This Week

This week’s reading discussed how implementing positive psychology, or positive education, in universities is beneficial and needs to continue. It makes sense that this would be our last reading in the class since it gives us an understanding about why this class was important if we didn’t really know already. I liked this class a lot. I may not believe that everything we learned (the techniques and exercises) are for everyone. Some people may not get a lot out of that but it was a great class to take content wise. The articles we read and the lectures that occurred were fascinating. In answer the blog topic question from the syllabus, i have already spread the information I learned in this class through my social media from our social media assignments as well as sharing any post I saw that related to the content I learned. I do that all the time, though, on a variety of subjects I am passionate about. Psychology is one of the highest passions with me, being a psych major who aspires to be a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Positive psychology had been enlightening even if I don’t believe it is a good treatment/ aid for mental illness if solely on its own. I don’t know if I would actively continue to share the information I have learned of my social media but I will definitely do it in person if it applies to various points in my life.

Weak Ties

It is funny how much of what is discovered through studies in psychology seem like common sense. I’m not surprised that having more social interactions with people other than friends and family would increase satisfaction. Humans are social creatures. We, on average, like to talk and socialize. However, I do wonder how this relation fairs in comparison to the amount of close relationships a person has. I did not have man friends growing up but a lot of acquaintances in my fellow classmates. My satisfaction was low because I did not have many significant people and social interactions. Now, I have a solid group of friends but love to talk to random classmates or people waiting in line at various shops. I feel more connected to my community with these types of conversations. The way I am now reflects the findings of this study but I wonder what the results would show if they brought in another variable of how many close relationships a person possesses.

Forgiveness

I think it is common sense that forgiving someone will ultimately make you feel better. You know the saying “forgive and forget” is a thing for a reason. Now actually completing forgiving someone is actually hard to do. The meta analysis focuses on psychotherapeutic interventions to bring about forgiveness which would make it easier to do instead of trying it on your own. The definition the article used for forgiveness was interesting. It has two parts: “forgiveness can include both (a) the reduction in vengeful and angry thoughts, feelings, and motives that may be accompanied by (b) an increase in some form of positive thoughts, feelings, and motives toward the offending person”. It is interesting to think that not only do you have to rid yourself of negative feelings but you should bring in some positive feelings toward the person you are working to forgive. Another interesting thing mentioned in the article is the range of offenses these interventions were used for. Some of the offenses I, personally, would be like, “Screw that. I could never forgive that.” However, harboring those negatives feelings add to the negative effects which is what the interventions are trying to work through. It makes sense to alieviate those bad feelings to help the victim. I can imagine, though, the time and effort it would take.

Character Strengths

This journal article was very interesting. I love learning about personality and the different measurements used in that field. I like that this was relatable to us since we are college students. It made me wonder where I would fall in my own character strengths. I am confused, however, how this would be included in Positive Psychology. I guess since the character strengths are all positive character qualities it fits into that category.

I found it hysterical that one of the least endorsed strength was “love of learning”. It’s actually kind of sad when you think of it because many young people are forced to go to college for various reasons. And some of those that at first loved to learn, they burn out from all the work which causes them to lose their love of learning. I think this is an important finding in the study that should spark other studies and research.

Salvatore, Collins, & Simpson (2011)

It was interesting reading an actual article that focused on the topic of attachment styles in relationships. In my Interpersonal Relationships class, we just took a test that included this material about attachment styles. In the class we focused mainly on what each attachment style looks like in a romantic relationship. We also learned that attachment styles are not fixed throughout our lives. They can change due to many different factors.

It is amazing how what we experience in early life can affect us later on even if it is not direct as this study shows. It was surprising to read that there is a mediating variable that links the other two variables (infant attachment security and adult romantic relationship process). This was only one of the dependent variables the study looked at but it stuck the most in my head since I have previous knowledge of the subject.

Good et al.

I have learned about mindfulness is almost every single psychology course I am taking this semester but we have talked about it in different ways. For example, in my Introduction to the Helping Relationship class we learned about mindfulness as part of the behavioral approach in theories of helping. Mindfulness was discussed as a behavior and cognitive tool for clients/ patients to learn how to rewire their thought processes. It was not part of positive psychology like how this class approaches the topic.

A small part about mindfulness, positive emotion’s, and adversity stuck out at me because it reminded me of something else. One of the ways mindfulness  growth in the face of adversity is positive emotions play a “crucial role” in a individual’s physical recovery. Positive emotions can come front any type of influence. This article does not really discuss in great deal where this could come from. Healthy intimate relationships can have a positive impact on those who are going through a physical ailment. Specifically, in my Interpersonal Relationships class, we discussed a study that one of the partners had a heart attack and they were recovering in the hospital. The results showed that the partners belonging to couples who were seen as a healthy, positive relationships had a higher recovery rate four years after their heart attack over couples who were in a negative relationship. I think this study, if done in another way, could also show support about mindfulness and positive emotions.

Fredrickson

I was very interested by the section called “Positive Emotions Undo Lingering Negative Emotions”. The studies in this journal would have to be repeated more to garner more support for the theories but I can understand what the researcher discusses in this section. Specifically, I can relate it back to my feelings and memories of high school. The first three years of my high school career were awful. It created a lot of negative feelings and thoughts I thought I’d never get past. However, when I look back at high school I only remember the good parts because of all the good memories and emotions I have created and felt starting my senior year of high school. These past three or four years have helped undo a lot of damage and negativity I endured which has benefitted me greatly with my outlook on life.

I wonder if this theory has gained any more support since this was written and published back in 2001. If I have learned anything this semester so far, it is that theories and studies are only as good as its support and repeated findings.

Silver Linings

I found it interesting that Gross discusses both the stigmatization of people with a mental illness as well as one of the reasons, in my opinion, that people with mental health issues are stigmatized. Gross talks about how our Western society focuses on “Having” instead of “Being”. Our capitalist society is the reason for the increase in mental health issues.

I feel like blaming society for mental health issues is a main factor in why the mentally ill do not want to seek treatment. They feel stigmatized, that what they are dealing with is “just in their head: and to “get over it”. I do not agree that it is that easy to get over a mental disorder. These phrases are usually said to individuals who suffer from depression or an anxiety disorders. Depression is the main disorder discussed when talking about society’s influence of their own overall mental health in the article.

England is very similar to the United States but I wonder what our specific stats are on this subject. It definitely is similar since out society also has an issue with the wealthy having more access to all types of medical treatments, and since the U.S. is part of the Western world, it is included in the part about capitalism increasing mental health issues.

Genetic influence on adolescent behavior

You are usually told to be aware of peer pressure when it comes substance usage, and as you go along in school they also talk about alcoholism/ addiction. I knew that alcoholism is genetically passed. Genes make people predisposed to addiction, but I never knew that genetic influences can depend on one’s age/ development. I was surprised and very interested when the journal discussed that, “these date demonstrate that while alcohol initiation is largely environmentally influenced, as has also been found in numerous other twin studies, as has drinking patterns become more regular and established across adolescence, genetic factors assume increasing importance” but environmental factors in early adolescence plays a more important role.”  Genetics is an interesting yet complicated subject to discuss and study. I find it fascination that genes do not always affect us until something “switches” it on, whether it be the environment or your development.

This quote, “alcohol use is a common form of risky behavior in adolescence…” reminded me of a study I read in my Lifespan Development Psychology class last fall. The article was “Risk taking in adolescence: new perspectives from brain and behavioral science”, it discussed the neuroscience behind impulsivity and recklessness in adolescence. I could not find the PDF copy I had from the class to try and compare what was stated in the study but from my memory, it did not focus on genetics but how the different neurological processes in our brain develops in adolescence and how that affects their decision-making. The “Genetic influence of adolescent behavior” study was more focused on alcohol usage than the “Risk taking” article along with the fact that genetics was not discussed.

Keyes

As a psychology major I have a good amount of knowledge so far about mental illnesses but not really on the over all topic of mental health. I was aware that people could be mentally unhealthy but not be diagnosed with a metal illness because each illness has criteria required for a diagnosis. I was  not aware, however, how that would affect the overall approach and study to the topic.

In my abnormal psychology class, the professor touched slightly on something similar to what the study discussed. He used different terminology but he explained that just because a person acts or thinks in different ways does not always mean they would be diagnosed with a mental disorder. It comes down to whether your thoughts and actions interfere with one’s day to day life. The study discusses many different groups for mental health that included languishing, flourishing, and moderately mentally healthy. The criteria used to divide the individuals into these groups can essentially be broadly described as what my professor said: are their lives being negatively affected by their mental health?  So in a way, I was already aware of what the study wanted to prove. I think.

I found the section “Complete Mental Health: How Much Is Out There?”, surprising. I was vaguely aware that the population’s mental health, overall, was negative. I was surprised by the fact that there is a lot of money going towards research. I have been under the impression that the importance of mental health care is not very high in this country. However, this quote from the study, “The United States aspires to mental health but has not directly promoted it” makes sense as to why I would be under such an impression. I wonder since I believe the ready was compiled back in 2007, what the numbers and mental health outlook of the country is now?