Monthly Archives: October 2012

Untitled- Poem

I want you to understand everything that I feel

Being so in love seems so unreal

I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve

And throw my shirt on the shelf

I wish my heart could write these words by itself

 

I feel it crushing

More and more

You have one foot in

And one foot out the door

 

I hear it breaking

Cracking

Aching

Warm tears flowing

Down my cheek

 

It’s so cold

I’m shivering as I speak

 

It’s cold

It’s cold

But it gets old

This crushing

This heartbreak

This shirt that I fold

 

What’s new is what I feel

Every…Single…Day

The love that I feel

And the perfection you portray

 

PERFECTION

But you don’t see what I do

You don’t see this Amazing…Beautiful…You

 

Blind to what you deserve

Only seeing what hurts

Thinking it’s what you deserve

 

You’re wrong

You deserve nothing less than the best

But the best is really less than you deserve

 

You’re BLESSED

I’m blessed to have you in my life

I don’t know what I did

But He sent you for a reason

 

LIFE

I guess it’s a part of life

I feel my heart breaking

Cracking

Aching

Yet still palpitating

 

Every day I love you more, never less

And for that reason you deserve the very, very best

 

I still love you although I feel my heart crushing

More and more

Because you have one foot in

And one foot out the door

 

It’s killing me to love you

Because I feel my heart breaking

Cracking

Aching

But it’s the risk that I’m taking

My First Psychology Experiment

The Effects of Depression on Peer Pressure

Section 1: Proposal

The biological approach is the study of how physical and chemical changes in our bodies influence our behavior. The biological approach may be helpful with the field of physiology, which is the study of how the nervous system functions and how changes in structure and/or function can affect behavior. (simplypsychology.org) Psychobiologists believe that the things people think, feel, say, and do are caused by electrochemical events occurring within the neurons- particularly those in the brain- that make up the nervous system. (psychlotron.org.uk)

This study is designed to illustrate the effects that depression has on the likeliness of an individual giving in to peer pressure. The focus of the study is on the emotional, social, and ethical aspects of adolescence regarding their state of happiness (i.e. depression) and their probability of being influenced by peer pressure. Depression may cause feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and self-hate, which may lead to low self-esteem. Peer pressure is more likely to occur with individuals who have low self-esteem as they have a greater desire to fit in.

Section 2: Collection of Data

Surveys would be used first to collect data, as to not influence the control group to change their answers from the interviews to the survey. Fifty questions are to be carefully selected in order to gather the utmost amount of data from each individual. Questions will be selected to discover whether the control group had ever felt depressed or pressured into doing something that they otherwise would not have done. It will also ask questions about their environment and other aspects that may play a role in depression such as alcohol or drug abuse, certain medications, sleeping problems, and stressful life events (break ups, failing a class, death or illness of someone close, divorce, job loss, social isolation, etc). The survey will consist of ten questions about the socioeconomic status and environment of the participant, twenty questions about their overall state of happiness, and twenty questions about peer pressure.

After administering the surveys, interviews will be conducted to gather additional information as well as to compare the two sets of data. During the interview, we may clarify any confusion that the survey may have brought about and rephrase any questions that the participants did not understand. The interview will be held in private to not only ensure confidentiality, but also to avoid their answers being influenced by outside factors.

Section 3: Experimental Design

Depression is expected to be inversely related to the probability of giving into peer pressure. We believe that the desire to conform and feel accepted leads people to give into peer pressure. Alcohol and drug abuse are not only causes of depression, but also increase the chance of giving into peer pressure. The use of substances impairs judgment and impedes the ability to make good decisions. Individuals are then unable to think for themselves and feel pressured to do what others want them to do or what it seems like everyone else is doing.

In this study, the independent variable is the participants’ state of depression while the dependent variable is the efficacy of peer pressure. In this study, depression is defined as the state of being sad or unhappy for two weeks or more. Peer pressure may be defined as the feeling of being pressured, either verbally or nonverbally, to do something that one would not otherwise do. The participants’ levels of depression & likelihood of giving into peer pressure will be measured by how they respond to each question on the survey. They will be asked questions such as: if they have ever felt sad or unhappy for two weeks or more at a time, if they have been clinically diagnosed with depression, if they have ever had thoughts of suicide, if they have ever been pressured into doing something that would harm them, and if they have ever felt that they needed to conform to keep their friends. The survey will also consist of psychological questions, such as if a cup is half empty or half full, to measure their positive outlook on life.

We will set up our experiment by forming both a control and experimental group. The control group will take a survey consisting of fifty questions without knowing what it is about. The experimental group will know what types of questions the survey will include. It is expected that by this group knowing the types of questions, they will respond differently, in a more positive manner, than the control group. The only problem with this method is that some participants will be too ashamed or afraid to answer the questions for fear that someone will judge them. In order to minimize that risk, each participant will be assured that the information they provide will be strictly used for research purposes only and that no one else will neither see nor judge them whatsoever.

