In the Most Basic Terms: Genes Involving Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex, multidimensional mental disorder that affects numerous lives directly or indirectly. Like for many psychiatric disorders, no cure has been devised, and we know little about schizophrenia as a whole. One study published in the scientific journal Nature, has made an important discovery in understanding and potentially predicting the possibility of inheriting the psychiatric disorder.

In your brain, different genes play different roles in developing brain patterns and assessing the outside environment. The important gene in this study is C4, which has two variants, C4A and C4B, that have the possibility of contributing to developing schizophrenia. The development of this theory began with sampling 245 cadaver’s brain. The samples showed that individuals that had schizophrenia exhibited C4A levels in the brain that were three times as larger as people without the psychiatric disorder. Then 28,799 people with schizophrenia were compared by 35,986 people without schizophrenia. This provided evidence that people’s DNA that corresponded with the C4A protein were more likely to inherit schizophrenia. The third group, 35 schizophrenic patients and 70 without schizophrenia, were compared to measure RNA levels. C4A levels were 1.4 times greater in the schizophrenic group. The last part of the study involved the use of mice and observing the lack of the C4 protein. The lack of this protein creates the absence of another protein, C3. Without these two proteins, synaptic pruning cannot happen regularly in the brain. Synaptic pruning is essentially when the brain takes care of its nerve connections and cells, and makes stronger and healthier connections in order to function and make choices and decisions. It is hypothesized that people with schizophrenia have a type of the C4A protein that takes care of the brain too much compared to “regular brains.” Thus, their synaptic pruning misfires in their brain, and the synaptic pruning becomes too engaged with taking care of the connections and cells.

This a great advancement with schizophrenia, however, it’s one of the few studies concerning the mental disorder, especially the biological part. There haven’t been any follow-up studies, and the study does not list any complications with the work. It’s important to note it is still in no way possible to be able to fully understand or diagnose schizophrenia, for this study is one of the first of its kind, and it’s only a tiny piece on what goes on biologically in a person’s brain. There are more components at play, including environmental aspects of a person’s life. While it’s a tiny step, it’s still a step in the right direction for comprehending a psychiatric disorder that has been stigmatized and ignored for too long.

Sources used:


I picked probably the worst news article to critique and discuss. The information is important, and I enjoyed learning about it, but the article was actually well-written. The only problem that was evident in it was that the writer put too much emphasis on the mice group instead of each individual group, and the author went into more detail about what schizophrenia is, but other than that, it was a good read. I understand why she chose to do that because more people are interested in the symptoms and the overall experience of schizophrenia. I think it’s mainly because people are curious, but that’s not the point of the study, and it shouldn’t be the point of the article. It explained all over the scientific terms well, and I understood most of what the article was talking about. That being said, reading the scientific study and dissecting what it was actually saying was harder than nitpicking the news piece. There were many technical terms, and I had to touch up on biology and chemistry while reading it. Doing the critiques on both the article and study really helped me write this mock journalist piece because I had analyzed both texts three times, so I had a decent understanding of what needed to be told. This is an important study, but it’s kind of discouraging when the author has to describe the mental disorder extensively in order to get people to read and care about it, and there has to be a video included as well. I didn’t want to take away from the study’s findings with providing too much information over schizophrenia. Overall, I wish I had picked an easier article and study for the sake of my own workload, but this was an incredibly interesting study to review, and it goes to show how much effort goes into true journalism. A good article sells it to the audience, and still gives sufficient information about the study, and the author did a fairly good job of doing both.

Everyone Should Steal Bikes

In the “Bike Theft” video, three actors are trying to steal a bike chained to a sign in a public park. One actor is a white male, the next is a black male, and the last one is a white female. Different people encounter the actors as the so-called thieves attempt to steal the bike.

No one really tried to stop the white male or female. The man had a few disapproving looks and few questioning onlookers, but no one attempted to really stop him. The white woman actually had men trying to help her steal the bike because the assumption was made that women are less likely to steal. The black man, however, had the police called him almost immediately after someone approached him. A crowd actually gathered around him (of white people). One older white man even started taking the tools the actor was using to break the chain on the bike. The same man didn’t even stop accusing the black actor of stealing after the cameras came out of hiding.

