Media Production

By: Tanner Logsdon

May 8, 2017

A Finnish study from ELSEVIER sponsored by Orium, is reporting a possible breakthrough in the field of Alzheimer’s treatment. The new drug called, ORM-12741 is a treatment drug not meant to cure the disease but rather halt the process and give the patients dealing with moderate Alzheimer’s relief and more time.

Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects cognitive memory and brain functions. The disease slowly deteriorates the brain and can eventually lead to death after the seventh stage. With this being said there is little that medicine or other treatments can do and the disease does not have a cure. ORM for short, is a drug developed to slow the process by targeting alpha-2C adrenoceptors in the brain, which are responsible for initiating the “fight or flight” response in our nervous system in reactions to tress related environments. This drug is the first of its kind to target specific receptors in the brain such as alpha-2C’s and is already showing process in its trial runs.

During the study there were 2 main targets, safety and results, both of which showed promise. The test involved a total of 100 people who had a mild-moderate case of Alzheimer’s. Out of those 100 patients 50 received a placebo drug acting as a dummy drug and their results showed a 33 percent decrease in cognitive memory, while the other 50 patients were given either a low-dose (30 to 60 milligrams) twice daily supply of ORM-12741 or a high-dose (100 to 200 milligrams) version of the ORM showed a 4 percent increase in scores. Scores were measured through a series of memory test administered online.

Still in the preliminary stages the drug seemed to show positive effects on cognitive memory. As for safety there was only 1 reported case of liver problems. All of the baseline monitors seemed to stay regular offering a very promising safety record. While showing promising effects their are many things to take into consideration. For one, these drugs were put on top of other drugs already treating the patients. While placed on top of other drugs seeing that we have seen promising increases in memory this means the drugs are working in cohesion with their medication to further prevent symptoms.

Although the drug is still in the preliminary stage and still has a lot of trails to go through before it can be a set medicine in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, it has already shown that it is a factor to be reckoned with. As stated by Rouru, the head researcher in this study, “I am afraid that wonder drugs hardly exist,” he noted. “In the present study, our drug was used on top of existing Alzheimer’s medications. In that setting it showed clear effect, which suggests that it is giving additional clinically significant benefit for patients that are already using Alzheimer’s

http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20130311/experimental-alzheimers-drug-shows-promise-study-finds#1

 

 

 

 

After writing my own summary of the research article I can see how hard it is to actually be a journalist. I now see the struggles that they have to go through to deliver a high quality piece of work that can be published and seen as an actual journal article instead of someone posting something online. I had difficulties putting my thoughts onto the paper in a way that the journalist did that really delivers the view of the researcher. I knew what I wanted to say about the research, but what I wanted to say didn’t really summarize the article or point out the key points that make the article. I also saw how difficult it really was to include every piece of information while having to shorten and summarize my article to a piece less than 2 pages. As far as the amount of stuff I could include into the article it wasn’t a matter of what to include or not to include it was how to do it and where to place it. I found myself leaving out some of the smaller details that referred to the study and mainly focusing on the main aspects that the study was going for such as the safety and the overall results. After this project and my multiple blog post I have a new fond respect for journalist. The amount of research they have to do into these studies and the amount of details they have to scrounge through to produce a perfect article is outstanding. I would compare my work to a little below what the original journal post was because my experience is not near what theirs was. I struggled with organization and going into detail in the short amount of space given. Overall I feel I covered what I needed to cover, but I feel as though I would’ve been able to do a lot better with more time and an extended work availability and word count.

 

 

 

 


Media Production Project // How to Reset Your Body Clock

Many of us go to bed late, wake up feeling tired, and end up feeling sluggish for the rest of the day. The inconsistency in the sleep schedules of today’s generation is causing an increase in overall sleep deprivation among the general population. Instead of attempting to sleep earlier every night and failing each time, try going on a week excursion outdoors. A recent study conducted by researcher Kenneth Wright and his team found that spending a week camping outdoors could reset our body clocks, fix our sleep schedules, and get us more sleep.

Our body clocks, also known as our circadian clocks, tells our bodies when it is time to wake up and go to sleep. This internal clock is tracked by measuring how much melatonin is present in our blood at specific times. A person with a healthy circadian clock would have melatonin levels that correspond to the natural biological night. They would have higher levels of melatonin before bedtime and throughout the night and lower levels of melatonin before they wake up. Due to modern day advancements, the night we are used to is not same as the biological night of the natural world. The biological night of the natural world begins at sunset and ends at sunrise. Because most of us have a biological night begins much later than the natural biological night, our melatonin levels will still be relatively high during sunrise, when our melatonin levels are supposed to be low.

