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Category:Human Relations

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Psychology 101/PSY 101

This page is a compilation of information for a college Psychology 101 Course (Human Relations)


Comparison between the theories of Maslow and Freud

Several similarities and differences between Maslow’s Theory of Self-Actualization and Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory can be deduced. Maslow, primarily focused on the healthy aspects of personality, and was interested in explaining how personality progresses in a positive manner; Freud primarily focused on the unhealthy aspects of personality, and worked to provide an explanation of the negative tendencies and actions of a person’s personality. Additionally, Boeree (2006) mentions that Maslow theorizes that a person has an inner desire for self-actualization, or “growth motivation,” that is initiated once a person’s other needs are fulfilled (Boeree, 2006), whereas Freud theorizes that the id is always ready to initiate desires to reduce a person to depravity. On the other hand, both Maslow and Freud fail to explain the focal points of each other’s theories; Maslow does not attempt to identify the malevolent desires a person has, and Freud does not give an explanation of a person’s desire for self-improvement outside the context of the superego. Finally, according to Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009), the theories of both of these psychologists suffer from “inadequate evidence” and poor testing reliability. (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009, pp. 35-41, 43, 52-54)


Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Boeree, C. G. (2006). Abraham Maslow. Retrieved August 7, 2010, from

Stress and Its Effects

Stress is the result of relatively natural processes, and short-term stress can sometimes add excitement to a person’s life. Nonetheless, stress can also be debilitating, particularly if the situation initiating stress compromises a person’s desire for security. This mini-paper will focus on (a) the definition of stress and how it is initiated; (b) the emotional responses to stress; (c) the effects of stress on the body; and (d) how stress influences behavior.

According to Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009), stress can be “any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one’s well-being and thereby tax one’s coping abilities.” When a person perceives a situation, the mind initially questions itself as to whether the matter applies to that person and if will negatively affect the individual; if it is not expected to do either one of these, a person will typically not experience stress from the situation. If the mind does come to the conclusion that it may apply to the individual and may do so in a negative manner, the mind will then reappraise the situation and evaluate whether the person feels capable of handling the situation. If an individual feels capable of handling the situation, the person’s composure will typically be retained; if not, an onset of stress frequently takes place (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009, pp. 71, 80).

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) also list a number of emotional responses that can result from stress. Individuals can become annoyed, angered, or aggressive, particularly if they are frustrated. Anxiety or fear can also surface, especially if they are uncertain of what lies ahead or feel that the future is beyond their control. A person may experience guilt or shame, particularly if that individual made a mistake or feels at fault for the situation. Grief or sadness can also afflict someone, especially in cases where the pain of loss is felt (Weiten et al., 2009, pp. 80-81).

Stress initially causes the body to optimize itself for imminent intense physical exertion; unfortunately, if the imminent situation that faces a person is not physically intensive in nature, stress can be counter-productive, and actually make the situation worse. Stang (n.d.) mentions that the onset of stress causes the heart begins to pump faster, the rate of breathing increases, and the body redirects the flow of blood from its digestive operations to the muscles. Unfortunately, if a person experiences stress for an extended period of time, this, combined with the influx of hormones secreted into the blood stream, can impair bodily functions, such as digestion and the repair of tissues. Moreover, extended periods of stress can make a person more susceptible to sickness and bodily maladies, particularly cancer, stomach ulcers, and coronary heart disease (Stang, n.d.).

The feelings of stress can cause people to alter their behavior in reaction to it. Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that individuals may become irritable or verbally aggressive. A person may exhibit cruel, aggressive, or abusive behavior against others. An individual may redirect frustration at someone else or something else, frequently an innocent person or an inanimate object. Over-indulgence of one’s appetites, such as excessive food consumption, drinking alcoholic beverages, or the use of illegal drugs, is sometimes utilized by some individuals in an attempt to cope with stress (Weiten et al., 2009, pp. 80, 106-111).

In conclusion, stress is something everyone must experience, for no one can completely avoid it. Long-term stress can affect a person’s outlook on life in negative ways, and can affect an individual’s abilities and health. Finally, mismanaged stress can also damage people’s relationships with others, and cause them to alienate those whom they love most.


Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Stang, D. (n.d.). Calming Down: An Introduction to Stress and Some Stress-Solutions. Retrieved August 9, 2010, from the Web site:

The Self

Several components of the self are utilized in formulating our beliefs about ourselves. As with most other aspects of the self, these repositories can be influenced by internal and external forces, and exhibit a certain element of responsiveness to the directives of the will. In this mini-paper, we will explain the purpose of and some methods of development for (a) the self-concept; (b) self-esteem; and (c) self-efficacy.

According to Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009), the self-concept can be explained as being “an organized collection of beliefs about the self.” This organization of beliefs is not merely a few key concepts about oneself; it is a vast array of beliefs called self-schemas that describe individual aspects of what one believes about oneself. These self-schemas are the different traits one believes one has; they can be formed by a person’s own observation, or they can be shaped by the feedback from those we meet. A person can take an active role in developing one’s self concept by undertaking self-analysis and asking for the input of those whom the individual trusts (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009, pp. 141-142, 144-146).

Definitions of self-esteem vary; “Self-esteem” (n.d.) defines it as the “sense of personal worth and ability that is fundamental to an individual's identity” (“Self-esteem,” n.d., para. 1), whereas Weiten et al. (2009) exclude the sense of ability from their definition, and instead define self-esteem as “one’s overall assessment of one’s worth as a person.” In either case, self-esteem is heavily contingent on our self-concept; if we have a positive self-concept, we are more likely to have high self-esteem, while if we have a negative self-concept and feel badly about ourselves, we are more likely to have low self-esteem. Much of a person’s self-esteem is passively developed through the positive and negative interactions one has with family members and acquaintances (Weiten et al., 2009, pp. 148, 151, 153); however, individuals can take an active role in increasing their self-esteem by associating with those who influence them positively and seeking to avoid those who influence them negatively.