It was really bizarre to watch. It was on the verge of nerve-wracking and upsetting to watch the black actor have to interact with those people because, especially with the last white man, it looked like it could potentially become a violent situation. It’s terrible to watch people discriminate against a person, clearly because of skin color, and then turn around and say that wasn’t the reason.  The scene with the white woman was laughable and somewhat disappointing. You don’t want to believe men would help a woman steal something just because she’s pretty, but it happens several times. The scene with the white male actor really displays what white privilege is, especially when compared to the black male actor. There was no consistency between the interactions, which shows there are general preconceived notions of social groups (stereotypes). It’s harder to tell if there is prejudice because that is defined as going towards all members of the group, but there is definitely discrimination/racism which is worse. One actor is allowed to steal and take a bike, while another actor has the police called on him and is even accused of stealing after it’s revealed that it’s a TV show. It’s legitimately all because of skin color. It gets even crazier when you compare the white woman to the black man because she had people trying to help her steal the bike. This shows discrimination which is negative in a general outlook (women can’t use tools, do things by their own, etc.), but in this particular situation it was positive because she stole the bike quicker and didn’t have to do any work. The show ironically displays its own discrimination by not showing what would happen if a black woman attempted to steal the bike as well.

It’s hard to say what I would do in the situation, but I would more than likely not say anything to any of the actors. Not because I don’t have stereotypes or I’m consistent, but because I absolutely hate confrontation, and if someone has the guts to steal a bike in broad daylight in a public place, go for it. I’m actually impressed.


Dan Gilbert knows how to work a crowd. He knows what people want, he knows what the audience will find topical and funny, and he knows about the self-help craze still sweeping bookstores. Fill a book or a TED Talk with reassuring people that they’ll be happy in unexpected, miserable situations, and of course they’ll like the premise. People want to be told that life is going to be okay, life will be great, and so on no matter what happens. Books and talks not uplifting and being positive about life aren’t as appealing because no one wants to be told life is a series of closed doors because everyone already experiences it.

He also makes an interesting comment towards the end of the talk: “But when those preferences drive us too hard and too fast because we have overrated the difference between these futures, we are at risk.When our ambition is bounded, it leads us to work joyfully. When our ambition is unbounded, it leads us to lie, to cheat, to steal, to hurt others, to sacrifice things of real value.” Basically, kill any of your passions, and be completely complacent in life. This life is the only one we have, and this guy is telling the audience to keep everything in check? He never defines what “real value” is either. Things of value differ from individual to individual. It’s a horribly discouraging quote that should be taken with a grain of salt.

Listen, no one is suppose to be feel happy all of the time. Life is full of disappointments and anxieties. It’s okay to feel sadness, despair, and other usually connotatively negative emotions. No one has to call it synthetic happiness. If you feel like you are settling for less, or you would be happier in another situation, it’s okay to feel like that and go for something else. No one can tell you if it truly does get better or worse because no one knows the future, and no one knows your perspective. If you know you’ll be happy one way or another, you’ll know before anything happens. I realize that sounds lame and unscientific, but it holds truth. Masking other emotions towards your current situation as synthetic happiness is just going to catch up with you in the end. Ultimately, happiness just fills a void when we’re going through the motions of a meaningless life. Maybe it doesn’t matter if it’s artificial or synthetic or real. It does feel better when you admit you’re not really happy, and you’ve just been subscribing to the bizarre pop culture craze of happiness being the only feeling you experience though.


I am First and Foremost a Scorpio

Color Quiz

I don’t think the color quiz was very accurate. Basing someone’s fears, desires, hopes, and unpleasantries purely based on the order of the colors picked isn’t incredibly scientific. I also kind of cheated: on the second go-around, the instructions explicitly said not to pick the colors in the same order as the first time, but I did it anyways, just to see if I could. I did it flawlessly. With that in mind, the quiz assessed some interesting items about me such as, “Feels unhappy and isolated because he is unable to succeed in finding the cooperation and understanding he desires,” “Tends to proceed with caution due to his fear of rejection. This attitude makes in difficult for him to earn respect or develop close relationships,” and “Is easily exhausted from too much argument and harsh circumstances. Sensitive and looks for sympathy and understanding from others.” Some of these check out because I have no emotional stability whatsoever, but one could apply most of those statements to a large population. That’s what I’m telling myself anyways. 

The First Jungian Test

I received the INFP type. INFPs are rare and exotic with only 4% representation in the general population. I think I fit the type nicely: self-expressive, loner, misunderstood, impractical, hopeless romantic, the mediator of friends. This doesn’t describe my entire personality of course, but I think it’s a helpful tool when thinking about career paths and how I function in relationships. For me, I think this was the most reliable test.

