The study of human behavior has been in existence for many centuries but has only gained prominence in recent times. This can mostly be attributed to popularization by the media especially in the West. Psychologists and behavioral profilers have been gathering valuable data pertaining to the reasons behind any behavior exhibited by different people.
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They have managed to do this by using psychological theories formulated to facilitate further understanding of how the brain works in forming behaviors. As such, psychology can be described as a field of study that studies behavior. In this study, an analysis of five articles shall be provided. An explanation of why the topics of these articles are related to psychology shall also be offered.
The article “Sleep May Be Nature’s Time Management Tool” by Benedict Carey sets out to provide a discussion as to the role that sleep plays in the lives of human beings and animals.
The author states that no one really knows why sleep exists therefore setting the context for the article in which she advances the numerous theories that are advanced as to the role that sleep plays. The central theme advanced by the article is that the ultimate role of sleep may indeed be time management.
Structure wise, this article is well formatted as the author begins by giving a brief overview on sleep and the ambiguity with which its role is viewed by members of the society thus laying a proper foundation for the main discussion of the paper.
The author then proposes the role of sleep and subsequently proceeds to discuss and support the claims that she makes by quoting authoritative figures in sleep research e.g. Dr. Diegel who is a head chief neurobiologist.
In this article the author takes care to provide concrete evidence for the claims that she makes. For example, when advancing her main argument about sleep being nature’s own time management too, the author reinforces her assertions by presenting the theories of authorities in psychiatry and psychology who also are of the opinion that sleep optimizes animals’ use of time.
However, I feel that the author provided only the bare minimum information on the other theories on the role of sleep thus presenting the reader with only to one side of the coin. In my opinion, the paper would have been more informative if it had briefly discussed the other theories so as to enable the reader to critically evaluate their validity for himself
In today’s world, television is almost invariably a part of our lives and trying to keep away from this prominent force is for many people an uphill task. The article “Why We Tuned Out” by Karen Springen as appearing in the NewsWeek on November 11, 2002 attempts to illustrate that shielding one’s children from television is not only possible but comes along with numerous benefits.
The main point advanced by Springen is that shielding children from television results in the children being more physically and mentally active. The author also contends that the children do not risk turning into misfits as a result of abstinence from television programs. I agree with these assertions by the author that television watching is detrimental to the development of children and limiting the same will result in creative and physically active children.
In her article, Springen credits the lack of television watching for her daughters’ inquisitive and energetic nature. She goes on to illustrate that according to research, “kids who watch more than 10 hours of TV each week are more likely to be overweight, aggressive and slow to learn in school.”
From these research findings, Springen justifies her imposition of a no television rule to her daughters so as to prevent them from assimilating these negative behaviors which are attributed to exposure to television. Despite these convictions, the author goes on to note that a complete restriction on television watching may result in her children missing out on good educational programming.
However, the author proceeds to note that most children who watch television do not engage in the “educational programming” but rather favor cartoons, adventure stories and other programming which has little educational value if any. As such, Springen affirms that missing out on television all together is better than gambling on the very limited likelihood that children will watch something educational on TV.
The second issue that Springen tackles is the alleged likelihood of her children turning into social outcasts as a result of her “puritanical approach” with regards to television. This is a fear that is accentuated by one psychiatrist who quips that “it’s awful to be different from the other kids in fourth grade.” Springen dispels of this fears by pointing out that her children continue to enjoy products based on TV characters despite their not watching television since there exist other avenues such as books and magazines through which the children can be informed of popular culture.
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The author also highlights the fact that her children do not mention missing out on any of the popular programming even though they do interact with other children at school who undoubtedly mention the shows. As such, it is plausible that Springen’s children are not at a risk of turning into outcasts due to her restriction on their television watching habits. The author goes on to suggest that she may be forced to let them watch some shows which have a special meaning to the children.
Different articles on stress
The article, “The Physical, Mental, Emotional and Behavioral effects of Stress” by Heather Tripp has as its central idea the expression of various adverse effects of stress not only on the mind but on the body as well. The author goes on to explicitly outline the physical, mental, emotional and behavioral effects that stress can have on a person.
She also attributes the escalation of some conditions e.g. blood pressure and heart diseases to stress. The article further focuses on stress reduction and recommends various remedies to deal with stress related disorders. Tripp’s article shows a bias towards the physical manifestation of stress as is expressed through her outline of effects.
In the article, “The Effects of Stress on Mental Health” by Paul Hata, the mental effects that stress can manifest in a person are seen to be the major underpinning for the article. Hata highlights on the mental breakdown tendencies that are as a result of stress.
He goes on to define mental breakdown as the loss in interest or ability to function normally by a person due to mental pressure exerted on them. This can be seen to be the article’s central focus since the author shows a particular bias to the mental effects of the condition while only vaguely alluding to the other effects.
The third article entitled “Stress management” by the mayo clinical staff offers a more educational albeit concise reading on stress. The article has at its core the need for a person to take action thereby gain control over stress in his/her life.
The article explains what stress is and goes on to articulate that stress is actually the body’s inbuilt alarm system and not its enemy as most people assume. The article focuses on ways in which one can identify and subsequently cope with stress thus highlighting control over stress as the major concept in the article.
The articles by Mayo clinic staff and Tripp attribute the long-term exposure to stress as being disruptive to most of the body’s process. As such many health problems including: high blood pressure, heart attacks, digestive problems and obesity are seen to have as their root cause stress. Both articles therefore emphasis on the need to adopt less stressful lifestyles so as to ensure physical well being of a person.
While the articles do not come up with a unified set of strategies as to how to deal with stress, they all agree on the need to deal with stress. The respective authors progress to offer tips and suggestions on how to reduce stress levels. A health diet and proper sleep patterns are common tips agreed on by the three articles.
The fostering of relationships is also highlighted as one of the means to deal with or altogether prevent stress. This rationale stems from the fact that man is a social creature and each encounter with others can yield to fruitful results. In cases where the stress is too progressed, professional counseling is seen as the key to offset this state and restore normality to the person.
Psychological perspectives in the analyzed articles
As mentioned earlier, psychology is a matter of studying behaviors. Therefore, for any issue to qualify as a psychological topic it must contain clear variables (fixed and dependent) and theoretical backing that explains the connection between the variables, as well as how they affect each other. In regards to the first article (Sleep May Be Nature’s Time Management Tool), the author tries to establish the connection that exists between sleep and time management.
The second article (Why We Tuned Out), the author explains the effects of television to the physical and psychological development of children. In the last three articles, the authors try to show how stress affects various aspects of our lives. Conclusively, the presence of these attributes in all five articles is what makes the issues discussed psychological.
Carey, B. Sleep May Be Nature’s Time Management Tool. 2009. Web.
Hata. The Effects of Stress on Mental Health. 2008. Web.
Mayo Clinic Staff. Stress management. 2009. Web.
Springen, K. Why We Tuned Out. 2002. Web.
Tripp, H. The Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Effects of Stress. 2009. Web.