For the Implicit Association Tests, I chose to take the happy/sad test and the good/bad tests. The results of the tests do not necessarily tell you if you are racist, homophobic, etc., but they can give you an idea about new information regarding yourself and your personality. I decided to take the happy/sad and good/bad tests because those are the two tests I was most interested in seeing the results. I already considered myself to be a happy person, as well as a good person, so I was excited to see how the test would rate me.

The first part of the test took you through a series of words. You were given the categories either “me and happy” or “me and sad”. Words such as I, myself, happy, content, etc. would come on the screen and if the category was happy, you would hit the I key on your computer. If the category was bad, you would hit the E key. I was, and still am, confused about this part of the test because I do not understand how it evaluates whether you are happy or not. I felt it was more like a “how quickly can you react” test, or a concussion test, not a personality test. The same process happened during the good/bad test. After the keyboard part, the test asked a series of questions having to do with how I would rate my self-esteem and happiness. The good/bad test asks similar style questions, but pertaining to morals. After those questions, questions about your social background, religion, ethnicity, and political views were asked. I was asked my age and gender as well. The questions relating to the test topic and the social questions seemed more reasonable and easier to transfer into personality. I feel social background and environment definitely play a huge part in happiness/sadness and whether you are a “good” or “bad” person.

My first results were what I predicted. I am more happy than sad. The only part I am questionable about is the fact the results stated I am slightly more happy than sad. I believe I am significantly more happy than sad, but I am aware these tests are not completely accurate. My second results were surprising to me. The test said I am neither a good, nor bad person. Even thinking back to the questions, I did not answer any questions with anything that would portray me as less than a good person.

I think these tests could have the potential to be helpful to college students and employers. If the tests were more accurate and maybe more extensive to get a clear interpretation of the person taking the test, then it would definitely be beneficial. Employers would be able to narrow down their potential employees easier and more quickly in order to find someone who’s personality fits with the position they are trying to fill. The tests could also potentially be helpful to college students looking to see what they are interested in, or what career path they wish to take.

Media Production: Happiness Does NOT Increase Life Span

Fact or myth: happy people live longer than sad/unhappy people? Myth. The Million Women Study, directed by Dr. Bette Liu, wanted to find whether or not happiness has a direct association with mortality. Prior to the research and study, researchers already knew poor health leads to both unhappiness and then to potential death. They knew unhappiness could be a result of other factors which can also cause mortality. After analyzing previous findings and learning of myths regarding happiness and mortality, the researchers’ main goal was to determine if, after consideration for the poor health and lifestyle of people who claim to be unhappy, any strong evidence shows happiness directly reduces mortality rates.

Dr. Liu selected 719,671 to participate in the study and asked them to rate their happiness, stress, feelings of control, and whether or not they felt relaxed. Researchers analyzed the women who died before Jan 1, 2012 from various causes. Using Cox Regression, a method for researching the effect of multiple variables upon the time a specific event happens adjusted for self-rated happiness, mortality rate ratios comparing mortality in women who said to be unhappy with those who said to be happy most of the time were calculated. 39% of the women said they were happy most of the time, 44% said they were usually happy, and 17% unhappy. 10 years after the survey was taken, a follow-up on the women was completed, revealing 4% of the women died. Poor health was strongly associated with unhappiness. But, after consideration for self-rated health and lifestyle factors (smoking, deprivation, and body-mass index) unhappiness was declared to be dissociated with mortality from all causes.

From the study the researchers interpreted and concluded good health and well-being can mean both happiness and longer life, as poor health can mean both unhappiness and a shorter life. But, happiness does not directly reduce chances of cancer, cardiac, or mortality in general. The study used a single question with three possible answers to guide their research, while other, similar studies use different methods. Different people researching the same topic can come to various conclusions. Other studies with a different outcome may be confused with cause and effect. In this particular study, poor health was the cause of unhappiness, while in other studies they might believe the cause and effect is the opposite.

Original News Article: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-happiness-death-20151209-story.html

Scholarly Article: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2901087-9/fulltext



Summarizing the news article was not necessarily challenging for me. In the first assignment, I critiqued Karen Kaplan, author of the news article, somewhat harshly because of her extreme lack of detail and shortness of her post. In my own post I tried to avoid the same issue (lack of detail) by adding more statistics, more information of the process, and more details of the results. Because her article was so short, I was not challenged with meeting the word count, but I had more difficulty staying inside the word count. In order to get the most valuable information, such as statistics, factors going into the study, etc. written, I cut out most of the random sentences she had used in the news article regarding information not pertaining to the results of the study, or the study in general.