Light affects human physiology and behavior as it plays a key role in human cognition, sleep, vitamin D synthesis and physical activity. Modern day advancements, particularly in technology and electricity, have increased the amount of time we spend indoors. This leads to an increased usage and dependence on electrical light rather than on natural light, ultimately interfering with our sleep schedules and circadian clocks.

Conducted in July of 2013, Dr. Kenneth Wright and his team conducted a study that tested for how our circadian rhythms are affected by electricity and natural light. They sent out eight participants, in their 20s and 30s, on a two-week camping trip in the Rocky Mountains, in which they were allowed to use electrical lighting for the first week and only natural lighting for the second week. The participants were allowed to manage their own daily routines in the first week, including school, work, social activities, sleep schedules and exposure to indoor and outdoor light. During the second week, however, the participants had to camp outdoors in tents and were only allowed to use natural sources of light.

The researchers measured for two factors: the amount of light exposure received by the participants and melatonin levels in the participants. Although participants were exposed to more natural light than usual for both weeks, the amount of natural light exposure was higher in the second week. As expected, melatonin levels increased closer to sunset during the second week and decreased right after sunrise. On average, melatonin levels rose more than an hour earlier than usual. Exposure to natural light also stabilized the timing of melatonin rhythm and onset among the participants.

To conclude from the research findings, increasing exposure to natural light during the day and decreasing exposure to electrical light during the night is the best way to reset our circadian clocks.

Reflection

I had some difficulty writing the summary in the beginning, since I wasn’t sure whether I should follow the content of the pop culture article or the scholarly research article. I ended up basing my content on the scholarly research article but wrote the summary in the style of the pop culture article. Because I was writing in the style of a pop culture article, I had to break down a lot of the details and jargon present in the scholarly research article. Another main obstacle I experienced while writing the summary was that I did not have interviews that I could incorporate into it, in order for it to be like a pop culture article. The lack of interviews in my summary is also a significant difference between my summary and the original article. Not having interviews made it difficult to make the summary more original and appealing to readers. My summary, however, presented the study in a more condensed and concise fashion that was more comprehensible to readers, similar to the original article.

As I had mentioned earlier, it was particularly difficult for me to write the summary in the style of a pop culture article and through the perspective of a journalist. Based on my previous experience in newspaper and journalism during my junior year of high school, it is very important to include primary and direct sources in our articles, unless the article is an opinion piece. These sources are often obtained through interviews and quoting direct quotes. Journalists often write to the general population, whether it is to appeal, to inform, or to persuade. In original pop culture article, the journalist had persuasive tone that encouraged the public to go out and try camping. The journalist also incorporated a title that is aimed towards people seeking for a solution to their sleep schedules, hence the “how to” title. As a result, my summary was not able to compare to the pop culture article, as the content did not match to how a journalist would write it.

Works Cited:
Netburn, Deborah. “How to Reset Your Body Clock – and Get Better Sleep – with Hiking Boots and a Tent.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2017, http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-camping-better-sleep-20170202-story.html. Accessed 23 Feb. 2017.

Wright, K., McHill A., Birks B., Griffin, B., Rusterholz, T., Chinoy, E., (2013, August 19). Entrainment of the Human Circadian Clock to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle. Retrieved March 23, 2017.


Media Project

Summary:

In a 2016 study, Patrick Haggard and his team of psychologists modernized the Stanley Milgram studies from the 1950’s. Both experiments explored the relatedness of coercion and the willingness to carry out harmful acts. Haggard et al. used meaurements of one’s sense of agency to determine whether people are more willing to committ harmful acts on someone else when that person is told to do so rather than acting out of their own volition.

For this study, all participants selected were women as a means of eliminating gender bias as a source of reasoning for their eventual conclusions. In both of Haggard et al.’s experiments conducted, one participant was dubbed the ‘agent’ while the co-particpant was given the ‘victim’ title. In the experiments, an experimenter would order the ‘agent’ to harm the ‘victim’ with financial harm or an electroshock that resulted in financial harm for the ‘victim’. Both trials of the experiment sought to answer the same question of why people so readily comply with orders to do harm to someone else.

