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.
By Lulu Rasor
Are you afraid of growing old and forgetful? Do you dread the day where phone numbers and memories slip from your mind? Or do you worry about irreversible brain injuries clouding your mind? Well, scientists may be developing a cure for memory decline. This potential cure is tACS. No, not like the mint. TACS stands for Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation. TACS is a method of stimulation that can temporarily correct the brain as memory power decreases by essentially “tuning” the waves of your brain.
No, this isn’t some X-Men-style science fiction idea, but something with real basis in science. Recent advances in neuroscience have determined that memory works through a network throughout the brain, organizing the interaction through theta waves, slow-frequency rhythms similar to the way whales communicate through song underwater. TACS works by tuning the network and waves to each other, allowing connections to happen.
The best part is that tACS doesn’t require any invasive procedures like brain surgery to test and use. It’s a noninvasive procedure that sends stimulation through the skull in barely-noticeable waves.
TACS has already been tested in laboratories and found to have positive impacts on working memory, the short-term memory that contains useful information relevant to the current situation. A study of two groups–one of young people and one consisting of subjects in their 60s and 70s–were tested in the same way by being shown one picture and then another and told to detect any differences. The older subjects were tested twice, once before tACS and once after 25 minutes of stimulation. While they did worse than the younger group before tACS, the results showed a marked improvement after as the older subjects performed just a well as the younger subjects. Multiple tests, even placebo ones, were run until it was confirmed: tACS could help improve the memories of older people until they matched the memories of younger people. It didn’t even seem to wear off as long as the tests continued–almost an hour of improved memory.
Working memory decline is hypothesized to happen because brain circuits become disconnected, but now it seems possible to reconnect the circuits. However, it doesn’t have as great of an effect on younger people, working instead to correct memories instead of simply improving them.
Unfortunately, right now tACS is far from a freely available cure for memory decline. The long-term effects are pretty much unknown despite careful lab surveillance. It’s a promising start to help those suffering from memory decline from illness, age, of injury, not a do-it-yourself immediate cure.
However, there are increasing numbers of people experimenting with simple brain stimulation outside of labs. People have been exploring how brain stimulation can help with memory, depression, or simply clearing the mind. While tACS is currently a lab-only procedure, it’s not unlikely that in the future people may be performing memory-improving brain stimulation at home. Just think, there may be a future in which people never have to fear dementia, brain damage, or that relative who can’t keep you straight with your siblings!
To Improve Memory, Tune It Like an Orchestra
Benedict Carey - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/08/health/aging-brain-memory.html?searchResultPosition=2
Article by Benedict Carey
Post by Kate Siegel
Three million Americans inflicted by brain injuries, millions of lives impacted, how can we help them with our knowledge of the brain? Typically deep brain stimulation is used on patients with Parkinson's disease, however, recently surgeons have tested electrical stimulation on a middle-aged brain damaged woman in order to reactivate brain function and see improvement in everyday activities. This is a pilot study with the hopes that other Americans will benefit. Typically following a traumatic brain injury the individual will go to therapy and take cognitive lessons in order to improve brain function and ability. However, the improvements in therapy are minimal and take a long time to even see benefits. This accident occurred 18 years prior and she is constantly tired and is unable to read or focus for long periods. Which causes her to be unable to have a job. In this surgical experiment doctors implant a pacemaker in the chest wall that has electrodes attached. The pacemaker delivers electrical stimulation when turned on. For many individuals who have suffered this injury they have severed nerve connections in vital areas of their brain, which renders them unable to do certain things such as talk or care for themselves independently. Much of the damage is sustained in the cerebral cortex which is divided into four lobes, the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital. The electrodes are attached to the thalamus because the thalamus relays motor and sensory signals to the cerebral cortex. Therefore, when electrical currents are sent to the thalamus they are relayed to the lobes of the brain which promotes function. In just three months she was scoring 15 percent better on standardized tests of planning, memorization, and execution. She also reported to be feeling significantly less fatigued, she no longer needed a daily nap. Essentially for individuals with this type of injury having this much of an improvement is unheard of.
