1<br />Undergraduate Studies  ePortfolio<br />Rebecca Ellis<br />Clinical Psychology, 2010<br />
Personal Statement<br />	My name is Rebecca Ellis and I am a 29-year-old full-time student and full-time employee. I first...
Personal Statement (Continued)<br />Previously, I worked as an educator for several years in the medical field and discove...
Resume<br />Rebecca Ellis<br />EducationBachelor of Arts, August 2010ArgosyUniversity, Chicago, ILMajor: ClinicalPsycholog...
Resume (Continued)<br />Administrative Assistant/Medical Assistant   December 2001 - December 2007<br />Monadnock OBGYN   ...
Reflection<br />As I reflect on my experiences as an undergraduate psychology student at Argosy University – Online Progra...
Table of Contents<br />Cognitive Abilities: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy<br />Research Skills<br />Communica...
Critical Thinking<br /> Clearing Up Confusion<br />	Researchers often find themselves faced with the daunting task of sift...
Critical Thinking Example (Continued)<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010a). PSY302: Searching literature: Modul...
Research Skills<br />Marital Quality and Success for Diverse Populations as a Function of <br />Participation in Premarita...
Research Skills (Continued)<br />Although previous studies have supported the effectiveness of premarital education progra...
Research Skills (Continued)<br />Method<br />Participants<br />	Participants were randomly selected from engagement notice...
Research Skils (Continued)<br />Marital success. Marital success referred to the duration of the marriage and intention to...
Research Skills (Continued)<br />Procedure<br />	The pre- and post-test scores from the PREPARE and RELATE assessments fro...
Research Skills (Continued)<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010). PSY302: External validity/generalizability: Mo...
Communication Skills<br />Self Help Books<br />	The following paper examines the quality and quantity of self-help books a...
Communication Skills (Continued)<br />Finally, the authors' suggestions for ways to replace self-defeating behaviors with ...
Communication Skills (Continued)<br />The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle approaches the concept of self-help from a spiritu...
Communication Skills (Continued)<br />This book offers ideas and practical steps for turning self-defeating behaviors into...
Communication Skills (Continued)<br />The goals of the five-step program are important and beneficial for readers. Becomin...
Communication Skills (Continued)<br />References<br />Arenson, G. (2001). Five simple steps to emotional healing: The last...
Ethics and Diversity Awareness<br />Is it possible to speak of ethnic groups in America in terms other than stereotypes?<b...
Foundations of Psychology<br />Which of the three behaviorists, in your opinion, offers the most compelling argument for t...
Foundations of Psychology (Continued)<br />When I first began to work as a nanny and encountered firsthand the challenge o...
Foundations of Psychology (Continued)<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010a). PSY492: Learning: Module Three. Ret...
Applied Psychology<br /> 	Katherine is a 45-year-old woman who is seeking psychotherapy. She describes a history of childh...
Applied Psychology (Continued)<br />If one were to merely look at the different aspects of abnormal behavior and compare t...
Interpersonal Effectiveness<br />Oratorical Leaders and the Magic of Stereotypes<br />The following paper identifies the p...
Interpersonal Effectiveness (Continued)<br />Often, “derogating or putting down the out-group creates in-group solidarity ...
Interpersonal Effectiveness (Continued)<br />. While adults at this time were also at the mercy of past generations who al...
Interpersonal Effectiveness<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010). SOC416: Module 3 overview: Module Three. Retri...
Audio/Visual Presentation<br />Please see “Successful Marriage as a Function of Effective Communication, Effectual Conflic...
My Future in Learning<br />Regardless of whether an individual chooses to pursue higher education or to enter a degree-rel...
Contact Me<br />Thank you for viewing my ePortfolio.<br />For further information, please contact me at the e-mail address...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Eportfolio Rebecca Ellis

2,102

Published on

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
2,102
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Eportfolio Rebecca Ellis

  1. 1. 1<br />Undergraduate Studies ePortfolio<br />Rebecca Ellis<br />Clinical Psychology, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Personal Statement<br /> My name is Rebecca Ellis and I am a 29-year-old full-time student and full-time employee. I first discovered an interest in the field of psychology when I took Psychology 101 as an elective ten years ago while pursuing an Associates degree in Executive Office Administration. After five years of working in my chosen career, I decided to further pursue my education and my interest in psychology. I entered the Clinical Psychology program at Argosy University in 2008 with the original plan of becoming a Genetic Counselor. As my knowledge of psychological concepts and the workings of the human mind expanded, I became passionate about all aspects of psychology, especially those that increased my understanding of social influence and interaction. I was then introduced to the fascinating concepts of psychological and environmental influences on criminal behavior by an undergraduate criminal behavior course and realized that I had found my true interest and passion. <br />I developed an insatiable desire to acquire knowledge of all aspects of forensic psychology. Through the influence of several excellent instructors at Argosy, I began to consider the career of an educator. What better way to continue learning new concepts and theories than as an educator, always abreast of the latest research and with access to an ever-evolving wealth of knowledge? The idea of teaching the concepts that I find so fascinating and sharing my passion for the field of psychology with others is intoxicating. <br />Forensic psychology in particular intrigues me. The study of crime and its potential causes in an effort to prevent criminal behavior is both pertinent and necessary. I find this field captivating and compelling and I desire to be an integral part of it. As an educator in the field of forensic psychology, my future goals include the role of a professor in an educational institution and a lecturer in some aspect of the criminal justice system. <br />
  3. 3. Personal Statement (Continued)<br />Previously, I worked as an educator for several years in the medical field and discovered a true enjoyment of the role. I believe that knowledge is power and my goal in this role was to share any and all pertinent information that I had gained in order to increase the understanding and, subsequently, the confidence and potential of those who desired to learn. I personally desire to be constantly challenged and stimulated, and the role of an educator, with the accompanying necessity of maintaining a current knowledge of all new aspects of the chosen topic, provides unique challenges and rewards while fulfilling that need. I believe that I have multiple strengths, both in personality and in character, which will contribute to my success in the role of an educator. <br />I have cultivated excellent communication skills, a passion for the topic, empathy for others, and a strong desire to see others and myself succeed. I am motivated, self-disciplined, diligent, and conscientious. I take pride in my work and in excelling at each task that I undertake. My strengths lie in language comprehension and verbal and written communication, while my weaknesses involve math and some statistical concepts. I am looking forward to the opportunity for developing my strengths and strengthening my weaknesses through graduate education. <br />
  4. 4. Resume<br />Rebecca Ellis<br />EducationBachelor of Arts, August 2010ArgosyUniversity, Chicago, ILMajor: ClinicalPsychology (with concentration in Criminal Psychology)GPA: 4.0/4.0<br />Associate in Science, May 2003<br />MountWachusettCommunityCollege, Gardner, MAMajor: ExecutiveOfficeAdministration<br />GPA: 3.8/4.0<br /> <br />Related Coursework •Accounting I and II<br />• Keyboarding I, II, and III<br /> • Medical Terminology<br /> • Business Law<br /> • Small Business Management<br /> <br />Employment Experience Full-time student/Nanny August 2009 to Present<br />Administrative Assistant December 2007 – August 2009<br />Home Healthcare, Hospice, and Community Services Peterborough, NH www.hcsservices.org<br />- Managed business office- Provided support to management team- Coordinated clinician schedule- Answered and directed all incoming calls- Obtained prior authorization for services- Created new patient records and maintained current records- Processed certifications and supplemental paperwork to MD orders<br /> <br />
  5. 5. Resume (Continued)<br />Administrative Assistant/Medical Assistant December 2001 - December 2007<br />Monadnock OBGYN Peterborough, NH www.monadnockobgyn.com<br />- Designed and maintained website content- Designed and coordinated advertising projects<br />- Triaged and directed incoming calls- Obtained and processed insurance information- Collaborated with billing department regarding patient accounts- Supported multiple doctors and nurse practitioner in daily tasks- Performed routine phlebotomy- Obtained and recorded vital signs, performed NST’s<br />Childbirth Educator July 2003 - December 2006<br />Monadnock Community Hospital Peterborough, NH www.monadnockhospital.org<br />- Led all-day seminars for first-time parents- Directed tours of maternity ward- Used videos and props to explain stages of labor- Taught infant care and car seat safety- Explained hospital admission procedure<br /> <br />Honors and Awards Achieved President's List status, 2009 and 2010<br /> National Society of Collegiate Scholars Invitee<br />References and transcripts available upon request<br />
  6. 6. Reflection<br />As I reflect on my experiences as an undergraduate psychology student at Argosy University – Online Programs, I feel that I have received an excellent foundation for my future career in the field of psychology. I have learned to both develop and utilize critical thinking skills, particularly skeptical objectivity and the scientific method. I have read and absorbed a good deal of information related to psychology, including a basic foundation of the psychological theories, the major contributors to the field of psychology, and counseling and interviewing techniques. I have been given several opportunities to learn and understand the scientific research method, and have put this knowledge to the test in the formulation of several research projects. <br /> I have gained significant written communication skills through the process of writing hundreds of papers and receiving constructive feedback from professors. One drawback to an online learning environment is the lack of face-to-face interaction; despite this drawback, I feel that I have made some improvement to my oral communication skills through the process of obtaining my degree, but I do feel that this area is a weakness of mine and needs some more improvement. <br /> I have learned much about the ethics that are integral to the field of psychology, along with an appreciation for diversity. I feel that this knowledge will greatly benefit me as I prepare to enter the field of psychology. I have also learned about the foundations of psychology and applied psychology through my textbooks and shared personal experiences from professors. I plan to build upon this knowledge by continuing my education in the pursuit of a Masters degree in psychology. <br /> I feel that I have likely learned the most regarding interpersonal effectiveness and active listening throughout my time at Argosy. The need for respectful, courteous, and professional communication with my classmates and professors has effectively challenged and replaced any previous ineffective methods of communication and allowed for the absorption of effective communication and active listening skills. The online learning environment has enhanced the acquisition of these skills by its very nature, which requires clear, concise communication in the absence of face-to-face interaction. In conclusion, I am both pleased and satisfied with my education experience at Argosy University, and I look forward to continuing my pursuit of knowledge.<br />
  7. 7. Table of Contents<br />Cognitive Abilities: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy<br />Research Skills<br />Communication Skills: Oral and Written<br />Ethics and Diversity Awareness<br />Foundations of Psychology<br />Applied Psychology<br />Interpersonal Effectiveness<br />
  8. 8. Critical Thinking<br /> Clearing Up Confusion<br /> Researchers often find themselves faced with the daunting task of sifting through an overwhelming amount of information when conducting a search for literature pertinent to their research question. Developing a strategy for evaluating the information obtained is crucial to the success of the research project. The following paper presents a discussion of suggested steps to take in order to effectively analyze research information.<br /> The first step to effective research involves the formulation of the research question. It is important to narrow the question in order to be as specific as possible (Argosy University, 2010a). Next, choose keywords from the question that accurately and comprehensively pertain to the topic in order to utilize search fields (Argosy University, 2010a). A search for pertinent information can then be made in online databases, journals, periodicals, textbooks, and encyclopedias. <br /> The amount of research articles that can be obtained from online search engines and other methods can be overwhelming. An important step in effective research is confining these results to a manageable number. In order to do this, it is necessary to critically analyze the articles that are presented (Ormondroyd, Engle, & Cosgrave, 2009). First, determine if the author is credible and check the publication date to make sure that the research is current rather than outdated (Ormondroyd, Engle, & Cosgrave, 2009). Next, check to see that the article is well written and has been critically reviewed (Ormondroyd, Engle, & Cosgrave, 2009). Finally, ensure that the source is unbiased and objective (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009). <br /> After identifying qualified sources, utilize the article abstracts to further filter search results (Argosy University, 2010b). Ensure a complete understanding of the terminology used in the article by looking up terms and concepts that are unfamiliar (Engle, 2009). Attempt to find and review operational definitions for concepts that are not readily understood (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009). Only after fully comprehending an article can an effective decision be made for whether or not to utilize the article in the research project.<br /> In conclusion, there are several steps that can be undertaken in order to effectively evaluate research articles and reduce confusion. Beginning with a specific, concise research question will help to narrow the search for information to a manageable level. Ensuring the validity of each source will further reduce the available articles and contribute to the accuracy of the project. Finally, taking the necessary time to ensure complete comprehension of the terms and concepts presented in the articles will save time and confusion throughout the duration of the project.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
  9. 9. Critical Thinking Example (Continued)<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010a). PSY302: Searching literature: Module One. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Argosy University. (2010b). PSY302: Asking questions: Module One. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Engle, M. (2009). The seven steps of the research project. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/research/skill1.htm<br />Ormondroyd, J., Engle, M., & Cosgrave, T. (2009). Critically analyzing information sources. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/resarch/skill26.htm<br />Shaughnessy, J.J., Zechmeister, E.B., & Zechmeister, J.S. (2009). Research methods in psychology. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from http://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/#/books/007-7376463<br />es<br />
  10. 10. Research Skills<br />Marital Quality and Success for Diverse Populations as a Function of <br />Participation in Premarital Education Programs<br />Rebecca L. Ellis<br />Argosy University<br />Abstract<br />This research experiment is conducted for the purpose of investigating the relationship between participation in premarital education programs and marital quality/success for diverse populations. Participants were randomly selected from engagement notices and from bridal registries at popular stores across the nation. Participants were randomly assigned to the experimental group or the comparison group and were administered PREPARE and RELATE assessments as pre- and post-tests. The scores from each group were then analyzed and an ANOVA summary table was utilized to determine variability between the groups. It was predicted that participation in a premarital education program would positively influence marital quality and success for diverse populations. This experiment can be repeated with different populations in order to provide additional support for the hypothesis.<br /> <br />Marital Quality and Success for Diverse Populations as a Function of Participation in Premarital Education Programs <br />Researchers estimate that between 40 and 50% of all first marriages will end in divorce, despite the fact that successful marriage is a highly valued goal for many Americans (Carroll & Doherty, 2003; McGeorge & Carlson, 2006). There is an obvious need for some type of intervention, and premarital education programs appear to be a potentially beneficial solution (Carroll & Doherty, 2003). The disturbing divorce rate combined with the increasing popularity of premarital education programs indicates the importance of examining the relationship between these programs and marital quality and success.<br />
  11. 11. Research Skills (Continued)<br />Although previous studies have supported the effectiveness of premarital education programs for restricted sample populations, little is known regarding the effectiveness of these programs for diverse populations. Limitations to external validity are present in the literature: random selection was rarely utilized, and many studies employed non-diverse sample populations (Busby, Ivey, Harris, & Ates, 2007; McGeorge & Carlson, 2006; Valiente, Belanger, & Estrada, 2002). These limitations indicate the necessity of using random selection and random assignment to groups in order to examine the effectiveness of premarital education programs to diverse populations beyond these restricted sample groups. <br />The design of the present research experiment was guided by the insights and limitations provided by several previous studies on various aspects of the concept of premarital education programs. Multiple studies have suggested that premarital education programs are effective for restricted populations; therefore, experimental design, program structure, and assessment measures for this research experiment were developed according to the insights provided by these previous studies. <br />A longitudinal research design with opportunity for follow up measures at specific intervals after marriage was determined by McGeorge and Carlson (2006) to provide a high level of accuracy and was utilized in the present study. McGeorge and Carlson (2006) also studied the potential benefits of conjoint education versus group education; and while they did not discover a statistically significant difference between the two structures, it is anticipated that participants may glean additional benefits from a group setting; therefore, group education was also utilized in this experiment. Busby, Ivey, Harris, and Ates (2007) determined that an assessment-based premarital education program was deemed to provide the most influential level of education, while McGeorge and Carlson (2006) indicated the importance of utilizing more than one assessment measure for pre- and post-testing. On the basis of the above research, the present experiment utilizes an assessment-based modality for the premarital education program and makes use of both the PREPARE and the RELATE assessment measures for pre- and post-testing. <br />Research hypothesis<br />Participation in a premarital education program will positively influence marital quality and success in diverse populations.<br />
  12. 12. Research Skills (Continued)<br />Method<br />Participants<br /> Participants were randomly selected from engagement notices in local newspapers and bridal registries from three popular stores in five different states: Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, California, and Washington. The 530 participants (265 couples) were then randomly assigned as a couple to either the treatment group or the comparison group. The sample population was comprised of 235 men and 295 women, 50% of whom were Caucasian, 27% African-American, 13% Latino, and 10% Native American. <br /> Informed consent was obtained from each participant after a discussion of the minimal risk involved in the research experiment (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009). The only reasonably foreseeable harm of possible mental or emotional stress due to the inherent nature of a premarital education program was presented and considered by each participant before consent was obtained (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009). In order to protect subjects from potential emotional stress, the helpful and harmful aspects of a premarital intervention program were presented to each participant and the confidentiality and anonymity of responses was assured (Valiente, Belanger, & Estrada, 2002). Deception was not used as a feature of this experiment; rather, the wait-listed comparison group will have the opportunity to participate in the premarital education program at a later date (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009).<br />Independent variable<br />Participation in a premarital education program. The premarital education program that was utilized in this research experiment is an assessment-based program that integrates skill building for increased communication and conflict resolution, administered in a group setting for a duration of 6 weeks. <br />Dependent variables<br /> Marital quality. Marital quality referred to overall satisfaction with the marriage, frequency of marital conflict and satisfaction with resolution, and strength of interpersonal commitment (Argosy University, 2010). <br />
  13. 13. Research Skils (Continued)<br />Marital success. Marital success referred to the duration of the marriage and intention to continue the marriage indefinitely.<br />Measures<br /> Each participant completed two measures of premarital factors that are known to influence marital quality and success: the PREPARE test and the RELATE test. The experimental group completed both of these assessments as a pre-test, participated in the premarital education program for 6 weeks, and then completed the two assessments again as a post-test for the immediate effectiveness of a premarital education program. The comparison group completed both assessments, waited for a 6-week period during which they did not participate in any treatment, and then completed both assessments again.<br /> Marital quality and success were measured by a self-report scale based on Stanley, Johnson, Amato, and Markman’s 2006 study, which was administered to each participant in both the experimental and comparison groups at intervals of 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years following marriage. Three scales that focused on marital satisfaction, marital conflict, and interpersonal commitment measured marital quality. <br /> Marital satisfaction was addressed by asking participants to consider all aspects of their marriage and then respond to the question “how would you describe your marriage” using a 3-point scale: 1= not very happy, 2= pretty happy, and 3= very happy (Stanley, Johnson, Amato, & Markman, 2006). Participants were then asked, “How satisfied are you with your marriage?” and responded using a 5-point scale where: 1= not at all satisfied, 2= not very satisfied, 3= somewhat satisfied, 4= very satisfied, and 5= completely satisfied (Stanley, Johnson, Amato, & Markman, 2006). <br />Marital conflict was addressed by four questions with a 3-point scale for responses to each question where: 1= neveroralmostnever, 2= once in a while, and 3= frequently (Stanley, Johnson, Amato, & Markman, 2006). The questions were- “How often do you and your spouse experience each of the following situations: Little arguments escalate into ugly fights with accusations, criticisms, name calling, or bring[ing] up past hurts? My spouse criticizes or belittles my opinions, feelings, or desires? My spouse seems to view my words or actions more negatively than I mean them to be? When we argue, one of us withdraws, that is, does not want to talk about it anymore or leaves the scene?” (Stanley, Johnson, Amato, & Markman, 2006, p. 118). <br /> Interpersonal commitment was measured with three questions using a 5-point scale for each question where: 1= stronglydisagree, 2= disagree, 3= neitheragreenordisagree, 4= agree, and 5=stronglyagree (Stanley, Johnson, Amato, & Markman, 2006). The questions were: “My relationship with my spouse/partner is more important to me than almost anything else in my life”, “I may not want to be with my spouse a few years from now”, and “I like to think of my spouse and me more in terms of us and we than me and him/her” (Stanley, Johnson, Amato, & Markman, 2006, p. 118). Building on the work of previous researchers, and in an effort to measure marital success, participants were also asked to answer the following question with a 2-point scale where 1= true, and 2= false: “I plan to continue this marriage relationship indefinitely”. <br />
  14. 14. Research Skills (Continued)<br />Procedure<br /> The pre- and post-test scores from the PREPARE and RELATE assessments from each participant were analyzed and the means, standard deviations, and ranges for each group were calculated to gain a sense of the variability in each group (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009). The means of each group were then used to develop an F-test statistic that allowed us to further analyze the collected data (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009). The relevant information was then incorporated into an ANOVA summary table and the results were interpreted to determine if there was support for the research hypothesis or the null hypothesis (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2009). Differences in scores between the treatment and control group were noted and then measured to determine the strength of these differences in order to draw a meaningful conclusion regarding whether participation in a premarital education program did indeed influence marital quality and success in diverse populations (Argosy University, 2010). <br /> The experimental and control groups were then approached at the intervals of 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years following the marriage ceremony and asked to complete the scales measuring marital satisfaction, conflict, and commitment. The results from these scores were then developed into another ANOVA summary table and the results from each group were analyzed for variability in order to determine if a relationship exists between participation in premarital education programs and marital quality and success in diverse populations.<br />Results<br /> The experimental and comparison group scores showed the predicted difference in marital quality with ratings of the experimental group (n= 133, M=21.6, SD= 2.3) significantly higher than ratings of the comparison group (n= 132, M= 16.4, SD= 1.2), (F (1,4) = 230, p< 0.5). <br />Discussion<br />Limitations on both the internal and external validity of previous studies were addressed and controlled for in this experiment, and the results of this study provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that participation in a premarital education program does indeed positively influence marital quality and success in diverse populations. Further research utilizing increasingly diverse population samples is recommended in order to provide additional support for the research hypothesis; however, it appears likely that participation in premarital education programs is an effective intervention for decreasing the likelihood of divorce in diverse populations. <br />
  15. 15. Research Skills (Continued)<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010). PSY302: External validity/generalizability: Module Seven. Retrieved June 29, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Busby, D.M., Ivey, D.C., Harris, S.M., & Ates, C. (2007). Self-directed, therapist-directed, and assessment-based interventions for premarital couples. Family Relations, 279(12). Retrieved June 29, 2010, from Argosy University’s SocINDEX database<br />Carroll, J.S., & Doherty, W.J. (2003). Evaluating the effectiveness of premarital prevention programs: A meta-analytic review of outcome research. Family Relations, 105(14). Retrieved June 29, 2010, from Argosy University’s SocINDEX database<br />McGeorge, C., & Carlson, T. (2006). Premarital education: An assessment of program efficacy. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 28(1), p. 165-190. Retrieved June 29, 2010, from Argosy University’s EBSCOhost database<br />Shaughnessy, J.J., Zechmeister, E.B., & Zechmeister, J.S. (2009). Research methods in psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.<br />Stanley, S.M., Amato, P.R., Johnson, C.A., & Markman, H.J. (2006). Premarital education, marital quality, and marital stability: Findings from a large, random household survey. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(1), p. 117-126. Retrieved June 29, 2010, from Argosy University’s PsychINFO database<br />Valiente, C.E., Belanger, C.J., & Estrada, A.V. (2002). Helpful and harmful expectations of premarital interventions. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 71(7). Retrieved June 29, 2010, from Argosy University’s SocINDEX database<br /> <br /> <br />
  16. 16. Communication Skills<br />Self Help Books<br /> The following paper examines the quality and quantity of self-help books available at an online bookstore. Out of the available selection, five self-help books were chosen and a brief review of each book is presented, along with the reasons why each book might be helpful to clients. Finally, specific concerns regarding the selected books are discussed, along with the potential impact to client health. <br /> Vast quantities of self-help books are available at the online bookstore Amazon.com; in fact, a subject search revealed over 119,000 results. Books that address every conceivable concern are offered, from happiness and motivation to stress management and abuse. The quality of the available selection appears to be fairly typical of what one would expect from self-help books, with suggested treatments covering a range of perspectives from self-talk to spirituality to ancient healing methods. Following is a review of five self-help books selected from the available choices, along with the aspects of each book that might prove to be helpful to clients seeking assistance with personal problems.<br /> The book Self-Defeating Behaviors: Free Yourself from the Habits, Compulsions, Feelings, and Attitudes That Hold You Back by Milton R. Cudney and Robert E. Hardy is divided into several sections discussing self-defeating behavior. The book begins with an explanation of how self-defeating behaviors are created and why they are perpetuated and practiced. The authors offer a detailed list of common self-defeating behaviors, along with tips on how to identify additional self-defeating behaviors, including behavior trigger patterns and common techniques for utilizing such mechanisms. The authors then discuss ways to replace self-defeating behavior and encourage readers to analyze their own conclusions and fears. <br />The book presents multiple case scenarios as examples of individuals that the authors have encountered who have fallen into patterns of self-defeating behavior. The case scenarios illustrate the authors' conviction that many people are "locked into the habit of making choices that do not work for them. Acting on these misguided choices, they say or do things that virtually guarantee dissatisfaction and unhappiness" (1993, p. 10). Through a combination of case scenarios, self-tests, and charts, the authors provide readers with the necessary information to easily identify self-defeating behaviors, followed by suggestions for defeating and replacing these behaviors with healthier ones. <br />  The case scenarios, self-tests, and charts provided by the authors would likely be helpful in providing clients with parallels to their own behavior, making it easier for them to recognize and identify their own self-defeating behaviors. The authors offer a clear definition of self-defeating behavior, along with a detailed list of many common examples, including procrastination, defensiveness, substance abuse, and depression. This information would be beneficial to clients who were unsure if their own actions were contributing to their unhappiness. The explanations that are provided regarding how such negative behaviors are practiced and perpetuated could be helpful to clients attempting to break the cycle of self-defeating behavior that leads to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. <br /> <br />
  17. 17. Communication Skills (Continued)<br />Finally, the authors' suggestions for ways to replace self-defeating behaviors with healthier options allows for client follow-through and works to ensure a complete eradication of the unhelpful behaviors. The emphasis that the authors place on the choice to use self-behaviors and the option to choose not to use such behaviors anymore empowers readers to identify and replace their own unhelpful behaviors with healthier options. This book is written in an appealing manner that is likely to capture and hold the reader's interest and offers clear explanations and suggestions for helping the client to overcome self-defeating behaviors. <br />Five Simple Steps to Emotional Healing: The Last Self-Help Book You Will Ever Need by psychotherapist Gloria Arenson promotes the "Meridian Therapy" method of self-healing based on acupressure. This method claims to utilize specific energy points in the body to awaken their healing power and promote self-healing. The author recommends this method to improve performance in daily activities, reduce fears, stop procrastination, conquer cravings, heal emotional scars, improve self-esteem, and conquer panic attacks. <br />  The book begins with a detailed description and explanation of Meridian Therapy. This is followed by a five-step, purportedly easy to follow instruction process for the reader to utilize in teaching oneself this technique. The author goes on to describe multiple, specific situations where the method could be utilized to bring about positive change. A section is also included on potential obstacles to success when using this method and suggestions for overcoming these issues. Finally, the book concludes with details on how to use Meridian Therapy to help your pet, along with multiple stories from readers detailing the problems they were having with their pets and describing how Meridian Therapy helped them to reduce and overcome problems with pet anxiety related to thunderstorms, visits to the vet, and other issues. <br />  This book could prove to be helpful to some clients, especially those who are interested in the art of energy healing and who are focused on the self-healing aspects of the human body. The author presents Meridian Therapy as a simple, easy to learn method that will allow the reader to learn to overcome such obstacles as poor performance in daily life activities, issues caused by fear and anxiety, painful memories from a troubled past, and problems with panic attacks. This method is also presented as a ways to improve self-esteem. <br />  Readers may find the method informative and helpful and be encouraged to try it in order to overcome the problems listed above. The information provided regarding overcoming several common issues that pet owners face will also likely appeal to many readers. The inclusion of testimonials from multiple readers who were successful in solving their own pet problems with this method makes the information and techniques sound more plausible. Readers who are interested in holistic methods of self-help will likely find the information in this book appealing and encouraging. The inclusion of common obstacles to success when utilizing Meridian Therapy should prove helpful to those who are interested in utilizing the method.<br />
  18. 18. Communication Skills (Continued)<br />The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle approaches the concept of self-help from a spiritual perspective. The author expounds on enlightenment, freeing yourself from your mind, and rising above thoughts. An explanation of emotions and a discussion of their purpose is also included. This book offers tips on how to find joy inside of one’s self, in life, and in the here and now. The author discusses the importance of living in the present, rather than thinking about the past or pining for the future. <br />  The author utilizes this spiritual perspective and the concept of enlightenment to discuss the origin of fear and offer suggestions for how to overcome pain. Reinventing time, strengthening relationships, and attaining peace and surrender are all addressed in this book. The author spends some time defining and describing enlightenment and explaining why this process is beneficial and necessary. Simple parables provide a parallel to real-life situations. Putting an end to needless suffering is emphasized throughout the content of the book. Understanding that some things are out of our control is a main aspect of the author's guide toward living fully in the present. The author also brings to mind familiar concepts of Freud's teachings in a discussion of the ego and the way it guides our decision making process.<br />  Clients may find this book especially helpful due to the emphasis placed on the things that are out of our control. The spiritualist perspective and the discussion of enlightenment may promote a sense of peace and well-being. The information provided regarding fully living in the present is pertinent and may be beneficial to many readers. Discovering joy in one’s self, in the life one is living, and in the here and now is an essential and timely message that will likely hit home to many readers. The importance that the author places on ending suffering by relinquishing blame and control will also likely speak to readers.<br />  This book neatly ties together familiar psychological concepts with a spiritualist perspective with its discussion of the ego and the power that this force holds over our thought processes. The discussion of emotions and thoughts and the way that both can be a negative influence will also likely be helpful to readers. This book offers concrete suggestions for freeing one’s self of negative thoughts and emotions, overcoming pain, and reinventing time in order to live fully in the present. The author also offers helpful suggestions for improving relationships.<br /> In Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior by Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg, self-defeating behaviors are described as the most common reason that individuals seek psychotherapy. A list of common self-defeating behaviors such as procrastination, fear, envy, obsession, anger, compulsion, and rebellion are described as preventing individuals from attaining success and happiness. The authors offer insight from multiple anecdotes taken from real-life patient situations in their psychiatry practice. These experiences are reflected in the authors' insight and understanding of the self-defeating behaviors that are so common.<br />
  19. 19. Communication Skills (Continued)<br />This book offers ideas and practical steps for turning self-defeating behaviors into behaviors that will bring success and happiness. The authors outline a proven course of action to transform self-defeating behavior, along with their own insights and understanding of the negative behavior. The authors explain the common origins of self-defeating behavior and even encourage a review of childhood, where many self-defeating behaviors are learned. The book offers multiple suggestions for overcoming self-defeating behavior in order to create a desirable life. The practical tips presented have been gleaned from the authors' own experiences with patients who have sought psychotherapy in an effort to overcome their own self-defeating behaviors, and are presented with kind understanding.<br />  Clients may find this book beneficial, especially in light of the fact that self-defeating behaviors are the main reason why individuals seek psychotherapy. The advice presented is based on actual clinical settings with information from real clients and therefore closely mimics at least one psychiatry practice's recommendations. The understanding and insight of the authors' will likely be appreciated by clients who suffer from similar negative behaviors to those of the clients presented in the case scenarios. The authors offer anecdotes from their own experiences, which readers may relate to. The information presented in this book may be very helpful to readers who are seeking help in their own quest to achieve happiness and success.<br />  The focus on the origin of self-defeating behaviors in this book will also likely be beneficial to readers. The authors' encourage readers to make a review of their childhood and to identify when and how certain self-defeating behaviors were learned. This process would seem likely to aid readers in discovering the origins of their own negative behavior, thereby making it more likely that they will be able to overcome these behaviors and replace them with behaviors that promote success and happiness. <br />The Power of Self-Coaching: The Five Essential Steps to Creating the Life You Want is written by clinical psychologist Joseph J. Lucian. This book introduces his five-step program designed to free individuals from mental and emotional traps and discover a life that is desired and deserved. The main focus of the book revolves around the concept that chronic unhappiness is a bad habit that can be broken, and that the process of breaking this habit is easier than one might think. The author utilizes self-quizzes, training, and coaching exercises to equip readers with the tools necessary to free themselves from mental and emotional traps.<br />  This five-step program is designed to help individuals take charge of their lives, see themselves in a new light, and become more free and spontaneous. The author offers suggestions for identifying learned patterns of thinking and feeling that cause unhappiness. The development of new ways of thinking and feeling follows this discovery. The author promotes his five-step program to eliminate boredom and hopelessness, overcome chronic fatigue and emotional numbness, and fulfill individual's full creative, intellectual, and emotional potential. The author discusses choosing self-defeating behaviors, the root of such behaviors, the importance of self-talk, and the benefits of self-coaching throughout the book. The author promises that these five steps are easier than individuals might first believe. Freedom from mental and emotional traps are said to lead to the discovery of a more desirable and deserved life.<br />  Clients may find this book helpful for the five-step program. Understanding that perpetuating self-defeating behavior is a choice is the first goal of the book. Digging deep into the roots of such behavior and other problems will likely also prove beneficial to readers suffering from these problems. Understanding the concepts of self-talk and self-coaching and utilizing these techniques may also prove to be helpful. The self-quizzes and training provided throughout the book will help readers to gain a firm understanding of the concepts presented and promote follow through of the suggested techniques.<br /> <br />
  20. 20. Communication Skills (Continued)<br />The goals of the five-step program are important and beneficial for readers. Becoming more free and spontaneous, rising above negative thoughts, seeing oneself in a new light and taking charge of one's own life will all likely lead to greater success and happiness. The empowering nature of the program, with its focus on self-talk and self-coaching, will help readers to discover a life that is desirable and deserved. The promise of freedom from boredom, hopelessness, chronic fatigue and emotional numbness, along with the fulfillment of creative, intellectual, and emotional potential will likely motivate readers to stick with the program, especially with the further promise of ease of learning associated with the five-step program.<br /> These five books offer multiple suggestions for dealing with personal problems and identifying destructive behavior. Several varied perspectives are utilized by the authors, including self-talk, spiritualism, and a healing method based on ancient rituals. However, there are potential concerns for clients who utilize these self-help books and attempt the specified methods: Mainly that various professionals utilize different focuses of treatment and draw from different perspectives (Argosy University, 2010). If a client reads a self-help book promoting a particular treatment method and this method does not work for the client then they might become discouraged and reluctant to seek help from other avenues. This might exacerbate the problem and reduce the chances that the client will receive treatment in the future. Furthermore, the client may find himself or herself dealing with the stigma of a particular label of a mental disorder that they were not even aware of before seeking guidance from the self-help book (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2010). A word of caution and the reassurance of other potentially helpful treatment methods should accompany the distribution of self-help books.<br /> In conclusion, there is an amazing quantity of self-help books available in today’s society and the tendency for individuals to utilize these books is becoming stronger. These books are written by a wide array of authors and utilize an even wider range of treatment perspectives. Some of these books will likely prove to be very helpful to clients who are seeking help with personal problems, while others will leave clients frustrated at their lack of effectiveness. It would be beneficial for individuals to be made aware of the array of treatment methods and focuses available, including those beyond the scope of self-help books, such as treatment by a mental health professional.<br /> <br /> <br />
  21. 21. Communication Skills (Continued)<br />References<br />Arenson, G. (2001). Five simple steps to emotional healing: The last self-help book you will ever need. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from http://www.amazon.com/Five-Simple-Steps-Emotional-Healing/dp/0743213874<br />Argosy University. (2010). PSY410: Trends in the study of abnormal behavior: Module One. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Butcher, J.N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J.M. (2010). Abnormal psychology. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from http://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/#/books/0558241484<br />Cudney, M.R., & Hardy, R.E. (1993). Self-defeating behaviors: Free yourself from the habits, compulsions, feelings, and attitudes that hold you back. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from http://www.amazon.com/Self-Defeating-Behaviors-Yourself-Compulsions-Attitudes/dp/00625019761<br />Goulston, M., & Goldberg, P. (1996). Get out of your own way: Overcoming self-defeating behavior. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from http://www.amazon.com/Get-Out-Your-Own-Self-Defeating/dp/0399519904<br />Lucian, J.J. (2004). The power of self-coaching: The five essential steps to creating the life you want. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from http://www.amazon.com/Power-Self-Coaching-Essential-Steps-Creating/dp/0471463604<br />Tolle, E. (2004). The power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from http://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808<br />
  22. 22. Ethics and Diversity Awareness<br />Is it possible to speak of ethnic groups in America in terms other than stereotypes?<br />Prejudice is a negative prejudging of others; prejudice is usually learned first from the home environment and then is often either supported or contradicted throughout life (Argosy University, 2010). Prejudice is often at the root of stereotypes. “Stereotypes are exaggerated beliefs or overgeneralizations associated with a group or category of people” (Bakanic, 2009, p. 74). The interesting thing about stereotypes is that they are not all negative, and they are not all inaccurate (Bakanic, 2009). However, although stereotypes are sweeping generalizations that are assumed to apply to the majority of a group’s population, they do not ever truly apply to every single member of the group (Bakanic, 2009). “We develop stereotypes when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair judgments about people or situations” (Grobman, 1990, ¶ 5).<br />“Stereotyping is both an activity we learn and a part of the way humans process information” (Bakanic, 2009, p. 76). We use cognitive shortcuts to generalize particular qualities and attributes to all members of a group in order to organize information and quickly reach conclusions or make decisions (Bakanic, 2009). Stereotypes can be very useful to us because they allow us to treat diverse groups and the unique individuals who are members of these groups as the same because we have lumped them together based on an attribute that we assume they all share (Bakanic, 2009). There are four common uses for stereotypes in everyday living: “(1) to group people by shared attributes, (2), to enhance an illusion of similarity among people within a group, (3), to interpret differences or distinctive attributes, and (4) to help rationalize our prejudices and justify our advantages” (Bakanic, 2009, p. 78). <br />No one can avoid learning stereotypes or avoid being influenced by them; however, they are a human invention and, therefore, individuals are capable of deciding when and if to use them (Bakanic, 2009). It is possible to suppress or reduce the use of stereotypes (Bakanic, 2009). Therefore, I do think it is possible to speak of ethnic groups in America in terms other than stereotypes, but this requires the avoidance of generalizations and the recognition that individual differences between members of a group can, and do, exist. It can be difficult to avoid relying on the use of cognitive shortcuts, and to do so will require both the recognition and suppression of stereotypes. <br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010). SOC416: Module 3 Overview: Module Three. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Bakanic, V. (2009). Prejudice: Attitudes about race, class, and gender. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.<br />Grobman, G.M. (1990). Stereotypes and prejudice. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://remember.org/guide/History.root.stereotypes.html<br />
  23. 23. Foundations of Psychology<br />Which of the three behaviorists, in your opinion, offers the most compelling argument for the use of behaviorism when teaching a new subject to an adult and to a child?<br />“For a psychologist, learning is defined as a fundamental and relatively consistent change in behavior or behavior potential that occurs as a result of practice or experience” (Argosy University, 2010a, p. 1). I believe that Skinner offers the most compelling argument for the use of behaviorism when teaching a new subject to an adult and to a child. <br />Skinner experimented with the concept of operant conditioning, and advocated the law of effect: “any behavior can result in reinforcement or punishment. Behavior resulting in reinforcement is more likely to recur; behavior resulting in punishment is less likely to recur” (Argosy University, 2010b, p. 1). There are two types of reinforcement and punishment: positive or negative (Argosy University, 2010b). In this context, positive refers to adding a stimulus, while negative refers to taking away or removing a stimulus (Argosy University, 2010b). Therefore, positive reinforcement refers to presenting a favorable or pleasant stimulus following a specific behavior, while positive punishment refers to presenting an unfavorable or unpleasant stimulus following a specific behavior (Argosy University, 2010b). Negative reinforcement refers to escape from an unfavorable event, or removing an unpleasant stimulus; negative punishment refers to the removal of a favorable stimulus (Argosy University, 2010b). “Skinner developed operant conditioning procedures, in which he manipulated the consequences of an organism’s behavior in order to see what effect they had on subsequent behavior” (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2009, p. 172). <br />I believe that the concept of operant conditioning, or cause and effect, offers the most compelling argument for teaching a new subject to an adult or a child because I have been able to witness the effects of such conditioning. From an educational standpoint, receiving a good grade is a positive reinforcement that will very likely influence a child or an adult to put forth the same amount of time and effort in the future in order to again receive this positive reinforcement. The reinforcement of receiving a bad grade will likely influence the reduction or omission of the behavior of not putting forth time and effort required to do well in a particular learning project.<br />
  24. 24. Foundations of Psychology (Continued)<br />When I first began to work as a nanny and encountered firsthand the challenge of dealing with toddler temper tantrums and other difficult behavior, I consulted a few books in my quest for effective advice on how to deal with this situation. Among the many viewpoints that I read about, one that utilized operant conditioning made the most sense to me and I proceeded to test it. I discovered that positive reinforcement (most effectively in the form of praise, but also in the promise of a treat or special outing) very strongly influenced the likelihood that a good behavior would be repeated. Also, negative reinforcement (in the form of a time-out or removal of a special privilege) increased the likelihood that poor behavior would not be repeated. This concept became especially effective when I realized that we sometimes unintentionally reinforce bad behavior by giving a child the attention that he or she craves (even if it is negative attention). If a child is unable to get the attention that he or she desires any other way, often throwing a tempter tantrum results in mom or dad focusing on the child and talking to the child (even if it is with disappointment or anger) and the child’s temper tantrums are reinforced by the result of gaining the attention that they crave. <br />The same philosophy applies to adults in the working world. When we behave in a certain way that our employers approve of, they offer reinforcement, such as praise, a pay raise, or a promotion that makes it more likely that we will repeat the desired behavior. Similarly, when we behave in a way that our employer does not like, the employer threatens discipline, a demotion, or even suspension, which makes it more likely that we will not repeat the undesired behavior. Unintentional reinforcement can occur in this situation as well: If an employee leaves work early without permission and no one realizes, the employee is likely to repeat this behavior because it was reinforced by lack of punishment. <br />“Learning is really about the increased probability of a behavior based on reinforcement which has taken place in the past” (Atherton, 2010, ¶ 10). If a certain behavior is reinforced with either the addition of a pleasant stimulus or the removal of an unpleasant stimulus, then the likelihood of this behavior being repeated is increased. Conversely, if a certain behavior is reinforced with either the addition of an unpleasant stimulus or the removal of a pleasant stimulus, then the likelihood of this behavior being repeated is reduced.<br />
