CAREER OBJECTIVE: Entry-level public relations position utilizing my knowledge and experience in the fields in the liberal...
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
2011 Portfolio
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2011 Portfolio

  1. 1. CAREER OBJECTIVE: Entry-level public relations position utilizing my knowledge and experience in the fields in the liberal arts, particularly psychology and linguistics. <br />EDUCATION <br />Bachelor of Science in Psychology, English Minor<br />Magna cum laude, University of Houston, Houston, TX – 2011<br />PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE<br />Office Assistant, Receptionist, Promptsource,IncorporatedSugar Land, TX – 2008<br />Ensured quality customer support to current and prospective commercial oil and gas industry clients.<br />Procured parts and services for international corporate clientele. <br />Maintained records and processed invoices for incoming and outgoing client transactions.<br />Office Assistant , Receptionist, Coldwell Banker UnitedBellaire, TX – 2006 – 2008<br />Collaborated in creation of portfolio presentations for prospective residential real estate clients.<br />Designed various electronic and print-based marketing materials including flyers, postcards, and brochures.<br />Renovated and maintained real estate agent website, increasing the utility overall efficacy of the site, resulting in a net increase in new website visitors per month over a two-year period. <br />Facilitated the sales of Texas Medical Center residential properties, ensuring quality customer service to clients throughout each stage of the home-buying process. <br />Office Assistant, Receptionist, Farmer's Insurance CompanySugar Land, TX – 2002<br />Ensured quality customer support to current as well as prospective policy holders. <br />Scheduled and confirmed client and agent appointments. <br />Processed monthly premiums for individual and corporate policy holders. <br />Office Assistant, Houston's First Baptist ChurchHouston, TX – 1999 <br />Assisted in the administrative processes of the Missions office's various outreach programs. <br />Scheduled and confirmed appointments and facilitated transportation for church staff members. <br />Managed and coordinated volunteers for various outreach ministry programs.<br />VOLUNTEER WORK<br />Editor/ Contributor, Fort Bend Baptist AcademySugar Land, TX – 2001<br />Contributed and edited articles, poetry, and short stories for student-published literary magazine.<br />Praise Team Member, River Pointe ChurchSugar Land, TX – 2001<br />Lead praise and worship music for Sunday morning High School service.<br />Volunteer Builder, World ChangersSavannah, GA – 1999<br />Repaired, and restored homes for individuals and churches in need. <br />TECHNICAL SKILLS<br />Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop<br />RELEVANT COURSEWORK<br />Pre-Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition, Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscience, Social Psychology, Personality Psychology, Child Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Linguistics<br />The Positive Personality: Theory and Application<br />In the past, most of the research in the field of Psychology has focused on models of psychopathology concerned primarily with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the mentally ill, however, in recent years, research in the branch of Positive Psychology has widened its focus in a way so as to include models that might lead to a greater understanding of the qualities and characteristics that result in mental and physical well-being. Much of the research that has emerged from the branch of Positive Psychology has centered on efforts to identify personality characteristics and personality traits that have been associated with positive mental and physical health outcomes. Positive Psychology research suggests that systematically building character traits and virtues within people can lead to greater overall mental and physical health. Though the branch of Positive Psychology is relatively new, it shares some of the same fundamental principles introduced in the theories of Erich Fromm, Alfred Adler, Carl Rogers, and others that have followed in their footsteps. <br />Much like humanistic psychologists like Erich Fromm, Alfred Adler, and Carl Rogers broke from traditional Freudian psychoanalytic views that focused on resolving early life conflicts, instead placing their focus upon openness in the present and development in the future, Positive Psychology diverges from Psychology’s model of pathology and its traditional task that seeks to identify and understand the causes of various disorders and disease to a model that instead seeks to identify personality variables such as personality traits, characteristics, personality types, and general patterns of behavior that have been shown to prevent the occurrence of those disorders and that have been associated with mental and physical well-being.One particular personality variable that has gathered a great deal of attention from the branch of positive psychology is the trait of optimism. Shelley Taylor and J.D. Brown suggest that optimism, self-enhancement, and a perception of self-control characterize normal human thought (Taylor & Brown, 1988). Taylor and