Summary Rubric: revamped.

__/3 First sentence(s) contains title, author, and the main claim of the piece.

-Contains author(s) and the introduction to the multiple studies which were conducted. Though this “where the researchers obtained behavioral measures of preferences and neurobiological responses to the songs.”…is not the claim of the piece, but more so a blatant introduction of what is discussed.

__/1 The main claim listed seems to be supported by the rest of the summary

-“The authors, scientists and contributors found that individuals were found to adjust their ratings to make them consistent with the population”…the main claim is supported by the deliverance of the scientific measurements following the main claim (anterior insula). But I believe could have been summarized more efficiently. It was just hard to elaborate without adding other summarizations of other tests found within the study.

__/2 Important reasons or subclaims are listed clearly, without vague language

-Besides the paragraph…”The article then leaves readers with two implications of the nuerobiological study of conformity. The first implication, addresses the act of mimicking others where as the second implication, addresses the anxiety mentioned but, in correlation to an external study-involving economists and measuring welfare calculations. Along with these implications, comes the future anticipation of other avenues this research topic could come into contact with-specifically with economics.”… I believe the language is quite spot on. With this paragraph, I was trying to paraphrase the idea of studies of conformity through two implications. My summary did not really make sense and it implies that I need to read over that section again, in order to make a more sensible summary.

__/1 No fluff or needless words that do not add meaning

__/1 No personal reaction—stay objective

-The last paragraph, was definitely a personal reaction but a means to help me filter the density of the study I was summarizing. I believe, the personal reaction is relevant and reflecting that, this path, of reading more science-based sources, could reveal different angles to this topic that would benefit my argument.

__/1 Limit any quotes to essential language or ideas. Use your own words wherever possible

-I used quotes, when explaining the specific details about the study, the logistics and terminology, which obviously-I am using from the source. I believe it assisted with the essential language-to help the reader understand and to allow for my summary to be precise with its findings.

__/1 Correctly cited, in and out of text

-Though, I cited the correct page number, I should have double-checked if those cited sentences/words needed to be given an approximate citation but the sources used within this study. I should have added the author’s last name in the citing.

Research Blog Assignment #1.

Berns, Gregory S., C. Monica Capra, Sara Moore, and Charles Noussair. “Neural Mechanisms of the Influence of Popularity on Adolescent Ratings of Music.” NeuroImage 49.3 (2010): 2687-696. Science Direct. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1053811909011410/1-s2.0-S1053811909011410-main.pdf?_tid=abc36fac-477e-11e4b3e700000aacb360&acdnat=1411957190_cde674b045d8140f7339bc6ec40e07cf>.


The source above, an academic article written by four Emory University colleagues, from the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Economics Department, focuses on the study population of 12-17.9 year olds in regards to listening to 15-s clips of songs from MySpace.com, where the researchers obtained behavioral measures of preferences and neurobiological responses to the songs. This data was gathered side-by-side with the over-all popularity of the song revealed; song popularity portrayed significant effects on the participants ratings of the songs. This group was focused on, due to the high-responsiveness to social influence…14 of the participants were female, 13 male: 15 caucasian, 1 hispanic, 8 african-american, 3 other.  “Following the clip, the participant rated the song for both familiarity and likability on a 5-star scale. The participant then heard the clip a second time, after which he/she rated the song again. There were a total of 60 trials. On 2/3 of the trials the popularity of the song was displayed during the second listen. On 1/3 of the trials, the popularity was not shown (blocked).” (p. 2)

The authors, scientists and contributors found that individuals were found to adjust their ratings to make them consistent with the population. Activation in the L & R anterior insula (“insula activation tends to be associated with a state of physiological arousal”) (p.2)  is found when the individual is informed about the popular opinion and thus is significantly connected with his/her tendency to change ones ratings in response to the popular information. This, conclusively speaking, sparks anxiety generated by the mismatch of one’s preferences versus the preferences of others. And this mismatch is found behind the conformity in music taste amongst teenagers. “It motivates the individual to switch their choices in the direction of the consensus” (p.2). The younger the age of the participants, the likelihood of complacency with answers was found.

The claim is rendered with depth from the results from the functional magnetic resonance imaging. The fMRI results, included the  monitoring of “bilateral superior and middletemporal gyri (auditory cortex), occipital cortex (visual cortex), superior parietal cortex (multimodal sensory integration regions), thalamus, and basal ganglia (caudate nucleus and putamen).” (p.5) The results from focusing on these specific regions suggests that feelings of anxiety accompanied the act of conforming.

The article then leaves readers with two implications of the nuerobiological study of conformity. The first implication, addresses the act of mimicking others where as the second implication, addresses the anxiety mentioned but, in correlation to an external study-involving economists and measuring welfare calculations. Along with these implications, comes the future anticipation of other avenues this research topic could come into contact with-specifically with economics.

The vast importance and choice of utilizing this source, is due to the scientific-data filled presentation this source presents. It is a segway and opening for the remainder of my research on this topic. It will allow me to determine to what extent will I base my evidence off of scientific findings. This source has challenged my idea of where I believe this topic is heading-honing in more on conformity with cohorts due to physiological effects.

 

Why I teach: Do you see this face?

bonnieboazTeaching brings me moments of great joy.

Maybe all work that is satisfying offers this gift.  I wouldn’t know, because teaching is the only work I’ve ever done that feels right.

It’s not that I haven’t done other work: a short stint as a copy editor, a short stint as grant researcher,  but admittedly, I’ve never done other professional work.  I’ve never had to manage people (if you don’t include classroom management); I’ve never worn scrubs in a hospital or been a part of a marketing team — all of which I may have liked very much.  But the way life works, at least for many of us, is that we choose a profession at a pretty young age, and we follow the path of that profession straight to where it leads us.

Of course there are detours, even disasters sometimes, along the way.  In my case, the detours were three babies I chose to have, but then somehow unwittingly lost my heart to.  Teaching, good teaching, requires a lot of heart.   And I found there just wasn’t enough space in my heart for passionate teaching and passionate child-rearing all at the same time.  So I detoured for a decade.  I blame it on my susceptibility to devotion.

Before this detour I had the privilege of teaching in the Writing Program as a Collateral Instructor at Syracuse University.  I had a full time job with benefits, a secure, renewable five year contract, and an opportunity to earn raises based on merit.  I loved my work there, my students and my colleagues.  For years,  dead in the middle of my decade-long detour, I believed that I’d never find a home like the Syracuse University Writing Program.

But a man named Joe Morolla envisioned University College at Virginia Commonwealth University, and he hired me and about 40 other instructors who were passionate about teaching, and invited us to design and teach a two-sequence first year course that has been enormously successful.   And years later, Gardner Campbell became the Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success at VCU, and he invited me to teach in his visionary cMooc pilot course this past summer,   And here I am, immersed and wildly devoted to a profession I have always loved.

Why do I teach?  This profession supports and even celebrates my curiosity;  it encourages me to constantly research and learn; it allows me to creatively collaborate with people I genuinely like; it nags at me to try new things in the classroom; it demands that I be my best self every day.

Maybe these are the offerings of other professions, too. Or maybe my bounty is about the best anyone can ask for.