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Abstract

            Disasters whether natural or manmade have adverse effects on people, the community and the society in general. Depending on an individual, the effect of trauma can be long term or short term. Personally, I went through trauma after a neighboring broke its edges and flooded the whole neighborhood. There was a complete overhaul of the community as the flooding destroyed homes and neighborhoods. Research and studies indicate that the major contributing factor to the psychological issues was the losses the people encountered during the disaster. However, during this time I heavily depended on the support of the family and neighbors who had suffered the disaster as well. The shared losses created new and strong relationships as its only people affected by the same disaster could understand each other and provide social support. As people sought ways of rebuilding their lives, we had to find a way of coming to terms with the consequence of the disaster irrespective of whether it was natural or as a result of human negligence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Katrina is arguably one of the worst natural disasters in the US history with the flooding of New Orleans costing the federal government billions for repair. However, the worst effects occurred to the people who were directly affected by the hurricane. A more profound analysis of the situation indicates that the hurricane led to massive displacement of people as more that 800, 000 housing units were destroyed in the process. Such an occurrence happened to me and the experiences I went through after my neighborhood flooded are similar to those of people who survived the hurricane. The following paper focuses on the effects of the personal experiences I went through after my home and neighborhood was flooded by a dam that broke its edges.

            According to Stien and Kendall (2014) numerous survivors of disasters such as hurricanes and floodings have several physical injuries that have the potential of changing their lives permanently. The physical problems that I and people who had direct impact with the flooding suffered were personal as our lives changed for the worst. For instance there were high numbers of people who had their limbs decapitated or who were forced to use a wheel chair for the rest of their lives. For such people, the fooding destroyed their lives as they could not live their lives as they did prior to the disaster.

            Additionally, the flooding destroyed livelihoods as people lost their ways of making money. The fact that the disaster flooded the community meant that even buildings used for business were destroyed. It is in this sense that some people including me made the decision to relocate to other places in the country which increased the number of people who were displaced. Hall and Hall (2016) assert on the importance of focusing on the personal effect of a disaster to seek a solution. In this instance, the loss of livelihood was a personal effect to me as I temporarily became a dependent as my shop and equipment were destroyed.

            One of the major effects of the flooding was that people lost their lives. The death toll was around 80 people an issue that took the neighborhood by shock. A deeper analysis of the situation indicates that this number left behind family members that had to find ways of coming to terms with the disaster. The sheer loss of lives created an emotional environment in which we as the bereaved had to take a personal responsibility for their feelings of loss. Also, I had to grapple with the loss of some people who were very close to me. At first it felt like a dream, and had to seek ways of understanding that it was my reality.

            As earlier noted earlier, there were massive destruction of property and displacement of people. Obviously, the disaster led to hundreds of people moving to other cities or even states once their homes and livelihoods were destroyed. The emotional trauma caused by the reality of moving to a new place to re-build a life after losing everything was quite draining as I was part of the people who decided to move out of the lace. Gerrity (2012) notes that during such times any effort to assist feels great; therefore it is worthy to appreciate the effort made by the local and state government to rebuild the neighborhood. However, numerous people opted to relocate as the emotional turmoil became an issue they had to deal with regularly.

            Psychologically, the flooding led to feelings of sadness I people came to term with its consequences. Kolk (2012) is of the idea that with such as disaster the victims and survivors have to accept the reality before seeking a solution to the issue. It is in this step that numerous people found it challenging to accept the losses caused by the flooding as they were significant and could take time to accept it. However, with time we accepted the reality of the matter and moved on with our lives albeit slowly. Also, the flooding reduced the confidence that I had knowing that I was financially stable and able to run my life financially without any assistance.

            Sieff (2014) argues that a disaster leads to emotional and psychological imbalance in people who are directly affected. Sadness is one of the emotional consequences that I went through as a survivor of the disaster. It is quite strange having one’s life affected by disaster and at some point I started looking for people to blame for the disaster. I felt someone had to be accountable and take responsibility; however, through counseling I accepted the disaster as a just an accident that can occur at any moment.

            During this time, the losses led to anxiety as people tried to come to terms with disaster. Notably, the neighborhood’s destruction led to the realization that life is indeed quite short. In the process, I appreciated some of the things I took for granted. For instance, it is of utmost importance to have a roof over your head whether rented or purchased. However, before the disaster I never took that matter with the absolute seriousness it deserved until the disaster struck.

Also, the disaster led to other psychological effects such as stress/depression, low concentration and disorientation (Stien & Kendall, 2014). However, such psychological are understandable; but to prevent them from becoming long term issues, professional assistance is of the essence. Fortunately, the state government provided rescue centers where we received the psychological assistance that assisted us to come to terms with the disaster. 

                        The disaster was traumatic personally and also communally as the societal systems were destroyed. Hall and Hall (2016) assert that in the midst of a natural disaster all focus is placed on the survivors which divert the necessary attention required to run the societies. In the process, numerous public services come to halt and a majority of supplementary services were destroyed. During the after math of the disaster, public transport for instance was grounded to a halt as the infrastructure required to keep it running was destroyed. Unfortunately, the demand for such systems to be operational is quite high as people we sought means of fleeing the disaster scene.

