Christian Women and Power

It always makes me angry when people say a Christian woman shouldn’t have any power, that she should be told what to do by a man. I have one friend who was widowed young, and believed that she shouldn’t even serve in the church without a husband to lead her and keep her out of trouble.

They think that Jewish women were weak. Women in the bible had power. Those that choose to accept it anyway. There were several who felt their role in life due to their culture was a support role, but it wasn’t all of them. I think there were just as many female heroes from those times as male ones, we just don’t hear there stories.

Think about this. In a culture where women are almost property, there were several powerful women int he bible. Look at the virgin Mary. Her son is the savior of all mankind, sitting at a wedding enjoying himself and they run out of wine. Now realize that jesus wasn’t ‘out’ yet. And here comes his mother who knows full well what and who he is giving hiam a guilt trip. Jesus, they’re out of wine. Jesus, it will be embarrassing. Come on make us some wine. Here’s the savior of the world sitting incognito at a wedding, trying to be chill, and his mother wants him to make a beer run.  If it weren’t for Mary’s nagging, Jesus ministry may have started much later.

Now I’m not saying that all you women should go out, say to heck with men, and do your own thing. But why wait for a man to start your life? Why wait for a man to save you? And ladies, if you’re out of run for the mojitos during your girls night, and your husband it the pastor, don’t feel bad when you send him out for supplies.

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Concussion, or Traumatic Brain Injury Affects 1.7 Million Each Year

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), also known as concussion, is brain damage as the result of an injury. TBI happens to an estimated 1.7 million people each year.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is brain damage as the result of an injury. A TBI, also sometimes referred to as a “Concussion”, can be caused by an impact to the head, or a jolt to the head that causes the brain to impact inside of the skull. TBI can even be caused by a whiplash-style injury where the brain bounces around the inside of the skull causing multiple impacts. TBI can cause either minor damage such as interruption of brain cell function, or more serious damage such as internal bleeding.

The symptoms of a TBI may not appear for days, or even weeks after the accident. The delayed onset of symptoms does not reduce the seriousness of the injury. TBI sufferers still need medical attention as the injury can be serious or even life-threatening. The CDC website states that about 1.7 million people sustain a TBI each year. Of these, about 1.3 million visit the emergency room for treatment, 275,000 are hospitalized 52,000 die.

TBI can have symptoms that effect several mental processes. A TBI can cause changes in thinking and memory such as loss of consciousness, difficulty concentrating and remembering information. A TBI can cause Physical symptoms such as headache, nausea, and sensitivity to light. A TBI can also cause mood changes such as increased nervousness or sadness, and changes in sleep patterns.

A TBI can have serious long-term consequences as well. It can cause changes to thinking such as memory and reasoning, as well as changes in the senses such as touch and smell. Some TBI sufferers even have long-term changes to communication and emotions. TBI has also been known to be a precursor to epilepsy, and is considered a contributing factor in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. This is thought to be the case weather an individual suffers a single major TBI, or several minor ones. The types and severity of the long-term consequences are dependent upon the severity of the injury, and which parts of the brain were injured.

As the above statistics show, a TBI is not always life-threatening, but may require expensive hospitalization or ongoing treatment. Costs of TBI to patients, including medical care, and time off work, were estimated at $60 billion for the third quarter of 2000. That figures to nearly $150,000 per patient. As costs of medical care have only increased in the 10 years since this study by the CDC, the figures can only have increased.

According to the Medline website, half of all traumatic brain injuries are due to motor vehicle accidents, but they are not the only cause. Aside from motor vehicle accidents, TBI has also been linked to falls, combat and sports injuries and even post-traumatic stress disorder. However, if you have been in an auto-accident, or had another head injury, the symptoms of your TBI may not have been readily apparent at the time of the accident or injury. This article is not meant as a diagnostic tool. If you believe you have suffered a TBI, please seek medical attention.

 

Foundations of Psychology from Philosophy to Neurobiology

This is a scholarly paper about the foundations of psychology. It discusses philosophy, psychodynamics, behaviorism, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology and neurobiology.

“Psychology is the scientific investigation of mental processes (thinking, remembering, feeling, etc.) and behavior” (Kowalski & Western, 2009, p. 4). The foundations of psychology are very diverse. Across the years, many different schools of thought have come and gone. According to Dreikurs (1987) people that adhere to each school of thought wish for the ability to validate their school’s assumptions experimentally (p. 266). Until that happens, the schools of thought will remain split, and each will have their own disciples.

Psychology has its roots in philosophy. Wilhelm Wundt brought psychology into the into its own as a science by founding the first psychological laboratory in the late 1800s. Two of the earliest schools of thought for this fledgling science were structuralism and functionalism. Structuralism used introspection, and its goal was to determine the parts of the consciousness and how these pieces worked together to form ideas. Functionalism was quite the opposite. It focused on the function that psychological processes served a person in adapting to their environment (Kowalski, 2009).

The next major school of thought was psychodynamics. This perspective, originated by Freud, assumes that people’s actions are caused by their, often unconscious, thoughts. The majority of psychologists subscribing to this perspective use case studies for research. However, experimentation is being used more often in this school as time goes on (Kowalski, 2009).

The behaviorist method uses experimentation to understand the behaviors of humans and animals and how these behaviors are controlled by their surroundings. The most predominant school of thought for 40 years (starting in the 1920’s), the best known adherents to this school of thought are Pavlov and Skinner (Kowalski, 2009).

My favorite school of thought is the cognitive perspective. This perspective focuses on thoughts and how they are processed, perceived and retrieved. Often, people in this school liken the brain to a computer, in order to promote understanding of its processes. This science is largely experimental, and studies everything from memorization, to the processing of abstract ideas (Kowalski, 2009).

Evolutionary psychology has a basis in the work of Darwin and his theories of natural selection and adaptive traits. The main tenant of this perspective is that the psychological traits that get passed down are those that help an organism survive and reproduce. An organism cannot pass on traits to its offspring if it does not survive long enough to reproduce. Also, the more offspring an organism produces, the more likely its genetic traits are to survive in the population as a whole. While one may not be able to prove that evolution was the cause of life on this planet, one can prove that populations today evolve to adapt to their environment. The story of the moths population that changed from primarily white to primarily black is but one example of this (Kowalski, 2009).

In many of the above theories, biology has been linked to psychology. I had a neuroscience class a few years back, and it brought home the point that everything we do can either be a function of, or has an effect on our biological system. The primary ways that one sees the effect of biology on human behavior is through neurotransmitters and hormones. While there are hundreds of neurotransmitters, just the few mentioned in the book had multiple effects on behavior. For instance, an imbalance in serotonin can cause anything from depression, to anxiety to lack of sleep and aggressive behavior. Different hormones can also greatly affect behavior. For instance, oxytocin makes someone feel more nurturing, and adrenaline can invoke the fight or flight response (Kowalski, 2009).

It would seem to be very difficult to diagnose imbalances with neurotransmitters and hormones. The symptoms caused by imbalance each of these can be similar to the symptoms caused by imbalances in others (Kowalski, 2009). The symptoms can also mimic other biological and mental problems. For instance, some people having anxiety attacks believe that they are having a heart attack due to similar symptoms. (Kowalski, 2009)

Psychology has made great strides in research and knowledge since it separated itself from philosophy. However, I think the psychologist of today has even more to learn and study than his peers of the past. With each new answer, come new questions. With each new experimental technique, we find something else that we can study. I look forward to seeing the advances in the science during my lifetime.

References

Kowalski, R., & Western, D. (2009). Psychology (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Dreikurs, R. (1987, September). Are psychological schools of thought outdated?. Individual Psychology: The Journal of Adlerian Theory, Research & Practice, 43(3), 265-272.

 

Blind Obedience Thought To Be Key In Holocaust And Other Atrocities

Social psychologists studying the holocaust believe blind obedience is amongst it’s causes. Other atrocities linked to blind obedience include the Jonestown Massacre and the Hale-Bopp suicides.

Obedience to authority is the basis for modern society. Without obedience to laws, parents and other authority figures, modern society would be unable to function. Many people think that blind obedience, obeying an authority figure even when it does not make sense, is a rarity.

Social psychology studies show that this is not the case.

Over the past few decades, the Holocaust has been attributed to many things; evil, politics, desperation. However, it wasn’t until social psychologists researched the topic that the Holocaust was attributed to blind obedience. It seems that blind obedience is the rule, not the exception. Philosopher Hannah Arendt was even quoted as saying, “the most horrifying thing about the Nazis was not that they were so deviant but that they were terrifyingly normal”.

Nazi atrocities are not the only example of blind obedience gone wrong. Psychiatrist Charles Hofling conducted a study in 1966 proving that high rates of medication error in hospitals can be directly attributed to blind obedience to authority. In this field experiment, conducted in a hospital setting, a doctor unknown to each nurse contacted her requesting a 20mg dose of a medication be delivered to a patient. Even though the label on the medication clearly stated that the maximum dose to be administered was 10mg, the nurses started to give the patient the 20mg dose anyway. They had to be stopped by a researcher before they administered the potentially-lethal dose of the drug.

Other historical events also underscore the tendency toward blind obedience in modern society. A more recent example of blind obedience is the Jonestown massacre that happened in 1978. In this case, an American cult, lead by Jim Jones committed mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced drinks. 909 people died in this extreme example of blind obedience.

Even more recently, were the Hale-Bopp suicides that happened in 1997. Heaven’s Gate cult leader Marshall Applewhite convinced 38 followers to commit suicide by ingesting Phenobarbital mixed with applesauce or pudding, and drinking vodka thereafter. Afterwards, plastic bags were placed on the cult members heads to ensure death.

Blind obedience is not something that we can just send all of society to therapy to fix. It is a product of how we are socialized in most cultures. We are taught from a young age to obey authority figures. However, we are not told what to do when they authority figures tell us to do things against our social and moral values.

 

What is Love? Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love Explained

“What is love?” Is one of the most asked questions in American culture today. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love attempts to answer that question.

What is love? This is one of the most asked questions in American culture today. One theory of what love is, called the Triangular Theory of Love tries to answer this question. Proposed by Robert Sternberg in the 1980’s, the Triangular Theory of Love proposes that love is made up of three separate components: intimacy, passion and commitment. Each of these components can be present one at a time, two at a time, or all three at once in any given relationship.

If a relationship consists of intimacy alone, it’s called Liking. This is usually what we consider friendship, and not a romantic relationship at all.

Commitment alone is considered Empty Love. You can see this in couples who stay together for the sake of the children or for the sake of their partner. They may no longer be attracted to each other or intimate, but they plan to stay in the relationship.

Passion alone is considered Infatuation. This is that first rush that we get when meeting someone new, the high that gives love its addictive quality.

Things get more complex when two of the components are present at once. If a relationship is one of intimacy and commitment, it is called Companionate Love. This can often be seen in couples who have been together for a long period of time once the passion has damped down.

Fatuous Love is a mix of passion and commitment. This relationship, lacking the intimacy, is not unlikely. Some people may find it difficult to be intimate with others at all, and others may find it difficult to be intimate with a romantic partner and save the mental closeness for their friends.

Romantic Love is a mix of Intimacy and Passion. There are examples of this throughout poetry and music. Intimacy and Passion without commitment can often be a relationship outside of the primary relationship, or one where both parties feel the ability to walk away at any time and cut their losses.

The final type of love is called Consummate Love. This type of love is a mix of passion, intimacy and commitment. It is also referred to as Total Love.

It would seem that Consummate Love, being the most complete, would be the most lasting. Surprisingly, according to Sternberg’s research this is not always the case. Love relationships tend to last the longest when each individual’s version of love matches that of their partner. For instance, two people in a relationship who both hold a view of love that most closely resembles Romantic Love, are more likely to stay together than a couple where one wants Romantic Love and the other wants Consummate love.

 

Lady Gaga, A Psychological Profile

This is a brief look at Lady Gaga from the perspective of psychological personality theory and lifespan development theory. The article includes quotes from Lady Gaga.

In psychology, personality refers to the basic underpinnings of a person’s character. According to our text, it is, “the enduring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that are expressed by individuals in different circumstances” (Kowalski & Western, 2009, p. 418). I do not believe it is a coincidence that we also refer to famous people as ‘personalities’ as well. For instance, we will call a television star a ‘TV personality’. To make my discussion of personality and development easier to understand, I have decided to discuss the personality and development of a famous musician, Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga was born Stephanie Germanotta on March 20, 1986. She grew up attending the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in New York The New York Times Company, 2010). Today, Gaga is still a very spiritual woman who believes in God, and prays often. It would seem from this that her early upbringing has had quite an effect on her moral development (CNN, 2010). Both of her parents were involved in the arts. Her mother was in musical theatre, and her father played in a Springsteen cover band (The New York Times Company, 2010).This seems to point toward a hereditary gift for musical and theatrical intelligence, that is evident in Gaga’s work today.

It takes more than musical talent to become an influential artist I believe it also takes a strong work ethic. By 2010 sold more than 15 mil albums worldwide, and was listed in time as one if it’s 100 most influential people. Success was not just a stroke of luck for this young woman. Gaga started working at 15 as a waitress. She then did other odd jobs such as working as a go-go dancer to pay for flyers to promote her shows (CNN, 2010). This strong work ethic that characterizes Gaga’s emotional personality was developed via environmental influences. According to an interview with Gaga, “my parents instilled a very strong work ethic in me and my sisters. So as long as I worked hard at whatever it is that I wanted to do, they were OK with me doing it.” (CNN, 2010, para. 34).

Gaga’s social and family support systems also influenced her developmental growth and adjustment. Her parents were highly supportive of her desires to be an entertainer. They encouraged her to do what she loved, and to do her best at it. However, her social network shaped her into the woman who would label herself a “freak” and wish to be a role model for other “freaks”. Growing up in a Catholic school, Gaga had very few friends. She dressed differently and got along better with men than with women. She said that all of this combined to make her feel like a freak. This lack of social support and her empathy with others with similar problems comes through in her music and performance. She believes that this is part of what has endeared her to her fans, daring them to be different, and to be ok with it (CNN, 2010). She has stated, “I joke in the show. at the beginning of the show, I say all the freaks are outside and I locked the doors. It’s — it’s kind of the opposite of what you’re saying, Larry. We believe that we aren’t the freaks, that everyone else is the freaks” (CNN, 2010, para. 114). Gaga’s unique quirks can be explained using several personality theories. For this paper I have chosen the Five-Factor Model and Existential Theory.

The Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality breaks the personality down into five different factors, each of which conglomerates a plethora of specific traits. This theory also looks at one’s language to determine types, this is helpful when looking at someone who writes lyrics for a living (Kowalski & Western, 2009). For instance, Gaga’s lyrics and interviews would seem to rate her high on neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness and openness and low on agreeableness.

In contrast, Existential Theory is more fluid. According to our text, existentialism views humans as having no set nature. Each person basically creates their own personality. It also concerns itself with a few key issues; one of these is existential dread. Existential dread is the tendency for humans to run from their own mortality and meaninglessness (Kowalski & Western, 2009). This shows up quite a bit in Gaga’s music and interviews. For instance when asked about death being a theme of a lot of her performances, she replied, “It’s something I — well, I dream about it a lot. You know I — I don’t know. I suppose I could lie to you and not tell you the truth, but the truth is I do think about it” (CNN, 2010). I believe this shows her tendency to come to grips with her own mortality by trying to make it into a meaningful form of art. Notice that each theory has valid points when it comes to her personality, and that they do not overlap. The FFM discusses the specific types of traits she has in her personality and in what quantities. The Existential Theory is more concerned about what drives her to have those traits.

Of the two theories, I believe the Existential Theory best explains Gaga’s personality. The key issues covered in this theory all seem to be questions that are near and dear to Gaga’s heart. When considering the issue of quest for meaning in life, Gaga’s political pursuits can be taken as an excellent example. Her video for the song Alejandro has a gay military theme. This was released just as the political debase was heating up for the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law rules for gays in the military. She seems to address the hazards of viewing one’s self as an object instead of a creative source of will and action in videos such as the one for the song Bar Romance. In this video she is alternately portrayed as a monster, a dark queen, an animal and several other characters that were dehumanized (Vevo, LLC, 2010).

Lady Gaga is one of my favorite musicians. It has been fascinating to review her early life, and influences. It seems obvious that her personality and development came from a combination of inherited talents and learned behaviors. These have combined to not only make a very unique young woman, but a pop superstar that will likely end up being this generation’s Madonna or Elvis.

References

CNN. (2010). CNN Larry King Live Interview With Lady Gaga. Retrieved from http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1006/01/lkl.01.html

Kowalski, R., & Western, D. (2009). Psychology (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

The New York Times Company. (2010). About.com. Retrieved from http://top40.about.com/od/l/p/ladygaga.htm

Vevo, LLC. (2010). Vevo. Retrieved from http://www.vevo.com/watch/lady-gaga/bad-romance/USUV70903493

 

 

Stand Back While I try Science!

Everyone always talks about the beautiful crafts they make, but one rarely hears about the mistakes. I can say that when it comes to crafting mistakes I’ve had some doozies over the years, and last night was no exception.

Yesterday I tried making my first batch of home-made soap. Not the melt-and-pour kind, but the real deal. Now we all know that working with lye is extremely dangerous. After years of college chemistry I was ready to take that seriously. I suited up in some old clothes and grabbed my goggles and my gloves. Looking like a mad scientist who’d just woke up for the day (the old clothes just happened to be jammies) I set out to do what I needed to do.

I gathered all my ingredients and measured them out before starting into the dangerous part. Then came the lye. It was actually not bad to work with. I was really surprised. I made my lye water and left it to cool while heating my oils. The oils heated to quickly so I had to cool them down a bit, but that was to be expected for a first attempt. Then I was ready to combine the lye water with the oils. All good, everything was a go. I started stirring my cloudy little mixture and watching saponification set in.

After a couple minutes the mixture started to get foamy. I don’t remember anyone mentioning this, but it’s soap right? And a chemical reaction. I figured a little bit of foam was to be expected. Well, when a little became a lot I walked the mixture over to the sink. It was just in time too, as it proceeded to foam over the top of the pan.

I let the mixture continue to foam over into running water (and flow down the drain). At this point I figured the experiment was a botch, and slowly poured the rest of the mixture down the drain. That’s when I noticed what the problem was. There were little bits of what looked like metal in the bottom of the pan. It seems that my “stainless steel” pan was not really stainless or was only plated. The lye reacted with the underlying metal easier than with the oils.

I proceeded to rinse the pan until all the mistake was down the drain and then tossed out the pan. Mental note: next time, don’t believe that the pan is stainless steel until you see it.