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.




Mind Reading

How could any one see a video with a title like “How We Read Each Other’s Minds” and not be instantly pulled into watching it? While scrolling through my options of TED talks I saw this one and immediately had questions forming in my mind. Questions like “I can read minds?” and “can other people read mine?” Seeing a title like that made me think that there’s was clearly something going on in the brain that I had no clue about, and that’s why I picked this talk. This “mind reading” talk comes from Rebecca Saxe, cognitive neuroscientist from MIT. Rebecca tells us about her study which focuses on how we think about other people’s thoughts. Her TED talk used information she gathered in the Saxe lab at MIT including a couple different experiments with children and adults. Rebecca Saxe’s whole “mind reading” topic refers to how we able to judge and interpret what another human mind is thinking. Rebecca leads this talk with one main question for the audience to think about: Why is it so easy for humans to interpret what other brains are thinking? She starts about with the physical location responsible for this specific brain function, the rTPJ. The right temporo-parietal junction is a very tiny small on our brain that has all the responsibility for judging what others are thinking.
The next thing Rebecca showed us was the development of the human brain being able to “mind read” along with the development of this particular region of the brain with age. In order to show us this, she used three little boys of different ages: 3, 5, and 7. In the experiment, they put each of the kids in the same situation where a pirate had a sandwich and sat it down on a treasure chest then left, then the wind knocked that sandwich on the ground and a second pirate came and replaced it with his sandwich then left. When the first pirate returned, he took the sandwich sitting on the chest, not realizing that his sandwich was on the ground. They asked each kid to predict which sandwich the pirate would take and then after seeing the results they asked them to say why they took the sandwich they took. The 3 year old predicted the pirate to take his original sandwich laying on the ground, and when he didn’t, his explanation was that he had to take the other sandwich because his was on the ground and it was dirty. The 3 year old was not yet able to understand how the boy didn’t know about what had occurred. The 5 and 7 year old boys both predicted the correct sandwich would be taken then we’re able to explain that the pirate didn’t know that his sandwich was on the ground. When they asked the two younger kids if it was the first pirate who should be punished for eating the wrong sandwich, they answered yes, unable to see how the boy had no consciousness intentional of wrongdoing. Only the 7 year old boy was able to understand and explain that this situation was caused by the wind, therefore the wind is to blame. This experiment showed what she called the standard disbelief task. Brain scans used to monitor kids brains during this time showed that the amount of activity in the corresponding brain region was much less in kids ages three to eight compared to adults. Rebecca used this to show us how over the course of child development, cognitive system and mind reading slowly forms and develop.  
Another question Rebecca had was could differences among adults in how they think about other people’s thoughts and can they be explained in terms of this brain region. So they gave the adult a test similar to the test given to the kids while monitoring their brain patterns for data comparison. The test group was given three scenarios. In one scenario, a girl named Grace poured what she thought was poison, but turned out to be sugar, into her friends coffee and gave it to her to drink, attempting to poison her friend. In the second case, Grace pored what she believed was sugar but turned out to be poison, accidentally poisoning her friend. Then the third case was just Grace pouring in actual sugar that she though was sugar. Then they asked “How much should Grace be blamed?” In the “attempted column, numbers were doubled compared to how much blame Grace should get for the “accidental” scenario. Then the third column labeled “fine” remained very low. When they looked in the brains, it showed that the more activity in the region, the more people paid attention to her innocent belief and thought she should receive little blame. This showed how more activity meant more ability to feel and think inside other people’s brains and use feelings and judgement to make decisions. The last thing Rebecca did was use a specific machine to turn off the rTPJ in the brain to see if they could change people’s moral judgements. Transcranial magnetic stimulation machines are used to disorganize small regions of the brain and was able to temporarily “turn off” this part of each individual in the group’s brain. Results showed that without a functioning rTPJ, the severity of blame people thought they should put on the “attempted” situation lowered significantly while the blame on the “accidental” test raised up, narrowing the gap between the two. The test showed how this region of the brain, in fully developed adults, is very important in how we perceive other people thoughts and feelings.

