Feeling sad or anger is a natural feeling, but unfortunately, society has taught us that this is wrong, leading to people taking actions into their own hands. Self-harm comes in different ways, a person could cut, burn or prod their skin. Depression, the spreading epidemic leading to self-harm, the single-cut, relieves aa person from their hurts and pains. People who choose this option often keep it a secret because parents/ guardians/ friends might not want to believe anyone would deliberately harm themselves. They also might feel like the topic is way too personal. About 1 in 5 adolescents report having harmed themselves to soothe emotional pain at least once, unfortunately, this is only information gathered from the New York Times survey. There are more people who deal with self-harm but are too scared to come clean, due to the fear of opinions.
Is it too personal to talk about, or should we be informing the new generation about this? We need to inform the new generation about this problem. It is important that we inform the people, that we understand that times may be tough, but this is not the solution. Barent Walsh (the first psychologist to focus on self-abuse) said, Historically this type of behavior was only seen in cases of sexual abuse, with major body alienation. This was not the case, self-harm morphed into the general population, to the point where it was affecting successful kids with money as well as the middle and lower class population.
A person might start self-harming, to punish themselves for a mistake, to feel relief from the psychological pain, or to take control of their body (this way they can control something). “Nowadays a lot of younger girls especially are influenced by various media, where this whole self-harm thing is glamorized,” said Blue, a former self-harmer (New York Times)
SELF-HArM IS NOT A SUICIDE ATTEMPT! The most common misperception about self-injury is that it is a suicide attempt: A parent walks in on an adolescent cutting herself or himself, and the sight of blood is blinding. In fact, in the mid-1990s, self-harm was entered into the culture. Princess Diana talk about it and Pink featured it in her music video. Janis Whitlock’s survey showed that one in five wealthy college students, dealt with self-harm to confront and ease their emotional pain. In fact The New York Times reported that nearly all studies/surveys have found is that everyone who self-injures does so for differing reasons.
It is found that the most effective way of breaking the habit of self-harm is specialized talk therapy, this was originally invented for people with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, who are highly suicidal. Ms. Dupil ( a woman diagnosed with bipolar, borderline, depression) said: “There is still hope, if you let the person going through this have some control, if you listen to them, if you’re curious about their behavior and not afraid of it.”
Yes, people with habitual self-injury are a risk factor for later suicide, and the only way we can help is to stop judging others and take the time to listen.
If you are dealing with depression and thinking about self- harm or know someone who is, I strongly advise you to call the SAMHSA helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline is free of all costs, they are open 24/7 and it’s completely confidential.
These are some recommended links to look at if you are dealing with depression and self-harm:
Self Harm Hotline: 1-800-366-8288
SAMHSA Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
By Madelin Joseph
Guilt and Atonement on the Path to Adulthood is an article written in the New York Times by John Tierney about an experiment conducted by Dr. Kochanska. This experiment was created to teach kids how to be diligent and considerate when they are adults. It is meant to teach children at a young age how to deal with guilt as well as being able to have self-control. Children tend to start developing feelings of guilt around the age of two.
In this experiment, the experimenter would give the toddler a toy and would tell them that the toy was from their childhood and that they needed to be very careful with it. What the child didn’t know is that the toy will break into pieces once they start to play with it. The experimenter says “oh my” and observes their reaction. The child sits on the floor with their arms wrapped around themselves, hands covering their faces, and avoiding eye contact with the experimenter. After 60 seconds the experimenter told the toddler that the toy could be easily fixed.
Not having enough guilt can be a bad thing. For example, “sociopaths who feel no remorse, but also in kindergartners who smack other children and snatch their toys” says John Tierney. Not feeling guilty for your actions can lead to or show signs of mental illnesses.
This study relates to my life and many others because everyone, at some point in their life, does something that they feel guilty about. Whether it be that they took someone’s snack or stole money, they will most likely feel guilty about their actions. I can say for myself that I have done things before that make me feel guilty later, but my parents have taught me that it is ok to feel guilty about things and that I should just make a better choice next time. For example, my friend and I had hung out all weekend and she asked me to hang out again the next day and I said I couldn’t because I had family plans, but really I lied to her because I didn’t want to hang out again. I felt guilty about what I did so I decided to tell my mom what happened and she said that next time I shouldn’t lie but to tell my friend that sometimes I just need a break and some time to myself. My mom didn’t punish me for what I did she just told me a different way to deal with feeling guilty and how to avoid it. In the article, they say how parents should focus on the sin, not the sinner. Meaning that the parent shouldn’t spend time disciplining the child for what they did but rather explain to them what they did was wrong.
