to determine damage to those internal tissues.

I read a very interesting article called Shakespeare 'could help doctors become better'.This article states how reading Shakespeare can give the doctors and psychiatrists and insight into the physiological problems commonly related to emotional disturbances. This article is basically about a recent speech given by a prominent clinical educator. He states that Shakespeare’s writing consists of various physiological states and disturbances leading to physiological troubles like the characters going through a significant emotional disturbance are described to be fainting, feeling fatigued etc.
The author made a very solid argument by directing the attention towards the underestimation psychological problems as a cause of the physiological conditions such as fatigue ,fainting etc.The author states that doctors can get a clear explanation of the causes of these problems as Shakespeare had an extraordinary insight into the human psychology and his work portrays this quality. Also when psychological problems are diagnosed or looked at as a possible cause it saves a lot of time and material resources because unnecessary tests will not be required anymore.
This article relates to what we have read and psychology in general as we have read how a lot of psychologists have worked hard on various theories in order to find a deeper and clear explanation of how the human mind works. Even after the scientific validation and lucid explanations about the impact/importance of the psychological state of a person on their overall life and body, there is still reluctance shown by the doctors to explain a particular physiological problem being caused by the mental state of the person. The writings of Shakespeare are yet another example from an entirely different field i.e. literature which potrays the importance of psychology .

In reading an article from the American Psychological Association, “Task force seeks help, not jail, for mentally ill”, November 18, 2011, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio, I referred directly in thought to chapter 12 of our textbook. Chapter 12 is titled “Mental Illness and its treatment.”
The article states that “Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and state Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton will co-chair the attorney general's task force on criminal justice and mental illness.” I am happy to cite Attorney General DeWine and Supreme Court Justice Stratton once more as reading this article was very encouraging. First, the integration and synthesis of criminal justice and mental illness is exciting. These two “departments” are not stand apart, they are very much influenced upon one another. Advancement in treatment of our criminals and mentally ill is advancements for all of our society, in my opinion. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) presents research that 1 in 4 American adults are affected by mental illness, and 1 in 10 children, impacting 60 million persons.
Reading on psychologists Dix and Beers in our text, I identified with both in that they were noted to be inspired by their personal and or in person experience in the dysfunctional treatment of individuals facing issues of mental illness. We do not have to search far and wide in our own lives to identify mental illness, most likely mental illness exists in our own families.
This article reports the creative use of resources and advocacy in obtaining grant money to utilize NAMI’s training services to train large numbers of Ohio’s law-enforcement representatives so that police officers that encounter situations can respond in safe manner and the criminal justice system to obtain other rehabilitation measures beside incarceration. Thus promoting industry in human service, cutting costs, and expanding awareness state wide.
This article and chapter 12 of our text effectively reduce stigma of mental illness and remind us that we all are involved and have responsibility to treat our fellow citizens properly and with dignity, while at the same time establishing the value for human services of all kinds.

This article, titled, "Working Moms Multitask, and Stress More Than Dads". I chose this article because we did spend time talking in class about the rolls of women back when psychology was just being discovered. There weren't a lot of women around, and when women did pop up in the history, I was very interested in learning about them. Like Lillian Gilbreth, the women who had 12 children and managed to get more than one degree in college. She is who I thought about when reading this article.
This article talks about stress and multitasking. It is said that women go through more stress in a day at the house hold than the man does at work. Men say that they multitask, but enjoy their multitasking. Women say they multitask, and stress about it a lot. Or in other words, do not enjoy their multitasking. But why is this? It is not what some people might think. Our brains can only hold so much information at once.
Russell Poldrack is a psychologist a the University of Texas at Austin. He mentions in this article that there's a big difference between multitasking in the short term, like answering the phone while driving, versus multitasking over several hours, like most mothers are forced to do in the home setting.
Lillian Gilbreth was a very special lady, in that she could handle all different kinds of multitasking. She was definitely a wonder woman!

I started by reading the article “Happiness” (Tighe, 2011), because this seems like a subject that most people are concerned with and one that has very real practical benefits. Tighe makes a joke about the subject, saying “one psychologist has proposed (tongue-in-cheek) that happiness be classified as a mental illness because it isn’t the norm and has distinct ‘symptoms’” (2011). That’s funny, because it seems to contain a seed of truth: it seems as though we aren’t happy, by and large - yet we keep insisting that we are. Where is the disconnect?

The subject of personal happiness ties in with the positive psychology and humanistic psychology that we have read about for class. Most people feel that it is important; but is it? And if so, how do we achieve it?