She showed us how her research was conducted and different steps she used, but didn’t give us a lot of important background information that would have helped establish more credibility in her research. We were only told about 3 young boys specifically that she did the experiment on for the child portion of her research. We don’t know how these boys were selected or what results and answers we could have gotten from female children. In the adult portion, she tells us that there was a group of adults tested, but nothing else. For all we know, this could be a group of 20 elderly women in a retirement home in Arkansas. She gave us no secure verification that this experiment was done through random selection, therefore hurting the credibility of this video’s research and results.

It’s a subject that I did find very interesting because we talk about a lot to the things that go on in the brain in class, but never really get in depth on this particular subject. Through my high school anatomy class and with the neuroscience section of college psychology, I thought I had the parts of the temporal and parietal regions on the brain figured out for the most part. But I had never heard of this part or its function. I think it’s very rare that humans realize that we can actually use our senses, knowledge of the world, and different brain functions to predict and determine someone else’s thoughts and actions. It may be a different version that we had in mind, but it is still mind reading none the less.

Jim Fallon: Inside The Mind of a Killer

For my blog post I watched the Ted Talk “Jim Fallon: Inside the Mind of the Killer”. I was drawn to this video, because I had heard the rumor that every murderer had something in common with their brains. I wanted to learn if there was actually any legitimacy to that claim and Jim explains what his knowledge of the subject very well.

To begin the talk Jim Fallon explains the tests that he has been apart of lately. He has been given scans of brains to look at and make deductions about, but he is not told anything about the brains. The brains are randomized and he merely points out everything he sees in the scans. Within the random scans are the brains of murderers as well as a pattern. The first pattern is that every last murderer’s brain he has evaluated had damage to the orbital cortex. Another repeating factor is that the murderers had high traces of the MAOA gene which correlates with how violent someone is. This seems odd since the extra amount of MAOA occurs because there is extra Serotonin during childbirth. Serotonin normally helps calm people, but in excess it is possible for your brain to become resistant to it.Now another key thing that can occur for those who become murderers is that they have a violent and traumatic experience in their childhood. When someone has the excess genes and has had a very violent experience early on in their life, it really can be just a few steps away from disaster.

I found this talk really interesting especially the part where Jim emphasized that the key part of a murderer is a traumatic experience in their youth. The idea that one experience could lead to something so terrible really made me think about a lot of the things people take for granted and the mistakes people make everyday.  One simple violent mistake could put some child onto this horrible path.

With knowing Jim’s background and how much he has worked with this material I am convinced that he has recorded his findings correctly. I believe Jim’s findings are sound because the examples were given to him randomly and he was just documenting issues he found with the brains, the patterns were determined after he had already evaluated the brains. If I were to do an experiment I believe that I would gather a group of volunteers who excel in evaluating the brain and any issues with it. The goal of the experiment would be to document any issues with the brains of murderers and whether or not there is a pattern. I would not tell them the experiment was focused on murderers, because that is just unnecessary and I would be afraid that by telling them it could skew the data. I would take random brain scans from all over the world and I would ask them to document anything unusual about the brains. I would hopefully have a group of at least 10 specialists to evaluate 50 scans each. A majority of the scans would be of people with different brain trauma or oddities, but each specialist would have 15 scans of murderers from different places around the world randomly mixed in for them to evaluate. By doing the experiment like this I would hope to find any patterns or similarities between the murderers without skewing the data.

Identity Development

James Marcia’s Theory of Identity Development

James Marcia is a Canadian psychologist who focused on adolescent development and devised four statuses regarding an adolescent’s quest for identity. In his theory, he claimed that the adolescent range isn’t “a state of identity resolution or confusion but the extent to which the individual has explored and committed to an identity.” An identity in this case could be something like a religious or political affiliation or a career path. He continued by describing the two parts of an adolescent’s identity: the crisis and the commitment. The crisis is where the adolescent’s values are under speculative examination, and the commitment is when the adolescent makes a decision to end the crisis by choosing a social or personal alignment.

