Spotlight 3: Option 1: Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is the direct influence on people by peers. The person experiencing peer pressure may be strongly encouraged to do certain thins or to act a certain way in order to “fit in” or “be cool.” For example: when at a party, I may choose not to drink. If all my friends are drinking they might keep asking me to drink with them or continuously try and hand me a drink. This could lead me to conformity, which is adjusting my behavior to coincide with group standards. Here, I reviewed 3 websites providing advice on how to resist it.

The first website I chose to look at is aimed towards college students. It is an article published by Stanford University’s college success blog. It offers 5 tips: choose your friends wisely, don’t depend on one friend group, seek advice from others, engage in confidence-boosting activities, and lastly, accept occasional loneliness. When first coming to college, nobody knows each other so the first priority for most people is to socialize. I know that when I first got here, I wasn’t evaluating each person in my head as to whether or not they were good friends because I didn’t know them well enough yet. This goes along with not relying on one friend group. I am friends with about 3 friend groups on campus. They each engage in different activities, some party and some don’t, but the perk to this is that I can still be friends with everyone and not be “tied” to just one set of people. I like the idea of getting involved in confidence-boosting activities. I think this would be a successful tip because the more comfortable and confident someone is with themselves, the more confident they will feel turning down a situation or offer they do not want.  I do not think accepting occasional loneliness will be a more successful tip because in an environment full of peers and things to do, who wants to be alone? I think a lot of people would rather spend time with others than be alone.

The second website I chose to look at is aimed towards college athletes. It was published on university survival. It tells a story about a student who was pressured into drinking by his teammates, and he was the only who got caught. He lost his entire football career and never earned a degree. While this story may be a worst case scenario, team peer pressure is still very real. This website offers 4 tips: Earn respect from your teammates through hard work, allow your personal values to guide you, make friends outside of the team too, and join other groups on campus. I think these are all effective tips. By staying true to yourself and having more friends off the team, it allows for you to feel more confident in decision making.

The last website I looked at took a different approach. it is advice offered to managers whos employees are experiencing peer pressure. The number one point the article makes is for the manager to assert him/her self and recognize the pressure their employees are placing on each other. It offers for managers to host a meeting with the pressured employees and assure them that they can reach out without fear of repercussions, and encourage them to say no if they disagree with their group. It states that a manager should strive to create a positive and equal environment. I agree that these are great ways to improve the relationships in an office or organization.



Media Production Project

Most refugees and asylum-seekers are unable or unwilling to participate in research studies, especially lengthy demanding ones. This makes their population difficult to study, and makes the data found by researchers at the University of Birmingham significant. This limitation will, however, require further research to develop any type of immediate medical strategies. They studied how post-traumatic stress disorder affects the ability to suppress and recall memories, and if that control could prevent the development of ptsd all together. PTSD is a disorder characterized by intrusive, recurrent, and traumatic memories.

They studied a group of 24 refugees. They were not randomly selected but were chosen based on their demographics and background of trauma. All participants showed symptoms of clinical depression as well. The participants came from European, African, and Asian countries. The researchers assigned the participants into 2 groups, the control and ptsd. They were not randomly assigned, and the number of participants is unequal due to applied double-blind. The ptsd group consisted of 9 males and 2 females. They fulfilled the criteria in the DSM IV for post-traumatic stress disorder. The control group consisted of 10 males and 3 females. These participants were interviewed and had extremely similar “trauma loads.” This is the term used to describe the number of traumatic events and the diversity of an individual’s lifetime experience.

The participants were given a think/no think test after their initial evaluations. It was a three-phase procedure consisting of a training period, the think/no think portion, and was followed by a recognition test. Between both groups, the ptsd patients had difficulty retrieving an episodic memory whether it was intentional or not. The researchers found the more severe an individual’s symptoms were, the more difficulty the individual experienced during memory retrieval.

All while the procedure had taken place, the participants were being monitored by magnetoencephalography, also called MEG. MEGs are used to map neural networks and changes in magnetic fields,  for this study it focused on gamma power. The MEG in this study found that when the participants with ptsd were trying to suppress a memory, their levels of gamma activity increased causing them to fail. This contrasts with the control group, who had lowered their gamma levels and suppressed the memory successfully.

Not only did the participants with ptsd fail to suppress memories, they also showed difficulties trying to retrieve a desired memory. This data presents using memory suppression as a therapy technique is unwise because it does not show reduction of an intrusive thought or memory and could potentially make symptoms worse.

University of Birmingham. “Severely traumatized refugees may not necessarily develop PTSD.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2018.


Waldhauser, G., Martin, D., Ruf-Lueschner, M., Muller-Bamouh, V., Schauer M.,      Axmacher, N., . . . Hanslmayr, S. (2018). The neural dynamics of deficient memory control in heavily traumatized refugees. Scientific Reports, 8, 1-12.



By playing the role of the reporter and not the reader, it was easier to understand the pressure that reporters experience. I chose to summarize the main points of the study, because going too into detail would most-likely confuse readers or lose their interest. The first thing I chose to leave out were the images and graphs, there were too many, and I honestly did not understand them myself. The content was much easier to understand. I also left out the in-depth descriptions of the participants, procedure and data analysis because it was more concise to accurately summarize it. This was due to word limitations. I can more clearly understand now how some articles can appear misleading due to what the editor chooses to include or leave out. I answered the first three critical questions but left out four and five. This was because I found it harder to “report” them as part of the study without making it sound like an accusation. Trying to include it not allowing for causal claims and saying that it cannot be generalized seemed out of place with the rest of my content.
I think my article compares equally with the original news article. I included the same facts and information as the original but feel as though I elaborated more. I also included a more in-depth description of the actual procedure, along with a more descriptive paragraph surrounding the role the MEG played in the study. The original news article only answered the first three critical questions as well.
Throughout the series of projects on psychology in the media, I was able to look through the eyes of the reporter and understand how they choose their content and meet word limitations. I felt like I learned the most doing this, media production part, because it most resembles the job of the reporter

Johari Window: Extra Credit

I was excited and nervous when creating my Johari Window. I was excited to see how similar the traits I picked were to the ones others picked, but nervous in general to see what others think of me. I kind of felt a little vulnerable when describing myself because one of the traits I used was self conscious. I put on the façade, not that I’m cocky or over confident, but that I like who I am and accept myself. That isn’t the case. I hide my emotions from others because I like to come off as strong, and I do not like to be perceived as weak. This is why I would have to call the test invalid. People are going to pick the traits they see in you, but if people don’t know the real you, it would be inaccurate.

This reflected in the answers from my friends. 53% called me energetic. My roommate who sees me behind closed doors,  sees me naps for hours every afternoon and was the only person to not pick energetic. I got a lot of traits that surround my outward appearance: bold, cheerful, confident, energetic, proud, self-assertive, and spontaneous. I wonder how the responses would change if I let my guard down more often. I decided it to send it to my aunt that I spend a lot of time with. She pinpointed parts of that I don’t often show to others. She picked sentimental, sympathetic, self conscious, observant, helpful, and complex. I also sent it to a childhood friend whom I’ve known since 1st grade because I wanted to see how her answers would differ from the friends I’ve made at etown. She chose accepting, caring, trustworthy, intelligent, and spontaneous.

here’s the link to my Johari:

Spotlight 2: Option 2, Stress Management

For this spotlight post, I chose the stress management option. Although the body can cope with stress, a long term build up can be detrimental. These are the tips I found when looking for stress management:

The first website I looked at was Everyday Health, and their article is tips for college students. They provide 10 tips to “tackle” stress. The tips are: to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, avoid caffeine, get emotional support, avoid alcohol, don’t give up your passions, try not to overload yourself, breathe and get a massage. Although in college it is very easy to overload yourself, I think these tips all hold potential to be successful. This is because they are adaptive tips, they can help decrease stress without presenting any complications or additional stress. They focus on coping with the feelings that come with stress, which is also called emotion focused coping.

The second website I looked at was called archetypes, and they have an article targeted to athletes. They have 3 tips which are: let it go, catch some air, and download relief. Let it go is essentially the idea of only focusing on things that directly effect you, because trying to focus on other issues will cause additional stress. They also discuss the importance of taking time for deep breathing, and downloading music or meditations that will help you relax. These three tips highlight both emotion focused coping, and problem focused coping, which is focusing directly on the stressor. By focusing on the sole area of your stress and letting the rest go, it allows you to work through each problem at a time. i think that since this article is focused towards athletes, they should have included some tips focused around physical release, such as hitting the gym, or practicing their sport.

The last website I looked at is ironically called Stress Relief Choices. The article I looked at is targeted towards teachers. It outlines 7 ways for teachers to manage stress. The #1 tip is to “keep calm.” I think this is funny because if they were calm they would not be googling how to be calm. The other 6 tips are: practice stress relief daily, center yourself before class, be compassionate, laugh with your class, maintain boundaries, and be consistent. I agree with practicing stress relief daily because it is something most people can benefit from. just by taking 15-20 minutes out of each day to focus on centering yourself can help keep your mind on track. Compassion was a tip I didn’t understand until I read the description. It talks about how you need to keep your students in mind because you don’t know what they are going through outside of the classroom and how as a teacher, your mood can effect theirs as well.

One common tip that seems to make it across all 3 websites is to breathe. It’s interesting how even though we know we are breathing, we still get caught up in our own stress that we need to step back take a deep breathe and regain ourselves. I think that these tips can all be successful. Adding a bit of mindfulness to each day can help keep your stress levels in check. These tips mainly fall into the adaptive category, so they won’t cause other complications.



Chapter 9 Impression: Option 1

Since we spend most of our early lives in a school setting, peers and teacher interactions can greatly shape how we view our own intelligence.

I have had lots of educators from kindergarten to my freshman year in college. I can count on one hand just how many of them actually had a positive effect on me. Lots of teachers do not realize how much their attitudes towards classes can impact the students attitudes toward a class. Taking a class you like, but having an unenthusiastic teacher, can change the way you feel towards the class. If you are taking a class you dislike, for me it was English, AND you have a “bad” teacher, it makes the class dreadful. This can inhibit the way we view our intelligence because it can affect classroom performance.

A lot of students often feel that their teachers are only there to do their jobs and leave, and that they do not care about our well being. This is where my one hand of teachers comes in. They are teachers who are willing to go out of their way to help students. They have been able to show me my academic and personal strengths as well as making me feel more confident in my own work.

I came from a small catholic high school 10 minutes outside of Philadelphia. To critique the school system for me would be to critique the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Especially in my high school, the way the Arch handles student-teacher problems, and how teachers constantly get moved from school to school really impacts the students.

Chapter 10 Impression: option 2

Before I took the test I was confident that I would get most of them right. I was always the friend in my group that people went to when they needed advice or were upset and needed someone to listen. I was surprised to see that I only got a 14 out of 20 as my result. I had the most trouble distinguishing fear and surprise, because the facial cues are very similar. Another one I had difficulty distinguishing between were shame and guilt. I think this test shows how easy it is to misread someone. They could be feeling one way and you could assume they are feeling another way if you are not paying closing attention to detail. This could cause miscommunication. I also think this taught me some new tips for reading someone’s facial expressions.

I do not think this test is totally credible. I think it is harder to tell from a still shot picture how a person is feeling than it would be if you were in person with them. It is also only 20 questions long, I feel with more questions it would become more accurate because I was able to use process of elimination on some of the questions. Because I was able to use process of elimination, it blurred how well I was actually interpreting the facial expressions in the pictures. Overall, I think I am better at reading a persons emotion then the test had reported. I will be able to use my learned tips on facial hints in the future.

Chapter 3 Impression: Sleep

When I think of a realistic sleep goal for a college student, a number doesn’t even pop into my head. I want to say 8 hours, because that is what we have been told for years, but I know for me 8 hours doesn’t cut it. I would imagine for people busier than me, like those who are on the sports teams, would require more than that. Everybody is different so I would imagine it would fall between 7-11 hours depending on the person.

I am well aware that my sleep schedule is an unhealthy one. I used to never sleep, I was lucky if I got 4 hours a night. Now, and for the past year, I have definitely been oversleeping. I got to bed anywhere between 9:30 and 11pm and since I don’t have any 8am classes, I usually get up between 9am and 12 noon. That’s about 9-12 hours a night. In addition to that, I tend to take a 1-2 hour nap in the middle of the day and load up on caffeine. It doesn’t effect my work; I still maintain good grades and get all my work done on time, I dance in emotion and am in 2 different clubs. I feel like my sleep pattern would be more unhealthy if I wasn’t apart of any clubs or activities, or if I had poor grades.

One way I could improve my sleep habits are to wake up earlier. I sleep in so late, plus nap, so I think getting up a bit earlier in the morning would be a good place for me to start.