There was also a very similar case six years prior of a man in a partially conscious state, mute and only able to respond to commands by tapping his fingers. Soon after the operation, for the first time in six years, the man uttered coherent words and could identify pictures. The man's ability and improvement was monitored when the electrical stimulation was on for four weeks, as well when it was turned off. The researchers found a consistent pattern of verbal and behavioral responses when the pacemaker was turned on. And, he regained some independence in terms of chewing and swallowing.
These electrical stimulation studies relate to my life because I aspire to be a surgeon. I hope that in my surgical career I will be able to conduct experiments such as what I studied, in order to help thousands of people. For the majority of my life I have wondered how I can help others, and when I read this study I was astonished at the potential of the sheer quantity of lives that could be improved dramatically. The understanding of the body and brain in particular will provide new options for the millions of people who have their lives altered due to traumatic brain injuries. There is millions of people in the world who suffer from traumatic and essentially incurable conditions, which causes them to have a lesser quality of life. My dream has been to analyze and study conditions that individuals are inflicted with. And, this study inspires me to approach medical problems in new and unique ways, and be willing to take risks in order to achieve the desired result. New techniques and procedures are constantly being developed and I strive to be one of the people that makes medical history. In addition, my grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. Her condition has rapidly worsened over the past couple years and I wonder if this electrical stimulation technique could benefit her? In her brain she has fewer nerve cell connections among her neurons, which transmits information in the brain. If her nerve connections were stimulated with electrical currents the death rate of her nerve cells could be halted.
The significance of this newly explored procedure is that more than three million Americans live with debilitating brain injuries that render them unable to do many everyday things. This technique of utilizing electrical stimulation must continue to be explored. It has the potential to restore partial function and improvement in millions of people. Both patients that had the surgery experienced rapid improvement and the regained ability to do things they had lost. Therefore, others would have an overall improved quality of life. And, if tested in more experimental cases the technique can be refined and perfected. Essentially these initial cases are the foundation to the future treatment of patients who have sustained brain injuries. It also provides an alternative to expensive therapy, because medical insurance will most likely opt to cover this procedure. And, going to therapy multiple times a week for years is time consuming. One aspect of this study that I found very interesting is the role of ethics that is intertwined. For patients who are in various levels of consciousness they may not be able to give informed consent for the surgery. Many of these patients do not have decision-making ability and they may not have family members to make their medical decisions. I have no doubt that the question of ethics will play a large role in the prevalence of this surgery, however, I believe that it has the potential to be life-changing.
Carey, B. (2019, April 13). Doctors Use Electrical Implant to Aid Brain-Damaged Woman. Retrieved May 22, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/13/health/implant-brain-injury.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Psychology and Psychologists
By: Annabel Patch
Recess the favorite class of many children, may be one of the most important classes a child participates in. While it may seem as though recess is taking away from time kids could be learning, studies done by Wendy Suzuki and other neuroscientists and teachers prove otherwise. Wendy Suzuki a neuroscientist studying memory has discovered the impact of exercise on learning in people of all ages but specifically children. Suzuki started working out after going through a slump in her everyday life. She wasn’t feeling her best socially and emotionally and decided to start going to the gym as a way to feel stronger. After going to the gym regularly for about a year and a half she started to see the benefit of exercise in her own work. She discovered that since she started exercising the quality of her work had improved.
After seeing this improvement Suzuki decided to investigate the effects of exercise on the brain. She learned that exercise is mood boosting and helps with your cognitive functions, or your ability to process things. The brain is a muscle and like all muscles, it can be strengthened. Suzuki learned that exercise, in particular, is great for strengthening your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Your prefrontal cortex is in charge of executive functions, such as the control of your behavior. The hippocampus is in charge of memory and some key parts of learning. Both of these structures in our brains are important to learning. By strengthening these we are able to learning is able to improve. By exercising you are enhancing your creative thinking, decision making, focus, and retrieving memories. Suzuki found that after exercising students are able to focus on a task for up to 2 hours.