            The financial desperation that the flooding led to in our neighborhood is estimated to be $1 billion. However, the local and state government spent $16 billion to re-build the community (Gerrity, 2012). Such an amount of money would have been used on other emergencies but was however directed towards assisting the survivors. Irrespective of having an emergency fund set aside, the governmental assistance was not adequate to rebuild our lives. For instance I had lost a home and people I loved. My memories were distorted as I had nowhere to call home anymore. The thought of relocating was unnerving and I needed the moral support of the family an issue that the governmental finances could not handle.

            The disaster reduced our lives and made us desperate as we were in dire need of the financial support. In actual sense I developed a negative feeling towards the fact that I was reduced to a dependent; an individual who was not productive. The psychological issues I went through at the moment made me feel helpless. However, I had no choice but to accept help as I desperately needed it. According to Keane and Tuma (2012) the dynamics of the neighborhoods changed as people sought new places to live as their homes were destroyed. In addition, the psychological trauma that the people suffered prevented us from running the community effectively. In the face of such a disaster we became subject to numerous alterations that in most instances were permanent. It is in this state that we made decisions to move out of the place and rebuild our lives elsewhere.

 

            The residences of the neighborhood become part of the property destroyed in the di

Entry 1           

The test results from the quiz matched my feelings at the time. I was happy in a sense I was relaxed, and nothing was causing stress at the time. My studies were going according to plan, my professors were quite supportive, and I had a great relationship with my parents. According to Ricard (2015), happiness is relative and largely depends on an individual. Therefore, happiness can be measured, but the results will be individual as different people have various things that make them happy. However, there is a general way, of measuring happiness and that would mean allowing the participants to give their input on what made them happy. Then the results would be compared, and an estimation of what made many people happy would be made. Interestingly, the evaluation would also change with time as things that make people happy change with time. Therefore, a measurement of happiness should be conducted regularly.

Entry 2

The scores on the happiness test changed in a week’s time as I am depressed as my cat is missing. With the help of family members, we have searched for it throughout the neighborhood and placed fliers all over. The feelings of sadness and anxiety played a significant role in changing the scores. Davis (2016) notes that happiness is a combination of several pleasurable sensations, therefore, when one have negative feelings it has the potential of altering their attitudes. I could not concentrate on anything but on finding my cat. Thus, these feelings reduced my happiness as I was sad.

I was feeling different physically and mentally from how I felt one week ago while taking the test. First, during the time the cat was missing I had not had enough sleep which was making me feel physically exhausted. Also, the lack of sleep was preventing me from concentrating and thus reduced my mental abilities. I still think that happiness is relative and dependent on an individual. However, I know how negative personal feelings can affect the test scores. Therefore, measurement of happiness is dependent on an individual and the feelings they have at the time.

Entry 3

The difference between Hedonic Well-Being and Eudaimonic Well-Being is the fact that hedonic well-being is based on an idea. It is assumed that an increase in pleasurable feelings and a decrease in pain increase happiness (Parrot, 2014). Eudaimonic Well-Being, on the other hand, is a personal effort at being happy through self-realization. In this concept an individual works at being happy by taking action to do the right thing. In this way, an individual increases their value in their eyes and hold a different perspective of themselves. Additionally, eudaimonic well-being is not based on the feelings a person has at a particular time, but on the attitudes, they have with regards to their circumstances.

When my cat was missing, I was at a hedonic state as the painful feelings of losing my cat affected my being happy. Eudaimonic Well-Being is when I failed a test and decided to work hard to improve my scores in the next test. However being on ‘Hedonic treadmill’ is very easy as it comes naturally compared to Eudaimonic Well-Being that requires personal efforts to be happy. When I realized my cat was lost and I would never see him again I was engulfed by a feeling of sadness and could not find anything positive about the situation. I, therefore, went along with the feelings and made me feel like I was on a ‘Hedonic treadmill.’

Entry 4

Some years back I was left to take care of my nine-month-old niece. The activity was somewhat challenging as babies are incredibly unpredictable. The mother had to prepare me psychologically as I was to spend three-quarters of the day with the baby. I was psyched and prepared myself for the worst. However, when I was left alone with the baby, I was,s quite surprised. I was extremely comfortable as played with the baby and engaged her in all the silly baby games. I giggled, rolled and crawled with her on the floor, and the feelings I got were calming and fulfilling. I missed her when she fell asleep. I made an effort of babysitting her as much as I could as I got a satisfying feeling and build a beautiful relationship with her.

An activity I would like to take part in future is horseback riding. Olpin and Hesson (2012) argue that outdoor physical activities are therapeutic and can manage stress. Some of the skills that I require for the activity are patience, understanding the cues of the horse, relaxation, and calmness. Horseback riding is an activity that requires skills, and therefore I would need some basic training from an experienced individual. It is at this time that I need to be extremely patient with myself, the trainer and the horse. Additionally, learning to communicate with the animal is of crucial importance to the activity. Therefore, I would take time to learn the basics in time; rushing through the training would deny me the opportunity of exercising some of the skills required to make me happy.

