By Lauren Kelly
As a student at Yarmouth High School, sports play a big role in our lives. Sports also have a huge impact on us and teach us many things, such as discipline and teamwork. Have you ever wondered what effect sports have on those with childhood trauma such as physical abuse or emotional neglect? Molly Easterlin, a pediatrician, asked herself that question.
As a child Molly Easrerlin played soccer, tennis, and did track. When she saw many kids with trauma she wondered if sports could help improve their lives. Many that experience childhood trauma are likely to have at least one Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs are caused by traumatic events and contribute to social or physical problems that can range from obesity to chronic depression. 50% of people have had at least one ACE.
For her experiment, Molly Easterlin analyzed data from 9668 teens that were part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and about 5,000 teens reported at least one ACE. She first assessed the teens in 1994-1995, from 7th to 12th graders, and asked whether they planned to or already do participate in team sports. She assessed them a second time fourteen years later and asked whether they received a diagnosis for depression or anxiety. She even tested for symptoms in case he/she were not diagnosed. She then compared the results to those that did not participate in athletics and found that they were not as protected from depression or anxiety than those that did participate.
However, Molly Easterlin found that it was stronger for males and concluded that at the time of initial data collection female sports were not as well funded. Christina Bethell is a professor at Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University said that this was a useful study but additional factors should be considered. She states that the children with a more emotional connection with family may increase a person’s well-being. She also states the Molly Easterlin did not distinguish between those with one ACE and those with multiple ACEs and that those with more could be more affected.
Female sports are still not as well funded as males. From 2013 to 2014, girl sports received $17,933.67 while boys sports received $46,815.93. Many children sports teams use “pay to play.” By using pay to play, requires fees to play which limits lower-income kids that play and is used in many ways. Pay to play is allowed in 49 states.
Sports are very important to Yarmouth especially. Almost every student participates in a sport. Teens are even more at risk of developing depression or anxiety now then they were at the time of the experiment. Almost half of the population has an ACE which is a big number of people. As a student at Yarmouth, we are not very introduced to students that have these mentally illnesses. And it makes one wonder is it because of the amount of students that participate in athletics?
Neilson, S. (2019, May 29). Playing Teen Sports May Protect From Some Damages Of Childhood Trauma. Retrieved June 4, 2019, from https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/53739/playing-teen-sports-may-protect-from-some-damages-of-childhoo
Although psychological damage can take days, weeks, months, and maybe even years after a traumatic event for symptoms to show, where as physical damage is immediate, psychological trauma is just as serious. Scientists have found that non-human primates are the perfect subjects to study what happens to a community after a traumatic event.
Scientists found that a species of monkeys called Macaques were the ideal subjects to do their research on because although they shared five percent less DNA with humans than chimpanzees do (93% to 98%), macaques have less protection laws and regulation and are easier to handle. Also, like humans, macaques have advanced problem solving skills and opposable thumbs and are usually able to learn to handle tools. For this reasoning, about 65% of funded non-human primate research goes to macaques.
In 1938, a man named Clarence Carpenter brought 409 macaques over to Cayo Santiago, (an island southeast of Puerto Rico) from India to begin his study. He wanted to research what happened with parasites, disease, in a community and study social structure. His goal was for the island to be more than just a monkey farm, but the monkeys were never truly independent. They always relied on humans for food and water because they drank from the rainwater collection system and the island has very few food sources.
Skipping ahead to 2017, another scientist, Daniel Phillips, goes to Cayo Santiago to study the macaques. He tattoos ID numbers on their chests and inner thighs in order to keep track of them and keeps track of them in a chart with a list of their ID numbers a description of their behavior, and the time of the day, in order to continue Carpenter’s research but in a more organized way. In September, hurricane Maria hits the Cayo Santiago hard. Phillip’s house is ruined. He notices that his fathers dementia begins to worsen at a much faster rate than it was before the storm, so much so, that he didn’t even remember the hurricane had happened.
