Sep 20

How radical feminism has condemned an entire group of women

When someone says the words “radical feminism” what comes to mind? What type of women do you envision? The uprise of radical feminism in the 1960-70s formed the stereotype of the radical feminist being cisgender female lesbians (Cook, 2018). Angry women who are burning their bras and trashing men. There is an increasingly larger issue that is occurring though within feminism. The exclusion of transgender women (Cook, 2018). The issue has picked up so much criticism that the term “TERF” has been coined to call out those “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists” who refuse to include or accept transgender women into discussions based on feminism.  Lesbian radical feminists are claiming “lesbian erasure” because of LGBTQ activism being primarily male-driven, in addition to claims that transgender activism is a detriment to lesbians (Compton, 2019).

Radical Feminist views on how transgender rights and activism is harmful to lesbians date back to the 1970s and despite progress regarding LGBTQIA+ inclusion, acceptance, and rights the spillover from lesbian radical feminists continues to ostracize and refuse inclusion of transgender individuals, more specifically transgender women (Cook, 2018). Will there ever be a point in time where trans-exclusionary radical feminists will finally let go of their disdain for transgender individuals?

In the last few years more and more lesbian media outputs have been standing up and denouncing the radical feminist anti-transgender sentiments. Their aim is to condemn the rhetoric of “lesbian erasure” by pursuing a campaign dubbed “Not in our name” (Compton, 2019). The magazines that headed the campaign made it known that they believed that “trans women are women and that trans people belong in our community” (Compton, 2019).  Furthermore, they went on to discuss their condemnation of other lesbian media outlets “who seek to foster division and hate within the LGBTQI community with trans misogynistic content and who believe ‘lesbian’ is an identity for them alone to define” (Compton, 2019). The unity under which these media outlets banded together to fight trans exclusion in the lesbian and feminist community and take a stand against the long-standing division is just the beginning of a long road of needed progress that is still in the early stages.

Will the LGBTQIA+ community ever fully be whole and undivided? Or will there continue to be one level of division or exclusion amongst another? What will it take for marginalized groups to no longer condemn other struggling marginalized groups? Time, unity, understanding, empathy, and a willingness to work together is the foundation for which change can be made and divisions can be dissolved.


  1. Compton, J. (2019, March 19). ‘Pro-lesbian’ or ‘trans-exclusionary’? Old animosities boil into public view. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/pro-lesbian-or-trans-exclusionary-old-animosities-boil-public-view-n958456
  2. Cook, J. (2018). When “Sisters” become “Cis-ters”: Failed Coalitionalism in 1970s Lesbian Separatism and its Twenty-First Century Remnants | Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. Http://Www.Pamla.Org/2018/Proposals/%C2%A0when-%E2%80%9Csisters%E2%80%9D-Become-%E2%80%9Ccis-Ters%E2%80%9D-Failed-Coalitionalism-1970s-Lesbian-Separatism-And. http://www.pamla.org/2018/proposals/%C2%A0when-%E2%80%9Csisters%E2%80%9D-become-%E2%80%9Ccis-ters%E2%80%9D-failed-coalitionalism-1970s-lesbian-separatism-and


Sep 20

Social Identity and Gamers

In the age of Covid-19 and quarantines, it might surprise you to hear that every day millions of people are meeting, forming teams, tackling jobs, and building relationships.  No, I’m not talking about some germ-free utopian society, I’m talking about the internet and the rising popularity of MMORPGs. As reported by Nicholas Ye, “Every day, millions of users interact, collaborate, and form relationships with each other through avatars in online environments known as Massively Multi-User Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs).” (2006, p. 187). So, what do such games tell us about the social identity of the players? How does their role in such a game contribute to their social identity?

