Melanin Goddess Spreads Positivity

The modeling industry is no stranger to the idea of discrimination and prejudice. They often discriminate against women of different shapes, heights, and color. Model Khoudia Diop is also no stranger to prejudice herself. Discrimination is the unfair or unjust treatment of people based on different groups such as race, sex, and age (Myers, 2012). While prejudice is, the favorable or unfavorable feeling towards people based off a preconceived opinion (Myers, 2012).

Often referred to as “melanin goddess” Khoudia Diop has been experiencing prejudice from as young as a little girl. Due to her deep rich toned skin, she recalls when children often called her names and poked fun at her. They called her names such as ‘midnight’ or ‘mother of stars’ she said. Khoudia has learned to not listen to the negative comments and embrace not only her inner but outer beauty as well. At first, she would confront the bullies, but as she got older, she learned not to pay mind to the negative comments that others offered her she said. As a woman in the modeling industry Khoudia faces discrimination against not only her race but also her shape, hair type, and height.  Though Khoudia faces so much negativity on a daily basis, she does not let this get her down. Khoudia has transformed her negative experiences into a positive movement by joining with Make Up For Ever and starring in their “Blend In Stand Out” campaign. She uses these experiences to help spread positivity and break the barriers of beauty. Through her positive attitude, Khoudia uses prosocial behavior to help encourage other women around the world. Prosocial behavior is social behavior that is constructive and helpful (Myers, 2012). By starring in the Colored Girl’s latest campaign, “Blend In Stand Out”, Khoudia is helping reconstruct societies idea of what is beautiful. Make Up For Ever is also helping to promote the idea of self- acceptance and embracing cultural diversity by providing makeup shades that most companies most likely do not carry. “Personally, it was always very difficult to find complexion products that match my shade.” “Make Up For Ever has foundation options that work for me, and everyone,” said Khoudia Diop. Through this campaign, she is helping speak out against bullying and is promoting more self-acceptance for women of all shades.

A study conducted at the University of California had men and women of African American, White, and Latino decent complete an anonymous survey on social and political attitudes. The majority of the participants were African American women who made up 55% of the respondents. Women of color often face the double jeopardy hypothesis, which means that as a woman of color she is more likely to face discrimination not only for the color of her skin but also for gender. As opposed to a white woman who belongs to only one of the lower status groups and white males who are a part of two higher status groups.   (Beale, 1970; King, 1975; Klonoff, Landrine, & Scott, 1995; Alcaraz, Scott, & Wilkins, 1995; Ransford, 1980; Reid, 1988; Reid & Comas-Diaz, 1990; Kelly, 1994). The study resulted in women receiving more perceived gender discrimination than men. This was more of a group discrimination, which connected to their ethnicity. The study also showed that African Americans perceived the most ethnic discrimination when compared to that of Latinos and Whites.

Khoudia hopes to continue to influence women all around the world to promote in self-love and acceptance. She also hopes to use her platform to continue in helping others fight against discrimination and bullying.

 

 

 

 

Citations

Myers, David G, and Jean M Twenge. Exploring Social Psychology. Print.

Model Who Was Bullied for Her Dark Skin Stars in Another Make Up For Ever Campaign. (2017, April 27). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/model-bullied-dark-skin-stars-another-make-ever-campaign-200232775.html

Levin, S., Sinclair, S., Veniegas, R. C., & Taylor, P. L. (2002). Perceived discrimination in the context of multiple group memberships. Psychological Science13(6), 557-560. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00498

 

Jennifer Guzman

Frustration, Aggression, & Baseball

Is losing what brings upon frustration and aggression or does frustration and aggression bring upon losing? Not only are the members of the Mets team upset, but their fans also are experiencing much frustration after a recent loss to the Nationals by 18 runs. This kind of brutal loss has the power to turn teammates against each other and cause internal and external problems for the team. Aggression and frustration is seen in many professional athletes due to their competitive nature. Aggression is the physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone else. Frustration is the blocking of goal-directed behavior. Together, these two ideas could be what causes a loss or the effect after a loss.

