Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Soundtrack to my Life :)

"Free Fallin'"(Live) by John Mayer - I am not sure if he is the original artist, but this is the song I play on repeat while I do all of my homework because it beats sitting in silence and I can easily tune it out to concentrate.

"Cost of Livin'" by Ronnie Dunn - I like this song because the lyrics are so true, "the cost of livin's high and going up."  This makes me realize why I am hear going to college and working hard so that I can support a family someday as gas, food, and rent continues to get more expensive.  I also want to be able to help send my children to college someday and I can only imagine how expensive it will be by then.

"The River Flows in You" by Yurigima - This is a piano solo that I love to play on my piano at home.  It is so relaxing, and helped me de-stress when need be.  Even just listening to it now will help me relax when I don't have a piano to satisfy my nimble fingers.

"One Love (People be Ready)" by GLEE (cover) - This is mine and my best friend/roommate's song.  We belt it out together on our car rides back home, and have already promised to sing it at each other's weddings as a duet :)

"Barrel of a Gun" by Guster - My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 4 years now, and he introduced me to this band before we started dating.  It is one of my older memories of our relationship.  We used to sing it in the care together all the time, and I just fell in love with the band.  Which wasn't hard to do since the drummer plays with just his hands!

"Little Lion Man" by Mumford and Sons - I absolutely love this whole album.  This song stuck out to me because everyone has made mistakes in their past and hurt some people along the way although maybe not intentionally.  Those memories of the people we hurt will stick with us forever, and there isn't much to do about it except learn from those mistakes.  I relate to this because I have hurt people on the way to where I am right now and I am not proud of it.  Wish they knew how badly I felt, but they most likely never will.  This song lets me release some of those negative feelings.

I would write more but I'm off to bed!  Music is very important to me, and I have no clue what I would be doing without it...probably more homework.. :P Buh bye blog!!! <3

Monday, November 21, 2011

Research Practice

"Although freshman college students may experience the most rapid increases in weight seen in any age group, the increases are modest compared to the popular media’s notion of the “freshman 15.”" (Crombie et al, 2009, p. 92)

Crombie, A. P., Ilich, J. Z., Dutton, G. R., Panton, L. B., & Abood, D. A. (2009). The freshman weight gain phenomenon revisited. Nutrition Reviews67(2), 83-94. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00143.x

This article will help me determine whether the "freshman fifteen" is factual or just a myth out there scaring college students into healthier eating and exercising habits.  It reviews other sources that I would have to look further into before I use a lot of information from this article since it is a secondary source for a lot of the information.  But the conclusions that the researchers draw are helpful in pointing me in the right direction towards an answer to the question if the "freshman fifteen" is real or a myth.

"Only six students reported a weight gain exceeding 15 pounds." (Carithers-Thomas et al, 2010)

Carithers-Thomas, J. A., Bradford, S. H., Keshock, C. M., & Pugh, S. F. (2010). FRESHMAN FIFTEEN: FACTOR FICTION?. College Student Journal44(2), 419-423.

This study was done on 52 college freshman, and many of the students reported weight gain, but only 6 of the 52 gained 15 pounds or more.  Some students even lost weight.  I could use this empirical evidence in my paper to back up claims that the "freshman fifteen" might be an overstatement, and that college freshman experience weight gain, it is usually less than fifteen pounds.  Maybe the term "freshman fifteen" is just a general term for weight gain, but it implies that the students will gain exactly fifteen pounds.  I really like this source because of the empirical data the researchers found to back up their claims, which will help me back up my claims.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ronson Chapters 10 and 11

The main point Ronson illustrates in chapter ten is how quickly psychology and the number of psychological disorders can get out of control, although it is all guess work.  The DSM started at 65 pages full of psychological disorders, and is already up to 494 pages that are all covered in psychological disorders that may or may not truly be destructive or harmful disorders.  A major focus that displays how ridiculous this list can be is childhood bipolar disorder.  It is said in this chapter that it isn't even possible to develop bipolar disorder until after the age of seven, but yet several children are being diagnosed with it before they are seven.  This also happens to be mostly prevalent in the United States, who can provide a drug to "fix" almost anything, especially psychological disorders.  The huge list of psychological disorders makes it easy for citizens to diagnose themselves, and this increases the industry for pharmaceuticals since so many people believe they have a disorder.

Finally some closure!!!  I am happy for Tony when he receives his freedom after several years, but still makes me nervous.  How do they know for sure if someone is ready to be let out in the real world, because there is no full proof way.  I did not know that young children could be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and I thought that was crazy.  Children are developing so much and starting to figure out the person they will be.  Since this time is so sensitive and essential to their psychological development, parents should take extra caution of the things their child is exposed to.  I really enjoyed this book, mostly because Ronson's quirky way of writing anxiously.  It was very entertaining, and really makes me think about the "beetle in the box" idea when I look at people, which sometimes creeps me out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ronson Chapters 8 & 9

In chapter eight, Ronson tells the story of Rachel North experiencing a terrorist attack, and how there are theorists that try to deny all of it.  Rachel was devastated after the bomb went off, and started to blog like crazy, until one day when she came across another web page that had used her exact words from her blog. On this page, it was explained that this attack was really a conspiracy, and it was the government's way of controlling population.  Rachel was furious, and started to write to the conspiracy theorists that she was there and it was indeed a bomb, but the more she fought, the more the theorist started to believe that Rachel was a part of the conspiracy.  David Shayler, the leader of this conspiracy group, made his followers believe that Rachel wasn't even a person, until she really met with them in person.  He then said that she was several people because she could not post that many blogs alone.  Ronson decides to meet with Shayler, which actually turn into an argument because Shayler is clearly crazy.  At one point, Shayler tries to convince people that he is the Messiah.  All of Shayler's crazy theories were covered somewhat on the news, but some more than others, and Ronson would like to know why.  At the end of the chapter, Ronson comes to the conclusion that media likes someone who is crazy, but not crazy enough to be unbelievable.

I liked Ronson's fire in these two chapters.  You get to see him actually get angry and argue, which is a new side of him we have not yet experienced.  I laughed so hard when Shayler thought he was the Messiah, and that is when I thought to myself, "Okay you are getting a little too crazy now for me to relate to what you are saying."  We are getting closer and closer to the end of the book, and I still don't feel any conclusions starting to come together, or any sign that the book from the beginning is going to reappear.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gladwell's "Something Borrowed"

In "Something Borrowed," Gladwell wonders what constitutes as plagiarism and what is just plain creativity and coincidence.  Many examples were used to demonstrate that what sometimes appears to be plagiarism, is actually a coincidence, and not everything can belong to someone.  One man tried to claim that the playing of a certain three notes was his property and anyone who wanted to use them together needed permission, but it was determined that just plain notes in a chord can not be a personal belonging to people, but however if the notes were in a certain rhythm and sequence this can be.  Part of Gladwell's wrk was "stolen" and repeated in a play called "Frozen."  The author meant no harm to Gladwell or Lavery, but it came across very offensive and hurtful to Lavery to be portrayed in a play but given no credit for any of the work that was stolen.   It is never clearly stated what is plagiarism and what isn't, but it is left for the reader to think about and perhaps determine for themselves what is true plagiarism.

I really enjoyed reading this piece, because sometimes I often wonder to myself what constitutes as really plagiarizing, and what is really just being creative.  Gladwell brought up several examples that I was intrigued by and wanted to go listen for myself to hear what Gladwell was experiencing.  Plagiarism can be such a fine line, so I think it is best to just cite any ideas that you have received from other places, just to be safe and prevent getting into trouble for "stealing."  I also worry about representing the author wrong when referencing their work.  That can be a problem also, and is something to really pay attention to.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ronson Chapters 6 & 7

In chapter seven of Ronson's, The Psychopath Test, Ronson evaluates the means that journalists and producers use to pick interviewees.  Ronson's friend Adam was questioning Ronson about his research which really got him thinking about how interviewees are picked and what makes them good interviews.  Ronson interviewed Charlotte who used to be a guest booker for a variety of television shows, and learned about the cruel ways that guests are evaluated and picked to appear on television.  Ronson thought this was pretty horrible, but then thought to himself that his interviews and methods have been no where near as awful as most journalists.