The Second Jungian Test

The second test scored me as an INFJ, however, I only have a 1% difference between judging and perceiving. An INFJ is a lot like an INFP except INFJs aren’t as dreamy and are more of a perfectionist, spoken type. Both of these types are suppose to be the ones that change the world and make it a better place, so I’m fine with either of these. I think I fit more of the INFP description personally. I did like it provided percentages showing why you scored what you did, but I think that made me perceive the test as less reliable because I didn’t agree with some of them.

The Big-5 Test

These are my results from the test:

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 3.37.25 PM

I scored the highest on agreeableness which is fairly accurate. I hate fights, debates, and heated arguments. Discussions are fine, but when things become argumentative, I shut down the conversation because I hate any kind of confrontation. I don’t know if I would say I’m practically friendly or optimistic though. I didn’t really score high on anything else. I honestly kind of expected that for emotional stability, conscientiousness, and extroversion. I’m not sure why the test-makers have intelligence/imagination as a category because that’s not in the Big 5 (in the description it does say it means open to experience, but that’s not the same as intelligence), and I’m assuming that the emotional stability is the same as neuroticism. The ad at the bottom for the social website also makes me suspicious of how accurate this test is because frankly, that friend matching website just sounds shady. I think the Big 5 traits are more difficult to calculate as well because people constantly improve or regress on those traits.

Leave People Alone

Right off the bat, it seems orthorexia is a cop-out for diagnosing someone with anorexia. Anorexia shares many symptoms with this eating disorder, but there is a key element for someone to be diagnosed with anorexia: the person’s body mass index (BMI) is highly suggested to be at least 15% below a normal BMI for someone their age and height to be diagnosed with anorexia. Orthorexia doesn’t have to have a BMI measurement at all. Orthorexia seems to be an incredibly specific type of anorexia, and aimed at a specific group that gets their identity from what they eat. Both disorders seem to stem from self-image and confidence issues. That should be what the focus on, not how “obsessed” someone is with eating healthy. If it makes them happy, let them be. If it doesn’t make them happy so to speak, causes physical harm, and fuels their body issue problems and self-identity crises, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. If the problem is there, it should be diagnosed as anorexia since it meets the criteria.

The orthorexia essay written by Dr. Bratman seems to be more of a cautionary tale than a mental disorder. He became obsessed with how organic, pure, and clean his food was and eventually overcame this and it affected him physically. The physical aspect, the self-identity crisis, and the obsessive control over what he wanted to eat are grounds for an eating disorder. It can be diagnosed as anorexia though, especially if the BMI measurement is lifted from the diagnosis criteria. When eating healthily results in negative symptoms in a person, mentally and physically, there should be concern, but if the person enjoys eating like that, and is not displaying poor physical health, then there is no need to necessarily be concerned.

Reading Dr. Bratman “What is Orthorexia?“, he claims there are differences between anorexia and orthorexia. Orthorexia, he says, is much more apart of a person’s identity, and the controlling aspect of each disorder. Orthorexia focuses on where the food came from, how was it prepared, etc. while anorexia is just about losing weight. On the contrary, it doesn’t matter how the food is controlled; the part that should be concerning is to what degree the food is being controlled. There should not be controlling classifications for eating disorders, especially two that are very much alike. With the identity argument, frankly, if I was someone with anorexia, I would be deeply insulted by his comment on identity. Anorexia is a terrible, consuming disorder with high mortality rates, and it takes years to overcome if someone can actually do it. Anorexia and bulimia  become intricate parts of someone’s identity that constantly must be battled on different levels of complexity. Bratman sounds a little entitled in finding a new eating disorder to describe his. Honestly, this orthorexia disorder is actually starting to reek of a little bit of sexism. Teenage girls are the main demographic of anorexia, and a new name on the same disorder can open the door for more men to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. This isn’t the first time the psychology community has done this (see Borderline Personality Disorder versus Narcissistic Personality Disorder). 

Not surprisingly, the vegan and vegetarian community has scoffed at this disorder, and offered most of the backlash against this possible eating disorder. Freelee the Banana Girl, a prolific vegan Youtuber with very colorful language who people say is orthorexic, makes sure her viewers know she is absolutely against this disorder. While I don’t exactly agree with every video she posts or even everything she says in this video, she does state she’s only obsessed with healthy eating because it makes her feel good, and she is making a conscious effort to put good things in her body. She posts pictures and suggests different kinds of “junk” food to eat while you are eating vegan/vegetarian. She claims people just “want to give a fuck about what they eat”, and to a certain level, I agree with that, but there are people out there who become distressed and suffer physically from consuming too much of a vegan diet or exercising too much without eating enough calories in their preferred diet. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have a doctorate or anything like that, but she offers interesting insight to the more passionate side of the vegan community, and she brings up a great point about the access of junk food in the vegan world.

