Media project

According to a new study done by Sociology students at the University of North Carolina, having friends is good for a person’s health starting in adolescence.

Data was taken from more than 14,000 Americans in 4 nationally representative groups from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, Health and Retirement Study and the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project.

The study focuses on two primary dimensions that differently influence health at different parts of life: it measures both social connectedness and social support using age-appropriate conceptualizations of these dimensions for each changing life stage. Finally, the research also analyzes many objectively measured endophenotypes including C-reactive protein, hypertension, overall obesity, and abdominal obesity to express key physiological causes for common diseases that appear with aging. The results of the study found that social interaction is related to better physiological operating and less chance of physical diseases/disorders across different parts of the life course and led to lower anticipated values for biomarkers like CRP, waist circumference, Body Mass Index and systolic blood pressure.

Even when adjusting for age, sex, and race, there is still a statistically significant negative association between socialness and certain disorders, like high blood pressure.



For this project, I was dealing with a news article that was fairly short, so including all the information from the study that was important was hard and forced me to be selective in what was included. Re-writing a news article is difficult for other reasons: since I was adapting this from a research article, I had to re-word things to make them understandable and casual to an everyday reader, as well as include information that is relevant to the article.

My summary focused more on how the research was found that the initial article. The New York Times article dealt mostly with what results were found as opposed to including what led researchers to these results, and I also included more information on what participants were found and where they were found. I feel as though knowing where participants came from helps people to better understand if these results can be generalized to everyone or only certain groups and allows them to more easily understand the results.

After doing this assignment, I better understand how hard it is for journalists to adapt research articles to something that can be used in popular media and read by everyday people, while also including what the research found. There are a lot of facts, results and processes that are deemed important from a research article but it is hard to include all of those things and maintain the interest of the average reader. So even though we should take articles that don’t include all the required information from an article in stride, we also need to understand the difficultly journalist face trying to write.

FIP-Mental Health

Before watching the video, I think that TV shows that follow the lives of people with mental health issue can be exploitative, if they do not choose themselves to be documented. For example, in Intervention, a lot of the time, the family of the person with issue are the ones who choose to document the life of them. That is exploitative. So as long as people are choosing to be documented, then it is okay to film them for entertainment.

After watching the video, none of my opinions really change. You could visibly see how upset the guy was about his stuff being gone through, so in my mind its really unfair for them to be filming him.

The comments of the video were really rude and often not even about the show or the purpose behind the show. Potentially, the show could be used to communicate facts about real mental issue to a wide audience but since they are used for entertainment purposes, people often time focus on the superficial, such as the appearances of the people.

FIP- Social Psychology

I personally found the IAT to be interesting to take. The way the test is done shows how quickly you associate different groups with positive or negative words and therefore stereotypes.  The results of my tests were not particularly surprising in my opinion and I was mostly aware of the results I received. I think this test is useful to college students because it gives us a chance to notice and possibly change our biases if we want. For a lot of college students, college is the beginning of forming your own true opinion without being weighed down by your hometown or by the beliefs of your parents. So it can be beneficial for lots of college students to take this test because it can help them to fully acknowledge their biases and grow from them.

FIP- Stress

In her TEDTALK, Kelly McGonigal discusses how believe that stress if bad for their health leads to even worse health than stress itself. She proposes that if we changes how our minds interpret health, we can change how our bodies react to stress. If we are taught to rethink our stress responses as things that help us to perform tasks can make us more motivated, confident and we can perform better. If we think of our stress as helpful, the stress on our hearts can be less and prevent stress related heart attacks and other complications. McGonigal also talks about how stress makes us social. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released when we are stressed and stress makes us want to be around people who care about us when we are stressed. Oxytocin is released and oxytocin can help heal damage on the heart that is related to stress. So oxytocin can help us reduce harmful effects of stress on our health.  In my life, I can use McGonigal’s ideas on how to view stress to help me calm down and be more effective when I am stressed. I can view stress as a positive thing that keeps me motivated to succeed.

FIP- Motivation

I chose to come to Austin College because I heard many great things about the academics here and how each person can receive an education that is personalized to them and their academic needs as well as their lifetime goals. Austin College is also away from my home but also not so far away that I can’t visit when I need/want to. For me, instincts are what keep me motivated during times of low academic motivation here at Austin College. The want to succeed and do well is intrinsically planted within me and my home life and academic life have helped me to realize that I should keep up with college in order to succeed in life.

Spotlight Blog #1

This website article is an info graphic on study tips for college students. The post talks about taking effective notes, studying those notes, getting enough sleep and which study techniques are best for college students to use.  They first talk about notes and how 64.3% of college students use laptops to take notes.  And taking notes is an essential process for effective studying, however students who used laptops to take notes reported that they are distracted when taking notes which takes down the quality of  the notes they take because they are distracted by things like games, the internet, testing and email The website gives tips against being distracted in class, which is helpful for memory because good notes equal easy ways to study.  Next the website lays out ways to study: review your notes every day, set aside 30-50 minutes to study with a 10 minute break, read notes, rewrite notes, highlight notes, make flashcards and make up examples. All of these study tips are fantastic for helping students memorize. Reviewing your notes each day is a great way to study because you have a longer amount of time to study and commit the material to memory, and scheduling study time in chunks with breaks in between is very good.  However, it is mostly recommended that you study material for 20 or so minutes and take a small break. 30-50 minutes may be a rather steep amount of time to study at once, so shortening it may be more effective. Reading through and rewriting notes is another very effective way to study because writing things down multiple time helps commit it to memory and this will be especially helpful if a student has taken notes on a laptop. The next tip of making up examples is very help because it is based on the way of studying that is called elaboration which helps people associate concepts in their mind with real life stories and helps them remember.  The infographic also warns against cramming the night before an assessment and talks about the benefits of getting enough sleep.

