Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | November 16, 2012

Friday Five – November 16, 2012

On the running front, I survived a 5K on Sunday. I wasn’t so sure going into it that I would. I hadn’t run for over a month and was still slightly sore from Thursday’s lithotripsy. Surprisingly, I was only 3 minutes slower than my time on the same race last year. Hopefully, I’ll also survive the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving morning. Hopefully I can be consistent with my performance the last two years and finish in around an hour.

Work-wise, I’ve survived the first wave of registration for spring courses without too much damage. I’ve had to chase down fewer advisees than in past semesters, so that is a good thing. Students, if you haven’t yet registered for Spring classes, you should meet with your adviser to make sure you have classes picked out before leaving for the Thanksgiving break.

And, yes, it is my intention to get another Friday Five posted on Black Friday (11/23/12). I’ve given my Intro students an assignment to go with it, so I need to post one.

Here are this week’s links:

Psychology Today: Inviting a Monkey to Tea (Nancy Colier) – November 11, 2012

Smartphones are great. Don’t get me wrong, I’m addicted to my iPhone nearly as much as some of my students are addicted to theirs. (I do make a point of leaving mine in my office so it doesn’t distract me from class – HINT, HINT!) I love the fact that I can be in touch, either through text messages or FaceTime, with friends scattered all over the country. However, this post discusses how the technology in our smartphones is detaching us from actually experiencing our lives.

Recently, I’ve seen several articles and posts along the same theme of this one. One was a story of a popular girl and her less popular sister who were in a car accident. The popular one posted about the accident to Facebook, where she had hundreds of “friends”. The less-popular one texted her two best friends. The best friends showed up, but not a single Facebook “friend”. We need to remember that humans are social animals, and that social media does not really create true social connection. Being in the moment, experiencing it first hand with others, is how we connect and feed our need for social connection.

Scientific American: The Scicurious Brain (Scicurious) – November 12, 2012

I will acknowledge that this article is a little high on jargon. However, it’s not too far above the level of a basic Biology and Behavior chapter in an Introductory Psychology text. (Intro Students: that’s Chapter 2 of your book.) The article reports on a study demonstrating the role of dopamine in response to music.  Like Scicurious, I like that the study authors had participants bring in their own music to listen to during testing.

The New York Times (Benedict Carey) – November 12, 2012

I was actually directed to this article by a fellow “fishie” (a.k.a. one of my grad school office mates – one wall of our office was a window that faced out into the hallway, so we called the office the fishbowl) from a Facebook post. I just saw a link to it come across Twitter, today.

As a graduate student in social psychology, I spent a lot of time explaining to people, especially my father, what exactly I was studying. Part of the problem is that a lot of social psychological findings seem pretty common sense, and people forget to realize there’s science behind the research. Reading through the list of experts brought in for Obama’s “Dream Team” is like reading a who’s who list of the top names in social cognition and social influence.

Scientific American: Guest Blog (Kyle Hill) – November 14, 2012

Intro students, remember me talking about Elizabeth Loftus and her work on false memories? Her work is being talked about here, too. The example I gave in class is Loftus’ classic study on car accidents (Loftus & Palmer, 1974). This link is talking about recent work by Loftus and her colleagues on false memories. Specifically, Loftus and her colleagues were looking at how lasting false memories were. The somewhat scary findings, the false memories actually strengthen over time in comparison to true memories.

Role/Reboot: Sex + Relationships (Lynn Beisner) – November 15, 2012

I struggled this week to find a fifth link. I think it was a case of too many options to choose from and too many tweets to wade through while pressured to get the blog posted while it’s still Friday. I finally decided on this one, which pretty much speaks for itself. While anecdotal, this post still backs up what the scientific research shows about giving teens access to contraception: it probably doesn’t change their frequency of having sex, but it does increase their frequency of having safe sex.  Personally, what I found most shocking about this particular post was that it was written by an American parent. As a human sexuality professor, I’m still baffled by how up-tight Americans are about teen sex in comparison to our European counterparts. Yet, the US still has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and abortion. I’m not sure why politicians think the current generation of teens will be any better about saying no to sex before marriage than past generations have been. I think history will show us, teens will have sex, we should be making sure they have the ability to have safe sex.


  1. The first topic I chose was “Is your smartphone stealing your life.” I agree with the article because I feel too as if majority of the world relies on technology. When we are little my parents took a lot of footage of me all the way up to this day. If we lose that footage it would be very depressing because most of my life is recorded by a phone or video camera.

    The second article that I read was the one about the parent giving condoms to the kids. This article is what all parents should do to their teenager children. I say this because its better to have your kids protected if they do have sex rather than unprotected. Preparation is better than the risk of depression when the parent finds out that their ids is having a kid. Overall what I am saying is giving your kid protection is being better safe than sorry.

  2. The two articles I read were ‘How Long Will a Lie Last?” and ‘Is Your Smartphone Stealing Your Life?”.

    Upon reading the article about lies and truths, I was astounded with the findings. The fact that a true statement can be filled with a lie makes everything I have read or heard become questioned. It is no longer possible for anyone to differentiate a lie from a truth. For example, the article stated that the fake photo of a shark in NJ will not be remembered or recalled as fake, but will be remembered as real as the photo looked. If I could offer some of my own insight on the problem, I would. However, after reading the article I am beginning to question my own statements and thoughts. The scary part is, I will never know what part of my life is fully true or is filled with lies.

    The problem of smartphones have slowly been equaling the benefits. In the article about a smartphone stealing ones life, the author tried to make a point that even if a person is physically there, the act of using the phone takes over. For example, If one is a a sporting event, they are seeing it with their own eyes. However, if one is at a sporting event and decides to tape or record what they are watching, they are no longer there. It is pretty scary to realize how easily our lives can be controlled by a simple device. Many people may argue that we have more control than we actually do. However, with the growing technology in the world, no one has much control anymore.

  3. The two articles I read this week were “How Long Will A Lie Last?” and ” I Gave Condoms To My Kids And Their Friends And No One Ever Got Pregnant.”

    In “How Long Will A Lie Last” the article first stated how memories are like our baby blankets. We know what they are when we see them but over time they slightly change. The stories that go along with our lies change along with our blanket getting worn down. I feel like people are more likely to belive lies because most of them are easier to retell.

    The second article I read was ” I Gave Condoms To My Kids And Their Friends And No One Ever Got Pregnant.” Lynn Beisner takes parents through the steps of giving their children the sex talk. She basically told them to beat their children to the punch about all types of birth control. Obviously parents don’t want their children to have sex till marriage. But lets get real teenage pregnancy is at an all time high. Which would you rather buying a box of condons or a package of diapers. Giving your children a form of birth control doen’t give them the okay to have sex it tells them they better be protected.

  4. This week was actually the first week I was interested in all of the articles that were picked. I found the article ” How long will a lie last” pretty intresting. When I was in high school the students in my class took a similar study and some students were asked how fast do they think the cars were going when they hit eachother and the rest of the students were asked how fast do they think the cars were going when they slammed into eachother. the students that read the word slammed came up with a higher speed than the students who read the word hit. This made me wonder how a simple change of the word can affect lie detector test and police lineups. The other article that i read was the article about music on the brain. i agree with most of what the article was saying because i feel like i work at my best while im listening to music.

  5. The first article that I read, “Is Your Smartphone Stealing Your Life?” was a good article. I can relate to it because I am on my phone all the time. I think everybody uses their phone for almost everything. From recording something to scheduling appointments to taking notes. You can pretty much do anything on a smartphone.

    I agree with the article “I Gave Condoms to My Kids and Their Friends and No One Got Pregnant.” It is basically telling parents how to talk to their children about sex. Giving the kids condoms was a good idea because now they know it is better to be safe then sorry.

  6. “I Gave Condoms to My Kids and Their Friends and No One Got Pregnant.” I liked the idea of the 9 steps to prevent pregnancy and abortion. I know that a lot of people will be against this article,but people should think about the outcome effect with teenagers not having unwanted pregnancies. The good of this article surely out ways the bad that a parent is giving their child a condom and for a child to now think its ok for them to have sex.

  7. •I Gave Condoms to My Kids and Their Friends and No One Got Pregnant
    The 9 steps provided seem to be very effective for both the parent and the kids. The biggest hurdle in my opinion is allowing your kid to feel comfortable talking about sex. It is something that can be very awkward for both sides but it needs to be done in order to make sure the kid is well educated about sex and how to prevent pregnancy.

  8. The first article I read was “Is Your Smartphone Stealing Your Life?” and I agree with what the author is saying. Technology makes us forget that the moment we’re capturing is more important than capturing it. We let technology run our lives and we forget to live them because we pay too much attention to them. It’s true that we need to live life for the experiences and let life go on, rather than try to keep it and hold onto it. Our memory is more valuable and important than the phone’s “memory”.

    The second article was “I Gave Condoms to My Kids and Their Friends and No One Got Pregnant” was an article I thought I wasn’t going to agree with. I ended up siding with the mother who provided the condoms because she made some valid points about being responsible. Although, I do believe that the kids should talk to their parents even though it’s awkward because they need to be educated and make the appropriate decisions before engaging in sex. They still need to know about STDs and be able to determine if they are making the right decisions. I believe that the mother is being responsible by providing this for teens though.

  9. The article I read was “I Gave Condoms to My Kids and Their Friends and No One Ever Got Pregnant.” I found this article really interesting because it goes against the common thought of how much parents talk to their kids about sex and the courage it takes for a parent to provide their children with some form of birth control even when they don’t want them having sex. The author said right off the start that you cant be judgmental about teen sex and you cant think that your kids will talk to you before they have sex. She found a creative way to provide condoms to her children and their friends without it being a face to face interaction. This made it more likely for the kids to use the condoms if they were having sex.

  10. The first article I read was “Is Your Smartphone Stealing Your Life.” After reading this, I think it is stealing our lives and our precious memories. We do not cherish the moments that matter the most. We capture the but not with our own eyes, our own perspective and our own heart. Instead of recording something, we need to sit down and watch it with our own eyes. The phones are not stealing our whole entire lives but there stealing most of it.

    The second article I read was, I Gave Condomns to My Kids…” I think this is a good idea but at the same time I feel like it gives a reason for kids to want to have sex. They feel as if now that their parents are providing the protection, they can do it, without any questions asked. The plan b I did not really like because it is illegal and if they are pregnant they need to be responsible and tell their parents so their parents can do the right thing. Another thing that was wrong with this was that she was giving them to other people’s children. In my eyes, this is wrong because she is not the parent and you should just let them handle it. Most schools provide them and their friends can get them from there. On the other hand, It is a beautiful thing nobody has gotten pregnant.

  11. Nikki Lyss
    Psych 101
    Web Assignment #11

    Article #1
    The first article I read was called “Is Your Smartphone Stealing Your Life?” by Nancy Colier. I found this article interesting because I recently wrote a paper in my English class, based off the same topic. Nowadays, you notice everyone is so connected to their phones that it is a rarity to be able to spend time with people, whether it is a spouse, family members, or friends, and not be interrupted by a text or phone call. We are so addicted to our phones that they have almost become like a third appendage to us. We feel safe when we have our phones because help is always just one call away. We have a constant thirst to learn new information, and with smartphones that is too simple. Smartphones allow you to do everything and anything you want by allowing access to hundreds of thousands of applications you can download. The most popular apps seem to be ones like facebook, twitter, and CNN where you can receive and post the latest information you’ve learned. Everything is about technology and our phones adhere to that need. Cell phones are not only phones, but computers, camcorders, cameras, mp3 devices, and so on. You can do just about anything you want with a smartphone because they have become so advanced over the past few years, and still continue to. This feeds into our obsession because cell phones are only getting smaller, flatter, quicker, and more convenient with time. We are losing precious experiences because our phones are taking over our lives. Relationships between our spouses and children are not as they once were because we are so engrossed in technology. We need to go back to basics and realize that cell phones are a convenience, not a necessity.
    Article #2
    The second article I read was called “I Gave Condoms To My Kids And Their Friends And No One Ever Got Pregnant” by Lynn Beisner. I liked this article because Lynn lays it all out for you and explains how she wasn’t encouraging her kids and their friends to have sex, but just help take precautions so if they ever decided, they would know they would have to use a condom and wouldn’t make the mistake of questioning one. She wants others to know that your kids most likely aren’t going to turn to you the first time they have sex. You can beat them to the punch, and beat them to making stupid mistakes by educating them on it before it even happens though. When your teen starts engaging in sex, you want them to be as safe as possible, so by providing them with condoms, you can at least assure better hope that they are using them and being safe, opposed to not using one and risking pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. You also don’t want your children to be afraid to come to you to talk about anything- especially sex. It’s better they learn correct information straight from you, rather rely on tv, media, or their friends- all which can provide them with major false information. It’s a fact of life that some teenagers are going to become sexually active, and the only thing parents can do about it, is educate them, and make sure they are safe in order to prevent any consequences. I admire Beisner’s actions because what she did truely showed it was effective. Not one of the 37 kids she educated and provided with condoms got pregnant and they are more aware and knowledgable on the subject than most kids their age probably are. With so much hype about teen moms in the media, I do not see much incentive to help teach teenagers what precautions to take in order to prevent them from being on the next episode of Teen Mom.

  12. In the first article I read it flaked about whether or not smartphones are stealing our lives. I personally feel like they are just from experience and observation. There are times where I am in class and all I do is focus on my cell phone instead of learning. I have also witnessed other classmates doing that too. Working at an after school program with middle schoolers, there are some parents who walk in to pick up their children not acknowledging them. Their eyes are on their iPhones and droids. I feel this takes away from the attention their children need because they are too focused on what’s going on through work emails and Facebook.

    The second article I read involved a parent giving their child condoms. I believe at a certain age, around 16, is reasonable. However, at any age under 16 gives kids excuses just to have sex. Many kids feel like they are allowed to and their parents are aware of it.

  13. I read the article, is your smartphone stealing yur life. And this article is very accurate and shows how technology is a good and bad thing. Also, how technology takes away the experience.


%d bloggers like this: