Implicit Association Test

The Implicit Association Test is a test that tries to determine what people’s actual views and feels are with certain groups of people that they suppress or ignore due to societies standards. I took the Gay-Straight IAT and the Young-Old IAT. My results took me a little bit by surprise but they were on par with what society generally thinks based on these groups.

For the gay-straight, I got the results that I have a slight preference of straight people over gay people but I find that ridiculous because I have several gay friends and never think ill of them or treat them any differently that any other person in my life, they’re just people. I think, with this test, choosing the male and female pictures and such were more natural to me due to society but that doesn’t reflect how I feel about gay people. We grow up with movies and children’s books about a princess and prince falling in love, Disney has never had two princesses that get married, so in that sense, I am more familiar with the image of the male and female stick figures holding hands more than the male and male stick figures.

For the Young-Old I was very surprised by my results which said that I have a moderate automatic preference for young people compared to old people. Again, I think that’s society playing it’s role again because if you look in a magazine or watch the news, it is far more likely to see a young person than an old person. In every sitcom or movie, the old person plays the same, crotchety role and all the young people laugh at them. I was still surprised though. I have always preferred the company of older people in my life compared to peers, ever since I was little I had friends in higher grades than me and at church, I’d go talk to all the old ladies before I would go to any of the youth events. I would think I preference older people but I think I would have to blame society again.

This test can be useful in examining yourself but also not taking it too seriously. These things a re important to watch out for in yourself and others and in an increasingly tolerant world, some of these beliefs have started becoming quite unpopular. It is that reason why we need to know where we stand to either try to amend them or  look past them. I don’t know if I would trust these completely, as I’ve just said, I’m not sure these are correct but they have got me analyzing my beliefs and that’s a step in the right direction.

Listening to our Brains’ Needs

Georgetown University Medical Center has released a new study in 2016 demonstrating the necessity for rest after incidents regarding head trauma in efforts to prevent long-term brain damage. The study found that more giving the brain more time to recover allowed for inflammation to go down and any percentage of long-term brain damage to decrease. About three days was the minimum amount of time to give the brain for recovery after brain trauma. This information is crucial for athletes and the military, being that they are in situations more frequently that make them more susceptible to these head injuries.

Georgetown University Medical Center worked with rats and mice to study the effects of the brain after given mild head trauma. Two groups of rats were compared, one group receiving head injuries once a day for 30 days, the other receiving once a week for 30 weeks. After examining the effects for each group, it was found that the group receiving the head injuries further apart had enough time to recover and therefore, the inflammation was much lower than the group that received head injuries once a day. The rats were also examined a year after the experiment and the researchers found that the long-term damage was significantly lower on the rats that received the head injuries once a week.

These results can help regulate sports where head trauma is common as well as the average person who gets a head injury, rest is crucial for recovery. It is important for even mild concussions to be acknowledged and cared for before exposing oneself to the possibility for more head trauma. This research also allows for the opportunity to examine how the brain heals itself and under what circumstances it cannot heal itself. As far as the study shows, rest really is crucial for the brain to be able to heal itself for short-term and long-term effects from injuries.



Summarizing the original study was hard because so much of it I didn’t understand due to the fact that I’m not a scientist. The original news story that I found was also quite good with it’s information and so I didn’t make that many changes to the information it included or didn’t include, I just tried to make it a little clearer. The original journal entry included a lot of technical information about the scientific findings in the brains of the tested rats and since I couldn’t really understand that, I decided not to include it. My goal was to condense this study into something the general public could understand and use, therefore, I did mention the rats because they were crucial to the experiment but I didn’t include how they were traumatized or exactly effected because that doesn’t effect how the public should take care of themselves. I mirrored the news article in that I didn’t include how the rats were injured because it probably would’ve taken away from the information that resulted from the study about our brains. People would’ve surely been upset that rats were used for experiments and were injured but the original journal did include that it got approval from the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the NIH. On the other hand, there are some people who wouldn’t care about the rats at all, they just want the information that applies directly to them so in that sense, it was all around a good idea not to include too much about the test subjects. The important part of the study was about the brain and I think the news article did a good job of presenting those results and I tried to do that same.

Changing your view on stress

Kelly McGonigal has been a health psychologist for 10 years which means she is most likely credible and knows what she’s talking about. Her ideas about tricking your body into believing stress is a good thing sounds easier said than done. When people say they’re stressed, it always a negative thing, it means they are going through a hard time, have to much on their mind or plate, etc. People always express sorrow when they hear someone is stressed, it’s a societal idea that stress is bad. It seems strange that just a simple adjustment of how we perceive our stress can change our health. I’m not sure how easy is it to take a moment when you’re stressed to tell your body that it’s a good thing when you know you don’t really believe that.