This study was created to teach children how to deal with guilt and that it is ok to have guilt or what children diagnose it as a “sinking feeling in the tummy.” The broken toy experiment shows kids that if they are feeling guilty there is usually a way to fix it. In Dr. Kochanska’s more recent studies, she found that 2-year-olds who showed more irritation during the broken-toy experiment went on to have fewer behavioral problems over the next five years. This is because when the experimenter told the child that the toy could be fixed they realized that the feeling of guilt can easily go away if the thing that happened can be fixed. The main message of this experiment is teaching children the difference between shame and guilt.
“The key to revitalizing the city is lifting people out of poverty.”
Mayor of Stockton, California Michael Tubbs is very charismatic when it comes to helping the citizens in his town. Tubbs has secured a three million dollar grant in the state of California many families don't experience what he went through in his childhood.
Only 125 people were selected to receive the monthly stipend of about $500 for a trial period of about 18 months. They were chosen in a simplistic manner, the mayor sent a survey to about 4200 homes in neighborhoods where the city’s median income was at or below $46,033. About 478 residents responded to the survey which led to break up the group into an experimental group of 125 and a control group consisting of 200 people who received gift cards for the share of their information.
How is the money used?
As of the release of this article in October of 2019, the program had been going on for a solid five months. The data shows that 40% of the purchases were on food, 24% was on home goods and clothing, and 12% on utilities. A remainder of about 24% was transferred to savings or checking account for cash purposes.
Tubbs said that the money provided through the stipend is used to better the residents of Stockton and their families. He adds, people haven't been looking at this city as a solution for themselves.
The funds came from a private foundation called the economic security project. It is collected from the facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. The committee has to select a town each year, and thankfully Mayor Tubbs secured this year’s funds.
Doing this experiment is beneficial for the whole country… If we were to implement a $100 stipend for every living person in America, that would set us back over $3 trillion in any given year. That is almost 75% of the total federal spending. We would lose benefits like Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps and more.
Sammy Caiola Capital Public Radio. (2019, October 3). Stockton's Income Experiment Offers Residents a Glimpse of the California Dream. Retrieved from https://www.kqed.org/news/11777782/income-experiment-offers-stockton-residents-a-glimpse-at-the-california-dream.
Everybody can empathize with others, right? Well, everybody knows a narcissist, whether it’s your best friend, sister, brother, or favorite cousin at the family Thanksgiving dinner. You may be wondering what that has to do with anything, but in the following study, HE Ning explores the world of Narcissism, Empathy, and Altruism.
To explore narcissism, empathy, and altruism, one has to first understand what they are. Narcissism is, simply put, loving yourself very very much and being extremely vain. Empathy is the capacity to feel others' emotions. Lastly, altruism is not having lots of concern for other people’s emotions and well-being. In this study, Ning compares and contrasts these three different feelings through two studies showing narcissists vs non-narcissists and their ability to experience narcissism, empathy, and altruism emotions.
For the experiment that I’m going to share, Ning divides the 173 undergraduates into two groups. One of the narcissists and one of the non-narcissists using a quiz called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory quiz. After he separates them, he performed the first test. The first study consisted of another test called the Implicit Association Test. This is a test where a person could measure/detect the strength of one’s association between concepts in memory. This could be used to draw the emotion out of a person because they are forced to take emotions (concepts) from memories and can remember what those emotions felt like to show empathy. Pulling from that idea, the narcissists were expected to show low levels of empathy and weak gravitation towards altruism vs. the non-narcissists. The prediction was correct! Emotionally, the narcissists struggled to share the same feelings and feel what they were feeling, but cognitively, they could understand that they were feeling emotions
This may feel irrelevant to our own lives, but it has a real connection to how we live our monotonous day-to-day lives. As stereotypical as this sounds, high school students, (including myself), can be extremely narcissistic. Stemming from that narcissism can come a lack of empathy. In our everyday lives, we need empathy to be kind to others to be happy and make other people happy. People always talk about being nice, but when one is narcissistic then they can’t step into others' shoes and understand how they are feeling because they are too interested in themselves.