The study found that coercion conditions decreased the time interval between the command to perform an action and actually doing the action. This suggests when told to do something, someone thinks about it less thus doing the action without fully understanding the consequences. Additionally, the idea of social reciprocity played a key role in this study. Haggard et al. found that the ‘agent’ was more likely to freely choose to harm the ‘victim’ when the ‘agent’ was first the ‘victim’. Lastly, the financial component suggests that money could be a potential motivating factor of complying to orders.

Is it in human nature to be violent, regardless of coercion? This study could not answer that question any more than other studies of similar nature that have been conducted. This psychological experiement, however, provides compelling statistical data to suggest our moral proccessing of a future event is greatly reduced when we are coerced into an action instead of having the freedom to choose.

According to the results of this experiment, simply obeying orders as a criminal defense for a violent crime could be seen as more than just a cry for leniency in court.

Reflection:

In my summary, I condensed the process and results of Haggard et al.’s psychological experiments. Additionally, I provided the journal article’s original reasoning behind conducting the experiment. Furthermore, those whom read my summary can understand the overall experiment from the information I provided. My summary allows for varied interpretations of the discussed experiment which can lead to different applications of this study’s findings about coercion and sense of agency.

Compared to the news article written by Alison Abbott, my summary provided a more accurate description of the reasoning behind Haggard et al. performing their psychological experiments. My summary, however, did not provide as much background information about the Stanley Milgram experiments as the news article did. I focused more on the modern-day ‘electroshock’ experiment whereas the news article drew more comparisons between Haggard et al. experiment and Milgram’s experiments. The news article generalized the findings of this study to everyone but I noted the legal defense aspect discussed in the journal article. Overall, my summary and the news article written by Alison Abbott provided commentary on a compelling and controversial psychological experiment recently conducted.

When I was writing my article about the experiment, I found it challenging to determine which information about the study would allow for readers to have the greatest understanding of the experiment ran by Haggard et al. After writing my article, I have gained a more accepting view of the news article written by Alison Abbott. Originally, I thought her article had many flaws but now I realize the assessment of which information in a journal article is necessary to include in a news article can vary with each person and does not mean any perception is wrong or inaccurate. Journalists often dramatize the topic they are writing about to increase the amount of readers and subsequently increase sales. This journalistic perspective of dramatization offers more excitement when reading articles in the media. At the end of the day, each news article written tells you what that journalist wanted you to hear, not what you want to hear. Sometimes, these two perspectives coincide which allows for a more informed public. When they do not coincide, however, the journalist’s perspective on a topic or current event can lead to people being misinformed.

Links:

Scholarly article:

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(16)00052-X

News article:

http://www.nature.com/news/modern-milgram-experiment-sheds-light-on-power-of-authority-1.19408


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.

 

Reflection

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.


Media Production Project

Summary of the Research Article:

The journal article “Happier People Live More Active Lives: Using Smartphones to Link Happiness and Physical Activity” by Neal Lathia, Gillian M. Sandstrom, Cecilia Mascolo, and Peter J. Rentfrow attempted to find if physical activity throughout the day is tied to happiness.

The study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) in smartphones to collect self-report data and smart-phone technology that measured movement to gather data on physical activity. Participants in the study were anyone who downloaded the app onto their android phones and continued to interact with the app throughout the study. There were over 10,000 participants in the study. The app sent two surveys to the participants between 8 AM and 10 PM, at least two hours apart, to measure emotion and physical activity. Participants’ happiness was measured by having them plot their mood on a graph relating to stress, excitement, depression, and relaxation. Participants also answered questions asking how much an adjective described their mood from 1 to 7, with 1 being the lowest and 7 the highest. Physical activity was measured both through self-report and data recorded by the phone itself. The app would ask what kind of physical activity a user had done in the past 15 minutes a long of what kind of emotions the participants felt.

The study found a positive correlation between physical activity and happiness. This correlation continued both on weekdays and weekends. Happier people tended to start their days earlier and end their days later and participate in physical activity during the entire day. The study also found a correlation between a lack of physical activity and lower levels of happiness. The physical activity measured wasn’t vigorous activity but a more everyday physical activity such as walking, running, or cycling. The researchers say this association between physical activity and happiness is “modest but reliable”, meaning that the correlation was small but consistent. The researchers caution against making extreme conclusions from this study, as it showed a small correlation between physical activity and happiness.

It is important to make the distinction between correlation and causation. The study did not show that physical movement caused happiness or that movement caused happiness. The only study that can show causation is an experiment. This study only showed that there seems to be a relationship between physical activity and happiness, and the researchers actually suggest that an experiment should be done to demonstrate causation.

The researchers assert that their use of phones to collect data may be a great way to collect data in future research studies, but they also caution against some problems arising from cell phone data. Participants are unlikely to have carried their phones and especially during vigorous exercise. It also drains the battery of the phone to continuously collect data. The researchers finally identify that it is hard to know how feedback from an act influences mood or behavior.

Ultimately, the researchers conclude that the study shows that the amount people move during the day is correlated with happiness.

 

Reflection:

As I was summarizing the article, I felt some sympathy for the journalist who wrote the original news article. It is difficult to relay scientific information while still keeping the article interesting for the general public. It is also difficult to relay scientific information using common words and phrases so the average person can understand it. I couldn’t include how the data from the android on physical activity correlated with the self-report data on physical activity, which showed that the data from the phone was a reliable measure to use for physical activity. I also would have liked to include some more information on how the researchers collected data and what type of questions they asked participants to answer. I decided that these two pieces of information could be sacrificed without severely altering the understanding of the study. I aslo felt that omitting a different section, such as the section on limitations of the study, would have been more damaging to someone’s understanding of the study than the details of how the study was carried out.

My perspective of journalists has definitely changed over the course of these projects. At first, I felt like journalists wrote articles to get views and not really to inform the general public. After reading this news article and trying to summarize the study myself, I have realized that a journalist’s job is a lot more difficult than I originally realized. Journalists have to make an article interesting in order to inform people, and I now think that journalists have a more noble intent in writing than I did at the beginning of this project.

Links:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/well/move/get-up-and-move-it-may-make-you-happier.html?_r=0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5213770/


Media production project

PTSD is one of the most talked about mental disorders today.  Unfortunately, it is a well-known disability to many of our service members.  However, a new study shows support of a possible vaccine.  The new study, conducted on lab mice, shows that ketamine (more well known for its use as a high strength tranquilizer) given at the right times before experiencing trauma may mitigate the onset of symptoms.

This study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center stated that since ketamine is so powerful general use would not be a viable option to the general public.  However, certain people that are a given to encounter psychological trauma, such as police officers or members of the armed forces, could benefit from being given ketamine at a certain time before the trauma occurs.

PTSD is a disorder that has shown very little in the way of treatment that would actually work and it is a disorder that is fairly common.  This new study that shows potential involved giving the mice doses of ketamine at different intervals.  The most effective interval is giving the mice ketamine one week before trauma.  If trauma can be somewhat predicted this could be a game changer for military members experiencing trauma.  Another promising finding was giving mice ketamine one hour after the trauma seemed to help also meaning onset of symptoms could be prevented if timed well.

 

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/090217/ketamine-vaccine-may-help-prevent-post-traumatic-stress-disorder.html

Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication 22 March 2017; doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This assignment was highly enlightening for me.  Being a veteran, PTSD is one of the things I struggle with daily.  Due to this struggle I wanted to look into something that would possibly be useful information to help with my issues.  I wound up finding an article from the Deccan Chronicle showing that ketamine may help with the situation of combat veterans having PTSD.  I was absolutely fascinated by this and went to writing.  It was a struggle because I wanted to write so much but had to remain analytical for the purpose of the paper.  I struggled with the critique and must say I had some bias at this point because I was very hopeful that the article was completely accurate.  Once I began to read the scholarly article, my hopes were quickly confirmed and I was also left with more questions than answers.  I wanted to know how this would be ethical to test on humans.  I also wanted to know if there was any more they could have expanded with ketamine in regards to treatment because I wanted it to be an option not just for the future, but for the present as well.  Once I moved on to this final leg I once again found myself in the struggle of detaching myself from the work.  I found it highly difficult to look at the study as a journalist because I wanted to remain as unbiased as possible.  However, I was enlightened by this study despite all of my struggles during the process


Are video games making you racist?

Are you a white person? Do you play violent video games? Do you enjoy shooting and running over random people in the virtual streets? Have you ever played grand theft auto or saints row with a black avatar? If this sounds like a good time to you, then I have some shocking news that you must hear. Break all of your violent video games today and never use a black avatar again! You’re turning yourself into an aggressive racist! A recent study constructed and executed out of the Ohio State University lead by Dr. Brad Bushman has tested the effects of playing violent video games as a black avatar on white people and the results are shocking to white people everywhere. The psychologists reached their assumptions from the results of two different experiments. The first experiment randomly chose participants to play saint row as a black or white avatar and complete either a violent or non-violent task. The violent task being escape from a prison, and the non- violent being locate a church. After the tasks were completed the researchers implemented an implicit negative attitudes test. In this test the participants were required to associate different white and black faces with good and bad words. The results showed an increased connection between the black faces and bad words amongst the participants who completed a violent task with a black avatar. The second experiment was designed to not only show increased negative attitudes towards blacks but also an increase in aggressive behavior. Participants were again randomly selected to play as either a white or black avatar. Participants then played the violent video games “WWE Smackdown V.S Raw” or “Fight Night.” After playing the games participants completed another implicit negative attitude test. The test had black and white male and female faces paired with either weapons or harmless objects. To no surprise to the researchers the results showed an increased in negative pairings amongst the participants who had played with black avatars. To examine the increase in aggressive behavior the participants were then given one more test. The participants were given the ability to feed hot sauce to an imaginary person that did not like the sauce to begin with. The participants who had played with a black character forced the imaginary partner to consume 115% more hot sauce than those who had played with a white avatar. Dr. Bushman has exclaimed that the results of the research is outstanding proof that the portrayal of blacks as violent in all forms of media increases racial tendency and aggression in whites.

research article:

http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/03/20/1948550614528008

News article:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/03/20/video-games-may-reinforce-racist-stereotypes-study-finds​

 

Rewriting this article was pretty simple. Anyone can summarize an experiment. The tough part about writing this article and continuing this project is my lack of interest in this subject. I care a lot about the racial divide in our world today, but I am increasingly tired of it. I find that no matter what you do there are going to be racist tendencies in some people. Some people flat out don’t want change. Hate is such a powerful emotion. I feel like the race issue is prominent in my everyday life. This debate has caused me to feel defeated and lost. I don’t believe one day prejudice will be extinct. Research like this I find obviously shows that almost everything shines a light on the natural tendency of racism in people. I find it unfair to blame a video game for the increased aggression and racist tendencies in the white participants. Maybe people are just inherently stereotypical and prejudice. That seems to be the truth, and that is why the race debate is killing me on the inside. I feel that no matter what I think because of my skin color I am assumed to have some natural feeling of supremacy towards other races. I have a typically black name and I grew up in a family and community that was mostly Mexican and black. I know I’m not the only one who has the same feelings of dejection, but being a white person who is so accustom to accepting other’s for their culture and skin color to the point that it isn’t acceptance it is just the way I am, I feel defeated that my skin color throws my true identity into the trash. This project has increased my disgust for the media and the way ideas are portrayed by journalists and researchers. When I read the news or listen to it I pretty much just do so to take in something and get an idea of what is going on but I never allow a news outlet to determine my feelings on a scenario. Pretty much just goes in one ear and out the other. I left out a lot of intricacies that I did not find important to summarizing the research. I also left out a lot of the discussion because I feel like the general idea is easily summarized with one or two sentences.

 


Media Production Project – SEX: What Time is the Right Time?

For many kids and parents, it is a question that lingers: is there a right time to begin having sex?

Although there is quite a bit of stigma surrounding the thought of when someone should have their first sexual experience, majority of young people begin having sex in the U.S. well before what is considered to be adulthood. In a psychological study conducted in 2012, there was standards put on participants debuting them to be classified as “early” if their sexual experience began before the age of 15, “normative” if it occurred between 15 and 19 years old, and “late” if it occurs after 19 years of age. The study went through “waves”: Wave I, Wave II, Wave III, and Wave IV. Each wave was conducted at different periods of times for the participants; they were asked about their sexual experiences at each increment of time.

This study arises the question: does the age of when you begin to have sexual experiences complicate later life experiences? To answer this question, a study reported in Developmental Psychology highlighted the pros and cons of having sex at different stages or “waves”.

It is an essential part of a person’s beginning sexual experiences to recognize the potential risks of sexual interactions such as pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. The first encounters a person has can be a point in their lives which establishes what they consider to be normal sexual relations and pairings; research consistently shows that those who are sexually active before the age of 15 are much less likely to use a form of birth control than those who are in the “normative” or “late” groups. It is also documented that those who fall into the early group are also more likely to have a history of emotional issues and substance abuse. However, this study does not determine the correlation between substance abuse and/or emotional problems with sexual debuts. The waves that are recorded are merely snapshots of a person’s life; it does not provide determination for the association between the cross-sectional observances.

In regards to gender, early starter males are more likely to show aggressiveness as well as display antisocial behavior than later starters. While as early starting females are more prone to depression than late starters, and display more shame and guilt than males tend to. Although these are all negative attributions towards having sex early, most males and females tend to view their first-time sex as a positive experience.