Weiten et al. (2009) explain that “self-efficacy refers to one’s belief about one’s ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes.” Self-efficacy builds on the self-concept, as it evaluates the abilities a person believes one has and then evaluates whether one can perform a given task. Individuals can develop their self-efficacy by using (a) training themselves and acquiring skills until they feel confident that they are capable; (b) watching others to learn how to perform a task, which can teach them and make them feel capable of completing a task; (c) “persuasion and encouragement,” which can help alter individuals’ feelings of dejection and make them believe that they can indeed succeed despite their original beliefs to the contrary; and (d) reinterpret their physiological reactions as positive reflexes of preparation, rather that negative reactions of fear or stress, which could otherwise reduce their feelings of self-efficacy (Weiten et al., 2009, pp. 162-163).

In conclusion, many of our core beliefs about ourselves are governed by the self-concept, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. By gaining a good understanding of ourselves, we can work to solidify our self-concept and thereby influence our self-esteem and self-efficacy. Finally, we can also take proactive measures in enhancing them through self-improvement, by seeking out positive influences, and by avoiding negative influences.


Self-esteem. (n.d.). In Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 16, 2010, from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Techniques for creating a positive interpersonal climate

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention five techniques which, though primarily used for initiating a conversation, can also be utilized to create a positive interpersonal climate. The first technique that can be used in creating this climate is to “indicate that you are open to conversation by commenting on your surroundings” (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009, p. 217). In many cases, sometimes someone just needs to break the ice of social uncertainty in a pleasant way with something “innocuous” (Klienke et al, 1986, p. 585), such as the beauty of the landscape, the weather, or a sincere compliment. A second technique mentioned by Weiten et al. (2009), introducing oneself, is also key to creating a positive interpersonal climate, and can help create a more open environment by giving the feeling of a closer relationship. A third technique, selecting a topic to which others can relate, is a way of creating common ground; finding similarities and complimentary contrast between individuals can accomplish this. “Keeping the conversational ball rolling,” the fourth technique, ensures this positive atmosphere is not extinguished prematurely; expanding the initial topic or introducing new topics can stimulate the continuation of this interpersonal state. Finally, the fifth technique, making “a smooth exit” (Weiten et al., 2009, p. 217), leaves a memorable impression of this positive interpersonal climate, and, in some cases, can set the foundation for a future relationship.


Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Kleinke, C. L., Meeker, F. B., & Staneski, R. A. (1986). Preference for opening lines: Comparing ratings by men and women. Retrieved August 14, 2010, from

The power of persuasion

From Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009), it can be deduced that persuasion is “the communication of arguments and information intended to change another person’s attitudes.” The success of persuasion is affected by the following four factors: (a) the “source” of the persuasion, such as a campaigning political candidate; (b) the “message” transmitted, such as the claim that a candidate will fight corruption; (c) the “channel” used for the transfer of the “message,” such as a television advertisement; and (d) the “receiver” of the transmitted “message” (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009, pp. 188-189), such as an informed voter who read about the candidate’s pork barrel projects during his term as a Representative. Although some leaders, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, can primarily persuade people due to the content of their “messages,” “Kennedy, John F.” (2001) mentions how a leader such as John F. Kennedy can also have advantageous traits that naturally open people to persuasion (“Kennedy, John F.,” 2001).


Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Kennedy, John F. (2001). American History Online On File. Retrieved August 14, 2010 from American History Online.

The Development of Healthy Relationships

A relationship can be defined as “a particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other” (“Relationship,” n.d.). Relationships vary, however, in their closeness, and Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that close relationships are relationships that are “important, interdependent, and long lasting” (p. 237). Moreover, these close relationships can be satisfying and healthy for both individuals, or they can be draining and unhealthy for one or more of the individuals. In this mini-paper, we will explain the progressive development of healthy relationships by analyzing (a) the initial encounter of the individuals and what influences the formation of a relationship; (b) the evaluation of qualities and interests, which determine the desirability of the relationship; (c) the techniques used in the maintenance of the relationship; (d) the development of love and attachment in the relationship; and (e) the development of the relationship as it attains maturity.

Before a relationship can begin, the two individuals in the relationship must encounter each other, which is frequently done face-to-face. Once two individuals have encountered one another, they then make the choice in determining whether or not they wish to begin and continue communication with one another. In face-to-face encounters, Weiten et al. (2009) mention that this is often affected by three factors: (a) “proximity,” which refers to “spatial closeness” to an individual; (b) “familiarity,” which refers to “an increase in positive feelings” due to “frequent exposure” to an individual; and (c) “physical attractiveness” (p. 241).

If the two individuals decide to continue communication, Weiten et al. (2009) mention that the individuals may begin laying the foundation of mutual interest in one another by looking for desirable traits in the other person, such as shared values, shared interests, physical attractiveness, economic resources, and personality traits. The discovery of compatibilities and favorable qualities will help to stimulate a relationship, whereas the discovery of incompatibilities and unfavorable qualities will typically hinder the growth of a relationship, if not cause its weakness or demise. The importance of the presence and intensity of these traits and qualities depends on the type of relationship that is developing (pp. 242-247).

Weiten et al. (2009) mention that, after a relationship has been formed, it needs to be maintained to stay healthy, which can be done by using several strategies. A person use “positivity” by engaging with the other person in a positive manner, and trying to remain cheerful and friendly. “Openness” to the thoughts and feelings of the other person can be used to give a better sense of empathy and show that one is considerate. A partner in the relationship can provide the other partner with “assurance” of the commitment one has to remain together. Additionally, willingness to participate in the other individual’s social network can be used as a way of showing interest in the other person’s interests. Sharing tasks helps show that a person is trying to help the other, rather than trying to take advantage of the other. Finally, participating in activities together helps to retain and nurture the intimacy and closeness of the relationship (pp. 247-248).