One probable cause to this ruthless game may be due to an injury faced by pitcher, Noah Syndergaard. This situation left not only Syndergaard frustrated, but the rest of his teammates, coaches, and managers. After the game, fingers started to be pointed and the responsibility was put on others out of frustration. The general manager of the Mets, Sandy Alderson, put the responsibility on Syndergaard for avoiding to get an MRI exam when his injury first began.  

Aggression and frustration often come hand in hand when related to sports. Frustration occurs when we are expecting gratification, but something is holding us back from that. The Mets have beat the Nationals two times before this game. They were expecting a win, and when something was blocking them from that aggression was seen through the team, coaches, and fans. The overall dynamics of the team and stadium dramatically changed as the star pitcher was taken out. This was most likely prevented the win that the Mets anticipated.

In a recent study researchers recognized that sport aggression, over the years, has become a major problem on and off the playing field. They directed a study comparing real life aggression and sport aggression. In the end, there were not many differences indicated. The hostility of both aggressions were similar. One difference that many may see as obvious, is female athletes do not show as much aggression as male athletes. This was proven to be true, however more hostility and competitiveness is seen in female athletes today. This may be due to the highly competitive nature to do what it takes to receive rewards for victories. We can see this behavior in professional athletes who are widely broadcasted, making the acts of aggression and frustration more common and easily accepted.  

 

 

 

Sources:

 

Keeler, L. A. (2007). The differences in sport aggression, life aggression, and life assertion among adult male and female collision, contact, and non-contact sport athletes. Journal of Sport Behavior,

Myers, D.G. (2015). Exploring Social Psychology: 7th Edition

Puma, M. (2017, April 30). Collins erupts after Mets see Noah Syndergaard nightmare. Retrieved May 02, 2017, from http://nypost.com/2017/04/30/this-looks-like-the-mets-noah-syndergaard-nightmare/

 

Rachel Platko

Cults in Hollywood Exposed

It’s no secret, Scientology has been getting a lot of attention recently mainly for its cultic characteristics and celebrity recruitment in Hollywood. Cults are known to be a group with 3 identifying characteristics including (1) distinctive ritual and beliefs related to its devotion to a god or a person, (2) isolation from the surrounding “evil” culture, and (3) a charismatic leader (Myers, 2012). Recently in the past few years, a number of celebrities have opened up about their former involvement in a cult, mainly the cult of Scientology. Celebrities who’ve spoken out about their experience in Scientology, also reveal the abuse, harassment and trauma they endured as an active member of the church, as well as a former member.

Business Insider published the article All the most shocking things about Scientology, according to Leah Remini’s revealing show, which discusses celebrity Leah Remini exposing the dirty hidden secretes about the church of Scientology in her new hit show, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”. Remini left the church 5 years ago and states that this A&E show is her platform to expose Scientology’s abuse and manipulation, as well as help current members of Scientology that want to escape from the church’s corruptness (Nededog, 2017). A main

One research article, Cult Experience: Psychological Abuse, Distress, Personality Characteristics, And Changes in Personal Relationships, discusses the psychological abuse and distress that ensues in a cult, whether an active or former member. The study also highlights the personality characteristics of a typical cult member, and the changes that occur in their personal relationships. The study mentions that there are identify four distinct factors associated with cultic environments:  Compliance, Exploitation, Mind Control, and Anxious Dependency (Gasde, I., & Block, R. A., 1998). These findings correlate to Remini explaining a policy the church uses called “fair game”, which implies that members have the ability to push the boundaries of the law in order to keep ex-members quiet and prevent destruction of the church organization. The news article reports a statement from Remini’s show talking about fair game policy, “…actions could include stalking, digging up dirt, checking out people’s background, vilifying them in the media and on the internet, and hiring private investigators to surveil them” (Nededog, Jethro, 2017).