Marcia’s four statuses are Identity Diffusion, Identity Foreclosure, Identity Moratorium, and Identity Achievement. Identity Diffusion is characterized by low commitment-low exploration and is a very basic stage in which there is no sense of having a choice. Identity Foreclosure is similar, denoted by high commitment-low exploration, and usually relies on some form of blind faith in a particular identity. Individuals in this category do not have crises. Identity Moratorium is the opposite, involving a low commitment and a high exploration. This status centers around crises. Individuals are prepared to make a decision, but they may not know which one to make. Lastly, Identity Achievement is when individuals become actualized in their choices, having a high commitment to them as the result of a crises.

Marcia and Me

I think Marcia’s model is pretty accurate simply because it’s relatable. I’ve been through these stages at varying points in my life, and I know several tweens and young teens who’re in the process of discovering their identity. Still, if I had to pitch an argument against the four statuses, it’d be the fact that there’s only four. I find that with some, there should be in-betweens. For example, a gradient between the Identity Moratorium and Identity Achievement statuses would be useful for many older adolescences who are on their way to the later; however, one could counter this by saying that the statuses are not supposed to be read as sequential stages and that individuals can bounce between them.

Personally, I find myself as being between the Identity Moratorium and Identity Achievement statuses. On some issues such as religion and moral values, I’m very much committed, yet on others like politics and my future in terms of academics or careers, I am in the grey. All and all though, I find Marcia’s steps helpful and extremely fascinating since any bit of information I can gather about myself to help me define who I am is of the utmost use.


Mental Disorders TED Talk

The Talk

For my TED Talk, I chose to watch “Thomas Insel: Toward a new understanding of mental illness,” viewable here. I was drawn to this one because mental illnesses are an alarmingly widespread and misunderstood category of ailments affecting humankind which have taken their toll on those close to me as well as myself. As a result, any sort of new research regarding how we understand and—by extension—treat both the illness and the person are of natural interest to me.

Insel began his talk by discussing a relevant point: although medical advances in the last 50 years have drastically decreased mortality rates stemming from physical afflictions such as  leukemia, heart disease, stroke, and HIV, not much headway has been made in terms of psychiatric ones as evident by the constant suicide rate.  In addition, neuropsychiatric disorders account for nearly 30% of the total DALYs (disability adjusted life years) in the US and Canada in comparison to cardiovascular diseases and cancers, which individually fall into the ballpark of 13%. The speaker gives three reasons in particular for this: commonness, high likelihood of becoming disabling, and early onset. Mental illnesses, then, may be viewed as the chronic illnesses of youth as opposed to the chronic illnesses of the elderly.

After the introduction, Insel proposes that these mental disorders should be renamed “brain disorders” because the future of their treatment is through examining the brain, an “organ of extreme complexity” which is ultimately responsible for our behavior whether normal or abnormal. In example, he produces research on patients with early onset schizophrenia, displaying scans of their brains over a 5 year period. The first images manifest the beginning of a decrease in grey matter while the second set of images demonstrate an extreme drop.  Similarly, in schizophrenic patients an extreme decline of cortical synapses occurs around age 20, paralleling the onset of psychotic symptoms; however, around age 15, a more gradual decline begins which could potentially be exploited for early intervention.
Insel uses this to argue that the future of treating mental illnesses will utilize the same early detection and prevention measures common in the rest of modern medicine and that, given enough technological advance, the mortality and disability of mental illnesses could be reduced.

Would  I Trust It? 

I would. For starters, Ibsen is a renowned researcher with decades of good work backing him and his claims. This is reasserted by his former position as head of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). There’s some validity to the argument that he could be exposing an overly optimistic view given the lack of technology and what might be perceived as his own failings, but the research in of itself appears to be relatively solid. I give this talk a thumbs up.

My Own Experiment

Inspired by the graph showing the decrease in cortical mass in schizophrenic patients, I’d like to do something similar. I would conduct a long term study to help determine if there’s any similar “warning” point for depression. To do this, I would accept volunteers from families with and without a history of clinical depression and measure neurotransmitter levels associated with depression at five year increments (10 years old, 15 years old, etc.). Additionally, I’d take into consideration environmental factors specific to each subject such as home life.


As I was looking through the list of TED talks, one in particular caught my attention. Its title read “Sarah Jayne Blakemore: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain.” In most cases, adolescence is thought to be a dreadful period of time that is uncomfortable to the individual and the people surrounding the individual. When I read the title, however, I sensed a more positive outlook on why adolescents behave the way they do.

I have always teased my brother about going through puberty, but after watching the video, I realized that I am also still going through adolescence. Adolescence was defined as the period of life that starts with physical, biological, and hormonal changes of puberty and ends when that individual attains an independent role in society. The talk summarized what occurs in the brain when an individual is going through adolescence, and how being informed of this phenomenon can allow us to educate and shape adolescents, in a way that is beneficial to the individual and society, all around the world. The main areas of the brain the speaker focused on were the pre-frontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and the limbic system. The pre-frontal cortex is used for planning, inhibiting inappropriate behavior, social interaction, and self-awareness. A study showed that there was a significant decline in grey matter in the brain during adolescence, which is often thought as a negative affect. The decline, however, is due to synaptic pruning which strengthens the synapses that are used. This fine tuning of synapses allow individuals going through adolescence to become more efficient at decision making, self control, and engaging in social interactions. The speaker also talked about the medial frontal cortex and how its use decreases in adolescents when they make social decisions.

The main purpose of the talk was to inform the listeners on what exactly happens in the brain when an individual is going through adolescence. The speaker used distinct parts of the brain to explain actions and behaviors that many adolescents acquire. The speaker was very informative, speaking solely from a scientific point of view comparing it to traditional stereotypes of adolescents.

A research idea to test the differences in behavior of adolescents vs. adults in different situations could be to set up different staged scenarios and analyze how each group of individuals react to the various circumstances. One way to test this would be to create a questionnaire with different situations, and allow both populations to answer. The answers in the questionnaire will be written in a way that can tell the difference between the part of the brain they have to use and whether they used the part or not.

Week 4 Blog Prompts – Neuroscience

Hand writing on a notebook

Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the Tag “Neuroscience” on your post.

For your blog prompt this week, you are to choose one of the following TED talks:

Each talk focuses on a different aspect of the brain. In your response, address the following issues:

  • What drew you to choose the talk you did?
  • Briefly summarize the talk.
  • What did you find most interesting about the talk?
  • How trustworthy did you find the presenter and the information she or he presented? Explain why.(Note: you must go beyond talking about the reputation of TED talks in general)
  • 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.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator


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Parenting Differences 

With all the different ways people were raised, including how, when, and where they were raised, it comes as no surprise that people have many different ways that they choose to raise children. Many people, all around the world, find that however they were raised is the way they currently raise children also. Others thinks that the way they were brought up was completely wrong and go about parenting in a much different way. Psychologist, Diana Baumrind, is well known for her study of parenting and its effects on children. Her studies led her to a conclusion that there are two major important characteristics of parental behavior: how demanding a parent is to the child and how responsive the parent is to the child. Baumrind labeled four different styles according to her findings: authoritative, authorian, permissive, and uninvolved. In the world today, Baumrind’s four styles are found all over the place, in different homes, regions, and countries. Some more common and familiar names that have been given to some parenting styles are tiger moms, jellyfish dads, and helicopter dads. With all the different types around us today, one has to wonder: What is the best way to parent? 