There are a number of confounding variables that may affect this experiment including, but not limited to, the respondent’s level of education, social class, and poverty level. High school students are more likely to pull all-nighters, which may lead to sleep deprivation (getting less than eight hours of sleep per night), therefore contributing to depression. High school students will also be more stressed from homework, projects, assignments, and getting good grades. They are also more likely to feel secluded & like they don’t belong. According to Dr. Lydia Falconnier, assistant professor in UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, depression has a “profound impact on an individual’s productivity, which is particularly true among individuals in lower social classes and with lower levels of education”. Social class is also closely associated with depression as, according to biomedcentral.com, people with lower socioeconomic backgrounds are “more likely to exhibit psychiatric disorders.” Poverty levels also act as a third variable. About one in six Americans say that they have been diagnosed with depression, and that rate is almost double for people with a lower income. Americans that make less than $24,000 a year are the most likely to report being diagnosed with depression while those that make over $60,000 a year are the least likely to report ever being depressed. Richer people claim to be happier than poorer people and people of all socioeconomic backgrounds say that they expect wealth to bring happiness. To account for these confounding variables, respondents with the same level of education shall be chosen and their poverty levels as well as their social class will taken into consideration. In order to address experimenter bias, one of us will create survey and interview questions while the other administers them so that whoever is administering the survey and interview won’t know what to expect, therefore reducing the risk of a biased experiment. In order to minimize the impact of demand characteristics, deception will be used as an approach. Concealment will be used by telling the participants that they will be observed on how easily they are influenced by others, but they will not be told that they are also being observed on whether they have ever been depressed at some point. This is so that the Hawthorne Effect will not take place in the participants and cause them to behave differently or exaggerate the state of their happiness.

The selection of people will consist of the most common group of people affected by peer pressure to be able to better observe the characteristics of those who give into peer pressure. The sample will consist of 50 people that will be randomly selected from among high school students. The students that volunteer to participate will have their names written down in a randomized order, which will then be assigned two numbers, either one or two. The students who are assigned the number one will be a part of the control group, while the students that are assigned the number two will be a part of the experimental group. This will be done to give each student an equal opportunity to participate and be a part of a group.

Section 4: Ethical Concerns and Practical Applications

This experiment does indeed conform to APA ethical guidelines. We are aware of the professional, scientific, and social responsibilities. We also respect the rights, privacy, and dignity of each participant. Information about the research participants are confidential unless it is otherwise agreed upon in advance. Under no circumstances will information be revealed nor exploited about the individual participants. Each participant is also free to decline to participate in the experiment or withdraw from the research at any time. If a personal problem or conflict should arise, the experimenter is to withdraw immediately as to prevent harm to the research participant and/or the experiment. The experiment will be honest, fair, and respectful.

This experiment is worthy of being funded by the Hanso Foundation because it will not only further uncover depression in adolescents, but it will also be able to help prevent peer pressure by determining who is more likely to be pressured by others. This, in turn, will aid in targeting not only the teen’s depression, but their self-confidence, willpower, and refusal skills as well. It is expected that this will lead to fewer thefts, acts of violence, and alcohol and drug abuse within teens.

The Effects of Depression on Peer Pressure Presentation

Google vs Bing

Which do you prefer?

How I Started a Movement

 It was all over the tv and the front page of every newspaper. Everyone wanted to join the movement and the media absolutely loved every minute of it. I was protesting for the equal rights of everyone- maybe that’s why it was so successful. People from all backgrounds could relate to what I stood for. It was a modern Civil Rights Movement.

It all started when I was going to visit my sick uncle. He had some kind of disease to where he couldn’t even leave his bed. He was dying so my family and I went to say our last words. As soon as I got to the sidewalk a police officer came to stop me and said that I couldn’t go see my uncle. I was confused as to why, but I knew my rights. Even after explaining the situation to him, he just wouldn’t let me pass. It was then that he started saying how blacks couldn’t congregate. He was trying to break us up because there were to many of us. And me being the type of person that I am, I just wouldn’t accept it.

In the midst of me giving a speech about how unjust that was, I didn’t notice the large crowd that had gathered before me. It just so happens that they agreed with me and they were angered that he wouldn’t let me pass. Before I knew it, we were all chanting, “Equality for all!” The community was outraged by his refusal to let me pass, and no one would just let it fly. There were protests outside of the police station and at least 5 people were arrested. I felt bad that they were arrested on my account but at the same time, I was shocked and honored that they were willing to be arrested to not only defend my rights, but the rights of the nation.