It’s clear to see why members who have doubts and want to leave the cult would have such high anxiety and hesitation, knowing the repercussions that will ensue. Still, advocates like Leah Remini stand as a motivational figure, helping to expose this wrongful abuse and inspire others who desperately want to break away from the cult their involved in. “Langone (1995) insightfully remarked that the reason why cult members generally do not return to the cult after the floodgates of recognition and emotion have opened is “because the suffering they experience after leaving [the cult] is more genuine than the ‘happiness’ they experienced while in it.  A painful truth is better than a pleasant lie” (Gasde, I., & Block, R. A., 1998).

 

References:

Gasde, I., & Block, R. A. (1998). Cult experience: Psychological abuse, distress, personality characteristics, and changes in personal relationships reported by former members of Church Universal and Triumphant. Cultic Studies Journal, 15(2), 192-221. Retrieved from http://www.icsahome.com/articles/cult-experience-psychological-abuse-csj-15-2

Myers, David G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology. New York: McGraw- Hill.

Nededog, Jethro. (2017, February 2). All the most shocking things about Scientology, according to Leah Remini’s revealing show. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/craziest-scientology-facts-leah-remini-2017-1/#hubbard-based-scientology-on-his-claim-that-he-healed-himself-from-war-injuries-a-claim-that-going-clear-author-lawrence-wright-says-is-fabricated-2

To Get Out You Must Become Self-Aware

Image result for get out

“Get Out” a movie written by Jordan Peele has been in the movie theatres since February 24, 2017. In the article, “Get Out’ Sprang From an Effort to Master Fear, Says Director Jordan Peele” conducted by Fresh Air it is shown that Get Out is a movie connected to many social issues in the world. He says he wants people to be able to see the ‘subtle racism’ still going on in America today. He uses the main character Chris to show the racism of America through a first person’s eyes.

In this film, there is a feeling of self-awareness shown throughout the film. Self-Awareness is a self-conscious state in which attention focuses on oneself and makes people more sensitive to their own attitudes and disposition. Peele allows everyone watching the film to gain a sense of self-awareness about each position and role played in the film. In the beginning of the film, Chris starts out as a a normal young black man who has plans to visit is white girlfriend’s parents. He is very nervous about meeting them because his girlfriend Rose tells him that they do not know he is black. As the film, continues and Chris first meets Rose’s parents he becomes very aware of the way her family acts and what they say around and towards him. Off the bat, Rose’s father automatically mentions Barack Obama two minutes after meeting Chris (F, 14). This is an example of Rose’s father trying to make a connection with Chris, but Chris’s self-conscious begins to go off because of his circumstances and the odd vibe given off my Rose’s parents. This is Peele’s idea for people who are watching the film to be able to relate to the protagonists feelings. When you first meet you they try to make a connection with you, but it ends up making you feel uncomfortable. It makes you self-aware of your actions and words around and person and the persona that you should give off because of their assumption of your preferences.

As the film continues on, Chris continues to be put in a hypnosis by Rose’s mother called “the sunken place”. Each time he visits the sunken place he becomes very self-aware of the past events from his life such as his mother dying. According to the article, “Attitude Change in Face-to-face and Computer-mediated Communication: Private Self-awareness as Mediator and Moderator”, the interpersonal influence that happens each time he returns to the “sunken place” causes his private self-awareness to increase (Sassenburg, 12). As he describes such events to his girlfriend, Rose the enormity of this situation is downplayed and this causes his self-awareness to be decreased because of Rose’s social influence. As the film hits it’s climax, the true intentions of the antagonists is revealed and it lands Chris in a difficult position where he is forced to become self-aware. According to Attitude Change in Face-to-face and Computer-mediated Communication: Private Self-awareness as Mediator and Moderator”, this increase of his own self awareness and his ability to control what his actions and what he said in cetain scenes of the movie is what saved his life (Sassenburg,8). Chris was able to be aware of not just others in his environment, but he was able to be self aware about his wellbeing and his attitude about it was able reflect that he was under a hypnosis. In the article, it also states that self-awareness can come from self conscious in this term it can be related to Get Out because Chris began to rely on the persona

that was given of him so it enable him to have even more self awareness to behave in which a manner that was expected from oneself. He was able to have a handle on his emotions and behaviors and this gave off the impression that Chris was still hypnotized in the “sunken place”.