Examining social psychology through role-playing games and gamers provides a unique perspective in a completely fabricated environment. “MMORPGs are the only existing naturalistic setting where millions of users voluntarily immerse themselves in a graphical virtual environment and interact with each other through avatars on a daily basis.” (Ye, 2006, p.1880). In these games, they choose their species, race, sex, profession and so much more, which in turn means they choose their place in society including their rank both socially and to an extent economically. As most of these games are group efforts one earns rank and money through their efforts within the group. The more they accomplish in-game the more social rank they gain among the players. According to Ye “The result is that adventures, stories, and most importantly, meaningful interactions and relationships between users emerge. Functional constructs within the environment facilitate these social networks” (2006, p. 193).

But how much does the social capital earned in the game affect the player outside the game, meaning how much of their personal identity is wrapped up in the games they play online? There is an anonymity to playing an online game that seems to erase borders of race and ethnicity that afflict us in the real world. However, in the game, there is a whole new set of such identities, thieves against assassins, humans against orcs, and even terrestrials against extra-terrestrials. The games divide people by labels much like in the real world, while they bring people together in friendships that cross ethnic lines, racial divides, and national borders. According to pair of studies conducted by Guegan, Moliner, and Buisine examining guild members within an MMORPG, “Both studies showed strong in-group favoritism on the basis of guild membership.” (2015, p. 355).  So, for players in the game, their guild becomes a large part of their social identity. However, Guegan and his colleagues went on to report that “When surveyed within this environment, players identify more strongly with their guild than with the superordinate player in-group. This difference is reduced considerably when participants are questioned outside of the game. “(2015, p. 355). Meaning, when talking with people outside of the game they often identify as a player of the game, but when talking to another player of the game they are more likely to identify as being a member of a particular guild, rather than merely a player of the game. This reflects an interesting shift in the social identity of the individual depending on whether they are interacting in the real world versus interacting in the world of the game.

Another aspect to consider is, does being a gamer provide social clout in the real world simply by virtue of the title “gamer”? There was a time when gamers were the social outcasts playing with figures and dice in somebody’s mothers’ basement. In the past, according to Adrienne Shaw, “Negative connotations about gaming lead people to not identify as gamers, and even to not play video games.”(2011, p.28 ). This applied not just to video games, but tabletop games and online games. These players were the guys that were seen as those that did not have a date on Friday nights, and they had little to no social clout among the outside world. They would proudly claim the title of gamer among their friends, once again displaying that social identity within a group.

Today, gamers are no longer a marginalized group, they are a social majority. However, gamers do still touch on the idea of marginalized groups. Gaming has become widespread but the characters or avatars available are often not. According to Shaw, “Identity as a gamer intersects with other identities like gender, race, and sexuality.” (2011, p. 28). Shaw goes on to report that those making the video games are still realizing how many types of players are not properly represented within the games. There are players of different genders, sexualities, and ages. They just want to be able to play a character that represents themselves. It is hard to develop a social identity for yourself as a gamer and as a member of one of these marginalized groups at the same time. Shaw further pointed out, “People tied their opinion of whether representation in video games is important to how they felt about games in general.” (2011, p. 38). We have to consider the players’ identity outside of the game as well, if they are not represented within the games that they play for hours every day it will affect how they identity outside of the game. For instance, if they are not given a place in the games, they are likely to question if they have a place in the real world? Will it affect how they see their own worth in the real world? We need to realize that the importance of social identity in online games is a reflection of the importance of our social identity in the real world.


Guegan, J., Moliner, P., & Buisine, S. (2015). Why are online games so self‐involving: A social identity analysis of massively multiplayer online role‐playing games. European Journal of Social Psychology, 45(3), 349-355.

Shaw, A. (2012). Do you identify as a gamer? Gender, race, sexuality, and gamer identity. new media & society, 14(1), 28-44.

Yee, N. (2006). The psychology of massively multi-user online role-playing games: Motivations, emotional investment, relationships and problematic usage. In Avatars at work and play (pp. 187-207). Springer, Dordrecht.

Sep 20

Gender Diversity

Demographic diversity is a very complex and popular topic today. Demographic diversity is all about the core characteristics that make up a person and influence their life experiences. Examples of demographic diversity include but are not limited too race, gender, social class, sexual identity, and religion.

Sex and gender is such a common topic in today’s world. Gender still continues to affect people everyday especially in the workplace. The LGBTQ community also faces many challenges when it comes to this topic. Many people don’t think there is a difference between sex and gender but there is. “The term sex refers to the biological distinction of being male or female, whereas the term gender refers to the social or learned characteristics that are associated with being male or female.” (Gruman, 393). When thinking of gender think about the things that society “considers” to be male or female. Males are considered to be masculine, tough, the provider, and assertive. Females are considered to be caring, soft, and kind hearted. Females are also more likely to be stay at home moms while the males are more likely to provide for their families.

We have come a long way in the differences in gender and the diversity that is seen in this topic. Women used to not be able to vote or be a CEO of a company. Now a days women can vote, women are CEO’s or bosses, and there are even stay at home dads. The diversity in gender in the workplace has changed a lot since this first was a problem. Women are now have equal opportunities as men and are seen as just as strong as males.

Even though we have come so far in gender diversity there is still work to be done. Sexism is still a thing and problem today. “Sexism is differential and often detrimental treatment of a person based on that person’s sex.” (Gruman, 394). Sexism includes negative comments, thoughts, and attitudes towards women. Examples of sexism include women are supposed to cook and clean, women are supposed to be stay at home moms, or women can’t run a company. While sexism has really died down in today’s society there is still some work to be done.

There has been a huge improvement on gender diversity in the workplace and I would like to continue to see that happen. Women are filling just as many positions as males are filling in companies. Women are putting in just as much work as males are in today’s workplace. Women deserve to be treated equal and have just as many opportunities as males are. I love the progress that has been made in this topic and would love to see in continue and grow even more.

Gruman, Jamie A., et al. Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. 3rd ed., SAGE, 2017.

Sep 20


Nationwide people are being impacted from cruelty injustice acts by law enforcers. There are riots being started, and protests being done, in order for individuals voices to be heard.  Black lives matter, is a movement of umbrella that is using race, as a mean to promote causes. However the movement itself, is not benefiting or changing the actual issue. We should ask ourselves what has the movement actually changed? There are still people of color being killed and impacted daily.

BLM is a movement that involves the injustice and discrimination of people of color. However, if we look deeply into the movement, there are promotions being rallied in such a difficult time (Bigger issues for BLM, 2020 Thursday). The purpose of the movement is too act against the police, and law enforcers. However, this has not made any changes in the law system. Everything continues to be the same. There are still people being killed and mistreated due to foolish acts.

Have you seen, how many BLM wardrobe has been made during this issue? There are people making money endorsing BLM wardrobe. Yet is the money being used in order to change the actual situation? Anyone can put the logo BLM and advertise it, to the community. As, the people we need to unit together, all races and come together and demand change. Rioting and rallies will not change the situation. We should write letters and demand meetings in people that are of rank and start by educating everyone in the discrimination that millions are facing.

There are more effective strategies, that can be used in order to bring awareness to the BLM. One strategy for reducing prejudice and discrimination was proposed by social psychologist Gordon Allport in 1954. The work of Gordon, argued that if people with different group characteristics could get to know each other and work together, prejudice, stereotypes, and the impulse to discriminate would decrease (Gruman, J.A., 2016). We need too use our influence to try to activate social change. Law makers need to educate their staff on discrimination. And lectures need to occur about the history of black people. This will bring an understanding to the matter. We have tried other ways, and it has not helped the situation. But, how can people be understood, if there is no understanding.


Gruman, J. A.,  Schneider, F. W. , &. Coutts, L.M. (Eds.). (2016). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems 3rd edition. SAGE Publications.

(July 23, 2020 Thursday). Bigger issues for BLM. The Daily Telegraph (Australia). Retrieved from https://advance-lexis-com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/api/document?collection=news&id=urn:contentItem:60DR-HB51-F0JP-W1D7-00000-00&context=1516831.


Sep 20

Politics Through the Lens of Diversity

Who are you voting for? Now, don’t take offense, I don’t want actually care, I just wanted your attention. With the elections fast approaching, more and more people are finding themselves with riffs between their families or friends. Why is that? What allows us to prioritize our beliefs over our relationships? Sadly, I don’t have complete answers, but I do know some things that may be contributing to these conflicts.

Let’s start at the beginning, with the definition of conflict. According to the text, conflict is defined as a perceived incompatibility of interests. “Great”, you’re thinking, “I already knew that”. Good, then you’re one step ahead. So my next question is, do you know what gives rise to these conflicts? The answer: prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes. My answer isn’t all-encompassing, but it hits on the major points. And don’t tell me those things only relate to racism, ethnicity, or SES, because they don’t.

Diving right into these terms, prejudice is defined as an attitude toward others based solely on group membership. So, what are the two main groups of politics? Republicans and democrats. However, these are often used interchangeably with conservatives and liberals, respectively. Now I’m almost certain that when I say (type) these words, thoughts instantly jump into your head. Take a minute and think about your thoughts. What are they? Too often they are not necessarily factual about the parties, but rather the characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors of the individuals who make up the groups. Those thoughts are better known as stereotypes.

If you’ve studied self-development you’ve probably heard of thought work, and if you haven’t I’ll enlighten you. Thought work is thinking about your thoughts, where they come from, and what they do. The dogma of this is emotions create thoughts, thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions, and actions create results. How’s this tie in? Well, stereotypes are thoughts, and you get to decide what you do with those thoughts. Often this results in the action form prejudice, which is discrimination. Remember prejudice is an attitude toward others based solely on group membership. On the other hand, discrimination is the actual behavior directed at others based on their group membership.

You might be thinking that it’s a bit of a stretch to consider the separation between friends and family discrimination. Don’t worry, I don’t. That’s conflict. However, discrimination is not befriending a new student on campus between they’re a conservative. Or not hiring someone because they are pro-choice.

Conclusions shouldn’t be based off of large groups, not all conservatives are pro-gun, just like all liberals don’t believe in climate change. The problem is, relying on groups rather than individuals leads to the preception of extreme and exaggerated differences. This creates more potentials for conflict. Based on the knowledge of the contact hypothesis, if members of each in-group (conservatives and liberals) make an effort to positively interact with the out-group (aka each other), then intergroup hostility declines and their relations overall improve.




Gruman, J. A.,  Schneider, F. W. , &. Coutts, L.M. (Eds.). (2016). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems 3rd edition. SAGE Publications.


Sep 20

Growing Greener

In recent weeks we have seen over 3 million acres of land burned on the west coast of the United States and for the second time in modern history, we have 5 tropical storms formed in the Atlantic. Some may say that this is just chance, but for many who are watching the environment, they can’t help but believe that these all too often occurrences are due to human impact on the environment. As we watch the world change before us, in more ways than one, there are those who are asking the question, “Can we make changes that can have a lasting impact?” Nona Yehia would say it is possible.

We know throughout history that wars have been fought over land and resources. Our environment is changing on a daily basis and we are finding a world that seems to be less hospitable to its inhabitants due to the lack of behavior change in order to help our planet be a healthier place. We continue to cut forests, rely on fossil fuels and use pesticides that end up as run off in our lakes and ponds and we are seeing the results of our poor behavior. The consequences are only going to get worse. Resources will become scarcer, temperatures will continue to climb and clean water will be harder to find unless we make changes. This is a Resource Dilemma. We consciously make the choice to continue to water our lawns and use up precious resources like they will always be there. (Gruman et al., 2017)

As we look to business and government to make a change in the world to value the planet over the all mighty dollar we are beginning to see leaders rise up from the crowd in a hope to make an impact in the world and their environment. A recent news article I saw out of Wyoming in the Chariton Newspaper online, told the story of an architect turned entrepreneur, Nona Yehia, who developed a business called Vertical Roots. The basic premise of the business was that it took a10th of an acre building and grows 10 acres of food in it. The building not only supplies readily available food to local residents and restaurants year round, it does it with no pesticides, zero water consumption and the owner even built the business around hiring those who are underserved in the community. This is a Social Dilemma or taking a space or building that is of little to no use for the good of mankind and turning it into something that is. (Gruman et al., 2017)

Vertical Harvest Farms in Wyoming has 42 employees. 25 of these employees are disabled in some way however, by working with Vertical Harvest Farms they are able to learn new skills and abilities.  They no longer have a job but a career. (Vertical Harvest Farms, n.d.)  Through her efforts she is changing her behavior and her communities’ behavior, which in turn, gives this out of the way place in Wyoming a sustainable resource that is helping the community thrive. This one building provides local foods for over 80 different businesses in 3 states. These businesses would normally not have this kind of access due to the location of the rural cities and towns. (Vertical Harvest Farms, n.d.)
It is thinking like that of Nona Yehia and her Co-Founders that will make the biggest impact to regain the ground we have lost in fighting the war on saving our environment.  Vertical Harvest Farms is opening another facility in Maine in 2022 and gives information on how to start a Vertical Harvest facility on their website, verticalharvestfarms.com. (Vertical Harvest Farms, n.d.). To see how Vertical Harvest started and their first 15 months, check out the video Hearts of Glass. https://www.heartsofglassfilm.com/
The Chariton Newspapers. (2020, September 13). How a Wyoming farmer grows 10 acres of      food on a tenth of an acre.

https://www.charitonleader.com/news/national/video_191f3d0c-2a4f-5830-9b5b-                        0152241921e8.html

 Vertical Harvest Farms. (n.d.). Fact sheet.


Gruman, J. A.,  Schneider, F. W. , &. Coutts, L.M. (Eds.). (2016). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems 3rd edition. SAGE Publications.

Sep 20

The Anchoring Effect in Assessment


On a cold February morning in 2018 I woke up around 5 am in a cloud of confusion. My arms and legs were tingling as if I had touched an electrical outlet and I felt insanely sick to my stomach. I look around for my husband but my eyes wouldn’t focus. What was happening? I remembered having similar symptoms when I had a few seizures in high school, but that was ten years ago.

“Mmm,” I yelled. I thought I was yelling my husband’s name but the words wouldn’t come out. Frantic I got up on wobbly legs and ascended down the stairs.

“John,” I yelled again. “Need hospital.” I couldn’t say anything more; those three words had taken all my strength.

A week later, I walked up the stairs of the parking garage of my local hospital for a neurology appointment in a complete haze. I had never felt so exhausted in my life, and I had two babies, I knew what exhaustion was. The neurologist’s office was a journey across the hospital. I remember walking in the door and feeling my heartbeat pounding in every inch of my body. I signed my name in at the front desk and before I could sit down to compose myself I was called back to a room. The nurse took my weight and put a pulse ox on my finger before taking my blood pressure. Her eyes were startled.

“Your heartrate is just a little high,” she said wide-eyed.

“Oh,” I replied breathless and fidgeting. I couldn’t calm my body and I was in a cold sweat. Was I nervous? This didn’t feel like nerves. Why wouldn’t my heart calm down?

“Um, I’ll be right back,” the nurse said before quickly exiting the room.

I remember wondering what could be wrong with me while taking four deep breathes to try and still my heart. It wouldn’t cooperate.

“How are you doing today?” the doctor said walking in the room with his eyes on me.

“Um, I’m a little nervous I guess. My heart is beating really fast and I’m exhausted.”

“Do you get those symptoms often?” the doctor began to type on his computer.

“Um, no. Not really. I mean, I guess I have anxiety but it doesn’t feel like this.”

“Okay, so tell me what brings you into my office today? I see you were at the ER last week,” the doctor replied.

I could only imagine what the notes said from the emergency room. My husband had told me I was babbling on about nightmares when I was finally able to talk that morning. I began to explain that I wondered if I had a seizure. I mentioned my prior history with seizures that had been witnessed, and began to list all of the symptoms that had occurred the week prior, but the doctor cut me off.

“This doesn’t sound like a seizure to me,” the doctor quickly replied. “Do you have trouble with anxiety?”

At first I was in shock. I knew from prior experience that the symptoms I experienced were textbook seizure symptoms. My eyes welled with tears. The combination of my high heart rate, emergency room babbles and admittance of prior anxiety had done me in. This doctor wasn’t listening to me. He then continued on about anxiety causing my high heartrate and possible fainting episodes.

“How could I faint in my sleep?” I asked, but he ignored my question.

As the doctor went on about whatever mental disorder he felt was the cause of my symptoms, I stood up with tears flowing from my eyes. I then walked out of the office. I knew I was proving his point of emotional instability by bursting out of his office in tears, but at the moment I didn’t care.

Looking back at this experience, I feel the neurologist/psychiatrist I saw that day had been taken hold by the anchoring effect. The anchoring effect is when a doctor’s judgement is clouded by their first impression of a patient’s problem and they are subsequently blinded to any other explanations (Gruman, Schneider & Coutts, 2017). Research in social psychology has shown that information gathered early on in an assessment can have a great impact on the understanding of the rest of the information obtained (Gruman et. al., 2017). In my case, the neurologist I saw had already read my emergency room notes and had talked to the nurse in the hallway before seeing me. This is when the anchor of his assessment of anxiety could have been placed. Though throughout our conversation I gave the doctor symptoms that were consistent with seizures and not anxiety (like electrical tingles everywhere and loss of speech or understanding), the doctor was unable to revise his first impression of anxiety due to the anchoring effect.

Instead of listening, the doctor took my high heartrate and fidgety symptoms as confirmation of his original assessment of anxiety by way of the confirmation bias. The confirmation bias is a part of the anchoring effect’s process. A confirmation bias is when physicians or clinicians look for symptoms that confirm their original assessment (Gruman et. al., 2017).

In the last two years since seeing that first neurologist/psychiatrist, I have been diagnosed with epilepsy by two neurologists and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome by a cardiologist (which is a disorder that causes high heartrate while standing). Though anxiety has been a part of my life throughout this process, as it is very scary to experience neurological symptoms at random, it was not the cause of my progressive neurological decline. This experience has made me very aware of the confirmation bias and anchoring effect that can occur in health care, and how imperative it is to advocate for myself. If I had listened to that physician that day, my diagnosis could have been prolonged further or even indefinitely.



Gruman, J.A.,Schneider, F.W., & Coutts, L.A. (2017). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Sep 20

Mental Health, Are We Treating the Whole?

It is no secret that mental health conditions are on the rise, impacting 1 in 5 adults according to the American Psychiatric Association. Since COVID 19 the situation has gotten worse. According to a report published in August 2020 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “U.S. adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19. Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation.” But what can we do to help those dealing with these issues?


In the past, when it came to mental health conditions, medical professionals were solely focused on understanding and treating the biological functions thought to be causing the illness. This approach called the biomedical model approach, viewed mental health conditions as being diseases of the brain, and sought to treat them solely by the use of medications. However, as suggested in Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems this might not necessarily be the best approach.


It is believed that mental health conditions are affected by more than just biological factors. Psychological traits and social circumstances are also contributing factors and thus why the biopsychosocial model approach is now often implemented by medical professionals today. The biopsychosocial model approach, as its name suggests, believes that the best way to determine and treat illness is by a combination of not only biological factors but also psychological and social factors as well. When addressing issues of mental health, we need to look at the whole picture and treat not only the biochemical imbalances in the brain but also the psychological traits and social circumstances contributing to the mental health condition(s). Some of those psychological and social influences can include, childhood psychological trauma such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, suffering a loss at a young age such as the loss of a parent or sibling, gender identity, social class, and race and ethnicity.


Rather than taking a biomedical model approach that focuses solely on biological functioning to explain and treat an illness, we should take a biopsychosocial model approach a treat the whole person.



Mental Health 2020: A Presidential Initiative for Mental Health. (2019). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Advocacy/Federal/Mental-Health-2020-A-Presidential-Initiative-for-Mental-Health.pdf

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic – United States, June 24–30, 2020. (2020, August 13). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

BJ, D. (2013). The biomedical model of mental disorder: A critical analysis of its validity, utility, and effects on psychotherapy research. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23664634/

Gruman, J. A., Schneider, F. W., & Coutts, L. M. (2017). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Bhandari, S. (2020, June 30). Causes of Mental Illness. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-causes-mental-illness

Mechanic, D., & McAlpine, D. (2002, April 30). The Influence of Social Factors on Mental Health. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/0470846410.ch17

Sep 20

The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health

Coronavirus Disease has spread rapidly and widely nationwide. The disease infected more than 30 thousand people and resulted in seven hundredths deaths (Xie, L., 2020). Human to human transmissions were identified and the number of confirmed cases kept increasing. The impact of COVID-19, lead to a psychological impact that resulted in immediate mental health problems. People suffered from the life-threatening infections, as they witnesses other patients suffering as well.

Let’s face it 2020, hit us with a curve ball when COVID-19 impacted the world. With the number of infected cases rapidly increasing, we watched people suffer from the virus. However, not only was the virus affecting health. The outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in people experiencing high levels of stress that potentially lead to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic disorder(article). The epidemic affected people, mentally and physically, leaving us with only high levels of stress and anxiety.

With the cases of covid-19, increasing, COVID-19 affected work environments. Especially those that were front line with the virus such as hospital. Medical students judged the outbreak more serious than non-medical students. However, researcher shows that medical students experienced fewer mental health problems than non-medical students (Xie, L., 2020). Medical professionals were trained on psychological mechanism during epidemics that constructed an effective psychological support system (Xie, L., 2020). Although medical health professional were more prone to the virus since they were working front line. However, since they had psychological trainings, this led to fewer impacts on their mental health. Therefore, it is proven that  psychological mechanisms lead to effective coping during a pandemic.

The field of psychology, has many benefits that help people cope with mental health disorders. When COVID-19 took a nationwide hit, people were experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety that lead to an arises in mental health disorders. However, research shows that if people are educated on psychological mechanisms this led to fewer cases of mental health.  Therefore, it is important to educate people on psychological mechanisms because it leads to positive impacts on their mentally.


Xie, L., Luo, H., Li, M., Ge, W., Xing, B., & Miao, Q. (2020). The immediate psychological effects of coronavirus disease 2019 on medical and non-medical students in china. International Journal of Public Health, doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/10.1007/s00038-020-01475-3

Sep 20

The Perception of Failure

Within The Hopelessness Theory of Depression (HTD; Abraham, Metalsky, and Alloy, 1989) there are two important factors that may increase the chances of depression development in an individual. The first, is a vulnerable person. The second, is negative environmental circumstances (Gruman, Shneider, and Coutts, 2017, p. 109). 

What then, makes a person vulnerable? 

The way one interprets information is important. The individual negatively interprets situations in their life. This is deemed the “pessimistic explanatory style”, this negative interpretation style may be explained by the learned helplessness model of depression which basically states people give up after a while of attempting to better the situation if they perceive to repeatedly fail (Gruman, et al., 2017, p. 108).

The Hopelessness Theory of Depression can give us insight into the why, but also can guide us in the development of future interventions. If an individual can challenge and prove these thoughts wrong, it may empower them to make additional challenges to other thoughts they had held to be true but are in fact not.

Socially, learned helplessness could be discussed with regards to climate change, recycling, environmental issues and the like as well. People may believe that their actions to recycle or reduce energy consumption are futile which may lead to a reduction in the beneficial actions around the environment.


Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Alloy, L. B. (1989). Hopelessness depression: A theory-based subtype of depression. Psychological Review, 96(2), 358–372. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.96.2.358

Gruman, J. A., Schneider, F. W., & Coutts, L. M. (2017). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Mac Giollabhui, N., Hamilton, J. L., Nielsen, J., Connolly, S. L., Stange, J. P., Varga, S., Burdette, E., Olino, T. M., Abramson, L. Y., & Alloy, L. B. (2018). Negative cognitive style interacts with negative life events to predict first onset of a major depressive episode in adolescence via hopelessness. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000301

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