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Loneliness and Gender- Christine Sellers

One thing that caught my eye in the book was what I read about loneliness and gender. For men to feel lonely, they have been isolated from group interactions. For women to feel lonely, they lack one-on-one time with someone they feel close to. This is something I think is SO true.

My husband and I are very different, and we both get our emotional “fill” in different ways. In order to not feel lonely, I need to have good conversations and quality time with people I have strong relationships with. For Collin to not feel lonely, he just needs to be next to someone… even if they’re not really doing anything with each other.

If we are both in the living room but I’m typing something up on the computer and he is playing a game on his phone, that’s good enough for him to feel like he is included. For me… I need us to actually have a conversation with each other. Even if I am with a group of people, if I’m not interacting I can still feel lonely.

It never ceases to amaze me how much genders differ with so many thing, loneliness being another one I can add to the list.

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Social Norm Violated- Christine Sellers

My social norm violation was actually something I did on accident. I had just gotten done with a photoshoot and I needed to pick something up from the store…so instead of going home and showering, I went with the same hair and make-up I had on for the shoot.

No joke, it looked something like this…. except with WAY more lipstick and HUGE fake eyelashes. Yikes.

Picture this make-up, only 10X more of it.

 

So I stroll into the store not really thinking anything of it, until I get stared at. A whole lot. Then I realized that people probably legitimately thought I did my hair and makeup like that since my outfit was completely normal. My favorite kinds of stares are the ones you get from two people mid-conversation who stop what they’re saying just to look at you, but try to do it in a very discreet manner. This one guy did a quadruple-take. Man, did that make me feel good!

Breaking this norm violation at Smith’s in Provo was an awesome experience. It made me realize that we can be caught off guard by someone who doesn’t look a certain way SO easily. Something as small as hair and make-up caused a scene! I am so aware of how I look at others, now. Allow others to embrace their individuality.

Not going to lie, it was pretty entertaining to see the reactions, though. I’m so glad I accidentally stepped into this situation.

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Wealth and Well-Being- Christine Sellers

As a newlywed and a college student, I often think that if I had more money, I would be happier. If only I had more money! Then I wouldn’t be stressed, my marriage would be easier (not that it’s difficult at all :)) and I would be able to focus more on school and things I like to do. If ONLY. Right?

Here is a link to an article I found. Winning the lottery would be the greatest thing ever and all of my problems would be solved…I’m sure that’s what these people thought, too. Read their stories.

http://www.money.co.uk/article/1002156-how-the-lives-of-10-lottery-millionaires-went-disasterously-wrong.htm

Nope, I’m super wrong, and so are most Americans. Turns out money does not make us happier even though it’s ridiculously easy for us to think so. It is often said that “happiness rises with its affluence,” when a study showed that the number of Americans who say they’re “very happy” has decreased. People are making more money than ever before, and instead of their happiness increasing, the divorce rate, teen suicide rate, and depression are increasing.

Wealth and well-being do not necessarily go hand in hand. Money will not lead to happiness. Money MAY lead us to other things that could potentially make us happy.

 

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Matching Phenomenon- Christine Sellers

Today’s blog will be short, sweet, and very to the point. Matching phenomenon is the tendency for us to be interested in someone who is similar to our own level of attractiveness and other traits. Guess what? I totally did that.

So, I tend to stick out. One trait of mine is my height, and whether I like it or not I am noticeable. I also like dressing well. The first day I saw my husband, he walked into my class late and what was he wearing? A super nice, slim, extremely attractive suit. MAN did he stick out AND dressed super well. From then on,  I was hooked.

Crazy? That I would be interested in someone just based on the two traits (not being afraid to stand out and having a fashion sense)? Apparently it’s not so crazy, because that’s exactly what matching phenomenon is. I chose him because we were, in my eyes, on the same level of attractiveness and other traits. Turns out I’m not shallow…just human. Worked out pretty well I’d say.

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Forced Empathy- Christine Sellers

Empathy is something I think we could all use a little more of, whether we use it to identify with someone else in their situation or someone shows empathy towards ours. When we show empathy for someone, we are making an attempt to understand what they are going through, the act of “putting oneself in another’s shoes.”

For some reason, when thinking of this act the movie Freaky Friday came to mind. Let me know if this is actually an accurate example or not. Could it be an example of..forced empathy?

So Lindsay Lohan and her mom, Jamie Lee Curtis, don’t get along AT ALL in the movie. They never empathize with one another, and their relationhip sucks because of that fact. Then, through the power of chinese voodoo, they literally walk in one another’s shoes as they magically switch bodies. In the end, all is well because they finally understand the daily turmoils and challenges that each of them face. In the end, they empathized with one another.

That works, right? I think so, just in an extremely literal sense. Normally with empathy, you experience feelings for a loved one vicariously because you want to help them with what they are going through. They are suffering, so you feel you are suffering, too. In Freaky Friday, the same thing happens….just literally. 🙂

The moral? Empathize. You can never go wrong when you empathize.

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Be Careful Where You Displace Your Aggression- Christine Sellers

“Hey, don’t take it out on me” is a phrase I’m sure we hear quite often. Something I wasn’t aware of (and shouldn’t be surprised about either) is that the act of “taking it out on someone” actually has a name. Displacement is when you redirect your anger or frustration to someone or something other than the cause of your anger. If I screw up a test and then go home and yell at my roommates, that’s an example of displacement. If you get yelled at by your boss and then on your drive home you in turn yell at every driver on the road, that is also called displacement. Instead of ripping up the test or writing the test-writer an angry email or yelling back at your boss, you direct your anger at something that is more socially acceptable…well, most of the time.

The best example of this I could think of is from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The main character, George Bailey, is frustrated at SO many things in his life that are going wrong. Earlier that day his uncle lost $5,000 from their business that he was supposed to deposit, and George found out he could lose his job and potentially go to jail…losing his home, family, and reputation as well. So what does he do? He goes home and yells at his children. They were not the source of his anger, but he has displaced his frustration and that is why he yells.

 

That scene doesn’t quite make it to the part where he really YELLS at his kids, but you can definitely see that he is starting to take his frustration out on them. Sometimes it is hard for us to not displace our anger… and sometimes displacing our anger to someone or something other than the true cause is more socially acceptable. That’s why we do it.

 

We just need to be careful when we do.

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My Height is Distinctive- Christine Sellers

SO for a girl, I’m fairly tall. 6’1.5″ to be exact. I abolutely LOVE being tall, I won’t lie. Most of the time I don’t even notice it. I just feel like… me. This characteristic of mine is distinctive, meaning that my height is either the first characteristic that one will notice, or the one that they will remember the most. When my friends describe me, one of the first words used is tall.

Like I said, I love my height. The only downfall is shopping for jeans, but I deal. Reading about the section on “distinctiveness feeds self-consciousness” reminded me of an experience I had. I was on my break at work and talking to someone who was… let’s say vertically challenged. She pointed out how I was “so dang tall.” I didn’t think it affected me, but walking back into the office, someone else told me that I “needed to stop slouching.” I thought to myself “what? I never slouch. I’m a dancer for crying out loud.” Then it hit me. Because someone actually pointed out my disctinctive characteristic that I’m usually unaware of, I became self-conscious and attempted to hide my characteristic by slouching.

Will I ever let my special hieght distinction make me self-conscious again? Probably, but at least now I can correct it as soon as I become consciously aware of it. Be proud of your distinctions, folks.

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YOU witnessed my evaluation apprehension- Christine Sellers

Remember that one time when you walked into our class and saw a girl in the front row hooked up to a machine that beeped a lot? Me too. It was taking my blood pressure. Little did I know that I had volunteered to prove that evaluation apprehension exists. This means that when I am aware of other people around me and I am concerned about my performance in front of them, my performance will change… and my physiological state.

So I start by answering math questions on a piece of paper. Piece of cake? I thought so. Little did I realize that I would find out the my blood pressure and heart rate were about to shoot through the roof. Then I started answering harder math questions, and I became increasingly aware of our class sitting behind me. Could they see the mistakes I was making? Were they making fun of me for how slowly I was subtracting by 14? Ohhh man am I sweating? Can they tell?

It only got worse from here. I had to sit on front of the class and answer the math questions. Seriously? I can’t even remember the last time I did simple subtraction. Subtracting by 27?! Freaking impossible.

The results? Because I was in front of the class… my performance on simple math actually got better. My physiological state? Blood pressure and heart rate skyrocketed. Subtracting by 27… well, I did significantly worse. I was so darn worried about other people in the class doing it in their heads faster than me, or how I looked, or how people were gonna think I was an idiot, that I completely started to suck at math.

You all witnessed that evaluation apprehension is an extremely real thing. At least you learned the easy way.

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Kelsey’s Cohesive Conundrum- Christine Sellers

I knew a girl in high school named Kelsey. She was crazy good at soccer, super friendly, outgoing, gorgeous, etc. Kelsey was also black. My high school in the suburbia of Denver, Colorado was most definitely predominantly white…diversity was practically non-existent. When reading through the section on cohesiveness, Kelsey immediately came to mind.

Cohesiveness is a feeling; it is how strongly a certain group of people are bound together. The more cohesive a group is, the stronger they are. In particular, I would like to address “own-group conformity pressure.” In the book, the example used describes Kelsey’s situation perfectly. Kelsey was surrounded by white people constantly; her friends, family members, teachers, etc. Because of this, she experienced pressure to act and dress as “we” do, as the book states. Her peers always told her she was white because of the way she acted. The white people at my high school were an extremely cohesive group compared to other races present, and as such this group was very powerful. Many students of other races were in the same situation as Kelsey, and most of them conformed to act the way that the majority acted (white) because of this own-group conformity pressure.

This cohesive conformity pressure happens all the time. The interesting thing with Kelsey’s situation is that she realized it was happening. She switched schools in the middle of her high school career to be surrounded by diversity. She wanted to have black friends so she wouldn’t experience this conformity pressure any longer.

“One-group conformity pressure” is a powerful thing. When a group has a lot of power and is extremely cohesive, many will conform to comply with that group. Three cheers for Kelsey and her maintained identity.

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My marriage is androgynous- Christine Sellers

I have been married for about 10 months now…. I know, it’s a REALLY long time and I’m super good at it. Any questions about marriage and you can ask the professional right here. Something that I’ve noticed that has always been a little “different” about my and my husband’s relationship is the fact that we have different roles… before reading this chapter, I described it like “he is the girl and I am the boy in the relationship.” Now, I understand that our relationship is androgynous- this means that we mix our girly and boyish tendencies. Usually it happens during middle age, especially if you have been in a relationship for a whiiiiiiile. Collin and I just got lucky, I suppose.

Here’s a picture and an example story for you to really visualize what I mean.

Yes, we’re adorable. And yes, it’s a miracle he didn’t drop me with a wedding dress that weighs a bajillion pounds.

So let’s say that Collin and I get into an argument. It isn’t super unnatural for us to not see eye-to-eye, so arguing is something that can definitely arise in any given situation. (Side note: arguing is MUCH different from fighting. We never fight. Thank goodness.) So we are arguing about something like… where to shop for groceries. Smith’s? WinCo? Macey’s? The discussion is getting heated, and who is the one who gets emotional? Collin. Collin is a crier, and I am definitely not. So Collin may start crying. I am more.. introverted like a boy. Collin is talking about his feelings, wanting to talk it through immediately, continuously asking how I am feeling. “Come on babe, let’s talk it out.” I am not saying anything because I do NOT want to talk it out, I just want the situation to disappear and we can forget it happened.

Doesn’t that sound like we switched roles? I dunno, maybe it doesn’t sound like it, but to me it certainly feels like it. Am I glad that we are androgynous? Abso-freaking-lutely. Without our switched roles sometimes, we wouldn’t get anything done. We would never be able to function or communicate or be so happy!We are balance. We are a ying yang, and I love it. He makes me… me. And now I’m glad to know that our situation has a name. Androgyny.

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Mean Girls and Role Playing- Christine Sellers

Role playing is great when we’re in a theater class. It takes skill to be able to act like someone you’re not… or does it? Turns out it’s a lot easier to submerge into a given role than we think it is. A role is a set of social norms that define how people are supposed to act in certain situations. I, for instance, have several different roles. I have the role of student at school, supervisor at work, wife, daughter, sister, etc. All of these roles provide certain boundaries for how I am expected to act. But what if I were to switch up my role and be someone that I normally wouldn’t be? Act out of character? 

Role playing is something discussed in chapter 4 that I find to be interesting. It is  a “deeper lesson [that] studies how what is unreal can subtly evolve into what is real” (pg. 129).  The best example in the WORLD? Mean Girls.

https://psychology350.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/mean_girls_xl_01.jpg?w=300

Cady moves from Africa to a normal, cliquey high school full of awful teenage girls. As revenge, she gets in with the hot, popular crowd known as the “plastics” so she can use inside information to sabotage them. Guess what happens? She pretends to be “plastic” for so long that she eventually turns into a cold, selfish, (still super pretty) teenage girl… she turns into a “plastic”. Her role-playing led her to evolve her act into her reality. Will she ever remember who she REALLY is? Dun dun dun….. go watch the movie.

Let’s not role play too hard, okay? You might lose who you are.

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Jenny McCarthy and her Belief Perseverance- Christine Sellers

So, you know those people who you can never argue with because NO MATTER WHAT they will never see your side/let go of their beliefs? Me too. I mean I respect them for sticking to their guns and everything, but enough is enough, right? That’s exactly what belief perseverance is. Someone who believes in something so strongly, that even when given information and FACTS disproving their belief, they still believe in it.

Jenny McCarthy is a great example of this. Almost makes me upset with how gun-ho she is about how vaccines cause autism. How many people are choosing not to vaccinate their kids because of this? Who knows. Probably enough to have a huge outbreak of somethin’ nasty, but that’s just my opinion.

SO this guy named Andrew Wakefield came up with this study that linked the MMR (mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism. Naturally, people started to panic. Do all vaccines cause autism? Should we stop giving our kids vaccines? Then, years later, we found out that it was a huge scandal. He made it up! His finding could never be replicated, and the experiment was never successfully reproduced. Turns out he was helping a family in the middle of a lawsuit with the vaccine companies. Lame.

Even after all this occurred, who is still at the front of the crowd in favor of this cause? Jenny McCarthy. Here is a link of her explaining her beliefs  on Larry King.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5WTaLnDPY4

So there you have it. Even though her beliefs were (extremely) discredited, she is still going on national television in favor of them. Scientific information to back it up? Nope, just theories… theories and a lot of panicked mothers.

Moral of the story is: you can have your beliefs, but when there is information that comes along to discredit them completely… maybe take a step back to recalculate a bit. Belief perseverance can be great, but it can also be a bit embarrassing.

(Look up how the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, doesn’t believe that the Holocaust ever existed. Now THAT’S a case of embarrassing belief perseverance.)

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I’m sunburned from all this basking- by Christine Sellers

My husband and I love music. Well, I love music and my husband is obsessed with it. He is in a band and I support him 100%. I used to think that I was a music fanatic until I met him; then I realized I didn’t even come close to deserving the title. He knows every name of every band member known to man and it’s a little bit ridiculous.

Because of our love for music, there will be times when we discuss our loyalty to our favorite bands and MAN does the  conversation get heated. The most recent encounter with this situation was just last night. Since my husband is a rockstar and I feel that I have to overcompensate just a teensy bit, I sometimes use stories of my past encounters with favorite artists.  Little did I know that I was extremely guilty of “basking in their reflected glory“. This term describes someone who shares publicly how they know certain successful people, when in fact they didn’t have any role in their success at all. It is meant to improve “self-presentation.” Even though it’s embarrassing to share it now, here’s my story.

When I was 17, I was on the varsity dance team. We had just started competition season and I had chosen an amazing song by an incredible and super unpopular (as in not known AT ALL) artist named Chris Mann to choreograph my contemporary solo to. He was so unknown that I couldn’t even (*cough* legally) download his music. So, I messaged him on Facebook and asked him to email me an mp3 of his song so I could perform to it. He responded and sent me the song, wished me luck, and told me to send him a video of the finished dance routine. 

Was I jazzed or what?? THEN I found out last night that he is a finalist on the new show “The Voice” (Team Christina if you were curious) and he’s probably going to win the thing. In order to defend my loyalty, I explained to Collin how we had emailed back and forth when no one even knew who he was and he had sent me his music. Basically, I’m the reason for his HUGE success now. Am I? Of course not. Do I know that? Yes. But in order to show that I am loyal to my precious Chris Mann, I need to bask in his reflected glory. 

Turns out that wasn’t even the first time I have been guilty of such a crime. My second cousins are a famous (or somewhat famous) country band called SheDaisy. Heard of them? Cool. Me too. If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have gone on and on about how we’re related and how we talked and how much merchandise I had. For some reason I thought that it made me seem cool? Not so much. I had only met them once, and the free autographed merchandise was sent to me from their uncle because he had a huge warehouse full of the stuff. Man, oh man, I got so sunburned from basking in their reflected glory to my friends. 

THEN there was this time when Andy Grammar told me I was pretty. Even called me “sweetheart.” Yes, we totally have a picture together. I’m SO awesome for knowing Andy Grammar, especially because it happened right on the brink of his rise to the top. I’m basically the reason of why he’s famous…(uh, yeah right). So why do I bring this up to people? It’s not like I am the girl he’s writing all of his love songs to. Sheesh. 

Moral of the story? Basking in the reflected glory of others makes us look silly. My husband and I are loyal fans of our particular musicians of choice, but we are not the reason that they are successful, even though we claim to have “loved them from the VERY beginning, before anyone else did.” We can still bicker about who is a more loyal fan, but no longer will I be using these stories of my “special connections” to these successes. Because of this social psychology lesson, I am going to be extra cautious of my self-presentation. Except for just now when I basked in the reflected glory by sharing all of those stories with you. Last time, I promise.

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Culture and Behavior by Christine Sellers

Cultures make us who we are. We are surrounded by certain ways of living, certain expectations of dress and appearance, and specific protocols of how to behave.

culture is an organization or coming together of people who share certain beliefs, goals, characteristics, ideologies, or values. All of these factors vary across different cultures.

It is strongly believed, especially among social psychologists, that cultures shape each and every individual. Cultures incessantly influence our thoughts and behaviors towards others.

I originally had planned to attach an impressive picture I found to address this concept, but due to the fact that WordPress won’t allow me to do so at the moment, here is a less impressive quote (in my opinion… you really have to see this picture) that will have to suffice.

“Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” -C. Wright Mills

How true is that? How many times have we immediately jumped to conclusions with one  another by what they were wearing, saying, or acting like? Our outlook on one another is largely dependent on the culture in which we are encompassed. To understand an individual, you must understand their history, their culture, just like Mills said. The two go hand in hand and it is extremely important to take that into consideration when conducting research.

Cultures and values are not “transferable,” and conclusions should not be drawn in or outside of research based on one’s personal values.

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