Things had gotten pretty out of hand so the mayor thought it was necessary to have a city-wide meeting about the subject, but it didn’t go quite as well as he had planned. The mayor was unable to address the questions that the people had and the officer that wouldn’t let me visit my uncle had received no kind of repercussion for his actions. The people were once again infuriated and began to shout, “Equality for all!”

Everything seemed so surreal, and well, that’s because it was. That was one of the most empowering dreams I have ever had. I started a 21st century movement and brought people from all walks of life together to realize that things still aren’t where they need to be. Maybe one day we’ll finally get there but until then, “if we don’t change our direction we’re likely to end up where we’re headed.”

Before God we are equally wise and equally foolish.

The first woman was created from the rib of a man. She was not made from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal to him.

QE3: The Magic of Money

So everyone knows that the US is extremely in debt but not much is being done to alleviate the issue. Because we are so much in debt, we are now using quantitative easing (QE), again. Since we’re now on QE3, do you think QE1 or even QE2 worked? Not at all, hence why we’re on the destined to fail QE3.

So what is QE?

Quantitative easing is when the federal government needs money so they just create it out of nothing. The goal of quantitative easing is to lower interest rates, boost demand for investment capital, and increase economic output.

There are, however, negative effects to quantitative easing such as a weaker dollar. This is no doubt good for an indebted economy and for one coming out of a recession, but it’s not ideal for individuals who will have less purchasing power. With a weaker dollar, individuals will no longer be able to buy what they once did for the same price. Also, a weak dollar causes the price of global commodities to increase, which makes it more expensive for US manufacturers to produce anything. Productivity creates wealth, so producing less will not only increase unemployment but also put us more in debt. A drop in the US dollar also results in an increase in gasoline and other luxury commodities due to a lot of them being priced in the US dollar. While many economists fear inflation as a result of using quantitative easing, deflation remains to be a main concern.

Creating money isn’t the only way the government has tried to alleviate the deficit, if you can even call it alleviation. They borrow the money from other sections of the government. For instance, if the Treasury needed money (let’s say $50,000) they would just borrow it from the Federal Reserve and if the Federal Reserve needed money they would just say, “Hey, Treasury, we know we loaned you that $50,000 but now we need it back.” I doubt it would be exactly like that but the concept is the same. My Economics teacher said that it’s like using your Mastercard to pay your Visa and your Visa to pay your Mastercard.

http://usdebtclock.org

The numbers won’t appear when the page is copied.

The above link shows- in real time- the current national debt and it’s obvious to see that the numbers drastically increase every second. Currently, the US public debt is situated at above $16 trillion; the total debt is above $58 trillion; and unfunded liabilities such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security is way above $120 trillion. As you can see, the problem isn’t taxes, it’s that the government spends too much. Earlier I said QE3 is destined to fail, but that’s because we won’t get out of debt unless we reduce spending.

Politicians always talk about cutting government programs but the truth is, no one ever cuts government programs. In fact, no one can cut government programs. When politicians talk about cutting government programs what they’re really talking about is reducing the rate of increase. Because of the base-line, all government program expenses increase by 3-12% annually. So, when people”cut” governement programs what they really do is reduce the rate of increase from say 8% to 5%.

Some of our highest expenses are Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security and by 2016 our national debt is expected to be above $22 trillion. Don’t believe me? It’s all on the US debt clock.

Why are we so in debt?

We’re in debt for a plethora of reasons but some are way more ridiculous than others. Here are a few things that the government is using our tax dollars for:

$50,000 for a helicopter for a small-town sheriff in Kentucky.

$98,257 for a shuttle in D.C.- Congressman James Moran’s grandmother wanted to go to downtown DC but she didn’t want to drive so Congressman Moran had a shuttle stop right in front of her house to go downtown.

$200,000 for a tattoo removal program in California.

$500,000 to maintain a WW1 statue… in France.

$1.24 million for tree snake control…in Guam.

$1.9 million for water taxi service at Pleasure Beach, CT

$3 million for a project to distribute NASA images

$3.8 million to save part of a baseball stadium from demolition… for the memories

$4.2 million for a local weapons of mass destruction support team

$9.7 million to save Hawaiian sea turtles, monk seals, and crustaceans

$15 million gift for Ireland

$27 million for a Tennessee-based homeland security program (not supported by the Department of Homeland Security)

$27.8 million to build fitness centers at three military bases

$44.2 million to build chapels at six military bases

$1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck.

$500,000 for oyster safety in Florida

$413,000 for peanut research in Alabama

$165,000 for maple syrup research in Vermont

$727,000 to compensate ranchers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan whenever endangered wolves eat their cattle

Sources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worst-pork-of-2010-2010-4?op=1#ixzz28NHCUEF5

Read More on http://www.cagw.org/reports/pig-book/2009/

And while the government is spending all of that money on these seemingly ridiculous projects, we’re running out of money for Medicare and Social Security, with Medicare being expected to run out of money before Social Security.