kiss and tell?

Can a physical feature reveal psychological information about a person? It reminds me of the early studies in criminology, when phrenologists used to study skull shapes and the bumps on one’s head to determine if they were a criminal or not. Of course phrenology was dismissed hundreds of years ago, because it was clearly an inaccurate way to determine the legality of one’s nature. But a similar psychological technique may have made a comeback.

It is called “Lipsology”. Determining psychological characteristics through lip shapes. To practice lipsology, you apply lipstick to your lips, kiss a peice of paper, and look at the shape of the lip print. No, I am not making this up.

“The resulting imprints, given names such as “gerbil balls” “angel wings” “mother nature’s lines” “peppers” and “zingers” are supposed to indicate a wide variety of information, health, psychological predispositions, even some spiritual interventions”

The author of this post on Psychology Today was equally appalled that people are actually taking this seriously. I feel like psychology may have just taken a step in the wrong direction.

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a good night’s sleep

I found an interesting post on Psychology Today. A recent study was done with children to examine the effects of inadequate sleep (which is said to be 7.7 hours for children 7-8 years old). A link has been found between short sleeping durations and an increased risk of ADHD.

I remember hearing about studies done concerning high school kids and sleep duration. When school was started later, the kids had better academic performance.. Perhaps these two studies are somehow linked. We all know that growing and developing bodies and minds need adequate rest, but maybe it makes more of a difference than we may have predicted.

I am definitely an advocate for later starting times for schools. My high school years were incredibly sleep deprived. First period in high school was basically a complete waste, since no one is fully awake to do anything. If school is started later for kids/adolescents, it could increase academic performance on two levels: decreasing ADHD for younger children (which also helps with academics later in life), and increasing academic performance for high school students.

Psychiatric Illness in the Clergy?

A post on Mind Hacks was discussing psychoanalysis of clergy members. The author found a 1969 article about several monks who underwent psychoanalysis, only to discover about themselves that they felt that they desired a married life to a life of God.

The incident that inspired the ’69 article occurred in 1961. It was decided that psychoanalysis would be beneficial to clergy in training, so 60 monks participated in psychoanalysis therapy. After the therapy, only 20 decided to remain clergy. The other 40 felt a calling to married life.

Similar results occurred when a group of nuns attended psychotherapy. A large percentage left the covenant, with a few converting to lesbians.

In retaliation, the pope banned clergy from participating in psychoanalysis.

The 1969 article was titled “Psychiatric Illness in the Clergy”. I may be wrong, but I don’t feel that the desire to marry and have a family should be considered a psychiatric illness. Nor do I believe that recognizing your sexual orientation to be a psychiatric illness. And, I feel like it is doing the potential-clergy and the rest of society a disservice by banning psychoanalysis of clergy. How can one successfully serve God if they aren’t happy with their life? A life of religious celibacy isn’t for everyone, and I think that people have the right to know if they are right for the job.

Hugo Chavez needs a stick removed from his … nevermind

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the embargo lifting between the United States and Cuba. There was a summit meeting, and we got a picture of something that we never thought possible. Hugo Chavez and the President of the United States shaking hands with smiles. Granted this was not President Bush, but rather President Obama, it was still a great moment. Everybody knew the Venezuelan presidents feelings towards Mr. Bush. He had publicly called him the devil, and when he stepped up to the podium after him, he said that he had smelled sulfur, which is a reference to the Devil. In the article that I found on Fox news, Hugo Chavez is going back to his old self. It is clear that he does not understand that the relations with the United States and Cuba cannot be mended overnight, but he already has public outcries.

“If Obama doesn’t knock down the savage blockade against the Cuban people, it’s all a lie. Everything would be a big farce,” Chavez said.

Whether it be Bush or Obama in charge it does not matter. It could be Santa Claus in charge and Hugo Chavez would still have beef with the United States. Whether it be Bush who damaged relations with Venezuela or it could be Chavez himself having issues with us, it will never change. Relations with Venezuela will always be strained until Chavez is no longer president, because he will always have issues with the United States.

Church and State my foot!

As I was reading the article about one of Conneticutt’s middle school’s banning touch, I found this video clip of a principal who allegedly held a Buddhist hate chant inside his school.

A principal with a hate list? The department of education is investigating a Riverdale principal amid accusations he held a religious ritual aimed at teachers he considered his enemies.

Here’s what gets my goat: Christianity has dominated our schools since the beginning of Christianity. Is it only that these parents felt threatened by an alternative Eastern religion? Most people who know anything about Buddhism know its non-violent. Look at Christianity! I just don’t get people. The parent’s of the children from the school say the principal was trying to recruit them. How many times has a churchlady or friend asked you to go to some event, whether it be worship, or a basketball game, or a easter egg hunt or a picnic/bbq? The parents also said as the principal had hired some Buddhists! Holy Mother of God! I thought religious freedom was in our constitution and if you had the qualifications for the job, religion should not matter. But, I guess that’s only ok as long as you don’t tell anyone, and you go with the flow of the flock.

We won’t know for sure what happened in this instance until the investigation is over. It does bring up some alarming thoughts and questions however.

Rape and Burn

I was looking online to find articles about the negative effects of blogging and using Facebook and other such internet communities.  I wasn’t surprised to find quite a few blogs on the subject, but I was surprised to find this article

Lynch, a steroid addict, imprisoned the woman for hours before beating and raping her two weeks after meeting her on social networking site Facebook.

Following the attack he bombarded her with text messages and phone calls for several days.

Three days after Lynch raped the woman, he arranged that she be burned with sulfuric acid. Both Lynch and the acid-thrower were convicted and are going to be going to jail for a number (if smaller than I woud like) years.  It worries me that anyone who has an internet connection has access to these networks; they can learn about you and read your private thoughts and feelings. Anyone who has this sort of account should be very careful of what they share and with whom they talk, because there is no knowing what kind of crazys are out there.

Is that really your Attitude?

As I am finishing up with my psychology class in Persuasion, I keep thinking about attitudes and behavior. Behavior shapes attitudes through justification of effort and cognitive dissonance, but how do we judge our own attitude. At times, we tell ourselves we feel and act differently than we really do. For the psychology class, we were told to take an  Implicit Association Test, to see what our attitudes were ranging from people of color and the election to the elderly.

Here you will have the opportunity to assess your conscious and unconscious preferences for over 90 different topings ranging from pets to political issues, ethnic groups to sports teams, and entertainers to styles of music. At the same time, you will be assisting psychological research on thoughts and feelings.

I took the political quiz that was focused on Obama and McCain. The test looked at political party associations as well as race. I was some what surprised by the results, not because I didn’t know the attitudes, but because I had never had someone or thing come out and tell me it was so. It really made me look at other issues that I tell myself I feel X about when really it could be Y.  I like this sight and the information it is collecting, but I think some people who take the test might become angry about the results.