Archive for category Blog Entry 12
Explanatory style is one’s habitual way of explaining life events. It is negative and atrributes failures with stable, global, and internal causes.
This type of style reminds me of my sister. She is very depressing to talk to because she is a lot more realistic than me.
Recently she got the okay for her job to be transferred to Utah from Missouri. When things got shaky and things might not happen she realistically was telling me about what could happen. She said that she would be stuck in Missouri and back in her same old rut. I reassured her and let her know that it would be okay by saying that whatever was meant to happen would find a way. On the other hand, she was very realistic in keeping in mind that it was up to the managers and corporate. She does look at some things like it is the end of the world, but she is much more realistic than me.
Well. Breaking a social norm wasn’t easy, so it took me a couple of tries.
My first attempt was to cross dress in a social setting, but trying not to be too overt I decided to wear a fantastic lavender colored, sparkle hummingbird shirt to a social event with people I didn’t know (Photo below). At the bottom of the shirt it said, ‘Hummer Time,’ whatever that means. However, I only got one comment, and everyone treated me like they normally do, in fact I had a good time and made a few friends. So it didn’t work like I had planned it.
Next I decided to try something a little more extreme. I wanted to break the clean cut Mormon stereotype and wore black, painted my nails, gave myself a flock-of-seagulls hairstyle, and put eyeliner with a small black tear coming down my cheek. Then I went to a church service. I tried not to be disrespectful, so I sat in the back. This, by the way, was a ward I had never been to, I drove to a randomly selected chapel and sat through their sacrament meeting. No one talked to me. I felt extremely awkward, and only a got a few quick glances from people. Overall, I felt like this norm violation was more effective, since I was effectively ostracized.
Negative thinking causes depressed moods, the power of rumination.
Sorry Ben, I just barely got access to internet!
The idea that negative thinking causes depressed moods, or that minor stressors have the capacity to instill a great deal of depression is believed to be due to overthinking. It explains in part why women are more prone to this, since men are more likely to act when depressed while women tend to think instead.
This made me think of someone I met in Romania about 2 years ago. A thirty year old man named Vlad married Loridona about a year before I got to know them. They were experiencing trouble in their marriage, and when Lori tried to explain it she said that Vlad just didn’t care anymore, but Vlad explained that he just felt overpowered by the situation. A lot of small things started to build up, and looking to the future Vlad couldn’t see a way to escape their inevitable divorce. He became depressed and emotionally checked out of the marriage.
Vlad’s biggest problem was that he thought too much about how things were destined to turn out badly. He constant thought of this event (divorce) that had not yet occurred made him extremely depressed, which in turn kept him from trying to make amends with his wife. Eventually they did get divorced, and Vlad had his negative thinking confirmed, but sadly I think it may have had a chance of being avoided if he would have directed his thoughts in a more positive direction, or at least away from resigning himself to depression because of the prospect of divorce.
The book talks about the reliability of an eyewitness’s testimony. The books says that eyewitnesses who remember minor details often are looking at the face of the perpetrator. But no matter what, eyewitness testimony are very persuasive in the actual courtroom.
This is the trailer of an old Alfred Hitchcock movie. It’s called The Wrong Man. This is a true story about a man who was wrongly accused of robbing a bank. They say they have eyewitness’ testimonies and that those eyewitness have identified him.
In this clip you see the woman identifying the wrong man in the line up. In the book it also talks about minimizing false lineups and on way to do that is remind he identifier that the man that robbed the bank or whatever the crime is may not even be in the lineup. In the movie there are also a lot of leading questions from the detectives that could have led the witnesses to believe that the man in custody was the right man after all. This movie illustrates this phenomenon very nicely and shows the dangers that eyewitness testimonies can have. In the end of the movie another man gets caught robbing another store and confesses to both robberies, otherwise the wrong man would have stayed in jail. He was scheduled for trial and the book suggest that after these eyewitness testimonies, he wouldn’t have had much of a chance.
Downward Social Comparison: is a defense strategy that some people use as a way to show self-evaluation. They will look to others or a group who may be worse off in order to dissociate themselves from similarities which end up making them feel better. The media has oftentimes been found to play a large role in social comparisons.
Studies have shown that in most cases women tend to engage in upward social comparisons with another, which results in more negative feelings about the self. Upward Comparison: is when someone wants others to believe themselves to be part of the elite or superior. The majority of women have a daily opportunity to make upward comparison by measuring themselves against some form of ideal. Women have reported making upward comparisons in a positive manner for the purposes of self motivation, but the majority of upward comparisons are made when the individual is feeling lesser and therefore evoke a negative display.
There may be times when we know someone like this or have experienced this situation. In the clip below, Penelope tries to outdo anything and everything someone says. She is showing that she wants to be seen as superior to the others in the group.
I am extremely fascinated by how social interactions effect health, and loved this chapter. One thing that stood out to me was the importance of friends and close relationships, even if those relationships are not family or romantic. Having people who you can confide in serious issues and talk about things which might otherwise be stressful is key to your health. Those who rated having friends and loved ones as part fo being successful were almost always more healthy, as they recognized how important it was to have someone to confide in.
In one of my favorite movies, the Road to El Derado, two best friends decide to separate. They both think they will be happier apart, one valuing gold, the other valuing culture, but they forgot that the thing which they really value is their friendship. If they left, they would both be incredibly lonely, as the two have been the only ones able to talk to confide in one another throughout he film. When they decide they will stay together, they are overjoyed, and you can tell this is a much healthier option for them.
There are many different theories behind what exactly stress is. It’s a dynamic and intangible construct that has been defined thousands of times, with varying and diverse definitions. However, some general theories have arose from this clutter of descriptions. The stimulus theory of stress defines stress as significant, arousal inducing life events that give rise the the stress responses that can damage mental/physical health.
I’ve always been attracted to the stimulus theory of stress because I have personally experienced the legitimacy of this theory. For two years, non-stop, I experienced one significant event after the other. I was scoring impossibly high numbers on ‘stress scales’ that evaluated the number of significant events in my life. If I wasn’t prepping for surgery, I was dropping out of school, or losing friends because I was so ill. To be honest, I don’t want to disclose too much personal information over a blog. But, suffice it to say, I was not only severely ill, but experiencing new, emerging complications almost weekly. Every good news/bad news event was so significant and life altering at that stage of my life, that any kind of news left me tired, weak, frustrated, and defeated. I was so stressed out that I could barely function.
You can look at stress as a response. You can try and give it fancy terms and descriptions. But for me, after experiencing what I described, I have a personal example of how heavily stress is defined by the events that trigger the unpleasant sensations associated with stress. It didn’t matter really how I was ‘looking at life’. I had buffers that could maybe help me deal with the stress. But I was completely at the mercy of those events. Dealing with the stress was an after defense–the stress itself was those events. And I could not stop them from happening.