The series of projects taught me about the trustworthiness of news reporters or news articles. When I read the news article, I did not have any red flags, nor did I think anything of the lack of detail or information until I read the actual scholarly article. Writing the first two papers allowed me to compare and contrast both pieces in depth, enabling me to see Kaplan missed a large amount of important information which did not allow her readers to be informed of details from the study. I am not sure if other people came across the same realization when looking at their own articles, but when looking at any sort of news article, anyone should use caution.


Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test

I think my results – which ended up being ESFJ – are pretty accurate. ESFJ means extroverted, sensing, feeling, and judging. Myself, as well as others who received the same result, are describe as “generous entertainers”. We also like to be in charge and we have no problem expressing our emotions, especially if we are upset. I do like to be in charge and I feel I am good and effective at resolving issues in the most rational way. The website describes ESFJ’s as caretakers and mothering. I feel like I do not completely act in that way, but I do care about others well being and I do have sympathy and empathy for others, I just would not say I am mothering. The most accurate part of the personality type is the extrovert aspect. I love to be around people, I love to keep busy, and I love to socialize.


Again, I was classified as an ESFJ. Since I figured the same result as the previous test would have a similar description, I looked into compatible careers on this site. I am currently in the education program, studying to be a high school English teacher and a basketball coach. All of the possible careers listed on the site all involved working with others, or serving others. I found it interesting athletic coach, elementary teacher, and special education teacher were listed, but not high school teacher. I think all types of teachers fit with the ESFJ personality type because they interact and help their students.

Big 5 Test

Factor 1: Extraversion- I scored on the 96th percentile for this factor. High scorers are outgoing and social.

Factor 2: Emotional Stability- I scored low, 36th percintile, on this factor. There’s not a long description for this factor, but I assume it means ability to control emotions. I agree with my low score on this because I easily become stressed, worried, or upset. I can easily let out my emotions and sometimes it is not in the best way.

Factor 3: Agreeableness- I scored on the 87th percentile, meaning I am friendly and and optimistic. This is accurate because I rarely have conflict with people, I have a wide variety of friends, and I am open to new things or people.

Factor 4: Conscientiousness- I scored only in the 36th percentile. Having a low score in this category means you are impulsive and disorganized. I know I am disorganized in the fact I leave my room and desk messy, but when it comes to organizing my school work and schedule I am good at that.

Factor 5: Intellect/Imagination- I scored on the 70th percentile on this category, meaning I am open to new experiences. People who score low are traditional and conservative. While I am definitely open to new things in every aspect, I do have traditions I stand strong with and my political views are completely conservative.

Color Quiz

I identified with some factors in my results, but for the most part I did not find this quiz accurate. My results said I am emotional and artistic and I need to be surrounded by beautiful things and art. I am not an artistic person whatsoever, and I find what most people consider “art” quite boring. It continues to say I need to meet people who have the same high value for themselves as I do, which is true, but then the results stated I still feel unfulfilled, which is not true. I am content with my current relationships with the people I associate with. The results said I am conceited and offended easily, again, not true. I am actually very critical of myself, but I do not necessarily care about outside negative thoughts people may have about me. The only other factor I actually identified with was I often feel stressed.

To conclude, the first three tests were accurate. They all had similar results in which I was able to identify with. As for the color quiz, I do not find it credible.


I was shocked when I learned eating too healthy can be labeled a disease and unhealthy. Reading the criteria for orthorexia, I have both critical and positive comments. As I still do not understand how healthy eating can be excessive and a negative issue, the criteria does create a foundation for the topic to be explored more in-depth. It explains an emotional aspect (which I believe could be the only potential issue with obsessive healthy eating) as well as the dangers of cleanses and the obsession to reach and maintain a “fit” body. My critical comments mainly involve this: people can read this criteria and take away to stop eating too much healthy foods, before they get orthorexia. And that should not be the case at all. Especially with obesity being such a big issue in our country, the fear of orthorexia does not help.

Jacquelyn Ekern and Crystal Karges defined and described in better detail what orthorexia actually is. I did not get a complete concept from the first criteria, but this article gave me a better understanding. When they defined orthorexia, I was still skeptical about the seriousness of the disorder. They went on to explain it can lead to unhealthy dieting and cleansing. From watching other people experience this firsthand, excessive cleanses and programs can lead to lack of nutrition and unhealthy weight loss. Although weight loss is not necessarily the goal of people with orthorexia, it can definitely be an outcome to it. Symptoms of orthorexia include:

  • “Elimination of entire food groups in attempt for a “clean” or “perfect” diet
  • Severe anxiety regarding how food is prepared
  • Avoidance of social events involving food for fear of being unable to comply with diet
  • Thinking critically of others who do not follow strict diets
  • Spending extreme amounts of time and money in meal planning and food choices
  • Feelings of guilt or shame when unable to adhere to diet standards
  • Feeling fulfilled or virtuous from eating “healthy” while losing interest in other activities once enjoyed.”