her colleagues posit that these beliefs are valuable psychological resources that serve adaptive functions in maintaining mental and physical health (Taylor, Kemeny, Reed, Bower, & Gruenewald, 2000). Martin Selgiman and Myhali Csikszentmehali, define optimism as a dispositional trait that mediates between the events that occur in a person’s life and his or her subsequent expectations for the future (2000). Seligman and Csikszentmehali describe optimism as a characteristic explanatory style whereby one attributes meaning to events. Carver and Scheir propose that these explanations are influenced by cognitive, emotional, and motivational factors (1990). <br />Research in the branch of Positive Psychology has demonstrated a strong relationship between a number of personality traits and mental and physical well-being. Studies have shown that building positive traits such as optimism may lead to more effective therapeutic treatment outcomes and may play a role in the prevention of a wide range of mental as well as physical health problems (Seligman, Schulman, DeRubeis, & Hollon, 1999; Seligman & Csikszentmehali, 2000; Taylor et al., 2000). For example, Martin Seligman and his colleagues have found that building optimism protects people from depression (Seligman, Schulman, DeRubeis, & Hollon, 1999). Shelley Taylor and her colleagues have shown that building optimism has a buffering effect against the effects of life-threatening physical disorders, such as AIDS and Cancer (2000). While the exact mechanisms responsible for this effect are unknown, research suggests that the psychological and emotional states that characterize the personality trait of optimism could be responsible for physiological changes observed in these studies.<br />The effects of optimism have been explored in great depth and are far reaching. Shelley Taylor and her colleagues have shown that even unreasonably optimistic beliefs can protect people from illness (2000). The results of many studies of terminally ill patients with diseases such as cancer and AIDS suggest that patients who remain optimistic about their condition exhibit fewer symptoms and survive longer than patients who take a more realistic perspective to their condition (House, Landis, & Umberson, 1988). House, Landis, and Umberson explain that this may be due to the fact that optimistic patients are more likely to engage in activities that promote health and to enlist social support. <br />The theories of Erich Fromm, Alfred Adler, and Carl Rogers share many of the fundamental principles upon which the research of Shelley Taylor and Martin Seligman and Positive Psychology as a whole are built. Sharing in a humanistic existential orientation, each of these theories are based upon the essential principle of fostering personal growth and development and emphasize the importance of helping each individual to realize his or her own innate potential (Allen, 2006). Though they may have operationalized the concept under different names, Erich Fromm, Alfred Adler, and Carl Roger’s theories each identified personality variables that they proposed mediated this process. <br />Like the research of Martin Seligman and Shelley Taylor, Fromm’s theory emphasizes the importance of subjective experience and personality variables similar to optimism in establishing personal well-being. Despite the widespread popularity of nihilististic philosophy following World War II, Fromm was one of the first psychologists to promote optimism (Weiner, 2003). Fromm’s theory suggests that optimism can be achieved only by taking control of his or her own destiny and assuming an active role in one’s life and in one’s relationships (Fromm, 1955). Like the research of Shelley Taylor and her colleagues, Fromm’s theory emphasizes the importance of the social context in which positive psychology necessarily occurs. Coming from a Sociopsychological humanistic perspective Fromm proposed that individuals have an innate need for love and unity with others. Taking a perspective similar to that taken by Shelley Taylor and Martin Seligman and colleagues in their research, Fromm proposed that mental health was more than the mere absence of sickness, but rather, the presence of well-being (Fromm, 1959). While Fromm never explicitly defined well-being or the construct of optimism in his theory, he defined happiness, a construct similar optimism, as “a state of intense inner activity and the experience of the increasing vital energy” that occurs as a result of the expression of personal creativity and “productive relatedness to the world” and to others (Fromm, 1955, p. 202). <br />Also like the research of Shelley Taylor and Martin Seligman, Fromm proposed that differences in temperament affect the way in which we relate to others and experience the world. Recognizing that individual differences occur among people, Fromm proposed character types that correspond to the individual differences that he observed. Fromm’s theory proposed six basic character types that differed mainly in terms of their ability to relate with others. Of the six character types proposed in his theory, Fromm’s productively orientated biophilus character, most closely resembles what researchers such as Seligman and Shelley have conceptualized as the “optimistic personality.” The biophilus character is one “based on love, the mutual intimacy that preserves individual integrity” (Allen, 2006, p. 184). According to Fromm, the happiness of this character type is a result of productive living, which utilizes the powers of love and reason. While Fromm’s remaining five character types represent the abnormal types that exist in persons, his productively oriented character type, the biophilus character most closely represents the self-actualizing existential person that possesses optimism.<br />Unlike Martin Seligman and Shelley Taylor, however, Erich Fromm took a more macroscopic view of psychological well-being, While the research of Seligman and Taylor explores the effect of personality variables and their effect upon an individual, Fromm’s theory explores the effect of personality variables effect upon a culture. In his second book, The Sane Society, Fromm proposed that entire cultures can suffer from pathology (1955). In this work, Fromm suggested that Western culture as a whole had become pathological, and suffered from a lack of the creativity and purpose that characterized life. Fromm proposed that a political solution of humanistic communitarian socialism, in which citizens would become actively engaged in the processes of the government, was the only answer. While Fromm’s theory proposes that purpose and activity are necessary to the solution, his theory involves a much larger population than those involved Seligman and Taylor’s research.<br />Like Seligman and Taylor, Alfred Adler also emphasized the importance of personality variables like optimism in establishing and maintaining psychological well-being. Similar to Martin Seligman’s view of optimism as an explanatory style that a person assigns to life’s events, Adler believed that all behavior is influenced by subjective interpretation. Adler also saw human behavior as invested with social meaning, purposeful, and goal-directed. Viewing of the person as self-directed and self actualizing, Adler believed that the person derives meaning through the establishment of his style of life, which is the unique way in which he accomplishes what Adler identified as the three main tasks of life: society, work, and love. <br /> Like House and colleagues and Shelley Taylor and her colleagues proposed, Adler recognized the importance of the social context in which behavior occurs. Adler’s theory proposed that each person is born with an innate need for interpersonal connectedness, which he termed as social feeling. Like Fromm, Adler recognized the importance of activity and creativity on the part of the individual, and emphasized the importance of the role of the individual’s participation as an active agent. Adler proposed that an individual must make efforts actualize social feeling, which is a potential within each person, by contributing to society, thus generating the product of social interest. True to his humanistic foundation, Adler also emphasized the creative power of the individual, which is the process by which one, exercising free choice and assuming his or her own unique style of life establishes his or her own unique identity, creating himself or herself in his or her own social context.<br />While Alfred Adler’s theory shares many of the same fundamental principles of those explored in the research of Martin Seligman and Shelley Taylor, Adler’s theory does not explore to possibility for well-being and positive growth outside of the context of his relationships with others. According to Adler’s theory, personal growth is defined primarily in terms of a person’s efforts to actualize social feeling through social interest and by serving society within the context of social relationships. While Adler’s Early Recollections account for one means by which one can establish well-being outside of the social context, his theory does not provide for other means of achieving well-being outside of his interpersonal relationships.<br />Also like Martin Seligman and Shelley Taylor, Carl Rogers emphasized the importance of subjective experience and personality variables in establishing well-being. Carl Rogers greatly influenced the field of Psychology as a whole and laid much of the foundation for the branch of Positive Psychology. A fellow humanist and student of Alfred Adler, Rogers shared much Adler’s view of the person as self-directed and progressing. Rogers believed that humans are born with a certain self-actualizing tendency to discern that which is beneficial from that which is not. Rogers believed that the process of self actualization is one that unfolds over the course of a lifetime of being open to and realizing one’s potentialities. <br />Like Fromm and Adler, Carl Rogers also emphasized the importance of the social context in which existential living occurs. Rogers believed that the need for positive regard is a fundamental need built into all human beings at birth. Similar to the personality trait of optimism, positive regard is the “experiencing of oneself as making a positive difference in the lives of other people and as receiving warmth, liking, respect, sympathy acceptance, caring, and trust from others” (Rogers, 1959, p. 208). Rogers believed that positive regard is a characteristic necessary for and resulting from existential living. Positive regard shares much in common with his concept of unconditional positive regard (that is, a therapists unconditional regard for the patient), which Rogers believed was a necessary condition required for successful psychotherapy. Taking the view that human beings unfold over the course of a lifetime, Rogers predicted that successful psychotherapy would result in the emergence of a healthy persons, whom Rogers called emerging persons, who are able to realize their potentials and truly experience life. The emerging person is fully able to experience positive self-regard for his or her own self, which Rogers believed is the key to unlocking the actualizing tendency, which, in turn, allows the emerging person to become fully functioning individuals.<br />While Carl Rogers theory is similar to the research of Martin Seligman and Shelley Taylor in its view of personal growth, as a whole, Rogers theory diverges in the context in which that growth occurs. While Seligman and Taylor’s research give provision for growth both in the outside of the context of treatment, Roger’s theory is specifically constrained to the psychotherapeutic setting. While his theory may well apply to situations outside of the therapeutic setting, his theory is specifically intended to describe the growth that occurs within psychotherapy.<br />Though Positive Psychology is a relatively new branch in the field of Psychology, the influence of pioneer psychologists such as Erich Fromm, Alfred Adler, and Carl Rogers is evident. Rooted in a humanistic foundation laid by the theories of the psychotherapeutic influences such as these, Positive Psychology is built upon the idea that people are innately born with tendencies toward growth, and are driven by the purpose of realizing their true potential. Viewing self-actualization as a process that unfolds over a lifetime, many Positive Psychologists recognize the possibility that optimism can be seen as trait-like or state-like. Whether these characteristics are persisting traits or temporary states, Positive Psychology research and research in Personality Psychology allow us to identify the types of characteristics that have been associated with beneficial outcomes in the treatment of a number of disorders, as well those that have been associated with negative outcomes in the treatment of such disorders. Informed by the results of numerous studies, Personality and Positive Psychology provide a wealth of information to the field of Psychology as a whole regarding the nature of traits that that have been shown to be effective in promoting physical and mental well-being, and, as such, should be maximized, as well as those that have been shown to be ineffective in promoting well-being, and should, therefore, be minimized. Offering preventative solutions to mental and physical ailments, the implications of the efficacy of the branch of Positive Psychology are far reaching.<br />References<br />Allen, B. P. (2006). Personality theories: Development, growth, and diversity (5th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon. <br />Adler, A. (1964). Social Interest: A Challenge to Mankind. New York: McGraw Hill.<br />Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1990). Origins and functions of positive and negative affect: A control-process view. Psychological Review, 97, 19 -35. <br />Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. (1991). Social cognition (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.<br />Fromm, E. (1955). The Sane Society. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. <br />House, J. S., Landis, K. R., & Umberson, D. (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, 241, 540-545. <br />Peterson, C. (2000). The future of optimism. American Psychologist, 55, 44 -55.<br />Rogers, C. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality, and interpersonal relationships, as developed in the client-centered framework. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A Study of a Science. New York: McGraw-Hill, 208.<br />Seligman, M., Schulman, P., DeRubeis, R., & Hollon, S. (1999). The prevention of depression and anxiety. Prevention and Treatment, 2, Article 8. Available on the World Wide Web: http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume2/pre0020008a.html<br />Seligman, M.E. & Csikszentmehali, M. (2000). Positive Psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.<br />Seligman, M.E., Steen, T.A., Park, N. & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410-421.<br />Scheier, M., Carver, C., & Bridges, M. (2001). Optimism, pessimism, and psychological well-being. Optimism & pessimism: Implications for theory, research, and practice (pp. 189-216). Washington, DC US: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/10385-009.<br />Taylor. S. E., Kemeny, M. E., Reed, G. M., Bower, J. E., & Gruenewald,T. L. (2000). Psychological resources, positive illusions, and health.American Psychologist, 55, 99-109.<br />Weiner, E. J. (2003). Paths from Erich Fromm: Thinking authority and pedagogically. Journal of Educational Thought, 37, 59-75.f<br />Literally Speaking: Figuring It Out<br />I was reading an article in the business section of the Houston Chronicle last week that discussed a relatively new molecular imaging technology that may make it possible to detect cancer in its earliest stages. While the procedure has been used in clinical trials across the United States, its efficacy and accuracy is still being evaluated. Purva Patel, the author of the article, recognized Dr. David Yang, the creator of the procedure for discovering what she calls “the holy grail” of medicine. Praising the doctor for his contribution to the medical field, Patel commended Yang for "figur[ing] it out" (D2). While many people use the word figure in this way in everyday conversation, there are a growing number of linguists who would assert that the use of figure in this way is non-standard English, and as such, should be avoided, especially in formal writing.<br />While there is no controversy over the usage of the word figure when it is used as a noun to refer to a symbol or representation such as a number or a letter, there is a great deal of disagreement over the question of the correct usage of figure when it is used as a verb. When used as a verb, figure can mean to “calculate or compute” using mathematical procedures, or it can mean to “plan, judge, or deduce” or to “take into consideration.” The latter meaning is the one that Patel used in the article in question when she credited Dr. Yang for his part in the development of the procedure. This particular use of figure is a topic of controversy as it is used frequently (and without question) in this manner in popular culture, (take for instance, the late 1990’s television show, Figure It Out) and in informal speech. There is, however, division among scholars about this particular use of figure in formal writing. In general, linguists agree that figure, when it is used to mean “plan or judge” is looked down upon in formal writing, and that figure should be reserved for description of mathematical decisions (Copperud 148; Loberger, and Shoup 332; Merriam-Webster, Inc. 443). Literary scholars supporting this position propose that appropriate synonyms such as think, plan, or deduce be used in place of figure.<br />American Usage and Style, The Consensus supports the position that the use of figure should be reserved for mathematical calculation alone. In American Usage and Style, The Consensus, Copperud recognizes the dual meaning supplied by the verb form of figure, which he defines as either “to calculate or compute” or “to suppose or think” (Copperud 148). While there is generally no disagreement over figure’s usage in the former case, Copperud confirms that authorities are divided over its use in the latter sense. Copperud explains that, while some usage dictionaries such as The Random House Dictionary of the English Language consider this use informal and non-standard, other sources such as Merriam-Webster consider this use informal, yet standard nonetheless. Copperud supports the position taken by Random House, and describes this particular use of figure as informal and non-standard (Copperud 148). Maintaining the position that figure’s only standard usage is a mathematical one, one might expect that Copperud would object to Patel’s use of figure in her article. <br />There are, on the other hand, some who would not be so quick to correct Patel’s use of figure. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage considers both meanings of the verb form of figure to fit the definition of American Standard English. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage discusses the use of figure as it is used in a general sense to mean to “conclude, decide, [or] think” (Merriam-Webster, Inc. 443). According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, this particular usage has gathered the concern of enough usage commentators to warrant its investigation (443). Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage suggests that the use of figure in this sense is considered to be an idiomatic and an informal usage of the verb. Initially declared a provincialism in 1927 by Emily Post, there are some still who consider figure to fit Post’s definition and who would regard this particular use of figure as an Americanism (Merriam-Webster, Inc. 443). Those who would hold this position would not object to Patel’s use of figure as they consider this use of figure to be American Standard English. <br />Taking a similar position to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, The Ameican Heritage College Dictionary recognizes both uses of figure, and defines the verb form of figure in a mathematical sense, meaning, “to calculate with numbers” as well as a general sense, meaning,” to take into consideration" (508). Though The American Heritage College Dictionary recognizes the latter meaning as an informal use of figure, it still considers this use to be an acceptable standard use of the verb. For this reason, one might expect that Patel’s use of figure would be supported by the definition of figure provided by The American Heritage College Dictionary. <br />As aforementioned, there is a considerable deal of controversy over the question of the appropriate use of figure. While the idiomatic use of figure is used commonly enough in informal situations, the literature suggests that writers regard this use of figure as a non-standard use that should be avoided. If the colloquial meaning of figure is intended, scholars such as Loberger and Shoup and Copperud would suggest that writers make use of more precise synonyms such as realize or accomplish in its place, strictly reserving the word to refer to mathematical procedures.<br />Works Cited<br />Copperud, Roy H. American Usage and Style, the Consensus. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980. Print.<br />The American Heritage College Dictionary. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. Print. <br />Loberger, Gordon, and Shoup, Kate. Webster's New World Spanish Grammar Handbook. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley Pub, 2009. Print.<br />Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage. Springfield, Mass: Merriam-Webster, Inc, 1994. Print.<br />Patel, Purva.. Shining a light on cells. Houston Chronicle, 5 November 2010: pp. D1, D2. Print.<br />Industrial/Organizational Psychology in The Devil Wears Prada<br />In New York, the fashion capital of the United States, Andrea Sachs (played by Anne Hathaway) is hired to work as the assistant to the editor-in-chief of Runway Magazine, Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep). Assuming the position of second assistant, Andrea works under Emily, the first assistant, who trains Andrea, teaching her of the many particular preferences of “the dragon lady”. The young journalist faces the challenge of working for the cruel and driven executive with a sense of optimism and determination. With the help of Nigel, another hand at the Magazine, Andrea undergoes a transformation, abandoning her simple, homely appearance for a new, chic and glamorous appearance, opening up a world of opportunity before her. Andrea finds herself increasingly overwhelmed as the incessant demands of the world of fashion and luxury begin to take a toll upon her private life. Though she is met with success after success in the world of fashion, Andrea finds that her success has come at a particularly high cost. Leaving her friends and David behind to attend a high profile fashion trip to Paris, Andrea discovers the real cost of her success and she is forced make a choice between her personal life and her career.<br />The Devil Wears Prada portrays a number of topics relevant to Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The film is rich in examples of some of the real-life problems that people face as they try to balance the demands of their own work and personal lives. From motivation theories to equity theory, job attitudes, and stress, the film covers a number of concepts directly relevant to the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I will explore each of these topics in depth. <br />Reinforcement Theory of Motivation<br />The first concept that is exemplified in the film is the concept of motivation. Employee motivation is an area of great interest to many Industrial/Organizational Psychologists. Work motivation theories are “most interested with the reasons, other than ability that some people perform their jobs better than others” (Spector 200). Looking to explanations that rely on personal characteristics, motivation theories attribute the success of certain individuals to the mental states of these individuals. Hoping to find new ways to increase employee engagement and to improve performance Industrial/ Organizational Psychologists are interested in identifying the factors that may contribute to the success of these particular kinds of workers.<br />A topic directly relevant to setting in which people are working towards any kind of goal, motivation is a major concept that is exemplified in any place of work. However, the concept is demonstrated exceptionally well in the film, The Devil Wears Prada. Andrea’s motivation is what sets her apart from the other “Emilys” that held her position before. Perhaps, Andrea’s motivation is why she moved up the ladder so quickly while so many Emilys before her failed. Andrea works harder and longer than any reasonable normal career person would dream to work. She answers her phone whether she is at a party or with her boyfriend or out to dinner with her father. When the phone rings, she drops whatever she has going on, and takes the call. What drives her to work this hard? Looking to theories of motivation, perhaps, we will find an explanation. <br /> There are a number of theories that attempt to explain what kinds of factors might motivate employees. Reinforcement theory and goal-setting theory are the two of the major theories of motivation that we will look to try to answer this question. Relying on the idea of incentive systems in which rewards are divvied out based on performance, reinforcement theory has proven to be a successful method for increasing the motivation of employees in a number of settings. While much research has been conducted supporting reinforcement theory, in the film The Devil Wears Prada, the evidence is stacked against the theory. With access to top fashion designers and designer clothing, and a spot reserved for her on a greatly rivaled fashion trip to Paris, a major incentive system was certainly in place at Runway. This incentive system was rendered useless, however, as the incentives that were being offered were not appealing to Andrea. For other “Emilys” who had spent their lives dreaming of one day working for Miranda, these incentives might have been motivating, however, for Andrea, an ordinary girl with no real prior interest in fashion, these incentives had no persuasion. Apparently indifferent to particular preferences of the world of fashion, Andrea remained unimpressed with any incentives that Runway had to offer. As reinforcement theory fails to offer sufficient explanations for Andrea’s success, we will have to look to other theories of motivation to understand what it is that set Andrea apart.<br />Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation<br />Where reinforcement theory fails to offer sufficient explanations for Andrea’s extraordinary success, goal-setting theory offers additional insight. Goal-setting theory is based on the idea that people’s behaviors are motivated by their internal intentions, objectives, or goals” (Spector 213). According to this theory, people can be motivated by intangible constructs and ideas, as opposed to the more tangible rewards frequently proposed in incentive theory. Research has demonstrated that goal-setting can be an effective means for maintaining and increasing performance in many organizations, so long as employees are committed to the goals that are set forth for them. Researchers in the field have demonstrated that specific goals are more effective than vague goals. Furthermore, they have found that more the difficult the goal is, the more effective that goal will tend to be. The film supports the findings of goal-setting theory studies such as these. In the film, there is no shortage of objectives laid forth for Andrea. Each day, she is met with an impossibly challenging list of items to be accomplished. With items ranging from obtaining boogie boards for Miranda’s twins, or having a steak delivered to Miranda’s desk within fifteen minutes to obtaining three copies of the unpublished manuscript of the latest Harry Potter novel, Andrea’s objectives were undoubtedly challenging. With very little ambiguity before, her, Miranda’s demands propelled Andrea’s actions at all times. Motivated by her desire to please her boss and do well at her job, Andrea performs each task that is laid out before her, no matter how challenging that task might be. Rising to each challenge that is set before her, Andrea excels under the pressure that is placed on her. Supporting the idea that employees are motivated by clear and challenging goals, The Devil Wears Prada offers evidence for goal-setting theory.<br />Justice<br />While monetary needs and a desire to succeed drive employees to perform, social needs act as a mediating force that keep these needs in check. Social needs for acceptance and respect help to establish the norms that define the types of behaviors that will be considered acceptable in a given workplace. Adams (1965) posits that employees are motivated to achieve a condition of fairness or equity in their dealings with other people or organizations. Employees that find themselves in inequitable positions of relative overpay or underpayment will experience dissatisfaction or emotional tension that they will be motivated to reduce. Research has demonstrated that employees that experience underpayment inequity will experience anger, while employees that experience overpayment inequity will experience guilt. In either case, the employee will be motivated to reduce the inequity by either changing inputs, changing outputs, or withdrawing from the situation (Spector 211). The concept of justice is demonstrated in film, The Devil Wears Prada as the office of Runway undergoes a restructuring of power when Andrea is hired. As Andrea, an uncanny fit for the position of assistant to Miranda Priestly is met with success at every corner, her success creates an situation of injustice within the office. While Emily and Nigel and many former Emilys dedicated their entire lives to fashion, the fashionably unaware Andrea seemingly just stumbled into the position. Despite her lack of knowledge or experience in fashion, however, she is showered with designer clothes, and she is given the opportunity to attend a high-profile fashion trip to Paris. Furthermore, after only a brief period following her taking the position, Miranda informs Andrea that she will be replacing Emily as her first assistant. To make matters worse, Andrea is given the burden of firing Emily from her position. Receiving more outcomes for her inputs than her senior colleague, Emily, Andrea experienced overpayment inequity while Emily experienced underpayment inequity. Based on what we know of equity to research equity theory, one would expect that either Andrea, feeling guilt due to her relative overpayment, or Emily, feeling anger due to underpayment, would do something to reduce this inequity. Supporting what we know about overpayment inequity, Andrea did in fact attempt to reduce this inequity. After leaving Runway, Andrea gave Emily the clothes that she received while she worked for the company. Likely attempting to reduce her unpleasant feelings of guilt about her relative overpayment, Andrea restored justice between herself and Emily by giving Emily the clothing that she received at Runway. <br />Job Attitudes: Job and Life Satisfaction<br />Job Satisfaction is a major topic of research in the field of Industrial/ Organizational psychology. The second most popularly studied variable in the field, Job satisfaction is “an attitudinal variable that reflects how people feel about their jobs” (Spector 223). Though Job Satisfaction is most often studied in