Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Soundtrack to My Life..

Biz Markie - "Just a Friend"
Everyone has had that time where they liked someone and, oh, they consider you just a friend. I like this song because it's so easy to relate to. The song also has a nice beat to it, one that you can dance to, sing to in the car or shower, or just do your homework to. Whenever I hear this song it makes me smile. :)

Taylor Swift - "Never Grow Up"
This was a song I had on repeat as I was getting ready to leave for school this summer. I have a little brother (age 4) and sister (age 8) and this song made me realize how old we were all getting. It also made me sad to realize I was going to miss a lot of them growing up and going to school during the year. This made me want them to stop growing up until I got back. Also it helped me understand the kind of things my parents were going through, with their first born going to school. It also showed me how much I rely on my parents.

Brad Paisley (feat. Dolly Parton) - "When I Get Where I'm Going"
This song was just always just a good song to sing to, that is until my grandpa passed away. I was always really close to my grandpa and there is a line in this song (I'm gonna walk with my grand daddy/And he'll match me step for step/And I'll tell him how I've missed him every minute since he's left/And then I'll hug his neck). There is not a day that I don't miss my grandpa and to think I could go see him one more time makes me feel better.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Research Practice - Media's Influence on Teen Pregnancy

"Second, boys are obsessed with sex and sexual performance, and, third,  girls are responsible for teen pregnancy, contraception, and STD prevention" (Hust & Brown, 2008, p.14).

Hust, S., & Brown, J. (2008). Boys will be boys and girls better be prepared: An analysis of the rare sexual health messages in young adolescents' media. Mass Communication & Society, 11(3), 1-22.

For my research paper, I thought it would be interesting to study media's influence on teen pregnancy, and whether it is a positive or negative influence. I think this article will add an interesting point of view to my paper as it looks at teen pregnancy as something the girl needs to control and worry about, where the boy is left to have fun. I believe it will be a pretty solid source as it is coming from an academic peer reviewed journal. I feel that I might use this article to help contradict myself in my paper, to help me from building a straw man fallacy. It could help me strengthen my points by providing points from an opposing view point, as I feel that media has a positive influence on teen pregnancy.

"The likelihood of getting pregnant, or getting someone else pregnant, increased steadily with the amount of sexual content they watched on TV" (Anonymous, 2008, p. 4).

Anonymous. (2008). Studies: Link between sexual media content and pregnancy, hostility. Media Report to Women, 36(4), 3-4.

This article is a bit more sketchy to me. I think it will still provide good information as it implies on page four that teen pregnancy increases with amount of sexual media being watched. The reason I am apprehensive about this article is because there is no author mentioned. This article actually does contain actual information about the research (like who was involved), which does help increase the validity a little bit. I can use this article to help me determine whether media has a positive or negative influence on teen pregnancy as through the research it helps give a clearer answer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley and GOOD LUCK!

In chapter ten of The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson finally realizes the dangers of misdiagnosing people with mental disorders, and how to value what makes one disease more or less legitimate than others. He meets with Robert Spritzer, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, who later went on to become an editor of the DSM. It's believed, even by Spritzer, that the DSM falsely diagnoses many people with normal characteristics as having mental disorders, which many pharmaceutical companies benefit from. He also reviews the Rosenhan experiment, where 8 people faked mental disorders. They proved the unreliability of psychiatry. At the end of the chapter, Ronson shows how severely things can be screwed up as the US is misdiagnosing diseases amongst other things. He learns that Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Childhood Bipolar Disorder are the most commonly misdiagnosed disease in America. Ronson believes that the push in diagnosing of diseases is due to society's push for conformity. People feel better about themselves if they have a label for whats wrong with then. He then gives a real life example, the death of a young girl, Rebecca Riley. She was often quieted with her bipolar medication, which her parents then overdosed her with one night as she couldn't fall asleep.
I'm glad that Ronson finally realizes in the last chapter what he's been doing all along. He realizes how dangerous it is to over analyze someone's common characteristics into a mental disorder, or in his case, psychopathy. I'm also glad that Ronson kind of stands up to Bob Hare and tells him whats up about the checklist and it's vagueness. I am kind of surprised, however, that many of the more popular and acknowledged psychiatrists value Hare's checklist as a very powerful tool. I agree with Ronson that most of psychology is guesswork. There really is no way to get inside someone's head and find out exactly what is wrong with them. Overall, I really liked this book. Ronson keeps things interesting by constantly providing new stories and though-provoking questions. I also still think it's really cool that Gary Maier lives in Madison.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chapters 8 and 9

In Chapter 9 of The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson begins to finally realize the true dangers of Bob Hare's psychopath checklist, as well as its relation to criminal profiling. As Hare and Ronson meet in a crowded hotel and stop in the bar for a few drinks. Ronson commented to Hare about how thinks the PCL-R could be misused as the whole world could become like witch-finders, and Hare agrees that he fears it is being misused. After meeting with Hare that night, Ronson decides to look for a man named Paul Britton, a criminal profiler. Britton's job was to assess the crimes and come up with the type of person who would commit such a crime. Britton was great at what he did, often perfectly profiling and catching many of the murderers in the crimes he assessed. But then in 1992, Britton profiled correctly, but it lead the police to the wrong killer, Colin Stagg, a man who fit the profile even better than the actually killer did. Both the police and Britton tried to force Stagg into a confession, through use of an undercover officer. Stagg was eventually arrested and later released as they caught the right killer, Robert Napper. After such a horrible guess, Britton lost his reputation.
I found these two chapters to be very difficult to follow. I was happy to see, however, that Ronson is beginning to realize how hazardous it can be to just go around labeling people as psychopaths. In chapter 8, I think it was obvious that David Shayler had some kind of mental illness, but I don't necessarily think that he is a psychopath. In chapter 9, I was upset to read how they "honey-trapped" Stagg. Even as Stagg persisted that he was not the killer, they tried to lure a confession out of him. It is not fair to put someone through that kind of trauma just because you believe they fit the description of a killer. I find this to be very disturbing as it happens all the time in the news. I don't know how the criminal justice systems so easily can lock up innocent people for 25+ years for crimes they didn't even commit.