F. (2017, March 15). ‘Get Out’ Sprang From An Effort To Master Fear, Says Director Jordan Peele. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/03/15/520130162/get-out-sprung-from-an-effort-to-master-fear-says-director-jordan-peele

Sassenberg, K., Boos, M., & Rabung, S. (2005). Attitude change in face-to-face and computer mediated communication: Private self-awareness as mediator and moderator. European Journal Of Social Psychology, 35(3), 361-374. doi:10.1002/ejsp.254

President Trump Going Against The Democratic Norms

“Norms are rules for accepted and expected behavior. Norms prescribe “proper” behavior, in a different sense of the word norms also describe what most others do — what is normal.”

Many peopleare concerned with the decisions our president, Donald Trump, is making. But why are these concerns actually worrying everyday people – especially those of the democratic party? As we know and have heard from our radios and televisions, Trump has been speaking to foreign leaders and has dismissed concerns that are conflicting with the interests of the people. In the article , “ ‘An Erosion of Democratic Norms in America’ ”, a Dartmouth College political scientist, Brendan Nyhan, was interviewed to get his views on Trump. Brendan in the articles describes Trump’s behavior as, “a candidate willing to endorse violence against political opponents as a failure to American institutions to safeguard political norms.”

A democratic norm that Trump seemed to abide against was speaking out against the protestors. The protestors were ons that are anti-Trump, which has then lead to the many breakdowns Trump has had. We obviously have all seen these breakdowns wether it was on his social media feed (Twitter especially) and even the news. These breakdowns show how Trump will carry himself and also will cause problems involving the norms that have been abided by in the previous power of the executive branch. Another set of norms that Trump is violating are those ethnic backgrounds of the people whom are going to be in power. People now just need to wait for the right moment to speak out against the different attributes, such as the bills and everything that are being passed on, that is happening in the white house now.

This connects to the journal article I read in regards to the norms within social media. Social media is one where people normally use it to express their emotions with things going on around them. As well as pictures and comments to friends in order to express what they do in their daily lives. Trump uses social media for political and also defensive ways. He backlashes on people who tend to have problems with him rather than address them face to face. He is breaking the presidential norms of social media, no other president has taken to social media to address problems with other people.

Although Trump and the republican party can push things through, it would be in their best interest to keep the norms of democracy in mind in order to keep all Americans happy. When Americans are happy we tend to work together more rather than when we are divided. From the election till now, Trump has split families apart due to the way they wanted to vote and especially for the many changes Trump wants to make.

When talking about political norms, the reference is to informal conventions or standards that are upheld without enforcement by law. Basically, one of the most sacred norms here is to make sure that there shall be a fair electoral process. Due to the facts of the different “norms” here that are being looked past, and not taken into consideration former presidents decided to speak out.

“The Republican Party has already fallen at his feet — why would he change his approach when he has been given no political reason to do so?” says Nyhan. Well, the conclusion to this is that Trump does have a chance to be normalized but in fact he must first act like a normal politician.

Norms are indefinitely everywhere, especially in politics. When in politics, people see norms as being an everyday thing because everyone in the world is curious to see how our country is being run. With president Trump breaking many of these norms in politics its creating a lot of controversy in which needs to be fixed. Especially fixed in person and rather not over social media.

Foran, Clare. “‘An Erosion Of Democratic Norms In America'”. The Atlantic. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

Myers, David G, and Jean M Twenge. Exploring Social Psychology. Print.

Hock, Karlo, and Nina H. Fefferman. “Violating Social Norms When Choosing Friends: How Rule-Breakers Affect Social Networks”. PLOS ONE. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.Blog Post Trump & Norms Ne-13qcqyv

Mannequins on the Red Carpet

For decades, various award shows would spotlight what women were wearing, instead of what they were at these ceremonies for. Men were scarcely asked what designer they were wearing and got to speak more about their roles in their product. Shows like Fashion Police would compare women’s outfits the next day, picking out which they liked best and making fun of others to the point where they would have “who wore it better” segments. On Fashion Police, the number of men being judged for what they wore was a fraction of that of the women. In magazines following the event, there would be multiple pages dedicated to which woman they believed had the best dress. Is the point of an award show to see fashion? Does it really matter if you don’t like what a star was wearing or if they wore something similar in past years? Why are women constantly asked what they are wearing when men are rarely asked? We can attribute this to society’s creation of gender roles. A gender role is a set of expectations society has for men and women. Traditionally, men are valued for their work and what they have to bring to the table, whereas women are valued for their looks while their skills are overlooked.