Many studies have been done on trauma and how it affects the brain and people’s lives after a traumatic event occurs. Scientists have found that children who are traumatized in their early childhoods are at greater risk of depression and suicide attempts. Also, various studies found that traumatized animals show an increase in aggressive behavior and the human equivalent to this would be a higher likelihood of criminality and incarceration.
After the hurricane, scientists kept a close watch on the Macaques and how they had reacted to the recent events. They noticed that the monkeys had increased their social networks and began forming more meaningful relationships. They also became more tolerant of each other. Scientists noticed that intra-troop violence began to taper off since the monkeys were competing for things that were of low supply (i.e. edible leaves, leaves that will supply shade).
As she reflected back on the event, scientist Angelina Ruiz Lambides remembers a similar camaraderie happening between the people when things got bad after the hurricane hit saying: “people became nicer. They’d pause at lightless intersections they’d wait, and wave each other through. Police on patrol post-Maria girded for a crime wave that never came”
So what really happens after a traumatic event? Does trauma tear us apart, make us aggressive, detached, isolated, and increase crime rates? Or could it bring us together? Does it let us see that we are all fighting the same fight? Maybe it affects every person in a completely different ways.
Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with too many things to do? In a culture that rewards productivity and shames laziness you are probably familiar with a busy schedule that can leave you mentally exhausted. Between classes, homework, sports, socializing, and family I often find myself rushing from one activity to the next with little break in between. And technology doesn’t help. With a phone or laptop always nearby we never have to be bored even for a second. While this exciting entertainment might seem like a positive thing, scrolling through instagram and playing games on our laptop keeps our brain active just when it could have had a second to rest. As many other highschool students know, being busy all the time can lead to stress and anxiety. Being constantly active can cause a lot of mental health consequences. Not to mention when we overwhelm ourselves and our minds like this we tend to burn out which can work against productivity and cause even more stress to build up. So how do we prevent this cycle? The answer is niksen.
Niksen is the concept of doing nothing. Of course you always have to be doing something whether that's something important like doing homework or something simple like laying down. So maybe a better interpretation for niksen is idleness. It is the practice of doing things that might not be seen as productive or something you “should” be doing. For instance gazing out the window requires very little physical activity and can allow the mind to wander however many people might consider this a waste of time.
Changing your thinking about these kinds of activities and practicing them in your everyday life can help foster a healthy, strong mind. Ms. Mann’s research has shown that “Daydreaming makes us more creative, better at problem-solving, better at coming up with creative ideas.” If you allow your mind a break it will be more ready to take on the next activity that you want it to preform, weather that be a conversation with a friend or the history presentation you have due tomorrow. So as lazy as it seems it is important to take time every day to just sit and think. However this is easier said then done.
I often get agitated and find it difficult to do nothing with a long to do list and assignment after assignment of school work piling up. Niksen will be difficult at first and it require practice just like any skill. You will have to get used to doing nothing before you can benefit from it. If you are having trouble relaxing it can be helpful to put yourself in a comfy place away from electronics and other distractions to do nothing. Set some time to consciously try and daydream every day. You can also try activities like playing with play-dough that are simple and don’t take any mental energy to trick your mind into taking a break. Don't get discouraged, after some practice daydreaming will begin to feel less boring and instead more beneficial and reviving.
Mecking, O. (2019, April 30). The Case for Doing Nothing. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/smarter-living/the-case-for-doing-nothing.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Psychology and Psychologists&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection
New York Times Article
"To Do: Nothing" sticky note
Post By Caroline TenHoor
Self-love is a much sought after concept. Many insecure people see it as a goal for themselves, others need therapy to achieve loving themselves. Others feel it necessary to change aspects of themselves to enjoy who they are. However, there is a far opposite end of the spectrum of insecurity- a rarely talked about issue, but a crucial one nonetheless. Is too much self love an issue in today's world?
In the society of this day and age, there has been a much-needed increase in acceptance. No matter who you choose to be or what you want to look like, there is a community of people who will respect that, for good or bad. Most would see this as a good thing: repressed communities having a voice, equality being strived for, and people being accepted regardless of identity or appearance.