Tiger moms are one of the well known parenting style in the world today, more popular in Asian culture. Tiger moms are described as extremely strict (particularly related to academics), showing tough love, and big on discipline in order to get children to succeed. A very popular stereotype is that Asian moms are mostly all tiger moms due to the very strict traditional Chinese way of raising children. Strict parenting like this has a positive outlook and perspective for the child’s future. Overall, it should help the child to grow into a self-disciplined and tough adult. The problems I see with this technique is that it risks damaging the current and future relationship between the child and the parent. There is a lot of risk for the child to have an unhappy childhood. This style of raising children fits hand in hand with Baumrind’s authorian style description. The authorian style is the high demand, low responsiveness approach to parenting. Baumrind’s study showed that the outcomes associated with this parenting style include low self-esteem, anger and aggression in the child.

 Two other popular types of parenting are jellyfish dads and helicopter parents. First, the jellyfish dad, who is the complete opposite of the tiger mom example. Jellyfish dads are more described as laid back, uncaring, not huge on discipline, and full of fun. These are the “pushover” parents who give children what they want and are there for their kids but don’t make their kids do the things they need to succeed in life such as chores, homework, etc. This parent’s only true advantage is that he has a good, loving relationship with his child. Some of the disadvantages include the possibility of disobedient and irresponsible children being an outcome of this type of parenting. Another effect this could have on the child is the risk of having a hard time doing things on their own in the future. Another closely related style of parenting to the jellyfish dad is the helicopter parent. This parent shares some of the advantage and disadvantages in jellyfish dads but is slightly different. Helicopter parents are defined as overprotective parents who are obsessive and “hover” over their child’s life at all times. These parent are always somewhere in the background watching their children. In contrast to jellyfish dad, these parents are not very highly favored by kids. These parents might know their kids pretty well and be able to keep a pretty tight leash on them, but like the jellyfish dads, they are putting the at risk of struggling out in the real world, on their own in the future. These two types of parenting relate closest to Baumrind’s permissive parent example, especially the helicopter parent. Permissive parents are Baumrind’s label for the low demand, high responsive parents in the world. Even though the most popular definition of a jellyfish dad is described as the permissive example, more lazy and unloving types of this style are more related to Baumrind’s uninvolved category.

 Tiger moms, jellyfish dads and helicopter parents are three popular ways of parenting today. They all show some of the different ways that Baumrind’s study has also showed we choose to raised children. The only style left, and in my opinion, the best way of parenting, is the authoritative style. This is the style that Baumrind defined as the high demand, high responsive approach to parenting. This is a way that, if done correctly, results in the best outcome for the child. Outcomes associated with this parenting style include high self-esteem, social maturity, and self-control. Closely related and more recent studies about parenting have labeled this as the “dolphin parenting” approach, it is often considered to be the combination of the tiger mom and jellyfish dad. In my opinion, this is the best way solely because there aren’t many disadvantages in this style but tons of advantages that lead to high chances of a successful future for the child.





Sometimes You Need A Jellyfish

The Tiger Mom Effect Is Real, Says Large Study

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

Parenting Styles

Tiger Mom:

The term “Tiger Mom” comes from Amy Chua’s memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”. This type of parenting style originated in Asia, and is predominately practiced in Asia, but is seen across all types of cultures and families. Parents approach their children with extremely high expectations regarding all aspects of life, strict rules, and they constantly push their children to perfection. This approach can be beneficial, as there is research showing high academic performance, exceptional musical abilities, and success in careers later in life as a result of children who have been parented by a “tiger mom”. On the down side, children who have grown up with tiger parents can be depressed, lonely, have low self-esteem and anxiety because their parents tend to not be supportive emotionally. Tiger mom best fits with Baumrind’s “authoritarian” parenting style. Baumrind describes the parent to be cold, rejecting, and critical to the child. The child can become self-conscious and have a low self-esteem.

