Author Archives: Alyssa Hope Cooper

How do you think your Parents Parenting style is?

Have you even had to think about it? Do you think the certain style has affected you in any sort of way? Well there’s a chance it has. Different parenting styles whether its strict or easy have been shown to effect kids behavior and especially there performance in school. I wanted to see if there were differences between parenting styles and compare them against the performance of their kids.

In one research done they surveyed 148 high schools across demographics and races. The grade level of the students also varied from 10th-12th graders. They tested the students with a questionnaire to measure the students’ perception of their parents parenting style and The Intrinsic and Extrinsic Orientation scale was used to measure the students’ motivation. The conclusions were that different parenting styles correlate but are not a causation of the academic achievement of a student.  Just as we learned in class on correlation, the researchers found that the parenting styles that were motivating and positive resulted in their kids have higher academic success. These kids also set higher goals for themselves and had more self-confidence. Authoritarian

So, here is a little psych100 background for everyone. There are three categories of parenting styles that psychologists have put parents under. Authoritarian, where parents impose rules and expect strict obedience. It stems from the “because I said so” line. Authoritative parenting is where the parents are demanding but also responsive and rewarding to there kids. They compromise and listen. Permissive parenting submits to the child’s demands.  So how does this relate to academic performance/success? In this research done they tested kids from with parents from each of these categories. They found that authoritarian and permissive parenting styles negatively affected kids grades and were associated with those bad grades. Families with the authoritative parenting style have the average of the highest grades while the other families with the other parenting styles had the lowest. This really shows how much parenting can affect a kid’s grade.

The relationship with the parent and also the style can have a negative effect on a kid along with a positive. In this study  it showed that the authoritarian (strict and unengaged) and permissive (adolescent decides) parenting styles led to the kids being the least well adjusted, having depressive symptoms and acting out.

It is pretty evident that there is a correlation between parenting styles and students’ academic pressure. One article states, “When children consider their parents to be legitimate authority figures, they trust the parent and feel they have an obligation to do what their parents tell them to do.” This makes sense compared to the previous studies. Children feel more responsibility to their parents when they act like a combination of all three parenting styles, A little demanding, a little giving into the children’s demand, and a little rewarding. This is proven to be the best method for parents. Parents who tend to act like this have children who respect them more and feel more responsible for doing well in school than feeling pressured.

Some questions one should be thinking about after reading this blog are what is your parent’s parenting type? Are they more Authoritarian, Permissive, or Authoritative? Do you feel pressured to do well in school? Or do you feel that you owe it to your parent’s to do well in school?






Using electronics before Bed is bad for you

It is common for many people to watch TV or play on their phone before they go to sleep. I am guilty of doing this. I think I have become addicted to watch an episode of One Tree Hill or some other of my favorite shows on Netflix while playing on my phone before bed. I do not know why I do it or how it started, but now I cannot stop. After researching, I have come to the conclusion that the use of electronics before bed is bad for one’s sleep as well as their brain.

I discovered multiple experiments and studies that support the hypothesis that electronics before bed is bad for an individual.

One study performed by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital randomly split up 12 participants into two groups. The first group read a book on an I-Pad four hours before they went to sleep. The second group read the same book but a printed out version. After 5 days, the two groups switched and the people who originally read from an I-Pad were now reading from a print out version. Not surprisingly, the group who read from the I-Pad had a much more difficult time falling asleep. Also, the I-Pad users secreted less melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that should rise at night and cause sleepiness. Since they had a decreased level of melatonin caused by the bright light of the I-Pad, it took them approximately an hour longer to fall asleep at night. images

Another source, CBSNEWS, states that “ kids ages 11 to 13 slept significantly less when they frequently communicated on a cell phone, surfed the Internet, played video games, watched television, or if they used a computer to study.” This same study found a correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity, depression, difficulty regulating emotions and lower grades. This studied contained 738 students and the researchers asked them about their sleep and technology habits. The results were no surprise. Similar to the previous study, this one also supports my hypothesis. This cannot be a coincidence that multiple studies show the same results. It is important to note that just like in every experiment, third variables can play an important role. These variables could include gender, how old the person is, how long they watch TV for, and if it is an everyday thing.

Lastly, in a survey of 1,508 people, 63 % of them said they are not getting enough sleep at night and 95% of those surveyed said that they used an electronic device within the hour before bed.

It is important to note that the one area that all of these studies agree is that the use of electronics delays the time one needs to fall asleep and that the light from an electronic or television makes the individual less tired. This is because the light from the device makes the body think that it is still daytime. These studies did not address the quality of the sleep. Once asleep, did the individual have a restful sleep? Did this use of electronics impact this as well?

The one point that was proven was that if you wish to fall asleep quickly, , do not use electronics within the hour before bed. More studies need to be performed to see if there are any long-term effects but the facts prove that the light from use of electronics stimulates the brain and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. I know it will be hard to try and not use your phone right before you go to sleep, but I am sure you will fall asleep earlier and get a much better sleep. I am going to try this as well and see what happens. Good-Night!

Shopping Online vs. In-Store Shopping

New studies show that more people prefer to shop online rather than going to the store to shop. Personally, I have always preferred online shopping. It may be because I am lazy, but I think the main reason is because I hate when the store workers follow me around asking if I need help. If I need help I will ask you. You do not need to follow me. Am I the only one who prefers online shopping? I decided to research this topic more to see what other people prefer.

Similar to me, the results of an holiday survey in 2013 asking 1,000 U.S. adults if they preferred online shopping or visiting a store found that 84% of the people surveyed said shopping online is better than visiting a physical store. Why is that? There are many reasons why people prefer online shopping. According to the most popular reason, cited by 60% of the respondents, was that they prefer to not have to deal with the people in malls and on town Streets. 51% said they prefer not having to leave the house and 49% said that online shopping is more convenient and negates the need to drive. I guess you can say that online shopping helps the environment. The more people that online shop, the less people have to drive to the store, then the more gas is being saved. People are helping the environment and they do not even know it.

In contrast, some people still prefer to go to the store. An article in the Business News Daily talks about how many people use the Internet to browse the items they want and then they will go to the store to purchase that item. According to PwC’s consumer survey, 40% of consumers make purchases inside a physical store at least once a week while only 27% do the same online. The shoppers who prefer going to the store know that online shopping is easy. However, there are many different reasons as to why they still choose to go to the store. These include, allowing them to have the item immediately, avoiding the delivery fees, they get to try on the item and seeing it in person before buying it. Also, returns a lot simpler as well. Nielsen_June-2012-Purchase-Preference

I think these studies need to be refined to the type of purchase being made. Consumers probably are more apt to make an online purchase for a less personal item, like an appliance or electronics after doing their research. For more personal purchases like clothing, it is possible more buyers would prefer to purchase in the store after trying on and seeing how it looks.

Whether you choose to online shop or go to the store to shop, there are pros and cons for both decisions. A big pro for online shopping is you don’t have to commute, find parking, wait in long lines, and deal with big crowds. Those reasons alone are the reasons why I choose to mostly online shop. A couple of other pros include you can ship gifts directly to your friends in another state and shopping online offers you a variety of similar items. One con for online shopping is that people have to pay for shipping. Delivery fees can add up and it may come to the point to decide whether the $15 for shipping is worth it or just go to the store and purchase it? On the other hand, some pros to in-store shopping include you get to try the item on, it is much easier to return, and you don’t have to pay for delivery fees. Trying an item on can make the biggest difference. I always see items I like on the mannequin, but when I try it on it looks completely different. Clothes fit each person differently and it is almost necessary to try them on when purchasing. Lastly, cons of in-store shopping include you might not be able to make it to the store when they are open due to school or work, you may have to drive a far distance to get to the store you like, and if you don’t want to drive that far you are limited to the stores close to you.

After researching both opinions, I still think that online shopping is the way to go. The pros for online shopping out weigh the cons. The biggest con for online shopping was the delivery fee. However, if you can wait for the item to come in a couple days, you usually don’t have to pay that much extra. The sooner you want your item, the more you pay. So just buy the item in advance so you don’t have to pay that big fee. Now that you have read the pros and cons of each, which method do you prefer?

Can Kids make life-changing decisions?

For the longest time, parents have to make decisions for their kids. This is because kids are either to young or naïve to make decisions for themselves, so parents do it for them. However, at what point in a child’s do kids make life-changing decisions for themselves?

There is a 5 year-old girl named Julianna Snow. Ever since she was born, she has had an incurable neurodegenerative illness called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. This means that the peripheral nerves are damaged around the brain and spinal cord. Julianna is stable right now, but the muscles that control her breathing are so weak that if she gets a simple cold, she could die. According to Julianna’s doctors, she most likely will have to end up on a respirator for the rest of her life. At this point, Julianna’s parents did not know what to do. Should they let their daughter live a long painful life on a respirator or should they make the heartbreaking decision to take her off the respirator and end her life? They decided to do what most parents would not. They let Julianna make her own decision. This is a conversation between Michelle Moon, Julianna’s mom, and Juliana. o-FIVE-KIDS-facebook

Michelle: Julianna, if you get sick again, do you want to go to the hospital again or stay home?

Julianna: Not the hospital.

Michelle: Even if that means that you will go to heaven if you stay home?

Michelle: And you know that mommy and daddy won’t come with you right away? You will go by yourself.

Julianna: Don’t worry. God will take care of me.

Michelle: And if you go to the hospital, it may help you get better and let you come home again and spend more time with us. I need to make sure that you understand that the hospital may let you have more time with mommy and daddy.

Julianna: I understand.

Michelle: I’m sorry, Julianna. I know you don’t like it when I cry. It’s just that I will miss you so much.

Julianna: That’s OK. God will take care of me. He’s in my heart.

Julianna chose to live a short, happy life instead of a long, hard life filled with many hospitals visits and a 24/7 respirator. She wanted to enjoy life while she could. She wanted to go to school, play with her friends, and run around on the playground. In the mom’s blog, she said “We believe that sometimes it’s an act of love not to do ‘everything’ to extend life and focus instead on giving your child the most beautiful life possible for as long as you are allowed.”

I found this quote and story very inspiring. Julianna is only 5 years old and knows the life she wants to live. She is very mature for her age and her parents respected her decision to not continue going to the hospital. I understand why her parents allowed her to make her own decision about her life, but it put them in a difficult position. They obviously did not want to see their daughter continue going through pain, but they also did not want to see their daughter die.

This case has created a lot of debate about if kids should be making such important decisions like these. Truthfully, I believe think there is neither a right nor wrong answer. Either decision that you make, there will be consequences and benefits. Personally, I think that I would make the same decision Julianna’s parents made. I would do anything to make my daughter happy and I would rather have her live a short happy life instead of a long, hard life. What do you think you would do in this type of situation?

Why are Desk Jobs Bad for you?

Who would have thought that sitting at a desk all day at school or at work can actually harm you? Apparently, sitting is the new smoking. In other words, sitting in a chair all day is harmful to one’s well-being and there are studies that show that sitting for long periods at a time at work can take years off your life expectancy. How is this even possible?

Six hours. That is how long one should be sitting throughout the day. Anything more than that makes a person 40% more likely to die within 15 years than someone who sits for less than 3 hours. Sitting causes weight gain and other and issues with the human body. Obese people sit for 2.5 more hours a day than do thin people. This can’t be a coincidence. Obese people tend to be less active. . Along with watching one’s caloric intake, the common recommendation of the many various diets and weight loss programs is to become active. Even simply increasing one’s activity by 15 minutes to start makes a significant impact to one’s health. Lastly, while you are seated, leg muscles are shut off, calorie burning drops to 1 per minute, and enzymes that help break down fat drop 90%.

It is difficult for students who need to study and do homework and adults who work at a desk to not sit around all day. Am I supposed to stand in the middle of the library doing my homework? Surprisingly, the answer to that question is yes. Standing and getting work done is the new phenomenon and can increase productivity. Also, standing can be better for your health. According to Men’s Fitness, “not only does working standing up not overtax the brain, it has the added benefit of burning 80-100 calories an hour, improving blood flow, alleviating back pain, strengthening muscles, and actually boosting productivity.” It seems hard to believe that standing can actually increase productivity. But, there are many reports where companies use standing desk and have seen increase productivity.

Some of the large TreadDeskcompanies that now offer standing desks are Google, Facebook, and FF Venture Capital. “Google offers standing desks to employees as part of their employee-wellness program” states ReadWrite. In other words, employees looking to improve their health or who have a health issue can request a standing desk. More than 250 employees working at Facebook use standing desks. In a study that they performed, they found that people who used standing desks had high energy levels in the office and were able to focus on a task more easily. Facebook recruiter Greg Hold said “ I don’t get the 3 o’clock slump anymore, I feel active all day long.”

If you think a standing desk is weird, what would you think of a treadmill desk? Yes, a treadmill desk. It is exactly what the name suggests. Instead of a chair to sit on at your desk, you walk the treadmill. This may sound crazy, but studies show that the treadmill desk is actually beneficial to an individual. Canada based researchers
analyzed the strongest 23 active desk studies. What they found was that both types of desks reduced sedentariness and improved mood, but the treadmill desk clearly offered greater health benefits but seemed to slow done someone’s work pace at first. They also found that workers mood changed from being fatigue, tension and depression to more vigor, energy, focus, and happiness.

In addition, further proof that too much sitting is not conducive to a healthy and productive lifestyle is the introduction of the FitBit and other similar devices. Individuals wear these devices like a watch, but they can track their steps taken for the day as well as receive alerts that they have been sitting to long and need to get up. I find this would be helpful to remind me to get up and take a walk throughout the day.

While I agree with the proven health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, the idea of studying or working with a standing desk is a personal choice. Personally, I need to be comfortable when I am studying or doing work. If I am standing up I believe I will be distracted with my work as my legs will start to hurt and I will get uncomfortable. I understand that it can increase one’s productivity. But, that is all based on who the individual is and how they work best.

If you’re like me, my suggestion would be to make sure you do not sit too long consecutively and make a point to take a quick walk. Not only will this give you a break from studying, but your health will also be benefitting.

Are blondes actually blonde?

I’m sure most of you have heard of the stereotype “dumb blondes.” I know I have heard it a thousand times considering I have blonde hair. I do not know how that stereotype even started. How does the color of one’s hair determine if they are smart or not? I know when people say it they mean it as a joke, but it now it has prompted me start to think if blondes are actually less smart?

In one study, researchers showed pictures of women wearing a blonde, red, and brown wig. The picture of the woman in the blonde wig was rated as less intelligent compared to the other pictures. Another study done in 2006 studied the hair color of 500 United Kingdom CEOs. The conclusion of this study was very similar to the one before. The study showed that he blonde CEOs were underrepresented in the workplace compared to the rest of the population. Lastly, these same researchers surveyed photos from a number of different magaziblonde-vs-brunette-298x226nes across a couple of years. They found that there was a higher percentage of woman with blonde hair featured in the magazine than any other color. After reading these studies, it made me think more about this stereotype. It seems to me that people don’t take blonde haired woman seriously. People see them more as models or designers instead of CEOs or managers.

There are many successful blonde haired women in the workplace. The first one that came to my mind was Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States. She represented New York in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009. J,K. Rowling, a famous British novelist, best known as the author of the very famous Harry Potter fantasy series. Martha Stewart, an American business woman, writer, and television personality. Marissa Mayer, current president and CEO of Yahoo! Before she was president of Yahoo! she was an executive and spokesperson for Google. One physical trait that all of these woman have in common is that they are successful blonde business woman. They overcame the stereotype and showed everyone that blond-haired w
omen, can be very successful in this world.

Another question I have always wondered about this topic is which hair color do guys prefer? Many people would assume the answer to that question is blondes. However, that assumption would be incorrect. Surveys and studies have shown that guys prefer brunettes over blonde
s. Why is that? One study says this is the case because men consider brunettes healthier and therefore better life mates. Another study of 6,000 people reveal that brunettes earn a higher salary and are considered more intelligent. Men prefer brunettes over blondes by a rate of 46% to 19 %. That is a large percentage. All of these conclusions are based on the stereotype that blondes are dumb. The only way that these results will change is if people stop using stereotypes to judge a person. How can you tell if someone is smart or not by their hair color? Obviously, we know the answer is that there is no correlation between the two. One needs to learn so much more about the person before making any judgement.

As a blonde haired college student, I obviously am going to think that these stereotypes are wrong. I would say I am doing pretty well in school so far and did well in high school too. But the lesson here is so much more. People are always making judgements on others based on first impressions and one’s appearance. It is important to get to know the person. The world now is very tense with the various events happening everywhere. We have to be careful not to simply judge someone by their looks or a stereotype. Get to know someone, talk to them. More times than not, I am sure you will find that the person you have met is so much more than the stereotype or first impression you had.

And I bet you thought this blog would not have as much meaning as the title led you to believe initially. See, don’t judge a book by it’s cover or a blog by it’s title.

Is Coffee good for you?

Every morning, I see kids waiting on line to get a hot coffee from the creamery. Drinking one cup of coffee in the morning seems fine, right? But later in the day, I will see people going back into the creamery to get their second or third cup of coffee. This made me start to think. Is having more than one cup of coffee a day healthy or unhealthy? I personally think it is unhealthy. There is no way that much caffeine is good for the body.

One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that one to three cups of coffee a day may slightly elevate your risk of high blood pressure. Those in the experiment who drank less than 1 cup of coffee did not have an increased risk for high blood pressure. A contradicting study stated that “women who drink two cups a day have an 11 percent lower risk of heart failure than those who drink less and that those who gulp down two to three cups are 25 percent less likely to die from heart disease.” As you can see, studies exist for both sides of the argument. One of these studies shows the benefits of drinking more coffee and the other shows the negative side effects. My feeling is that it tends to be true that the more cups of coffee one drinks, the more risks that would accompany it.

Surprisingly, I found from my research that there are a lot of healthy benefits to drinking coffee. For example, coffee contains Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, Folate, and much more. Yes, coffee may only contain 2% of each, but drinking 2/3 cups a day along with your other meals does supply some nutrients.. Caffeine is also known as a stimulant. This means that it blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. By doing this, caffeine increases activity in the brain and releases neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. These two stimulants reduce tiredness and makes people feel more awake. Lastly, studies have shown that “coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. There are a lot of benefits to drinking coffee that I was unaware of.

The bottom line is that coffee could be good for you if you drink it in moderation Although related but slightly off-topic, I discovered while doing research many articles that referenced people being addicted to coffee as similar to an addict to alcohol. This made me sUnknowntart to wonder what would happen if someone who is addicted to coffee stopped drinking it for a period of time. Would they feel a sense of withdrawal? Or will they be perfectly fine without it?

An experiment was done by an individual who is addicted to coffee to determine how it felt to give up drinking coffee for 30 days. At first he limited himself to 1 cup a day and then later only allowed himself to drink tea. He found that his sleep patterns did not really change. One would think that having less coffee would allow one to be able to sleep longer. However, that was not the case. I question this study because it did not restrict the individual from other sources of caffeine.

Another finding
was that he was able to focus more and stay calmer throughout the day. He was able to focus more on tests and projects as well. Something I found surprising was that he did not really crave coffee. He only craved it when he smelled it or when he saw other people drinking it. I guess that is a good thing. He was able to resist coffee for 30 days and did not have any major side effects. Once again, I believe this experiment is somewhat flawed because of the other sources of caffeine, like tea, made available to the subject. A true test would be to see if there were any side effects without any caffeine, such as having the subject just drink decaf products.

People drink coffee for many different reasons. Some people drink it to help them wake up, some people drink it to help them focus in school, and other people drink it just because they like the taste. No matter what the reason is, people should not drink it in excess. Just like so many of the products on the market, moderation is the important thing. When you drink coffee in excess, it could have negative implications to you. However, only drinking 1-3 cups a day is actually good for an individual. Therefore, my hypothesis stating that drinking more than one cup of coffee a day is bad for you was incorrect. Another important piece of information one should take away from this blog is that someone addicted to coffee may be able stop if they wanted to. The key point to remember is to understand the other sources of caffeine in your diet and the impact they have on your addiction. It is possible that one who thinks they are addicted to coffee is truly addicted to caffeine.

People should not depend on coffee throughout the day to function properly. It is healthier to get more sleep throughout the night. So, next time you are tempted to get your fourth or fifth cup of coffee, ask yourself, do you really need it?

Going away for college vs. Staying home

When I was deciding where to apply to school, I knew I wanted to go away for college, but not too far. I wanted to be just far enough to have my distance and close enough that I can go home for the weekend if I wanted too. For me, Penn State was the perfect location. I am from Long Island, New York, so it is only a 4.5 hour drive away. I knew that I did not want to stay home and commute. It just was not for me. But many of my friends did. That made me think, is there a difference in going away for college or staying home? Is there more of a benefit for staying home?

There are pros and cons for going away for college or staying home.

Going away for College – Pros

Going away for college definitely has some pros to it. One of the biggest pros I found when doing research was being independent. When you are away from your family and friends, you grow as an individual. You have to learn to do things on your own, such as laundry and shopping for goods, as well as be able to make important decisions, budgeting time for classes, studying and balancing them with a social life, without turning to your parents. This allows students to grow, mature and take responsibility for themselves. Another benefit is that it expands one’s views and perspectives of other people and the world. You are surrounded with all new people with different backgrounds and stories. You learn more about other cultures by being in a new environm123ent with people you have just met.

Going away for College – Cons

When I decided to go away for college, I knew there was a good chance I would be homesick, which is very common. It is their first time being away from home for an extended amount of time. But probably the biggest con for going away to college is that college can be very expensive. Between tuition, food, room & board, and travel expenses, the costs really adds up. That is money that you could save and use towards getting a house or car when you are older.

Staying home for College – Pros

According to the Sallie Mae report, “one of the reasons families spent 5% less on college in 2012 is due to students staying home.” Staying home for college saves so much money. With not having to pay for room & board, laundry, and groceries, you have a lot more money to spend elsewhere. Another pro is that you have your family always there to support you emotionally as well as physically, with healthy meals. This one sounds silly but by living at home, you are guaranteed to have good quality meals that you are used to. I would do anything for a nice home cooked meal right now. Home cooked food is so much better than the food in the commons.

Staying home for College – Cons

Research states that the most common cons of staying home for college is the commute, lack of involvement within the campus, and lack of independence. Having to commute to class everyday may get annoying and you need to leave extra time to account for that. You also have to add in traffic time. The time spent driving you can be studying or doing homework. Also, living in a dorm gives you the opportunity to meet new people and experience the true freshman experience. Lastly, since you are still living with your parents, you have to obey your parent’s rules and therefore not growing and becoming more independent.

Niche Data states that 58% of students go to college within 100 miles from their hometown, 72% of students stay in state for college, and only 11% of students venture more than 500 miles from home. In the same article, it relates distance and SAT scores. It shows that people who scored at least a 2100 go the farthest away and people who scored 1200-1500 stayed closer to home. These results are the same for people who go out of state with 56% of people who scored at least a 2100 went out of state for college.

After researching this topic, I can conclude that there is not a correct answer for choosing where to go to school. It is all based on personal choices. While the Niche Data suggests that those with higher scores and are better students would go further from home for college, I do not think that this is a fair assessment as many other factors should be considered. As I stated above, costs are becoming a larger factor in choosing a school. In addition, one’s family situation (single parent from divorce or widow (er), siblings etc) must be considered as well. I believe there are too many other variables other than SAT scores to suggest there is this correlation between grades and distance of school. The study should include additional family demographics to better determine any correlation for going away to school versus staying at home.

Why do people eat when they are bored?

One of the unhealthiest things to do is to eat because you have nothing else to do. Everybody is guilty of it. It is a natural thing to do. I hate to admit it, but I am guilty of it too. I will be sitting in my dorm room doing nothing and all of a sudden, I just start eating and I cannot stop. I am not even hungry. So why do I do it? Why do people eat because of boredom?

One study done by researchers at the University of Limerick states that “boredom leads to unhealthy eating, as it helps to distract from the unpleasant boredom experience.” The experiment involved a diary study and measured the correlation between boredom and unhealthy eating. The results of this study showed that “boredom predicted calorie, fat, sugar, and protein consumption.” Therefore, it can be said that boredom leads to unhealthy eating. This can also be called emotional eating.

Emotional eating is when you eat anything in sight, causes cravings for various types of food, and genuinely leaves you feeling guilty after you binge. This can be due to what is referred to as emotional hunger. Emotional Hunger is when you think you are hungry due to stress, happiness, or boredom. This is different from true hunger. True hunger starts gradually, any type of food will satisfy the hunger, you will have the will power to stop once you are satisfied, and you will not feel guilty afterwards. The main difference between these two types is that with emotional hunger, one does not have the will power to stop and will continue eating until they feel so guilty about themselves as opposed to true hunger where people know when to stop because they are full.tumblr_mnqap76FKR1sqx3d4o1_500

There are many ways to stop boredom/emotional eating. The first thing is to realize that you are not actually hungry and are only eating because you are bored. You want to eat because you are idle and have nothing else to do. Therefore, one way to prevent this from happening is to stay busy. Go to the gym, do homework in the library so there is no food haunting you, go to your friend’s room, or hangout outside. You may not realize it, but even the littlest change in your lifestyle can decrease emotional eating. Trying to stop emotional eating is not about having the most willpower, but more about finding alternatives to eating. It is important to expand your options and keep busy.

If you have altered your lifestyle and still find yourself having a difficult time breaking your emotional eating habit, try and replace the junk food you eat with healthy snacks. Therefore, even though you are still eating, you are eating healthier food at least. For example, throw out all of your junk food and replace it will carrots, apples, and cucumbers. Now when you go to snack you will be eating an apple instead of half of the bag of chips. Not only will this help you physically, but also mentally as you will be proud of yourself for making wise choices. Your self-esteem will improve as well as being healthier.

The bottom line is yes everybody eats when they are bored. Studies say that this happens because ”eating when bored is not driven by an increased desire for satisfying incentive stimulation, but mainly by the drive to escape monotony.” But, you can combat this. Keep busy and active with friends and clubs and going to the gym. If you still find yourself in your dorm room and want to eat, make sure you have healthy snacks available to you. Its ok to enjoy some chips occasionally, but nobody wants to gain the “freshman15” from emotional eating.

Can nail polish really be a drug tester?

Recently, a new nail polish has been formulated that is not only fashionable, but very practical as well. The polish was created to help determine if one’s drink has been altered or tampered with. The polish starts as one color when you apply it, but if you were to dip a finger into a laced or tampered with beverage, the color of the nail polish will change automatically.

This invention is brilliant, especially for college students. At a party, students have no idea if their drink is laced with a drug or not and currently, there is not a way to determine so. Therefore, this new nail polish could be the answer. It looks exactly the same as regular nail polish, but the only difference is that it changes colors when it is touched with a drug. If this nail polish actually works, then I believe many college incidents such as “date rapes” will be prevented.

2014-11-20-daterapenailpolishblogFour students from North Carolina State University are credited with creating this product. They are known as Undercover Colors and their goal is “to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.” This group of boys has the right idea. New inventions need to be created to protect women of all ages when they are out socially and make them feel protected and in control.

The nail polish is still being studied and tested, but as of now, it is the newest technology to detect date rape drugs. With every study, there are always people who disagree with the case. With this new product, many people have said “it is giving people a false sense of safety when its products test for some of the most common date rape drugs such as “Molly” and “Rohypnol” but no other drugs.” Also, the nail polish needs to be in direct contact with the beverage and therefore there cannot be any protective clear coats on top of the nail.

