Author Archives: Anthony Mitchell

About Anthony Mitchell

Certified food lover. Typical internet enthusiast. Travel buff. Helpaholic. Scholar. Problem solver. Reader. Social media navigator. Speaking of social media, feel free to follow me on Twitter/IG: @potusam

Are Men More Productive Than Women In the Office?

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Another classic battle of the sexes! This time, it is whether or not men are the dominant gender when it comes to the productivity in an office setting such as a corporation, cubical, etc. A UC Berkley study released in 2006 by Trond Petersen, Vermund Snartland, and Eva M. Meyersson Milgrom says that men and women produce at relatively the same level (all things held equal). There was an interesting insertion in the findings about men taking more sick days than the women in the study by one percent or so, which I also thought was interesting. Assuming that two candidates (one male and one female) are doing the same job and all things are help equal (experience, education, work ethic, etc.), which will be more productive. That’s what this seeks to investigate.

Here, the independent variable is the work done (i.e. the occupation); and, the dependent variable is the self-identified sex of the person in the study. However, what is important to keep in mind is to make sure that the field or occupation is gender neutral, which means that the field cant be dominated by men or dominated by women. It needs to be equal opportunity for success from both to prevent bias from creeping into the equation. It’s easy to make an alternate hypothesis like this and say that women are less productive than men because of their time spent socializing and shopping online. I would argue that men waste time that they could using to be productive as well.  There is some correlation between gender and success in particular occupations due to the physical make up of a man or woman. For example, a woman is more equipped to be a midwife than a man is.


For just about every statistic that says a man is more productive, there seems to be an equally present on that says that a woman is either just as productive or more productive. If we want to get more into the deeper underlying causes of why men may be more productive than women, we can talk about the wage gap that has existed between men and women for decade, since the women’s suffrage era. Even today, women are paid cents to the dollar of a man, which can cause underlying bias about the work ethic of women and the value of having a woman versus a man in a particular role.  Just like real estate, one important thing that wasn’t mentioned much in the study was the role of location. In some places there are equal opportunities for men and women and equal pay.

To conclude, the study was conducted mostly outside the United States, but it is still quite relevant tot he working woman vs the working man. I will accept this hypothesis of the study because it is partially true.  In a way, women may be more productive than men because they are doing the same work at less the rate of pay. However, this hypothesis may not be true with the presence of a 3rd party variable – location.Those cases are few and far between though. The primary reason I will accept is because there is relatively no difference in productivity if all things are held equal in a scenario. Specific occupations, even if things held equal for both a man and a woman, may prove slightly advantageous to a particular gender.

Is Religion Healthy?

One issue that has become increasingly popular on our campus is the attention we pay to mental health and those who suffer from mental health issues on our campuses. In fact, Penn State did a study and reported the findings about it in an online document that can be accessed easily. I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea, and it should continue to be an ongoing conversation because of the relevance it has in the live of over 46,000 undergraduate students and University Park. Our commonwealth campuses are focusing on it as well. Within the this wide range of data presented in the study and the findings, I am presenting the hypothesis that religion has a significant impact on the mental health of the students that use the resources. Significant in this case would mean more than 50% of the sample population.

After investigating the data presented, I cross referenced the graphs on page 28, more specifically the graphs about the religious preferences of the participants and to what extent (self identified) that the participants felt their religious or spiritual preferences play a role in their life (see below).Displaying image1.PNG

The question isn’t whether a differing religion will make the difference in mental health, but that may be interesting to explore at another point. Remember, the hypothesis we are looking at is “religion has a significant impact on the mental health of the students and Penn State”. The null hypothesis is that religion has no effect on the mental health of the students at Penn State. The dependent variable here is the presence of a religious affiliation; the independent variable here are the students that self identified in this data.

Most students that were surveyed self identified with some form of religion within the study. From the data, we can see that, as expected, most people identify as Christian. This seems to be the classic science vs religion argument because Psychology Today says that religion may have a negative affect on the health of people, including students. Interestingly enough, the data from the table shows us that most people said that they possessed a neutral stance (34.7%) on their religion’s importance in their life, followed closest by people saying that it plays an important (23.5%) role in their life in the Penn State study. With these two combined, we can see that majority of the people in this sample of Penn State students is either indifferent towards the role of religion in their health. However, Live Science says that religion can be good for health, especially mental health because of the stress reduction from increased levels of coping.

In conclusion, the highest percentage of student seemed to be indifferent to the role of spiritual activity/religion in their lives; this doesn’t support my hypothesis too much. Its like I should reject both my hypothesis and the null hypothesis because religion has a varying impact on the individual and can be the difference in health situation through coping with the stress. The null hypothesis says that there would be no link between mental health and religion at all, which isn’t entirely true from the aforementioned data and studies. Religion definitely can have a positive correlation with health, in some cases, but we all know that correlation doesn’t equal causation. What is the better suggestions is that there is another variable that can be more prominent for causing health to become better, like medicine or frequency of visits to the Health Center. Thus, an alternative hypothesis would likely be adopted to better explain the improvement in mental health of Penn State students.

Are Horoscopes True?

We all have likely seen the online horoscopes that seem to be describing us as if they know us. Could it be because the stars actually have aligned and people have interpreted what that means for the other people in their birth range? Does this stuff have any merit at all? How can we be sure that it’s not just a marketing gimmick and people playing with our psyche? This Clinical Psychology Journal study I found about horoscopes says that they are indeed true because they focus their efforts of acceptance of these astrological phenomena on specificity. It uses natal astrology (the part of astrology that’s about making judgments about someone’s personality) to pinpoint generally good things that most people can apply a particular experience in their life to or fits into what they already perceive of themselves.

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For example, today’s horoscope for a Capricorn (just because my birthday is Dec. 25th) would be something along the lines of: “Many people are impressed with what you have accomplished, not only your friends and family but your bosses and supervisors as well. They are looking to see if you are ready to bump to the next level or promotion. You are confident in yourself and know that it would be well deserved of both their consideration and admiration. Once the you receive your promotion (soon), enjoy it and unwind a little. This is something you have earned and are deserving of.” This sis so basic and broad that it can apply to someone that isn’t a Capricorn; in fact, anyone with a decent work ethic and outlook on themselves/life could have this apply to them. This article takes a deeper look into the rationality behind horoscopes and their validity.

Inversely, these same horoscopes that seem to have great words of wisdom from the stars above about the alignment in your life and all these affirmation of who you are can actually be just for entertainment. The Zodiac and Entertainment gives us a glimpse into this. With all these different sources of horoscopes for daily, weekly, and monthly zodiac signs, one can only wonder if there is actually a way for all these sources to say different things on the same day (and all prove accurate). The question the arises of which source has a more accurate depiction of what the horoscope should actually be in accordance with the starts and zodiac signs.

A critique of this is that horoscopes are much too broad and vague. The horoscopes seem to operate under the premise that a vague application can then be applied to a multitude of people based on their personal conceptualizations and experiences. In order for the hypothesis that “horoscopes are true” to be true, there is a strong reliance on the dependent variable – self conceptualization. If someone doesn’t have a positive view of themselves, they are likely not to identify with horoscope. The unchanging independent variable is the horoscope itself. After digging around a little more, another student that took this class in Fall of 2013 came to similar conclusions that I did.

In conclusion, the truth behind horoscopes are dependent upon the self-conceptualization of the person reading the horoscope. The best scenario is that someone has a positive view of themselves and the world for the horoscope to likely apply to them. They also need to have lived experiences that relates somewhat to the broad statements within horoscopes. Some see them as valid, and others see them as just entertainment. Either way, horoscopes are given as much attention and weight as we individually choose to bestow upon them.

Is Money the Deciding Factor In Elections?

Many Americans are convinced of the notion that elections are bought by big corporations, and the one who wins is the person who has the largest war chest. Let’s explore the role of money in elections and why money is oftentimes not the sole deciding factor of an election in the American political system (all else remaining equal). Fundraising for a campaign is important, but I would argue that money is only a key factor in the outcome of an election in few cases usually. If everything else is equal (media coverage, airtime, policy stances, etc.), the outcome of an election is more dependent upon the strategy of that campaign, the impact of the Party that the candidate is in, and the candidate themselves. The null hypothesis in this situation is that none of these factors (including money) makes a difference in who is elected; the alternate hypothesis is that money is the deciding factor of who will win  and election, and whoever raises more will be the winner on Election Day.

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Firstly, the campaign that usually wins in a general election is the campaign that has the better strategy. John Sides argues that because campaigns have finite resources in which to operate, the strategy of a political campaign generally equates to how has a campaign used their resources to efficiently expand their reach to a particular subset of the population and how the campaign’s message resonates with that population. After a campaign has established by their candidate is running and why voters should vote for that person, it is then best to get that message in front of the voters that it will resonate with.

Secondly, Party affiliation can be more important that the amount of money that a campaign has at their disposal.  Since the United States favors a two Party system (Republicans and Democrats), canvassing and campaigning in areas that doesn’t recognize one of these two Parties will be noticeably more difficult than if the candidate was in one of these two. Parties also have resources that they can funnel to the campaign including, but not limited to: researchers, voter databases of people in the district/state, running both positive and negative ads on behalf of a candidate, and connections to other public/political figures that can offer their endorsement to candidates.

Thirdly, the candidate running the race is more important than the amount of money the campaign has to spend. The dollar amount in a campaign’s bank account does not actually tell you how someone will behave, think, or advocate for once that candidate is in office; the character and personality of the person running for that office will tell you. The health of a campaign is usually attached to how much money does that campaign have/how much money that campaign has raised. Moreover, Janet Box-Steffensmeier responds by saying that money dictates how well a campaign is able to construct and disseminate their message to voters and expands the reach and frequency of that same message. Less money available to a political campaign restricts the amount of flexibility and options, which can mean the difference in a close or highly contested race.

After understanding the Psychology of Money, we can better understand that money clouds our judgment. People are more likely to think of someone as a better candidate than another because they have more money. Along this line of thinking, you get statements like, “We should have known Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump because she has been out-raising and outspending him at every turn.” The Psychology of Money becomes the 3rd Party variable that skews the public perception of why the people with the larger sum of money raised at the end of an Election is going to win said election when, in fact, having a larger war chest does not directly correlate to winning an election.

In conclusion, money is an important factor in American campaigns and elections, but it is not the deciding factor a given election. Thus, the hypothesis of money not being the deciding factor in an election (all else held equal) is upheld. Despite what many Americans believe, who is able to raise or spend more money than their opponent in a political race does not guarantee that person the office. Equally as important as how much money a campaign has is its strategy for getting votes, the activity and potential favor of the Party affiliated with a particular campaign, and the character/personality of the candidate running for office.

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Does procrastination cause only worse grades?

Students will oftentimes wait until the last minute or “11th hour” to finish up a paper, study, or even write a blog post; why is that? Katrin, Axel, and Sebastian would lead us to believe that students procrastinate for a myriad of reasons, including: social relatedness, task competence, lack of motivation by the student, and even volitional control. It becomes easier to understand when you factor in catching up on your favorite Netflix/Hulu show versus a 10-page paper. Given the combination of possible internal and external factors, procrastination is relatively easy; it is actually doing the work that is the seemingly harder of the two choices. But, will that student necessarily receive a lower grade or score on the paper than if he/she had not procrastinated in writing it to finish the season of Grey’s Anatomy or Gilmore Girls?After talking with another student in this class, I stumbled upon this study that talks a little more about the actual science behind students who don’t procrastinate getting better grades than their procrastinating counterparts.

Diana and Roy argue that procrastination can be both good and bad depending on when it occurs. For example, in the beginning of the semester, procrastinators would have lower stress levels and less likely to become ill. As the semester continues, however, procrastination may become more of a catalyst for sickness and stress to become active within a student. A good example of which could be a student who didn’t do Blog Period 1 at all (perhaps the easiest of the three in SC200), had a subpar performance in Blog Period 2, and waiting until the final week of Blog Period 3 to try and salvage a decent Blogging grade for the class. In this example, the student will be under more pressure and stress to finish the blogs (and comments) that self-care initiatives like eating right and proper sleep will be substituted by late nights and junk foods accompanied by the occasional cup of coffee. This will make it much easier for the student in question to have higher levels of stress, anxiety, and malnutrition in a race to finish all the work required before the deadline, which can cause sickness to set in from a weakened immune system (as described in sections 2.5 and 2.6 here).

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There are both costs and benefits to procrastination. Non-procrastinators obviously have more time to work on their projects and assignments, get feedback, tweak drafts, etc; they also exert more energy on one assignment when the likely scenario is that a full time student has more assignments in other courses (and extracurricular) that portions of that same energy can be devoted to. However, procrastination offers a chance for the student in question to focus their efforts and energy on a singular assignment with a healthy amount of pressure to be productive; at the same time, they are more susceptible to self-harm that could have been avoided in the process of producing one assignment for one course. There is a negative correlation between procrastination and grades of the assignment; procrastination also can cause the student to suffer from negative outcomes manifesting in their health. Most students who procrastinate will suffer a decrease in their grade on the assignment relative to their non-procrastinating counterparts who completed the assignment.

In conclusion, stress is good for a college student to be successful and productive with their course work, but too much stress can cause longer lasting problems for the individual that a few points off a paper or turning in an assignment a few minutes late. Procrastination seems to be a means of achieving benefits in the short term at the expense of long term costs. Heightened stress, lowered morale, frustration, and anger onset are all possibilities of procrastination outside of the grading. If given the option to do an assignment for a class sooner rather than later, it is in the best interest of the student to do it sooner because procrastination not only will likely lower their grade for the assignment, but their health may take a hit as well. Most students will agree that higher grades and living stress free are better than the alternative.

Is It Important to Have Women of Color in Office?

Overlooking the past few decades, the United States’ population has changed noticeably. The ever-expanding Asian and Latino populations (mostly caused by the influx of immigration) have changed the breakdown and structure of the electorate. Similarly, the United States’ elected officials are changing as well. More recently, there have been gains in terms of the number of political offices held by women have been propelled forward by the accomplishments of candidates that are women of color. In the formation and beginnings of political parties of the United States, there were only white males that represented the entirety of the citizens of the country. However, as time progressed, there has been more representation of other groups as well as genders holding public office. Even with the progression throughout U.S. history, challenges still exist for women candidates, especially those of color, to be granted the opportunity to serve in a public office with respect to their share of the population. The women of color today signify a record high number of women of color in public office.

Black women make up majority of women of color serving in a public office. As of a survey of the national legislature in 2012, 24 women of color serve in Congress, 11 in statewide elected executive offices and 350 in state legislative offices throughout the nation. Their proportion of representation has significantly increased since the Voting Rights Act its passing in 1965. The women of color holding public office today are a byproduct of the women of color that came before them and made tremendous strides. Perhaps one of the most well known of them was Mrs. Shirley Chisholm. This native of Brooklyn, NY was the first African American elected to the United States Congress (1968), where she worked in the Education and Labor Committee. Chisholm made strides for both women and people of color; she supported women’s right to an abortion, supported women professionals (especially in male dominated fields), and helped form the Congressional Black Caucus.

After just four short years in Congress, Chisholm would seek the Democratic nomination for the 1972 Presidential election, thereby becoming both the first African American and woman to run for the presidential nomination or a major political party. Another Black woman that is important to make mention of is Carol Moseley Braun, a Chicago native and University of Illinois College of Law graduate. More important than where she hailed from or where she got her degree from was what she did; she had the opportunity to serve as an Illinois State Representative, women’s rights activist, civil rights activist, and became the first Black woman elected as a United States Senator. While serving as a Democratic US Representative, she advocated for education, government, and healthcare. After Shirley Chisholm, Braun became the second Black woman to run for the office of the Presidency. Unfortunately, she was met with unsuccessful attempts in 2000 & 2004.

Recognizing that the black women that are public office now are not the first, it is also important to acknowledge that the women who blazed a trail for them encountered their fair share of adversity. The trail that women of color take to public office and the challenges they face as candidates are different from those of white women. For example, legislators that are women of color are usually elected from majority-minority districts (congressional district in which majority of the residing constituents are a racial or ethnic minority). These districts were in response to racially/ethnically heavy voting patterns and the ability for voters of color to select candidates that they identify with. Forming these districts propels the progress that Black women have made in being elected into office. Realistically, these majority-minority districts by themselves cannot increase the number of public offices held by black women in the future. Women of color make u about 3.5% of the statewide elected officials, and there is a slim chance of drawing more districts.

In conclusion, I would argue that it is important for women of color to be represented in the political and public offices. In order to uphold the precedent of our U.S. Constitution, we have to strive toward a more perfect union. Part of that is having a representative sample of the governed within the government. We can see how over time women have made significant strides within communities locally and nationally; we even have a women poised to be President of the United States. Nevertheless, having more women of color in the spaces and places of decision making will be crucial for the advancement of both the communities they represent and America overall.


[1] “Women of Color in American Politics.” Political Parity. Web. 17 Oct. 2016. <>.

[2] “Shirley Chisholm.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2016. <>.

[3] “Carol Moseley Braun.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2016. <>.

Is Online Forum/Blog Posting Honest?

Blogs and public forums can be a great way to communicate ideas, experiences, and opinions ideas in a  public sphere. It also serves as a great way to encourage public/democratic deliberation. How often do we consider our perceptions of people who post comments to blogs, discussion boards, or online news sites? How likely are we to assume that the comments posted reflect the poster’s personality? Could there be external forces that prompt someone to post a comment in a public online forum? These are all questions that are good to weigh into the discerning of a blog or forum post online and the responses it may elicit.

In consideration of people that post and comment to blogs, discussion boards, or online news sites, there are various types of people who participate. They span the gambit of sex, race, experiences, lifestyles, and much more. For example, the person posting about their admiration of pets can be a middle-aged, small town school teacher in Iowa. A teenager from inner city New York can talk about their experiences with pets, affirming of challenging the original post. It is likely in the broader topics where we can see this variance in responses and people engaged in the conversation. More specified topics (like child birth tips, fantasy football, etc.) typically have a similar pool of people commenting on them.

My assumption that everyone is sharing their true thoughts about the subject posted are based largely on the following: the subject, who is posting/has posted, and the knowledge of the person doing the posting. The subject alone can cause people to not post their true feelings. For example, people will not be as likely to post their views on a more personal subject like their sexual experiences. People generally save those discussions for intimacy for people that they trust completely, not random strangers. Moreover, who is posting/has posted on the subject already matters to whether or not people will be forthcoming with the truth because people want to feel like they belong; that sense of belonging is part of our hierarchy of needs described by Abraham Maslow (American psychologist that determined what is needed for a healthy, full life).

If a group of like minded folks have already posted, not too many people will be comfortable “going against the grain” and present counter arguments for fear of having the group turn against them due to posting a contrary viewpoint. That goes for people who are knowledgeable on the subject as well as those that are not as well versed on what is being discussed. The more knowledge that someone has, in regards to the subject presented, will allow them to feel more comfortable making an online post with an opposing perspective. The more knowledgeable person will not have as hard of a time articulating their point of view and supporting their claim. A person not as informed, however, may present information to the discussion that isn’t completely true or may have more trouble expressing their opinion to those already in agreement.

These are not even taking into consideration the external factors that may come about when working through online posting such as the Practitioner’s Dilemma. If the online forum allows anonymity, people are more forthcoming with information because it cannot be traced back to them. Thus, the fear of judgment is removed. That is why people are more willing to express the rawness of how they feel on Yik Yak (social media site for anonymous message boards) rather than Facebook (where there is a profile picture, biographical information, and even friends). Another external factor can be the makeup of the group that is posting. If the issue forum is about women and birthing tips, the person who doesn’t care for having children will be less likely to give their full thoughts on the matter. In conclusion, there are many things that help shape our perspective on different issues, topics, and subjects. I don’t think that an online post is or should be assumed to be the true thoughts of the poster. It is so easy to craft any message that someone chooses for an online message board, but the truth is much oftentimes much harder to articulate. We can all craft whatever we think is acceptable to say when it is convenient, but it is when we have differing ideologies that we find it to truly say what is on our minds. Sure, you can post something online anonymously, but shouldn’t we all have the same boldness when our name appears under our actual thoughts as well? I think so.

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Sanders, Katie. “Honesty and Truth: A Practitioner’s Dilemma.” Progressions. Public Relations Student Society of America, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.



You Know Why I’m Here

Hello SC 200,

My name is Anthony Mitchell. I am a Senior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Communication Arts & Sciences (basically teaching people how to talk to one another). That introduction seemed a little basic to me, so I will give you as little more about myself. I am originally from New Orleans, LA and have a twin brother (fraternally). He is the older by four minutes, and we share a birthday on Christmas. I could definitely not be a Science major because I am not much of a technical person. Those are the “left brain” folks. I am more of a “right brain” kind of guy, and I am completely fine with that; it works for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate learning about different things and believe that no information is useless. I just won’t be using the information I take from this class into my major or in my field, which leads me to why I am in this class and you are reading this blog. I am taking this class because Penn State requires all degree seeking students to complete General Education (Gen Ed) courses to produce students that are “well versed in more than just their major”. I heard about this class from my advisor and thought it might be interesting to take on. So far, I have not been disappointed; I am hoping this this continues until December. But, that should be enough about me. I want to hear more about you, so leave a comment below.


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