But then again, on the other side of this double-edged sword, when does self-confidence turn into narcissism and when does self-love turn into narcissism? And where can we draw that line? Can we draw that line or is it up to the person? These are all huge, extremely hard-to-answer questions. After reading and reflecting on this study, I was thinking about those boundaries and how I see then change and contradict every day. I was realizing how I didn’t truly understand what it means to “be a narcissist” and what it means to “have empathy”. I still struggle to find a balance between being a “narcissist” and just having confidence. Some days I have a lot of self-confidence and self-love, but other days I don’t feel as confident. On the days where I do have a lot of confidence, I slowly begin to doubt myself and my confidence because I worry if I seem conceited or vain. Also, thinking about this made me wonder how people saw me, if they saw me as a narcissist or if they saw me as an empathetic person. I worry about this because the study shows that narcissists can’t empathize with other people as well and I don’t want to be seen as a mean or unsympathetic person. Overall this was a great topic to think about and mull over because realizing how much it affects me and shapes how I act and live my life was a good reflector on myself and my attitude. I think everybody should take a little bit of time to reflect on themselves and their attitude. It was eye-opening!
To see the full study:
Ning, H. E. (n.d.). Self-love and other-love: Research on the relationships among narcissism, empathy and implicit altruism. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.00199.
By Avi Singh
Most of us have friends, people we spend time with, joke around with, and generally enjoy being around. But think about all of your friends, How many of them would you consider to be truly close to you? how many of them would you trust with anything, how many of them do you think would be there when you truly need them?
You may be thinking that this doesn't really matter, that lots of somewhat close friends is no different than a few close close friends. However, according to a study by the New York Times, that's not true. This study says that having close friendships is important to our health. The study says that being close to someone is the best way to eliminate distress, so next time you're upset, grab a friend instead of stress eating or binge watching Netflix. If friendship is so important to us, we should be able to easily form close friendships. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We have evolved to take a long time to develop close friendships, due to the fact that our ancestors would be safer considering a friend to be a foe than if they confused a foe for a friend. This means that we need to work especially hard to cultivate close friendships, being especially reliable, consistent, and responsive. Doing these things will allow your friends to rely on you more and deepen your friendships, making both of you feel more secure. Another huge part of making a strong friendship is reciprocation. If the friendship is extremely one sided, or one person is putting in all the effort, then the friendship is bound to stay weak. a strong friendship requires giving and taking from both sides to be healthy.
This study definitely relates to my life. As I read through the study, I realized more and more that I have been focused a lot on quantity over quality when it comes to friends, and that I'm not truly close to most of them. I am not always able to follow the rules for a strong friendship, and often find myself not seeing much of some friends due to a tight schedule. This study has shown me that spending time with your close friends is important, and I will probably try to do that going forward.
I hope that after you read this, you too will make an effort to spend more time strengthening your friendships. Answer that text you were planning to ignore, accept the invitation you were going to decline, or just give an old friend a call. It will help you more than anyone else.
Pattee, E. (2019, November 20). How to have closer friendships(And why you need them).
The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/smarter-living/how-to-have-closer-friendships.html
By Amelia Kostin
You all know the feeling. A teacher passes out a test, you take a look at the first page and you do not know a single answer. Turns out that feeling is crucial in learning in some cases! The idea of a “practice test”, even if you don’t know the answers, is training your brain to better adapt to the curriculum. Seeing an unknown concept on a test rids the mind of the idea of fluency. Fluency is the incorrect idea that you already know all of the answers. When you see a practice test and realize that you don't know the answers forces your brain to self reflect and learn to pay attention to information you would normally zone out for. The rude awakening of a bombed pretest provides subconscious motivation to pay more attention to the classes to follow. It also forces your brain to pay attention to the information you wouldn’t normally prioritize. I think all of us are guilty when it comes to skimming information to pull out the big picture ideas, but sometimes it gets difficult to know what the curriculum requires you to know. It's only when you take the test, or hopefully practice test, that you realize the information you should've been focusing on.