On YouTube, there’s also videos saying orthorexia is a real disorder, one such video coming from a Youtuber called The Balanced Blonde. She says she suffered from orthorexia, and she lists several symptoms of the disorder. Note she gives special thanks to Dr. Bartman in the video description. While I support her getting help for her eating disorder, there are too many overlapping symptoms with anorexia. I don’t know if it would have been better for her to be diagnosed with anorexia since I don’t know her personally, but she’s making a difficult case for orthorexia to stand on its own. I do agree with the video’s message of one diet doesn’t fit everyone, however.

I think it’s going to be incredibly difficult for the overall public to back up this disorder, and for this disorder not to clash with anorexia. Overall, I don’t believe this is a valid way to define a boundary between an eating disorder and healthy eating.

Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game

I chose to review The American Psychological Association’s Review and the U.S. News’ article.

The APA’s segment does provide sufficient evidence that there is a correlation between increased aggression and playing violent video games. There isn’t enough conclusive data to say that there is a link between criminal violence and playing violent video games. This is mainly because there are too many other circumstances surrounding the people who play these video games to absolutely connect the two.

The U.S. News article focuses more on the subject of free speech and artistic expression than on scientific data backing the claim of video games don’t produce violence. The author points out that there is a rating system for video games that consumers can review before purchasing a game, and that there is no difference between game development and other artistic endeavors such as painting or film animation. The author uses FBI statistics of youth violence and consumer reports to prove that the increase of purchasing violent video games doesn’t increase actual violence (the FBI reports it has decreased over the years).

I tend to believe the APA’s review is more trustworthy than the U.S. News’ piece. First, the U.S. News article was written by the man who is the president/CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, or ESA, the company that represents video and computer games in trade. Some members of the ESA include Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Sega. Why would he want to write about something that could hurt his prospers? The article also provides no true or cited numerical data over the issue. Here is the APA’s full report over their review. On the other hand, critics have claimed the APA report doesn’t define aggression well at all, and that many people conducting the research are adamantly against video games, creating a bias.

Personally, I could care less about what happens with the future of video games. If one replaced video games with books or movies, however, then I would have a different opinion over the matter. I don’t believe video games are on the same playing field as movies, books, or art (specifically paintings). These three things have characters that exist of themselves; you are not those characters. A person can see aspects or representation of themselves in the character, but the consumer does not control the character at all. I can cry and throw my book against the wall, but it doesn’t change the fate or plot of my favorite characters.

Video games exist as an entirely different media. You can change the entire outcome of the game whenever you choose. You are controlling a meta-representation of a multitude of your own characteristics through an avatar of some sorts. Maybe these characteristics suggest you’re just really competitive, you really like how the game makes a ding noise every time you level up, or maybe you do like to be violent and act through those impulses in a virtual environment. Whatever the case, the controlling part of the violent video game makes it so much different than a violent book or movie. This is mainly my defense for why violent art, books, or movies should not be banned at all as compared to video games. Actually, a question I’d like answered would be why people are okay with banning certain books and movies, but when it comes to video games, it’s suddenly hurting a work of art or an abomination of free thought and expression.

Anyways, I am suggesting violent video games should probably be banned to a certain age demographic. Kids are more likely to be modeling to a certain degree the media they consume, especially when they are the ones controlling the character. This is no reason to have kids completely stop playing them at all. Even though I have a distinct lack of knowledge about the gaming world, I know there are plenty of video games interesting and engaging enough for young kids without the violence aspect. A ban would open the doors for those games to flourish, hopefully keep parents more aware of what their child is being exposed to, and create ways for more aggressive video games to exclusively cater to older consumers without having to worry about younger children being involved or exposed.



I Should Be Studying

As I’ve mentioned before, I had Ian for my CI class last semester. He taught us many of the studying and memorizing tips we are going over now, and our CLs reiterated what he said and threw in some tips of their own. The tips and tricks worked as my test grades steadily rose in the class, and I was a moderately happy camper in the end.

Unfortunately, I have no self-discipline, and I’m a giant idiot. I didn’t study like I did at the end of CI class at the beginning of this semester; I studied like the beginning of last semester. I didn’t study on a weekly basis or in increments. I studied everything four days before the test, and I just read over my notes. I copied them over three times and skimmed some of the practice questions in the books. I knew the test was going to be very specific, but I was content in pretending it wasn’t going to be for the time being until I got actually saw the questions on the test and started internally screaming.