As healthy relationships develop in closeness, they will also begin to develop in love and attachment. Initially (Weiten et al., 2009), a healthy relationship will begin with individuals liking one another, and as the relationship develops, the relationship will also begin to grow in commitment, producing what is known as “companionate love.” In comparison, healthy romantic relationships will frequently also increase in passion while growing in commitment, resulting in “consummate love.” In both romantic and non-romantic relationships, attachments between individuals will begin to form, and the warm, responsive caring shown by one toward the other will make the second individual feel confident and secure. Additionally, it will enable the second individual to trust the dependability of the first individual and not fear abandonment (pp. 254-256).

As relationships reach maturity, several strategies (Weiten et al., 2009) can be utilized to ensure they are kept healthy and invigorated regularly. Speaking positively helps individuals think favorably about one another and reminds them of the good qualities in each other. Bringing novelty and new experiences into the relationship helps to arouse the interest of both individuals, and prevents the possibility of stagnation in the relationship. Finally, finding and developing skills for effectively resolving conflicts helps prevent external forces from destroying the relationship (pp. 259-260).

In conclusion, healthy relationships are formed for a variety of interests and reasons, but the ways in which they are formed exhibit many similarities. Healthy relationships continue to grow and develop with time, and increase in love and attachment. Finally, regular maintenance is the key to healthy relationships, and the use of maintenance strategies by both individuals is the key to making a relationship long lasting.


Relationship. (n.d.). In The American Heritage® dictionary of the English language, fourth edition. Retrieved August 23, 2010, from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Predicting the success of a marriage

It can be deduced from Weiten et al. (2009) that the success of a marriage can be predicted with fair accuracy by evaluating the ability to convey positive messages, the likeliness of misunderstanding the other person, the ability to recognize when one has been misunderstood, the frequency and intensity of negative emotions, and the preferred levels of self-disclosure. They also mention some of the current major challenges to existing marriages, such as disagreements about the roles of each individual in the marriage, employment-related issues and stress, disagreements and frustration over finances, and problems with communication.

The Psychological Effects of the Media on Children

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that the average child watches more than one and a half hours of television a day (p. 317). This time, in conjunction with other media influences, can significantly affect children psychologically. In this mini-paper, we will explore some of the effects the media has on children, with a focus on (a) the gender stereotypes portrayed in the media; (b) how fear can be induced in children through the media; (c) how maladaptive habits can be formed due to the media’s influence, both with and without the intention of those producing the influencing content; and (d) how the media can psychologically affect children in a positive manner.

Weiten et al. (2009) mention that many models and stereotypes displayed in the media are detrimental, and form children’s opinions of how individuals from their genders are expected to act. This particularly applies to gender depictions, where men are often portrayed as exhibiting a far more pronounced level of assertiveness and competency when compared to women than what actually exists. Moreover, fictional works will frequently portray exaggerated traits of males and females, often portraying aggressive and egoistical mannerisms of males in a glorified state (Doheny, 2010), while depicting females as emotional and passive or, in some less common cases, as possessing the same aggressive characteristics that are portrayed in common media depictions of males.

Although children may experience situations in their personal lives that cause fear and trauma in their lives, they can also be afflicted by additional fear and trauma caused by exposure to traumatic experiences covered by the media. Due to the condensed nature of news information, children see a high concentration of negative experiences, and can easily get an unrealistic overestimation of the negative experiences that are actually happening. Moreover, if a negative event is portrayed multiple times from different perspectives, children can easily get the impression that the event has occurred multiple times, rather than being the same event depicted repeatedly (Disaster Images, 2009).

The media can often exert a significant influence on the attitudes of children toward delinquent activities and laziness. Although usually unintentional, the publicity of delinquents in the news compared with the publicity of those who have performed service for the good of the community can sometimes give children the impression that they can achieve greater publicity by performing delinquent actions similar to the ones they have seen. On the less excusable side, however, are media outlets that encourage children to engage in laziness by selecting poor role models as protagonists (Doheny, 2010). In the category of inexcusable media outlets, however, are those organizations and individuals who not only promote maladaptive techniques that harm the individuals themselves, but also encourage techniques that harm others.

On a more positive note, however, the media can also be used to improve children psychologically. When used properly, the media can serve as a good tool for the portrayal and encouragement of adaptive behaviors. Moreover, television programs that encourage good traits in children have been shown to stimulate positive reinforcement and social interaction between children and adults (Coates, Pusser, & Goodman, 1976, p. 138). In conclusion, the media can have many adverse affects on children psychologically. Moreover, the media is often used by many organizations and individuals to promote bad values in children. If used properly, however, the media can have a positive influence on children, and make the world a better place.


Coates, B., Pusser, H. E., & Goodman, I. (1976). The influence of "Sesame Street" and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" on children's social behavior in the preschool. Child Development, 47(1), 138-144. Retrieved August 28, 2010 from

Disaster images on TV. (2009, August 17). [Video file]. Retrieved from

Doheny, K. (2010, August 16). Superheroes: Bad role models for boys? Retrieved August 28, 2010 from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Preparing for the loss of a loved one

There are several things a person can do to prepare for the loss of a loved one. It is helpful for a person to become acquainted with the different stages (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009) of acceptance that occur while a person is approaching death so one can help and console the individual in the most suitable manner. Next, a person can help ensure that the individual’s estate and household are in order, and that wills, trusts, and other legal documents are prepared properly and accessible. A person can then learn how to identify the signs of bodily shutdown (“Preparing,” n.d.) and how to help the individual cope with them while ensuring the individual remains comfortable. Personal time with the individual will help to comfort the individual, and is an opportunity for one to assure the individual of the person’s love, and that everything will be handled properly. Finally, one can ensure that the individual has had the opportunity to see the family members one last time and be together with them before the individual dies.


Preparing for the death of a loved one. (n.d.). Retrieved August 27, 2010 from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Differences between men and women in the development of self-esteem

Gender-specific expectations are intentionally and, more often, unintentionally impressed upon children by their parents, their peers, and the media, which make them act and develop their self-esteem in different ways. Girls are frequently encouraged to engage in friendly, peaceful, and harmonious ways with one another, whereas models for boys (Doheny, 2010) often encourage aggressiveness and surpassing others. This eventually results in females frequently looking to popularity as a measurement of self-worth and achievement, and males often considering superiority over others as an indicator of self-worth and achievement.