 

One of the theories of addiction counseling asserts the importance of acceptance of a problem by the person in question. The recognition brings the person closer to treatment as they will willingly seek for a solution without being pressured. Utilizing this aspect of counseling the 12 step meetings now become applicable in this person’s life. According to Littrell (2014) acceptance of an alcoholic problem is of crucial importance to the treatment of the problem. Therefore, when an individual is in a position to accept their problem, they can work in support groups and benefit from the 12 step meetings meant to boost their confidence and psychological preparedness.

Also, through the 12-step meeting, a person who has accepted they have a problem will develop harmonious relationships that are essential to their treatment (Littrell, 2014). The connections will give them a different perspective on the matter and provide insightful experiences that will prepare them psychologically. In the process, the issue is handled by the group irrespective of being individual to the person in question. However, utmost importance is required while engaging new individuals in the meetings as they might relapse irrespective of acknowledging they have a problem. The 12-step meeting has higher chances of boosting a person’s self-esteem. Cutten (2017) argues that alcoholism is a psychological problem that requires psychological treatment. Therefore, the 12-step meetings have high chances of increasing an individual’s confidence in their ability to handle the problem. In this way, their self-esteem is boosted a matter that is essential to the psychological health of individuals. Additionally, it allows for better associations with the group members.

While working with clients, the use of support groups becomes the lifeline that enhances treatment. Therefore, seeking a physical meeting point that suits an Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meeting is of great importance. The venue must have enough space and no potential interruption from the outside world. The site should also have no alcohol in the vicinity as this is a great temptation to people with a problem. Most importantly, the groups must have the opportunity of conducting their business without interruption or attacks from the outside world. Therefore, the meeting place must be safe to attract the clients to the AA meetings. The fact that the problem is psychological as much as it is physical, the clients crave the need for an association that is non-judgmental. To improve the efficiency of the group, the meetings must be in a place where non-alcoholics cannot access.

Since the groups support the members by interaction and understanding the members must speak to the group to understand each other. However, for new people, the speaking part might be intimidating as they are no accustomed to the process (Tracy & Wallace, 2016). Therefore, to increase the new clients’ ability to speak to the group, they would be allowed to sit and watch for the first few meetings to give them a feeling of how things work. More so, the clients will not be required to provide accounts of their struggle with alcohol. They will be allowed to absorb the new environment of being in a group.

Ultimately, the experiences shared by the people in groups have the potential of attracting new clients into the group and thus improve their chances of handling the challenge permanently. The support groups become effective when all the members participate actively in their activities. The 12 step meetings increase the participation of the members in an orderly manner.

 

 

 

Part I  

The aspect of making decision is highly dependent on an individual’s psychological perception combined with their experiences. However, there are models that try to analyze the process of decision taken partaken by people throughout the world and they include;

