Stephanie Heron's Archive

Blog #6: Third Force Psychology

1 Commentby   |  04.22.13  |  Student Posts

Third Force Psychology encourages individualism and creativity. This psychology movement can be easily seen in North American media. From television shows featuring a wide range of programs from showcasing musical or dancing abilities to pregnant and drug addicted adolescents, to entertainment sensations such as Justin Bieber and Carrie Underwood. Another prominent entertainment figure is Rihanna. In her songs and music videos Rihanna puts passion and personality into each one, leaving the newest addition to her legacy more astounding than the last. In her song “S&M,” the artist claims to be talking about her relationship with the paparazzi, yet popular culture took an entirely different view on the subject matter. In her music video, “We Found Love” ft. Calvin Harris,” Rihanna shows off the many aspects of her personality making the video as unique as her. The audience sees a romantic couple, yet the constant costume and wardrobe changes, along with the borderline explicit behavior show that Rihanna is not ashamed or embarrassed about romantic behavior.

I believe it is models like this that have lead to the desensitization of America’s youth. Growing up, media was much more censored than it is today; material that was once on during the dark hours of evening is now readily available for children during the dinner hours. Not to mention the ease at which production companies prey on the general population. In the wake of “reality T.V.” it seems that any yahoo with a knack for getting into trouble or making people laugh can get an hour segment on a network. Examples such as “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore,” “The Bachelor,” and “Big Brother” quickly come to mind. Today’s reality television has replaced the cartoons and scripted family values shows (such as “Rugrats” and “Full House”) that used to predominate television. The lower standard of television has lead to America’s youth believing that it is normal or okay to  engage and delinquent behavior and be satisfied with a life that is drastically altered by consequences they do not fully comprehend.

Blog #5: Psychoanalytic Thinking

1 Commentby   |  04.11.13  |  Student Posts

The id, ego and super ego are in constant battle to determine our actions in different situation and reactions to various situations. As a college student, peer pressure to engage in reckless behaviors such as drug use, (excessive) alcohol consumption and sexual activity repeatedly occur. Sexual activity could be argued to be the greatest temptation of these three. Sex, as a function, is used to further populate a society. However is has been shown in media and in gossip to also be pleasurable. Students and young adults are constantly caught in the battle between the ID’s instinct to reproduce with a suitable mate and the Ego’s pleasure principle. Luke Bryan’s song “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” is a perfect example of logic and pleasure battling for power. In his song Bryan talks about a relationship that has run its course and the only thing that remains decent in the relationship is the physical aspect. This is not a healthy relationship and logic dictates that the two should break up and find partners that are more suitable, yet the pleasure they derive from the solitary decent aspect of the relationship is what holds them together.

Food is another area of psychoanalytical thinking. Healthy foods (protein, fruits, vegetables, simple carbs and simple sugars) are positive calories our bodies need to function throughout the day. Yet fast food and sweets poise a temptation due to their sweet taste, however these types of foods act as negative calories and restrict the benefits food could have for us. Healthy vs Unhealthy. Eating enough of the sweet food causes our body to be addicted to processed food and excessive sugar, making dieting and healthy eating adjustments a challenging lifestyle decision. Those who go on diets often have cravings for something sweet, and upon caving to those cravings begin to doubt whether such a lifestyle is change is even possible. The Id challenges us to be healthy and live long, yet the Ego encourages us to give in and eat the delicious, yet unhealthy food. It is the Super ego that mediates the two and says healthy meals are a must, yet on the weekends moderate consumption of sweet treats is acceptable, negating any guilt that may be felt.

Blog #4: Behaviorism in the Media

1 Commentby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts

Marketing companies have figured out how to greatly influence their target audience using the appeal of emotions. It is wired in our genetics to attract a partner or mate, that is how the population grows and the human race continues to survive. During the caveman years, it’s speculated that man who could find the best cave, provide the best protection and kill enough meat was the man who was desired by women. In today’s world, the “ideal man” and “what women want” is constantly thrown around in media as a marketing tool. Men are sold body was and body spray not with tag lines that it masks body odor or smells great, but by women flocking to the man wearing the product. AXE Fallen Angel Commercial. Marketers use the use of negative emotions to sell a product. Instead of showing the positive qualities that could make a good mate/husband, companies decide to tell men how undesirable they are without their product.

Women are at no greater advantage. Media has historically told women the best ways to attract a man; whether it be hair and make up styles, cooking skills, fashion tips, or, as more recent magazines have resorted to, how to seduce a man, women have always been fed ways in which they can be a better, more attractive version of themselves. Cosmo Cover- January 2013. Women are also targeted by marketing companies through the usage of photoshop. Studies have found that women feel worse about themselves, and there for purchase more beauty products, when images of young, thin and beautiful models are used. However there is little awareness of this marketing tool, so women continue to compare themselves to unrealistic images of what the “ideal women” is.

In class we watched a clip on a society describing an almost utopian-like society. The peace in the community was achieved by changing the way the society operated and viewed different work and social situations; violence was essentially removed from the community. Could this same technique be applied to the marketing companies to diminish the negative emotions used to sell a product?




Evolutionary Psychology

1 Commentby   |  03.05.13  |  Student Posts

Evolutionary psychology seeks to explain how psychology traits such as memory and language have evolved. There are some traits, such as basic facial expressions for fear or excitement, that seem to be universal. However the language differences across the globe suggest that other traits are cultural. It has been suggested that language and the ability to express thoughts is what sets humans apart from the chimpanzees. In her article Does evolution explain human nature, Eva Jablonka wrote “many people are ready to accept that evolution explains chimpanzees nature, but not that if explains human nature. They assume that at some definite point in evolutionary history, God intervened and endowed the human lineage with something that has set humankind apart.” I agree with Jablonka, because majority of people believe in some form of deity that gives meaning to this life on earth.

However, the use of language continues to be a struggle for me to grasp. I understand that at one point the cavemen grunting had to become more complex. Yet my faith tells me that God made Adam and Eve and was able to communicate with them in the Garden of Eden. So then where do the cavemen fit into this picture? Am I supposed to toss the book of Genesis out the window as some fable written thousands of years ago and conform to the modern developments in evolutionary psychology? Darwin preached that genetic mutations that occur in a gene pool that enable an organism to better thrive in an environment are passed on to offspring. It is very likely that there were enough genetic mutations within the human lineage to alter the vocal cords, enabling us to form a more expansive vocabulary. However there is simply too much planned out in the universe that comes perfectly together for me to ignore the possibility of a divine hand at work in our world.

Blog #2: Greek Influence

2 Commentsby   |  01.30.13  |  Student Posts

The Greek culture can be described as intelligent, enthusiastic, daring, and sensible. As a whole, they excelled at mathematics, physics and astronomy. There were great accomplishments in the fields of art, philosophy, and religious thinking.  It is from the Greeks that many of our American values come from; democracy, freedom of speech, patriotism, religious freedom and basic rights for citizens were all values the Greek culture had.

Troy Movie Trailer
In today’s media, passion, bravery and love are central themes in movies, television shows and musical lyrics. Women are commonly featured as a damsel in distress who needs the rescuing of a man. They patiently await the man who will free them from the current depressive state, allowing their lives to be more or less run by the decisions of men. Men are often seen engaging in a fight-whether it be a war, a bar brawl or a spat with a best friend- showing their masculinity. The main character is defending a just cause or fighting to avenge someone’s honor. Ultimately, the victor is the stronger, more loved character. On screen, a man’s bravery is rewarded with a beautiful woman who gives herself over to him and they become the illusive perfect couple.

The glory of American troops enlisting and going off to war, referred to as American pride or patriotism, was an idea that originated with the Greek culture when the “good life” was seen as defending your country and home, fighting for the king you loyally followed. Religious diversity and tolerance in American schools, work place and community is a result of the Greek ideals that religion should be a personal statement and belief. Mandating religion today is seen as infringing on civilian rights and a separation of church and state has been a part of the American Constitution since independence was declared.

America is deeply influenced by the Greek culture and the developments that resulted from the philosophers of that era.

The Good Life

1 Commentby   |  01.20.13  |  Student Posts

There are multiple factors that contribute to my definition of what comprises a “good life.” On the superficial level, having a roof over my head, food on my table, a bed to sleep in and clothes on my back make my life pretty good. However, if all that was taken away from me and I was left with only the ones I love and my faith I would still consider myself to have a good life. Happiness is what I believe constitutes a “good life.”

Surrounding myself with people who love me for competitive-athlete-with-a-goofy-sense-of-humor-who-is-fluent-in-sarcasm-personality that I am is of great importance to my happiness. Love is a powerful emotion; it makes us consider crazy feats and has us risking our lives so that another may live. The best room in my parents’ house is the kitchen; it is the heart of their house. We eat meals as a family, we always have, and meals have always been at least an hour long. While we are eating, we are catching up on each other’s days; talking, laughing, sharing jokes and fun facts, we enjoy simply being in each others presence and feeling the love of a family unit. When my friends and I plan to get together, we have a difficult time deciding what to do because we are more preoccupied with the fact that we all get to hang again rather than focusing on the actual activity. I have a sense of belonging with the ones I love; I know they continue to be in my life because of the friendship and support I can bring to the relationship, not the materialistic value I can offer them.

It is through the loving eyes of my family and friends that I am reminded of the Maker who created me in His image and of His love for me. Faith and religion are another important factor to having a good life. I am not specifically stating that Christianity is the key to a good life, but having a higher power or a higher being is part of having a good life. For me, God is my higher being. Part of my belief is that I am put on Earth to love and accept others for who they are, regardless of race, ethnicity, SES class, religion, sexual orientation or political party. My belief is that it is God’s place to judge, and it is my job to love. My faith allows me to keep an open mind when meeting new people; I get to hear their story without any bias. I know the bible says homosexual activity is a sin, premarital sex will get you sent to hell, and that divorce is a no-no. But those offenses are not against me, and therefore I have to reason to hold them against a fellow human. I believe God has a relationship with all people, and He will judge that relationship when their day comes.

Having a healthy mind to navigate the confusion of life helps create a “good life.” For me, love from family and friends and the belief in a loving God keeps me oriented on the bigger picture of life: happiness.

Stephanie Heron's Comment Archive

  1. Stephanie Heron on Blog #6
    5:01 pm, 04.24.13

    I like that you brought religion into your discussion. I agree that God has given us free will and it is up to us to choose to follow Him or not. Third Force Psychology focuses on the aspects of human behavior that are influenced by uncontrollable factors (other’s actions that affect one’s own life) and how we react to them.

  2. I agree that America is an example of Third Force Psychology and that parents today tend to encourage their child’s creativity and talents over shoving them into a cookie-cutter lifestyle. I also think Third Force Psychology is part of America’s innovative economic system because we have generations growing up with the encouragement to think outside the box. It’s the innovative thinking that has brought society to it’s current progressive state.

  3. Stephanie Heron on
    12:47 pm, 04.14.13

    I agree that many of today’s actions and thoughts are attributed to subconscious tendencies. But I also believe that psychoanalytic thinking is starting to be used as a cop-out answer for individuals looking for an easy explanation to their behavior, regardless if it is viewed negatively or positively by others.

  4. Stephanie Heron on Blog Post 5
    12:42 pm, 04.14.13

    I agree that projection alters how we view the actions of others and that stereotyping can be subconsciously promoted. But what about those who are aware of their snap judgments and actively seek to limit them. Would they be using psychoanalytic thinking on themselves to alter their view or are they trying to avoid psychoanalytic thinking all together?

  5. I believe this a good example of the external factors that motivate behavior. Behaviorism argues the actions committed on a daily basis are rooted in conditioning. Yet there is more than that; when emotions get involved the conditioning lines get blurry. Here Kronk is conditioned to Yzma’s beck and call, yet being employed by the emperor has created a relationship between Kuzco (the emperor) and Kronk which causes the debate between the id, ego and super ego. I believe behaviorism has some valid arguments about behavior, however there are simply too many active factors in our lives for there to be so simple and explanation.

  6. Stephanie Heron on Behaviorism
    4:04 pm, 04.02.13

    Along with the advancement of technology and the “improvement” of our society, we have also become dependent on technology. Cars are now the means of transportation, allowing us to travel greater distances faster. Phones have allowed us to communicate more effectively, as you have pointed out. However we have also become conditioned to our phone; we have different sound/tone options for the different features of the iPhone (text, email, phone call, update, etc.) and personally, I know by which tones if I need to respond to my phone quickly or not.

    I agree that it is a depressing post. But then again, so is our new dependance on technology.

  7. Stephanie Heron on Evolution of Faith
    7:27 pm, 03.05.13

    The statement “faith must adapt in order to survive” seems to be a sticky situation. The devout Christian would claim that the book of Genesis is how the world was created, end of story. And the atheist would claim the Big Bang Theory to be the truth. In high school my religion professor explained evolution to the class in a way that has stuck with me; I agree with it, yet at the same time I wonder if I am questioning my faith by going against what the Bible says. She told us that both theories could be true. God created the world in seven days, yet who is to say that the billions of years that it took organisms to evolve and flourish isn’t seven days according to God’s watch. We have all seen those trippy sci-fi movies that have the worm hole where time gets distorted, my professor was suggesting that clock we use to measure time and years doesn’t match the one God uses. It really made me think.

  8. Stephanie Heron on True Altruism
    7:18 pm, 03.05.13

    I agree the idea of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” will further the altruistic mentality of a group. However I disagree with the idea that the man who sacrifices his life for the group will not pass down his genes. Yes, if he has not already produced off spring then the dead man will not suddenly produce children. However, “survival of the fittest” will suggest that he was too weak, or too flawed, to produce any off spring of value to the group. Yet the hero he died as can serve as an example for future warriors, who have the genetic material of the stronger genes, to aspire to be like enabling the group a better chance of survival.

  9. Josh,

    I agree that happiness is the simple answer to the “good life” question because happiness is a subjective term. What constitutes as happiness for one individual will most likely not mean happiness for their neighbor. Looking around the community we live in, there are various examples of people attempting to reach a state of happiness in their live. Regardless of academic, social, religious, athletic or romantic happiness, individuals are continuously striving to be happy in all areas of their life deemed important to them.


  10. I agree that you only get what you earn in today’s world. And I admire the desire, passion and dedication individuals show in their journey toward success. But is it still the good life if an individual does not have a sense of direction? If, for example, at the end of her college career, a soon to be graduate no longer has a direction to head in, should she just chose a path and strive to succeed? But then if she realizes this path no longer makes her happy does she alter courses? Or does that qualify as quitting and giving up to easily? Or should she just take a time of uncertainty to explore before deciding on a path to fully dedicate herself?