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that, when they are children, boys are more likely to engage in activities that prove and challenge one another’s superiority, whereas girls will often engage in non-confrontational friendly activities where participation is the primary focus. As they grow older, males are more likely to try to exhibit superiority by buying new cars, owning larger homes, and acquiring more luxurious possessions, whereas women are more likely to get involved in more social networks and close friendships. Men’s self-esteem often suffers if they cannot match or exceed the possessions of others, whereas decreases in women’s self-esteem is more often due to perceived deficiencies or decreases in popularity.


Doheny, K. (2010, August 16). Superheroes: Bad role models for boys? Retrieved August 27, 2010 from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Coping with traumatic events

There are several techniques one could recommend to a friend for stress reduction after a traumatic event. Initially, the friend should try to be at ease, try to gain and retain a positive attitude, and try to find ways to relax and enjoy life. The person should then be informed that it is natural and can be helpful to grieve or cry, and that I am available if the friend wants to share any feelings or emotions with someone; additionally, the friend can be encouraged to participate in a support group that can relate to the situation the friend is experiencing and help the individual cope with the emotional and practical aftermath of the trauma. Moreover, the friend can get involved in other activities, watch television, or participate in exercise, which can help to shift one’s focus from the trauma to more pleasant things (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009). Finally, one can recommend that the person try to refrain from making any difficult or major lifestyle changes if possible, as these can compound the friend’s existing stress and make the situation more unbearable (“Tips,” n.d.).


Tips for recovering from disasters and other traumatic events. (n.d.). Retrieved September 4, 2010, from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Techniques for Coping with Job Stress

Many individuals have an increased dependency on their jobs due to the scarcity of employment, and the fear of losing their livelihoods is very stressful for many. Moreover, modern employees are experiencing higher workloads while companies try to stay profitable (Carpenter, 2010), a source of additional job stress for many workers. In this mini-paper, we will explore techniques that can be used to overcome and cope with job stress, with a focus on (a) direct confrontation and elimination of job stress; (b) reallocating tasks more efficiently to reduce stress; (c) identifying whether the stress one is undergoing actually applies to the person; (d) facing one’s fears to realize that situations are not as stressful as they may seem; (e) finding other things on which to focus one’s attention, such as volunteer work or exercise; and (f) considering another career.

When possible, the most effective way to reduce one’s job stress is by resolving the cause of it (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009). To do this, one needs to begin by carefully identifying what is causing the stress, and then construct a strategy to bring this matter under one’s control. After developing this strategy, one then needs to proactively implement it, modify it as necessary, and persevere with it to ensure that the cause of stress is eradicated.

Sometimes job stress can occur when a person attempts to do more than one person can handle singlehandedly. In this case, it may be beneficial to try to delegate tasks to individuals who have a smaller workload or who can perform the task more efficiently. Additionally, one may find that it is helpful to categorize tasks by their urgency and their importance, after which one can concentrate on the important tasks first and leave the less important tasks for another time (Weiten et al., 2009). Moreover, one may be able to identify tasks that have little or no consequence by using this strategy, which then makes it clear that one could safely disregard them at the present time.

Job stress may also be induced by feelings of guilt or anxiety regarding the potential result of a project. In this case, it may be helpful to identify to what extent one is responsible for its success or failure. By identifying what is one’s complete responsibility, what is not one’s responsibility, what is one’s shared or partial responsibility, and what is the responsibility of an employee under one’s supervision, one can evaluate one’s worries and decide which ones do not apply to oneself. Moreover, if things go poorly, this can reduce the likelihood of self-blame and help one realize that the failure is not one’s fault, but the responsibility of other employees instead. Sometimes it can be helpful to come face to face with one’s fears, and evaluate how much harm a feared situation could actually do. By evaluating the worst case scenario, one can eliminate the anxiety of the unknown, and possibly also realize that the situation is not as serious as one imagines. This realization can greatly reduce the stress that accompanies a set of circumstances.

Sometimes it can be helpful for a person to focus on projects outside work to reduce job stress (WCBS-TV, 2009). Volunteer work can give a person a sense of accomplishment and a positive impression of oneself in a stress-free setting. Exercise itself can be a good stress reliever, as it occupies one’s mind and helps wear off excess energy (WCBS-TV, 2009). Work around the house and home improvement can also help engage one’s mind and redirect energy, but caution should be exercised in preventing the inadvertent creation of unforeseen stressful misfortunes which can accompany many seemingly minor remodeling projects.

If job stress continues to persist at unhealthy levels, or the causes of job stress are beyond one’s control, it may be beneficial to consider changing positions or employers (WCBS-TV, 2009). This may be a particularly beneficial option if one feels overwhelmed by the duties of the job, if a supervisor is regularly unreasonable or overly demanding, if personal needs are irreconcilable with one’s work schedule, or if one is experiencing difficulty in meeting the expectations of the job. Moreover, sometimes merely searching for another job can be helpful in reducing or alleviating stress, as it reassures the person that there are alternative options, helps one think in a positive manner again, and helps one assess the ability one has to get another similar or better job than what one has currently.

In conclusion, it is most effective to address the causes of job stress directly through the correction of the cause, the prioritization of tasks, and the delegation of duties. Additionally, one can respond to the emotional aspects of job stress by analyzing one’s true responsibility for the outcome, addressing one’s fears, and getting oneself involved in other activities. Finally, if the cause of job stress is indeed insurmountable, it may be a sign that a change in one’s career may be the best path.