According to Dr. Jean Twenge and critic Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, however, this is a bad thing for today’s young people. There is a growing population of people becoming helplessly self- absorbed to a point of having no compassion for others. Like Narcissus himself, falling helplessly in love with his own reflection, with the platform of social media to further breed self-entitlement, many teens and young adults are developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
This is a disorder which is found most commonly in men, and characterized by extremely exaggerated feelings of self importance, the craving for others’ admiration, and an obvious lack of empathy.
As Dr. Twenge says, “In a nationally representative sample of 35,000 people, three times as many Americans in their 20s (compared to those in their 60s) experiences narcissistic personality disorder”.
This disorder is still rather uncommon- however, the personality trait of narcissism is massively popular, and makes a more strong appearance in cultures that value individualism and self-love. Sound familiar? While the US’ emphasis on being yourself seems wonderful on the outside, it has become a breeding ground for people to develop narcissistic traits. Dr. Twenge and Dr. Arnett have been working with data from the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a short test that measures narcissism, to prove links between extreme narcissism and social media and the influencers that populate it, as well as using generational differences to determine root causes to increasing self- centrism in today's youth.
As a high school student with a presence on social media, it is easy to see and identify people who think themselves above everyone else. I see less of an issue in this school, due likely to small town attitudes and an overall indifference to being popular, but before I moved to Yarmouth, things were different. Even in middle school, life was a popularity contest. If you didn't have at least 25 people at your birthday party, you were not cool. If you didn't "date" someone before the fifth grade, you were lame. If you didn't post snapchat selfies in middle school, and especially if they didn't get many likes, you were shunned. In areas like that, where being cookie cutter popular clones of one another was the expectation, narcissism grows.
I'm sure you, reader, can identify one person (if not dozens more) you've known that thinks they're above everyone else. Social media influencers known to edit their photos so they get more likes? A person too cool to hang out with some of your friends? Someone you see constantly taking photos of themselves and making themselves into the center of attention?
As narcissism is slowly becoming the norm, and the sides of the self love/ self hatred spectrum are growing ever distant from each other, it may be time for America to discover a lesson in humility.
References (in APA)
A Back and Forth About Narcissism. (2013, August 05). Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/science/a-back-and-forth-about-narcissism
Quenqua, D. (2013, August 05). Seeing Narcissists Everywhere. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/science/seeing-narcissists-everywhere.html action=click&module=RelatedCoverage&pgtype=Article®ion=Footer
(2016, February 23). Retrieved May 30, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arJLy3hX1E8
Link to the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/science/a-back-and-forth-about-narcissism
When dog trainers came up with the clicker training method for training dogs, they knew they’d struck gold when it came to conditioning animals. What they may not have realized, however, is how beneficial this teaching method could be with humans, as well.
Many a dog has been taught basic tricks by the clicker method. When a dog completes a desired action, it is marked with a consistently-toned “click” and a treat of sorts. This shows the dog exactly what actions are considered good, and they associate said click with a reward and a desired behavior. Dr. Martin Levy came face-to-face with this method of training when working with his dog, but quickly saw its potential beyond this field of work. He decided to try it out on humans. At the Bronx Montefiore Medical Center in New York, Dr. Levy put the clicker method to the test. He used this method to teach new orthopedic surgeons basic skills such as tying knots, drilling holes, and twisting screws. He broke these tasks down into small steps, and each task that was performed correctly received a “click”, clearing marking to the surgeon his or her success in the task. The only reward for a task done well was a click- no words of praise or criticism. If a task was done correctly, it earned a click. If done incorrectly, it did not. This removed the emotional component from learning and created a situation wherein the reward for doing something well was the knowledge that it had been done well. The study found that the group that had this approach, as opposed to a control group that was taught with the conventional methods of teaching such as demonstration, had more success in mastering tasks and were more precise. 12/12 of the students in the clicker group mastered each of the six steps in the knot-tying, while only 4/12 of the control group did the same.