Providing such information, what is the positive side of adolescent sex? There is an extended amount of studies that show adult sexuality provides psychological benefits such as stress relief and positive health benefits. Yet, extending these types of studies into the adolescent age group is quite controversial. To take a closer look at the positive and negative features of first-time sex in adolescents, the study published in Developmental Psychology observed a group of 200 tenth-grade students – 100 males and 100 females – for 18 months. These students were selected carefully to best represent the racial and ethnic distribution in the United States.

Those being observed in the study conducted by Rachel Lynn Golden had taken standardized tests which measured individuals drug use, self-worth, and mental health status as well as completing questionnaires about their dating history, sexual behavior, dating satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. To ensure their honesty as well as more objective viewpoints, the participant’s mother and a close friend chosen by each participant were asked to evaluate their (the participant’s) psychological competence, substance abuse, and romantic appeal. Participants that had still not begun to be sexually active after 18 months were dropped from the analysis, as well as participants who dropped out of the study. In this longitudinal study, researchers had the advantage of analyzing how participants behavior – whether they were considered to be early, normative, or late – all seemed to steady off and disappear in differences following five or six years after high school.

As Golden and her coauthors discuss in her study, it is not clear whether the early introduction to sexual experience during adolescence influences how an individual will develop throughout their life or influence choices they make, such as substance abuse or displaying antisocial behavior.

From this study, results showed that early sexual debuts had tended to be correlated with a higher risk of emotional problems such as depression, antisocial behavior, loneliness, and increased aggression. It also showed association of adolescence being more likely to have a substance abuse problem. However, early sexual interactions also had positive relations such as greater romantic appeal, greater sexual satisfaction (for males), and greater dating satisfaction (for males). Females in this study showed little to no difference in sexual and dating satisfaction among early, normative, and late sexual encounters. It can be theorized that females do not have the same results as males because of the general social beliefs about female sexuality.

A definite result that this study suggests is that adolescents who delay their first sexual experience towards the “normative” or “late” stages tend to make more mature decisions regarding the use of contraception and overall protection. This result highlights the importance of sex education programs; the more information given to adolescence regarding to sex, the better they are equipped to make better decisions in protecting themselves by acknowledging the possible risks of sex. It is important for young people to be equipped with the appropriate knowledge so that they can make their own (informative) decisions when the time comes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Production Reflection

 

When writing this paper, I found it to be very challenging to rewrite a new summary of the research article. Whenever I was critiquing the article originally, one of the things I seemed to highly criticize about their flaws within their paper was how much information they left out in their summary. However, I seemed to have the same problem. With a word limit put on the research article being published, it is difficult to include all the aspects the original study that was issued. Because of the limitations, it appears that my article and the news article that was published over the research article is very similar in what is believed to be the most important aspects discussed in the study. There was much more data and other analyzed areas within the original research that was left out because of the word limit. This information includes how there was a sibling comparison of first sexual intercourse, the dating involvement being observed, demographics that were in consideration, how individuals were later rated on physical attributes, and the satisfaction rates of relationships, marriage, and overall life based on their first sexual encounters. In a journalist’s perspective, there are more obstacles a person must take under consideration when they are critiquing their published work. It is difficult to include all parts that deem to be important within the original published document in their own because of the limitations that is put on their writing. However, it should be assumed that they are relaying the information out of the research article to their audience that they reason to be the most important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

Harden, P. K. (2012). Psychological Science. True Love Waits? A Sibling-Comparison Study of  Age at First Sexual Intercourse and Romantic Relationships in Young Adulthood. Retrieved May 8, 2017, from http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/11/1324

Vitelli, R., Ph.D. (2016). Is There a Right Age to Begin Having Sex? Retrieved May 8, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201611/is-there-right-age-begin-having-sex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Media Production Project

Media Production Project

There has been a lot of discussion recently, especially in light of the recent United States election, about normalization and the definition of what is normal. When most people think of normal, they think of what is typical or what is average, but what if that’s not really how people perceive what is normal?

In a recent study, Adam Bear and Joshua Knobe were able to show that what people see as normal may actually be a combination of what is typical and what is ideal. This study begins by introducing normality and raising the question: how is it that people come to regard certain things as normal and others as abnormal? They believe that normality is more complicated than it may first appear, and that people’s judgements on normality are a middle ground between what they consider to be the actual statistical average, and what they consider to be morally ideal. The study identifies two possible hypotheses: The first says that normality is influenced by both the ideal and the average, and the second states that normality is not just influenced by both, but falls directly in between them.

