Author Archives: Megan Ann French

Dog People vs. Cat People

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I’ve always wondered why certain people are dog people and why certain people are cat people. As myself being more of a dog person, I was curious whether being a dog or cat person depends on what type of personality you have. That’s why I’ve decided to write this blog.

A psychologist, Sam Gosling, at the University of Texas in Austin conducted an online study where 4,565 individuals were asked whether they were cat people, dog people, neither or both. Then that same group was given an assessment that measured them on the “Big Five” personality test. Here’s a link to the “Big Five” personality test where you can see what type of personality you have. “There is a widely held cultural beliefs that the pet species – dog or cat – with which a person has the strongest affinity says something about the individuals personality, and this research suggests there are significant differences on major personality traits between dog and cat people.” says Gosling. Looking at the research, cat owners are low in dominance. They come across as being more timid, shy, and unaggressive. Dog owners seem to be more extroverted (more sociable and interactive), whereas cat owners seem to be more introverted, less sociable and self contained. This may not always be the case but this is what is shown through the study.

A few characteristics that dogs have that dog people may be drawn to are:

  • Outgoing
  • Loving
  • Loyal
  • Structured
  • Personable

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If you are a cat person you may be drawn to these characteristics that are common in cats.

  • Independence
  • Adaptability
  • Silly antics
  • Poise
  • Beauty

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How bad is flat ironing your hair?

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Flat ironing my hair is something that I do on the norm and I know it’s bad for my hair, so why do I still do it? Because it’s the only way I can tame my hair and make it look good. Recently I’ve been trying not to straighten my hair every day but there was a point when I would. I’m sure many other girls can relate to this, so that’s why I wanted to look into it more and see how bad it actually is for your hair.

There are many heat risks when it comes to flat ironing your hair. Consumer flat irons can sometimes be equipped with different heat settings that can go up to 410 degrees or more. According to the AAD, exposing the hair to such high temperatures from 347 to 419 degrees for just five minutes can cause harm to your hair. One thing to stay away from when straightening your hair would be to not straighten it when it’s damp or wet. When a hot flat iron is applied to damp or wet hair, it can cause damage at an even lower temperature. This can also happen when your hair has been bleached, permed or dyed, so just be careful. “A healthy hair strand has a uniform structure with a hollow, water-and-air filled medulla and a smooth cuticle. This allows light to pass through it and gives it an internal glow (translucent center), and an external, reflective shine (smooth cuticle). Excessive heat damages both of these layers.” explains Dr. Krant. “The worst habits in hair styling are mainly about trying too hard to make the hair do things it doesn’t want to do. Unfortunately, or fortunately if we kill it, the hair stands are dead once they come out of the scale, so once damaged, it’s not really possible to fix.” What Dr. Krant explained here really brought to my attention that your basically burning your hair every time you use a flat iron on it and it really showed to me how much damage your really doing to your hair.

Some side affects when using heat on your hair would be drys ends, fly aways, breaking and dulling that thins out your hair, and a shaggy appearance.

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There are many ways to decrease the intensity of these side affects. Heat protectant sprays, leave-in conditioners, or some types cream that also have heat protectant in it are some good ways to reduce damaging your hair. I prefer to use the leave in conditioner called “It’s a 10”. “It’s a 10” repairs dry damaged hair, adds shine, smoothes and controls frizz, seals and protects hair color, detangles, prevents split ends, stops hair breakage, makes hair more silky, enhances natural body, and its also a flat iron and thermal protector. I’ve been using it recently and have been seeing pretty good improvements as to how my hair feels and looks.

In the end, your hair isn’t going to be permanently damaged from flat ironing but you may have to live with it for a couple years until new hair grows out.



Why is Netflix So Addicting?

Netflix. The cure to everyone’s boredom, the relief to everyone’s stress, and the reason college students can never get anything done. You have access to basically any show and you don’t have to wait a week for the next episode to come out. Recently I haven’t had much time to watch Netflix but I’m sure I will find the time once I figure out this whole college thing. But back at home when I would get into a show, Netflix was my life.

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Binge-watching is one of the main reasons people become so addicted. Think about it, when your watching a show and something really good just happened and then the episode ends, you want to know what happens next, right? Then you watch the next episode, and you keep watching and watching because you can’t stop. An online survey conducted by Harris Interactive says that “a majority (73%) defined binge watching as watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting. And there’s no guilt in it. Nearly 3 quarters of TV streamers (73%) say they have positive feelings towards binge streaming TV.”. There are many reasons to why people binge watch. Some say it’s to relieve stress, to “escape” from their busy lives, or some even say that it makes the show better. I can agree with that because sometimes you’re just so caught up in it, you almost feel like you’re in the show yourself. 39% of the streamers said that they prefer to “save” the TV shows to watch at a later date so they can watch them with other people. So, binge watching may not always be the case to Netflix addiction, but it clearly plays a big role in it.

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There was a pretty cool graph that I found online that shows the number of Netflix streaming subscribers worldwide from 3rd quarter 2011 to 2nd quarter 2015. I thought it was pretty interesting because it puts it in prospective of how many people actually watch Netflix and how the numbers keeps increasing.

I found this link, 15 signs you’re actually addicted to Netflix, quite amusing because it’s so true. As I read down the list of signs, I could relate to almost every one of them, and for all you Netflix users I’m sure you could too, so definitely check it out!

Some ways to help reduce your binge-watching habits are to:

  • Set an alarm for when you want to stop watching.
  • Talk to your friends in between episodes cause you don’t want to make fictional characters the ones responsible for calming you down, your real friends should.
  • Earn your next episode. Do a chore or get some homework done in between episodes, it will make you feel better in the long run.


Is Peanut Butter Bad for You?

Peanut butter always had a pretty big place in my heart. I love anything that has peanut butter on it and will eat anything that has peanut butter on it. When ever I eat it I always say, “I’m only gonna have a little bit” but then I end up eating like half the jar.
Recently I’ve been hearing different things that peanut butter is actually bad for you and I got pretty upset when I heard that.

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According to the National Peanut Board, the average American eats about 3 pounds of peanut butter a year, which totals to about 700 million pounds nation wide. I found this pretty shocking because 3 pounds of peanut butter a year for one person seems like a lot to me but I can believe it since I basically have an addiction. Peanut butter is basically just ground roasted peanuts mixed with other ingredients such as salt, sugar, and palm oil is added to the peanut butter sold in the grocery stores. “Regular” peanut butter such as Skippy, and Jif includes peanuts, sugar, molasses, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono-diglyceride and salt. Partially hydrogenated oils also known as trans fat has been linked to increase risk of cardiovascular disease. Peanut butter is very high in protein but if you use it as a primary source of protein it’s not good because there’s twice as much fat as there is protein in it. There is approximately 170-200 calories in two tablespoons of peanut butter, around 16 grams of fat, 7-8 grams of protein, and 6-8 grams of carbohydrates.

There are different alternatives to make peanut butter “healthier”. Natural peanut butters are a better option than traditional store brand peanut butters, even though there is still sugar and salt in it, there’s less fat. Obviously pure peanut butter would be the best option but if you don’t have access to it or it costs too much money, go with the natural peanut butter. Fox News Magazine offers a wide variety of different peanut butter brands to suite your different peanut butter needs.

Even though you may be tempted to eat an entire jar of peanut butter, the best way to eat peanut butter and it keep it “healthy” would be to eat it in moderation. There are many healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and a pretty good amount of protein in peanut butter so it’s not entirely bad for you unless you eat a jar a day. My advice would be to stick with the natural peanut butter if your trying to look for a healthier alternative rather than the regular store brand peanut butter.



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Have you ever wondered why you’ve been so afraid of something you just don’t know why?  I know I have.  My biggest fear is snakes and I can’t even look at a picture of one without freaking out and I can’t explain why. That’s why I’ve decided to do this topic to get more information on why I have such a big fear of snakes and why we have fears.
So, what exactly is fear and why does it exist? Fear is a chain reaction in your brain that starts with a stressful stimulus, in my case snakes, and ends with a release of chemicals.  These chemicals cause your heart to race, your muscles to tense, fast breathing, and the fight-or-flight response.  The fight-or-flight response is when you either fight for your life or run for your life, hence the term “fight-or-flight”.  For more information on the fight-or-flight response click here.
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If we didn’t have fear, we wouldn’t survive long.  “We’d be walking into oncoming traffic, stepping off of rooftops, and carelessly handling poisonous snakes.” Says Julia Layton, “In humans and in all animals, the purpose of fear is to promote survival”.  Basically she is saying that if we didn’t fear anything, we would be getting ourselves into trouble and we need it to help us survive.
There are many ways that fear can come about but one way is through classical conditioning. John Watson, an American psychologist taught an infant (Albert) to fear white rats.  “Little Albert showed no fear to any type of small furry animal before the conditioning took place. John Watson then placed a white rat in front of “Little Albert” and whenever he would reach for the rat they would play a loud noise that was terrifying to Albert.  After a few times, Albert not only feared white rats but he also feared small fury animals also like rabbits.  I thought this was very interesting because many people can form fears this way.  Even if its just seeing someone else being afraid of something multiple times it can make you be afraid of that too.
Here’s a video on the experiment conducted on “Little Albert”.



Initial Blog Post

Hi! My name is Megan French and I’m from Marlton, New Jersey which is about 4 hours away from Penn State.  I’m a freshman and I’m majoring in Special Education.

I’m taking this course because my advisor suggested me to take it since I’m not a huge Science person and also because it filled my requirements.  I’m not planning to be a Science major because like I said I was never really into Science and also because it wasn’t my best subject in high school.

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I can’t wait for the football season to start so here’s a picture of Beaver Stadium.

THON seems like a great orginization and I can’t wait to be involved in it! So here’s a video from last years THON event!