This experiment is relevant to my life as it is a new approach to learning that may prove more successful than the more traditional ways. At this point in my life, as a junior in high school and in the midst of the college search, the most prominent concept in my life is that of education, and I’m always trying to find ways to learn more effectively. For me, I struggle with being too competitive and needing validation that I am doing something well. The clicker method would likely be very effective for me as it removes the emotion and need for praise from the education process and also makes it very clear when a task is done right as well as exactly what action was done correctly. It is entirely unambiguous, which is key for me as a learner. I like to know exactly what I’m doing right so I feel confident as a learner. I see a lot of potential in the “clicker” method as an approach to teaching that would work well for me.
This study shows the benefits of a new potential education method. The study shows a clear increase in success with the clicker method than with regular teaching, meaning it appears to be the superior method. This demonstrates the potential of emotionless reinforcement of good behavior as a way to help students master tasks. Removing the emotion and verbal praise or criticism from the teaching process can help improve accuracy and confidence, which is an interesting new development very worthy of looking into. It implies that tough love nor coddling is the best way to motivate students; in fact, the most visibly successful way of motivating is removing emotions altogether. Perhaps the best way to foster success in a student is to make their successes clear with a simple, resounding “click”.
Levy, I. M., Pryor, K. W., & McKeon, T. R. (2016, April). Is Teaching Simple Surgical Skills Using an Operant Learning Program More Effective Than Teaching by Demonstration? Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26369658
By Alec Morton
“Nice guys finish last” and “bad boys finish first” are two of the most widely known phrases in the dating and relationship world. But are these sayings really true? Can studies prove them wrong?
One way to investigate this issue of “nice guys vs. bad boys” is to present a group of women with three hypothetical men with three different personality types and see which guy they prefer to be friends with and or date. And this study did just that. Female participants had to choose from three male contestants. In one, the guy was heartwarming and kind, or what some would call the “nice guy”. In another, the man was a “bad boy”, who was somewhat insensitive and unkind. The last one was neutral, with not a lot of emotion being expressed. Obviously, the nicer contestant was chosen most frequently by the participants, on the contrary to the stereotype that “nice guys finish last”.
So why do nice guys still “finish last” and bad boys “finish first”, even if women clearly want the nice guy? First, we must start by describing what a “bad boy” is and what qualities they possess that make them more attractive by most women.
Male narcissists, or “bad boys”, are known for being master manipulators. At first, they may seem to be well-adjusted, charming, and generally nice. All of which paired with what seems to be a warm heart and the right amount of confidence is the perfect guy many women dream of, right? He isn't overly nice and not overly mean. Well, while this may seem to be the “perfect” match, this “perfect” image doesn’t stick around for long. In the long term, “bad boys” find it difficult very quickly to maintain a favorable impression and soon become bored of the friendship or relationship. In turn, they coop by becoming more hostile, more arrogant, and less warm as time passes on. Not surprisingly, it's been proven that “bad boys” don’t like long-term friendships or committed relationships anyways. So if that’s the case, why do many women, ranging anywhere from their early high school years to their late twenties, still fall for the “bad boy” personality type, even after knowing what’s going to happen? There is no one answer to this question, but usually, “bad boys” tend to know many influential physiological strategies and advantages that help project their image and manipulate their way into a relationship. This isn't always the case, but sometimes “bad boys” are able to associate love with hurt. When a good girl is hurt by a “bad boy”, she tends to relate that same hurt with the hurt she sees within other relationships in her life. Therefore, she expects that because she is hurt in the same way, she will also feel love in the same way, from when they first started talking, leaving her to like the guy more and more to achieve the love she hopes for, and bad boys know that, so they quickly take advantage.
Then there’s the other side of the spectrum. The “nice guy”. Known probably for being shy and emotionally weak, they are more than likely to be TO available, TO giving, and TO needy or clingy, leaving the sense of wanting to see or talk to each other to be worn out over time, arising the commonly known phrase “nice guys finish last”. But being a caring, compassionate, and considerate person isn't a bad thing. Compassion builds trust and trust is an extremely important aspect of everybody's lives. For the really down to earth people, a nice guy’s compassion and trust tends to override all the things bad boys usually have, like money and materialistic things. As brain studies show, when social relationships feel safe and both people exhibit the same level of trust, the brain’s instinctual stress response tends to level out and become more stable. Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, points to research conducted by Fiona Lee at the University of Michigan, which shows that promoting compassion between each other encourages creativity, and an overall sense of happiness. But what comes with compassion is the ability to understand someone else’s pain, which can sometimes be difficult. Not many people can sympathize or say they understand someone else’s pain or problems because we are all different, we all have different states of mind, and we are all put into different situations, and unfortunately, some situations are worse than others. But that’s where over a short period of time to a long period of time, the “nice guy” qualities in a guy tend to stand out more because a lot of women can tell the difference between a bad boy’s fake, short-lived kindness and a nice guy’s genuine care for the other person in the long run. And "nice guys" are like that because they were probably emotionally and physically put down, while being raised in a bad household environment. They tend to know how this feels and they don't wish that upon anybody else, so they are more thoughtful, but sometimes this overwhelming thoughtfulness can be to much. That’s why many guys want to find the right balance and become the “perfect guy”, that being confident enough to not be pushed around, but nice enough to be around.
Taking a personality test on 16personalities.com, out of the 16 personalities listed, I was found to be an “advocate”. The opening line for the advocate personality type is that this “personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population”. The traits listed in the advocate category seem to summarize me, for the most part. Being a guy, some may think of these advocate traits to coincide with the “nice guy” stereotype. I do have some of the “nice guy” personality traits, and I’m fine with that. I would rather be a genuine, nice person who speaks my mind truthfully, than a person who lies and manipulates for self-interest. Being raised in rather poor family where I was put in predicaments and situations that were sometimes unjust and troubling, extreme emotional distress isn't anything new to me. But I was also raised to treat women, and everyone, with respect, even through the toughest times, as long as they treat me with respect. And vice versa. Therefore, as I've gotten older, from my viewpoint, I've seemed to develop the skill to be a very intimate and nice person, but when I’m being played or pushed around, I know how to deal with it accordingly.
Seppälä, E. M., Ph.D. (2016, February 2). Why Nice Guys Really Do Finish First. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/feeling-it/201602/why-nice-guys-really-do-finish-first
Swami, V. (2016, May 19). Do women really go for 'bad boys'? Here's the science that settles the question. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/do-women-really-go-for-bad-boys-heres-the-science-that-settles-the-question-59409
AdvocatePersonality INFJ-A / INFJ-T. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality
By Liv Bailey
Imagine: you live a life where you never get bored of anything. Not even 90 minute long history classes with nothing but a very dull powerpoint to keep your attention. Wouldn’t that be incredible? You’d never be forced to stare at a wall and not know what to do with yourself ever again.
Now, obviously, that’s not entirely possible. I don't have some magic trick that just gets rid of boredom with a wave of a magic wand and a couple multivitamins that don’t seem to do anything. There is, however, a way to get around spending your days generall bored with your life, and it doesn’t even involve drastic lifestyle changes! Not that I’d be writing this if I was going to tell you you had to move to another country and throw away your phone. I’m not that much of an idiot — I know you aren’t going to do any of that, and if you aren’t going to do any of it, you’d stop reading this article, and what would be the point of that?
Alright, here’s the thing. Boredom? It’s actually something we developed evolutionarily. Boredom is because of this thing called “hedonic adaptation.” I know, I know, scientific jargon, but it’s actually really simple. Hedonic adaptation simply means that over time, we get used to things — whether they’re good or bad. In other words, if your grandmother dies, you’ll be heartbroken (probably. I don't know what your relationship with your grandmother is like), but eventually, that pain will fade away. On the flipside, if you get a new car, you’re going to be super excited and happy about it for a couple weeks, and then that happiness will fade, and it’ll just be your car. Hedonic adaptation, despite the fact that it takes away our happy emotions quite often, does serve an important purpose. Extreme emotions can be nice (or terrible), but no matter what, they always render us unable to remember things as easily, and they make us less motivated to do things. Rushes of emotion reduce brain function, and if we were always like that, we wouldn’t convert a lot of long term memories, and we’d really not get a lot done, because we’re so caught up in feelings. Hedonic adaptation levels out our emotions for us, so we aren’t hindered by them for too long. The problem? When all your emotions are leveled out, you stop really feeling things, and you get bored.
In 2018, two men named Robert W. Smith and Ed O’Brien decided to run some experiments to determine what people could do counter boredom. They had people do some interesting stuff, but apparently having participants eat popcorn with chopsticks helped them determine how to free oneself from boredom, so how much can I complain? Anyways, they found that there’s a couple of things people can do that are relatively easy, and still counter boredom incredibly. Here’s my favorite three.
Getting up at 6:00, starting school at 8:00, going to the same scheduled classes every other day, going to sports practice at 2:45, and then going home to do homework at 5:00 can get extremely boring. It’s the same thing, again and again, every day, with no way to get out. I know it kills me. There isn’t really much I can change about my schedule, since it’s so packed, and I don’t even have my licence yet (I’m a sophomore and I’m still fifteen, I know, I don't want to hear about it), so I can't just decide to go somewhere… ever. So, obviously, I have a lot of opportunities to get bored. Reading about a study like Smith and O’Brien’s was very enlightening for me. All the strategies that their experiment revealed were things that I can easily do, despite my age and… immobility. It’s not that hard for me to decide, one day, that I’m going to eat something new or to rearrange my workspace. I will certainly be using these ideas in the near future.
So, what did we learn? Well, boredom is something that proves you’re evolutionarily up to date, for one. Was hedonic adaptation the hidden part of the software update that made everything stop working properly? We’d like to think it is, sure, because maybe it’s the cause of our last breakup (the relationship lost its “new” feeling and all of a sudden, you realized you actually didn’t really like the person you were with), but it’s very important that our strong emotions fade over time, so that we can, you know, use our brains properly. Too much evening out causes boredom, however, so we have to find ways to counter that. Smith and O’Brien (what great dudes) conducted a study that found a couple of ways we can do that — eating food unconventionally (a.k.a. go buy yourself some chopsticks), organizing your workspace, and asking people new casual questions (if I hear “how are you?” one more time, I swear). If you do these few things, you’ll be able to reduce your boredom drastically, by creating a small feeling of “new” every time you do something, so that hedonic adaptation doesn’t have a chance to sink its claws into your routine.
Fraga, J. (2019, March 30). What to Do When You're Bored With Your Routines. Retrieved May 22, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/smarter-living/what-to-do-when-youre-bored-with-your-routines.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Psychology and Psychologists&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=24&pgtype=collection
O’Brien, E., & Smith, R. W. (n.d.). Unconventional Consumption Methods and Enjoying Things Consumed: Recapturing the "First-Time" Experience - Ed O'Brien, Robert W. Smith, 2019. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167218779823
[Popcorn and chopsticks]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://review.chicagobooth.edu/behavioral-science/2018/article/try-eating-popcorn-chopsticks
by: Kaitlyn Bennett
Everyone has bad days, for some people those are the only kind they know. They can remember being happy and they can try to recreate that feeling of joy but at a certain point there is no point. There are many different ways to treat depression. The most commonly talked about are therapy and antidepressant pills, however, there are other ways to find happiness again. It all starts with the mind. One can train their brain to think more positively, by writing down their negative thought and asking themselves for evidence about that thought. For example, say someone woke up one morning and they couldn’t imagine getting up and starting their day. They could ask themselves why they are having a hard time finding motivation in starting their day, and why they are not excited to see what the day might bring. If there is evidence for this, then they can think more about the evidence they find. In this scenario imagine that person had a presentation that day but their anxiety was holding them back from wanting to present. This person could then ask themselves why presenting makes them so anxious, and go about finding a solution. Of course this is an extremely hard task and when someone is in a depressed state of mind it can feel impossible to even begin this process, which is why there are other ways.