The other piece of information about oxytocin makes a little more sense to me. Everyone craves sympathy or supports when they feel stressed and it’s nice to hear that it’s a natural thing to want and can help your body cope with stress. It makes sense that telling someone about your stress can help while bottling it up hurts the person more. I always thought that was just psychological but it’s neat that it also effects people physically.

These two ideas seem easy enough to switch to in life. Next time you feel stressed, you can either tell someone about it or can treat it like a good, healthy challenge to have. I don’t think looking for stress just to do this would be wise but since most people experience relatively high stress often, it should be easy to find and implement in daily life. Whether tricking your body into believing stress is good works or not, maybe constantly telling yourself that will eventually trick you. Once your body react positively to stress, go tell someone your problems and you’re right as rain in the stress department, according to MGonigal.

My Personality

Our personalities, while they’re something we live with, can sometimes surprise us when we are honest to ourselves and others about our wants and desires. These four personality test all asked similar questions about how someone feels in a social setting, how punctual someone is, the preference to go out or stay in, etc. A problem with these tests could be that people put what they want to do rather than what they actually do in a situation. Someone who strives to be social but is very much an introvert might put he/she would go out to a party instead of stay at home and watch a movie but when faced with the decision, they will stay in.

The first personality test I took was the Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test where I answered several questions as agree or disagree. My score was 16% introvert, 19% sensing, 41% feeling, 25% judging. These results surprised me a little bit because I assumed the introvert category would be bigger, especially according to my answers. I was also surprised to see how judgmental it labeled me because while I am judgmental in some situations, I hide it very well. The explanation of feeling which was my biggest category didn’t make me feel very comfortable because it makes me sound like all I do it go through life making every decision and responding to every situation by my feelings which I’m not sure I do. This test was semi accurate in some ways but the problem with the questions was sometimes I think I meant how I responded in a different way than they meant it when they asked the question.

The second test I took was the Personality Type Questionaire. My score on this test was surprising as well. I got the “Conservator” which is someone who is, “service and work oriented – very loyal. They are good nurses, teachers, secretaries, general practitioners, librarians, middle managers, and housekeepers. 6% of the total population.” I agree with these descriptions of me but I feel like I am more than these things. I am loyal to the people I trust and love and I love to do service but I also have fun and am not completely work oriented most of the time. This test seems to put people in very small boxes.

The next test I took was the Big Five Personality Test where I got some differing results from the last two tests. In this test, I got 9% extroversion which is the opposite of test #1. Maybe the questions in this test were worded in a way that I was okay with dealing with people. I got 11% emotional stability, 83% agreeableness, 46% conscientiousness, and 3% intellect/ imagination. Most of these I agree with.

The last test was the color quiz which I felt weird doing and I feel was the most inaccurate. On this quiz, I got results such as wanting to take control, emotionally unstable, emotionally detached, desire to win over people, manipulative, etc. All of these things are the opposite of what I got on the other tests and seem quite the opposite of how I feel and make decisions. I don’t this is test is very accurate at all.

Personality tests can’t cover every aspect and have many flaws in how the questions are asked and people being honest but they can at least give someone a doorway to start analyzing their own personality and in that sense, they can be quite useful.

Medical and Recreational Marijuana

Medical and recreational marijuana should be legal since everyone just does it anyways. That shouldn’t be the only reason but when people say that making marijuana legal would majorly affect anything, that really wouldn’t be true since just about every person out there has a least tried marijuana and many partake in it several times even though it is illegal. There are several medical uses for marijuana such as calming anxiety, nausea after chemotherapy, seizure disorder, etc, however, if medical marijuana would legal but recreational marijuana was not, there would be just as many people illegally using marijuana for recreation and it would be much harder to regulate it. According to studies performed in Colorado since they legalized marijuana has shown that there is not an increase in usage, crime, car accidents, or negative effects on education and health outcomes, this may be due to the fact that, as I stated above, everyone already uses marijuana (Miron). There are concerns that people have with legalizing marijuana because of addiction and the thought that usage would skyrocket. According to CNBC, marijuana is the leading cause of substance dependence other than alcohol, however, alcohol is legal so that argument dose not make complete sense. There are concerns with marijuana being available to youth and a disruption in health and education for people of all ages, there are also concerns that the overall usage would go way up but youth are already getting marijuana and making it illegal will not stop that. I also do not think health or education is in danger with the legalization or use in general of marijuana but I do not know if there are studies that show otherwise. Whatever people decide, marijuana use will still continue as it has, legal or not.

Both sources, while they are opinion pieces, come from news sources which we have to assume are semi-trustworthy. Both arguments make sense and are common among other Americans.