relationship with job performance, it has also been studied as it relates to overall life satisfaction. Three hypotheses have been proposed about how job and life satisfaction might affect one another. These three hypotheses are the spillover hypothesis, the compensation hypothesis, and the segmentation hypothesis. The spillover hypothesis suggests that satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) in one area of life spills over into other areas of life. So, satisfaction at work can affect satisfaction with home. The compensation hypothesis, suggests that dissatisfaction in one area of life will be compensated for in another. In this case, a person with a dissatisfying home life might seek satisfaction in work. Finally, the segmentation hypothesis states that people compartmentalize their lives such that satisfaction in one area of life has no affect on their satisfaction in another. <br />Andrea’s experience in The Devil Wears Prada offers evidence for the compensation hypothesis. Trying to keep up with the excessive demands of her boss, Angela’s personal relationships begin to suffer. Though Andrea meets more and more success in her job, she was left with no time or energy for her friends. Feeling that her personal life was “hanging on by a thread,” Nigel offers Andrea a little piece of wisdom, telling the telling the young protégé, “Let me know when your whole life goes up in smoke, that means it’s time for a promotion.” Nigel’s advice agrees with what the compensation hypothesis proposes: that success in one domain comes at the expense of another. Though Andrea’s success and performance at her job were high, her satisfaction outside of her job was suffering. <br />Stress<br />Occupational stress is an area of major interest to Industrial/ Organizational psychologists and has been researched in depth. There are a number of things in the work environment that have been shown to cause stress in employees. Job stressors such as role ambiguity, role conflict, workload, social stressors, organizational politics and lack of control within one’s job have been associated with job strain. Job strain is any negative reaction to a stressor. These reactions can be behavioral or emotional reactions like anger or anxiety, or they may be physical symptoms such as a headache. Researchers have studied the effects of workload in the workplace and its association with job strain. Spector (1988) found correlations between workload and the psychological strains of job dissatisfaction, intention of quitting, and health symptoms. <br />Andrea’s experience in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, demonstrated a first-hand example of the correlation indicated in Spector’s research. As Miranda’s assistant, Andrea was placed in under an extraordinary workload. Andrea was constantly being asked to perform tasks that were obviously outside of her job description. Besides bringing Starbucks coffee for the whole office on a daily basis, other tasks that were required of Andrea included things such as walking Miranda’s dogs, delivering Miranda’s dry cleaning to her home, completing Miranda’s twin daughters’ science projects, and booking a same-day flight from Miami to New York during a hurricane. Andrea was often asked to juggle multiple difficult if not impossible tasks such as these at once, often operating under various time constraints while also being expected to perform the other duties of her job. Both quantitatively and qualitatively excessive, the workload placed upon Andrea was extraordinarily heavy. The excessive workload that Andrea’s job demanded of her caused her a great amount of conflict in her interpersonal relationships. Expected to answer the phone whenever Miranda might chose to call her, and to deliver whatever impossible task Miranda might require, Andrea operated under a great amount of stress. Andrea exhibited this stress in the form of anxiety and anger. Whenever Miranda might call, Andrea would anxiously drop whatever she might have going on a given moment (like dinner with her friends or boyfriend) to answer. After receiving Miranda’s impossible mission, Andrea would take out her frustration and anger on her friends and boyfriend, yelling at them or insulting them as she departed to accomplish her task for Miranda. Letting the negative feelings that her job caused her to experience spill over into her personal life, Andrea’s personal relationships suffered greatly for as long she worked for Runway. <br />Watching the movie, The Devil Wears Prada has helped me gain a greater understanding of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The movie is rich in examples of the ways in which the Industrial/Organizational concepts of motivation, equity, job attitudes, and stress, operate in the world. Though the experiences of the characters of The Devil Wears Prada are obviously dramatized and are naturally somewhat more glamorous the examples that we may find laid out in the pages of text books or research articles, they offer unique insight where other sources may fall short, presenting a useful point of reference to which we may compare our knowledge and experience.<br />References<br />Spector, Paul E. (2008). Industrial and Organizational Psychology (5th ed.). Wiley & Sons. <br />

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