I found this article to be trustworthy. Credible references are cited, every piece of information is thoroughly explained, and the authors had a purpose to write this.

Dr. Karin Kartina provides origin and history about the term. Dr. Steven Bratman formed “orthorexia” in 1996, not as a diagnosis, but as a way to describe his health-obsessed patients. Usually someone with orthorexia is diagnosed based on health reasons, but other factors such as lack of safety from poor health, desire for complete control,  desire to escape from fears, wanting to be thin, wanting to improve self-esteem, and using food to create an identity. Severe cases can involve social isolation because their lives are centered around food and planning for food. I found Dr. Kartina to be a credible source, as her schooling background would agree. Her information provided also came from credible sources.

At first, I was confused hearing about this disorder because what could be better than only wanting to eat healthy foods? But, the articles gave me perspective by adding in components such as diet plans, weight loss as a result, etc. Deciding if someone is just unhealthy or actually has a mental disorder is difficult. When symptoms like social isolation, weight loss, or any severe and potentially harmful things are involved, the person probably has the mental disorder.






Legalize it?

The debate on whether marijuana should be legalized for either medicinal or recreational purposes is and has been raging on within each and every state. In my opinion, I believe medicinal marijuana and only medicinal marijuana should be legalized. Even then, doctors should be strict and careful with whom they prescribe marijuana to. If the drug can be beneficial and help someone, then I’m all for it. But, the reason I say no to legalization of recreational use is because this act could eventually lead to the legalization of heroine, cocaine, etc. When arguing for recreational legalization, some make it a point this country is based on freedom and we as citizens of this country should have the freedom to choose what to put in our bodies. Wouldn’t that be the same argument for use of more hardcore drugs? Additionally, like alcohol, marijuana impairs judgement. Some people assume having a high is safer than being under the influence of alcohol, which is not necessarily true. A high from any drug can be dangerous to yourself and others around you.

John Hawkins, also against legalization of marijuana, gives five main reasons he believes the drug should be illegal. First, it can be extremely addictive to some people. Some people is the key word. Most people do not become dangerously addicted, but those who do become addicted struggle greatly. Hawkins refers to Amsterdam, a city who has legalized marijuana and is having second thoughts of their decision. Residents of Amsterdam are concerned with their children’s constant exposure to the smoke and smoking around schools and public places. Research has shown marijuana can have a negative effect on mental health and lower IQ. Along with mental health, physical health is greatly effected. Smoking any substance is bad for lungs and can cause serious problems in the future for smokers. And finally, marijuana can ruin someone’s life if dangerous use becomes regular. A study was conducted with college students, and the students who smoked at least 27 out of the 30 days before the survey showed their “critical skills related to attention, memory and learning were seriously diminished” (14). Another study of postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana had “55% more accidents, 85% more injuries and a 75% increase in being absent from work” (14). These studies do not represent the general population, but are still significant because of the large percentages and findings resulting from the studies. Hawkins validated all five of his reasons with other sources including doctors and other research studies.

On the other hand, Renee Jacques is all for legalization. She points out marijuana has never killed anyone. Too much THC in a body system will not be harmful. Also, 40% of Americans have already used the drug and 58% of people agree to legalize it. Some people have trouble sleeping, need medicine daily, or have serious medical problems and marijuana can be an aid to each one of those issues. Currently, marijuana substances are already in some prescription drugs. Jacques goes on to list celebrities who smoke marijuana such as Martha Stewart and Morgan Freeman. The fact she used this as a way to prove her point, and there were various animations and humorous gifs caused me to not take what she was saying seriously or trustworthy. I found the two statistics she provided useful, but nothing else.

To compare both articles, Hawkins justified my original opinion and also added new insight to my thoughts. He had statistics, research, and other people to back up his information, while Jacques had animations. I know every article or post will have pros and cons, but my opinion still stands: marijuana should not be legal with the exception of strictly and cautiously prescribed medicinal marijuana.





Video Game Violence

Benedict Carey of the New York Times looked into the effects of playing video games because of an open fire at Columbine High School and at a movie theater in Colorado. The two shooters both were active video game players. Researchers used three categories to guide their research: short-term, long-term, and correlation studies. They took various measures of arousal, “both physical and psychological”. They found, compared with others who played a nonviolent video game, those who had played “Mortal Kombat” were tested more aggressive. Of course there are several factors that would influence a shooter, but video game violence could very well be one of the contributing factors.

On the other hand, Rick Nauert wrote about a study that shows video game violence does not influence real-life aggression. Surprisingly, they found playing violent video games can actually calm the mood of players. The researchers could not relate the findings to circumstances such as mass homicides, but to smaller acts of aggression.

I found the first article to be more reliable than the second. The study was explained and clarified much better than the second. The second article did not talk about the process or experiment as much as it just stated what the results were. I am more to believe the first article that says violent video games do have affect on aggression because the information provided is more trustworthy than the other side.

I do believe video games can have an affect on acts of aggression, but not to the point video games should be banned entirely.



In New Study, Video Games Not Tied to Violence in High-Risk Youth

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.







Do Men Really Prefer Blondes?

This mini-myth featured on Myth Busters has been in question for awhile, making its debut mainly during Marilyn Monroe’s era. Is cliche blonde really more appealing to men than other hair colors? The Myth Busters created an experiment to test this by setting up a speed-dating process. In each of 3 trials, 9 men were given 3 minutes to talk to each of 9 women. To prevent bias because of personality, the women switched off between a blonde wig, brunette wig, and a red wig to wear during each trial.

The strengths of the experiment were the different colored wigs, using professional hair stylists to make the wigs look realistic, doing more than one trial, having random men meet the women, not allowing the men to know the purpose of the speed-dating, and the process of rating the women based on attractiveness and likableness. The different colored wigs served to prevent the women’s personality from being a potential bias to the ratings the men gave the women. Professionals ensured the wigs looked realistic, so the men would not suspect the purpose of the experiment. Multiple trials using different men each time tested men with different interests and personalities. The participants knew they were being recorded, but they were not informed about the purpose, allowing for non-biased results.

Although this study was well-thought and planned for, it did have it’s weaknesses. There were only 9 women, and hair paired with attractive faces can have an impact. I think there should have been more women. Also, the men were allowed 3 minutes with each girl. If the experiment was meant to test physical attraction, I do not think their should have been any time allotted during the speed-date. Just a look at the women so the men could rate them on their appearance, and then an option to get to know them further based on their looks. If the men were meant to get to know the women, more than 3 minutes should be given.

And the final result was men generally do not prefer blondes over other hair colors.

Oct. 23, 1883

133 years ago, on October 23rd, 1883 marks the opening of the first state mental hospital in Salem, Oregon called the Oregon State Insane Asylum, or more currently known as the Oregon State Hospital. 320 patients were transferred/admitted to the hospital on opening day, including 102 female patients. Most of the patients were transfers from Portland’s Hawthorne Asylum, also a mental hospital, but not the state hospital.

The idea of the asylum was first proposed in 1862 by Addison Gibbs (Governor of Oregon) to provide care for “insane and idiotic persons”. The way of dealing with “insane and idiotic persons” at the time, for example, was a system in which the government paid Oregon citizens to “keep” mentally ill people and provide minimal care for them. Each county in Oregon was held responsible to deal with mentally ill people in whichever way they chose, Oregon archives just showed this particular case.

It took 20 years after Gibb’s suggestion to begin collecting government funds for the institution. The hospital was set to be built close to the state prison, which was probably not a coincidence. The hospital still remains in the same location today, and the road leading up to the building used to be known as “Asylum Avenue”. Dr. Horace Carpenter, a physician, was chosen as the hospital’s superintendent, or someone to oversee the hospital’s operations.


Obviously, the late 1800’s psychologists and doctors were not necessarily rich in information and proven facts regarding patients admitted into asylums and how to deal/care for them. The hospital still continues to be functional today, and even had recent reconstruction to expand the buildings in 2009-2011. The hospital’s technology, methods, and research has improved and plans to continue to expand to help the people of Oregon who need it.




My name is Tiffany Litton, a current freshman and student athlete at Austin College. I plan to major in English with a minor in exercise sports science, eventually leading up to earning a masters degree in education. Eventually, I hope to become an English teacher and basketball coach at the high school or college level. I am a native Texan, born and raised in Austin.

This blog and it’s postings relate to my psychology class here at AC. Thinking about psychology in general, what comes to mind right away is the brain, it’s thoughts, how it works, memories, actions, etc. which is what also interested me to take this course. Additionally I am interested to learn about myself and others at a deeper level. From the course syllabus the three topics that are most intrigue me are Concussions, Personality Assessment, and Treating Mental Illness. Concussions interest me because athletes are often put in situations that concussions likely occur in. In the past I have learned about concussion prevention, how bad a concussion is, etc. but I have never known what actually goes on mentally when a concussion occurs. Personality assessment is interesting because I have always been into personality quizzes, personality types, and other peoples personalities and compatibility with my own. Lastly, mental illness in general has been an interest of mine for a long time, ever since I began volunteering at an Alzheimer’s home during my high school career.

The three topics that seem the least interesting to me are Scientific Method, Research Methods, and Neurons. I am not a “sci-ency” person, if you will, so these terms just bring confusion and blank thoughts to my head. Assuming I will have to take science classes later on, and the fact that this information is obviously important to the class material, I am confident I will benefit from and enjoy learning these topics once we actually get into them.

By the end of the class I hope to answer the question: What are possible advancements for psychology in the future? What more research is there to be done?