To better understand the implications, one can consider the number of hours that a person watches TV per day. Most participants said they thought that about 4 hours per day was the average for an average American. Interestingly, when asked what they thought the normal number of hours per day were, the participants did not give the same value as they did to the first question. Here they said that about 3 hours per day were normal for the average American. Finally when they were asked what was ideal, they responded with 2.5. This suggests that people see what is normal as different from what they see as typical or average. Furthermore, they see normal as different in the direction of what they see as morally ideal, or the way they think it should be.

To further test this idea, three tests were performed. The first test was to examine how people’s intuitions about average and ideal amounts relate to what they think are normal amounts. This study includes the example above discussing the hours of television watched per day, where Bear and Knobe set a specific list of domains such as behaviors and activities and asked participants what they saw as average amounts of that behavior or activity. A second group was asked what they thought were ideal amounts of the same thing, and a third group was asked what they saw as the normal amount of that thing. This was done with 20 different domains.

A second test was then done where participants were asked where they thought the average, ideal, and normal amounts fell on a graded scale (larger/smaller). Finally, the third study was done in a similar fashion, and participants were given a random list of examples from a category where they were asked: to what extent they believed this thing to be either an average, good, ideal, prototypical, or paradigmatic example of that thing. Good, prototypical, and paradigmatic here are all representations of normal. In all three studies involving different categories, Bear and Knobe found that the participants’ notions of what was normal fell in between what they thought was average and what they thought was ideal.

What if all the categories and objects within these categories are things that the participants were familiar with, then they would already have developed a notion of what they believe to be normal. If this were in fact the case, it might be true that when given objects they were not familiar with, normal might not fall between average and ideal as it has thus far.To determine how people learn what is normal, Bear and Knobe did two studies each involving a fictional hunting tool they invented called a stagnar. In the first study, they found that 73% of participants said the normal lengths were in between the ideal and the average, which suggests it was not by chance. The final study was done similarly where the participants were to rate the stagnars on degree of largeness or smallness. Again the data showed that the normal stagnar was in between the ideal and the average. This showed that a person’s sense of normal is innately learned as being in between average and ideal, a finding with profound implications in society today. This suggests that it is possible to predict what people will view as normal, and also sheds some light on normalization. If the average amount of racist things said increases, for example, people may begin to think that saying racist things is more normal.

 

Reflection

Writing this summary posed more challenges than I initially expected it to for multiple reasons. The first reason was that I thought that my summary should include more of the procedures of how the study was conducted, because, as a reader of the original article, I was wondering about it the most while reading. This ended up being a problem because it was difficult to remain within the word limit while also trying to be explicit enough to answer all the questions that I had while I was reading the pop culture article. The second big challenge I had was to try and write a well-structured and coherent article that I thought was an improvement of the original. I commented in my evaluation of the pop culture article that the author did a very good job with his use of language and his summarization skills, while still explaining in enough detail for the reader to understand the study. This made it difficult for me to improve upon the article in terms of language and summarization skill, so I focused mostly on trying to include more of the procedural detail that seemed like it shouldn’t be left out. Luckily for my word limit the original article was not only a summary of the research paper, but also talked about Trump and normalization in a social context. This leads me to the differences between my summary and the original.

My summary cut out some of the social implications and social examples in order to accommodate the additional procedural information. I still included some possible social implications of the study, as I thought the application was equally as important as being able to understand the study. It seems that my summary is not as well written as the original which can mostly be attributed to the fact that the original was written by the author of the original research study, and the fact that he is just a better writer than I am. I do not profess to be a prodigious writer, nor even notable, however I was appreciative of the struggles that journalists face when attempting to get articles published as my sister is a rather talented writer who publishes articles every once in a while. Upon writing this article I did not gain more or less appreciation for what journalists go through, but gained context with which to appreciate their efforts. It is very difficult to write over something and have to remove yourself from your writing enough to be able to relay studies objectively and in a coherent and logical way. In academia, with either scientific papers or English analysis papers, one can simply write their paper up to their own potential and for the most part not have to worry if the general populous will be able to understand the material. Journalists have to be the link between the world of academia and the general population who may not have enough education to understand the study the way it was initially presented. Further it is the job of the journalist to get the information out to the public, and therefore requires that they fully understand the study in order to accurately represent the findings.

The links to the original research article and the pop culture article are shown below.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/28/opinion/sunday/the-normalization-trap.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FPsychology%20and%20Psychologists&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=collection&_r=0

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027716302645


Media Project

Autism is a highly controversial disorder, which has gotten its popularity over the past couple of decades from a former scientist who said autism was caused by vaccines. This caused an uproar among parents everywhere, the “evidence,” which was eventually proven to be false, caused a wave of parents to not vaccinate their kids, and advanced autism studies further in order to disprove it. 1 in 68 children have this disorder in the United States, and to this day there still isn’t a cause or cure for any part of the spectrum. Autism has various levels, ranging from some deficit to severe deficits, and there are a variety of symptoms accompanied with these. Even though many people claim things like diet, and the time spent in the womb are what causes autism and it’s severity, neither has been confirmed, and many still believe that vaccines cause it, even though that has been disproven. However, more studies are being done to see what causes autism, and a recent study says there may be a connection to how “male” or “female” our brain is. In an article posted in the psychiatry edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a study was published that suggests the phenotype, how our brain presents, may suggest out chances of getting autism.

The question is how can a brain be more “female” or “male” since there have been no defining markers found with the brain. The researchers set out to prove that there can be a difference by doing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) on the brains of 98 individuals with autism (49 male and 49 female) as well as 98 neurotypical individuals (57 male and 41 female) and looked for a difference in cortical thickness, which is amount of grey matter on the cortex. Females have been found to have thicker cortexes in many areas, whereas men have thinner cortexes, which hasn’t been explained yet either. There is a belief that it could be due to testosterone, but it hasn’t been proven. During the study, the researchers were correct about 74% of the time on the gender of the person scanned, which shows that there is some correlation in cortical thickness and gender, but it is not exact. The researchers used cortical thickness to investigate about autism because cortical thickness has shown to be altered in individuals with autism. Autism was found to be 2 to 5 times more likely in males than females, the difference on whether a woman is 2 or 5 times more likely was dependent on whether her cortical thickness was more feminine or more like a man’s; if the girl’s brain is more like a woman’s she was 5 times less likely to get autism than a man, but if she had a manlier brain, she was only 2 times more likely to get autism. There was found to be no difference in likelihood in males with female or male brains.

The study didn’t include those who had genetic disorders, psychiatric disorders, history of brain trauma, or brain disorders (like epilepsy), and also took out those who took medications that would affect the brain like mood stabilizers. All of these would pull up as a change in brain structure since they all can cause or are caused by differences in brain structure. Also, this study only included those who are right handed because that can also effect brain structure since those who are left handed can have some functions form on the opposite side. Both groups mean age was in their mid-twenties but the group with autism was slightly younger than the neurotypical group. The researchers wanted both groups to be very similar because age also plays a major role in brain develop, and they didn’t want anything to mess up the results.

Even though this study wasn’t a definite cause for autism, it does give hope for us to find a cause soon and maybe a cure, but for now more studies on this topic should be done so we can create an actual lab test for autism. Right now we rely on just interviews, history, and also by ruling everything else out, but e test could allow for children to get diagnosed earlier, which could lower any deficits caused, and it could ease parent’s fears sooner than ever. The more we know about autism, the closer we get to the treatment and the cure, which will change the life of many who live with the disorder, no matter how big of a role it plays in their lives.

 

 

 

Links to articles: CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/08/health/autism-typical-male-brain-study/

Scholarly article:  file:///Users/Holly/Downloads/For%20Holly%20Hu%20(3).pdf

 

 

 

 

Reflection: I really enjoyed this assignment, because now I’m warier about what I read on news outlets like CNN because they don’t include all of what needs to be there. This made it easy for me to critique the CNN article because learning about what all needs to be in research allowed me to know what is needed for research so I could easily pick out what needed to be added and what needed to be more detailed. However, the scholarly research critique was the hardest because there wasn’t much to critique, since they had to be very thorough to get it published, but there were a few tiny things like why they did that experiment. The media production project paper was easier to write than the scholarly article critique, but harder than the CNN article critique, which was surprising, since I thought it would be harder. The media production paper was easy to do because it was explaining the study, which was explained well, but the hardest part was to put it into common terms while still explaining the study completely. Since the study had so many factors that many people don’t understand I had to be sure to define them all, while not making the paper filled with just explanations, which was the toughest part of all. By the end of this project, I figured out how deceiving popular articles can be, but I still believe they are worthwhile if they give the link to the original article so those who are truly interested can learn more about the topic.