Since 2014, there has been a push on social media to #askhermore. This means that at the red carpet, women should be asked about their roles in their film or their career goals over being asked what designer they are wearing. According to the Bustle article, at the 2017 Golden Globes, women were first asked how they were or about their movie role, then asked about what they were wearing, which led to the end of the interview. Women were asked about their roles more than they were in the past, but there is still significant improvements that can be made on the quality of questions women are asked (Griffiths, 2017).  “Because men occupy a privileged position in the social hierarchy and women occupy a subordinate position (Ridgeway & Correll, 2004), holding the belief that gender roles are fixed may have different consequences for how each gender views themselves and the legitimacy of the social system as a whole” (Kray 2017). By pushing to have more equal treatment for men and women on red carpets, we can help to remove the subordinate gender role from women and have an equal appreciation for each gender’s contribution.  Additionally, In a study by Kray, Howland, Russell, & Jackman they “predicted that fixed gender roles would trigger masculine identity motives and lead men to align their self-perceptions with masculine attributes more than feminine attributes. Given the implied value of masculinity over femininity under fixed gender roles, we did not expect to see evidence of elevated self-stereotyping for women, as claiming more feminine characteristics would require distancing themselves from the more highly esteemed masculine traits. Instead, fixed gender roles might also increase women’s identification with masculine attributes over feminine attributes” (2017). Because men are higher in the social hierarchy than women, on red carpets women are taking more traditional masculine roles by demanding that their worth isn’t defined by what they are wearing. They are thus elevating their societal position to match the advantage of men.  This would also help remove the inherent objectification in only examining women for how they appear.

By: Christina Marciante

 

References

 

Griffiths, K. (2017, January 08). The 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet May Have Asked Her

More, But They Still Had One Big Problem.Retrieved March 29, 2017, from

https://www.bustle.com/p/the-2017-golden-globes-red-carpet-may-have-asked-her-more-

But-they-still-had-one-big-problem-28850

 

Kray, L. J., Howland, L., Russell, A. G., & Jackman, L. M. (2017). The Effects of Implicit

Gender Role Theories on Gender System Justification: Fixed Beliefs Strengthen

Masculinity to Preserve the Status Quo. Journal Of Personality & Social Psychology,

112(1), 98-115. doi:10.1037/pspp0000124
Myers, D. G. (2015). Exploring social psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Social Psychology, Gender/Gender Roles Buisness/Technology Group

Social Psychology Gender/Gender Roles

Over the last century we have seen a drastic boom in the advancement in technology which has help aid in the advancement of women’s rights, specifically in the field of business. Unlike a century ago, women today can build their own business with the help of social media. Unfortunately, fair gender representation has been a controversial topic this past year. Women have been known to be underrepresented in many fields. While opportunities are lacking for women in the business world, they can change this with the use of today’s advancing technology. For example, if a company is being prejudice towards women, they have a platform to turn to, which is social media. A big issue in America, is the wage gap between men and women as numerous business companies refuse to pay the women equally with men. However, this can now change with the help of today’s emerging technological tools, as women are more capable in delegating their own professional lives especially since pay secrecy is one of the main causes of this gender pay gap.

            According to the article How Technology Can Help Close the Gender Gap, “The implications for companies are significant, as women amass the means and the resources to dramatically change the game. After all, women now control massive resources: In the U.S., they direct 80% of consumer spending and control $5 trillion in investable assets. They jointly control another $6 trillion, according to the Center for Talent Innovation. Women make up just over half of the workforce” (Krawcheck,2017). There are different ways that technology can aid women in business companies such as having the ability to access viable personal information. For example, with such websites such as Get Raised and Payscale, this will allow women to view their own gender pay gap. To continue, it has been proven that companies that have a fair pay system among women and men have experienced an improvement in their business performance.