This website has an article that talks about 10 studying tips for middle school students as given by teachers. The first tip is to select a consistent and calm place to study. The environment that one studies in can vary from person to person and each student needs to develop that perfect place to study: with music or without, a desk or a bed, the bedroom or the library. And once the perfect study place is found, it needs to be used pretty regularly. The next tip is to not cram when studying and to studying a little every night, which is a good tip because you have more time to commit things to memory. Avoid cramming and get a good nights sleep will help you perform better on you exams. The next tip is my personal favorite for studying well and staying organized is to buy a planner and write all your assignments in it so that you remember what is coming up and what you need to get done. Most students have too much on their minds to remember everything without writing it down. Another tip on the this site is to make flash cards or a study guide and practice with them each night leading up to the test so that you know what you will be tested on. This is helpful simply because it is an effective way to study but you can also divide it into what you know really well and what you need to practice more so that you are focusing on what you actually need to practice. This article also recommends forming study groups if that is something helps you and to ask for help from other students or teachers if you’re struggling.

The first article I looked at was study tips for parents and more specifically for parents of elementary school students. It laid out 10 tips that included: knowing the child’s teacher, setting up a homework area, regular study time, homework plan, minimizing distractions, letting kids do their own work, monitoring and motivating kids, setting an good example, praising them for good work and working with their teacher if there is an ongoing issue for the kid. For the most part, these tips are good. Some of these tips don’t fall under the sphere of helping a child’s memory though, some are simply there to promote parental involvement with a young child’s education. However, a child who is positively encouraged by his/her parents and by his/her teacher will tend to do better in school. (ADD A LINK) In terms of studying and memory, the tips about a study plan, minimizing distraction, and regular study times is very good and can help with memory. Having a set way and plan to study, even from a young age can benefit memory and how well kids study. Also, minimizing distraction is essential to the effectiveness of studying. When you sit down to study, it is not at all effective if you are constantly distracted by other people, the TV, or other electronics like the phone or iPod.

Personality Tests

Human Metrics Test

The human metrics test found that I have a ENFJ personality type mean that I was more extraverted, intuitive, feeling and judging. Extra-version means that I enjoy being social and around people and intuitive indicated that I go off of my intuition more than my sense. The test also indicated that I feel things out instead and thinking logically about them, and I have a slight preference of judging things than perceiving them.  The result of this test aren’t explicitly wrong and that the test did a fairly good job of judging many of my personality traits in my opinion. However I do think that I tend to think logically about most things than to just feel them out and let what happens, happen. Also for this test, there was not a lot explanation about how they decided my results and there was no description of what the results mean. So for me, the lack of explanation detracted from the credibility of the test.

This test felt pretty credible and gave me a lot of explanation on the traits. According to the test, I have personality type ISTJ and according to the test, type ISTJ gets stressed out easily and that stress can often feel physically and mentally draining, which is accurate to how I feel when under a lot of stress. ISTJ types also rely heavily on structure and society and when the system is failing them, they feel much stress and become weary, which I feel is also accurate.

This test claimed that I was highly extroverted, but had low emotional stability, I am fairly agreeable and moderately intellectual and conscientious.  I feel good about these results in the sense of how accurate they are, but there was a overall lack of good explanation and description. But I did get a base understanding of the results of the test and I do find them to be mostly accurate.

Color Quiz

This quiz was the most interesting in my opinion because I like to see how our perception of color is influenced by our personality traits. This quiz decided that I was searching for bonds with people who were accepting, kind and made me feel peaceful and safe. That is very accurate, but I also think it is a general feeling that many, many people seek. The test also states that I seek independence and freedom and resist limitations. Once again, I feel like this is common for many people in the world and honestly for me, I think it is not that true in relation to my personality. I often like to have guidelines and limitations in life- academic and beyond.

Violence in Video Games

I think violent video games can definitely have a effect on children’s and adult’s personality and behavior, but only if they are not being stimulated by other things in the world. From a young age, we are taught the difference between right and wrong. So if you are playing a video game where you have to kill someone or something, most people still know that killing is wrong even if they choose to do it in a video game. But if people get consumed in the games that they are playing, then it is much easier for it to influence their behavior. I think that if people are being consumed by their actions in video games then there is a larger problem at hand than the video game itself. Banning all violent video games isn’t a bad idea per se but I think it is unnecessary.



I believe that marijuana should be legalized and used for both recreational and medical reasons. Marijuana is a drug that does minimal damage to your body and has low levels of addiction. As far as recreational drug use goes, marijuana does the least harm to people consuming and people around them. Like most things, there should be regulations for production, selling and consuming of marijuana. But it should all be legalized. Marijuana can also benefit many people with different medical situations including cancer patients, people with nerve pain or glaucoma. Medical marijuana can benefit the healthcare system in so many ways so there is little reason for it to not be legalized.


When it comes to studying, I do well in terms of how I study. In that I mean, I study what I need to study and I don’t study things I already know, and I have found ways to study that work for me and my mind. I make flashcards and study guides that I can read over and I take good notes. However, the issue with my study habits is that I do not devote much time to studying. I tend to not start studying til a night or two before, and I find myself trying to memorize 3 chapters of material in one or two nights. I know that the more efficient way to study and memorize material is to read through the notes and material everyday as I am learning it so that when an exam comes I do not have to cram. For the first exam in Psych 101, I had all the proper materials I needed in order to study- lecture notes, book notes, and flashcards but I decided to not start studying til the night before, which made it hard to study effectively.