Carpenter, D. (2010, April 12). Study: Many employee workloads increased since 2007, most benefits stayed same. Huffington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2010, from

WCBS-TV (Producer). (2009, Jul 21). Job stress: How to keep your cool. In ScienceDaily. Webcast retrieved from:

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Depression and Its Treatment

Millions of individuals experience depression every year. Moreover, many of them have difficulty identifying and overcoming the causes and symptoms of their depression by themselves. In this mini-paper, we will focus on gaining an understanding of depression and its treatment by analyzing (a) the definition of depression; (b) factors that cause the onset of depression; (c) the manifestation of depression in disorders; (d) interactive treatment by professionals, or insight therapies; and (e) biomedical therapy.

Depending on the source, the term depression can be defined in more than one way. The term depression can be used as a synonym for major depressive disorder itself (Mayo Clinic, 2010). On the other hand, it can also be defined as a state of being sad, depressed, or dejected (“Depression,” n.d.). For the purposes of this mini-paper, we will use the latter definition in our treatment of the topic.

Individuals can begin to experience depression due to many different factors. People may experience uncontrollable setbacks in life, such as the loss of a job or a family member. Likewise, people can begin to experience depression due to bad choices they made in their lives, such as drinking, drug usage, or choosing a bad spouse. Depression can also develop when individuals become overly stressed, and do not see any way to overcome the stressful situations they are experiencing. Side effects of prescriptions can inflict it on otherwise satisfied individuals. Moreover, genetics, parenting styles, and personal attitudes and perceptions can all contribute to its onset (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009).

Depression can manifest itself in several disorders. It is typically most apparent in major depressive disorder, where an individual experiences deep depression over a period of several weeks without any significant form of remittance (Weiten et al., 2009). Additionally, depression can also exhibit itself in bipolar disorder, which consists of both maniac and depressive stages (NBC Digital Health Network, n.d.). Finally, it can also exhibit itself in dysthymic disorder, where it exhibits less intensity than in major depressive disorder, but continues its depressive course for many months, rather than just a few weeks (NBC Digital Health Network, n.d.).

Besides using personal proactive techniques to regain a positive attitude about oneself, Weiten et al. (2009) mention that one can also receive several forms of interactive treatment from professionals. One can utilize psychoanalysis to try to identify and resolve the original cause of the depression. One can also engage in therapy with a trained professional that identifies the incongruencies between one’s self-concept and reality and then tries to find ways to reconcile these differences. Group therapy can be another treatment option, which can help the depressed individual overcome the effects of depression by participating in a group where the individual can see that the individual is not the only one suffering from the issue, and where, with the help of an overseeing therapist, the participants can help one another identify and overcome the causes of their depression in a safe social setting (pp. 519-524).

Although it may not correct the underlying cause, biotherapy can help reduce the symptoms of depression. Weiten et al. (2009) mention that antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac and Paxil, can help physiologically affect individuals in a manner that feelings of depression are reduced. Additionally, though typically used for situations that have both depressive and maniac stages, mood stabilizer drugs can also help physiologically control fluctuations toward depression in a person’s attitudes (pp. 533, 535-536).

In conclusion, depression is something people experience that can be very difficult for them to overcome individually. Additionally, if it is not stopped early, it can entrench itself as a psychological disorder. Finally, depression can be overcome by the use of proactive techniques and through the use of psychotherapy and biomedical therapy.


Depression. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. Retrieved September 11, 2010, from

Mayo Clinic. (2010, February 11). Depression (major depression). Retrieved September 11, 2010 from

NBC Digital Health Network (Producer). (n.d.). What is depression? Retrieved September 11, 2010 from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Disorders caused by excessive stress

Excessive stress has the potential to initiate several psychological disorders. General anxiety disorder, such as when a financially stable person becomes overly worried about trivial expenditures, is an excessive feeling of general anxiety that is relatively constant and not controlled by any particular stimuli (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009). Phobic disorder, such as a fear of heights, fluctuates in its intensity, and is an intensive stress reaction to a feared stimulus (Weiten et al., 2009). Panic disorder, such as when a person is one day suddenly struck with an overwhelming sense of fear in the grocery aisle without cause, is a sudden and overwhelming fear that overcomes a person without any apparent or easily discernable cause (Dryden-Edwards, n.d.). Although there is the possibility that these disorders may sometimes be due to other causes, in most cases the coping techniques used for stress can help overcome these disorders if the individuals take the initiative to use them.


Dryden-Edwards, R. (n.d.). Panic attacks (panic disorder). Retrieved September 10, 2010 from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

Anxiety disorder

An anxiety disorder is a disorder that exists when a person suffers from levels of anxiety that are considered abnormal and excessive on a frequent and long-term basis without due cause (WebMD Medical Reference, 2009). Anxiety usually reaches its stage as an anxiety disorder when a person’s stress regularly exceeds the strength one’s current adaptive coping techniques can handle. Besides using typical stress coping techniques, one can use insight techniques, which focus on the individuals themselves, and try to seek resolutions by helping individuals identify what is causing their anxiety (Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer, 2009). Behavior-focused treatment, for its part, focuses on correcting the behaviors and responses themselves, such as through the use of conditioning (Weiten et al., 2009). On the other hand, biomedical therapy, such as the use of prescriptive drugs, can also be used to control stress for those who are unable to directly overcome the causes of their anxiety (Weiten et al., 2009).


WebMD Medical Reference. (2009, February 9). Generalized anxiety disorder. Retrieved September 10, 2010 from

Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.


Spouses as best friends

Should spouses be best friends? When possible, that is certainly the ideal way. However, it is typically sufficient if the spouse is the "best friend" of all acquaintances of the opposite gender, provided the spouses ensure that they keep their priorities straight. (By this I mean that a person might find it easier and more helpful to confide in and ask advice from a close friend or relative of the same gender more often than the individual's spouse, but is not recommended that the person place that relationship ahead of the relationship with the individual's spouse.) If this minimal form of "best friendship" is not present, it is typically a warning sign of a troubled marriage or of one that will soon become a troubled marriage.

Coping with change

We cope with change through the use of coping techniques; Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub (1989) mention several techniques that can be used, such as taking a proactive role if facing challenges associated with the change, planning a strategy to overcome challenges associated with the change, "seeking emotional support," and learning to accept the situation as it is (Carver, Scheier, and Weintraub, 1989, p. 272). Additionally, we can help others with their "woes" by giving good advice and providing material, emotional, and social support. To keep ourselves going, we can look at things in a more positive light, and try to see where these changes or challenges have been a benefit to us, what we can learn from them, and what we can do to resolve situations like these in the future.


Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., Weintraub, J. K. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(2), 272. Retrieved August 7, 2010, from

Methods of communication

Face-to-face communication is probably the best form of communication if the chief purpose in your communication is to form a close personal relationship with someone (such as a family member or friend). In cases where the dissemination of information is your chief purpose, e-mail has the advantage of permanency; a person can refer to it at their convenience, and can reference it again if they forget the contents. Communication by phone works out well for situations where you would much rather not be in front of someone when communicating with them (such as when the person with whom you are communicating is aggressive). Even postal mail can be advantageous in some instances; a certified letter can be used as evidence of receipt in a court of law.

The impression of the term "human relations"

The term "Human Relations" brings to mind the relationships between humans, such as the relationships between spouses, the relationships between friends, the relationships between family members, the relationships between buyers and sellers, and the relationships between fellow citizens. Additionally, it can bring to mind not only relationships that are mature, solid, and positive, but also relationships that are in the development stages, relationships that are under stress, and negative relationships (such as with individuals a person dislikes).


Blue Care Network set up the "scoring" for Healthy Blue Living so that a person would be eligible if they had just one of the listed problems (provided it was not smoking).

It depends what situation one is in. If one is in a subordinate position to a manager who does not want to try new techniques, it is safest to avoid confrontation; just make a list of good ideas and save it somewhere until the manager is reassigned or experiences a change in outlook. Once in a while a person can give this manager a "very safe" and very small idea, and this might help influence the manager to accept slightly larger proposals from a person as time progresses. If one has this kind of manager as a subordinate, one must determine what one expects from the manager, and convey that sort of information to the manager. The important thing to note is that some managers and supervisory personnel try to choose what is "safe" so they do not get into trouble.

It is more important and productive to maintain efficiency than to respect the chain of command in the work environment. Elite and successful companies understand this (although usually they train their management so it is not necessary). However, if top level management prefers that employees respect the chain of command in the work environment, then respect the chain of command, as it is not worth losing one's job trying to make a company more efficient.

When I had an HMO, it seemed like it was primarily designed to try to make people stay healthy on their own. Blue Care Network (Blue Cross Blue Shield's HMO program) had a "Healthy Living" option for which one could qualify if a person was "living a healthy lifestyle" (not smoking, having correct weight, having acceptable cholesterol levels, having appropriate blood pressure, etc.). A person was required to see a doctor at least once a year, and within ninety days of the plan's anniversary date. What was really miserable, though, was all the paperwork one had to fill out elaborating on one's lifestyle!

Issues with "fair weather friends" change your outlook on who is your "friend" and who is your "acquaintance."

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that the average length of life went from about forty-seven years to about seventy-seven years between 1900 and 2000 (p. 348).


Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2009). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Centgage Learning.

I ran across Thomas Szasz's website (Thomas Szasz is mentioned on page 480), and he was saying that schizophrenia needs to be objectively evaluated as being either due to medical brain problems, to people's direct or indirect choices, or a combination of the two. One thing I noticed in the psychology textbook was that it did not treat medical issues of brain damage or autism.

Many of the medical and scientific fields have a large number of individuals from other cultures. Psychology could be considered a more "European" field, as there are few professionals in other areas of the world that are from this field compared to professionals from many other fields. Additionally, there are drastic differences in cultural opinions that would make psychology less likely to be received by other cultures in the typical form in which it is taught. This results in less participation by other cultures in the field, and thereby less representation of other cultures.

Representatives from drug companies would often provide free lunches for the doctors and staff at one facility, usually four or five days a week. To ensure they kept getting free meals, however, the doctors knew they needed to use enough of their sponsors' products. The doctors would often prescribe one of these products when there were generic drugs or slightly better brand name drugs available, and then tell the patients that if they experienced any issues to let them know and they would try something else. In this way the sales of the drugs were still made, even if the patients decided they needed something different later.

People who grew up in households that had issues often seem to retain some trace of some of those issues merely because they do not recognize the problems. Moreover, many times people will try to overcome things that occurred in their childhood, but they often do not know how to do it.

To me, the term abnormal usually signifies something that is not typical, and is unusual; usually it is more common to use it when describing negative behavior and things than positive behavior and things, as positive behavior and things are better and more favorably described by words like excellent, spectacular, amazing, etc. As for negative abnormal behavior in the psychological sense, usually I consider it to be maladaptive behavior that is abnormal. It should be stressed, however, that the "positive" and "negative" symptoms of schizophrenia mentioned on page 504 of the textbook can all be classified as "negative" or maladaptive behavior in general.

When I was younger, I used the Franklin Covey daily planner (about forty dollars from Sam's Club) to organize tasks and scheduling. It was very helpful to be able to write down a prioritized to-do list for each day, record appointments, and take any notes that were necessary describing the daily events.

Usually I like reading the help files before I contact technical support! The most miserable thing for me is when the help files are so scanty that one cannot understand how the situation applies to oneself. In my opinion it is easier to give good instructions the first time rather than reexplain them later.

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that we can cope with stress by exercising, focusing on other things, or confronting the problem directly (p. 114). Usually I try to confront the problem directly when I experience stress. That seems to be the most effective coping strategy for me.

The way I would deal with this would be to write and post detailed instructions for how to perform a task so that (a) it would be easier to learn it, (b) they would be able to reference it when they forgot it, and (c) I would not have to put up with them claiming that they did not know how to do it! Additionally, at a former job where I worked, they had set expectations for how quickly and how much employees were expected to learn in their employee handbooks. Employees were expected to take basic exams (primarily for identifying quality defects), and they were permitted two tries at a test. After the first testing, the employees would receive the scores explaining what was right and wrong. If they failed the test the second time (taking the same ten-question test over again), they would be written up. Further failures had additional penalties up to and including termination.

Networks can be a minor stressor for me too. I have to remind myself that they are not the end of the world, but they often start malfunctioning or somehow loose their connection, and then they will not reconnect without a lot of effort. It is even more frustrating to try to set up a new network and have incompatibility issues!

Mowing the lawn and other household chores still fit inside the definition of "work" described in our textbook. Although these tasks may not be in the context of "employment" or have a recipient other than the person performing the action, they still produce something of value (a better house or lawn) for a person (oneself) through personal activity (you are the one doing it; if a robot did the work for you that would not be "you" working).

No, I have not had any experiences in the sense of technostress. Even if there was something I feared on the computer (bad news, malfunctioning website, work that needed to be done, etc.), or with any other type of technology (printers, fax machines, cell phones, scanners, copiers, etc.) I never experienced technostress. I may have experienced stress from something not working, something not saving, something nearing a deadline, some bad news coming, or some knowledge of mine being inadequate, but these types of stress have been experienced for millennia. I never attribute my stress to the progress of technology itself; I only attribute my stress to its and my shortcomings. Technology is a good thing to me; I just need to figure out how to use it!

"Peril" and "fear" may be good motivators at some times, but usually they are only beneficial for lazy individuals who would not do what needs to be done otherwise. For people who are actually trying to do something properly, stress usually hinders or impairs them from performing optimally. Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) had mentioned that stress may have positive effects. If one looks at the definition of stress by Weiten et al., however, they include both the stimuli and the reaction as components in their definition, rather than just the reaction (p. 70). If one reads the explanation of the positive effects of stress as given by Weiten et al., however, it can be seen that these positive effects should be attributed to the "stressful events," rather than the response of stress itself (pp. 92-93). Stressful events may certainly have positive effects on individuals; everyone knows that. The response of stress, however, is never beneficial to have for the individual's own sake at any time whatsoever, except in cases where the "fight or flight" physiological responses may be helpful; nonetheless, only the physiological responses are helpful in that case, and the emotional and behavioral responses that are unintentionally triggered are not. I should mention that it could be argued, however, that it may be advantageous for a person if a person other than oneself is experiencing the response of stress. An example would be a criminal who, if he was experiencing extreme stress, might do dumb things and thereby make it easier for the police to catch him.

According to the textbook's definition of "work," if it involved your own activity, had a tangible or intangible value of any worth whatsoever, and the recipient of this value was a person, then it could rightly constitute work. If the activities of your employment match this criteria, then it may rightly be called work. "Work" can be fun! You can enjoy work! Much is determined by a person's attitude. "Work" should be distinguished from "laborious," "drudgery," and "difficulty." Driving a school bus or being a teacher can be a fun experience. Neither one of these positions are usually particularly laborious, and the difficulty and drudgery are often negligible, depending on the person's attitude. Nonetheless, they provide value to people, and the goals of these positions are achieved by the person's activity. Additionally, "pay" is not a stipulation in this definition; that is how "volunteer work" can be rightly classified as "work." Additionally, one can perform work for oneself, such as mowing the lawn, that can also be considered "work" (although this form of "work" is usually not accompanied by the "gratitude" of others), as this provides value (a better lawn) to a person (oneself) and requires the activity of the person.

Stress is certainly present in the workplace, although its extent varies from person to person and from job to job. Stress can and does affect our productivity by impairing our ability to think clearly and rationally, and also by causing physiological reactions that can temporarily hinder or impair our physical abilities. Additionally, Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that long-term stress can increase the risk of certain maladies, such as ulcers and heart disease.

One way I found how to increase confidence in cases where one has uncertainty (especially if one is unsure of the facts) is to say upfront that, "This is what I remember it as being; you can look it up online to be sure," or, "Let me think about it, and I will email you later about this." I really enjoy using these techniques with people who try to corner me with questions. I remember a coworker who once asked one of those questions that "evangelists" like to use, and I told him, "You can look it up online." That completely took care of the situation.

What I found is that it seems like initiating a conversation requires a bit of courage and an outgoing personality, whereas getting involved in an existing conversation is facilitated by good listening skills and intuition.

I remember when I first found out that Santa Claus was not real (I discovered a Walmart tag on a gift, and my mother had to explain the real situation). I was quite shocked as a kid that my parents would lie to me like that. The good thing, however, was that the blow was softened by a personal suspicion I had that Santa was probably fake anyhow. Although the concept of Santa might make some kids happy (and boost sales during the Christmas season), I noticed that I came to believe that I "deserved" gifts when I was "good," and did not understand that the gifts I received actually came out of my parents' paychecks.

I guess situations that make a child determine to do or not do something due to the actual detrimental nature of it could be beneficial to a child. The death of a classmate or friend due to drunk driving, over-drinking, or drugs might make a child decide to avoid these harmful substances. Likewise, the death of a relative due to smoking might also persuade a child to avoid this habit. Getting the keys locked in the car at an extremely inopportune time can make a child ensure that it will never happen again.

Although not identical to the situation above, it reminds me of the cartoon on page 218 where Dave gives an overly descriptive answer to Mr. Z's question about how he is doing. From co-workers and those who are not our close friends, we often like to hear about interesting and pleasant thinks, but men usually do not enjoy getting deeply embroiled in miserable emotional situations or conflicts that others they do not know very well are experiencing.

The nice thing about written communication is that one can catch oneself before one conveys the message!

I just finished reading both Chapter 10 and Chapter 11, and there is no mention of women needing to say less personal things than they currently do. They do say, however, that women should work on using assertive communication more often. They tell men, on the other hand, that they should open up more and be able to speak about their personal feeling more (in an appropriate manner, of course).