            If get rid of pay secrecy, we can decrease the gender pay gap. Pay secrecy has become a controversial part in many companies as employees are banned from discussing how much money they earn. Business companies believe that this will avoid notions of the inequality of pay and reduce the claims of discrimination. There is a gender role playing a part of this because their is a clear distinction between men and women in vocations. Studies have proven that women gravitate to jobs that reduce inequalities. “Studies of 640,000 people’s job preferences reveal that men more than women value earnings, promotion, challenge, and power; women more than men value good hours, personal relationships, and opportunities to help others” (Konrad & others, 2000; Pinker, 2008).Outlawing the pay secrecy in companies on a federal level have failed in countless occasions. For example, in the year 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order in ending pay secrecy amongst federal contractors. There has been research that has suggested that many workers have that do not discuss information about their income are more fearful of retaliation or punishment for such action. According to the article, Pay Secrecy and the Gender Wage Gap in the United States studies show that states that banned pay secrecy, it is unknown about the extent to which workers utilize themselves of these laws or know about them. Interviews with state experts on pay secrecy indicate that few charges have been filed regarding pay secrecy violations.

Disobeying Gender Conformity

Surprisingly, in London, some corporate offices still require an outdated, sexist dress code for women. These restrictions may include, dresses and skirts only, heels at least two inches high, along with other stereotypical female clothing fashions. A women receptionist, Nicola Thorp, from the financial district of London was called out for not wearing the proper footwear to work by her company as reported by The New York Times (Bilefsky 2017). Miss Thorp was certainly going against conformity in the article she was featured in, British Woman’s Revolt Against High Heels Becomes a Cause in Parliament.

Throp was changing her beliefs or behavior to ago against others, not in line with them. In other words, she was deciding not to conform in this case to the company dress code. She also went against obedience too. Her company actually sent her home for not adhering to their dress policy for women. Throp was certainly equipped to deal with her consequences for her actions because she actually initiated a petition containing over 150,000 signatures to make Parliament aware of this corporate issue. This incident happened roughly two years ago and now Parliament has referenced Britain’s 2010 Equality Act, and has labeled that particular company’s policy as sexual discrimination in the workplace.

Once Thorp disobeyed her company’s rules and caused an uproar, other women spoke up as well detailing the unrealistic demands they faced concerning the dress code enacted by their workplaces. Thorp, a women’s advocate, is fighting for equality in the corporate world. She showed women that conformity and obedience wasn’t always the right thing to do. When one feels her rights or gender are being discriminated against, don’t just go ahead and conform, speak out!

In 2015, a psychological study was performed by Wendelien Vantieghem and Mieke Van Houtte, examining whether girls are more pressured to conform to their gender norms than boys. This article, Are Girls more Resilient to Gender-Conformity Pressure? The Association Between Gender-Conformity Pressure and Academic, compares the Belgian culture and how girls usually outperform the boys on educational tests. Seventh grade boys and girls were chosen for this study and the results showed that boys’ academic confidence fell when they were put under more than normal conformity pressure. The term self-efficacy is also used to measure and refer to confidence. There was no change for the girls’ confidence when put under the same amount of pressure since they are used to it.

Vantieghem and Houtte’s article brings up the question if gender conformity pressure is indirectly altering girls’ behaviors overtime. At an early age, certain gender norms are expected for girls. We can even see them outside an academic environment and carried out to adulthood; as in the case of the British company expecting females to wear high heels to work. Some women would go along with this rule but however, others (like Miss Thorp) may decide to bypass the gender pressures. The major ongoing debate topics are; when is it too degrading to abide by such norms, and if women are expected to conform more than men? The study shows that even when girls were put under more than normal conformity pressures, their academic self-efficacy was still higher than boys in this case. It can be said that girls are very used to these kinds of pressures and know how to handle them without letting affect their confidence.

Nicola Thorp is a prime example of when conformity or obedience isn’t always best. Although in some cases it’s accepted, for others, conformity and obedience can actually have a negative impact rather than a positive one, especially when discrimination comes into question. However, some people (women in particular) are actually more impelled to speak up or not be influenced by the gender conformity pressures that are brought up in everyday life.

 

 

References

Bilefsky, D. (2017, March 06). British Woman’s Revolt Against High Heels Becomes a Cause in Parliament. Retrieved March 6, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/world/europe/uk-parliament-nicola-thorp-heels.html?ref=business

Vantieghem, W., & Houtte, M. V. (2015). Are Girls more Resilient to Gender-Conformity Pressure? The Association Between Gender-Conformity Pressure and Academic Self-Efficacy. Sex Roles, 73(1-2), 1-15. doi:10.1007/s11199-015-0509-6

The Effects of Cults on your Mental Health

 

The word ‘cult’ was never benign in the history of religious movements. In terms of the text, a cult is defined as a group typically characterized by distinctive ritual and beliefs related to its devotion to a god or person, isolation from the surrounding “evil” culture, and a charismatic leader (Myers, 2015, p. 193). When a person hears that word, most likely they would refer to Charles Manson. Manson is a former cult leader and American criminal who led the cult called Manson Family, which committed a series of murders in the late 1960s. Manson is the quintessential example of how persuasion occurs in cults.  Manson is the communicator of the cult which is one of the persuasive elements of cult persuasion. He could be described as a charismatic leader, who attracts and directs members in the cult. People began to trust in him and his credibility as a leader and decided to join the Manson Family.

In the article from Huffington Post titled “Trump’s America through the Eyes of a Cult Survivor”, Teddy Hose introduces his own thoughts about the current president based on his life in a cult called the Unification Church (now known as the Family Federation for World Peace). The Unification Church is now separated into smaller groups led by Moon’s family members. Just like Manson, Rev. Moon had the same charismatic trait that cult leaders are known for. Hose explains that people seeking security, respect, friendship and/or identity were suddenly welcomed into his community. In relation to President Trump, his supporters tend to focus more on how he makes them feel rather than his leadership. The mission of the church was ultimately to recruit members because the less privileged are more vulnerable to promise a better life. This is how Hose saw Trump winning the votes for the election. Trump’s role as the communicator of his messages during the presidential debates were targeted towards the lower class.

In the article “Self-chosen involvement in new religious movements: well-being and mental health from a longitudinal perspective”, two psychology researchers, S. Namini and S. Murken, explore what happens to cult members’ mental health prior to joining cults. A study was formed in which members were asked questions about their personal life and possible reasonings of why they joined a cult. Critics have concluded that NRM’s (new religious movements) specifically address and attract vulnerable individuals such as young and mentally impaired people (Namini and Murken, 2009, p. 563). They point out, for example, that one empirical study indicated that members display increased levels of psychopathology prior to joining the new religious movement. However, this does not support the notion that psychopathology is a precondition to joining. They have come across some evidence that shows that it is not the interest of groups to accept very emotionally unstable individuals as members (Namini and Murken, 2009, p. 563). Based on their studies, it is shown that membership in religious movements such as cults often happens because of a crisis that is occurring in the person’s life. From the participants, there were constant reports of emotional problems and frustrations, dissatisfaction with life and other psychological problems that affected their health.

Those who decide to leave a cult are most likely prime examples of those who experience problems with their psychological health. While inside the cult, there are a number of life changes that can happen: dropping out of college, having to remain celibate or giving up any personal pursuits, etc. In their study of members, the authors found cognitive, affective and relational “vulnerabilities” – that is, high insecurity in childhood attachment to parents, high (current) need for closure and depressive tendencies prior to joining the group (Namini and Murken, 2009, p. 564).

To conclude, the study done by the two researchers and the history of the Manson Family exemplifies the concept of cult persuasion and the effects of cults on member’s mental health. Being a part of a cult can be harmful which can have long term effects.

References:

Hose, Teddy. (2017 March 23). Trump’s America through the Eyes of a Cult Survivor. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumps-america-through-the-eyes-of-a-cult-survivor_us_58d1a510e4b062043ad4adc5

Myers, D. G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Namini, S., & Murken, S. (2009). Self-chosen involvement in new religious movements (NRMs): well-being and mental health from a longitudinal perspective. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 12(6).

Lack of Empathy for Patients, Even While They’re Awake During Surgery

Doctor’s interpersonal skills with their patients must always be up to par. However with patients now having an option to take regional anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, doctors are facing a new territory that will truly test their interpersonal skills. This innovative technique of anesthesia is on the forefront of patient autonomy, in which patients are pushing back against physician control and want to be more involved in their own medical treatment (Hoffman, 2017). In Going Under the Knife, With Eyes and Ears Wide Open Hoffman speaks upon the issues between patients readiness to receive this type of anesthesia but doctors inability to adjust smoothly. Doctors are finding trouble being courteous and empathetic during the surgery, while the patients are fully conscious and tentative to everything the doctor is doing.

In this current time where medical patients are choosing to be aware of their medical procedures, it can be concluded that these individuals feel a sense of “curiosity and desire to have control over their experience” as Dr. Langerman states. Another beneficial aspect is the lessening of complications that comes with regional anesthesia as opposed to general anesthesia, and is also less expensive. Also the time patients would need for recovery while under a regional anesthesia is far shorter and expeditious recovery process. As regional anesthesia is becoming more popular, resulting in medical patients opting to be fully or moderately alert during surgery. So with patients not being under during their procedures, this is a new element that doctors must now literally face, at the same time performing a medical procedure. This new association between doctor and patient doesn’t allow for most empathetic medical professional. (Hoffman, 2017)

Empathy is an individual’s ability to understand and relate to another’s perspective on matters. Like the old saying, it’s essentially putting oneself into another’s shoes (Myers, 2017). This concept is especially important for a doctor when performing surgery while the patient is awake. An example of a doctor who is not empathetic in such a situation would be them saying thing such as “Oops!”, “I wasn’t expecting that”, or even “Oh my god I wasn’t expecting that. This could easily set a patient off into a panic, raising their blood pressure level, compromising the success of the procedure. Perceptibly this is not what doctors struggle for when performing surgery, instead for an easygoing success, which would come naturally for an empathetic doctor. Advocate Dr. Ilyas from Rothman Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital in Bensalem praises awake surgery saying, “It’s all about communication, comfort, and experience” (Hoffman, 2017). In the study done by the Spirituality in Clinical Practice the method of mindfulness was followed as a mean-making activity, able to allow medical professionals to enrich their social relationships, empathy, and compassion. To enhance this mindfulness the Buddhist metta meditation was proposed, which could possibly help health professionals build a stronger therapeutic relationship. This style of meditation was principally aimed to increase the medical professionals feelings of empathy and compassion towards all living things. The results were conclusive in finding that the meditation allowed for protection against burnout, pain and anger while with patients, and also an enhancement to their resilience. By having medical professional practicing such mindfulness, there is a correlation between social and existential outlooks into healthcare settings (Nilsson, 2015).

Being in a medical professional means being a master of all trades at times. Patients are typically in a vulnerable position while undergoing medical treatment, so for the doctor to accommodate to that is crucial. Bedside manner for patients helps to develop a healthy doctor-patient relationship, allowing for a successful procedure and recovery rate. An empathetic doctor, one who is mindful of their patient’s emotional needs and responds to them suitably, are able to deliver optimal care and experience less anxiety for themselves.

 

References

Hoffman, Jan. (2017 March 25). Going Under the Knife, with Eyes and Ears Wide Open. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03 /25/health/surgery-awake       anesthesia.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection %2Fhealth

Myers, David G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology (7th Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill

Nilsson, Hakan. (2015). Socioexistential Mindfulness: Bringing Empathy and Compassion to Health Care Practice. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 3(1), 22-31. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=4049980de06f-4cb8-a278 80b1769384e5%40sessionmgr101&vid=2&hid=124