If I could go back in time and change my study habits for the last test, I would first punch my past self in the face. Then I would make sure I was reviewing and going over the material well before the test, so it’s processed better in my memory, and I’m not trying to cram so much information in my mind at the last second. I would go to this  handy website and make my own exams to simulate the testing environment. I’d still rewrite my notes again because frankly my notes are a mess, and it still engrains some of the basic information in my mind too. If I had long texts like books or plays for English classes, I would create mind maps of the chapters, and for German, I would do practice questions and practice tests. When I actually did these things last semester, it was less stressful and kind of fun to read over and learn everything.

A website I’ve used to find study hints and inspiration is the other blogging platform Tumblr. Tumblr also uses tags in the posts, and the tags “studyblr” and “studyspo” are used to give people tricks and motivation for studying. One of the bigger blogs with this theme is called Elk Studies. Elk Studies is ran by an eighteen year-old Irish girl who is very determined to become a zoologist one day, and she posts about her studying habits and the materials she uses to study. Her studying tips line up pretty nicely with what we have discussed in class. Cramming is frowned upon, aesthetic note-taking is appreciated, the Pomodoro Technique is loved, and printables are the latest craze. She uses color-coding and reiterates the importance of talking to professors and attending office hours. Good sleeping habits and what makes a good studying environment are also repeated  on her blog. Overall, it’s a great place to find what works best for you in terms of studying without feeling pressured to have to try anything. I highly recommend it even if you’re not on Tumblr.

Dr. Love

What drew you to choose the talk you did?

The talk I chose was Trust, morality–and oxytocin? The title interested me because I’ve always had a fascination with why people display moral/immoral behavior, and why we ponder it so much. I have read too many books symbolically discussing the subject, but I have encountered very few true scientific talks embracing why humanity acts like we do.

Briefly summarize the talk.

Basically, Paul Zak, or “Dr. Love”,  experimented with oxytocin levels in people’s brains and found out our morality chemical in our brain that makes us feel good when we connect with people, donate to charity, receive hugs, and do other moral deeds.

What did you find most interesting about the talk?

Frankly, I did not find the talk as interesting as I thought I would. Another man’s own interpretation of morality kept periodically popping up into my head as I watched Dr. Love’s video. The man was George Price, one of the most brilliant minds of all time in my opinion. He expanded upon one biologist’s evolutionary equation to basically create a mathematical formula explaining how humans developed altruism–selfishness. The altruistic gene is passed on simply because the people who have the gene are more likely to have surviving offspring which is the goal of every natural creature. Basically, altruistic, moral behavior can be inherited and is passed on down through a family tree. I thought something along these lines of inheritance of oxytocin and how we’re not altruistic or moral because we choose to be would have been addressed, but barely a snippet of it was offered. I guess if I absolutely had to answer this question, Zak tested oxytocin levels at weddings, and the bride’s levels will sharply increase as well as her mother’s.

How trustworthy did you find the presenter and the information she or he presented? Explain why.

To be completely honest, this guy seems kind of…weird. First off, he describes himself as a neuroeconomist, and he’s apparently a pioneer in this field. I guess congratulations are in order for this achievement, but it seems like that field has already taken off (without the cool title unfortunately). Tons of stores and corporations already use psychology and neuroscience to persuade consumers to buy their products. So I’d like more information and details on that occupation. Second, I didn’t like how he didn’t provide concrete proof of studies and findings, but that’s mainly because it was a video and not an article I could easily look up. Third, if you go to page 128 in our psychology book, it implies that oxytocin is already being studied to influence social behavior in 2008 by two scientists named Donaldson and Young. This Ted Talk was released in 2011, and the presenter’s name is Paul Zak. Interpret all of this as you will, but Dr. Love was not the most compelling speaker, and I believe him on his research, but he still seems a little hokey.

Come up with a research idea of your own based on the information presented in the talk and briefly outline how you would conduct it.

Referring back to Price’s equation, I’d like to experiment on people’s inheritance of oxytocin levels. I’d also like to explore if there is a correlation between the evolution of altruism and oxytocin. This would be a long, drawn out experiment, and I honestly have no idea how to even go about conducting it, but I really would like to tie these two ideas together somehow because I think they can be.


Psychology around Us. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2013. Print.

Netflix and Chill

Research Question: Does having a Netflix account have an influence on a person’s sexual activity?

Hypothesis: I believe it does. A popular euphemism for asking another person if he/she/they want to have sex is Netflix and chill, as the phrase takes away some of the pressure of straight up asking someone if they want to have sex. The whole atmosphere makes the situation more comfortable than just one asking if waltzing over to someone’s house for a little bit of afternoon delight would be acceptable. It also, for the time being, doesn’t sound as cheesy as other sayings, yet it has been featured as a certain joke format, especially on social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram. This offers the recipient of the phrase flexibility on how to respond to the asker, and the asker can back out of the seriousness of the offer if need be to save pride. The entire pliability of Netflix and chill makes it a fascinating cultural aspect of our time, but when the phrase becomes applicable to a person–meaning one finally creates a Netflix account basically–is the opportunity to use this euphemism capitalized? Is it something still a bit untouchable, or has it just been tossed aside as a joke now?

Operationalized Definitions: Sexual activity will be defined as according to this webpage.  Netflix and chill will be defined as watching a TV show/movie on Netflix and engaging in sexual activity afterwards with a partner or engaging in sexual activity while a TV show/movie is streaming in the background with a partner.

Methodology: I think a survey is probably the most appropriate method because many of the other methods would either be really awkward or really illegal. Surveys also offer the best opportunity for someone to remain anonymous for the study.

Procedure: Participants will be selected at random at Austin College, provided the person is at least 18 years old. The participants will be asked the following questions:

  1. Do you have a Netflix subscription?
  2. How long have you had your Netflix subscription?
  3. Are you/have you been sexually active?
  4. Have you ever been asked by a potential sexual partner if you would like to Netflix and chill?
  5. Would you be comfortable if someone you sought as a potential partner asked you to Netflix and chill?
  6. Would you be comfortable if said potential partner used different terminology as a euphemism for having sex?
  7. Have you ever asked a potential partner if he/she/they would like to Netflix and chill?
  8. Would you ever be comfortable asking someone to Netflix and chill?
  9. Would you be comfortable using different terminology?
  10. Do you believe the phrase Netflix and chill has taken away some of the pressure of asking a potential partner to engage in sexual activity?
  11. Do you believe your Netflix subscription/lack of Netflix subscription has influenced your sexual activity?

Given the limited access to other college campuses and people and lack of time/resources, it should be noted that the participants are only a subset of the total collegiate population. It should also be noted lying and bias can corrupt a survey’s data as well.

The Gay Agenda

Evelyn Hooker was one of the most important psychologists in history because of her feminist qualities and her work on homosexuality versus heterosexuality, which eventually led to homosexuality being erased from the Diagnostic and Statistic Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Hooker spent most of her studious years in Colorado, as she received her bachelor’s and master’s at the University of Colorado. She wanted to earn her doctorate’s at Yale, but the department chair did not want women in his area of study. She instead attended John Hopkins University and earned her doctorate in experimental psychology in 1932.

This was a pivotal moment for Hooker. Through contacts, in 1937, she was able to go to Berlin to study clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychotherapy. Of course, this was around Hitler’s rise to power, and she witnessed some of the atrocious discrimination and destruction of the culture and people of Germany during her visit.

After her visit to Berlin, she began working at UCLA. She would eventually leave the university, then come back to it in the 1950s. Hooker started to notice the battle gay men/culture was facing in the 1950s and wanted to pursue research in this field. She had witnessed what the hatred of people pushed onto other’s had accomplished in Berlin, and the United States was heading dangerously towards the same route with homosexuality. Her study contended that gay men were not mentally ill because of their homosexuality and should not be treated as such.  She was awarded a grant to prove her statement.

She rounded up 30 homosexual and 30 heterosexual men who were alike in almost every sense of the word expect for sexual orientation and looks. She had all of the participants take the Rorschach Test, the Make a Picture Story Test, and the Thematic Apperception Test–all crucial on testing an individual’s psychological state. The test scorers were suppose to separate the homosexual and heterosexual scores, but they could not see any patterns to do so. The experts could not differentiate homosexual and heterosexual men by these psychological tests. This only supported the theory that homosexuality does not directly affect one’s mental health in terms of disorders.

As previously mentioned, her study was a crucial one used in the decision to remove homosexuality in the DSM-II in 1973. Hooker’s study eventually led her to receive the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest award in 1992. She is considered not only an important figure in psychology, but in the LGBT+ community as well.

Sources used: