Towards a Positive University

Positive education is not just about learning anymore. In the article, “Towards a Positive University” by Oades,Robinson, Green and Spence, positive education is seen as not only learning skills but also engaging in the happinesses and wellbeing of oneself and others. It has been shown that people who are generally more happy tend to have more success in areas such as work, relationships, health, etc. To implement wellbeing into educational systems would increase several life areas and help knowledge increase. The article explains that if we cultivating wellbeing into an university can happen in numerous ways. For instance, the teacher-student relationship can have a huge impact on wellbeing, as well as increasing humour or “fun” teaching styles. Personally, I think that education should not only focus on skills but definitely teach or put into effect the ideas of positive psychology. By doing this at a tertiary level, it would include more of a broad spectrum of the organization. There would definitely be a positive correlation of wellbeing beyond grade school levels. My question pertaining to this article is, can you think of any negative effects this would cause, if any?

Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties

In the article, “Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties” Sandstrom and Dunn explain that they are focusing on social psychology in a different way then usual. The main component of social psychology is the communications with people who are very close to one, instead of people whom do not fall under that category. When I first started reading this article, I knew I was going to have a strong interest in it, and I did! The article basically tells us that our interactions with people we communicate with less or see as acquaintances contribute to our well being, and I can personally say that I definitely agree! The relationships with family and friends are vital and I believe that they are of equal importance but even just a two minute interaction with someone who you would not expect to have an impact can change your mood around and actually has a great impact on your life. That is what Sandstorm and Dunn tested, and they concluded that little interactions like those do have a very positive effect. I just think that it is amazing that what we think is just small talk has been contributing to our well being. This was a great article and I would love to hear what everyone else thought! Did you already think that small talk/interactions with acquaintances were important? Will you think more about your interactions after reading this article?

Efficacy of Psychotherapeutic Interventions to Promote Forgiveness: A Meta-Analysis

Everyone has a different experience with forgiveness. Maybe you forgave a friend for telling a big secret or ended up not forgiving the friend. Some people forgive easily, however some do not. In the article, “Efficacy of Psychotherapeutic Interventions to Promote Forgiveness: A Meta-Analysis” Wade, Hoyt, Kidwell, and Worthington analyzed forgiveness and interventions that could help individuals to be more forgiving. According to the article, forgiveness can be defined as the reduction of angry feelings or motives and the replacement of those with positive thoughts and feelings. As the article states, I too believe that forgiveness does not mean one has to forget. One intervention that the article included was the REACH Forgiveness model. This model was created by Worthington and represents the process of forgiving. The article states that this process is composed of (r)ecall, (e)mpathize, (a)ltruistic, (c)ommitment, and (h)old. This model has been proven to promote forgiveness. One question I have about this model is, can an individual be stuck in one of the forgiveness steps? Is it possible that even if we try to do all these steps we still get caught up recalling the event? There are many models that have been developed to target forgiveness in diverse ways. Another topic in the article that I had personal interest in was the future research that can be conducted. The article stated that researchers should focus on the unanswered questions so that the forgiveness process can be broken down even more. For example, does one model help a certain race, gender, etc. more than another. I found this article to be very interesting mostly because who knew forgiveness could have this much detail to it?! I can not wait to learn more about this topic in class!

Differences In Character Among U.S. College Students

The article that we had to read for this week was “Differences In Character Among College U.S. Students” by Karris and Craighead. This article basically analyzed and observed the traits of college students and came to conclusions about which ones are most prevalent. This article was particularly interesting to me because in high school, for my senior project, I conducted a survey of the twelfth grades students. I used the survey called the “Myers Briggs personality test”. Once every student took the questionnaire, I then looked at the results and made a graph to visualize which personality type was the most abundant. Just like my test results, I feel as if the results in this article could be swayed by people perceiving to be different then they actually are in reality. I did however, really like how the article stated how many of the students were in romantic relationships or male, female, etc. Although I feel as if these may not be total contributing factors, I wonder if they have an effect on the results. Personally, I really liked this article and that it made me think back to my senior year. How did everyone else like the article? Did anyone think that the results were one hundred percent accurate?

“The developmental neuropsychology of substance use disorders”

The article that was read for this week was called “Annual Research Review: On the developmental neuropsychology of substance use disorders” by Patricia Conrad and Kyriaki Nikolau. This article was about adolescents and the use of illegal drugs. Not only are these drugs illegal but particularly harmful for young teens. We can see a correlation with genetics as well as other related factors to the use of drugs in adolescents. Conrad and Kyriaki talk about the dominant factors that can contribute to drug use and why those are the most prevalent. Teens use of drugs can come from peers, stress, anxiety, and many other influences in their lives. Some teens are more susceptible than others although the use of illicit drugs by adolescents is very dangerous. Is there a way to reduce the number of drug dependent adolescents? Can we eliminate all the factors that contribute to drug use at a young age? I feel as if there are many ways that teens will go out of their way to look cool or to relieve stress and as of right now, the use of drugs is unfortunately one of those ways.

Organizational-Developmental Perspective on Functioning in Adult Relationships

In the article, “An Organizational-Developmental Perspective on Functioning in Adult Romantic Relationships” by Collins, Salvatore, and Simpson, the topic of how early childhood interactions can contribute to adult romantic relationships was brought up. This specific part of the article really grabbed my attention. I have a firm belief that childhood interactions play a vital role in the development of adulthood relationships. For instance, when a child is deprived of social interaction and placed in solitude in their early ages, that child may have communication problems in the future, whether it be that they are shy or maybe they are afraid to start conversation with someone. Either way, it is obvious that bad social experiences can have an affect on ones life. The article states that the intensity of thoughts, feeling, and behaviors are less important then its original establishment. I definitely agree with this and feel as if a one time bad experience can lead someone to think that it may occur again, even if in a completely different relationship. I personally really enjoyed reading this article and think that it was a definite contribution to perspectives on romantic adult relationships.

Contemplating Mindfulness at Work

As I was reading the article, “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work” I stumbled across a few facts that I was not aware of already. One of them being that organizations use mindfulness to enhance their workplace functioning such as Google, the U.S. Army, Mayo Clinic, and many other big corporations. Since mindfulness has proven to have a positive impact on an individuals mindset, emotions, attitude, and even work performance. The article explains and goes into great detail about how mindfulness can influence attention, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects. If all of these can be enhanced by practicing mindfulness, the workforce can be improved by longer attention spans, better performance and so much more! At the end of the article, it was stated that, “A construct with such broad effects, those “critical to how and what one values, thinks, feels, and does in all social domains, including organizations,” has been called a “root construct””. A root construct is basically something that can help us to further understand human performance while working. This being said, I feel as if mindfulness is very important to not only making us alert and attentive for a bit but for improving our working abilities overall. It is truly amazing that mindfulness could potentially change the workforce in a positive way and hopefully with continued research, it will.

SOH – Sundina 2016-10-01 13:17:08

When reading the article, “The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology” by Barbra L. Fredrickson, I found some new information that I did not previously know such as the Broaden-and-Build Theory. This is a theory that Fredrickson came up with to explain that joy, interest, pride, love, and contentment can all have a big impact on the physical as well as intellectual mind set. I find this so interesting just because thinking of one positive thought can literally lead to the happiness in an individuals life. I always tell myself that I can get a good grade on a test or that I can run that last mile just to have a little self motivation and it really has a positive affect that contributes to my life. I personally loved this article and found it amazing how a thought can lead to such bigger things. Although negative emotions come naturally, I think that everyone could try to be more optimistic in seeing the positives instead.

Health-Related Variables and Academic Performance

In the article, “Health-Related Variables and Academic Performance Among First- Year College Students” by Trockel, Barnes, and Egget, different variables that are said to effect academic performance such as exercise, sleep, spiritual health, nutrition, social support, etc, were tested. I personally loved this article, simply because I try to do anything that I can to help my grades. Getting the right amount of sleep has been vital to me and while reading this article it came as a surprise to me that it was the most “prevalent” with affecting students  GPAs. While all these variables were tested, most of the data was mostly inconsistent. I feel as if this is because of tolerance and just overall study habits plus how fast one is able to retain material.

Silver linings for patients with depression

Robin Williams was one of the many people in this world that suffered from depression. Prior to his death, I do not think people realized how much depression could effect an individual. It is upsetting that it takes a fantastic actor to die for people to realize this, but it is definitely true. So many people suffer from depression, whether it is diagnosed or not. The article states, “There are obvious, “depressing” life events that can make people gloomy for a week or two, but such acute-phase sadness should be regarded as a separate and unrelated phenomenon…” (Gross 2). To state my personal opinion, I feel as if this statement is very inaccurate. Just because someone may be in that gloomy state for a week or two, or even just a could of days, does not mean that they are not depressed. Many people have had an event happen that made them in a depressed mood and even cause suicide in less than 48 hours. Yes, I believe that there are scientific ways to determine why, if, and how someone is depressed, but I do not think that any scientists or anyone for that matter can understand what a person is truly feeling inside. To compare “gloomy” and “depressed” is like comparing “happy” and “excited”. Just because they are different does not mean they cannot bring the same feeling. To keep it short and sweet, I definitely do not think that anyone will ever be able to describe what someone else is feeling. I think that we can help people who are depressed or having a hard time, and unfortunately Robin Williams did not get the right help at the right time.

Positive Psychology

In the article, “Positive Psychology” Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi focused on how the past and present, there seems to be focus on the negative psychology rather than the positive. To go a little more into depth, the article gave personal stories of how in todays society, we tend to overlook someone that has a positive behavior and emotions. Psychology is not supposed to be about only fixing the negative but also embracing and practicing the positive.

One of the paragraphs that I believe could really help individuals understand this problem is about a fish. Seligman explained how positive psychology is simply overlooked because of its fundamental purpose it plays in life. Although a fish may not know of the water that it is swimming in, it is something that the fish needs to survive. (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi 13). As humans we tend to look over the little joys of life that are essential for existence. Everyday we have one thing that can be recognized that is negative, it could be that you did not want to get out of bed or go to work, but what is overlooked is that you had the chance to sleep and you have the chance to go to work. The article also stated that if societies would focus more on positive psychology, there would be a greater chance to have a burgeoning society.

I feel as if, just like the article stated, this is such a huge and important life aspect for people and even nations as a whole to take advantage of throughout the years to come. Of coarse we need to find cures to the many mental illnesses that are a burden to hundreds of individuals; although positive psychology is just as important and even vital to life. Just like fish, we need to recognize our surrounding “waters” and become a flourishing society, or better yet, a flourishing world.

Genetic influences on adolescent behavior

The article, “Genetic influences on adolescent behavior” was a very interesting read for myself, expecially due to the fact that I have twin cousins. This article, written by Dick, Adkins, and Kuo explained that when twins grown into the adolescent stage, they become more genetically influenced rather than environmentally influenced.

While reading the article, I noticed some terms that I was already familiar with such as monozygotic and dizygotic. These terms have to deal with how the twins are formed whether it is from one sperm penetrating one egg or if there are two separate eggs, fertilized by two separate sperm (Dick, 2). Some of the facts that I did not know were that while in their early ages, such as fourteen years of age through sixteen years, we see that twins are more commonly known to be influenced by their surroundings. Although as time goes by, there seems to be a turning point where the genetic influences take over and become more prominent (Dick, Adkins, Kuo, 4).

There is debatable research about the genetic influences adolescents face such as alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana use. So, my question for the class is: What do you all think about genetic factors and how they relate to the outcomes of early or late adolescents?


Promoting and Protecting Mental Health as Flourishing

Mental health is known to some as the well being of an individual. Some say that if one is not mentally ill, he is then considered as being mentally healthy. However, I believe that even if a person is not mentally ill, they may not be in a fully secure state of mind.

Before reading the article “Promoting and Protecting Mental Health as Flourishing” by Corey L.M. Keyes, it was to my understanding that mental illness was very widespread in the United States. Although I knew minimal information about the topic, I was pleased to find out that the information in the article was very intriguing as well as surprising. While reading, it came to my attention that in our country, mental illness is considered to be one of the three most expensive conditions (Keyes 97). At first, I was honestly a bit shocked at how/why mental illnesses would be so expensive, but after I kept reading it became clear. Mental illness has a very broad spectrum that includes depression, anxiety, and even asthma (Keyes 96).

As this relates to myself, I think about the simple asthma attacks I used to have and realize that I was not in a healthy state of mind. I never once considered myself as being mentally ill, but I knew at the time that I was not in a fully healthy mind set. Even if  an individual is depressed for a short period of time, they are not considered mentally ill simply due to the fact that it is not extreme, but why are they considered to be mentally healthy? Is there something in between that identifies what mental state we are in at the time being? These questions arose from this article and I soon found answers.

After reading “Promoting and Protecting Mental Health as Flourishing,” it came to my attention that flourishing was the answer.   To be not mentally ill and not mentally healthy is to be flourishing. (Keyes). I found this word to be very useful throughout the article and studies have shown that communities would want to promote the idea of flourishing (Keyes 103). After reading this article, I now understand that the hypothesis of not being mentally ill is being mentally healthy is wrong, and that there is a mental state of being in between which most adults and young adults will go through. I would like to know if anyone feels like flourishing is not real, and if so, why?