A UCLA psychologist, Bjork, found that in a classroom, pretesting raised the final exam scores by a 10 point average. To conduct her experiment, she gave some of her students a pretest on the first day of class, which they understandably performed very poorly on. However, they got proper feedback and knew what to focus on for the rest of the course. The other half of the class got the same information given to them over the course, but didn't have the guidelines for what to focus on. At the end of the school year, she handed out the final exam and found that the students who took the pretest scored 10% higher on the related questions. This conclusion shows that simply by introducing the concepts early in the year in the form of a test, you can improve your overall grade and the knowledge you gained.
This concept still applies to multiple-choice questions as well. When you study by flashcards or even a quizlet, you are only studying the correct answers. By the time of the test, you won’t be able to sort out the wrong ones. Taking a pretest when studying is crucial because it trains your mind to eliminate wrong answers and helps you become more confident in your right ones. When you are studying, be sure to test yourself so you have full knowledge of the material, inside and out.
So, the next time your teacher hands out a “pop quiz” at the beginning of the year to test your knowledge, or gives a practice test before an exam, don’t roll your eyes. Know that they are doing what’s best for you and your learning. So go, fail that pretest!
Carey, B. (2014, September 4). Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/magazine/why-flunking-exams-is-actually-a-good-thing.html.
Link to the article! https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/magazine/why-flunking-exams-is-actually-a-good-thing.html.
By: Felicia Young
Do you ever feel like sometimes it's more of the teacher than the subject that makes something understandable? For example, if you really understand Algebra, but it's because of the teacher teaching it, not the material. Well, there have been studies that show that there are certain things that a teacher can do to help develop the learning of students, and some things they do that steal from the learning process. This happens when a teacher does all of the grading on their own. If the students are not involved in the grading process they might have trouble developing their self-assessment skills, which is a highly valued, metacognitive, tool in today's society.
An English teacher named Caitlin Tucker said, "I would argue in most classrooms, it’s the teacher doing the lion's share of the work, and the person doing the work in the classroom is the person doing the learning. So why would we rob our students of the opportunity to learn?” There is so much to learn from correcting/grading your own assignments, and if the teacher is doing the correcting/grading they are the ones that are learning the most. This is why Caitlin Tucker thinks that students should be more involved with the grading process. She realized that giving feedback along the way is beneficial, because this way the students know what they are doing wrong, or what needs improvement, and they are able to learn how to fix/improve it. Tucker's feedback process made sure that the students were in constant communication with her and that they were keeping track of what they think they have learned through logs and sketch notes.
Tucker decided that she wanted to test her theories at Windsor High School. She picked certain skills that she wanted them to learn and focused on just those skills, instead of trying to cram everything in at once, because if you have too much at once it can be non-beneficial to you learning. Tucker also made sure that she gave students a rubric so that they knew exactly what was expected of them and what they had to do to achieve that. Giving a rubric also brings the benefit that students can advocate for themselves if they feel they deserve a different grade and develops their skill of advocating for their education. Tucker would also give them examples of what she expects from them so that they can see a clear example of what they should be aiming for.
At Windsor High, Tucker would grade the assignment with the student there so it was more of a discussion (students were always given the chance to explain why their grade should be different, even if the grades weren’t always changed, they still understood why they got the grade they did). This is important because it involves the student in the grading process, so students can have a better understanding of their grade. Over Tucker's time at Windsor High School, she made a model of how class time should be used:
This model makes sure that each student has some time to use their online resources, keep in touch with doing things offline, and time to reflect and learn with the teacher.
Tucker also realized that it is important to make sure that students are communicating with their parents about what they are doing in school, because it involves the parent in their kid's education and because it is not realistic to expect a teacher to communicate with over 150 families. She made an outline for students that they could follow for when they email their parents.
Tucker urges teachers to: "Prioritize student agency in your lessons and in your grading process and see your students as true partners.” When you do these things, you will see an improvement in your students or at least the student will have an understanding of why their grade is what it is and what they can do to change it. Tucker's ideas were successful at Windsor High School and she urges teachers around the world to take into account how much of an impact the teacher's teaching style can have on a student.