Miron, Jeffrey. “Why Congress Should Legalize Pot.” CNN. Cable News Network, 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

“Why We Should Not Legalize Marijuana.” CNBC. N.p., 20 Apr. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

Videogame Violence

There has always been a debate on violent video games filled with worrying parents and angst-filled teenagers. I personally have never thought violent video games would have much of an effect on teens and their attitudes. I was never an avid gamer but I would occasionally play and was usually surrounded by a fair number of gamers. From what I’ve observed and played, violent video games may have great graphics and blood and guts but the feel of it is not realistic enough to trick someone into thinking shooting people is ok. lists some reasons that people are for and against violent video games and the way each side is presented seem quite fair and unbiased.

Some of the pros that prove video games contribute to teen violence is that they can cause aggression and fighting and it desensitizes people to violence. These are the common arguments that I’ve heard and while it may seem to make sense from the outside that those results would occur, I do not think that they have a direct link. There may be some people who take video games too seriously or think they can copy what they’re playing in the game but I do not think that the vast majority of gamers have that thought process. The de-sensitivity of youth to violence may come from video games but that also comes from the news, movies and television shows so video games cannot be held solely responsible for that.

Some of the points made that claim video games do not cause teen violence are that the US Supreme Court ruled that violent video games do not cause violence and video games can be an outlet for stress and anger. The US Supreme Court ruling cannot really be argued with since the ruling was 7-2, we can assume they did their homework on the studies involved and had a reason to believe that video games do not cause violence. The belief that video games can be an outlet for stress and anger is a view many gamers I know take and that can be compared to a lot of other people’s hobbies.

This website seems credible because it lays out all of the options, all of which are backed up and appear reasonable to the average reader. The lack of bias also adds to the credibility of the website.

“Violent Video Games- Pros and Cons.” ProConorg Headlines. ProCon, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2016.

The brain may be able to repair itself- with help

I’ve always thought the brain was so interesting and have been floored by the information and research that has been done on it finding out just how complex it is. I’ve also always wondered how they could possibly perform the research and test theories on actual human brains and this video seemed to call out to some of those concepts. Jocelyne Bloch is a neuroscientist who has dealt with patients with brain trauma and started research with another scientist on the possibility for the brain to repair itself. She started research when she had to remove pieces of people’s brains to reduce swelling and decided to try to grow cells from them. The cells they grew was similar to stem cells except they didn’t grow quickly and would die after a few weeks. These cells came from cells found in fetuses for brain development and were still present in adult brains. It’s not clear why these cells are still present in adult brains but there are theories that link it to brain repair. Once they found these new cells from the stem cell culture, they started experimenting on the effects on monkeys to see if they could contribute to brain repair. They first taught monkeys to get food pellets from slots, they then put a legion in the motor cortex that connected to their hand so they couldn’t move their hands anymore. After about a month of recovery time, the monkeys had to perform the task of getting food pellets, the monkeys with a month of recovery time without any help, they were quite slow at getting their pellets, but the monkeys who had ben injected with the cells were much faster. She then goes on to explain all of the obstacles to get this done with human testing to see if humans have the same reaction. If the cells are successful at brain recovery, diseases such as Parkinson’s could be lessened. I think it’s fascinating they the brain gives us the tools to be able to help it heal itself.  Bloch seems to have a lot of experience with brains since she was the chief resident working in the ER, she also worked on the research and experiments done to find the cells and the effects the cells had on the monkeys so she was involved in the research and knows a lot about how the brain works. I think it would be beneficial to see how far the repair could go from studying monkeys, simply monkey’s arms getting frozen seems less vital to the body, if there could be a way to test how far the repair could go, that would be very interesting.

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.

About Me

Hello, my name is Anna Centala. I am a freshman at Austin College and the reason I’m taking intro to psychology is because I like to explore my options as a student. I am undecided in my major and therefore am experimenting with subjects that I may find interesting. When I think about psychology, I think about how the mind works and how complex my brain and thought processes are. It’s quite fascinating and slightly overwhelming. I’m most excited about studying memory, personality, and stress. Memory blows my mind and I have a hard time getting my head around why and how some memories stick and some fade away. Personality is interesting because, to me, it seems to be very dependent on a person’s surroundings and I’d like to know the extent of that. I’m excited to learn about stress because it is so present in my life and the lives around me and I’m curious to know more about why and how it has such an impact on everyone’s life. Scientific method, research method, and experimental design seem like the least interesting to me because I’ll be so ready to get to learning about my mind and how it works. I have very little knowledge about what psychology is and how it explains so much about myself and the people around me so I’d like to come out of the class with at least a basic knowledge of how it works.