  25. 25. Foundations of Psychology (Continued)<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010a). PSY492: Learning: Module Three. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Argosy University. (2010b). PSY492: Operant conditioning the easy way: Module Three. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Atherton, J.S. (2010). Learning and teaching: Behaviourism. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/behaviour.htm<br />Gerrig, R.J., & Zimbardo, P.G. (2009). Psychology and life, discovering psychology edition. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.<br />
  26. 26. Applied Psychology<br />  Katherine is a 45-year-old woman who is seeking psychotherapy. She describes a history of childhood sexual abuse and feels that this has greatly impacted her life and she desires to move beyond its effect on her. She feels anger towards her parents and becomes tearful when discussing the sexual abuse but does not break down. She has been working in the same field for 15 years and gets along with her co-workers, but has been passed over for a raise. She worries that her anger is affecting her work performance and her relationship with her daughter. She has also recently become irritable and less interested in sex with her husband.<br /> The following paper analyzes Katherine’s behavior and attempts to identify the aspects that can be classified as normal or abnormal. The reasons for these classifications are also discussed. Finally, additional information that can be used in considering Katherine’s behavior is also presented.<br /> “No one element of abnormality is sufficient in and of itself to define or determine abnormality” (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2010, p. 4). However, abnormal behavior is usually characterized by several of the following aspects: suffering, maladaptiveness, deviancy, violation of the standards of society, social discomfort, and irrationality and unpredictability (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2010). Suffering refers to the experience of distress, while maladaptiveness refers to behavior that interferes with well-being (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2010). Deviancy is behavior that differs from the norm and thereby violates social standards (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2010). Social discomfort refers to the societal unease caused by the violation of social standards, while irrationality and unpredictability are commonly used to describe behavior that is out of control or out of character (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2010). Additionally, the element of danger is typically used to identify abnormal behavior; taking into account whether the behavior is dangerous to the individual or to society at large (Argosy University, 2010).<br />Katherine is dealing with anger, tearfulness, and apparent sexual dysfunction. In order to identify the aspects of her behavior that are normal or abnormal it is necessary to refer to the information listed above. Katherine is apparently enduring suffering and distress as evidenced by her tearfulness; she also appears to be experiencing maladaptiveness since she worries that her anger is affecting her job and her relationship with her daughter. Her anger, tearfulness, and sexual dysfunction do deviate from the norm and may even violate the standards of society. Her attitude in the workplace may cause social discomfort to some, and her mention of recent irritability and symptoms of sexual dysfunction appear to be out of character for her, which could fulfill the aspect of irrationality and unpredictability.<br />
  27. 27. Applied Psychology (Continued)<br />If one were to merely look at the different aspects of abnormal behavior and compare them to Katherine’s experience, it could very likely be inferred that Katherine’s behavior is indeed abnormal. However, it is important to consider the context of the situation and to take into account the main reason why Katherine is seeking therapy: Her history of childhood sexual abuse. Anger and tearfulness would likely be a perfectly natural response to such an experience. Additionally, adults with a history of childhood abuse are more likely than those without this history to experience sexual dysfunction, among other issues (Newton, 2001a). “Because of the association between sexual behavior and pain and violation, survivors of childhood sexual abuse often develop problems with intimate relationships in general, including difficulties during sexual contact and dysfunctions of desire and arousal” (Newton, 2001b, ¶ 1). Taking Katherine’s childhood experience and this additional information into account, it would appear likely that her behavior is completely normal.<br />In conclusion, there are several measures that are useful in determining whether a behavior is normal or abnormal; however, it is necessary to take the context of the situation and any additional information into account when making such a determination. Although Katherine’s behavior could be easily identified as abnormal based on the typical defining aspects of abnormality, the context of the sexual abuse that she suffered in her childhood makes her current behavior appear much more normal and even expected. Regardless of the classification of her behavior, it is apparent that Katherine could benefit from interaction with a qualified, supportive, and caring therapist.<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010). PSY410: Abnormal psychology: Module One. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Butcher, J.N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J.M. (2010). Abnormal psychology. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/#/books/0558241484<br />Newton, C.J. (2001a). Child abuse: An overview. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://www.findcounseling.com/journal/child-abuse/survivors-childhood-abuse.html<br />Newton, C.J. (2001b). Effects of child abuse on adults: Childhood sexual abuse. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://www.findcounseling.com/journal/child-abuse/survivors-childhood-sexual-abuse.html<br /> <br />
  28. 28. Interpersonal Effectiveness<br />Oratorical Leaders and the Magic of Stereotypes<br />The following paper identifies the particular speaker that I chose to study from the list provided in the Webliography and discusses the in- and out-groups in the video, along with their characteristics. The stereotype that the in-group was challenging is also identified, along with my view of the origination of the stereotype. Finally, the influence of agents of socialization on my own attitudes toward prejudice, subordination, and discrimination is considered.<br />Why did you select this particular speaker?<br />I chose Severn Suzuki, who addressed the United Nations on behalf of the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO). I was drawn in by her confident, articulate, knowledgeable manner of speaking, but most of all, by her passion for her subject. Severn spoke with a great deal of conviction and determination regarding the plight of those who have no voice, namely of children, animals, and plants. She so obviously believed in the cause that she was fighting for, and delivered such a motivating, compelling speech that I was filled with righteous anger for those that suffered from the neglectful way that the environment is treated, and with shame for my part in that treatment. The fact that a young child was taking the initiative and making the effort to bring about permanent change in the way that we misuse and mistreat our environment forced me to take an honest inventory of the things that I could be doing to preserve our natural resources.<br /> I found Severn to be a powerful and inspiring motivational force, and I am certain that she had a significant effect on those present at the United Nations meeting in 1992. She reminded those present of their obligation to preserve our finite resources for future generations and admonished them of their goals in attending such meetings. I found this to be a timely and necessary reminder of our ultimate obligation to our children and of our relationship with the rest of the planet. Although “green” initiatives have certainly become much more popular since 1992, it is an unfortunate fact that much more could and should be done to preserve the precious resources that we take for granted. <br />Which is the in-group and what are the unifying values or the ascribed status that provides its solidarity?<br />A group is “two or more people who interact and are conscious of their identity as a group” (Bakanic, 2009, p. 220). In this situation, Severn, her three young friends, and all children and future generations are the in-group, and adults are the out-group. Severn and her friends created the group ECO in an attempt to make a difference in the fight to save the environment. Their unifying value is a desire for the preservation of natural resources to provide a future for themselves and for their own children. The ascribed status that provides them solidarity is that of individuals with no control and no voice in environmental matters controlled by adults. Their status is also that of the individuals who must reap the consequences of the actions taken by past and current generations of adults in the poor stewardship of our natural resources. Severn and her friends are also speaking on behalf of non-human populations that are not able to speak for themselves, such as animals, plants, and trees.<br />
  29. 29. Interpersonal Effectiveness (Continued)<br />Often, “derogating or putting down the out-group creates in-group solidarity and fosters loyalty among members of the in-group” (Bakanic, 2009, p. 31). However, in this case, Severn and her friends provide factual truths and admonitions of greater responsibility in order to get their point across. While the in-group does appear to have created solidarity and loyalty among its members, this was not accomplished as a result of making derogatory remarks about the out-group, but rather by pointing out hard facts in self-righteous indignation. Severn and the other members of ECO also appear to feel solidarity with and loyalty to both plants and animals, likely largely because neither of these groups have any more control or voice in the matter than the children feel that they themselves do.<br />What stereotype – prejudice, subordination, or discrimination – is the in-group challenging?<br />In my opinion, the in-group of Severn and the other members of ECO are challenging the stereotype of subordination by adults. Severn feels that children, plants, animals, and future generations are being treated as less important than adults, and she feels that their future is being viewed as less valuable. Severn admonishes those present at the United Nations meeting to think of their children’s future, and to make them a priority. Severn gives several examples of this subordination, including behavior that results in holes in the ozone, chemicals in the air, and diseases in freshwater fish. She reminds the adults present that they do not have all the answers necessary to correct the damage that has already been done, nor do they have the luxury of the time to sit back and dwell on possible solutions without taking immediate action. She also admonishes those present that “if you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it” (charityfocus, 2008). <br /> Severn offers a suggestion for how to fix this problem of the subordination of children, plants, and animals. She submits that if adults were to start spending the money that they currently spend on war, and instead invest that money into saving the environment and creating peace treaties, that this world would become a wonderful place in which to live. I found it very admirable that Severn did not only bring a significant issue to the attention of those who had the power to fix it, but that she also attempted to provide a workable solution. Instead of merely blaming the out-group for the problem, Severn and the other members of the ECO put much apparent consideration and effort into working out a realistic solution. In so doing, they also drew attention to another significant issue faced by the population of planet Earth: Greed and the subsequent wars that ensue as a result.<br />In your view, did members of the out-group conspire to subordinate the in-group, or was the out-group merely operating within the social structure of its time?<br /> It is my opinion that the out-group did not conspire to subordinate the in-group; rather the out-group was simply living in the moment without thought for subsequent generations. It would be truly disturbing if parents did conspire to blithely use up the available resources of this planet with no thought for the survival of their children and subsequent generations and I certainly do not believe that this was the case; however, this does not change the fact that subordination of children, plants, and animals did indeed take place. I would imagine that Severn’s address to those present at the United Nations meeting took the form of a reality check for many who had failed to think ahead and had neglected those who did not have a voice or control over the situation<br />
  30. 30. Interpersonal Effectiveness (Continued)<br />. While adults at this time were also at the mercy of past generations who also took no thought for future populations, I believe that Severn was addressing those who had made no initiative to change the way that we misuse and mistreat the environment and the finite resources that it provides.<br /> As Ghandiji (1920) pointed out “…pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be warned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to one may appear to be error to the other” (¶ 4). Severn and the other members of ECO used patience to show the out-group the truth of the error of their ways. Severn also reminded the adults of their obligation as parents to provide for their children’s future, and of the need to make certain that they actually took the initiative to make necessary changes rather than just simply making verbal promises.<br />How have your attitudes toward prejudice, subordination, or discrimination been influenced by the agents of socialization such as family, peer groups, schools, and the media?<br /> I am certainly conscious of the influence of my family’s beliefs on my own attitudes toward prejudice, subordination, and discrimination. “The family is where you learn values, norms, beliefs, and attitudes that you internalize. The culture you acquire from home shapes your personality and influences your behavior” (Argosy University, 2010, p. 2). Since I was exposed to the values, beliefs, and attitudes of my parents and extended family during the particularly impressionable years of my youth, it is no surprise that I would internalize and absorb these attitudes. I can think of a couple of prejudices that I blithely absorbed from my family and only later questioned after coming into contact with this particular group of people and discovering that the things I had always believed about the group as a whole were not supported by the individuals that I now knew. It was only at this point that I questioned the absolute truth of the attitudes that I had internalized growing up.<br /> The attitudes of those in my school closely reflected those of my family and served as further reinforcement for my own internalization. We lived in an area that had little diversity and I believe that this influenced the lack of appreciation that we felt for other races and cultures. We were only familiar with one culture and we did not take the time to learn about, or really even acknowledge, other cultures. The media was also localized to our particular demographic, which meant that our narrow viewpoints were not expanded in any way from this influence. It was only when I moved to a city from the small town where I grew up that I came to realize and even appreciate the diversity that exists among us. <br />
  31. 31. Interpersonal Effectiveness<br />References<br />Argosy University. (2010). SOC416: Module 3 overview: Module Three. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://myeclassonline.com<br />Bakanic, V. (2009). Prejudice: Attitudes about race, class, and gender. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.<br />charityfocus. (2008, May 21). Girl Who Silenced the UN for 5 Minutes [Video file]. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sb6RmRMbBY&feature=related<br />Ghandhiji, M. (1920). Definition of satyagraha. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://sfr-21.org/sources/satyagraha.html<br />
  32. 32. Audio/Visual Presentation<br />Please see “Successful Marriage as a Function of Effective Communication, Effectual Conflict Resolution, and Interpersonal Commitment” Research Paper Presentation on Linkedin profile.<br />
  33. 33. My Future in Learning<br />Regardless of whether an individual chooses to pursue higher education or to enter a degree-related career after completing undergraduate studies, opportunities abound for life-long learning. Besides the obvious course of graduate studies, there are also work-related seminars, training opportunities, and even teaching positions. Whichever path the student chooses next, it is vital to continue the process of growth and fulfillment by taking advantage of learning opportunities throughout life. <br />
  34. 34. Contact Me<br />Thank you for viewing my ePortfolio.<br />For further information, please contact me at the e-mail address below. <br />rlellis@yahoo.com<br />
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×