I know that for myself when teachers just grade an assignment and hand it back, I feel that the grade is finalized and have little chance to advocate for my grade. I don't feel involved in the process of grading, and sometimes I don't understand why I am receiving the grade I am. If teachers were to follow Tucker's model of what a class should be like, I might be able to talk with my teachers and understand more clearly.
How Can Students Self-assess When Teachers Do All the Grading and Work?Ki Sung - https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54833/how-can-students-self-assess-when-teachers-do-all-the-grading-and-work
By: Emma Siewczynski
Are you someone who always needs to be doing something? Do you find yourself constantly on the go? Is there not enough time for yourself during your busy schedule? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are most likely burning yourself out.
So, what exactly is "burning yourself out"? The explanation is simple. When you are constantly on the go, occupied with different tasks or never taking a break from stressful situations at work or school, then you burn yourself out. However, workload is only one of the contributors to burnout. Control, rewards, fairness, values, and the community you surround yourself with are the other elements that contribute. Factors that contribute to being burned out are ongoing exhaustion, detachment from your job, and possible weight gain or illness from stress. It is extremely important to take time for yourself in order to avoid or prevent burnout and making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep. In fact, sleep serves many purposes such as regulating our mood, clearing waste from our brain and re-energizing our cells.
In addition to sleeping, eating and moving are important elements to consider when preventing yourself from burnout. Try to avoid foods that make you feel tired or too full. Instead, eat lighter foods that are healthier and provide you with more sustainable energy. For example, it would be best to have an apple with peanut butter over a bag of potato chips... In addition, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help maintain your high energy. As for moving, doctors recommend getting five minutes of outdoor exercise. Just five minutes can have an extremely meaningful impact on your physiological health. However, if you can get more than five minutes of exercise, you have a greater chance of improving your mental health.
Our personalities are what make us who we are. Taking time for yourself is crucial when it comes to honoring the truth and truly understanding what we need as individuals and what makes us happy. In fact, co-author of Extinguish Burnout: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Recovery by Robert L. Bogue said, “When you’re operating outside of your natural state, you are consuming energy,” he explained. “The more in alignment you become, the less you’re demanding of yourself and the more personal agency you build up.” Being able to know what you need to restore yourself and how to do this will make you feel less drained and likely to face burnout. Being able to feel appreciated, safe and supported. Knowing what you can change for yourself and feeling comfortable with this greatly increases finding alternative sources to fulfill your needs.
For myself, I find it very difficult to take a step back from what I am doing to focus on my own needs. Most of the time I am focusing on what others need me to do for them and what I need to do next. I have learned from personally burning myself out that it is crucial to listen to my body in order to not result in a burnout. While you (and myself included) might not have the luxury of being able to change and control everything in your life, you are able to control how you feel and the way you handle things within your lifestyle. Instead of focusing on what you have to do next, focus on what you truly enjoy and need based on your personal values and interests.
by Karen Shito
A preschooler's tantrum means that their brain is overwhelmed by mental demands, because in the three-to-five-year old’s brain it is three times as busy as an adult’s.
Sensory-rich activities, such as, going to the zoo, cooking with parents will helps them mature well.
Children need to feel safe and confident. traumatic stress and fear could cause or destroy neurons in the hippocampus, a region that supports factual and episodic memory.
You can minimize stress by giving your child positive, loving, sensitive, and encouraging feedback.
Preschool is best time for auditory brain development.
Supporting your child’s hearing and speaking helps to get more language skills.
Parents need to teach child shouldn't have tantrums, instead use their words.
Preschoolers brains are like sponges so they are able to learn a second language easily.
They should not watch electronic devices because it causes attentional problems and their brain will not gain neural pathways.
You should allow "imaginary friends" for the gain communication skills and social skills, preschoolers have difficulty separating reality from make-believe and don't call them a liar. They should have the opportunity to play with friends and least have thirty minutes a day to run and play outside. All children develop at their own speed so don’t rush them.
Pellissier, H. (2019, September 18). Inside the preschooler's brain. Retrieved November 18, 2019, from https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/preschooler-brain-development/.
Ms. Carrigan's Psych Class
We have been reading articles about psychological studies to inform the way we live our lives. Please explore, and we hope you learn a bit about the psychology in your life!