  • The Eisenhower matrix – Using this model an individual has the ability prioritizing activities from the most important to the least paramount. Vaccaro (2013) is of the idea that Eisenhower matrix plays an important role in ensuring that the most important decisions are covered thus reducing chances of chaos. In the process, an individual is also able to tackle urgent tasks which form the foundations of a stress free life. The model increases the ability of an individual to focus on what is and what is not important in their lives. Additionally, the Eisenhower matrix assists individuals in deciding whether some activities and tasks are worth their attention or not. In the process, they are able to decide whether to delegate the tasks or do away with them all together. At this point an individual has already decided that the task is not important and therefore does not focus on them personally (Kiser, 2010). The Eisenhower matrix therefore ensures an individual knows what is most important in their lives and what is not which allows for issues to flow smoothly in their lives.
  • The John Whitmore model. The model is also known as GROW which stands for Goals, Reality, Options, Wild; these are stages through which an individual is supposed to go through to ensure they are mature enough in the decision making process (Adair, 2012). Through the GROW model an individual is able to understand;
  • Their aspirations. Once aspirations are understood it becomes easier to make strategies of reaching them. In essence, understanding one’s aspiration is the first step towards making the right decision on reaching them.
  • Current situation and beliefs. Beliefs have a way of affecting a person’s attitude towards their goals. If for instance a person believes travelling is an unnecessary expense then it becomes difficult to make plans for travelling.
  • Resources and possibilities available to them. Through GROW an individual has the ability of understanding what resources are available and how to make full use of them and thus realize their goals.
  • The strategies they have made that will allow them to reach their professional and personal lives. GROW allows people to make practical strategies to reach their goals through analysis of their aspirations and their financial strengths.
  • The Conflict Resolution Model. The model focuses on the reasons have while handling conflicts and assumes there are two dimensions to this aspect. The first dimension is that individuals’ deal with conflicts for self-concern that is assertiveness (Koudi, 2011). In this dimension, a person feels conflicted with the issue at hand and is worried for their personal peace and thus works towards finding a solution for their peace of mind. In the process, they find a solution that is most appropriate to them. The other dimension is finding a solution that is based on other people’s interests and is considered as having empathy. According to Drucker (2017) such a situation requires an individual who is selfless and is concerned about the welfare of others. In most instances, the dimension follows conflicts that do not affect an individual personally or directly which allows them to think about others. However, there are instances where people in close relationships or kinships think about the welfare of others before theirs.
  • The Personal Performance Model. The model is crucial in instances where individuals are not satisfied in their jobs. There are numerous instances where individuals find themselves in jobs they do not like as a result of pressures of modern living. In the process the dissatisfaction levels are extremely high. The personal performance level therefore assists individuals in finding out the level of dissatisfaction using a three week procedure. Zane (2016) suggests that the model produces results that give individuals the confidence in making a decision with regards to their jobs and careers. The evaluation acquired from the model assists people in understanding how they got in the job or career in the first place. Through this way a person has a better chance of understanding what they are experience is either lack of motivation or they are in the wrong profession (Gaswen, 2011). Having a deeper understanding why they are in the profession allows them an opportunity of telling whether it is necessary to change their job or careers.
  • The Personal Potential Trap Model. The model is some kind of test that has three curves that follow a person’s expectations, the expectations of others on them and their achievements (O’Sullivan, 2010). The model advices people to have fewer expectations which will reduce their feelings of failure. Fewer expectations also reduce other people’s expectations of them which will reduce their need to have their expectations fulfilled. The achievement part is compared to the goals an individual has; the rate at which the individual reaches their goals is their achievements. With the three curves representing personal expectations, other people’s expectations and their achievements diverging too much the individual finds they have fallen into the personal potential trap (Jones, 2014). The personal potential trap model is important in allowing individuals find how to relate their expectations and their achievements. The decision to reduce expectations is achieved the instance a person realizes they had placed too much expectations on themselves. Other people’s expectations can only be controlled in the instance a person accepts they are human and have the potential of failing and therefore other people’s expectation should not determine their feelings.

Part II

            Cognitive biases focuses on how individuals develop their own reality based on their perception of other people and situations. In the process, there develops fallacies that have the potential of distorting reality and creating unreal and unpractical logics and ways of thinking. Some of the cognitive biases include;

  • Bandwagon Effect. The bias is based on doing things because many other people are doing it. Human have the weakness of feeling left out if they do not do what others are doing which increased the bandwagon effect naturally (Byrness, 2013). It requires will power to avoid the influence of the masses as they have ability of pushing someone into acting as they do in the effect of mass psychology. An example of a bandwagon effect is the use of Facebook. The number of people using Facebook has significantly increased over the years as a result of the bandwagon effect. People primarily started using Facebook because they heard someone was using it and loving the experience. The bandwagon effect according to Ephraim (2013) is usually based on the reputation of the situation; the reputation can either be positive or negative.
  • Framing Bias. The framing bias focuses on different conclusions that an individual comes up with depending on how the information is presented. It is quite normal for a person to have different interpretation of a situation depending on how they understood the information depending on how the situation was presented. Zikhurst (2012) is of the idea that the interpretation of information regardless of how it is presented is dependent on an individual’s understanding of the topic as well as their current situation. An example of framing bias is the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The available information was that the disease was very infectious. It is in this sense that numerous people started wearing masks as they were scared the disease was airborne; additionally, the same people avoided the region in totality as they interpreted that the area was dangerous. However, a deeper analysis indicated that the disease was spread through touching bodily fluids of an infected person.
  • Confirmation bias. The bias follows the way a person looks for and interprets available information to confirm their beliefs regarding a particular issue. Individuals with search a bias do not believe anything that is outside their beliefs. Confirmation bias according to Adair (2012) leads to individuals with a straight way of thinking and refuse to accept anything that goes into contrary to their beliefs. In essence, confirmation bias pushes people into believing fallacies that might have been planted in their childhood. An example of confirmation bias is the fact that slave owners during the era of slavery believed that the slaves loved being over worked and the ill treatment. The slave owners confirmed this by stating that the slaves originated from the Dark Continent which was not industrialized and thus the inhabitants did everything manually. Through this mentality, the slave owners overworked the slaves without empathy as they believed thy loved the work.
  • Illusion of Control. Illusion of control bias is based on the fact that some people believe that they have control and influences over issues that they cannot control. Byrness (2013) suggests that a majority of the individuals with this bias have psychological issues that propel them to being in control all of the time. The issue with their need to be in control forces them to believe in illusions and things that are non-existent. A good example of illusion of control bias is that there are individuals who take credit to nat

In the current society, human survival exclusively relies on unity, compassion, and willingness to share the limited resources. When one practices love and kindness to people around them the community and their family benefits. Furthermore, they also benefit as their social network develops. To outsmart others and be successful, science approves the above statement. This has been backed up in clinical studies and therefore true.

During my free time, I help the elderly from my neighborhood for example in preparing meals for them. My mother also told me that she used to do the same. To illustrate, Harvard biologist Wilson suggested that social behavior such as altruism are always genetically automated into a living organism to enable them to survive. This theory is different from Darwin’s theory of natural selection, which explains that the fittest species will survive as compared to others. To illustrate, the natural selection is about every man for himself while the kin selection is about one man for all and all for one (Bergland, 2012). According to the kin selection theory, individuals with altruistic properties prevail because the genetic factors that they shared with kin are transferred. Wilson further explains that the battle between dissimilar levels may create great dramas for instance wars, love matters, and the associations.

I love and promote teamwork. In most organizations have worked they know me for that. I always remember that it’s with teamwork that an organization succeeds. To illustrate, this is supported by modern theories of cooperative behavior support the Wilson theory which suggests that selfless actions provide have a selective advantage to the altruist in terms of benefits. The philosophies illustrate that humans acquire cooperative expertise for the reason that their common interest is to labor sound with others (Bergland, 2012). People should collaborate in order to live, as altruism is not the motive why we liaise. Therefore, since we need others to survive, we are altruistic to them and cooperation is the key to our existence. The evolution of cooperation is a two-step progression, beginning in minor predator-collector groups and complexes later in large societies (Bergland, 2012). According to the theory, humans have some special cooperative capabilities that other primates do not enjoy. For example, these abilities include understanding ones function in the shared work communicating goals, and apportioning the loots justly. The second evolutionary step is where the members in the society become more dependent on another as the society complexes and enlarged (Bergland, 2012). This sense of belonging has resulted in cultural agreements, standards, and establishments that incentivized the moods of communal accountability.

In most cases, I give out or share the little food, clothes, and many other items with others. I do not forcefully do it since I feel that it is the right thing to do and therefore comes out naturally. To illustrate, according to Bergland (2012) the social brain might have a region specifically ingrained to share. The research demonstrations that a monkey acquires certain recompenses in a precise brain area from sharing with another. There are two schools of thought according to the study, which establishes how the social reward system is organized. The first one according to Bergland (2012) explains that there exists a generic reward system for human and other animals, for instance, monkey to survive modified to our communal conduct.

The second school holds that there may be some special circuits for social behavior in humans and other decidedly social animals since it’s very important for the species. To illustrate, the monkeys favored rewording themselves and rewards the other monkey if there is no juice for either of them. Also, they preferred giving juice to the monkey they know to the one they do not recognize. Funnily, they preferred giving lower prestige to higher rank monkeys. Finally, they had no or very little interest in giving juice to a lifeless object. The development of parts of the brain for cooperation, community, and social decisions for example empathy may have been favored during development in apes (Bergland, 2012). These developments may have been evolved to enable one to be nice to the family since they possess the same gene and friends for reciprocal benefits. According to Bergland (2012), anterior insular cortex is the action epicenter of human empathy.

In conclusion, actions of showing compassion to others are required for survival. This includes comforting somebody who is grieved and even advising others to follow the right channel. Working as a team is crucial for the success of an association. This is even required in a family for its victory. Sharing is important for human survival. In most cases, we cannot have everything we need for our survival and thus we must share. Therefore, human beings must show compassion, work as a team and share to exist. This is scientifically proven.

Prejudice is composed of stereotypes, beliefs and emotions. It is defined as a system of negative beliefs and attitudes directed toward certain groups or people which may lead to aggressive thoughts and behavior towards the targeted group. Also, stereotypes are traits or characteristics that are attributed to members of a group and are referred to as the cognitive process of prejudice. Further, prejudice beliefs are the product of cultural transmission and are “learned through interaction at an early age with family, peers, the media, religion, and other influences” (Veve, 2007). For example, the media perpetuates the stereotype that Italians are involved in organized crime when they air mob gangster films. Furthermore, discrimination is the acting out of prejudice beliefs, it “involves the behavioral component of prejudice” and is defined as the unequal treatment of people based solely on their gender, race, ethnicity, orientation, religion, and other involvement in a group. There are different ways people engage in discriminatory behavior; some are less obvious than others.  For example, when hiring an employee, the employer might ask for proof of citizenship based solely on the fact that the person has darker skin or an accent. Another less noticeable example of discrimination occurs when people choose to avoid interaction with others based on their differences.

            Goff (2005), reports that psychologist have started studying relationships between different races by focusing on their avoidance patterns between one  another. Goff argues that each person has an innate tendency to associate him or her with certain races over another because of stereotypes people perceive to be true; he refers to this phenomenon as “racial preference”. Studies have been made that suggest stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination are linked to one another, and the strength of prejudice attitudes may lead to discriminatory behavior varying from avoiding people to violence, even murder. However, Goff points out that not all discriminatory behavior is caused by prejudice negative beliefs towards the group, but instead suggest that people are misinformed with stereotypes.  Research on discrimination usually focuses on stereotypes and prejudice beliefs. Until recent research, social psychologists have placed an emphasis on emotions as a predictor of discrimination. Psychologists have conclude that “stereotypes direct discrimination, while emotions energize it” (Talaska, Fiske, & Chaiken, 2008). Prejudice beliefs and stereotypes may cause feelings, or emotions of distrust/trust, security/insecurity, anger/pleasure, and happy/sad, but the strength and severity is what leads to action orientation. For example, a person who is experiencing anger towards a group of people is more likely to inherit a predisposition to engage in discriminatory behavior.

            Stereotypes are widespread throughout the nation that people are aware of their in-group stereotypes, but does not mean they approve or fit the criteria. People often depend on stereotypes to judge others and may result in negative consequences (Skorinko, 2007). For example, stereotypes can negatively influence doctor’s advice to their patients, court room decisions, and promotion and hiring decisions.  Zhao (2005) explores the discrimination practices by real estate brokers suggesting that African Americans and Hispanics are shown 60 to 80 percent of homes compared to whites. This may be true because brokers are prejudice against minorities, or because brokers are pressured by white home owners, so that their neighborhoods would not become integrated. This cycle of discrimination makes it particularly difficult for middle class minorities to move out from their current neighborhoods, causing a delay in upward social class mobility by restricting them to certain neighborhoods. The different diverse race and ethnic groups in America, African-Americans may be considered the most deprived and underprivileged. Compared to the average white person, African-Americans lean toward earning 42% less than and face a notable amount of career obstacles than their white counterparts.         

 Other minority groups have also been discriminated against throughout the United States history. For example, in 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was enacted which restricted immigration from China. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the nation’s first policy banning the entry of a particular race, and was revoked until 1943. In addition, at the time of World War II, because of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted “Executive Order 9066 which deprived Japanese-Americans from their civil liberties, an order that ultimately led to the unjust internment of approximately 110,000 Japanese-Americans.” However, not all stereotypes are negative. For example, Asians are often referred to as the “model minority,” because of the economic and academic achievements of some Asians (Tom, 2006).

As mentioned earlier, people have a tendency to rely on stereotypes whether they are aware of it or not, but can reduce its negative effects by informing themselves on the stereotype directed group. A person’s motivation to inform his or herself can alter a person’s use of stereotypes by allowing them to view the situation from a different perspective. For example, a person who supports egalitarian principles avoids generalizing characteristics and traits to certain groups of people by acknowledging individual differences. However, this research only focuses on the individuals who do not fit the criteria and suggests that people who do confirm the negative stereotypes are still prone to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination (Skorinko, 2007).  Legislative actions have been done in effort to reduce discrimination in the United States social institutions. According University Wire, “affirmative action is an action or policy favoring those who tend to be discriminated against”. Opponents of affirmative action might argue that it is a form of reverse discrimination. However, supporters argue that it is positive discrimination which allows equal educational and employment opportunities to minority group members. For example, because of affirmative action, minority have equal opportunity being accepted into colleges and other prestigious positions. Even though affirmative action may be considered positive discrimination, it is discrimination none the less, and the article suggests that it is causing more harm than intended.  For example, “every time a minority gets accepted or hired via affirmative action somebody else who may be more qualified is being denied” (University Wire, 2014). Public school systems have laid out the framework for minorities to fail by not offering them quality education and funding. Therefore, affirmative action should be eliminated, and instead provide equal and quality education to children throughout the nation’s schools, so that people can be hired or accepted based solely on their qualifications, and not race or minority status (Ridgeway, 2016).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition that an individual may develop after witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event (Pitman et al., 2012). The traumatic events may include sexual assault, threats on someone’s life, traffic collisions, or warfare (Pitman et al., 2012). The symptoms of the mental disorder include disturbing dreams, thoughts, or feelings that are connected to the trauma. Such symptoms last for more than a month after the occurrence of the event or times occur after several years after the incident. Children may show their memories while playing (Pitman et al., 2012). An individual with PTSD can easily commit suicide or intentionally harm themselves. Besides, the symptoms can result in many challenges in social, work situations, or relationships (Pitman et al., 2012). As a result, interfering with one's capacity to going about their routine daily tasks. Typically, the symptoms of the disorder are categorized into four types, for example, emotional reactions, avoidance, negative alterations in mood and thoughts, intrusive memories, and variations in emotional or physical reactions (Pitman et al., 2012). Mostly, people are likely to experience different symptoms or varying symptoms of the illness from time to time. Can a person prevent the symptoms of the disease from causing harm to themselves? An individual can avoid experiencing the problems that the condition causes through seeking a health professional, friend or family who may offer comfort or listen to the challenge and offer a solution on how to go about it.

The symptoms of intrusive memories include unwanted and recurrent worrying reminiscences of the occurrence, flashbacks, upsetting dreams about the event, and severe physical reactions or emotional distress of what reminds the person to the traumatic event (Neria, Nandi, & Galea, 2008). An individual may try avoiding the symptoms that the condition causes by making efforts of avoiding or thinking about the occurrence and avoiding areas, people together with activities that makes one recall the traumatic happening (Neria, Nandi, & Galea, 2008). On the contrary, symptoms of undesirable alterations in mood and thinking include negative thoughts about themselves, the world or other individuals, problems in maintaining close friendships, and hopelessness about the impending (Neria, Nandi, & Galea, 2008). Also, it may include challenges in memory that provides for the failure of recalling some crucial aspects of the traumatic occasion, being emotionally numb, and problems in experiencing positive emotions. Also, lacking interest in the activities an individual used to enjoy and feeling detached from friends and family members is are also negative changes in thinking and moods of an individual who has PTSD (Neria, Nandi, & Galea, 2008). When an individual start experiencing one or some of the listed alterations in their moods or the way they think they should seek professional guidance, family or friend’s help on how to go about the matter to stop such symptoms.

The arousal symptoms (alterations in emotional or physical reactions) include being easily surprised and guard for danger mostly, experiencing trouble when sleeping and concentrating, and having overwhelming guilt or shame (Berntsen, & Rubin, 2007).  Also, the self-destructive behavior, for instance, driving too fast or drinking a lot and aggressive behavior or angry outbursts maybe some of the changes in physical or emotional reactions (Berntsen, & Rubin, 2007). While for children of six years and below, may show the effects of the traumatic events when playing and asleep (Berntsen, & Rubin, 2007). For example, the child can experience frightening dreams that show the traumatic events they had experienced. An individual suffering from PTSD may have a varying intensity of the condition's symptoms depending on the amount of stress one is having at the moment or the memories of the events they had gone through some time back (Berntsen, & Rubin, 2007). For example, a person may see a report of sexual assault in the news and is overwhelmed by the memories of their attack (Berntsen, & Rubin, 2007). Therefore it is better for an individual to prevent such feelings since they are stressful or can cause significant harm to the victim (Berntsen, & Rubin, 2007). One should, therefore, visit a specialist, family member or a friend for the comfort or seeking advice on how to deal with the event.

Peter, a thirty-six-year-old farmer, was admitted to hospital after making several attempts of killing himself. His wife had just begun divorce proceedings against him, and he felt frustrated, hungry, chronically anxious as well as distrusting (Watts et al., 2013). His friends felt that Peter was mad always. Peter too complained of a constant headache. Besides, Peter was also a Vietnam Veteran who recorded one hundred kills. Peter used to say that the experience in Vietnam made him numb as he lost his humanity in that nation (Watts et al., 2013). When he was taken to a health professional, Peter complained that his memories tormented him. Peter's Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography study indicates an increase in activity of the in the left basal ganglion. Such findings are mostly seeing in those who are chronically irritable (Watts et al., 2013). During his time in a hospital, Peter was placed in Depakote, and immediately he began feeling better. Peter stopped shouting at people and was able to start activities that enable him to heal from the wounds of Vietnam as well as those from divorce (Watts et al., 2013). His daughter, as well as a friend too, provided him with comfort that initiated his healing. Peter could now relax with no memories of his experiences in the Vietnam wars and thoughts of divorce (Watts et al., 2013).  Therefore, there is medication for PTSD.

The application of qualitative research design is essential in the study of how people feel or think (Taylor, Bogdan, & DeVault, 2015). Under this text, and the research question, it is crucial to apply qualitative research design technique (Taylor, Bogdan, & DeVault, 2015). For instance, a qualitative method is used to develop an understanding of both human and social sciences to determine the way individuals think or feel. The process is holistic, therefore able to capture many areas of study and such as a result (Taylor, Bogdan, & DeVault, 2015). The method will make it possible to generate the most required results which depend on the type of study a researcher is conducting.

In conclusion, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health illness that one may develop after a traumatic event. The symptoms of the condition may be flashbacks of such experiences when one notices something related to it, making one to have a bad feeling. Also, an individual may be having thoughts of committing suicide which may lead to the death of the victim. The young ones can show the signs of disease through dreams when sleeping or when playing with other children or alone. Such experiences are traumatizing, and therefore a victim on the condition should seek medication or assistance from friends or the family members. In the case of Peter, a Vietnam Veteran case, he had PTSD after his experiences in the war as he participated in the killing of around one hundred soldiers as well as which made him lose humanity. Also, the case of divorce of his wife made him experience traumatic effects including constant headache. With Depakote treatment, he was able to feel better. Additionally, a researcher should apply a qualitative research approach technique in the determination of ways to use to end the effects of traumatic events. According to the text, it is, therefore, possible to eliminate the impact of terrifying events through medication and comfort from friends and family members.

 

 

 

 

At times, growing up around relatives and friends can be very challenging especially in cases where one feels he/she is an outcast and is making attempts to fit in. In most cases it is the teens who are most vulnerable in that they have to work with the pressure that comes from their peers who either asks them to do what they are doing or act in line with what they want. In either case, the individual is limited to making right decisions simply because he/she might want to please the people around him/her. Peer pressure refers to the force that comes from the people around an individual that dictates the way one makes his/her decisions. The decisions made can either be positive or negative. However, many a times the decisions are negative and can negatively affect the individual in the long run.

            The article entitled “The Science of Decision Making and Peer Pressure” (p.30) Steinberg illustrates two cases of how peer pressure can be both negative and positive in one’s life. In the first case, a student joins other classmates at laughing and making fun of a friend-something he/she knows is hurtful. But have no choice rather than laugh so to please the classmates. In the second case, a student is being encouraged to participate in the audition for which he first declines because he is too shy to stand before a crowd. Later, he gains courage and take part in the audition and sees his name on the cast least. The two scenarios illustrates how peer pressure can influence one to act against his/her wishes and end up demoralized or motivated. The science behind most people, especially teens, listening to their peers and acting in the want to please them involves a chemical known as dopamine in the brain center reward. The article claims that dopamine channels signals in the brain receptors that makes one happy and further states that the number of brain receptors interconnecting to dopamine is higher in teens. For this reason, most teens would act quickly to what the friends do or say to stay happier. (Steinberg, p.30). Moreover, the author argues that teens are more willing to take risk while with other teens compared to other adults. One of its study shows that teenage drivers were 2.5 times more willing to take risk in a driving competition with adults and 3 times more willing to take risk in the same competition with fellow teenagers.

In addition to friends, poor parenting skills can influence poor decision making in one’s life. Ideally, parents have the responsibility of cultivating good behaviors and encourage them to grow and develop in both their physical and mental faculties. However, in cases of poor parenting in which the kids are neglected or exposed to abuse; they are more likely to become psychologically affected and make wrong choices. In a study conducted on children in Beijing China to determine the impact of poor parenting on a child’s life, about 25.7% of the students on one or more days in less than a month. (Sun et al, p.3280). The forms of bullying ranged from being beaten by other students to being neglected which made some of the affected students consider suicide. For this very reason, it is true to claim that the parents were responsible for the behaviors of their kids. In other words, the students who were bullying other students were simply doing so because their parents did not put much attention to monitor and correct their bad behaviors. Although there are barriers that can make parents not notice their children’s bad behaviors while in school, the parents have the duty to ask teachers, especially class teachers about their kids’ academic and behavioral development.  So this study asserts that poor parenting can as well act as a path to poor decision making among teens to the point that they develop bully traits.

Also, people with high social influence have got higher chances to influence teens to act in particular manner. Usually, people with higher social influences such as community leaders and professionals are respected with other members of the community. For which, most teens desire to become like them in the years to come so to hold higher positions in the society and gain respect from other members of the community. However, in cases where these people 9with high social status) have bad characters then the most affected are teens who follows their footsteps. In fact, it can be very difficult to convince the teens that the characters portrayed are bad for their growth and development. Lin (p.95) uses a school model to illustrate how students with higher social status of social influence makes other students walk into their footsteps and later end up paying more for disobedience. In this case, other students are punished simply because they trust the student with higher social status to be ever right. So they never want to imagine that just like them, the student too is subjected to school policies and equal penalties for not complying with those policies. Although empirical studies suggests that students who associated themselves with friend who are less influential have less chances of failing in traps, those with influential friends are more prone to become victims of disciplinary cases (Lin, p.95). In other words, the author means that there are factors such as having many influential friends that puts a student at higher chances of making wrong decision which is in fact the meaning of peer pressure. Thereby proving the claim that both the social relations and social influence one has in a society has an impact on teenagers who walks in his/her footsteps.

To this point, it is important that a solution be adopted to rectify the issue of poor decision makings based on peer pressure. For this very reason, I will use an article posted by American Academy of child $ Adolescent Psychiatric to propose some tips that teens, especially those schooling can adopt to stay away from being absorbed into peer pressure. The article starts by stating that peers are natural in a child’s life and they should assist a student develop a stronger love for books and participation in co-curriculum activities. To mean, they should assist student develop new skills to help him/her become a much better person. (AACAP, p.104). However, students should stay away from fellows who force them to do things they believe are wrong or dangerous as well as learn on how to say no and stand firm to their decisions. On the other side, parents should always create time with their kids and do open and honest talks about peer pressure so the kids get to know the importance of being careful with people around him/her (AACAP, p.104).. In so doing, the kids will be avoiding letting peer pressure control their way of reasoning and end up on right decisions without external influences. In fact (Steinberg, p.30) puts it that they will be in a position to create a script in their heads about what to do and say. Therefore, every student and person should always understand that their brains works differently in groups than when alone so they proceed with moderations in either case.  

In sum up, growing up around relatives and friends can be very challenging especially in cases where one feels he/she is an outcast and is making attempts to fit in. for which, teens in their adolescent age are the most affected to the point they make wrong decisions so to feel comfortable within their circle of friends. Peer pressure can very dangerous in a case where one desires to make right decisions simply because many a time it forces one to pick on alternatives against their wishes.