Carter argues that happiness is derived from "prosocial" and other positive emotions, claiming that “50 years of happiness research shows us that people find happiness through their connections to other people, and prosocial emotions are those that help us make those connections” (2007). The positive emotions Carter speaks of include love, altruism, compassion, empathy, gratitude, appreciation, joy, contentment, optimism, faith, and confidence (2007).

Now, these emotions cover a lot of ground. But do they account for an individual being truly happy, or just reasonably happy -- or even, ‘not unhappy’? Carter later admits that there are some individuals who define happiness in terms of achievements and success rather than ‘positive emotions’ (2009); but this seems duplicitous and disingenuous, because one could also ascribe the positive emotions of pride and self-worth to these factors.

Layard, on the other hand, discusses happiness in more relative terms, saying that we feel more or less happy based on the comparisons we make with others (Layard, 2005, as cited in Hand, 2005-2008). For example, he claims that “[i]n the Olympics, bronze medallists [sic] rate themselves as much happier than silver medallists. Why? Because the bronze medallists have a medal. They are comparing themselves to all the others who have no medals at all” (Layard, 2005, as cited in Hand, 2005-2008). Okay - so do we define happiness in terms of being better off than others?

According to a world survey, Americans rate their happiness higher than average (84% vs. 53.9%); yet we rank only 13th on the list - and we are a whopping 10% less happy than Iceland (NationMaster, 2005). Iceland. Think about that.

It’s confusing, this question of happiness. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer, only more questions. Pynchon said, “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers” (1973) -- and it raises the question, who is to gain by making people feel happy despite their circumstances, or by obfuscating the issue of happiness to the point where we cannot even define it anymore? Governments, corporations, we ourselves? I’d be willing to spend a couple of summers doing research in Denmark (ranked #2 in the survey) to find out more.

Tighe, J. (2011). Happiness. BBC. London, England. Retrieved from

Carter, C. (2009). Is Happiness Actually Important? Greater Good Science Center. Retrieved from

Carter, C. (2007). Introduction: Emotional Literacy & Raising Happy Kids. Greater Good Science Center. Retrieved from

Hand, J. (2005-2008). What Makes People Happy. A Future without War. Retrieved from

Layard, P. (2005). Happiness: Lessons from a New Science. NY: Penguin.

World Values Survey 2005. Retrieved from

Pynchon, T. (1973). Gravity's Rainbow. Penguin. NY.

I've been thinking a lot about schemata (or schemas...) since I wrote next week's topical blog (you read that correctly, I'm a bit behind), and I found a piece in the news that fits very well. There is a television show on The Learning Channel called "All-American Muslim." The show follows several Muslim families from Michigan as they go about their daily lives. It's not unlike other reality shows on TLC, but they probably have fewer children than Jon and Kate or the Duggers.

I think this is really great, because these are ordinary families (who happen to be Muslim) worrying about the same things everyone else worries about. They're regular people, and I think it is really awesome that more people will now have a frame of reference for the word "Muslim" that is not related to terrorism or jihad.

I wrote about the brain's reliance on schemata for week 15, and an unfortunate side-effect of this is stereotyping. Stereotypes are associations we form with groups of people, and they help shape our ideas about individuals that belong to those groups. Cognitively, this is very quick and natural. We categorize people, and make generalizations about the categories. The problem comes when we're given bad information about the general category. Muslims in America have it pretty rough, because the schema that most people have surrounding the idea of "Islam" or "Muslim" is dominated by connotations of AK-47s and terrorism.

A big reason for this (I think) is that we receive information about what Muslims are like from media which rarely depicts Islam or Muslims outside of the context of terror. So I think it's a really good thing that TLC is giving people a frame of reference for the concept of "Muslim" which does not include terror.

Not everyone is happy with this, though. The Florida Family Association (among other organizations, apparently) has raised a stink over this TLC show, because it "creates an image that's harmful education-wise to the belief structure and memories of millions of Americans who will look at this and say 'Well, all Muslims are like that.' Well, that's not accurate."

In psychological terms, David Caton (the source of the quote) is essentially arguing that this show provides information which would alter our schemata surrounding the concept "Muslim" to be less terror-oriented and more family-oriented. This is a bad thing, according to Mr. Caton, because there really are Muslims who are terrorists. It's pretty ridiculous when someone criticizes *The Learning Channel* for not catering to their particular xenophobic biases. By Caton's logic, Joan of Arcadia should have been a clinic bomber.
This is a clip from the Daily Show about the recent controversy surrounding the show. Stewart has some pretty amusing commentary on the nature of The Learning Channel, and how the Florida Family Association is completely off base here.

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