Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | March 9, 2012

Friday Five (well, make that Four) – March 9, 2012

It’s the Friday before Spring Break, and the campus is a ghost town. I’m one of those mean professors who gave an exam this morning. It’s midterm week! Besides, most students won’t study over spring break, so they’d rather have the test done and over with before the break. (I am extra happy to report that my students performed, on average, 16.7 points better on this exam than their last one. All my harping about studying seems to have motivated them. Keep up the good skills PSY102!) I am also extra-super-evil because I’m holding my 12:25 – 1:15 class AND covering new material.

The spring fever seems to be getting to me, though. I had trouble focusing on writing this post, and as I start it, I’m still searching for a fifth link. I never did find it.

Also, as a forewarning, I will be out of town next Friday. I did promise my PSY102 students that I would post something next week. I’m just not sure that will be the usual Friday Five, or I might do a Thursday Three before I head out of town for the weekend.

Anyway, here are the links to this week’s Friday Five (well, make that Four):

Psychology Today: Your Brain at Work (David Rock) – March 5, 2012

In his Your Brain at Work blog for Psychology Today, David Rock talks about some of the problems of the Self-Esteem Movement: that trend beginning in the 1980s that encouraged parents, teachers, and coaches to tell every kid that he or she is special in order to build self-esteem.

I will acknowledge that this post is much longer (7 pages when printed) than ones I usually link to. However, I think it is well worth the read.

PsyBlog (Jeremy Dean) – March 6, 2012

We live in a society that tells us that getting angry is bad and that we should avoid getting angry. In this post for PsyBlog, Jeremy Dean presents six ways in which anger can be beneficial. He does conclude his post by cautioning that, while constructive in some situations, anger is still the emotion we find most difficult to control.

APS Observer: Daily Observations – March 6, 2012

I still remember a student paper from years ago. The student, a women’s basketball player, was telling of how she developed a superstition of eating a Snicker’s bar before every game. No other candy bar would work; it had to be a Snicker’s. Even though she recognized the superstition was silly, she wasn’t willing to give it up that season. Perhaps it payed off – that was the year (2006) that our Women’s Basketball Team made it to the NCAA Division II Finals.

The APS Observer Daily Observations post describes a study, published inPsychological Science, that suggests that athletes gain a boost in their beliefs that they will perform well, which in turn makes them set higher goals. Basically, pregame superstitions work because the players think they will work.

Psychology Today: The Playing Field (Steven Kotler) – December 29, 2010

The date on this may be surprising to some, but the link did come across Twitter this week.

In this post for The Playing Field, Steven Kotler discusses how humans are not alone in our use of mind-altering substances.


  1. Has Coddling an Entire Generation of Children Set Them Up for Failure?
    This article is the story of my life. Although I now realize that all the hovering my parents did when i was younger was for my own good, I also realize that not everything in this life is peachy keen! I htought everyone in that I come across with nowadays will be super nice to me, but most often they all offend me with the words they say to me. I still continue to be nice regardless. Just because they’re mean to me, I should be the same way. That’s one of the many good things my parents taught me, and sometimes they work, but other times they don’t. But like my prents say, we should just take things one step at a time.

    Animals on Psychedelics: Survival of the Trippiest
    This article made me laugh. Just the thought of my dog wanting to eat frogs is just hilarious! Nonethless to be drugged up?! I now know why some animals eat the, most strangest things. I guess they too wana be a little trippi at times!

  2. The Upside of Anger: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad
    i really liked this article. it made me change my mind about “anger” itself.
    i honestly thought that anger was always negative. But this article made me realize that anger actually make an individual think about the situation before acting. Its like a preform of relieving and going over possible solutions and stress. expressing anger and talking about it helps me unravel things and get a point of view from someone else.

    Has Coddling an Entire Generation of Children Set Them Up for Failure?
    this is an article i can somewhat relate to. i find it to be very true and reasonable. when i was younger my parents never let me fall, explore, play with dirt like a normal child etc. i believe this is an explanation to my fears as well as times where i don’t do things on my own or even have trouble ordering something from the menu because my parents always did it for me.
    This makes it harder for one to become unique and having knowledge of one’s personality.

  3. “Animals on Psychedelics: Survival of the Trippiest,” is an extremely interesting article. I would have never thought of animals doing any type of drug especially psychedelics. However, after reading the article it does make plenty of sense that animals would do this before humans. Animals have been living out with all of these different plants forever, and there for, it is only natural that they would know what to eat for different things. It is also true that animals seem to have different personalities just as humans do. Some humans are more susceptible to the draw of altering their state of mind, as is true in animals.

    “The Upside of Anger: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad,” is an article that describes the good sides of anger. Each of the six benefits basically could have a bad side, but it is up to the person experiencing the anger to turn it into a positive emotion. If one is angry in their relationship, it is much better to turn the anger into constructive critisism than to keep it bottled up inside. Anger can also be used as a motivated force along with a way of getting what you want by feeling and appearing to be more powerful. All in all, it seems that anger can be either good or bad. It all just depends what you decide to do with it. It can turn into a fierce drive or a violent outburst, all depending on the route one takes for their anger.

  4. •Silly Sports Rituals? Think Again
    This is definetly true. As an athlete, I like to have a certain routine for every game. When the routine gets disturbed, it throws off my energy and excitement for the game. This rituals are really just preperations for the game. It is isn’t silly at all!

    •The Upside of Anger: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad
    I am definetly against anger but after reading this article I do see how it can be beneficial. The only form of anger I knew was the angry my high school coaches instilled in us before the game. However, now I do see how it can benefit relationships. “But use with caution as people find anger the most difficult of all the emotions to control” is a perfect statement. It really is an emotion that is overwhelmingly hard to control.

  5. Silly Sports Rituals? Think Again

    This title caught my attention. It relates to me because i am a baseball player and have numerous rituals. It was very interesting because this article notes that the outcome of the game and each team or players performance is totally unknown so doing rituals really is pointless but it gives you some sort of mind control.

    The Upside of Anger: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad

    Anger is something that every person encounters. It is something you cannot run or hide from. It is interesting to see how it actually benefits you even though it is such a negative thing. The most interesting thing was the relationships. You should actually show your anger so the other knows what they did wrong.

  6. Survival of the trippiest
    I have learned something new today. Animals like to get high like people do. This article talks about some examples and logical reasons for why human and animal take mind altering-drugs. The urge to look for any altered state is not inborn. One can grow eager for the consumption of the drug in order to achieve that altered state of mind. The use of the psychiatric drug acts as a stimulate to complete other tasks. Examples of these tasks would be fighting, sex, thinking, etc.

    Silly Sports Rituals? Think Again
    The rituals athletes in sports must go through determine a lot about their performance. There is a lot of beliefs and stories behind everything one does in order to prepare for a game. For example I see here on campus that the rugby team has a chant they would do before every game.These rituals serve as many things to help hype the players for the game. All of this preparation helps bring out the players best performance for the game.

  7. the article on six ways anger can be a positve thing. Some of the stuff I believe is true. Like using anger as a motivation is a positive thing in things such as sport, school and debates. Also the the fact that anger can be a way of confidents because for some people anger can make someone feel empowered. But using anger to reduce violence is not a thing I have witness yet. To my knowlegde anger only increase the viloence. Its hard to talk to someone who is angery and can not control it.

    the article on the “Silly Sports Ritual” is easy to relate to because i see it all the time. I see it in aic with the brick circle near the libary the player dont step on it becuase they think it will increase there chance of an injury. Its common to all people as well not just player in general.


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