Finding happiness can be a long and hard road, but one should not feel as though there is any sort of timer on them. Learning to enjoy life should be a personal and slow process. Studies have shown that “rewriting your story” can be very beneficial in this process. Rewriting your story is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Take a pen or pencil, a piece of paper, and write down an event or time in your life that you would like to understand a little more. After writing this down reread it and change the things you wish you could have changed. Literally rewrite the story of your life to make it fit who you are and who you want to be. This will help you understand not only the things that have happened to you in your life and the feelings you have surrounding those experiences, but it will help you get a better idea of who you are as a person.
Another way to make yourself happier in life is to stay active. Many studies have been done that prove physical activity makes people happier. This activity can be as simple as walking around, doing some jumping jacks, or going outside for a bike ride. Simple things like this can boost a person's happiness almost immediately. Lastly one of the most effective things a person can do to change their happiness is take a look at their community and where they live. Living in a place where one can be surrounded by positive people who are motivated and want to do as much as they can with their lives is a very healthy environment to put oneself in. Living around that kind of energy is very healthy especially when someone is not in their best state of mind. This is a short list of strategies one can use in their path to happiness, but a very helpful one. Doing any one of these things can and will bring a change to ones life, one must simply give it a try.
Link to full article
Link to hand picture
Link to happy face picture
Parker-Pope, T. (2017, November 15). How to Be Happy. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-be-happy?&action=click&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Article®ion=Footer&contentCollection=Mind&redirect=true
by Winnie Leahy
Although they may not seem it, eating disorders are much more common than one may think. They are also much more of a challenge than most people may think. They can target anyone, even if they aren’t critical, and they are extremely difficult to treat. Although, they are easier to control if you have a support system. In the article I read, To Treat an Eating Disorder-It Sometimes Takes Two, the psychologists conducted an emotional experiment based off of the emotions of eating disorders. The study focuses on women (although it is not just women who get disorders) and their romantic partners, which in this study, happen to be men. The experiment, run by Dr. Bulik and Donald H. Baucom, focuses on the romantic partner as a support system. The study took women with eating disorders and gave them individual therapy before introducing a partner as a support system. Once the partner was introduced, weight gain increased and anxiety, depression, and the dropout rate of the program all decreased significantly. By introducing the partners into therapy once a week, the women felt supported within their journeys. By introducing the partners, Bulik and Baucom were practicing the Maudsley approach. The Maudsley approach is when someone in group therapy brings their family to group once a week as a support system. The Maudsley approach has been proven effective by the study.
Unfortunately, in a lot of eating disorder cases, most partners are unaware the disorder is even there. They are oblivious to the fact that their partner has an eating disorder, so they do nothing to help. Most men see the eating habits of women who struggle with a disorder as normal. They base what they see off of the negative stigma that surrounds women’s relationships with food, and figure it’s “a girl thing.” Most partners don’t understand what it takes to win a battle against an eating disorder. Although, Most partners want to help the other get through what they’re dealing with. It is not in their best interest for their partner to be unhappy and have to deal with it alone. Unfortunately, they simply don’t know what to do when faced with a difficult situation around food. The purpose of this experience was to see what would happen if they had the tools to use and knew how to approach a problem during a meal. It turns out, the results are extremely positive when you add the conflict into a healthy relationship.
There are multiple reasons to why partners may have an effect on weight gain, but I think the biggest is that, a healthy relationship causes a healthy person. For example, one of the women tested was named, Lauren Hill. Lauren Hill had gone through her share of partners before settling on her husband. The one thing that all the partners who didn’t work out had in common was, that they were unsupportive in Lauren’s road to recovery. Some told her what her disorder didn’t want to hear, but what she had to hear in a brutally honest way that made her want to get better. Lauren tried to go into therapy after the awakening call, but it wasn't proving effective. It seemed that the road to Lauren’s recovery didn't really begin until she found a partner who was willing to learn her disorder and support her in her recovery.
To me, this experiment is especially interesting because, I for one have been on the other side. I have seen someone struggle with an eating disorder and I have been the family part of the Maudsley approach. I have seen not only family being introduced into the intensive therapy for eating disorders, but I have also seen a romantic partner introduced as a way to give support when families seem to be the root of the problem. From my experience, the partners have been well trained and I found it interesting on how fast they were able to pick up on it. When asked the question, “Do you ever miss something? As in, are you ever oblivious to the problem?” most of the men responded that they were able to pick up on some issues that the women themselves couldn’t even pick up. And vice versa, they did miss some, but it was rare for either of them to miss the cues. They both said they were in it together and they had both gotten to know the difference between when the disorder was speaking vs when she was speaking up. Then, the woman was faced with the question, “Could you have done it without your husband?” She immediately said that in her family, most of the girls have developed eating disorders and that she was the only who had ever gotten help. She was 100% certain that it was because of her husband who told her the behavior was irregular and needed to be treated. In fact, most of the group said that they wouldn’t have made it to treatment, let alone outpatient, if it hadn’t been for their family or partner. Every single person agreed that they needed the push to get help, because it’s hard to admit you have the disorder once it has become part of you. People need the support just as much as they need the therapy. The study was one to prove that if one didn't have a solid support system, they would lose weight, anxiety and depression levels go up, and they are more likely to give up on the program. You can’t deal with eating disorders alone-and that’s why.
Ellin, A. (2018, November 29). To Treat Eating Disorders, It Sometimes Takes Two. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/29/well/eat/eating-disorders-food-anorexia-bulimia-binge-partners-spouses-treatment.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Psychology and Psychologists&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=collection
Have you ever thought about the way hate speech affects you on a biological level? Although there it is difficult to prove an immediate link between incendiary speech and violent behavior, there is no doubt a connection. The human mind is easily influenced by the actions and behavior of people around them, and hatred emanating from people in power has an especially potent effect.
Scientists know from a Polish study conducted in 2017 that the more exposure a person has to hate speech, the more prejudiced they become. Essentially, the more often people hear hateful things from others, the more likely they are to believe those things and take a stance contrary to a marginalized group. The more hate speech a person hears, the more common it is, and people stop caring about this behavior that is typically socially inappropriate. The more they are exposed to it, the less people are bothered by this verbal aggression and less likely to defend victims of bigotry.
There is concrete evidence scientists have found in the brain for such a connection. When someone listens to hate speech, a part of the brain called the amygdala is activated. Hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine course through the brain. These chemicals are called stress hormones, and they create fear, anger, and aggression in the brain. This can cause people to act with hostility after being exposed to hate speech.
Mina Cikara, a psychologist at Harvard, conducted a study that found that when people have distrust of an outgroup, a group of people that an individual does not identify with, impulsive anger and violence increases. When individuals are threatened by out-groups, for example, facing economic struggles such as unemployment, this observation is made even more clear. Cikara states that: “when a group is put on the defensive and made to feel threatened, they begin to believe that anything, including violence, is justified.” Feeling threatened makes it easier for people to think of others as less than human and have little compassion. This all around leads to decreased social cognition, or the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes. Such feelings, or lack thereof, often lead to violent behavior and speech.
In a study done in 2011, it was found that people often lack empathy towards homeless people and drug addicts. Feelings of disgust were activated in the brain in an area called the insula. Dr. Fiske, who conducted the study, said: “Both science and history suggest that people will nurture and act on their prejudices in the worst ways when these people are put under stress, pressured by peers, or receive approval from authority figures to do so.”
We, as socially cognisant beings, need to be aware of the words and actions of those around us and how they impact the way we think. Hate speech, violent behavior, and hostility are unfortunately a part of our daily life, and we need to stop them from becoming even more commonplace. Knowing that hearing these words physically affects your brain is an important step, and we need to figure out a way to make these actions unacceptable again.
Friedman, R. A. (2018, October 31). The Neuroscience of Hate Speech. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/opinion/caravan-hate-speech-bowers-sayoc.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Psychologyand Psychologists&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=collection
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!