Many people are also skeptical about this product because many other products have been created before to try and prevent the same situation and have not been successful. For example, one study of commercially available “date rape” drugs tested coasters as being able to detect the drug. However, the coaster was found unreliable. It changed colors for mineral water, which is clearly not a drug. It also took a very long time to change colors when touched with ketamine, and gave a false positive sign with milk.

Even though there is not a lot of evidence to support that this new drug detector actually works, it has the right idea. More ideas like this need to be created and tested. Being a freshman in college, one of my biggest fears is drinking something that has been laced because you have no idea. Precautions need to be taken and the only way this problem will decrease is if women are somehow able to detect when their drink is laced. But the problem is that they cannot. There must be other ways besides nail polish or coasters to detect if there is a drug in a drink. What if instead of nail polish changing colors when the drug touched it, the cup did? That way everyone at the party knows that the drink is laced. Continued research and product development will not only yield new ideas, but keep this very important issue in the public’s awareness.

Dark Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate

Two delicious types of chocolate. Two very different tastes. So the question is, which do you choose?

Personally, I would choose dark chocolate. As a kid, I always ate milk chocolate; Hershey Kisses, Hershey Bars, M&M’s. All of that good stuff I loved. However, as I got older, the candy I used to love was no longer that enjoyable. I started liking dark chocolate better. I do not know what changed or why, but all of a sudden I only started to like dark chocolate. This turned out to be a good thing though because many people have told me that dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate

After researching the topic, I have to agree with the evidence that dark chocolate is healthier for you than milk chocolate. One reason is that dark chocolate is good for your heart and your brain. “Eating a small amount of dark chocolate every couple of days can lower your blood pressure and help improve blood flow. Dark chocolate also helps reduce your risk of having a stroke.” Also, dark chocolate contains Theobromine, which helps reduce one’s risk of getting a cavity (which is unlike every other candy). Lastly, Dark chocolate is full of vitamins and minerals such as Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, and 2533290827_Chocolate_xlargeIron. Learning of all of these benefits of dark chocolate is making me in the mood for some chocolate! But I know I have to limit myself because even though dark chocolate is not terrible for you, you still have to limit yourself because eating it in large amounts will make it bad for you.

The benefits of dark chocolate are clearly better than the benefits of milk chocolate. But, are they better than the benefits of white chocolate. According to one article, white chocolate is not as healthy as dark chocolate. White chocolate does not contain as much cocoa as dark chocolate does and a high cocoa content leads to the positive health benefits. Dark chocolate contains 30% to 90% cocoa and White chocolate contains only about 20%. Now I know why I like dark chocolate so much better than any other type! Dark chocolate contains more cocoa, which makes it more bitter and sweet, which leads to its unique taste that I love so much.

After doing all of this research, I agree with my hypothesis that dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate. There are multiple sources that confirm this to be true and have proven facts that support this theory. Not only is dark chocolate better for you, but there is evidence that milk chocolate can impact the benefits of dark chocolate. WebMD one stated, “Our findings indicate that milk chocolate may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.” This is one of many articles that support this theory.

Milk chocolate may taste better. White chocolate may look better. But dark chocolate is healthier. This article is not trying to persuade you to change what you like. The purpose is to be informative and help you make healthier eating decisions while still enjoying treats. Eating a little bit of dark chocolate satisfies your sweet tooth and is not that bad for you! So why not choose dark chocolate?

I wonder what other food choices I could make that would be healthy but tasty choices? Are there better chips, nuts, or pretzels that I should be eating? What about cereals and granola bars? There must be healthier choices out there.

Does the weather affect your mood?

Are you more likely to be in a better mood when it is warm and sunny outside or when it is rainy and cold outside? For me, I would choose choice A and I would assume most of you guys would also. For some reason, whenever it is raining outside or just a gross day, I want to stay in bed all day and watch Netflix. I don’t want to do anything productive. However, when it is a nice, sunny day I have more energy and motive to get my work done. Why does this happen? Is it possible that the weather can affect one’s mood and behavior?

In one experiment, 24 college students had to keep track of their mood for 11 days. They did this by filling out a mood questionnaire survey. The results of this survey showed that one’s mood correlated with the weather. For example, “High levels of humidity lowered the score on concentration while increasing the levels of sleepiness. Rising temperatures lowered anxiety and as the number of hours of sunshine increased, optimism scores also increased.” I am not surprised by these findings. I can personally relate to these results. The more humid it is outside, the less energy or concentration that I have and the less likely I am to go to the gym or study for an exam. I tend to be more active with my friends and go to town when it is a nice day outside. If being in the heat and humidity lower one’s energy level and concentration as the study suggest, I would think simply staying inside in an air conditioned room would be ok. But the studies say no, so that tends to make me believe that one’s mood and energy level is not based on the temperature, but more so on that individual’s perception of their environment.

There is also a disorder related to seasonal change and ones mood. It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a type of disorder in which a person experiences a drastic change in their overall mood during the fall and winter seasons of the year. Some examples of what could happen to someone with SAD in the winter are depression, anxiety, and fatigue. There is also reverse seasonal affective disorder and then is when people have a mood change in the summer rather than the winter. Most people joke about how they get more depressed in the winter, not realizing that it is an actual sickness that they have to deal with. It is interesting to see how people react differently to the weather. Some people respond better to the warm weather and nSeasonal-Depressionegatively to the cold weather while others are the complete opposite. I am more of a summer person. By going to the beach and pools, I can stay cool even in the heat of the summer. I like to play basketball and soccer, so I am always active in the summer as well.

There are a couple of different factors that can cause someone to have SAD. For example, reduced levels of sunlight in the winter and fall can cause winter-onset SAD and the same goes for reverse SAD. Everybody needs a daily dose of sunlight to keep them smiling and well. Also, a drop in serotonin (a brain chemical) can also lead to SAD. This is be caused by being exposed to little sunlight. Lastly, a quick change in seasonal weather can disrupt ones natural body balance of melatonin. In
the end, sunlight is the biggest factor in causing SAD.

Every year, seasons change, the weather changes, and so does ones mood. Before doing research on this topic, I thought that it was just a myth that people can actually become depressed in the winter. However, now I know that it is an actual illness that many people suffer. Approximately, 4 to 6 percent of people have this disorder and another 10 to 20 percent of people have mild a case of it. Seasonal depression is a serious illness that needs to be taken more seriously. Bears are not the only creatures to hibernate in the winter, many humans stay locked in their rooms because they are too depressed due to SAD.

As winter is approaching, be careful and make sure to get plenty of sunlight and sleep!



Online dating: Does it actually work?

With the increase in technology, everyone is using online dating sites to try and find their significant other rather than meeting in person. Online dating sites have become so popular over the past couple years. This could be because people are having trouble meeting others, they don’t have time to go out, or they don’t know how to meet someone. However, meeting someone online is so risky. What if you are paired with someone that you don’t click with. That leads me to this, how do the online dating websites work and what is the process in pairing two people together.

One interesting thing about online dating is that they have sites for all types of people. Some different types of sites include sites for seniors, fitness oriented people, for people just looking for friends, and for all different types of religion. The online dating process works by making an account, adding a picture of yourself, filling out a profile of your interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. Then, somehow, the website will find someone else who also has an account on that dating website and match you guys based on how similar your likes and interests are. The more you guys have in common the higher “match percentage” you will have.

One website, OkCupid, says it all, “We use math to get you dates.” This website tries there best to find your “perfect match.” They use math, science, and compatibility. Yes, these websites find you someone you match perfectly with, but do the relationships last long term? The answer to that question is yes. One study that was performed interviewed 20,000 people who married betweenlogos.png 2005 and 2012. Out of the 20,000 people, just over one third had met their spouse online. Also, those marriages were 25 perfect more likely to last than those of couples who met the traditional way.

Another dating site uses the slogan “love is no coincidence.” This site goes to the extreme and test samples of people’s saliva in order to make the best DNA match. This seems a little intense and crazy, but if it works it works. People who use online dating sites have to take lots of surveys and test, such as a personality test. This is done to make sure the matchmakers know everything about the people they are matching.

Online dating is a risky but rewarding thing to do. After doing research, it seems that it works just as well, maybe a little better, than the traditional dating way. During online dating, you never know whom you are going to be matched with. It could be someone you don’t like at all or it could be your future husband. The matchmakers do everything they can to make sure they match you with someone you could really get along with. I am now a believer that online dating sites actually work.

How much sleep should a teenager get each night?

Know matter how much sleep I get each night I am always still so tired. On a typical weeknight, I get an average of 6-7 hours of sleep and on the weekends I get around 8-9 hours of sleep. At first, I thought I was getting a good amount of sleep each night. However, as I got older, I started getting more tired as my schedule got busier and constantly needed to take naps in order to stay awake during the day. So I decided to research how much sleep a teenager should be getting on a typical weeknight.

Teenagers are always tired. They have too much work to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. One article says that, “ Most teens need about 8.5 to more than 9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, though, many teens don’t get enough sleep.” It is almost impossible for teenagers to get 8.5 hours of sleep. With classes, homework, studying, going to the gym, eating, and keeping a decent sleep-is-goodsocial life, it is just not possible to get that much sleep as well as completing everything else.

Some teenager’s choose to stay up late and not get the most sleep possible. They like to stay up late, watch Netflix, or play video games. However, a recent report states, “For teenagers, you can partially blame biology. A teen’s body clock resets at puberty. They’ll be most alert in the evenings and not able to fall asleep until at least 10 p.m.” Not getting enough sleep can lead to many problems.

couple problems with getting too little sleep are problems with grades, mood, memory, weight issues, heart disease, and diabetes. This shows you just how important it is to get a good night’s sleep every night. Sleeping is very important for one’s health and body. Not getting enough sleep may be the reason why you are constantly getting a cold/ the flu. “Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are 30% more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours or more of sleep.” This is because people who are sleep deprived have higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin. Leptin
is the hormone that decreases hunger and ghrelin is the hormone that increases hunger. These studies show that sleep is essential to staying healthy. Living a healthy life starts with getting enough sleep.

Before doing all of this research, I never truly knew the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. I just thought it was a saying people said to others. But, after doing all of this research, I finally understand just how important sleep is. Everybody should try there hardest to get around 8 hours of sleep each night. Yes, you may have a big exam the next day and want to stay up all night studying, but if you do not get a decent amount of sleep the night before, you will not be able to stay focused during the test and will therefore get a bad grade. Sleeping the key to succeeding in life.


Is technology taking over our lives?

As I was walking to class today, everyone around me was on their phone or holding their phone in their hand, including me. Nowadays, people are becoming too reliant on their phones and other technology that they don’t realize what they are missing. We go to a beautiful school where walking to class isn’t too bad because you are surrounded by beautiful buildings, trees, and pathways, but everyone is too busy to notice all of this because they are too absorbed on their phones.

People are becoming too addicted to technology. One article states that “ The more advanced technology becomes, the more it seems to have control over our lives.” In other words, people no longer need to read the newspaper to check the weather, updates on the community, or see how their favorite sports team did over the weekend. They can just check twitter, Google it, or even ask Siri (Siri does have the answer for everything). There is no need to wait to get the newspaper when everything is on the Internet.

One negative effect of technology and social media taking over teenager’s livestechnology-300x282 is there is an increase in cyber bullying. This is becoming more popular because bullies find it easier to harass someone anonymously on the Internet than doing it face to face. A common thing cyber bullies do is “ Perpetrators anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, terrorize individuals in front of their peers. The devastation of these online attacks can leave deep mental scars. Some victims have even been driven to suicide.” Cyber bullies do not understand the consequences that their actions have and the effect they have on the
victims. This increase is cyber bullying is all due to the increase in technology.

Another side effect of the increase use in technology is people’s physical activity will decrease. More people are spending time on their computers or watching TV, rather than playing sports outside or being active. Even when people are hanging with friends, they are just sitting around on their phones or surrounding the TV. Nobody is doing anything productive. One study
states that, “physical activity levels will decrease and sedentary time will increase by 2020 and 2030 if we continue at the rate we’re going.” This lack of physical activity will then lead to more people becoming obese and overweight.

Today’s society is becoming more and more addicted to technology that people are not appreciating what the world has to offer. Teenagers would rather watch Netflix or Facetime with their friends rather than hangout with their friends in person. I am guilty of doing all of these things. But, I am going to try and not to be too reliant on my phone or have separation anxiety from it when I am gone from it for too long. Everyone should try and use technology a little less and see that they will be okay without it.

Does what you dream about have an important meaning?

Every night I go to sleep and every morning I wake up trying to remember what I dreamt about. Sometimes it is the same as previous nights and other times it is a dream I have never had before. I have never understood how a dream is formed or why I dreamt about what I did. So why does one person dream about a certain thing? Does it mean something?

Dreams occur every night, even if you don’t remember what you dreamt about. In one article, it states “dreams don’t always tell a simple story. Dreams are a universal language, creating often elaborate images out of emotional concepts.” In other words, dreams are formed from previous thoughts one has had or from previous experiences. They are never random and always have a deeper meaning to them even if you don’t know it yet.

Some people say that dreams are from “the unconscious mind.” This article shares some of the important meanings of many common dreams:

Being Chased-Means you are feeling threatened by someone

Death– Means change in ones life. It is not a psychic prediction for the future

Falling– Relates to anxieties about letting go

Nudity-Reveals your true self to others

Roads– Reveal your directions in life

Being trapped-Reflecting your real life inability to escape or make the right choice.

Water-Symbolizes the unconscious mind.

Not everyone has these dreams, but these are the most common ones. There are many factors that can affect ones dream.  For example, “studies show that alcohol dependency is linkeimagesd to dreams with more negative emotional content.” Alcohol disrupts ones sleeping patterns and therefore interrupts ones dreaming. Marijuana and other drugs also have the same effect as alcohol on dreams.


Dreams are common and most people have similar ones. Dreams can vary from many different topics and most dreams have there own meaning. It may not be noticeable at first, but your dreams do mean something: every single on of them. So next time you wake up from a great dream, write it down, and see if you have a similar one again. If so, the dream may be more significant than you think.

Is listening to music while studying beneficial?

Studying. The one thing everyone hates to do but has to do in order to do well in class. For me, studying is boring and very time consuming. I would so much rather take a nap or watch Netflix. Many people have told me to try listening to music while I do homework or study. At first I was against it because I get distracted very easily and figured I would get caught up in the song and not focus on my work. However, I figured I would give it a try. So as I am sitting here writing mlisten-to-mozart-while-working-e1422667099111y blog, I am listening to music.

Many studies have been performed to test this theory. One study performed by Dr. Lesiuk supported the theory that music does in fact help you focus and get your tasks done more quickly. The results of the study showed that the people who listened to music while working completed their tasks more quickly, efficiently, and had more creative ideas. Dr. Lesiuk once said “It breaks you out of just thinking one way.” In other words, music opens up your mind and allows you to think outside the box and come up with different ideas that you may not have come up with if you were not listening to music.

Contracting to the previous study, this next study has completely different results. This study, performed by researchers at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, United Kingdom, argues that listening to music while trying to memorize a list or facts actually hurts your chances of memorizing them. Participants tried memorizing a list of facts under different condition: quiet, music that they liked, music that they didn’t like, and a voice repeating the number three, and lastly a voice reciting random single digit numbers. The results showed that the participants performed the worst while they listened to any type of music or sound and did the best in the quiet environment.

Other studies show that it all depends on what type of music you listen to. If it is music that you like, then it will calm you down and help you study. However, if it is music that you don’t like then it will make you more distracted. There are also good music to listen to while studying and music you should definitely not listen to if you are studying for a final. For example, classical and instrumental sounds are found to help one focus.

In the end, there is no exact answer if you should listen to music while studying or not. It all depends on the individual and how they think they will perform best. For me, this way my first time listening to music while working and it actually wasn’t that bad. I got my work done quicker and it kept me from getting distracted in my dorm room. So in my opinion, I would recommend every try it just once to see if they work better that way. It is not for everyone, but you may be surprised.

First Blog

Hi! My name is Alyssa Cooper and I am from Long Island, New York. I am freshman and I am currently a member of the Division of Undergraduate studies but hoping to major in business.

I have never been good at science so I thought this class would be good for me because in the description it said “for non science majors” and “assumes no background knowledge.” Throughout High School, science was always my worst subject and I had a hard time understanding it. Therefore, I did not want to take a science class in college. But when I saw this class and read the description, I thought it would be different and interesting. I am not majoring in science because I find business more interesting.