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that men are more prone to interrupting others and talking about impersonal things and situations, whereas women are more likely to discuss personal things and situations. Weiten et al. also mention, however, that these and many other apparent differences between males and females may very well be due to the differences in upbringing and social norms used between the two, rather than actually being due to biological differences.

If two siblings were the only ones nominated for a scholarship, and there was only one scholarship being awarded, then it would be a matter of merely deciding which one was going to take advantage of the scholarship. If there were additional nominees, or if there was more than one scholarship being awarded, strategically the siblings would have better odds of at least one of them getting the scholarship if they both submitted essays, whereas they had a higher chance of the family missing out altogether if only one of them submitted an essay. As for the matter of competition in real life, the gains of some individuals may mean the loss to others (such as in sales), but if we want to make gains, we can focus on improving ourselves, our skills, and our financial situation. Thinking we can achieve our goals by concentrating on showing aggression or hatred toward others is a maladaptive technique in the pursuit of success, and it misdirects our attention from our real goals.

If a person works hard and does their assignments properly, they can get an A. If a person is lazy or completes the assignments inappropriately, they may easily end up with a C. In no case do I believe that both should get assigned a B. What I am saying, however, is that the concept of "competition" is a maladaptive technique people use to try to motivate themselves to succeed. If each and every single person in a class works hard and does their assignments right, each and every single person has the potentiality to get an A. There is no rule that only so many students may get A's in a class! Likewise, there is no rule that only so many students may get F's in a class.

Although it is certainly inappropriate to distort the rewards for goals that have been achieved (just as it is unfair to give perfect grades to students who did not make perfect grades), I must respectfully disagree with you regarding the matter of competition. Kids (and adults) need to be taught how to succeed and do well, but competition is misdirected and is focused on forming rivalry. Remember the story of the Eagles and Rattlers that begins on page 186! If someone works hard in school, they get good grades. If someone works hard at work, they increase their job security and make themselves more likely to get a raise. People will learn to work hard just by having the natural tiered rewards of success. Competition, on the other hand, considers its success as being the defeat of someone else.

In some cases, operating on a tight budget might make a positive impression on someone growing up, but it is a negative and stressful influence when one grows up. In my case, our family was not in poverty, but we did not have a lot to spend on luxuries. It helped make me a lot more conscientious with money, and also made me determined that I preferred a larger financial cushion than I had when I was growing up. If I were to experience that now, it would be detrimental and stressful.

Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn, & Hammer (2009) mention that being a "laid back" parent can actually be detrimental to one's children, even more so than being a strict and unaccepting parent. The recommended method of parenting is authoritative parenting which "uses high emotional support and firm, but reasonable limits" (p. 153). One of the keys to a healthy level of control is to set the boundaries that actually matter, explain to the kids why these boundaries are in place, and then involve the kids and teach them how to make good choices in situations where they can handle being responsible for their choices.

Usually the times I have seen it are when kids (or adults) throw a tantrum and get their way. In this case, the appropriate way to handle this would be to require them to express their legitimate concerns in a calm and collaborative manner. Unfortunately, it is much easier to just give in. A second example of accidentally rewarding others for bad behavior is the way the media gives attention to criminals. Although I have not noticed any major situations where the media actually praises criminals, it can bring these individuals a lot of publicity (such as the recent "Barefoot Bandit"). The other detrimental attitudes that can occur because of this are primarily associated with others who look at the individuals mentioned above and think they can do it too. They see the success of the complainers in the first example and think that they might have the same success; likewise, they see the publicity of criminals in the media and think they can get the same publicity if they become criminals too. It should not be a surprise, though; it matches Bandura's theory that is described in pages 48 and 49 of our textbook.

A few potential differences between love in a marriage and love in a friendship can be found. Love within a marriage also contains passion (or romance), which is not a significant characteristic of love in friendship. Additionally, love in marriage has a form of exclusiveness that love in a friendship does not. A healthy relationship usually develops through gradual self-disclosure; healthy marital relationships have additional needs during their development.

Although a person's positive or negative attitude does not usually affect the outcome of my decision if the appropriate decision is obvious, it can and often does help me create a decision if I have any significant internal conflict or indecision about the matter. If someone asks me for something in a positive manner, I feel bad if I must turn the person down. On the other hand, if someone asks in a negative manner, I must then also weigh the consideration that fulfilling the request may give the false impression that I can be bullied around.

There appears to be be some kind of strategic superiority in being called on the phone rather than being the one to place the call.

I would venture to say that a feeling of security is more likely to come with maturity, rather with age. A person who grows in maturity can begin to evaluate what actually affects the individual's security, and determine what needs to be done to gain a better sense of security. Growing in age, however, can bring with it many other concerns and, in old age, can sometimes bring feelings of physical weakness. On the other hand, maturity can also bring a sense of awareness and responsibility that can affect our sense of security, and can make us realize how susceptible and insecure we really are.

A person's attitude is "contagious" to a certain extent. If I have a positive attitude, it can "infect" others in a positive way; if I have a negative attitude, it can "infect" others in a negative way. At the different jobs I have held, a lot of my fellow workers also got more positive attitudes just by getting to know me; I basically became an example to which they could look and see someone in a job like theirs that had a healthy positive outlook on the future.

To me, self-concept is one's belief of what one is, whereas self-esteem is how one feels about oneself.

On the first anniversary of getting hired, my boss would include a week's vacation pay in the paycheck. It worked out very nicely, and (from the employer's perspective) made it less likely that we would request days off merely because we needed vacation days. In addition, it also made it easier for supervisors to allow employees to take the day off with short notice.

Usually I prefer to take a proactive role in facing up to a challenge and overcoming it. When I have advance notice, I like to plan ahead and prepare myself for upcoming challenges. It makes me feel like I have better control of the situation, and it reduces or alleviates the stress that I might otherwise have.

Text messaging has some peculiar advantages. It has the immediacy of a phone call, but has the non-imposing format of email. Although I personally do not use text messaging myself (it is not part of my cell phone plan), I do see the advantages of using it.

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