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.

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.

ADHD Medication Equals Higher Test Scores?

A study done with children from kindergarten through 5th grade studied how taking certain medication for ADHA has increased their scores on reading and math compared to those not on medication. Their scores were still significantly lower than those without ADHD, but this study was done to show if the medication would help with bettering their grades because kids with ADHD have high dropout rates in school and get poorer grades than, that of their average classmates. I had ADD when I was in kindergarten and I took medication for this, which made me gain weight and just become a lot more tired and less active. Even though I was not diagnosed with ADHD, this still has the same type of effects that I experienced. It allows them to slow their hyperactivity down and allows them to concentrate more on their work in school. Some parents do not like having their kids take medication because of these side effects.

Teachers often advocate medication because it can calm disruptive behavior. But it’s a contentious issue for many parents, worried about putting their kids on drugs that can have side-effects including decreased appetite, weight loss and insomnia.

A psychiatry professor from the University of Illinois-Chicago said that not every kid should be put on certain medications to control this disorder. He also said that there has been research done that most kids with ADHD can benefit from taking these meds. I would agree that in some sense in certain situations like school, it may help, but it depends on the kid that is taking the medication, how the family feels, etc. I know that I could not tell if the meds I was taking for my ADD were helpling, but they certainly made me lazier and fatter starting in kindergarten. Who knows what could happen with many other kids. There was one 19 year old that was diagnosed with ADHD since he was 5 and burns off some extra excess energy by working out. So there can be many alternatives to it, but for kids who knows, can it be the only way?

The Amazing Paul Farmer

I just finishd a book for my Health Psychology class called Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Inside I was introduced to Paul Farmer, a doctor and a medical anthropologist. He had a very interesting childhood, including living in a bus that was a converted TB clinic and then a boat; he had a very transient lifestyle. He got a full scholarship to Duke and then attended Harvard where he earned a M.D. and a Ph.D. He found his passion and ‘home’ in Haiti. There he treats patients and works on world health care. 

The desperate need Paul Farmer saw in central Haiti as a young man inspired him and four friends to create Partners in Health. They raised money and built what’s become the largest hospital in central Haiti.
What began as a small, understaffed and ill-equipped clinic in 1985, today has 100 inpatient beds, an array of specialists, and three operating rooms. They have nearly two million patient visits a year. And the medical care at the clinic is free. For Farmer, healthcare is a human right. He wants to show the world that children for example don’t have to die of treatable illnesses like tuberculosis or malaria, diseases which they treat every day.

It is pretty amazing and inspiring to hear Paul’s story.  Hopefully there will be more people like Paul Farmer.

No Stricter Gun Laws After 10 Years?

r217576_849287Of course there has to be a post on the 10th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. I was trying to watch the news all day, especially for this, on what different updates there were about if there were going to be any news on the gun laws from the shooting that happened at Columbine. Obviously there was not, especially in the 2007 attack of Virgina Tech, which I believe is the Columbine of the new millennium, sadly. I even read a news report that a kid even brought a gun to his own school on the 10th anniversary of the shooting and went to jail for it. Also the fact that it was loaded made it even worse. I am not surprised whatsoever that gun laws will be put to rest just because there are so many people with so many guns already that I find it hard to believe that not every single person will get searched for it. On the brighter side, the Columbine shooting gave students a new found lease on life and have successful careers becuse of this incident. This shooting was a reminder that people should not take life for granted.

Facebook=Bad grades?

Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University, did a survey of college students and found that college students who actively use facebook, have a lower GPA than those student who do not actively use facebook. Although the study does not say that facebook has a direct effect on student’s grades, there is a correlation between extra curricular activities and poor grades. The study did a comparison between students who studied x amount of hours and/or had jobs vs. those who did more Internet-type activities. It also stated that those who engaged in more extracurricular activities were more likely to use facebook vs. students who had jobs.

This article came from yahoo! news. The article did not mention twitter.   🙂