Along with improving your learning, Suzuki found that exercise is able to improve your quality of life in general. Exercise encourages the growth of new neurons in a process called neurogenesis. This can help with learning. Also, exercise produces hormones like serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and endorphins. These hormones boost your mood and also reduce stress. This can greatly improve your quality of life.
Because of the benefits of exercise, recess is very important to the well being of children. It not only helps them learn and grow, but it can also improve their quality of life. Recess gives kids the chance to run around and hang out with friends. Suzuki found that this exercise, even for only a short amount of time can make a big difference in the lives of children. By studying the children's ability to focus before and after exercise she was able to conclude that exercise like recess is beneficial in kids lives. Although kids may not be using that time to learn new skills such as multiplication and grammar the time is crucial for children's memory recall and attention span. Being able to remember and recall information learned in class is much more beneficial to the children's’ education than learning information is forgetting it because the child is not focused.
How Movement and Exercise Help Kids Learn. (2019, May 22). Retrieved from
by Kelsey Nihezagirwe
Have your most embarrassing memories kept you from having a well-deserved night of sleep? Well don’t worry you’re not alone. Many are haunted to this day of the things they have done in their childhoods. Whether it be that time you tripped on absolutely nothing while walking in front of your crush, or that time a teacher told you to answer a question and you answered wrong in front of the whole class. Those things, although not trivial, can at times stay with a person and affect them. This is one of the only times when forgetting is useful.
Memories are triggered by feelings, sensations, and senses. When one recalls a bad memory, it is the brain warning you in case if something similar would happen. First of all, remembering is a dynamic system where one needs to piece together. This is good in the aspect that recalling can strengthen the act of recalling. However, this makes the memories vulnerable to alterations. Everytime you remember a memory there is a chance of altering it in your favor. This can work in bad memories because if you have a bad experience you might alter it to make it look worse that it actually was. This is when forgetting comes in clutch. It may seem easy to forget certain memories when you want to keep them. However, forgetting on command is much harder than trying to keep a memory.
In an experiment lead by Tracy Wang a postdoctoral psychology fellow at the university of Texas at Austin, a group of participants looked at 200 images. The images consisted of faces, which they were told to identify as male or female, and scenery which they were told to identify as indoors or outdoors. The participants were placed in a brain scanning machine to see their brain activity in the ventral temporal cortex and sensory cortex. Once they had seen all of the images and been told to remember and forget certain images, they were later tested. The test consisted of a series of images they saw and some they did not see. They were told to circle which they had seen and how confident they were in their answers. In the experiment, having too little or too much brain activity when trying to erase a memory is considered a failed attempt at forgetting. It was found that the best way to forget is to remember it a little and letting it fade on its own accord. Forcing yourself to forget something will not make it easier to forget. It will just make you remember it more. One can help themselves slowly forget by using the phrases “Think More” or “Think Less”. This method is not guaranteed to make you forget but sometimes thinking less about something or thinking more to come to terms with it might be what you need. Especially when you are being haunted in the middle of the night by unwanted memories.
Link to article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/health/memory-forgetting-psychology.html?searchResultPosition=7
Carey, B. (2019, March 22). Can We Get Better at Forgetting? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/health/memory-forgetting-psychology.html?searchResultPosition=7
Link to photo: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/20/change-life-art-of-forgetting
By Shepard Handy Shutkin
Though we often associate men with crude acts of violence, we fail to acknowledge the fact that men are not born with the innate ability to throw a left hook to the jaw or a jab to the gut: they are taught. Since the beginning of mankind, men have been associated with violence. It seems to be the perfect time to reflect on the dangers of being a boy as for one of the first times, awareness towards toxic masculinity has become present in our society.
Adoption is the answer for almost every “why?” when discussing natural patterns of violence in young boys. Dr. Reichert, a Psychologist, set out to discover why growing up a boy is is more dangerous than a girl. “One researcher observed a small group of preschool boys and noticed how, over two years, they adapted to cultural cues. The ways they dressed, played and related to one another and to their parents changed significantly. They even formed a “Mean Team” to harass girls in their classroom. Another researcher interviewed elementary-school boys and captured their brutally frank stories of punishing other boys who failed to conform.” Boys often take their upsetting or hurtful experience from the world and internalize them. Failing to get comfort ultimately causes these boys to lash out and express themselves with violence and anger. “In the United States, 75 percent of deaths among 15- to 24-year-olds are of boys and young men. Males are more likely than females to die from injuries sustained in car accidents or falls, and from homicides. Especially when the risks of masculinity are compounded by racism and poverty, too many boys do not survive into manhood.” The problems of violence in boys are rooted from the societal norms of masculinity.
This experiment correlates directly with my life as I am in the midst of becoming the man I will be in the future. Conforming to the societal norms of “being a man” will make me more reserved from talking about my feelings and will eventually cause me to lash out and release pent up anger. For those who are tired of the “dangers” being associated with boys, it is important to reflect on your own life. How may I have an influence on the people around me? Am I conscious of my emotions? The most important thing anyone can do to help young men grow up to be mentally stable is to listen to them. Hear their problems, their accomplishments, and realize that behind every boy is someone who holds him and believes in them.
Reichert, M. C. (2019, March 30). It's Dangerous to Be a Boy. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/opinion/sunday/boys-men-violence.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Psychology and Psychologists&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=25&pgtype=collection
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
By Kira Ruffner
Have you ever noticed that your memory seems to deteriorate after a week full of multitasking? Have you ever wondered if multitasking is harming your work or your concentration? These questions are all addressed by Stanford professor Anthony Wagner in a study he did with his colleague Clifford Nass, on the effects of media multitasking and attention. He was not convinced by early data, and he told Nass said to do more tests. Eleven years later he co-authored the paper with neuroscientist Melina Uncapher of the University of California, San Francisco, in which he noticed a trend: People who frequently use many types of media at once aka “heavy media multitaskers” performed significantly worse on simple memory tasks. He addressed the contents of his study in a Q&A style format with Stanford News.
Wagner answered a question asking him about how he got interested in this topic. He said that his colleagues Cliff Nass and Eyal Ophir had the question: “With the explosion of media technologies that has resulted in there being multiple simultaneous channels available that we can switch between, how might this relate to human cognition?” They came to him with their early findings, and he thought they were crazy, but a few years later he realized there was a connection to media and memory.
When asked to define heavy multitaskers vs light multitaskers, Wagner has said that people don’t multitask, we task switch because the word “multitasking” implies that people can do two or more things at once. This is not true, and in reality brains only allow people to do one thing at a time and they have to switch back and forth. Wagner gave an example of what a heavy media multitaskers may look like: he said they may have many media channels open at once and they switch between them. They might be writing an essay, then check a football game, then respond to texts and messages, and then try to get back to work, but they get an email and have to answer it. In comparison, he said that a light media multitasker would only be writing the academic paper or may only switch between a couple of media, and they might turn on Do Not Disturb so they only get really urgent messages, and might put away their phone.
Wagner and Ness assessed the different forms of memory in different ways. To assess the working memory they used simple short-delay memory tasks. For example, in one test they showed a set of oriented blue rectangles, then took them from the screen and asked the subject to remember it. Then they showed them another set of rectangles and asked if any had changed orientation. To measure memory capacity they did the same test with different numbers of rectangles and determined how performance changed with increasing memory loads. Finally, to measure the ability to filter out distraction sometimes they added distractors like red rectangles that the subjects were told to ignore.
Wagner and Ness noticed a few trends in their data. In about 50% of the studys they saw the heavy media multitaskers were significantly underperforming on tasks with working memory and sustained attention, while the other half have no significant difference. Wagner has stated that it is clear there is a negative relationship between media multitasking and memory performance and that high media multitasking is associated with poor performance on memory tests and tasks.
While testing subjects, Wagner and Ness noticed something: they hypothesised that potentially reduced working memory occurs in heavy media multitaskers because they have a higher probability of experiencing lapses of attention, and that maybe when demands are low, they underperform but when the demands are high, like when the working memory tasks are harder, there’s no difference between the heavy and light media multitaskers
This prompted Wagner and Ness to look at variation between subjects and moment-to-moment changes in a person’s ability to use goals to sustain their memory.
Wagner has said that he can't say for sure that multitasking changes memory or attention, as it’s too early to definitively determine cause and effect, but that multitasking isn’t efficient, and people know there are costs of task switching. He also had a piece of advice: “If you’re multitasking while doing something significant, like an academic paper or work project, you’ll be slower to complete it and you might be less successful.”
Link to article:: https://news.stanford.edu/2018/10/25/decade-data-reveals-heavy-multitaskers-reduced-memory-psychologist-says/
APA citation: Bates, S. (2018, October 25). Heavy multitaskers have reduced memory. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://news.stanford.edu/2018/10/25/decade-data-reveals-heavy-multitaskers-reduced-memory-psychologist-says/
Link to photo: https://businessesgrow.com/2014/07/30/buzzfeed-quizzes-marketing-research/
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
By Caeden Rogers
Have you ever felt stressed out of your mind? Too busy to handle the world? Maybe you should just do nothing. Psychologist have found that occasionally doing nothing can help you in the long run. Wondering why? Just keep reading!
Now, many may think that by saying you are busy, you are saying that you are more important. When in reality, being busy isn't a status indicator. You could be just as busy as Tom Cruise but be a high school student. In order to feel less stressed or busy, all you need to do is practice what the dutch call, niksen, otherwise known as nothing. Psychologist Doreen Dodgen-Magee studies boredom. She compares a human to a car saying that to practice nothing is like having the car's engine running but not going anywhere. Sandi Mann is a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire in Britain. She believes that gazing out a window or sitting still is considered niksen. Anything that takes up some time and energy in beneficial whether it be niksen or not. Some may call this being lazy but they are just uninformed. Those uninformed probably participate in niksen throughout their day. Just going on a walk or daydreaming can help with your creativity and problem solving. Psychologist say that when practicing niksen, it may be awkward and uncomfortable the first couple of times you try it. Take into account where you are, what your surroundings might be. Is it quiet? Is it busy? Try to limit the outside factors impeding on your nothingness and just be.
As a high school student, I am put under a lot of stress everyday when given assignments and difficult tasks to complete. There is no time in my day to simply do nothing. After reading this article, I realize how important it is for my mental, physical, and emotional health to do nothing, even if it is just five minutes out of my day. I already take walks during classes when I can not focus or am bored. Sometimes just a short walk can boost my mood and help my concentration. If taking a walk could help me get better grades then I will gladly go on a walk. Not only do I go on walks sometimes, I think that daydreaming has also been beneficial to my learning and concentration.
There are only a few studies surrounding niksen or doing nothing. From the ones there are, you can take away that niksen is a healthy practice. It is beneficial in all aspects of your day to day life. In short, take a five or ten minute break out of your day to go on a walk or day dream or just do nothing. You will thank yourself for it later. I am not saying skip class to go be mindful; maybe spend your lunch break daydreaming, walking in the halls or in the courtyard. Spend some time to care for yourself by practicing niksen this year. Maybe even host a boredom party!
Links and Citations:
Mecking, O. (2019, April 30). The Case for Doing Nothing. Retrieved May 22, 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
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!