Jellyfish Dads:

“Jellyfish parents” are permissive parents. They tend to not give their children rules or punishments, allowing them to learn from their own mistakes. They also overindulge their children and can be assumed to be push-overs. The bad-side to this type of parenting is the child can fail to develop respect for authority. They can seem spoiled and demanding. When it is time for them to go on into the work world, they might have difficulty finding a job due to lack of determination and difficulty keeping a job because of authority issues. Contrarily, jellyfish parenting can prevent conflict between the parents and the child. Also, making one’s own mistakes and learning from them can be beneficial. This style most closely relates to Baumrind’s “uninvolved” parenting style. Parents have “little time for child rearing” and are emotionally detached. Kids can have little motivation and be disobedient to authority.

Helicopter Parents:

Helicopter parents are best defined as parents who “hover” their kids and do not want to see them fail. They are extremely involved with their child’s activities, and maybe a little too involved. The parents often try to solve their children’s problems for them and leave them with no room to learn for themselves. This type of style works positively in the fact the child receives positive attention from his/her parents, but negatively in the fact the child does not have room to make decisions and succeed on their own. This style is similar to Baumrind’s “permissive” parenting style. Parents are warm and loving, but overindulgent. Kids can become too dependent on their parents and unaware of how to act on their own.

Good parenting is a cross between all three styles. Parents need to set high standards and goals for their children, but be able to love them and help them when they fail, because they will. Parents need to be involved with their child’s life, but not to the extent the kids are completely dependent on their parents. Rules and boundaries should be set, so they know how to deal with authority. Children often need to make their own mistakes to learn from, but they need parents to aid them through the process.







Parenting Styles

There are always new studies and books and tips on the best parenting techniques and how children should be treated at certain periods in their lives. Each child and parent are different and, therefore, various parenting styles arise each with there own unique twist on parenting.

There are tiger parents. This category describes parents who are very strict and have very high expectations for their children. In this relationship, the child may either respond by rebelling or by being very polite and well-behaved. This style can put an immense amount of pressure on the child which is a good lesson for later in life but it can be overwhelming for the child. This style is most similar to Baumrind’s authoritarian model of parenting. The authoritarian model describes a parent who has high demands but low responsiveness to the child (Comer, 81). Braumrind predicts that with this style, the child will typically have low self-esteem, be anxious, unhappy, angry, and aggressive (Comer, 82).

Jellyfish parents are another type that are quite the opposite of tiger parents. Jellyfish parents have few rules and do not have very high expectations for the child. While this may result in a close relationship between the child and parent, it is more of a friendship and therefore a certain level of respect can be lost. The child grows up doing what they like and do not pay for their actions which isn’t very realistic for when they grow up. This style of parenting is most like the permissive model that Braumrind presents where the parents have low demands and high responsiveness (Comer, 81). This may result in a child who is impulsive, disobedient, overly dependent on adults, and have low initiatives.

Helicopter parents are the last type of parents that I will analyze. These are the parents that do not leave their child alone to live their own lives. The child in this relationship can either become a homebody and become overly dependent on their parents because they don’t have to do anything themselves, or the child tries to pull away and rebel so they can live their own life. In this relationship, the parent is usually strict and has high expectations but is also very responsive to their child, therefore, they fall under the authoritative style of parenting presented by Braumrind (Comer, 81). Helicopter parents seem to go beyond the authoritative style of parenting because they bring the high responsiveness to a whole new level, almost to the point that it could potentially backfire on how they raise their children.

There are problems with each of these styles of parenting. The closest version I would say is the “right way” to raise children is the authoritative style where the parent has high expectations and high responsiveness (Comer, 81). Braumrind predicts positive outcomes for children with this model but, with what we’ve analyzed with helicopter parents, there needs to be a balance between the expectations and responsiveness.

There is no “right way” to raise children because no human actions can be fully predicted, however, there are some parenting styles that are more likely to be beneficial to the child so focusing on those would be recommended to any future parents.


Comer, Ronald J., and Elizabeth Gould. “Chapter 3 Human Development.”Psychology around Us. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2013. 81-82. Print.