Chapters six and seven give more information about how many CEO's could possibly be psychopaths and why that might be helpful for a company.  I thought it was very interesting how Ronson interviewed Al Dunlap and really wasn't sure what to think afterwards.  Dunlap had several characteristics of a psychopath, but had other traits that were opposite of a psychopath and seemed fairly reasonable.  I also thought it as very interesting that Charlotte in chapter seven did all those awful things but never really wanted to.  She did it just because she needed to wok and make money, and that makes me think of all the people i consider awful and cruel in the media industry that maybe only do the things they do because they are told to and have to.  Most of them most likely don't enjoy being mean, but are forced to or be unemployed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Research Questions

Why does the adoption process take several years and cost so much?
What causes people to stay in relationships involving domestic violence?

I like these two questions because they are subjects that I do not know a lot about, and am interested in researching them further.  I would start researching adoption and the several steps used to complete an adoption.  For domestic violence, I would most likely start with finding a proper definition of what domestic violence is.  The most probable answer for why the adoption process takes so long would be because they are making sure the couple or parent is a suitable fit for the child.  I assume that people stay in relationships where they are subjected to domestic violence because of fear of their significant other.

It might be difficult trying to figure out why people stay in situations with domestic violence, because most of the information would have to come from those people themselves.  That would be the most credible source to answer that question.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ronson Chapter Four

In Ronson's book, The Psychopath Test, chapter four is titled "The Psychopath Test," and explains exactly what the psychopath test is and how it was developed.  Bob Hare is the man who developed this test which is really more or less a checklist of how to read between the lines of what people say and do.  Ronson attended a teaching session held by Bob Hare to show developing psychologists how to use the psychopath test.  As Bob showed clips of psychopaths and examples of the things they would say that indicate that they are psychopaths, he explained that the cause of their psychopathy was the lack of amygdala activity.  To show them exactly what he meant, Bob showed several relaxing pictures, then suddenly flashed a picture of a man with his face blown apart.  Ronson talks about the strange feeling he experienced when looking at this picture.  Bob explains that this feeling was the amygdala sending signals of distress to the rest of the body, and this sensation does not happen in psychopaths because their amygdala are not very active.

It is very interesting how the checklist for psychopath test works, since I would guess that everyone would have some sort of a score on the test although this does not indicate they are a psychopath.  Maybe everyone of us is a "psychopath" in our own way, that may be extreme and may not be extreme. There are people all over that have a sense of self-grandiose, but this only goes so far, so they are not considered to be a psychopath.  I think it is funny when Ronson talks about his anxiety in chapter four especially after watching the clip of him in lecture.  The way he writes even comes across anxious sometimes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ronson Chapter Three

In The Psychopath Test, Ronson talks about some extreme measures that previous psychiatrists took to try to cure psychopathy.  One psychiatrist in particular, Elliott Barker, became very intrigued at the thought of helping cure psychopaths, and based his work off of work another psychiatrist did in the past.  This work included being nude and spending lengthy sessions in therapy with other nude patients.  Elliot Barker worked with psychopaths for several years in an institution called Oak Ridge, and when it was time for him to leave, Gary Maier was there to take over.  As psychopaths were deemed healthy, and released from Oak Ridge, people started to notice there was a high rate of second offenses.  The psychopaths that received treatment at Oak Ridge had a much higher rate of re-offense than the psychopaths from a routine institution.  Having said this, its clear that Elliot's methods made the symptoms of a psychopath much worse and in a way, taught them to manipulate people better.

This chapter of Ronson's, The Psychopath Test, was so interesting.   The tactics Elliot used to try to cure psychopathy seemed fairly reasonable when I was reading the chapter.  It made some sense how physical nakedness could symbolize emotional nakedness, and be a more vulnerable state for patients to delve into their deepest emotions.  It sounded crazy at first, but after hearing the reasoning I started understand why a psychiatrist would want to try this method.   It is too bad that Elliot's methods and all his hard work turned out to be worse for the patients.  There was a quote at the end of the chapter about how "Elliot's heart was always in the right place", and I believe that, so it must have been devastating to learn that his treatments did not benefit his patients on bit.  Overall this chapter was intriguing and contained some important background knowledge about the treatment of psychopathy.